Ultradestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

Ultradestroyer Imperial Licorice StoutUltradestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout
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Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,819
Ranked #14,747
3.93 | pDev: 13.23%
Nov 03, 2022
Jan 08, 2011
Very Good
Ultradestroyer Imperial Licorice StoutUltradestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout
Notes: Formerly Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout
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Photo of TooManyGlasses
Reviewed by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
16 ounce can of Megadestroyer (so a couple years old as now called Ultradestroyer). Last time I had was in a 1 litre bottle.
Pours a deep clear black with a half finger of mocha coloured head.
Aroma has a bit of cocoa, tobacco, but without a doubt the dominant aroma is of the licorice and anise.
Taste follows with anise, black licorice (and yes I like black licorice which I have learned is a divisive flavour), though not overpoweringly so; some coffee note, a faint caramel malt note, dark cocoa bitterness and a boozy kick.
Moderately full bodied though not thick, with decent carbonation and a warming booziness trickling down the esophagus.
Not a beer I would jump to daily, but an occasional nice sipper with a unique character.
Nov 03, 2022
Rated: 4.21 by JakerLou from New Hampshire

Apr 29, 2020
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Reviewed by ChrisHLikesBeer from Canada (BC)

4.56/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Probably one of my all time top 5 beers. Dark, rich, huge black licorice smell and taste, yet incredibly smooth and not harsh at all, even though the alcohol content is so high. Even the higher IBU's go unnoticed here, (to me anyways) Definitely an acquired taste and you better like licorice, but overall just an astounding beer!
Apr 02, 2020
Rated: 4.53 by Shintetsuken from Canada (BC)

Jan 31, 2020
Rated: 4 by HKFrostyLips from Rhode Island

Apr 03, 2019
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Reviewed by ChrisHBC from Canada (BC)

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
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.
Just an update....the 2021 batch tasted really harsh and lacked depth when I first tried it just a month or so after its release. Please know it ages well in the can, smooths out, taste intensifies, just seems to get better and better with age. Just had one that is over a year old from my fridge and it was Amazing.
Mar 06, 2019
Photo of ChrisCage
Reviewed by ChrisCage from Canada (AB)

4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
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!
Feb 03, 2019
Rated: 4.04 by sdm9465 from Canada (NS)

Jan 20, 2019
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Reviewed by polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
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.
Nov 02, 2018
Rated: 3.85 by RickyBfromCT from Connecticut

May 26, 2018
Rated: 4 by paulish from New York

Feb 26, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Jan 01, 2018
Photo of filthyhabits
Reviewed by filthyhabits from New York

4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
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.
Oct 22, 2017
Rated: 4.19 by rab53 from Washington

Aug 24, 2017
Rated: 4 by AaronLamb from Canada (AB)

Jun 12, 2017
Photo of opieo
Rated by opieo from Virginia

3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Black, thick, no carbonation from my bottle. Licorice was heavy. Burnt grains. Don't think i could drink this often. A bit too sweet for me.
Mar 05, 2017
Photo of ScruffySouthpaw
Reviewed by ScruffySouthpaw from New York

4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
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!
Mar 01, 2017
Rated: 3.78 by Gkruszewski from New York

Dec 05, 2016
Photo of avalon07
Reviewed by avalon07 from South Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -2%
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.
Nov 09, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

2.26/5  rDev -42.5%
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.
Oct 06, 2016
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
Reviewed by BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
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!
Oct 06, 2016
Rated: 4 by SmithyAlan from Canada (QC)

Sep 26, 2016
Photo of robroc
Reviewed by robroc from New York

4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
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.
Jul 03, 2016
Photo of LampertLand
Reviewed by LampertLand from Canada (BC)

4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Howe Sound Brewing 'Ultradestroyer' Imperial Licorice Stout @ 10% , served from multiple 1litre pot-stopper's & a new 473 ml can , with a name changed from Megadestroyer
A-pour is black from the bottle/can to glass with light tan head leaving a minimal fine spotty lace along the tulip
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 slightly dry , have another sip
Ov-a good & true winter beer , enjoy with a dessert perhaps
prost LampertLand
Mar 27, 2016
Rated: 4.16 by BigBry from Canada (AB)

Mar 21, 2016
Rated: 4.17 by Idrankthat from Canada (SK)

Mar 15, 2016
Rated: 4.72 by zachthelaxer93 from South Carolina

Feb 20, 2016
Rated: 4 by BCborn from Canada (BC)

Jan 31, 2016
Photo of chinchill
Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
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.
Jan 03, 2016
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
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.
Dec 28, 2015
Rated: 3.99 by Tivlavrie from Canada (AB)

Dec 27, 2015
Rated: 3.74 by Jeremy7 from Canada (BC)

Dec 18, 2015
Photo of Mlkluther
Reviewed by Mlkluther from Canada (AB)

3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
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.
Dec 16, 2015
Photo of dar482
Reviewed by dar482 from New York

2.67/5  rDev -32.1%
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.
Dec 01, 2015
Rated: 4.38 by likeablepaper from Canada (AB)

Nov 28, 2015
Photo of sulldaddy
Reviewed by sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
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.
Nov 26, 2015
Photo of Niceroad77
Reviewed by Niceroad77 from Canada (BC)

4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
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.
Nov 06, 2015
Rated: 4.1 by Piglet_rulz_da_yard from California

Oct 28, 2015
Rated: 3.6 by Tmappin from Canada (NS)

Sep 22, 2015
Rated: 4.19 by yasky from Canada (ON)

Sep 02, 2015
Ultradestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 155 ratings