Tokyo* | BrewDog

very good
276 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 18.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The irony of existentialism, the parody of being and the inherent contradictions of post-modernism, all so delicately conveyed by the blocky, pixelated arcade action have all been painstakingly recreated in this bottles contents. This imperial stout is brewed with copious amounts of speciality malts, jasmine and cranberries. After fermentation we then dry-hop this killer stout with a bucketload of our favourite hops before carefully ageing the beer on French toasted oak chips. It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times.

90 IBU

Added by PartyBear on 08-29-2009

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Reviews: 276 | Ratings: 767
Photo of geokills
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Brewdog Tokyo Russian Imperial Stout was poured to me on-tap at the Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel, California, as part of their barrel aged brew month. At 18.2%, I just knew I had to try this monster. To my surprise, the monster was well tamed!

Fresh malty nose, tan head of soft fine bubbles. Significant lacing and a dark, dark mahogany. Lively mouthfeel, bready and rich with a bitter finish reminiscent of a strong barely wine. The heavy alcohol content is well masked amidst the sticky but not overly sweet flavor, though this one finishes with a definite hit of liquor like flavor, brandy indeed as owed to its aging in brandy barrels. Recommended.

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Photo of quirkzoo
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as a tokyo sewer at midnight, with a very thin head that is almost as dark. The nose is really strong and complex. Lots of roasted malts and some oak, followed by dark fruits, followed by a lighter fruit (I am going to attribute that to the cranberry but in the context of the other smells it was more like a fresh current) with some definite tartness on the nose. Lots of cocoa and as I continue to smell I get more of a fresh cut pine smell (dryhoppoing? it is not piney like an IPA but more like smelling the stump of a recently felled pine tree). Definitely some alcohol on the nose, though no where near what I was expecting from a beer this massive. The taste was good, though a bit muted compared to the nose. The bitterness was smooth and helped to balance out the palate so that you were not overwhelmed. The mouthfeel was excellent, especially considering the high abv. I had this for desert and it was full enough to stand on its own but did not become cloying. Overall, this is the first beer I have had from BrewDog and I know they get a bad rep for their "extreme" nature but this one came off as a unified beer and not just a marketing ploy. I will definitely seek this out again.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Affligem goblet...

A: Pours a jet black body with a two finger head of mocha foam, retention was decent especially for a stout of this abv, the retention is really good.

S: Smell is a huge aroma of booze, molasses, candied fruit, oak, maple sugar, vanilla, the warmer it gets the more aroma jumps out and the more complex it seems to get. Only knock is that it smells a little sweet, needs a bigger roasted malt presence.

T: Wow!!! Massive flavors that are incredibly complex and surprisingly balanced. Everything that was smelled in the nose along with added booze and molasses.

M: Thick heavy body, faint carbonation, heavy booziness that creates a heat in the back of the throat, fairly smooth though despite the high abv.

D: Surprisingly drinkable for 18.2%, the intensity of the flavor and slight booziness are the only drawbacks. Really incredible beer and a great example of how far the boundaries of beer can be pushed.

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #2 (Bottle is labeled TOKLO* rather than TOKYO*)

Appearance: Pours a fudgy brown color with a just a film of a head that leaves a cloudy pattern on top of the liquid; lots of leggings on the chalice

Smell: While the aroma has a lot of alcohol, it is incredibly complex, with the anticipated chocolate and roasty elements, for sure, but also a distinct tart cranberry character; as vinous as a fortified wine; while I think I can detect the jasmine, it may be the power of suggestion

Taste: Fruity and chocolaty, with a distinct cranberry fudge character; vague hints of jasmine add a floral character by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a bit of a burn that brings on a molasses/licorice/roasty depth

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with low carbonation

Drinkability: While this has been a divisive beer for other reviewers, I find myself very impressed; there are flavors in this stout that I have not encountered before and I love the port-like sipping character

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Photo of bylerteck
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Beer Deluxe. From notes. Best before 09/08/21.

A - Poured pitch black with one finger of medium brown head. Stick rings of lace and no retention.

S - Good dose of chocolate and noticable licorice. Dark fruit was there as well with chocolate covered cranberries and black forrest cake-style aromas. Nice stuff.

T - Tons of chocolate. Sweet but not overly so. You can tell the strength is there without the burn. Dark fruit, lot's of coffee, and a nice dark fruit finish.

M - Big body with good carbonation, and a sweet finish with some dried boozy fruits.

O/D - Nice for the strength. I kept comparing this to Mikkeller Black b/c of the style/strength similarities. Found this to be better. Very smooth and drinks really easy but still gives you a kick once and a while. A nice stout, ultra-strong stout.

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Photo of kodt
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cranberry sweetness on the nose, taste hits you with booze, but lots of fruity sweetness helps even it out. This is a big beer, and a good sipper. The jasmine and cranberry make this beer though, without them it would be a booze bomb.

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Photo of Lukass
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Been really looking forward to trying this one, but felt a bit guilty given the hefty price tag..

Poured into a snifter. Waited til I was about half way done with this brew before I reviewed, so it could warm up a bit and the flavors could really come through. This one poured an obvious pitch black, with just a tad of brown around the edge. A thin tan head that gathered around the edges, and the bubbles kept creating this interesting swirling, whirlpool effect on the surface.

After smelling, I could already predict the taste – huge roasted malt, with a good dose of hops (centennial I'm thinking), and burnt tobacco, coffee, syrup, dark sugars and dark fruits. This thing is huge. Tastes a lot like a jacked-up Expedition Stout (which is one of my favs). The only thing I didn't really enjoy about this beer was the mouthfeel. It was a bit syrupy and chewy, especially as it warmed, but I'm not really surprised, given it's alcohol strength. The alcohol got more intense as the temp rose, but was never 'hot'. The sweetness really plays a key role in balancing the booziness of this beer quite nicely, almost like a fine port. Really enjoyed this. Needless to say, this was the only beer I am having tonight. Could easily split this into two snifters, but my wife wanted nothing to do with this beer.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. The color is an opaque dark brown with a thick tan head; a classic looking stout. The smell features malt, chocolate, and dark fruit. There is also something very sweet - vanilla or brown sugar. You can also smell the alcohol. It is a strongly fragrant beer. The first taste to hit you is the cranberry; this may be the sweetest stout I've ever sampled. You also taste the maltiness. There is absolutely no bitterness but the alcohol burn hits hard. It has a pleasant mouth feel. Overall, this is a stout lover's delight. I just wish the AVB were lower. This packs a wallop! It also dents the wallet at $12.99 for a 12 oz. bottle. I'm glad I tried it and wouldn't turn it down in the future, but it's a bit over the top to be part of my regular rotation.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1/3 pint served in a Teku glass in the BrewDog bar in Edinburgh. From notes. Reviewed 7 June 2011.

A: Thick finger of head fades softly, leaving traces on the sides and surface. Murky dark-brown.

S: Hrm. Deep, heavily alcoholic, fruity, and...stoutish. Very sweet. Strong and nice.

T/M: Thick, creamy, and strong, but with an odd fruity twang (cranberry?) and somewhat misplaced carbonation. Sweet like a liqueur. Lighter on the endtaste. A bit...not harsh, but it drys/burns the mouth like liquor. Rounder, and nicer than the bottle I had about a year ago. The aftertaste is wetly sweet and dryingly bitter. Jasmin-vanilla notes may be my imagination. Smokiness?

O: I dig this beer a lot more months later and on-tap. This, I would recommend. And drink again. Several times, probably.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an inky, opaque black with a fizzy tan mousse that sticks around longer than expected.

S: Intense aromas of dried cranberry, pomegranate, jasmine, oak, roasted grain, coffee, chocolate, and sherry are present on the nose.

T: Opens sweet and woody with notes of black cherry, pomegranate, fig, dried cranberry, oak, roasted grain, coffee, bitter chocolate, jasmine tea, and sherry. The finish is long and intense with the jasmine and fruit flavors fully blending with the robust sherry notes. Quite lovely, though I was expecting more prominent hopping.

M: Medium-to-full bodied and relatively dry with lively, active carbonation.

O: This is a really nice stout. Its unique flavor profile clearly sets it apart from other beers of this style. Worth a shot if you can find it.

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Photo of rarbring
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is black with tones of brown, a tan head, no lacing, but good curtains.

The smell is sweet, vinous, Madeira and port, rhubarbs and red berries, dried figs and some yeast, possibly a glue presence.

The taste is also sweet, brown syrup, dried fruits, cream sherry, port, jasmine and liqueur.

Medium low carbonation, huge body, very soft and a warm alcohol feeling. Not boozy, just cosy.

This is really something, to be enjoyed in small amounts.

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Photo of markskar
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle spells it "Tokio*". Batch 002, best before date of 14/12/19. Label reads: "intergalactic fantastic oak aged stout: malt beverage brewed with cranberries and jasmine".

This is a damn good Imperial Stout. I was skeptical about whether I'd enjoy it due to the super-high abv. Lately it seems that some brewers just go to extremes to get the hype and sell more beer, and the quality often suffers. Not so with Tokio. Thick and rich, very enjoyable as a dessert (or on it's own too I'm sure, I just happen to be enjoying one after a big pasta dinner).

A: Pours pitch black with a surprisingly thick head for a high abv brew. Lacing is minimal.

S: The aroma at first was a little bit funky, oaky, and not terribly pleasant. However, as it warms the cranberries and roasted malt aromas start to shine through. The alcohol aroma is well hidden.

T: Rich, roasted malts and dark fruit. The cranberries are detectable, but blended nicely with coffee/chocolate flavors. The taste is like chocolate covered raspberries. Very pleasant. As with the aroma, the alcohol is very well masked.

M: Thick and a little bit sticky. Little bit of an burn from the alcohol in the back of the through, but pretty smooth overall.

D: For the style and the high abv it is extremely drinkable. Definitely a sipper, and to be consumed in moderation, but delightfully enjoyable after a heavy meal as a dessert.

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Photo of ChBass
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a dark, dark black, with dark caramel around the edges. Pours like a liquor, no head whatsoecer

This beer smells incredible. Dark roasted flavors & plums dominate, with a hint of booze. My wife says it smells like umeshu, a Japanese plumwine!

The taste matches the smell. A sweet, sultry mouthfeel gives way to the alcoholic burn, then waves of dark fruit follow. The flavor gets more intense as the beer warms. You gotta man up for this one.

Overall, this is a great offering by the nuts over at Brewdog. Keep it coming!

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Taste: Big, bold, thick, boozy, oakey, cranberries, herbal, molasses malty.
Black/Brown and opaque.
Big woody alcohol nose.
heavy body with a dark tan, head with small lace.
Warming and as intense as they come.

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Photo of daveytheformer
4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours pitch black with a minor crimson tint when held up to the light. Frothy tan head that fades to light lacing around the outside of the glass.

Smells like alcohol, dark chocolate, and roasted malt. Maybe caramel or molasses and more alcohol.

Tastes really sweet and fruity. Syrup, brown sugar, chocolate, oak flavors and a lot of hot alcohol lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is strong and heavy with very light carbonation. Very sweet and warm with booze.

Overall is a great beer and really drinkable for such a strong abv beer. I love this beer and I say at $12 it's worth the price.

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Photo of caryt
4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at the Green Dragon, Portland, OR.

A - The color is a deep mahogany with a small cream colored head lacing.

S - The smell is overpowering making you think, "what did I get myself into here." The smell of alcohol hides any taste expectations to come.

T - Sour cherries, molasses, some smoke, and surprisingly not as much booze as you expect from the smell.

M - The mouthfeel takes a sip to get used to due to the acidity but after that it is amazingly drinkable for 18.2% and delicious.

O - This is a great unique beer and I'm extremely happy I walked into. This is a must try for anyone who indulges in this style of beer. It doesn't compare to anything

Cheers to BrewDog for another successful extreme beer venture.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger brown head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Good carbonation and heavy bodied. Black color, no highlights, some yeast left in bottle. Dark fruit, alcohol nose and flavor is molasses, dark fruit and alcohol. Nice IS. Best by Dec 2019, couldn't wait! Expensive at $13.95 for a 330ml bottle from Bert's Better Beers Hooksett, NH.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A – Dark chocolate brown with cola highlights. Creamy cap of khaki foam has low-to-moderate retention and low lace.

S – Nose is sweet and surprisingly supple. Maple syrup, molasses, raisins, and milk chocolate.

T – Opens with an interesting interplay of textures: a silky body overlaid with warm booze and lively carbonation. Cream and caramel emerge from the warmth to take center stage over a back drop of charred oak. Milk chocolate, brown sugar, and raisins lead a sweet center before the alcohol resurges to showcase raw wood and jasmine. The botanicals mellow out the sweetness through a light maple syrup finish.

M – Boozy warmth with a creamy texture.

O – Complex, with well executed balance and restraint. Pour 2-3oz servings from a chilled bottle into a wide bodied snifter as you drink it; keeping the bulk of the contents cool as you warm each serving to just under room temperature as you enjoy them throughout the night.

P – Outrageous pairings with seared steak, authentic Mexican mole, pulled pork, lamb shank, venison, creamy blues like gorgonzola dolce, or sweet deserts like flan, crème brulee, cheese cake, and dark chocolate cakes.

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Photo of Jnarowe
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Incredible rich malts, deep coffee, molasses, tart sweetness of the cranberries. Sticky. Definitely hot on the finish but not detracting. Much less heat than similar ABVs. Beautiful. Tasted at 69F.

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Photo of Trilogy31
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tokio pours a midnight black with a firm beige finger of foam leaving more "legs" than lacing. Nose is bourbony booze, oak, vanilla caramel, along with nougat, dusty spiceand roasted malts. The taste hits you with pleasant booze, dark chocolate, red fruit, spice and more bourbon barrel. Finishes warming with a nice tannic grip and a balancing acidity. I wanted to hate this beer and really enjoyed, my ba palate is not completely tuned but this ba stout is my favorite so far which is amazing at this abv.

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Photo of Klym
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared with Cavery. Poured into a Stone nonic.

A: Darkest red possible with an impressive head that only lasts seconds. The beer looks like an alcohol bomb.

S: Hot whiskey with cloves, juniper and jasmine invading the nostrils. Intensity seems to be the backbone.

T: Sweetness! Sweetness dominate this with honey and syrup but no heaviness or sugar overload. Shockingly over the top on the sweetness with no negativity about it. Barbecue sauce and plums in the aftertaste. Incredibly original and amazingly flavorful for the ABV! Brewdog has really surprised me with this one.

M: With this ABV I think you can't expect much with the mouthfeel. Even with that said, the mouthfeel was much better than I imagined it would be. Carbonated but creamy.

O: Such an unexpected delight. Brewdog doesn't fear its critics and it shows. This is an amazing beer, embodying boldness, courage, and extremity. How they could go so extreme in ABV but so extreme in the opposite direction with such a sweet taste is beyond me. I would absolutely have this again and hold it high against the classic 'greats' out there.

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Photo of k7sw
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. The first thing I noticed upon opening the bottle was the overwhelming scent. It smelled very strongly of Whiskey (Jack Daniels probably), presumably from the oak chips.
A- Poured with a 1 finger head reduced to a thin, nicely laced head. Overwhelmingly dark, almost entirely opaque. Could only see the tiniest bit of red around the edge.
S- Strong whiskey scent, I was quite partial to it. Bit of soy sauce.
T- The oak is apparent in it's taste. Hint of jasmine is there. Couldn't really pinpoint the cranberry. There wasn't much to mask the flavor of the alcohol.
M- Carbonation was perfect. Brought out the flavor without overpowering it. Warming (and it would be at 18.2 percent
O- I was stunned at the first sip and the finish followed through. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of rootbeerman
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into duvel tulip

A: pouring it looks like strong coffee in color, in glass its brown black, not as dark as many other RISs. also the head was a bit lacking, only a finger thick brown and didnt last very long.

S: coffee is first noticed, followed by cranberry and chocolate. there is the very noticeable alcohol.

T: cranberry sweetness and coffee are first, then chocolate of dark roasted malt. the cranberry gives a nice balance to the coffee and chocolate. the alcohol is very noticeable as well.

M: not as thick as other imperial stouts, it is thick and coating, low carbonation.

D: more like "sippability" very boozy, flavors are well balanced and the cranberry plays well with the coffee and chocolate. only odd thing is the bottle is spelled TokIo*

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I got this beer at the recommendation of the guy at Spec's a couple weeks ago. He "warned" me as I was picking it up that it was over $10 a bottle...and I felt like "duh"...a beer this huge that has made it over the water costs that much just to meet cost. Anyway, I guess this guy has a lot to learn about the business of let's hope that his palate doesn't need as much work...

Appearance: The beer looks really dark in the glass, but as I was pouring it I could see that the beer itself was actually quite clear with a deep red tint. There isn't a whole lot of head on the beer, but the foam is in there...almost menacingly. Every time I swirl the beer or put it down or something, the foam will rise up to about 1/8" and then fade back down into the beer as if it is some kind of "hexed" brew that is alive and just waiting for a chance at my gullet. Interesting...I have never thought to be intimidated by a beer before, but this is almost what I would call "beer attitude". Extremely Nice!

Aroma: My initial impression of the aroma what that it was hugely complex and something that I am going to have to evaluate over a long period of time. There is dark fruit galore, along with a plethora of alcoholic spicy notes. Dark sweet toffee, and liquorish are hard to miss along with everything else. I don't really get any hops to speak of, except for that subtle quality that you get in some of the Belgian Strong Darks that is subtly fruity and floral but let the malt be the showcased element. Overall, that is a very nice addition to this already bold and complex beer. As the beer is starting to warm there is an aromatic that is really huge that I just can't put my finger on and will probably have to go back and read a bunch of reviews after this to find out what it is...but it is really a toasted pecan or something like that...maybe almond butter?...Hell, I don't know but the aroma is really complex to say the least.

Taste: Now this is a bold beer! The first part of the flavor profile is hugely malty and almost syrupy sweet, but then there is this alcoholic attenuated and almost solventy punch that kicks the daylights out of your palate a few seconds after the sip and warms you up into the finish. The finish itself has lots of sweet dark candy with hints of coffee and chocolate with some pepper from the alcohol and a clearly defined warming that sits on your palate and doesn't have any intention of leaving anytime soon. Man, this flavor is complex! The toasted pecans and nutty notes come out in the flavor as well, but it really comes across as a dessert. Somehow among all of this hodge-podge of flavor that is going on, the beer ends up being medium to full bodied with ample carbonation. I can't recall when I have had a beer this big with this approachable of a mouthfeel. Of course, you have to subtract from the drinkability as you shouldn't be able to "slam" a 18+% ABV beer...but I would say that this beer would score as high as you can, considering.

Opinion: Well, I can say that I have been blown-away by this beer! It is incredible and one of the better ones that I have reviewed to date. I would say that this beer is better suited in the Belgian Strong Dark category as that is where the flavors lean toward. Either way, this holds up to some of the greatest beers that I have had in my life and that is the 1000's by this point (Logged over 700 in BA). Even though this is one of the best beers that I have tried, I can't score it much above where I am because I think of the "all 5's" as being the "holy grail". This beer is close, but I would consider the "ultimate" beer to be next to an orgasm. This beer is NOT an orgasm, but damn-it, it is a very well crafted brew and one of the best I have had in a long time. The short and sweet it that I will definitely be drinking this beer again, so I guess the Spec's guy knew "what was up" with this one.

Batch #4 - Best Before 24/03/20

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Photo of marc956
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wasn't too sure what to expect when I finally tried this last night. But it has complexity, depth and flavour which I'd not experienced in any beer prior eh. Not even other imperial stouts like Pranqster or high-end IPA's even come close. Obviously not a session beer due to high ABV but worth a try.

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Tokyo* from BrewDog
3.87 out of 5 based on 767 ratings.
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