Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Scarface Imperial Stout - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Scarface Imperial StoutScarface Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

63 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 63
Hads: 199
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 16
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MisterClean on 02-19-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 63 | Hads: 199
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at The Ginger Man NYC. Rpasty aroma. This is black with three-eighths inch of head, and leaves lots of lace tral down the glass. It has a thick mouthfeel and is smooth. Licorice, hoppy, a bit astringent, though good drinkability. Very good but not exceptional for the style. (289 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch foamy super dark khaki head that settles to a small cap. A nice latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa nibs, and some subtle coffee bean aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt and dark chocolate covered coffee/espresso beans. There is a pretty assertive roasty bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a very slight crispness and a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good stout all around and a good deal at around $5 for the bottle. (591 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin tan head that left a thick coating of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of alcohol in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of dark roasted malts along with notes of alcohol and chocolate and hints of licorice.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a little burn from the alcohol in the finish.
O: The alcohol in this beer is too prominent in the smell and to a lesser degree in the taste. As such, it’s a slow sipper. (581 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone

A: An incredibly nice looking pour on this beer, plenty of tan foam with a viscous black liquid underneath.

S: The nose is full of the usual suspects for an imperial stout. Coffee, bitter chocolate, and roasted malt with a slight smokiness to it.

T: The flavor pretty much mimics the nose. A nice coffee and roasted malt character with some notes of chocolate with a definite bitterness and some light smoke.

M: Quite a full bodied beer with a low level of carbonation and a creamy feel on the tongue.

D: For a fairly high ABV and a rather bold style, this one is fairly easy to consume and was a pretty interesting beer overall. A pretty solid offering from Speakeasy. (690 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.24/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Really and truly black in the tall glass. Nice tight beige head. Monstrously powerful, both in flavor and alcohol. Plus big hops and endless scorched malt. A salty taste I swear tastes like blood. They seemed to be taking no prisoners on this one.

A little coarse on the mouthfeel. Medium body. Not at all syrupy, just um... gigantic. I'm always looking for ways to use these kinds of hugely flavorful but essentially undrinkable ales, and a small dose of this mega-RIS might ravish a timid cheap lager very nicely.

Bitter and more bitter as you sip. That charred flavor lasts through the aftertaste, and I won't be surprised to taste it when I wake up. (655 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yep. I'm a sucker for marketing, apparently. Any screen printed bottle with any degree of interesting design is a shoe-in for a purchase for me.

This is a thick and rich stout with mild roasted tones and a touch of chocolate and a bit more molasses. Smooth feel. Mild carbonation. A nice easy drinker. Consistent and thick. I like this. Could sip on this one for a while. I wonder what some age would do to it. (411 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I loved the payback porter from this brewery but was otherwise disappointed with many of their other beers.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice tan colour, nice cream pretty good thickness, and good retention considering the high ABV. Colour is a solid nontransparent black. No yeast particles are visible, which might be because it's nontransparent.

Sm: Cream, well layered dark malts, chocolate, roast, caramel, and hints of coffee. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Roasted barley and interesting dark malts comprise the overzealous foundation. Some chocolate and coffee, but nowhere near enough. The balance is awkward. Cream and caramel. Somewhat layered. Not quite on the mark for the style. Not complex or subtle. The promise of the aroma was far better than the taste. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream. Should be coarse and dry; entirely wrong for the style. A proper stout uses cream to overcome the dryness of the roast. A touch thin, actually. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Drinkable for the style and ABV, but somewhat unremarkable. I liked the appearance and aroma, but the taste didn't deliver. It's enjoyable, but I wouldn't get it again. Fans of the style might like it better than I did. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but I wouldn't caution anyone against it.

C- (1,670 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours jet black in color with a half finger tall mocha head. The head reduces to a thin layer covering the entire surface of the beer plus a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: There is a lot of alcohol present in the aroma of this beer that is slightly off putting but otherwise the aromas of this beer are extremely roasty. Lots of dark roasted and charred malts, along with some hints of bittersweet chocolate, and very light coffee notes.

T: The flavor of this beer is all roast - dark roasted malts, charred malts, bittersweet chocolate, and hints of coffee. Light amounts of alcohol can be detected.

M: Medium to full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slight alcohol heat in the finish.

O: I'm a huge fan of stouts and roasted malts but unfortunately the alcohol is just a hint too present for me to truly enjoy this one. I like the flavor profile once you get past the alcohol. (1,007 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this beer. This was a 22 ounce handbottle filled at Bierkraft in New York.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a khaki head. The aroma is dark chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor is more of the same with coffee, chocolate and roasted malt. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (319 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler filled at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Pours nice and black under a super dark mocha head, that stays and stays, frothy, and dense. Leaves short lived sheeting, then globby strands of thick lace. Nose of dark malts, coffee, and sugary toffee. Full flavor stout, more sweet and dark roasty notes. Coffee, mocha milkshake with hints of whiskey and wood. Super smooth and velvety on the tongue, without going over the top and taking away from drinkability. Enjoyable, nicely crafted and tasty I.S. Nice offering from Speakeasy Ales. (534 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.39/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a bit of transparency. Medium collar.

Smell - Chocolate. Some grassy hops. Caramel.

Taste - Caramel malt. Some coffee roasted malt. A little hoppy here as well. Some grapefruit.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Run of the mill imperial stout. A hoppy one though. (359 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber purchased from Whole Foods in Los Altos, CA.

Pours a deep, but quite fluid and soft-bodied black, with a firm head of crema-brown that settles into a ring of large pocked bubbled. Lacing is fine but minimal. There's some carbonation when it's tilted, but again, the body looks relatively light. Not bad overall, though.

Nose is pleasant with roast characters and some sweetness, but also with a definite worty character that suggests a little underattentuation. There's a mild spice coming through as well, perhaps a little pepper. A boozy note peeks through the centre, giving it a mild astringency. Overall though, it's decent without being spectacular.

Taste is a little more pleasant, aided by a ripe, nutty note that gives some sweetness to help paper over the booziness. Otherwise, there's plenty of roasted characters, more pepper—but mostly it's relatively smooth and easy drinking for what is a fairly aggressive style of beer.

Feel is smooth, but with a lightness to it: it doesn't seem to have much residual body, despite the worty characters on the nose and the smooth sweetness on the palate.

Overall, this is decent enough. It's a fairly par-for-the-course Imperial Stout, and there are a few mildly questionable elements to it, but it's a style that's forgiving of a few inconsistencies. By the end of the glass, I liked it just fine. (1,369 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours jet black in color with a thin tan head that left a mild coating of lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: A nice little booze sting on the nose with dark chocolate, anise and coffee

T: Taste starts with some black patent malt, chocolate malt and hints of coffee. There is a substantial amount of anise throughout this beer. A nice booze sting persists, but sharpens on the end

M: Big body, well carbonated, not really creamy but more so in your face. I can see how some stouts drinkers could find this abrasive

O: A nice, tastefull Imperial with just the right amount of everything I like in a stout. (614 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours pitch black with a healthy two finger light brown head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of dark and toasted malt, chocolate and vanilla. Flavor follows, with toasted and lightly charred malt, chocolate, light vanilla and coffee. Finishes a bit thin until a good charred bitterness develops leaving a lingering hop and burnt coffee flavor. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. A full flavored American style imperial stout that is not quite balanced, allowing the high ABV to show through a bit; but redeems itself somewhat in the finish (591 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Snagged a bottle for 8 bucks from halftime beverage.com. Considering my local place charges 15 I believe I got one hell of a deal. Into a regular pint glass.

A -Deep dense blackness that poured very thick (the way I like it) and a 1/2 inch of deep mocha head atop of this beast is an excellent look for a stout.
S - Cold coffee, sweet and chocolate goodness with a sweet chocolate malt edge, some anise and tobacco and a faint bit of hops are what I am smelling.
T - Wow is this roasty and chock full of dark cocoa. Like 70% strong dark cocoa which is nice I do like the bittering sting of chocolate somewhat. Finish is rather hoppy with sweet citrus hops and there seems to be some coffee notes coming out with some vanilla tones. Kind of acidic somewhat.
M - Not as thick as I wanted more medium bodied and somewhat watery. Not bad just not great.

Overall I guess its just the name and the style that allures me try this. I have had far worse imperial stout but again I have also had more balanced, more bodied stouts. This one is just slightly above average. Final thought at least this beer isn't loaded with anise I hate that crap (1,137 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with tan head that left little lace and had a strong malt smell of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and a very minor fruit smell (I always seem to smell chocolate covered cherries in these beers). Taste is more of the same as the bitter chocolate and sweet malts take the main stage as the roasted and coffee malts are underlying. More of a sweet than dry stout but still finishes dry and is a heavier, still bready body that makes a very good stout to have. (485 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A near black body with a creamy tan head that rose two+ fingers. Some nice sip marks develop as you work your way through the glass.

The nose has a good amount of dark roast, bordering on char, with brown sugar, rich dark chocolate, and licorice. Solid aroma, but not overly impressive.

Deep, dark roast with some char and smoke come out in the flavor profile. Licorice and molasses notes evident as well. Sweet. Dark, rich chocolate notes and some coffee grounds come out in the finish with a little bit of ashy char. Most times you encounter char or ash it is a detractor, but it works well balancing out some of the sweetness in this stout.

Full body, smooth and rich. A touch slick, but mainly creamy.

Solid stout on all fronts. This is a great go to. (797 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: A finger and a half of mocha head tops a dark-black, opaque beer.

S: Roasted malt. Lots of it. Touch of vanilla.

T/M: Pretty good, but I get the sense that it's trying too hard. Sweet-heavy malts and I strongly suspect some lactose. Creamy, rich, but rather flat of flavor. Roasted, chocolate malt and not much else. Lingeringly bitter, with a bit of cream. Not very carbonated, but moderately heavy. Nice.

O: In the final review, not a great imperial stout. Still a decent enough beer though. I wouldn't recommend it, or have another, but it looks cool and I wouldn't steer you away. (650 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle courtesy of one generous trader who I cannot remember at the moment, thanks! Dark black, little head, standard stout look. Smells a little sweet and roasty but rather boring overall, not bad just average. Taste is really lackluster, not bad just one of the most average imperial stouts I've had. I guess I'd say the flavor is just not very robust which is what I would expect from an imperial stout. Yes it has a roast character, yes it is sort of viscous but it just didn't seem very good. (502 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 16oz growler at a speakeasy tasting locally.

a - Watery black with not much head and slippery lacing.
s - malty roasty oaty.
t - alcohol n oats...bitter cocoa beans and roasted coffee.
m/d - big alc tingle, but the fullness is really nice and it has a bit of an oatmeal stout vibe to it, which I love. at first this beer is big and bold and almost too much, but after a few ounces when you get into it...it kills. Really tasty. (440 characters)

Photo of laituegonflable
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown colour; head is beige, thin and dense. Decent lace, but sparse. All a bit webbed out.

Smells a bit too much like petrol ever to be the beer I would marry. Spicy, roasty, but yeah distinct booze notes and not too much else.

Taste is more solid and grounded. Roasty, with some woody character and slight meaty notes, but mostly an almost monotonous char note that still holds up under the scrutiny of the anti-stout police. Not hugely complex, but spicy and pleasant.

Smooth, quite full. Slightly dry on the back. But nice.

Good stout. Not idiosyncratic, but good, solid-drinking big stout. (611 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Rattle-n-Hum into a 25cl Allagash goblet.

A: Jet black body with an inch of frothy brown foam. Good retention and lacing. Very dark and very attractive stout.

S: Coffee, chocolate, roasted barley, and a hint of citrus hops. Very sweet overall, but the hops are a nice touch.

T: Coffee is dominant out of the gate, with very sweet maltiness backing it up. Maybe a bit too sweet, as the flavors don't resolve into chocolate or caramel, but remain purely sweet malt. Some hops on the finish, but not quite enough to balance the cloyingness. Quite tasty nonetheless.

M: Fairly thick with moderate carbonation.

D: A little too sweet for me, but not too bad. I still would have liked more than 25cl (especially since the menu said 12oz, which is 40% more beer, but I'm not a complainer).

Notes: This one came highly recommended by Phil the bartender, and I was excited to try my first Speakeasy brew. While not quite blown away, I found this to be well-done and thoroughly enjoyable. There are many impy stouts I'd rather have, but this was a great one to get to try.

Cheers! (1,090 characters)

Photo of argock
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a nonic pint at The Regal Beagle (San Diego, CA).

A: Jet black with short soft light beige head which fades quickly but leaves some short lace formations.

S: Big dark maltiness with flash of strong alcohol and licorice. THe licorice is not overbearing but works well with the alcohol, chocolate, and coffee aromas.

T: This tastes excellent with even maltiness without tasting syrupy sweet. The alcohol is fairly prominent, so I bet this would age nicely in the bottle. The chocolate and coffee flavors work well, and the roast component is pretty low for the style.

M: Very slick and not at all heavy or a chore. The carbonation is low to give some creamy layers.

O: I tried this beer with no expectations, and I really enjoyed this brew. It provides a slick creamy feel with dark maltiness that treads sweet and roast well. If you don't like alcohol flavors, this is not a good beer for you. I still wished I had asked for a 1/2 pint as 16oz is a bit much. (981 characters)

Photo of birchstick
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another hook-up from KevSal. Thanks again Kev!

A - pours dark black with a chocolaty head on it

S - nose is a mixture of dark chocolates with less strong coffee aromas

T - starts off with sweet chocolates that quickly move to dark chocolates. The dark chocolates pretty much take the helm of the ship and guide the beer through the rest of the palate journey. Although not uber complex, this is nice and rich.

M - full and smooth from all of the malts packed into it

D - really nice imperial stout on show case here. Rich and full of flavor. Enjoyable and definitely worth a shot. Thanks again for the bottle, Kev! (619 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, near black with dark tan small head. Slows to ring. Lots of spotty cling lace.

S - Soy sauce, Hersheys syrup.

T - Taste reflects smell, but add choc chip cookies and bittering hops at end.

M - Medium to full body, good carb and great balance.

D - Deceptively delicious and alcohol might hurt if try to session. (330 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Scarface Imperial Stout from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.