Scarface Imperial Stout | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

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87
very good
68 Reviews
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Scarface Imperial StoutScarface Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States | website

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:
68
Ratings:
215
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
11.03%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
38
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 215
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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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 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 chodinheaven
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black in color, like motor oil with a big two finger dark khaki head that sticks around for a long time. Its fluffy and the retention is rediculous but does leave thick lacing as it slowly dissapates. The aroma is powerful, tons of smokey baking chocolate and coffee backed by a smokey sweetness that I can't put my finger on. Cream of some kind, very intoxicating and aromatic, but I can't decide whether I completely like it or not. Regardless, its aromatic as all get out and I like the smokiness.

The taste is equally smokey, with lots of dark roasted malt behind it. A nice combination of coffee and chocolate malts create a potent taste that the smokiness rides over, adding depth. A touch of licorice as well. The body is medium to thick, thinned out a touch by the high ABV, but with enough malty gusto to make up for it. The smokiness of the malt has an interesting sweetness to it. Its not fruit-sweet or even chocolate sweet. Its like a licorice kind of sweet, meaning not really sweet at all but very interesting. Subtle nuances in the smoke come out on every sip and as it goes on, it becomes a little cloying, but not so bad to dump it. Mouthfeel has a nice prickle to it to help keep the cloying factor in check as it finishes with a boozy, leathery kick.

Overall, not bad. Very interesting with characteristics of a rauschbier, but the distinct characteristics of an imperial stout. Definitely worth a try, especially for rauschbier fans who also like Impy stouts.

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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 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 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 BlurryVisi0n
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pouring this beer it is super opaque, a brown-black with a tan head rising to maybe 1/3".

Smell: This is the weakest property of the beer granted it smells good just very light of chocolate and malts.

Taste: Screams dark bitter chocolate, malty and rich. Coffee no make that more like espresso. This is fine beer.

Mouth: Sticking after-taste, with a medium carbonation. On one more note the flavor and complexity just hugs your cheeks (for real, for real).

Overall: This beer was bought be3caue of my love of imperial stouts, and honestly it hangs with the best of them. It isn't perfect but it is damn well great. It won't hit you in the head as far as pockets but will but will hit you with great quality, Salud!

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

Scarface...

Pours a solid black brew with a nice brown frothy head with light lacing.

The aroma has some chocolate up front followed by roasted malts and some boozy bourbon.

The taste is very roasty with some chocolate and coffee coming through. Somewhat smokey and woody also and the finish is roasted malts. The booze is there for the enjoyment and some light lingering hops.

Decent mouthfeel. Slick and oily.

Overall this is a good Imperial Stout. I like the placement in bourbon barrels though I think I may have drank it a tad early. This would probably do well with a little age on it. Not a bad price either. Solid beer.

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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 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 Greywulfken
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't even know what to do, I've been trying so many really good imperial stouts (American and Russian) lately. Every time I think I get it, there's another stout knocking at the door, saying: hey, "drink me, I'm awesome"

So, first off, hats off to brewers around the world for bringing back beer. Thank God.

I find that the usual diff between a Russian IS and and America Double/IS is the sweetness. AD/IS tend to be a little sweeter and boozier - just my impression - whereas a(n) RIS is a little mellower and less sweet.

A: pitch f'in' black, 'natch, with a thick head that simmers into a rim with lots of lace left behind

S: coffee notes, yes, but mostly malt (roasty toasty)

T: this is the most Russian tasting American Double I've tried as far as my palate can recall - mellow, not too sweet, tender roasted malts and touches of espresso and cocoa, but mostly that rich roasted malt and mild sweetness

M: good body, no bitterness at all, slight tongue-coating (as it should); no astringency or alcohol noted at all

O: wow - these guys first impressed me with their imperial red, Betrayal, and this brew cements them as genius-level brewers. Thank you so much, Speakeasy, and Mike, at my distributor, who's been telling me to get this.

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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 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 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 bugaboo416
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: nice head that disappeared pretty quickly, strong legs on my glass, pitch black body

S: coffee, roasty, a bit of alcohol

T: lightly sweet, then a bit of spicy vanilla, then roasted flavors, then the alcohol appears and burns nicely going down your throat. There's a sharp bitterness and roasted flavor that lingers in your mouth and wont go away.

M: medium to high body, it definitely has some heft to it.

O: A very nice sipping imperial stout, It would be perfect if they could blend the alcohol into the other flavors but worth getting a few bottles, maybe try storing a few for 1/2-1 year to see if it blends a bit more. A small 10-12 oz is plenty because this is a big beer.

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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 BrainDad
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado in San Francisco

Deep rich color. Great lacing and one finger of head.

Aroma does not do justice to the flavor, which is deep and rich. Full of roasted malts and chocolate. Has an airy feel that I prefer which is like a chocolate soda, carbonated but not overly so.

Compared to the Obsidian Stout we oredered at the same time, I would definitely come back for this

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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 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 colforbin73
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

why only 4 on the overall? because i just had it a second ago for the first time and i am not ready to push it over the top.

ROAST BOMB

this beer is a rich chocoaltey roasted biscuit cream of a beer. speakeasy outdid them selves on this.

bitter hops confound the back end of your palate. after a complex roasted malt attack the piney hop burn on the back sets in slowly -- the abv rears its' head at the very end but darn, this is WAY better than i expected.

this is an extremely drinkable imperial stout. it just hit the shelves, BUY.

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

A - Dark brown, near black with dark tan small head. Slows to ring. Lots of spotty cling lace.

S - Soy sauce, Hersheys syrup.

T - Taste reflects smell, but add choc chip cookies and bittering hops at end.

M - Medium to full body, good carb and great balance.

D - Deceptively delicious and alcohol might hurt if try to session.

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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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Scarface Imperial Stout from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.
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