Kuhnhenn Road Rash Imperial Stout | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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Kuhnhenn Road Rash Imperial StoutKuhnhenn Road Rash Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This Russian Imperial Stout was made by our very own Jessica Weiman. It is black in color with dark fruit aromas and roasted grains and alcohol are present on the nose. Rich and complex, this intense stout has medium hop bitterness and rich burnt malts. It is a full bodied, velvety beer.

Added by walleye on 08-29-2007

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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 87
Photo of FrognutUnl
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep cola color with a thin chocolate colored head. The aroma is that of dark dried fruits, and chocolate. Flavors of dark fruits, currants, and dark chocolate are strong in the initial taste, with charred malt flavor coming in stronger as the glass warms a bit. The 12.5% alcohol is masked quite well and is only truly detectable in the finish. It is a full-bodied brew that is very thick and creamy, the tapioca is certainly doing its job here. Overall, I find this brew to be fantastic and wish there were more available and I can't wait to see what my last bottle does in about a year or two.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kan and hoppymeal for this one (I think).

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours an absolute midnight black letting no light through with a one finger brown head that dies down to a thin layer of bubbles that reamains. Some stickiness, but not much. Smell begins with roasted coffee grinds and sweet espresso. Dark chocolate and smoked barley with a sweet caramel and molasses backbone. For the 12.5%, I don't detect much alcohol in the nose which is beyond me. Holy Batman roastiness! Charred malts, smoked barley, and dark French roast coffee. Cocoa powder, licorice, and some vanilla midway with a touch of booze and lots of fig and dates. Aftertaste is bitter and smokey with a funky finish. Full body with a slick and chewy feel that has a very mild carbonation. A monster brew for sure, even a 12 oz. bottle should be shared.

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Photo of CrellMoset
2.83/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur at a tasting at the home of proteus93. Poured into a Brooklyn-logoed footed pilsner glass.

Appearance: Huge creamy sticky light brown head with great retention. Very nice. Body itself is brown, and lacing is big and fairly sticky but about as runny as you'd expect given the abv%.

Aroma: Incredibly pungent, but not the most pleasant smelling beer. There's cocoa powder, heavy, heavy dark fruits, rum raisin, and salty soy sauce.

Taste: Unbelievably salty and bitter at first, and those notes unfortunately taint the whole experience. The bitterness may be intentional - citrus, sour cherries - and the malts are still there, with some cocoa notes and some earthy, lightly roasted, tart and grassy coffee. Very harsh, though.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy and absolutely devoid of carbonation. Not impressive.

Drinkability: This beer was definitely downhill pretty quickly. Everything was harsh and off, but Kuhnhenn isn't known for its quality control, so perhaps I shouldn't be too harsh. So I'll be this harsh.

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Photo of emerge077
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted sided by side with Black Albert, Kuhnhenn had the edge.

Black, sludgy oil pour. Tan foam with a creamy texture. Cascading beads of foam cling to the sides when swirled. It eventually settles into a thin skim with a ring around the edge.

Rich chocolate aroma with some black cherry in the background.

Fudgy chocolate, flourless chocolate cake, dry earthy char, with a light undercurrent of black cherry. Mildly spicy Syrah barrel character. Full and rich in feel. One for dessert is all I could handle. Thanks Jay!

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Photo of largadeer
3.51/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received as an extra from seaoflament. Thanks Carlos!

Appearance: Black, but not your average imperial stout black - this stuff is absolutely pitch black and the head is nearly as dark.

Smell: Roasty as hell, sweet molasses and straight-up burnt sugar, tar, chocolate and a dash of smoke.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sweet at first, with flavors of chocolate syrup and molasses. Heavy on the palate. Not quite Dark Lord heavy, but pretty close to it. The finish is pretty acrid and acidic, like they used a bit too much black patent, which mingles in a strange way with the syrupy sweetness. The aftertaste is somewhat ashy and tarry. Not bad, but not great either. Definitely a rough beer. Glad I had the chance to try this, but it's not something I can see myself revisiting often.

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Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The warm flashes of light brown that encircle the edges lead me to believe this can't possibly be entirely opaque. But despite my many inspections to the light, all angles conclude that Road Rash is, in fact, a dense, inky shade darker and more black than an asphalt road itself.

Though impervious to light, a rusty sepia coloured ring is belted around the circumference and while it won't leave lacing, its 12.5% ensures a glossy set of legs. This looks alright but is in stiff competition with the attractive young lady on the label.

The aroma is a bittersweet blend of coffee and cocoa. There's a touch of residual piney hop resin in the backdrop that is lost amongst notes of molasses, figs, and dried cherry. Perhaps it is the lactose or the ample amount of anise, but something is hiding the alcohol very well.

Taste and aroma are very much similar, each with copious amounts of roast malt, hop resin, and hints of dried berries. First and foremost they share generous anise, bitter freshly ground coffee beans, and lactic, bittersweet dark cocoa.

I'll have to take their word on the final gravity, because this doesn't register as a beer stronger than 12%. The mouthfeel is sleek and oily, with a lingering, bitter finish that could be accredited to either the hops, the taste of unrefined cocoa, or the sensation of freshly ground coffee beans.

I never quite became carried away with this Russian Imperial Stout like I do many others. A constant lactic taste combined with harsh bitterness didn't make for the most sensuous example of the style. I enjoyed it, but it won't be cracking the top of my favourites list.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick lightless black with a pinky of thinly bubbled burnt orange/tan head. Little retention but nice lacing and an oily residue. Smells of dark fruits, roasted malt, chocolate, licorice, charcoal, chalk, and alcohol. Tastes of bitter baking cocoa from the start followed by dark fruits like raisins, cherries, dates, prunes, and plums, then a touch of brown sugar. Strong burnt notes of smoke and charcoal follow, then a bitter blast of espresso mixed with cream in the finish as well as a slight sourness and a touch of alcohol. Full bodied, smooth and thick with low carbonation, but a syrupy body that clings to your palette. Fruity, roasty, bitter, brash, and abrasive, definitely not a beer everyone will like, but RIS lovers should appreciate its attitude.

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Photo of rallison
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to northernbrews for one awesome extra!

Pours a beautiful black color with a 1 finger tan, creamy head that does mostly diminish but still leaves some nice legs.

Smells relatively sweet with a fair amount of roasted grains and quite a bit of rich coffee - espresso. Wonderfully decadent dark chocolate is also in the aroma along with a touch of smoke.

Flavor is initially relatively sweet but with a great espresso/dark chocolate taste. Bitterness shows itself on the finish. Nicely roasty. Subtle dark fruits linger behind that dark chocolate. Think blackberry infused chocolate mated to a rich, creamy espresso with a lightly bitter, roasted component at the end. Maybe a touch of ash as well, but fully within my acceptable range. Long finish. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is most definitely rich with a slightly dry finish. Soft carbonation with a slight astringency. Moderate alcohol presence.

Highly recommended. A wonderful RIS indeed. These guys most definitely know how to do this style.

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Photo of seaoflament
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to tangfoot and mj for a bottle each of this beer.

Pours an intensely dark color, viscous and sinister looking. About an inch of foam topped the head, fizzy and active, but it quickly settles to a ring.

Aromas of dark berries, currants, deeply roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, hints of coffee, chocolate flakes, wood, oak, and vanilla. There's a little bit of alcohol that peaks through the layers of sweetness but it doesn't take away from the rest. I'm also getting a bit of olives, which is odd but I have encountered them in other imperial stouts. There's also some maple syrup, sugar cookies, and a little bit of toast. The aroma reminds me quite a bit of Dark Lord.

The taste begins similar to the aroma, dark berries, currants, and then an onslaught of roasted malts, toast, chocolate, molasses, sugary bread, wood, cocoa, and vanilla. Pretty complex but there is a tangy almost vinous flavor in the after-taste that I could do without. There's also some anise flavors, and star anise as the tongue feels a little numb but that could also be from the alcohol.

Feels syrupy at first and then some carbonation tries to pick it up and push it back but it doesn't seem to work out. Still, very decent and fairly easy to drink for a 12.5% alc. beer.

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Photo of TheBlackMallard
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Filled pretty high for a Kuhnhenn bottle.

Pours jet black into a snifter with a small mocha head.

Smell: Coffee, Roasted Malts, Chocolate, and Vanilla.

Taste: Dark Fruits, Coffee, Vanilla, Molasses. Thick and Heavy, it doesn't get much heavier than this. Definitely a sipper and not something you'd want to enjoy after a big meal.

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Photo of ryrust5301
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter

Appearance - Pours like a motor oil, very syrupy and thick. Doesn't bulk up to much of a head, but more like a thin layer of toffee colored bubbles. Nice thick halo effect left around the top of the concoction.

Smell - Nose is nothing short of mind boggling. At first smell I could have sworn it was a DL, eerily similar. First of all it's sweet as hell with the usual bitter coffee bite. The thing that makes it all come together is the bold strong dark fruits that just radiate from this devils brew.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Hello dark fruits! Your palate is crushed under the dark fruit flavor, especially the cherry. Sweet chocolate and the coffee biterness try to hold their own, but are easily curb stomped by the massive fruit presence. An almost sour like drying taste accompanies the bitterness. Very harsh on the first sip but mellows into a thick syrupy slide down the throat. The beer is so complex I won't even begin to disarm this bomblike brew.

Drinkability - Wow! There's so much going on here it's incredible. The dark fruits are so overpowering that they almost run away with this beer instead of holding it together. It's definitely a unique beer, but with so much going on it's hard settle in on it. A beer to sip over time and explore all it holds within.

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Photo of ShrLSU
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into an Ommegang goblet.

appearence: Poured a very deep black color. Not much head to speak ok but great lacing from a slight tan foam.

smell: Some deep coffee and slight fruity scent. A little bit of cocoa and a slight sour scent. .

taste: OK there is so much going on here i'm having trouble breaking it down. i taste bitter coffee flavor, some sweet dark fruit, and a sour finish. Extremely complex.

mouthfeel: Very creamy and nice carbonation to balance.

drinkability: Big thanks to Tosque for this beer. It's the first beer i have tried from the kuhnhenn line and it's very different, but very interesting. I can't wait to try some others from this brewery.

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Photo of DIM
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a murky, very dark brown with cherry edges. It poured with large, creamy, dark mocha colored head. Great retention and moderate lace.

s: Mild aromas of cocoa, cherries, and pungent, roasty, sour grains. Some gentle alcoholic warmth radiates out of the glass.

t: The most obvious flavor is that of rough, raw, roasty cocoa without a trace of sweetness. Some sour, floral cherries come next, leading to the bitter, almost acrid, finish. There is plenty of warmth on the end as well. This impy stout is assertive and full flavored. If you're looking for something subtle, look elsewhere. This is a palate battering brew.

m: This stout is super viscous with perfectly creamy carbonation. The heat left in it's wake is spot on.

d: Big thanks to TheBlackMallard for this one. This is a fantatsic extreme beer, well worth seeking out.

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Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Superb though very high ABV IS. Roast aroma, dark black with soapy dark mocha head. A good amount of lace follows down the glass. The taste is more coffee than chocolate, a significant characteristic of roast and its good. Creamy sweetness makes it quite drinkable, its above average mouthfeel. Very smooth coffee and cream. Mondiale 2008.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle from kkulacki. My first imperial stout from Kuhnhenn, so im understandably excited based on how great all of the rest of their beers have been. Pours a tarry black, small brown head forms after it's all in the glass. Laces uniformly. Fruity chocolate odor. Fruits are prunes, dates, cherries. Burnt charcoal odor too. nose is astringent and inviting. Port-like taste, with vinous fruit, bitter chocolate. Some espresso and alcohol on the finish, but the fruit and chocolatel/tiramisu flavor is the most memorable. thick and creamy, almost chewy. A sipper, and a good one. Perfect style-wise, with nice fruitiness and thick body. awesome.

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Photo of tpd975
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thoroughly enjoyed at the hop devil in NYC.

A: Pours a hue of pitch black that has never been seen by man with a small but dense cocoa brown head. The head lingers a bit and leaves behind sheets of lacing. A glass full of this brew or an empty glass with sheet after sheet of lacing is truly a site to see.

S: Very straight forward. Big bold chocolate with notes of roasted coffee. There is a hint of rum soaked raisins. I am sorry but I cut the smelling short to dive into the darkness.

T: I am seldom dumbfound by a beer but this one has done that to me. At first taste I went into sensory overload. It seemed to have so much going on. But once I sat back and enjoyed it, everything came out and had it's place. Right from the start there is lots of dark fruit with dark fruit flavors not even found in the best Belgian brews. The flavors just seem to meld into each other, and the dark fruits turn to oak, smoke and charcoal. The smoke is cut by a rush of brown sugar and the finish is all about smooth creamy chocolate which just seems to linger and linger.

M: Very thick, but oh so smooth. The carbonation is on the low side which is good. This one oozes and slides across the tongue and down the throat.

D: This one is big in flavor and ABV and is not meant to be sessioned. It is what the brewer set out for it to be. A wonderful RIS that is to be savored by the glass... and boy did I savor it.

Overall: This is a wonderful RIS, and it alone makes my trip to NYC worth it. This beer is so complex, I have never seen anything like it. The flavors come at you in waves and they are so big and bold. The alcohol is almost an afterthought, as the flavors are so big and bold that even at 12.5% the alcohol was almost unnoticeable.

It is a world class brew that every beer lover should be allowed to enjoy at least once.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hoppymeal for this one.

This beer pours terribly thick and is a light swallowing dark black with hints of raisin creeping in around the edges. The head is a tan creamy film.

Smells of charcoal briquettes soaked in port with a hint of cider vinegar that works quite well. This is also accompanied by a boozy sting.

Tastes of a charred smokey and a pinch of salt with a light and easy gooey barley and maple syrup. It finishes out a delicately smokey caramelized sugar.

Feels light, but slick and solid with slight dismissive pin-pricks of carbonation.

This one is a great candidate for the cellar. Perhaps two years would do this well. To be paired with exceedingly dark chocolate.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is thick and inky black with only a hint of a dark off white head. Smells of coffee followed by sweet dark fruits. Exactly the kind of stout I like.
Taste is a lot of coffee with a nice hop bitterness in the finish. There's some chocolate in the middle to make it a real interesting beer.
Feels really dense and bready with very light carbonation.

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Photo of SaucyA
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery... this is one big brew.

A - Pitch black with a dark brown head. Looks utterly mouth-watering for those that appreciate RIS's. Seriously a beautiful sight.

S - Perfect chocolate/coffe/roasty malty wonderful vibes. Dark fruits, darkness. This is the smell of bliss.

T - Too many nuances to put my finger on. Of course huge malty backbone with little to no hop bitterness. Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, pruney/raisiny undertones. Tastes completely different with every sip, starting dry and slightly bitter coffee affect, ending with huge, sweet malty warmth. Complex, so very complex.

M - Oily and thick, but what do you expect for such a huge brew? It's nothing I'd want to drink daily, but it's a great beer for a winter warmer.

D - At 12 and a half percent, 2 of these is just too much. It's a great beer to appreciate and sip, but by no means sessionable. One though, one is purely amazing.

Definitely one of the best RIS's I've ever tasted.

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Photo of sfoley333
4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to weisguy for this bottle. Poured from 12oz bottle into new belgium snifter. Poured a thick used motor oil black color with thick brown head. Smell is wonderful with a big dark fruit aroma mixed with chocolate and alcohol. Taste is roasted coffee beans, raisin, bitter chocolate, charred oak, and a warming alcohol feel. The mouthfeel is full body with a medium carbonation level but could be thicker. Pretty drinkable for a beer at 12.5%, i found its flavors really came out as it warmed up a bit.

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Photo of grandq
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Completely black, minimal brown head after a vigorous pour. Smells like blackstrap molasses, maybe a touch of tobacco.

Man, there's a lot to mull over in this layered, flavorful malt bomb. This has got to be the thickest feeling RIS I've yet had. Sipping at a temperature a bit cooler than optimal, I'm getting huge amounts of chocolate, a bit toasted chestnuts. Plum and raisin sneak along the sides of the tongue while a whole loaf of bread or a heap of fresh baked biscuits take up the center. The fruity sweetness wears on the tongue after a bit, though it is keeping me from downing this too rapidly. Molasses forms the last stratum, and is a tad too prominent. Really not picking up the alcohol on this. Waiting for this to warm...

As it warms, the various notes begin to blend. Reminds me of the flavors of kvass minus the sourness. Also, hops begin to show themselves, stripping the molasses a bit on its way back.

My mouth is coated after a few sips like I've been drinking rich hot cocoa. Minimal bitterness to get in the way, and even the fair amount of carbonation doesn't lighten the velvet load. The lingering flavors overstay their welcome a bit unfortunately, as molasses isn't something I like having remain on my tongue for long periods of time, though it may be a favorite kind of cookie. Drinkability ultimately suffers.

Ultimately, I'm impressed with this flavorful brew and am eager to plunge into the rest of Kuhnhenn but don't think I could have this too often (as if I had the choice). Big thanks to hoppymeal for this and the coming Kuhnhenn reviews.

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Photo of Viggo
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to grub for picking this up for me at the Solstice Party!

Pours a very opaque black, thick dark brown head forms, slowly settles down to a thick layer, leaves some nice lace spots, looks like a RIS! Smell is dark chocolate, tons of roast, oak, smoke, kind of meaty, alcohol, lots of dark fruit, rich. Taste in insane, super dark chocolate, very rich fruits, toffee, espresso roast, vanilla and oak, more chocolate, some smoke, tons of layers, raisins and bitter roast in the finish, with more chocolate, amazing. Mouthfeel is full bodied, slick, low carbonation, very silky, some alcohol warmth but it is well contained. Thanks for picking this up Russ!

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Photo of grub
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle purchased at the winter solstice party dec 21/07. sampled jan 13/08.

pours like motor oil - thick, opaque, and inky black. a small dense dark brown head rises up, quickly falling to a ring around the glass and leaving a bit of spotty lace.

aroma is great. roast. alcohol. coffee and dark chocolate. nice caramel sweetness. huge bready malt.

taste is excellent. loads of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. touch of alcohol, but certainly doesn't seem like 12.5%. huge chewy bread and biscuit malts. solid roast level. medium-low bitterness, mostly coming across as coffee and baker's chocolate. light fruity character. great caramel sweetness. there's some great depth to it too, which i can guess is from the tapioca and rice.

mouthfeel is great. super smooth well integrated medium carbonation level. huge body.

drinkability is excellent. near perfect balance. drinks more like 8% than 12.5%. this is one fantastic stout. just the right amount of roast and bitterness. excellent balance. great malt depth. everything you can ask for. kuhnhenn can really do no wrong.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black as midnight. Nicotine stained brown head. Lace is minimal. Muddy aroma. Thick and muddy. Like grundgy, old used coffee grounds. Some mocha/java action too. The flavor follows suit. Very earthy and muddy. Black malts. Roasted nuts. A little vanilla. (Similar to a Baltic Porter in a way.) Baker's chocolate and coffee. Campfire smoke and char. Tar drippings linger.... Velvety feel. Alcohol is a distant contributor. Medium bodied. Could use a little heft. Quite enjoyable. Gotta thank big ol ZAP for having the patience of a Monk while holding this till I came up. Thanks Big Man!

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Photo of ZAP
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Blackish brown with some ruby highlights.

S-Char....dark cocoa....molasses....

T-Big char/dark cocoa impression right away....a little bit of boozy rum and molasses as well...roasted malts...a little hint of coffee but not much...

M-Big....full bodied....it matches what I expected for the style....rich and velvety texture...

D-One of the better Impy's I've had....I expected big things and this did not let me down....12.5% ABV and there is some heat but it does not override things..excellent Impy...

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Kuhnhenn Road Rash Imperial Stout from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
4.13 out of 5 based on 87 ratings.
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