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Scarface Imperial Stout | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

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Scarface Imperial StoutScarface Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 216
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at The Ginger Man NYC. Rpasty aroma. This is black with three-eighths inch of head, and leaves lots of lace tral down the glass. It has a thick mouthfeel and is smooth. Licorice, hoppy, a bit astringent, though good drinkability. Very good but not exceptional for the style.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch foamy super dark khaki head that settles to a small cap. A nice latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa nibs, and some subtle coffee bean aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt and dark chocolate covered coffee/espresso beans. There is a pretty assertive roasty bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a very slight crispness and a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good stout all around and a good deal at around $5 for the bottle.

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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 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 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.


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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 womencantsail
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone

A: An incredibly nice looking pour on this beer, plenty of tan foam with a viscous black liquid underneath.

S: The nose is full of the usual suspects for an imperial stout. Coffee, bitter chocolate, and roasted malt with a slight smokiness to it.

T: The flavor pretty much mimics the nose. A nice coffee and roasted malt character with some notes of chocolate with a definite bitterness and some light smoke.

M: Quite a full bodied beer with a low level of carbonation and a creamy feel on the tongue.

D: For a fairly high ABV and a rather bold style, this one is fairly easy to consume and was a pretty interesting beer overall. A pretty solid offering from Speakeasy.

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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 RblWthACoz
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yep. I'm a sucker for marketing, apparently. Any screen printed bottle with any degree of interesting design is a shoe-in for a purchase for me.

This is a thick and rich stout with mild roasted tones and a touch of chocolate and a bit more molasses. Smooth feel. Mild carbonation. A nice easy drinker. Consistent and thick. I like this. Could sip on this one for a while. I wonder what some age would do to it.

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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 smakawhat
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Etching date code or note says 297 M 2028 2014 on bottom.

Light mocha to tan colored head, even slightly orange but dissolves fairly quickly at it's simple one finger height maximum. Settles to a bubbly collar and slightly whispy top. Some decent clarity to this with red highlights when held to the light and a classic walnut brown body.

Real solid mix of subtle roast qualities for the aroma. Mild roast char notes, even a take of fruity quality that seems to be from the yeast. Deep bitter cocoa as well. The aromas though are small but also balanced between each other nicely, not one really dominated but all compliment real nicely on the nose.

First sip is a classic rush of dark chocolate, followed by a real good fruity sweetness. Mid palate has a very nice honey coating, but also real tight carbonation in the mouthfeel that gives off a peppery tingle on the tongue. Finishes oily slightly with some almost citrus hop zest but with classic lingering char qualities, a real excellent ashy to small hardwood charcoal finish that does linger nicely. Lighter body, almost simple porter in character, but has excellent full coating in the palate and pushing roast char accents.

Sometimes a solid real enjoyable stout without the barrel is all you need.

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Photo of Billolick
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler filled at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Pours nice and black under a super dark mocha head, that stays and stays, frothy, and dense. Leaves short lived sheeting, then globby strands of thick lace. Nose of dark malts, coffee, and sugary toffee. Full flavor stout, more sweet and dark roasty notes. Coffee, mocha milkshake with hints of whiskey and wood. Super smooth and velvety on the tongue, without going over the top and taking away from drinkability. Enjoyable, nicely crafted and tasty I.S. Nice offering from Speakeasy Ales.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this beer. This was a 22 ounce handbottle filled at Bierkraft in New York.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a khaki head. The aroma is dark chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor is more of the same with coffee, chocolate and roasted malt. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours pitch black with a healthy two finger light brown head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of dark and toasted malt, chocolate and vanilla. Flavor follows, with toasted and lightly charred malt, chocolate, light vanilla and coffee. Finishes a bit thin until a good charred bitterness develops leaving a lingering hop and burnt coffee flavor. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. A full flavored American style imperial stout that is not quite balanced, allowing the high ABV to show through a bit; but redeems itself somewhat in the finish

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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 barleywinefiend
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours jet black in color with a thin tan head that left a mild coating of lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: A nice little booze sting on the nose with dark chocolate, anise and coffee

T: Taste starts with some black patent malt, chocolate malt and hints of coffee. There is a substantial amount of anise throughout this beer. A nice booze sting persists, but sharpens on the end

M: Big body, well carbonated, not really creamy but more so in your face. I can see how some stouts drinkers could find this abrasive

O: A nice, tastefull Imperial with just the right amount of everything I like in a stout.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with tan head that left little lace and had a strong malt smell of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and a very minor fruit smell (I always seem to smell chocolate covered cherries in these beers). Taste is more of the same as the bitter chocolate and sweet malts take the main stage as the roasted and coffee malts are underlying. More of a sweet than dry stout but still finishes dry and is a heavier, still bready body that makes a very good stout to have.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Snagged a bottle for 8 bucks from halftime beverage.com. Considering my local place charges 15 I believe I got one hell of a deal. Into a regular pint glass.

A -Deep dense blackness that poured very thick (the way I like it) and a 1/2 inch of deep mocha head atop of this beast is an excellent look for a stout.
S - Cold coffee, sweet and chocolate goodness with a sweet chocolate malt edge, some anise and tobacco and a faint bit of hops are what I am smelling.
T - Wow is this roasty and chock full of dark cocoa. Like 70% strong dark cocoa which is nice I do like the bittering sting of chocolate somewhat. Finish is rather hoppy with sweet citrus hops and there seems to be some coffee notes coming out with some vanilla tones. Kind of acidic somewhat.
M - Not as thick as I wanted more medium bodied and somewhat watery. Not bad just not great.

Overall I guess its just the name and the style that allures me try this. I have had far worse imperial stout but again I have also had more balanced, more bodied stouts. This one is just slightly above average. Final thought at least this beer isn't loaded with anise I hate that crap

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A near black body with a creamy tan head that rose two+ fingers. Some nice sip marks develop as you work your way through the glass.

The nose has a good amount of dark roast, bordering on char, with brown sugar, rich dark chocolate, and licorice. Solid aroma, but not overly impressive.

Deep, dark roast with some char and smoke come out in the flavor profile. Licorice and molasses notes evident as well. Sweet. Dark, rich chocolate notes and some coffee grounds come out in the finish with a little bit of ashy char. Most times you encounter char or ash it is a detractor, but it works well balancing out some of the sweetness in this stout.

Full body, smooth and rich. A touch slick, but mainly creamy.

Solid stout on all fronts. This is a great go to.

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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 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 cosmicevan
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 16oz growler at a speakeasy tasting locally.

a - Watery black with not much head and slippery lacing.
s - malty roasty oaty.
t - alcohol n oats...bitter cocoa beans and roasted coffee.
m/d - big alc tingle, but the fullness is really nice and it has a bit of an oatmeal stout vibe to it, which I love. at first this beer is big and bold and almost too much, but after a few ounces when you get into it...it kills. Really tasty.

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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 argock
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a nonic pint at The Regal Beagle (San Diego, CA).

A: Jet black with short soft light beige head which fades quickly but leaves some short lace formations.

S: Big dark maltiness with flash of strong alcohol and licorice. THe licorice is not overbearing but works well with the alcohol, chocolate, and coffee aromas.

T: This tastes excellent with even maltiness without tasting syrupy sweet. The alcohol is fairly prominent, so I bet this would age nicely in the bottle. The chocolate and coffee flavors work well, and the roast component is pretty low for the style.

M: Very slick and not at all heavy or a chore. The carbonation is low to give some creamy layers.

O: I tried this beer with no expectations, and I really enjoyed this brew. It provides a slick creamy feel with dark maltiness that treads sweet and roast well. If you don't like alcohol flavors, this is not a good beer for you. I still wished I had asked for a 1/2 pint as 16oz is a bit much.

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Photo of birchstick
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another hook-up from KevSal. Thanks again Kev!

A - pours dark black with a chocolaty head on it

S - nose is a mixture of dark chocolates with less strong coffee aromas

T - starts off with sweet chocolates that quickly move to dark chocolates. The dark chocolates pretty much take the helm of the ship and guide the beer through the rest of the palate journey. Although not uber complex, this is nice and rich.

M - full and smooth from all of the malts packed into it

D - really nice imperial stout on show case here. Rich and full of flavor. Enjoyable and definitely worth a shot. Thanks again for the bottle, Kev!

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Scarface Imperial Stout from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
3.9 out of 5 based on 216 ratings.
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