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Fegley's Insidious Imperial Stout - Allentown Brew Works

Not Rated.
Fegley's Insidious Imperial StoutFegley's Insidious Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

45 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 168
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 10.48%
Wants: 10
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Allentown Brew Works visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerthulhu on 06-13-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fegley's Insidious Imperial Stout Alström Bros
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 168
Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan head that died down but consistently left a thin but dense head covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of cocoa powder in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of cocoa along with hints of roasted malts.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of dryness is noticeable.
O: This beer is very light-bodied compared to other beers in the style (it’s more reminiscent of a dry stout) and lacks much complexity in the taste. Nonetheless, the alcohol is well hidden from the taste. (658 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color capped by a head that would honor a Belgian; leaves plenty of splashy lacing around the chalice

Smell: Cocoa, dark fruit, toasted brown bread; a little chalky

Taste: Cocoa powder and toasted brown bread, up front, with earthy hops developing in the middle; ; after the swallow, hints of dark fruit and chalk appear, with the cocoa flavors lingering underneath; dry finish, like an Irish stout

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Interesting how light this beer is for a 9% ABV; it has elements of Belgian (mouthfeel) and Irish (dryness) so it is hard to think of this as an American Imperial Stout (or a Russian Imperial Stout, which is how they characterize it on their website); if I don't think of the way they classify it I found that I liked it better

Thanks, bbpro47, for the opportunity (866 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a BIF from JNForsyth. 750 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Cork did not pop upon opening, extremely low carbonation. Pours fairly pitch black color with a minimal tan lace cap that reduces to nothing pretty quickly. Some very slight spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, molasses, light char, raisin, plum, light licorice, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate dark fruit notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, molasses, light char, raisin, plum, light licorice, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, molasses, light char, raisin, plum, light licorice, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate dark fruit flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Minimal carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Imperial stout. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on even with the lacking carbonation. A very enjoyable offering. (1,579 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.01/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some hints of dark brown when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall fluffy yet dense tan head that slowly reduces by about 50% leaving a thin (about 1/8 finger) even layer over the entire surface of the beer. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted malts with lighter notes of cocoa and chocolate. Additionally there is a very light note of dark fruit (figs).

T: Moderate to strong flavors of dark roasted malts with lighter notes of cocoa and dark fruit sweetness (fig and black cherry). Light bitterness that lingers for quite a while.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly dry.

O: Not the easiest beer to drink, doesn't really seem to be similar to other beers in the style - something in the mouthfeel of this beer just does not work for me. I would not get this one again as there are much better examples of beers in this style readily available. (1,007 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft as part of a sampler at Allentown Brew Works this past weekend. Poured into a 5.5 oz glass.

A: Black body with hues of dark brown and maroon around the edges in the light, creamy tan head. Very very nice looking beer.

S: Roasted elements dominate with coffee beans, toffee candy and some bitter chocolate morsels. Nothing too sweet or dry and the blending of the flavors is quite good.

T: Chocolate notes, sweet caramelized toffee and some roasted grains and malts. A bit of alcohol heat but nothing to detract from the flavors that are here. The other reviewers seem to be getting too much alcohol in the bottle, I'd recommend letting it sit (like I'll be doing with mine) because the tap was extremely well balanced.

M: Smooth body, medium to full, with saturating carbonation but thankfully it's not overkill and keeps this body feeling thicker.

I was satisfied after the 5.5 ounce glass, and when I crack my bottle, I'll definitely be splitting it. Nothing bad with it's drink-ability just not my favorite to sit with it for hours. (1,049 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- this is considered an english style imperial stout by the brewer.

A: From the bottle a dark reddish-brown pour yielded a deep midnight black in the glass. A mocha colored head, about a finger high in height, only stood briefly before it fizzled away to a patchy covering.

S: Rich dark chocolate malts overlay a soft, but sweetly roasted character with only faint glimpses of the 9.0%abv to be had on the nose. Dried milk cocoa powder offers some ending and intriguing hints as well.

T: A deep smooth coffee roastedness first greets the taste buds. Dark fruit with a bitterness of dark chocolate malts also come into play. Its not doubt the malting is the highlight here, with hardly an aspect of hops to be noticed, with creamy dried milk chocolate that could be interpreted almost like a dry sweet stout. A soft coffee presence of wet grounds is picked up on the finish which was as equally smooth and silky as it started.

M: Full bodied with an oily smooth and silky texture effortlessly lets this slide around the tongue with little friction or mention from the carbonation. A smooth coffee ground roastedness sits well on the tongue after the swallow with only considerable mention of the 9.0% abv.

D: Very drinkable, definnitly its strong point here, a 9.0% that drinks with all the smoothness and ease of a 6% sliding down with a rich and dark, but sweetly toned flavor. (1,398 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to the individual who shared this one with me (forgot who it was)! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a massively dark brown (almost black) with a one finger mocha colored head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, subtle coffee, and subtle caramel. The flavor was of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, bitter hops, and subtle citrus. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. As stated in previous reviews this one was a little hoppier than I was hoping for. Despite this fact the other flavors carried over quite well. This one was quite complex as well... Worth trying if it is around, but I wouldn't seek it out personally. (858 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a wonderful, almost pitch black color with a thin off white head. The head faded in a moderate amount of time to leave a lighter amount of lacing.

Smell – The aromas were heavy of chocolate and dark fruit with some coffee notes. The dark fruit was mainly cherry and fig in nature producing and overall very sweet aroma. Mixed with these were nice aromas of some whisky and booze as well overall giving a very nice smell.

Taste – The aromas that were detected were also present in the taste. The taste began with a good lot of cocoa and sweeter fruit flavors of cherry and some prune. As the taste advanced a light coffee and more roasty flavor meet the tongue. These were soon met with some sweeter fig and cherry flavors that either showed up (fig) or intensified (cherry) as the taste went on and in the end with a slight boozy flavor created a very pleasant warming/flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Creamy with a lighter level of carbonation. Very fitting for the style and quite nice for the stronger brew.

Overall – Delicious. A nice strong, slightly sweeter, stout. Lots of roasty and sweet flavor here. Well worth a try. (1,202 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage 750ml corked & caged bottle

appears black, with nice tan colored head. good head retention. nice mild roasty aroma, taste follows in the same vein, but is a bit acidic, a little ashy, a bit of charcoal. bitter finish. thicker body, lower carbonation. (264 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

Excitement fills the mind when the cork pops and the head rises upon this black liquid. Burnt raisins, molasses, charcoal, chicory, woody hops and alcoholic esters awaken the nose. Thick medium body with a semi-viscous smoothness. Burnt roastiness, faintly acrid ... nothing but a twang. Slight yeast tone sits behind a dark dried fruit flavor of currants and raisins. Carob powder meets fresh coffee grounds. Leafy hops are layered deep within the roasted character. Semidry palate with a scrubbing of charcoal for good measure. A slow sipper here, tasty even if the roasted flavor reaches a little too far with that burnt twang. (688 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a 25cl Duvel tulip. Thanks to Tony for sharing.

A: Black body, scarlet highlights; one-finger head of fine light-brown foam. Ok retention, good lace. Nice.

S: Sweet + strong, with dark fruit, molasses, and chocolate. Very intense, but not exactly coherent.

T: Fruity, molasses-y sweetness up front; coffee and char thereafter, and booze on the finish. Ok.

M: Medium body, plenty of creamy carbonation. Very good.

O: Better than average, but nothing special.

Cheers! (488 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 06JUN13 visit to ABC.... After a Barleywine for round 1 with my sammich, I had two 12oz snifters of this for dessert, at a more reasonable $4.75 per.

It was deeply opaque, a dark, dense brown with a creamy mocha head. The topping was thin and fine, sticking mostly at the edges, with good lacing. It had a rich choco nose, with some roastiness; quite inviting... Another solid medium-plus body, and it was smooth, though I thought it could be chewier.

Had lovely choco/coffee notes with more roasty aspects. As it warmed, dark fruit arose, akin to choco-covered cherries. A solid floral character brought things to a solid finish. Let this one warm; it is quite well-made! Prosit!!

4.18/5 rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1574 (777 characters)

Photo of birchstick
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black without much of a head on it. Loads of chocolate and molasses and a little bit of vanilla bubble up from the glass into the nose. The palate has cherries, chocolates, toffee and some coffee flavors throughout it. Has an average body that ends dry. Decent RIS; nothing crazy but not disappointing either. (315 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm behind on posting my reviews here on BA, but the origina tasting was on 3/12/11 and this is taken directly from my personal beer notes.

A - Pours an engine oil black with a very thick and robust lacing ring that's a burnt caramel color.

S - Dark bitter chocolate malt with mild charcoal, oak tannins, oak woodiness, mild bourbon, and a very obscure and distant vanilla and roasted caramel and toffee.

T - Unlike the nose, the palette is predominantly vanilla, oak, bourban, and roasted caramel. For an Imperial Stout, the flavors are not as robust as I'd prefer. However, this beer is unpretentious and will creep up on you quite quickly.

M - THE biggest downfall of this beer is the mouthfeel/body, it's way too thin for the style.

O - Absolutely love this style but this one just 'ain't doin' for me'. (813 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Craaazy...after the usual six twists (try it!) the cork in this bottle pushed the wire cage off before I could do it myself. And it produced the loudest pop I've ever heard this side of a gunshot. Holy mackerel. This stuff is just dying to get out of the bottle.

Insidious is an utterly gorgeous beer, being abyss-like in its blackness. The toasted tan head is insanely creamy and the bubbles are so tight and small, this very firm head looks like something you'd see in a Belgian stout. Lace sticks to the side of the glass like iron filings on a magnet. The head never totally dies.

Aroma has two major characteristics: dusty cocoa powder and alcohol. Despite the alcohol presence, it's quite subdued for a 9% stout, although what's here is completely enjoyable. Just not a ton of depth or energy to this aroma.

Flavor is cocoa, mineral, coffee, alcohol, wood, and cream (in that order)...plus light dark fruit way in the background. The cocoa stays on the palate longest into the finish, and takes on a more burnt character then too. Alcohol isn't overbearing.

Feel is a nice balance of fizzy, airy, soft and slick. A bit dryer than expected. With the head, the big cocoa, the earth/mineral and the fizzy aspects, I'm thinking "Belgian Stout."

Yeah, they could easily sell this as a Belgian-style stout. Since we know this brewery loves the Belgian stuff (ie. Steelgarden, plus many various Belgian-styled offerings of their own), it's a wonder they're not selling it as such. Whatever the case, this is quite good, although not as balanced, complex, gooey or decadent as I'd hoped for. (1,594 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: black body, no head, good lacing

S: cocoa, alcohol, roasted nuts, mild vanilla

T: raisin, burnt malt, nuts, mild coffee,
light semi-dry finish

M: med body, hint of smooth/semi-dry mouth

O: Wish this offering was a little creamier
and heavier on the mouthfeel. Still
enjoyable.

GOOD, NOT MUST HAVE! (306 characters)

Photo of socon67
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber with beige foam that settles. No lacing of note.

S: Strong smell of pumpkin spice and light malt.

T: Like many pumpkin beers this was a bit too spiced. The subtle pumpkin notes were lost in the cinnamon. There is a bit of caramel malt in the finish.

M: Too spiced to enjoy more than one. Finishes with a warming burn, and a slight acidic bite.

O: A decent attempt, but I think the bolder profile detracted somewhat. Would like more of the pumpkin influences in this beer. (492 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark black color, with a large creamy tan head. The smell is full of choclate notes and a bit of alchool. The taste is very full, alot of choclate flavors surprising. A bit of coffee flavors, some oats, very complex and complete. Good full flavor, stays on the palete, great carbonation. Overall I found this fantastic, I am unsure if my bottle has aged at all, but very impressed. (399 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is deep chocolate brown with a finger of tan head that had little retention but left some nice lacing anyway. There is a mild roasted note in the nose and the bite of the roasted malt is certainly present in the flavor. There is some alcohol sourness on the finish that does not quite go with the upfront flavor.

I paired this with some beer and cheese soup for a perfect light lunch. (396 characters)

Photo of kbuzz
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle (I think) into a snifter. Couldn't find a date on the bottle.

A: Poured a dark opaque black with a monster 3 finger tan/mocha head that sticks around a bit. Leaves really solid lacing as it descends back into the liquid.

S: Bittersweet chocolate is noticeable right away...there's some burnt caramel/brown sugar in there...some booziness. A good spicy floral hop presence. Dark fruits - plums and raisins. A licorice scent is detectible as well.

T: Tastes very much follow the nose on this. Dark fruits up front along with a confectionary sweetness. Bittersweet chocolate that teams up with a spicy hop bitterness to balance it out. At the end there is plenty of roastiness/charred coffee, some brown sugar along with a lingering licorice/anise taste. Alcohol isn't all that noticeable considering the 9% tag. Very impressive, complex tasting beer.

M: A medium to full bodied beer...if pressed, would have to call it medium. Very frothy, coats the mouth quite well. I have to say that I think it might be a tad overcarbed. I noticed that the cork was a little hard to remove (actually had to use a corkscrew cause it broke off)...I wonder if they had used a more gas permeable cork that maybe the carbonation wouldn't have been as high. So far this is my only complaint and it's a minor one.

O: Great example of an Impy Stout. Phenomenal aroma and taste...plenty of roasted coffee, sweet chocolate and a good amount of hop bitterness to balance it all out. I'd like to try an aged version of this to see if the carbonation mellows a bit. But definitely loving every sip of this one. (1,615 characters)

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I must have forgot to review this one from my trip last week. Anyway poured a darker brown not opague but almost. Decent lighter brown heading, about an inch thick and kind of fizzed out after a few sips. Very little lacing in the beginning.

Nice roasted aromas and whoa a heavy hop blast here. Slight mocha mix with a nice bang of alcohol.

Taste has a nice mocha mix with a decent roasty and toasty malt backbone. Semi wood flavors with a touch of dark fruit. A bit more of a hop twang taste than I would expect from my stouts.

Medium - Full bodied and decent carbonation. Ok balance maybe not as thick as I like my stouts but still not bad.

A good stout, not the best I've had but not the worst. A nice hoppy twist to a stout. (732 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly clear dark brown. A bit reddish. Lots of white head. smells oaky and slightly vanilla-y. Pretty wonderfu aroma. Tastes sweet and oaky. Pretty decent. A bit thin, well carbonated. Overall enjoyable. Not too shabby especially for such a small brewery (263 characters)

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade and was going to cellar it for a bit but said to hell with it since I've been on a such a barrel aged kick.

Pours a solid black with nice tan/brown head. Very large head even though of the ABV.

The smell is sweet from the roasted malt and a lot of oak.

The taste is on the roasty coffee side with a little dark fruit. A lot of chocolate on the back from the oak.

A pretty good beer. Not the best oaked Stout but by far not the worst. Hits the spot if your looking for something with a fairly strong barrel taste on a pretty straight forward Stout. (572 characters)

Photo of beer2day
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, dark pour but not quite black. Slightest tint of red sneaking out. Mocha head, 2 fingers worth, and nice head retention. Thin lace all around the glass.

Nose is dark roast coffee, sweet chocolate, and flavorful citrus hops. The hops combine with the coffee to give off almost a cherry feel, but the citrus comes through in the end. Very sweet nose.

Very hop forward for the style. Citrus hits right away, even before the chocolate and coffee work in. Flavors combine for a lighter than expected finish, but again very hop forward. One of the hoppier stouts I've had.

Lighter feel than I expected and wanted, but may be by design with the hop character here.

Overall very well done. If you want a nice impy stout with good hop character, give this a try. (763 characters)

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into my DC Brau glass.

Decent look with a frothy thick tannish head, the body isn't really black but super dark brown, some bubbles rising to the top.

The smell is not great, it is sort of a watered down malt base, some slight sweeter alcohol bourbon notes, but there is some nice leather and musty notes that are nice, though not very appropriate to the style. Just not overly aromatic even when letting it warm up nicely.

The taste is a little better, and actually the creamy mouthfeel helps the beer come alive. It has a sort of Irish stout taste in its mouthfeel, a dry chocolatey and grainy flavor, though it isn't great that there is a very distracting after taste of metal and what only drinks like that taste when a tap line is not clean, though its out of a bottle. Overall a bit confusing in the flavor, some smatterings of bourbon and oak but no flavors are very well balanced.

Eh, this is only ok. (930 characters)

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Fegley's Insidious Imperial Stout from Allentown Brew Works
84 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.