Pothole Filler Imperial Stout | Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
190 Ratings
THE BROS
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Pothole Filler Imperial StoutPothole Filler Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada
howesound.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer is a strong, inky dark ale, brewed with 6 malts and blackstrap molasses. It is a thick beer, with an intense roasted barley flavour, with notes of chocolate and licorice.

65 IBU

Added by BDTyre on 09-07-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
190
Reviews:
73
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
9.63%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
36
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 190 |  Reviews: 73
Photo of Digimaika2
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First review with the 0.25 increment system- Things are about to get crazy! ...

(4.5) A: Black with a beautiful thick and creamy mocha coloured head. Long lasting retention and very good lacing. Gorgeous stuff.

(4.25) S: Roasted malts with the focus on creamy dark chocolate, gingerbread, molasses, dark fruits (figs and dates), and a noticeable hop-like aroma leaning to the herbal side.

(4.0) T: Similar to the aroma with roasted malts and dark fruits upfront, with a transition to a fruitier and semi-herbal bitter hop taste. Hints of smoke detected. A fair amount of spice in this with some ginger and nutmeg, but the focus is towards the bitterness.

(4.0) M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy with a chewy character.

(4.25) D: This is a well put together imperial stout that exhibits all those traditional imperial stout traits with probably a bit more hop bitterness than others. Bonus points for the enourmous swingtop bottle. I'm totally taking water to work in this.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A brew I was able to procure via private order through the LCBO, coordinated by Keep6Imports. Pretty stoked to get my hands on some of this.

A - Pours pitch black, two solid fingers of dark mocha head with solid retention and some nice chunky lacing.

S - Milk chocolate, hints of tobacco smoke, molasses, black licorice and leather on the finish.

T - Chocolate dominates with a rich mocha flavour, with the espresso and coffee serving to complement the chocolate. ABV is very well hidden and some leafy green hop notes come through on the finish.

M - Lighter bodied ale, but can still come across chewy on the finish. Goes down smooth and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - This stuff is super tasty, boasting loads of flavour and the chocolate notes certainly shine. I bought a case to split, but now I'm wishing I would've kept it all to myself!

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A gift from Marty – Thanks man!
One liter cap sealed (with flip-top resealer) bottle stored at 42 degrees and served at 60 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester king snifter.
Aroma – molasses, caramel, a little fruity.
Head – large (Maximum 4.8 cm, aggressive pour), tan, medium frothy with all the bubbles being 5 mm in diameter, good retention, slooowly diminishing to an irregular five to twelve mm ring and partial layer.
Lacing – fair. Multiple islands of tiny to small bubbles.
Body – dark brown/black, opaque.
Flavor – starts very sweet with a definite molasses taste. Allowing it warm in the mouth allows some toasted malt flavor through as well as some alcohol. It ends slightly bitter but not hoppy.
Palate – full bodied, bordering on syrupy, soft to almost lively carbonation.

Good. Next time I’m in Vancouver, I’ll make the short trip to the brewery.

Appearance 4.5, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4, Overall 4.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 liter swing-top bottle, par for the course for this brewery (and a good thing, usually).

This beer pours a solid black, with broad southern cola highlights, and three fingers of foamy, creamy weak chocolate milk head, which leaves an attractive random webbed pattern of lace around the glass in its leisurely wake.

It smells of bitter chocolate milk powder, mildly roasted caramel malt, and zingy earthy, leafy hops. The taste is big bittersweet chocolate, mildly roasted coffee, creamed caramel, earthy semi-sweet molasses, and prominent earthy, weedy hops, their substantial potential bitterness somehow plowed under. In the morass that is the malt/hop showoff here, the big 9 points of booze get a pass as far as their oral effect is concerned.

The bubbles are nicely restrained, the body a solid medium weight, and just a bit prickly from hop and/or booze (who knows at this point) but overall things wind up pretty damned smooth. It finishes a mite bit drier than expected, the hops and bitter side of the chocolate aiding and abetting, but not without a still hefty nod to their existential better half.

One of the hoppier examples of an RIS I have thus far encountered, which is no bad thing, as the chocolatey malt counterpoint is more than equal to the task. Big, brash, and bold, yet somehow easy to drink. Approach with due care and attention, as you would the titular road conditions.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pothole Filler looks dark and thick enough to serve as exactly that; it's like someone poured tar into the glass. Normally, I wouldn't expect any head from a 9% beer in a flip-top bottle* but this is topped with a fluffy, deep-coloured foam that dresses the glass in designs reminiscent of a Banksy piece. This lacing could go on auction at Sotheby's.

The aroma is heavy on the nose with notes of burnt malt, cocoa and molasses - somewhere an Italian man drinking an espresso is experiencing the same thing. Typically the more impressive and overwhelming a beer, the more adjectives and tasting notes are used to try to describe it. In this case, it's straightforward enough that just the three listed should suffice.

The palate is a mouth-coating monument to roasted malt: coffee, dark chocolate, black cherry, smoke, pipe tobacco and a hint of clove are appreciated (in order of most to least). While the espresso and cocoa make up the vast majority of the flavour, they fall on brooding dark fruit and caramel notes. The tastebuds are kept occupied through the entire 1 liter.

Beneath the heavy cocoa and burnt malt notes is a beer that is less aggressive than assumed. This imperial stout holds a firmly bitter structure but, perhaps owing to the molasses, drinks with an ultra-velvety mouthfeel and passes over the palate with ultimate smoothness. It has a dry, poised finish (with a hint of chopped mint, i.e., hops) that helps conceal its true strength.

It be may a touch short of the best imperial stouts but Pothole Filler is every bit in the same vein and should be counted among Canada's best. While I didn't find myself doing back-flips over it, this is nonetheless absolutely what fans of the style should be on the lookout for. It won't have the biggest 'wow' factor but does provide everything else one could want.

*while it has a flip-top, the bottle is actually capped.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1L swing-top courtesy of Viggo. Served in a Unbroue snifter.

A - Pours with a big tan foam that has great retention and leaves tons of sticky lacing. Big foamy cap remains indefinitely. Body is pitch black, with no hints of color even when held to the light.

S - Cocoa, light smoke and meat notes, some pungent earthy hop character. Roast malts, hints of molasses and caramel. Not quite as sweet as I'd like though.

T - The taste is a touch better with more caramel malt sweetness coming through. However, it's not quite enough to warrant a higher score. Nice roasty and bitter finish.

M - Soft, lower carbonation. Medium-thick body that is sufficiently sticky and chewy. Minimal heat, even though this year's batch is supposedly closer to 9%.

D - It took me a little while to finish my 10+oz, but it was never a chore. I'd love to try this again sometime. Good to see a decent Canadian RIS for a change - too bad it'll never get distributed in Ontario.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jeremy7
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of LampertLand
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Howe Sounds 'Pothole Filler' Russian Imperial Stout @ 9.0% served from a 1L pot-stopper bottle purchased for $8.20
A-pour is almost black from the bottle to glass with a medium tan head leaving a fine spotty lace along the snifter
S-rich and malty , molasses , bakers chocolate , espresso , boozey
T-heavy malt taste , coffee and chocolate with thick blackstrap molasses
MF-ok carbonation , big full body
Ov-very drinkable , good balance throught , hides the 9% well , highly recommended
prost LampertLand

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Photo of Gkruszewski
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1L bottle to Bruery tulip.

A - Dark black with two fingers of bubbly medium brown head that reduced to one finger with good retention and really good lacing.

S - Chocolate up front with plenty of roasted malts, some char, smoke and bitterness evident.

T - Bog roasted malt profile up front with char and licorice flavours present. Some dark chocolate and coffee flavours also come through with the roasted malts.

M - Medium body with a slight chew. Light carbonation.

 474 characters

Photo of Way2drunk
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with coffee notes and some black chocolate is quite enjoyable. Taste is a mix between some roasted malt notes with light bitter aftertaste and some light dry coffee notes with some nice black chocolate with light lingering bitterness. Body is actually above average but not as full or creamy as I was expecting with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. This is a good rendition of the style but lacks a bit of body and creaminess that would showcase more of the black chocolate notes.

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Photo of Whatup14
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Electros
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - BLACK with a creamy head.

S - Chocolate, burnt, caramel, and black malt.

T - Creamy, lovely malt notes, lots of malt, low hope, aftertaste disappates quickly.

M - Lovely, surprisingly light.

O - I was really impressed by this beer, the alcohol was not over powering and the malt notes on this was very balancing!

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: inky black, brown head, spongy lace.

S: molasses, heavy roast, plums, dates, chocolate, tinge of coffee.

T: syrup, chocolate, roast, molasses, dark fruits, subtle booze.

M: thick, rich, full.

O: definitely a this, surprisingly drinkable RIS. Somewhat classic, and very solid.

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Photo of avalon07
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick consistency. There was a one and a half inch, foamy, tan-colored head. Good lacing/

S: A nice aroma of malt, molasses, chocolate, and dark fruit.

T: Tasted of some mild dark fruits (figs, in particular), a good amount of the advertised blackstrap molasses, roasted malt, a bit of chocolate, vanilla, and some hops in the finish. In general, this is a well rounded flavor. It's not as big and bracing as with other Russian Imperial Stouts, but still complex and tasty.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a silky smooth finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

O: This is a very well made and easy to drink RIS. An interesting beer.

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Photo of Lebowskied
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of q33jeff
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

**
08/25/2016
Liter bottle to goblet.
LOOK: datk, black...big creamy head. Lasting.
AROMA: char; cocoa,
TASTE: cocoa, vanilla
FEEL:thick and creamy

Wasn't expecting much after Brown Ale tasting.....but this is pretty nice.
**

 231 characters

Photo of chickenm
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a thick brown head that leaves some lacing. Aroma has coffee, chocolate, and a little smoke and licorice. Flavor of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, and ash. Medium bodied and smooth, and has a lingering slightly burnt aftertaste. Just a little alcohol is noticable. Overall, it's not in the top tier of Imperial Stouts, but it's still a very solid beer. I had no trouble finishing the 1L bottle!

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Photo of chinchill
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Large shared bottle in Atlanta.

A: dark reddish brown body is nearly black and opaque in the glass.
Flavor: Rich and dark roasty without char.
Enticing aroma.
Smooth, full body with medium-light carbonation.

 213 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - tar black, very tall thick brown head, left random blobs of lacing as it slowly receded
S - big roasty and burnt flavours, mild cocoa and licororice
T - intensely roasty and burnt malt, licorice root and mild dark fruits with a mild grassy hope note in the background
M - chewy low carbonated body, smoky and dry finish, 9% ABV undetectable
O - it a big thick in your face stout just as you'd expect, not an everyday drinker but maybe every other day

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Howe Sound Brewing tap house:

A: Black liquid with a 1/8" light brown head that left a fair amount of lacing.

S: Espresso, black licorice, and alcohol.

T: The taste profile is a combination of bitter black coffee, toasted malt, and dark chocolate. The beer begins bitter, but has a smooth finish.

M: Medium viscosity with a low level of carbonation.

O: This Imperial Stout is the type of beer that you have to settle into, especially if it is served cold. As it warmed it became less aggressive and much more drinkable.

 538 characters

Photo of beerman207
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought the 1 L swing top. Just an awesome bottle and lots of stout to share with friends

A: Pours a deep dark brown with a nice tan head that starts at about 1 finger and lingers throughout the entire session - nice

S: Nose is smoke, malt, mollases (bootstrap variety), chocolate

T: Taste is like whopper candy and smoke, malt strong, some light hop

m: Medium body - a bit thick and oily/wet, nice

O: Fantastic offering from Howe Sound. Never had a brew from them but look forward to finding more in the future.

 516 characters

Photo of Beervana
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pothole Filler Imperial Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 190 ratings.
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