Assassin Imperial Stout | Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

BA SCORE
100
world-class
103 Reviews
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Assassin Imperial StoutAssassin Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Iowa, United States
tgbrews.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
After endless hours of scorching in heat, brewing in turmoil, fermenting in angst, the Assassin’s journey has just begun. In the shadow of the temple, he lies in wait, maturing his plot to perfection. He emerges merciless, dominated by darkness, his bite laced with the charred remnants of his victims. No man dares to cross his path. They will forever sleep with one eye open, in fear of the Assassin’s hot kiss of death.

Added by Pintofbrown on 02-20-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
103
Ratings:
1,102
Avg:
4.58
pDev:
8.95%
 
 
Wants:
2,017
Gots:
168
For Trade:
11
User Reviews
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Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 1,102
Photo of shareallthebeer
4.69/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed from the bottle and on draft during the 2016 release in Decorah.

Pours like cloudless, starless night. Legs on the glass that reminds you more of a fine bourbon than a beer.
Smells balanced, whiskey and roast with a very subtle stone fruit scent (namely the pit, not the fruit itself).
Tastes big yet balanced, it lingers on the palate but isn't heavy. Fudge forward with an oaky, tad nutty, vanilla and roast at the end.
The feel is balanced. It's not overwhelming in anyway. Drinking it, you know it's a world-class stout. You know you are standing at the pearly gates.

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Photo of eifster82
4.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2016. From bottle into Assassin teku glass.

Black liquid with no foam head. Just a caramel colored ring around the edge of glass. Aromas are of robust imperial stout with balanced barrel character: nuttiness, oak, some vanilla and coffee (and some smokiness intially but not noticed after it warmed). Taste follows the nose but with some sweet, dark fruits coming out towards the end of each sip (and becoming more noticeable as it warmed). The feel was pillowy, yet sticky as sip was finished. Mouth continued to be coated through out and the flavors intensified.

Overall, it's a magnificently balanced, no adjunct, barrel aged imperial stout. My expectations were met and the asking price was worth it. Will look to trade for another bottle when, and if, possible.

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Photo of kidzord
4.9/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2016 purple wax vintage. Pour is incredible- as thick as a stout could be. Brownie batter on the nose, smell is fantastic. Taste does not follow... boozy and sweet, not overwhelming either way. Bit of roastiness on this- dare I say almost smokey? Big barrel presence. No indication of any stone fruit taste as others have mentioned. Mouthfeel is molasses, thick as mud. Will coat your mouth as it did your glass. Overall happy to have secured a bottle of this. You can enjoy this now, but this one is built to last. Anxious to try it in a couple years down the road. World class offering from Toppling Goliath.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Rate Beer Best. Pours a murky black/brown, with a tiny toffee colored head. Aroma is rich chocolate malt, some underlying nuttiness as well. Flavor is thick and full bodied, somewhat sweet however. Good amount of roastiness as well. Overall - very good, but another highly over rated stout from TG...happy I was able to try without trading two arms and a leg for it.

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Photo of Drel
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at RateBeerBest. Viscous black stout that coats the glass and your mouth upon the first sip. Rich bourbon flavor with a hint of stone fruit help to balance the sweetness. Worth the hype for sure.

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Photo of WantonFaun
4.61/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purple wax edition during tasting alongside 2016 KBBS and DDH PseudoSue. A friend of mine had a difficult time deciding whether he enjoyed this one more than KBBS. For me, it wasn't quite on par, due to what I might call an overabundance of whisky character (and this coming from someone who loves whisky) leading to a somewhat intense umami note (think soy sauce).

Mouthfeel, however, is very impressive.

My opinion: It's a great beer, but I'd let this one sit for a couple years. Optimal drinking: 2019-2020.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark, oily pour with brown head and sticky lacing.

S: Dark fruit, chocolate, and whiskey.

T: Sweet molasses and raisins with a touch of bitterness on the end. As it warms, the beer becomes a chocolate whiskey swirl of goodness.

M: Thick, viscous, unctuous, and finely carbonated.

O: A wonderfully executed stout. The whiskey barrels integrate perfectly into the base beer, creating layers of flavor that linger on the palate. I do not imagine that a better beer could be made in this style without the addition of adjuncts or a second barrel. Simply fantastic.

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Photo of HarryS
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2016 Vintage, poured into Assassin Teku.

Smell + Taste was pure Fudge. Have no idea how anybody is getting any fruit. This is all chocolate with some booze. Incredible blend. Viscosity is exactly what you'd expect from TG. Laces the entire mouth, + stays. Only surpassed by KBBS.

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Photo of jphipps83
4.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thick motor oil pour on tap at release 1/13/17.

Nose is boozy and fruity. Taste was similar, with more fruit than expected. Very nice. Finish was smooth and thick, tons of viscosity.

A very good beer, I can see what the hype is about.

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Photo of wellsnb
4.55/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage. Consumed on 1/14/17.
Looks dark. Deep tan head. Smell is all fudge, not much barrel heat. Mouthfeel on this is out of control thickest BA stout I've had. Tastes is all fudge - not much barrel.

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Photo of rabbott2
4.93/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 gold wax drank on 10/16/2016

L-thick and syrupy, minimal head, nice lacing

S-boozy bourbon, and fudge. Intense and bold and very nice. oak opens up with warming.

T-gets beyond elite here. This boozy (but not too boozy) bourbon combination with a strong and intense fudgey chocolate is really incredible. The oak comes out and obviously gets better and better as it warms. It's intense. Not overly complex, but it doesn't need to be. Some slight vanilla and maybe dark fruit sweetness are present. (VERY slight, almost not there but just a little bit, which is nice). For being a 2 year old stout, the heat on this is still really nice, and I can only imagine how great this will still be in another 2 years

F-WOW. One of the best mouthfeel's i've experience. Extreme coating. Thick syrupy. Just amazing.

Overall - an elite and amazing beer. The price tag on this is just insane, so it's tough to say it's justified, but this really is an amazing beer. I love the intense barrel coming through on barrel aged stouts and this hits it on the money for me. A true white whale of mine. So happy to try this.

Adding some notes to the 2016 vintage drank on 2/12/2017. The biggest difference of this compared to 2014 (at 2 years old too) is a certain level of sweetness to it. It's like a dark fruit, cherry-like flavor sitting on top of everything else. It's very nice, but definitely makes it way different from 2014, unless this one ages the same. I would say this fruit flavor is probably a 3 on the 0-10 scale from 0 being Assassin 2014 and 10 being Backyard or Bramble. It's definitely present but not overly bold.

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Photo of fondyball20
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Yellow Wax - Opened Oct 2016

I was blown away by this beer... it tops SR-71 as the best stout I've had. The balance between sweetness (vanilla, chocolate, and a subtle hint of berries) and barrel qualities is perfect. The mouthfeel is unbelievable... frothy and thick. Just extremely well balanced and smooth.

Update 12/3/16
2016 Assassin on tap at Champps

Chocolate and barrel on the front end with a big, sweet dark fruit finish. Mouthfeel is good but not on 2013 Assassin or SR71 level. I generally like sweet stouts but this seemed unbalanced to me with the sweet fruit on the backend.

Overall 4.5

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Photo of Fux
4.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Yellow wax vintage, sampled at the Tasting to Sink all Sea Shepherds, side by side with gold wax KBBS, MD batch 2 and SR-71.
A: Black and thick. Small dark brown head with some retention.
S: Smell is of vanilla and marzipan, dried fruits and chocolate. Vanilla and marzipan come by waves. Beautiful!
T: Fudge, vanilla, marzipan and chocolate. Very sweet but still highly drinkable. Flavor profile reminds me of the Brandy Vanilla Dark Lord, in a very well integrated way.
M: Stick and thick. It leaves the mouth completely sticky yet it remains drinkable. Alcohol is well hidden.
O: Very nice surprise. I expected this one to be overly sweet (which somehow it is anyway :-p) and overrated (which is not). The balance and flavor are great. My favorite of the TG stouts.

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Photo of Awolter
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Both 2013 and 2014 varieties tried on 9/16/16 at the Chainsmoker release.

Overall, Assassin is a beer that is absolutely top of it's class. The 2014 had a bit more bourbon and chocolate aroma, were as the 2013's mouthfeel seemed a bit more rich. Both are outstanding.

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Photo of IckyT2012
4.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I always imagined what a perfect stout would taste like, but I wasn't sure if they really existed. This is certainly as close as it gets. So thick it coats the glass. A scent so good it almost prevents me from actually drinking it. And when I do taste it, I just wish I had the words to describe it. They should have sent a poet. If I had to take something away, it would have been nice to see more head, but that's just not something you get on a thick, BA stout. Truly remarkable, and deserving of a perfect score because I don't believe it can get better from here.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a nice dark brown head. 2013 bottle opened July 2016. Some chocolate and roasted malt notes on the nose. Big time maple, oak, and vanilla in the flavor. Maple continues to stand out and is likely a blend of the bourbon notes with the base at this point. Beautifully integrated base beer and barrel. Very smooth and rich finish. Body is perfectly dense without being overly thick. As good as any BA stout I've had.

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Photo of Bsquirrelbrewer
4.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 Gold Wax. Thanks for sharing it, Rich!

This beer lived up to the hype and then some. Pours an alluring inky black with minimal head that dissipates almost instantly. The smell offers a mix of bourbon and coffee. The taste is spot on for the style, and achieves a remarkable balance. The bourbon and dark chocolate cut through the sweetness, and there is no bitterness to it. The mouth feel is spot on. It is thick and viscous in a good way, and not remotely cloying. It drinks easily, and the bigger challenge is to sip it patiently, because one's instinct is to keep raising the glass to one's lips. Overall a phenomenal beer. Really glad to have gotten the chance to try one of TG's legendary stouts.

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Photo of jws6w7
4.93/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The closest thing I've ever had to a 5/5 and the stout every other stout should be judged against. I've never had anything quite like it and probably never will. Just an awesome beer all around.

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Photo of ragnar3
4.64/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle poured into a snifter. Nice mix of chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, molasses and bourbon flavors. Thinner body than expected, which held back the overall experience.

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
4.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2013 Bottle, opened last night for Christmas eve...
pours a thick viscous black with a dark mocha 1/4 inch head...which as dissipates leaves a foamy swirl reminiscent of an espresso.... smell and taste are the same, bourbon, milk chocolate, and coffee notes, ...thick, chewy, and very balanced at 2+ years old.....
Overall- absolutely delicious and blew away a couple of amateur beer drinkers at the party!....
Forget hype, comparisons, and all the rest, this is world class (and I've had them all)!!!

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Photo of wulfie85
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the absolute best stouts I have ever had. The smell was a sweet bourbon viscosity of the beer was so thick that the mouthfeel was almost that of motor oil consistency rather than beer. One of the few stouts that I truly felt I needed to chew. Excellent in all categories and one I will definitely seek out again in the future.

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Photo of stevoj
4.34/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle gold wax dip. Thanks to Darrel. Worthy of its reputation. Inky black pour, stout body picks up all the right notes from the whiskey barrels. Smoky, roasty, boozy....

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Photo of Austin32
4.33/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gold waxed bottle review - Wow, pretty incredible beer. Thick, jet black, smells amazing, taste if very much chocolate brownie soaked in bourbon. Although it is an incredibly good beer I don't think it quite lives up to the hype and myth surrounding it....again....super good beer, if you can, definitely buy or trade for it....but don't sell/trade the farm.

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Photo of Bobloblawlawblog11
4.89/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Gold Wax Assassin. Reviewed from notes.

Pours absolutely jet black, very small khaki colored head. Completly coats the glass, sticks to everything it touches. This beer smells amazing. Taste is mainly chocolate, some caramel, toffee, and fudge. Tastes almost like a brownie in beer form. Really lives up to the hype.

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Photo of aleigator
4.01/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a thicker night black color, with no head at all.

Smells of scorched malts, smoothed by milk chocolate, dried raisins and rock sugar. Has a rich, wooden Bourbon quality, which blends perfectly into the malts, evoking a rich chocolate profile, with molasses and matured oak on top. Scorched qualities are quite apparent, together with the slightly spicy barrel foundation.

Has a very creamy mouthfeel, due to its non existing carbonation in combination with a big amount of whipped cream.

Tastes of molasses from the very beginning, gently wrapped up by earth and profound malts, resulting in a balanced toffee impression. Bourbon gets then introduced by pleasant, hot oak, together with even more smoothing chocolate, this time heading into a bitter chocolate direction, reminding of alcoholic truffels. The bitterness from the chocolate turns more pungent during the finish, still soft on the palate due to the beers rich cream profile. Spicy bourbon completes the rich finish, accompanied by a dry touch, leaving the palate with a long lasting warmth, working its way slowly down the stomach.

The more the beer opens up, the more I like it, especially its finish is stellar, based on its smooth cream foundation, handling Bourbon, licorice and peaty, burned malts. Its slick licorice quality grows a bit too pungent though, amped up by the malts, resulting in a sweet sticky impression, which takes up a bit too much place on the palate.

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Assassin Imperial Stout from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
4.58 out of 5 based on 1,102 ratings.
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