Assassin Imperial Stout - Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Assassin Imperial StoutAssassin Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

69 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 69
Hads: 904
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 2.64%
Wants: 1,687
Gots: 153 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company visit their website
Iowa, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Pintofbrown on 02-20-2012

After endless hours of scorching in heat, brewing in turmoil, fermenting in angst, the Assassin’s journey has just begun. In the shadow of the temple, he lies in wait, maturing his plot to perfection. He emerges merciless, dominated by darkness, his bite laced with the charred remnants of his victims. No man dares to cross his path. They will forever sleep with one eye open, in fear of the Assassin’s hot kiss of death.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 69 | Hads: 904
Photo of Vonerichs
4.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Gold Label

Viscous and smooth appearance. There's no head but once settled does have a khaki surface layer of carbonation.

Vivid aromas of fudge and coffee. Vanilla, oak, and an earthy spice.

Lots of depth to the taste. Fudge and coffee are front and center. Charred oak, black licorice, light soy. Extremely sweet finish.

Low carbonation, very smooth. Only a tad bit boozy which peaks as it warms.

World class, for sure. When talking about the king of barrel aged stouts, it deserves to be in the discussion. (530 characters)

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very tasty, very smooth beer. This is a premier BA stout with such an amazing finish. Not much on the nose compared to other world class BA stout, but it definitely deserve to hang out with Rare, Prop, and the Bruery Big Boys. (228 characters)

Photo of jdhowe
4.84/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 (gold wax) vintage. pours like motor oil and drinks about the same, but in the best way. Really rich and full of flavor. Definite bottle variation between the two bottles we had side-by-side. One bottle just didn't have as much barrel character and felt a little subdued relative to the other, but both were stellar. (325 characters)

Photo of Get_Lowell
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage bottle opened in 2014.
Look: Dark brown head, light carbonation, pitch black body, leaves dark lacing on the sides of the glass.
Smell: Bourbon, lots of chocolate, raisins.
Taste: Big chocolate notes on the front, bourbon flavors dominate the palate in the middle, finishes with an alcoholic burn.
Overall: Truly awesome imperial stout, its an epic union of bourbon and chocolate flavor. (400 characters)

Photo of dboon
4.46/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Big thanks to Hopscotch for sharing this gem. Dark brown pour with a light brown head. Incredible caramel and chocolate aromas. Great lacing. Sweet with some cola like qualities. Caramel, chocolate, and woody notes with a fair amount of heat from the rye in the finish. Very good mouthfeel and body. (307 characters)

Photo of 4lo
4.86/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 Gold Wax

Pours like motor oil which builds up your anticipation on the mouthfeel. Coffee, chocolate, bourbon and raisin on the smell. Significant depth to the taste with fudge & coffee leading the way. Roast and bourbon pick up on the tail with a bit of sweetness. Mouthfeel is among the best. (303 characters)

Photo of gatornation
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

pours a thick jet black color very viscous with a slow forming small mocha head very little lacing or head thru -out
chocolate rich and delicate with slight coffee and vanilla roasted malts wood and bourboun
this is perfection it is a blend of fine chocolate melded with roasted malts the BA presence brings this whole stout together a touch of vanilla nothing overpowers here is a perfect blend that leaves you wanting one more sip
rich with flavors BA is perfection it compliments this stout
this is a must try if you are a BA Stout lover exquisite brew (555 characters)

Photo of MOVERTON1284
5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to @justdoit1234 (Jesse M) for this amazing gift! 2014 Vintage, opened at an amazing share. Pours like motor oil, black with very little carbonation. Taste was very balanced and while you got lots of the barrel flavors, it was not overpowering. Best BA stout I have ever had. (287 characters)

Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
4.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 vintage.
Definitely lived up to the hype.
Has that special something that's hard to pin down.
'13 Prop is the only other BA stout that I've had that's in the same league as this. (183 characters)

Photo of TampaRainman
4.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 Gold Wax batch poured into Teku. Big thanks to @HawkeyePA for the hookup.

A: Black Oil poured from the bottle struggles to churn up a slight dark brown head. Only light wisps and a few small bubbles last more than a minute. Swirling leaves a sticky film that slowly recedes.

S: Heavy dark chocolate and molasses. Slight coffee. Burnt marshmallows. Smoky, woody campfire. Bourbon.

T: Bourbon hits strong in a good way. Sweet boozy goodness. Molasses. Caramel. More burnt marshmallow. Dark chocolate. Roasty malts but this is definitely leaning dessert.

F: Low carb. Not super thick, but silky and creamy. Bourbon finishes a little hot.

O: A pleasure to drink and a great example of the style. (717 characters)

Photo of jaken0ss
4.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Rating reflects the 2013 vintage, yellow wax. The rye barrel aging makes quite the difference in this beer and honestly takes it to a whole new level. Having had the 2014 right before opening this bottle.

2014:
Good, will probably age beautifully, but did not impress compared to the 2013 which was phenomenal (310 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.86/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Sure glad I didn't have to travel out to the middle of nowhere in Iowa to land this highly sought-after beauty! It's good to have generous friends in beer nerdery circles. Pours brown-black with a thin but quickly dissipating mocha head. Probably the only disappointing feature of this beer. I could smell the Pappy goodness from a mile away once I poured the beer in my glass. Sweet chocolate, molasses, hints of vanilla and marshmallows, and oak in the nose. The flavors were surprisingly softer than expected! The Pappy flavors came through very nicely, cocoa, coffee subtleties, marshmallows, roasted oak and toffee. Thin to medium bodied along with a velvety and a slight burn in the finish. This beer was indeed a level above a coked up Parabola or BCBS! (760 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.24/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Jeff for this rarity. 2014 vintage with gold wax into a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.

A heavy pour yields a thick, 1 finger chocolate covered head with excellent stick. Beer is pitch black, oily and very rich. Lacing is thick, web-like and layered with outstanding stick. Top notch!

Nose is fudge, sweet soy sauce, fresh plum and grape, vanilla, chocolate and a creamy hop presence. Moderately aromatic. Pretty average.

Opens chocolate, sweet soy sauce and lactose. Notes of dark fruit. Prunes, grape, vanilla, fudge and cocoa in the middle with a bit of wood and booze at the end. Finishes sweet brownie and cocoa powder. Aftertaste of hop creaminess, mocha and molasses. Excellent.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Thick and oily in the mouth and goes down smooth and luscious. Messy finish with a filmy, sticky aftertaste. Fantasticly robust and fitting for the style.

Toppling Goliath is putting out a ton of extremely high quality offerings and Assassin is certainly worthy of leading the bunch. Near perfect look and feel for the style with an unbelievable flavor. Definitely worth the hype. (1,133 characters)

Photo of linnymtu
4.9/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably the best mouthfeel I've ever had in a beer. In fact I never understood why mouthfeel was part of the ratings until Assassin. Coated your mouth almost like peanut butter does it was so thick. Will definitely try to find another bottle. (243 characters)

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ive had the 2013 & 2014 before, but I was lucky enough to be able to sit on the TG patio with Clark and Mike BOTH and sample the 2012 B1, 2012 B2, 2013 & 2014 back to back! All are out of this world ridiculous with tons of barrel but the 2012 B1 & 2013 were smoother than 2014... 2014 was still pretty boozy. 2012 B2 (Single Barrel Rye Assassin) was great too but the rye was a little overpowering. (402 characters)

Photo of HOPSareKey
5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unbelievably enormous without any one area being over the top. Deep roast, sweet, toasted coconut, perfect barrel character. Every quality you would want in a stout. The best beer I have had to date. (199 characters)

Photo of Fcolle2
4.56/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours viscous thick jet black with a thin tan head that retains nicely. Smell has incredibly rich decadent aromas of chocolate whiskey vanilla oak And some dark fruit aromas. Taste follows nose with super rich semisweet chocolate malt with notes of cocoa coffee, fudge, and caramel. Whiskey, oak barrel vanilla tannins and roasted marshmallow follow before a sweet jam like berry flavor finishes with notes of red current, boysenberry, and black cherry. Mild smokey malt on the exhale. Inceribly complex beer. Mouthfeel is thick velvety and smooth. (548 characters)

Photo of RelentlessLefty
5/5  rDev +10.1%

I had this a while ago, just wanting to log what I have had from the 250 list. Of all the beers I have had thus far, this might be my favorite. Tons of bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate in this. Mouthfeel was thick and luscious. Everything about this beer was top of the chart. (275 characters)

Photo of Berg77
5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split a 2014 vintage with a buddy last weekend. Probably the thickest beer I've ever had, like close to milkshake. Great bourbon flavor but just the right amount, not overpowering the rich chocolate truffle-like flavor. Just an excellent BA stout, and one of the best beers I've had yet. (290 characters)

Photo of jbwimer
4.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Huge thanks to Chin for sending this beer to me. Hell. Yes. Stupid fudgey. Woody, sticky, and amazing barrel influence. Bourbon shows up, for sure. To me, though, it's the wood character that makes this beer remarkable. Marshmallow, vanilla, yum. A touch of roast to provide some balance. Smell is a little more complex than the flavor, which is my only "knock" on this beer. Mouthfeel is viscous and rich as I've ever had. A beautiful beer in every regard. (457 characters)

Photo of mlhyatt
4.79/5  rDev +5.5%

Poured from bomber into tulip glass. Let it warm up for a good 45 minutes before drinking.

A- black with an dark brown head, looks like chocolate cake with a mousse topping. Delicious. Head dissipates rather quickly into nothing which is pretty normal for a beer with this high ABV.

S- Tons of alcohol, sweet molasses, vanilla and oak. Then coffee seeps in and smooths out the scent. It was kind of a roller coaster ride with the smell. After the coffee, dark fruit and chocolate come in on the end.

T - Follows the nose almost exactly. Tons of bourbon but the coffee is a lot smoother in the taste than the smell. It coats the mouth like ice coffee does but it tastes like hot coffee (if that makes sense). Dark chocolate comes through on the end and finished real nice.

M- a little hot, but overall extremely smooth. Very thick as well.

O- A fantastic beer, I was expecting a little more coffee, but the smoothness of the coffee rivals BCBCS. I think with a year on this beer the alcohol will tone down and it will get even better. (1,043 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
4.85/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black motor oil body. Almost no head, but who cares. Woo that smells good. Chestnut aroma with an awesome whiskey smell. Good amount of alcohol aroma. Really sweet. Almost a prune raisin taste. Lots of woody barrel tastes. Similar to a fine brandy. Too much going on to explain. Just an absolutely excellent beer. (319 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.87/5  rDev +7.3%

2014 gold wax bottle from trade. Humungo thanks for this one. Pours thick viscous pitch black looking thicker than any beer I have poured, including dark lord and Hunahpu. Not really anything but a ring of dark brown head. Beautiful aroma of vanilla, toasted coconut, caramel, chocolate, oak, bourbon, dark fruit, hint of roast but mostly sweet. Flavor is bourbon up front with toasted coconut and vanilla galore, a hint of chocolate, oak, more bourbon. Finishes with a blast of vanilla bourbon and wood that is just amazing. Thick bodied with low carbonation but not as sickly syrup thick as expected from the look of this thing. TG is just stupid good when it comes to making beer. Jeez. (689 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.45/5  rDev -2%

Appearance: pours a dark mahogany, not quite black but not far off. a very small amount of tan foam forms but has very little retention. completely opaque due to the darkness but lets a nice rich mahogany brightness through the edges. sticks to the glass and leaves a brown layer behind. 4.5/5

Smell: lots of whiskey, maple syrup, some chocolate and some alcohol. low amounts of espresso and roasted malts. 4/5

Taste: opens with a good kick of whiskey, and whiskey soaked dark fruits. strong dark chocolate character. large amounts of sweetness coming in waves of maple syrup and toffee. back end has some oak and wooden character. little to no alcohol. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: extremely thick and chewy. sticks to the glass and the sides of your mouth. strong alcohol warmth but overall drinks very smoothly. 4.5/5

Overall: no doubt this is an excellent beer. almost exactly what I look for in a big chewy barrel aged beer. certainly a treat that I would not pass up on at any chance. (984 characters)

Photo of drmcleod10
4.29/5  rDev -5.5%

Popped and domed by myself on a Sunday night.

A - Dark and thick with very little to no carbonation. Coats the glass and stains it quite a bit. No lacing no carbonation dark as night.(4.5)

S - Smell was lots of chocolate and that classic pappy smell that you get in Remy, Rare, others. It's not as much of a marshmallowy smell as I thought it would be. VB Assassin has a definite edge in this category. Lots of chocolate with some roast and hints of vanilla and bourbon. (4.5)

T - Taste follows the nose, except for the fact of how overwhelmingly sweet this is. This is a bottle that is tough to down yourself(even though its a bomber to share). It's almost cloyingly sweet with loads of chocolate sugary, bourbon, vanilla booze. It wasn't as boozy as I have heard which leads me to believe theres quite a bit of variation. Overall, cloyingly sweet and leaves an unpleasant feeling in the mouth. It's tasty don't get me wrong, but doesn't stack up to TG's other stouts. MD, KBBS, VB Assassin all edge this out by a mile. (3.75)

M - Thick creamy, lingers forever and coats the mouth. After I got through the first half of the bottle it became easier to get through the rest. Started tasting slightly better as it got to 65ish degrees. (4.0)

O - Overall, this was a letdown. It's good, but not world class. It was too sweet. I had a much easier time downing 20+ ounces of MD then this and you would think the Pappy barrels would have mellowed out some of the sweetness. I have another bottle and will either see how it ages and revisit in a year or trade for BA Abraxas or DB Huna which are far superior in my eyes.

Still a solid effort and a solid beer.

A friend of mine said his tasted and resembled nail polish remover which further leads me to the conclusion that there is great variation between the barrels or tops and bottoms of these barrels.

Re-review from Abraxas day.


This bottle wasn't quite as sweet but definitely still didn't stand up to the ratings and the recent ratings of gold wax. This almost reminded me of a barleywine this time, not as sweet, still thick and creamy. Just not on par with their other stouts. Not even in the same stratosphere, I think hype is getting people here. I really don't see the 5's and 4.9's and where the are coming from and I am a very generous rater.


Need to nab a 2013 to compare. This bottle was more of a 4.35 (2,378 characters)

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Assassin Imperial Stout from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.