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Imperial Stout - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

142 Reviews

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Reviews: 142
Hads: 449
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 5.16%
Wants: 110
Gots: 140 | FT: 21
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 (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 142 | Hads: 449
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a recent trade with hopsleeroy. Thanks Lee!

Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Appearance: Opaque, pitch black body with a creamy, brown halo that drags spotty lace. The body looks very thick - I love swirling it. Head retention is alright; could be better.

Smell: Chocolate milk, roasted barley, and dark chocolate come through from the start. With time, molasses and dark currants enter the fold, adding some more sweetness and a little tang. Not too exciting or complex, but pleasant.

Taste: Complex chocolate flavors throughout: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, fudge, cocoa. Sweet, but nowhere near cloyingly sweet. Cocoa, roasted barley, and nuts mix with earth and dry pine to form a very balanced finish and aftertaste. Roastiness picks up a bit as it warms, and peanut butter (esp. Nutter Butter) emerges as a beautiful undertone. Fantastic balance - very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Full, creamy, delicately carbonated, and impeccably smooth. Each sip finishes mildly bitter and warm, with just the right amount of residual sweetness. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Overall: Spot on style-wise and one of the smoothest imperial stouts I've ever had. This is a large beer, but find a friend and you two will have no problem polishing it off. (1,260 characters)

Photo of CooperEllis
3.58/5  rDev -12%
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.

(117th) (718 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
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... (1,084 characters)

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Commis for the hookup on this one. Poured from a bomber into a Stone Brewery pint glass...

A - Pours black with a two finger tan head. Nice head retention, and a good amount lacing to be had here...

S - Smells pretty sweet with dark fruits, honey, and chocolate notes coming through...

T - Not as much honey comes through in the taste as I had expected. Nonetheless, this one is deliciously sweet. Plums, chocolate,and a hint of honey and vanilla. A touch of coffee comes through in the finish. Very well balanced brew. Not overly sweet by any means, and the ABV is very well hidden...

M - This one is a little light for the style, but is very smooth, and easy to drink. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation...

D - Definitely something I would be interesting in trying again if I can get my hands on another bottle. Olde Hickory brewed another winner here...

Cheers... (901 characters)

Photo of TheDTrain
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to kenneyho for this. Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Pours a seemingly viscous black. Two fingers of creamy/frothy light brown head with average retention and a reasonably sized ring of lacing.

4.5 S: This is the type of imperial stout nose that I live for. Harmonious mixture of sweet and roasty with each component working together with the whole. Milk chocolate with an almost lactose-like vibe. The chocolate flavors mend well with coffee flavors forming something like a cold cafe mocha. I can't really pick the honey out by itself, but I think it's meshing with the others flavors. A big roastiness ties all the flavors together. Robust and elegant this is.

3.5: T: I see where the honey is now. It's all in the taste! Anyway, unlike what the nose suggests, the taste is a bit sweeter than I'd prefer or perhaps just not roasty enough. Lots of caramel malt in this gives a caramel and toffee flavor that stands tall. Raisin, figs, some anise, chocolate milkshake, roasted coffee, and some roasted barley. Werid mixture of roasty and cloying on finish.

4.0 M: Heavier medium body. The honey definitely influenced the body, I believe. Anyway, reasonably creamy with good carbonation.

3.5 D: Definitely not a bad brew, but there's something about this that I don't care for. That said, I'm sure that most people would thoroughly enjoy this. Good overall and worth a try. (1,389 characters)

Photo of errantnight
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A silky smooth, rich, gorgeous looking deep black with a creamy, thick head. Flavor and aroma are deceptively simple, with delicate notes of ripe fruit amidst robust chocolate and coffee. Rich, silky, smooth. A firm finishing bitterness rounds off the brew.

Thanks, Scifan, for this one. A truly pleasant surprise, and better than a lot of the more highly hyped stouts around. (377 characters)

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep dark pitch black color with a thin brown head and a little lacing. Smells of rich malts, sweet chocolate, burnt coffee, and a little vanilla. Tastes of vanilla, sweet chocolate, coffee, and tons and tons of malts. Mouthfeel is okay with a mild carbonation. Drinkability is okay. (291 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber from Trevor.

Pours dark, dark brown, definitely not oil slick black like the Event Horizon with a lighter tan head than the EH which recedes slowly to a thin cap and leaves little lacing.

Aroma is heavily roasted, massive black malts with some hops as well. Cocoa powder and sweet honey as well.

Thie taste is just as good and might be better than Event Horizon. It's a perfect balance of heavily roasted chocolate malts, light earthy hops, bakers chocolate and honey. The finish is a really pleasant bittersweet mix of vanilla, malts and honey.

The mouthfeel is super smooth and well carbonated. The most impressive thing for me was the completely hidden ABV. Just doesn't taste like 10%+. Very complex, tasty, smooth, well done. It's probably not quite as good as Event Horizon but it's close. Right up there with Event Horizon. (846 characters)

Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (709 characters)

Photo of atsprings
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a Hopus tulip pours a deep opaque black with a decent off white head. Aroma is roasted malts and a bit of molasses. The taste is loads of smooth roasted malts, bitter cocoa, molasses and a bit of coffee. The beer is medium bodied with mild carbonation. This is a very enjoyable Imperial Stout, while it's no Event Horizon, it's still great. (357 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with a finger of tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

S: A little bit too boozy on the nose, but otherwise, good. I get lots of bitter dark chocolate and roast with a pleasing vanilla note. There's a mild coffee aroma and some floral notes that might be from the honey or from the hops (which there seem to be a fair amount of).

T: Decently roasty to begin with, but there is quite a strong level of bitterness. The bitterness seems to come from the hops, roast, and some dark chocolate flavor. A mild coffee flavor to go with licorice and dark fruits which add a nice complexity.

M: The body is maybe a little bit thin for an imperial stout, but still in the medium range. The carbonation is also medium.

D: A little bit of booze, but pretty good overall. I like the level of bitterness which prevents the beer from being too sweet without being overbearing. (963 characters)

Photo of beerenjoyer1
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A friend of mine gave this beer while was visiting in Charlotte, NC. The Olde Hickory Imperial Stout is a really good beer. The appearance is dark as a good stout should be with a small foam. As one drinks this beer it drains with "legs" almost like a hoppy beer. The smell is very good with lots of complexity with hints of coffee and chocolate. The taste is big, with robust flavor with a hint of honey in the finish. This beer is big in drinkability and mouthfeel and the imperial Stout from Olde Hickory is super. I look forward to getting some of this beer home. (567 characters)

Photo of craytonic
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Brawley's

Appearance: Jet black pour, enormous mocha head. Beautiful lacing. This one looks great!

Smell: Lots of roast, too much for me but I don't like roast, along with some coffee, bitter chocolate, and vanilla

Taste: Again lots of roast, bitter chocolate, espresso and vanilla, perhaps with some toffee. I don't really notice the honey here like I did with event horizon. In fact, I much prefer event horizon. I think I may be getting some malt as well, like in a malt ball.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, a bit chewy.

Drinkability: Due to the roast aspect I couldn't down this one like I could event horizon. (629 characters)

Photo of GehenHerzog
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A bomber purchased from Brawley's (it's becoming a pleasant theme because Mike is the absolute man) poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter.

A- Deep, opaque black, with a very small tan head. Not great but solid.

S- Smells of chocolate but it is really a very subtle smell. Not a whole lot here but smells good. The alcohol is noticeable in the scent.

T- Tastes of chocolate up front. In the back end I get a good amount of coffee and ends with a nice flavor of honey.

M- Thick, smooth and very little carbonation.

D- the 10.2% abv is dangerously hidden. It goes down smooth as if there is no alcohol at all.

Again, another great product from Olde Hickory. I have had 1 miscue with OH and the others have been phenomenal. I only purchased one but I think I will be back for more. (785 characters)

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: unibroue tulip, the beer is - not surprisingly - pitch black in color, sporting a lightly retained rusty-mocha head

s: big chocolate roasted barley nose, sweet burnt sugars and dark fruits underneath, maybe even some honey pulling through, mild alcohol, very nice

m: carbonation low, smooth and silky, with a medium-full body that glides across the palate, satisfying

t: lots of rich, full roast flavors, dark chocolate barley, extremely chocolaty, espresso, beginning sweet but moving towards astringent roasts in the second half creates a nice contrast, dark fruits and burnt sugars persist underneath the roast load, hops mild, honey mostly lost in the mix, quite tasty

d: easily drinkable with very little booze heat - even consumed at room temperature, a roast bomb of an imperial stout - it's a very good IS, just don't think it has the depth for higher scores

bomber from Bruisin', just around a year old (919 characters)

Photo of GeezLynn
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Minnesota Snowstorm 2010. Car's stuck in 15" of snow and seems like a perfect night to crack this bottle from my SE travels. Poured into a CCB snifter.

A: Jet black with a small tan head that's easily revived.

S: Bittersweet chocolate, old coffee, raisin and black currants.

T: Dense charred malt grabs your attention initially. It's also a very sweet and fruity stout, with raisin and berry flavors. Honey is very noticeable along with licorice and a touch of leafy hops.

M: Thick and sticky with a low level of carbonation.

Overall, a pretty good stout. A little fruity for my tastes, but would definitely purchase it again. (632 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, its cap encased beneath a glittery-gold waxen substance that is tougher than Fort Knox to break into - 'OHB' stamped on top. Poured to a snifter after warming 15 minutes or so. Big thanks to Metalmonk for the springtime send...only took 6 months (worth the wait)!

10.6% Alc/Vol on the label. The front features a crowned brown bear, filled glass in paw, befriending/harrassing a hive of busy honeybees. Worth a mention: Imperial Stout - 'Ale Brewed with Honey'. NOW the label makes sense!

A: Just as pitch black as you could possibly ask for in an Imperial Stout; held to a strong light a scant bronze fringe shows. Head isn't much to get excited over; it barely covers at its best then cowers at the edges as a simple cream ring, pencil-thin. A speck or two of lace.

S: MMM...rich nose of plump sweet berries buried in dark chocolate. Vanilla-honey is pronounced at times, an intriguing sweet and floral nose. Back to the berries: a slight tartness, a lurking earthy twang.

T: Loads of dark chocolate: dirty, earthy, gritty and dry. At some point this skews more toward 'spiced coffee' - roasted French Press with a dash of cinnamon. If you like a coffee-roast in your stout, you'll love this. Any 'honey' here seems incidental: don't expect lots of sugar and sweetness. There's a grassy 'clover' side, but it hardly stands up to the charred blackness.

M: Velvety smooth and sufficiently coating feel. Very subtle booze, nothing 'hot' here just a slowly warming blanket. Thick, chewy, but not oppressive. Just impressive.

D: Quite tasty, although a little heavy on the bitterness (in the finish) and equally weight on the alcohol. Trust me, I'd love to have this again, it's just a slow sipper that goes a long way. Excellent choice, Jeff...and props to Olde Hickory. (1,791 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The thought of a big stout with honey kind of turns me on, so I stuck this on my wants list. Lo & behold, not long later the generous mjmadden places one gently in a box, wraps it with 3 1/2 pounds, & ships it to me in an excellent BIF. My first taste of Olde Hickory.

Pours black. Ring of thin, persistent capping. Veery, veery easy on the nose. The sweetness of the honey is readily apparent, & there's almost a roasted, porter-like quality to it. Smells lighter than a big stout, although that doesn't make any sense.

This, like, totally rules man! Whomever thought to put bee-puke into a blacker-than-tar stout really had his/her thinkin' can on. First impression isn't even on taste, but how ridiculously smooth this is, almost like an alcoholic, old-fashioned cream soda. I have to linger on that for a while...wait with me.


OK. After such extraordinary mouthfeel, I can almost concentrate on the taste, but it's hard. Creamy chocolate, B flat of roast, rolled spoonful of good honey thrown in. A nice, developing spike of bitterness glides in at the end, a brief dosing of hops, & the quiet alcohol bite is almost reminiscent of rum splashing about the glass.

I gotta go excellent on this puppy. For me, it's defined by one of the most sophisticated mouthfeels I've experienced, a beer that politely enters your throat after wiping its feet, asking permission, & complimenting your wife. Very glad I've tried it, & looking forward to the other bomber from the brewery, too. (1,495 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
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. (1,133 characters)

Photo of nkersten
3.46/5  rDev -15%
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. (517 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
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 (535 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber shared at the Goose Island BA gathering. The wax was a total bitch to get off. I liked the label though! Served in a taster glass.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of light mocha foam that settles to a partial cap and thick ring. Near-black body with some transparent brown at the fringes.

S - Mash and huge grain character. Honey, some light alcohol and earthy hops, baker's chocolate, hints of coffee.

T - This is one very sweet - guessing it's from the honey. This is smoother and demonstrates less alcohol than the nose. Again, a lot of barley, mash, and grain character. Finishes with bitter roast coffee.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, and doesn't feel that Imperial for some reason. Finish is dry and tannic, even though this isn't barrel-aged.

D - Decent, but perhaps a bit overrated by the beer-deprived locals. I liked the honey, but I wish the grain had a bit more dark roast character to keep this from getting a little cloyingly sweet. (962 characters)

Photo of rudylaw
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
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! (673 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a dark body black in color with a small-sized, beige-colored head.

Smell: A boldly roasty scent to lift this tired, lonely drinker's spirits with striking notes of chunked bittersweet chocolate, a double-shot of espresso, and charred grains. Slightly lesser hints of vanilla bean and dark fruits.

Taste: Heavily roasty, heavily tasting of bittersweet chocolate, with a minor hint of vanilla. Like a top-notch, top-dollar mochachino or maybe fudge brownies. Roasty, earthy bitterness with a teensy bit of astringency. Some dark fruits buried within all this lavish maltiness. Late arriving molasses. Roasty, malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Nicely chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Quite good, this one. Olde Hick's Imperial Stout is a force to be reckoned with. (814 characters)

Imperial Stout from Olde Hickory Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.