Black Jack Imperial Stout - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Jack Imperial StoutBlack Jack Imperial Stout

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very good

106 Ratings
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Ratings: 106
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 15
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Rastacouere on 07-05-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 106 | Reviews: 58
Reviews by muskiesman:
More User Reviews:
Photo of shapudding
4.85/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my BA one-year anniversary beer! Nevermind that the date is showing 12th, it is that odd BA dating that turns the clock the day before~! I waited until my actual day to play with my fun stuff! -Thanks to Beerookie for lovingly driving it all the way from my beloved DuClaw to PA for me! (and sitting and waiting for them to receive the box of growlers they were expecting, just to bring this to me!)

Poured from the german DuClaw growler deep dark and pitch black, with no light getting in there. If you hold the pint glass up to the light and really play, you can catch a sliver or two of amber here and there maybe.... Wonderfully thick head atop it, coffee and cream color, maybe even an orangey brown it is so dark... settled as nice heavy, creamy layer. Oh wow, smells so great... See, they need to make car air fresheners out of impy stouts, then I would not be such a bitch in the mornings anymore. Deep chocolate scents, coffee, merlot. Not too heavy feeling, just a nice medium body, which lets it go down so easily, sip after sip. Wet feeling. Low to medium carbination, just enough to remind you it is there sometimes, but not fizzy or pronounced, just how I like it. Just a bit of a carb bite there when you take a bigger sip or give it a swirl in your mouth, but barely notice it most of the time. Dark roasty malt flavors, strong espresso, Godiva liquor, chocolate truffles. Makes me think of eating chocolate covered espresso beans followed by a sip of good dark stout.
Tons of flavor left in your mouth after each sip, some hops, burnt toast, coffee, bit of sweet chocolate. You can taste a bit of the alcohol, but not much -even though I enjoy that. Maybe even a teensy bit of very smooth scotch flavor in the aftertaste -again, like having a sip of maybe a Dalmore 21yo, then following with a sip of stout. You can feel a bit of the alcohol warmth, but it is very well hidden for the percent. Man, I could easily kill this german growler by myself, gonna try not too... I mean, it is a freakin' Tuesday! I will see what happens!

Photo of tigg924
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very roasty even by RIS standards. Taste is coffee grounds, roasted malt, deep dark chocolate, and slight molasses. Taste is slightly bitter and the body is really heavy. This beer acts bigger than is 8.0 ABV would indicate. Enjoyable, although not as complex as other RIS that I have had.

Photo of Wegomlegging
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured black-brown with tanned hide head of respectful amount. Smell of burnt chocolate and alcohol. Taste was a burnt malt and alcohol combo, with a small amount of hop. The good flavor was followed by a decent mouthfeel and burnt aftertaste that lingered. Average drinkability, as some may not like the heavy alcohol and roasted malt. Not a beer for everyone.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Its opaque black body rests gently beneath a short head of very dark tan foam that holds well, slowly receeding to a wide creamy collar and lacy surface covering that leaves rings of sticky lace with each sip.

The nose delivers fruit, dark chocolate, and a deep roastiness.

The body is medium bordering on full, and its fine-bubbled carbonation lends a subtly crisp tingle to the tongue before smoothing.

The flavor delivers an incredibly rich, bittersweet chocolate, dark caramel, and espresso-like maltiness that's laced with dark and red fruits (black cherry, red grapes, raisins) and piney hops. The alcohol is well-masked in both the aroma and the flavor by its richness. It finishes quite dry with some lingering bitterness, a residual burnt-chocolate character, and a touch of vinous fruit.

Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the DuClaw Fell's Point location.

Pours black with a thin tan creamy head that retained well around the edges but left a minimal amount of lace that stuck. The aroma is roasted and burnt malt, chocolate sweetness, coffee, and a smoked maltiness.

The taste is chocolate sweetness that melds into roasted bitterness, smoked malts, and coffee notes. The smoke character really seems to be dominant at times and is much more noticeable than other years. Finishes with a nice bitterness that sticks to the tongue. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a nice creamy feel. Alcohol is very well hidden and barely noticed, which really makes this guy quite drinkable.

The Black Jack is always a pretty solid seasonal from DuClaw. Like most of their other offerings, it doesn't pack the biggest punch, choosing to stay more accessible for their core demographic of beer drinkers that frequent the place. It still carries enough flavor and big drinkibility to be a solid choice if you come across it.

Photo of hdofu
4.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

As black as a Raven's wing, this beer is really impressive. The flavor of dark chocolate hits the tongue upon the first sip. A slight bitter taste similar to a chocolate bar is the finish. The feel on the tongue is smooth like a dark chocolate bar, the alcohol wasn't really noticeable . The smell is of rich chocolate. This beer goes down easy and is one easy to drink more then one glass of. Give it a try if you like Imperial Stouts and are in Maryland.

Photo of bum732
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S: Sweet chocolate, some fruitiness, citrus/stone fruit.

L: Dark black, espresso tan head, very good lacing.

T: Sweet toffee with some milk chocolate up front. Medium low bitterness. Ends with some more milk chocolate and sweet coffee. Finishes semi-sweet with just a touch of roast.

M: Medium body, milk like, but a touch thin. Alcohol barely noticeable. Carbonation medium low.

Fairly sweet double stout, not much roast and fruit, defilnitely more chocolate and toffee sweetness. Nice dessert beer.

Photo of akorsak
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a glass of the 2004 vintage Black Jack Stout served at DuClaw's Bowie location during X-mas in July.

Appearance: Black as night. When held up to the light, dark crimson colors are clearly visible. The head is a darker, coffee ice cream color.

Smell: The beer has a deep roasted aroma and the chocolate notes have intensified. There is a slight vinous-like aroma as well.

Taste: The stout still has a deep roasted malt character but it has also taken on a vinous complexity. After that initial roast/chocolate burst, one can taste an array of alefruits and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The beer has aged well, giving the palate a new range of flavors to enjoy.

Drinkability: I really wanted to go to Bel Air for the 2003 version, as the beer has done well over two years.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. Aroma is milk chocolate, roasted malt, molasses and coffee. The brew tastes like roasted and burnt/charred malt, bittersweet chocolate and coffee. The aroma is mostly sweet, however the taste is mostly roasty and bitter. Finish is also roasty and bitter. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it seems a bit thin for a RIS. With that being said, it's also smooth and a bit creamy and coating. Drinkability is good, it goes down easy and I liked drinking it. I think this is a good brew, it's definitely worth a try.

Photo of vandemonian
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

DuClaw Black Jack Imperial Stout is a delicious and drinkable Russian Imperial. It was much better than I expected. Yum!

A: Nice darkbrown/black colour and a good 1 cm brown head that fades to good lacing. 4.5

S: Smells strongly of coffee. Yum. 4.5

T: Roadty malt with some hints charcoal, especially in the aftertaste. Good hop balance. This is a delicious beer. 4.5

M: Foamy and silky. 5

O: This was really delicious. 4.5

Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

part of the epicness that was the halloween weekend of beer. the last few nights have kicked my ass in every way, but i got to try a bunch of goodies that have long haunted me. served chilled and poured into a 8 ounce taster, this one was consumed on 10/30/2010.

this was another new one for me. the first of the big stouts that were opened this really caught me by surprise as I was in no way expecting it to be as good as it was. jet black pour with a good inch and a half of wonderfully colored head on top started off the session just right.

aroma is dark roasted malts, cocoa, a ton of rich brown sugar and a touch of tobacco. really just complex as hell and not at all what i was expecting. a bit thin on the feel, but not terrible just more of a big stout then an ris. still though the flavor came across very, very well with each sip complenting the one before. dark, dark chocolate, lots of roasted malts and tons of rich, dark flavors. this was exactly what i was looking for. smooth and creamy finish left the flavor of light smoke an brown sugar on the tongue with a touch of vanilla sealing it off.

overall really just a great tasting stout that was very easy to drink and nearly flawless in aroma. i would have this one again any day.

Photo of cubedbee
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Fell's Point location. Comes out a dark motor oil black, absolutely opaque, a thin brown head that subsides quickly, moderate amount of lacing. Nose is a nice roasted espresso, although a little light. The same espresso comes through in a big way, hints of vanilla and dark chocolate, a quite noticeable but not overwhelming alcohol bite, and a decent piney hop finish that you Rich full bodied moutfheel and a very dry finish. This is a nice winter beer, warming with a nice rich taste. Another good seasonal effort from Duclaw.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Black body. Huge sticky and rocky tan head, a very impressive sight which makes it even scarier. Sweet chocolate aroma, light smoked notes, vanilla beans, creamy. Much drier than expected in mouth. Charcoal like roasted finish. Mild dark fruits, slightly acidic hops. Smooth and velvety full body which got quite a decent effervescence for a hand-bottled 1liter swingtop. No worries Larry, this was a treat, thanks!

Photo of TheDragonTony
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This poured a deep red, though it appears black unless you're rolling it around the glass. The head was a mocha colour and left a nice lacing as I emptied my glass. The nose gives me some roasted barley, with a lot of dark chocolate, and espresso; however, I thought the nose was a little light, it would have been great if there was more there.

The flavour gives me a chocolate coffee with hints of raspberry and maybe some black licorice. This beer is silky smooth on your mouth, and it is incredibly easy to drink, in fact I had no problem drinking the entire growler.

Photo of titosupertramp
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Send down from Dim.

A: Pitch black, finger and a half of mocha head. Sticky, botchy lacing.

S: Roasted barley, chocolate, toffee. Not picking up any hops.

T: Follows the nose, but a little more chocolate than expected. There's a coffee aspect to this as well, but faint.

M: Really like the creamy nature of this one. Coats the mouth with a sweet, chocolatey goodness.

D: RIS's are usually sippers, but this one is a little different. With the lower ABV(for the style) and the creamy mouthfeel, one could easly finish off a bomber without a problem.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/26/11
*From notes

A: Slightly ruby motor oil. A good pour yields a 2.25 finger head that sticks around for a while. Top notch lacing follows.

S: Slightly grainy, actually. Tart (not sour) dark fruit too.

T: Some condensed, dried fruits are predominant, specifically prunes, dates, raisins and figs. There's some creamy char on the mid, and the finish is pretty impressive in it's longevity. A bit too fruity for my specific taste, but pretty well done none the less.

M: Wow, I can't believe how creamy and rich this is. Really dense and velvety. It helps to push this beer well above average, and keeps me coming back to the glass.

O: DuClaw's Black Jack Stout is a better beer then I'd expected. Seeing how it's aged, I'd have to assume this is a bit better when fresh, yet it was quite enjoyable as-is. I'd be interested in trying their BA version of this.

Another upper middle class entry from one of Maryland's biggest up-and-comer's.

Photo of Dithyramb
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First sampled this during the XMas in July celebrations this year and saved my review until this month's was tapped. Tried during the opening night at the Fell's location. Get it while its hot, they don't seem to make too many of the seasonals, and they disappear quickly...
Deep blackness with just some hints of amber when held up to the light. (At least that what it looks like in the bad lighting of the Fells spot.) Had a thin tan head that shrunk down to a nice sticky lacing.
Faint bitter chocolate aromas.
Fresh creamy cappucino flavors. No, not the milky sweet American capa, but the bitter and smooth Italian version. Just enough hops on the finish. The high ABV is well masked and is only evident with some slight warming of the mouth afterwards.

One of the better brews offered at DuClaw, along with the Porter.

Photo of JerseyKirk
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black. Black hole. No light goes in or out. Light khaki, creamy head.

S: Chocolate, coffee, cream, coffee bitterness, roasted grains and slight graininess.

T: Rich, sweet goodness. I love this beer. Chocolate, cream and coffee.

M: Thick, rich, luscious and sweet. Finish is extremely dry. Love it.

O: Like all of the beer but sweet finish. Great through and through.

Photo of cbutova
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably about a year old.

A- Pitch black pour into a snifter. Dark tan head with decent size but not good retention. Small ring and cloud with some spotty lace.

S- Aged roast malt and caramel with a nice smoothed out aroma. Raisins, cocoa and dark fruit.

T- Again I can taste some age which has a smoothing effect. Roast malt, raisins, dark fruit, caramel. All balanced out and nice.

MF- Moderatly thick oily body with a silky smooth high carbonation. Some bitterness in the finish.

Good with age and it balances out nicely with some aged fruit and oxidative flavors.

Photo of Hefe
4.72/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass @ DuClaw Arundel Mills for the Christmas in July celebration. 7/29/04

Appearance: Black, black like your soul! Damn that black. Dark brown head that degrades to some sticky lacing.

Smell: Espresso mocha goodness.

Taste: Hits like coffee liquer initially, broadens out into dark chocolate, blackstrap, turkish coffee. Finishes warm and a touch sweet.

Mouthfeel: Rich and silky.

Drinkabilty: Perfect, I could down these all night, the abv is beautifully masked.

Photo of Umbra
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this time on the limited 1L bottle release, swingtop with nice labeling.

Opaque black, not that it wasn't clear, just that it was so dark, you couldn't find your way to the other side of the pint, with a dark tan, thick head. Great retention and lacing for a brew on the heftier side.
Got a heavy coffee aroma, bypassed with some roasted malts.
All the expected flavors are here--coffee, espresso, chocolate, vanilla--but it has a very nice, sharp pininess that cuts through. Regardless, it has a very rich and smooth mouthfeel, making it extremely drinkable.

Photo of dpnelson1978
2.89/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle into glass snifter.

A: Deep brown body topped with a small tight brown head that quickly dissipates leaving a thing cover and ring.

S: Sweet chocolate and roasted coffee. Almost a hint of Irish cream.

M: Smooth medium body that is a bit lighter than I would expect. Low to moderate carbonation. Nothing special.

T: Dark roasted malt, and a poorly masked alcohol content. Moderate hop bitterness that subsides fairly quickly.

O: Lighter body and weaker flavor profile make this one easy to drink on its own, but I wouldn't buy another. Too many great RIS on the market these days. This one lags behind.

Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this on tap out of a pint glass at Duclaw in Bowie, MD.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a thin 1-finger tan head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate and coffee.

T: Similar to the smell roasted malts with a good chocolate, caramel, and coffee backbone. Slightly hoppy and sweet.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Great imperial stout – strong and delicious.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Am I the only one who enjoys a thick, rich impy stout on a sweltering day like today? This one pours a nice straight obsidian topped by a bit less than a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, vanilla bean, brown sugar, and some toasted caramel. The taste is a mirror image of the smell, with some extra brown sugar and molasses in the finish. This be one tasty brew, baby! The body is a bit on the light side (a medium overall), with a light carbonation and a smooth feel that isn't as thick and chewy as I'd prefer. All told, a very nice impy stout, but missing a couple o' things that would vault it to greatness.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice looking for the style. Black and opaque, with brown and red tinges. Nice head for a RIS that lasted, eventually leaving a smooth brown sheen and great lacing.

Smell is deep, dark and roasty. Plenty of coffee and chocolate accent the great dark malty aromas.

Taste is very nice. Great roasty malt flavors. Easy going coffee and slick milk chocolate make for a nice blend of flavors.

The feel is a bit slick, sweet, with dark roasty bitterness lingering.

Drinks well. The 7.5% ABV makes it very easy to drink, and offers a nice alternative to the usual "bigger than life" RIS meme.

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Black Jack Imperial Stout from DuClaw Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.