Shackamaximum - Philadelphia Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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very good

171 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 171
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.73%
Wants: 8
Gots: 23 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Philadelphia Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ffejherb on 03-09-2009

This is a rich, dark brew made with chocolate and Munich malts and aged on French oak.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 171 | Reviews: 93
Reviews by Ego:
Photo of Ego
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

initially this rises to 2 fingers of cocoa head but settles in around the one finger range, pretty dark but some light is able to pierce the blackness (not much), a moderate amount of carbonation feeds the head and keeps it hanging about, lacing is very nice, leaving a good drapery on the glass, a good lookin feller...

sweet cocoa, heavy maple syrup/molasses, dry chocolate bar, some roasted coffee notes underneath.. maybe also a few hints of bourbon

taste etc...
a bit thin feeling, a pretty sweet smack o' shacka, kind of wants to be bitter chocolate but comes up short, it teases you with a touch of roasted flavor but the sweetness drowns out that voice, it sort of reminds me of a milk stout but without the smoothness... this is not undrinkably sweet but is definitely too sweet for my tastes, the carbonation is at a good level though

verdict ?
eh, not my bag (baby). definitely too sweet and not enough roast or depth

More User Reviews:
Photo of warriorsoul
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Damico for picking me up one of these.
Black in color, not overly viscous with a thin layer of tan head and spotty lacing that disappears quickly.
Dark chocolate in the nose, floral notes and a hint of alcohol.
Taste is quite green for the style. A nice hoppy RIS that has a boatload of chocolate malt to add some balance. Hops are more fruity in the taste but the roasted quality of this offering takes over in the end...making it the only thing remaining on the palate. The alcohol is also more subdued in the taste, making this one dangerously drinkable for its ABV.
Mouthfeel is thicker than I was anticipating after the initial pour and the carbonation is perfect for the style.
Call me impressed here.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great price at D'z, around six bucks. Pours a pitch black letting absolutely no light through the glass. Head is creamy dark tan khaki hued with a nice fine speckled lacing pattern around my entire chalice. Smells great every beer I've tried from French staves has been excellent. Dark chocolate, hints of cocoa and coffee with a toasted wood finish in there well meshed. Herbal pine hops in the background as well this is very nice with creamy milk chocolate notes flooding the hops out. Flavor is excellent creamy milk chocolate drinks so smooth, this beer changes my opinion about Philadelphia brewing, actually the coffee porter was excellent on tap as well. Maybe they are dark beer specialists? Dark roasted malts and dark chocolate with hints of strong coffee a bit of soy sauce a tad of 10% booziness making it through the cracks. Mouthfeel is full bodied luscious big dark beer, in all of it's beauty. Carbonation is expressive carrying the big heavy beer with ease. Drinkability is dangerous I'm downing a bomber without even thinking about it one of the most drinkable imperial stouts I've come across, again I will try every Philly Brewing beer from this point foreward without hesitation, this Indian Chief is rockin' it to the max.

Photo of richkrull
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a motor oil black with a good inch of dark beige head on it with some ok lacing as well.

Smell is full of rich roasted malt, chocolate and some alcohol tinge to it as well.

Taste is malty throughout with a slight bitter coffee finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-full. Smooth beer going down.

Overall a pretty good imperial stout. Glad I got a chance to try those one. And of course the name is awesome.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ShanePB for sending this my way. Love the name. Review from notes:

A: Pours a deep brown, pretty much black with a solid one finger tan head with great retention. The beer left behind solid rings of lacing.

S: Lightly roasted malt, cocoa, chocolate, a touch of coffee, and good bit of hops, which caught my by surprise.

T: Similar to the aroma with some lightly roasted malt and hints of coffee. The chocolate comes through much stronger with a little bit of vanilla mixed in.

M: Medium bodied, but drinks slightly lighter than I thought it would. Moderate carbonation and has a slight grainy texture to it.

O: Quite good, not overly complex. The 10% is hidden very well and it drinks very easily. Really enjoyed this one.

Photo of Sammy
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hits the style. Black bodied and thick looking, with a generous beige head. Good mostly milk chocolate taste, some licorice and cola, pine hops. Would like more hops. A tad of smoke but could use more. Caramel but not as thick mouthfeel as the top reps of the style

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! What a great beer! I'm a big fan of the Imperial stout style, and I have to say, this one is right up there with the best. It's rich and flavorful, loaded with chocolate and roastiness, and it has just the right amount of alcohol within the malt... it lurks there, right under the surface, not really making an appearance, but definitely having a presence. And it has a great roasty edge but it's still in balance; and it doesn't have too much dark malt acidity that can sometimes cut through. The bitterness, like the alcohol, is there but not overdone. It's really nicely rounded, and surprisingly complex. Quite drinkable despite its girth! Worth seeking out!

Photo of Kegatron
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.

Pours a pitch black, with a finger of foamy dark mocha head. This fizzles down pretty quickly, leaving back some wisps in the center and a thin foaminess around the edges of the glass that puts up some light spotty lacing. The aroma has a nice smelling fullness to it, with notes of chocolate, vanilla, smoky roast, coffee, and citric fruit, which is all wrapped up in a floral and woody feel. Nice!

The taste follows the same route, being thick with chocolate fudge and a smooth vanilla sweetness. Some fruity citrus flavors and leafy bitter hops pull up the middle of the profile before diving into a dark backend of brunt and blackened malts. This finishes deeply charred with lingering notes of espresso and dry wood. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a nice thick chewiness to it and just enough sharpness to make all of that roast and hops pop in the mouth. There is an EXTREMELY well hid 9% ABV on this that contributes to an overall great drinkibility for such large Stout. Color me impressed!

I haven't had a whole lot of experience yet with the PBC offerings but this one really left a good impression on me. Lots of aggressive flavors here but I like the aging on the French oak, as it added a creamy vanilla character that helped smooth things out a bit. This is just a really solid Stout and fairly affordable to. I think I only paid around $5 for this bomber.

Photo of PatDreadful
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Victory Tulip.
Served at 54 degrees

Appearance: Huge tan head that is insanely tight. The bubbles were so small and dense that it looked like cream. This gives way to a rocky head and some beautiful sticky lacing. The beer is a standard stout brown with lighter edges.

Smell: Hmm, this has me a bit puzzled. I get the wonderful toasted malts with hints of chocolate and dark fruits but there is something slightly boozy and metallic there too. The aroma is not nearly as balanced as the taste.

Taste: The big malt flavor shines through here and that strange metallic smell translates into a welcome warmness from the ABV. The booze is hidden very well as the aftertaste leaves me with those delicious dark fruit notes. Very nice and smooth.

Mouthfeel: I think this is the only real drawback of the beer. The body is just too thin for my liking. I'm all for a thin bodied stout but when we are talking 10% ABV, I just want a little more to chew on, so to speak.

This is a beer that will be in heavy rotation during the winter months. The price is perfect ($4.99) and I love seeing a local brewery produce such a classy product.

Photo of tone77
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of chocolate, coffee, smoke. Taste is the same, chocolate coming through first, followed by some alcohol, coffee and malts. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

Photo of PCampbell
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Saved this about 3 months after purchasing it. Pours a nice dark near-black color with a 1" dark tan head with fine lacing on the edges.

Smells of dark roasted malts, chocolate, cocoa and some coffee. A little bit of tobacco ad molasses is evident as well. It tastes just as it smells with chocolate and roastiness up front with some bitterness and a bit of sweetness as well. Has a medium-thin mouthfeel to it with mild carbonation.

A good imperial stout with some great flavors and smells to it.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A rich milky chocolate pour appears the deepest of black in the glass. The head is mocha in color, frothy, and stood about a finger high. Nice coverage on the lace providing a solid thin film coating after a good stand retention wise.

S: Roasty cocoa beans with some chocolate malt on the open. The strength was a bit light with some alcohol but void of any French oak notes thus far.

T: Roasted cocoa beans, dark and rich mixes with some alcohol laced chocolate. The French oakiness is evident in the flavor, woody with dried vanilla notes mixes with a yeastiness of bananas and fresh dough. Coffee roast appears on the finish with a bit of roasted barley, wheat, dark fruit and a bit of dark licorice.

M: tight and bubbly from the carbonation. Heavy handed malt rests on the tongue wit a thick and viscose nature that finishes off with a bit of licorice and roasty sweet finish.

D: A hearty drink that satisfies by the bomber. Goes down fairly well per style.

Photo of psulovesbeer
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap
Typical imp stout it's thick dark and light head with lacing
The smell is of roasted grain very potent
The taste is delicously roasted with a hint of citrus
The mouthfeel is very smooth for 10 percent exceptional balance

A very drinkable stout great flavor and smoothness

Photo of Greywulfken
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: black body almost seemed not quite opaque; rather thin-ish looking on the pour; produced very little beige-colored head from a center-pour

S: dark roasty malts, of course; some typical hints of cocoa and espresso, a waft of woodsy oak and distant char

T: bittersweet dark roasted malt, but with an almost crisp, and maybe slightly herbal/tonic flavor - perhaps brought about by the hops and oak aging? Some espresso points, but the barley malt really stood out - very confident and rustic, with the French oak lending an air of sophistication

M: somewhat thin for an Imperial stout, no palpable carbonation, medium-light body (again, thin for typical Imperial stouts) - almost porter-like in feel; mellow bitterness, dry finishing

O: a decent stout, this one aged for about a year (never tasted one fresh); worth a buy and try. As it warmed, the oak character and chocolate barley malt melded quite smoothly. I liked it but didn't love it, as I may have been anticipating something with a little more heft to it.

Photo of Amalak
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had off the cask at Muggs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
A- It's black with a good tan head that leaves some lace.
S- It has a nice licorice scent.
T- That is an epic beer. Beautiful, licorice taste with a slight burntness followed by a sourness. It has a great, kicking hppy aftertaste. Perfect stout.

Photo of ShanePB
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split with a friend back in December, thanks Nick!

A - Deep black with some brown hues, mocha colored head that settled nicely into a cap lasting the entire time.

S - Chocolate milk, split vanilla beans, some faint roasted malt and barley, but nothing too abrasive. The typical coffee notes seem to be left out, as well as any notion of hops, but a substantial caramel-based body keeps this all together.

T - Here is the coffee but it's light and very well done as it's not overwhelming by any means. Cocoa powder, pumpernickel bread and Crème brûlée burnt sugar. Very interesting and complex enough to be different but not wild and all over the place.

M - Smooth and creamy, though the carbonation may be a bit much, this still is a seriously great feel on the palate for an Imperial Stout.

D - Alcohol notes are left out for 10% ABV, which makes this very drinkable in my book. Though, you may not *want* to drink much due to the high content, you certainly wouldn't notice it on your palate.

This is one I'm going to stock up on when it's released in the Winter from now on. A great local IS that is decently priced and delicious.

Photo of weeare138
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at TND...
Appears a dense black with a fluffy tan head that slowly fades. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of ripe fruit, cocoa, espresso, caramel, and nuts.
Taste is of mentioned aromas with major flavor jumping out. I love the complexities.
Mouthfeel is chewy, spritzy, sugary, n bitter at the same time. This is clearly the best Philadelphia brewing beer ive had.

Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served very cold into tulip, 12oz.

A It pours black with a very dark brown one finger head that shrinks to ring slowly. It leaves nice lacing only for a little, but keeps a shallow frothy top.

S It was hard to smell because it was so cold, but roastyness came through easily. Then, sweeter, more syrupy smells with the slightest hint of cherries and citrus start to come through. As it warms, more syrup/coffee notes are apparent.

T The initial taste is mostly roasted, but its not at all harsh or overpowering on the palate. There's some bitterness in the finish and after taste. As it warms a lot more comes through, like floral notes and more coffee. A lot more sweetness and some dark chocolate notes, espresso feel gets stronger the warmer it gets.

M Creamy all around with pretty good carbonation. Pretty thick feeling over all.

D Went down easy, a little too easy for how roasty and full flavored it was.

Overall it was really nice. Pretty balanced with assertive finishing bitterness and the strong roast flavor. Bitterness subsides as it warms with more espresso/choc flavor setting in the aftertaste. Much fuller and thicker feel later. Full flavored, but easy drinking, just the way I like my stouts.

Photo of claspada
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours is a dark brown color, almost black, with a medium size bubbly tan head that leaves a decent amount of sticky/soapy lacing.

The aromas begin with roasted malts and dark chocolate with a decent amount of coffee. Light earthiness which I assume is from the hops; all balanced by a moderate caramel sweetness, toffee and molasses. Apparently this was aged on French oak, but I have to struggle to pick it out and wouldn't detect too much if I was smelling it blind.

The tastes begin exactly like the nose would suggest. Plenty of roasted malt, coffee and some dark chocolate. Mildly bitter with a little earthiness and a little bit of sweetness. Maybe a little acidic/tannic quality and vanilla, but very minimal influence from the supposed French oak aging. Darker fruit flavors emerge as it warms as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Flavors quickly dissipate and do not linger on the tongue for very long. Slightly sweet and slightly dry but not overly so in either category.

Overall, I have to say I liked the this beer more than I expected to, a nice flavor profile, but it was still nothing to write home about. I feel like I have been writing this a lot, but this is another beer that would be better served in a 4 or 6 pack and not worthy of a one-off bomber/higher price point offering. Not worth seeking out as it is fairly run-of-the-mill in the overall flavor profile.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - appearance is Jet fuel black with a half inch of foam that turns to a lace ring. Kind of soapy looking.

S - First thing you will smell is chocolate and cocoa which is a surprise since most RIS I smell have a strong sense of smoke or coffee.

T - At first all I could taste was pure milk chocolate with a touch of cocoa powder and coffee. Mild ABV burn but as it warms the alcohol becomes more noticeable but still timid. Still damn smooth!

M - Don't go overboard with this one! A sipper for sure and it will ruin the flavor if chugged!

D - Wow I regret not picking up a second since they are gone now. It was even more drinkable that Old Rasputin at a similar price. Will look forward to tracking down another bottle!

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at capone's in a tulip glass.

This beer came a dark obsidian with a collar of pale brown.

Smells of smokey dark fruits, tangy prunes, cherry cordial, pears and dark chocolate.

Tastes rather subdued with a smooth smokey malt base, a touch of old coffee and what reminds me of an old log. There's a green sap and oak here too that fades into the coffee notes. Very mild.

Feels present and smooth with only a hint of carbonation that finishes off a little sticky.

I'm loving ho smooth and not syrupy or overpowering this one is. I feel that this makes this beer extremely drinkable, especially at 10%.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 12/21/11
*From notes

-- Thanks to the generous BA who extra'ed me this at the recent Jackie O's bottle release --

A: Not that it needs to be, but I didn't find this as dark and brooding as I'd hoped. It's more of a chilled out charry brown. A standard pour yields a tight two finger head. Good retention.

S: Put your nose in there and tell me it doesn't smell like brownie batter. Lovely cocoa and creamy malt. Why then don't I grade it higher? Because as it warms, an off-putting rust quality invades my nostrils and won't go away.

T: A bit metallic. Quite a bit of metal up front, in fact. The mid showcases the milk chocolate, and the finish offers an odd twang of rusty char.

M: Pretty well put together here. It's big enough for a cold winter's night.

O: I'd been hunting Shackamaximum for some time. Not that it's some kind of whale, but it's one I vividly remember wanting to tick when I first saw it's crazy label and tounge twisting name.

But is it any good, Rhettroactive?

Yeah, it's ok I guess. When I saw this was aged in French oak barrels I couldn't believe it. Nowhere was the woody tannin or complexity present, unless that's their excuse for the rustastic flavor profile on both start and finish. If you see this tick it, as it is is cool to say you killed Shackamaximum. Otherwise, leave him to his tipi.

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can not believe I have never had this. I always seem to miss the realease of this one.

Poured into a snifter. Not quite black but a deep hazy mahogany color. Creamy light brown heading. Leaves some ringlets throughout the tasting.

Awesome roasted malt aroma with a nice backing of chocolate. Subtle notes of prun, fig, and plum. Finishes with an nice oak - vanilla combination.

Taste is about the same as the nose. Touches of a chocolate and darker fruits. More of a black licorice is dominant as it warms.

Mouth is medium bodied, nice carbionation. A little thin in the mouth though. Not a thick and creamy double stout.

All and all not a bad beer. Probably the best offering I've had from PBC.

Photo of rfgetz
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep rich brown, disappointing thin cap of brown head gone quickly, little lacing. Poured at mid 40's... Initially the scent is very thin, medium roasted grain, lacking any notes accustomed to in an imperial stout and no sign of French oak. First sip in mid to high 40s is rather light but bitter roasted grain, noticeable booze burn, mild hints of oak. Disappointingly thin. Let beer sit and only around 60+ with some aeration does this open up. Scent has richer roasted grain with deeper hints of dark dried fruit, oak and notes of chocolate. Taste brings some dark fruit and a tannic drying touch of white oak. Still boozy. Two completely different beers at 45 degrees and 65 degrees. Still disappointingly thin and not very complex in it's flavor profile.

Photo of OneDropSoup
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A new offering on tap at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Solid black under half finger of mocha head. No lacing.

Not getting a lot from the smell, just some dark roast malt, a little earthy.

Nutty coffee taste, with a kind of tangy nut taste approaching a Thai peanut sauce, with a growing alcohol character. Slight licorice. Interesting combination of flavors, if a little hard to tangle with after a while. Coffee aftertaste, again.

Medium-full-bodied, goes down easy enough. A little roasty astringency in aftertaste, but good feeling overall.

Interesting kind of sums it up: pretty strong, could get used to it, though. I'd try it again, though one is enough for now.

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Shackamaximum from Philadelphia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.