Sinister Vertigo - Odd Side Ales

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Sinister Vertigo
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very good

99 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 8.81%
Wants: 1
Gots: 23 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Odd Side Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sammy on 12-04-2013

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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 18
Reviews by craft_shannie:
More User Reviews:
Photo of buschbeer
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 FL OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

It is a sinister black in color. I got virtually no head. Aggressive pouring on the tail end of the bottle yielded less than an inch of mocha head.

There is not a lot going on in the aroma. I get some cocoa and some semi sweet chocolate.

The taste follows the smell. I get some unsweetened chocolate as the main flavor. I taste some roasted malt, maybe a little burnt popcorn in the finish.

Full mouthfeel

When I first poured this beer I got an off smell. It quickly dissipated though. I am not sure what that was. Once I left the kitchen and entered the den the smell was gone. It is a decent stout. It is nothing over the top but worth a try for sure. I'll try anything from Odd Side.

Photo of SerialTicker
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Semi-hard pour down the center of the glass. Creamy dark brown head was on top for a moment, but went to a ring after a few seconds. Pitch black.

Smell: Fan-damn-tastic. I get some super rich cocoa and black coffee at first, but then also a lot of nondescript "roast" with some dark fruits and actually a fair amount of sugary sweetness from somewhere... it really reminds me of caramel. It's kind of like "the usual" for an Imperial Stout, but more amplified than many others in the style. Really love the smell.

Taste/feel: And now I'm starting to understand the 85 overall rating. The aroma blew me away, but the taste is just "very good." This beer has a massive amount of char/ash flavor in it from beginning to end with little here-and-there accents of chocolate and coffee between sips. I don't get any sort of a caramel flavor or much sweetness. Dark fruits seem to not be in the flavor either for me -- just a really dark -- almost burnt -- coffee flavor with some very dark chocolate. If you don't like smoked beers, you probably won't like this one. The mouthfeel is moderate at best in body and the carbonation is a little high. This drinks far more like an imperial porter than it does an imperial stout.

Good beer, but the aroma had me expecting great things. Definitely try it if you see it, IF you like smoky-ish beers.

Photo of GRTim
2.62/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Okay, but not impressive. Huge coffee/roasted flavor, low hop, and thick mouthfeel. Little to no head out of the bottle.

Photo of Bung
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A roasty/smokey version. I like it, you will if you do as well.

Photo of bob_d_j
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Kinda sweet and syrupy. Ok, but not high end for an imperial..and i love stouts

Photo of StoutHunter
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottled of Oddside's Sinister Vertigo last week for $2.39 at The lager Mill. I'm in the mood for a Imperial Stout today and since I've never had this one before I thought I would take a chance on it, so let see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a interesting and colorful design to it and I think it's a little eye catching. It poured a poured a dark black color that didn't let any light come through and it had a half a fingers worth of bubbly brown head that quickly died down to a thin bubbly ring that eventually faded away and it left just a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This was a nice looking beer, but I thought the head and retention were disappointing.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of sweetness that had a somewhat candied like aroma to it and it's followed by the dark malts being the first to show up and they impart a roasted, slightly charred, dark chocolate, cocoa and lots of sweet malts with a light coffee aroma showing up in the background. Up next comes a noticeable alcohol aroma that goes right into a bright dark fruit aroma with no single fruit sticking out the most and there's a slight smokey aroma showing up in the background. This beer had a nice aroma, but it was a little on the sweet side.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma, but not as sweet and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the dark malts still being the first to show up and they impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma, but this time the chocolate is a little lighter and it's the roasted malt flavors that seem to stick out the most. Up next comes a slight bit of doughy yeast that leads into a light alcohol flavor that isn't warming and there's just a slight dark fruit flavor that isn't too noticeable and there's some licorice flavors that take it's place. On the finish there a light amount of medium bitterness with a roasted malt and licorice like aftertaste. This was a good tasting stout, I liked that it wasn't as sweet as the aroma, but I wish it had a little more of that complexity that the aroma had.

M- Smooth, a little velvety, not too sticky, not too crisp, the alcohol was well hidden, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. This beer had a good mouthfeel that worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and I thought it was a good example of the style, it had pretty much all the aspects that I look for in a good Imperial Stout and I thought it represented the style nicely while also being a good winter seasonal. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, a little velvety, not too sticky, not too crisp, the alcohol was hidden well, it's just a little filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, one might be the perfect amount, but i wouldn't rule out having two, but anymore than that and it might start to get a little too filling. What I like the most about this beer was the taste, mouthfeel and drinkability, to me those were the highlights of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the aroma, it wasn't bad, but the sweetness was a little too high. I would buy this beer again and I wouldn't mind putting one in the cellar to see how it changes over time. I would recommend this to anyone who like Imperial Stouts. All in all I was happy with this beer, it wasn't really impressive, but it delivered some tasty stout flavors with a nice mouthfeel to match and in the end I found myself enjoying it. It's not my favorite Oddside's beer and it's above average for the style. Good job guys this was tasty Imperial Stout, keep up the hard work.

Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No date on bottle.

Poured out very dark almost pitch black while producing a small dark mocha head that dissipated rather fast. Very strong chocolate aroma, slight vanilla, cream, roast and coffee. Very sweet roast, medium amount of bitter dark chocolate, candied sugar, sticky and slick with a low roast aftertaste. Leaves a sugary sweet residue on the lips. Full bodied but could use slightly more carbonation. This beer is slightly more sweet then what I prefer in my imperial stouts and it could use a little more carbonation in my opinion. This is one I will not be going back to again. Sorry but I would skip on this one.

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

A - Pours a motor oil black with a virtually no head. Very thin spotty lacing.

S - Aroma is dark malts, dark chocolate, and coffee.

T - Flavor is dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and some light dark fruits. The finish has some char and bitter coffee.

M - Full bodied with low carbonation. Mouthfeel is syrupy with a dry finish.

O - This is a decent stout. Lots of bold dark roasted flavors and surprisingly drinkable for 9.2% ABV.

Photo of justinp444
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark black with a beige half inch head. Smell of cherry, roasted malt, anise, and plum. Taste of dark chocolate, coffee, raisins, a nice creamy smoothness, full mouth feel, and a nice bitter bite.

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/1/2014. Pours pitch black color with a small dense dark brown head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, molasses, licorice, coffee, toast, toffee, light smoke/char, and roasted earthiness. Outstanding aromas with awesome complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, toffee, light licorice, light smoke/char, and roasted earthiness. Light amount of roast/char bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, toffee, light licorice, light smoke/char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome imperial stout. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of lk1974
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer is a completely dark black; no light appears through the glass when a light is placed on one side of the glass. This is typical of imperial stouts, as is the low carbonation level, because the sugar content and viscosity of the brew increases and the carbonation decreases; this results in a thick beer, with very little head. Any more carbonation in this and I think you'd lose the big, malty flavor of the beer.

Weak smell, which is not always common in the imperial stouts, which can have a distinctly spiritous smell if they're of the higher Abv variety. This one is not, but you are still unable to get much beyond hints of chocolate, mahogany, and, dare I say raisin.

The taste is unique, with a strong malty chocolate flavor with a fruity sweetness. The finish is where this beer really shines, as there are characteristics of an islay whiskey: smokiness and peated earth, with something of a charcoal flavor at the very end. I wouldn't be surprised if this beer had been finished for at least a small period of time in a whiskey barrel. The subtlety of those whiskey flavors, however, leaves something to be desired - a smoky and peated imperial stout would be a wonderful match, the chocolate flavors overpower the more whiskey like aspects of the beer.

The feel of the beer is alright, being a fairly viscous brew, but most imperials thicker and sit on the tongue longer - I prefer the thicker imperial stouts with a more syrupy finish, and this one is lacking slightly. Other imperials with higher abv also give your mouth a bit of a tingle, and this one doesn't have enough to leave that lasting sense of presence. If this beer had a higher alcohol content but had the same thickness, it would feel very very thin.

That being said, I think the beer needs more alcohol content to make it really feel like an imperial stout, which has its syrupy and milkshake attributes checked by the spiritous flavor of the alcohol. With higher abv, a slightly thicker body, and more strongly accented whiskey flavors in the finish, I think this could be an outstanding beer. Right now it's just above memorable.

Photo of FaradayUncaged
4.61/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a very thin khaki head. Very light carbonation for a non barrel aged Stout, but just as thick and glass coating.

Hints of charcoal, light coffee, cocoa, a bit of caramel, and a lot of roasted malt. Finishes very clean for being so thick.

Overall I enjoyed this one more and more through the glas and made me wish I had more. Easily up there with FIS, Expedition Stout, etc. Great non BA Stout.

Photo of krustster
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Impressive look, very dark brown/black with a nice brown head. I'm still used to expecting Odd Side stouts to be on the lighter side. This one is not. The aroma is full of smoke, dark fruits and chocolate, very impressive, reminds me of Plead the 5th. The taste itself is surprisingly mild by comparison, but still quite solid. The mouth feel drops the ball a bit as it's nice and full, but something about it gives a strange sensation. May be the carbonation level is too low. It feels more like a nitro stout, which I personally hate, but I guess that is some people's cup of tea. Anyway not a great imperial stout, but a very solid one especially at $13 for a six pack. Another worthwhile beer from Odd Side, a brewery that just continues to improve.

Photo of PaulyB83
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L- Dark black, dark brown small head.

S- Roasty, dark chocolate.

T- Roasty, dark chocolate, on the dry side of an imperial stout.

F- Thick but it lacks some carbonation which tastes away from the beer overall.

O- Not the most complex imperial stout and the lack of carbonation is a problem but it's too bad.

Photo of barczar
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the darker heads I've seen.

Aroma is rich with dark cocoa and coffee, backed by specialty grain fruitiness, with notes of black cherry. There's a nutty malt sweetness to counter.

Flavor reveals roast malt at the base, with heavy dark chocolate notes throughout. The finish is fairly astringent and more bitter than I prefer, and a lightly acrid character pervades throughout. Those dark cherry notes cover it a bit, but the negatives are too pronounced to ignore.

Photo of SchugKnight
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pitch black pour with little head. Maybe half an inch of dark espresso mud color head.

Aromas of smoke, char, chocolate, coffee

Flavors is surprisingly sweet at first with milk chocolate and lactose. Sweetness gives way to dark char. Coffee flavors in aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy and sugary. Doesn't feel viscose as I prefer for an imperial.

Overall it's a solid stout for drinking. I think they can make some tweaks to the viscosity. Would probably be a great candidate for various types of barrel aging.

Photo of mchegash
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4.5/5
Black, maybe hints of dark red around the edges of the glass. Small amount of light brown head appears when first poured, dissipates to a thin ring of head around edge of glass. Because it's so dark, you can't see any carbonation rising, and even looking at the top of the beer, no carbonation bubbles arise. It's very dark and foreboding ("sinister" perhaps).

Smell - 3.5/5
Banana fruitness, roasted malts, hints of alcohol. The smell isn't super strong and I would have like more stoutiness.

Taste - 3.75/5
Sip begins with a banana like fruitiness, then some slight roasty malts and some alcohol flavor. Sips ends with deep cocoa/cacao notes in the back of the mouth. The beer is moderately sweet, and there is a hint of smokiness as well. The best aspect of this beer was the very pronounced cacao notes and the end of each sip. It definitely made me look forward to the next (end of the) sip. But it's too bad the rest of the sip is only okay. Although as I progressed into the beer, I started to like it more.

Mouthfeel - 4.5/5
Medium-full body. Extremely smooth, light carbonation. Overall a great feel.

Overall - 3.75/5
This was an okay beer overall. I loved the deep cacao flavors and the extremely smooth texture of the beer. The taste and aroma left something to be desired for though.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to Another6Pack for this one! 12 oz bottle into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a finger high, and tan in shade. Retention isn't anything special, which is a shame since the texture is so soft and attractive. Only a small amount of lacing clings to my glass. (4)

Smell: And there we go, this is a total roast bomb. Love it. Lots of baker's cocoa, graham cracker, and some licorice lie behind the wall of roast. It even seems to be slightly hoppy, as well. I'm a total sucker for big, roasty monsters like this one, even if it doesn't smell like it will be the most complex. (3.75)

Taste: Again, it's *very* roasty. Roasted coffee flavors open it up, before notes of licorice and dark fruit finish it off. Unfortunately, the flavor in general seems mild and simplistic for an imperial stout. That, and there's a bit too much licorice for my tastes. (3)

Mouthfeel: Not quite as dry as I like my roast bombs to be - even still, this beer is light enough to be drinkable (but not light enough to be dinky). Carbonation stays low, but this beer is attenuated well enough for it to not matter too much. (3.25)

Overall: At first, I'm really enjoying the roasted flavors of this. But after a while, the licorice flavors become excessive for my tastes. This is pretty forgettable - holy shit, an imperial stout from the guys who made Mayan Mocha Stout is forgettable? Wow, that's a shame. (3)

3.27/5: The vicissitudes of fate declare this to be mediocre

Sinister Vertigo from Odd Side Ales
87 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.