Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice StoutMegadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout
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Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,849
ABV:
10%
Score:
90
Ranked #9,187
Avg:
3.97 | pDev: 13.1%
Reviews:
57
Ratings:
152
From:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
 
British Columbia, Canada
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  24
Gots
  28
SCORE
90
Outstanding
Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice StoutMegadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout
Notes:
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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 152
Photo of ChrisHBC
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Probably my favorite beer right now. I typically don't like higher alcohol beers, but this one just seems to go down so smooth, without that slightly harsh alcohol kick some others have. The licorice smell is stronger than the taste, though it is still the dominant factor, but it also seems to smooth everything out too...I you like black licorice you have to try it.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- This one pours with a big frothy tan colored head that has an excellent retention....settling into a puffy dense cloud of foam that is a good two fingers thick after settling! The brew itself is an almost black color....deep dark brown for sure and is very opaque in nature....light is not escaping this one! Lacing is thick and modestly sticky, with small patches clinging to the inside of the glass. Overall this has a decent look!

S- Right away I get a whiff of the advertised black licorice, but it has a sweeter aroma that reminds me of the syrup used in a milkshake that i like getting from a local ice cream shop! Following this up are more traditional smells of milk chocolate, black coffee, dry toasty malts, perhaps some burnt brown sugar and really not a whole lot of anything else. Smells dessert like for sure!

T- The licorice is there, but is much softer on the palate than the aromas would have suggested....for this i'm actually quite happy! Sweet cooked brown sugars/molasses and a toffee richness round things out here....the finish lingers heavily on the palate long after the swallow and is sticky sweet, yet dry astringent black malt bitterness....it's interesting to say the least but nothing that I don't like about it flavorwise.

M/O- Creamy medium/full in body, and the carbonation is quite smooth on the palate, giving this complex stout time to coat the tongue with heavy flavor. Im surprised at how hidden the alcohol is on this one and is actually quite a social brew for such a big beer. I have always liked these Howe Sound offerings and think this one is right up there in terms of quality and uniqueness! Cheers!

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is one I probably should have passed on, as I do not normally like licorice or anise. This beer is full on with both of these ingredients. It is a good beer, but I just found those flavors overpowering, and there was not much else that I could discern from this beer. Admittedly, this is more my fault than the beers fault, so I would encourage folks to give it a try.

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Photo of filthyhabits
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Considering I enjoy black licorice and molasses, I thought I'd give this a try. First pour looked good, pouring smooth with no head until halfway through, then forming a nice, thick beige. A very dark stout indeed.

Smell is mostly licorice and molasses, somewhat like the cookies made with the same ingredients.
One would think that this might have that somewhat heavy and dark stout taste, but it is actually mellow and very smooth, with overlapping overtones of licorice and molasses, with a nice malt to round it out.

Overall a good stout (if you enjoy the ingredients), a smooth drinker, albeit at times too smooth if you don't mind the ABV.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass from the bottle. Appearance: Somewhat thin body for an imperial stout, heavy dark colored brown to black body with a tan head rising maybe half a finger's length. Drops quick to nada after two sips or so with sticky lacing. It's missing a bit of body which I looking for or I would've scored a bit higher.

Smell: Seriously smalls like dessert, brown sugar and molasses.

Taste: Sweet sugar and licorice, complex bitterness which definitely adds quite a unique flavor to imperial stouts.

Mouth: Sticky brew after it warms up, thin body with medium to heavy carbonation.

Overall: great pickup, gave me more than what I asked for. Drink with lust my friends. Salud!

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.56/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deep opaque black color with no visible activity. Creamy brown/pinkish 2 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with okay legs, and not much swirl reconstruction. Flavors of walnuts, dark roasted grains, plums, molasses, prunes, raisins, chocolate, coffee, herbal spices. Heavily sweet with a coarse bitter dark feel. Smooth and oily medium to full body with a light crisp. Strong finish, thick malty roasted feel, some mocha, soft oak, dense ester fruits. Close to a barley wine. Nice intensity, not too excessive. Quite bitter but not overly spicy. Although the smell is way too faint. A little dry and vinous, very rich and highly warming. Decent appetizer. Highly acidic and yeasty, as it warms you get a slight putrid puke like feel that I can't enjoy. Still the flavors are pretty solid and tasty, while the body is pleasant. Overall good quality craft.

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Photo of avalon07
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick consistency. There was a massive, foamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A fair aroma of malt, licorice, dark fruit, molasses, and a little bit of chocolate.

T: Tasted of a good shot of the advertised licorice, some light malt notes, a bit of dark fruit (plums and raisins, in particular), a hint of molasses, and very definite boozy quality. This is an interesting flavor, but it's certainly flawed. Its booziness is a little overpowering, but the other elements are not bad.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: While this beer has its flaws, it's nonetheless drinkable. A big, interesting beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.26/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Wow, did I not like this beer. So much licorice and bitterness.

Pours black. Standard SRM, 1/2 tan head. Aroma was licorice, roast and alcohol.

Taste, eee gad, this is brutal. Heavy licorice, heavy bitterness, heavy alcohol. Dark fruit and licorice notes. Fuck. So much licorice, totally not my thing. Licorice lovers only! It dominates everything else in the beer. The bottle was huge.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the liter bottle, it pours infinitely dark with a brown head, slowly diminishing to a thin ring and layer. The nose detects the licorice and roasted malt. The mouth is assaulted by the licorice taste - as advertised. Wow!

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Photo of robroc
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of imperial stouts say on the bottle label that there are notes of licorice, but this is the first beer I've seen that has the word licorice in its name. This beer tastes like black licorice, much more so than any other beer I've had. I'm one of those odd people who like the taste of black licorice, so I enjoyed this, and would buy it again. I wouldn't buy more than one bottle a year, because there are better stouts out there, and this is sort of a novelty beer. But if you like black licorice you should seek this one out to try.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Howe Sound's 'Megadestroyer Imperial Stout' @ 10% , served from a 1litre pot-stopper purchased for $10 ,
A-pour is black from the bottle to glass with light tan head leaving a fine spotty lace along the snifter
S-a black licorice aroma of star anise , molasses , hint's of coffee
T-bold taste of anise and molasses over roasted coffee , smooth nothing bitter here
MF-full bodied at 10% , but the alcohol blended with dark malts leaves the palate slighty dry , have another sip
Ov-a true winter beer , enjoy with a dessert perhaps
prost LampertLand

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Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large shared bottle with a flip top ceramic top.
Pours thick and dark with a good head.

Aroma -back licorice and fainter black bread

Flavor - dominated by black licorice but with the stout showing as well. The licorice prominent but is not as strong as in, say, black jelly beans. Lightly sweet at an appropriate level.

Overall: easily recomended for fans of licorice and stouts.

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Photo of stevoj
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Interesting combo, the licorice is much more pronounced than I would have thought, taste more so than aroma. Pours out like black motor oil, nice fluffy beige head, slick body. Aroma is combo of chocolate licorice and burnt toast. Taste is more robust, tons of anise/licorice. A bit sweet, and lots of lingering burn.

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Photo of Mlkluther
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The nose is lovely. You know you are going to get li price and anise in this one. This is not going to leave you wondering what those flavours are. Whammo - they punch you in the face.

To that end - a little subtlety wouldn't hurt. This beer is a bit much. Though, sharing a big bottle with a couple friends was enjoyable - and enough.

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Photo of dar482
2.67/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The aroma hits of licorice, anise and roots for days with peppermint. A bit of toothpaste.

The flavor follows with tons of licorice, anise, Jägermeister, Unicum. This spice flavor dominates a relatively thin 10% stout. One of the worst stouts I've had this year.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. I picked this up on a whim while out on Cape Cod. Bought on the marketing name and bottle. I honestly missed the licorice stout text on the bottle and am a little worried as I dont really like black licorice too much, but Im willing to push forward on this beer.
The beer pours jet black into my glass and gives me a creamy tightly packed head of 3cm that never really fades beyond the last 1 cm of foam. There is dense lattice on the glass even before I sip the beer.
Aroma is molasses and some brown sugar, a bit of roasted almost burnt malt. Of course there is a solid hit of anice on the nose as expected, but it is blended with the other scents too, so not one dimensional.
First sip reveals a fairly thick body with tingly carbonation that prickles across my palate on each sip. Adds a lot of feel on each sip and gives the beer some good character.
Flavor is very rich and malty with molasses, roasted malt and some dark chocolate. I also get brown sugar and of course a bit of anice. I am surprised that the 10% doesnt show up more in terms of black pepper or heat on the swallow. The beer is drinkable and enjoyable with little hop profile showing up. It is a little sweet but certainly not cloying.
Im glad I bought this and wasnt put off by the anice which was much stronger on the nose than on the flavor. Nice Impy Stout.

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Photo of Niceroad77
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got this at my local BC Liquor Store as part of a trio pack (this, Pothole Filler and Wee Beastie) that came with a free tuque.

Look: As dark and obscured as can get with two fingers of dark tan head. Medium retention. Leaves a dense and complex lacing on the glass.

Smell: Anis, faint coffee and cocoa. Sweet.

Taste: Anis, more coffee and cocoa. Good hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Very complex and well balanced.

Feel: Medium to thick bodied. Light carbonation. A little boosy.

Overall: This beer is all about balance. It is loaded with a lot of stuff and seems like the Alibi Room and Ken Diamond have found just the right proportions. Seriously recommended for "real stoutheads" and those who like black licorice. This beer is not for everyone but if you like it, it just gets better with every sip.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, almost black color with copious tan head that resolves quickly. Smells strongly of anise/black licorice, roasted malts, coffee. Leather. Tastes sweet malty forward, pleasant but not overpowering black licorice flavor, cocoa (semi-sweet), caramel and brown sugar provide a nice sweetness to the profile, coffee and just a hint of piney hops on the back end with a pleasant if a bit cloying finish. A rather sweet stout – mouth feel is medium bodied with just enough carbonation to prevent it from being syrupy.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. I was hesitant (I don’t particularly care for black licorice) – and honestly had not seen that when I picked it up at the store. But I was pleasantly surprised, though the anise smell is strong, the taste is well balanced, pleasant, and the licorice component/anise is well complemented by the other flavor profiles.

Great beer. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again. I wish it came in a small bottle (perhaps a 4 pack) because that 10% abv will sneak up on you!

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Photo of jmasher85
4.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Let's see: a beer called "Megadestroyer" that is an imperial liquorice Stout...it delivers exactly as expected. I'd call it damn near the most accurate and fulfilling beers I've tasted in terms of delivering on its promise. And of course, I drank the whole swingtop behemoth in one sitting.

Strong as hell at 10%, and it's a 10% you really feel, it smells overwhelmingly like licorice. Yeah, there's some of the usual roast and coffee and cocoa smell too, but seriously, licorice. And the taste of this foamy, jet black cowboy matches. Boozy, though not too much burn. Chocolate comes out a bit stronger, but don't you worry, still plenty of anise in there. Like I said, this bad mother delivers.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle I brought to share at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and black licorice aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, and black licorice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but the black licorice characteristics come though much better in the smell.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Svingjo
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black. The nose had definite licorice and anise, with a molasses sweetness on the edge. Licorice comes forward on the taste followed by the molasses and malt. There is a definite hoppy bitterness but not as much as the advertised 78 IBU may suggest. I enjoyed this beverage but can see someone who doesn't like licorice may not appreciate this much.

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Photo of brureview
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a jet brown-black color with less than a 1/2 finger head in a snifter.

The aroma wafts outward before I place my nose near the glass: very strong black licorice and anise.

The alcohol is strong on the back of my tongue. I possibly get a bit of hop bitterness from the mouth feel.

Taste: Deep, rich, licorice and anise. I drank this beer slowly, and put it back in the refrigerator for 5 minutes a few times. After a while I could taste the roasted malt character of this beer.

I switched to a Imperial pint glass for comparison: the snifter brings out the aroma, licorice -anise taste, and roasted malt more intensely. In a imperial pint glass, which is shown on the brewer's page, the beer is lighter bodied , with more of a malty mouth feel,
and pours a bigger head.

Drink this beer slowly in a snifter. It has a Grolsch bottle cap, so putting it back in the fridge will preserve the aromatics.

The beer well goes with a meal: I ate a spicy chicken dish which greatly enhanced its flavor.


This is my first Howe Sound Inn& Brewing company beer. They finally are being distributed in my area. I am looking forward to tasting more of their beers.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you don't enjoy black licorice, AVOID AT ALL COSTS. If you like black licorice, GET THIS. All other stouts that encorporate anise, I have a hard time picking it up besides the subtle anise notes that are apparent in many other stouts by nature. This beer is full-on chocolate covered black licorice and I love it. The bottle, however, is a bit intimidating. A one liter behemoth of a swing-top bottle. Danger.

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Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours a three finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Licorice nose and flavor is licorice, some malt, smooth. Good - not a wussy beer. The high ABV is hidden. $10.49 for a 1L flip-top bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of BaalDagon
4.59/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Well... couldn't help but to pop the top on this behemoth of a bottle of pure pleasure! WARNING: If you don't like black licorice, STAY AWAY! As the label clearly states... its a Licorice stout! To start with, I am at complete room temp as I was advised. One might also start this brew off in the sink when popping the top... I got a little overflow as the carbonation proceeded to equalize the pressure. What came out can only be described as "black gold!" First up; the ultra sweet flavors of an uber roasted malt rocked my taste buds as hints of molasses and brown sugar rounded out my sheer pleasure up to this point. Next, following closely to the malted flavors an aromas is the wonderful smoothness of a well blended coffee! Mind you... a dark roast, but so incredibly butted to the malt that I almost missed it. However, once my taste buds grabbed a hold of the subtle current... every sip after seemed to pull it out even more! Thirdly, and living up to its name... ANISE! LOTS AND LOTS OF ANISE! Lastly, is a slight hoppy bitterness that tones the sweetness of the malt and sugars to PERFECTION! What rocks the most is that the longer it sits in your glass... the smoother it becomes! My next WARNING is that it IS a high grav brew @ 10% ABV, so be careful... IT HAS A KICK! Don't let that scare ya off though as Howe Sound Brewery has done a wonderful job in masking the alcohol in the wonderfully rich and vibrant flavors and aromas that the "Megadestroyer Double American Imperial Licorice Stout" provides

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Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 152 ratings