Czar Jack Imperial Stout
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Czar Jack Imperial StoutCzar Jack Imperial Stout
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Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #26
ABV:
9.3%
Score:
96
Ranked #461
Avg:
4.4 | pDev: 11.59%
Reviews:
156
Ratings:
435
From:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
 
Minnesota, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  522
Gots
  26
SCORE
96
World-Class
Czar Jack Imperial StoutCzar Jack Imperial Stout
Notes: Ol' Jack Frost aged in Jack Daniels barrels.
Reviews: 156 | Ratings: 435 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of morimech
morimech from Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2020 vintage on-tap at the brewery. I had this in conjunction with the Rickhouse series. It was far superior to the individual pieces used to make this beer, just proves that blending proves a role in beer making. But the sum of its parts fall short of other bourbon barrel stouts. Felt a bit weak, lacking in depth, and not a lot of character. Very disappointed in the amount of anticipation I had in this beer, but overall it is still a very well executed beer.

Feb 21, 2020
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Town Hall Brewery, Minneapolis, MN

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a finger high tan colored head that has very good retention properties and consistently left a half finger high head covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of chocolate and dark malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is very chocolatey and has flavors of dark malts with hints of roasted malts.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a little dry on the palate with a moderate amount fo carbonation.
O: This stout is very malty and is packed with chocolatey aromas and flavors. It hides its alcohol very well.

Serving type: on-tap

Aug 04, 2019
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750ml growler. Fill date is February of 2017. Obtained during 2017 Barrel Aged Week.
Black colored body, with a slight edge of brown back lit highlights. Initial pour results in one finger tan head, which sticks around as thin cap. Leaves behind webs of lacing.
Aroma of dark roasted malts, caramel, dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, and vanilla.
Taste follows with chocolate, coffee, caramel, dark fruits, vanilla, and whiskey barrel.
Medium plus mouth feel. Very smooth. Appropriate carbonation.
Well aged Russian Imperial Stout with an attractive list of expressions that are enhanced by the barrel aged notes.

Feb 17, 2019
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.22/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Matte black with a thin tan blanket, this nutty, chocolatey stout has a moderate woodiness added to it via the aging, which also seems to add quite a bit of dryness. Unfortunately, there's also a metallic note ruining this one overall.

Mar 28, 2018
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

At Town Hall Lanes. Poured a jet-black color with a small, light brown head of foam. It smelled of chocolate, molasses and whiskey. Rich chocolate taste with a boozy whiskey bite.

Jul 25, 2017
Photo of BeerGuy8315
BeerGuy8315 from Iowa

4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Taproom.

A: Pours jet black in color with a one inch, frothy, khaki colored head with fair retention. Thick, khaki colored lacing throughout.

S: Aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, raisins, dark fruit, and whiskey barrel.

T: Taste matches nose well. Starts off with coffee and bitter dark chocolate followed by vanilla and caramel. Finishes with notes of dark fruit and a nice whiskey barrel character. Slight lingering bitterness.

F: Full bodied. Thick, creamy, and super smooth. Mild carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a great BA RIS. Flavor profiles meld together nicely with just the right amount of barrel character. Definitely worth tracking down and really glad I was able to try this one!

Apr 26, 2017
Photo of KVNBGRY
KVNBGRY from Florida

4.31/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A growler from 2013. Carbonation was still there. Every so slight oxidation, but it went with the beer. It had a chocolate dipped almond taste goin on. The alcohol was subdued but noticeable. The barrel characters of oak and vanilla were apparent, but once again, slightly subdued. Glad to try this

May 30, 2016
Photo of Taybeh
Taybeh from Minnesota

4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

At the brewery, served in a TH Tulip. I don't obsess over imperial stouts the way a lot of BAs seem to, but for me, this is the best beer that these guys make. Absolutely fantastic and super drinkable. Pours dark brown/black with a one finger tight khaki head that subsides quickly. Nose is fragrant and promising and modestly complex -- molasses, vanilla, a hint of tobacco, a hint of the whisky barrel. On the taste, this gets even better...starts out sweet, with molasses and then a little cherry and semi-sweet chocolate; barrel comes into play in a very complementary and non-overwhelming way on the nose, and then mid-way into the mouthful, along with some leather and sweet tobacco that go all the way to the end and linger. Mouthful is luxurious and full..very creamy and smooth; very little boozy burn at all, though it clearly packs a punch. So full of delicious flavor and so good. I'd drink this all the time if it was available more often.

Mar 28, 2016
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

64 oz. growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Nice big khaki head. Settles to a thin collar.

Smell - Lots of oak. Dark chocolate. Woody. Kinda chaulky. Light bourbon.

Taste - Dark chocolate. Bitter woodiness. Lingering burnt malt. Bourbon and oak in the back end.

Mouthfeel - Remarkably easy to drink. Medium low carbonation. Medium body.

Overall - Tasty and approachable stout. Not a huge beer and not an intense barrel.

Jul 11, 2014
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311 from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Backlogged entry, reviewed from notes. The appearance is pitch black with thick brown head and great head retention for the stature of this brew. The nose features heavy molasses, undeniable Jack character which brings some "rough" oaky notes. This is paired with chocolate, dark fruit, and more oak. The taste is ashy up front with definite charred barrel character. Heavy whiskey with a sweet malt profile. Roasted malt sneaks its way through at the end. The mouthfeel has higher than average carbonation and a relatively thin mouthfeel. Overall, this has a ton of flavor, but is somewhat harsh with the whiskey character.

May 12, 2014
Photo of Vonerichs
Vonerichs from Colorado

4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a dense and considerable amount of cinnamon colored head.

Loads of bakers chocolate, root beer, and vanilla in the nose. Like a boozy root beer float.

The barrel accentuates the vanilla and oak while still
letting the underlying beer shine. It has a slight heat, but not boozy by any means. Bitter and sweet chocolate, a dark roast, fudge brownies, and root beer.

Very smooth and heavy body. Moderate carbonation.

Highly recommended and one of the better beers from TH, and I mean that in a complimentary way.

Apr 30, 2014
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery. 12 oz served cold in a tulip glass today 4/19/2014.

A- pitch black body, thick with a dark mocha head that has the best retention of any BA stout I've ever seen. Thick, filmy and stays for what feels like forever. Not much lacing

S- sweet dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, a touch of Cherry and just the right amount of bourbon and vanilla.

T- Roast malt, milk chocolate, coffee, well integrated bourbon that adds more sweetness and a touch of vanilla. The roast really helps counterbalances the sweetness.

M- full bodied. Well carbonated, creamy almost. Sweet, mocha-like aftertaste that's balanced by a roasty bitterness.

O- excellent RIS that has the right touch of bourbon barrel aging. The barrels add a lot to the character without overwhelming the base beer.

Apr 20, 2014
Photo of Norseman
Norseman from Illinois

4.74/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beer #500

First visit to Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery. Will not be my last. Czar Jack had just been put on the taps at the end of their Barrel Aged Week. Pitch black pour with minimal head. Bourbon plus on the aroma. Same on the taste but also vanilla with very light coffee and tobacco. Mouthfeel a tad thin but didn't detract much. Very glad to have tried this offering from MTHB.

Apr 19, 2014
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas from Louisiana

4.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a growler.

Pitch black body, opaque, dark brown finger of rocky, frothy head. Dissipated to a foamy ring and just looks sexy. The aroma is rich with Belgian chocolate, bourbon, charred oak, burnt cara,el, vanilla beans, roasted coffee and fudge. On the taste, there's this luxurious, velvety chocolate, like truffles and mousse. Mildly bourbon-y with some smoldering woodiness, vanilla, and espresso. Finishes with some mild warming alcohol in the back of your throat. The body is so incredibly silky, smooth, thick and viscous, rich, but not too heavy. Nothing is cloying, despite being rediculously decadent.

I don't have really anything I can complain about this. The flavors are so complex it's stupid, and so drinkable it's scary.

Big ups to Shane for sharing! Very glad we could get a big group together to share this!

Aug 05, 2013
Photo of Rutager
Rutager from Canada

4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

CP filled growler that I've had since the cold winter months. Thanks Steasy66, been looking forward to this bad boy.

Appearance. Pours fairly thick, black, and topped with a finger of pretty dark brown head that had moderate retention.

Smell. Dark chocolate, woody bourbon, vanilla and a little bit of licorice root and prune plums.

Taste. Nice semi sweet bakers chocolate, lots of toasted oak, a dash of bourbon and licorice root, and just a trace of dark fruit. Very nice. The dark chocolate lingers a while.

Mouthfeel. Pretty full body, medium-low carbonation.

Overall. Fantastic stuff. Lots of wood and chocolate, bourbon is complimentary and not even close to overdone. Just how a BB RIS should be imo. Thanks again man, you always hook me up with the goods.

Jul 29, 2013
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77 from Delaware

4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

3/6/13 filled, growler drank 7/20/13
MN town hall glass

A: Pours pitch black. Motor oil. Thin layer of dark tan head. Amazing how for MN town hall growler system works! Still amazing carbonation streaming up the glass.

S: Typical chocolate roast and normal hints. Cocoa puffs. Vanilla and caramel. Some dark fruits maybe. Coffee.

T: Deep dark chocolate up front. Dark roast coffee. Vanilla hints. Medium bodied. Finish is long. This is really drinkable. There is some heat on the back end but nothing overly offensive.

M: Full bodied.

Jul 22, 2013
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim from New York

4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

64oz. growler into a Brooklyn Brewer snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a viscous pitch black with a .25 finger dark mocha head that dissipates quickly. Big, oily and sticky legs that clings heavily to the glass. Lacing is spotty and mineral. As expected due to the style and serving vessel.

Nose is chocolate, fudge, sweet soy sauce, molasses, roasted malt, toasted almonds and brownie. Booziness is deep but well hidden. Not the most aromatic but the flavors are well integrated.

Opens chocolate and sweet soy sauce. Roast and molasses sweetness in the middle with layers of fudge and more chocolate. Dark fruit and booziness sneak in at the end right before a chocolate finish. Aftertaste is booze, roast, and more dark fruit and chocolate sweetness. Really good.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Oily, slick, and smooth in the mouth and warm going down. Messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Perfect for what it is. I actually like the slightly thinner body here.

A hyped brew that I have to say really lives up to the billing. The barrel presence is subtle, showcasing the complex and well integrated and complementary flavors. Feel is just right and the smell and look fit the style well. Definitely worth a try and another winner from Town Hall.

Mar 25, 2013
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64 from Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

64oz growler filled on 3/5/13 split six ways and poured into Teku Glass. Consumed on 3/14 and reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a midnight black with about a fingers worth of light mocha brown head that recedes a moderate pace leaving some light spotty lacing, recedes to a flat top.

S- Dark chocolate with some light oak, vanilla, and a slight sweet bourbon presence. Not overly aromatic with some light booze present but not bad for being almost 10%. Overall aroma is pretty nice but could have had more potential.

T- Dark creamy chocolate, coconuts, vanilla some light oak and fairly light bourbon. Well balanced with nice rich flavors although bourbon could have come out a little bit more.

M- Very smooth, lightly creamy, medium bodied, nice carbonation, very easy drinking.

O- This was a very nice barrel-aged RIS that definitely did not disappoint. It was very easy drinking and had some nice rich creamy flavors with a fairly nice balance. I would love to try this again and I wish they could bottle it more regularly (without it being infected).

Mar 23, 2013
Photo of zeledonia
zeledonia from Washington

4.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at the brewery in the wake of barrel-aged week. Tasted 26 February 2013, reviewed from notes.

Pours black as night. Big pillow of dark, grayish brown head, to the brim of the glass. Retention is really good, lacing is just not quite impressive enough for a 5. Served toooo cold, but poured into a gorgeous Town Hall tulip (I want one).

Really nice in the nose, very balanced and well integrated, with just a little bump of Jack Daniels. Most of what I get from the barrel is really strong oak, a little bit of woody vanilla. The stout is roasty and rich, mildly sweet. Overall, it's woody, but rich and roasty and well put together.

Taste is a bit bimodal, with a higher, sharper peak on the right from the Jack Daniels, in the latter part of the flavor. The base stout is fantastic, rich and roasty, and I think I might like it better on its own (though it's sometimes hard to pick out what the barrel is adding). A little sharper than I'd like, especially that back end, but maybe that's my bad Jack Daniels experience speaking. The whiskey is like smooth smooth smooth, pop, just reminding you sharply that it's there. I don't really like that pop - I'd much prefer a smoother integration. Not as heavy on the Jack Daniels as I thought it might be, which is good, since I don't really like JD all that much (after a bad experience with it in high school). The points that I liked least were those where the Jack Daniels reared up and was most assertive.

Mouthfeel is really nice, heavy-bodied and smooth; not as chewy as some imperial stouts, but smooth and luscious. Carbonation is low, but not too low, as it should be for an imperial stout. Right on.

I'd put this in the upper tier of barrel-aged stouts, but on the lower end of that upper tier. I don't think it's on the level of KBS, BCBS, or certainly Black Note - in the same universe, but not the same neighborhood. But overall, it's really good. As a final note, I find it pretty annoying that Town Hall serves their barrel-aged beers so darn cold. Every one I've had, I've needed to give 20 minutes or so to warm up. This one I was cradling in my hands, as I was in a bit of a hurry.

Mar 10, 2013
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barleywinefiend from Washington

1.98/5  rDev -55%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

A: Poured a deep, dark brown nearly black with a dark brown cap which has some staying power; leaving bubbles and a brown collar clinging to the glass

S: Green funk like sour apple, metal, chocolate and booze

T: Dooooh! Like sour apple green funky stuff. Infected indeed. Really not going to bother finishing the tasting notes on this...

M: Abrasive and I ain't talkin' Surly folks, overcarbed and funky, sharp and off-putting to put it mildly

O: Roll the dice on this one.

Mar 05, 2013
Photo of JackieTH
JackieTH from Minnesota

4.62/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Czar Jack 2013 (growler)

Foreboding deep brown-black pour with a thin angry film of deep mocha foam. Trace of lacing.

Smells of rum cake, raisins, dark chocolate, toasted coconut, vanilla..delicious.

Taste is semi-sweet chocolate, figs, raisins, coconut rum cake. Lightly sweet. Very complex with layer upon layer of flavor.

Nice zing of carbonation cuts through the richly layered flavors. Creamy mouthfeel. Medium heavy body is actually lighter than I expected.

No hint of ABV.

Very very good...it will be challenge for me NOT to finish this entire growler tonight..

Feb 27, 2013
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX from Washington

2.61/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2012 bottle opened on 1.24.13.

A - Pours a very dark brown with a huge mocha brown head that just sits there.

S - Booze, wood, ripe fruit, slight cherry.

T - Sour cherry, tin, damn it! This one is infected.

D - Tons of carbonation and a medium body.

O - I see what this could have been, but it isn't!

Jan 31, 2013
Photo of GregSVT
GregSVT from Texas

4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tulip

A: Pours black with a really brown head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose starts with chocolate, vanilla, slight notes of molasses, and a hint of earthy hops.

T: The taste is similar with great flavors of chocolate, vanilla, citrus, and a bit of molasses on the finish.

M: The feel is medium bodied and really creamy.

O: This is not exactly a top 5 stout but it's still pretty tasty. A bit less hops and this could be fantastic...just not my style. This bottle was definitely not infected!

Dec 25, 2012
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator from California

1.86/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of lurchingbeast. From notes.

A: Pours black with a mocha-colored head. Very foamy, but I'm hoping this is just a bottling issue.

S: Metallic, roasty chocolate with a mild bourbon nose. I'm hoping this isn't infected.

T: Hopes dashed. Tart cherry, a mild sourness, and strong metallicity. Bourbon and roast are restrained. This is way off.

M: Light-bodied and overcarbed.

O: Yuck.

Nov 16, 2012
Photo of MrVonzipper
MrVonzipper from California

3.48/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black with fluffy khaki head and good retention

Nose is roasty. Chocolate, roasted nuts, mild coffee and bourbon and faint dark fruit.

Standard characteristics of what I'd want in a BA Stout just on the weaker, almost watered down side. Follows the nose.

Mouthfeel is on the this side for the style. Another disappointment for me. Medium carbonation.

Overall I just don't think Minnesota makes very good BA Stouts. They are good but not great.

Aug 28, 2012
Czar Jack Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 435 ratings