Imagine | Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant

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101 Ratings

Brewed by:
Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant
Oregon, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Matured 9 & 21 months in bourbon barrels.

40 cases produced, released at the pub every other year, most recently November 2011.

Added by OakedCanuck on 11-14-2011

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 |  Reviews: 32
Reviews by adamdd:
Photo of adamdd
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BigE90
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of HoppySeb
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Reino
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.94/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Photekut
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle. Black body. Thin collar. Smells of strong bourbon. Nutty malts. Milk chocolate. Tastes of milk chocolate, booze, nutty malts and oak. Pretty sweet. Quite boozy. Heavy. Low carbonation. Tasty.

 215 characters

Photo of hopsbreath
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A little information about the beer itself. Imagine was released earlier today at Block 15 in 12oz bottles. They're identifiable by a black cap with "imagine" printed on it. No label is on the bottle but instead it was packaged in a brown cardboard box that again say's "imagine" on the side. Limit 6 per person, $7 a bottle.

Had a small taste at the brewery today to decide if I wanted any bottles for myself. Quickly bought my full allocation seconds after just one sniff/taste. Sitting at home now with a bottle to enjoy more thoroughly. Shared with TulipSnifter.

A: Very dark brown in the glass with translucent edges. A near complete cappuccino cap slowly recedes to a glass ring. Moderate legs with surprising lacing makes this appear to be a winner. 4/5

S: What a nose. I'm not just using flowery language, but authentic bitter cocoa infused baked goods are detectable. Beautiful barrel notes full of vanilla and oak lend a compliment to the sweet caramel alcohol. Huge and unabashed on the booze. One of the richest stouts I've ever smelled. 5/5

T: Big peppery dark fruits and raisins by the truck load. Chocolate, vanilla, toffee, obvious bourbon... A decadent dessert in a glass to be sure. No coffee in this guy, but that's not really his bag. Deep and lush, I can't find a flaw. 5/5

M: Fairly light in body with soft carbonation and an only slightly sticky finish. The high ABV would suggest it should be heavier than this. Very smooth on the palate with honest tongue numbing qualities. 4/5

O: It's light color (for the style) and light body (again for the style) has me thinking either the yeast was a beast, or quite a bit of sugar was used in this beer given it's alcohol content. The fact that I'm not picking up any acetone or other off-flavors I associate with high sugar usage is truly remarkable. I didn't have any expectations going into this beer and I was blown away. One of the best beers I've had all year. Super Nebula was a very tasty Imperial Stout from the boy's at Block 15, and it appears that was no fluke. Well done guy's. 4.5/5

 2,069 characters

Photo of Samact
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BirdsandHops
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Photo of lescavesmorgan
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No head with bubbles on the side; dark brown/near black clear pour.

Classic heavy molasses and dark chocolate aroma. Strong oak and bourbon/alcohol heat.

Sharp alcohol warms the palate. Chocolate syrup and a huge oak finish. Even has a cola flavor. Sugary but the lighter than expected mouthfeel keeps it from being cloying. Alcohol singes the tongue.

Well done on balance for a big stout like this. It wasn't way over the top like I thought it might be.

 457 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Starr for sharing this bottle. Served in a tulip.

Pours near-black with a very thin mocha head. Not much retention or lacing, and a thin collar throughout. The nose has some really nice bourbon notes along with plenty of chocolate. A good dosing of dark fruits as well, especially in the flavor. Viscous and chewy with low-medium carbonation. Really quite good.

 376 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to hopsbreath for the generous throw-in!

2011 vintage consumed Dec., 2012. Shared with Kevin at Funky Buddha, Boca Raton, FL.

I'd been waiting a while to open this one, and I figured NYE at FB was a pretty good choice. Served just slightly chilled. Poured into a goblet, a dark brown-black with maroon tints around the edges, a few wisps of bubbles on top quickly dissipated; no lacing. I found this beer to be quite disappointing, but maybe my expectations were too high. In the wide realm of imperial stouts, this one just fell short. Definite booziness right up front in the nose, with a big hit of anise/licorice, moderately roasty chocolate malts behind all that. Surprisingly, this beer was still very hot with booze on the palate, and the bourbon wasn't really well-defined; it was more of a moonshine or fusel taste that I got. As in the aroma, anise/licorice seemed to be the primary flavor component, possibly contending with the booze, lesser notes of dark malts and a touch of unsweetened chocolate, a little bit of a yeasty quality, and a bitter finish that came out more as the beer warmed. I like a nice full body on a big stout, and Imagine really didn't have it. It was about medium-bodied, perhaps thinned out by the alcohol, the lack of complexity made the taste suffer, and the heat from the alcohol reduced the drinkability a bit more. I kind of wonder what would've happened if I sat on this one for another year. It was good to be able to try it, but I wasn't too impressed.

 1,506 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to ArchEnemyBrew for this beer! Thanks Hollis!

poured into oversized snifter.

Appearance: an aggressive pour yields a big dark black bodied beer with a half inch of tan colored head. Head drops quickly to a ring of foam around the glass.

Smell: smells really sweet and boozy. Big bourbon, dark fruits, black licorice, jet fuel, vanilla, and leather. This nose is really heavy and intense.

Taste: Starts off with huge raisin notes with a nice splash of bourbon. Mild vanilla, coconut, black licorice, molasses, and cocoa. Finishes with dry oak and cherry notes. Thought I would taste the booze since it was so strong in the nose, but its really well hidden in the beer.

Mouthfeel: Its a full bodied beer with low carbonation. The beer feels surpringly thin for as big of a beer as this is, but its quite mellow and smooth. A fair trade off I would say. Mild warming from the alcohol without any burn.

Overall: I really liked this beer. It show cases the bourbon & dark fruits notes from the RIS beer style. Its a unique beer that stands out from many beer in its respective style.

 1,100 characters

Photo of Jdiddy
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

HUGE thanks to pkasten for the opportunity to try this beer. I went into this beer with big expectations and left feeling a tad let down. I am surprised to see the world class rating on this one. I put Bourbon County Rare and Black Tueday as world class (for comparisons sake) and this is not at the level of those IMO. It was however, a very good beer.

Poured a dark brown with little head. I could tell going in that it was going to be a bit lighter in mouthfeel than I expected. The nose was boozy but I let sit and the nose opened. I would possibly compare to a bourbon fueled Kate with the fruits and roastiness. Pleasant smell indeed. The booze in the nose (and I LOVE whisky) was a bit too much.

The taste seemed to have more in common with a Barley Wine than a RIS. Very thin and malty. The barrels produce some whisky notes but can't mask the booze. I am not sure how aging would affect this one. If it was a bit heavier in texture, I would say go for it. However, it may be best to drink now.

As the beer sat, it warmed up nicely and will sneak up on you after awhile. 15% is no joke.
I am not a WWS fan and feel this lends some comparisons to that if were barrel aged. The finish was short but left an alcohol ting in the mouth that was not the most pleasant after taste.

So, definitely a nice beer and great sipper (around the fire) but just tastes too young and needs to be a bit heavier on the palate to work IMO.

I would never turn down the opp to have again but feel it just needs a bit of tweaking to be world class.

With that said, I am a huge Block 15 fan and expect great things from them in the future (and the present).

 1,653 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of sweemzander
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Many thanks to Jason for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a thick pitch black as night color. Produced a surprising level of tan froth and even better retention despite its hefty ABV level. Some lace even showed up.

(S)- A heavy, but fitting array of aromas. A deep bready carmalized roasted component. Bits of raisin, molasses, and cocoa all over the place. Finshes with an awesome dry/oaky/almost toffee-like barrel character; Fantastic!

(T)- Like the smell was in pretty much every way. A lovely rich middle of caramel, raisin (dark fruits), molasses, and cocoa. Some nice bread-like roasted parts and a great oaky barrel finish.

(M)- A very mellow, but fitting and smooth carbonation level. Perhaps this beers' shining quality is how smooth and velvet-like this is despite a hefty sweet richness, not taking into account its 15% ABV level. Great barrel characters and just a joy to drink.

(D)- I would keep an eye out for this brewery, cause this beer could go up against the greats for the style and have nothing to hid or be shameful for. One of the better, if not one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I have had in awhile. It definitely took me by surprise.

 1,198 characters

Photo of cbrunpc
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of 2011 edition on 1/20/2013.

A: Black, really black. No head.
S: Bourbon, then a little more bourbon, then some malts.
T: See above. A little bit of licorice. You think the bourbon might be overpowering, but I find it just right.
M: BIg, full bodied, bourbon. THe bourbon just sits warmly on the tongue.
O: A great beer for a cold winter day.

 351 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the bottle, Luke!

Pours black as night with a dense tan head. Heavy roasted malt initially with lots of burnt sugar, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and vanilla. A light wood aroma and some mild bourbon. A hint of spice in there as well. The flavor is definitely on the sweet side with lots of sugar, molasses, vanilla, fruit. Good bourbon notes, slight oakiness, and a good bit of roast do balance out the sweetness fairly well. Very little, if any, alcohol presence.

 476 characters

Photo of joefc
5/5  rDev +16.8%

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Imagine from Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 101 ratings