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Portsmouth Kate The Great - Portsmouth Brewery

Portsmouth Kate The GreatPortsmouth Kate The Great

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

854 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 854
Reviews: 484
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 10.11%


Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: bewareOFpenguin on 04-07-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Portsmouth Kate The Great Alström Bros
Ratings: 854 | Reviews: 484 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dmac621
dmac621

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at Paul’s Thanksgiving weekend bash. Poured a deep dark brown almost black body with a foamy dark beige head. Aroma is great with lots of raosty notes, chocolate, burnt toast, tootsie rolls, and grassy hops still make a prescence despite all the roastiness. Medium to fuller bodied with slight alcohol warming and average carbonation. Flavors of chocolate, toast, espresso, vanilla and a hint of alcohol. Overall this is just one great beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 21:19:59 | More by dmac621
Photo of BarrytheBear
BarrytheBear

Wisconsin

4.78/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 model split with steepH20 as the cornerstone celebratory beer for his new boy

Black, with next to no head, and a still placid surface

Very subtle on the nose: light cocoa notes, slight roast, and berries. Like much of what is to follow, subtlety is a main component of this beer. What I found most interesting about the nose is that nothing jumps out at you, but rather the nose pulls you in. Really appealing in its nuances.

Kate is one of the smoothest beers I have ever drank. The naysayer in me wanted to find and expose the flaws in this beer. The realist in me could not. It's simply a near flawlessly executed, well integrated, and remarkably easy drinking 12 percent stout. The port lays a well woven berry like quality throughout the entire beer. The roast and chocolate notes are lightly played but fantastically integrated. I had to, on multiple occasions, stop and remind myself to slow down while drinking this.

Overall, this is not a pomp and bluster stout. It doesn't make you its bitch or slap you down with any over the top notes. Rather it invites you in and the next thing you know, Kate has seduced you until your eyes have glossed over and you are ready to do anything she asks of you. You dirty, dirty temptress.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 16:18:10 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of cgarviereg
cgarviereg

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to MIKETD for this one ... deep black ... thin tan lacing ... deep coffee roast ... some chocolatre nose ... dry roast ... again lots of chocolate ... quite spirity ... touch too dry for me.
tap at De Molen (friday)... dark black ..solid easy dark roast nose... soft set roast malt .. light bitter choclate roast ... dark mals... toffee roast. nice tap at De Molen (sat)... deep bl€k ... deep dark roast malts ... big chocolate ...nose ...big roast ... light charcoal bitterness .... dark malts ... big chocolate ... heavy meaty roast ... light oak ..nice

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 21:10:54 | More by cgarviereg
Photo of spdyfire83
spdyfire83

Ireland

2.83/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

102nd Review
Bottle to snifter
Vintage 2008

From notes. I was looking for the "right time" to crack this mini-whale and that was just before I departed the States to move to Ireland. Enjoyed with bspringer and mtep13.

A: Deep mahogany. A few light mocha bubbles on medium pour.

S: Cocoa, roasted malt, figs, and molasses. Hint of oak and caramel. Not as inviting as I had hoped.

T: Faint dark chocolate raisins with hints of oak, coffee, and brown sugar. Almost boring. A bit too sweet for my liking and almost no defined balance. Muddled mess here - I'm guessing that has to do with the age of it which is quite a bummer.

M: Full bodied with almost no carbonation. I wish it were thicker - especially considering the style.

O: A disappointment for sure, but I can only blame myself (I think). I sat on this too long and made the mistake of acquiring a vintage beer that seems to not age well over time. I'd be willing to give this one another shot, but I would caution anyone out there from cellaring this beer.

I will re-review it when this one comes across my glass again.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 13:48:44 | More by spdyfire83
Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
doopiedoopiedoo

Netherlands

4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It was a dark and dreary Tuesdaynight. The wind was howling. The 3rd Tuesday in a series meaning random night and I'm waiting for Jeffo to bring his random beer.
BOOM!
Kate the Great...

2011 vintage

Let's see what the hype is all about. Surely it can't be THAT good.

From a 22oz bottle into a snifter.

Thick looking. Like a melted chocolate cake. A hard pour revealed a one finger head leaving a decent amount of lacing.

Kate has a great nose. Oak, dark fruits, cherries, a nice roasted malt sweetness and a bunch chocolate.

Flavors are equally awesome and delivered everything the nose promised adding smokey and coffee flavors.

A nice thick heavy mouthfeel, low to medium carbonation.

Kate 2011 does everything right and lives up to the hype. The flavors are almost in perfect balance with a slight accent on the sweetness. I'd drink this every day of the week but that's not going to happen...

Thanks a bunch Jeff for killing it again on random night.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 13:07:18 | More by doopiedoopiedoo
Photo of claaark13
claaark13

Indiana

4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I shared one of these with my Euro friends at a tasting in May but don't have adequate notes. Finally getting the chance to give the '11 vintage another shot. Thanks Jonah/Andrew for both of these. Chilled for a few minutes and poured into a Darkness snifter.

A - Pours black with a slow-rising tan head that slowly turns to lacing with a little foam collecting where the surface meets the glass. Sticks to the side of the glass well. Looks very appealing overall.

S - Faint coffee and roast. There is some sort of dark fruity aroma coming through, almost bready like a Quad may present.

T - Sweet malts, mild coffee. Dry and slightly woody finish. The slightly sweet port comes through with almost a fruity note in the end. The flavor is well balanced.

M - Medium to slightly thicker body, medium to low carbonation. Really carries everything well.

O - Most everything falls into the right place with this beer. I think I could sip on this or drink it like a 6er of Zombie Dust. Very balanced, nothing dominates the taste but they all play their part.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 02:35:04 | More by claaark13
Photo of Kaydogg
Kaydogg

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 batch

A: Pours black with a thin tan head that leaves some lacing around glass.

S: Sweet dark malt with dark fruit, molasses with a hint of alcohol.

T: Starts off with sweet dark malts, raisins, figs and molasses. there is that port wine sherry taste to it..really well balanced and complex

M: Super smooth and creamy full body, low-moderate carbonation and a sweet finish.

O: extremely drinkable imperial stout, the sweet dark fruit character and sherry wine type flavor really seperates this from other big stouts. Definitively one of the best imperial stouts I've tried..

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 02:44:43 | More by Kaydogg
Photo of MPLS
MPLS

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have not logged into this site in over 2 months. That being said it has been a while since I have reviewed a beer. Time to make the cellar look a little more slim.

2010 Bottle of Kate the Great that I acquired in a trade with the help of some Czar Jack.

A: The beer is opaque and dark, perfect for a night that follows winter solstice. The head on this beer was short-lived, even with an aggressive pour. A small ring subsides and lacing is not as plentiful as anticipated.

S: Intoxicating port alcohol, dark chocolate, berries. The roasted malts were more evident. Notes of oak or some slight woodiness.

T: First sip was pleasant, but not a obvious sign from the beer gods. I like it, more and more after each sip. The flavor profile is very port like with an acidic, fruit like edge. I like it - but don't absolutely love it. The "acidic" edge detracts from my overall enjoyment of this beer.

M: A little thinner than expected, but @ 12% it holds it's own. It lingers long, I like that. Wish there was a bit more carbonation in this one.

O: Yep, big hype. Didn't quite deliver, but I enjoyed the beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 03:06:14 | More by MPLS
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is a combination of notes taken 7/1/08, 3/22/10, and memories burnt into my mind from 4 bottles ranging from 2008 - 2011 (and some on-tap). Most recently updated on 4/28/12, from a 2012 bottle.

Note: 200th review posted to BA, I've been waiting to write this for a while

Note 2: No amount of rambling will do justice to this beer, so I'm going to attempt to be concise. I will likely be revising this in the future.

Appearance: Pours dark brown, slightly viscous-looking - head is a beautiful tan color, doesn't stick around forever, but the ring of carbonation that sticks around leaves great lacing

Smell: Simply intoxicating - a number of distinct aromas - burnt coffee, chocolate malts, baker's chocolate, dark chocolate, molasses, and dark fruits (figs, grape skin), and some burnt port, a touch of wood - some hoppy aromas (when fresh), and they add a herbal/spicy character that blends with the dark malts - rich, complex malts, a beautiful blend of roasted malts, burnt malts, and cake-like sweetness

Taste: Beyond perfection - a complex harmony of bitter, burnt tones, somewhat sweet, candy-like tones, and some spiciness from the hops - dark, burnt malts - definitely burnt, but not excessively charred - dry, baker's chocolate, as well as sweeter, semisweet chocolate - roasted coffee - some incredible dark fruit flavors, perhaps from the port, which also adds a touch of tart - some sweetness that is reminiscent of a spice cake, as well as toffee - just breathtaking overall - the taste itself really comes in stages, with some rich sweetness at the start, chocolate in the middle, and a gloriously roasty aftertaste - definitely some variation from fresh to aged, but a 5/5 regardless

Mouthfeel: Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Kate - heavy, but not sludgy - insanely smooth - nicely carbonated (actually varies batch to batch) - absolutely, stupidly, and mind-blowingly drinkable

Overall: No other beer has caused me so much joy (and so much pain)

Having the opportunity to drink Kate the Great is simultaneously one of the best and worst things to ever happen to me. The good things are outlined above... The problem with this beer is that it's so good that it has cast a shadow over every stout I've had since the summer of 2008. Nothing is as good as Kate. And this beer is so f--- hard to get. I've waited in line for so many hours. It's an unhealthy relationship. It's become the prototype for why I hate hype. To summarize, I absolutely love and absolutely hate everything about this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 07:38:30 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An enormous thank you to Spleeb for this bomber, shared with Ryan011235 in oversized snifters. Never be afraid to propose a trade for a wale, kids; some good dude just might take you up on the offer!

Kate pours a few shades shy of black with abundant mahogany highlights that make up for the lack of pure darkness. Not much in the way of a head to admire, but periodic gentle swirls coax the tan skim. Lacing is sacrificed in the effort; scattered streaks and splotches are it. Any likenesses to a pedestrian beer get tossed out the window at this point, though.

The port seems to manifest itself in the nose as lush berry notes more than the wine itself. As it warms, these notes become increasingly and pleasingly pronounced. Richly roasted and toasted malt profile with a dusting of cocoa. I'm not sure a dash of burnt malt wouldn't kick it up another notch, but it smells quite nice as is.

The port seems to be more of a factor in the flavor profile, lending a load of concentrated raspberry, strawberry and blackberry and a certain warmth. This berry combo matches up nicely with deep dark chocolate. Somewhat vinous, but not really tangy. 12%?? I gotta say, it went down with ease. Moderate carbonation with a smooth feel and a lengthy, coating, satisfying finish.

Overall impression: I'm not sure I'd swing for the fences again from a tradebait standpoint to get another bottle, but I sure wouldn't mind having another as a cellar experiment. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 00:06:43 | More by PDXHops
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We opened up a 2010 bottle at finewinemike's house this past weekend. Poured into a Colossus snifter.

Appearance: This beer pours black with a little bit of red at the edges where the light hits the beer. There is a layer of cocoa colored head that fades to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Sweet roasted malt and dark chocolate up front with lots of dark fruit and a little bit of a wine like smell. Lots of wood from the barrels and some heat from the alcohol.

Taste: This beer is quite roasty and doesn't have quite enough sweetness in it to even that out. Some dark fruit and wine tartness with a strong note from the wood. The finish is bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Given the hype/ratings behind this beer, I was a bit disappointed. That being said, it was still quite good, but it didn't live up to the same level as a few of the other stouts at the tasting. I would have it again, but given the cost to trade for it, I won't be doing that again.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 00:52:30 | More by oline73
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a deep black with a tan colored head. The nose has a little oak, light roasted malts, hints of dark chocolate, bright sweet flavors of anise, malt, and dark berries. The flavor is great, lightly roasted, dry dark chocolate, a touch of smoke in the roast, fairly sweet towards the back but not in a sugary way. Blackberry, plums, and cherry are very bright. The body is medium to full, very drinkable, smooth on the palate with a light carbonation and short finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2011 20:39:52 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of pixieskid
pixieskid

Germany

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was feeling a little nutty this evening and decided to open this after the CBS when my fiance said "Kate the Great; which one is that again...told her the details...fuck yeah sounds awesome".

11' Bottle

Pours, pretty straight up Imperial Stout like, thick and syrupy with a nice off-white head.

Nose; oak (slightly smokey), some wine, caramel and chocolate.
Taste; milk and dark chocolate, rich wine notes, vanilla, oak, and a lingering bourbon vanilla ice cream, a touch of espresso. Finishes with a hint of ripe fruits; must be the port coming through and finally a suggestion of no-bake cookies; wtf!?!?!

This is most definitely dessert in a bottle...so much richness and decadent flavors!

Overall; very complex, layer upon layer of decadent notes with a great milky mouthfeel.

Killer stuff; lives up to the hype most definitely!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 22:21:12 | More by pixieskid
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

4.66/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed December 10th, 2011. 2011 vintage. Many thanks to Vurt for sharing!

Beer is close to pitch black with little apparent carbonation.

Aromas of dark pitted fruit, molasses, chocolate.

Flavors are more subtle and plentiful than expected: tobacco, chocolate, coffee, prunes and an acidic edge that flirts with sourness but doesn't go there. Port wine and woody notes as well.

Mouthfeel is lighter than expected, contributing to enjoyability. Slightly dry, clean finish.

This is one of the greats and deserving of the hype. Would I drink it every day? No. But a few times a year would be nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 17:34:48 | More by charlzm
Photo of Beerisheaven
Beerisheaven

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2010 Vintage compliments of Kelp, a ridiculous trading partner from New England way.

A - pours generally black but fairly modest in its head and lacing retention. Was not sure what to expect following its initial presentation.

S - Failry modest across the nose. Fruit & licorice find their way across the nose. Nothing stands out, all very nice.

T - Without doubt, the best RIS I have had to date. Dark fruit port like in taste and absolutely no hint of alcohol. Some underlay of dark chocolate too but the fruit takes the lead and never looks back. Tremnedous world class RIS. Can't put it any way other than the measuring stick for RIS's. This was without doubt the smoothest silkiest beer that I have had in a long time. Everyone just kept saying "smooth" as they were drinking it.

M - Given the lack of head, a tad thin but still very enjoyable. Its richness and smoothness

O - Worthy of the hype. A tremendous beer that I would love to have over and over but realize that you can't.

Thanks J for the #1 beer in the tasting tonight. Everyone had this as the #1 beer of the night, hands down.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 05:23:52 | More by Beerisheaven
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes: Thanks Jacob for sending this my way.

appearance: dark brown black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: chocolate, vanilla, roast, sweet, malts / barley

taste: smooth chocolate, roast, vanilla, malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, full body,

overall: this is a well down stout and so glad I finally got a chance to try this bad girl. ; )

Cheers,
the CPJ

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 21:14:48 | More by THECPJ
Photo of MADhombrewer
MADhombrewer

Oregon

2.1/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2010 vintage. Shared with Hopsbreath, Tulipsnifter, and witchsbrew. Got this from WkndatBernardus, thanks.

Appearance- Black with little tan head. 4/5

Smell- Weak aroma. Dates? 2/5

Taste - Very fruity. Tangy, fruity Pebbles cereal. 2.5/5

Maouthfeel- Too thin for my taste. I expect an Imperial Stout to be a lot thicker. 2/5

Overall- Wow! I am very unimpressed with this. I thought the 11 was much better and it had smoke flavor that I didn't expect and didn't care for that much. 2/5

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 05:55:48 | More by MADhombrewer
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a college buddy/beer geek in town so decided to rip through as many treats as I could with a few other BAs and friends. This started things off. Big thanks to BearsOnAcid for helping me get to sample this treat and also thanks to cooperellis for picking up the bottle for me!

2011 vintage

a - opened the bottle and had my pour in a cbs snifter. brew poured black as night but had a wateryy glisten. there wasn't much head to speak of, but what was there had a somewhat mocha tan color. swirling the beer really coats the glass.

s - smells of chocolate roasted malts with a hint of vanilla. really nice smelling.

t - oh wow! pretty spot on perfection for what i dig about stouts. great roasted malt with a blast of quality chocolate tamed back with some vanilla notes.

m - great body, thick and rich...smooth as silk. kind of like chocolate milk.

o - overall...this is simply amazing. after discussing the beer a bit with the group it came to light that it is aged in port barrels and there definitely is a port quality that sets the flavor apart. just really wonderful and easy to drink. no hype, this beer is the truth. like really tasty chocolate milk. i had been dying to try this since i first learned of it and i am not disappointed one bit.

--- edit ---
was able to have a sample of the 09 at Capt Lawrence CdC release and it was just as good, if not better. fantastic beer and perma-want.

--- edit --- 2013-01-08
popped open my last bottle of this beer (2012 vintage) tonight to celebrate the 10th anniversary of my first date with my wife. i've had this beer several times in my travels and what i've come to learn is that it don't age all that well and today felt like the perfect night to pop it open (probably already waited too long). poured gorgeous black and the smell has a strong roast with black licorice. the flavor is much of the same. the roast is intense, but not like a southampton IRS. it really is a great stout for something not aged in barrels, but not as amazing as it's reputation is. the heat is on and the booziness is a bit in your face, but all in all one of the better of the brewery only release stouts. the port barrels are there, but everything is somewhat hidden behind the heat. my palette today would probably rate this more between a 4 and a 4.5 than the 4.85 of my first impression...that being said, the 2011 vintage was superior to the 2012 in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 03:37:35 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of Yagman3000
Yagman3000

New York

4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter. First beer as part of a tasting session hosted by fellow BA CosmicEvan.

Appears a beautiful super dark brown... It has a small galactic swirl in the middle with a slight rim of sudsy foam.

Smells of chocolate, hints of coffee, not too overpowering a nose.

Tastes blends beautifully. I feel like there's an undercurrent of cherry working its way through some chocolate. There's a touch of booziness on the way out.

It's mouthfeel is wonderful. It's thick, viscous, and lays on the tongue forever. Excellent aftertaste. A standout element to this beer.

Overall an excellent beer. A truly generous share from CosmicEvan and a great way to kick off the tasting session.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 00:46:50 | More by Yagman3000
Photo of Pdiddey3d
Pdiddey3d

New York

4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage shared with "The Core"
Big thanks to Tom for making this happen

A: Pours pitch black with a faint ring of mocha head. Decent amount of alcohol feet when swirled. Looks great.

S: Dark chocolate and espresso dominate. Faint hints of vanilla and dark fruit,cherries to be specific. A bit of alcohol but not much. Very complex aroma.

T: Much like the nose but with some molasses in there as well. The fruitiness comes through a bit more than I expected and it is almost a port like flavor. One of the more complex RIS I've ever encountered.

M: Creamy Swiss chocolate comes to mind. Very light carbonation. Slight alcohol sting but not unpleasant at all. Emphasis goes to the smoothness of this beer. It is above average.

O: This beer lived up to some hefty expectations. The hype is justified in my opinion. Very complex and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2011 02:30:32 | More by Pdiddey3d
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

4.72/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kate the Great '11

A: Pours thick and syrupy, with only a tiny mocha head that lines the edge of the glass. There is very little lacing as it drinks.

S: Smells mainly of brown sugar, molasses, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. There is a slight alcohol presence in this beer, but it's very subtle.

T: Tastes exactly like it smells. Roasted malt, molasses, and brown sugar. I also get hits of raisin, plum, cherry, and vanilla. This is a really complex beer. I'm amazed at how much is going on here. It's absolutely delicious.

M: Full bodied beer, that coats the palate and hangs on for dear life. Slightly sticky and chewy, but that fades.

O: This beer is wonderful. It totally lives up to the hype.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 16:11:16 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. 22oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. split with fellow BA's.

pours out with pretty much no head, but a nice thick syrupy looking opaque black that left some really thick brown legs on the glass. a little lacing as well.

the aroma was a dark chocolate cake batter like molasses syrupy smell. roasted malt, it becomes a little hot as it warms. not far off from many other good examples of the style.

a very thick syrupy molasses, sweet burnt sugar taste. just some wonderful roasted malt flavors, a hint of some dark fruits. a very nice tasting finish, chocolate cake batter comes to mind. slightly bitter.

wonderful thick syrupy mouthfeel, you can tell the FG of this was very high. minimal carbonation.

overall, this lives up to the hype for me, but theres still a very small part of me that maybe expected a bit more. im super excited i got a chance to try this, defiantly the perfect example of the RIS style for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 01:29:25 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

3.53/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oh sweet Katherine. This bottle is the infamous 09 vintage. It pours a medium bodied midnight black in color with a slight beige lacing around the glass. It smells of roasted malts with smooth chocolates with a slight buttery component. Uh oh. It's not bad but I feel this MIGHT be infected or on its way. The flavor too is slightly tainted butter. You get smooth and light chocolate with moderate sweetness and an interesting roasty finish. The butter though is something that's hard to stop thinking about. Overall its ok but this was from a questionable batch. Interesting beer and I was glad to try it. I'd love to try another vintage.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 23:40:00 | More by aasher
Photo of sliverX
sliverX

S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured pitch black, not much head other than a brown ring around the edge.
Smell burnt malt, brown sugar, molasses.
Taste takes the nose and amps it up ten fold. A bit boozy but holds up to the hype. Dark fruit notes at the end, burnt brown sugar.
Mouthfeel smooth chewy perfectly fitting.
Overall excellent beer do I need to murder people for it no but its pretty darn good.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 22:49:51 | More by sliverX
Photo of ms11781
ms11781

Massachusetts

4.78/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage. 22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a thick, deep, dark brown with lighter brown hues around the edges and bottom of the glass. It looks almost black in the glass and if I didn't pour it in the glass and take a good look at it myself I'd probably think the same. Surprisingly, a thin 1/4 finger dark brown head develops but it's gone almost immediately and can probably be attributed to the end of the pour being a bit heavy. A tan ring of soap-like foam does collect around the glass. Very tiny wisps of foam do stick to the glass but they are few and far between.

The nose is extremely strong, almost overwhelming at first, but that's not a bad thing here. It takes a few minutes of taking it all in before I can get a good hold on all that is going on here. The aroma is very sweet. Chocolate is prominent as is a wood-like character. Dark roasted malt character is here, as is some molasses and a touch of alcohol. As the beer warms some dark fruits show up, cherries being one that peaks it's head out. As a whole the nose is extremely complex, especially as the beer is allowed to warm to room temperature.

The nose was outstanding and the taste actually kicks it up a notch. As with the nose, chocolate is again a dominant flavor. It's extremely rich and sweet. Dark roasted malt character mixes with some molasses underneath the good dose of chocolate and it gives the beer a very bold taste. The same dark fruit that were in the nose show up, cherries again being prominent. The boozy aroma that was in the nose never translates to the taste. Actually, it's not that it isn't there but perhaps it's masked a bit better by the bolder taste. The woody, oak-like character that was in the nose shows up in the finish here and lingers on the palette a bit after each sip.

The mouthfeel is huge. The body is thick and viscous. Each sip is extremely rich and velvety smooth. Slight warming from some alcohol, especially as the beer warms.

With all the hype surrounding this beer, it was going to have to be exceptional to meet expectations. After the first few sips it was apparent that this beer was going to exceed those expectations. It is extremely decadent, perhaps the most decadent, beer I have ever had. About as drinkable and enjoyable as 12% ABV stouts come. I can't say enough about this beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 01:31:15 | More by ms11781
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