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Black Tuesday - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Black TuesdayBlack Tuesday

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,405 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,405
Reviews: 555
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 2,709
Gots: 1,197 | FT: 122
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  19.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our infamous Black Tuesday is an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels for over a year. Rich caramel, toasted malt, vanilla, burnt wood and anise are just a few of the many flavors in this rich, decadent imperial stout.

2009: 19.5% ABV
2010: 18.2% ABV
2011: 18.3% ABV
2012: 19.2% ABV
2013: 18.9% ABV

(Beer added by: OlieIPA on 07-18-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,405 | Reviews: 555 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Opens with a nice hiss and pours a black so dark the lord of the pit himself couldn't see his way out. Head builds nicely but reduces to a fine dark brown skin. This dames got legs for days a quick swirl around the snifter coats the sides very well.

S-Burbon, vanilla, black strap molasses, a bit of boozyness that seems to come more from the bourbon then the brew itself but what do I know. As it warms the aromas really open up and brings out dark fruits and brown sugar. Wow factor on the smell for sure.

T-Big time bourbon and dark roasty malts. Vanilla bean and fudge, coco power and that blackstrap again. The barrel aging really shows but it does not over shadow this amazing brew.

m- Thick and viscous, smooth and creamy. It coats the mouth and then the perfect amount carb fizzes up and carries the liquid to a new level of complexity. I love a thick beer and this one is up there but not too much that one cant appreciated it.

D-Well I wish I had twice as much. Yes, it is a huge beer with lots of abv but it is by no means overly hot. As it warms a bit more of the heat comes out so Im thinking with some time this will be a perfect 5 in my book. Amazing beer from an amazing brewery, keep up the good work.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 01:28:37 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of Steamhead
Steamhead

Kentucky

4.78/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well, I first heard about Black Tuesday back in early summer. Naurally, being a lover of great stout like myself, I have been dying to try this one. Endless thanks to davod23, the best trading partner in the world. Bottle shared with dear friend and fellow BA Hopfu on a rainy Tuesday afternoon alongside 09 Goose Island BCS and 09 KBS for comparison in the ever-faithful Duvel glass at cellar temperature. So onto the 19.5%, 20 malt, 15 month bourbon barrel-aged beast!
Wow, stunning packaging from choice of inks, paper and wax on this bottle. Admirable attention to detail in every respect. A gentle pour into the glass renders a one inch dark khaki head that soon recedes to the liquid surface. Rich, viscuous retention on the glass suggests some serious liquid extract. The body is black and dense as any world-class Imperial Stout. The aromatics are fantastic! One of the most lush dessert scents like Vahlrona lava cake and pure vanilla extract. No trace of booziness anywhere. My senses are fully engaged in anticipation at this point. Anchors aweigh, my boys! The attack is phenomenal. All sorts of extravagant analogies such as young vintage port, chocolate cream liquer, and black barleywine coming to mind. Neither the bourbon nor barrel component is overdone. The sweetness however is a slight challenge for me...moreso than I expected, but at these extremes is very well-managed. The finish becomes slightly one-dimensional due to the sweetness, but does reveal traces of alcohol. Ultimately delicious in every way, I truly believe that another year in the barrel would have made this even more integrated. It certainly deserves its place in the pantheon of all-time greatest stouts. While in the bar of my dreams, this would certainly be on tap, but I can't say that it is my all-time favorite. I will be checking in regularly to see how it ages though. So does it set a new benchmark for it's category? Absolutely. I, however, believe that The Bruery has the potential to produce even better beers than this one. It just reminds me how grateful I am to be alive during this unprecedented golden age of craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2009 12:26:15 | More by Steamhead
Photo of MrDanno96
MrDanno96

Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A bottle of this fortuitously made its way to the Rochester BA Tasting this past Saturday at the Tap and Mallet. My heartfelt thanks go out to Richard and Daren for making this possible. While I don't usually review beers I've had at tastings, I had a decent 3-4 oz. serving of this. While that may be too small an amount to review most beers, due to the nature of this amazing brew I don't think I would drink more than about 8 oz. of it at a time anyway (though I would definitely want to). Therefore, I feel justified in posting the notes and ratings that I took down at the tasting.

A: Pours pitch black with a beautiful tan head. Just a little lacing, but I can also see lots of legs sliding down the sides of the glass.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, some oak, and warm, stinging alcohol. Definitely not your typical aroma, but still quite amazing.

T: Similar to the nose, but even better! Bourbon is very apparent, but is complemented quite well by flavors of vanilla, molasses, caramel, and chocolate. Some toasty malts are also apparent. Heat from the alcohol is pretty apparent, but it works well with everything that is going on.

M: Amazingly smooth, very little carbonation. Warms just like brandy or bourbon going down.

D: The epitome of a sipper. As I noted above, I wouldn't want to drink a lot of this in one sitting, but a good 8-12 oz serving would probably last you well over an hour if treated right. The flavors and aroma are so complex and amazing - I wish I had a few bottles of this to sip on during the cold winter months. I was ready for a let down after all the hype, but after trying this I think most of the hype is definitely deserved. I'm not sure it deserves to be on the ridiculously high pedestal most traders put it on, but it is most certainly one of the best beers I've ever had the pleasure of tasting.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 16:28:59 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

20 malt batch consumed on 08/01/2009 on tap at The Bruery. I toyed with the idea of driving up here to try this on draft, and the only thing that was stopping me was the fact that I already had a couple bottles reserved. With each new review of the beer that I read, the urge to head north grew stronger, and finally I found myself on the 5 North last Saturday riding for victory (more bottles and a draft sample).

The liquid is black in my snifter, as any good Imperial Stout should be. The toffee head is mountainous, and it leaves behind thick legs on the sides which are quickly reanimated by a swirl of the glass. The retention is excellent, finally choosing to settle into a lingering froth of various shades of brown. Great looking beer.

The aroma is magnificent. The dark fruit component is made up of grapes, dark cherries, and plums. Blackstrap molasses is present. The 19% is not at all represented in the nose. You could tell me the ABV of this beer is 7% and I'd believe you (If I hadn't already seen the legs). Notes of brown sugar accompany vanilla, oak, and rich toffee sweetness. Dark chocolate is noticeable, and the bourbon is very well integrated into the aroma. It doesn't overpower and it doesn't take center stage. The candied sugar is excellent, but it's the maple that really stands out for me.

The flavor is rich chocolate and toffee with bourbon and oak. The sweetness is sugary but nowhere near cloying. It's made up of maple, which tastes wonderful, and candied, which is also fantastic. I commented on the well integrated bourbon in the aroma, and that trend continues in the flavor. I really love bourbon dominated beers, but there's so much going in Black Tuesday that balance is key, and any overshadowing flavor would be to its detriment. The dark fruit complexity is made up of plums, dark cherries, and grapes. Blackstrap molasses is present, and once again the alcohol hints at an ABV much lower than 19.5%. I honestly can't believe it. The only evidence of such an ABV is in the warming finish and the body that is evident in the legs in the appearance. The alcohol is masterfully hidden. The finish exhibits alcohol warming, with lingering toffee, bourbon, and maple sugar.

The beer is full bodied with a nice medium level of draft carbonation. I really hope this carbonation level carries through to the bottles. The mouthfeel is creamy, silky, chewy, and at times it is sticky.

All aboard. This is one of the best Imperial Stouts around and you'll just have to deal with it. Black Tuesday is a paragon.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2009 07:25:28 | More by HopHead84
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to ___ for providing the bottle, went into some small snifters and split with friends. Review 475.

Midnight sky black with some dark muddy spots towards the edges. The beer pours thick and oil like and just looks like some gooey syrup. You may want to put some plastic down on your couch before enjoying this near 20%er, things could get tricky. Not really any head, save for a few small patches of brown bubbles. Nothing in terms of lace but there is a brown dirty film that remains on the glass.

Smells like sweet heaven. Black Tuesday has a bold nose, and it reaches far from the glass. An equal amount of roasted malt and chocolate attack the senses, opening my eyes. A nice vanilla base and minimal coffee. The bourbon is huge and makes me smile. BT smells like a souped up Bourbon County Stout mixed with a small bit of World Wide Stout, but with even more malt sweetness. Some molasses and licorice. The alcohol is masked very well but it's not 100% out of the way.

Tuesday is big, It's huge in fact. The two main tastes is dark rich chocolate and roasted malts working in unison together. Under that is more malt giving off more sweetness plus caramel. Expensive bourbon makes a move next and leaves my mouth a bit hot and boozy, but im loving it. The bourbon shines with temp. changes. Some oak from the barrel. Surprised not to get a lot of coffee out of BT, it's very minimal. For a beer this size I was expecting some soy sauce, and i got some but just a touch, phew. Molasses and more malt in the finish, this stuff is big.

The alcohol is masked well but I can still tell it's there easily with a slight hotness, it's small and not in the way. BT is thick and viscous, chewy and RAW. Kind of goes down like a light syrup while taking small sips. This has a certain slickness going down leaving all the ingredients on the tounge, and then finishing with some hot booze. The bourbon seems to be sticking around the longest.

Slowly and surely I will make it through this darkness. BT demands some time and patience and a plate of assorted chocolates to heighten the experience. Spread the love and share with a friend or two or you may not make it into work the next morning. For the amount of alcohol and sweetness this beer is very approachable. I believe that while aging this may do something to the taste and heat, it wont exactly benefit greatly as it's huge and great right now

Black Tuesday actually reminded me of some of those big foreign stouts including some Mikeller stuff, Dark Horizon and the like, only with the American twist of doing it even bigger.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 20:33:46 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

4.22/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

Cracked open a bottle of this last night with some friends. Pours viscous black with mocha head. Smells amazing - we all kept sniffing this over and over before even taking a sip. Sweet bourbon, brown sugar, and vanilla are all quite prominent. Tastes quite bourbony and sweet, with more brown sugar and vanilla. Maybe a hint of butterscotch in there too. After sampling this at GABF, I wasn't sure if I'd find it to be too sweet for my taste. Thankfully that was not the case. This tastes to me like Goose Island BCS squared. Body is very thick, and well supported by ample carbonation. Overall, an extremely delicious brew. My biggest complaint is that this is sold in 750 ml bottles. Absurd, given the high ABV. If I want to share with friends, I can just open a second smaller bottle. No need for the large format.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 18:49:35 | More by waltonc
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Overlord

California

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, had a chance to sample one of my precious few remaining bottles of this. It's made its way from tap to bottle spectacularly. I really don't have too much to change about my review (I invariably only review a beer once, regardless of how many serving variations I have, but I'll make an exception this one time). I'll put in all caps the differences.

Pours a dark black, with a surprisingly robust bubbling brown head. IF ANYTHING, IT MIGHT BE MORE CARBONATED IN THE BOTTLED VERSION, AS I REMEMBER THE HEAD DYING DOWN FASTER FOR THE ON-TAP VERSION. YAY FORCED CARBONATION.

Smells like molasses, brown sugar, heavenly bourbon (these guys have the f****g best bourbon barrels), vanilla, and a bit of spicy ... nuttiness? Caramel? Insane. Tons of roasted chocolate and malt.

Taste delivers on the promise of the smell. Just wondrous. More bourbon, more roasted bitter chocolate malt with an undercurrent of sweet milk chocolate, a crazy pecan/woody/earthy nutty aftertaste, that "vanilla in the raw" flavor, and layered brown sugar/molasses. Hints of oak/wood. This is absolutely great. IT'S BEEN IN THE BARREL A BIT LONGER, AND MAY BE A BIT STRONGER IN THE BOURBON AND VANILLA.

For what it is, the drinkability is dangerous and insane. Sticky, chewy, and thick. Rivals Dark Lord, Darkness, PtY, and World Wide Stout for thickest, chewiest beer I've ever tried.

One of a handful of beers I could legitimately call the best I've ever had. I will treasure this "twenty malt" version.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 07:40:11 | More by Overlord
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of RoyMunson.

Pours a very dark brown, damn near black in color. A nice mocha colored head on the pour. Looks very inviting.
Smell is dark molasses, some tobacco, and a little bit of alcohol in the nose. Smell is good.
Taste is incredibly smooth and creamy. Did I say creamy, this beer is absolutely ridonculous.
Plenty of roasted molasses, with a very nice dark chocolate flavor, milk shake material.
Plenty of hotness and alcohol coming through in the flavor. This is a good beer, but I doubt it's worth what people are giving up. I would take Vanilla Bean Dark Lord over this beer easily.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 01:44:59 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.95/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Roymunson for sharing this during Munsonfest.

A: Pitch black, very thick but not quite motor oil or Dark Lord. Moderate head on the pour with just a bit of retention. Some wispy lacing.

S: Deep, rich fucking malts. Not burnt but very roasty with loads of deep sugary molasses. You can definitely tell that it's a huge beer bu the alcohol only comes out a bit and is already melding well.

T/M: I want to hate this beer but I can't. This is very good. Deep, rich malts, but again, not burnt. Deeply sweet molasses and caramel. Some muted hops but not huge like Expo. Damn fine alcohol line, not much heat but plenty of flavor that melds nicely. Light, flavorful wood with some vanilla but not tons of bourbon. Body is full but not heavy and very very creamy.

D: 19.5? I would never guess this past 12 or so but still incredibly drinkable. Like I said.... I want to hate this beer because of the hype but damn.... This is an incredible beer.

EDIT: Just split a bottle with my Kels and the bourbon is much more pronounced in this bottle. Still not massive on the bourbon but definitely a step up and a nice improvement. Gonna bump the aroma up to a 5. Fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 00:47:04 | More by pwoods
Photo of Tdizzle
Tdizzle

California

4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured about ten ounces into a Bruery tulip glass. Black Tuesday appears motor oil-black with a brief showing of light-brown foam that dissipates to a thin, swirly film over the beer and a thick ring along the inside of the glass. No lacing at all.

S- Bourbon whiskey, oak wood, and vanilla backed by hugely sweet notes of dark chocolate, molasses, anise, and dark fruits caramelized in brown sugar. There's little indication that this beer is almost 20% alcohol.

T- The initial taste is of suagry dark fruits -- maybe choclate covered raisins and dates -- and loads of syrupy sweetness. Bourbon whiskey and oak barrel accent every flavor from start to finish. The 19.5% ABV is remarkeably well-hidden and the finish leaves deeply sweet flavors of chocolate syrup along with a mild espresso bitterness clinging to the palate and the sides of the mouth. There's just a touch of alcohol heat in the chest after each sip. The final taste is of woody bourbon barrel and molasses.

M- A rich, creamy mouthfeel with fine, delicate carbonation bubbles that provide just the right amount of balancing effervescnece to the viscous and slightly syrupy texture.

D- This is incredibly drinkable stuff given the immense ABV and the massively sweet flavors. I was able to finish my entire glass and was left wanting more.

One of the best beers I've ever had. I'll be interested to see what a few years of age will do, if anything.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 08:29:57 | More by Tdizzle
Photo of Pehlman
Pehlman

California

4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to T Dizzle for opening this with me. I had this a few times on tap but this is my first from the bottle.

A: Blacker than black can be. Very little head. Poured with a 1/4 inch dark tan head but disappeared quickly. and no lacing what so ever.

S: Smells A LOT like Goose Island Bourbon County Stout! but sweeter. You definitely get a lot of the sugars in the aroma. The alcohol is hidden very very well.

T: Bourbon hits first and then fades into a boozey, sugary, flavor-fest. Quite nice. The sweetness lingers a little too long for my taste. Again very reminicent of Goose Island BCS.

M: Feels great. Perfect amount of carbonation. Great body. Not too dry as I would expect from this high of ABV. Coats the mouth, leaving great flavor.

D: I think I could finish about 1/2 of a bottle but that would be about it. Not just cuz of the 19.5 ABV. But the sugars seem to get a little too sweet. Almost like a Liqueur. A very very tasty liqueur. Maybe not quite worth $30 a pop but still quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 07:41:56 | More by Pehlman
Photo of OlieIPA
OlieIPA

California

4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Decided to share a bottle of this with my good buddy Brian in celebration of a new job. Poured and served in a Bruery tulip glass.

A: Probably the thickest and darkest looking brew I've every had! Damn it's viscous! Before opening this bottle, I was a little worried about the amount of carbonation and head this beer was going exhibit (due to the overabundance of alcohol)...but I wasn't let down this time. I discovered that BT was able to produce a beautiful light brown colored head. The only knock would be the lack of head retention and lacing, but overall...a nice looking stout.

S: Took a fresh whiff when I first poured this beast and found the alcohol extremely over the top, but after letting it breathe for 5 or 10 minutes...it seemed to cool off quite a bit. Once this was done, I was able to pick up an assortment of aromas that included: brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, anise, and more brown sugar. Just from the nose, you can tell this is one sticky beer.

T: The alcohol presence szx more subdued than the smell indicated. Again, tons of brown sugar molasses and dark chocolate backed up by vanilla bean, caramel, dark fruit, and anise. I was amazed by the incredible smoothness and cohesion of all the flavors. It's basically the Albert Pujols of beers. Has immense amounts of power and punch...but has a sophistication to hit for a high average.

M: Mildly carbonated, creamy, full-body; perfect!

D: Thought the bottle version and the higher serving temp would affect the overall drinkability, but I surprised to find this even more drinkable than the tap version. Yeah...you can taste the alcohol presence...but for 19.5%....no other beer within the area code of ABV can compete with BT.

Overall: The only major difference between the tap and bottle version...at least in my opinion...is the nose. At warmer temps, the alcohol is easily detectable...and at times, felt like I was getting buzzed even before I took a sip. Yet, I was able to extract more flavors and nuances than with the tap version. With that said, BT is among the top Impy stouts in the world. A must try. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 06:10:56 | More by OlieIPA
Photo of DrewOSU
DrewOSU

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Newtonty, thanks man!

A: The pour has a black base, with a swirl of dark roasted head. Lacing is a viscous oil that coats the side of the glass.

S: Stinging bourbon attacks the nose, followed by an onslaught of sweet malts. You can tell this beer is going to be massive just by smelling it

M/T: Medium, oily body coats the tongue and the roof of the mouth. Next comes the sting from the high APV drying out the pallet, only to be finished by huge maple flavor. The maple flavor is very sweet and overwhelming after the 3rd swallow. The taste is too reminiscent of other big bourbon stouts out there.

D: Huge alcohol, malts and maple. Couldn't drink too much of this. It appears to me that the brewer threw everything in the book at this beer and left nothing left to chance. Huge alcohol, huge bourbon, huge malts. There is nothing subtle about this whatsoever. Doing so, I think it lost some appeal with me. I think its smoother than other big dogs out there, but I am not getting on the hype train with this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 00:13:56 | More by DrewOSU
Photo of beachbum1975
beachbum1975

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Newtonty hooked us up tonight!!! Okay, I'm going to be as objective as possible on this recently uber-hyped beer.

Amazing packaging adorn this one with a fine, black wax head.

From luke warm, put in a freezer 20 minutes, then removed. The initial temp during the pour was a little too cold for my tastes.

Pours in my snifter as dark as a starless night. Black with a dark cocoa head with small bubbles. Only a faint halo remains after a few minutes in my snifter. A fine topaz ring can be see around the edges of my glass.

The nose on this one is VERY big, even at the present cold temperature. Big, woody, yet sweet malts, nuances of sweet flavors like vanilla, caramel and molasses. It's like a malt extract or Caro syrup in it's thickness. I get faint cocoa, big dark chocolate fudge and black licorice, at times, as well. Very big and complex overall. Sublime...

The mouth reflects the nose on this. This is a not a beer for the mild... Even at it's current cold temperature, I can't get over the thickness (chewiness) in the mouthfull. It's like drinking an oil slick mixed with maple syrup! This beer, at times, reminds me of the blending involved with the Firestone Walker anniversary beers. Overall, I get a mix of flavors including big, sweet malts, aggressive sweetness, vanilla, chocolate, figs, black licorice and caramel. The flavors are huge and in your face the entire time. I was actually surprised how little alcohol burn there was through out, but it was present.

This beer is very complex, but not "in your face, big with flavors", but it actually is at the same time. It was almost too sweet for me at times, like the brewer intentionally added as many core ingredients to the beer before turning this liquid into a solid!

Wow, lots going on, recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 00:08:53 | More by beachbum1975
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alcstradamus

Washington

4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I can't give enough thanks to Scott and David for the opportunity. Here it goes:

Poured into my tulip glass, I am greeted with a nice finger of mocha colored head that I didn't expect from a beer this strength. After it settles, a nice collar forms and leaves an oily residue in its trail. A quick swirl of the glass causes the head to rise back up about a quarter inch high and leave a trail of sticky goo on the the glass wherever it made contact with the liquid. Really awesome and really menacing.

The smell on this is hot hot hot....I have been agitating it quite a bit as I sit here and stare at the glass, and the volatiles are being released and absolutely invade the sinuses with blistering force. Underneath is a dense mishmash of everything you would ever want in an imperial stout. Chocolate, toffee, vanilla, oak, raisins, plums, marshmallows, candy sweetness....oops, another swirl of the glass brings back that potent heat. Really quite nice, and somewhat intimidating. Probably deserves a 5 while sitting still, but I'm dropping this score a bit to reflect the high booziness that peeks out. But now I must have a taste...

...and I am in heaven. But damn heaven is hot as hell. I'm actually really surprised at how many people have stated that this beer drinks like it is only half its strength, because I personally would guess 14-15% if I didn't know any better. Still, that is significantly lower than its actual ABV.

Now onto the actual flavor, which I guess I haven't even touched upon yet. Everything I mentioned in the smell is here in some form or another, but surprisingly nothing really jumps out and takes the forefront. All of this humongous flavor is insanely well balanced. Richly decadent, this beast is a dessert and a half. You basically have to plan your whole night around drinking this. After a while the sweetness starts to really take the forefront, luckily it is not cloying for my palate.

The mouthfeel is full and creamy and very well carbonated. Heavy, yet enough bubbles to engulf the entire mouth with flavor. Just how it should be.

Drinkability improves after you get a few ounces in you. The booziness subsides, and the amazing flavors underneath come to the forefront. I think 8 oz. is probably the perfect serving size for this, so split your bottle 3 ways for best results. I really wish this came in 12 oz. bottles or smaller, because I would like to be able to drink it more often. An absolutely stunning beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 19:08:34 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The much hyped Black Tuesday shared generously by Shane. I also managed to score a bottle thanks to Weibull, thanks, Jason! While it took a while to finish this, it was anything but a chore.

Looking at this beer, I ask myself: How much blacker can a beer get? The answer, my friends, is None more black. A dense dark brown head is present, hanging around leaving some foam as it settles into a ring. Incredibly dark, this beer has gorgeous legs, the only way I was able to tell that the the alcohol might be up there.

What an exceptional nose! Rich and layerd with rich chocolate cake, vanilla and bourbon. Devoid of alcohol, this is really quite outrageous. Reminiscent of OADL. Even the chocolate character is outrageously rich - I get layers of milk and dark chocolate as well as some cocoa powder. The vanilla is exceptionally incorporated and the bourbon is outstanding. Very faint rummy character, with some dark fruit - raisins soaked in bourbon and rum. Malted milk balls are present too. I have to mention that this is sweet, but also balanced, much along the lines of Dark Horizon 1st Ed. World Wide Stout/Darkness, this is not.

The palate opens with a ton of sweetness, mildly sugary with a rich and delicious molasses character. A touch sweet for my taste, this is still very very good. A lot of the chocolate complexity appears early on, with dark and milk chocolate character. Nougat like with toffee, bourbon and vanilla appear mid palate. Oak is reserved and while present, it's whelmed by the sweetness. Big in body with soft and smooth carbonation, the finish is LONG lasting with plenty of flavor, vanilla, bourbon and chocolate. Every now and then, I get a touch of a meaty character too. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden.

Evaluating the drinkability of a beer like this is difficult. While not quaffable, I have to admit that I drank 6oz of my 8oz pour in about 20 minutes and had to really hold myself back in the better interests of my sobriety. This really is a feat of brewing, thanks for sharing this with us, Shane.

**Edit 26 March 2011**

I shared a bottle of the 2010 batch at our Philly tasting.

The nose is a lot simpler - soy sauce and bourbon, brown sugar, booze, caramel. The palate opens with plenty of sugar, caramel, booze, brown sugar, vanilla, and all things sweet. Prunes, dates, raisins, rummy and bourbon are present. Intense. Sweet and moderately boozy on the finish, there's some port. Not as chocolate-like as the 09, there's a stunning lack of all things stout - no roast, no coffee, no chocolate. More of an American Strong Ale imo. 4.5/4/4.5/4/4

**Edit 23 Dec 2011**
Devin shared a bottle last night. Holy fucking fuck, is this beer a hot and boozy mess or what? It tastes like they dumped fucking Everclear in this, it's sinus-clearing boozy with plenty of chocolate and vanilla. Just too fucking intense, this vintage is nothing like the 2009. S/T/M=3.5/2.5/3

**Edit 26 Dec 2012**
Drinking a bottle of the 2011 release with my dad.

Hot, boozy, moderately messy, but a lot more enjoyable. Sweet caramel, vanilla and booze with some chocolate and dark fruit. The palate is similarly big and boozy, with plenty of vanilla and alcohol. Very sugary, this has some chocolate, but is mostly devoid of roast, chocolate and coffee. Enjoyable in small quantities.
3.5/3.5/3.5

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 00:49:48 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of nqualls
nqualls

Kentucky

4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle.

A - Dark black pour with a DARK brown head. Possibly the darkest head I've ever seen.

S - Intoxicating. Bourbon, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla...and chocolate. Very nice. Compare it to brownies or chocolate cake.

T - Bourbon and vanilla, followed by caramel, rich toffee, and....wait for it...chocolate. Surprisingly little alcohol for a beer of this stature.

M - Silky smooth mouthfeel, heavy body and soft carbonation. Feels like liquid silk in your mouth.

D - This was the only place I could ding points. This is not an easy drinker. It is a meal, and takes a while to drink by yourself...and I did. I wouldn't change anything about the beer, its just doesn't have the drinkability of some lower ABV stouts.

Overall - This is the new standard. Hope you got some bottles of it.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 23:28:10 | More by nqualls
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largadeer

California

4.73/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 edition generously shared by Shane. Thanks! Enjoyed this one over the course of a couple hours with Shane and Dyan. This provided a nice contrast to all the bottles of lambic we opened that day.

The pour is black and opaque, impressively dark for the style. It's even black around the edges, and the head is nearly black itself. I'd describe this beer as black.

It smells strongly of bourbon and brownies. The bourbon imparts a strong aroma of caramel, which is supported by a huge chocolate malt foundation. Where's the alcohol? I have no idea. At 19.5% ABV, it's unbelievable how mellow this is. While it's not the most complex stout I've come across, it's certainly a feat of brewing.

The taste opens with bourbon, vanilla, toffee and bittersweet chocolate. Rich and full-bodied, but surprisingly it's neither syrupy nor cloying. Very little heat, and no harshness - I've tried -bal aged beers of half the ABV that tasted hotter. Amazing. Molasses-like sweetness along with a mild roastiness appear mid-palate. Carbonation is fairly ample, enough to give the beer a lively texture and ward off the taste of alcohol. The finish is sweet, a bit woody, with lingering flavors of coffee, caramel and slight alcohol. It's warming going down, the only indication that this is anywhere near 19.5%.

Drinkability isn't especially high, it did take me a couple hours to finish 1/3 of a bottle, but with that said it never became cloying or harsh - it's just such a filling and intense beer that I can't see myself wanting to drink it often or in large quantities.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 22:30:29 | More by largadeer
Photo of berkey
berkey

California

4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally opening this bad boy for the occasion of my 100th review. I absolutely loved this stuff on tap at the release and I can't wait to find out if it's as good in the bottle. From notes 11/08/09 shared with a friend. 750ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip. Can't help but hear the guitar riff from the famous poolside scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High as I pour this epic brew...

This pours about as black as beer comes. Very briefly forms a medium sized tan head with strong red highlights then fades away almost completely. Leaves near zero lacing as I swish it around the glass.

Aroma jumps right out of the bottle and up the nostrils even before you pour it. Strong scents of chocolate and vanilla compete for supremacy as the dominant smell and it's really not clear which comes out on top. I'm getting some maraschino cherries in the background as well. Very nice.

Strong dark chocolate and powdery cocoa notes continue on the palate along with a hefty dose of anise, some maple syrup, blackberries, and a very faint trace of coffee. As was the case on tap, alcohol heat is conspicuous by its relative absence. Don't know how they did it. Oaky vanilla is still detectable here but not as much of a major player as it was on the aroma. I'm not picking up much in the way of distinct Bourbon and wood notes common in Bourbon barrel aged beers other than the vanilla, which actually starts to reassert itself as the beer warms up.

Feel is creamy and light, not as thick as the most viscous beers in the style but it works well in this case. Carbonation is actually a little on the low side but I was so distracted with the flavors I would never have noticed if feel wasn't one the categories on this site. I don't like soda-like carbonation on stouts though so no complaints. It seems ridiculous to call this 19.5 abv monster highly drinkable but it's true. Too easy to drink actually, in a sense I'm almost glad this is not easily available. If this was a regular I'd drink it to the point of intoxication on a regular basis.

Hype aside, this is overall one of the more interesting beers I've tried recently. It's definitely an extreme beer though, so probably not for everyone. It's quite an accomplishment in itself making a beer this strong that isn't a sticky cloying mess, let alone making one that's highly drinkable and delicious but Patrick and the crew nailed it.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 20:24:32 | More by berkey
Photo of davod23
davod23

California

4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

OK, so my first foray into rating beers officially on this site. Reviewing from last night's notes upon my opening my first bottle. Offhandedly, this was just as good as on-tap at the release. It's marginally better than the first time I had it, some months back at the Bruery, where I thought the body was a little thin.

Appearance is pitch black, light ruddy edges of brown. Thick, viscous, though not as akin to used motor oil as Dark Lord. So happy to see a small, coffee-colored head at the top. It stays the whole time. A swirl of the glass coats the interior, so that the glass itself is stained brown.

Smell is exceptional - just a bit of boozy heat, which I like. Powerful aroma, with dark fruit, rich dark chocolate, coffee, and a touch of bourbon. Not my favorite-smelling stout, but it's way up there.

Taste... well, suffice to say that this is the best tasting imperial stout I've ever had. Massive dark fruit, roasted coffee, a bit of chocolate, and some heat. But seriously, you cannot tell me that this is 20%. The taste tells me 10%. Is that cherry I taste? Where the hell did that come from? Pretty sweet too, but somehow it works. An epic after-dinner beer.

Mouthfeel is crazy good. Thick, viscous, with enough carbonation that it feels alive in your mouth.

Drinkability is the only, and I mean only spot where I can take off any points. I was actually struggling with whether to give a 5 or a 4.5 here. Because honestly, I don't think it's possible for a beer of this strength and complexity to be any more drinkable than BT is. However, this beer is almost too much... you definitely need one or two people to share it with, because this is a damn beast. Sooo... yes, I will have to give it a 4.5.

Overall: This is probably my favorite beer of all-time. It's certainly among the most complex and well-constructed beers I've ever had. Hot damn, I'm glad that I've got more of this. Don't listen to the cynics that tell you that this beer is "overly hyped" or that its scores are artificially inflated. This beer is the real deal. It would be tough to claim that there's any better imperial stout out there.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 01:44:27 | More by davod23
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to jhenry04 for coming through for me on this one in a very fair and reasonable trade.

I served this at 54 degrees into my Dogfish Head snifter. On first pour, there is very little carbonation until five seconds or so pass and a nice stream of bubbles begins to work its way to the surface. A frothy, Cappuccino-like head forms on a second vigorous pour. Swirling this around in the glass produces tremendous legs like a fine sherry or port.

The smell is outstanding. As soon as I worked my way through the two layers of black wax and pried off the cap, a beautiful caramel, cocoa aroma was released. Sticking my nose deep into the snifter I get a host of bourbon-like flavors ranging from vanilla to toffee to sultana raisins. Gorgeous. I spent a good ten minutes just inhaling the aromas before taking my first sip. There was certainly a strong presence of alcohol in the nose which was leading me to believe that this would be quite hot.

Upon my first taste I was immediately struck by how the nose transfered to the taste in every way but one - the alcohol was much more subdued than what I expected. Notes of muscovado sugar, plums and candied pecans all come through on subsequent sips. This is heady stuff!

Mouthfeel was tremendous. Very viscous but never chewy. A perfect amount of carbonation for the high alcohol and a fantastic achievement considering it's nearly 40 proof!

Drinkability is off the charts for the style and high alcohol content. Despite the heat in the nose and very sweet body, it never becomes hot or cloying. Beautifully done!

In retrospect Black Tuesday resembles Utopias, the FW Anniversary beers, MS Arctic Devil Barleywine and even J.W. Lees Harvest Ale more than it does many of the top Imperial Stouts out there.

Is this the best beer in the world? One could certainly argue for or against and have valid points on both sides. What is indisputable to me is that Black Tuesday is a tremendous brewing achievement that shows great finesse in a huge package. All I know is that I spent nearly two hours drinking this beer and when I swirled the last sip in my mouth and swallowed I was deeply satiated.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2009 13:32:50 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of sonicdescent
sonicdescent

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here goes...

Appearance is surprisingly good, usually when you get this high into ABV you are looking at near stillness. This is black as can be with a very nice head and lacing.

Scent is just fantastic. Nowhere near as boozy as some several percentage points less. Rasins, other dark fruits, bourbon, vanilla, and maple syrup hit me as I opened the bottle.

Taste, while not nearly as boozy as several beers with quite a bit less alcohol, is still a tad on the boozy side, which I feel is the only thing keeping this from a perfect 5. The dark fruits and a sweet maple presence make themselves known, along with the vanilla, smoke, light wood.

Mouth is just great, a great level of carbonation that I would consider medium level overall, and a pretty suitably thick feel.

Overall, this is a really incredible achievement in the style. Managing to get the ABV this high, and having it not taste like rocket fuel and fire, LET ALONE having it taste damn good in the process, is just amazing.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 05:08:29 | More by sonicdescent
Photo of JRhode
JRhode

California

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A jet black beer with a slightly brown twinge at the edge of the glass. Chocolate brown head that dissipated quickly. Lacing drips vertically down the glass rather than horizontally. Reeks of bourbon, charred oak, molasses, possibly chocolate cake, and dried dark fruits. Tastes like a vanilla bourbon truffle with a sprinkle of espresso. Coffee flavor comes out in the finish in what is otherwise dominated by bourbon, molasses and vanilla. The taste of Tuesday lingers for over a minute after each sip is gone. Taste buds are saturated and nearly overwhelmed by the depth of flavor. Mouthfeel is thick and rich, but lightened by adequate carbonation. Considering the 19.5% abv, the drinkability is silly. An amazing beer that is the best of its style.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 04:10:40 | More by JRhode
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erz316

Indiana

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If my memory serves me right, there are five excuses for drinking: a house guest arriving, being thirsty at the moment, having a thirst to come in the future, the innate goodness of beer, or, really, any reason of which you can think. (thus is my liberal interpretation and translation of a Pere Sermond)

This has been outside all day, so it should be about 50° F. poured into my la fin du monde tulip glass.

What music to listen to when reviewing such an epic beer? Bach's chaccone, bvw 1004? no, too solemn. Dark side of the moon? No, I'm not getting high after all. Some Monk? No, I need to conjure grandeur, not cool. I think such a beer deserves the most epic song of them all: The Final Countdown. Yes, that will do. Now, where's that repeat button?

A - this beer is a freakin' black hole! Charon denies any light entrance into this stygian glass of ambrosia. pitch, tar, midnight, whatever you want to call it, this brew is as black as Medea's child-killing heart. the liquid itself pours at a seemingly reasonable viscosity, no the motor oil that dark lord is. the head is the perfect colour, it is a perfect medium-dark tan colour. the head is big, aforementioned, and quite light, not creamy at all. the head slowly fizzes down, begging me to fill in the gap left in the tulip; i indulge my new mistress with her request. a solid 1cm layer of foam stays on the top of the beer at all times.

S - the smell is more intense than Frank Dux fighting in the kumite. the nose hits you in the face like a ton of bricks: top notes of booze, bourbon, and oak; middle notes of molasses, prunes, burnt sugar; the base notes are of huge dark malts, roasted and excellent and a slight vinous hint. the sheer power of the oak and whiskey can be overwhelming, it's like they made a barrel out of the mighty Pelian ash itself, or out of all the grandest trees on Mt. Ida. if nothing else: it smells like i'm in an alcoholic cooper's shop. the sheer amount of booze and the need to sift through this bastion of an aroma might be a turn off for some, it might be too much for their noses, not I: I have suffered my body day and night, depriving my self of food and sleep, toughening my body to prepare for the romance of this beer (not really though). for whatever it is worth: styles aside, i can still say I prefer the nose of W.12, but that is probably because I like Belgian styles the most; this beer hold a firm grasp on second place.

T - the taste, oh the taste! I think I have a new favorite stout, yes, indeed I do! Drinking this beer is like taking a bite out of barrel, but one made of deliciousness. That wasn't very descriptive now was it? Let's try that again: if you could encapsulate the experience of getting a bj while holding in one hand my Svend Bang tiger stripe pipe with a bowl full of balkan sobranie aged since the 80's stripe pipe, a glass of '26 Macallan in the other hand (pick any drink you please if you dont like scotch), while having just won the world poker tour on the top turret of Schloss Neuschwanstein. Crude? yes. Accurate? I believe so. Now, onto the taste. the initial taste is a powerhouse of flavours: vanilla, bourbon, oak, malts, fermenting fruits, and some some maple syrup. the alcohol (which I find hard to believe is so high) really does a number on the palate, and I love every second of its burning fury. the finish burns like Troy in the hands of the Danaans. the finish too is hugely boozy, burning, savory with a big molasses aspect and slightly sweet like prunes. a fitting finish for such a beer. the brew doesn't expand in taste like some others, it stays pretty much the same in the taste, the only thing changing is the alcohol, which is what I wanted: the booze in the initial is generally burning (if you hold it in your moth for long enough), but in the finish, pending on how long you kept it in your mouth, can be burning or an amazing dry fruity experience. Some coffee like flavours come out as well in this finish, particularly in the acidic bitter way that coffee tends to finish. the aftertaste is completely different; true it still is a large part of oak and booze, there is a definite chocolate, coffee, caramel/brown burnt sugar aspect that jumps out. having such dynamism in a beer is what makes the few and the proud full score brews.

MF&D - the carbonation is a bit low on this guy, but I find it enough for something with so much flavour and booze. the lack of carbonation is justified when one realizes the body isn't like a motor oil, it is thiner, and thus to get that syrupy feel some absence of carbonation is required. drinkablility? oh man, for a beer with 19.5% abv this brew is like drinking silk. the booze never chokes me up, never makes me gag, it goes down with its lovely burning and thats the end of that. it is a masterful piece of brewing and I wish that I could have regular access to such a prize of a beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 01:11:52 | More by erz316
Photo of Bankhead
Bankhead

California

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

mardi noir poured from a bottle for me and my wife as a final halloween weekend treat

i let her review kate so now she's reviewing this:

"this is my new favorite beer"

"i wish every beer was like this"

"tastes so fucking good"

for my take just read my chocolate rain review but pretend that it's also perfectly carbonated with malted milk ball head and lace and that the fudgyness and vanilla sweetness are replaced by deep savory port port dessert wine badassosity

worth the wait and glad i got to try this batch fresh

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 02:01:46 | More by Bankhead
Black Tuesday from The Bruery
100 out of 100 based on 2,405 ratings.