Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Black Tuesday - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Black TuesdayBlack Tuesday

Educational use only; do not reuse.

619 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 619
Hads: 3,351
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 10.07%
Wants: 3,153
Gots: 1,631 | FT: 187
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OlieIPA on 07-18-2009

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
2014: 19.7% ABV
2015: 19.9% ABV
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 619 | Hads: 3,351
Photo of mothman
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #600

Poured into a mini snifter glass.

Pours a small tan head. Decent retention for the small layer. Color is pretty much black, but around the edges it is has copper hue to it.

Aroma: Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, raisins, cherries, plums. It smells hot, but very nice.

Taste: A little hot off the top. Lots of bourbon. It's not bad fore the high abv. Vanilla, oak, and tons of dark dried fruits: raisins, cherries, and plums. Chocolate and earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: A little hot, huge malty beer. A little creamy as well. Full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. I was told this beer had no heat with it, but it brings a lot to the table, granted that it should, being 19.5%.

EDIT: After being able to drink a lot more of this beer at the Bruery, I have to adjust my scores. This beer is really amazing and I wanted to keep drinking it. Superb.

Overall, this beer is good, but I can see it getting a lot better with age on it. People claim that the abv doesn't show at all, well I am going to have to call that a lie. There is definitely a fair amount of heat showing in this beer. I will be reevaluating this beer once I get to try it again with some age on it.

 1,188 characters

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Many Thanks to Phil for providing this rarity and for hosting the recent tasting.

An aggressive pour releases liquid as black as Wesley Snipes into my tulip glass, sitting below a tight dark tan head of a half finger height. Black Tuesday has very nice wine-like legs, but no real lacing to speak of.

I could smell the beer as it poured. The aroma is clearly boozy, but it's not very similar to many bourbon-barrel aged beers I have had before. It's sweet with every type of chocolate you could think of in addition to the barrel characters which are surprisingly in the background (balance). Dark, rich 90% cocoa and booze soaked fruits combine with a hints of oily french roast and molasses. These elements are evident in the taste as well, but in generally smaller doses.

Flavor opens up with an intensely sweet chocolate cake exploding with a molten dark choloate interior. Someone asked,

"What's that thing with chocolate inside of another chocolate?"

"Oh, a Truffle?"

"Yeah, that's it!"

This is like the best chocolate cake you have ever had but you bite into it only to discover that there's an even better chocolate cake inside it. Decadent.

Don't get me wrong though, the booze is apparent. It's very noticeable and anyone telling you otherwise probably lives within a 5 mile radius of Placentia, CA. I would guess probably 10-12% abv, which was about what the other tasters mentioned.

Having said that, this is beer actually got worse as it warmed. All of my beer knowledge indicates that the exact opposite should happen, and that deeper flavors and subtleties should erupt as a beer warms to room temperature. As black tuesday warmed, it only became less drinkable (more alcohol apparent) and it's viscous mouthfeel became borderline overbearing. Yes, this is a very drinkable beer for it's (supposed) 19.5% ABV, but you couldn't (read: wouldn't want to) drink more than 3 or 4oz anyway.

Overall, this is a very impressive beer and as much as I want to hate it, I just can't. I am glad to have had the chance to try it, and would recommend that bottles be shared at cooler temps (closer to 40˚F) between at LEAST 6 People.

 2,156 characters

Photo of mikey711
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Boy am I pissed off that this was one of the three reveiws i lost from the weekend crash. Atleast I have notes but this wont nearly be as long. Bottle courtesy of Shogokawanda

A: It was black with only mild amount of dark brown carbonation on top. Not as thick as I thought it would be but still pretty dark.

S: As soon as the bottle was cracked, I could smell milk chocolate. The bourbon was milder than I expected which was good, but there was no real roastiness in the aroma. Sweet chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla are also there, but I prefer my stout to have some hint of roasted character

T: I wanted to hate this, i really did, but i couldnt. The first sip was amazing. It started out chocolaty then transitioned to a bit of bourbon with hints of wood coming through and then as it went down, amazing flavors of coconut and almond. Dammit why did it have to taste really good.

M: Good amount of body and definitely thick without being to thick, if that makes sense. The bourbon did add some booziness, but i found that it added to the overall experience of the beer.

D: I, as did others, sat on this one for quite some time. I couldnt even think about having one all to myself, or even half a bottle at that. It did live up to the hype and I am very happy to have had the opportunity to try it

 1,318 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got a chance to try this awesome beast thanks to ShogoKawada's trading prowess and our "Rush Hour Tasting" of epic magnitudes. I had to back log a bunch of beers so I could write this up for my 200th review as I'm trying to do something epic for each centennial review. My review will be a little less in depth as usual as I was truing to scribble little notes into my notebook and enjoy/savor the awesomeness of the beer at the same time.

A: Super dark rich thick heavy pitch black color. Pours like molasses almost. A light head and carbonation.

N: Nose is loaded with chocolate up the wazzoo, and I'm talkin all kinds of chocolate, bakers chocolate, mild chocolate, dark chocolate, malted chocolate. Some bourbon and oak make their way through it's lusciousness. A little boozy on the nose, but not close to what I would expect for 19.5%. It adds some malty aromas, but not overwhelming.

T: Taste just blows it away. Is so rich and thick. Very sweet with some maple and molasses and a huge malty sweetness. Some bourbon flavor permeates, but doesn't overpower like the chocolate and sweetness. Which brings me to the chocolate. Again, just about every chocolate you can dream of coming out the taste of this. It adds a nice stoutty flavor too with more earthy charred malt flavor. Add some roasted malts to it and you got a nice mix going. Still somewhat boozy but not what you would expect for 19.5%. As it warms more alcohol comes out a bit, the sweetness lessens, your mouth gets used to the chocolate, and some fruity qualities come out. Even a touch of toasted coconut comes through, as well as some fig and plum maybe.

M: So rich and thick my mouth is partying thinking it died and went to beer heaven. It's like liquid velvet blended with the smooth skin of a baby's ass. Some warming alcohol, but not overbearing.

F: Finish is still very sweet, although it seems to lessen on sweetness as it warms but ups the boozy taste. Although I would still put this beer at 10-12% abv so this blend really hides it well. Some bitterness comes out on the finish probably a combination of some hidden hops as well as the earthiness of the starched malts and stout like qualities.

This beer basically lived up to the awesome hype. I was a little worried that it wouldn't, and we all wanted it to bomb out so we could downgrade the score. Instead it did the opposite and made is happy but sad at the same time. I would love to see how this does with a few more years under it's belt. I hope they continue to make batches of this and make higher quantities. The only difficult part of it was the sweetness that was a little overbearing at times, and it was hard to finish, even slowly, but that just pushes the sipping aspect of it, which is very thankful as it masks the 19.5% so well you could just put it back much easier otherwise.

 2,838 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade from a very generous BA. Thanks! My contribution to the Rush Hour Tasting v1.

A- Brown, not black, a deep dark brown, and there's a head! It's about half a finger, the bubbles themselves are brown, and they are thin-walled and stick like sea foam.

S- Mild coffee astringency, sweet brown sugar, caramelized/molasses, a bit of bourbon as well.

T- BOURBON! Semi-sweet chocolate. Like a Hershey bar or hot cocoa mix. Molasses, coffee, almond paste. Tastes like a rich chocolate truffle, boozy, of course..

M- This is great... until it warms up. Then the alcohol comes through even stronger. Oppressive, almost.

D- Moderate. A little goes a LONG way. I enjoyed my first glass, and my second glass sat for about 3 hours before I mustered up the strength to finish it.

 789 characters

Photo of HopHobo
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Hoppymeal for bring a bottle of this to the Kuhnhenn Solstice tasting....obviously this is a white whale for 90% of BA's right now so I was excited to try a sample of this big stout.

poured a 4 oz. sample into a 10oz Kuhnhenn snifter

poured jet black with a small dark tan head that disappated quickly leaving a slight lacing on the glass. Smell is sweet w/ hints of molasses, vanilla, bourban, oak and alcohol. The taste is much of the same. This is a big sweet stout, which is to be expected with such a high ABV. Shockingly enough the booze was fairly well hidden, but the sweetness was a bit much for me and cancelled out some of the subtle flavors that could make this beer great. I think with a few years of aging this could be a spectacular heavy and complex stout. I am certainly glad to have tried this ale...I've always felt as though this was an over hyped beer, but after trying it I can honestly say that it is a supreme effort at a high alcohol stout and reminds me a big of DogFish Head's World Wide Stout which is one of the finest ales to age IMHO. Good Job to the Bruery and I hope to try this one again in a few years when some of the sweetness dies out. Thanks again Derek!

 1,209 characters

Photo of Sean9689
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

**revisited the 2009 vintage at a recent tasting over the holidays. The flavors and booze have really come together and the alcohol is not as dominant as it was a year ago. I enjoyed my pour much more and went back for another.

Big thanks to Scotty (aka hooliganlife) for bringing this to our STLHops Tasting and for Mike for hosting. Share among several people...I got a good 5oz pour into my tasting glass.

A - Pours black, slim tan-colored head which disipiates into nothingness. The look turns straight back quickly after the pour. no really lacing or retention to speak of, just midnight black in a glass.

S - Chocolate and boozy notes, some burnt malts, molasses. Mostly a mix of sweet and boozy, kinda messy compared to most other stouts that are considered the "crem de la crem". Nothing near mind-blowing here at all.

T - Chocolate syrup, lots and lots of booze, roasted malts, a hint of oak. The booze pretty much dominates this. Although it's hot, I could not tell that this is 19.5% and if I had to guess, I'd say 12% or so. Although the alcohol is well-hidden, there's still a bunch of it and combined with the sweet notes, it makes this beer messy.

M - Full bodied, a big beer, rich and smooth. Probably the best thing about this beer is the feel. I like the way this coats the palate...it sticks with you.

D - My 5oz (approximate) was way more then enough for me. I was done with this one after my initial taste and I don't think I could have gone back for seconds (or enjoyed it). I've had many other stouts that I consider to be superior to this brew. Although it's good, I don't consider it to be great.

 1,628 characters

Photo of hooliganlife
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pour was jet black motor oil with a very little cocoa head

huge bourbon, dark cherry, vanilla, licorice, and molasses

very sweet, the sugar lined my gums afterward. lots of bourbon but in a very sweet way, not much heat at all for a 19.5% ABV. bits of molasses and vanilla with slight hints of oak and dark cherry. bourbon and sugar dominates.

hands down the thickest stout i have ever had. it lined my mouth and then some.

i was impressed, it lived up to the hype. the ABV was well hidden although in the back of my head I knew it was there. it was a tad too sweet though, that as the only flaw i found. i would drink this again but with other people. 19.5 will wreck you.

 678 characters

Photo of Fweezle
3.46/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to hooliganlife for bringing this to a great tasting.

Ok, let's get down to it.
Poured the most amazing stout I've ever seen, just pitch black goodness. Slight off white creamy head that dissolved quite quickly. Kinda disappointing but I'm sure that's the ABV. Smelled of dark German chocolate cake, deep doses of roasted barley, coffee, bourbon, charcoal, wood, and lots and lots of booze. Taste was really disappointing. I was expecting this beer to make me weak in the knees, instead I got a wonderfully flavored imperial stout overpowered with booze. I know for a beer of this strength you would expect some booze, but I think that the key to any good beer is balance and this beer doesn't have it. What flavors I could pick out were good - chocolate cake, sugary syrupy molasses, oak vanilla, and coffee. Mouthfeel was great for this monstrous beer, I had to scrape the sugar coating off my tongue when I was done. As far as the drinkability, My 3oz pour was plenty, in fact maybe a little too much.

Did this live up to the hype for me? No, not really. I'm glad I got to try it and if I came across the opportunity to trade or buy a bottle for a reasonable price I would, because I'd like to age this and see if a year or two can mellow this out. If the booziness can tone down a little, this beer would be out of this world.

 1,339 characters

Photo of tpd975
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Degarth for opening this one at my massive tasting.

A: Very Very dark black pour. Nice tall mocha colored head. Nice retention and some leggy lace.

S: Very bold roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. No real oak or vanilla.

T: Malty goodness, but boy is this sweet. We are not talking darkness 08, but this is a sweet beer. There is tons of chocolate malt, with notes of molasses, dark fruit, and toffee. It is boozy with strong notes of bourbon as well. Once again I don't pick up oak or vanilla. I realize a ton of malt was used here, but it is a bit too sweet for my taste. Would like to see the other components of the barrel as well.

M: Very full in body, rich, sweet, slight boozy burn in the finish.

D: All that being said for 19% it is damn drinkable. Great Great beer, was not epic though.

 820 characters

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've now tried this three separate times, and last night, in celebration of my college graduation (along with my roommate's as well) we had a massive bottle opening, with this being the first.

Appearance: Dark. Pitch black with amber-brown highlights that block all light even from a close source. Among the darkest beers I've ever had SRM wise, it's just darker than dark. Head is a little latent, cropping up at the end of the pour, and lacing thickly as it loosens up.

Smell: Whew, bourbon, chocolate, prune-raisin, cherry, roasted and toasted malts, and a hint of sweetness on the back-end, but predominantly bourbon and chocolate. Boozy character is there as well, but mostly just as more bourbon.

Taste: So, so much smoother than the smell gives the impression of. Bourbon is mellow and soft, accenting the big chocolate, roasted malt sweetness. The dark fruits come in strongly in the aftertaste, and finishes with an intensely complex dark bourbon sweetness. Whew.

Mouthfeel: Second smoothest beer I've ever had, only to its counterpart of Chocolate Rain, which I still think has a better flavor. Carbonation is nice here though, and all three times I've had BT I've appreciated the carbonation's presence in helping add some liveliness to the incredibly thick and heavy body. Still, just so smooth.

Drinkability: It's essentially 40 proof. It's not easy to drink more than a few glasses of this, that's for sure. In that way, drinkability is low. In the way of masking the ABV, seemingly clocking in around GI BCS' 13%, it's eminently so. Catches up to you quickly, too. Altogether, no doubt one of the best beers I've ever had, and I don't even really love bourbon barrel beer. It's not the hype that's made this beer world-famous, but the smoothness, complexity, and fantastic flavors of a beer that clocks in at almost 20% ABV.

 1,844 characters

Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Sampled at yet another outrageous tasting over at Dyan's place the other evening. Many thanks again kind sir for cracking open this beauty the other night.

BT pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and lots of sticky lacing all around. The nose on this bad boy is quite profound, though at least initially, the alcohol was a bit too noticeable. However, that dissipated fairly quickly and I got dark chocolate, milk duds, leather, licorice, dark fruits and a hint of tobacco. Just so much going on with this beer. Flavors on the palate are even better IMHO, with the rich, sweet, chocolate, maple syrup and vanilla front and center. This is a very, very sweet beer, but I never felt as if it was too sweet and cloying on the palate. There's just so much flavor in this excellent beer, and that flavor profile is huge and intense. Mouthfeel is very rich and sweet, with a long, long finish. Carbonation is fairly low, which works well with this beer. Drinkability is the only area where I feel as if I have to deduct some points. This beer is so sweet and boozy, I cannot imagine drinking more then 4 or 5 ounces at a sitting. We split Dyan's bottle amoung 6 good size guys, and we could barely polish off the bottle. It's absolutely the sort of meal that I'd want to drink after a beer (weak joke there), and then only a splash in a nice size brandy snifter.

A couple of thoughts about this beer. This is an extremely impressive beer, one that was an absolute treat to sample. That being said, it really doesn't have any place in my life. Like the DFH WWS and 120 IPA, this is the sort of beer you can drink once in a blue moon, with no need for repeated applications. Not sure when, if ever, I'll want to try this beer again.

 1,749 characters

Photo of MysterySwirl
3.32/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been looking forward to trying this beer since it's been so hard to get. These California traders really have this beer nailed down. I couldn't get any of this beer in a trade, so I bought my bottle from the website that BA won't let me mention here.

Appearance: Really dark chocolate-like but the opacity dissipates into a brown hue if you angle the glass and look through the light making me think it's more of a porter than a stout.

Putting my nose down to the rim of my snifter glass, the bourbon is too pronounced which overpowers the chewiness, fruitiness, and chocolate smell. It smells sweet like cherries and dark fruits but I can smell the alcohol coming through.

This taste like bourbon soaked chocolate covered cherries, raisins, figs, bready, lots of flavor but the mouthfeel is thin which the appearance hinted at. Something about this beer reminds me of an aged World Wide Stout with bourbon-added but not integrated well.

I honestly didn't finish my bottle. Two glasses was enough for me. I'm glad I had friends that I was able to share this bottle with. Because of that, I consider it's drinkability to be low. This would be better as a sipper for an after dinner drink like how ports and liqeuers are served with dessert or by the fireplace.

All in all, there's some complexity here to make it one of the higher-rated beers but don't be fooled by the hype, which sadly may be its downfall. If you get a chance to try this beer, I suggest you ignore the hype and approach it without expectations for what it is.

 1,539 characters

Photo of kunstdrache
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After having a (really, really) small sample at the HTOD, I was able to try this again at a more formal tasting where I got a good amount to taste.

Pours a deep brown/black- with a small head. Smell is ok- nothing exceptional- strong roasted wood smell coupled with some chocolate and molasses.

Taste is great- You can taste the bourbon paired with the chocolate and it goes together very very well. However my only qualm is that for a thick looking beer it drinks very very thin and makes for a average mouthfeel. However this does help cover the massive ABV.

Overall I was slightly disappointed with this beer- with all this hype I was expecting a mental/sensory explosion- needless to say, I didn't get it.

11/15/2012 *Update*
Now I've had this more than several times, I'm inclined to bump up the scoring. When this first came out, there was this massive aura of HYPE WHALZ around this and it negatively impacted how I , along with several other people viewed tis beer. As it has progressed through the years and lessened that hypeness, it has grown to hold its own among other great BA imperial stouts and I can safety say it's a beer I'd seek out.

 1,159 characters

Photo of bgramer
3.54/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After having Black Tuesday at the HOTD dock sale, I looked forward to opening this bottle at a tasting with friends last night so I could give it a proper review.

The beer appears black in my glass fading into a clear brown hue on the edges as I hold it up to the light. I expected it to be a little thicker and more opaque in it's color.

It smells sweet like dark fruits, roasty and oaked. The taste is just like how it smells. There's a dark fruity, bourbon, and vanilla presence that becomes more prominent. Definitely some woody dark chocolate and caramel notes. The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected but the flavors are integrated well which helped mask the 19.5% ABV.

It's quite good and extremely drinkable but is it the best? No, IMHO, but it is definitely one of the better stouts out there.

 807 characters

Photo of glid02
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared by gford217 - much obliged!

Pours black with dark brown highlights as the beer clings to the side of the glass and a thin brown head that quickly recedes into a smooth and oily top. A nice swirl leaves brown legs on the sides of the glass.

Smells of roasted malts with hints of tobacco, vanilla, bourbon, and dark chocolate, more or less in that order.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mild roasted malt flavors up front are overtaken quickly by vanilla, bourbon, and dark chocolate. Midway through the sip hints of tobacco enter into things but stay in the backseat. The ending is mildly boozy and bitter. The alcohol is absurdly well hidden.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very smooth thickness with soft and grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass with absolutely no problem and could have entirely too much more.

Overall I have to say that it lived up to the hype. I think the best thing about this beer is how well integrated all of the flavors are while managing to not taste overly hot. Not the best beer I've ever had but it certainly has to be part of the conversation.

 1,118 characters

Photo of FishScales
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had the pleasure of having this beer both on tap as well as out of the bottle. It is amazing both ways. The most recent time was a couple nights ago we opened a bottle for a friends birthday. The beer was a beautiful dark chocolate color with a nice head to it. All of the aromas from chocolate to bourbon were present as you take your sip from the glass. Even though the ABV is about 19, it goes down smooth and without a bite. Personally I am not a stout drinker, but this is the best beer I have had. It is fantastic!

 527 characters

Photo of calise1122
3.43/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sometimes a review kills a movie. In fact, often it is hard for a movie ever to live up the incredible hype critics bath it in. I am sure, in these instances - we walk out with a down feeling on what was actually a pretty good movie - but we were expecting Raging Bull, and got it didn't deliver.

Anyway, that aside - we opened the bottle with a certain level of excitement - a definite pop in your step if you will. But something didn't feel right for me, it didn't seem like an authentic "holy shit" moment - as when I opened my first Westy years ago or just a couple months ago having the FW vertical.

All that doesn't matter - what matters is the beer. Once I butchered the hell out of the wax cap and caused an absolute scene - the incredibly thick and heavy liquid was poured into our respective glasses. A great looking beer for sure: just scary dark, with a really pretty head about a centimeter or so thick with a plum/purplish head. Lacing, check. Lots of lacking and a even as we all sat there for an uncomfortable amount of time not knowing what to do - the smell was mushroom tattooing me on the forehead.

Sweet Sweet chocolate with an incredible amount of - well, booze. A wide array of things happening in this one: vanilla, dark sugar plums, brown sugar, tobacco, raisins, licorice, and of course malts. But then, as we are sitting around listening to bleach something happens - the complexity becomes dwarfed by a smell of booze, and not even good booze... almost rubbing alcohol. It becomes a bit off putting and I am not sure how to fairly rate a beer that begins with me saying "this is f'n great" to ehh... "what the hell happened here". I don't want to discount how good it smells, just that it needs time I suppose.

The taste followed the same trend. It began with a very nice and complex flavor, like a cup really good hot chocolate, you get some of the oak, lots of the vanilla and coffee flavors come through. But then it is almost as if the person who made your hot coffee decided to add more mix, to much mix - creating an uber-sweet concoction that became incredibly hard to drink.

The mouth feel was heavy, lush and sticky. The more it warmed up, the stickiness turned from a nice coat over around the tongue to what felt like a bit of Emerson's glue being swirled around.

And I understand the this has to be rated to style, but part of what makes an Imperial Stout so great is when it is drinkable. 2/3rds of us couldn't finish our glass. It was to sweet, to sticky, and to boozy. It was a really different experience... going from what started as an amazing experience to 20 minutes later being on the complete other end of the spectrum. Good beer for sure, by no means my favorite from the Bruery or from the style. Glad I was able to try it

 2,783 characters

Photo of gregc
3.43/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The infamous Black Tuesday...shared with a few friends...

The bottle pours a richly deep black liquid with a small brownish head. The edges look almost purple.
Aroma starts out nice...rich chocolate, dark fruits, molasses and vanilla. But as this beer warms it starts to head a bit down hill. Overly sweet chocolate and a ton of booze...almost rubbing alcohol like.
Taste is similar to the aroma...lots of rich chocolate, dark fruit, some oak and vanilla. But again as it warms it becomes way too boozy and way to sweet, like drinking chocolate syrup right from the bottle. The booze is also very overpowering at this point.
Mouthfeel is super sticky, overly sweet and very viscous.
I have to say drink ability is not great, but its not horrible. All the sweetness and booze that appears as this warms really kills the drink ability. I find it really hard to believe a lot of these ratings that are giving drink ability such a high score, these people mush be missing a palate and taste buds...Patrick is a great brewer and i applaud the effort, but its a little much...

 1,071 characters

Photo of cptierney
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So, we drove eight hours to Orange County for this bad boy. Big Ups to my main man eliottJW for getting an early allotment and sharing this experience with me.

Poured from a Bruery Champagne bottle into a Russian River Tulip.

The color on this is surprising. While black, there are still hints of light around the edges making a sort of deep brown appearance. A solid pour yielded a one finger width of quickly receding vibrant brown foam. Everything about the pour put any unease about a lack of carbonation at rest. As I drank the glass down there was no lacing left behind.

The nose on this beer frankly frightens me. It's that figgy pudding, ten loaves of bread in a bottle malt punch that I will forever associate with Goose Island's BCS, a beer I do not enjoy. There's the lovely bourbon hit too but it is swallowed by malts. In a nod to the subjectivity of reviews I will note that the smell is full and colorful with a blunt shape. I get a little of the bourbon and maaayyybeee some licorice but ultimately it's a blast of bread.

The mouthfeel is luscious. Velvety liquid coats my palate but doesn't get jammy in the process. The only note here would be related to the carb bite. I would have actually enjoyed an even more viscous brew especially as the bubbles kept reminding me of just how alcoholic this beer is. That said I'd rather take the bite than have a totally flat beer.

The taste on this beast is stupid, and should be illegal. After the abuse of the nose I was expecting the hottest alcohol hit ever, but was met instead by a sumptuous maiden of flavor. There are the dark fruits I crave in a RIS, some prune and maybe a hit of raisin like sweetness. There's also that wonderful Abyss like hint of candied sugars. But the thing that sets BT apart is the incredibly smooth and balanced flavor of bourbon that pervades the quaff. I have to force my tongue upward to taste any bittering on its sides and it is there like I expected, keeping a lid on an extremely sweet beer.

If this astronomically high ABV is correct I can't believe how drinkable this brew is. Clearly meant to be sipped and enjoyed like a distilled beverage, I have never wanted to drink so much of such a potentially dangerous beverage. Hats of to the Bruery. I count myself extremely lucky to try this rare treat.

 2,308 characters

Photo of juhl31
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

had ourselves a beer friends road trip from petaluma to placentia to pick 3 bottles up. just had one last night poured into a bruery glass

-dark as beer can get. smallish mocha head that stuck around for the most part but not as much as hoped. basically it looked like it should, but not totally perfect

-bunch of bourbon on the 1st smell. then a bunch of dark chocolate really starts to open up throughout

-dark chocolate and the bourbon are the most glaring. after that i just wrote down words instead of sentences cuz there was so much going on...sweet, port, tobacco, dessert, cigars, dark fruits

-very warming, yet not much of an alcohol bite. always amazing from cold to warm

-despite all the hype, miles driven, money spent, long wait...would have to say this is the best beer i have ever had

 804 characters

Photo of Traquairlover
3.8/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into snifters.

A = On a fairly vigorous pour I get a small quarter inch chocolate brown head that settles relatively quickly into sparse bubbles around the edge of the glass and atop perhaps 25% of the surface.

S = Huge smells of bourbon, maple, melted dark chocolate, vanilla, underneath are some black cherries. There is quite a bit of alcohol burn in there, too, though which I guess I should have expected but so many others have talked about how hidden it is.

T = Rich dark chocolate melted and poured into a cup with fresh heavy cream. Some nuttiness with sharp notes like walnuts have. Oak and vanilla flavors show up at midpalate. At the end and in the aftertaste though I get a kind of thin metallic taste, I think it is the alcohol, but I'm not positive.

M = Very full bodied, luxurious as it swishes around the mouth, extremely good mouthcoating. I could do with slightly less carbonation as it kind of burns when paired with the alcohol, but overall one of the best mouthfeels I've had in a beer.

D = This is a sipper for sure. Indeed, I poured close to 8 ounces in my snifter and wish I would have poured half of that. While quite good, it is a bit overpowering and really does not necessarily draw me to each sip as I could wish it did. Definitely one I'd like to be able to have on other occasions, but I'm not sure if I were going to pick one dessert beer of fortified wine strength to have on hand that it would be this one. Good but just not that extra bit I could wish for.

At the end of the day, it is a very enjoyable beer, but it leaves a somewhat tinny, bitter metallic aftertaste that lingers long after the sweet luscious flavors that make this such a great beer. I would imagine this will be great after two or three years in the bottle, but I am not sure it is actually quite ready for drinking yet.

 1,853 characters

Photo of vince4953529
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After standing more than four hours in line in order to acquire this treasure, with limited fund, I purchased a lone bottle. A month later, with the combination of the occurrence of Thanksgiving, I finally decided to crack open this much-talked-about monster.

Pour into a tulip class, the color was as opaque with a healthy dose of head, even with its high. Smell of powerful bourbon and coffee as soon as the cap dropped.

There wasn't any alcohol burn in my stomach as the I swallowed my first sip. It was a bit sweeter than I've considered ideal, nevertheless it was extremely drinkable given that this brew is near 20% abv.

Easy to go down, but rather hard for me to finish the whole bottle in a timely manner. I opened it on the wee hour of Thanksgiving and continued to sip away the next morning.

 808 characters

Photo of mightyj
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - black. pitch dark. brown head

S - smell vanilla bourbon and coffee mainly. pleasant smell. not overwhelmingly alcoholic

T - this is the best beer i have yet to taste. rich malty taste with vanilla and dark chocolate. smooth as silk

M - thick but has a good amount of carbonation for what it is

D - it is a little strong but it goes down so smooth that its amazing that its 19.5%. plenty other IRS have a much stronger alcoholic flavor

 442 characters

Photo of walows
4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. I have been waiting to review till things simmer down. Had it a couple times are at the Bruery. Here we go...
Poured into a Bruery tulip, pours a wonderful jet black with a ring of brown foam around the outside, upon swirling a bit of foam builds up and quickly dies down. I stick my nose down into the glass with bright notes of vanilla and oak are the first things I smell, next comes this awesome roastiness and smells of chocolate, expresso, molasses and dark sweet fruits like raisins. It smells so good! I could smell this beer for days! The dark chocolate smell in this beer is predominate, and in the finish a little bit of an alcohol bite. I dive in for my first taste and wow, just wow! This beer is so good! It was served a little cold but, as it warmed up, it got better and better. The taste is similar to the smell, oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, expresso roastiness, molasses and dark fruits. This beer is over the top! just big in every-way! It is complex and the flavors are just layered over each other. It is a bit on the sweeter side but it is not cloying. It finishes super smooth and is just amazing. The beer is lightly carbonated and very full bodied, this beer has some real substance to it. It is hard to give this beer a 5 on drinkability, even though I would kill to be able to drink this beer all the time, it is 19.5% and it is just so over the top and bold. Overall, this beer is just amazing and I am addicted, I went every chance I got to try this beer. I can't wait to crack open one of my bottles!

 1,552 characters

Black Tuesday from The Bruery
99 out of 100 based on 619 ratings.