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Assassin Imperial Stout | Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

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Assassin Imperial StoutAssassin Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

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

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Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 1,047
Photo of rabbott2
4.93/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of fondyball20
5/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of Fux
4.83/5  rDev +5.7%
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 +9.4%
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 +9.2%
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 +6.8%
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 +5.5%
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 +7.9%
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 +1.5%
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 +7.7%
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 +9.4%
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%
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 -5.3%
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 +7%
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 -12.3%
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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Photo of jolly_lynch
4.21/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very enjoyable overall, but was not blown away. The smell was all barrel and rich malt, and the body was thick, oily, and coating. A lot to like here, but relatively lacking in the taste.

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Photo of MIbeerGeek84
4.27/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was disappointing considering the hype around the beer. I had the gold wax and it was very thin. Very little barrel notes were there. Even though this is a very solid stout its not worth the price of admission unless your there at release. B+ overall

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
3/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Echo GRG1313 below. This is a good beer, but so, so overhyped. To be honest, it is an average really good imperial stout. For those that are looking to "sell the farm" to get one of these, I would not go out of my way at all to acquire this.
Taste very good, but a Bit thin.
Nice vanilla and chocolate notes, some heat, minor bite, nothing extraordinary....actually very ordinary.
Overall, solid stout...nothing outstanding.

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Photo of SinjaminBentek
5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle share at Courtyard & Cellar for Toppling Goliath Mornin' Delight release!!!

22oz Bottle

2014 version. Jet black. Nose is good, coffee and chocolate. Super smooth with complex notes of bourbon, chocolate and coffee. Feel is thick and chewy...delicious!! Highly recommended.


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Photo of GRG1313
3.74/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First, this is a very good beer. However, this has to be one of the most over hyped and improperly rated beers on this site in my opinion.

Pours dark black oil with no head. And, most of the reviews point that fact out. Yet, they still give a score of 4.5 and such! I don't get it it! Any other beer that has no head would not get and "outstanding plus" visual score.

Moreover, the nose is good but not wonderful. Several reviews point out weaknesses and shortcomings in the nose which is, indeed, chocolate, vanilla, roasted grains and sweet coffee. It's a nice nose but perhaps not as assertive as others on the same playing field.

Mouth feel is low carb. Clearly not outstanding. Yet, the beer is given 4s, 4.5s and more, despite being somewhat of a flat sweet stout.

Taste is boozy, chocolaty, vanilla, coffee and thick sweet malt. Good - very good, and with a nice sweet bitter coffee finish.

This is a very good good beer. This is a very good stout. It is not particularly well made and certainly not an exemplary example of the style.

Thick, sweet and hard to get do not equal an outstanding beer. Good yes; outstanding or more? No.

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Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.95/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2014 Gold Wax. Ive been sitting on this since obtaining it last summer and finally popped it and it was everything I was hoping itd be. Smooth, chocolaty, bourbon deliciousness. Hope to get another bottle.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.68/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Gold Label

Viscous and smooth appearance. There's no head but once settled does have a khaki surface layer of carbonation.

Vivid aromas of fudge and coffee. Vanilla, oak, and an earthy spice.

Lots of depth to the taste. Fudge and coffee are front and center. Charred oak, black licorice, light soy. Extremely sweet finish.

Low carbonation, very smooth. Only a tad bit boozy which peaks as it warms.

World class, for sure. When talking about the king of barrel aged stouts, it deserves to be in the discussion.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.73/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very tasty, very smooth beer. This is a premier BA stout with such an amazing finish. Not much on the nose compared to other world class BA stout, but it definitely deserve to hang out with Rare, Prop, and the Bruery Big Boys.

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Photo of jdhowe
4.84/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 (gold wax) vintage. pours like motor oil and drinks about the same, but in the best way. Really rich and full of flavor. Definite bottle variation between the two bottles we had side-by-side. One bottle just didn't have as much barrel character and felt a little subdued relative to the other, but both were stellar.

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Photo of Get_Lowell
4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage bottle opened in 2014.
Look: Dark brown head, light carbonation, pitch black body, leaves dark lacing on the sides of the glass.
Smell: Bourbon, lots of chocolate, raisins.
Taste: Big chocolate notes on the front, bourbon flavors dominate the palate in the middle, finishes with an alcoholic burn.
Overall: Truly awesome imperial stout, its an epic union of bourbon and chocolate flavor.

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Assassin Imperial Stout from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
4.57 out of 5 based on 1,047 ratings.
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