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Peak XV Imperial Porter | Black Diamond Brewing Co.

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Peak XV Imperial PorterPeak XV Imperial Porter
BA SCORE
3.29/5
Okay
119 Ratings
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
55
Ratings:
119
pDev:
25.53%
Bros Score:
2.73
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
13
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 119 |  Reviews: 55
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
2.5/5  rDev -24%
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 Nordbier
3.85/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of doughanson78
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of kornkid8600
4/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of kaseydad
3.92/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Put this in the cellar for a few months. Here goes....

Pours a dark brown color with a beige head that dissapates rather quickly leaving a small ring around the glass. No lacing.

Nice vanilla in the aroma. Getting quite a bit of that with some good cocoa whiffs and chocolate. Dark fruit too.

The taste is rather sweet with more vanilla shining through and a tobacco/dark chocolate aftertaste. Some wood as well.

Nothing earth shattering in the mouthfeel.

Overall I liked this. I know it gets some rather low scores, but I enjoyed this session. My bottle had a very pronounced vanilla and cocoa flavor that worked well. Maybe living so close to the brewery did this. I dunno. Whatever it was....me likey.

 709 characters

Photo of sendsilk
3.75/5  rDev +14%

Photo of yeahnatenelson
1.59/5  rDev -51.7%
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.

 1,236 characters

Photo of cam477
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of casapy
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.72/5  rDev +13.1%
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

Photo of elglueckert
4/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bigeyedfish89
3.75/5  rDev +14%

Photo of DaveHS
3.63/5  rDev +10.3%
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 Jeffreysan
4.34/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with an eighth of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Awesome! Massive, rich, complex, earthy, inviting aromas of dark chocolate and roasted malt, bready and a touch musty, as well as strong aromas of vanilla, brown sugar, dark molasses, licorice, and candied sugar. There are also quite a lot of aromas of woody, boozy bourbon. Seductive, really.

Taste: Wow! Absolutely delicious! Strong, massive really, flavors of rich, complex, earthy, bready, roasted malt up front, imparting touches of smoke and a hint of licorice, followed by tons of dark chocolate, brown sugar-like sweetness, hits of vanilla, touches of oak and quite a bit of boozy bourbon, which imparts a slight harshness that is just a touch off-putting, but doesn’t take away from the rest of the beer’s incredibly awesome flavors!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and surprisingly, nicely effervescent, as there is much more carbonation that I’m used to with an imperial porter. With an ABV of 8.5%, there is a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is an awesome beer! Almost World-Class, in fact. The only thing keeping it from being World-Class in my opinion is that slight bourbon/alcohol harshness that accompanies the other awesome flavors. I’m sure that I find it harsh because I’m not really a bourbon fan as I find most bourbon harsh. However, I’m sure fans of bourbon will really like this and consider it a World-Class beer. Highly, highly recommended!

 1,658 characters

Photo of SweetwaterTuonker
3.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Kevlee722
3.45/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into tulip glass. Big black body, nice one finger of tan head. Small amount of lace. Nose is light bourbon, caramel, vanilla and chocolate.
Taste is much the same with a large toasty character, big bold flavors but nothing too amazing. The roasted flavor takes over from the faint notes of oak and vanilla.
The mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style, but the carbonation plays nicely on the palate. Not thick and chewy like an IRS, but definitely appropriate for the style. The boldness of the flavor doesn't really match the thin mouthfeel.
A pretty decent offering from Black Diamond. Pretty drinkable and tasty but nothing worth searching too hard for. One of those brews where if you see it, grab it, but not worth hunting down.

 745 characters

Photo of MarioM
3.75/5  rDev +14%

Photo of mbeerdino21
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Lagerquestrian
3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of mpenning13
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of seand
3.1/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a very dark opaque brown, with a huge amount of tan head. Head retains pretty well (actually too well, given how much of it results from even a gentle pour), leaving some lacing.

S: Roasted malts, some vanilla, just a touch of funky sourness.

T: Thick roasted malt again, with a slightly chemically vanilla note. The rating here is a bit difficult because there's some interesting flavors and they may have achieved what they wanted, but the mix doesn't really work for me.

M: Medium body, with a thick finish, medium carbonation.

D: So-so drinkability due to the odd flavor mix.

 592 characters

Photo of DMc8ride
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Brihon
3.64/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Philousa
2.8/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep brown, almost black in appearance with little tan head. Dark, chocolatey malt in the nose with vanilla wafting over and some cocoa lingering underneath. Taste starts thick with caramel then dark chocolate kicks in and vanilla does what it can to lighten up the flavor profile and balance the heavier flavors. No hops to speak of. This is thicker than most porters, doesn't make my mouth water like usual.

I was expecting more of an alcohol kick in the nose or flavor, which I think could have gone a long way to balance the flavor a bit. While Flying Dog's imperial porter burns your throat with alcohol taste, Peak XV becomes too sweet to handle over a full glass, let alone a bomber. The interesting start fizzled into sweetness after half of a pint.

 759 characters

Photo of archyquaffer
4/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is just a plain old bomber with no goofy, faux-elegant wax seal. A moderate pour from a bomber into a schooner glass produces a short but sticky and creamy looking pale brown head. The beer is a very dark ruddy brown that barely admits a beam from a Mini Maglite. It is not highly carbonated and has a very subdued head.

Lots of dark fruit, chocolate and vanilla in both the aroma and flavor. The vanilla is especially noticeable in the flavor, while the chocolate is more apparent in the aroma. A very nice melding of the chocolate and vanilla with dark cherry and plum flavors and plenty of residual sweetness evokes a chocolate covered cherry. There's a bit of coffee, and some earthy hop bitterness there as well and perhaps a little smoke along with some very mellow roasted flavors. The mouth feel is creamy and fairly heavy, but appropriate for the style. The alcohol is well hidden (though the effects may not be upon reaching the bottom!).

Judging by past bad reviews, they must have improved this beer. This particular version is borderline excellent provided you like a good dessert beer. The chocolate covered cherry flavor would be very appropriate for Christmas Eve. I'm enjoying this one on New Year's Eve 2014, while the bubbly gets cold on the porch.

I purchased the 22 ounce bomber for about 7 bucks at the Hennesey Grocery in Butte, Montana.

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Peak XV Imperial Porter from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.29 out of 5 with 119 ratings
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