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Black Jack Imperial Stout - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Jack Imperial StoutBlack Jack Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

93 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 14
Gots: 2 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Dithyramb on 07-30-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

acurtis, Sep 14, 2012
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.

mikesgroove, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

ygtbsm94, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Knapp85, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of TMoney2591
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

TMoney2591, Jul 17, 2010
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.

NeroFiddled, Jul 09, 2005
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.

Kegatron, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of drabmuh
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a flip-top growler into a becher.

This was not my favorite stout and I couldn't tell what made it imperial while I was drinking it. Overall it was light on flavor and vague on purpose. Here it goes.

Beer is dark black and forms a big brown head with small to medium bubbles. Lacing is high and carbonation is low. Overall it looks fine. When I swirl the glass I get a revival of the head for a moment. It looks like a good RIS.

Aroma overall is weak. There is a slight sweetness mixed in with this almost lactic undertone.

Beer is thick, full bodied but doesn't have much flavor. Sweetness up front, a very slight roast. There isn't much standing in the way of drinkability, that's the good news. There is nice carbonation in the mouth, also good news. The bad news is that about 12 people shared the growler along with several others and it was the only one that wasn't empty after about an hour, in fact it was the only beer that was still half full at the end of the night. Its boring.

drabmuh, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

mendvicdog, May 17, 2014
Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +4.2%

oriolesfan4, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of yourefragile
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

yourefragile, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

orangesol, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of duceswild
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

duceswild, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

akorsak, Jul 28, 2006
Photo of superspak
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter; no bottle date but this is a winter release so it must be pushing a year old. Pours dark as night with a fairly dense 1 finger tan head with nice retention that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lasts. Some nice lacing clings all around the glass as well. Aromas of big dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, caramel, molasses, smoked wood, and a bit of dark fruit. Some very nice and interesting aromas for an RIS here, nice balance as well. Taste of tons of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, smoke, wood, caramel, and light dark fruits. Good amount of coffee-like bitterness present on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, molasses, dark fruit, smoke, and wood for a decent amount of time. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a fairly nice and creamy mouthfeel that drinks smoothly for the level of alcohol. Alcohol is nicely hidden as well, didn’t really notice anything other than a slight warming on the finish. Overall this was an excellent and unique Russian Imperial Stout. Tons of nice complexity and balance.

superspak, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at DuClaw in Bowie, MD.

Really a fabulous appearance. Black as night with a half inch of dense, khaki colored he'd that plasters the pint glass with sticky lace ringlets.

The aroma offers a nice balance of roast, chocolate, and coffee.

The flavor is also well balanced, with a pronounced coffee/roast bitterness in the finish.

Alcohol content is hidden quite well. Not particularly viscous or palate coating, but rather, easy to drink. Maybe too easy, considering this is an 8% abv stout.

Overall, a solid beer from a local brewery. Recommended.

Huhzubendah, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

BillRoth, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The is attractive, with considerable burnt toast, roasty malt, vanilla and coffee. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, but with more flavor intensity than I was expecting for a 7.5% RIS. I almost gave the beer a 4.5 for taste, but the beer finishs with a bit more alcohol and heat then I like to see. Mouthfeel is very full, with a long, fairly soft, moderately sweet with licorise finish. Drinkability is OK, though as noted above, there's a bit of heat form alcohol in the finish.

While certainly not among the RIS elite, I thought this nevertheless a very solid beer from DuClaw.

John_M, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Latarnik, May 29, 2014
Photo of billab914
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Stone IRS glass. It poured black in color with a frothy tan head covering the beer and clinging to the sides of the glass.

The aroma has a rich, roasty flavor to it. I get coffee at first with a dark chocolate, creaminess to it as well.The roasty, bitter coffee flavor is nicely done in it.

In the taste I get more of a darker, bitter-sweet chocolate flavor to it. I get a roasty, coffee like bitterness in the finish with a little sweeter, creaminess to help give it some balance. It finishes dry wit ha lingering chocolate flavor.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being below average. Overall it was a pretty solid beer. I really liked that it was below 8% abv and felt so much bigger. That alone really impressed me. It was definitely an above average beer for the style, but the flavor in relation to the abv as well as price will get me to buy this one again.

billab914, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Kelp, Jun 25, 2013
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.

Rhettroactive, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Boone757, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of bluejacket74
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

bluejacket74, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev +4.2%

bsuedekum, Dec 03, 2011
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Black Jack Imperial Stout from DuClaw Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.