Imperial Chocolate Stout | Granville Island Brewery

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Imperial Chocolate StoutImperial Chocolate Stout
Very Good
33 Ratings
Imperial Chocolate StoutImperial Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Granville Island Brewery
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Imperial Chocolate Stout is rich and warming, a perfect complement to cold winter nights. Deep black in colour, it’s brewed with four malt varieties, hops from the Pacific Northwest and organic, fair-trade chocolate from Rogers’ Chocolates.

34 IBU

Added by Derek on 12-13-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of imfinished
2.5/5  rDev -35.9%

Photo of spree92
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled during the winter of 2010 as a Limited Release. Had this cellaring for 2 1/2 months now.

A- A deep, heavy dark brown that has a cloudy red hue on the edges. Head fell off pretty fast but left some small lacing.

S- Crazy sweet with dark chocolate. Slightly picking up roasted malts and molasses.

T- Something went south here. Bitter, I don't know where this came from, and sour. The taste of chocolate has lost all character and transformed into an unpleasant and unexpected taste.

M- Dry, tart, pungent. I feel like I need to chase with another beer to get the taste out of my mouth.

D- This might get drained. I'll do my best but this should not have been aged. Sorry Granville Island.

Please note; I had this beer when it was first released as did some other people I know (I has not a BA member at the time to review). There were no complaints and was generally well liked. I believe this one just went bad over the last couple months.

 955 characters

Photo of CookstLiquor
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle. Pours a surprisingly (light) deep brown with red tints around the edge with a thin light brown head. Smells like a chocolate shop: tons of vanilla bean and chocolate aromas. The taste is sweet and in addition to the sizable chocolate and vanilla presence there is a sarsaparilla spice and flavours of toasted marshmallow. Bitter finish. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light, however. Feels like this beer needs more body.

 448 characters

Photo of Zbeetleman
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of jennybeer
3.36/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of Derek
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewed with Rogers' Chocolate (125th anniversary).

A: Black with a light tan head, slight retention, good lace.

S: Chocolate covered cherries. I picked up on the sourness in the aroma immediately. Light coffee, brown sugar and roasted nut.

T: A lot more coffee flavour than I had anticipated, really dry & roasty. Great fruitiness (dates, maraschino cherries, candied pineapple), treacle, molasses, woody spicing (Willamette?). Solid bitterness, alcohol is subtle.

M: Really attenuated and dry... even too much for me!
(I wonder if it's stronger this year because the yeast really chowed down)?

D: It's good, but not at all what I expected.

Call it a mocha stout?

I'll lay one down and see how it mellows.

Personally, I would've used more chocolate malt, cut back on the roasted barley and had some more residual sweetness. Maybe next year?

It's great that Sapporo is continuing the limited releases from the original pub.

 933 characters

Photo of Edgerrin32
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of zduerr
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of KalanM
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of petermethot
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of schopenhauerale
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of wordemupg
3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650ml bomber poured into tulip 14/12/11

A dark cola with a short lived tan head that leaves no lace

S chocolate syrup with a little raisin, pretty one sided with chocolate but it smells pretty good

T a little booze I couldn't smell and some coco powder to go with the syrup, maybe a little molasses but its not very sweet just a little

M quite thin with enough bubbles too give it some life and some heat I could live without

O lacking body and a little boozy but decent stuff if you like coco

Nothing to be ashamed of but perhaps it needs some age to mellow out the booze

 581 characters

Photo of BigBry
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650 ml bottle that I found at the BCLS, when I was looking for something special. Label lists 8.4% alc/vol
"2011 Limited Release. Our Limited Release beerscobine innovative brewing with all-natural ingredients. Created locally at our small-batch brewery on Granville Island for all those who appreciate unique, extraordinary beer.
This beer is rich and warming for cold winter nights. It's brewed with four different malts, hops from the Pacific Northwest and Organic Fair Trade chocolate from Roger's Chocolates. Flavours and aromas of roast malt, cocoa, coffee and dried fruit, combined with a mellow bitterness and rich dark chocolate colour make it perfect for toasting the season. Ingredients include: cocoa, chocolate essence & cocoa nibs."

Dark brown, basically black, ruby hilights. Off white foam, quickly fading foam, no lace. Chocolate smell really comes out, quite sweet and sugary aroma.
Good stout base, with cocoa / chocolate coming through. Sweetish, but not overly done - not nearly as sweet or cloying as the initial smells indicated. Mouthfeel and body are a bit thinner than expected from a stout, some warmth from the alcohol at the end.
Overall, pretty good - a nice find.

 1,195 characters

Photo of bumchilly25
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Rutager
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours deep brown with a thin, light tan head that doesn't hang around.

Smell. Sweet dark chocolate, some toasted grains and vanilla.

Taste. Sweet molasses and dark chocolate. A little sponge toffee and a bit of hops in the end.

Mouthfeel. Medium in body with medium carbonation. A bit of warmth there.

Overall. Good desert beer. Sweet, but not crazy sweet (that's good).

 386 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. Nice to see this limited release in 'general' availability in Alberta now, rather than just as a singular seasonal gift to liquor store management.

This beer pours a very deep, dark cola hue, with brassy basal highlights, and two beefy fingers of loosely foamy beige head, which leaves some nice randomly craggy vistas of mountain-scape lace around the glass as it settles rather quickly.

It smells of sharp cocoa nibs up front, milky and earthy all, some chocolate-heavy bready caramel malt, subtle toffee pudding, innocuous fleshy black fruit, a twinge of warming alcohol, and very tame earthy, leafy hops. The taste is more edgy chocolate, of the forgotten brandy-infused, and too-long forgotten on the shelves box of bonbons ilk, mildly toasted bready malt, a touch of Toffifay, slight tones of molasses and brown sugar, and some well-understated weedy, musty hops.

The bubbles are pretty laid back, to the point of stupor, the body an adequate medium weight, and duly, truly, and softly smooth. It finishes on the sweet side, the cocoa still large and in charge, a slightly astringent vegetal character sort of blending into a waxing booziness.

A pretty decent chocolate stout, especially if you like the, well, chocolate, duh, which is generally kept within its pompous, but reasonable limits by a cadre of secondary players, chief among them a lilting vegetal undergrowth, and properly stifled alcohol. Sweet, but not, and then sweet again, and so on. Worthy enough of a go, as a dessert accompaniment/enhancer, at the very least.

 1,555 characters

Photo of Converge
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bomber into a tulip. 2012 bottle.

A - Dark cola color during the pour, and jet black in the glass. Modest creamy beige head sits atop, though a little light for an imperial stout. Spotty chunks of lacing trail behind the soapy film left after a few minutes.

S - Initially I was underwhelmed, but after a few minutes the nose opens up big time. Tons of chocolate! I'm getting lots of chocolate malt, along with cocoa nibs and lots of other sweet notes. This is also the first time I can say I've detected chocolate milk clearly in a beer, which has me surprised as well. Subtle booze, along with mild roasted malt and a ton of toffee sweetness. No real hop presence, this brew is all sweet, sweet malts; smells like chocolate cake in a glass.

T - After such an intriguing nose, the profile is a bit of a let down. The chocolate while still present, is much more mild in the taste, and it seems to lack real complexity or balance. Roasted malt is mild, toffee is still there too. It's overly sweet, but I wouldn't call it cloying. The alcohol content despite only clocking in at 8.40% ABV comes barreling down on the palate, with it's unpleasant presence lasting into the finish. Mild vanilla and molasses coming through as well, but not in a way that adds much dimension to the brew.

M - Low carbonation, smooth but not quite velvety on the palate. Heat in the finish from the alcohol, somehow showing through. Fitting of the style, though unspectacular altogether.

D - When I stuck my nose into the glass and took a whiff of what could only be described as chocolate cake, I was ready to turn the page on Granville Island Brewing, having tried virtually all their regular offerings. And while this specialty brew from Granville definitely has some character their regulars don't, it simply falls short in the end.

 1,818 characters

Photo of Erik-P
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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

I have a couple of these since Xmas and I do agree that the beer needs some aging ( much like the Jolly Abbott which is drinking great a year later). The chocolate is very apparent and the beer is quite dry on the finish. It is needs to mellow and blend a bit with age as the drinkability suffers a bit now. Still the beer is very well made and has quite a bit of complexity.

This is a new version of this beer for 2012 which no longer uses Rogers Chocolates and seems to have pushed the cocoa flavours to the background. I much prefer the new version as it is more complex , incredibly drinkable right now and longer on the finish.

 633 characters

Photo of Larz_73
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Appreciator
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep and dark. Almost black, but still some brown hues in it. Dark brown mostly diminishing head with tight small bubbles.

Huge chocolate aroma with some almond, cherry, roast malt, light pecan. A very rich, full, inviting aroma that makes my mouth water.

Everything that was on the nose bursts onto the palate with chocolate being the big leader. I couldnt smell any coffee on the nose, but there is definitely some in the taste. The chocolate taste is like semi-sweet chocolate shavings or chocolate chips.

Quite carbonated to make the mouthfeel a little sharp, but there is a layer of smoothness right in the middle. There is also some bitterness that stays on the tongue like an espresso shot. The higher alcohol content creates a warming feeling as the beer is swallowed.

Greatly Appreciated!

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - near pitch black with just a bit of light getting though the bottom, thumb of tan head retained at half a finger with respectable wispy lacing
S - milk chocolate, syrup, hint of vanilla, and a light smoky quality
T - a very sweet milky chocolate flavour with a kick of vanilla, light roastiness and mild coffee, and a syrupy sweet finish
M - leaning towards chewy, definitely coats the mouth fully, just a touch of cocoa dryness
O - a very legit big chocolate brew from Granville, happy to see them stepping up the limited releases over the last year, and this is the best of the bunch thus far

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

My brother bought me a bottle of this for Christmas, and I enjoyed it that afternoon!

A - Pours a nice dark brown with a ruby red hue, finger of mocha head with decent retention, dissipates to small islands and leaves some sporadic sticky lacing.

S - Sweet milk chocolate, vanilla and some leafy green hops.

T - Sweet milk chocolate off the top which lingers on the finish as well, like I just finished a chocolate bar. Nice vanilla flavours coming through as well, complemented by some roasted coffee flavours and a touch of ABV sweetness, but nicely hidden.

M - Nice body carbonation fills the tongue and goes down smooth, finishing with a touch of dryness.

D - This stuff is by far the best offering I've had from Granville. Wish they would put out more like this one, as it offers those true craft brew flavours which are sometimes lost on their flagship offerings.

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Photo of kjyost
4.25/5  rDev +9%

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Imperial Chocolate Stout from Granville Island Brewery
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 33 ratings