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Peak XV Imperial Porter - Black Diamond Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Peak XV Imperial PorterPeak XV Imperial Porter

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

95 Ratings
THE BROS
64
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.18
pDev: 27.04%
Wants: 0
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
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: 95 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yeahnatenelson
1.55/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Note: When I got this bottle my assumption was that the gold coating was wax, however I came to learn that it's in fact some kind of resin-based peanut brittle. WTF?

Appearance -- Pours a deep dark brown with ruby highlights and an abundance of foamy, saison-like head. Not bad but...weird. Infected? Big bucks, no whammies...

Smell -- Ruh-Roh. Plastic, coffee, artificial vanilla extract, dark chocolate, tart cherry. Signs point to infected.

Taste -- Fortunately the infection isn't as terribly present as I had initially feared. The principal flavors are ground coffee, well-roasted malt, dark chocolate, and artificial vanilla. Still, the infection is clearly building up with notable industrial plastic flavor and tart cherry. Lasting flavor of coffee grounds, sour cherries, and burnt plastic.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with high carbonation. Dry and tannic in the finish. Also waxy.

Drinkability -- Not great. It seems that, had I drank this when I first got it two months ago, it might have tasted fine, although something tells me I would've have necessarily been bowled over with all of that fake vanilla flavor.

If you have this in your possession, by all means open it now. If not, definitely pass on this one.

yeahnatenelson, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of seand
3.08/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

seand, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of GabrielM
1.8/5  rDev -43.4%
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.

GabrielM, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of Overlord
1.23/5  rDev -61.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours brownish black with a gigantic, overflowing, insane head. I mean, it's just ridiculous. I immediately suspected infection. Yeah, it was just starting to take hold. The ten inches of foam per one inch of beer was a light tan.

Smells like roasted malt, slightly sour/infected yeasty coffee, and ... ugh. SMells bad.

Tastes bad, too. Some light fake-y tasting vanilla, a bit of chocolate, but mostly it's an enormous sourish charcoal roasted astringent/acrid mess.

So. carbonated.

Overlord, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.23/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
1.3/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: The wax was nearly impenetrable, but after finally getting through it, I popped the cap only to have tan foam come climbing out of the bottle. The pour is a dark brown color with an enormous tan/brown head. Infection?

S: My fears are confirmed on the nose. Slightly acidic roasted malts along with coffee and...peaches. Some other sour fruit notes like lemon and green apple, but the amount of peach aroma is quite startling.

T: It's even worse on the palate. The flavor opens up with broccoli stalks before moving on to the peach flavor. The tartness is subtle, but this is a friggin imperial porter, not an oud bruin. Roasted malts and coffee are still there.

M: The body is light to medium with a high level of carbonation for this style of beer. Most likely a byproduct of the infection.

D: This was just all kinds of bad. I don't have any desire to try this again.

womencantsail, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of Beerenauslese
3.73/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

Beerenauslese, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
3.75/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

Gobzilla, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of tjfinkle
3.63/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

tjfinkle, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of SanFranceIsco
3.4/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

SanFranceIsco, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of TheJollyHop
3.78/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

TheJollyHop, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of Aenema
3.93/5  rDev +23.6%
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.

Aenema, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of kwjd
3.6/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

kwjd, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of DaveHS
3.63/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

DaveHS, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
2.98/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

SanDiegoBeerLove, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of Zorro
3.38/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Zorro, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of popery
3.58/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

popery, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of gregmoscetti
2.1/5  rDev -34%
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.

gregmoscetti, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Sammy, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of 1759Girl
3.95/5  rDev +24.2%
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

1759Girl, Aug 01, 2010
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Peak XV Imperial Porter from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
74 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.