Imperial Stout | Olde Hickory Brewery

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
147 Reviews
Imperial StoutImperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 12-06-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
147
Ratings:
482
Avg:
4.08
pDev:
16.91%
 
 
Wants:
116
Gots:
154
For Trade:
20
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Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 482
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and some sweet honey aromas. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors that makes it easy to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottling

Appearance: A pitch black pour, with a small mocha head that quickly fades to a ringlet though it leaves streaks of lace behind

Smell: Rich fudge with licorice and a hint of hops

Taste: Chocolate fudge with some roast, to boot; by mid-palate, the licorice and hoppy elements add both sweetness and bitterness; in the finish some dark fruit and coffee flavors arrive to complete the package

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and somewhat creamy, with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: Having tasted this several times, I am surprised that I have not yet reviewed it; this beer just shows the skill that Olde Hickory has in brewing big stouts - Lindley Park, Event Horizon and this one are quite a trio, not to mention their contribution to Olde Rabbit's Foot

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased in Winstom Salem prior to this year's Sexual Chocolate release. Shared at a recent tasting and served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours nearly black with a short mocha head and a thin collar after the head receded. The nose carries a good amount of the honey. Really as advertised there. Behind that was a good amount of chocolate and coffee plus a bit of roast. The flavor also carried the honey along with a pretty heavy chocolate presence. Light roast backing. Moderate sweetness and a medium body with light carbonation. Really a nice brew all around.

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Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OH makes some stellar brews,this may be at the top of the list for me.Poured a near jet black,a tinge of ruby barely showed through when held directly in the light,a nice half finger mocha colored crown atop.Aromas were big and raw for the style,earthy with dark chocolate notes,espresso ground coffee and sweetish alcohol come in as well.Big and balanced on the palate,not a big sweet alcohol bomb like many of the style,bitter unsweetened chocolate and earthy tones shine through,the alcohol sweetness and molasses balance it out nicely,the honey imparts a soothing light sweetness in the finish.A great Impy stout,its out of the norm in a good way.

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Photo of jlindros
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tom for sharing.

Super thick and syrupy looking, thicker than molasses that seems to stain the glass. Pours a light fizzy darker head that fades fairly quickly.

Nose super dark rich roasted malt, tons of dark chocolate, a bit of coffee, caramel, and nutty dark malts, a slight acrid roasted malt, a hint of chewy oats, and a bit of booze.

Taste light roast, less than I expected, and just a bit of acrid over roasted malt and soy sauce. Lots of super dark chocolate, light coffee, quite bitter, lots of earthy spicy hops, thick and viscous, some booze warmth and bit of tingle. As it warms a bit of cocoa, mocha, caramel, vanilla, and touch of honey come through, finally on the honey! Finish is a long, quite bitter, mouth coating viscousy, rich, dark, chocolate and mocha, roast and coffee, hint of acrid roast, and earthy spicy hops all linger for, what seems like forever.

Mouth is rich and thick, syrupy, some warming booze, decent carb.

Overall nice, not quite up there with Abyss or similar, but I would put it above fresh Darklord or Darkness (not aged but I need to try this aged as well to compare). Nice malts, lots of roast and dark chocolate, just a bit of acrid over roasted soy sauce but fairly light in comparison, and a bit of warming booze. Well done.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a dark body black in color with a small-sized, beige-colored head.

Smell: A boldly roasty scent to lift this tired, lonely drinker's spirits with striking notes of chunked bittersweet chocolate, a double-shot of espresso, and charred grains. Slightly lesser hints of vanilla bean and dark fruits.

Taste: Heavily roasty, heavily tasting of bittersweet chocolate, with a minor hint of vanilla. Like a top-notch, top-dollar mochachino or maybe fudge brownies. Roasty, earthy bitterness with a teensy bit of astringency. Some dark fruits buried within all this lavish maltiness. Late arriving molasses. Roasty, malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Nicely chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Quite good, this one. Olde Hick's Imperial Stout is a force to be reckoned with.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stopped in tonight specifically for this one as I just had to try it. They were serving a small glass in a snifter, and a large in a pint glass. I went for the large at 3.75 it was a steal. Consumed on 08/23/2008.

The pour was awesome, with a rich dark black, completely opaque with a nice tan head about an inch across the top. Excellent retention let this sit around for a good long while as the side glass lace thoroughly coated the inside of the glass.

Big notes here of roasted malts, smokey with a good bit of sweetness laying in the back. Some light chococlate notes, hints of maybe vanilla in there, very well defined aroma. The flavor blew me away, hats off to Jay on this one. Rich and thick, with excellent carbonation and a smooth creamy body. Started with a rush of roasted malts, rich, with hints of coffee and chocolate mixed in throughout. Very light sweetness in here now, defintly honey, but hints of vanilla interspersed with it. Soo friggin drinkable, wow, this was going down like candy to me. Rich caramel laced roasted malt finsih let it dry a touch but really just coated the mouth leaving the flavor to dangle in there for a good few minutes.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to baybum for the share, though I may or may not have had a sample of this during the Voodoo Barrel Room release.

Dark brown-black pour, with a tan head that settled to a ringlet. Typical but good stouty aroma, dark malts, coffee, cocoa, roasty, toasted grain. Good balance of roasty bitterness and honey sweetness in the taste, with neither really gaining the upper edge, dark malts, coffee and semisweet chocolate, mild earthy hops. Body was on the heavier side of medium, alcohol was tame, carbonation was moderate. A solid and good-balanced imperial stout overall.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with a finger of tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

S: A little bit too boozy on the nose, but otherwise, good. I get lots of bitter dark chocolate and roast with a pleasing vanilla note. There's a mild coffee aroma and some floral notes that might be from the honey or from the hops (which there seem to be a fair amount of).

T: Decently roasty to begin with, but there is quite a strong level of bitterness. The bitterness seems to come from the hops, roast, and some dark chocolate flavor. A mild coffee flavor to go with licorice and dark fruits which add a nice complexity.

M: The body is maybe a little bit thin for an imperial stout, but still in the medium range. The carbonation is also medium.

D: A little bit of booze, but pretty good overall. I like the level of bitterness which prevents the beer from being too sweet without being overbearing.

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Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Bitterbill one my most awesome & generous partners for hooking me up with a brew from my old stomping grounds! Great lacing & head retention

Pours mahogany with a finger+ of mocha head.

S: Vanilla, dark fruit, & dark chocolate & some noticeable raisin booze once warm

T: Dark chocolate, rum raisin, smokeyness & mocha up front. Mocha, a bit of booze warmth & dryness dominate as this warms along with a touch of herbal hops, plus some boozey raisins & plums. Finishes dry, a touch boozey with figs & mocha

MF: Chewy with assertive carbonation, starts to thin out a bit as this warms; then smooths out again. Turns a bit coarse, but very warming at the end

Drinks pretty easy, the ABV is noticable, but never runs over the flavor. One of the better offerings, plus a draft version of THIS I have had from these guys, I look forward to trying more bottled offerings from these guys when I visit the family.. Only gonna get better with age...

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Photo of Jason
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber without a freshness date ... not that it is probably needed here.

Imperial Stout darkness and the head is amazing with tan lacing all the way down. Smooth, very smooth ... silky and creamy with a big body. Choco coffee maltiness starts off big in the aroma, hops and alcohol with a currant fruitiness reside within. Dark chocolate runs rampant with some sweetness, alcohol is warming and the hops come in a bit strong but the bitterness is nothing over the top. The honey puts in more towards the strength rather than a major addition to of flavor which is fine ... the smoothness is enhanced by it. Bittersweet finish gives suggestions of cocoa nibs and coffee.

Pit this one against the hype Impy Stouts and it will put up a good fight if not win. A killer stout.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Surly shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

The final beer of the night, the capstone to the SwillFest 2011 after-party. What a ride. It pours a bleak black-brown topped by a finger of dark-ish tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, acrid coffee, light molasses, balsa, dark chocolate, and brown sugar. The taste holds notes of molasses, decidedly sweet chocolate syrup, roasted malts, honey, acrid coffee, and molasses. A slight cloying feeling finds its way to the side of my tongue, but it is short-lived. The body is hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a thick-ish feel. Overall, a very solid impy stout. 'Nuff said, frankly.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Note: 2013 Bottling

A: Pours a thick opaque jet black in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and only the faintest of dark cola brown highlights at the edges when held up to the light. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy dark mocha head that very slowly reduces to a half finger thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of slightly sweet roasted malts with moderate amounts of dark chocolate and lighter aromas of freshly ground coffee. Very light notes of anise/licorice.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of roasted dark malts with a light touch of honey sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of anise/licorice and dark chocolate. Light notes of coffee. Moderate amounts of bitterness which linger in the finish.

M: Full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy. Light hints of alcohol warming in the finish as the beer warms up.

O: This is a really enjoyable stout and seemed like an appropriate beer for Stout Day and a colder autumn evening. Olde Hickory really makes some excellent stouts and the addition of the honey brings out just enough sweetness to have the other flavors really pop.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage, thanks to mikesgroove for this bottle.

A: Pours a very dark color, if not black, almost. A light mocha head forms on top which reduces to a nice cap on top. Streaky and thin lacing.

S: Fantastic aroma, lots of chocolate and caramel. Can definitely pick up the honey. The chocolate is really nice in the aroma here, and dominates.

T: On the sweeter side for an Imperial Stout, could be from the honey added. Nice chocolate, both bitter and dark along with a little bit of roast on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Drinks very smooth, no sign of alcohol at all.

O: Very enjoyable and extremely drinkable. One of the better imperial stouts I have had.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer appears a near black shade with a thin tan head that generates some random spots of lacing. The aroma brings the typical roast character along with honey and chocolate. The beer is roasty and sweet, with honey flavor present throughout. Nicely done, as the honey is well integrated into the overall flavor profile. Hints of oak and vanilla are in there as well. The feel is full bodied, with moderately low carbonation. Overall, an interesting and enjoyable brew. I would have this again.

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Photo of stakem
3.59/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2011 vintage, cellared for 3 years as of the time of this review.

The brew pours black in color with a thin khaki head. Some stringy lace sits on the glass as the cap fades. The aroma is full of black licorice, some candied sweetness and minor solvent alcohol. The flavor includes that previously mentioned solvent alcohol with some raison-like sweetness and earthy roast/char. It is medium bodied and quite boozy feeling for 10%. Overall, I just feel like something was missing in this. If this is the base beer for event horizon and lindley park, that sure would make a lot of sense...it needs something to give it a push in the direction of being memorable. Glad to have tried it but would not attempt to secure more.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.69/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. Small khaki head. Slight transparency.

Smell - Chocolate. Nutty malts. A little boozy.

Taste - Chocolate and caramel. Oaky nutty malts. Slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel - A little bitter. Medium carbonation.

Overall - A good beer, as always, from Olde Hickory.

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Photo of tdm168
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours black as motor oil with very dense, thick, tall, dark brown head that has great retention

S - heavy chocolate, coffee, faint anise, black licorice

T - heavy chocolate, coffee, deep roasted malts, bitter finish, warm, faint anise

M - full bodied, warm, smooth, well carbonated

This is delicious. The flavor is on point. It's well balanced, bold, assertive, and incredibly drinkable for the ABV. I really enjoyed this beer experience. The perfect way to end another year of teaching!

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Photo of MasterSki
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber shared at the Goose Island BA gathering. The wax was a total bitch to get off. I liked the label though! Served in a taster glass.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of light mocha foam that settles to a partial cap and thick ring. Near-black body with some transparent brown at the fringes.

S - Mash and huge grain character. Honey, some light alcohol and earthy hops, baker's chocolate, hints of coffee.

T - This is one very sweet - guessing it's from the honey. This is smoother and demonstrates less alcohol than the nose. Again, a lot of barley, mash, and grain character. Finishes with bitter roast coffee.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, and doesn't feel that Imperial for some reason. Finish is dry and tannic, even though this isn't barrel-aged.

D - Decent, but perhaps a bit overrated by the beer-deprived locals. I liked the honey, but I wish the grain had a bit more dark roast character to keep this from getting a little cloyingly sweet.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at a tasting. Vintages 2011 and 2014 compared one after the other. Much thanks to Josh and Sheldon.

Classic walnut brown body, with a simple tan collar. Pretty much identical in appearance between vintages, but with a nice appearance, quite dark a nice thick pour out of the bottle for both.

Real interesting aroma. Light airy clove and dark brown spices. Very aromatic. Some hints of cherry like fruit, and soft toffee. Honey rounds out, but is strangely larger in the older vintage.

Palate comes with a giant honey sweetness. Luckily a decent mellow and thick roast char comes in but the sweetness is just dominating. The clove action is balanced in with it really nicely though, with a good creamy palate to match. Spicy finish, in a hot spice not alcohol way. Even some creamy frangelico like nut quality to match.

It's a real interesting brew and take to add honey, but it's still just far too sweet for my tastes and not well integrated with the rest of the malt. Roast and char is just aching to be heard here, along with some solid flavors trying to escape.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Olde Hickory Imperial Stout is a big beer. The beer poured a pitch black with tan head which did not lace....I'm assuming because of the sweetness. The smell was honey balanced with slight roast and coffee. The taste was very sweet from the honey with some big malt, roast balance. The mouthfeel was a full body beer with smooth carbonation. Overall it is a good beer but it is not for everyone. You better like sweet big beers.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage. Poured from a bomber with a gold wax top into a snifter, the beer is an oily, thick, smooth, jet black coloring with a halo of dark brown head. Looks beautiful. Aromas of rich milk chocolate, bittersweet baker's chocolate, rich honey sweetness, highlights of molasses and coffee, and some cream sweet notes. Amazingly rich and inviting. Flavors are tangy sweet forward, with a bolt of booze and honey on the forward tongue, followed by a velvety flow of milk chocolate, subtle mocha, and some earthy notes in the backbone. Very smooth throughout, with a subtle bitter and roasted edge that keeps things balanced perfectly. The aftertaste is rich and slick, with a heavily roasted kick on the chocolate and molasses linger. The finish is smooth and lingering, with a fading sweetness and subtly building warmth from the booze. Delicious brew!

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Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Is this the beer made with local honey? Thanks go out to Thorpe for bringing beer to a baby shower. Thanks!

Shockingly this beer is black with a tiny head with low retention and mild lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is floral and sweet, this is the one with honey in it, you can smell it, or that might be honey malt. Nice malt aroma with a hint of smoke / roast.

Beer is medium to heavy bodied, very sweet up front with the flavors of the honey and flowers (clovers?) in the midpalate of the beer. The finish is moderately bitter with roast, no detectable hops. A really nice stout. Big, heavy, sweet, honey. There's the billboard.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage poured in to snifter.

A - Poured a thick, sludgy ink black with half a finger of espresso coloured head that reduced to a thin layer.

S - A huge roast aroma dominates with sweet molasses, chocolate, smoke and a hint of anise.

T - Roast and a nice bitterness up front. Semi-sweet chocolate, anise and smoke notes are also present.

M - Full body; viscous. Light to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from izecold88 in a fantastic trade... Thanks Manny!!! 22 sealed with a fucking ridiculous gold wax... seriously.. if the cap doesn't fit right, this wax will probably seal the deal, but... most waxing is a joke (if the cap is leaking, O2 is going to get in) .. this wax took sharp knives and dedication to find the cap... I guess I forgive and am thankful I survived with no wounds.

2 finger tan head.. great retention and lacing... very pretty.

Nose is chock full of all the traditional IS aromas.. roasty without going overboard

dark cocoa and some mild fruitiness that resembles dark cherries.. dark malts are plenty present yet never verge on charcoal.. nice.. well made. and some background citrus hops.

Flavor is a bit different.. there is some metallic quality that plays mid palate through the finish.. Hops are definitely present.. citric American hops mesh into the mix and into the finish.. dry cocoa with some sweetish malt pulls everything together..

Pretty big body really.. carbonation seems a tad light but adds to the overall presentation.. like a black velvet.. nice..

The "honey" stuff on the label has to be a marketing ploy.. honestly, this could probably use more honey to dry it out a bit and ramp down the body... but there is no "honey" quality that escapes all the dark malts... very well made... The metal notes got to me after a bit and I did drop my numbers because they were a bit unwieldy..

Thanks a ton Manny for the excellent trade.... we must do it again.. A man can never have too many contacts in the emerging South East.

4.5/4/4/4.5/4

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Imperial Stout from Olde Hickory Brewery
4.08 out of 5 based on 482 ratings.
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