L'Impératrice - Bourbon Barrel-Aged | Le Trou Du Diable

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L'Impératrice - Bourbon Barrel-AgedL'Impératrice - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
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L'Impératrice - Bourbon Barrel-AgedL'Impératrice - Bourbon Barrel-Aged

Brewed by:
Le Trou Du Diable
Quebec, Canada

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 72
Photo of Smakawhat
3.24/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

A big frothy if surprisingly tight fine foamy head out of the bottle. Manages an easy two finger with light tan to khaki coloring, and a soft styrofoam looking top. Body color is classic opaque, with a bit of reddish very dark brown walnut color.

Aroma seems to be large on sweetness more than anything. Creamy touches of milky fruit strawberry, with a touch of little roast. Not much oak or barrel character coming off this or even thick malt richness. Comes off very English ale estery fruity more than anything, and very unexpected.

Palate for a barrel aged beer doesn't provide much. Very watery body with hardly any malt depth at all. Minimal roast character touches more of milky chocolate that comes out slight touch peppery with a small hint of char. Extremely fleeting palate.

Sadly there is next to nothing going on here. Was this in a barrel for a week and that's it? Something doesn't add up, I usually expect more from these guys.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle has a Lot with a rectangle that's supposed to give a date, I presume. Illegible.

Pours black with a heck of a nice tan head of long lasting foam.

I smell a lot of caramel malt, Bourbon, bits of dark fruit, toffee.

The taste is kinda roasty with caramel malt, toffee, and a weird bitter sweet thing going on. Mixed with the Bourbon, it's not something that I favour. There's some booziness but it's tolerable.

Medium bodied with light carbonation.

All in all, I find this very disappointing. I have no idea how old it is. Shrugs.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black color. Creamy light brown 3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, average legs and decent swirl reaction. Flavors of dark grains, wild berries, vanilla, cocoa, coffee, oysters, wood, and herbal hops. Slick and soft creamy medium body with moderate crispy carbonation. Strong strength finish, mostly roasted and earthy, slightly dark fruity, with a mild bourbon barrel effect. Good balance and alcohol well hidden, intensity is nice and warming. Can easily be consumed in a big glass but makes a decent appetizer too. Pretty good complexity, though feels a bit thin. Overall high quality craft.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.14/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Le Trou Du Diable 'L'Imperatrice' @ 10.0% , served from a 750 ml bottle purchased for $20
A-pour is a cola brown from the bottle to a near black in the glass with small tan head leaving a spotty lace along the snifter
S-coffee & bourbon
T-boozey BA Imperial stout , hints of vanilla & carmel
MF-decent carbonation , full bodied
Ov-other than the price , kinda liked it
prost LampertLand

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pitch black. Being head forms and retains well. Wispy/patchy lacing.

S: Chocolate truffles, burnt brownies, caramel, bourbon balls. Roast. Bourbon is fairly forward as well.

T: Follows the nose. Very roasty with chocolatey undercurrents. Smoke. Char. Acrid. Bourbon has a very firm grip too. Big pull of black currant darkfruit. Big, warm barrel finish.

M: Thick and rich body. Chewy and full. Sharp carbonation has a bite to it. Warming.

O: A nice imperial stout. All the hallmarks of the style are there. The barrel is quite assertive, and does dominate in the end though.

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Photo of Derek
4.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a mountain of head that stands and leaves some lace.

Aroma is like a Belgian strong dark, boozy with a little spice.

Doesn't taste as dark as it looks, black licorice, molasses, rum, wood, vanilla. Perhaps a bit of Brett?

Well-attenuated, highly carbonated, with a drying finish.

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Photo of VbolieuV
4.82/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Black with some red hues under light with a HUGE off-white head.

The smell is so amazing! You get notes of dark chocolate first and then your nose is instantly hit by aromas of whiskey and alcohol. There's also a nice vanilla aroma that adds some depth to the nose, can't wait to taste it now!

Nice bourbon taste in the mouth, some smoky flavors are detectable, you also have a nice mouthful of chocolate the vanilla that I smelled is also still there which gives it a nice sweetness.

When you swallow you have feel some alcohol burn that reminds me of a watered down whiskey. To drink really slowly!

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Photo of ThomasT
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%

Appearance: Deep black with a slight ruby sheen. Bottle opened with a bang and gushed out a bit. Poured a three-finger head, which faded down to one with lots of lacing.
Smell: Bourbon is prominent, along with chocolate, coffee, and fresh bread.
Taste: Very similar to smell. Bourbon warmth and fresh bread are most prominent, but coffee and chocolate are definitely there. Moderate carbonation. Vanilla and plenty of tobacco on the finish. Fairly full-bodied, but not as much as I had hoped.
Overall, an excellent beer that delivers full Imperial Stout flavour with moderate bourbon notes. A little over-carbonated and not as full-bodied as I had hoped. As a lover of both bourbon and stout, I found this beer enjoyable.

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Photo of 4ster
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled Nov 2012. Poured into a Leffe Chalice. Chilled a bit in the fridge and drank while warmed up. This beer has seen 2 house moves, 2 cities, and various cellar and non cellar conditions, so i thought it was time to crack it.

A: Dark, black-brown, after sitting for over a year and a bit, it almost had no carbonation so almost no head, just a few wisps that quickly died down. Little white flecks of yeast floating in the beer....

S: Bourbon, alcohol, malt vanilla. Some wood and that's about it.

T: The oak really has taken over this beer, and while I haven't had it fresh, the alcohol has mostly mellowed as well. As it warms, mild flavours of coffee and malt, fairly sweet, with a lot of tobacco and leather on the palate.

M: Light to no carbonation, and not syrupy either. Lighter than I expected with just a hint of alcohol on the tongue still.

O: I think this beer falls under the "rare beer that becomes hyped"... the harder it is to get the better it must be. That's to not say this is a bad beer, and if you like bourbon aging characteristics this one is quite nice... I also can't say it is because I've aged it, but it is not that old, and I feel it just is a little flat, and not as rich as you'd expect for an imperial stout.... A decent enough beer but still has a long way to go to reach a barrel aged Peche.

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Photo of bylerteck
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from hoppypocket in CanBIF Fall 2013. From notes.

A - Poured black with a one finger mocha head. Spotty lace left over with a finger of retention.

S - Dark fruit, vanilla, whiskey, nice complex imperial stout. Less roasty than I would expect for the style.

T - Sweet up front with obvious barrel influence. Dark fruit, roast, good blend.

M - Very mild carbonation, full body and a sweet dark fruit finish.

O/D - Pleasant and drinkable with an unorthodox, yet workable flavour. Good stuff. Barrel has definitely had an influence on the beer that is complimentary.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into tulip 26/9/13

A not quite black with deep cola edge, large mocha foam slowly falls to a table top island, a couple partial rings of lace followed by some random patches on the way down

S smells a little hot with a mild booze sting, charred wood, a little smokey bourbon and bacon, loads of the darkest licorice you can imagine, vanilla, dark chocolate, cola, and just a hint of Brett

T much like the nose, barrel and booze with faint funk, some dark chocolate covered berries and lots of char

M not the body I expected from a big dark one and booze hits your chest, low but detectable tannins, char lingers

O this one has great potential but doesn't quite get there, good but considering who brewed this I expected more

This is my second attempt at this one as my first bottle was a infected gushing fountain of an undrinkable mess. I'd say it needs age to mellow out the booze but I can smell the infection starting take hold in the background and I'd drink this batch ASAP and cross your fingers. I doubt this is exactly what they were attempting and I'd love to try what LTDD was trying to achieve BB aging a big stout.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle. After a day of house buying busywork, and 3-plus hours of infant screaming, I am now so ready for a beer. Oh, so this is the first one that greets me upon opening the fridge. So be it.

This beer pours a solid black oil abyss, with nary a basal highlight of any sort, and two fingers of densely puffy, generally foamy beige head, which leaves some Ayers' Rock and low pressure weather pattern lace around the glass as things slowly seep away.

It smells of astringently wooden alcohol right up front - bourbon barrels on acid, so to speak - caramel and toffee malt, in equal proportion, dusty milk chocolate, dry vanilla, some dark sugar molasses notes, a touch of black orchard fruitiness, and overwhelmed earthy, musty hops. The taste is much more moderated, a thinner caramel maltiness prevailing, with a soft cocoa quotient, a slight coffee essence, some middling bourbon barrel notes - wood grain, and vanilla, mostly, and a subtle dark fruitiness, one that blends nicely with the attendant earthy hops.

The carbonation is fairly subdued, and nothing more, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, and generally smooth, and when considering the transitory hop and alcohol esters, is quite creamy as well. It finishes well off-dry, the neutered caramel malt, multifarious barrel notes, and malingered hops notes all performing a dance of the near dead.

Another crazy-ass barrel-treatment afflicted stout where once again, the wood fucks up the malt, in the sense that all that awesome chocolate and caramel goodness is sliced up and meted out in parts less than the whole, in a sense of this maligned metaphor. Good, I suppose, but hardly a world-beating version of the style, and not really worthy of the dear price tag incurred.

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Photo of Rutager
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Thanks Deadbolt82

Appearance. Pours black with over a finger of thick tan head.

Smell. Oak and bourbon, vanilla and dark chocolate, molasses, dark malt and some tangy dark berries.

Taste. Well roasted dark malts, dark unsweetened chocolate, bourbon and wood with just a little bit of berry and dark fruit.

Mouthfeel. On the low side of medium bodied, with medium+ carbonation.

Overall. Not as big a stout as I had hoped it would be but there's plenty of bourbon and its barrel going on. Not bad but I personally wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was bottled on march 2012. I did let sit a little bit before tasting. Tasted in September 2012.

The beer color is dark black. Good brown head sits on top of it. The smell is dominated by bourbon notes. Some toasted bread in there with vanilla notes. Pretty decent aroma. In the taste, I get bourbon and vanilla, it's simply awesome. This beer is very delicious. Warmer. Voluptuous... Some carbonation is present too.

This is a very good stout. For me it is near perfection, I can't agree with the other reviewers. This is one to seek out. Not cheap 'tho.

Mouthfeel is great as the taste linger in the mouth... Very nice.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a large brown foamy head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of black chocolate and light roasted malt notes with light bourbon notes though not as much vanilla as I would have expected. Taste is also mostly dominated by black chocolate notes with light green notes and light dry roasted malt. Bourbon notes are more subdued then I was expecting with almost no vanilla notes perceptible. Body isn’t as full as expected with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Overall not bad though not as complex as expected with not as much bourbon notes as expected as well.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml Bottle - thanks to iguenard for this

Appearance - Black/brown colour with with an average size fizzy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, grains, roasted/smokey notes

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and some roasted/toasted nuts. There is also a bit of a smokiness and a touch of a cheap booze flavour. It ends with a smokey aftertaste with some lingering bitterness.

Overall - The mouthfeel was off and the flavours just didn't seem to mix well. It came across as boozy and it didn't seem like it was made with high quality ingredients.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to hoppypokcet for this bottle. Dated 03/12.
Poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Poured medium brown, settled black. One finger of fluffy light brown head that receded to a ring around the glass. Spotty lacing.

S - Roast up front that gives way to bourbon, oak and a touch of vanilla. Some chocolate is present as well as an overall sweetness.

T - Alcohol is noticeable up front and gives way to the barrel flavours - bourbon, oak and vanilla. Roast is present as well along with some semi-sweet chocolate. Good flavours but the base beer and the barrel flavours don't come together at all. Perhaps this could benefit from some age.

M - Light to medium body. A touch watery at times. Moderate carbonation that is a little more than I would like.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a glass of this at the Trou Du Diable event at Wvrst in Toronto.

Beer is jet black with a smallish tan head. Minimal lacing and retention.

Smell consists of roasted malt, bourbon, black liquorice.

Taste is like the nose. Roasted malt, oak, black liquorice, bourbon. Not the powerhouse that a barrel-aged imperial stout tends to be.

Full bodied, light carbonation.

Overall, Decent but not great. Certainly the weakest of TDD's barrel aged beers that I have been fortunate enough to try.

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Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Volo. Fairly strong carbonation. The bourbon was there without overwhelming. Big roast, very lacy black bodied. Dry, a dry stout/Imperial stout. Drinkable, good, and different than the usual higher end RIS we have been drinking. A sipper. Mouthfeel at best medium.Had again late in year, and even smoother with the bourbon giving it an edge.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to papat444 for this rarity. Served in an oversized wine glass.

A - Monstrous and persistent tan foam - extremely creamy and meringue-like - that leaves behind tons of splotchy lace. Body is a solid and opaque near-black color. Very attractive, but also very annoying as I had to wait quite a while before I could actually drink the beer.

S - Sweet Jeebus! Smells like the bourbon barrel, and that's pretty much it. Massive oak, bourbon, hot alcohol, char, and a hint of vanilla. Very low sweetness here, and the hint of beer flavor that makes it through is mostly roasted malt and anise. There's also a light vinous note that combined with the oak might have convinced me this was aged in red wine barrels - perhaps some brett made it in here?

T - The taste is far more on point with what I expect from a -bal aged imperial stout. Baker's chocolate, molasses, anise, roasted, grains, caramel, and moderate amounts of oak and bourbon. The alcohol is still present, but it's nowhere near as intense as in the aroma.

M - It's overcarbonated for sure, but the zesty and active bubbles still manage a softness to them that keeps this from being unpleasant. Medium body that is a bit too thin for the incredibly boozy aroma and flavor, but is forgivable if this is actually 9% (which I sincerely doubt). Smooth texture that ends dry and oaky.

D - While the bourbon and alcohol presence in the aroma is borderline ridiculous, there's actually little alcohol warmth in the feel. A few of us killed the bottle no problem, and I actually topped my glass a couple times. Could use a bit more heft, but might be really good in a few months. Enjoyable as is.

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Photo of flipper2gv
2.58/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this one laying around for a while

A: I expected pitch black and I received very dark brown. Looks quite watery, not much head, and the little there is it's light mocha.

S: It was very faint TBH. I didn't get much except some bourbon like vanilla, booze, roasted notes and tons of licorice. I expected the beer to be much more aromatic.

T: Nothing spectacular again here. Tons of licorice, alcohol heat, bourbon vanilla and light wood tannins. That's pretty much it.

M: Quite thin and more carbonation than expected from the look of the beer. Meh

O: IMO, it's a "meh" beer at best and a beer to avoid at worst. I paid 18$ for this bottle and I regret every pennies out of it. Very disappointing.

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Photo of papat444
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to hoppypocket for getting me this one.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle, bottled Aug. 2011.

Appearance: 3/4 of the glass fills with a dark brown foam. The body is brown bordering on black. Looking on the side, air bubbles make it look like an Aero bar. Long lasting head.

Smell: Boozy, bourbon, oak, vanilla. Heady and i like it.

Taste: Whoa! Strong right out of the gate. Dark raisins and the bourbon is strong, almost overpowering. Some whiskey notes believe it or not. Vanilla effects are felt in the aftertaste. Good but slightly one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation gets in the way even as it warms but that's the only pitfall. Smooth and velvety.

Overall: I have to admit to struggling with this one. The barrel aging offers no complexities as everything seems a bit lost in the bourbon. While it gets better as it warms, its brashness suggests that this could use some smoothing out.

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L'Impératrice - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Le Trou Du Diable
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 72 ratings