Pothole Filler Imperial Stout | Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

Pothole Filler Imperial StoutPothole Filler Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.02/5
191 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#4,263
Reviews:
73
Ratings:
191
pDev:
9.7%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
36
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 191 |  Reviews: 73
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle two half pints at Bar Volo Howe Sound takeover. Enjoyed it knowing is somewhere between a Russian IS and an oatmeal stout. Not up to the RIS standard. Significant acid but under control. Dark as night, with only a whisp of head. Above average mouthtfeel. Appropriate understated carbonation. Decent drinkability, it is a sipper.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
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 emerge077
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy birthday Alex! 32 oz. Flip top poured into a plastic cup. Black body, dark brown as its poured, creamy mocha foam sticks around for the duration of the glass, lacing some around the edges.

Aromas of plum, dates, raisin, smoke, dry bakers chocolate.

Fudgy blend of cocoa and unsweetened chocolate, espresso, dark fruit, prune, toasted almond, mild char, mellow sweetness from the molasses.

Creamy and viscous body, mellow bitterness in the aftertaste. Not especially sweet, balanced elements of roast, dark fruit, cocoa. Reminds me a little of Expedition stout. Pretty drinkable, best shared considering the serving size. The 9% abv is completely hidden, masked by the creamy chocolate and dark fruit flavors. Not bad and certainly worth trying, but for my money Expedition is still my go-to for a big stout.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
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 chinchill
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
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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Photo of atrocity
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of VeganUndead
3.76/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of liamt07
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from wordemupg, 1L swingtop into a tulip.

Blac with a light brown head. Thick head and dense retention/lace. Nose of baker's chocolate, brown sugar, molasses and light roast character. Definitely on the sweeter side of this. Taste has light smoke, roast, brown sugar, molasses, bakers chocolate and hops in the finish. Full feel, lower medium carbonation. A really solid imperial stout, well worth tracking down.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
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 Erik-P
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of Derek
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black with a tan head, great retention & lace.

Aroma is subtle, considering the strength: brown sugar, chocolate, coffee and roasted nut with hints of tar & fruity esters.

Flavours of coffee, demerara sugar, bakers chocolate, roasted nut, caramel, biscuit, rye bread, light cider-like fruitiness, good bitterness; only a slight hint of alcohol warmth.

This is like a protein shake! Full bodied and very smooth, without much residual sweetness. Awesome.

Incredibly drinkable for its strength. Overall, another extremely well-crafted brew from Howe Sound.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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 spinrsx
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
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 wordemupg
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

1L capped bottle with swinging pop top stopper (like anyone would need to cap a liter of RIS) poured into tulip 8/7/11

A jet black with just a little cola at the lip, solid three finger mocha looks pretty sexy, especially when it just sits there staring back at you for some time, the foam falls uneven leaving a tilted rolling hill of foam that falls further too a thin film, beautiful looking beer, would be perfect if more then two big patches were lift behind

S lots of milk chocolate with some smoke, coffee, and coco powder, as it warms charred wood and booze come out pretty strong

T the chocolates darker in the mouth and I pick up on a little licorice and molasses I couldn't smell, the coffees leaning towards espresso, a darker roast version of the smell and the booze isn't as noticeable, tasty stuff for sure with only booze holding it back

M the darkness doesn't translate to the body, not thin but I expected pothole filler and it wasn't there, not watery but thin for the color, well carbonated and just a little sticky on lips with a flavor that lingers long but barley detectable

O some time might turn this into a foolish mans session brew, if the booze mellows out this one could have some real potential, not that there's anything even close to wrong with it today..but I could see this aging elegantly

Should I be surprised that I liked this beer as much as I did? I've liked Howe Sound in the past but this beer earns the brewery a new form respect from me. Pretty stoked I have a few of these to trade and/or sit on for ages, I won't complain about the bottle of Mega Destroyer in my closet either. Mr Hoff is a legend

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Photo of avalon07
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 692 characters

Photo of beertunes
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a translucent light black color with about an inch of medium brown head that had OK retention and lacing.

The aroma was a below average showing of the typical grain and malt scents. The roasted malt was a bit bolder on the tongue, but still not above average.

The body was much thinner than average, lighter than most Porters. Drinkability was OK, but why bother. If you want to try this to tick it, go right ahead. Otherwise bypass this beer.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
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 DeadeyeOTDO
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StJamesGate
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
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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Pothole Filler Imperial Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 191 ratings
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