Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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: 958
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 81 | Hads: 958
Photo of Austin32
4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gold waxed bottle review - Wow, pretty incredible beer. Thick, jet black, smells amazing, taste if very much chocolate brownie soaked in bourbon. Although it is an incredibly good beer I don't think it quite lives up to the hype and myth surrounding it....again....super good beer, if you can, definitely buy or trade for it....but don't sell/trade the farm.

 358 characters

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.

 318 characters

Photo of aleigator
4.01/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a thicker night black color, with no head at all.

Smells of scorched malts, smoothed by milk chocolate, dried raisins and rock sugar. Has a rich, wooden Bourbon quality, which blends perfectly into the malts, evoking a rich chocolate profile, with molasses and matured oak on top. Scorched qualities are quite apparent, together with the slightly spicy barrel foundation.

Has a very creamy mouthfeel, due to its non existing carbonation in combination with a big amount of whipped cream.

Tastes of molasses from the very beginning, gently wrapped up by earth and profound malts, resulting in a balanced toffee impression. Bourbon gets then introduced by pleasant, hot oak, together with even more smoothing chocolate, this time heading into a bitter chocolate direction, reminding of alcoholic truffels. The bitterness from the chocolate turns more pungent during the finish, still soft on the palate due to the beers rich cream profile. Spicy bourbon completes the rich finish, accompanied by a dry touch, leaving the palate with a long lasting warmth, working its way slowly down the stomach.

The more the beer opens up, the more I like it, especially its finish is stellar, based on its smooth cream foundation, handling Bourbon, licorice and peaty, burned malts. Its slick licorice quality grows a bit too pungent though, amped up by the malts, resulting in a sweet sticky impression, which takes up a bit too much place on the palate.

 1,450 characters

Photo of jolly_lynch
4.21/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very enjoyable overall, but was not blown away. The smell was all barrel and rich malt, and the body was thick, oily, and coating. A lot to like here, but relatively lacking in the taste.

 187 characters

Photo of MIbeerGeek84
4.27/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was disappointing considering the hype around the beer. I had the gold wax and it was very thin. Very little barrel notes were there. Even though this is a very solid stout its not worth the price of admission unless your there at release. B+ overall

 255 characters

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
3/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Echo GRG1313 below. This is a good beer, but so, so overhyped. To be honest, it is an average really good imperial stout. For those that are looking to "sell the farm" to get one of these, I would not go out of my way at all to acquire this.
Taste very good, but a Bit thin.
Nice vanilla and chocolate notes, some heat, minor bite, nothing extraordinary....actually very ordinary.
Overall, solid stout...nothing outstanding.

 428 characters

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.


 289 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.74/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First, this is a very good beer. However, this has to be one of the most over hyped and improperly rated beers on this site in my opinion.

Pours dark black oil with no head. And, most of the reviews point that fact out. Yet, they still give a score of 4.5 and such! I don't get it it! Any other beer that has no head would not get and "outstanding plus" visual score.

Moreover, the nose is good but not wonderful. Several reviews point out weaknesses and shortcomings in the nose which is, indeed, chocolate, vanilla, roasted grains and sweet coffee. It's a nice nose but perhaps not as assertive as others on the same playing field.

Mouth feel is low carb. Clearly not outstanding. Yet, the beer is given 4s, 4.5s and more, despite being somewhat of a flat sweet stout.

Taste is boozy, chocolaty, vanilla, coffee and thick sweet malt. Good - very good, and with a nice sweet bitter coffee finish.

This is a very good good beer. This is a very good stout. It is not particularly well made and certainly not an exemplary example of the style.

Thick, sweet and hard to get do not equal an outstanding beer. Good yes; outstanding or more? No.

 1,167 characters

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.

 208 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
4.68/5  rDev +3.3%
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 +4.4%
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 +6.8%
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.

 325 characters

Photo of Get_Lowell
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%
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 -1.5%
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 +7.3%
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.

 303 characters

Photo of gatornation
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
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 +10.4%
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.

 287 characters

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.

 183 characters

Photo of TampaRainman
4.63/5  rDev +2.2%
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 +6.6%
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

 310 characters

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!

 760 characters

Photo of bismarksays
4.42/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle sampled out with friends

Appearance: Syrupy, thin tawny head, opaque. Beer looks like most imperial barrel aged stouts. As thick as BCBS. So, expect a chewy animal.

Smell: Chocolate, almost fudge like, some bourbon (and some heat from the booze), a touch of caramel, and maybe a little bit of coconut. Smells like a chocolate bar sitting next to a glass of whiskey. No, like freshly baked brownies and an glass of whisky. Much more chocolate present than bourbon.
T/M Mouthfeel, I am not going to beat around the bush, is thick and chewy. Leans more silky than sticky though, which is a nice surprise and makes it much more drinkable than one would have thought given the viscosity of it. Taste follows the nose. Chocolate before booze, but booze still present. The chocolate and other barrel qualities (coconut with the faintest hint at vanilla) tone down the booze mostly. Rich. Nice. Warming.
Overall: I was worried that the bourbon would win. I was worried this would be sticky. I worry too much. Enjoy.

 1,026 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.24/5  rDev -6.4%
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 +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.

 243 characters

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.

 402 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Assassin Imperial Stout from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.