Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel Aged
Cigar City Brewing

Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel AgedImperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel Aged
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American Imperial Porter
4.22 | pDev: 10.9%
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel AgedImperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel Aged
Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 162 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Featuring that stark CCB black, the head is large, tall and foamy, of a dark tan color, and settling to a lumpy froth that clings in wispy arms. It takes quite a while to die off, which is does completely, except for a thin gold chain.

Smell is quite the surprise to me, in that it exudes dark--and not milk--chocolate, with plenty of whiskey and maple-esque oak, as well as a touch of peppered nuts.

Taste immediately brings on that distinct sting of sweet peppery whiskey, followed by a smooth dark chocolate and raisin with hints of maple, coconut and Vanilla Coke. A waxy oak comes out in the swallow, and then, as it warms, a kind of nutty milkiness actually does arise.

The medium-thin body is silky smooth, and delicately cut by crisp, crinkly fizz that leads to a dry finish.

Apr 05, 2018
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kapkenobi from Pennsylvania

3.21/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad i got to try this after reading all the reviews. however this bottle has really started to fall off big time. Opened at a tasting group and while there was a hint of hte whiskey on the nose, it was devoid from the taste. After how much i loved cognac sweet stout i had high hopes. Im sure in its heyday this was a great beer, now its an average porter.

Jan 23, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a tumbler. Bottled 7/3/2011. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black, duh. Off-white head. No real head retention, but the single layer of foam lasts forever.

Smell - Whiskey. Really nice whiskey aroma, actually. Oaky with milk chocolate behind it.

Taste - Whiskey and chocolate roasted malts. Oaky as the chocolate fades. Lactose is hidden by the barrel, which I appreciate, but it's still there. Finishes with the slighest tang.

Mouthfeel - Dry and oaky in the finish. Sweet from the lactose, but not overpowering.

Overall - I wish it didn't have lactose, but oh well. It is what it is. Maybe a little one-dimensional in the malt profile, but what it has is good.

Dec 25, 2012
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carolinabeerguy from North Carolina

4.87/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Bottled on 7/3/11 printed on bottle. Purchased at Cigar City sometime in the summer of 2011.

Appearance: Pours almost pitch black with a 1/4 finger foamy light tan head which settles, leaving a nice ring around the glass and a little bit of pooling in the middle. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt, molasses, lightly roasted malt with a nice touch of sweet whiskey coming through in the background. Smells amazing.

Taste: Sweet roasted malt and molasses up front followed by a distinct sweet whiskey flavor in the middle before ending with the perfect blend of oaky woodiness to go along with a touch of toasted malt. Aftertaste is roasted malt and woody with a just the right amount of sweetness. The alcohol is extremely well-masked. The age (almost 17 months since it was bottled) has really done wonders from those compared to the reviews I read when it was fresh that said it was very hot.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. This one really coats the tongue.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. The alcohol is so well-hidden that I'm tempted to drink the entire 750ml bottle by myself. I'm putting a wine stopper in it and saving the rest to share with my wife tomorrow evening.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. I can't say enough good things about this one. I decided to crack this one tonight after my wife and I spoke with a realtor who will be listing our house for us. I figured that good news deserves a good beer. For those that drank it fresh and won't get the chance to try it with this kind of age on it, I'm sorry. This beer has come as close to perfection as I could imagine. There is almost no room for improvement here. This is the best Cigar City beer I've tried, and I've had well over 50 of their beers. If you ever have the chance to try it, make sure you do. It's a world class beer.

Nov 30, 2012
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BARFLYB from Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bottle poured into a snifter shared with some friends.

Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey pours in the glass a very dark night black color that is black. A sturdy body, a healthy pour yielded a quarter inch of brownish foam up top that left fairly quickly, no stick on the glass. Smell is sweet sided, vanilla, cream, chocolate, roasted malt, with a nice sniff of whiskey and wood, alcohol as well. Taste is on the sweet side, lactose, vanilla, peat, whiskey, roasted malt and some faint dark fruit, reminding me of some aftertastes of some Jamaican stouts. The whiskey pops out and was more inviting as this warmed up, as the sweetness was large to say the least. Body is approaching full/thich and the carb is not that high. A good bottle to share as the sweetness is a tough one to chew. Interesting beer from a reputable brewer, not sure on the ABV, but I could sense it throughout.

Nov 16, 2012
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AndyAvalanche from Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

According to the bottle 1 pint 9.4 oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. Liquid portion comes out black in color. Not like thick motor oil or anything like I expected, but the liquid is totally black and the slightest of slight amber to brown highlights at the top. Nice tan colored that absolutely erupts after the initial pour and takes a long time to dissipate. Better than average lacing and there's a ring of froth around the edge of the glass the whole session.

Smell is really good. Nice heavy roasted grain notes coming from this guy. I guess there's some slight milk/lactose aromas coming, but really the nice strong point is from the whiskey. I don't always like the smell of whiskey, but this one is nice, gives some slight vanilla and woody tones. Really good smelling beer.

Taste is very good. Again there is a huge grain and malt backbone here. The classic porter porter flavors of coffee and chocolate, not too strong, but present. Again the whiskey comes out, but it's not hot or overwhelming at all. Some slight vanilla/oak flavors and whiskey. Well blended and super delicious, very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Full bodied and perfect carbonation, thick without being too thick. Whiskey is warm but not hot. For a "milk porter" it doesn't really feel that milky. Drinks like a stout without being too "stouty." Nice warming finish on it, perfect sipper on a cool fall evening. I can't even describe the drinkability on this one, it's perfect. Any beer drinker could punish a bottle of this by themselves.

Thanks Gtreid for the trade, this was a great beer that I'm glad I got to try!

Sep 24, 2012
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UCLABrewN84 from California

4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mthomas84 for sharing this one at NoSignsOfPain's birthday bottleshare hosted by mrbubbler.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, wood, and whiskey. Taste is very much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a medium level of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I think this one smells better than it tastes.

Jul 01, 2012
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to MeadMe for spoiling me with Cigar City goodies in our last trade, I owe you one!
Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a bubbly tan head that slowly dissipates to a ring on top. The aroma is sweet with sugar and whiskey with lots of char, roast and caramel in there for good measure. The flavor is a bit on the sweet side, lots of sugar and caramel mixed with some roast, oak and a sweet whiskey flavor. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost sugary mouthfeel. I enjoyed the hell out of this beer. If I had to fault it I would say it leans a bit on the sweet side, but I like em like that.

Jun 26, 2012
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comfortablynumb1 from California

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes

Big thanks to Andrew for the hookup on this one...


A - Pours a deep brown with a two finger khaki head. Head retention is decent and there is a little lacing to be had...

S - Lots of sweetness on the nose. Chocolate, sweet malt, lactose, molasses, and good amount of whiskey...

T - Chocolate, molasses, roasted malts, and sweet lactose. The lactose really adds an underlining sweetness here. Also pick up a hint of a tart twang. Whiskey comes through on the finish, and is alot smoother than the nose led on...

M - Nice creamy feel, but a little thinner than I was hoping for. Lays somewhere on the higher end of the medium bodied scale...

O - Another solid offering from CCB. Not my favorite brew from them, but this was executed very well, and made for an interesting, and enjoyable drink. As much as i liked this, i'm still left thinking that I should have popped this sooner...


May 22, 2012
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spinrsx from Canada

4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle - thanks to cfrancis for sharing

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 4 or 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, a touch of coffee

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, coffee, chocolate, and some faint dark fruits. There is also some vanilla and a bit of a burnt wood flavour. It ends with a chocolatey sweet aftertaste with some light bitterness.

Overall - I've yet to have anything less than spectacular from Cigar City. This one is another winner that has an amazing mouth feel and lots of high quality chocolate taste.

Apr 18, 2012
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aasher from Indiana

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was acquired in a trade with preismj awhile back. Thanks Matt!

This beer pours a medium bodied Milk chocolate brown in color that pools to be more of a dark, dark brown on the verge of black. It has a creamy and soapy beige head that turns into a sticky lacing. The nose features plenty of vanilla bean, creamed coffee, milk chocolate with just a touch of whiskey. The nose is soft and just really well integrated. It's silky smooth. The flavors feature smooth milk chocolates, cola, vanilla bean, light coffee roast, a touch of bitterness and a mellow whiskey finish. The flavors too are really nice and smooth. They do finish somewhat quickly in the after taste. It drinks medium in body and doesn't show the abv at all. This is a really nice beer. I'm glad I could try it. I have loved everything that Cigar City has barrel aged, this included.

Mar 12, 2012
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CharlieMurphy from New York

4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2nd Bottle from summer '11 release courtesy of heyta.

A: Blake. Brly any light transmission whatsoever, only a single note. Ample khaki head.

S: Fainter than the 1st bottle I had in October. Less robust on the chocolate, milk, lactose, whiskey barreling, warmth, rs. Less aromatic overall. Trying to do a composite of 1st and 2nd bottle - 3.5/4.5

T: Also less robust than previous, younger bottle. What was once such a thick, viscous, creamy, sweet, *bourbon*-esque milk porter has dried and thinned out to what is now more like a whiskey barrel aged irish stout laced with american barleywine. Taste is now dark roasted malts, whiskey and cream, dry warmth, and mildly milky. Composite = 3.5/4.5

M: Mouthfeel is overall still tipped toward the thick and full end, but just barely and teetering. Slightly drying. A smidge cloying, yet drying from roasted malts. Composite = 3.5/4.5

O: Cellaring fail. I can't even recommend "drinking this now, ASAP!" Might as well take your time and see where it goes, esp if you like barelywines. Can't fault it because I didn't drink it best by.

Mar 09, 2012
Photo of GregSVT
GregSVT from Texas

4.79/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a slightly dark brown color with a nice tan head that fades to a ring with no lacing.

S: The nose is freaking amazing. Lovely notes of chocolate milk mixes with whiskey, molasses, and vanilla along with a milky (lacto) aroma.

T: So damn good! Huge flavors of milk chocolate, molasses, whiskey, vanilla, lacto sweetness, and a touch of coffee on the finish. This is about perfect.

M: The feel is medium bodied and creamy...long lasting finish.

O: Probably the best milk stout/porter I've had and something I would love to have again. The barrel flavors are pretty over the top but I love it. Yes it's big and boozy but it's incredibly complex as well.

Feb 19, 2012
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123 from Indiana

4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown almost opaque black with a vigirous 2-3 finger mocha head that faded fairly quickly leaving lacing.

Smells of whiskey, cocoa, vanilla and brown sugar with a hint of smoke.

Taste has similar components, but in different quantities. The whiskey is a tad subdued compared to the nose, which is nice. Cocoa, cream and vanilla are heavy players as it finishes with just a touch of smoke and spice on the back end of the palate.

Very smooth creamy and oily, just how I like my darker beers.

I'm hit or miss on most things from CCB, but this one was definitely a winner. Perfectly balanced with good thick mouthfeel. I enjoy whiskey and smoke in subtle quantities and can't stand when they are overpowering. This definitely fits the former category.

Jan 24, 2012
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GatorBeer from South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Bruery tulip

Pours a deep, dark, abyss of a darkness. A nice finger of thick head is gorgeous to look at and leaves a nice, inviting lacing behind. The smell is sweet and heavily whiskey-induced. The taste has a nice whiskey background but the upfront taste is a nice dark malt that is very well-balanced. Swirling the beer vigorously leaves a gorgeous head that slowly and deliciously diminishes. Carbonation is a little thin, but seems to work well with this beer. Can't say enough about the balance of the beer.

Jan 16, 2012
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oline73 from Maryland

3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

We opened this up during the tasting this weekend. Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color, this one doesn't seem to be very thick. There is a finger and a half of tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Slightly sweet with some dark fruit. Seems to be a bit ashy. The bourbon smell is warm and sweet.

Taste: Sweet malt with some mild roast. I'm not picking up much lactose. Lots of hot bourbon with some oak in the finish. The oak and bourbon seems to be a bit peppery.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: I would have liked this to have a body that is a bit thicker. Some more age might have smoothed it out, but it is still very good.

Jan 16, 2012
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buffs9 from Colorado

4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opened this in hopes that it would give my Broncos some luck v. the Pats tonight. A Florida beer that's aged in CO whiskey barrels and has a blue and orange label. How could I go wrong?

A: Dark brown with a nice 2 finger head in my Duvel tulip.

S: Really digging the smell on this one, picking up chocolate, whiskey, brown sugar and a little tang.

T: chocolate and molasses,, roasted malt and some smooth whiskey going on here.

M: Full body, thick and a bit oily, which I dig

Overall: Enjoyed this one a lot. Curious what it's like fresh as the lactose had a bit of an aftertaste I didn't love.

Jan 15, 2012
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Rhettroactive from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 750mL bottle to snifter on 11/29/11
*From notes

-- We consumed this after Bligh's Barleywine, as they both spent some time in Stranahan's Whiskey barrels. --

A: A pretty damn dark American Porter. It looks more like a stout. A good pour yields a one finger head that sticks around for a short while, and leaves a decent collar.

S: I get a bit more bacon fat then whiskey. Granted the bottle is a bit cold. Letting this open it up for a few does the job, and allows whipping cream, cocoa and toasted vanilla to enter and explore the nostrils.

T: A hefty dose of whiskey up front. There's also a good bit of char on the fore to mid. The back is decidedly lactic, with the acid creeping up and slowly overwhelming the palate as coconut water and vanilla cream soda finish this one out.

M: CCB knows mouthfeel, and this is no exception. Wonderfully thick and viscous.

O: Another barrel aged winner from CCB. I'd have liked this a bit better without the lactic acid, but it does add a complexity to the beer, and for that I understand. I do recommend that those in possession of this drink it soon, as I could easily determine that holding it would only do this tasty brew nothing but harm.

*Thanks to UMCaner74 for treking down to Cigar City on his day off and hooking me up with this bottle. Dave, you're easily one of the most epic trading partners in the history of BA.

Jan 09, 2012
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phisigben from Kentucky

4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

almost black pour with about a 2 finger width head that leaves a small ring that provides good lacing. Very huge whiskey smell up front honestly I have never smelled another beer that was this whiskey forward in the nose chard oak, vanilla, and caramel sweetness. The flavor is very unbalanced but since I love whiskey I really don't mind how unbalanced it is the chard oak is up front then there is a little caramel sweetness. The mouth feel is good with a decent amount of carbonation. It seems that most breweries that barrel age do it to compliment the beer brewed but with this brew it seems like the beer is just a carrier for the whiskey flavor of Stranahan whiskey. Over all this is a really good beer if you like whiskey, if you don't like whiskey I could see why you don't like it.

Jan 03, 2012
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tjkinate from Nebraska

4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cigar City continues to live up to their hype.

A: A subtle film forms above this deep brown bodied brew and fades rather quickly. Some lacing was detected.

S: Lots and lots of vanilla. Cocoa nibs and caramel follow.

T: Whiskey flavors are prevalent leading to a slight burn from the alcohol. Cocoa and vanilla follow, but are less prominent than the scent led me to expect. Flavors resonate long after each tasting.

M: Medium/heavy, creamy, nice burn from the booze.

O: One tasty BA Porter.

Dec 22, 2011
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s1ckboy from Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark body, big 3 finger brown head from somewhat aggressive pour.

S - Chocolate, whisky, cola.

T - Chocolate, some espresso type bitterness, whisky,molasses in the finish. After drinking more, it starts to taste a bit sweet, and a hint of tartness. EDIT: definitely a slight tartness, pretty sure that is unintentional but it is still quite good.

M - Medium, with nice carbonation. Very smooth & creamy.

O - Very good.

Dec 17, 2011
Photo of ehammond1

3.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, sendsilk!

Very dark brown, nearly black, with a very thin brown head that eventually leaves small spots of lacing down the glass.

Wonderful aroma consisting of bourbon, vanilla, wood, sweet and dark chocolate, and a bit of roast and char character. Full, complete--really quite nice.

Somewhat disappointing flavor after an incredible aroma, though this is still nice. The char and smoke flavors are a bit more dominant than I would have expected and preferred, but the bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla flavors are here in enough quantity to balance things out.

Medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

A very nice imperial milk porter, though the aroma is better than the flavor.

Dec 11, 2011
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siege06nd from Virginia

4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Thanks Rhettroactive for sharing this one!!

A: Inky black. A lively half finger head that fluctuates between brown and light tan. Lots of lacing adorns the sides of the glass. Very nice.

S: Light milk chocolate, some vanilla and whiskey notes from the barrels, and something I can only describe as a light, black liquorice, which I think is the lactic acid.

T: Roasted cocoa, creamy milk chocolate, and some vanilla, coconut, and wood from the whiskey barrel aging. Just a hint of acidity on the finish, again from the lactic acid, or is it just the power of suggestion? A decidedly roasted mocha finish. It's very complex and quite enjoyable.

M: There's an awful lot going on here, and I have to say, the flavors are impressively well-integrated.

O: This is a great achievement. The whiskey barrel aging is well done and extremely subtle. It augments the beer rather than stealing the spotlight. The only negative is that the lactic acid adds a funky feel to the nose and the taste, but it doesn't detract enough to make this anything less than a very good brew.

Nov 30, 2011
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TurdFurgison from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle courtesy of jale (thanks Jim!). Split with my wife on Thanksgiving, opened before the first NFL game started.

This pours a dark brown color, nearly black except at the edges, with a couple fingers of light tan froth that clings to the glass in thick sheets. Excellent aroma, the whiskey doesn't dominate so much as it integrates with the base beer. Seems milk stouty, it smells nearly like a chocolate malt with whiskey added in small doses. Dark chocolate and lots of sweet malts, lightly roasted with a lactic edge.

It tastes like it comes from Cigar City, in the same way that you can tell barrel aged Alesmith beers from the barrel notes. Some breweries just have a classic theme to them, at least from my experience so far. The beer is rich and chocolaty, with minor whiskey accompaniment, and it might be the lactose but in some way this is turning a little sour in the finish. Full bodied, nice mouthfeel and aftertaste.

I'm really enjoying this beer, and I'm hopeful the sour note isn't evidence of anything ominous from the barrel, just more the milk component of the beer. Recommended.

Nov 24, 2011
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AgentZero from Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to spycow for sharing this.

A - Black beer with a tiny brown head that didn't stick around long and didn't leave any traces of its existence.

S - Smells like a milk stout. Has some chocolate, bit of fruity whiskey, some wood. Not bad, but would of liked this to have more of a vanilla or roasted note to it than the fruity character the barrel semeed to give it.

T - Sweet chocolate, some oak, vanilla, slightly sweetened whiskey. This is decent and very drinkable, but much like the nose I would have preferred the whiskey to be richer and the beer hold up a little bit.

M - Medium bodied, creamy, soft carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, drinks really easy. Not a world beater, but it was enjoyable. With some room for improvement, I'd look forward to trying the next batch or variation of this if they do one.

Nov 23, 2011
Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 162 ratings