Imperial Stout - Peace Tree Brewing Co.

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Imperial StoutImperial Stout

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68 Ratings
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Ratings: 68
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 5
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Peace Tree Brewing Co. visit their website
Iowa, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: AmericanGothic on 03-11-2011

This Imperial Stout is brewed with over 1-1/2 times the malted barley of a normal stout. High quality Belgian black malt and caramel malt contribute to the wonderful chocolate, coffeem and toffee characteristics. Belgian yeast is used to add flavorful esters and complexity. Three varieties of hops are boiled to balance the malt with medium bitterness and hop aroma.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 30
Reviews by Bear1964:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
2.62/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

The pour is a very dark brown, nearly black but not quite there yet. Literally almost no head after an aggressive pour. Hell, there's barely even a skin. Just a minor, tan ring that eventually scoots its way around the edge of the beer. Pretty unimpressive looking for an imperial stout, seems kind of thin and uneventful.

Unfortunately the aroma really isn't that much better than the appearance. It's got a nice stroke of lightly roasted coffee beans and some darker malts in the distance, but sadly not much else. After a few minutes, some light cocoa powder comes through, but that's where the variety stops. And not only is the profile just elementary, it's kind of weak and underpowered. I expect much more from beers of this size - it just doesn't live up.

Man, oh man. The flavor really doesn't do much to aid in the redemption of this beer, and things are quickly heading south. Up front, over-acidic and burnt coffee beans strike first; acrid and astringent in character. The astringency hits so hard that it almost feels tart for a second, but not in an enjoyable way. A light dusting of cocoa powder and cola finishes things off, but the high acidity and beyond-astringent bitterness make this beer hard to drink. Not to mention the lackluster, thin body for such a large stout.

Unimpressed is putting it nicely. This beer was not doing it for me at all. Wonder if it was a bad bottle or if that's just how it is. I like bitterness in my stouts. A heavy roast and even a big dose of hops. But the sheer oily acidity of this one made it nearly unpalatable. Thanks to Jeff for the share, but I won't be having this one again.

Photo of gibgink
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not your traditional Imperial Stout. The belgian yeast dominates the beer throughout, making it difficult to pull anything else from the beer. If you love belgians, this is right up your alley.

Photo of dbossman
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown/black with a huge billowing milk chocolate brown head with decent lacing--especially considering the style

S: Such rich dark roasted malts: chocolate and coffee especially; some subtle boozy qualities that work nicely underneath the chocolately malts

T: A fairly smooth and balanced imperial stout with pleasant bitterness as well as pleasant semi-sweet chocolate malt base but it doesn't quite finish just right with just a touch of an off-putting sourness

F: Creamy with a medium body but not as full bodied as you would wish

O: This is a nice imperial stout that works pretty well overall; roasty with loads of chocolate and coffee; not the best imperial stout out there by any stretch but it is pretty darn solid nonetheless

Photo of emerge077
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frothy tan foam, clusters of larger bubbles forming mountainous colonies here and there, with rivulets throughout breaking up the "topography". Black body with brownish toasted edges.

Smells like woody sweet tobacco, mildly roasty and dry like bakers chocolate. Grape jelly, dry and ashy after the initial mild sweetness passes.

Flavors of plum and dark fruits from the Belgian yeast melding with dark roasted malt, creamy with some mellow coffee elements. Dry and chalky aftertaste. Full bodied with a slightly lactic feel. A pleasant Imperial Stout, true to style with no flaws.

Single from John's Grocery, Iowa City, IA.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.67/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

thick dark black, pretty much opague oil looking liquid with a small tan colored head on the top. Copious side lace was present. The aroma was thick, fll of coffee, rich dark coffee and a good amount of sugar. Nice back of some lighter hoppiness maybe and a touch of brandy like alcohol. Very robust smell. The taste was awesome, simply awesome. A super smooth blend of rich coffee and chocolate, mixed in with just enough hoppiness to get you to notice. This was defintly top notch. I really loved the way it was all blended together. Nothing really overpowering, but the whole mix was just soo smooth. Rich creamy full bodied feel, very thick. I could easily have one on any cold night, this was just a super nightcap. Defintly lived up to its hype, one of the best coffee stouts I have ever tasted and I would love to have it again

Photo of FreshHawk
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a medium sized, thick, creamy, cafe colored head. Decent retention leaving some patchy lace.

S - Nice mix of dark, burnt malt and barley, coffee, chocolate, etc. with a dark fruit aroma from the Belgian yeast. A touch of floral and tobacco notes. Some sweet roasted caramel.

T - Follows the nose closely. Chocolate, burnt barley, coffee mix with dark fruity Belgian yeast flavors. Slight spice toward the finish with a cinnamon and clove flavor. Bitter kick at the end but a faint sweetness throughout.

M - Medium to full body with a nice touch of carbonation. Quite smooth, creamy, and velvety.

D - Goes down easy and only the faintest hint of ABV at the finish. A tweener in regard to a sipper but I would gladly have another.

Notes: A nice Belgian stout with good amount of coffee/chocolate and Belgian yeast. Very creamy and easy to drink. Tasty stout.

Photo of mdwalsh
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really fills the room with dark roasted fruit aromas right away.

A: Tall, dark brown head on a black bodied beer. The head is all small, tightly packed bubbles and very smooth on top, not a lot of relief. It's alright, but what Imperial Stout isn't really?

S: Again, dark, sweet roasted fruits. Plums, raisin, molasses, a little maple syrup. As I adjust to it, I get more roasted grain and coffee/chocolate notes. As I drink, the olfactory sensation becomes even better.

T: The taste I'm not so fond of. I get very strong metallic notes that I'm disappointed in, and not enough roast. Patently average.

M: Thin, too thin, but with good carbonation.

D: Meh, not something I'm going to look for again.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Excited to find bottles of this at Benz Beverage Depot in Cedar Rapids, Iowa ($2.50 a piece). Bottled in November '10 and enjoyed in early September '11. Sweet!

Appearance: The stubby bottle delivers a classically pitch-black pour with a thick and carbonated coffee-colored that lasts. Sizable lacing and a very solid look all around.

Smell: I get currant and port-like aromas, even some cherry. Sort of unusual for an imperial stout but damn nice. Roasty-toastiness and some oak/barrel/age. Candy, sugar babies (milk-caramel drops).

Taste: More dark fruit (juiced, crashed) plus coffee and mellow chocolate (in powder form). A nice hoppy bitterness at the end of the sip. Goes down with a bizarre-but-delicious hint of boozed-up strawberry syrup.

Mouthfeel: A bit of a let-down here... sort of a thin body and feel all around, despite the great carbonation and good flavor. Stings with booze at the end, almost giving me heartburn, but sip it and it is fine.

Overall: The drinkability here is ridiculously high and mighty. 10%? I could chug this. Goes down soooo easy and nice. Not the most complicated imperial stout I've had (you could expect s lil' more from a nine-month-old bottle), but damn nice! And outstanding when you think this comes from Knoxville, Iowa.

Photo of metaltec15
4.53/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a very good Imperial Stout! I actually bought 2 of them 1 I drank tonight and the other I am going to lay down for about a year.

A- I poured from bottle into a tulip glass. It poured a very thick and very little brown head.

S - At first smell it had the smell of dark and roasted malts(chocolate), but also had a little funky almost grape smell to it. It was a good funk not a bad one.

T - The taste was very good, not much of an alcohol taste to it. Very drinkable very chocolaty with a little influence from the Belgian yeast.

M- Thought it might be a little more grainy being it poured thick. Very smooth and viscous feel to it very silky smooth.

O- A great interpretation of an Imperial Stout. I would highly recommend this if you are lucky to get your hands on it. I will be very curious how this one will taste in a year.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black color with a small, light brown head of foam. It left very little lacing.

S - It smelled very roasty with some nice chocolate notes. Mild floral aromas, too.

T - It tasted of rich roasted malt with burnt molasses and dark chocolate. Nice bitterness on top of all the roasted malts.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A full bodied ale with an insanely dry finish.

O - This is really good. Peace Tree does very well with their Brewer's Special Release Series.

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The body is dark and opaque, very appropriate for the style. The one finger head is quite bubbly and not quite as thick as a good imperial stout could be. It is a nice cocoa powder color though.

Smell: There is a sweet brandy like smell that mixes with the dark malts. The finish is something bordering on leather and bready malts. It is definitely queer, and not very appealing.

Still, these are stout flavors in the nose, just a strange mix, and that brandy alcohol is really throwing things off.

Taste: This is really quite the amalgamation of flavors, and they do not really fit well together. The first flavors out of the gate are defintely the musty leather and sweet raisin flavors. Then mid tongue the charcoal and coffee start to come through.

Finally, the finish incorporates some of that boozy brandy flavor and apple, with slight coffee bitterness. Again, these are definitely stout flavors, but man is it unbalanced. It seems like it is the way the alcohol that is incorporated that is throwing things off. Too sweet for an Imperial Stout.

Mouth feel: Despite the disappointing, disjointed flavor, it is not a hard imperial to drink. Not much alcohol burn, and it is full bodied, also quite smooth.

Overall: Again, something about that booze choice that is giving this thing a bock like quality with a stout like finish. Not a great combo if you think about it. I will stick to other offerings, still glad I tried it.

Photo of deepseacatfish
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Imperial Stout is a dark blackish beer, with very slight head when poured. The malt and alcohol are both pretty present in the nose and when tasted. Generally light mouthfeel, with clear presence of alcohol, roasted malt. Some coffee-ish notes, and a little tartness. Overall pretty good.

Photo of rundocrun
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours motor oil black and looks viscous. No head to speak of but a few laces of deep brown foam swirl across the surface after a rough pour.

S - Roasty, slightly tangy coffee aroma hits first and a very slight hint of rasins and maple along with it. Some spicy, estery notes are also present from the belgian yeast. Interesting fusion of aromas.

T - Sharp, bitter roasted grains and toffee-like caramel flavors are most noticeable. Balanced hop bitterness. For the most part the 10% alcohol is well hidden, but some pleasant boozy warmth can be felt in the chest after each sip.

M - Thick and chewy like an Imperial Stout should be! Slightly dry, astringent finish but the malt sticks around afterwards. Despite the complete lack of head, the light carbonation is persistent and balanced.

Photo of AmericanGothic
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Unibroue tulip.

A: Deep chocolate brown color, medium-dark 1 finger head, decent retention, fairly little lace.

S: Smooth chocolate and sweet floral aromas.

T: Nice complexity. Chocolate and roasted flavors balance well, with some supporting sweet malts and molasses. A tad vinous. Some coffee notes emerge in the finish. Sarsaparilla? More coffee and chocolate. Caramel and spices follow as the beer warms.

M: Pleasantly smooth and full-bodied. Carbonation is mild but more than adequate. Creaminess develops over time-- dessert is served.

D: Definitely one to linger over, but no complaints-- it's a very good one. Alcohol is present but doesn't get out of control through the course of the glass.

Overall, a fine showing indeed. Bears a resemblance to their Black River Gumbo Stout, but with a lot more balance and interest. Will be a very good thing if they make this again! Would also be nice to see this one influence its lower-alcohol sibling into developing some more complexity.

Photo of Altamonttom
4/5  rDev +8.1%

nice lacing,like taste not too sweet

Photo of drabmuh
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by lunch served in a snifter. Beer is black with a thin head on it, no lacing, low retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly Bretty with some ash and mild sweetness perhaps some alcohol. It is already possible that there is something seriously wrong with this beer.

Beer is thin with a mild sweetness but the ending is all wrong, oddly bitter, oddly a little dry, interesting but not great, or even good as Paul would later describe this beer as spoiled garbage. A little harsh but not a repeat for me.

Photo of joe1510
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz Bottle
Village Dell & Wine - Rice Lake, WI

Peace Tree's Imperial Stout is as black as black gets, onyx, black hole-ish. The foam is hard to rouse and takes a high slow pour but I still only get a whispy cap. The ring stays put thanks to patches of carbonation rising from a few surfaces of the glass. It's a pretty stout looking stout that leaves behind some patchy lacing here and there.

The nose is big and roasty with yeast notes throwing off some esters but they get swallowed by the roast and I'm OK with that. Roasty barley is met with some overripe dark berries halfway through and ride on to the finish. There's a touch of black coffee in there as well. The booze is clean but a little bigger than I would have expected. Appetizing.

The flavor comes together nicely, more seamlessly than the nose suggested. It tastes, overall, like a well aged stout with no rough edges. Roasty malt integrates nicely with the dark berries mentioned previously. A touch of anise runs through the middle and black coffee wraps it up. The Belgian yeast tosses in some minor esters on the swallow but they're soft and tough to pinpoint as to the exact flavor, again, I'm OK with this. This is a good beer.

A silky smooth body is combined with a weight squarely between medium and full. Carbonation is lively enough to keep this beer moving with no residual stickiness. The roast is enough that it leaves a moderate bitterness in it's wake and when combined with the alcohol presence it dries out the swallow.

Peace Tree did an all around good job with this beer. It's not mind blowing but it has a good roastiness, finishes dry, and is easy to put away. Enjoyable. For the $7.99 in bomber form I would probably pick this up again.

Photo of cradke
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black as iron. Very little head or lace.

Smell: Dark Malts, some alcohol and brown sugar.

Taste: Lots of alcohol and heat. Even the chocolate notes taste hot. Notes of leather and yeast come through, lots of malt. Raisins and figs. I think this could have used some aging.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and without much carbonation.

Overall: Unfortunately, pretty average. It had a very high alcohol taste that really took over and dominated. The sweetness was also a bit high, almost like they should have brewed it longer.

Photo of thetomG
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical dark brown color. Nice thick layer of tan head. Minimal lacing.

Aroma and flavor are a bit on the roasty/smokey side of things. there is a slight twinge of something acidic/vinegary - not overwhelming, but its definitely there.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but I prefer my imperial stouts a bit thicker in that department, something this one is lacking.

Overall I'd say I'm glad I tried this one, but I think the recipe could use a little tweaking. That being said it is a good effort and worth trying for yourself.

Photo of williamt
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This one poured almost black with a nice one finger foam head into a tulip, that settled back to a fairly thick ring that stayed through the last swig.

S: Mild green olive smell with the first sniff, roasty coffee aroma's get a little bigger with warming but stay fairly mild.

T: Kinda mild for a 10% beer. Roasted barley and very dark chocolate are most prominent and hang on the palette for a while. No alcohol detected.

M: Somewhat thin with a dry finish.

O: This is a pretty good stout just somewhat different than I'm used to. The belgian yeast creates some flavors that are hard to describe.

Photo of cpolking
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours black like used motor oil, slightly viscous, with almost no head whatsoever. There is not a lot of carbonation, but it does not drink "flat" at all either.

The aroma is dark roasted malt, almost smokey, coffee and dark cocoa, and a somewhat fruity sweetness like figs or raisins.

The taste is sweet but not cloying, coffee and bitter dark chocolate, and raisins, both sweet and slightly tart at the same time. This is 10% but the alcohol is not upfront at all and melts away into all the various flavors.

Photo of Huhzubendah
2.22/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul.

The beer appears dark brown with a small, beige head. The aroma is where everything takes an irreversible wrong turn. Nail polish remover, grape juice, overly ripened dark fruits, booze. No thank you. The flavor delivers exactly what the aroma threatened. Ugh. Punishing. Medium body with low carbonation. Overall, this was bad. Upon looking through some of the other reviews of this beer, it seems mine is not the only negative experience with this beer. I would try it one more time in hopes of a vastly better experience.

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling right now on 3/26/14. Comes in a single 22 ounce bottle for $6.99 that I purchased today at the local Hy-Vee. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner pint glass.

Pours a super dark brown almost black in color with about a 1-finger brown head and doesn't last long and ends up just along the sides of the glass. Some very light spotty lacing is seen with each sip but settles back down to the sides of the glass also. The aroma is very pleasant and is of of roasted dark malts and coffee beans. The taste starts out of roasted malt sweetness then ends with a espresso finish BUT isn't overdone. Actually goes down easy and doesn't have a harsh or bitter aftertaste. Also the higher alcohol content isn't noted BUT I am sure it would sneak up on you at 10%. :)

Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2nd review because I didn't save the 1st. Poured from 12oz bottle into Tulip glass.

A. Poured a 3 finger very dark head. Fairly thick lacing and decent retention. Color is black.

S. Smell is kinda mild. Coffee, roasted malt, some dark fruit. Has a strange sweet somewhat off smell about it. This might come from the yeast that is used. Not a whole lot of complexity of aroma. Fairly average for an Imperial Stout.

T. Flavor is also some what mild. Has faint tastes of Coffee, roasted malt, detect some sweet yeast flavor. I think a big part of Peace Tree's success has been because of their Belgian yeast strain, however in this beer I don't think it works. A different yeast and this might be a phenomenal Imperial Stout

M. Medium bodied. Mouthfeel could use some work. A bit thin for my preference. Medium carbonation. Finishes with a bit of sweetness.

O. Overall I had pretty big expectations for this beer given Peace Tree's DIPA, and how fond I am of that beer. That being said the Imperial Stouts was a letdown for me. Pretty average overall. There was something off about both the aroma and taste that I couldn't put my finger on. Hopefully this one can be tweaked to get it to where I feel Peace Tree is capable of brewing an Imperial Stout.

Photo of doughanson78
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a chalice. Thanks to storminspank for this.

A: Very dark pour. Black as night in the glass. One finger darker mocha color head with awesome retention and decent lacing.

S: Roasted malts. Milk chocolate. A little coffee.

T: Chocolate upfront. Kind of an off roasted malt taste in the middle with a hint of coffee bitterness, some floral hop notes, and a slight Belgian yeast flavor. Finishes with more chocolate and a light alcohol burn. Might work with some age but is a bit off now.

M: Full body. Very creamy. High carbonation.

O: It's a touch above average. Don't know if it's the Belgian yeast or the hops that put this one off just a bit.

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Imperial Stout from Peace Tree Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.