Zaftig Brewing Co.

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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,428
Ranked #7,903
4.09 | pDev: 6.85%
Zaftig Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
Notes: This seasonal favorite flaked oats, locally roasted Crimson Cup Coffee, and Ghirardelli chocolate.
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 47 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BB1313
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled in November 2019. Batch 252. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours almost black with a very small khaki head that quickly fades leaving okay retention and lacing. The aromas have hints of chocolate, coffee and vanilla. Some hazelnuts. Malts are there. The flavors follow the nose. More chocolate and coffee. Some chocolate syrup. Roasted characteristics are there. More vanilla and hazelnut. The coffee really comes through in the finish. Moderate bitterness with a moderate sweetness. I guess you can say it's bittersweet. Solid malt backbone. Mild warmth in the finish, but the alcohol is ultimately well hidden. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate to low carbonation. It's velvety, smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a pretty solid stout. The chocolate and coffee both come through. The craftsmanship is on point. Enjoyable stuff.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 Fluid Ounce bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black with a fleeting skim of dark mocha head.

The smell is loaded with chocolate and coffee.

The taste is milk and dark chocolate. The coffee compliments the chocolate and adds a little bitterness to the finish to avoid this beer being too sweet.

Full bodied with a viscous and smooth mouthfeel

This is a fine example of an adjunct stout. The chocolate and coffee additions elevate this beer to a delicious treat.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.72/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a fairly dark black color, with a pretty small head, and a little bit of lacing.

This one smells like cookie dough, dusty chocolate, vanilla, and really rich and roasty coffee- almost burnt.

This one has a very intriguing flavor- I distinctly get both cookie dough and marshmallows, with a little bit of roasty coffee. As the beer warms a bit, I get some umami/soy sauce type flavors.

This is kind of syrupy, and is definitely a slow sipper, with a lower level of carbonation.

This isn't perfect, but it's definitely interesting.

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Photo of degueulasse
3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brown (almost black) with very little head. It has a rich chocolaty smell, but it tastes a bit more sour, and the mouthfeel is more acidic (and less creamy) than most of my favorite stouts. It has a nice richness to it, befitting the "breakfast stout" moniker.

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Photo of TheBrewsky
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in January of 2018.
Look: Pours pitch black in color, with little head retention ring. Some residual lacing on the glass. As I swirl the beer, some head is able to be revived, but it dissipates to a ring rapidly.
Smell: Lots of rich, roasty malts up front with prominent oat aroma. Coffee on the nose, but it isn't as strong as I would have thought. Some chocolate present on the nose as well, but minimal. There is a slight booze warmth on the nose, but not overpowering.
Taste: Rich malt complex up front with nice chocolate flavor. The chocolate is more bitter than sweet, which is my preference for this beer. Coffee is present throughout the entirety of the flavor and on the finish. I really love the aftertaste this beer offers. Oat flavor is abundant on the finish, with chocolate and then some coffee. Can't taste the booze at all. I am really enjoying the flavor.
Feel: Medium in body and weight, with moderate carbonation for the style. Some bitterness, but not overly so.
Overall: I really am enjoying this. Even cold, it was enjoyable. As it warms, the oats/chocolate complex really starts to shine through. Per instructions of Zaftig, this can be consumed at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I am very grateful to have tried. Cheers!

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Photo of beergoot
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Coal-black body; thin, wispy head although it lasts. Smells of dark roasted grain, dark chocolate and coffee. The taste mirrors the aroma with the addition of a subtle sweetness offset with a low-key bitterness. Heavy body; smooth and silky.

A rich, deeply appealing stout. Well-balanced and intriguingly complex in flavor and feel, it is a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Toasty, roasty and oh, so robust, any fan of strongly roasted coffee will find enough pleasure in this beer to make you smack your mama. Oats, coffee and chocolate pile onto this imperial strength stout for a taste worth getting out of bed. Still, I'm not sure that this is what Black Betty had in mind.

Nevertheless, Bambalam pours with a hefty onyx black depth and with a mirror-like sheen. Its froth swirls gently of sparse coffeehouse creme while enticing the nose with a leading coffee fragrance and a backdrop of cocoa, wood, nutty and scorched sugars. Molasses, caramel and burnt cream greet the front of the tongue with a robust sweet taste that's only the beginning.

And as the dark and decadent ale rolls across the middle palate, it begins to slowly shed its sweetness and the earthy, toasty and roasty edges of the stout seem right at home on the tastebuds. Richer french press coffee continues to take the lead while a quick followup of bittersweet chocolates, black walnut earhtiness and burnt toast adds complexity to the lingering molasses sweetness. Relaxing to a caramel and brownie-like finish, the hop bitterness seems more like a coffee derived bitterness as the late palate is light with campfire char, peppery spice and an overall sweet soilish demeanor.

Bold and full in body, the beer has a relaxed demeanor. Its moderate carbonation allows for enough of the malt sweetness and creaminess to sit weightily on the tastebuds, sacrificing full creaminess but allowing for full appreciation of its caramel macchiato and irish coffee finish.

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Photo of Lembeh
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Tasty imperial chocolate stout with a silkly smooth mouthfeel. Initial taste is milk chocolate which quickly transforms into bittersweet cacao and cafe au lait. Had this for the first time, will buy again.

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Photo of superspak
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/9/2016. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger dense dark khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, nutty dark roasted coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted oats, and dark bread; with lighter notes of vanilla, molasses, smoke, dark fruits, char, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts, chocolate, coffee, and light earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, nutty dark roasted coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted oats, and dark bread; with lighter notes of vanilla, molasses, smoke, dark fruits, char, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light roast/char and herbal hop bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, nutty dark roasted coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted oats, dark bread, smoke, char, light vanilla/dark fruit, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, chocolate, coffee, and light earthy hop flavors; with an awesome roasted bitter/sweet balance, and zero acrid/astringent flavors after the finish. Slightly increasing dryness from hop/char bitterness as well. Mild carbonation and full body; with a very smooth, creamy, silky, and velvety mouthfeel that is fantastic. Slight chalky roast and sticky hops. Alcohol is very well hidden; a mildly increasing warmth of 10% through the glass. Overall this is a outstanding chocolate/coffee imperial stout! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, chocolate, coffee, and light earthy hop flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the ABV. Amazingly rich and complex. Tons of coffee/chocolate presence, and spot on balance with the base stout flavors. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Trying the BamBaLam at the Zaftig tap room just around the corner from where my son has hockey practice. This beer poured an opaque black with tan ring head that is not leaving any lace. The scent had waifs of earth, roast and dark chocolate. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink. There was a nice caramel base with roast and earth aiding. The Mouthfeel is fuller in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a great beer and worth a try.

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Photo of jp32
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours black in color with a huge, tan-colored foamy head. It foamed out of the bottle and foamed way too much when poured. I'm guessing they bottled it with too much sugar.

Aroma of plums, dark roasted malts, booze, and faint chocolate.

It's taste is very sweet overall with big dark malt notes. The mouthfeel is fizzy and bubbly, much like it's appearance. This is a good tasting stout, it's just way too foamy to enjoy.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 22 oz bottle in a snifter. This wondrous stout pours a deep muddled blackish
brown with a nice head of dark tan foam that subsides to a thick ring, thick layer, and
nice light lacing. Nose of light coffee, chocolate, subtle char, light vanilla notes, and
deeply roasted malts. Flavors exceed the nose with marshmallow and subtle char
mingling nicely with a subtle vanilla and coffee notes on the sides. Dark chocolate
hits firmly on the rear with a bitter malt and a touch of herbal hops with warming
booze. Nice mouth feel, medium carbonation, full, and lightly coating with a moderately
bitter malt finish. More excellence from a GREAT brewery I MUST visit at some point
in the near future. Fantastic!


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Photo of bluejacket74
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, back label says it's 10% ABV. "Bottled on" space on bottle is blank. Served in a Great Lakes Brewing chalice, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, molasses and a bit of smokiness. The taste is just like the aroma, with the roasted malt, chocolate and coffee flavors being the strongest, but the molasses and smoke noticeable too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating with low/moderate carbonation. I think it's a good stout, I'll have to make a point to try more beers from Zaftig!

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BamBaLam from Zaftig Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 47 ratings