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 laituegonflable
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a ridiculously generous head that neverthless looks wonderful - so dense, beige, soft and inviting. Body is quite dark brown; almost black. The mocha-tinge is just what I look for in a stout head. Yeah, looks great.

Smells light, really - lots of vanilla, bourbon and a hint of banana coming off that. Plenty of booze, with a decent belt of thick roasty grain as well, but not quite enough to ground it. I like that, but I don't really love it.

Taste has far more of the roasty character. There's odd touches here and there of natural ale esters, including acetyldehyde for some apple notes. Chocolate late, caramel, some toasted grain and just dark, boozey characters. Sweet, roasty, boozey. The foil lies in the fact that it's one of those beers I just "like" and yet it doesn't really grab my attention.

Fairly full body, with a big noticeable alcohol grip. Quite like the texture, but it's really rather hot.

Drinks big, drinks well. It's complex with a lot of pleasant characters here. It could use some kind of unusual twist or something to make it stand out from the pack of quality-made American imperial stouts.

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Photo of Phillyz
4.73/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I need to thank my buddy Josh from TX for sending this to me. I'm drinking this one after a Fulton's Worthy Adversary. I thought it wouldn't compare as a runner-up, but boy was I wrong. Two words: Holy sh*t. 2011 bottle poured into a Duvel snifter.

A: Despite being named "Black Metal", this beer is mildly transparent. Honestly, not what I expected, but still opaque enough to live up to its name. The head, oh god the head. This is one of the most gorgeous heads I've ever seen in a beer. Mocha / khaki colored, pretty good carbonation given that it's a 2011.

S: This is the best smelling beer I've ever smelt. Without the head, this beer is boozey and malty. However, once the head kicks in, you can definitely get a taste of the roasted malts, and sour fruits. There's a slight apple-back, but it is dominated by raisin and prune.

T: Once the head sets in, there's no way of knowing that this is a 10.4% beer. Once again, there's a strong fruit backing - raisins (as per usual with a RIS), prunes, plums, and a SLIGHT hint of vinegar-y sour apple. Also, I feel as though there is slight apricot flavoring in this, perhaps attributed to the farmhouse yeast. Honestly, my buddy and I also agree that there is a slight straw backing. The aftertaste is primarily toasted malts and roasted coffee. There is MILD dark chocolate backing as well. *keep in mind, I drink my stouts at room temp., and you may need to wait at least a half hour before you get these hints*

M: The more I drink this beer, the more I can appreciate the mouth feel. The best way that I can describe this is as drinking a glass of skim milk (I can't explain this, try it if you need to understand). At first the mouth felt dark and heavy, perhaps unappreciated. However, the more you drink it, the less 'thick' it becomes, and the more drinkable it feels. It almost seems like it is on nitro-tap.

O: I traded some nice beer for this, and I couldn't have been any happier. Although this beer doesn't compare to the Fulton's Worthy Adversary I drank about an hour ago, it is a close competitor. I hope I can land my hands on some more, given that it is retired. PS, all you Texas locals, if you find the right store, it's still on the shelves (shelf turds anyone?). I hope this inspires more people to crack this beer open, if it's cellared. I'm not sure it gets any better than this.

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Photo of tvl89
4.73/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow this beer its truly amazing. The appearance is really nice, pitch black with a two finger head. Taste its really creamy, sweet, smokey, with s presence of dark fruits. Mouthfeel isb nice. Overall this is a great imperial stout from our friends at jester king. By the way this beer is still available! ! Not retired

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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 mhksuccess
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a snifter glass
already had a lot to drink prior to this
anyway it pours very dark and little head
smell is of chocolate and slightly boozy and hint of cocoa
taste is nice what you expect in a RIS
chocolate cocoa slight roasty seemed pretty easy to drink
until i got towards the end of the bottle was get a little buzz
it seem like for 10% it hit you kind of hard or maybe it was all from before lol
anyway i liked this brew would try again

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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 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 facundoCNB
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a deep thick black pour with 2 fingers of brown colored head. smells of coffee, milk chocolate, roasted grains, oak / vanilla. very sweet up front which mellows down to a subtle milk chocolate flavor with lots of coffee notes, tobacco and dark roasted grains in the finish. a velvet-like feel, full body with moderate carbonation.

i've had 2 bottles sitting around for about a year, i'm going to let the other one sit a bit longer. it's hard to believe that this could develop better than it is right now, but i'm going to give it a shot. great stout.

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Photo of joefuzz
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 batch

Pours pitch black with a small ring of tan bubbles.

Smells of roasted malts and brown sugar

Taste fallows the nose lots of brown sugar and molassas with a slight coffee afterstatse

Mouthfeel and carbonation are spot on

Overall amazing beer 2 years in the cellar have treated this beer very well

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Photo of portia99
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle courtesy of hoppymcgee. Thanks Greg! Poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - A gentle pour down the side of the glass still yields a big three fingers of deep brown foam that gently fizzes away over the course of a minute or so to the surface of the beer. No real lacing left on the glass. Body is black as black can be and totally opaque.

S - Lots of licorice up front...a bit cool on the nose. Followed by milk chocolate, roasted malt, prunes, booze, hints of diacetyl, green apples, vanilla, a touch of coffee, sweet cream. Fairly complex aroma.

T - Huge notes of cocoa and booze up front on the first sip. Burnt malt/char follows this up but the body of the beer remains sweet, sugary and a bit corn syrupy overall. Quite smooth despite the booze up front...booze practically disappears into the sweetness towards the finish. Coffee dominates the middle of each sip, kissed with vanilla and super creamy.

M - Body is rather full and carbonation is at a lower level showing just a bit of a tingle on the tip of the tongue with each sip. Body is sweet overall and leaves the biggest impression after the swallow. Like booze infused espresso with sugar. Booze/warmth up front flowing into coffee and finishing with sweet sugar.

O - Overall, an interesting and good imperial stout. Another dessert type imperial, at least in my book. Chocolate, coffee, booze and sugar...sounds like dessert to me. One of the sweetest imperial stouts I've had, at least in recent memory. Not overpowering sweetness tho - feels balanced...just sweet overall. Nice beer. Not sure I'll go crazy trying to find this again (especially since it is retired) but enjoyable beer and very glad to have tried this one. Not what I was expecting coming into it, but very satisfying.

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Photo of sitarist
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque, deep, dark brown color. 1/2" of dark caramel colored head falls to a ring. Sheets of lacing slide back into the drink.

It has a sweet, smoky aroma... coffee, chocolate, chocolate covered raisins, faint hints of peat, and smoked beef. No signs of oxidation yet.

I taste dark roast coffee, burnt toasted-marshmallows, bitter-sweet chocolate, and bakers chocolate at the end.

The mouth feel is a bit of a mess right now. I should have let this one continue to age! Medium body, sticky, dry, and slightly astringent.

An RIS with some great quality's, that is aging well. I believe that a few more years would cool it down a bit, and match its flavors to its mouthfeel.

Its been quite awhile I forget who sent this one to me, but thank you whoever you are.

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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 Beerandraiderfan
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer review written after the first one mysteriously disappeared. Pours black, brown head. Aroma was of heavily roasted malts, a little bit of chocolate malt.

Taste, same thing, a hefty dose of thick roasted malt, a smidge of smoke. Bitterness and hopping seems strong. Ample carbonation. Kind of an English yeast presence. Chewy and the alcohol doesn't seem all that high on the tongue, so its relatively drinkable. Pretty straightforward big stout: big malt, some chocolate, minimal coffee, high bitterness, good alcohol absorption.

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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 TBoneJones
4.58/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Retired now? Ok
Pours deep black, as expected, with nice root beer-colored, double-fingered head.
Smells of alcohol and roasted cocoa and espresso.  
Very easy-going milk chocolate taste, with a bitter, burning finish. Carbonation aplenty. 
I wonder what the farmhouse version of this is like, as that's apparently the replacement for Black Metal RIS, a rock solid stout.

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Photo of rudzud
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up in a trade, poured into my Dogfish Head chalice.

A - For a 10%+ stout this is a great appearance, wonderful dark pour with a super dark chocolate fizzy head that slowly fades to a fizzy blanket.

S - Nice dark chocolate malts with good, rich, deep roast qualities. Very inviting.

T - More of those nice, roasty chocolate malts with some light booze. The alcohol isnt really all that noticeable in the flavour. Quite delicious.

M - Just waaay too over carbonated for a stout. Seriously, this is just distracting.

O - Overall this was a great RIS, minus the mouthfeel. Wish this hadn't been discontinued/replaced.

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

Pours a thick, viscous black color with a fairly large big brown head.

Aromas begin with an array of well roasted malts including bittersweet chocolate, espresso, burnt nut shells ahead of chopped fruit packed in syrup. 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.

The tastes begin with a subtle sweetness from the dark fruits with the same raisin note that was on the aroma. Milk chocolate, burnt sugar, and molasses give some additional sweetness. As it warms you get more roastiness, a slight char and spme smokey notes.

The mouthfeel is medium to full in bodied with a smooth, medium carbonation. Finish is not nearly as thick as I was expecting, probably due to the slightly higher than normal carbonation for the style.

Overall a really solid Imperial Stout, not for the faint of heart. Would be taxing to polish this off by myself, so I am glad I split it amongst friends. In a world of Imperial Stouts on every shelf, this is above average but nothing revolutionary, just solid. I will have to try the new Farmhouse version to see how it differs positively or negatively.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the owner of Goebel's World of Beer in Wichita, KS for this treat:

A. Pours an inky black with a lovely half finger of light brown head. Head is super tight and consistent. It burns off to a quarter finger rather rapidly, but the lacing is gorgeous, a veritable sheet of the bubbly stuff coats the glass.

S. Chocolate, brownie batter, hints of coffee, some faint vanilla, and then a rather heavy dose of zesty hops, almost piney in nature. Very nice, but hoppier than I prefer.

T. Hops are not nearly as prevalent in the flavor as on the nose. Drinks a great deal like chocolate milk. Waves of milk chocolate, subtle vanilla, some coffee grounds, and then a slight kiss of booze. This is absolutely lovely. Thick, syrupy, delicious.

M. Full bodied and cloying. The legs on this are tremendous and it shows in the mouth. Positively coats my mouth with a tar-like chocolate flavor. Creamy and balanced.

O. This is a fantastic stout. Stouts these days tend towards the extreme...needing to lean to some distinguishing characteristic to set them apart. This doesn't have that, but it's memorable nonetheless, due to near-perfect brewing. It's luscious, balanced, smooth, creamy, and wonderfully balanced. It hits all the right notes in turn and doesn't let any single one hog the spotlight. A truly great beer and quite worthy of its reputation.

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

750ml bottle poured into tulip 22/7/12 thanks Masterski ans Sean9689 for sending the bottle

A not quite jet black but pretty dark, just a thin edge of cola when held too the light, large three finger mocha head falls quickly and leaves no lace

S chocolate syrup and pudding, licorice, molasses, slightly nutty, there's still some faint hops in there too with a little booze , good but not overly complex

T what I smell but some dark roast coffee, char and smoke, and its just much more intense then the nose and pretty darn tasty if you ask me, the booze is better concealed then the nose too, digging it!

M full bodied but its not getting stuck in my teeth, silky but perhaps from low carbonation, very little heat and a charred wood aftertaste lingers strong with a little dark fruit

O a good example of of a big ass stout, loved the taste and not much reason too complain elsewhere. rich dark roast is always a good thing

I had little trouble taking down the 750ml on my own, nothing to put it into the world class but puts itself well above most, Is there a barrel aged version I should know about?

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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 Thehuntmaster
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle 10,4% ABV.
Served moderately chilled an over sized wine glass.
No bottle date, but I would guess this is a 2011 vintage.

Appearance: Beautiful pour, absolutely pitch black body, topped by a massive dark mocha coloured head. The head retention and lacing are average for the Abv. A light swirl regenerates a small cap of foam and leaves moderately-heavy alcohol legs as well as a light yellow stain on the glass.

Smell: The initial nose consists of moderately dark chocolate, cocoa, a hint of coffee and some roasted malt. Warming yields dark fruit, molasses, toasted nuts, caramel and black liquorice.

Taste: Mmmmm, this is certainly a delicious imperial stout! The flavour has the same notes as the nose, but just seems a lot fuller and more powerful. The initial flavour is of dark chocolate, dark caramel, cocoa and roasted malt. Warming yields molasses, dark fruits, liquorice and a touch of smoke. The finish is lightly bitter with flavours of coffee and cocoa. The 10,4% is covered perfectly, I would not guess that this was any more than 8%.

Mouthfeel: Medium (or just over) bodied with a medium-high level of ultra smooth carbonation. I usually prefer my imperial stouts to moderately carbonated and extra heavy, but this is so sublimely drinkable I do not mind a bit!

Overall: Great imperial stout, I could have happily polished off the whole bottle! I will certainly buy this one again.

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Photo of ehammond1
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Urge Gastropub
San Diego, CA

Black throughout with a moderately sized dark brown head that eventually leaves the glass oily and spotted with lace.

Simple, straightforward, though appropriate aroma of roast, chocolate, and dark, black malt.

The flavor is similarly straightforward, though tasty. There's lots of roast and mild chocolate.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

Good, straightforward imperial stout, though I think the farmhouse version is slightly better.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.42/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750mL bottle from HH84. Thanks! (This is the original, not the farmhouse, so it's about 9 months old I believe.)

A: Pure black like its namesake. Aggressive pour yields thin mocha lacing. Lacing sticks around, but the beer doesn't have much in the way of legs.

N: Brown sugar, heavily roasted malts. Dark chocolate/mocha coffee. Some licorice as it warms. Probably the most enjoyable part of the beer.

T: Intense roastiness, the kind you might find in pure espresso. Some chocolate and there's a bit of hop bitterness. There is a discernible sharpness from alcohol. Leaves a heavy coffee aftertaste which gives this a few more points in my book.

M: In between a dry stout and an RIS. This is pretty watery, so it loses quite a number of points here.

O: Don't dig this. Really pretty average stuff, and though I'd try the farmhouse version, I wouldn't expect much.

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

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a pitch black color. It has a one finger, mocha colored head that fades quickly to a thin ring on top. It looks pretty still and lets no light in.

S: Big roasted malt character with hints of coffee and toffee. A sweet molasses comes through as well. A mild hop profile is also noticeable.

T: The taste is much sweeter than the aroma leads you to believe. The sweet molasses character makes a big appearance. The roasted malts are still there and provide a nice backbone.

M: Full bodied and lightly carbonated. Finishes smoothly and with just a slight presence of the alcohol.

O: A fine example of the RIS style. Every aspect was spot on. No complaints here.

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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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