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Insidious Imperial Stout - Bethlehem Brew Works

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Insidious Imperial Stout
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BA SCORE
85
very good

42 Ratings
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Ratings: 42
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.97%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bethlehem 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: stakem on 02-08-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 21
Reviews by jd18:
More User Reviews:
Photo of CaptinRedBeard
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Pours a very dark brown almost black color. A very nice cascading nitro like effect going on. Decent head but it dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing.

S-Nothing Really strong going on here. Some roasted malts and dark chocolate notes.

T-I would be very surprised if this beer is not brewed with chocolate. There is a lot of it coming through in the flavor, along with some hints of caramel and vanilla.

M-Silky smooth. A lighter body than I was expecting but a wonderful mouthfeel.

D-The nine percent is not noticeable in the least. I split this bottle with a friend but then I wanted more once it was gone.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Snagged a 750ml of this at the House of 1,000 beers.

A - On par with the style. Deep dark opaque black with a rocky full inch of head (a tad carbonated?) Head isn't very sticky but is a fairly dark shade of deep brown mocha.

S - Fierce roast and some underlining dark chocolate. Smell is sweet yet balanced with a tone of bittering hops and some molasses.

T - I enjoy the flavor it doesn't seem to have a huge bitter malt profile which wins me over. The sweetness of the chocolate never gets to intense and roast is a nice backseat once warmed. I did notice at cold it was fairly roasty and bitter so let this one warm a tad to bring out the flavor.

M - Had to do this one first because the taste seems a bit watery. Drinks more like a bubbly stout with a medium creamy body.

Overall it drinks like a smooth "Blackout stout" except more traditional. Not really winning me over in the bomber but would consider getting it again if it was a 10 dollar four pack (like Devious pumpkin)

Photo of jwc215
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml cage-corked bottle - poured into tulip glass:

Pours opaque black with a thin light-brown head that has decent retention for style. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of milk chocolate, hint of licorice and slightly roasted espresso beans. Nice enough character, though it doesn't quite fill the nostrils with richness.

The taste is of sweet milk chocolate and some booze. There's just a hint of roast. Sweet overall, with a hint of licorice and a vague fruitiness.

The feel is silky with gentle carbonation. It hits full-bodied, though on the lighter side within that. Booze washes away some of the aftertaste.

A "sipper" for sure. 9% abv is relatively modest for the style, yet it shows through a bit more than that. Not a bad brew at all, and a worthy sipper, though lands a bit sweet and boozy for me. Not as rich, robust or complex as other examples, but still enjoyable for a slow sweet boozy imperial stout.

Photo of rfgetz
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, near black, thin cap of brown head, gone quickly with little lacing. Scent is dominated by roasted malt with faint kisses of chocolate, espresso, dark molasses. Taste is lighter then scent dictates... still roasted malt with only faint touches of dark fruit, chocolate and esspresso. Medium bodied, thinner for the style, good light carbonation, sweet aftertaste. A nice tasting stout which could use some complextiy and a heftier body.

Photo of BeerCon5
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep amber color with two fingers of fluffy/foamy coffee colored head that remains throughout the beer.

The scent is of roasted mals, notes of fruit and chocolate.

The taste is of roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruits, and a very faint note of alcohol.

Full bodied, smooth and a bit creamy, low carbonation.

This is a pretty solid RIS, the flavors were nice but I thought they could have been a bit more pronounced. I would definitely drink this again.

Photo of AgentZero
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Won in a game of Texas Hold 'Em from MasterSki. The bet was originally for Kaggen, but he said this was better.

A - Black beer, tan head, decent lace. Pretty good looking.

S - A lot of roast, with some hints of smoke, chocolate, and some bitter coffee. I like the smell on this one.

T - Tastes about how you would expect based on th enose. Mostly roast with some touches of smoke, a little bit of burnt cocoa, and some coffee. It's very solid, and don't have any complaints about it.

M - Medium bodied, it had too much carbonation, but the swirling-the-glass trick that was taught to me helped to dissipated it quite well.

O - Good beer, good example of the style. That said, it is not special in any way. While I enjoyed drinking it, I would not go out of my way to get it.

Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a dark brown almost black color with a 1 tan colored head that sports some large bubbles.

Smell: roasted malt, mild bitterness, and a hint of alcohol is pleasant on the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, prunes, dark fruit sweetness, alcohol, and a moderate bitterness makes up a decent imperial stout.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth to finish with some dryness. Aftertaste is long as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Drinkability: slow sipper here. This bomber bottle lasts a while. Nice flavor profile makes this a beer to pick up and try.

Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is very nice. It has an excellent black malt earthiness that sets the table for the chocolate malt sweetness and the blast of hop bitterness. It's rich and coffee-like, yet delicate and quite smooth. The taste is good. It has a well balanced flavor that hits you with a bit of bitterness up front, followed by layers of chocolate and caramel malts, and finishing with a dry earthy black malt character. The mouthfeel is fine. This is a good IS. It's complex and highly drinkable.

Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black that looks like motor oil, like any good stout should. One finger caramel colored head.

Smell is, and this sounds crazy, I sniffed it after the bottle was opened and not yet poured and got a chocolate raspberry aroma, I don't know why. After it was poured in my tulip glass, that nuance was no longer there. In the glass, the aroma was toasted malts, bitter chocolate, and a little bit of vanilla cream.

Taste is Deep roasted malt, cocoa, some bittersweet chocolate, and the alcohol level was clearly present in the taste. There is some hoppiness in the finish and it finishes dry.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, thick, sticky, and rich.

Drinkability is good.

Photo of stakem
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brew pub. Served a bit too cold in a 10 ounce sniffer.

Pours pitch black with a finger of creamy tanned head. Nice amount of lace clinging to the glass and fair retension. Nose is coffee, burnt grain and chocolate with a tail end of citrus hops rounding out the aroma. Taste is bitter upfront from a combo of burnt grain and hops. Smooth medium body with low carb and a warming alcohol presence. Lingering taste of bitter chocolate left on the mouth. Overall a very well rounded and drinkable stout for 9%.

Photo of number1bum
2.88/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Shared a bottle of this with a few friends the other night. Between the 3 of us we could not finish the bottle...

Pour was dark brown, not quite black, with a creamy tan head that kept pretty well.

Smell was quite sweet, lots of dark caramel and chocolate, with only minimal roastiness. Some coffee too, but mostly just sweet on sweet.

The taste was also sweet, with some caramel and chocolate, but had a harsh bitterness in the finish. Very little roasty flavor, instead very bitter and offputting actually. Grainy and unpleasant.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied but felt thin for an imperial stout. The grainy, bitter, astringent finish did not help the feel.

This one was a major disappointment. I've had a few other beers from this brewery and they were pretty good, but this one fell completely flat. As I said earlier, we could not finish the bottle between 3 of us. Pass.

Photo of thain709
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - The body was black in color with some lighter shades of brown around the edges...a decent light brown head formed and slowly faded to a wispy cap...nice lacing

S - Chocolate malts and other roasted malts were in the forefront...a nice, bright hop character was noticeable

T - The chocolate flavor lingers around on the palate...the roasted flavor never becomes too much or appear burnt which is nice...there's an earthy flavor at the end of this beer...it comes across a tad bitter from the hops...which isn't a bad thing

M - Medium bodied...not quite full...smooth, creamy, and a great finish

D - This was a pretty good stout...the 9% is well hidden...good roasted malt flavors with a great hop bite

Photo of Slatetank
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Al's of Hampden on 3/23/11

The color is very deep brown similar to molasses w/ opaque clarity and a quick dropping tan cap w/ a tiny bead. the smell has strong plum and mild roasted malt odors with hints of toffee and light brown sugar w/ a pretty heavy reliance on raisin notes. More juiciness than expected with gentle yeastiness and tangy slight sweet caramel in the feel with high carbonation for the style and the finish is slightly sweet too with a dried fruit concentrated quality with overall medium body.

The flavor has a berry and plum mix with tanginess of both which comes out first and mild roasted flavor supporting w/ gentle spice and moderate caramel malt influence in the background. The overall impression is not as roasted as expected, however it is pretty drinkable for the style and I enjoyed the nitrogen feel, which seems to lighten the body a bit.

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.41/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25oz corked and caged bottle into snifter at 53 degrees at the start, prolly mid-60's at the end.

Pours with 1/2 glass full of creamy, slightly foamy tan head, over top of an opaque black body - even on the edges. Pretty nice lacing, too.

Aromas of cocoa nibs, cream liquer, vanilla bean, and just a hint of coffee bean bitterness. Not overpowering, but inviting.

This is one creamy, smooth Impy Stout. Really light carbonation level - just enough to assist in the flavor delivery of roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, rich toffee, peanut butter cookies, and a fair amount of hopppy bite to tighten things up in the finish.

Some imperial stouts sit heavy, but not this one - it has high drinkabilty, and is a nice addition to crowded imperial stout scenery.

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a black color and a tan head. The head had a good retention and a decent lacing. The smell of the beer was roasted and a little boozy. The taste of the beer has some nice roasted malt and chocolate flavors. It's also got a light sweetness to it. The mouthfeel was pretty good, it's got a nice thickness to it. Overall this brew isn't bad but not my favorite Russian Imperial Stout.

Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had it on draft at Bethlehem Brew Works. It was served in a 12 oz. goblet.

A - Poured an almost black with a one finger tan head that fades quickly. I would have liked a bit more retention in a big stout but the lacing it left was nice.

S - Nice toasty smell with coffee, toffee, and some oak. Faint smells of dark fruits round out the smell nicely.

T - Some dark chocolate, caramel, and cherry with a mild bitterness of hops and wood. Not bad, but the tastes aren't as strong as the smell suggested.

M - Too thin for an imperial stout. Carbonation is delicate, but suits the flavors and style.

O - Not one of the better RIS out there. The flavors are well balanced but too faint. That, combined with the thin mouthfeel makes this one a bit watery. I may try the bottled version to compare, but I won't get this one on draft at the Brew Works again.

Photo of MasterSki
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The listing for these Fegley's beers are kind of a mess, as there are two brewpubs that share one line of bottles. In any case, thanks to Tanger for sending me a bottle of this one a while back. Served in a wine glass.

A - Pours with ample carbonation that forms a big tan foam that lingers and eventually settles to a thin cap, leaving plenty of lace. Body is appropriately black.

S - Anise, roasted malts, dark chocolate, light smoke, some dark toasted grains, and a bit of earthiness. As it warms up more dark fruit character comes out.

T - Taste is mostly roasted malt, with some licorice and light espresso bitterness, as well as a mildly smoky finish.

M - Medium body that seems a bit light for 9%. Slightly overcarbonated, but nothing a few swirls of the glass a a bit of patience won't solve.

D - It's a solid but unexceptional RIS. I'd have it again if offered, but there's plenty of stuff available locally that I'd choose over this beer. Alcohol was well-hidden, and I happily topped up my glass a few times.

Photo of DIM
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: Yep, its a stout. Black body and a tan colored head.

s: Malt roasted to the point of being charred, some fairly pronounced leafy hops, and some milky tartness. Kind of smells like an over the top dry stout.

t: This was dry overall. Plenty hoppy with heavily roasted malt flavors. I also tasted some lactic sourness.

m: Just a tick inder medium bodied with gentle, fizzy carbonation.

d: A little heavy on the roasted char. Not very enamored with this one.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the brewpub. The serving notes: Two row pale malt, chocolate, caramel, and roasted malts. Boiled with Kent Golding hops, fermented with English ale yeast. 1.084 OG, 9% ABV.

Served in a 12oz goblet, darkly translucent but very close to opaque. Dark dark brown color with reddish appearance at the edges, thin tan head that disippates to nothing but the thinnest of rings around the glass. Mainly roasted malts in the aroma, with some sweet malts in the back. This tastes rich and roasty, and there's a noticeable smoky note in the aftertaste. Thicker body than I'd expect from 1.084 OG, as big as that is. Very nice match with the flavors.

Photo of Ego
2.73/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

eyes...
one finger and a half of cocoa head, the hue is non existent as this puppy is opaque as can be, nice mix of legs n' lacing, the head comes back with a mild swirl. looks like a stout alrighty...

nose...
boozy dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, slight woody/earthy notes that don't seem to fit. touch of prunes

taste etc...
overly sweet, some warming from the ABV, there just isn't much going on here, it coats the mouth well but the flavors are light making the sweetness overpowering, not enough roast flavor, not enough chocolate, it tastes like really old Quick mix. it isn't terrible but there are a ton of better beers of this style on the market.

verdict?
too sweet for me...

Photo of ffejherb
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Brass Rail Deli on 4/12/10.

A - Very deep brown with burgundy and reddish tones and a slim, creamy beige that settled into a swirly retention, leaving a sparse amount of lacing.

S - Dark bitter chocolate, licorice and molasses comprise the initial aroma, although some roasted coffee notes developed as the liquid warmed up a bit.

T - Insidious is a chocolate-forward Imperial Stout with a hint of coffee, licorice and molasses. Surprisingly, I didn't notice any inkling of alcohol in the flavor whatsoever. Finishes with a healthy dose of bitterness, combining earthy hops, bitter coffee and dark chocolate notes.

M - Full bodied, thick and smooth with almost the consistency of a milk shake, actually. Chewy texture and slightly sticky on the palate. Finishes with a fair amount of bitterness on the back of the tongue.

D - Easily the best Brew Works beer I've ever had, especially after the stigma of my first visit to the brewpub in Allentown. Drnkability is remarkable and the alcohol remains virtually undetectable throughout.

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Insidious Imperial Stout from Bethlehem Brew Works
85 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.