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Scarface Imperial Stout - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Scarface Imperial StoutScarface Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
87
very good

63 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 63
Hads: 199
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 15
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
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Reviews: 63 | Hads: 199
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 jethrodium
1.24/5  rDev -68.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On tap. Pours a close to pitch black with a small tan chocolate head settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The arma is lots of molasses and licorice, a decent amount of roast, quite a bit of alcohol, and some brown sugar. It smells sweet and boozy, certainly not good. The taste is very sweet with molasses and licorice. The is a light vanilla note and some brown sugar as well as a bit of roastiness. The finish is slightly roasty with a bit of bitterness and a lot of booze. It is also chalky with quite a bit of astringency. Leaves a bit of a lingering vanilla taste. Fully bodied, but Syrupy. Low carbonation. This was easily one of the worst beers that I have had. It is way too sweet and also extremely boozy. It is also chalky and astringent. I could not drink this. (796 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pouring this beer it is super opaque, a brown-black with a tan head rising to maybe 1/3".

Smell: This is the weakest property of the beer granted it smells good just very light of chocolate and malts.

Taste: Screams dark bitter chocolate, malty and rich. Coffee no make that more like espresso. This is fine beer.

Mouth: Sticking after-taste, with a medium carbonation. On one more note the flavor and complexity just hugs your cheeks (for real, for real).

Overall: This beer was bought be3caue of my love of imperial stouts, and honestly it hangs with the best of them. It isn't perfect but it is damn well great. It won't hit you in the head as far as pockets but will but will hit you with great quality, Salud! (762 characters)

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

Scarface...

Pours a solid black brew with a nice brown frothy head with light lacing.

The aroma has some chocolate up front followed by roasted malts and some boozy bourbon.

The taste is very roasty with some chocolate and coffee coming through. Somewhat smokey and woody also and the finish is roasted malts. The booze is there for the enjoyment and some light lingering hops.

Decent mouthfeel. Slick and oily.

Overall this is a good Imperial Stout. I like the placement in bourbon barrels though I think I may have drank it a tad early. This would probably do well with a little age on it. Not a bad price either. Solid beer. (632 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 YouSkeete
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Jet black with a frothy mocha cream colored head. decent retention and nice lacing. Big smoky, nutty coffee off the aroma with tones of bourbon, bittersweet dark chocolate and molasses. Bitter chocolate and coffee bean flavor on the initial sip. The bitterness and hoppy mouthfeel is almost to the point of overwhelming, yet still lets some complexity and other flavors permeate such as the sweetness of molasses, roasted malts and licorice. Boozy, bitter mouthfeel with light carbonation. Overall pretty decent, nothing spectacular in my opinion. (547 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't even know what to do, I've been trying so many really good imperial stouts (American and Russian) lately. Every time I think I get it, there's another stout knocking at the door, saying: hey, "drink me, I'm awesome"

So, first off, hats off to brewers around the world for bringing back beer. Thank God.

I find that the usual diff between a Russian IS and and America Double/IS is the sweetness. AD/IS tend to be a little sweeter and boozier - just my impression - whereas a(n) RIS is a little mellower and less sweet.

A: pitch f'in' black, 'natch, with a thick head that simmers into a rim with lots of lace left behind

S: coffee notes, yes, but mostly malt (roasty toasty)

T: this is the most Russian tasting American Double I've tried as far as my palate can recall - mellow, not too sweet, tender roasted malts and touches of espresso and cocoa, but mostly that rich roasted malt and mild sweetness

M: good body, no bitterness at all, slight tongue-coating (as it should); no astringency or alcohol noted at all

O: wow - these guys first impressed me with their imperial red, Betrayal, and this brew cements them as genius-level brewers. Thank you so much, Speakeasy, and Mike, at my distributor, who's been telling me to get this. (1,250 characters)

Photo of 20ozmonkey
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle at work the other day. Thinking about getting more to cellar it, but I’m gonna review it first.

Pours completely black with a thick, dark brown head.

I’m smelling some coffee notes from afar before I even got my nose to the glass. Bittersweet chocolate is the primary aroma on this here Scarface. I feel like I’m smelling chocolate cake batter while smelling this. (It’s pretty awesome.)

I’m surprised at first by how balanced this seems out the gate for an imperial stout. It doesn’t have a super strong bitter finish and instead has a slight bitter chocolate finish. Up front there is a strong blast of sweetness that is a bit jarring at first.

Heavy bodied with slight carbonation.

I’ve always thought Speakeasy was best when they were making darker ales. Their Sutro Stout and Payback Porter are probably my favorite beers from them. I’ll get a few more bottles of this to store away for a while and see if the upfront sweetness will fade over time. (993 characters)

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
2.83/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The label clearly stated "Brewed in Small Batches." You'd imagine this would be a good thing right? Speakeasy does a very good "Hunter's Point" porter *OR* Payback Porter so I thought I'd give Scarface a stab...

A - Good black appearance in the 12oz Tulip I poured it in, decent head and head retention. Nothing wrong here.

S - Above average, sweet malts, a bit of coco and vanilla. Upon a semi aggressive swirl you get a creamy milky smell as if I'd almost swear lactose was added to this brew. Roast comes out as well. Inviting...I've never had this beer before so I'm dying now to dive in.

T - OK. Here's where it all goes wrong. I do get the flavors I mentioned above in the smell BUT it's rough around the edges, or rather rounded out in the middle and finish with a char - cigarette smokiness that wont go away.

M - Get rid of that smoke. Ruined the beer for me...otherwise everything else was fine.

O - Drainpoured the last 10oz or so. At $5.99, not a bad price for a bomber of a Imperial anything...but money would have been better spend adding 2 more dollars and picking up a 4-pack of Green Flash Double Stout or Old Raspy.

Sorry Speakeasy for the rough review as I do LOVE your Firkin' Fridayz! (1,211 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 bugaboo416
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: nice head that disappeared pretty quickly, strong legs on my glass, pitch black body

S: coffee, roasty, a bit of alcohol

T: lightly sweet, then a bit of spicy vanilla, then roasted flavors, then the alcohol appears and burns nicely going down your throat. There's a sharp bitterness and roasted flavor that lingers in your mouth and wont go away.

M: medium to high body, it definitely has some heft to it.

O: A very nice sipping imperial stout, It would be perfect if they could blend the alcohol into the other flavors but worth getting a few bottles, maybe try storing a few for 1/2-1 year to see if it blends a bit more. A small 10-12 oz is plenty because this is a big beer. (686 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 claaark13
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours black with a thick light-tan head. Sticks alright to the side of the glass.

S - Roasted malts are mixed well with hops. Then, there is some sort of almost fresh paint aroma. Hmmm...confusing. Not like an alcohol paint, but just a mild aroma that comes from the malts/hops.

T - Very, very similar to the aroma. Roasted malts, hops, then roasted malts again on the finish. The flavor I'm comparing to paint is in the middle before the malts take over again. Slight sweetness on the finish, as well as some cocoa notes.

M - Somewhere in the medium range.

O - Good everyday RIS in my opinion. The aroma is certainly off, but the flavors are good enough to make me buy a round or two at a bar. I just can't get past the odd paint aroma. It isn't like BA Black Sun, but it is in that direction. (802 characters)

Photo of BrainDad
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado in San Francisco

Deep rich color. Great lacing and one finger of head.

Aroma does not do justice to the flavor, which is deep and rich. Full of roasted malts and chocolate. Has an airy feel that I prefer which is like a chocolate soda, carbonated but not overly so.

Compared to the Obsidian Stout we oredered at the same time, I would definitely come back for this (387 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 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 colforbin73
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

why only 4 on the overall? because i just had it a second ago for the first time and i am not ready to push it over the top.

ROAST BOMB

this beer is a rich chocoaltey roasted biscuit cream of a beer. speakeasy outdid them selves on this.

bitter hops confound the back end of your palate. after a complex roasted malt attack the piney hop burn on the back sets in slowly -- the abv rears its' head at the very end but darn, this is WAY better than i expected.

this is an extremely drinkable imperial stout. it just hit the shelves, BUY. (542 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)

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 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 dudecandle
4.77/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler into goblet:

A: Black body, slight brownish tint decent head and retention.

S: Smoke, slight alcohol, some dark fruit, plus coffee and wonderful bittersweet chocolate

T: Primarily dark chocolatey, with a good light smokey finish. But the coffee and slight fruit round out the chocolate brilliantly, along with a possible slight herbal hop mixed in there as well, balancing the smoke on the finish.

M: A bit light, but given that this is a growler, that can be expected. The finish seems to last forever, even though the smoke isn't so big on the palate in the first place.

D: Wow. This is probably my favorite stout. Sweet, smokey, bitter, everything a stout should be. Such great balance of the flavors, with a great dose of coffee and smoke without overdoing either. Nothing is overdone, in fact, and all flavors come through so well. The world would be a better place if this was more widely available. (918 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Speakeasy Scarface, growler bought at the Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room in New York City.

Appearance: My hasty pour (coming out with the glug of a cumfart) produces a big two-finger-thick brownish head, like cafe latte foam, that recedes into a one finger before settling into a thin veil around the rim of the glass. The beer itself appears black as ebony porn, with some white lacing splattered around.

Smell: Rich and unctuous, with dark chocolate, coffee ans sugar aromas. A slight bourbon-y/cask feel at the end, along with some vanilla and booze. A very complex and delicious nose!

Taste: Carbonated bitterness coats the mouth, ending dry. Not as exciting as the nose, but satisfying. Very thick around the tongue. Lots of cocoa/cacao, some coffee too. A bit of hops and cooked milk/dairy.

Mouthfeel: Medium body/low-to-medium carbonation, dry finish. Alright, but not as good as nose/taste.

Drinkability: At 10.5%, you'll need to sip on this. I had 32 ounces and got a grand buzz.

I really enjoyed this one, almost as much as Stone RIS and other classics of the genre. I'm a fan of this brewery. (1,109 characters)

Photo of infi
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

32 oz. growler, courtesy of BA r0nyn. From 11/20 notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Typical stout: black and opaque, thin tan head of fine bubbles, very short retention before dissipating into a cap. Decent amounts of speckled lacing on the glass as well. At close examination, the stout is incredibly lively with tons of fine carbonated activity, especially after a couple swirls. Smell is also textbook. Thoroughly full of roasted malt and barley with the latter being the most prevalent. There are a couple hints of dark chocolate and roasted coffee and some booze, but quite subdued overall.

Taste begins with a big roastiness from the malt and barley, which makes up a huge component to the beer. Just like the scents, there are some decent amounts of dark chocolate and coffee, but don't impact much on the flavor itself. Towards the end is a moderate drying aspect of the astringency.

Mouthfeel is substantially light-bodied with a little carbonated feel. Honestly, too thin for me. Drinkability is moderately easy, but fairly slow with the 10.5%. An just-about-over-average beer overall. Thanks to BA r0nyn for this tapped treat. (1,140 characters)

Photo of r0nyn
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into my DFH snifter. Split with fellow BA infi.

Pours a dark, dark mixture that's completely opaque. Frothy tan head that leaves a ton of sticky, spotty lacing. Looks like it has pretty good viscosity. Smell is full of roasted malts, with quite a bit of decadent coffee, dark chocolate and barley. Hoppiness is pretty detectable at the start, but quickly subsides as the beer warms and the sweeter scents become more prevalent. Interesting and complex.

Say hello to my little friend(s)! Coffee leads things off, more sweet than bitter, but with both qualities making themselves known. Chocolate sweetness follows through, with toffee nuances. As the brew warms, there's a bit of alcohol heat, but it's subdued and unobtrusive. Roasted malts and barley round out the taste, with a mildly astringent aftertaste. Mouthfeel is quite creamy and smooth. I've definitely had heavier stouts, but this one seems to balance the body and the smoothness very well. Minimal carbonation with a lightly drying finish. Very pleasant.

Drinkability is quite good. Pleasing, nuanced taste, enticing smell and a lush mouthfeel make Scarface Stout one to be reckoned with. I would definitely revisit this. Quality brewing from Speakeasy. Thanks to the guys and gals at New Beer Distributors in NYC for making my first growler experience a great one! (1,353 characters)

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Scarface Imperial Stout from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.