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 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 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 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 Jeffreysan
4.34/5  rDev +43.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with an eighth of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Awesome! Massive, rich, complex, earthy, inviting aromas of dark chocolate and roasted malt, bready and a touch musty, as well as strong aromas of vanilla, brown sugar, dark molasses, licorice, and candied sugar. There are also quite a lot of aromas of woody, boozy bourbon. Seductive, really.

Taste: Wow! Absolutely delicious! Strong, massive really, flavors of rich, complex, earthy, bready, roasted malt up front, imparting touches of smoke and a hint of licorice, followed by tons of dark chocolate, brown sugar-like sweetness, hits of vanilla, touches of oak and quite a bit of boozy bourbon, which imparts a slight harshness that is just a touch off-putting, but doesn’t take away from the rest of the beer’s incredibly awesome flavors!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and surprisingly, nicely effervescent, as there is much more carbonation that I’m used to with an imperial porter. With an ABV of 8.5%, there is a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is an awesome beer! Almost World-Class, in fact. The only thing keeping it from being World-Class in my opinion is that slight bourbon/alcohol harshness that accompanies the other awesome flavors. I’m sure that I find it harsh because I’m not really a bourbon fan as I find most bourbon harsh. However, I’m sure fans of bourbon will really like this and consider it a World-Class beer. Highly, highly recommended! (1,658 characters)

Photo of seand
3.1/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (592 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 Philousa
2.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep brown, almost black in appearance with little tan head. Dark, chocolatey malt in the nose with vanilla wafting over and some cocoa lingering underneath. Taste starts thick with caramel then dark chocolate kicks in and vanilla does what it can to lighten up the flavor profile and balance the heavier flavors. No hops to speak of. This is thicker than most porters, doesn't make my mouth water like usual.

I was expecting more of an alcohol kick in the nose or flavor, which I think could have gone a long way to balance the flavor a bit. While Flying Dog's imperial porter burns your throat with alcohol taste, Peak XV becomes too sweet to handle over a full glass, let alone a bomber. The interesting start fizzled into sweetness after half of a pint. (759 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 archyquaffer
4/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is just a plain old bomber with no goofy, faux-elegant wax seal. A moderate pour from a bomber into a schooner glass produces a short but sticky and creamy looking pale brown head. The beer is a very dark ruddy brown that barely admits a beam from a Mini Maglite. It is not highly carbonated and has a very subdued head.

Lots of dark fruit, chocolate and vanilla in both the aroma and flavor. The vanilla is especially noticeable in the flavor, while the chocolate is more apparent in the aroma. A very nice melding of the chocolate and vanilla with dark cherry and plum flavors and plenty of residual sweetness evokes a chocolate covered cherry. There's a bit of coffee, and some earthy hop bitterness there as well and perhaps a little smoke along with some very mellow roasted flavors. The mouth feel is creamy and fairly heavy, but appropriate for the style. The alcohol is well hidden (though the effects may not be upon reaching the bottom!).

Judging by past bad reviews, they must have improved this beer. This particular version is borderline excellent provided you like a good dessert beer. The chocolate covered cherry flavor would be very appropriate for Christmas Eve. I'm enjoying this one on New Year's Eve 2014, while the bubbly gets cold on the porch.

I purchased the 22 ounce bomber for about 7 bucks at the Hennesey Grocery in Butte, Montana. (1,379 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)

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 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 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 gregmoscetti
2.15/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

grabbed a bottle of this mess today at wholefoods in El Segundo. Opened up the wax dipped bottle to the sound of a LOT of carbonation. Knowing the style pretty well, I found that surprising.

Poured dark brown, with about 4 fingers of head on it. Once the head subsided I took a sip of the beer which was now hovering just under cellar temp to find... a terrible beer.

The taste was all too familiar, especially nowadays-- an infected bottle. I dont believe that any brewer these days would knowingly sell a soured beer and not mention it somewhere on the label. This baby was terrible. Tasted dry and chemically. Unnatural flavors beat down the vanilla and chocolate the bottle's label promised me and ended with the flavor of tartness and thin, bubbly mouthfeel that I couldnt stand more than a few sips of. If you're selling this beer, take it off the shelves and send it back to your distributor.

Black Diamond... just one more brewery to fail their quality control and therefore, the consumer. Maybe you dont dip it in wax next time, and instead, taste it first?

Dead to me. (1,085 characters)

Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
2.98/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown with 3 fingers of head off a light pour and stays at 1 mm till finished.

S - Smell of Alcohol, Sweet Chocolate, Brown Sugar, very slight Vanilla, and Black Cherry.

T - Tastes of Roasted Coffee, Chocolate, and not much more because of the carbonation.

M - Heavy carbonation which overpowers and it seems a little watery.

D - Drinkability is Ok but should be better once they start to hone their recipe for distribution.

Considering the amount of carbonation I would say this bottle is infected but has not gone sour yet. I will not be buying another bottle for awhile because of this. (605 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 codsmith
2.12/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Ordered from www.LetsPour.com

A: Pours jet black with a slight off white cream head

Smell and taste reeks of acetaldehyde. Its really great if you love green apples, but it's a major flaw in this beer and had to end up dumping it.

Mouthfeel and taste seems like it has traces of trans-2-nonenal as well.

I was really looking forward to this beer, but was sadly disappointed. (380 characters)

Photo of LaneMeyer
1.47/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Was looking forward to a nice dark dessert type beer. Man was I disappointed. Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A- Pours a deep brown with a one finger, very light tan head

S- Smells of alcohol, vanilla, and chocolate

T- Sickeningly sweet taste, weird blend of vanilla, milk chocolate and medicine. Really nasty after taste of beef jerky mixed with battery acid.

M- well carbonated, watery, thin, not impressed

O- Drainpour.

Gonna have to bust out the Stone RIS I guess... (479 characters)

Photo of GabrielM
1.88/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured into a tulip.

A - foam came up right after opening, which isn't a good sign. Massive amount of head on a very delicate pour. Once it settled, the beer looked decent.

S - very faint chocolate, then some raspberry sourness. Things are not looking/smelling good...

T - a ton of carbonation and sweet and bitter fruit taste terrible My palate is tingling, but not in a good way. Definitely infected, which is a shame because an imperial porter brewed with vanilla and cocoa was exactly what I needed tonight. This is far, far from that.

M - way too much carbonation, acidic and sour.

D - I forced down two sips and that's all I can handle. (649 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 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 WAbeerfiend
1/5  rDev -66.9%

Poured into a tulip on 05.30.14.

A: 3 1/2 finger tan head. Midnight black with a lot of red at the bottom.

S: Vanilla bean, but not sweet. It has some funk too.

T: Pickles, vinegar, and funk dominate. Chemical vanilla, cough syrup, and battery acid are more subtle.

O: This was undrinkable on the first sip. It was very sour. Maybe it was infected? Drain pour. (364 characters)

Photo of Ynot2
1.6/5  rDev -47%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Spent several minutes chipping, cutting, hacking away the plastic waxy coating. Finally found the cap, opened the cap and the suds started pouring out. Poured into a large snifter, had to slow the pour to a trickle due to overflowing head. The head is a light brown or dark beige.

The smell is a coffee and yeast mixed with sour chocolate.

This beer tastes like a cheap imitation vanilla was mixed with 3 day old coffee poured through charcoal. Can't say what the 4th sip tasted like as it was a drain pour.

The mouth was way too light and caronated for a porter.

This was not drinkable. (593 characters)

Photo of dvb
1.34/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

Serving Type: 22-ounce bomber purchased at the Olympia, WA Cost Plus World Market.

Appearance: Nice looking beer. Near-black opacity with a tan head that dissipates quickly, but not *too* quickly. This is where the fun ends.

Smell/taste: A few years ago, I made a doppelbock from an extract kit. It was extremely rich, under-attenuated and had a funky aftertaste that I just can't put into words. That's this beer. It smells and tastes just like it. But why does an imperial porter taste like a bad extract kit doppelbock? I don't know; you tell me. This is just bad. Drain pour.

Mouthfeel: It's about what you would expect: thick and sticky. In this case, that is not a good thing. (685 characters)

Photo of Burlyn
3.25/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (343 characters)

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