Czar Jack Imperial Stout | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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423 Ratings
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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:
423
Reviews:
152
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
12.01%
 
 
Wants:
533
Gots:
27
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 423 |  Reviews: 152
Photo of Dactrius
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Viggo
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler at DLD, thanks Dan!

Pours an opaque black, a bit of brown comes through in the edges, thick light brown head forms, slowly settles to a thin ring around the glass, a few spots stick.

Smell is great, very heavy barrel character, lots of vanilla, whiskey, chocolate, licorice, burnt sugar, oaky, intense roast, a bit of alcohol, dark fruit, Ol Jack Frost on steroids.

Taste is similar, very rich, big vanilla, bourbon/whiskey, brown sugar, licorice, chocolate roast, coffee, wood, very intense and rich character, light roasty bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, silky smooth with low carbonation. I really dug the Ol Jack Frost and this is a pretty tremendous example of barrel aging, retaining the character of the original but adding an extra layer of complexity. On a day of great beer this one really stood out. Thanks Dan!

 864 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
2.61/5  rDev -39.7%
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!

 305 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I originally had this at DLD, then this time rated off a growler Sean provided...Black pour, light tan head...Aroma is sweet bourbon and vanilla, light sweet chocolate...The taste is easy to drink, light feel thought. Easy to drink despite a coffee finish.

 256 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can I give the nose a 5.5 or 6.0? flatout kickass, top of the world aroma....boubon, vanilla,oak, sweet milk chocolate...burgundy black color...no head...body is full...creamy texture...sweet chocolate, oak, vanilla and bourbon on the taste...really nice....no head...ABV hidden..very smooth...great flavor....top notch effort.

 327 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 769 characters

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of iRun2Beer
3.71/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled from a growler that Jamal32 brought to DLD. I got a decent pour as Jamie was really cool about it, just enough that I think a review is in order.

The beer was dark brown-black colored, completely opaque when held to the sunlight, with a very thin head (probably due to a careful and slow pour). The nose was immense and delicious-smelling, with bourbon (Jack Daniels apparently), chocolate and vanilla, just a massive aroma. The beer tasted just as big, roasted malts leading while bourbon and barrel flavors were big in the after-taste. Thick body, not close to Dark Lord thickness but still thick for the style, giving a good match to the aroma and taste. One of my favorites from DLD 2010, and that's saying a lot.

 727 characters

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 mynie
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From sparse, stained notes written on the back of a bar napkin:

SWEET. But good. Nice bitter back end where finally you realize you're drinking an Russian Imperial and not some kind of bizarre, strong sweet porter.

As you drink more, the opening sweetness gets rough and complex. Vanilla, red wine, burning cedar, and black chocolate. Ends rough and alcoholic, very pleasant.

 378 characters

Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by gford217 - thanks!

Pours black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts and dark chocolate buttressed by good amounts of vanilla from the barrel. Also present are mild amounts of dark fruits.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Deep roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by very mild amounts of dark fruits. Midway through the sip the booziness and vanilla impressions from the barrel kick in and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall this beer was very good however it fell just short of great. The flavors were all there, they just didn't meld as well as I'd hoped. Still, I'm picking nits as this is a beer that's well worth a shot.

 961 characters

Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of MattyG85
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub. Poured into a 10 oz. goblet glass.

Appearance: Pitch black and oily with a moderate amount of bubbles and about one finger of tan coffee like head that quickly fades into a thin patchy layer. Lots of lace sticking to the glass.

Smell: Big aroma of bourbon whiskey (technically Tennessee Whiskey), with lots of dark roasted malts with chocolate, molasses, vanilla, oak, anise, coffee, and a little chocolate milk, nuts, and dark raisins. Smells very robust and fairly sweet.

Taste: Very roasty with a good amount of whiskey flavor. Big taste of dark roasted malts with notes of chocolate, caramel, molasses, whiskey, vanilla, oak, anise, brown sugar, milk, and nuts. Also a subtle presence of dark fruit in the background with some raisin. Some earthy hops towards the finish. The dark malts and whiskey play off each other well with neither dominating. Sweet but the whiskey helps keep it in check.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy and moderately syrupy and sticky. Very robust. Alcohol heat is hidden very well.

Overall: A great barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. Loaded with dark flavor and the barrel adds a nice kick.

 1,189 characters

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

On tap at Town Hall Tap. This beer arrives an opaque black color. The head is half an inch of dark tan colored foam. The aroma is of roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruits, and bourbon. The taste is similar to the aroma. The bourbon is nicely integrated into the rest of the beer. The mouthfeel is full bodied with appropriately low carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a very, very good beer. I will definitely search this one out next time it is being poured.

 480 characters

Photo of Pencible
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of xnicknj
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of cpetrone84
3.61/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Of the first craft beers ever on the porch on a cool spring night. Pour is opaque black with a dark tan head and a few large bubbles on top of a thick head. The nose is rather sweet, a touch green and a note of plastic. There is a faint touch of coffee bean along with some fruity berry sweetness. The taste reminds me a bit of kate the great with a very similar texture. Smooth and velvety, clean soft finish on a great full body. It has a nice berry characteristic but a faint touch of plastic. The flavor isn't overly complex, it is actually rather simple but it has a subtle quality that makes it inviting and drinkable.

 624 characters

Photo of bsuedekum
5/5  rDev +15.5%

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 Bunuelian
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of popery
3.25/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of AgentZero
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very thick, oil looking beer that had a nice brown head that faded into pretty much nothing. Looks like a beast, and I don't hold the lack of lacing in stouts against them.

S - Chocolate, vanilla, some dark fruits, possibly raisins or dates. Bitter cocoa in this is a nice balance to the subtle whiskey.

T - Bourbon is present, but not hot, complimented nicely by the cocoa. A bitter roastedness is also present, but sutble and only adds to cut the sweetness of a very sweet beer. Traces of vanilla, coffee, and dark fruits are all present. All the good stuff you would want in a beer of this type.

M - Full bodied, slick finish, lighter-side of medium carbonation.

D - Sweet, heavy stouts can tend to get hard to drink, but this one was pretty easy.

 758 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh growler courtesy of ADR who adorned one of the lastly capped growlers over to me. I will not explain the circumstances here, but I will say this, Thanks Andy! I owe you one!

The Age of Czar Jack: The Imperial Stout from Town Hall -

Czar Jack ruled during his time from his Glass Throne wearing a heavy dark brown cloak stitched at the top with a loosely fluffy Lions Mane. At the sides and bottom of the sleeves were patches of beautiful embroidery that resembled the four seasons with varoius snowflakes and leaves.

Standing Strong and Tall at the Hall entrance of the Nose is the Watchman, a man thickly built of milk chocolate. He lets no one through, only those who are fair and true to the Czar may pass. Visiting from time to time is The Cake Batter Princess, she is allowed through quite often with her two younger sisters Vanilla and Oak. As is the General of the Molasses Military along with a couple of his guards who come complete with rich fudge armor and swords of sweet bourbon. Fruity outsiders are turned away quickly by the Watchman as they are a bit to ripe for the Czars' liking.

Czar Jack exerts control over the Kingdom of Taste with a powerful chocolate presence and a thickly rich authority. Coating every surface, soothing every bud, keeping order and maintaining balance throughout the abundant sweet land with a mighty malted creamy smoothness. Sending riders only to the far reaches of the Kingdom to find anything that may keep the smoothness from reaching its full potential. Only to be found are scattered pieces of what was once a oak barrel filled with bourbon. The Czar claims the pieces as great treasures of a once lost era of time in the land and decides to use them with care and integrates the pieces into the taste Kingdom for all to partake.

The people under his rule have a fine understanding with their leader as he makes them feel very comfortable with this land of chocolate he has built. The days are filled of rich chewy cake, creamy caramel, and mellow molasses. Everything here is silky smooth to the touch. The nights are warming and soft with complex minglings of candy bar neighbors and fruity friends where the burning embers of a mighty bourbon bonfire roast leave dreams dancing in their heads of more chocolate to come.

But Alas, the reign is over, the Glass Throne empty, and those who lived during this time were blessed indeed.

May the Czar Jack return swiftly to our aid for his time was a truly unforgettable Age.

 2,503 characters

Photo of Pearlstreetbrewingco
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Czar Jack Imperial Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
4.33 out of 5 based on 423 ratings.
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