Peak XV Imperial Porter | Black Diamond Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
75
okay
119 Ratings
THE BROS
64
poor
Read the review
Peak XV Imperial PorterPeak XV Imperial Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Black Diamond Brewing Co.
California, United States
bdbrewing.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A smooth drinking, dark porter brewed with raw cacao nibs and hand-cut Madagascar vanilla beans. Balanced between a coffee-like bitterness and a rich malt character, this ale is deceptively drinkable for an Imperial.

Added by 1759Girl on 08-01-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
119
Reviews:
55
Avg:
3.13
pDev:
27.16%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
13
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 119 |  Reviews: 55
Photo of WAbeerfiend
1/5  rDev -68.1%

Poured into a tulip on 05.30.14.

A: 3 1/2 finger tan head. Midnight black with a lot of red at the bottom.

S: Vanilla bean, but not sweet. It has some funk too.

T: Pickles, vinegar, and funk dominate. Chemical vanilla, cough syrup, and battery acid are more subtle.

O: This was undrinkable on the first sip. It was very sour. Maybe it was infected? Drain pour.

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Photo of TomG2751
1/5  rDev -68.1%

Photo of maximum12
1/5  rDev -68.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to a well-meaning good trader for throwing this into a recent deal.

Unfortunately, this turned into a debacle. After struggling to negotiate the diamond-hard, but pretty, golden wax, the top finally popped off - & out came beer. All over the countertop, floor, my slippers, the bottle, opener, everything. Gusher!

I thought maybe I'd done something, but no. One whiff of this beast verified a serious problem - sour, disgusting, vile fruit flowed up from the neck of the bottle. I even tried to pour it, but got an ounce or two of beer with a full snifter full of angry white foam. A sip or two confirmed a foul infection. My wife took one sniff & refused to let it touch her chaste lips.

Infected. Drain pour. Disappointed, this one sounded good.

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Photo of Overlord
1.26/5  rDev -59.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours brownish black with a gigantic, overflowing, insane head. I mean, it's just ridiculous. I immediately suspected infection. Yeah, it was just starting to take hold. The ten inches of foam per one inch of beer was a light tan.

Smells like roasted malt, slightly sour/infected yeasty coffee, and ... ugh. SMells bad.

Tastes bad, too. Some light fake-y tasting vanilla, a bit of chocolate, but mostly it's an enormous sourish charcoal roasted astringent/acrid mess.

So. carbonated.

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Photo of dvb
1.34/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

Serving Type: 22-ounce bomber purchased at the Olympia, WA Cost Plus World Market.

Appearance: Nice looking beer. Near-black opacity with a tan head that dissipates quickly, but not *too* quickly. This is where the fun ends.

Smell/taste: A few years ago, I made a doppelbock from an extract kit. It was extremely rich, under-attenuated and had a funky aftertaste that I just can't put into words. That's this beer. It smells and tastes just like it. But why does an imperial porter taste like a bad extract kit doppelbock? I don't know; you tell me. This is just bad. Drain pour.

Mouthfeel: It's about what you would expect: thick and sticky. In this case, that is not a good thing.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.34/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: The wax was nearly impenetrable, but after finally getting through it, I popped the cap only to have tan foam come climbing out of the bottle. The pour is a dark brown color with an enormous tan/brown head. Infection?

S: My fears are confirmed on the nose. Slightly acidic roasted malts along with coffee and...peaches. Some other sour fruit notes like lemon and green apple, but the amount of peach aroma is quite startling.

T: It's even worse on the palate. The flavor opens up with broccoli stalks before moving on to the peach flavor. The tartness is subtle, but this is a friggin imperial porter, not an oud bruin. Roasted malts and coffee are still there.

M: The body is light to medium with a high level of carbonation for this style of beer. Most likely a byproduct of the infection.

D: This was just all kinds of bad. I don't have any desire to try this again.

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Photo of LaneMeyer
1.47/5  rDev -53%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Was looking forward to a nice dark dessert type beer. Man was I disappointed. Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A- Pours a deep brown with a one finger, very light tan head

S- Smells of alcohol, vanilla, and chocolate

T- Sickeningly sweet taste, weird blend of vanilla, milk chocolate and medicine. Really nasty after taste of beef jerky mixed with battery acid.

M- well carbonated, watery, thin, not impressed

O- Drainpour.

Gonna have to bust out the Stone RIS I guess...

 479 characters

Photo of djmichaelk
1.5/5  rDev -52.1%

Photo of yeahnatenelson
1.59/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Note: When I got this bottle my assumption was that the gold coating was wax, however I came to learn that it's in fact some kind of resin-based peanut brittle. WTF?

Appearance -- Pours a deep dark brown with ruby highlights and an abundance of foamy, saison-like head. Not bad but...weird. Infected? Big bucks, no whammies...

Smell -- Ruh-Roh. Plastic, coffee, artificial vanilla extract, dark chocolate, tart cherry. Signs point to infected.

Taste -- Fortunately the infection isn't as terribly present as I had initially feared. The principal flavors are ground coffee, well-roasted malt, dark chocolate, and artificial vanilla. Still, the infection is clearly building up with notable industrial plastic flavor and tart cherry. Lasting flavor of coffee grounds, sour cherries, and burnt plastic.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with high carbonation. Dry and tannic in the finish. Also waxy.

Drinkability -- Not great. It seems that, had I drank this when I first got it two months ago, it might have tasted fine, although something tells me I would've have necessarily been bowled over with all of that fake vanilla flavor.

If you have this in your possession, by all means open it now. If not, definitely pass on this one.

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Photo of Ynot2
1.6/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Spent several minutes chipping, cutting, hacking away the plastic waxy coating. Finally found the cap, opened the cap and the suds started pouring out. Poured into a large snifter, had to slow the pour to a trickle due to overflowing head. The head is a light brown or dark beige.

The smell is a coffee and yeast mixed with sour chocolate.

This beer tastes like a cheap imitation vanilla was mixed with 3 day old coffee poured through charcoal. Can't say what the 4th sip tasted like as it was a drain pour.

The mouth was way too light and caronated for a porter.

This was not drinkable.

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Photo of SpdKilz
1.61/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance - After chipping at the damn bottle for a good few minutes trying to open it (note to Black Diamond Brewing Co. - never ever use this material again) the bottle was ready to pour. After reading about infections I was crossing my fingers and hoping for the best but alas, with an extremely mild pour there was five fingers of head with two fingers of beer. Great. Head slowly dissipates and leaves good looking lacing at least. Beer pours a chocolate color with hints of light showing through the edges of the glass.

Smell - Metal, disgusting vanilla extract (again Black Diamond...splurge a bit and use legit vanilla extract not this obvious fake junk), slight coffee, and chocolate, and of course, a distinct infected tartness aroma. I'm in for a treat here aren't I?

Taste - Ug. As the reviewer below me noted, the infection is not horrible in the sense it is the only thing you can taste. Oh no...there is still plenty of gross five day old coffee ground flavor, along with the overbearing artificial vanilla. The infection comes in about midway and continues on to meld ever so nicely with a metallic aftertaste. I've had two sips of this and am about to drain pour it.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, though on the lighter side, insane amount of carbonation, dry, metallic finish.

Drinkability - There is none. I am in the process of drain pouring this. I would say avoid until the next batch to make sure there is no infection, but the artificial vanilla flavor is enough to never make me want to try this again anyways. Yuck.

 1,543 characters

Photo of GabrielM
1.88/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured into a tulip.

A - foam came up right after opening, which isn't a good sign. Massive amount of head on a very delicate pour. Once it settled, the beer looked decent.

S - very faint chocolate, then some raspberry sourness. Things are not looking/smelling good...

T - a ton of carbonation and sweet and bitter fruit taste terrible My palate is tingling, but not in a good way. Definitely infected, which is a shame because an imperial porter brewed with vanilla and cocoa was exactly what I needed tonight. This is far, far from that.

M - way too much carbonation, acidic and sour.

D - I forced down two sips and that's all I can handle.

 649 characters

Photo of surlytheduff
2/5  rDev -36.1%

Photo of rah1734bones
2/5  rDev -36.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2/5  rDev -36.1%

Photo of codsmith
2.12/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Ordered from www.LetsPour.com

A: Pours jet black with a slight off white cream head

Smell and taste reeks of acetaldehyde. Its really great if you love green apples, but it's a major flaw in this beer and had to end up dumping it.

Mouthfeel and taste seems like it has traces of trans-2-nonenal as well.

I was really looking forward to this beer, but was sadly disappointed.

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Photo of gregmoscetti
2.15/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

grabbed a bottle of this mess today at wholefoods in El Segundo. Opened up the wax dipped bottle to the sound of a LOT of carbonation. Knowing the style pretty well, I found that surprising.

Poured dark brown, with about 4 fingers of head on it. Once the head subsided I took a sip of the beer which was now hovering just under cellar temp to find... a terrible beer.

The taste was all too familiar, especially nowadays-- an infected bottle. I dont believe that any brewer these days would knowingly sell a soured beer and not mention it somewhere on the label. This baby was terrible. Tasted dry and chemically. Unnatural flavors beat down the vanilla and chocolate the bottle's label promised me and ended with the flavor of tartness and thin, bubbly mouthfeel that I couldnt stand more than a few sips of. If you're selling this beer, take it off the shelves and send it back to your distributor.

Black Diamond... just one more brewery to fail their quality control and therefore, the consumer. Maybe you dont dip it in wax next time, and instead, taste it first?

Dead to me.

 1,085 characters

Photo of bigred89
2.5/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
2.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

standard 22 ounce bomber
A - a thin looking dark but not black with no head.
S - I don't smell much of the advertised vanilla or chocolate but do detect just a hint of smokiness.
T - malty weakness with no real backbone aside from some sweet smoky flavor.
M - thin, very thin.
D - definitely a one time purchase.
extremely sweet diluted soy sauce anyone?

update:(10-15-2011) I've read from various places that some of these bottles may have been infected.

 456 characters

Photo of twelveinches
2.5/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of Fatehunter
2.66/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Nice finger and half of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is chocolate with a touch of vanilla. It's nice but tough to distinguish any other smells.
Well, this combination of porter, vanilla beans and cacao nibs is a bad idea. There's a bitter/sour/chocolate taste throughout that ruins the whole thing.
The texture is thicker with low carbonation.
Not recommended unless you'd like a sour chocolate porter.

 446 characters

Photo of BottleConditioned
2.7/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Look: nothing special. Weak head.
Nose: hints of over ripe plums. Malty.
Taste: hits up front with a Burnt start. And the after taste evaporates and it feels like water in you moth. Your still left with a burnt taste in your mouth.

Could be great as a cooking beer, less so on the palet.

 288 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.73/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #50 (March 2011):

Faint crackle from the head; dark mahogany color. Aromas are a bit faint—vanilla and cacao nibs are there with yeast, even more faint acrid roasted grain and currants. Vanilla drops some sweetness, and roasty flavors pull on the palate a bit but don’t really flesh out. Yeast tone clashes with the roasted character. Beef broth? The finish becomes a little less desirable with the yeast coming to the forefront as well as a bitter tone from the lingering roasted flavor. A cleanup job is needed here.

 563 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.76/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chocolate smell and more chocolate in the taste. So sweet and flavorful, it's like a chilled mug of cocoa. Rather sweet. An odd aftertaste of some bitterish stuff. Looks nice enough, with coarse bubbles and a copper-tinged brown.

I guess this is one of those love of hate beers. I hate it. The chocolate is so strong, and there just seems to be no actual flavors of malt or hops. The bubbles are pleasant enough. It is well made, and the mouthful of sweet cocoa is a nice enough flavor. But it starts with a smell of potting soil and ends with a harsh bitterness. Good chocolate, though. It needs food to take your mind off the flavor.

From the 22 oz bottle.

 660 characters

Photo of snaotheus
2.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle poured into a large stein. Can't find a best by or bottled on date.

Pours black with a bug luxurious head, which fades very slowly, and is supported by a healthy amount of carbonation. Smell is chocolatey, a little vanilla, yeast.

Taste is chocolatey, vanilla, sweet. Some cherry. Too sweet. I expect a lot more roastiness from a porter. Something about this makes me think of a chocolate soda. It is not bad, but not what I want from a porter.

Mouthfeel is thick but has an oily slickness. Overall, this is not a well conceived beer.

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Peak XV Imperial Porter from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
3.13 out of 5 based on 119 ratings.
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