Scarface Imperial Stout | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

BA SCORE
87
very good
70 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
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Scarface Imperial StoutScarface Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States
goodbeer.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MisterClean on 02-19-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
70
Ratings:
219
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
11.03%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
38
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 219
Photo of jethrodium
1.24/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On tap. Pours a close to pitch black with a small tan chocolate head settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The arma is lots of molasses and licorice, a decent amount of roast, quite a bit of alcohol, and some brown sugar. It smells sweet and boozy, certainly not good. The taste is very sweet with molasses and licorice. The is a light vanilla note and some brown sugar as well as a bit of roastiness. The finish is slightly roasty with a bit of bitterness and a lot of booze. It is also chalky with quite a bit of astringency. Leaves a bit of a lingering vanilla taste. Fully bodied, but Syrupy. Low carbonation. This was easily one of the worst beers that I have had. It is way too sweet and also extremely boozy. It is also chalky and astringent. I could not drink this.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I loved the payback porter from this brewery but was otherwise disappointed with many of their other beers.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice tan colour, nice cream pretty good thickness, and good retention considering the high ABV. Colour is a solid nontransparent black. No yeast particles are visible, which might be because it's nontransparent.

Sm: Cream, well layered dark malts, chocolate, roast, caramel, and hints of coffee. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Roasted barley and interesting dark malts comprise the overzealous foundation. Some chocolate and coffee, but nowhere near enough. The balance is awkward. Cream and caramel. Somewhat layered. Not quite on the mark for the style. Not complex or subtle. The promise of the aroma was far better than the taste. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream. Should be coarse and dry; entirely wrong for the style. A proper stout uses cream to overcome the dryness of the roast. A touch thin, actually. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Drinkable for the style and ABV, but somewhat unremarkable. I liked the appearance and aroma, but the taste didn't deliver. It's enjoyable, but I wouldn't get it again. Fans of the style might like it better than I did. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but I wouldn't caution anyone against it.

C-

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
2.83/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The label clearly stated "Brewed in Small Batches." You'd imagine this would be a good thing right? Speakeasy does a very good "Hunter's Point" porter *OR* Payback Porter so I thought I'd give Scarface a stab...

A - Good black appearance in the 12oz Tulip I poured it in, decent head and head retention. Nothing wrong here.

S - Above average, sweet malts, a bit of coco and vanilla. Upon a semi aggressive swirl you get a creamy milky smell as if I'd almost swear lactose was added to this brew. Roast comes out as well. Inviting...I've never had this beer before so I'm dying now to dive in.

T - OK. Here's where it all goes wrong. I do get the flavors I mentioned above in the smell BUT it's rough around the edges, or rather rounded out in the middle and finish with a char - cigarette smokiness that wont go away.

M - Get rid of that smoke. Ruined the beer for me...otherwise everything else was fine.

O - Drainpoured the last 10oz or so. At $5.99, not a bad price for a bomber of a Imperial anything...but money would have been better spend adding 2 more dollars and picking up a 4-pack of Green Flash Double Stout or Old Raspy.

Sorry Speakeasy for the rough review as I do LOVE your Firkin' Fridayz!

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Photo of BeerImmediately
2.97/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

So many great impy stouts, it's hard to compete... But this one failed for me. Waxy, Plastic aromas led to a chemical, rubbery taste. Mouthfeel was fine, but the aftertaste was pretty lingering ... And not in a good way.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle courtesy of one generous trader who I cannot remember at the moment, thanks! Dark black, little head, standard stout look. Smells a little sweet and roasty but rather boring overall, not bad just average. Taste is really lackluster, not bad just one of the most average imperial stouts I've had. I guess I'd say the flavor is just not very robust which is what I would expect from an imperial stout. Yes it has a roast character, yes it is sort of viscous but it just didn't seem very good.

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Photo of mactrail
3.24/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Really and truly black in the tall glass. Nice tight beige head. Monstrously powerful, both in flavor and alcohol. Plus big hops and endless scorched malt. A salty taste I swear tastes like blood. They seemed to be taking no prisoners on this one.

A little coarse on the mouthfeel. Medium body. Not at all syrupy, just um... gigantic. I'm always looking for ways to use these kinds of hugely flavorful but essentially undrinkable ales, and a small dose of this mega-RIS might ravish a timid cheap lager very nicely.

Bitter and more bitter as you sip. That charred flavor lasts through the aftertaste, and I won't be surprised to taste it when I wake up.

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Photo of claaark13
3.37/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours black with a thick light-tan head. Sticks alright to the side of the glass.

S - Roasted malts are mixed well with hops. Then, there is some sort of almost fresh paint aroma. Hmmm...confusing. Not like an alcohol paint, but just a mild aroma that comes from the malts/hops.

T - Very, very similar to the aroma. Roasted malts, hops, then roasted malts again on the finish. The flavor I'm comparing to paint is in the middle before the malts take over again. Slight sweetness on the finish, as well as some cocoa notes.

M - Somewhere in the medium range.

O - Good everyday RIS in my opinion. The aroma is certainly off, but the flavors are good enough to make me buy a round or two at a bar. I just can't get past the odd paint aroma. It isn't like BA Black Sun, but it is in that direction.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.39/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a bit of transparency. Medium collar.

Smell - Chocolate. Some grassy hops. Caramel.

Taste - Caramel malt. Some coffee roasted malt. A little hoppy here as well. Some grapefruit.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Run of the mill imperial stout. A hoppy one though.

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Photo of metter98
3.41/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin tan head that left a thick coating of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of alcohol in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of dark roasted malts along with notes of alcohol and chocolate and hints of licorice.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a little burn from the alcohol in the finish.
O: The alcohol in this beer is too prominent in the smell and to a lesser degree in the taste. As such, it’s a slow sipper.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.49/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Speakeasy's Scarface, imperial stout. 9.5% ABV.

A: A bit over a finger of light cocoa colored head. Black in the glass; nearly black in the dimple. Light sheeting; almost no lacing.

S: Dry, bitter cocoa up front. Faint coffee. Not a lot, aroma-wise.

T/MF: More of the same. Soft and smooth on the palate. Dry, bittersweet cocoa. Slight, lightly roasted coffee. A touch of "green" coffee.

Not bad, but no real wow factor.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Here comes another imperial stout that is black in color. I feel like there is almost nothing more to say about the look of stouts, they're black, they have a tan head, there's good retention, 3/4" deep. Aroma is almost exclusively of roasty-ness.

Taste, more roast, well hopped, bitter, biting, sturdy, thick, but not overly viscous or syrupy. Chocolate malt notes for sure. Mouth feel provides plenty of malt body to envelope the alcohol and cover it up nicely. Another one of those bomber format beers that doesn't need to be. Definitely has some of that earthiness going for it that helps when hiding big abv beers.

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Photo of infi
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

32 oz. growler, courtesy of BA r0nyn. From 11/20 notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Typical stout: black and opaque, thin tan head of fine bubbles, very short retention before dissipating into a cap. Decent amounts of speckled lacing on the glass as well. At close examination, the stout is incredibly lively with tons of fine carbonated activity, especially after a couple swirls. Smell is also textbook. Thoroughly full of roasted malt and barley with the latter being the most prevalent. There are a couple hints of dark chocolate and roasted coffee and some booze, but quite subdued overall.

Taste begins with a big roastiness from the malt and barley, which makes up a huge component to the beer. Just like the scents, there are some decent amounts of dark chocolate and coffee, but don't impact much on the flavor itself. Towards the end is a moderate drying aspect of the astringency.

Mouthfeel is substantially light-bodied with a little carbonated feel. Honestly, too thin for me. Drinkability is moderately easy, but fairly slow with the 10.5%. An just-about-over-average beer overall. Thanks to BA r0nyn for this tapped treat.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Jet black with a frothy mocha cream colored head. decent retention and nice lacing. Big smoky, nutty coffee off the aroma with tones of bourbon, bittersweet dark chocolate and molasses. Bitter chocolate and coffee bean flavor on the initial sip. The bitterness and hoppy mouthfeel is almost to the point of overwhelming, yet still lets some complexity and other flavors permeate such as the sweetness of molasses, roasted malts and licorice. Boozy, bitter mouthfeel with light carbonation. Overall pretty decent, nothing spectacular in my opinion.

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Photo of 20ozmonkey
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle at work the other day. Thinking about getting more to cellar it, but I’m gonna review it first.

Pours completely black with a thick, dark brown head.

I’m smelling some coffee notes from afar before I even got my nose to the glass. Bittersweet chocolate is the primary aroma on this here Scarface. I feel like I’m smelling chocolate cake batter while smelling this. (It’s pretty awesome.)

I’m surprised at first by how balanced this seems out the gate for an imperial stout. It doesn’t have a super strong bitter finish and instead has a slight bitter chocolate finish. Up front there is a strong blast of sweetness that is a bit jarring at first.

Heavy bodied with slight carbonation.

I’ve always thought Speakeasy was best when they were making darker ales. Their Sutro Stout and Payback Porter are probably my favorite beers from them. I’ll get a few more bottles of this to store away for a while and see if the upfront sweetness will fade over time.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, part of a swath of new American (beer) bombers to show up in Alberta, at increasingly egregious prices (thanks to the Canadian dollar, not the breweries). Oh, and this is the second 'Scarface' themed offering that I've had in less than a week - who'd a thunk it?

This beer pours a solid, abyssal black, with very scant basal red cola edges, and three chubby-ass fingers of puffy, somewhat rocky, and bubbly brown head, which leaves some clunky spiderweb lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of bready, crackery caramel malt, roasted coffee beans, a twinge of bittersweet chocolate, tanned leather, wet tobacco leaves, a hint of free-range lactose, and plain earthy and weedy hop bitters. The taste is semi-sweet roasted caramel malt, edgy cafe-au-lait, cherry Coke, a further bit of untethered char, very dry cocoa powder, and a growing earthy, leafy, and kind of perfumed floral hoppiness.

The carbonation is adequate in its supportive and occasionally flirtatious frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and kind of tacky in its weakly-wrought smoothness. It finishes pushing dry, the caramel and chocolate bottoming out, while that crackery character seems all chuffed up by its traditional English associations, or something.

A sort of strange iteration of the style - much less sweet and cloying, without the very large and in charge chocolate/coffee/licorice/booze heavies loping and moping about. So, for that, it's interesting enough, but still too weird and uneven to warrant further investigation via my palate and/or my besieged wallet.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.69/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler of this at Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room in Manhattan, NY.

A: The best feature of this beer. Black with a light tan head that doesn't want to go away.

S: Pretty basic. Charred wood and some cocoa nibs. Smells like a stout.

T: 70% cacao, some nuttiness, earthiness, and unfortunately a metallic undertone. Luckily there is a little oak presence to mellow it out and some hoppiness to give it a bitter touch.

M: Pretty light for this big of a stout. I thought this was rather dry too.

D: Drinks more like a regular stout - very easygoing and not filling at all. This would be the best feature of this beer, but it doesn't beg to be had anymore.

Overall, a decent (Imperial?) stout but I like their Midnight Run Black IPA much better.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.69/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber purchased from Whole Foods in Los Altos, CA.

Pours a deep, but quite fluid and soft-bodied black, with a firm head of crema-brown that settles into a ring of large pocked bubbled. Lacing is fine but minimal. There's some carbonation when it's tilted, but again, the body looks relatively light. Not bad overall, though.

Nose is pleasant with roast characters and some sweetness, but also with a definite worty character that suggests a little underattentuation. There's a mild spice coming through as well, perhaps a little pepper. A boozy note peeks through the centre, giving it a mild astringency. Overall though, it's decent without being spectacular.

Taste is a little more pleasant, aided by a ripe, nutty note that gives some sweetness to help paper over the booziness. Otherwise, there's plenty of roasted characters, more pepper—but mostly it's relatively smooth and easy drinking for what is a fairly aggressive style of beer.

Feel is smooth, but with a lightness to it: it doesn't seem to have much residual body, despite the worty characters on the nose and the smooth sweetness on the palate.

Overall, this is decent enough. It's a fairly par-for-the-course Imperial Stout, and there are a few mildly questionable elements to it, but it's a style that's forgiving of a few inconsistencies. By the end of the glass, I liked it just fine.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours near black (only the faintest of deep chocolate browns can be detected when held to light) with a thick, cocoa powder colored 3 finger head. Good retention, resulting in a thin but consistent layer across the surface. Good lacing with nice stick.

Smell - Cocoa chocolate aroma, with subtle notes of bitter dark chocolate. Hints of earth.

Taste - More roasty than the nose leads to believe. Deep, bitter roasted malt with dark and baker's chocolate overtones. Light milk chocolate sits beneath. Finishes with a coffee ground bitterness and grapefruit pith.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with moderate carbonation. A bit lighter than your average imperial stout. Goes down well enough.

Overall - Decent, but not an entirely impressive Impy stout. Not as deep, thick, layered and complex as I like in this style. Unless it were on sale, I probably wouldn't give this another go, if only because there are quite a few amazing Impys in this price range; Drakonic and Old Viscosity come to mind.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours jet black in color with a half finger tall mocha head. The head reduces to a thin layer covering the entire surface of the beer plus a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: There is a lot of alcohol present in the aroma of this beer that is slightly off putting but otherwise the aromas of this beer are extremely roasty. Lots of dark roasted and charred malts, along with some hints of bittersweet chocolate, and very light coffee notes.

T: The flavor of this beer is all roast - dark roasted malts, charred malts, bittersweet chocolate, and hints of coffee. Light amounts of alcohol can be detected.

M: Medium to full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slight alcohol heat in the finish.

O: I'm a huge fan of stouts and roasted malts but unfortunately the alcohol is just a hint too present for me to truly enjoy this one. I like the flavor profile once you get past the alcohol.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown colour; head is beige, thin and dense. Decent lace, but sparse. All a bit webbed out.

Smells a bit too much like petrol ever to be the beer I would marry. Spicy, roasty, but yeah distinct booze notes and not too much else.

Taste is more solid and grounded. Roasty, with some woody character and slight meaty notes, but mostly an almost monotonous char note that still holds up under the scrutiny of the anti-stout police. Not hugely complex, but spicy and pleasant.

Smooth, quite full. Slightly dry on the back. But nice.

Good stout. Not idiosyncratic, but good, solid-drinking big stout.

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Photo of ksimons
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-almost black with a fingers worth of dark tan head

S-roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, and brown sugar

T-similar to the smell but has an even bigger roasted flavor. Big roasted malt flavor, molasses, coffee, light dark chocolate, with some bitter hops, and alcohol warming.

M-medium to full body, medium carbonation, roasty mouthfeel

Overall this is a good RIS, I liked the smell a lot but the taste was a little too bitter.

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Photo of TheRealBigC
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color with tan head that thins out as imperial stouts tend to do. Nice roasty smell and taste, a little bittersweet - like dark chocolate or licorice (though I don't taste anise per se). It's a pretty good drinker, not necessarily one that stands at the top of this crowded field, but a solid choice at any opportunity.

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Photo of 57md
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a deep, dark brown with half a finger of beige head that dissipates rather quickly. There is a touch of chocolate in the nose. The flavor is rich, but not terribly roasty. There is an alcohol bite on the finish which is not terribly intrusive, but not terribly enjoyable either.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: A finger and a half of mocha head tops a dark-black, opaque beer.

S: Roasted malt. Lots of it. Touch of vanilla.

T/M: Pretty good, but I get the sense that it's trying too hard. Sweet-heavy malts and I strongly suspect some lactose. Creamy, rich, but rather flat of flavor. Roasted, chocolate malt and not much else. Lingeringly bitter, with a bit of cream. Not very carbonated, but moderately heavy. Nice.

O: In the final review, not a great imperial stout. Still a decent enough beer though. I wouldn't recommend it, or have another, but it looks cool and I wouldn't steer you away.

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Photo of atr2605
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours back with a frothy tan head with excellent retention
S-coffee, rich chocolate, carmelized sugar
T-chocolate and sugar followed by roasted coffee and finishing with more chocolate
M-full bodied and creamy
O-good flavors but balance was a bit quirky. Overall not a bad brew for the price and wouldn't mind drinking it again, just not sure I would seek it out

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Scarface Imperial Stout from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
3.9 out of 5 based on 219 ratings.
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