Splinter Black
Tröegs Brewing Company

Splinter BlackSplinter Black
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Stout - American Imperial
3.85 | pDev: 18.18%
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Splinter BlackSplinter Black
Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 170 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man I remember the hype behind these before they were released. I think it was prolly on the backs of splinter gold and blue that this one came in ultra hyped. Then it fell flat on the demand side, and for good reason says I.

Poured black, absolutely nothing wrong with the appearance here, other than maybe a gripload of carbonation. The head was that cherry cola head appearance. The aroma dropped a substantial amount of wood, vanilla to a lesser extent, but man, fresh cut wood.

Taste, wow, did they puree some toothpicks into this? So woody. The carbonation seemed livelier than it should have been, it was very much so. The heavy wood amount contributed lots of dryness inside the mouth.

Interesting beer, super heavy oak presence. Solid viscosity all around.

Apr 24, 2016
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portia99 from Massachusetts

3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml C&C bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Pours near black in color, clear enough to see bubbles rising through the body up to the finger of cappuccino colored head that slowly falls leaving behind lots of lacing on the glass.

S - Roasty, a bit caramelly, light astringency, licorice, woody oak, mildy boozy.

T - Roasted malt up front, some charcoal, wood, chocolate, mild vanilla tho not nearly as present as I expected given the process to make this beer.

M - Medium-full bodied, light carbonation, roast and char, caramel and chocolate. Pretty much par for the course for the style.

O - Hoped for more than this when I traded for it, pretty much got what I expected based on reviews. Solid imperial stout, but so many excellent examples out there that this just blends with the rest of the pack.

Feb 15, 2015
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haazer from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last of 4 bottles I got at the brewery 3 years ago. Poured in a snifter.

A- Thick black brew with a highly carbonated billowy tan head. The foam leaves lacing on the glass as it comes down. Interestingly the foam is looser at the surface and much denser at the black liquid.

S- Heavy doses of vanilla and dark fruits. There's some tobacco, molasses, and a slight whiff of booze. You also get an impression of damp oak.

T- The vanilla starts out and then becomes overtaken by an astringent oak. The malts in here are deeply charred and has a slight dark chocolate flavor. There's also some tobacco profile, and a back end flavor of molasses.

M- Full bodied stout with high carbonation. This brew is thick and coat's the mouth. A slight hint of heat from the booze, but not tasted. As the beer warms up it does smooth out a bit. Not quite the "velvet" described on the card around the neck.

O- There was a lot of different opinions by people on this beer. In my experience with 4 bottles, the first three were great. This last bottle I felt was a bit more harsh, even after 3 years and probably fell into the variation others hated. Even with the bottle variation on this beer, it was not terrible like some suggested. If you were lucky to get a "good" bottle then you had a great beer. I was thankful for those, and this one too. My rating is based on the first three.

Dec 25, 2013
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Schreibeers from South Carolina

4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I just couldn't wait any longer. With one more bottle in the cellar, being snowed in seems like the perfect occasion.

Poured into two large goblets.

A: Dark black (no surprise), no light penetration, a nice three finger head that settles into a thin head that maintains throughout with some nice lacing.
S: Fresh woody notes seems to be the most apparent on the nose. Some faint alcohol, but not picking up much chocolate or dark roasted malts
T: Again, the woodiness seems to take center stage at first as it fades into a mild, smooth round flavor with some dark roasted maltiness ending in a warming alcohol
M: Slightly effervescent with some sharpness , almost like some strong dark belgian. Medium body, not your typical heavy mouthfeel for this style.
D: I like the fact this beer does not have an overpowering mouthfeel. The flavors are there, more subtle than I expected, but very well done.
Overall a great beer. Curious to see what this does with some age. Although, for any of those lucky enough to have two, I highly recommend popping one tonight. If you just have one, sit on it for a couple months.

After sitting on this beer for about two years I decided to open my other bottle. Poured into Troegs Mad Elf tulip

A: Same as before. Dark and opaque. The head is a little more apparent and seems to stick around for longer than previously noted.
S: Dark maltiness, sweet with slight notes of vanilla and oak. The primary oaky smell seems to have dissipated.
T: Dark and malty as expected. This is where the oak is more apparent. The label states aged in virgin oak barrels and I can still taste that oakiness. Maybe some bitterness/licorice taste.
M: Smooth and sweet. Maybe just a little thin for the style.
O: Overall I believe it is definitely better than two years ago. A great beer. I feel very lucky to have had two of these beer spread over two years. A great example of how a beer can improve with time. I mentioned in my first review to wait a few months. Well if you still have a splinter black sitting in your cellar, I recommend opening it up soon.


Oct 27, 2013
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MasterSki from Canada

3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Thorpe429, way back in the day. Served in a tulip. Decided to open this when Sean told me it had improved.

A - Dark tan foam settles to wisps, a thick collar, and spotty lacing. The body is an opaque dark brown color that verges on black.

S - Still a boatload of sharp and spicy oak, although it's not as heavy-handed as it used to be when this was fresh. There's a good dose of baker's chocolate and caramel sweetness, with some of the anticipated vanilla as well. The balance is still out of whack here - generally the oak complements the beer and not the other way around.

T - The taste is a bit more in balance, as there's more roast and dark chocolate and the oak is pushed a bit out of focus. Still, there's a good amount of charred wood, vanilla, and sweeter malt flavors mixed in.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium-full body, with an extremely dry and woody texture to it. Still a decent amount of alcohol warming after 2+ years of age.

D - This was better than I remembered, as some of the astringent oak character has mellowed and the malt sweetness has begun to peek through; the feel is still not very pleasant though. The concept wasn't a great one; perhaps this should have been blended back to dial down the oak. Still, it's not terrible like some people make it out to be, merely mediocre.

Jun 07, 2013
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Treebs from Illinois

2.95/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750 ml C&C bottle served in a Southern Tier tulip.

A: Pours a very opaque black color with a khaki color head forming on the pour. It recedes quickly to a thin ring, but it has very lively body.

S: Creamy tootsie roll chocolate notes, almost bordering on artificial. Very roasty with some light barrel notes. Mostly oak at this point.

T: A ton more oak in the taste than the nose. The artificial nature of the chocolate from the nose is gone as well, but it's still a very sweet malt and chocolate combination.

M: Extremely overcarbed. Very prickly on the tongue with a medium thin body.

O: The oak barrel really overtook the base and it was extremely over carbonated. Not a fan.

Mar 10, 2013
FeDUBBELFIST from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

$24 for the 750mL, served in a mini snifter
ABV not indicated, damn surprised at the 11% listing
Sampled 31DEC12

[A] An absolutely beautiful head froths up after a slow pour, 3 fingers high, medium brown in color, and ridiculously long lasting. The head is easily the fluffiest head on a dark beer that I've ever seen. Pitch black body with dark amber edges when the glass gets low.

[S] Virgin oak barrels impart their unforgettably pungent scent. Heavily charred and roasted aromas waft next. Dark chocolate or fudge plus a hint of vanilla and, to no surprise, mild oxidation.

[T] Barrel, roasted malts, mild char, and rich cocoa. The vanilla bean flavor has more than less faded at this point but is noticeable in trace amounts. A little hint of raisin/dark fruit flavor comes through at the very end. Nice subtle touch.

[M] Whatever the over carbonation concerns once were can now be completely forgotten. (Well, for this bottle anyway.) The mouthfeel is stunning. So soft, so full. Hell, as pronounced on the bottle tag, Chris and John may very well have "captured silk in a bottle."

[O] The less than stellar opinions following the release of Splinter Black prompted me put my bottles away and forget about them, figuring that: If its average now, why bother? And if its going to improve, then all the better. Well, this beer is drinking fantastically right now - particularly in the mouthfeel. If you haven't opened a bottle recently, I suggest that now is as good a time as any.

Feb 03, 2013
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bigfnjoe from Pennsylvania

4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into a pint glass

A- pours jet black with a two finger frothy, brown head. Incredible lacing. Looks awesome

S- getting some oak, along with a little bit of vanilla and slight hints of chocolate

T- age was kind to this. Getting a nice bit of oak character in the beginning, with minor hints of chocolate and vanilla. No heat at all. May have let this one mature a little too much, but it's still good

M- the body is actually pretty thin, which is a bit of a disappointment, all things considered

O- not bad at all, but I think people had their bars set a little high with this one. It's getting a bit past its prime right now after 2 years, but it's still very drinkable and solid. Don't expect to be blown away

Dec 29, 2012
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kscaldef from Oregon

3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark brown with a minimal head. S: Light wood, moderate menthol, and mild rubbery phenolics. Not a great smelling beer. T: Rich chocolate and roasted malts, fortunately lacking any of the off aromas, but not particularly interesting either. M: Medium high carbonation. Overall, a fairly disappointing beer.

Dec 27, 2012
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HoopTime from Pennsylvania

4.73/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Poured from a bottle purchased after my hands thawed out enough to get cash from my wallet at the release into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint

A - This beer pours black as coal with a rich, foamy dare I say luxurious dark caramel head that just kept growing and threatened to overrun the top of the glass. The amount of carbonation is incredible. The foam was dense enough to support a dime (no, I did not actually try). Held to a strong light, the beer's true mahogany coloring is revealed, with black cherry undertones. It is a beautiful pour.

S - Very subtle smell, perhaps because of so much foam. Really have to get your nose in it to detect the sweet caramely malt with hints of cocoa, vanilla and licorice.

T - The malt is center stage here, darkly roasted and pungent, with an wine-like woodiness from the oak barrels it was aged in. The turbinado sugar obviously is a yeast feast as the carbonation shows, but it is not overly sweet and the caco ribs this was aged on leave just the right hint of dark, baking chocolate. It doesn't turn into a chocolate beer, but adds a subtle layer of complexity to the palate of this bold Imperial Stout. This is not a hops brew -- definitely stars the malt -- but there is enough hops bitterness to keep the malt, sugar and chocolate under control and in check. Also worth noting, I tasted the head on a repour and the foam was luscious, dense, thick bobbles of flavor.

M - This is a very smooth drink, with a feel of dry red wine or maybe a port. The high carbonation makes it dance on your tongue, even though the beer is heavy enough to leave a "coat the back of a spoon" sensation as it warms your throat.

D - This does not taste like a high alcohol beer. It is very smooth and has little alcohol "burn." At 11% abv, I don't think you'd want to drink more than one bottle in a sitting and I shared this bottle with my brother, which seemed like just about the right amount for each of us.

In addition to two bottles the first day, I went back the next few days and bought more, ending up with a total of six bottles. I have one gift-wrapped, am cellaring the remaining four bottles. It will be very interesting to see how this one ages. It has almost a nouveau feeling to it right now. It is fresh and young, with complexities that likely will grow even more interesting as it matures. After this bottle, I am thinking of making a run Monday for another one or two (as of yesterday afternoon they still had some left a friend who was at the tasting room reported).

Well done brothers. This will easily make my Top 10 list for 2010, likely the top 5.

UPDATE 12/27/12: Opened my last bottle of this on Christmas Eve. This is the beer that got me started on cellaring beer. I kept four bottles of this, drank one with friends shortly after getting it, another on Christmas Day that year. Drank the third last Christmas Eve.

Really enjoyed the way this beer matured, from a sweet, chocolate dominated flavor to the matured, drier beer I enjoyed the other night.

It's still very carbonated, but the healthy 1/2 inch head in my tulip glass was a rich, caramel color atop the deep cherry tinged mahogany. The head left a moderate lacing as it receded.

Smell is deep, tawny, a hint of cocoa.

The mouth is thick and rich, with the carbonation causes a mild foam sensation as the beer rolls across the tongue.

I liked this beer when it was new. It was big, yet drinkable. At a year, it was changed, far less chocolate or sweetness, more malt coming through. At two years, the chocolate has faded to the background. It's there, but it's not the first thing you taste, or even the second. The malt has blended nicely into a strong, dry stout. There is a little caramel, some grape. The oak, too, is less pronounced, deeper in the background.

This, to me, is a very good beer. I saved it for sort of a "special occasion" and I felt it was up to the task. I would love to have a few more bottles to see how it progresses and I'd certainly hope Troeg's will be doing more in the Splinter series soon.

Dec 27, 2012
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jethrodium from California

2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of totoropanda. Thanks Daniel. Pours a dark black with small tan chocolate head with good retention and some light lacing. The aroma is roasty with dark chocolate and lots of oak as well as a mineral note. A little bit of brown sugar and alcohol as well. The taste is sweet and oaky, very oaky with lots of roasty dark chocolate. The finish is oaky and astringent with bitter dark chocolate. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Not that great. Way too much oak and quite astringent.

Nov 01, 2012
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drabmuh from Maryland

4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Troegs cervoise, the amber glass. My biggest complaint? This is overcarbonated. Beer is black with a huge dark brown head, small and medium bubbles, some lacing, too much retention, the head is a barrier to the beer and stop me from properly enjoying it. I'm bummed out by the carbonation level.

Aroma is chocolate, roast, malt, sweet. Smells good.

Why were people bitching about this beer? Not rare enough? It is rich, full in body, sweet dark chocolate, nice oakiness, a well rounded stout with a nice finish. I'd definitely have this again. Whiners.

Sep 27, 2012
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ZX6Chris for sharing this one while waiting in line for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a really foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap. Thick chunks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, slight cocoa, and alcohol. Taste is of dark roasted malt, char, and cocoa beans. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good stout but nothing all that special.

Mar 05, 2012
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BarrytheBear from Wisconsin

3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared at a tasting tonight with a few local yokels.

Pours black with some sharp crimson highlights when backlit. Enormous billow of cumulus cloudage upon pouring. Lacing is haphazard.

Slightly soured milk chocolate and sharp cherry twang.

Big roast up front turns to a sharp, semi acrid milk chocolate bite with a puff of smoke. Lightly sour cherries dance across the proceedings and the finish yields a healthy dash of vanilla and a lingering off flavor of tannic acedic cherry.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and light on the tongue. A bit off for an imperial stout.

Overall, this has the making of an infection that has not destroyed this beer, but has played a number on it. To be fair, I continued to return to the bottle to give it its just desserts. I didn't find it a failure, but rather more in the vein of Hellshire II. A decent imperial stout that battled its shortcomings, but couldn't quite rise above.

Feb 05, 2012
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yourefragile from District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, thanks Chris.

Pours a dark black ruby tinges against light. Dark khaki head, creamy and thick, with great retention. Oaky and roast nose, slightly sweet and malty with trace vanilla in the finish. Still a little over carbonated but has gotten better with age and a silky, pleasant texture is now present. Flavor has milk chocolate, roast malt, slightly charred oak, vanilla. Bottle variation aside, some of these bottles aren't terrible and don't deserve the rap they get. Still not an A stout, but worth checking out.

Jan 13, 2012
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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

2.93/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a black liquid with dense brown head. The nose is woody, roasted malts, light notes of booze, dry and ashy with some chocolate sprinkled in. The flavor has wood and booze up front, ashy malts, notes of cherries and a bit of sweet malt in the back. Medium body and assertive, balanced carbonation. Tastes almost slightly infected with an off cherry sweetness.

Dec 15, 2011
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Jeffo from Netherlands

2.52/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Got this bottle from GoGriz in a trade way back. Thanks for the good times man!

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Transparent brown pour yields a 3 finger, medium looking, fizzy, light mocha head with great retention. Black body and higher levels of carbonation evident for the style. Head slowly fades to a huge foam cap and coats the sides of the glass. A full cap remains and leaves some decent bubbly lacing down the glass. Too thin and carbonated for the style, but leaves some nice lacing as well.

SMELL: Big nose. Roasted notes, pure chocolate and lots of brown sugar. Light vanilla notes with milk chocolate from the oak barrel. A hint of alcohol as well.

TASTE: Some roasted notes up front and some sweet brown sugar, but a little empty at the beginning really. Some dark chocolate and hints of vanilla at the swallow before a medium strength and persistent oak, sugary and boozy aftertaste. Quite underwhelming, unfortunately, and quite sugary and boozy. The description on the tag was much better.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of carbonation. Quite light on the palate, goes down fine but with a good alcohol burn at the swallow. Finishes somewhat mouth-coating. Too carbonated, light, and boozy still.

OVERALL: So this is a B+ beer on here? Pretty awesome. This is not horrible, but it’s just not much of anything. The flavor is relatively empty for the style, and the feel is just too light and carbonated for a big imperial stout. The booze could be toned back a bit as well. I’d suggest just reading the description on the tag, enjoying that, then drinking anything else. Though this was a disappointment, I’d been looking forward to trying it for quite some time. Thanks again for the opportunity GoGriz.

Dec 07, 2011
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oline73 from Maryland

3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Pours a very dark brown with a finger of tan head and good retention. Smells slightly sweet with a nice roasted malt note. The taste is sweet and roasty. Mild vanilla and chocolate. The body is too thin but the carb level is a bit high.

Nov 16, 2011
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Marty30 from Pennsylvania

2.56/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks Chris for this bottle really appreciated brother. 750ml c&c bottle. Served into A Jackie O's snifter at 55 degrees.

A. Bottle opens with a big pop. I tried to pour gently but the carbonation is huge. Black as night body, giant creamy khaki colored head. No lacing.

S. I'm getting some wet wood,dark fruits,vanilla. I was kind of worried for I was getting a slightly acidic smell and with the big carbonation,I was fearing infection.

T. At first I get some wet charred wood,followed by a nice bit of vanilla. Chocolate and cocoa come to me with some roasted notes.

M. Feel was to thin and light. A bit to much carbonated.

Overall This was pretty much all over the place and didn't really meld all together. I was very dissapointed. Still i'm gratefull I got to try it!

Nov 06, 2011
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kbutler1 from Minnesota

3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pops with a lot of carbonation! Pours a dark brown color with a big fluffy tan head. Head leaves a sticky lace as it settles. Malt milk vanilla flavor in the nose. Lighter mouthfeel than expected. Sweet with some roast notes. The vanilla is nice and well incorporated. The body is too light for me as an impy stout but it’s passable. Overall, it’s pretty nice except the mouthfeel.

Oct 24, 2011
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Arbitrator from California

1.53/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, Arne.

A: The cork shoots off and nearly kills someone. Black body with mocha head.

S: Very, very oaky. My lord. They really hit you over the head on this one. Aromas of roast follow, finishing with some chocolate.

T: Incredibly oaky; just overdone, really. It's like they left this in the barrels and forgot about it. "Astringent" is putting it mildly; some vanilla and chocolate appeared to take the edge off, but a pronounced roastiness in the finish accentuated it once more. Also some dark fruit or licorice in the finish; hard to tell.

M: It's harsh. There's really no other way to put it.

O: I admired the hell out of Splinter Gold, but not Red, Blue, or Black. Was the first one a fluke? No one wanted to finish this.

Sep 24, 2011
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DrBier from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber, opaque brown in the glass, efervesscent with tight tan head, nice lacing. Halfway thru a Duvel goblet and still has a 1/8" head across entire beer.

Aromas seem subdued even with agitation, subtle oak and vanilla. Some chocolate and roasty aromas from the malt. Not much for any hop aroma but a nice subtle barrel aroma, worthy of long deep inhales. With warming a nice earthy aroma fills the spaces between the other aromas.

Tastes of vanilla and oak up front quickly chased by the roasty bitterness of the malt and hops. Mild chocolate and vanilla return with a lingering bitterness. As the beer warms chocolate becomes much more pronounced towards the end very nicely balancing the bitternes

Mouthfeel is wonderful. For a beer of this abv and style it is very smooth, light on the tongue and slides right down. Carbonation is pretty lively, dosen't detract but could be even smoother, possibly with aging.

A great original american barrel aged imperial stout. No booze flavors but so much going on that one sip requires another just to keep up. Good stuff.

This is a great interpretation of an American oak aged Imperial Stout. No whiskey or other booze influence just wood, vanilla and chocolate layered on top of thick layers of malts and hops. Kinda like yer favorite birthday cake without the wood.

Aug 07, 2011
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scottfrie from California

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into 25oz snifter. Huge thanks to StormKing47 for sending me this one a while back.

A: Pours pitch black with a HUGE foamy, frothy, dense and airy dark brown head that took forever to fade into a thick fuzzy film that left a few streaks of lacing down the glass.
S: Dominant notes of sweet turbinado sugar, oak and vanilla. This is one sweet smelling beer. I get a hint of chocolate as well.
T: Follows the nose with sweet notes of vanilla, powdered chocolate, fudge brownies, molasses, vanilla, and spicy oak. The finish is sticky with notes of toasted malts and raisins, and the aftertaste is full of chocolate and oak and lingers forever. The alcohol is well integrated but there is still a lingering amount of warmness.
M: Airy carbonation that froths up on my palate. The body is fairly thick, and coupled with the frothy carbonation, creates a smooth and chewy mouthfeel.
O: Bold flavors and fairly unique. I glad I got to try it as it’s a solid brew. It doesn’t necessarily wow me though, but I would drink this again. Thanks again, Josh!

Aug 04, 2011
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Chaney from District of Columbia

3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I still remember waiting in line for this one several months ago at about 6AM and freezing my fucking nuts off!

My plan was always to share this brew with Huhzubendah at some point, and today I did just that!

A: Black brew (hence the name), with a ridiculous head... and by that, I mean that the entire glass was filled with nothing but foam! After a while, a mocha colored topping to the liquid began to take shape.

S: Vanilla, oak, and pork sausage... but not much bourbon. Curious huh? This one sort of reminded me of Duck Rabbit's Rabbid Duck.

T: Very buttery in its oak presence, with a tinge of dark fruit. I didn't get nearly as much vanilla in the taste as I did the nose. Once I got into the session, I began to admire how smooth the brew actually was.

M: VERY well carbonated (perhaps too much), but I have to admit that that hid the booze quite a bit. About half the lacing fell back into the glass and the other half stayed afloat. Not too sweet overall, which I appreciated.

O: Troegs made a huge blunder with this one: This should be a regular offering, or perhaps a seasonal in their lineup, rather than a one time, brewery only, 2-bottle limit, $30 a pop effort. Heck, Troegs didn't even have this on tap for people to try on Splinter Black day for goodness sakes!

Jul 29, 2011
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Chaney. Thanks Brandon!

The beer is opaque and completely black. A thick, dense beige head looms over the beer, plastering the sides of the snifter with foamy lacing.

The aroma brings heavy roast and oak, with hints of chocolate and coffee.

The flavor is almost entirely dominated by roast, with some coffee presence emerging in the finish. Oak and alcohol are there as well, but overshadowed by charred and/or roasted malt.

The beer is relatively full bodied, with plenty of carbonation. Alcohol presence is there, but not overpowering.

Overall, a bit out of balance, but still enjoyable. For a brewery only release and at $30 per bottle, I expect more.

Jul 28, 2011
Splinter Black from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 170 ratings