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Black Jack Imperial Stout - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Jack Imperial StoutBlack Jack Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
86
very good

102 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
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: 102 | Reviews: 57
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of QuickSilver08
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of cfinch2
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of superspak
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
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 cbutova
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
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 popery
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a nice head, light brown and creamy. Good lacing. Just a hint of dark brown at the edges of the glass.

S: The aroma is a tad weak, but what's there is nice. There's dark chocolate, caramel, roast and some mild dark malt fruitiness. It might be a bit better than my score indicates, but there's more than a half point difference between smell and taste.

T: The beer has a big, excellent flavor once it hits your tongue. It's full of dark chocolate syrup and roast with a citrus hop note in the finish. The beer is smooth and has a wonderful classic imperial stout flavor. Everything meshes together nicely and there's little booze. No real rough edges to be found, either. Sweetness is just right. Great stuff.

M: Smooth and creamy, the beer is thick on the palate. In my opinion, mouthfeel is hugely important to imperial stouts, and Black Jack nails it.

O: I'm kinda surprised to see some lower scores for this beer. I have no idea about the age of the bottle, but I suspect it's not super fresh. I may have just lucked into opening it at just the right time. Whatever the case, it's a great stout with a rich flavor and a creamy mouthfeel. I've thoroughly enjoyed my first encounter with DuClaw.

Photo of rapidsequence
3.17/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. $7.99.

Appearance: Black of course, not the thickest or darkest. Thin light brown head with poor retention and lacing.

Smell: Ground coffee and cocoa powder. A little charcoal and leather. Not a lot of sweetness.

Taste: Mainly dry, roasty, bitter, and borderline harsh flavors. Not enough residual sweetness to support this.

Mouthfeel: Its kind of thin, and finishes dry with some bitter roastiness.

Overall: This is just not very good. Fairly inoffensive, but not very exciting.

Photo of TheDudeRules
2.31/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured into my Darkness snifter.

Jet black oil looking pour. Two full fingers of mocha colored head. Lacing remains. Fig and dark fruit dominate the smell. First thing I notice is how very thin this beer feels in my mouth. Taste is coffee forward with a pronounced hop bite. Roast and char follows.

Yawn. What a boring beer with subpar flavoring. Flat out terrible. Why is roast and char trending? Like scooping ashes out from the bottom of the grill and throwing them in the beer is good? Stay away.

Photo of billab914
3.83/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of Scotchboy
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber from Jonah, thank you! 2010 vintage, and man was I impressed by this one.

Poured refrigerator cold into my ceramic stein and allowed to warm over the course of an hour or so.

A: Pours pretty viscous and opaque black (my wife called it 'tar'), with a dark brown head that recedes to a constant ring.

S: Roasted malt heaven, with loads of coffee and chocolate sweetness, some hops and hints of smoke and alcohol.

T & MF: The label talks about this beers creaminess, and I've got to agree. The roasted malt, coffee/chocolate bitterness, smoke, and finishing hop spiciness all blend excellently, very roasty and rich and bitter. There is a touch of alcohol heat here as well, but nothing to downgrade the score. Full, sticky mouthfeel with medium carbonation levels and good dryness on the way out.

O: Just a solid all around Russian Imperial Stout, it covers all the RIS bases well; richness, bitterness, chocolate & coffee, roasted & charred (smoky) malt, dryness, alcohol. Very pleasant and a good representation of the style in my opinion.

Photo of dpnelson1978
2.89/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle into glass snifter.
50°F

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 Dan3279
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its great to go on vacation and be able to pick up beer that isn't available in your area. I was excited when I found Black Jack because I have had my eye on it for a while.

I poured the bomber into my DFH snifter glass to find a nice pitch black body with a chocolate colored head that left a sticky lacing. The aroma was dominated by coffee, chocolate, malts and a few hints of molasses.

The taste was very good, very close to the aroma with more sweetness, and some hints of roasted malts. I thought that the beer is smooth and medium bodied and very easy to drink. Overall its a good RIS, I wouldn't put it in upper class of great RISs but it can stand up on its own and I would defiantly pick up a few more bottles if I ever come across it again.

Photo of Chaney
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black as night, with a massive, peppery mocha head that died down to a sudsy ring around the dark liquid.

S: Strong smell of roast, dark chocolate, and a tinge of espresso. Dark chocolate milk!

T: Full-bodied, chocolatey, with a huge bitter finish. Not too "imperial," but still downright delicious. This was damn near perfect except for the fact that espresso isn't exactly my favorite thing in the world... it helped that it wasn't of the "in your face" variety.

M: Creamy, thick, and with low carbonation, but still appropriate for this style. Not too sweet, and the balance between the espresso and dark chocolate perfect and was very well executed by its creator(s).

O: I've really become somewhat of a fan of DuClaw here lately. A few months ago, I had never even tried a single brew of theirs, but now I've sampled about half their line-up. "Black Jack" was friggin tasty...

Photo of vandemonian
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
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 Pencible
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a completely opaque black with thick dark tan head. Beautiful.
S: It smelled like roasted coffee and rich dark chocolate, with a little cream and floral hops.
T: It tasted like rich dark chocolate and dry cocoa powder, with earthy roasted coffee and a little cream and metallic hops. It had a clean and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was very heavy and thick, with a little carbonation. Huge and wonderful body.
D: This was a very nice big stout, with tasty scent and flavor. Excellent body and pretty well hidden alcohol, so it was easy enough to drink. Not sure if age would improve, but it would be interesting to try. Not terribly complex, but this is solid for a standard RIS. I'd be curious to try this blind next to Expedition, Ten FIDY, Yeti, etc. to see how it stacks up without knowing the label behind each beer.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of Wegomlegging
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
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 biglite351
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - no light threw brew, tall creamy tan head.

S - malts and dried fruit. Hint of dark chocolate after a time.

T - roasted malts, dark chocolate and some dried fruit on the finish.

M - good coating with a tingle on sides of tongue, top and back of throat.

D - one bomber, maybe two.

Photo of Khazadum
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours thick, oily, viscous. Motor oil has a new cousin. Slow cap formation left me with a thick medium chocolate cap. Very creamy, emulsive, and pharmaceutical grade A fun. Somewhat low retention leftover with a good sized collar. Low carbonation appearance. Strong lacing.

S- Low aroma and bouquet here. Sharp dark fruit on the opening that is incredibly faint, morphs into a burnt and roasted characteristic... more acrid burnt notes than anything else. Unfortunately its nothing up front or strong.

T- Opening is a sweet malt body, something balanced and clean. Flows into the roasted grains, not too much burnt as the nose, very enjoyable for that fact alone. Finish is huge espresso notes. Tad bit of chocolate, bitter dark chocolate. Fantastic finish takes an average opening to a happy medium.

M- Creamy, mild body. Bit chunky, something to chew on, velvet smoothness. The carbonation is nice and crisp on the beginning and lingers through with some of the flavors. I think this bubbly nature helped hide the flaws and emphasize the benefits.

D- Really solid RIS. I'm shocked by this. I was not expecting anything as tasty as this one. It is about a year old now so it has had time to mellow out possibly, in addition to the time they purposely age it to mellow out the alcohol. Good choices on their part. No complaints on the seven percent beer. Drinks easy for a stout and tastes good.

Photo of Manoftyr
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance-Pours slick with that classic RIS motor oil consistency into the snifter, it's deeply rich and dark chocolate brown color and not quite the all-light obliterating blackness I like to see. A crown of mocha head tops the brew and bubbles its way back down slowly leaving a film and a thick ring of lacing that drips and sticks on the glass as I tilt and swirl.

Aroma-Sweetly dark malts upfront; roasted barley, lots of chocolate, some caramel and a hint of toasted grain.

Taste-Big dark cocoa and chocolate notes are the prominant flavor with successive sips adding more complimentary roasted/blackened barley malt tastes. Don't pick up any hops but that suits me just fine, I prefer the malt to be the star of the show in my stouts.

Mouthfeel-A little but more carbonated and less plush than I like my RISes to be. Still works though.

Drinkability-The big upfront punch of chocolate is delicious and the unfolding flavors and complexities keep me coming back from more; this is a class stout.

Photo of Phelps
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received in the 2010 Secret Santa BIF. Thanks go out to boralyl for this one.

Pours a creamy, inky black that takes over the glass in darkness. It's topped by a one-finger head of dense, sticky foam the color of cardboard that recedes slowly, leaving a thick top layer, large grippy ring and thick horizontal stripes of lace.

Bit of sweet cocoa and some espresso with milk -- like a creamy, milk-tinged latte. There's also some bittersweet dark chocolate.

The flavor follows nicely, with a bit of dark chocolate and black strap molasses. There's a noticeable jolt of alcohol at the swallow, with lingering notes of heavily roasted malt and coffee. The finish is nice and even-handed; not too sweet, not too dry.

The body is medium-light, a little watery, with a bit of alcoholic tinge in the nostrils and a numbing of the tongue. The carbonation is medium-light, massaging the tongue actively and fizzing the beer up just a bit.

An enjoyable-enough stout. Nothing special, but drinkable.

Photo of bum732
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Black Jack Imperial Stout from DuClaw Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.