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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
72
okay

53 Reviews
THE BROS
64
poor

(Read More)
Reviews: 53
Hads: 110
rAvg: 3.02
pDev: 21.19%
Wants: 0
Gots: 12 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 53 | Hads: 110
Photo of Slatetank
3.26/5  rDev +7.9%
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. (1,094 characters)

Photo of SanFranceIsco
3.4/5  rDev +12.6%
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. (517 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.43/5  rDev +13.6%
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. (591 characters)

Photo of Kevlee722
3.45/5  rDev +14.2%
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. (745 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Augustgarage, thanks for another good one. Fresh yet lactic. Big head on black body. Some roast, malt, sourish. Not bang on the imperial porter style, as it advertises,and consistent with the high abv, though works better as a regular porter.Sourness and lactic affects drinkability, better at room temperature. (323 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.5/5  rDev +15.9%
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. (590 characters)

Photo of WorldWideStout
3.5/5  rDev +15.9%
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. (1,282 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich, nearly black hue which lets ruby through when held up to the light. Head is two fingers of pillowy tan foam which leave a nice lace on the glass. Not bad!

Smell: malty, chocolatey aroma which has an edge of harshness to it. There is vanilla in there, which might contribute to the harsh edge, but overall I think it's actually an interesting and intriguing aroma.

Taste: vanilla and chocolate definitely play a part here, but at least some of the chocolate seems malt-derived. There's a bit of a vegetal edge toward the end, which is unwelcome but is part and parcel with most dark beers. Bitterness is a bit harsh, possibly do to both spicing and dark malts.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body with a good carbonation and concomitant creaminess. I like it!

Overall: this is a somewhat bizarre porter, but I kind of like it. The vanilla adds something which I appreciate. (932 characters)

Photo of popery
3.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

These Black Diamond imperial porters have been all over the place for me. I loved the normal keg version, disliked the barrel-aged one and this bottle is just pretty good, so far. The beer pours a very, very dark ruby, essentially black, though it's just barely transparent with enough light and some color is evident. The head is creamy and beige. A morass of fine bubbles. The aroma improves significantly as it warms up to room temperature. Roasted malt, vanilla and chocolate fight it out for domination. I like it, particularly the vanilla, but there's a funny lactic note hanging around that nearly spoils the party. The flavor also suffers from this nearly sour note. I appreciate this flavor in some porters, but it's just holding back the richer flavors here. Chocolate and roasted notes seem poised in the background, but they don't come off nearly as creamy and rich as they should. Carbonation is also a problem. I would have preferred much gentler carbonation. It gets better if you let it sit, but the fizziness robs the beer of the thick, creamy feel that I got from the old keg version. I like this beer, but it's kind of a let-down. That said, I appreciate seeing a bolder bottled beer from Black Diamond and hope that they keep it up. (1,252 characters)

Photo of kwjd
3.61/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with tan head. Smell has lots of chocolate and roasted malt, but there is a lactic flavour in there. I get some coffee in the aftertaste more than upfront. I think bottle may be slightly off, but it could be what the brewer intended. It was still fine though. (278 characters)

Photo of DaveHS
3.63/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep, dark brown with ruby highlights. The inch or so of dark tan head has plenty of sticky retention, and will leave a ring on the glass with each sip. Rich aromas of chocolate mousse, dry drinking chocolate mix, vanilla bean, earthy malts, coffee and molasses. The nose really opens up after it's been sitting for a few minutes. Alternating flavors of sweet and roasted malts are up front, followed by the vanilla and chocolate. All well balanced flavors held together by bold carbonation. The mouthfeel is full bodied and smooth, with a lingering finish. A little heavy for everyday drinking, but something nice to have with some dry roasted nuts or a slice of German chocolate cake. (692 characters)

Photo of tjfinkle
3.65/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into tulip

Appearance- Very deep dark brown with light brown head, about one finger, two, three... oh crud I apparently forgot how to pour and did I mention that this is going into a new glass that I forgot to clean... whoops (the second pour I managed to remember how to pour a beer and still had a finger of fluffy head)

Smell - Roasted Coffee malts with some vanilla and leather

Taste - Again, coffee malts and vanilla initially with some dark fruits on the finish. The finish is a little harsher than I would have hoped.

Mouth- Adequate mouth feel, but you do notice the alcohol, also would say there is a bit too much carbonation for a beer of this style

Drink-Adequate beer, but again the finish is kind of harsh and not as balanced as I would hope. I assume from the waxish substance on the cap that this beer is intended to be cellared and I would not be surprised if over time it mellowed out a bit. (928 characters)

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Even at fridge temperature, this pours with a voluminous tan head with big round bubbles no matter how gently it is poured from the bottle. Body is black, dark brown at the edges. You have to wait awhile for this to settle. Sticky head retention, leaves chunks of lacing on the glass.

Sweet smells of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, hay, and a little funk.

Taste follows the nose, but the high carbonation level gets in the way. At first, there is some sweet but roasted maltiness with a little bite to it, then some chocolate and vanilla followed by a dry, bitter, espresso coffee finish that ends up with a little acidic fruitiness as the palate recovers. Takes a minute or two for all this to happen.

Body is light and the carbonation is way high. Really gives the palate a scrubbing.

Requires some patience to drink this beer, as the carbonation just won't die easily, but it is a tasty brew if you allow time for the carbonation to exit and the brew to open up. I would imagine it would be much more mellow and smoother on tap. (1,036 characters)

Photo of Topher78
3.73/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured black as night, with 1/2 a fingers worth of a mocha head that left little to no lacing. The aroma is of sweet vanilla, chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor is of heavy vanilla, bitter-sweet chocolate, toasted malt and espresso. The mouth feel has very little in the way of carbonation, so it's heavy and coats your tongue as it runs over your palate, leaving a slight alcohol warming sensation in the back of your throat. Too sweet and too much Vanilla for my taste. (484 characters)

Photo of duluoz
3.75/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer appears to have taken a beating on reviews of an earlier batch of infected bottles. I just had one that was fine, so I'll chime in.

A - Very nice black to dark brown and a light head with minimal lacing after a vigorous pour. Looks like a Porter.

S - Sweet vanilla over roasted malt, some chocolate and coffee.

T - Starts out great, with the same flavors from the aroma blending very nicely, but gets a tad sweet towards the end. As it warmed up and the vanilla shone through even more, it verged on cloying.

M - Kind of thin, but not bad. Carbonation was there, but appropriately in check.

All in all a good Porter, and it could be really good if they rounded out the body a bit and downplayed the vanilla a touch. (731 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
3.75/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown with brown highlights that had a finger of fluffy head and left nice blotchy lacing sticking to the glass. The nose was pretty decent consisting of coffee chocolate aromas with some roastiness but had faint grain, vanilla, and cocoa notes as well. The flavor was roasty coffee chocolate upfront with cocoa vanilla accents but had slight malty, booze, and grain notes. The brew was medium body with too much carbonation which had a roasty, sweet, and slight creamy finish. It drank really well but was overly carbonated and made it little hard to actually enjoy the full flavor of the beer on every sip. (622 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
3.77/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep brown that is near black with a small tan head
S: smelled kinda like bourbon at first whiff. notes of vanilla and chocolate, slightly boozy which is shocking for the low alcohol, slight molasses note as well.
T: chocolate and vanilla mostly and kinda reminds me of a candy bar. kinda nutty too. aftertaste is more vanilla and chocolate
M: slightly prickly carbonation and a bit heavy in the mouth for a porter but not too much so
O: tastes pretty solid, kinda one sided as the malts are hidden by the vanilla and chocolate additions. a bit on the sweet side though. I strongly recommend sharing this beer with somebody as it's a bit much to drink by yourself. (675 characters)

Photo of TheJollyHop
3.8/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown nearly black body capped with a dark tan, and relatively dense head.

Roasted barley, medium roast coffee, dark chocolate nose; scattered lace. Smells like a fresh cup of coffee.

Highly carbonated, dark chocolate and cocoa, light grain finish, tongue coating, and a pleasant dark chocolate bitterness on the fair-well. Medium bodied ans silky. A fairly simple coffee chocolate imperial porter but executed well. I could definitely see myself enjoying one of these after a day on the slopes (maybe even before). Solid. (529 characters)

Photo of Siggy125
3.82/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 4oz taster glass from 22oz bottle. Dark cola color with khaki head, lots of it. Heavy carbonation, lingered for quite a while then finally faded with decent lacing.

Pleasant notes of vanilla and some burnt black coffee on the nose. Fairly typical porter aroma profile, no big surprises here.

Coffe more prominent in the taste, Vanilla very faint, but just enough to remind you it's in there. The malts remind me more of a solid brown ale rather than a porter. As it warms, I get a warm booziness which tastes a bit like it was barrel aged, hmmm.

Not a beer that I would chase after for more, but I enjoyed it enough to finish the whole bottle myself. Solid porter with an interseting profile. (709 characters)

Photo of i4ourgot
3.89/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The aroma was light coffee and chocolate with a hint of vanilla. Appearance was dark with very little head that was tan in color. The beers mouth feel was smooth with low carbonation. The flavor was chocolate with a slight almost plum flavor on the first few sips. That gave way to a dominant chocolate flavor with a sweet coffee finish. There was a definite alcohol flavor that was noticeable but not un-pleasant. (414 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
3.92/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Put this in the cellar for a few months. Here goes....

Pours a dark brown color with a beige head that dissapates rather quickly leaving a small ring around the glass. No lacing.

Nice vanilla in the aroma. Getting quite a bit of that with some good cocoa whiffs and chocolate. Dark fruit too.

The taste is rather sweet with more vanilla shining through and a tobacco/dark chocolate aftertaste. Some wood as well.

Nothing earth shattering in the mouthfeel.

Overall I liked this. I know it gets some rather low scores, but I enjoyed this session. My bottle had a very pronounced vanilla and cocoa flavor that worked well. Maybe living so close to the brewery did this. I dunno. Whatever it was....me likey. (709 characters)

Photo of Aenema
3.93/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Deep brown, dark ruby highlights. Tan, foamy head that leaves splotchy lacing.
Smell - Vanilla, some roasted coffee malts, cocoa nibs, and a slight pine note.
Taste - Lots of vanilla and sweetness followed by some bitter malts.
Mouthfeel - Medium to light bodied, though a bit watery - fine carbonation that was a bit too vigorous.
Drinkability - Quite easy drinking; the biggest weakness is the mouthfeel is off a bit.
Overall - An enjoyable beer that I'd like to try again; hopefully with a smoother, creamier mouthfeel. (535 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.95/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is a very dark brown with auburn highlights on the fringes. A slight, thin filmy tan head sits upon the viscous pour. Aromas of coffee and milk chocolate, with barrel/vanilla scents, also. The beer initially tastes smokey, with underlying dark chocolate and heavy roasted
coffee. Sweet caramel and vanilla essence sneaks in at the end, especially after the beer has had a chance to warm and settle. Very smooth and creamy body helps to carry the bitterness that the chocolate and coffee
flavors leave. Leaves a slight lacing on the glass as you drink, but not overly thick; usually expect a little bit more body from a Porter. The aftertaste is slightly bittersweet, and a littly boozy. Crisp, bittering finish that begs for more. Tasty brew, and would be amazing on a cold day. I would be willing to bet this would age well, also. (881 characters)

Photo of 22Blue
3.96/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 22 ounce bottle. Pours almost black with a decent tan head. Aroma of malt, chocolate, and vanilla. Taste is roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and some coffee. Hides the 8% very well. Nice (208 characters)

Photo of 1759Girl
3.96/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance> Looks like an giant-sized perfect pull of espresso. Exactly.

Smell> Mmmmm! Burnt malt and dark chocolate. subtle vanilla nose

Taste>Not as complex as I imagined, but it IS super rich and tasty. Coffee, Chocolate, alcohol... it then sours slightly, becomes more resiny and leaves you with a carcinogenic hang. Super rich porter/

Mouf> decent

Drinkability> so good (393 characters)

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Peak XV Imperial Porter from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
72 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.