Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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American Imperial Stout
4.07 | pDev: 11.06%
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 228 | Ratings: 359 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Treyliff
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter
Bottled 2010, nearly 9 years old

A- pours dark black in color with a one-finger creamy khaki colored head that eventually reduces to a ring around the edge

S- plenty of smoked malts on the nose that gives aromas of smoked pork, campfire & burnt brown sugar. Undertones of anise, molasses, banana, raisin, blackberry & leather, quite complex

T- smoke is consistent but not overpowering up front, with notes of campfire, smoked pork, even some peat-like qualities. Mid-palate brings out notes of chocolate, tobacco, black strap molasses & dark berries. The finish gives notes of soy sauce, as well as a umami effect, quite bold linger with more smoke and soy sauce

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to slightly foamy mouthfeel and a silky finish

O- still plenty of smoke to be found after all these years, oxidation is definitely present but still very tasty overall

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. L: Pours like a super strong black coffee crowned by the darkest brown finely bubbled 3” foam cap that I have seen in a long time. The cap has a very fine bead and is very persistent. S: Coffee, wine and alcohol on the nose with a faint hint of smoke. T: Alcohol and malt dominate the palate with rich coffee flavors aided by a hefty dose of chocolate. The smokiness on the palate is restrained – just enough to notice and not enough to overpower. F: Very creamy soft on the palate with a medium full to full body and medium low carbonation. O: I would drink this after dinner like a glass of port or sherry – it is very rich.

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Photo of 1up
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown almost black body, very small brown head
S - Leather, tobacco, dark figs
T - Chocolate, leather, tobacco, figs, slight brown sugar and molasses
M - Medium to high medium body
O - One of their better beers, Weyerbacher has delivered a good one here but unfortunately it's not being brewed anymore.

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Photo of metter98
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color - traces of red are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a thin dark brown head that quickly died down, leaving only a collar of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of smoke and dark malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some hints of licorice. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little thick on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is incredibly drinkable considering its strength because any traces of alcohol are well hidden from the taste.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear yet opaque jet black in color with some moderate amounts of garnet red + dark amber highlights and minimal amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has an extremely thin mocha head that quickly reduces to a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong smokey aromas to this beer, similar to a campfire. Lighter aromas of roasted malts and just a hint of brown sugar.

T: Upfront there a light to moderate flavors of roasted malts with some honey and brown sugar sweetness. Then there are moderate flavors of smokiness with a hint of peat. Light notes of milk chocolate as well.

M: Just shy of full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky with a light amount of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer is really thick, it even seems thick when it is being poured. The alcohol is extremely well hidden in this beer, I would never have guessed that it is 10.8% ABV - it is much easier to drink than that. Enjoyable with the smokey flavors and aromas but not over the top or dominating.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Sprecher snifter glass

Appearance- Jet black with a half finger of khaki head that quickly dissipates. No lacing is left behind.

Smell- Mostly chocolate, but pretty subdued scent on the beer.

Taste- In the front I get this kind of metallic flavor then a very nice smokey and chocolate finish.

Mouthfeel- Definitly a bit watery for a stout. It drinks quite a bit like a porter. There is a nice warming sensation.

Overall- Nice mellow smoke and chocolate makes for a great tasting stout. The abv is hidden in the flavor completely, but there is a very nice warming finish. Solid beer other then the metallic flavor in the front of the tounge.

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Photo of harrymel
1.68/5  rDev -58.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Current review on 23OCT12
Pours black with just a slight rim of mocha. Smells of smoke, some leather and more smoke - campfire smoke. Flavor is liquid smoke really not much else going on there - like sucking the dick end of a cigarette. Sad flavor. Medium, smooth body with low, but sharp carb. Not a good beer. Just because you make a smoked beer does not mean the beer should taste exclusively of smoke.

Original review 07DEC11
A: black, a little quilt of dark mocha foam falls to a web on the surface. No lace. Opaque.
S: Smoke, leather, molasses and anise. Some notes of bitter cocoa.
T: Fairly smoky with some dry dark malts. Actually, as I drink this, the more smoky it tastes.
M: Medium bodied with moderate carb. Near dry finish.
O: Maybe dumping this in with a crock pot of lil smokies and barbeque sauce this would have been great. As it stands, meh. Overly smoky.

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Photo of tdm168
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - black almost oil like with a very thin brown head that fades fast

S - big chocolate notes, wood, roasted malts, anise, faint coffee

T - anise, alcohol, chocolate, roasted malts, earthy, smoke, wood

M - full bodied, very warm, a bit boozy, well carbonated

This is a solid beer. The smoke, woodiness is a great compliment to the roasted malts. This is really a great offering. If I can find this I'll buy this again.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep and oily black with no other color coming through. About a finger of deep tan head that quickly fades into a thin patchy layer. Lacing is moderate.

Smell: Big aroma of dark roasted malts and smoke. Good hints of chocolate and coffee. Very smokey with some wood. Burnt brown sugar and molasses. Hints of dark fruits including raisins, plum, and dark berry. Light hint of banana. Also some hints of anise and peat. Very robust aroma.

Taste: Like the smell indicates, a big roasty taste with a lot of smoke. Dark roasted malts with good notes of chocolate, coffee, and burnt wood. Big taste of burnt sugar and molasses. A little bit of peat. Midway comes some nice subtle dark fruits with some raisins, plum, fig, and dark cherry. A little bit of anise rounds it out. Smoke lingers throughout into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy, rich, slightly sticky and chewy. Alcohol is hidden very well.

Overall: A very solid smoked Imperial Stout. Smoke is strong but not overbearing. Nice subtle fruit flavors and spice.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 06/04/10. Poured into a brandy snifter glass after being taken out of the fridge and being allowed to warm for about 30 minutes.

Nice hiss off the bottle top when cracked. A towering two-plus fingers of head set from an elevated and slow pour. I thought I noticed a clump of yeast glug into the glass from the bottleneck, but I could be wrong. Looks absolutely pitch black and there's a toasted marshmallow color to the head that's quite appealing. Practically light brown, to reiterate the point. The foam is retaining very well for a two-year and almost 11% imperial stout.

Rich malty aromas spew from the glass and an undeniable smoked malt aroma that comes and goes before and after swirling the glass. It appears to be stronger when the beer is left to rest a bit; when agitated, the stout has charred fruit notes and some lingering cocoa dust. There's a rich alcohol treatment that seeps through as well. I notice strength, but it's also contributing to the malt sweetness. As expected, no hops discernible.

Rich smoky malts in the forefront, and I like 'em plenty. Peaty flavors with some charred meat notes, dark chocolate, black licorice, and a hint of stone fruits. Not sure if it's the result of the aging process, but there's an aerosol can gas kind of flavor whipped in. Well-hidden alcohol throughout the opening and middle finishes with a slight cognac sting and warm burn. Great drinking right now, even though this is my first taste.

Thick mousse-y feel with that good carbonation that was still left in the bottle and hasn't spit out of the beer from the pour or it resting in the glass. Great creaminess all over. Can't say for sure, but it doesn't seem thinned-out in the lightest. Pretty solid feel.

Very enjoyable beer with a kick that's slowly creeping in. My first smoked imperial stout, and it's a damn good one, at that. Still bottles on the shelves here in Pittsburgh for $4.99 a pop.

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Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A magnificently rich pour, with a light brown head settling atop the mysteriously dark brown liquid; nice retention and it leaves some shards of lace behind

Smell: Smoked wood, dark chocolate, licorice, burnt brown sugar and a hint of banana

Taste: The sweet dark malts hit the tastebuds first, bringing licorice and chocolate flavors, followed by the burnt brown sugar; in the middle, the smoked flavors take over, but don't overwhelm the palate; the fruity elements arrive, after the swallow, though the sweetness is restrained

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This beer has matured nicely, with the flavors blending together in a smooth and subtle fashion

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a hair of the dog kind of day, thanks a lot Matt ;)
This one has been flying under the radar in my cellar, but today could not stay unseen, so we drink.
Pours a solid color of darkness with a stingy tan head that quickly dissipates to a ring on top. The aroma as advertised is quite smokey, with bits of roast and chocolate rounding it out quite nicely. The taste is what you expect based on the aroma. You get a bit of chocolate caramel and roast up front then some heavy smokey phenolics come in and then fade. A bit of earthy bitterness with a hint of alcohol rear up for a second before a long lingering smoke and ash lay down a pretty heavy finish. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a thick sweet roasty chocolate syrup kind of mouthfeel. I really enjoyed this one, I wish I had popped this open a lot sooner, or squirreled some more of these away.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 2.99. Bottled 2010. Served in a Terrapin snifter. 

Pours night black with 1.5 finger deep tan pillow of head. Nice spotty lacing. 

Interesting smokey malty nose. Char, burnt coffee and peat. 

Taste follows the nose. Big smokey malts lead, with under tones of coffee, cocoa, wood, cherry pits, molasses, peat, leather and booze. Pretty good at keeping the near 11 abv in check but the alcohol is obviously there. Long charred malty aftertaste. 

Medium full feel. Lightly carbonated. A year and a half in the bottle has given it a silky creamy feel. 

The best stout I've tried from Weyerbacher by far and one of the better examples of a smoked imperial stout. Certainly worth a go if you see one. I'm glad I have another to try again in 6-12 months- age seems to have really done it well so far. 

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Photo of ao125
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another beer that hits "it" out of the park.

Two years old now, this beer has gone from your average smoked porter into a bottle of chocolate covered and candied bacon.

It's quite delicious... though one bottle is best split amongst two people.

The only argument I have against this beer is that it's "Too much", if that's even possible.

Not too much money... god no, I'd keep buying this over and over again if I could.

No... my only quibble with this beer is that once you drink it, it's not unlike the feeling you get when you've been outside grilling for hours on end. Everything tasted like smoke afterwards. Water tasted like smoke. Air tasted like smoke. Everything and *nothing* tasted like smoke.

Truly a wonderful beer, but definitely over the top... in a good way.

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Photo of BostonHops
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a typical imp stout deep, dark brown which borders on black; less than a finger of tan/cinnamon head. head dissipates fairly quickly - not exactly shocking for an imperial stout - but leaves minimal lacing.

bitter chocolate leads the way in the smell, followed by coffee, roasted malts, and smoke; more bitter chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt follow through in the flavor. the real difference here is the smoke, which has an immediate and lasting effect on the palate. very nice on that count, really sets it apart from many of the imperial stouts i've had. smoky, vaguely boozy finish.

moderately carbed, a bit on the thin side. drinkability is OK, i think the one will be enough for tonight, though i would not be averse to this filling my glass in the future. the smoke element plays well for me.

original review on: 09-19-2010

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Photo of tobelerone
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice bottle indeed. Pours dark black, opaque, with a good sized brown head that settles slowly. Lacing is excellent. Complex aroma of chocolate, burnt and roasted malts, light smokiness, a touch of wood, anise, and tobacco, perhaps.

Excellent flavor, with the smokiness well-integrated with roasted dark malt, bittersweet chocolate, burnt sugar and toffee. Subtler hints of anise, espresso, nothing overwhelms anything else; quite nicely balanced. Some bitterness and ample sweetness round out the flavor. Booze has mellowed almost completely and remains hidden.

Medium-full bodied with medium carbonation, creamy, a bit chewy and thick, although falls short of any true viscosity. Very easy to drink for such a big beer. Another superb Weyerbacher anniversary offering.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours dark black with a 1 finger tan head. Small blotches of lacing remains on the glass.

S- nice smokiness, some bitter chocolate, and a bit of pine.

T- bitter chocolate, roasted malts, smoke and some pine bitterness at the finish.

M- full body, medium carbonation. Very rich with some creaminess.

O- very tasty beer. The smoke and bitter chocolate play well together. Would love a BA variant of this beer.

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Photo of lnashsig
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really should have saved this for a BA tasting involving Graeme (legendary smokehead), but I was pretty curious about this one so dug it up tonight. Poured from bottle (presuming 2+ yrs of age) into CBS snifter. Pours a terrific pitch black color, some nice dark brown head pops up and recedes quickly, leaving a brown ring around an otherwise glassy looking black surface. Expected appearance for the ABV on this one. Smell- campfire smoke, peat, some nice roast. The smoke pretty much dominates the aroma, but its a nice dull peat aroma. Taste- wow! really chocolatey, coffee, super smooth and mellow first sip. For the 10.8 ABV, there is no booze to be detected at all. The smoke presents itself on the end here along with some roasty bitterness. The smoke actually plays a perfect complimentary role in the taste- not overpowering as I would expect. This is a creative and impressive beer, and the aging has done wonders with making it a very mellow and drinkable beer. I'll be enjoying sipping this one tonight for awhile.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 15 July 2010. And it's still on the shelf at my local store. Hope that's not a bad sign.

Pours very dark brown, nearly black but with some soft tones. Half-finger of light brown head, despite a vigorous pour. Turned around and the head was gone. Some decent lacing, though.

Smell is heavy on the wood smoke - smells like a salty pile of smoked hickory chips. There's a nice sweet richness behind that, with prunes trying to find their way through the smoke. Deep and complex, though you have to fight through the layers of smoke first.

Taste is similarly heavy on the smoke, but it gives way as the sugary malts and the alcohol come roaring through. Again, starts out with that woody smoke, but the robustness of the malts dilute it more here. The second half has more of a hoppy tang, followed by a bitter alcohol burn. Underlying all of this is the coffee-heavy malt base, with some sugary fruit (dried prunes are the most prominent). An interesting combination of flavors. I think the combination of the smoke and the high ABV (which is quite noticeable) make it hard for the subtler flavors to shine through. So what you get is "BIG-BIG-BIG" flavors, one after another. Tasty, but rather heavy-handed.

Heavy and thick, though not as thick as I'd expected - not the motor-oil viscosity of some stouts, at least. More carbonation than the appearance would suggest - enough to keep those heavy flavors clumsily dancing on my tongue.

A nice beer, but not one I expect I'll drink very often, because I think I'd easily tire of it. It's actually quite tasty, but just overdone, IMO, and would have been better with some restraint. The smoke and the alcohol each pack a hefty punch, pushing everything else aside as they rush in to fight each other.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark walnut and syrupy with a modest, dark brown head. Fifteen is black in the glass, passing no light, while occasional carbonation drifts upward.

Roasted malt and coffee are accented by smoke. The smoke brings back memories of eating smoked whiting on the Thornberry’s porch. To be clear, the memory is of the smoke, not the fish.

Fifteen is a blend of dark fruit. The smoke is more subdued here than in the nose. There is some roasted coffee, alcohol, baker’s chocolate, and cherry. This is well balanced, including some sourness. The finish is long and clinging. Warmth is welcome.

A dense body with a syrupy texture and modest carbonation. Alcohol is strong but not hot.

Each sip was enjoyed from a Dogfish Head snifter, revealing sharper flavors and experiences with warmth. This one brings back strong memories of summers at a friend’s house where we would enjoy conversations long into the night.

Comparison to the style is difficult, but regardless, this is a great beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was at House of 1000 beers and noticed this on the self. Since I never had it I gladly paid the 4 dollars for the 12oz bottle.

A - Wow for a year old it has a nice 1/2 inch of deep mocha colored head atop of some viscous looking black beer. If it had more carbonation I would have gave it a 5.

S - It smells like a very balanced smoke beer with complex sub levels of coffee roasts and chocolate. Smells great.

T - Wow did this beer hold up nice! Maybe a touch less roast or even smoked flavors but this made way to some pretty nice mocha flavors. Still very good.

M - Medium to heavy in body the ABV is pretty balanced yet could use more flavors.

Overall I could see in it's prime being a very great imperial stout with smoked malt flavors. Still was worth picking up even to experience the shell of what this beer used to be. Buy it if you find it!

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into a goblet

A: Pours pitch black with almost two finger of very dense brown foam that seems to stay around forever. This is a really gorgeous beer.

S: Hickory smoked malts are quite strong in this beer, a bit ashy, but very appealing. The smoke seems to be a mixture of smoked meats and tobacco. Behind the smoke are burnt and roasted malts, dark chocolate, and very light dark fruits. This beer smells amazing.

T: Similar to aroma, but the smoked malts take a bit of a backseat to the dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is quite strong with light caramel and milk chocolate sweetness to balance. Just behind this is the smoke I got in the aroma, now more on the tobacco side.

M: Quite thick and one of the creamiest beers I've ever had.

O: This beer really surprised me. It's the best Imperial Stout I've had since, shoot, I had Morning Wood at EBF a month ago. Either way, this beer is amazing. The smoke and dark chocolate mix unbelievably well, the smoke a bit more prominent in the aroma and the chocolate more prominent in the flavor. I'm impressed.

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Photo of beesy
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 release - poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A - pours an inky black with only a slight build of head that dissipates immediately. Almost no carbonation to speak of.

S - a little smokey with dark choclate notes. A slight note of sweet caramels and a touch of oxidation.

T - a noticeable smoke profile. Some chocolate notes present with some sweetness. Very very malty - which surprises me a little. No hop presence noted. Has aged very well with only a miniscule slight amont of oxidation detected.

M - somewhat thin - almost watery. Not sure if it's an affect of aging and I didn' review this one when fresh.

D - somewhat low. High ABV coupled with a pronounced smoke profile makes this a nice sipping beer for a not so cold Ohio winter night.

Overall, a nice beer that has aged well. Not sure what's up with the carbonation level though - I do have another bottle so I'll have to break it out in a few months to see. Just hopingthe 14 and a two year old Insanity has aged as well as this one has.

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4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled many times since its release. This review is from 9/25/11. Bottled 7/15/10. $79 for the case. 12oz bottle to snifter. Served at cellar temp.

A: A medium-dark brown cap of 1 1/2 fingers is creamy/foamy in texture with respectable retention. The body is black but dark amber edges can be seen when looking through a tilted glass. Lacing is spare but the film and collar last long.

S: Heavy on the malts with aromas of roast and chocolate most prominent. Burnt cookie follows with a subtle hint of heavily rendered caramel further in the background. Toffee comes out as the beer nears room temperature. The smoke aspect is less pronounced on the nose than it was in younger bottles, even though the smoke was well integrated even then.

T: Flavorwise, smoke is the distinguishing characteristic of this beer. Deeper notes include charcoal, soy sauce and licorice with sarsaparilla buried even further. An average hop presence, piney and grassy, helps to balance out the malt profile. Leathery and a touch meaty. Lightly acrid.

M: Very full bodied. The texture is lush and creamy with mouthcoating expansiveness. Soft carbonation rounds out the experience on the tongue.

O: Great beer - and has held up very well over the last 18 months or so. With several bottles left, I'm interested in seeing how long it can go.

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Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty dark but not black. While pouring you can see some very dark amber light come through. Very thin head, maybe a quarter inch.

Smells great. Smokey, oily, and some pencil know the smell from those pink erasers after you have just erased something. The smokiness smells like a sweet woody barbeque or a ham.

I taste smoke, dust, and bourbon. There is a smokey character as well as a lot of malt bitterness, especially in the finish and aftertaste. This is certainly an imperial stout, which can be a bit much at times but this one is made better by the smoke. It is like the difference between black coffee, and black coffee with flowers and ham in it. Not my central taste preference but certainly not a bad beer.

Feels like dirt or really really dark chocolate. Dry with a slight tang. The bitterness definitely affects the tongue like an extremely dark chocolate bar, or black coffee, or the back of a stamp with no glue. But in my experience this is pretty typical for a lot of the highly valued imperial stouts.

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Fifteen from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 359 ratings