Splinter Black | Tröegs Brewing Company

very good
170 Ratings
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Splinter BlackSplinter Black

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by fiver29 on 10-21-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 170 |  Reviews: 99
Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Treebs
2.95/5  rDev -22%
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.

 685 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

 1,490 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
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

 753 characters

Photo of kscaldef
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

 315 characters

Photo of HoopTime
4.73/5  rDev +25.1%
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.

 4,117 characters

Photo of denimdemon
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Cardmarauder
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of jethrodium
2.76/5  rDev -27%
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.

 495 characters

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of ncaudle
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Satchboogie
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of tedho21
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of fehrminator
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

 566 characters

Photo of 3Hops
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of klipper
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of chrispoint
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of monitorpop
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of freduardo
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of IdrinkGas
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of JRod1969
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Splinter Black from Tröegs Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 170 ratings.
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