Imperial Stout - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

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446 Ratings

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Ratings: 446
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 108
Gots: 139 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 12-06-2009

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 446 | Reviews: 143
Reviews by JohnQVegas:
Photo of JohnQVegas
3.45/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Bruery tulip, purchased in Asheville back in May and cellared downstairs since. I've been looking forward to this one for awhile.

Pours pitch black top to bottom, with very little in the way of head or lacing. Nice legs.

Nose is really nice - intense notes of dark fruits and burnt sugar, with a bit of deeply roasted malt and just a bit of char. Wee bit of alcohol comes through as well. I can almost talk myself into getting a bit of honey out of there also, but that may be me persuading myself.

Taste is nice; big on burnt sugar and those same dark fruits. Alcohol pops through as well. Just a bit of an ash quality under there, roasted bitterness lingering on the finish. Pretty tasty, though not what I'd consider to be the most well-rounded of stouts. Still, very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is the major weak point of this one - thin, a bit undercarbonated and what's there is a bit too sharp, and even a bit sticky on top of that.

Drinkability is ok; alcohol is fairly well hidden, and there's a decent balance between the sweet and burnt aspects that is interesting, even if not my favorite take on the style.

More User Reviews:
Photo of joe1510
4/5  rDev -3.1%

22oz Bomber
Brawley's - Charlotte

2014 Bottling

The wax surprisingly easy to cut through so no worries there. Glugging from the bottle is a viscous liquid as black as night. The head is so dark, so chocolatey brown, that it nearly has a purple tinge. The foam forms easy on the pour and, even though it falls, always remains at least a solid cap on the surface. Patchy foam clicks here and there.

This guy has a very unique nose. Upfront is a wildflower quality that I'm assuming is from the added honey. Blackstrap molasses and a touch of anise play second fiddle to a deep, rich, roasted graininess. Hints of dark berries show themselves as the beer warms and compliment the roast. A bit of a tea leaf quality floats through as well.

Robust roast washes over the palate and remains the centerpiece of this hefty drink. Tea like herbalness pops up mid palate along with the dark berries and deep molasses qualities. The finish bursts with roasty bitterness and herbal hoppiness while the swallow leaves behind a lingering honey sweetness. The flavor profile is unique and I dig it.

The body is luxurious and full but by no means sticky or sweet. Carbonation is soft which in turn makes the body feel velvety in its slow movement. The finish is dry and bitter from both the hopping and roast. This one is going down pretty quickly.

Olde Hickory's Imperial Stout is big and robust. A heavy roast adds bitterness while a moderate hopping adds a touch as well. Unique qualities like florals and molasses set this beer apart from others. More of these will be in my future, no doubt.

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OH makes some stellar brews,this may be at the top of the list for me.Poured a near jet black,a tinge of ruby barely showed through when held directly in the light,a nice half finger mocha colored crown atop.Aromas were big and raw for the style,earthy with dark chocolate notes,espresso ground coffee and sweetish alcohol come in as well.Big and balanced on the palate,not a big sweet alcohol bomb like many of the style,bitter unsweetened chocolate and earthy tones shine through,the alcohol sweetness and molasses balance it out nicely,the honey imparts a soothing light sweetness in the finish.A great Impy stout,its out of the norm in a good way.

Photo of Jason
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber without a freshness date ... not that it is probably needed here.

Imperial Stout darkness and the head is amazing with tan lacing all the way down. Smooth, very smooth ... silky and creamy with a big body. Choco coffee maltiness starts off big in the aroma, hops and alcohol with a currant fruitiness reside within. Dark chocolate runs rampant with some sweetness, alcohol is warming and the hops come in a bit strong but the bitterness is nothing over the top. The honey puts in more towards the strength rather than a major addition to of flavor which is fine ... the smoothness is enhanced by it. Bittersweet finish gives suggestions of cocoa nibs and coffee.

Pit this one against the hype Impy Stouts and it will put up a good fight if not win. A killer stout.

Photo of merlin48
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wax tipped 22 ounce bottle. Pours dark and opaque with a large cocoa brown head. Excellent retention and enormous sticky lacing. Aroma is dark and milk chocolate, burnt hay, and fresh roasted coffee beans. Smooth and silky mouthfeel with a nearly full body and restrained carbonation. Taste is milk chocolate and vanilla with a touch of honey. The honey blunts the dark roasty bitterness producing a sweeter than average impy stout. No alcohol presence. Hints of espresso and grassy hops add just a suggestion of bitterness toward the finish. Pretty good for style but the honey addition pushes a bit too far to the sweet side of the scale.

Photo of Homebrew35
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 bomber

Pours a small bit of light chocolate head which fades to nill. Black body with hints of mahogany around the edges. Head is somewhat rousable, with a good bit of alcohol legs.

Smells change a good amount throughout the pour. Sweet carmel, big roast, coffee, bitter chocolate, smokey in a particular way-maybe some peat or someting reminicent of a scotch ale. A bit of alcohol is definitely present as it warms.

Tastes like a big russian and american imperial stout combined. Bitter dark chocolate, dark fruit, sweet carmel, espresso/coffee, licorice and some smokey component. A firm alcohol warmth and slight taste.

Medium full bodied, low carbonation. Fairly thick and silky, which leaves the mouth coated with a big maltyness and roasty acidity.

Overall this is one big tasty stout. Quite complex and fairly drinkable. This was a great bottle to share with my wife. Great flavors and interesting with the scotch ale component that was not expected.

Thank you Tommy for this trade.

Photo of rudylaw
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at City Beverage and served in a snifter.

Pours nice and black with a thin, brown head.

The smell consists of chocolate, salted almonds, black strap molasses, coffee/espresso beans.

Tastes so deliciously malty! This is brewed with honey and you can tell not so much in the taste but in the way the beer is ridiculously smooth. I'm getting lovely dark fruits on the back end... just as it should be. There's also a perfect amount of hops in this. It is slightly bitter and leaves a dry finish.

It's a little thin for an RIS and at 10.6% it's going to do a number on lesser folk. Those minor quibbles aside, this is a beautiful take on my favorite style!

Photo of mdaschaf
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage, thanks to mikesgroove for this bottle.

A: Pours a very dark color, if not black, almost. A light mocha head forms on top which reduces to a nice cap on top. Streaky and thin lacing.

S: Fantastic aroma, lots of chocolate and caramel. Can definitely pick up the honey. The chocolate is really nice in the aroma here, and dominates.

T: On the sweeter side for an Imperial Stout, could be from the honey added. Nice chocolate, both bitter and dark along with a little bit of roast on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Drinks very smooth, no sign of alcohol at all.

O: Very enjoyable and extremely drinkable. One of the better imperial stouts I have had.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Ale brewed with honey" says the label. Off with the gold wax (meant to resemble honey?) and into the snifter. Pours an onyx color, and the golden foam doesn't stay on top long, thinning out to a stringy crown quickly.

The nose is simply fantastic. It's amazing how distant the 10.2% alcohol stays, while succulent dark fruit (raisin, grape, plum), chocolate syrup and earthy, grassy hops take the spotlight. Honey is detected, although only as a mere cog in the larger machine. Graham cracker and berry-flavored coffee too.

Flavor is a wonderful melange of honey, chocolate, alcohol warmth, grape, fig, graham cracker and just-bitter-enough hops. A little mineral flash adds depth. Chocolate, alcohol and hops stick around strongest in the long finish, while the honey is presumably the reason a sweet, lingering glaze pervades. Everything's just about perfectly balanced.

Mouthfeel threatens to lean on the thin/watery and too-carbonated side, but just barely recovers with ample roundess, richness and stickiness.

So, exceptional aroma and flavor. A stout that grasps for world-class status but could use a more impressive texture. Psyched to have another big-beer brewery in the area (look out Duck-Rabbit!) [This is also a bit pricey, costing double what comparable Lagunitas and Smuttynose bombers cost, yet it's basically a local beer. What gives? Didn't influence my score at all though.]

Photo of nkersten
3.46/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tasting glass at the Goose Island gathering. Reviewed from notes, finally. Pours an opaque black with a small tan head, fades to a ring. Smell is kind of boring and simple - heavy on the grain, it reminds me of boiling wort with some honey and alcohol. Light hop aroma. Taste is very sweet, dominated by a plain two row type malt flavor with a bit of toasty malt bitterness. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky with a light carbonation. Drinkability is not bad, but a bit too sweet to have a lot of.

Photo of tdm168
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours black as motor oil with very dense, thick, tall, dark brown head that has great retention

S - heavy chocolate, coffee, faint anise, black licorice

T - heavy chocolate, coffee, deep roasted malts, bitter finish, warm, faint anise

M - full bodied, warm, smooth, well carbonated

This is delicious. The flavor is on point. It's well balanced, bold, assertive, and incredibly drinkable for the ABV. I really enjoyed this beer experience. The perfect way to end another year of teaching!

Photo of dirtylou
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, gifted by blackie many moons ago

appeareance: cool label - gold waxed bottle. The wax was a beast to remove (enough with the waxing already). poured into a snifter - full mahogany body...pretty much no head to speak of

smell: dry chocolate, sweet honey, charred malt, espresso and cream

taste: espresso, roasted malts, creamy chocolate, rum soaked fruit, honey, fudge. This stout is light on the bitterness which allows the creamy body to display a nice profile of flavors

mouthfeel: smooth, creamy

drinkability: good

Photo of WoodBrew
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Olde Hickory Imperial Stout is a big beer. The beer poured a pitch black with tan head which did not lace....I'm assuming because of the sweetness. The smell was honey balanced with slight roast and coffee. The taste was very sweet from the honey with some big malt, roast balance. The mouthfeel was a full body beer with smooth carbonation. Overall it is a good beer but it is not for everyone. You better like sweet big beers.

Photo of mdvatab
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage
Poured from 22oz bottle into Bordeaux glass.

Aroma: Malted milk, fruity blueberry, vanilla, and a hint of smoke. A nice, straightforward imperial stout aroma profile.

Appearance: Dark espresso black body with a tinge of dark brown at the edge. The tan 1/2 finger head falls to a splotchy surface. Minimal lacing, but no biggie.

Flavor: Smoke hits me at the beginning, followed by chocolate syrup, some nice honey sweetness, more roastiness, and a Cracker Jack-like caramel note.

Mouthfeel: A medium-thick body with medium-low carbonation. Alcohol is slightly warming--not hot.

Overall: A very tasty, "all 4s" imperial stout. With honey added, and whatnot, this one is a tad bit on the sweet side. I personally like a more rich, "fudgy" imperial stout. Olde Hickory's take on the style is one to try.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.69/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. Small khaki head. Slight transparency.

Smell - Chocolate. Nutty malts. A little boozy.

Taste - Chocolate and caramel. Oaky nutty malts. Slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel - A little bitter. Medium carbonation.

Overall - A good beer, as always, from Olde Hickory.

Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Bitterbill one my most awesome & generous partners for hooking me up with a brew from my old stomping grounds! Great lacing & head retention

Pours mahogany with a finger+ of mocha head.

S: Vanilla, dark fruit, & dark chocolate & some noticeable raisin booze once warm

T: Dark chocolate, rum raisin, smokeyness & mocha up front. Mocha, a bit of booze warmth & dryness dominate as this warms along with a touch of herbal hops, plus some boozey raisins & plums. Finishes dry, a touch boozey with figs & mocha

MF: Chewy with assertive carbonation, starts to thin out a bit as this warms; then smooths out again. Turns a bit coarse, but very warming at the end

Drinks pretty easy, the ABV is noticable, but never runs over the flavor. One of the better offerings, plus a draft version of THIS I have had from these guys, I look forward to trying more bottled offerings from these guys when I visit the family.. Only gonna get better with age...

Photo of thagr81us
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured black with a half finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, and dark chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, vanilla, dark chocoalte, and honey. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. I was really surprised to be able to pick up on a vanilla aspect in the flavor which was quite enjoyable and mixed really well with the honey aspect. Not sure if this is what they -bal aged to get Event Horizon or not, but there are some definite characteristics that are similar present. Definitely worth trying this one!

Photo of kbuzz
3.99/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my Oxbow snifter. 2012 vintage.

A: Poured an opaque black w/ thin mocha head that faded quickly. Can actually see a good bit of bubbles rush up the sides and then fizzle away as they hit the top.

S: Nice aroma...bitter dark chocolate, roast, molasses, vanilla, touch of an earthy hop presence. Maybe just a slight coffee note in there as well.

T/M: Interesting. Typical roast, bitter dark chocolate as the dominant notes...some toffee, graham cracker, rum-soaked raisin. Finishes with a bit of a floral taste. Slightly bitter. Mouthfeel could have been a little more viscous. Was certainly solid though - say medium to medium-full. Carbonation might have been a little too fizzy also but I'm sure I'm just nitpicking.

O: Really enjoyed this. I think the honey might have dried out the beer and made it a tad thin...but at the same time, I wouldn't be surprised if that's what contributed to the floral note in the back of the palate, which I dug. Would certainly drink this many times over...

Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. A brownish black pour, half finger of tan head. Retains very well though. Just a little bit of lacing.

Aroma has a good dose of roast, mostly malt hint of coffee. Dark chocolate and molasses also.

Taste is sweeter. Lots of malt and molasses, the honey is also apparent. Some anise, and chocolates. Hops make some appearance in the finish along with a bit of anise and coffee.

Medium bodied, no alcohol. Carbonation is good and allows it to coat the mouth pretty well.

Thought The Event Horizon was a bit sweet, this one is slightly sweeter than that. More roast here, but the barrel in Event added something to offset the sweetness a bit. Still good, but prefer the Event or even the Hickory Stick.

Photo of CooperEllis
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz into dfh snifter. vintage 2011

Very very little head on this, and almost no lacing. Don't think that this undercarbed, just no head.

The aroma is roast to the point of burnt; booze overflows.

For an average a best aroma, this is a solid tasting stout. There is a nice layering of roasted malts with a bit of sweetness (I'll assume the label touted honey) and a fairly dry finish. The booze notes are up front but fade quickly and don't dimish the rest of the flavor.

A touch less booze, a touch less 'burnt' aftertaste and this would be scored much better.

Drinkability (dies hard): 3/3.5. Not a particularly smooth drink and the booze upfront with the burnt notes at the end aren't winning points.


Photo of n2185
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage

A: Pours black with a finger of tan head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Roasted malts followed by sweet chocolate and molasses. There are a lot of dark fruit aromas in there as well like figs and raisins. There is a bit of a floral quality to the aroma and a little smokiness on the finish.

T: Roasted malts at first followed by a lot of molasses and sweet, dark fruit flavors like plums and raisins. The roasted malts kick back in again, providing a lightly bitter and roasty finish with a slight alcohol burn.

M: Thick body with low carbonation, this beer is pretty thick and sticky. The sweetness makes it more sticky than creamy, which is unfortunate.

O: Overall, a good imperial stout. A bit sweeter overall than I like, though it's at least somewhat balanced with the roasted malts.

Photo of TheDTrain
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One exceptional looking Imperial Stout. Thanks to BeerFM Andy for sharing! After being unimpressed with Olde Hickory's stout, I didn't have high expectations for this one. I was slapped in the grill when this one was poured. Very complex, multi-dimensional with thick black stout, carbonation, and khaki head. Medium-thick bodied filled with roast malts, chocolate milkiness, hops, dark fruits. Sweet honey on the back end combined with a alcohol bite. I look forward to having this brew again somewhere along the tracks.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz elaborately stamped, wax-coated bottle split into a snifter.
10.6% ABV, 2011 in the neck stamp.

Thanks to Onenote81 for this cool bottle filled with great beer!

A - Brilliant in appearance, the tall pour is clear dark brown but black as night in the snifter. Slow, thick cascading wins me over as usual and a firm tan head sticks around for a while leaving dense lace on the glass.

S - Sweetness appears in the aroma but honey is largely lost behind roasted chocolate malts and a pretty big shelled peanut aroma. Not infected like some other to-remain-nameless peanut brews though.

T - Heavy, rich roasted malt, dark and smooth with a coffee and molasses hint. A touch of honey can be found in the lingering sweetness throughout.

M - Full-bodied and thick with a smooth, almost creamy texture and a sweet but roasted bitter-balanced finish.

D - A stout meant to be shared and enjoyed with another person, it drinks nicely but is definitely better sipped as it warms. A good winter warming stout. Nothing like it enjoying it to the Imperial March from Star Wars on vinyl...

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage poured in to snifter.

A - Poured a thick, sludgy ink black with half a finger of espresso coloured head that reduced to a thin layer.

S - A huge roast aroma dominates with sweet molasses, chocolate, smoke and a hint of anise.

T - Roast and a nice bitterness up front. Semi-sweet chocolate, anise and smoke notes are also present.

M - Full body; viscous. Light to moderate carbonation.

Photo of docoman
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smell was great, but taste and after taste not as pleasing.

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Imperial Stout from Olde Hickory Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 446 ratings.