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Joshua Norton Imperial Stout - The Tap Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Joshua Norton Imperial StoutJoshua Norton Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

113 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 113
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 6
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Tap Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
You love stouts. Or you love colonial swords and this color scheme. We add just a touch of smoked malt for another layer in an already intensely deep and roasty brew. As far as the name goes: Joshua Norton was the self-proclaimed emperor of the United States in 1859. He was crazy and probably fun to talk to -- like us.

(Beer added by: WanderingFool on 11-02-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 113 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by greenengineer:
Photo of greenengineer
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into my Pretty Things pint glass. Served refrigerator temperature, which is probably too cold for this beer.
A - Inky black, very little head. Lacings persist.
S - bitter, burnt chocolate smell. Hints of black pepper. Very 'stouty'.
T - somewhat bitter burnt chocolate or coffee taste upfront. Malty flavor persists.
M - alcohol and carbonation tingle the tongue. A little sticky
O - 4's across the board. Nice Imperial Stout. Not my favorite beer style, but good execution of the style. Extra point for local.

greenengineer, Mar 11, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of TimBeaulieu
4/5  rDev +1.5%

TimBeaulieu, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a tulip glass the beer was black in color with a thin orange/brown head.
Roasted malt/chocolate/coffee aroma, not very fragrant.
Fortunately it tasted much better than the aroma had promised. Espresso coffee, a little bit of chocolate.
A little thin in the mouth.
A decent imperial stout, but not that impressive.

lordofthewiens, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of Doomcifer
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, light caramel colored, frothy head, tremendous retention

S: Cocoa powder, milk chocolate, slight roast

T: More milk chocolate, slight roast and cocoa in the finish, bitter finish reminiscent of bittersweet chocolate

M: For the style, comes off thin. Wish it had a bit more body.

D: Very much so!

Doomcifer, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of megamass
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

megamass, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of tigg924
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: minimal head, dark brown in color, clear

Smell: cream, caramel, burnt malt--smells more like a Baltic porter than a RIS

Taste: Wow--a lot better than the smell, creamy start followed by dark coffee and chocolate, cream at the end with a touch of smoke

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, sweet with a bitter backbone, moderately light body for the style

Drinkability: A very good and solidly layered RIS that tastes better than it smells. I would get this again for its complexity. Another winner from the brewery.

tigg924, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is a mix of cocoa, soy and alcohol. The flavor is chocolate and burnt malt. I also get a little coffee but it is the chocolate and malt that dominate this beer. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. Not a bad imperial stout, but not as good as some others I have tried.

Mora2000, May 31, 2010
Photo of degerbah
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This Imperial Stout pours motor oil black with no head at all. The smell is an overwhelming amount of coffee taste. Most coffee I drink doesn't smell as much like coffee as this does. The taste isn't quite as coffeeish as the smell hinted at, but it's still incredibly coffee like. Very light on the palate for such a stong beer. I have to say that I really enjoy this and its amazing drinkability.

degerbah, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of BrittQ
4/5  rDev +1.5%

BrittQ, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of jmerloni
3.1/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - purple/black in coloration. Medium beige head that is uncommitted toward any retention or lacing,

S - Tootsie Roll Chocolate, hops, molasses malt.

T - Unpleasant chocolate laced with a girl. There's nothing good here.

M - Thick but over carbonated and boring.

D - Wouldn't get this again. In fact, this it's so poor that I wouldn't get anything from Haverhill Brewing Co. again.

jmerloni, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of Kevincredible
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Kevincredible, Mar 30, 2013
Photo of angusblackheart
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, medium head, good lacing.

This beer smells like winter to me. Tree bark, pine, cold earth. Roasty coffee. Fire smoke.

The roasty smoky qualities make it into the taste, but a molasses sweetness balances out the dark and bitter edges.

Great beer for a great price!!

angusblackheart, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of puboflyons
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 22 ouncer with a bottling date of October 2009. Sampled on February 1, 2010. The pour is dark evergreen brown with an inch of foamy tan head that fizzles down to nothing in short order. The aroma cannot wait to escape from the bottle as it emits a nice strong aura of chocolate malts, smokiness, and light Northwestern hops. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I expected but I would still put it in the medium range with a kind of resiny feel to it. The taste is a nice smoked coffee and chocolate mix with a a pleasing background of hops the warms the insides. It has a 9.3% ABV but you would never know it. The alcohol is well-masked. This was excellent.

puboflyons, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of u2carew
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber. Consumed 12/06/09

A) Opaque. Quick thin head then settles. Lacing is thin and weak.
S) Dark chocolate. Coffee. Mild smoky notes. Hints of alcohol.
T) Roasted grain. Chocolate. Coffee. Notes of alcohol but not overpowering. Some spicy black pepper tones.
M) Thick. Chewy. Full bodied.
D) A delicious imperial stout. I'd drink another!

u2carew, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of MisterSH
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

a harsh pour comes up jet black with a finger thick frothy, caramel colored head.

Aroma is coffee, dark biscuity malt, and strong chocolate notes. Also a bourbon-like subtlety here. Some vanilla.

Flavor is deep and almost exclusively malty. Some roasty notes, prevalent but not overwhelming. A hint of coffee. Easy on the fruitiness, a slight dark sugary note but very minimal. Strong roasty finish. Bitter finish, but not particularly hoppy - bitterness does not seem linked to any citrusy flavor at all. This is a dark, deep beer. Some subtle bits of chocolate and creme in the exceptionally deep finish.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Very heavy and thick but not quite syrupy. Carbonation is pretty low but just enough to let it stay active on your tongue.

This is a malt-bomb no doubt, but doesn't let itself wallow in roasty or smoky flavors. Instead, it takes a more subtle route,
letting no particular flavor hijack the overall experience. Subtly hopped and not nearly as sweet as many of it's counterparts, fruitiness is kept to an absolute minimum. This is smooth and easy to drink, an excellent offering from haverhill.

MisterSH, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of richbrew
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

richbrew, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Justinlikesbeer
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Justinlikesbeer, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of kirkpjr
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jmu500 for this one.

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a pitch black dark with one finger of caramel colored head. Pours a little more thin than I would expect, but a nice stout nonetheless.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, and a very subtle hop that I can't discern. A few dark fruits barely make it through. Also a vinegarish hint in the nose.

T: The roasted, and smoked (from what I read on the bottle and taste too) come through strongly. A nice strong chocolate finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Thick and mildly creamy. Chocolate leaves a pleasant aftertaste and feel. Moderate to low carbonation.

D: Nice dessert for a meal on a Friday night. A little strong for a session beer of course.

kirkpjr, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown almost black color with a thin bubbly tan head, fades and leaves no lacing, not very viscous for a RIS.

Smell has a huge amount of roasted coffee aroma, roasted malt also a big contributor, other thn that its fairly two note but that coffee is surprising.

Taste starts out with a coffee bitterness which adds a depth of flavor, roasted malt is a solid backing, unfortunately the body is severely lacking, the body is much too thin to pass as an imperial stout with carbonation too high as well, fortunately it drinks like a regular stout with the alcohol very well hidden, I would guess this to be closer to 5% than 9.1%.

deltatauhobbit, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
3.23/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 22 oz bottle of this was brought to me by Steve when he came over from MA. Shared with Jeffo after we decided low abv stouts weren't cutting it for a Thursdaynight.

Not the blackest, nor the thickest of stouts I've seen. Coca Cola comes to mind especially after hearing the lively carbonation. Came with a minimal tan head that went away quickly. Move on nothing special to see here.

Smells are of roasted dark malts and chocolate and a hint of hops. Nothing huge but still pleasant on the nose.

Taste is iniatially bland and things aren't really happening untill after the swallow. There is chocolate, there is some sweetnes and there is a nice bitterness after the swallow. Sit, sip and enjoy.

A rather light to medium body witha dry finish. A bit too light for my liking.

Nothing mindblowing. The strong suit of this one are the pleasant bitter flavors that linger for a while after the swallow. Would I seek this out to have again. No. Would I drink another glass? Sure...

doopiedoopiedoo, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +1.5%

oline73, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of dreis
4/5  rDev +1.5%

dreis, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of MACO
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

MACO, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of boothbeer
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to JusDrinkIt for hooking me up with this bottle.

A: Pours a dark black with 2 fingers of light tan head. good retention that goes down to a thick film as it is consumed.

S: Lots of coffee and roasty malts. Hint of vanilla. Some sweet chocolate is picked up as well.

T: first impression-tastes like an oatmeal/milk stout. Kind of sweet with a roasty finish. Coffee and a little bitterness in the finish as well.

M: Kind of thin and a little too carbonated for the style. If this were less carbonated, I think it would work well with the sweetness of this beer.

D: Overall, this is a good beer. Mouthfeel is off, and I like the taste but not sure it is typical for Imperial Stout taste.

boothbeer, May 11, 2010
Photo of ppoitras
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" dark brown head over the dark brown/black head. Head quickly fell to a thin swirl, with leggy, lasting lace. Aroma is roasty coffee and alcohol. Taste is sweet to start, slightly acrid coffee in the middle, and closes with bitterness and a moderate warming. Mouthfeel is slickery, not really in a good way, and drinkability is okay as well. Maybe some more carbonation or something would help.

ppoitras, Jan 28, 2010
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Joshua Norton Imperial Stout from The Tap Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.