Black Metal Imperial Stout | Jester King Brewery

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Black Metal Imperial StoutBlack Metal Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This version of Black Metal has been permanently supplanted by the farmhouse version -

Added by redraider2323 on 12-21-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 253 | Ratings: 582
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lots of bells and whistles. A tad of smoke, more would have been appreciated. Really coffee, big in coffee, a point of astringency. Syrupy sweetener, lots of sugar, and salt. These impeded drinkability.. Huge head, big and foamy.Thanks for sharing Pino.

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Photo of Texasfan549
4.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Took the bottle (bomber) out of the fridge and let it sit for a half an hour before pouring into my snifter. Poured as black as a moonless night with a 2 inch brown head that was clinging to the edge of the glass throughout my session. Really nice looking imperial stout. Nose is mostly dark/bitter chocolate and smokey burnt roasted malts. Taste is all chocolate that is sweeter than it smellls, roasted malts, smokey like a b-b-que pit on a warm Texas hill country evening, alcohol is present but almost an afterthought. Mouthfeel is medium, could be thicker for its style but still very enjoyable. Overall one of my new favorite imperial stouts. Very drinkable for a beer as strong as it is.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sending me this one!

Pours a motor oil black with a 1 inch dark khaki head that fades to a thin cap. Small spots of lacing drip back into the remaining beer. There are some thick clumps of sediment that sink to the bottom of the glass. Smells of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and slight coffee. Taste is of coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate, and dark malts. There is a nice roasty bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. Very nice. The beer has a good level of carbonation for a RIS making for a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good RIS and my first from Jester King. I would definitely get another one of these if I had the chance.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not bottle date on this, so I cant say whether its really retired or not, but this was my first jester king brew, and ive decided its the best thing to come out of texas in the dallas stars won the cup in 1999. the pour on this is an inky black with just a small mocha head. it doesn't appear nearly as thick as some other Russian imperials. its got a wild nose on it, a little funk from the yeast, and a ton of burnt barley, char, bitter chocolate, and black licorice. it actually smells and tastes quite a bit like the uinta labyrinth black ale, without all the booze. there is indeed a lot of licorice in the flavor, and it goes well with the bitter malt complexion. I am amazed how thin the body of this is. I mean, its not thin at all, but for the style its much less viscous, and it lends to drinkability, as does its well hidden abv. in the finish I notice a lot of coffee, really picks up after the swallow. not sure of there is coffee in this or not, but it sure comes across like there is. this is a rare Russian imperial stout that I could drink regularly. its just interesting enough, and just easy enough to drink that I could handle a few of these per week. fortunately for my liver, this was the only bottle around, so I don't have to worry about that. already looking forward to my next jester king ale, this was a great introduction to their lineup.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Massive thanks to Bulbman for sending this one to me so I could finally try it. The beer poured out as a very dark black color with a nice thick looking brown head on top. The beer has a pretty good retention but not much lacing. The smell of the beer is nicely roasted with a rich chocolate boozy aroma. The taste of the beer has some coffee elements to it along with more chocolate and a nice subtle bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is pretty thick and oily, gently carbonated and very smooth. Overall it was great. Really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan head that slowly dissipated into lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of dark roasted malts in the nose along with some hints of raisins.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the malts seem burnt and exhibit some notes of smoky flavors. There are hints of malty sweetness in the initial taste; these are followed by flavors of chocolate, coffee and raisins. There is a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish has warming from the alcohol.
D: The beer is rather drinkable considering its strength because most of the alcohol is masked from the taste.

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Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an obsidian color with a very modest head that fritters away, leaving a ringlet; leggy, with spots of lace

Smell: Chocolate, coffee and a hint of smoke, with a dollop of dark fruit

Taste: Chocolate and coffee from the outset, with a developing smoky aspect that builds in the middle; some dark fruit elements develop, after the swallow, but the beer clearly is dominated by the chocolate and coffee flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate to high carbonation; somewhat creamy

Overall: I seem to recall liking this better when I tasted it before, perhaps because the hops were more active; still, it is much better than the Farmhouse version I tasted last night

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Photo of largadeer
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Masterski. Thanks, Alex.

Opaque black pour. Low carbonation, small head and weak retention.

Big toasted malt note, molasses and cocoa. Slight fruitiness and licorice, rich toasty bread. On the sweet and heavy side for the style, more toasted than roasted.

Very sweet, a ton of molasses and chocolate, little bit of licorice and coffee. Toasted, bready malt; light roastiness. Rich, syrupy mouthfeel. Restrained bitterness. Molasses and toasted malt in the finish. Damn good, but it could use a bit more carbonation to liven up the mouthfeel.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dan for the impromptu post-fest trade... hails brother.
Review from written notes. Served at 57-61º recommended temperature.

Black orb with a compact layer of tan mocha foam on the top, it settles to an appropriately haunting wisp of spectral swirl on the glassy obsidian surface. Delicate spotty lace clings inside the glass.

Dry roasty blackened husks, charred malts, aroma of desolation.

Intensely roasty, dry and bitter charred and blackened malts. Unsweetened bakers chocolate, cocoa, espresso, earthy lingering char in the dry aftertaste. Intensely earthy and roasty. Not sweet in the least, but as it warms the yeast lends some dark fruit and plum notes, which is a welcome contrast to the bleak charred malt husk of this blackened RIS. Medium bodied, and sippable despite the double digit abv, which is felt fairly quickly.

This is a nice RIS, maybe not entirely trve kvlt but getting there...

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Photo of kojevergas
3.51/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 9.1 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. I chose not to serve it in a snifter per the label intentionally. Reviewed live. Not paired with food. Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm as time went on (after all, how quickly can you quaff a 10.4% imperial stout?)

A: Pours a three finger beautiful tan colour head of great cream and thickness, and magnificent retention for the high ABV. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Chocolate, caramel, oats, roast (not as potent as I'd like, but at least it's present), and dark malts. A moderately strong aroma.

T: Rich chocolate, with some unexpected peat notes (perhaps best described as tones actually). Lots of caramel, with a dark malty base. I'd prefer roasted barley as the foundation, but instead it's a sort of mild note on the climax and towards the finish. No alcohol or yeast comes through. The chocolate could be richer. Some nice cream is present on the climax. It could really use more roasted barley; if it were prominent the beer would be a lot better. The oats come through on the finish. It's complex enough, but not as much as other beers in style. I don't get the hop bitterness per the label hardly at all. Balanced decently but not impressive. Built pretty well, but not in a unique or special way - especially compared to other beers in the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream but not enough. Surprisingly, it's too thin for the flavours. Should be more coarse and dry (again, a problem easily remedied by the addition of more roasted barley). Not too heavy on the palate.Decently handled overall, but certainly not without its flaws.

Dr: It hides its ABV quite well, and is very drinkable as a result. It's good, but not great. I'd happily try it on draught or nitro-draught, and it might age well. It's disappointing that they're retiring this one, but the sour version sounds more appealing anyway. I like it and it's enjoyable, but it's not fantastic.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice thick brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of black chocolate with light sweet notes is quite nice. Taste is also a great mix of creamy black chocolate notes with some residual sugar and hints of roasted malt. Body has a nice creamy texture with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Nice smooth easy drinking stout. I am surprised at how well the bottle has aged over the years.

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Photo of oline73
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I just found out this beer no longer exists. I'm glad I had a bottle to try. Served in a Jester King goblet.

The beer pours black with a half finger of really dark tan head. The nose is full of roast and smoke with just a touch of sweetness. The flavor attacks the tongue. The taste is sweet and smokey. There is a dark fruit notes in the taste as well. The finish is bitter and full of burnt malt.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to starrdogg for opening up a bottle of this. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours black with a good light tan head with pretty good retention and a slight bit of lacing. The nose is quite roasty and a bit smokey off the bat. After the initial whiff, there's some mild chocolate as well, though it keeps coming back to the smokiness. The flavor exhibits the same qualities with a dry roastedness coming through most prominently, followed by some smoke. Nothing too complex, but the components integrate quite well. Body is medium with moderate carbonation. It's a bit too bitter in the finish. Drinks well and is certainly a good beer. Thanks again, Matt.

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Photo of superspak
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating (likely bottled in late 2011). Pours dense pitch black color with a nice 1 finger dense dark tan head with nice retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, toast, molasses, earth, herbal, light anise, and light dark fruitiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark roasted notes. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, light char, toast, toffee, molasses, earth, raisin, smoke, light anise, and herbal. Light roasted coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, char, toast, raisin, molasses, smoke, and earth on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and balance of roasted flavors with light fruitiness; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is fantastic. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic imperial stout! Awesome robust roasted flavor balance and complexity; and extremely smooth to sip on. An extremely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

64 oz growler into an oversized tulip glass. This one was courtesy of jhimstedt in a recent exchange. Thanks for the trade Jared!

This pours blacker than an oil slick into the glass and is topped with thick creamy finger of milk chocolate colored head. Just a magnificently robust look on this, which retain with a tight ½ finger of froth that absolutely slathers the sides of the glass with spotty lace and brown dirty looking oils that slowly slide down. The aroma smells of burnt leather, smoke, and roasted coffee, which all surrounds a sweet and juicy core of chocolate, toffee, and citric fruit. Leafy hops and spicy alcohol esters trail off and linger in the nostrils.

The taste starts with a thick sweet base of chocolate malts (and some tangier caramel notes as well) which gives this a big creamy sweetness that then gives way to some dark burnt malts. Hops pull up the back as well, with a bitterness that works great with the roasted character that is present and also adds some pithy citric fruit flavors (that get progressively darker feeling the more this warms up) that mixes in and nicely compliments the sweetness of the malts. Burnt finish on this with a LOT of dry lingering spicy alcohol notes. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a thick and creamy feel that's a bit sharp up front but then gets much more chewy and viscous feeling as this works itself around in the mouth. That big ABV gives this a satisfying beefy power to the feel yet alcohol warmth is very minimal and keeps this hugely drinkable for the size. Color me impressed.

This was a darn impressive debut from Jester King, which really swung for the fences (and mostly cleared it) with this monstrous Russian Imperial Stout. While I was looking for a bit more flavor complexity out of this overall, there's no doubt that this beer has the needed attitude to hang with some of the big boys out there. I will seek more of this one out. It's pretty damn good.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Special thanks to kp for this one!

Appearance: Pours out a black body with a tall, surging, deep mocha-toned head. The head flattens producing near nil lace, though it never quite dissipates.

Smell: An array of well roasted malts smelling of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, burnt nut shells, and wafting alcohol ahead of chopped fruit packed in syrup.

Taste: Simple syrup sweetness mixed up with shaved baker's chocolate and lowly astringent, though pointedly roasted barley for an alcohol-laced frappuccino quality overall. A bit of that unforgiving black patent malt in there as well. Hint of hand-picked berries, a little rum raisin. A snippet of black licorice rope. Drying, quite warming on the back half with plenty of roast that yields hints of burnt smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Somewhat chewy mouthfeel.

Overall: A fairly good, slow-sipping stout that's nicely warming on this cold, dreary, drizzly day in a seemingly endless series of cold, dreary, drizzly days in Georgia. Now, off to go house-hunting!

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

A: Pours a dark black, very oily looking, with a small mocha colored head on top. Decent retention and spotty lacing.

S: A little bit of chocolate and roast. Had a lot of sweet oat aroma almost, even though its a RIS.

T: Surprising amount of licorice and brown sugar. A little bit of coffee and chocolate, and again more oatmeal.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation, extremely smooth with no sign of the abv at all.

O: A good RIS, but a little bit of a letdown. The oat presence was a bit confusing, but not bad, just unexpected.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into my Stone IRS glass. It poured pitch black in color with a thick, mocha colored head filling the top inch of the glass. The head settled some but still had some decent retention and a little lacing as I drank it. Nice looking beer of the style.

The aroma shows a good amount of the roasted malt flavors with some really good notes of dark, bitter sweet chocolate and coffee to it with a touch of smoke. It's got some sweeter caramel and milky chocolate characteristics in there as well. I'm loving the bold roasted malts in it. Very nice aroma overall.

The taste follows through with some really bold and delicious roasted malt flavors. It's got a little more of a burnt, smoky flavor to it in the taste, which I love. The coffee and dark chocolate flavors are really good. The sweeter, milky chocolate also comes out in the finish and really helps balance it out.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being about average for the style. Overall, I thought it was a really good beer. I loved the bold, roasted malt flavors and the chocolate, smoke and coffee flavors they brought. The sweeter, milky chocolate really help keep some balance to it as well. Very good beer all around, I'm sure the new farmhouse version is good but it's a shame they changed something this good.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mark for sending this my way.

A: The pour is thick and black with a nice big brown head.

S: There is a surprising fruitiness to the nose. Lots of dark fruits like plums and raisins along with some dark sugar and licorice. Plenty of roastiness, chocolate, and even a hint of smoke.

T: Nice sweetness from the fruits with the same raisin note that was on the aroma. Milk chocolate, burnt sugar, and molasses give some additional sweetness. A nice roastiness, slight char, and another hint of smoke.

M: Medium to full in body with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: I've heard lots of good things about this and I'm happy to report they were true. Solid beer from this new-ish brewery.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5 comes from hell. Another goddamn beer shared by Lunch because he knew I really wanted to try it; thanks a lot Paul, appreciate it!

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice for a big RIS.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, smokey malts, toasted malts, light dark fruits, and light alcohol. Roasted malts dominate the nose, and the smoke comes through a bit as well.

t - Tastes of roasted malts again, as well as smokey malts, dark fruits, and alcohol. Roasted malts dominate again, and the alcohol and smokiness are more prominent in the taste than the nose.

m - Medium to full bodied stout and low carbonation. Pretty thick, pretty nice mouthfeel.

o - Overall a nice stout, though I was hoping for a bit more. Not a ton going on other than the roasted and smokey malts, but enjoyable none the less. Would have it again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Stone Levitation tulip glass.

Thrilled to see this come in the MJRBC shipment last month. Shoulda been listening to some darkness while drinking it, but whaddya gonna do? It pours a sleek obsidian, as black as the collective heart of Slayer, topped by a finger of dark-ish sandstone foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, light oak smoke, and toffee. The taste holds notes of oak, roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, brown sugar, and a decidedly light sprig of menthol. The back end of the taste is kinda acrid, just a touch too bitter for its own good. Luckily, it doesn't detract too much from the overall experience. The body is a solid medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a a fluid feel. Overall, a pretty solid stout, but it falls short of true greatness. Perhaps a bit more metal next time?

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

The appearance is a deep, dark brown with a finger of head that leaves decent lacing on the glass. The aroma is pretty straightforward, bringing roasted malt with hints of coffee and smoke. The beer is enjoyable, albeit simple. Nothing terribly complex happening here, just a tasty RIS. The alcohol content is disguised pretty well. The feel is medium bodied with a smooth finish. Overall, a solid beer, and one I would certainly have again.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.34/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle to a taster. No bottle date. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - No head. Viscous black. Some bubbles form after, which confuses me. Whatever.

Smell - Chocolate all over. Not a whole lot else.

Taste - Bitter chocolate and then some caramel. A nice bitterness develops with a good coffee roast. Hoppy bitter finish, but it's light.

Mouthfeel - Slick and not as viscous as it looks. Bitter finish is light, but rounds it out nicely.

Oveall - A little dull. Decent, but not necessarily much better than what my local brewery can make.

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Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big, BIG thanks to Kegatron for the random act of generosity and sharing this growler with me. I had this brew on my wants list but removed it as I was trying to start to cut back on the amount of trading i've been doing. So thank you a ton Heath for sharing this with me!

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears black in color with a fluffy cap of dark brown head that slowly forms up and even more slowly recedes leaving spotty patches of lace work on the glass. When held to the light, you can barely see through the outer most edges that shows some clarity and lighter brown and ruby hues.

The aroma of this brew is dark and roasty with a burnt smell that comes across with a light amount of nuttiness mingled with coffee. Also included is a bold statement of the fruity alcohol, there is not much hiding the fact that this brew is nearly 11%. Rounding out the back of the aroma is a bit of citrus and fruity hops that grows in intensity as this brew warms.

The taste is bitter with a burnt, roasted malt quality that flirts with almost being smoked but not quite. It is a combined bitterness that seems imparted equally by the level of roast of the malt and also the incorporation of hops. The alcohol is right in-line with what one would expect for an offering of nearly 11%. It is quite fruity tasting at times but it takes a back seat to the roasted quality of the malt. It leaves a lingering taste of lightly musty grain combined with solvent alcohol.

Overall this is a very enjoyable brew. It is medium to full bodied with a moderate to light level of carbonation. For nearly 11% abv it is quite drinkable and very well rounded. I haven't had many offerings of stout brews coming out of Texas but what I have had are very enjoyable and have this distinct nuttiness that is quite unique. I don't know if this is a bi-product of the region or just a coincidence but I found it quite enjoyable.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The bottle opens with a huge crack but luckily the beer was well behaved and I didn't wear any of it. Pours a thick inky black with a huge mocha head that persists long after it should. Smells of roast, milk and dark chocolate right off the bat. The aroma is sweet with caramel and darker malts with hints of earthy hops and licorice. The flavor is very sweet with caramel and lots of milk chocolate. There's a fruity tartness in the middle somewhere as well as some brown sugar and earthy hops. Thick body with an asinine level of carbonation and a sweet thick syrupy mouthfeel. This is a very nice stout it's very flavorful and aside from the carbonation I really enjoyed it.

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Black Metal Imperial Stout from Jester King Brewery
4.11 out of 5 based on 582 ratings.
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