Black Jack Imperial Stout | DuClaw Brewing Company

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Black Jack Imperial StoutBlack Jack Imperial Stout
Very Good
111 Ratings
Black Jack Imperial StoutBlack Jack Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Rastacouere on 07-05-2004

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 111 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of shapudding
4.85/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my BA one-year anniversary beer! Nevermind that the date is showing 12th, it is that odd BA dating that turns the clock the day before~! I waited until my actual day to play with my fun stuff! -Thanks to Beerookie for lovingly driving it all the way from my beloved DuClaw to PA for me! (and sitting and waiting for them to receive the box of growlers they were expecting, just to bring this to me!)

Poured from the german DuClaw growler deep dark and pitch black, with no light getting in there. If you hold the pint glass up to the light and really play, you can catch a sliver or two of amber here and there maybe.... Wonderfully thick head atop it, coffee and cream color, maybe even an orangey brown it is so dark... settled as nice heavy, creamy layer. Oh wow, smells so great... See, they need to make car air fresheners out of impy stouts, then I would not be such a bitch in the mornings anymore. Deep chocolate scents, coffee, merlot. Not too heavy feeling, just a nice medium body, which lets it go down so easily, sip after sip. Wet feeling. Low to medium carbination, just enough to remind you it is there sometimes, but not fizzy or pronounced, just how I like it. Just a bit of a carb bite there when you take a bigger sip or give it a swirl in your mouth, but barely notice it most of the time. Dark roasty malt flavors, strong espresso, Godiva liquor, chocolate truffles. Makes me think of eating chocolate covered espresso beans followed by a sip of good dark stout.
Tons of flavor left in your mouth after each sip, some hops, burnt toast, coffee, bit of sweet chocolate. You can taste a bit of the alcohol, but not much -even though I enjoy that. Maybe even a teensy bit of very smooth scotch flavor in the aftertaste -again, like having a sip of maybe a Dalmore 21yo, then following with a sip of stout. You can feel a bit of the alcohol warmth, but it is very well hidden for the percent. Man, I could easily kill this german growler by myself, gonna try not too... I mean, it is a freakin' Tuesday! I will see what happens!

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Photo of cfinch2
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of Hefe
4.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass @ DuClaw Arundel Mills for the Christmas in July celebration. 7/29/04

Appearance: Black, black like your soul! Damn that black. Dark brown head that degrades to some sticky lacing.

Smell: Espresso mocha goodness.

Taste: Hits like coffee liquer initially, broadens out into dark chocolate, blackstrap, turkish coffee. Finishes warm and a touch sweet.

Mouthfeel: Rich and silky.

Drinkabilty: Perfect, I could down these all night, the abv is beautifully masked.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

DuClaw Black Jack Imperial Stout is a delicious and drinkable Russian Imperial. It was much better than I expected. Yum!

A: Nice darkbrown/black colour and a good 1 cm brown head that fades to good lacing. 4.5

S: Smells strongly of coffee. Yum. 4.5

T: Roadty malt with some hints charcoal, especially in the aftertaste. Good hop balance. This is a delicious beer. 4.5

M: Foamy and silky. 5

O: This was really delicious. 4.5

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Photo of Manoftyr
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance-Pours slick with that classic RIS motor oil consistency into the snifter, it's deeply rich and dark chocolate brown color and not quite the all-light obliterating blackness I like to see. A crown of mocha head tops the brew and bubbles its way back down slowly leaving a film and a thick ring of lacing that drips and sticks on the glass as I tilt and swirl.

Aroma-Sweetly dark malts upfront; roasted barley, lots of chocolate, some caramel and a hint of toasted grain.

Taste-Big dark cocoa and chocolate notes are the prominant flavor with successive sips adding more complimentary roasted/blackened barley malt tastes. Don't pick up any hops but that suits me just fine, I prefer the malt to be the star of the show in my stouts.

Mouthfeel-A little but more carbonated and less plush than I like my RISes to be. Still works though.

Drinkability-The big upfront punch of chocolate is delicious and the unfolding flavors and complexities keep me coming back from more; this is a class stout.

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Photo of hdofu
4.46/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

As black as a Raven's wing, this beer is really impressive. The flavor of dark chocolate hits the tongue upon the first sip. A slight bitter taste similar to a chocolate bar is the finish. The feel on the tongue is smooth like a dark chocolate bar, the alcohol wasn't really noticeable . The smell is of rich chocolate. This beer goes down easy and is one easy to drink more then one glass of. Give it a try if you like Imperial Stouts and are in Maryland.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

part of the epicness that was the halloween weekend of beer. the last few nights have kicked my ass in every way, but i got to try a bunch of goodies that have long haunted me. served chilled and poured into a 8 ounce taster, this one was consumed on 10/30/2010.

this was another new one for me. the first of the big stouts that were opened this really caught me by surprise as I was in no way expecting it to be as good as it was. jet black pour with a good inch and a half of wonderfully colored head on top started off the session just right.

aroma is dark roasted malts, cocoa, a ton of rich brown sugar and a touch of tobacco. really just complex as hell and not at all what i was expecting. a bit thin on the feel, but not terrible just more of a big stout then an ris. still though the flavor came across very, very well with each sip complenting the one before. dark, dark chocolate, lots of roasted malts and tons of rich, dark flavors. this was exactly what i was looking for. smooth and creamy finish left the flavor of light smoke an brown sugar on the tongue with a touch of vanilla sealing it off.

overall really just a great tasting stout that was very easy to drink and nearly flawless in aroma. i would have this one again any day.

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Photo of TheDragonTony
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This poured a deep red, though it appears black unless you're rolling it around the glass. The head was a mocha colour and left a nice lacing as I emptied my glass. The nose gives me some roasted barley, with a lot of dark chocolate, and espresso; however, I thought the nose was a little light, it would have been great if there was more there.

The flavour gives me a chocolate coffee with hints of raspberry and maybe some black licorice. This beer is silky smooth on your mouth, and it is incredibly easy to drink, in fact I had no problem drinking the entire growler.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass at the Fells Point location.

Very dark in color, opaque black with a tiny brown head that disperses quickly. Nice lacing. Smells slightly of coffee. Tastes of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and pine. Smooth and rich in flavor with a lovely hoppy finish. Alcohol present, but only slightly. Very drinkable and not too high in ABV, allowing for more of a session than normally with an imperial stout.

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Photo of JerseyKirk
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black. Black hole. No light goes in or out. Light khaki, creamy head.

S: Chocolate, coffee, cream, coffee bitterness, roasted grains and slight graininess.

T: Rich, sweet goodness. I love this beer. Chocolate, cream and coffee.

M: Thick, rich, luscious and sweet. Finish is extremely dry. Love it.

O: Like all of the beer but sweet finish. Great through and through.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Am I the only one who enjoys a thick, rich impy stout on a sweltering day like today? This one pours a nice straight obsidian topped by a bit less than a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, vanilla bean, brown sugar, and some toasted caramel. The taste is a mirror image of the smell, with some extra brown sugar and molasses in the finish. This be one tasty brew, baby! The body is a bit on the light side (a medium overall), with a light carbonation and a smooth feel that isn't as thick and chewy as I'd prefer. All told, a very nice impy stout, but missing a couple o' things that would vault it to greatness.

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Photo of Umbra
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this time on the limited 1L bottle release, swingtop with nice labeling.

Opaque black, not that it wasn't clear, just that it was so dark, you couldn't find your way to the other side of the pint, with a dark tan, thick head. Great retention and lacing for a brew on the heftier side.
Got a heavy coffee aroma, bypassed with some roasted malts.
All the expected flavors are here--coffee, espresso, chocolate, vanilla--but it has a very nice, sharp pininess that cuts through. Regardless, it has a very rich and smooth mouthfeel, making it extremely drinkable.

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Photo of hungryghost
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark, dark Black Jack Stout in a pint glass with a healthy, tan head. A head that will slowly leave behind lacing to decorate your glass.
Aroma is hearty, full of roasted malts, chocolate and a hint of cofee.
Enjoyable flavors represented in the aroma, lots of malt, coffee and oddly (to me) a hint of vanilla. It did not seem to be highly carbonated, but smooth in the mouth the flavors rolling across the tongue and down the pallet. The beer leaves a brief and very nice aftertaste.
Very drinkable by my standards.

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Photo of Pencible
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a completely opaque black with thick dark tan head. Beautiful.
S: It smelled like roasted coffee and rich dark chocolate, with a little cream and floral hops.
T: It tasted like rich dark chocolate and dry cocoa powder, with earthy roasted coffee and a little cream and metallic hops. It had a clean and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was very heavy and thick, with a little carbonation. Huge and wonderful body.
D: This was a very nice big stout, with tasty scent and flavor. Excellent body and pretty well hidden alcohol, so it was easy enough to drink. Not sure if age would improve, but it would be interesting to try. Not terribly complex, but this is solid for a standard RIS. I'd be curious to try this blind next to Expedition, Ten FIDY, Yeti, etc. to see how it stacks up without knowing the label behind each beer.

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Photo of brycevolk
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of popery
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a nice head, light brown and creamy. Good lacing. Just a hint of dark brown at the edges of the glass.

S: The aroma is a tad weak, but what's there is nice. There's dark chocolate, caramel, roast and some mild dark malt fruitiness. It might be a bit better than my score indicates, but there's more than a half point difference between smell and taste.

T: The beer has a big, excellent flavor once it hits your tongue. It's full of dark chocolate syrup and roast with a citrus hop note in the finish. The beer is smooth and has a wonderful classic imperial stout flavor. Everything meshes together nicely and there's little booze. No real rough edges to be found, either. Sweetness is just right. Great stuff.

M: Smooth and creamy, the beer is thick on the palate. In my opinion, mouthfeel is hugely important to imperial stouts, and Black Jack nails it.

O: I'm kinda surprised to see some lower scores for this beer. I have no idea about the age of the bottle, but I suspect it's not super fresh. I may have just lucked into opening it at just the right time. Whatever the case, it's a great stout with a rich flavor and a creamy mouthfeel. I've thoroughly enjoyed my first encounter with DuClaw.

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Photo of akorsak
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a glass of the 2004 vintage Black Jack Stout served at DuClaw's Bowie location during X-mas in July.

Appearance: Black as night. When held up to the light, dark crimson colors are clearly visible. The head is a darker, coffee ice cream color.

Smell: The beer has a deep roasted aroma and the chocolate notes have intensified. There is a slight vinous-like aroma as well.

Taste: The stout still has a deep roasted malt character but it has also taken on a vinous complexity. After that initial roast/chocolate burst, one can taste an array of alefruits and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The beer has aged well, giving the palate a new range of flavors to enjoy.

Drinkability: I really wanted to go to Bel Air for the 2003 version, as the beer has done well over two years.

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Photo of Jefe73
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer along with 13 others as a part of a "Taste of Baltimore" pouring that was taking place at the Oldsmar Taphouse.

4oz samples were poured into tasting glasses.

A: The beer pours a dark brown color with a small tan head.

S: The smell of chocolate is very apparent right up front. There is also a roasted coffee aroma as well.

T: The taste is mostly chocolate with a toasted espresso finish.

M: Silky and smooth, a nicely balanced body.

D: A good dessert beer that I would definitely drink again. A very well balanced brew.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a growler - pours a dark pitch black with almost no head whatsoever. Smells of chocolate, raisin, and more chocolate. First sip is tangy and spicy with dark chocolate and raisins - so much so that it reminds me of Rasinettes. Smooth with a welcomed alcohol warming that is much appreciated. Mouthfeel is a tad flat and I'm guessing it is due to the growler. Very nice!

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Photo of bluehende
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this at a tasting from draft. It had all the things a good stout had with a very good mouth feel. I am surprised it does not get a much higher rating.

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Photo of superspak
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter; no bottle date but this is a winter release so it must be pushing a year old. Pours dark as night with a fairly dense 1 finger tan head with nice retention that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lasts. Some nice lacing clings all around the glass as well. Aromas of big dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, caramel, molasses, smoked wood, and a bit of dark fruit. Some very nice and interesting aromas for an RIS here, nice balance as well. Taste of tons of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, smoke, wood, caramel, and light dark fruits. Good amount of coffee-like bitterness present on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, molasses, dark fruit, smoke, and wood for a decent amount of time. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a fairly nice and creamy mouthfeel that drinks smoothly for the level of alcohol. Alcohol is nicely hidden as well, didn’t really notice anything other than a slight warming on the finish. Overall this was an excellent and unique Russian Imperial Stout. Tons of nice complexity and balance.

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Photo of Bierleichen
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dithyramb
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First sampled this during the XMas in July celebrations this year and saved my review until this month's was tapped. Tried during the opening night at the Fell's location. Get it while its hot, they don't seem to make too many of the seasonals, and they disappear quickly...
Deep blackness with just some hints of amber when held up to the light. (At least that what it looks like in the bad lighting of the Fells spot.) Had a thin tan head that shrunk down to a nice sticky lacing.
Faint bitter chocolate aromas.
Fresh creamy cappucino flavors. No, not the milky sweet American capa, but the bitter and smooth Italian version. Just enough hops on the finish. The high ABV is well masked and is only evident with some slight warming of the mouth afterwards.

One of the better brews offered at DuClaw, along with the Porter.

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Photo of cyclonece09
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Pours pitch black with a small light brown head that disappears quickly. Smells of coffee and chocolate, nice and full. Tastes of coffee and little chocolate, tad watery. Beer is full bodied but still very drinkable. Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the DuClaw Fell's Point location.

Pours black with a thin tan creamy head that retained well around the edges but left a minimal amount of lace that stuck. The aroma is roasted and burnt malt, chocolate sweetness, coffee, and a smoked maltiness.

The taste is chocolate sweetness that melds into roasted bitterness, smoked malts, and coffee notes. The smoke character really seems to be dominant at times and is much more noticeable than other years. Finishes with a nice bitterness that sticks to the tongue. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a nice creamy feel. Alcohol is very well hidden and barely noticed, which really makes this guy quite drinkable.

The Black Jack is always a pretty solid seasonal from DuClaw. Like most of their other offerings, it doesn't pack the biggest punch, choosing to stay more accessible for their core demographic of beer drinkers that frequent the place. It still carries enough flavor and big drinkibility to be a solid choice if you come across it.

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Black Jack Imperial Stout from DuClaw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 111 ratings