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Splinter Black - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Splinter BlackSplinter Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

165 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 165
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 18.78%
Wants: 89
Gots: 73 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: fiver29 on 10-21-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 165 | Reviews: 98
Photo of portia99
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml C&C bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Pours near black in color, clear enough to see bubbles rising through the body up to the finger of cappuccino colored head that slowly falls leaving behind lots of lacing on the glass.

S - Roasty, a bit caramelly, light astringency, licorice, woody oak, mildy boozy.

T - Roasted malt up front, some charcoal, wood, chocolate, mild vanilla tho not nearly as present as I expected given the process to make this beer.

M - Medium-full bodied, light carbonation, roast and char, caramel and chocolate. Pretty much par for the course for the style.

O - Hoped for more than this when I traded for it, pretty much got what I expected based on reviews. Solid imperial stout, but so many excellent examples out there that this just blends with the rest of the pack.

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of PA-Michigander
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of barflybastard
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Draesith
2.6/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of lpotter
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of dfhhead25
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of taylor714914
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of haazer
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last of 4 bottles I got at the brewery 3 years ago. Poured in a snifter.

A- Thick black brew with a highly carbonated billowy tan head. The foam leaves lacing on the glass as it comes down. Interestingly the foam is looser at the surface and much denser at the black liquid.

S- Heavy doses of vanilla and dark fruits. There's some tobacco, molasses, and a slight whiff of booze. You also get an impression of damp oak.

T- The vanilla starts out and then becomes overtaken by an astringent oak. The malts in here are deeply charred and has a slight dark chocolate flavor. There's also some tobacco profile, and a back end flavor of molasses.

M- Full bodied stout with high carbonation. This brew is thick and coat's the mouth. A slight hint of heat from the booze, but not tasted. As the beer warms up it does smooth out a bit. Not quite the "velvet" described on the card around the neck.

O- There was a lot of different opinions by people on this beer. In my experience with 4 bottles, the first three were great. This last bottle I felt was a bit more harsh, even after 3 years and probably fell into the variation others hated. Even with the bottle variation on this beer, it was not terrible like some suggested. If you were lucky to get a "good" bottle then you had a great beer. I was thankful for those, and this one too. My rating is based on the first three.

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Schreibeers
4.44/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I just couldn't wait any longer. With one more bottle in the cellar, being snowed in seems like the perfect occasion.

Poured into two large goblets.

A: Dark black (no surprise), no light penetration, a nice three finger head that settles into a thin head that maintains throughout with some nice lacing.
S: Fresh woody notes seems to be the most apparent on the nose. Some faint alcohol, but not picking up much chocolate or dark roasted malts
T: Again, the woodiness seems to take center stage at first as it fades into a mild, smooth round flavor with some dark roasted maltiness ending in a warming alcohol
M: Slightly effervescent with some sharpness , almost like some strong dark belgian. Medium body, not your typical heavy mouthfeel for this style.
D: I like the fact this beer does not have an overpowering mouthfeel. The flavors are there, more subtle than I expected, but very well done.
Overall a great beer. Curious to see what this does with some age. Although, for any of those lucky enough to have two, I highly recommend popping one tonight. If you just have one, sit on it for a couple months.

After sitting on this beer for about two years I decided to open my other bottle. Poured into Troegs Mad Elf tulip

A: Same as before. Dark and opaque. The head is a little more apparent and seems to stick around for longer than previously noted.
S: Dark maltiness, sweet with slight notes of vanilla and oak. The primary oaky smell seems to have dissipated.
T: Dark and malty as expected. This is where the oak is more apparent. The label states aged in virgin oak barrels and I can still taste that oakiness. Maybe some bitterness/licorice taste.
M: Smooth and sweet. Maybe just a little thin for the style.
O: Overall I believe it is definitely better than two years ago. A great beer. I feel very lucky to have had two of these beer spread over two years. A great example of how a beer can improve with time. I mentioned in my first review to wait a few months. Well if you still have a splinter black sitting in your cellar, I recommend opening it up soon.


Photo of cbeer88
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Greenplastic615
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of prdstmnky
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of MasterSki
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Thorpe429, way back in the day. Served in a tulip. Decided to open this when Sean told me it had improved.

A - Dark tan foam settles to wisps, a thick collar, and spotty lacing. The body is an opaque dark brown color that verges on black.

S - Still a boatload of sharp and spicy oak, although it's not as heavy-handed as it used to be when this was fresh. There's a good dose of baker's chocolate and caramel sweetness, with some of the anticipated vanilla as well. The balance is still out of whack here - generally the oak complements the beer and not the other way around.

T - The taste is a bit more in balance, as there's more roast and dark chocolate and the oak is pushed a bit out of focus. Still, there's a good amount of charred wood, vanilla, and sweeter malt flavors mixed in.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium-full body, with an extremely dry and woody texture to it. Still a decent amount of alcohol warming after 2+ years of age.

D - This was better than I remembered, as some of the astringent oak character has mellowed and the malt sweetness has begun to peek through; the feel is still not very pleasant though. The concept wasn't a great one; perhaps this should have been blended back to dial down the oak. Still, it's not terrible like some people make it out to be, merely mediocre.

Photo of DeutschesBier
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Treebs
2.95/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750 ml C&C bottle served in a Southern Tier tulip.

A: Pours a very opaque black color with a khaki color head forming on the pour. It recedes quickly to a thin ring, but it has very lively body.

S: Creamy tootsie roll chocolate notes, almost bordering on artificial. Very roasty with some light barrel notes. Mostly oak at this point.

T: A ton more oak in the taste than the nose. The artificial nature of the chocolate from the nose is gone as well, but it's still a very sweet malt and chocolate combination.

M: Extremely overcarbed. Very prickly on the tongue with a medium thin body.

O: The oak barrel really overtook the base and it was extremely over carbonated. Not a fan.

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

$24 for the 750mL, served in a mini snifter
ABV not indicated, damn surprised at the 11% listing
Sampled 31DEC12

[A] An absolutely beautiful head froths up after a slow pour, 3 fingers high, medium brown in color, and ridiculously long lasting. The head is easily the fluffiest head on a dark beer that I've ever seen. Pitch black body with dark amber edges when the glass gets low.

[S] Virgin oak barrels impart their unforgettably pungent scent. Heavily charred and roasted aromas waft next. Dark chocolate or fudge plus a hint of vanilla and, to no surprise, mild oxidation.

[T] Barrel, roasted malts, mild char, and rich cocoa. The vanilla bean flavor has more than less faded at this point but is noticeable in trace amounts. A little hint of raisin/dark fruit flavor comes through at the very end. Nice subtle touch.

[M] Whatever the over carbonation concerns once were can now be completely forgotten. (Well, for this bottle anyway.) The mouthfeel is stunning. So soft, so full. Hell, as pronounced on the bottle tag, Chris and John may very well have "captured silk in a bottle."

[O] The less than stellar opinions following the release of Splinter Black prompted me put my bottles away and forget about them, figuring that: If its average now, why bother? And if its going to improve, then all the better. Well, this beer is drinking fantastically right now - particularly in the mouthfeel. If you haven't opened a bottle recently, I suggest that now is as good a time as any.

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Splinter Black from Tröegs Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.