Czar Jack Imperial Stout | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Czar Jack Imperial StoutCzar Jack Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.35/5
423 Ratings
Czar Jack Imperial StoutCzar Jack Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Minnesota, United States
townhallbrewery.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ol' Jack Frost aged in Jack Daniels barrels.

Added by feloniousmonk on 11-01-2004

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#526
Reviews:
152
Ratings:
423
pDev:
11.95%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
531
Gots:
27
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 423 |  Reviews: 152
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.35/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of ScottP
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sean9689
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from younger35 shared with some Chicago BA's. I've had this in my cellar for several months and it opened with a hiss and was just perfect.

A - Pours black, tan head, lots of lacing along the sides of the glass and a thin filmy cap on top.

S - Subtle bourbon, oak, chocolate. The mix between stout and barrel aging is spot on. After some other not so good BA stouts, it was a nice change of pace to enjoy something so excellent.

T - Once again, excellent mix of stout and barrel aging. Not overly sweet, not a huge hot mess, like many other stouts that have been barrel aged. Chocolate, slight barrel/oak, slight alcohol.

M - Full bodied, rich, smooth, creamy, semi-dry finish.

D - Another excellent beer put out by Town Hall. This growler sat in my cellar sealed up (waxed top thanks to younger35) and had perfect carbonation and perfect flavors. One of the better BA stouts I've had recently. Get you some!

 924 characters

Photo of srandycarter
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of homebrew311
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 624 characters

Photo of koopa
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler offered by beerloco at a tasting tonight with mrsbeerloco, mikey711, and myself.

Appearance: Pours an attractive opaque with a 1 finger creamy light brown crown. The head shows moderate retention and lace.

Smell: Nice amount of Jack Daniels presence over moderate to deep roasted malt. Good amount of sweetness from the oak whiskey barrel.

Taste: Same as the nose but the sweetness doesn't come through as much. A bit muddled but the elements for success are all present.

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation, hefty for a medium bodied beer, and satisfying.

Drinkability: The alcohol flavor and abv hold it back but its good for the style.

 646 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Alucard4. Thanks bro

Woooohooo this bottle is not infected

Look: Black as night with about a 1 inch dark tan head and great retention with some circular lace

Smell: There is a nice bourbon note upfront with some spice behind it which clearly screams jack daniels. Quite a bit of chocolate and vanilla

Taste: The flavor is not as good as the nose in my opinion. The beer starts off slightly chocolate with hints of coffee and some dark fruits are hidden in there as well. The beer finishes with a very slight bourbon note could be more in there I suppose but then again it is Jack Daniels so I think it is the right amount

Mouthfeel: Body is just a touch thicker than medium and maybe mild to medium carbonation velvety and no alcohol burn.

Overall: I would really like to go back and try this one again. I think some factors might have worked against this beer. Right before this one I drank a Apple Brandy and Rum Hunahpu and it could not hold a candle to those beers. However I did enjoy it quite a bit.

 1,029 characters

Photo of dheldman
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thewimperoo
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage 750ml bottle poured into a snifter glass. Pours dark black with a thick brown head. Beautiful lacing that lasts throughout. Aromas of oak, molasses, and bourbon goodness. The molasses, oak, and the well-masked smooth bourbon comes through the flavor. Was a little disappointed with the flavor as I expected this to blow many of the Imperial Stouts I’ve tried in the past out of the water. Thick and creamy mouthfeel. Sure glad to finally have tried this one, but personally I don’t think it’s worth the hype that has built up over the years.

 560 characters

Photo of Narthax
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of MNBeerGeek
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of ADR
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub, the last growler went to tavernjef, who had an event...bourbon barrel aged...

Forbidding dark black appearance, scant medium brown head of bigger bubbles...leaves sparse laces, thick strings. Complex aroma, sweet, just slightly smokey, the most expression of any bourbon-like characters in the beer for me. Full mouthfeel and an agreeable medium carbonation. Flavor is luxurious, heavily dark chocolate, layered and grainy in the manner of quality brands. Little fruitiness and actually less complexity than the normal Oatmeal Stout which has an extra coffee oiliness to make things interesting. Finishes as it begins, satisfying with some alcohol to notice. A nice beer, frankly could be more complex to me, some similarities in profile to Brooklyn Black Chocolate.

Mike Hoops gave me a sample of non barrel-aged Czar in October of 2005, aside from a somewhat thinner mouthfeel, I prefer it, better bitter qualities...

 948 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to translucent for sharing this awesomeness on DLD. In my ultimate ticker quest to try the 100 Best of BA, this beer was not currently on the list, but I was doing a trade with Andrew and had just come back from my first (and only) trip to the guest taps double-fisting Cigar City Brandy Barrel Aged Warmer Winter and Avery Moloch, which were about to send me on a one-way express train to Wastedville. He just happened to be holding this growler, and since I'm never one to turn down a -bal aged imperial stout, I accepted his offer of a pour of this.

Pours just like you'd want it to, black and thick with a nice one-finger dark tan head that lasts.

Aroma is phenomenal. Picture a great base stout with very well-executed whiskey barrel aging, and you pretty much get the picture. The Jack comes through big on the nose, as well as oak and lots of vanilla. Roasty and chocolatey flavors from the base stout assert themselves as well, and there is a slight tobacco note.

As for the flavor, well, it's also excellent. Very similar to KBS, although I did not have them side-by-side. Chocolate, caramel, roast, lots of vanilla, and malted milk balls, along with just the right amount of oak and whiskey. A little bit of dark fruit comes through as well - plums and dates maybe.

Fairly full on the body with a nice carbonation level. Not at all too boozy, although you do get the alcohol warmth.

Damn, this is good. Like I said earlier, a good bottle of KBS is a fair comparison for this beer. The whiskey flavor seems a bit different though. As a big-time RIS guy, I could down lots of this. Unfortunately I had way too much other awesome beer to try at DLD.

 1,673 characters

Photo of herman77
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Devman171
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jampics2
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

64oz growler into my Duvel Eley Kishamoto glass. Gotta bust out the good glass for a beer like this! Traded for at DLD 2011 and consumed over Memorial Day.

Since Town Hall rocks their growler fills the right way, with CO2 purging and bottom-fill, this opened with the hiss of a growler that was days old instead of months. The beer is black - pitch black like a January Minnesota evening. The most remarkable quality is the one and a half inch cappuccino colored head that sticks around and leaves great lace. Czar Jack is almost a perfect looking BA Russian Imperial Stout; with just a bit more sinister a complexion she would be perfect.

The smell is complex, inviting and really damn good. The first notes I get are pure caramel sweetness, then some dark malt creeps in and reminds me this is a Russian Imperial Stout after all. A bit of bourbon and oak give nice whiskey and vanilla characteristics that are well integrated. There's also a touch of dark fruit that reminds me of raisin and a touch of cherry as well. Nice nose on this - a bit more definition from the roast would make this spectacular, but it's pretty good as is.

The taste is heavenly. This is one of just a handful - maybe 1 or 2 percent - of beers I've rated that deserve a perfect score for taste. The reason this stands out is that the myriad of flavors meld and make this more of a ride down the tunnel of love than the rollercoaster many big Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stouts seem to take me on. There's a slightly bitter bite and a lot of barrel at first, giving a slightly brash flavor and even a touch of woody tannins. The bourbon creeps in and then a twang from bourbon and bitterness peak and clear out, making room for the roasted malt to move in. Chocolate, coffee and a touch of molasses give way to a caramel and dark fruit wave of flavor. There's a touch of raisin and cherry that, for a brief second, remind me of a quad. Then, the lingering roast and perfect barrel aging flavors - think chocolate and vanilla - close out the set with a standing ovation.

The booze is very well-concealed except for the wet bourbon, and the beer has wonderful drinkability with little palate fatigue. The only flaw was still well within an acceptable range, and that's the feel of the beer. Yep, the mouthfeel is a bit thin in terms of viscosity for a Russian Imperial, but the creaminess is there and a slight sparkle from the carbonation accentuates the beer very well. While a touch more heft would be great, this is stellar stuff. One of the most memorable and tasty beers I've had this year.

 2,576 characters

Photo of seeswo
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler opened and consumed in celebration of my graduation.
Pours black with a small light brown head. Nose is roasted malts, chocolate, molasses and some bourbon and vanilla. Smells nice. The taste is sweet and heavy molasses, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts. Finishes a bit bitter and off - think excessive char. Good carbonation (counter-pressure filled growler), medium body with a decent mouthfeel. I am left a bit dumbfounded as this is a good beer, but not what is implied by how it trades. No quality stands out as elite - the flavor is decent, nose is good, balance is ok, no dominant exciting flavor. Good beer. Cheers.

 644 characters

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of josephwa
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Arbitrator
1.86/5  rDev -57.2%
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.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Frank (lurchingbeast) for busting this out at the JP La Roja GR release. Poured from a growler into a snifter glass.

Appearance – Pours a pitch black color into the glass with very little head. The slight head achieved is a nice dark coffee brown color that dissipates somewhat slowly leaving slight lacing.

Smell – Nice coffee, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and bittersweet cocoa. Does not smell very sweet (hurray!) but more of a “dry” stout (if that makes sense). A hint of alcohol comes through in the nose.

Taste – Wow, fantastic. Lots of roasted malt and wood up front creating an almost astringent flavor. That then mixes into a semi-sweet mid which consists of the dry/bitter coffee and cocoa. Just a hint of brown sugar and sweetness. Finishes with a touch of alcohol and dryness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, creamy, honestly finishes so dry my mouth literally did feel dry.

Overall – Amazing. I am not into stouts at all anymore (overall) and would have never sought this out. Hence, that in itself takes me away from being “biased” because I love the style/tried hard to get such a rare beer. That said, this very dry, not overly sweet RIS was delicious. I wish I could have stayed longer and had another glass. Of course I find a new RIS I enjoy and it has to be one of the hardest to obtain. Would be extremely pumped to try this again.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to urwithdave for the healthy pour

A - It pours a deep brown-black, with moderate viscosity visually evident, and is capped with sudsy khaki froth.

S - The nose is totally insane, and ridiculously delectable. In a day filled with excellent brews, this still really stands out. I am getting impressions of everything from creme brulee, vanilla fudge, and s'mores, to toasted almond, coconut, and hazelnut. The whiskey is subtle but omnipresent, the oak note is spicy-sweet as opposed to dry, and the more it airs out, the more a strong vanilla-chocolate note seems to fuse everything.

T - The flavor is every bit of the aroma's promise; this tastes so outrageously delectable as to suggest fusion of a chocolatier's assortment of candy cordials macerated in whiskey, Kahlua, Bailey's, espresso, sambuca, Frangelico. World class -bal, no doubt.

M - The feel is effervescent, but perhaps less silky.

O - One of the best beers I've had. Thanks Dave.

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Czar Jack Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 423 ratings
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