Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout - Jester King Brewery
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Ratings: 595 | Reviews: 88 | Display Reviews Only:
1.93/5 rDev -51.5%
This beer was more than I could handle. So much yeast, so much hops, and in a stout, too. Not sure why there was so much grassy, hoppiness in a stout. I know Russian Imperials can have that sometimes, but I can't imagine why anyone would like that. It was out-of-this-world thick with maltiness too. I knew I was probably purchasing the craziest beer I've ever had, but I was still not prepared for this. With four people partaking, we did not finish the bottle. Nobody wanted more than a few ounces of this beast of beer extremes. My throat just felt attacked from all directions. Guess I'll have to build up to this kind of beer more slowly. I'm usually really into strong dark beers like Boulevard's Dark Truth and Real Ale's Anniversary XV, but this was just a whole another level of intensity. One thing I noticed was that there was an oiliness in the mouthfeel that reminded me exactly of farmhouse ciders I used to drink in England. Must be the telltale sign of unfiltered, unpasteurized yeast.
07-01-2012 20:30:58 | More by ElCommodoro
2.43/5 rDev -38.9%
This beer is strong bu the flavors are mushy. There's no clear body to this beer. No purity to it. No clear flavors working together to make what I consider a good stout flavor. I looked hard for this beer, particularly on tap. But I was disappointed when I found it. The main feature here is the strength of the beer.
09-03-2012 23:13:51 | More by ottomark
2.5/5 rDev -37.2%
9.3% ABV confirmed. Batch #14 - June 4th, 2013. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with strange label art and awesome branded brass-coloured pressure cap acquired at Whole Foods HQ and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are somewhat high given its current 89 rating as well as the seemingly unique style.
Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as I pour.
Pours a 2.5 finger wide head of rich gold-tan colour. Good creaminess and thickness. Has a smooth consistency and a somewhat soft complexion. I tilt the glass to try to coax out some lacing, but none sticks. Head retention is good for the ABV - about 7 minutes.
Body colour is a predictable solid black; opaque. No yeast particles are visible.
Overall, it's certainly to style and looks pretty good, but isn't mind-blowingly appealing or inviting. It's not unique or special.
Sm: Vague coffee. Hints of licorice, anise, raisin. Light acridity. Burnt dark sugars. Bitter dark chocolate. Buried roast - nowhere near enough for my tastes. I do find a hint of acidity, but I wouldn't say there's any real funkiness to the aroma - at least not in a brettanomyces yeast sense. The acridity is bothersome. Cocoa dust. Belgian dark malts. It flirts with a Belgian dark ale character in that sense. Marshmallow. Molasses. A kiss of espresso. There's a rather unwelcome grape note, as well as some out-of-place apple. Once you notice that grape, it's hard to push out of your mind, and as the beer warms it becomes more and more artificial, even bordering on medicinal - grape cough syrup comes to mind. Caramel.
No hop character, yeast character, or alcohol is detectable.
Honestly, I'm not a big fan of the aroma. The grape and acridity in particular are off-putting, and I'm not finding the roastiness I love in a good stout nor am I finding the funkiness that is supposed to set this one apart. Moderately strong.
T: I like the cocoa powder and the bitter dark chocolate notes, as well as the marshmallow. But the coffee has all of the acridity of the bottom of an espresso shot and none of the rich roastiness, nuttiness, or cream you'd find in better imperial stouts. Luckily, the grape isn't as present as it is in the aroma, but it still bothers - as do the licorice/anise and molasses notes. More raisin would be nice. It never approaches vinous character, but it does have a vague Belgian dark ale vibe. Lightly burnt sugars and caramel are present, but add little. Dark malts and chocolate malts fill out the body. Boy do I wish there was more roast. There's some green apple here which works surprisingly well, but other than that I'm not finding any evidence of farmhouse yeast. There's really nothing funky about this, but it does have a fairly annoying acidity. I'd attribute the Belgian dark ale dimension to the yeast used here - which I think is just a standard Belgian yeast - but there's nothing funky. Though I find no real noticeable hop profile, it's still a bit too bitter.
The more I drink, the more I notice an artificial fruity character (berries, grape, syrups) on the burp. It grows more medicinal with each sip. With warmth, a near-cloying sweetness begins to eclipse the previously noticeable bitterness.
Frankly, I'm not sure the beer benefits from the use of Belgian yeast. Nor does the execution evoke a "Farmhouse Imperial Stout." The decision to use an atypical yeast ultimately just reduces the cohesion of the flavour profile, yielding a loosely structured non-gestalt build with little to offer the discerning drinker. Decent loose balance. Okay complexity. Lackluster subtlety.
Alcohol presence is decently hidden.
Mf: Very syrupy, to its detriment. Slick and artificial. Smooth and wet. Sticky. Nice thickness and body. Overcarbonated. Unrefreshing. Severely flawed; the syrupy texture and sticky consistency make this almost disgusting. Doesn't complement the flavour profile at all. I'd like to see a dryer and more coarse texture to coax out more of the powdery cocoa notes.
Dr: A forgettable brew with an interesting concept that the execution fails to rise to. I remember liking the old Black Metal better. I'm not looking forward to finishing this bottle, and wish I had others to help me. It's easy enough to drink a small quantity, but drinkability plummets after a few ounces. A big disappointment from Jester King. I'm quickly learning that for the most part only their sours are worthwhile. I wouldn't recommend this to friends, nor would I buy it again. Overpriced. With the myriad of better beers in the imperial stout style available at a better price point out there, I can't understand why this beer is profitable. One of the most medicinal imperial stouts I think I've had this year.
11-02-2013 03:18:12 | More by kojevergas
Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout from Jester King Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 595 ratings.