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Assassin Imperial Stout - Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Assassin Imperial StoutAssassin Imperial Stout

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444 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 444
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 1,035
Gots: 94 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company visit their website
Iowa, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
An Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, aged in rye whiskey barrels.

(Beer added by: Pintofbrown on 02-20-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 444 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Jrhorner77:
Photo of Jrhorner77


4.73/5  rDev +2.6%

Let me begin by saying the review below is for the red dipped bottle. I've had both red and gold and this is for the red, which in my view is an amazing beer.

A. Opaque, Dark, looks like an Imperial Stout should look

S. Smells sweet, alcohol notes, a little chocolate and warms the nostrils.

T. Bourbon definitely come through. It's sweet but alcohol really balances this out. I get chocolate and roasty malt tones. Sipping this slow and taking your time with the beer in your mouth really brings out the complexity of the beer brought on by the templeton rye barrels with a bit of that warm boozy flavor at the end.

M. Medium to heavy mouthfeel, just as I think it should be.

O. I am a fanatic about stouts. I try every stout that I think warrants a tasting and I hold this beer in high regard. It's on par with some of the better stouts I've had out there. I'll look forward to more stout offerings from TG...a great little Iowa brewery.

07-06-2012 19:55:43 | More by Jrhorner77
More User Reviews:
Photo of Stevedore


4.55/5  rDev -1.3%

22oz bomber with yellow wax from the 2013 release, generously shared by lunarbrew with our tasting group today, 6.18.2013. We drank this after the Hunahpu's which we opened up first.

Aroma: Sweet straight up whiskey combined with tons and tons of sweet milk chocolate, a good bit of bitter dark chocolate and coffee accompanied by a little bit of marshmallow sweetness. It smells very sweet and boozy. (4.5)

Colour: Nothing special for a big barrel-aged stout- very very dark brown, almost opaque and black, illuminating dark cola brown. The head comes out as a sexy 1cm mocha head that sticks around for a good while until it slowly dissipates into nothingness, leaving a placid abyss. When it was poured into my glass, it looked super thick coming out of the bottle, thicker than anything I've seen- including Ten Fidy. (4.5)

Flavour: Wow! This beer definitely packs tons and tons of sweet whiskey and chocolate. I swear I'm having chocolate fondue, if you could somehow put your beer on a fondue fork and dip it in chocolate. It's incredible how the subtle vanilla sweetness, ostensibly from the barrel, combines with the chocolate sweetness. It's like marshmallows dipped in chocolate fondue. Normally, this would be bad news for any beer, but no, it was also balanced out with a good bit of espresso bitterness. There is a little bit of dark fruits, but not a whole lot, and there is a small woody oak presence. But this beer is ruled by the chocolate and vanilla oak. A perfect dessert beer. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: This is definitely full bodied, viscous and chewy. Incredible, one of the thickest beers I've ever had. Well-carbonated and I cannot detect much booze at all in this beer. When it goes down, it goes down silky smooth without any heat. It was like liquid brownies.. doesn't get a whole lot better than this. (5)

Overall: This is probably a top 5 barrel-aged imperial stout (without additions like coffee or cherry or whatever) for me. It is up there with BCBS- in fact, the best way I would put it is that this beer is what Goose Island would make if they made a Bourbon County Brand Chocolate Double Cream Stout. So thick, viscous and explosively sweet with complex flavours that complement each other really well. It's worth trying at least once, don't kill yourself getting this beer- its just beer- but be happy if you get the chance to try it! (4.5)

[2013 Final Score: 4.55]

Re-review: of the 2014 gold wax vintage, poured into a Toppling Goliath gold snifter 8/22/2014. This simply isn't as good as last year's. As a whole, the bourbon character is far too strong here as there is very little of the chocolatey fudge goodness that characterized last year's yellow wax version. The nose has a paint thinner, nail polish scent going which was very surprising as last year's had essentially chocolate marshmallows on the nose, which is not to be found here. The mouthfeel is still there in spades, but I would highly recommend aging this for a while. The whiskey almost entirely covers up the normally excellent base stout and I honestly feel that the PVW+TG hype is carrying this beer further than it should be conceivably going based on how it is tasting right now. Still, don't get me wrong- this is a thick imperial stout with a strong whiskey character (think Fifteen with a thick mouthfeel and an acetone-like nose) and it may very well improve significantly with a year on it.

[2014 Final Score: 3.825]

Score breakdown:
Appearance: 4.5 (5%)
Smell: 2.5 (20%)
Flavour: 4 (45%)
Mouthfeel: 5 (10%)
Overall: 4 (20%)

08-23-2014 14:57:54 | More by Stevedore
Photo of ehammond1

4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

Bottle (2013)

Thanks for opening this with me, VaTechHopHead!

Nearly black, though very heavy and substantial looking in the glass. Shiny and oily, with a small brown head that leaves dots of stick.

Monstrous, rich, and lovely aroma of chocolate, bourbon character (without the heat or sting), a bit of vanilla, some raisin, and cake batter. Excellent, and, unsurprisingly, better and better as it warmed.

The flavor is similar to the aroma. Massive amounts of dark chocolate character, bourbon (wood, vanilla, dark fruit) without the accompanying alcohol harshness. This is smooth as silk and the flavors blend together marvelously. This is lacking a big roasted malt note, but it sweet, complex, and incredibly flavorful.

Full in body. Thick. Chewy. Substantial. Monstrous stuff.

Simply fantastic. I was definitely blown away by this beauty.

05-12-2013 15:46:02 | More by ehammond1
Photo of drmcleod10


4.29/5  rDev -6.9%

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.

08-26-2014 01:29:51 | More by drmcleod10
Photo of HawkeyePA


4.98/5  rDev +8%

2013 Vintage-Yellow Wax

A: Pours a midnight black and settled with a small mocha head. Nice lacing that covered the outside of the snifter

S: Dark Fruits: Figs and raisins. Coffee and roastiness

T: Fig, plum, raisin, coffee and chocolate. Barrel really brings out vanilla sweetness.

M: Chewy chocolate. Exactly how a BA Stout should feel. One of the best representations of the style

O: Almost exactly what I was expecting from this beer. Thick, dark, roasty and chocolatey. Very gracious of BeersAndBears to share.

Re-Review 2014 Vintage-Gold Wax

A: The most midnight of blacks. Using the term "motor oil" as a descriptor when it pours has never been more accurate. Absolutely coats the glass. Small, dark mocha/brown head which settles quickly to frothy wisps

S: BIG coffee and chocolate. Bourbon/ethanol as it warms.

T: Really sweet. Lots of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit, emphasis on chocolate.

M: Viscous. Thick. Ridiculously coats the mouth and lingers

O: Whether it is the pappy barrels (maybe) or just the time, thought, and care put into this beer (likely) it is truly one of the best BA stouts I have had.

08-05-2014 00:24:11 | More by HawkeyePA
Photo of tectactoe


4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

01-13-2014 13:59:16 | More by tectactoe
Photo of Schlais


4.75/5  rDev +3%

03-07-2014 05:51:43 | More by Schlais
Photo of SkiBum22

New York

4.75/5  rDev +3%

09-02-2013 11:39:32 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of DaftPatrick


5/5  rDev +8.5%

02-28-2014 20:30:23 | More by DaftPatrick
Photo of 77apm


5/5  rDev +8.5%

08-09-2014 13:52:02 | More by 77apm
Photo of jaminjohnson

Yukon (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +3%

08-01-2013 07:23:54 | More by jaminjohnson
Photo of bpfrush


4.75/5  rDev +3%

05-01-2013 01:04:35 | More by bpfrush
Photo of warmbier804


5/5  rDev +8.5%

05-29-2014 00:41:26 | More by warmbier804
Photo of williamjbauer

West Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +3%

09-18-2013 15:37:58 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of stereosforgeeks


4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

08-04-2013 03:08:37 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of tugg407


4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

05-16-2013 18:37:38 | More by tugg407
Photo of striker2160


5/5  rDev +8.5%

05-05-2013 15:20:20 | More by striker2160
Photo of acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -13.2%

07-31-2013 22:57:21 | More by acurtis
Photo of roostor07


4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

04-15-2013 16:48:52 | More by roostor07
Photo of timc100


5/5  rDev +8.5%

2014, with some weller 12yr on the side

Pours our thick, dark, and oily black. Closely reminiscent of a CCB stout with BC Prop oiliness. Very impressive.

Brilliant aroma of sweet pappy bourbon (graham cracker, pipe smoke, tobacco, vanilla, oak) molasses, chocolate, caramel and slight umami. Really pleasant booziness and completely in balance. Tastes in great balance as well with a nice booziness.

Outrageously thick - very viscous, full, almost sticky. Carries the vibrant flavors well - great boozy sweet and bitter chocolate finish.

This is an astonishing beer.

08-25-2014 03:15:11 | More by timc100
Photo of MrVonzipper


4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

06-27-2013 03:55:40 | More by MrVonzipper
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5/5  rDev +8.5%

05-28-2013 01:43:08 | More by UWBadgerFan4Life
Photo of Schooner12


4/5  rDev -13.2%

12-24-2013 14:44:15 | More by Schooner12
Photo of tywhite


4.64/5  rDev +0.7%

08-18-2014 22:47:31 | More by tywhite
Photo of MADPolo


5/5  rDev +8.5%

08-21-2013 15:14:17 | More by MADPolo
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Assassin Imperial Stout from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 444 ratings.