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Peak XV Imperial Porter - Black Diamond Brewing Co.

Peak XV Imperial PorterPeak XV Imperial Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
74
okay

84 Ratings
THE BROS
64
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.16
pDev: 27.53%


Brewed by:
Black Diamond Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: 1759Girl on 08-01-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 48 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of i4ourgot
i4ourgot

California

3.86/5  rDev +22.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2014 03:43:07 | More by i4ourgot
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

2.78/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer tastes like a wet dog. Seriously disgusting, on draft at the Meridian pint, serve in a pint glass.

Beer is black / brown, hazy with a thin tan head, moderate to low carbonation, low retention, minimal lacing, looks fine.

Aroma is a little sweet, a little vanilla, a little malt, minimal roast.

Beer is light in body, watery and thin, the midpalate opens up to this wet wool / dog bathwater sort of flavor that makes me want to stop drinking immediately. So I do.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2012 14:10:06 | More by drabmuh
Photo of 1759Girl
1759Girl

California

3.95/5  rDev +25%
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

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2010 20:46:07 | More by 1759Girl
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter

Oregon

2.56/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Nice finger and half of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is chocolate with a touch of vanilla. It's nice but tough to distinguish any other smells.
Well, this combination of porter, vanilla beans and cacao nibs is a bad idea. There's a bitter/sour/chocolate taste throughout that ruins the whole thing.
The texture is thicker with low carbonation.
Not recommended unless you'd like a sour chocolate porter.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 03:23:13 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.24/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 23:54:08 | More by Slatetank
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus

Washington

2.73/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle poured into a large stein. Can't find a best by or bottled on date.

Pours black with a bug luxurious head, which fades very slowly, and is supported by a healthy amount of carbonation. Smell is chocolatey, a little vanilla, yeast.

Taste is chocolatey, vanilla, sweet. Some cherry. Too sweet. I expect a lot more roastiness from a porter. Something about this makes me think of a chocolate soda. It is not bad, but not what I want from a porter.

Mouthfeel is thick but has an oily slickness. Overall, this is not a well conceived beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2013 22:28:33 | More by snaotheus
Photo of dvb
dvb

Washington

1.3/5  rDev -58.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 02:27:13 | More by dvb
Photo of codsmith
codsmith

Illinois

2.1/5  rDev -33.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 00:32:12 | More by codsmith
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired at a local beer store for $6.49. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Expectations are above average; I really liked this brewery's IPA and I'm a big fan of vanilla porters. Although current ratings are quite low.

Served after a warming period after being taken out of the refrigerator. I was looking over the current reviews and noted a tendency toward infection, so I braced myself for beer surging...

...and luckily there was none. I guess other reviewers had waxed caps? Mine is standard, no wax, and there are no surging issues.

A: Pours a half finger khaki-tan colour head of lackluster cream, decent thickness, and bad retention (<30 seconds). Colour is a solid dark black (not quite jet black). Nontransparent / opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks okay for the style.

Sm: Cocoa, booze, artificial vanilla, overdone malt sweetness, and roast. Not real well balanced. Victory At Sea this is not. I'd even go so far as to say there's a hint of whiskey. An average strength aroma.

T: Artificial vanilla up front carries into the second act and then dies at the midpoint. The bitter roast keeps going, though, even overstaying its welcome through the finish. Quite imbalanced. Dark malts form the unobtrusive foundation. Strangely sweet on the open. A bit of alcohol is evident on the climax. I get oak more than chocolate; in fact chocolate is eerily missing. Frankly, this is just a simple two note beer: first half - vanilla; second half - untamed roast. To be constructive, the vanilla isn't bad up front; in fact, this wouldn't be too bad if the whole profile was just that surging vanilla cream.

Mf: Creamy up front, but it hits the brakes when it delves into the third act's dryness and coarseness. Doesn't really suit the flavours, though it mirrors their imbalance. Carbonation is slightly high. Thickness is good.

Dr: There are good elements here, but the balance is just off. I have faith this brewery could fix make this into a great beer with some work; the vanilla does work well here. All things considered, though, it's quite a disappointment. Might be better on-draught. I'll be sticking to Victory At Sea for my imperial porter fix, but this wasn't an awful effort from Black Diamond, and the price could be worse.

C

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 05:36:10 | More by kojevergas
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. cool label, but no date.

appears not quite black, dark brown in the corners. cream colored head. big milk chocolate aroma, very nice.

slightly sweet chocolate flavor in the taste, a touch of caramel. balanced by a bittersweet dry finish. smooth velvety mouthfeel, medium thickness, lower carbonation.

overall - very good, maybe could just be a bit thicker.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 03:35:18 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

2.75/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chocolate smell and more chocolate in the taste. So sweet and flavorful, it's like a chilled mug of cocoa. Rather sweet. An odd aftertaste of some bitterish stuff. Looks nice enough, with coarse bubbles and a copper-tinged brown.

I guess this is one of those love of hate beers. I hate it. The chocolate is so strong, and there just seems to be no actual flavors of malt or hops. The bubbles are pleasant enough. It is well made, and the mouthful of sweet cocoa is a nice enough flavor. But it starts with a smell of potting soil and ends with a harsh bitterness. Good chocolate, though. It needs food to take your mind off the flavor.

From the 22 oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2012 06:09:37 | More by mactrail
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver

California

3.78/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 03:51:58 | More by SHODriver
Photo of Kevlee722
Kevlee722

Washington

3.45/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 04:59:39 | More by Kevlee722
Photo of Burlyn
Burlyn


3.23/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 05:48:52 | More by Burlyn
Photo of kaseydad
kaseydad

California

3.93/5  rDev +24.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2012 00:58:07 | More by kaseydad
Photo of Topher78
Topher78

California

3.75/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 16:18:43 | More by Topher78
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho

Washington

3.58/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2012 22:06:20 | More by flagmantho
Photo of Siggy125
Siggy125

California

3.83/5  rDev +21.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 02:21:05 | More by Siggy125
Photo of Philousa
Philousa

California

2.75/5  rDev -13%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 05:32:04 | More by Philousa
Photo of WorldWideStout
WorldWideStout

Maryland

3.55/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 06:13:53 | More by WorldWideStout
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
Beer4Baltimore

Maryland

2.5/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

standard 22 ounce bomber
A - a thin looking dark but not black with no head.
S - I don't smell much of the advertised vanilla or chocolate but do detect just a hint of smokiness.
T - malty weakness with no real backbone aside from some sweet smoky flavor.
M - thin, very thin.
D - definitely a one time purchase.
extremely sweet diluted soy sauce anyone?

update:(10-15-2011) I've read from various places that some of these bottles may have been infected.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 23:29:45 | More by Beer4Baltimore
Photo of LaneMeyer
LaneMeyer

California

1.4/5  rDev -55.7%
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...

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2011 05:58:49 | More by LaneMeyer
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

2.7/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #50 (March 2011):

Faint crackle from the head; dark mahogany color. Aromas are a bit faint—vanilla and cacao nibs are there with yeast, even more faint acrid roasted grain and currants. Vanilla drops some sweetness, and roasty flavors pull on the palate a bit but don’t really flesh out. Yeast tone clashes with the roasted character. Beef broth? The finish becomes a little less desirable with the yeast coming to the forefront as well as a bitter tone from the lingering roasted flavor. A cleanup job is needed here.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2011 13:24:16 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

1/5  rDev -68.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to a well-meaning good trader for throwing this into a recent deal.

Unfortunately, this turned into a debacle. After struggling to negotiate the diamond-hard, but pretty, golden wax, the top finally popped off - & out came beer. All over the countertop, floor, my slippers, the bottle, opener, everything. Gusher!

I thought maybe I'd done something, but no. One whiff of this beast verified a serious problem - sour, disgusting, vile fruit flowed up from the neck of the bottle. I even tried to pour it, but got an ounce or two of beer with a full snifter full of angry white foam. A sip or two confirmed a foul infection. My wife took one sniff & refused to let it touch her chaste lips.

Infected. Drain pour. Disappointed, this one sounded good.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 02:53:30 | More by maximum12
Photo of duluoz
duluoz

California

3.73/5  rDev +18%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 01:45:18 | More by duluoz
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Peak XV Imperial Porter from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
74 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.