Black Diamond Imperial Porter
Black Diamond Brewing Co.

Black Diamond Imperial PorterBlack Diamond Imperial Porter
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Imperial Porter
3.92 | pDev: 11.99%
Black Diamond Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Black Diamond Imperial PorterBlack Diamond Imperial Porter
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 27 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Darkmagus82
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep brown almost black color with a small tan colored head. The quickly fades, leaving just a hint of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is huge of roasted malts, caramel, and sweet chocolate. Along with these aromas comes smells of vanilla and some cream, giving a chocolate bar like smell overall. A hint of coffee and some booze are there as well rounding out the aroma and creating a very warming chocolate bar like smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a heavy roasted malt flavor with some cocoa and coffee tastes upfront. There is a decent sum of caramel sweetness which grows stronger and stronger as the taste moves onto the end. All the while, the cocoa grows stronger and is joined by vanilla, giving a sweeter chocolate bar like flavor to the brew. Some more boozy scotch like flavors come to the tongue in the middle, with them growing stronger toward the end. With a bit of a grainy taste and some more cocoa coming to the tongue at the very end, one is left with a nice warming and sweet, boozed up chocolate bar flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is thick and chewy with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the big and rich flavors of this porter, this was a fantastic mouthfeel, allowing all those rich chocolate bar and boozy flavors to linger on the tongue and be fully enjoyed.

Overall – This was a very flavorful and tasty porter. Big on sweet chocolate, woody booze, and roast. This is one I would certainly recommend and one to try if you get a chance.

 1,646 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine 2 months ago for $6.99. No bottling date i can see.

Beer poured dark brown with a nice off white head on the initial pour.

Nose is sweet, cocoa and vanilla dominated.

Taste is sweet but not cloying, cocoa dominates with vanilla in the background. Hops are tucked in the background to try to balance the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a pretty tasty deer, perfect for a beer dinner dessert beer. Worth a shot if you come across it.

 512 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Chocolate-black with craggy sepia head.
Brandy butter nose!
Tar, treacle, a whisky hit, yes: cocoa and vanilla hints, and a smoky woody finish.
Brown sugar crust on berry tart finish and clean linger.
Fizzy, lt-med, dry.

Labelled "Peak XV."

Gusher! But age (3-4 years?) was kind: real Scotch-like depth. A bit thin and fizzy, but some good complexity, which is not to say layers, exactly. Candy sweetness, and pretty much every aspect of vanilla - to the point where I suspected oak.

In the end, though, a mediocre base beer made good by cocoa, vanilla and time.

 567 characters

Photo of abcentfishing
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice afternoon brew sitting on the patio with a cigar and enjoying the day. The beer was a little thin in appearance both in color and head. Smell was slightly bourbon forward little notes of vanilla and kinda sweet. Felt nice on the tasting side and the flavor was similar to the smell slightly bourbony touch of vanilla. Would have liked to have had little more of the malty roasty flavor just to even out the porter taste but it was a very enjoyable beer and I would drink it again .

 486 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed June 6th, 2012 at Tony's Darts Away, Burbank, CA.

Very dark brown with maroon highlights. Head was two fingers tall but became a sticky off-white ring.

Aroma is toffee and vanilla.

Flavor is ever-so-slightly sour with loads of toffee and a brown sugar note. A hint of metal. Low bitterness with a slight, subtle sourness. Lingering coffee grounds flavor after finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth but not remarkably so.

Not a big fan of this toffee bomb, but I'm glad I got to try it.

 489 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very decent porter. I liked the roast flavor up front but the aftertaste was a little too strong for me. The color was an undaunting scorched brown color. Fairly complex smell with a lot of vanilla, roast, and chocolate. This grew on me a little bit as I finished the bottle.

I would recommend this to try but not seek out.

 324 characters

Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Judge's Bench the other day.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is out of a chocolate lover's dream. Wow! I really get a huge aroma of powdered cocoa. There's a hint of vanilla and coffee as well, but the cocoa aroma really dominates in this beer. The cocoa isn't quite as pronounced on the palate, though it still tends to dominate. I get considerable vanilla as well, coupled with some light coffee and light underlying bitterness. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, though the beer finishes well and without any heat from the 8% abv.

An interesting beer, though I thought the cocoa aroma and flavor was just a bid much in this moderately sweet porter. Not sure August in Baltimore is the best place or time to be drinking a beer like this, frankly.

 817 characters

Photo of NorCalYeti
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

taste- coffee and dark chocolate flavors, nice toasted character

color- chestnut/dark brown

clarity- clear but opaque in the glass

smell- vanilla, tobacco, wonderful roasted chocolate coffee aroma...reminds you of a rich coffee drink

body- frothy smooth on the palate, oily coffee characteristic, medium-length warming finish

appearance- off-white, frothed milk apperance when agitated...reminded me of a caffelatte. head disipates quickly and consists of a thin foam layer with little to no lace retention

overall impression- not sure i would characterize this as an imperial porter because of its medium weight and dry finish. very enjoyable none the less and friendly to a wide audience...i would go back if i wanted a porter with well-balanced flavors

notes and comments- i think for what the beer attempts to do it does it well. well-balanced from the aroma to the body to the taste. may be a little sweet to drink all night long. neat story behind the name of the beer

beer spy- beer area liquors, san ramon, ca, march 2011, 22oz

glassware: pint

 1,060 characters

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz into a pint.
Pours out hazy black/deep brown with a tan head. The lace is non-existant.
The smell has everything the bottle advertises, vanilla, dark chocolate, there is a floral undertone and odd mineral scent. A little off, but not bad.
The taste starts with bread, plum and vanilla, chocolate and grassy hops follow. Not too shabby.
The mouth is a bit thin for a porter.
I grabbed this after having it recommended by a friend, otherwise, I wouldn't have tried it (after a bad experience with their Belgian Blonde). I've had better porters but this certainly restored my faith in Black Diamond a bit. Try it if you can find it for under $7

 660 characters

Photo of bernardus1212
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P icked this up in a trade. pours a dark brown with a slight tan head. the nose was a little musty with the vanilla at the forefront and chocolate at the back. the first sip was interesting. the Vanilla bean is the majority of the flavor. Malt then choc. follow. the texture was great, nice and soft, creamy almost. I would suggest that the vanilla bean either be removed completely or become a less dominating factor in the beer. At 8% it was very drinkable. Have had better Imperial Porters. I do appreciate the trade.

 520 characters

Photo of pbarry
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Monk's Kettle.

Imperial porter with vanilla and cocoa beans, the bartender said.

The 8.0% alcohol does a great job providing the backbone, the vanilla is perfectly balanced, the hops are in the background but crucial to the flavor, and the cocoa beans and roasty malt flavors give a perfect sweetness. The only thing I could imagine improving is that the body was a little thin feeling in the mouth, but this doesn't detract from the quality.

 455 characters

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

They call this their "Peak XV" Imperial porter, so I hope I'm drinking the same beer. The bottle, 22 0z. bomber, is incredibly difficult to open. The wax is basically glued to the bottle. AFter that raucus opening session, I got to pour this. It's a beautiful deep mahogany color. The head pours creamy smooth and big, dissipating every so slowly without a lot of lace, but what there is is heavy and thick. Aroma is very robust and carries a lot of the cacao nib they use as a flavoring ingredient. Nice. Flavor starts off loaded with chocolate malt, then evolves into a sharper, more bitter porter. Not getting a lot of vanilla, but plenty of cacao. Finish is long and only slightly bitter, in a good way. This is a hearty ale, though, so only one or two can be had at a time or you'll feel bloated. Fine beer, not a classic or elite ale though. $7.99 is a little pricey. Drink it if you see it around, but don't go out of your way for it.

 941 characters

Photo of popery
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

City Beer Store. 2009 vintage. This beer was a wonderful surprise. Pours wall-to-wall black with a creamy beige head. It packs a lot of flavor. Tons of rich, bittersweet chocolate with some coffee and roast to round things out. Lots of brown sugar and malt sweetness in the aroma, but it's relatively dry for such a big porter with a so much malt flavor. The finish is nicely bitter for a year old beer. Smooth, thick feel without being cloying. There's some great aged dark malt flavor in the year old version I sampled. This version was markedly better than the bourbon barrel-aged.

 584 characters

Photo of gubbt
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with deep red hues around the edges and a thin tan head.

First thing on the nose was tootsie rolls and a touch of smoke. A bit of cinnimon bread arose as it warmed up.

Palate was some slight red berry sweetness on the tip of the tongue upon entry with lots of chocolate sweetness to follow with a slight hint of smoke and roastiness on the finish. Largely sweet, but certainly not cloying.

Mouthfeel was a bit on the light side, but nicely textured and creamy.

I knew nothing about this beer before ordering it and I was very pleasantly surprised. This one was perfect on a cool spring evening and exhibited ample complexity and was just flat out tasty. Great stuff from the folks at Black Diamond. Cheers!

 734 characters

Photo of Nick3
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is dark chocolate brown with a lighter chocolate colored head. Head recedes quickly. Smell is great and is dominated by toffee with notes of caramel and coffee. Taste is similar with a malt backbone and little hops to speak of. Beer is full bodied with a sticky mouthfeel. Drank this down very quickly but it may be a bit to sweet to drink all night.

 355 characters

Black Diamond Imperial Porter from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 27 ratings