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Pothole Filler Imperial Stout | Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

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Pothole Filler Imperial StoutPothole Filler Imperial Stout

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

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 182
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 q33jeff
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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.

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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 Svingjo
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black colour with a finger thick tan head that dissipates fairly quickly lacing the glass. The nose leads with roasted malts, dark chocolate, vanilla and licorice. The vanilla and licorice come to the forefront of the taste followed by the chocolate and malts and joined by a coffee bitterness. The carbonation is fairly mild and not enough to really cut the malty sweetness that tries to hide the higher ABV. A pretty good Imperial Stout.

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Photo of Mlkluther
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is an outstanding stout. What a value in the 1 litre swing top bottle! Smooth, full, rich, balanced flavours of chocolate, mocha, coffee. This is one of the better imperial stouts I've had made in our great country of Canada.

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Photo of hotmailmsn
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

9% ABV, 65ibu, 1L bottle.
A - dark dark brown (I wouldn't say it's black) with half finger brown head.
S - molasses, brown sugar, dried fruit, tend to the sweeter side, but of chocolate, not really coffee. toasted bread, roasted malt.
T - decent carbonation. mid heavy mouthful, thick, silky smooth, rich like chocolate milk. vanilla, liquorice, smoky burnt bitterness, but not lasting.
O - since its fall, stout season is here. not much expectation on this, but this really surprised me! palate is def better than nose, 9%abv is well hidden. great BC brewed daily imperial stout. Will get it next time, if there's not much other choice out there yet.

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Photo of oldn00b
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Overall a decently drinkable Imperial stout. Comes in a cool reuseable swing top bottle and brings a large quantity of high abv beer at a very reasonable price. I was a bit worried it might be gimmicky but it's damn solid. Looks great out of the bottle into a stout glass. Light tan head forms great and retains wonderfully. Nose is a good bit weak though maybe it's me. Not much comes through at all for me. Flavor is solid but nothind spectacular. It really has a toastier flavor that much of the malt etc. but it's nice. Feel is on point, delicate and light but with enough body.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.69/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is dark malts, chocolate, mild sweetness and a hint of acidity. The flavor is dark malts, chocolate, dark fruit, mild funk and and a long and dry/acidic finish.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with one finger khaki head and left a one finger lace ring around glass. Dark fruits, possible raisins, first me in aroma and I get notes of wheat, molasses, anise (must be licorice), bitter chocolate and very little roasted malts. Fuller bodied with a smoothness that is almost oak/wood like and even comes across as creamy. There is a balance between roasted malts and bitter chocolate and some chocolate sweetness, a spicy sweetness which can be both the licorice and molasses and notes of dark fruits like figs, toffee and black cherry. Not a typical RIS or even regular imperial stout as the roasted/coffee malts and barley flavors are in background compared to sweeter aspects but overall it has some of that hefty dryness mixed with some different sweet flavors.

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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.

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3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Head is an inch and a half of toasted bread light brown tone. Body is like used motor oil black. Nose is a nice mix of roasty chocolate and hints of attractive coffee notes. Taste boarders on an oatmeal stout and an imperial stout. It is creamy and chocolatey with hints of strong alcohol and coffee. This is a solid beer at an attractive price point.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to FondueVoodoo for the bottle!

Pours deep, bark brown with a tall, bubbly, creamy, tan head with good retention and lacing. The nose is rich with heavy dark chocolate, prunes, raising, roasted malt, coffee and whiffs of alcohol. The taste is similar featuring roasted malt, dark chocolate, mild coffee notes, raisins, brown sugar with nice residual sugar. It is round and full in mouthfeel but still surprising drinkable. Overall, a delicious stout, good balance and a bit sweeter than most RIS's.

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Photo of kissmybunniebutt
3.27/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Awesome package (got that 1 L swing top sensuality going), great dark stout look, but I honestly wanted more. The black strap molasses that pretty much forced me to buy it was either missing or showed up entirely as a bitter flavor. I was looking for more of that woodsy, burnt sugary taste of molasses. Alas, great idea, but I think this guy needs more.

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Photo of wedge
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep black color with a very creamy head that sticks well. Aroma is full of malty goodness: cocoa, molasses, smokey roast, prunes, nuts, and caramel. Pungent, in a way, but so easy to sniff and enjoy. Flavor has less of a fruity element...thick malts, char, espresso, and nuts. Thick, creamy, and smooth. This surprised the hell out of me. Very tasty, very dark, very smooth and just a delight to drink.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a balloon glass.

Pothole Filler is a black beauty, the color of dirty motor oil capped with a mocha colored head. Nice foamy lacing leaves a world map foamy picture on the glass initially.

The aroma is rich with roasted malts, black licorice, and sweet black strap molasses.

The brew tastes much like the aroma. The molasses really sweetens this beer and works well with all of the roasted malts, making it one of the easier drinking imperial stouts I've had.

Mouthfeel is pretty silky, with a lactose sugar coating the mouth, seemingly.

Overall: A high price tag at $13 for 1 liter, but it's rich and definitely well crafted.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Jet with a sepia head that fades fast. 3.75
A whiff of oxidation, then fig, wood smoke and chocolate liqeuer. 3.75
Cocoa nibs up front, some boysenberry, a bit of char, and woody end. 3.75
Just about medium, oily, some chew, hot. 3.5

-- Chocolate is there, but there’s no hiding that it’s 9%. And the body isn’t there for the ABV. There are better example of such a competitive style. 3.75

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Photo of souvenirs
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, malty and thick. Black, with brown head the colour of chocolate milk. Very nice. (I actually finished the litre bottle by myself in a single sitting.)

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Photo of Scrylol
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Black body, one finger beige head, bit of lacing.

Sweet milk chocolate, cocoa, dark chocolate, coffee.

Roasty caramel malt backbone. Lots of dark chocolate and black coffee notes. Decent amount of bitterness balanced by strong malty flavor. Can detect quite a bit of alcohol flavor and burn unfortunately.

Okay carbonation, but it feels watery.

Didn`t really enjoy this one.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from Rutager a while back. Cheers man!

From a 1L capped swing-top bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
IBU: 65

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a two finger, thicker looking, fluffy, tan head with great retention. Clear black body with medium levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full foam cap and some chunky, sticky lacing is left on the glass. A swirly wisp and ring remain until the end leaving lots of good lacing. Nice head and all, but not dark enough for top marks.

SMELL: Big nose on this one. Lots of roasted barley, dark chocolate and caramel on the nose, Cocoa powder and still some light citrus hops too.

TASTE: Pretty good. Roasted barley, sweet caramel and dark chocolate up front. A roasted and caramel-sweet middle into more roasted and burnt grain with plenty of bitter coffee, dark chocolate lingering on the palate. Quite good.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, enough weight, goes down smooth and finishes a touch mouth coating. Good feel.

OVERALL: This is really quite good. Good flavors and aromas with a solid feel to support the show. A little light in color but the head and lacing worked really nicely. Something worth checking out if you get the chance; was easily able to finish the whole 1L myself over the course of an evening. Thanks again Rutager. Recommended.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My brother picked this up for me when it was part of the LCBO Winter release. Split with a friend. From notes.

A - Black pour with a two finger beige head. Good lace rings and a finger of retention.

S - Chocolate, espresso, mild alcohol, leather. Nice.

T - Alcohol, roast, grain husks, chocolate.

M - Dry finish, full and creamy body with mild carbonation.

O/D - A big stout. And one of the better Ontario-made ones. Roasty and tasty while being ballsy and aggressive. Very 'to style' IMO. Enjoyed it.

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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 Kmat10
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Dark black opaque to any light, two fingers of light brown head, head reduces slowly

S- Dark chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, not a lot of malty hints

T- Piney hops mixed with sweet malt, malts are toasted, very creamy, lots of malts and little hops

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, very creamy, dry finish, not much heat from the alcohol,

O- Very good RIS, the alcohol wasn't overpowering and the little hops and lots of malt was a good balance

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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 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 jaz58
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A real nice stout.

Poured in a clear pint glass.

Nice dark brown / black appearance.

The head was almost a smooth as a guinness yet more of a chocolate milk color.

Thin lace on the glass as it's enjoyed.

The nose is slightly sour with nice hints of toffee.

Taste is warm with hints of dark chocolate and toffee and a subtle clean bitters finish.

Mouthfeel is well rounded.

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Pothole Filler Imperial Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 182 ratings.
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