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Black Tuesday - The Bruery

Black TuesdayBlack Tuesday

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

2,118 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2118
Reviews: 543
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 10.82%


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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Tuesday Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,118 | Reviews: 543 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Eric for opening this one. You went through a lot of crap to get these, but this is a damn fine beer.

Pours just shy of black, with dark brown highlights when held up to the light. A mocha head soon fades to a collar before disappearing altogether. The aroma is neat - chocolate, vanilla, coffee, bourbon, wood. Lots going on, but not quite as intense as expected.

Flavour is complex and liqueur-like in its intensity. Lots of chocolate at first, a fruity sweetness in the middle, and a spicy finish. At times there are notes of coconut, pepper, brown sugar and vanilla. Nice and an ideal dessert beer. My one slight criticism is that I'd like a bit more roastiness, but that's pretty minor. Decadent, full mouthfeel suits this beer to a tee. Drinkability is impressive, and the alcohol really is not anywhere near discernible. The sweetness and richness certainly limit the size of the pour, and I think it worked great over 150ml. I'd probably go close to double that, but no more.

Well worth trying. Kinda hyped, but actually worth it. Definitely a sharer, but a unique experience as far as beer is concerned. Thanks again, Eric!

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 12:16:32 | More by bobsy
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

4.14/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can’t believe I haven’t had this until now. Bottle shared at the Santa Cruz tasting in January. Supersweet chocolate syrupy flavors do their best to hide a massive alcohol heat. The flavor profile is actually really nice but the booze makes it hard to drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2013 23:46:01 | More by illidurit
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101

California

4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at GABF on 9/18/2010. This Imperial Stout pours a deep black color from the tap. Medium sized tan foamy head. The aroma is chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, vanilla and woody with some alcohol. A full bodied Imperial Stout. A VERY BIG Imperial Stout. The malts are chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, some bourbon and some cherry. The hops are herbal. This beer has a big alcohol presence, I mean a whole lot of alcohol, the first sip and smell are dominated by the alcohol, after that the other flavors start coming through. There is a nice mix of malts, sweetness, vanilla and wood going on here, once you get past the big alcohol blast. This beer has an awesome potential for aging. It is very good now, but a couple or five years of bottle aging would make this beer even more amazing. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2010 01:49:55 | More by beerguy101
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

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

A huge thanks to Mike for sharing at a tasting. 2010 vintage.

A: Pour an inky black with raisin colored edges. The thin dark tan head left a few patches of lacing, but as I lightly swirl the liquid in my glass freaking legs of alcohol are left like in wine. This is going to be fun.
S: Super sweet smelling and alcoholic with notes of vanilla, caramel and bourbon. Very rich and dark.
T: Again, very sweet and boozy. I felt the flavors were actually not very complex, but I still think it tastes very good. Picture a really good straight forward well integrated stout. It has all the right flavors one would expect such as vanilla, chocolate, molasses, caramel, raisin, and bourbon, and it has it in all the right ways. I get raisin in the finish, and aftertaste is full of vanilla and chocolate and definitely lingers long as the swallow.
M: Ultra thick and syrupy with a boozy and hot mouthfeel that isn’t necessarily uncomfortable.
O: A really solid and impressive beer that is not for the light of heart. There are better stouts out there of this caliber, but over-all the hype is pretty close to worth it. Thanks again Mike for the pour.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 15:44:30 | More by scottfrie
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

2.65/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2009 Vintage.

Am I supposed to eat this, or drink this? Does this stuff go into my car? Is it safe to consume? This thing is pitch black with no head unless I give it swirl, and the beer coats the glass a little bit like wine instead of leaving actual lacing.

What the hell? The same questions I asked before come to mind when I smell this. Fire, chocolate and whiskey. Strange combo.

My nose is on fire. Maybe it's my throat. I can't tell, but it's hot. I can feel all of my nose hairs. They burn. If you could see my face, it would say "grimace." I'm pretty sure this wasn't meant for me to drink, but I can't seem to chew it either. What is it? I taste wood, whiskey, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits and loads of dark malt, but mostly I just taste alcohol. Burning, nose-hair-melting, fusel fire.

Mouthfeel: Chewing on a mildly spicy pepper?

This thing is unique and complex, but it's also a sticky, jumbled mess. I don't want to try this one again.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 01:03:40 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

3.89/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is cola brown, quite a bit lighter than I expected. Thin head, no lacing, some clarity. Nose is bourbon, fudge, char, and oak. Tons of sugar on the nose. Taste is super sweet with chocolate and vanilla, bourbon. Very hot towards the end, cloyingly sweet. Mouthfeel is hot with mellow carbonation. Overall, this is a very sweet beer but the astronomical abv is well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 23:37:07 | More by homebrew311
Photo of Overlord
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 mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. 2011 Vintage.

A: Pours black with a small khaki colored head on top with decent retention. No lacing.

S: Lots of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and dark fruits, mostly rasins and a little bit of plum. There is a slight boozy note to it, which didn't really surprise me at 18%.

T: Up front there is a lot of brown sugar, molasses and chocolate. The oak comes through a little, and then there is nice rush of bourbon and vanilla.

M: Full bodied, very smooth with the abv surprisingly well hidden.

O: A fantastic beer, not something I could drink everyday from the abv, but a great beer to share.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2012 00:17:44 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

4.09/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours far from what I was expecting. Instead of a pitch black, viscous beer, it pours lighter than I expected. The body looks almost oily. Dark brown and somewhat thin looking but somehow very oily looking as well. Didn't get much head.

S-A giant whiff of boozy bourbon and all sorts of dark, concentrated maltiness. Loads of fudge and brownie. Some dark fruit and more spicy bourbon and even some vanilla.

T-I really have to applaud this beer for its exceptional integration of alcohol. I was expecting a tongue-sizzling wave of booze but it's surprisingly not nearly as aggressive. The bourbon notes are as powerful as in the nose. The fudge and brownie and other chocolate descriptors all flow across the tongue. Light soy sauce. Vanilla attributed to the bourbon. A big dose of dark fruit as well.

M-Oily, like it looks. Obviously hot. Should be far less drinkable. It's intoxicating in more ways than one. It really wraps you in and begs for more sipping. Super sweet and sticky.

O/D-Lucky to try this one. I enjoyed it but was far less enamored than most. I appreciate Black Tuesday's epic delivery but would not consider it to be anyway near one of the best beers I have had.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 22:25:26 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

sampled april 10/2010 as part of our giant bruery tasting. Viggo and ritzkiss provided the brews, so thanks to eric and eric!

750ml bottle topped with black wax.

pours crystal clear deep dark brown but not quite black or opaque. a thin ring of red can be seen as the light passes through around the edges. a thin layer of very fine brown head forms, dropping fairly fast and leaving spotty lace behind.

aromas is great. alcohol. dark and milk chocolate. coffee and espresso. some dark fruit - date and raisin mostly. bourbon and oak. white bread and cracker. biscuit. earthy. bit of smoke.

taste is great. big warming alcohol. dark, milk, and bittersweet chocolate. coffee and espresso. sweet caramel and toffee. raisin, date, and fig. bit of spice from the barrel - cinnamon and coconut. multi-grain bread and biscuit. light roast. big and complex. there's a bit of port-like character in there too. vanilla. bourbon. raw oak.

mouthfeel is excellent. huge chewy body. nice low carbonation level. silky smooth.

drinkability is great. excellent balance, especially impressive for a beer of this size. great balance with the barrel. tons of depth. a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 21:31:22 | More by grub
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

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

2009 Release

Black Tuesday definitely lives up to its name. It’s pitch black in color. No light cuts through at all. It’s topped with a darker, mocha colored head. It rises just above the surface, but falls quickly. Perhaps the high abv got to it. Lacing was definitely on the lighter side. Good looking stuff.

The nose is fantastic. It’s full of chocolate and roasted m alt scents. It smells sweet and sugary. There’s definitely a mix of sweet milk chocolate and bittersweet dark notes. Bourbon is definitely notable, but seems only moderately strong. That’s my ideal approach. It complements the malty notes extremely well. Secondary scents of oak, vanilla, molasses, and brown sugar. Alcohol is surprisingly mild given that it’s 19.5%. Wow.

The flavor is just as impressive. It’s all kinds of malty and sweet. The chocolate flavors are sweet and bittersweet. Roasted malts buttress the chocolate flavors and add nice depth. Bourbon definitely has a moderate presence and plays that role perfectly. Barrel-aging imparted really nice vanilla and oak flavors. Brown sugar and molasses emerge late. It seems to grow sweeter with each passing sip. There is a slight dark fruit tanginess on the tail. Alcohol is definitely there in flavor. It’s also quite warm. No big shock given the size. Finishes sweet and chocolaty with a kiss of bourbon. Excellent.

Black Tuesday has a medium to full body. It is nice and smooth. Carbonation is light and the bubbles feel soft. It’s good, but it could use just a little more body. I really was anticipating a thick, viscous beast. It’s not quite there. Having said all that, it goes down relatively easy for a beer of its size. It is big and the alcohol is definitely there though.

Black Tuesday is the best beer I’ve tried from the Bruery. I expected that. It is excellent beer. It’s packed with tons of flavor. The bourbon flavor is excellent and works its magic extremely well. My only two small complaints are that it’s a bit too sweet and the alcohol is a bit much. I suspect it’s integrated some over two years, but perhaps not that much. I didn’t try it fresh. It’s definitely excellent beer nonetheless. Well worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 03:26:34 | More by prototypic
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.7/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My second review of the great Black Tuesday. This time out of a bottle. largadeer was kind enough to share this awesome rarity - thanks a lot, Chris!

A - Well, it's black. I was really expecting more of a light golden-straw color. Huge disappointment when I realized this was a -bal aged imperial stout rather than an American adjunct lager. Can't win 'em all I guess.

S - Aroma did not wow me as much as before. In fact, this is the one area that this beer fell short. To be frank (as in candid, not hot dog), Cigar City Hunahpus, Marshal Zhukov, and -bal aged 110k+OT, which I had before this, smelled considerably better. I mean it has nice chocolate, roast, bourbon, and vanilla, but I also got a bit of soy sauce that was a little reminiscent of Sam Adams Triple Bock. Don't get me wrong, it smelled better than average, but there are a lot better imperial stouts in this category out there.

T - Well, once again, it's amazing, and I've got to give it a 5 here. Rich chocolate, molasses, roasted malt, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, a little dark fruit - it's all in there. Lasts a long time and does not disappoint in the least. Not much booze at all, but the 19.5% does hit you later. Had about an ounce of a Black Tuesday/Utopias blend also and it was incredible.

M - Thick and viscous with medium-low carbonation, just the right level for this beer. Not syrupy or cloying like you'd think it might be. Booze is there, and you can sense that this is very strong, but not nearly as strong as you'd expect for the ABV.

D - Finished my glass incredibly quickly. Way, way too easy to drink. This was at the end of a large tasting, and the BT sent me over the edge. Still have a headache from it as I write this.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 21:53:32 | More by nickd717
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Huge thanks to cjacobsen for the generosity in sharing!

(A)- Pours fairly thick and pitch black. Produced a relatively low tan head but with this high a ABV, I was surprised there even was a head.

(S)- Rich as can be. Plenty of roasted components with lots of licorice and raisin. Some cocoa and molasses too. A bit of boozy heat but not as bad as I was expecting.

(T)- Very similar to the smell, only much much more restrained. Very very sweet with some dark fruits. Plenty of raisins in there. This got alot better once it warmed up some more; some nice cocoa and smooth caramel came through.

(M)- A good carbonation level and a decent balance. Very very sweet; almost borderline sugary. Would have liked to see more of the roasted components from the smell come through in the taste. This is seriously sweet. Superb ABV integration though for a massive 18.2%. This is smoother and easier on the palate than some 10-13% beers I can think of.

(D)- A sipper if there ever was one, however a tasty one at that. Extremely rich and sweet, but bringing it to a warmer temperature helped that out a bit. Glad to have finally tried this, but it is not worth giving your firstborn child for. It is very good mind you, but not THAT good to require you trading away your prized beers from your cellar to acquire.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 13:02:18 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge Props to Abecall98 for providing this in trade about a year ago. This bottle is from the original release and is marked as 19.5% abv.

Pours into my tulip glass with an almost brown/copper head that doesn't last long and collapses upon it's own weight. A hint of things to come on just how big of a beer this is. More like "legs" in the glass vs. lacing. The beer coats the inside of the glass. A shiney dark brown/almost black color. Looks like a mixture of used motor oil and maple syrup or molasses.

The aroma was so intense, bold and complex I am not sure where to start. Sweet, chocolate, a touch of vanilla, even some chocolate syrup. Much less alcohol than I would have guessed for 19.5%

Holy snikees is this a big beer. The sweetness is really right in your face. Dessert in a glass. Chocolate syrup again, then this gives way to a lot of complexity. Dark chocolate, very slight bourbon & vanilla. Sweet roasted malt. Ok, I have to admit, I thought of ST Crème Brulee when I drank this, minus the big vanilla. What I find interesting is that was a LOVE/Hate beer due to the big sweetness. And this one is universally loved. It's consistent for me, as I am a Crème Brule fan. This just drinks like it should offend some more in my book. If I had a wish it was that the bourbon came through a little more. Perhaps the time has settled that flavor a bit. Got coconut at times mixed with the dark chocolate flavors. This went well with the sweetness.

Just and I mean just shy of syrup like. I said to a buddy that if I had vanilla ice cream we'd try the two together. Alas, I did not. Thick is the only word to use to describe the body. Slick on your tongue. But not cloying.

The abv is so well hidden that it's scary. The sweetness and complexity keeps it below the surface, but soon you get a warm happy feeling. It's very very good. Not a top ten for me, but I am stoked I had a chance to enjoy a bottle.

I did get a chance to try this at the beer fest last year but it was fun to share a bottle with a couple buddies.

Thanks Abel!

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 14:25:01 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Celebratory last beer in CA.

A- Pours out of the bottle like a sludge of viscous oil. A dark mocha head forms to about a half centimeter and falls to a creamy ring around the glass. Sticky legs and only a few lace spots.

S- Starts out as a fudge, cocoa forward massive stout with big dark raisins and subdued bourbon. Warmth allows the oak, whiskey and vanilla to come out. When warm it is amazing bourbon brownie dessert greatness.

T- Just like the aroma but one major difference, sweetness really comes out. The great cocoa, fudge, truffle, whiskey, raisin fruit, vanilla profile is brought down somewhat by a big sweet table sugar presence. Don't get me wrong, it is good but would be phenomenal if this wasnt the case.

MF- Oily, super thick (most ever) body with a surprisingly creamy and slick oily body. Not as warm as I expected, just a nice alcohol compliment.

A true dessert beer. The sweetness (surprised more reviews don't mention it) is the only thing that keeps this from being spectacular. It is also the first time a beer really made me feel more drunk, sip by sip. Very well hidden alcohol, would take some alcohol flavor for a cut in sweetness though.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2011 07:41:03 | More by cbutova
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can still hear and feel the collective gasp in the room when my new friend Darrell popped the cap on this one - one of the most sought after brews in the world. Thanks dude for making everyone's year!

A: Blacker than the blackest color of black that you can imagine. Imagine that? However, this one retains a gentle tan head (with brown notes) throughout the session.

S: Hello bourbon bomb! This also has a generous layer of dark candy sweetness.

T: Very unique taste with a strong burnt, caramel-pecan brittle body, surrounded by high grade dark chocolate dipped in oak and molasses. This is honestly better than any dessert I have ever tasted.

M: The bourbon doesn't act as a booze agent to enhance people's happiness (although it does that too), but as an integral and necessary ingredient in the whole concoction. It plays roughly the same role that honey plays in a dessert like baklava. I can't believe how smooth this is for the a brew clocking in at almost 20% ABV!

D: I wonder if I will ever get to try this again? The only way I see how is if my work schedule would allow me to take time off to fly to Cali and get some on that day. Or....I could just wait for my friend to score another bottle. I'm still in awe of this amazing brew and of the fact that I got a very generous sample of it!

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2010 10:11:46 | More by Chaney
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2011, 18.3%ABV

Thanks to pixieskid for sharing this one. It was a helluva night for beer.

When the crown was pried on this one, it was a gusher despite being fridge cold. The beer gushed maybe two ounces of beer, then immediately died out. It's like the beer was force carbonated, but the carbonation never actually made it into the beer. Pours black and obviously viscous with complete opacity. I could smell this beast as soon as I tapped it - it was like a chocolate tawny port. The nose on the beer was amazing with stone chocolate, dates, malt, malt, malt. The alcohol on the nose is strong, if not intimidating, but oddly inviting - like a bully in school you really admire. The flavor of this beer is fucking awesome. I am not particularly articulate in this form of verse, but I can say this - that bitch is fine! Thick and flat, just like in the Rare BCS, the lack of carb was fitting to this beer and I believe allowed for higher appreciation of the notes. A sincerely delicious beer, it made me smile when I drank it. The beer won the night for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 17:33:44 | More by harrymel
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

3.76/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours quit thin for the style. Black, but still translucent. No head. No lacing. A few bubbles. Aroma is sweet and alcoholic. Chocolate. Malty. Chocolate frosting. Taste is similar. Damn sweet. Chocolaty. Malty. saccharin. Sweetness. And some alcoholic heat. Thinner mouthfeel. Mild to moderate bitterness.
Wow, this beer is not what I expected. Too thin, too sweet, not a whole lot of flavor. Not offensive, just not so great either. At least it was better than chocolate rain.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 23:52:54 | More by Florida9
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a footed glass. Vintage 2013. From notes. Reviewed 15 November 2013.

A: Less black than I'd expected. Coca-cola glints in direct light. No head.

S: Boozy as hell. Bourbon -- sure, sharp, and almost harsh.

T/M: Holy god, this is as good as any beer I've ever tried. Molasses, fudge, caramel, winter berries, bourbon, brown sugar, hint of booze. The mouthfeel is almost a letdown, with prickly alcohol and loads of sugar. Is it too sweet? Maybe. Maybe. But that's poking holes in perfection. Rich, luxuriant, and infinitely rewarding.

O: This is an absolutely incredible beer. Highest recommendation. Is it the absolute best beer ever? Not quite. Maybe close. But not quite. Slightly too sweet and too boozy.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 01:02:54 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottled shared by Deuane. Poured into my Selin's Grove wine glass. The stout appears a pitch black color akin to dark molasses. Repeated vigorous agitations only managed to produce a thin layer of dark ecru head. Nose and flavors consist of milk and bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, mellow bourbon notes, dark brown sugar/molasses, smoke and a bit of char, deeply caramelized malts, dark cherries, raisins, more chocolate and smoky bourbon. Smells a tad better than it tastes. Some, but certainly no where near enough alcohol heat to lead you to believe this beer is pushing 20%. Full bodied and rich, but rather sweet. The perfect bottle to split between 6 or more people. Thanks again D!

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 05:07:57 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of mran01. 2010 bottled, sampled 4/20, split a few ways amongst friends.

Pours a very viscous dark brown color with a surpirsingly sturdy small tan head that receded very slowly leaving quality lacing on the glass.

Aromas begin with super high cacoa dark chocolate, and bourbon induced vanilla and oak. Then you get some solid dark fruits and hints of brown sugar sweetness which emerge more and more as it warms.

The tastes follow the nose with huge rich dark chocolate, lesser baker's milk chocolate, huge vanilla and lesser bourbon/oak tannic flavors. Tons of chocolate, dark fruits and brown sugar and caramelized malts emerge more and more as it warms.

The mouthfeel is quite full bodied with moderate carbonation. For begin so huge of the beer the 3 years of age have allowed the sweetness to mellow and the Belgian yeast to dry out the finish slightly. Make no mistake this is still a sweet beer but no where near as sweet as a fresh bottle would be.

Overall, this is truely a tribute to American brewing. Taking a Port-leveled ABV beer with such a sweet, dark malt base and creating a drinkable offering using Belgian yeast is truely amazing. A must try for any true beer geek.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 21:29:34 | More by claspada
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I want to drink a whole bottle of this by myself. Next birthday, if I'm not double-fisting Cantillons, I'll be drinking this straight out of the bottle, probably wrapped in a paper bag to make it super ghettofab.

A - It pours an oily dark-brown hue, literally appearing like filthy motor oil. It has some red around the edges, and is capped with a crimson-tinged khaki head that recedes to a minimal frothy film.

S - The nose is ridiculously decadent; molasses, dark and milk chocolate, Bourbon and Kahlua, chocolate-covered cherry cordials, and the charred top of Creme Brulee all come to mind. Given the ABV, booze is understated.

T - The taste is fabulous. Rich notes of roasted grain, molasses, dark chocolate, vanilla, Bourbon, charred sugar, toffee and sweet medjool dates are proffered, and the resulting brew is supremely delicious, and exceptionally decadent. The brew is intensely flavorful, literally saturating your palate with the richness of the elements at play.

M - Big, rich and luscious.

O - I did not find this brew to be exceptionally hot; it is, however, definitely on the sweet side. I tend to like some relatively sweet beers, if they are well done; exquisite (and disparate) examples that come to mind are JW Lees Harvest Ale, Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock, BCS Rare, TREAT, 100% BA Coton, Vanilla DL, Brandy Hunahpu, Westvleteren 12, Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Kaiser Blauw, etc. This is definitely a brew of that ilk, in terms of being a delicious nectar of the Gods, and it is as good as any one of the aforementioned brews.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 19:49:28 | More by ktrillionaire
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Jeffo

Netherlands

3.9/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A few canceled plans and some hospitalizations further, we were finally ready to sit down and break open these bad boys. A good time was had by all at the Cracked Kettle last Friday. We had been looking forward to this lineup for months. A huge thanks to GoGriz and Cedromar for the trades, and a massive cheers to Scott for providing us the bad boy for this special occasion. Too bad it didn't work out when you were here.

From a 750ml bottle into a 6oz sinfter
Vintage 2010 (18.2%)
Vintage 2009 (19.5%)
Note: Review for the 2010 with the 2009 as comparison.

APPEARANCE: Gushed upon opening, but poured out and settled just fine. A dark brown pour yields a medium, foamy looking tan head with decent retention. Head fades down to a ring with touches of wisp on top. Black body, opaque, with medium carbonation evident. Only a ring remains but leaves no real lacing down the glass. Nothing special about the ’10. However, the ’09 was much more impressive, with a darker, thicker pour and a more persistent mocha colored head that left some nice lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of bourbon on the nose for sure. Oak and vanilla, with some sweet milk chocolate and quite a bit of booze. Faint notes of roasted malts and pure chocolate try to make their way through, but this one is very bourbon barrel heavy, which is probably the point. Definitely good for what it is, though I’d appreciate a touch more base beer on the nose for top marks. The ’09 delivered the goods in that department, however, with less booze and more stout, showing a better union between the base beer and the barrel. Really nice.

TASTE: Roasted flavors start it off before an avalanche of barrel and alcohol. Lots of bourbon, oak, vanilla and milk chocolate up front. Very boozy through the middle; the 18.2% is there in all its glory. Finish is quite nice, with some dark chocolate, cream notes, and dark cherries even, which compliment the bold barrel flavors. Aftertaste is big and menacing, with an overdose of bourbon, oak, some dark chocolate, and lots of heat. Lots of wonderful flavors for sure, but the heat needs to mellow out. Enter the 2009 vintage. This was insane. Way smoother than the 2010, with less booze and heat, but more roasted and chocolaty base beer in the mix. The base stout meshed superbly with the bourbon barrel, leaving us with an excellently balanced and absolutely decadent brew. Much less boozy, and way smoother and much more complex. The ’09 was simply as good as it gets.

PALATE: Fuller body and quite heavy and thick on the palate, with medium carbonation. Very viscious, and much thicker than we’d expected after it foamed out upon opening. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine with a lot of heat on the swallow and finishes quite sticky. Despite the heat, the thick, heavy body is what I love in this style. The ’09 was much the same, but not quite as heavy on the palate.

OVERALL: This was one of the most enjoyable and interesting beer experiences so far. Besides the fun company, this was an unbelievable pair of beers. I must admit that I was sceptical before opening this stuff, as this one gets far too much press, but the praise and love for this beer is more than deserved. The 2010 has piles of wonderful flavor and a obliterating feel that ranks up there with the thickest and meanest of them. The bourbon barrel is delicious and the base beer is still strong enough to hold its own. The heat needs to mellow out, that’s for sure, but given some time, perhaps that will take care of itself.

As a comparison, the 2009 was everything I hoped it would be. Easily an A+ beer. The flavors of the base beer were allowed to come forth and play a better supporting role for the beautiful bourbon barrel, which resulted in an absolutely decadent brew. Massive and superbly balanced nose and palate, with a great look to boot, this might be my favorite American brewed bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. With some time, I can only hope the 2010 vintage will smoothen out like this, and hopefully future vintages will follow suit. I will constantly be on the lookout for this brew. Thanks to everyone for a great time, and another huge cheers to those who made this evening possible.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 12:13:24 | More by Jeffo
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mcallister

Ohio

4.63/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011

Thought this would be a little more dense and deeper in viscosity but upon pouring things looked this with a faint tan head that fades quickly into a skim topper. Big alcohol i suppose.

Aromas of dark chocolate, burnt caramel, toasted make, light vanilla, black fruits, the soy sauce thing I very rarely get and hate to use as a descriptor but I will here. Black currant, leather, and more rustic earthy aromas.

Wow absolutely amazing complex delicious flavors. Big alcohol burn in the chest and could take some time to open up but just delicious. Sweet melted chocolate fudge, milk chocolate, oak, coconut, toasted vanilla, blackberry, cherry, heavy cream, coffee, milk, leather and asphalt. Mouth is medium but matches what the ABV throws out. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 22:09:27 | More by mcallister
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Sean9689

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 23:40:19 | More by Sean9689
Black Tuesday from The Bruery
100 out of 100 based on 2,118 ratings.