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Assassin Imperial Stout - Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Assassin Imperial StoutAssassin Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

81 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 81
Hads: 959
Avg: 4.53
pDev: 32.45%
Wants: 1,788
Gots: 153 | FT: 9
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: 81 | Hads: 959
Photo of striker2160
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Yellow wax

This beer pours as thick as motor oil and is as black as midnight. Aromas of bourbon and chocolate dominate and this beer has a nice thick mouthfeel. A wonderful bourbon flavor and a nice alcohol burn finish. I must say that this beer is one of the best I have ever had.

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Photo of timc100
5/5  rDev +10.4%

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.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of Berg77
5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of RelentlessLefty
5/5  rDev +10.4%

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.

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Photo of Sintech
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle share at Courtyard & Cellar for Toppling Goliath Mornin' Delight release!!!

22oz Bottle

2014 version. Jet black. Nose is good, coffee and chocolate. Super smooth with complex notes of bourbon, chocolate and coffee. Feel is thick and chewy...delicious!! Highly recommended.


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Photo of madtowndmb1
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I must start by saying I haven't reviewed a beer in probably 3 years because it just wasn't worth it for a while, but this beer blew me away. It was flawless in what I love in stouts. Khaki head when poured, smells of sweet molasses, coffee, chocolate and dark roasted malts. Taste was right there with the smell! Thick and lingering. This beer is one of the few I put up with Berserker but this may be better. I passed on it when it hit the shelves here and now I regret it.

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Photo of HOPSareKey
5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
4.99/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of HawkeyePA
4.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of durlta
4.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 Gold Wax. Had this for the fifth time last night in a sours and stouts tasting. Love it! Super dark, viscous, and absolutely delicious. Fantastic bourbon and maple notes that leave your lips sticky and you craving more. The tasting also featured Peche Mortel, Vanilla Shake, BBA Speedway, KBS, and SR-71. The SR-71 was my favorite, but I'm not sure I could've picked it over this had it been blind.

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Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.95/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2014 Gold Wax. Ive been sitting on this since obtaining it last summer and finally popped it and it was everything I was hoping itd be. Smooth, chocolaty, bourbon deliciousness. Hope to get another bottle.

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Photo of Ri0
4.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured about 6oz into a chalice.

A - Very thick dark brown almost black in color. Thin dark brown head, no retention or lacing.

S - Aromas of rich caramel, mellow bourbon, milk chocolate, marshmallow, and dark fruits. It smells perfect and I can't wait to take a sip.

T - So much sweet rich caramel, molasses, chocolate, mellow bourbon, marshmallow and dark fruit notes. It is so good and as good, if not better compared to BCBS. I am blown away.

M - The mouthfeel is rich, thick, and silky smooth. Just enough carbonation for the style.

O - I loved this beer and feel very grateful to try it. This is one to seek out!

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Photo of Rish907
4.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has to be be one of the best stouts ever!! Thick mouthfeel, rich whiskey flavor and extremely thick..

Raisins, dates, dark fruits perfectly blend with the whiskey barrel. Extremely smooth & melded together perfectly.

Absolutely superb!! Couldn't have been made better!!

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Photo of linnymtu
4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of Bobloblawlawblog11
4.89/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Gold Wax Assassin. Reviewed from notes.

Pours absolutely jet black, very small khaki colored head. Completly coats the glass, sticks to everything it touches. This beer smells amazing. Taste is mainly chocolate, some caramel, toffee, and fudge. Tastes almost like a brownie in beer form. Really lives up to the hype.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.87/5  rDev +7.5%

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.

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Photo of 4lo
4.86/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.86/5  rDev +7.3%
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!

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was put out of my misery while drinking from a tulip glass. This was from the first barrel batch sealed with red wax, bottled January 2012.

Appearance- This imperial stout pours with no sound, so incredibly heavy and sticky. A slight width of dense, brown sugar foam dissipates to a ring and leaves behind no lace. The beer itself is darker than black.

Smell- Sweet and a little punch of heat from the whiskey barrel. I mean, brown sugar, figs, a little chocolate; they make the nose incredibly enticing.

What is great is how the booze envelops all of these qualities to remind you this is still an imperial stout ready to finish you off. It gives the nose a woody and leathery note.

Taste- What a monster of a stout: it begins sweet once again and then takes you on a roasty and boozy ride. Assassin brings on the dates and brown sugar. Right after, there is a bit of roasted coffee and smokey whiskey.

The finish has that distinct leather and smokey booze, with a touch of coffee roast, figs, and dark chocolate. The next sip cannot come fast enough.

Mouth feel- Toppling Goliath knows how to make a big stout punishing to the palate, and the feel is no exception. The thick and chewy feel is outstanding. It is almost a syrup, leaving the lips feeling sticky.

The sticky quality makes the smokey and sweet finish lasts until you take yet another sip of this slightly dry stout.

Overall- I am trying really hard to find much fault with this beer: I suppose the biggest "complaint" you can have is that coffee is almost non-existent, and had it not been mentioned as being brewed with coffee on the bottle I might not have noticed.

Othewise, the whiskey is just big enough to to be noticed, but not so big it the only thing on the palate. The flavors range from sweet, to smokey, to roasty. And the mouth feel is fantastic. I have no problem saying this is one of the best imperial stouts I have had.

Edit: I had the gold wax version in a glass mug. It was bottled in February 2012.

Appearance- Main difference is almost no foam produced, still incredibly black. Same score.

Smell- Not nearly as much heat or woodiness here, still present but very buried under the sweet notes. Same score.

Taste- The whiskey and woodiness is much more pronounced in the finish with some vanilla. The dark fruits are a lot more subdued in this one. Brown sugar is still big and the roast is almost non-existent. 4.5

Mouth feel- I am still super impressed by this feel. No change.

Overall- I would bump the overall score down to a 4.5 for the gold wax just because it tastes a little more boozy and less sweet and complex than in the red wax offering. Still a great imperial stout that I look forward to putting some age on. 4.5

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Photo of kkleu357
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of jdhowe
4.84/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.84/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Yellow wax bottle poured into snifter. Pours a pitch black with heavy viscosity, minimal dark brown head. The aroma is ridiculously rich. Huge dark chocolate, bold roasted coffee, heavy oak and whiskey notes, highlight of vanilla throughout. Quite a bit more decadent than other BA coffee stouts, reminds me of bcbcs a bit. Taste starts with coffee and dark chocolate followed by heavy vanilla and richness throughout. A bit of heat towards the end. Mouthfeel is heavy, velvety, and smooth with low carbonation. Overall, fantastic beer. This is my first TG stout and I now know what the fuss is all about.

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Photo of jaken0ss
4.83/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Good, will probably age beautifully, but did not impress compared to the 2013 which was phenomenal

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Assassin Imperial Stout from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.