Seven Summits
Devils Backbone Brewing Company

Seven SummitsSeven Summits
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Stout - American Imperial
4.08 | pDev: 6.37%
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Seven SummitsSeven Summits
Notes: A collaboration with Wicked Weed Brewing Company: Seven Summits (10.5% ABV; 20 IBU) an Imperial Stout brewed with ingredients inspired by the world’s famed Seven Summits. This complex brew includes Coconut (South America’s Aconcagua summit), Cocoa (Africa’s Kilimanjaro summit), Blue-green Algae (Antartica’s Vinson summit), American Oak (North America’s Denali summit), Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (Asia’s Everest summit), Black Rye Bread (Europe’s Elbrus summit) and Wattle seeds (Australia’s Mt. Kosciuszko summit.)
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 97 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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lwcreasy from Virginia

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very close to black with a creamy tan head. Can't see through this one.

Into the nose: salted caramel, toffee, cocoa, nuttiness, and a boozy sweetness.

Flavor is pretty wild. SUPAsalty throughout. The nose develops a more brown-sugary character as it warms, and this carries through into the flavor. Pine nuts and almonds, maybe a hint of coconut, dark fruit, and booze (especially in the finish), all riding that zesty, poppy, crackling saltiness that is, on my tongue, the beer's main feature. Perhaps it is the onslaught of this sparkly salinity that lends the beer a quality that almost approaches smokiness. Yet a nutty-oatmealy quality appearing in the aftertaste means it's never overbearing.

Good bitterness. Chewy, full body. Warming. Sizzling.

Really, really cool beer. Great concept (worth some extra points, right??). An adventurous brew for adventurous drinkers. Devil's backbone is underrated and everything Wicked Weed touches is gold.

Sep 04, 2016
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delta490 from Virginia

3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

For as many funky ingredients that this boasts, it's not bad but not ERMAHGERD. The aroma has a little coffee, oddly enough, and a nice grain mix going on. The taste is good to very good. It's hard to pinpoint any one quality but it is enjoyable to drink. The body is lighter weight which makes it easier to drink for as much alcohol as it packs. It's mostly smooth with just a little carbonation.

Apr 30, 2016
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a tulip. The brew appears black in color with a mocha head.

This smells roasty with coffee, chocolate, earth and char.

The taste is roasty citrus, coffee, earth, char and mildly fruity with a combination of alcohol/hops with an additional warming alcohol burn towards the back.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. Overall decent but not something I need to have more of.

Apr 08, 2016
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Pantalones from Virginia

4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finally getting around to reviewing this one. Second bottle from the collaboration pack; bottling date is December 12th, 2015, so right around four months of age.

Pours very dark brown, almost black; definitely darker than, say, a soda. Once in the glass it's even darker, pretty much pitch black -- my little LED flashlight is helpless against this beer, even at the thinnest point of the glass not a speck of light gets through. Medium-thin head of light brown foam on top at first, which soon shrinks down to a thin cap over the surface of the beer with a thicker ring and some big bubbles around the edge. As the beer is drank, it's leaving a very nice thick layer of foam along the outside of the glass.

Smells really nice -- definite roasty "stouty" sorts of smells right away, with a very noticeable chocolatey sweetness in there too. Occasionally I get a whiff of it even from around a foot away. Nothing resembling hops (no surprise considering it's 10.5% ABV and only 20 IBUs!), pretty much all roasty and chocolatey so far. After several drinks I occasionally pick up on a bit of a woody/charred sort of thing, but the smell usually leans more toward the sweet/chocolatey side.

Taste is similar to the smell, but not as sweet; quick burst of semi-sweetish chocolatey flavor right away, followed by darker chocolate and loads of roasted/charred-ish malt flavors, maybe a hint of alcohol, some coffee-like roastiness that lingers for a bit after the first sip. A bit of a woodiness in there that I didn't catch in the smell, wonder what that is. After a few sips that lingering coffee-like flavor is sort of coming across as a blend of coffee and... some sort of toasty dry leaf kind of thing? Whatever that is, it's pretty nice. I remember not being overly impressed with this beer the first time I had it -- more of "yeah, this was pretty good, but not great" sort of thing -- but today it's coming across as being much better than I remember it. As the last third or so of the beer is warming up, I think I might be able to pick out just a hint of the coconut in there -- seems it was blending in with the chocolatey flavor and slight alcohol-sweetness (...which may be something else other than alcohol-sweetness, I'm not 100% sure) before.

Feel is very nice as well -- very smooth, thick, no noticeable "burn" or warming from the alcohol despite being in the double-digits (seriously, my mouth isn't even feeling a bit warm and I've already drank nearly a third of the glass at this point in the review -- a lot of high-ABV beers generate more noticeable warmth on a single sip!) I can sometimes *hear* bubbles fizzing in there when I take a drink but they certainly don't feel fizzy or prickly in my mouth at all.

Overall, after having both bottles, I think this might just be my favorite of the collaboration pack -- not sure what it was about the first time I had it (maybe just wasn't in much of a "big stout" mood that night?), but my feelings toward this beer have DRASTICALLY improved since then. I'm not entirely sure what all the various oddball ingredients add, but the presence of the cocoa is definitely noticeable and I'm guessing the woody elements I picked up on from time to time are probably the oak's contribution. Coconut probably blends in with the sweeter chocolatey flavors I'm guessing. No idea what wattle seeds are, but maybe they could be related to that toasted-dry-leafy sort of flavor I couldn't identify? The important part though is that this is a very tasty example of a big, sweetish, chocolatey Imperial Stout -- probably my favorite non-barrel-aged example of the style so far, now that I think about it.

Apr 07, 2016
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Beejay from Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Dark black in color with a very dark head on top. Dark dark dark.

S: Luscious dark malt, chocolate, and coffee up front. Behind that is oak, vanilla, caramel, and coconut.

T: Dark malts dominate, with cocoa, and a touch of coffee coming through. Vanilla and oak are in the background with a lovely earthiness and a brown sugar and earth bitterness finish.

M: Thick, and slightly syrupy, but in the best way. There is a nice creaminess to it, and a long clinging bitterness.

O: Overall I think the idea of the beer is really f-ing cool, maybe it's because I'm a Colorado boy who always wants there to be a mountain somewhere nearby, or maybe I just like the idea of bringing the world together through shared experiences and beer. Regardless of the theme for this brew, I think it is pulled off very successfully. It's damn tasty, even if I can't pick out the wattle seed or algae. Bonus Points have been awarded.

Apr 06, 2016
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OldSwampy from Virginia

4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely delightful. I had not read the list of "seven summits" ingredients when I first tasted this, but the complexity was obvious. I love imperial stouts and stouts generally, so I was not surprised to find this enjoyable, but it surpassed my hopes. Deep rich dark color, robust creamy head, and aroma all promised a quality experience and this stout delivered. My only slight hesitation on the taste was that it was a touch sweeter than I thought would be a perfect balance. The aroma could have been bigger and boomier, but what was there was great. These are minor critiques, though, and this is memorably delicious beer in my book.

Brewed 1 Feb 2016 (bottle date), consumed 3 Apr 2016.

Had another on 25 April 2016. Dark, dark brown, can only see light when liquid is thin, revealing rich dark reddish brown. Head tan, not too big but rather durable. Nose more complex: woodear mushrooms, dark chocolate, and strong soy sauce. Taste: chocolate covered raisins, Kahlua coffee liqueur, some cooked meat, hot chocolate. Dark brown toast. And some hops in there. At times almost like candy. Hugely creamy mouthfeel: milkshakesque. Crazy mixture that nevertheless holds together. (I have not changed my original rating but would consider increasing smell to 4.75).

Apr 04, 2016
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Bones349 from North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little gimicky, but the ingredients come together pretty nicely. Not outstanding like I'd hoped, but just as well since I could only get in the adventure pack.

Apr 02, 2016
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, about 3 months old by the date on the neck

black, thin white head. aroma of dark chocolate, but the taste is a bit dry, ashy, heavy roasted flavor. a bit too acidic tasting for me. medium bodied, coats the tongue. overall I was a little disappointed

Mar 30, 2016
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hopphead31415 from Virginia

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Imperial Stout is another one of those collaboration brews by Devil’s Backbone and Wicked Weed. It has a whopping 10.5% ABV and 20 IBUs.

Look-It pours an unforgiving dark black with a creamy brown head.

Smell-It smells strongly of cocoa and coconut.

Taste-I get ample flavors of cocoa, molasses, and some hints of salt. I get notes of vanilla, milk chocolate, and roasted coffee beans. There is a tinge of some grassy hops. Mouthfeel is rich, creamy, and thick. It is heavy-bodied or at least on the heavy side of medium-bodied.

Overall-It is a great brew, but it’s strong so take it easy with this one. Cheers!

Mar 22, 2016
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Jason from Massachusetts

3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

This is one crazy ass brew. I can smell and taste the cocoa and coconut right away, salt is within as well. Oak more towards the middle to end and the rest is in there but a bit harder to pick out. Creamy smooth with a massive malt body, slightly boozy with some dark fruit. Long live extreme beer!!

Mar 15, 2016
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Fauxweiler from North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The last of the adventure pack. These collaborations have been quite good. This stout follows suit but only the third best beer behind the IPL and the imperial brown. The head lacks any retention but there is a fair amount of lacing. The nose presents you with plenty of chocolate. There is plenty of depth to this with the adjuncts playing their part, all be it a small one. The finish is where the oak shines. The salt is not overpowering to me but I can understand how others are turned off. The mouthfeel is a bit lite but does have a "stickiness" to it. I second whoever said "what could have been a cluster fuck is actually an enjoyable brew."

Feb 23, 2016
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Tucquan from Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2016-02-21 and 2016-09-19 in Columbia, PA from a 12oz bottle

A - Almost opaque dark brown with a 2-finger brown head and light lace.

S - Medium-dark and milk chocolate, touch of vanilla and cinnamon, medium-roasted grain.

T - Plenty of roasted grain with much more char in the taste than the aroma. Mild coffee, oak, vanilla, earthy spice and light salt and pepper. There are interesting cherry, plum and red grapefruit flavors that work nicely to compliment the roast. Noticeable alcohol as it warms. Finish is fairly bitter with both char and hop bitterness vying for contention.

M - Medium body and light carbonation. Silky smooth (except for the slap of bitterness).

O - An interesting amalgam of flavors that pushes the style boundaries. Kudos for creativity but the bitter, muddled, hot and somewhat salty finish are a bit much for me. I like my finish a little sweeter for the style.

Feb 21, 2016
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: A particularly impressive bubble show yields three fingers of mocha colored head; the liquid is pitch black, like india ink; shards of lacing hang around

Smell: The stout smells as much of the sea as it does of the land, with the salt, algae and wattle dominant; very roasty, with burnt rye toast, as well

Taste: Roasty, with burnt rye toast forward and the salt and algae flavors , the wattle compounds the traditional stout flavors, bringing coffee and chocolate through the middle; the finish has a strong umami character, with the chocolate and coffee lingering underneath

Mouthfeel Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Major bonus points for the creativity on this beer, but I just wasn't crazy about the end result which can be summarized as a salty stout

Feb 18, 2016
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AndrewMichael from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a stemmed, tulip style glass. Pours jet black with a light brown head on the beer. Great roasted malt and light chocolate flavors both on the smell and taste. It has a nice, heavy body in my opinion, but finishes incredible smooth at 10.5% abv. An outstanding Imperial Stout on this collaboration.

Feb 14, 2016
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bubseymour from Maryland

4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really spectacular looking beer in the glass with black body and light brown tiny bubbled 2-finger head. Smell is moderate coffee and oak. Taste is a little on the boozy side and alot of oak flavors. Some coffee coming through and a slight spiciness/heat in there with a touch bitter in the finish. Not sure if chili's were used, but it has a touch of pepperiness. Decent mouthfeel but at 10.5% would think it would be a tad more creamy and thick. A decent big stout. For a collaboration in a sampler pack, its quite a treat.

Feb 14, 2016
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this on tap at Max's Tap House in Fells point, served chilled in a pint.

The color is opaque black with thin beige head with fine bead and lasting retention with lace that holds. The smell is very rich with dark malt and cocoa-like aroma with a very roasted malt smell. The feel is semi-dry with moderately high roast and low sweetness with light alcohol in the finish.

The taste is very good with a mix of cocoa and dark roast coffee but the adjuncts are not very pronounced in the taste except for black waddle which adds nutty taste with a moderate amount of char flavor and very low alcohol for the strength of the stout in the taste. I liked this for what it is - a tasty strong stout. There was perhaps some mineral in the mix from the salt but it was hard to detect under the malty layers

Feb 10, 2016
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Mongrel from Maryland

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours like a big, serious stout.
Flavor is equally big, round and roasty. Reminiscent of Expedition Stout, with softer bitterness, but more aggressive spice and alcohol. Some inky, licorice undertones and plenty of salty umami. There also seems to be some green mossiness (algae?) buried deep in there. Very nice - bold but drinkable.

Really nice full body with a dry, spicy finish.

Feb 06, 2016
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SFNC from North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A collaboration with Asheville's awesome Wicked Weed featuring wattle seeds, blue green algae, rye bread among other goodies to represent the 7 continents. Could be inspired, could be a bus wreck. Time to pour.

Look; Standard RIS, dark brown/black with a slight ruby light at the edges. A two finger cocoa brown head from an average pour. Sticky lacing is in effect.
Smell; Pretty complex. I get the standard caramel, burnt barley, coffee and chocolate smells then some nutty and slightly sours scents.
Taste; Bittersweet leaning more towards bitter, with the oak making itself present in depth. Definitely not your standard RIS. The Himalayan salt adds a tang that is appealing. or then again maybe it's the wattle seeds, who knows.
Feel; A little thin, but still a creamy feel. A bitter tangy aftertaste.
Overall; Ends up closer to inspired, if not a revelation. Maybe a little too much going on, but I'm glad I tried it and will look forward the second bottle from the Adventure pack.

Feb 06, 2016
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

For the record, this is an imperial stout with cocoa, coconut, sea salt, algae, wattle seeds, black rye bread, and presumably aged in oak. Sounds fun!

Pours a nearly pitch black color. The head is two fingers high and lighter tan in shade. It has a creamy yet bubbly texture and somewhat low retention. However, plenty of lacing sticks to the glass.

No doubt, this is interesting. In conjunction with the roasty base, sea salt seems to give this stout's aroma both a nice salinity and even some umami qualities. Baker's cocoa and coconut also add some subtle nuances to this. The base brings a nice combination of those aforementioned roasted malts and spicy licorice. I am interested by the nose of this...come to think of it, there might be a bit too much going on! Despite that, it comes together very well.

The real question is how the flavor profile takes all the elements and combines them. Well...I first pick up notes of licorice, coffee, and roast. I'm almost reminded of chicory root at times. Some coconut flavor appears around the middle, and oak notes finish it off. This could have potentially been a total clusterfuck - well, I'm here to say it's not. All the adjuncts seem to come together with a modicum of clarity, creating a surprisingly easygoing imperial stout with good complexity.

It has a mouthfeel that's appropriate for a big imperial stout, thankfully. Not only does it feel creamy and soft, it doesn't really finish flabby or slimy. It also has a slightly tannic presence and some heat going down, but nothing crazy either way. Carbonation is slightly low.

This is a tasty imperial stout that doesn't go overboard with all the extra ingredients. The base isn't necessarily my favorite kind of stout approach (licoricey, that is), but it's certainly very well made. Well worth having again - in fact, this would be a great addition to DB's seasonal lineup.

3.78/5: What could have been a car crash ended up being damn good

Feb 06, 2016
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark beer with a cocoa colored head. The smell is really nice with roasted malts and coffee notes the main components. There seems to be a bit of chocolate in the nose as well. The taste is bitter coffee and roasted malts with a decent amount of booziness. Bitter dark chocolate appears on the finish.

Feb 05, 2016
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oldn00b from Virginia

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Stout glass. Pours near black - frothy khaki head forms and recedes relatively quickly. Not much lacing but there is some.

Nose has the cocoa as the most dominant note above the malt. Other things like coconut and oak are buried but if I know I'm looking for them I can more or less pick up the hints.

Flavor is really nice - definitely interesting. I get the cocoa first along with the roasty malts. I definitely pick up the hint of coconut - which is a really nice, soft and nutty addition that works incredibly well here. There is definitely a higher level of salinity than I'd expect in a stout. It helps to bring out the other flavors more than anything for me - this is not salty, per se. I'd be lying if I said I knew what to look for with Wattle seeds or blue-green algae (though maybe the latter helps with the mouthfeel?). I can definitely pick up the oak note on the palate. This isn't messy, or overwhelming. If I didn't know to look for some of these flavors I'd miss them for sure, but they work really well to make a very interesting stout.

The mouthfeel is a big win here too - full, delicate, but dry and lingers long on the sweeter notes. Not a hint of booze for the 10.5% it carries. This is a mouthfull and it works. Really nice, interesting stout.

Feb 01, 2016
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is jet black, with a filmy, sparse, clingy, dark tan head. Aromas of subtle roasted coffee, rich chocolate, subtle cream highlights, and some earthy notes. Very balanced and smooth on the nose. Flavors are heavily roasted and rich, creamy chocolate forward, with a solid follow of bitter roasted coffee. Some creamy and vanilla highlights throughout, with earthy and woody notes, too. Very smooth and velvety in mouth, balanced throughout, with a rich chocolate and coffee aftertaste. The finish is smooth, rich, creamy, and with a solid linger that invites continued drinking. The ABV is hidden very well. This is very drinkable.

Feb 01, 2016
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bluehende from Delaware

3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A nice stout that the salt comes through. It was an interesting taste as the salt made this beer very drinkable and cleared the palate to get ready for more. I would have loved to taste this beer without the salt. Nothing else came through much. A nice mix of mild coffee and chocolate. Overall a very interesting and good beer.

Feb 01, 2016
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OldManMetal from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly viscous and impenetrably black, this collaboration with Wicked Weed looks suitably imposing pouring out of the bottle; a thin, pebbly brown head and nice fine-grained rafts and caverns of lacing round out the look. The nose is moderate in intensity: coffee and chocolate backed by hints of molasses, banana and booze. The palate is bigger than the nose, predominately chocolate ice cream, molasses and alcohol. The finish shows that anomalous banana-like sweetness from the nose, and more than a hint of booze, followed by a modestly bitter coffee-chocolate linger that sticks around for a few minutes. The mouthfeel is a bit light for the full body, but the texture is nicely creamy and sticky, and medium peppery from the carbonation, which expresses itself just a bit overzealously for the style. (12 oz bottle, 51 days after pkg)

Jan 31, 2016
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Zebulan from Virginia

3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Nice dark brown pour with dark tan head.
S: Smell the coffee but not overpowering like others. Maybe a small chocolate smell.
T: Solid taste. Bold but not too boozy. Not complicated.
F: Smooth and not gritty like some coffee stouts can be.
O: I like the attempt at this big stout. Would like to try it on tap if ever possible. This could be a nice stout to have on hand every so often. This is the reason I bought the collaboration pack.

Jan 30, 2016
Seven Summits from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 97 ratings