Czar Jack Imperial Stout | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

BA SCORE
95
world-class
420 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Ratings:
420
Reviews:
151
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
12.01%
 
 
Wants:
534
Gots:
27
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 420 |  Reviews: 151
Photo of HapWifeHapLife
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of millelacsmark
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aasher
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of hu5om
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of sideshowe
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of brydeen
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of bombadil
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of tbeq00
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of jera1350
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010 on-tap for Anniversary Week.

Served in a goblet a pure black with an oily brown layer of foam coating the top.

Smells very rich and sweet and bourbony. Molasses, vanilla bean, caramelized sugar and bourbon are all there.

The taste has really mellowed with the age. Lots of sweetness going on with vanilla bean, molasses, burnt sugar and cola. The bourbon is there. It's not hot and is really quite mellow and smooth. Seems the flavors have subdued over time. Still good, but not the great beer it is fresh. No alcohol detected at all, unless you want to count the bourbon flavor.

Sticky, syrupy and slick describe the feel of this brew. Full bodied.

I really enjoyed this beer, but it was just missing that little kick that it has when fresh. Still a terrific beer that really drinks easily. I could have two or three of these pretty easily. I will snare more of this the next time around.

 907 characters

Photo of Draughtsman
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz. snifter.

I eagerly watched the barkeep pour my glass, followed it from across the brewery to my table, carefully navigated through the crowd by a nimble, agile waiter.

It arrived at the table, sadly all the way across the 4-person table with me, a whole arm's reach away. Despite it's distance from me, I gazed at it's murky darkness. Thick, opaque, it looked...chewy, if something could ever look chewy. I could smell the wonderful aroma coming off the lacy, caramel head (The head was thin, however I'm sure this was a calculated move, allowing for more beer in the glass). It smelled wonderfully of vanilla, brown sugar, cocoa, coffee, and of course whiskey.

I then grapped hold of he goblet. Surprisingly, it was cold. I held it in my hands, warming it, releasing some of the more delicate aromas. toffee, caramel, oak.

Then, the anticipated first sip. Roasty, chocolaty, smooth, creamy, thick, molasses, whiskey. Deliciousness. Good thing I'm a big fan of whiskey, whisky and uisge.

Overall, an absolutely amazing beer, a great representation of the style, and the Jack barrel only makes things better. Too bad it only comes around once a year.

 1,182 characters

Photo of birchstick
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - served on tap at TH brewery during anniversary week.

S - nose sweet molasses and vanilla bourbon scents dominate the nose with some hints of chocolate and some burnt malts

T - starts off with sweet vanilla flavors. These fades to a really nice molasses flavor. A splash of bourbon comes out from behind th vanilla and molasses and give it a little bit of spiciness. Ends with dark fruits, some chocolate fudge and more bourbon spicy heat. All of the flavors are really well integrated and form a really nice barrel aged RIS.

M - nice and full with some carbonation that burns with the bourbon

D - this is a really nice barrel aged RIS. Solid flavor profile that has really nice complexity and A really nice blend of flavors. This is a hard one to get but worth seeking out. This reminds me a lot of bcbs, which is a really good thing.

 844 characters

Photo of beagle75
3.71/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a half-pint glass.

A: Opaque black color with over one finger of light brown foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Earthy roast is savory with mild spirituous whiskey notes. Despite the presence of the spirit, it is without the urgency of actual ethanol.

T: Begins off-dry, with refined roasted malt that is soft and definitely not scorched. Dark fruit and maple syrup are light but accessible, while whiskey is understated. Sweetness surges in the middle, showing brown sugar as the biggest flavor quality present. Musty oak is also well developed into the finish, with a resurgence of spirit that balances the bitter roast.

M: Medium to thick viscosity, smooth and slightly syrupy on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This barrel-aged stout is far from the most extreme examples of the style and treatment, with a fairly balanced profile that leans most toward sweetness in the middle. Oak and spirit make their contributions, but do not define the product. It is drinkable, treating the palate gently for an imperial stout. Czar Jack is probably more versatile than the typical barrel-aged strong stout, but on the flip side it lacks (or, does not suffer from) extremeness.

 1,229 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a creamy tan head.

Aroma is intense dark grain, bourbon, chocolate, and dark fruit.

Taste is similar to the nose. Dark grain bitterness and massive anise up front. Then a relatively sweet dark fruit aspect takes over. Chocolate and oaky vanilla notes are present throughout. Finishes with a great deal of bourbon alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium-full.

Overall a tasty RIS. This one is on the sweeter side, but still good. Alcohol warmth comes on strong. However, it could use more of a smokey character to add complexity.

 553 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.56/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep dark black, super black, tons of huge creamy dark brown head, nice lacing and retention, amazing for a growler thats been filled and refrigerated for 6 months.

The smell is light bourbon, oak, and dark fruit sweetness.

Very sweet and fruity up front. Oak, vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon flavors all mix in with a big roasted grain taste.
Still finishes sweet, very sweet with a lot of dark fruit, the bourbon notes are very mild.

The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy.

This is just a bit to sweet for me, the barrel notes are a bit underwhelming, otherwise a good stout.

 585 characters

Photo of oakbluff
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler- pitch black in colour, few other colours coming through up to the light. Head was a frothy mocha three finger head (good sign given age of growler). Nose - vanilla, anise, brown sugar, roast and some bourbon. Taste- heavy anise and dark fruits, milk and touch of dark chocolate, moderate roast. Thick mouthfeel that really coats the mouth. finish has more wood and nut coming through along with lingering roastiness.

 425 characters

Photo of Soonami
3.76/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to erick for sharing his growler at the June Philly Suburbs BA meet-up.

A-Dark black with brown highlights, off white head

S-Like crushed apples, figs and a little chocolate, very little bourbon aroma at all. I think that the age of this growler resulted in oxidation of the beer leading to these crushed fruit/sherry like aromas

T-very smooth with low sweetness. Dry finish before the oaky barrel tannins. The chocolate and licorice flavors are well balances if a bit muted. Not the big aggressive, sweet, over-the-top beer I was expecting, but rather refined. The Jack Daniels definitely takes a back seat to the beer.

M-great creamy carbonation, ever after almost four months since it was filled

O-very good, but a bit shy of great.

I think this beer is another example of hype exceeding the results, although it was great to try.

 846 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared from a growler at the Brick Store Pub, graciously provided by Grant a while ago. Thanks Grant! Right off the bat, I love beers that are given a whiskey barrel treatment, so I thought this would be right up my alley. Poured black with a beautiful tight brown head- obviously a fresh growler. Huge nose of whiskey rises from the glass- oh so enticing. There are also lovely milk and roasted grain notes as well as some chocolate- all play well together. So far, so good. The taste also captures some of that chocolate and creamy notes along with the roasted grain, but there is perhaps too much whiskey here. The hugely prominent whiskey flavor tends to bury the other notes a bit. A big beer in the mouth, the whiskey dominates and even contributes a little harshness. This beer flirts with greatness, but decided to tie one on and didn't quite make it. Still, worthy to try for sure.

 890 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

676th Review on BA
Growler to Flute

Thanks to Sideswipe for sharing!

App- A very nice dark brown, on the border of black with a nice bubbly tan head. Nice little bits of stick and cling

Smell- Very nice stout even for sitting in the growler for so long. Chocolate with whisps of bourbon, vanilla and oak. Quite enticing.

Taste- What a great smooth stout. Pulled together wonderfully. This stout is creamy and balanced and not a punch in the mouth. A lot of chocolate and roast with touches of the barrels.

Mouth- On the border of being thick but still retains a medium body to it. The carbonation held up very well over the year this sat in sideswipes fridge.

Drink- Can't thank him enough for this growler. Super smooth and easy to sip on. Was a welcome additions to the beers I have got to try. Watch out MN, if I am ever at town hall I am taking the tap.

 864 characters

Photo of Sideswipe
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler which I brought to Clusterfork 6. 2009 vintage.

A- Pitch black with a half inch of mocha colored foam on top. Excellent lacing.

S- Coffee, roasted malt and subdued bourbon in the nose.

T- Roasted malt up front transitions to chocolate and dark fruit. Muted bourbon presence enters mid-palate. Finish is semi-dry with lingering roast and chocolate notes.

M- Feel is full bodied, viscous and sweet, befitting the style. Carbonation (still very evident after a year and a half in the growler) is spot on and lends a very nice creamy quality to the beer. ABV is completely masked by the excellent interplay of flavors at work in the beer.

O- Czar Jack was a joy to imbibe. The incredible smoothness of the beer was a very pleasant surprise. An effort by Town Hall worthy of great praise, and one which I will certainly be seeking out again in he future. Recommended.

 880 characters

Photo of Stoneyrok
4.97/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A wonderful, lacing head, black.

S smelled of coffee, toffee,

T was an incredible beer. I sampled this at the foothill sexual chocolate bourbon barrel release, and while I can't pin down the details right now, it was one of the best beers I sampled that night and one of the only ones I took note of to remember.

M medium body, smooth, perfect

O I could probably drink the whole growler had he left it behind. I know this review is low on details, but remember I sampled maybe 50 different world class beers and this stood out among them all, and one other. Buy this if you can. Hope they distribute one day!

 615 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to cmrillo who shared this one with the group at the "Evening Wood" tasting graciously hosted by cmrillo as well! Served from growler into a Mikkeller flute. Poured pitch black with a half finger brown head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, brown sugar, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, brown sugar, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a great brew. My only gripe is that the mouthfeel was a little thin for the style, but that is just me being picky. The flavor was very RIS and quite complex as well. You never knew what you were going to pick up on in the next sip. The aroma was quite nice and inviting as well. Really glad I got the opportunity to finally try this one and would love to do so again.

 925 characters

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to shadesofgray for sharing yet another Town Hall growler.

As far as appearance goes, I could talk about the color and the texture, but instead, I will focus on the thin milk chocolate colored head that reaches a full finger in height and is well retained. It produces an irregular and uncharacterizable lace combined with some spotty bubbles. A swirl kicks up oily brownish legs, and that looks really good.

Aromas of chocolate, roasty coffee, light oaky vanilla and hints of whiskey. Only a touch of warmth, but certainly no overwhelming booziness. The flavor is even more well balanced, with the whiskey playing only a supporting role to a dark fruity medley of dates, figs, and currants along with the chocolatey malt that is both sweet and bitter. The somewhat acrid roast tempers the sweetness and rounds out the flavor nicely.

Czar Jack manages to be both sticky and resinous while being smooth and silky all at the same time. There is a bit of a slick feeling while there is significant stickiness from the hop oils. I much prefer this over the other -bal aged version of Jack Frost, the Port Frost, as I find it more complex and nuanced with more compelling balance.

 1,185 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 growler shared by I forget who at the TJs BA gathering.

If this isnt the near perfect representation of the BA RIS style, please tell me what is. Pours a thick midnight black with a tight deep mocha head and a nice amount of lacing as it makes its way down the glass. Aroma and flavor are a rich balanced, blend of vanilla, oak, raisin, plum, milk and roast chocolate, molasses, and char. Body has fallen off in this aged growler alittle, but that's not a complaint. Trying this side by side with Bar Fly, they are remarkably similar if not only for the difference in barrels. I need to try a fresh samole of this.

 620 characters

Photo of seeswo
4/5  rDev -7.6%
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

Czar Jack Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
4.33 out of 5 based on 420 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe