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Imperial Stout - Boston Beer Works - Canal Street

Not Rated.
Imperial Stout
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BA SCORE
86
very good

34 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Works - Canal Street visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-21-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 18
Reviews by IBUnit63:
Photo of IBUnit63
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ BBW (Garden) - served in tulip glass.

Not a whole lot of head here - a little lacing. Dark but a little translucent for the style.

Subdued toasty malt is present; can detect some bitter hoppiness in background.

Decent balance of malt sweetness, bittering, grassy hops and caramel-alcohol feel.

At first, a little clammy (probably served too cold for style) but opens up and becomes very warming - a little chewy even.

Easy to enjoy for this setting - maybe not a powerhouse but quite drinkable for an IS.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damn good stuff with a very deceiving alcohol, the maltiness is huge with waves of roasted barley and slight black currant fruitiness. Hops are layered with in the malt flavours and makes a strong showing. Smooth mouth feel that is nearly silk like, head retention is pretty much perfect and leaves a ring of lace with every sip.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was in the area while visiting Nick (aka Beer Panther) at Bauer Wine & Spirits, so decided to trek over to Boston Beer Works for dinner and a few pints.
I started w/ the Imperial Stout...sort of the appetizer.
Arrived a deep dark brown, almost black w/ a full finger and a half of the fluffiest, mocha colored head I have ever seen...delightful.
Aroma was not screaming anything particular...I could detect vanilla and chocolate.
The flavor was much more complex...the coffee I was anticipating came forward, along w/ dark chocolate and a hint of rum-like alcohol.
Texture is thick, yet refreshing w/ a slightly bitter aftertaste.
Drinkability is decent...could have had a couple of these, but there were others I wanted to try.
Hope this one sticks around for a bit...I'll be back soon.

Photo of bszern
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had both the cask and regular tap...cask was tastier.

Served in a tulip.

A: Black, with a little bit of a head. No carbonation bubbles.

S: Complete alcohol, a little bit of roasted malt.

T: Alcohol is certainly there, but there is a good solid malt body behind it. This was a ridiculously smooth beer for being an imperial stout.

M: Little/no carbonation. Thick, but not too thick to be undrinkable.

O: A great overall beer, and more balanced then it's on-tap brother. The cask brought some great flavors to bear here.

Photo of goz
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black, with a nice creamy tan head, strong lacing. Aroma is strong on the roasted malts, with hints of sweetness and alcohol hiding in the back. Flavor starts off with bitter roasted malts, middle shows some sweetness and, and finishes with some vanilla and slight nuttyness, and a bit of alcohol. Served way too cold initially, gets much more flavorful as it warms up.

Photo of carln26
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I often stop in a Beer Works when catching a train at North Station. There’s good and bad news to that. Many of the beers there are average or below quality, but occasionally you are surprised (the cask conditioned IPA for example). What would await me today?
Deep black color with a thin tan head. Nice clean sheet of lace down the side of the glass. Nose is all roast malt with a little hint of alcohol. The taste has the roast malt that becomes chocolaty as you drink. No hops show up in the flavor, just a little alcohol. Not quite the richness I expected in the mouth feel, but very drinkable anyway.

Photo of smcolw
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Small head, but it leaves plenty of streaky ring lace. Near black color where no light shines through.

Mild aroma for the style. No problems with it, but not much to it. In fact I can't get any of the traditional smells. It's a bit like smelling water.

I'm pleased to say that the flavor is bountiful--lots of chocolate and mocha with cream. I even detect some dark cherry in the swallow. Modest, but notable alcohol, to the flavor. The aftertaste is a combination of all of the above. Relatively short aftertaste. Leans to the thin side body-wise. Good carbonation.

Photo of Ehouse
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The creamy, smooth texture and body reminded me a lot of Guiness. But unlike Guiness, this beer has flavor. Chocolate, malt, and a slight hop bitterness linger below the overall coffee creaminess, while the alcohol contributes a nice warming mouth feel.

Photo of CaptYellow
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark. Not the reddish brown at the edges like some stouts but a dark brown. Minute head with just a semblance of lacing.

S: Alcohol. That's the only distinct smell that came across to me. Of course it smells like an imperial stout under that.

T: Balanced. Sweet- enought to stick to my lips. Hops in there just enough to balance it out. Tastes like an imperial stout without a great deal of complexity. The brewery told me it runs between 11.5 and 12% but the alcohol doesn't overpower it. It is aged for four (or perhaps it was three) months in a cask so that might account for its balance.

M: Medium heavy. The slightest of carbonation.

D: Pretty good. Not to be downed at once. Although the brewery I talked to mentioned some people ask for the strongest beer, down two of these and drive off. For the heft of the beer it's quite drinkable. It's one for sipping, but not reluctantly.

Overall: I liked it. It's not the best I've had, but it was good. I think it was five something for the 14 oz in a tulip glass.

Photo of Lothar666
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Head was off-white, thick and creamy. Body was opaque and black and let not a speck of light shine through.

S- Strong chocolate and coffee notes in the nose, along with some dark roasted malts. Not the best I've had, but not bad.

T- Dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and a bit of licorice notes balanced by a sharp hop bite in the finish.

M- This one is not as oily or as thick in the mouth texture as I would have liked for an RIS, but it is a solid beer nonetheless and one that I would definitely reccomend.

D- Very smooth and creamy for an imperial, and it hides its high ABV well. Definitley one to grab again when available.

Photo of mschofield
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a two finger dark tan creamy head, leaves very wide rings of lacing, the head never fully dissipated.
A lot of coffee in the aroma, with notes of chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, and a bit of nut.
Good strong coffee and dark chocolate taste, the alcohol makes itself known in the taste. Dark almost burnt caramel, and currant.
Full and creamy, the body knocks down what would be a high bitterness in a weaker beer.

Photo of NEhophead
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub on 2/7/09.
Served in a tulip.

Opaque onyx in color beneath an inch-high, light brown creamy head. Durable ringed lacing with good strength. Rich, roasted malt aromas: dark chocolate, toffee, and caramel. Faint hints of smoke. Although the aromas foreshadow rich and creamy flavors, the taste is far sweeter and lighter than I would like in a Double Stout. Vanilla and milk over milk chocolate. The hop character is light and not quite a hefty dose of flora that I expected. A light, full bodied; a thin creamy texture. The flavors are a bit of a let down considering the appearance and aroma.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Received a dark brown brew with a foamy tan head. Nice head retention. Head has big bubbles which leaves nice rings of lace.

Coffee here, and in a big way. Some dark fruit. Not super complex in the nose, but what is there really works. Some booze in the background.

Big charred malt and french roast coffee. A hint of alcohol and dark fruit. Bitterness is throughout, but feels like malt not just pure bitter or hoppy bitter. Nice coffee finish. I liked this one.

Fuller bodied. A little zip in the carbonation.

Nice one to find on tap. Nice complexity and flavor throughout.

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This stout was dark black with a small amount of tan foam. There was a faint smell of malt. The taste was strong: rather sweet and malty, with hints of chocolate and licorice. The mouthfeel was dry (despite the sweetness) but the carbonation was almost non-existent (fairly flat). The drinkability was good, though a bit sweeter than I prefer in a stout.

Photo of Truh
2.15/5  rDev -44%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Played the part of the official tester with this one on 12/18/2004. 12-oz. cask pour in a short one at the Fenway location.

Expected and pleasant pillow of frothy 2/7 inch head that stays. Deep, dark black hue with no light; complete black hole. Holy hell, the bouquet possesses an almost curdled milk quality that penetrates the nostrils immediately, curling the hairs within. Granted, there is a slight roast character as well, but the gloppy milk quality overrides to the point where I am almost hesitant to drink the offering. Still, oak, baker’s chocolate, overripe plum, clam juice, and fried raspberry jam are all present to taste and luckily abate quite expediently. I cannot state how incredibly degenerate this was; were this served to a king, the brewer and his entire family line would be drawn and quartered.

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had on cask at the Fenway location

Pour a super dark jet black color with a thick chocolate head that just doesn't want to dissipate (it literally chilled with me the entire time I enjoyed the brew) and left a nice lace... Aromas showed off just minor hints of roastiness with a robust chocolate and cocoa nose. Initially this brew started off quite sweet with tones of cocoa and chocolate making themselves present from the get go. Following there were lights hints of roastiness, some sweet molasses like flavors, and some juicy dark fruits (mostly plums and almost a slight grape tone).. The finish to this brew was as chocolatey as the beginning but ended with a decent hop bitterness to keep this brew well rounded. Though I found the body of this beer to be quite thin, it may have just been the effects of the cask, but overall this brew was quite quaffable and the alcohol wasn't noticeable until after I finished a pint. Overall a nice offering to try on cask, just I wish this brew had a bit more body..

Photo of rousee
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Black with a tan head of 1-2 mm. Forms nice lace and leaves concentric rings of foam on sides of glass. Nose is burnt malt or extra dark roasted malt with elements of chocolate and wine-like notes too.

Sweet and malty upfront taste with sugary candy-like character , dark chocolate and vinous aspects are still quite present. As it finishes there is more dark roasted malt and coffee with some hot alcohol and cinnamon spiciness- caramel and barleysugar candy still noticeable. A smooth and bubbly mouthfeel that is tingly too. Drinkability is average.

These seem to vary a good deal from one keg to the next. This review is from notes taken in Jan 05 and when it was re-sampled early Mar 05, it seemed to be a lower quality batch. The alcohol was too noticeable the more recent try. In January, I noticed some pleasant nuttiness like chessnuts on the finish and this seemed completely absent when I had it more recently.

Photo of morebeergood
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap as part of their "February Is Stout Month". Served in a 14 oz tulip glass. Dark black color. Moderate, thick, off-white head. Surge of carbonation right at the top of the head. Smells like a bit of chocolate and coffee. Rich, satisfying taste. Roasted barley, dark chocolate, and a hint of licorice dominate. Thick enough mouthfeel to call it an imperial stout, but smooth enough to be an easy sipper. Alcohol was not hidden too well, so one has to watch how many you order. This is one of my favorite choices from BBW and I am glad they included it in Stout Month.

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Imperial Stout from Boston Beer Works - Canal Street
86 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.