Peak XV Imperial Porter | Black Diamond Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
75
okay
118 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:
118
Reviews:
55
Avg:
3.13
pDev:
27.16%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
13
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 118 |  Reviews: 55
Photo of jrsqc7
3.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep opaque brown with medium to small head which vanishes and leaves no lacing.

Taste is... convoluted. Vanilla and hops with a bombastic alcohol and hops finish. Malts are present but muddled by the cocoa and vanilla. Taste improves after warming up.

Good but flawed.

 282 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Augustgarage, thanks for another good one. Fresh yet lactic. Big head on black body. Some roast, malt, sourish. Not bang on the imperial porter style, as it advertises,and consistent with the high abv, though works better as a regular porter.Sourness and lactic affects drinkability, better at room temperature.

 323 characters

Photo of robgage
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Keith_R
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of DrBier
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Kramerwtmf
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of mbeerdino21
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of flexabull
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a pretty good white head.

Aromas are of cocoa, light vanilla, some coffee and cream. Smells good, but a little bit unnatural.

Taste is not as strong as I thought it might be. Soft and creamy up front, cocoa, and hints of vanilla. Finish is crisp, with some warmth and a really roasted malt character.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, smooth, and actually a touch light.

Drinkability is not bad. It's a pretty good porter, doesn't seem like an "imperial" beer though.

I wonder if this is a reworked batch, no wax, and isn't nearly as bad as prior reviews suggest.

 590 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of zeff80
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of robertsp
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of jricharc
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of fountainofyouth
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of WorldWideStout
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pretty much straight brown, translucent body. Two fingers of head that quickly recede without a trace.

S: Some lightly roasted notes along with dark chocolate. Not getting much in the way of vanilla, but perhaps a touch of dark fruit at the end of the sniff.

T: The first few sips were marvelous. Starts off with roastiness that is joined in the middle by vanilla. Vanilla, that contrary to a few other reviews, I find to be quite pleasing, and not artificial-tasting at all. Dark chocolate comes in at the end of the sip. 4.5

As I continue to drink, the beer does become a bit cloying, which surprised me, as it really didn't strike me as that sweet initially. The individual flavors fall away and are replaced with just a general sweetness, though I do start to get a little bit of smoke at the end. 3.5

M: Could be a tad thicker and less carbonated, but I don't think the mouthfeel clashes with the rest of the beer.

O: I'm not quite sure what to say. I really enjoyed the first third or so of the beer, and had I shared the bottle with a few friends, I probably would have given this beer very high scores. I guess some more roastiness to tone down the sweetness would be good. The vanilla and cocoa nibs were excellently integrated when I could taste them individually.

 1,282 characters

Photo of mpenning13
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of drinkin-beeers
3.51/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of rbail012
3.53/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich, nearly black hue which lets ruby through when held up to the light. Head is two fingers of pillowy tan foam which leave a nice lace on the glass. Not bad!

Smell: malty, chocolatey aroma which has an edge of harshness to it. There is vanilla in there, which might contribute to the harsh edge, but overall I think it's actually an interesting and intriguing aroma.

Taste: vanilla and chocolate definitely play a part here, but at least some of the chocolate seems malt-derived. There's a bit of a vegetal edge toward the end, which is unwelcome but is part and parcel with most dark beers. Bitterness is a bit harsh, possibly do to both spicing and dark malts.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body with a good carbonation and concomitant creaminess. I like it!

Overall: this is a somewhat bizarre porter, but I kind of like it. The vanilla adds something which I appreciate.

 932 characters

Photo of popery
3.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

These Black Diamond imperial porters have been all over the place for me. I loved the normal keg version, disliked the barrel-aged one and this bottle is just pretty good, so far. The beer pours a very, very dark ruby, essentially black, though it's just barely transparent with enough light and some color is evident. The head is creamy and beige. A morass of fine bubbles. The aroma improves significantly as it warms up to room temperature. Roasted malt, vanilla and chocolate fight it out for domination. I like it, particularly the vanilla, but there's a funny lactic note hanging around that nearly spoils the party. The flavor also suffers from this nearly sour note. I appreciate this flavor in some porters, but it's just holding back the richer flavors here. Chocolate and roasted notes seem poised in the background, but they don't come off nearly as creamy and rich as they should. Carbonation is also a problem. I would have preferred much gentler carbonation. It gets better if you let it sit, but the fizziness robs the beer of the thick, creamy feel that I got from the old keg version. I like this beer, but it's kind of a let-down. That said, I appreciate seeing a bolder bottled beer from Black Diamond and hope that they keep it up.

 1,252 characters

Photo of kwjd
3.61/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with tan head. Smell has lots of chocolate and roasted malt, but there is a lactic flavour in there. I get some coffee in the aftertaste more than upfront. I think bottle may be slightly off, but it could be what the brewer intended. It was still fine though.

 278 characters

Photo of DaveHS
3.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep, dark brown with ruby highlights. The inch or so of dark tan head has plenty of sticky retention, and will leave a ring on the glass with each sip. Rich aromas of chocolate mousse, dry drinking chocolate mix, vanilla bean, earthy malts, coffee and molasses. The nose really opens up after it's been sitting for a few minutes. Alternating flavors of sweet and roasted malts are up front, followed by the vanilla and chocolate. All well balanced flavors held together by bold carbonation. The mouthfeel is full bodied and smooth, with a lingering finish. A little heavy for everyday drinking, but something nice to have with some dry roasted nuts or a slice of German chocolate cake.

 692 characters

Photo of Brihon
3.64/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tjfinkle
3.65/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into tulip

Appearance- Very deep dark brown with light brown head, about one finger, two, three... oh crud I apparently forgot how to pour and did I mention that this is going into a new glass that I forgot to clean... whoops (the second pour I managed to remember how to pour a beer and still had a finger of fluffy head)

Smell - Roasted Coffee malts with some vanilla and leather

Taste - Again, coffee malts and vanilla initially with some dark fruits on the finish. The finish is a little harsher than I would have hoped.

Mouth- Adequate mouth feel, but you do notice the alcohol, also would say there is a bit too much carbonation for a beer of this style

Drink-Adequate beer, but again the finish is kind of harsh and not as balanced as I would hope. I assume from the waxish substance on the cap that this beer is intended to be cellared and I would not be surprised if over time it mellowed out a bit.

 928 characters

Photo of elektronen
3.69/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.72/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Even at fridge temperature, this pours with a voluminous tan head with big round bubbles no matter how gently it is poured from the bottle. Body is black, dark brown at the edges. You have to wait awhile for this to settle. Sticky head retention, leaves chunks of lacing on the glass.

Sweet smells of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, hay, and a little funk.

Taste follows the nose, but the high carbonation level gets in the way. At first, there is some sweet but roasted maltiness with a little bite to it, then some chocolate and vanilla followed by a dry, bitter, espresso coffee finish that ends up with a little acidic fruitiness as the palate recovers. Takes a minute or two for all this to happen.

Body is light and the carbonation is way high. Really gives the palate a scrubbing.

Requires some patience to drink this beer, as the carbonation just won't die easily, but it is a tasty brew if you allow time for the carbonation to exit and the brew to open up. I would imagine it would be much more mellow and smoother on tap.

 1,036 characters

Peak XV Imperial Porter from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
3.13 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
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