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Peak XV Imperial Porter - Black Diamond Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Peak XV Imperial PorterPeak XV Imperial Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
75
okay

104 Ratings
THE BROS
64
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.23
pDev: 26.63%
Wants: 0
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Black Diamond Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: 1759Girl on 08-01-2010

A smooth drinking, dark porter brewed with raw cacao nibs and hand-cut Madagascar vanilla beans. Balanced between a coffee-like bitterness and a rich malt character, this ale is deceptively drinkable for an Imperial.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 52
Photo of flexabull
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a pretty good white head.

Aromas are of cocoa, light vanilla, some coffee and cream. Smells good, but a little bit unnatural.

Taste is not as strong as I thought it might be. Soft and creamy up front, cocoa, and hints of vanilla. Finish is crisp, with some warmth and a really roasted malt character.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, smooth, and actually a touch light.

Drinkability is not bad. It's a pretty good porter, doesn't seem like an "imperial" beer though.

I wonder if this is a reworked batch, no wax, and isn't nearly as bad as prior reviews suggest.

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of zeff80
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of robertsp
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of jricharc
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of fountainofyouth
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of WorldWideStout
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pretty much straight brown, translucent body. Two fingers of head that quickly recede without a trace.

S: Some lightly roasted notes along with dark chocolate. Not getting much in the way of vanilla, but perhaps a touch of dark fruit at the end of the sniff.

T: The first few sips were marvelous. Starts off with roastiness that is joined in the middle by vanilla. Vanilla, that contrary to a few other reviews, I find to be quite pleasing, and not artificial-tasting at all. Dark chocolate comes in at the end of the sip. 4.5

As I continue to drink, the beer does become a bit cloying, which surprised me, as it really didn't strike me as that sweet initially. The individual flavors fall away and are replaced with just a general sweetness, though I do start to get a little bit of smoke at the end. 3.5

M: Could be a tad thicker and less carbonated, but I don't think the mouthfeel clashes with the rest of the beer.

O: I'm not quite sure what to say. I really enjoyed the first third or so of the beer, and had I shared the bottle with a few friends, I probably would have given this beer very high scores. I guess some more roastiness to tone down the sweetness would be good. The vanilla and cocoa nibs were excellently integrated when I could taste them individually.

Photo of mpenning13
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Kevlee722
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into tulip glass. Big black body, nice one finger of tan head. Small amount of lace. Nose is light bourbon, caramel, vanilla and chocolate.
Taste is much the same with a large toasty character, big bold flavors but nothing too amazing. The roasted flavor takes over from the faint notes of oak and vanilla.
The mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style, but the carbonation plays nicely on the palate. Not thick and chewy like an IRS, but definitely appropriate for the style. The boldness of the flavor doesn't really match the thin mouthfeel.
A pretty decent offering from Black Diamond. Pretty drinkable and tasty but nothing worth searching too hard for. One of those brews where if you see it, grab it, but not worth hunting down.

Photo of Zorro
3.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear dark brown colored beer with a tall light brown colored head. Extremely strong head formation took 15 minutes to feel the glass.

Smells sweet with a strong aroma of patent malt. Detectable ethanol and a faint carrot stick hop scent along with a fair amount of coffee scent.

Starts out neutral sweet and strong on the patent malt. This is a beer very big on the patent malt and it pretty much is the only flavor here. Slight chocolate but this beer is all roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is good.

This is pretty much a one-flavor beer; patent malt isn't enough to interest me for that long.

Photo of SanFranceIsco
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was a little disappointed in this beer because I had asked for a chocolate stout, and all I got from this one was coffee, coffee, coffee. I was really hoping for something along the lines of Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, which this is definitely not. It has some sweetness to it, but is mostly dominated by the bitter coffee flavors.

PS: Anyone know how the hell you open one of those 22oz bottles without risking bodily injury or getting little bits of crap in your beer? That seal over the cap is definitely not wax.

Photo of Slatetank
3.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I poured this slightly colder than chilled into a nonic, the bomber was shared with Kasey.

The color is dark walnut brown with light tan cap with fine bead and spotty lace pattern is left on the glass. The smell is mildly vanilla with some light cocoa and subtle toasted accent in the nose. The feel is not especially great, but it does have a light nuttiness with subtle tannin from the nibs and mild yeast element which adds to the tanginess and moderate carbonation with some dry aspects in the finish with low alcohol presence.

The flavor is lacking in the respect that the yeast tanginess is out of place, perhaps it is a tannin from the cacao nib but the vanilla and malt suffers in the taste as a result and it is not a flavor that you want to linger since it has a vegetal element that doesn't meld well with the mild toasted malt flavors. overall it is a good beer but not great considering what what into it. I won't say I wouldn't get it again because overall this wasn't terrible, but it is not the first vanilla bean and cacao nib beer I would reach for if you know what I mean.

Photo of cam477
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of Burlyn
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: licorice black with a light brown lacey head that sticks to the sides of the glass

Sm: sweet hay and dark chocolate

T: smooth vanilla and coffee with a hint of smoky wood

M: very bubbly and crisp on the tongue

O: very different than other porters ive had before, not near as heavy, but its nice to occasionally have something different.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of casapy
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of kchannel9
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of BillRoth
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of doughanson78
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.18/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Jeez, guys, I get it. You can put wax on your caps. But seriously, it's unnecessary for a crown capped bottle, and whatever you're using is ridiculously difficult to remove.

When I finally do extricate the beer from the shattering plastic of the cap, it fizzes violently, leaving an obscenely large, overcarbonated head a good 4 inches high, above a dark reddish black coloured body. Head is quite a deep beige colour, but is far too big - even a gentle pour gives me something I need to wade through to get to the actual beer.

Decent dark characters on the nose, with a sweet vanilla note that is almost unfortunately wiped out with a faintly vinous acidic presence. I think there's something funky going on here, because underlying everything are these very pleasant choc-vanilla notes that scream as though they want to come through as soft and sweet. But the acidity ruins it.

The acidity is less pronounced on the palate, but it does feel like there's something skewed a little weirdly here too. Fortunately, the pleasant nutty and vanilla characters stream through more robustly here, especially on the back, leaving a round and sweet afterpalate. Through the centre, there is a rather pleasant dollop of roasted, charred grain bitterness which adds some depth to the palate. Feel is a little thin for such a strong flavoured beer, but it's not too bad.

There's something a little off about this beer overall, and even if it got everything right, it wouldn't be a stellar example of a flavoured American Porter. But it's drinkable enough. More like credible homebrew than credible commercial craft though.

Photo of seand
3.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a very dark opaque brown, with a huge amount of tan head. Head retains pretty well (actually too well, given how much of it results from even a gentle pour), leaving some lacing.

S: Roasted malts, some vanilla, just a touch of funky sourness.

T: Thick roasted malt again, with a slightly chemically vanilla note. The rating here is a bit difficult because there's some interesting flavors and they may have achieved what they wanted, but the mix doesn't really work for me.

M: Medium body, with a thick finish, medium carbonation.

D: So-so drinkability due to the odd flavor mix.

Photo of DMc8ride
3/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of Latarnik
3/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of cgentzkow
3/5  rDev -7.1%

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Peak XV Imperial Porter from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
75 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.