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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 creez
4/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of twelveinches
2.5/5  rDev -24%

Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
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 bona2vada
4.5/5  rDev +36.8%

Photo of drabmuh
2.83/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer tastes like a wet dog. Seriously disgusting, on draft at the Meridian pint, serve in a pint glass.

Beer is black / brown, hazy with a thin tan head, moderate to low carbonation, low retention, minimal lacing, looks fine.

Aroma is a little sweet, a little vanilla, a little malt, minimal roast.

Beer is light in body, watery and thin, the midpalate opens up to this wet wool / dog bathwater sort of flavor that makes me want to stop drinking immediately. So I do.

 475 characters

Photo of kornkid8600
4/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of fountainofyouth
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of kchannel9
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of sponger
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of bigred89
2.5/5  rDev -24%

Photo of RojoPeligroso
4/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of Siggy125
3.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 4oz taster glass from 22oz bottle. Dark cola color with khaki head, lots of it. Heavy carbonation, lingered for quite a while then finally faded with decent lacing.

Pleasant notes of vanilla and some burnt black coffee on the nose. Fairly typical porter aroma profile, no big surprises here.

Coffe more prominent in the taste, Vanilla very faint, but just enough to remind you it's in there. The malts remind me more of a solid brown ale rather than a porter. As it warms, I get a warm booziness which tastes a bit like it was barrel aged, hmmm.

Not a beer that I would chase after for more, but I enjoyed it enough to finish the whole bottle myself. Solid porter with an interseting profile.

 709 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

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Photo of WorldWideStout
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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 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 LaneMeyer
1.47/5  rDev -55.3%
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 BeerAdvocate
2.73/5  rDev -17%
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 maximum12
1/5  rDev -69.6%
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.

 760 characters

Photo of duluoz
3.75/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer appears to have taken a beating on reviews of an earlier batch of infected bottles. I just had one that was fine, so I'll chime in.

A - Very nice black to dark brown and a light head with minimal lacing after a vigorous pour. Looks like a Porter.

S - Sweet vanilla over roasted malt, some chocolate and coffee.

T - Starts out great, with the same flavors from the aroma blending very nicely, but gets a tad sweet towards the end. As it warmed up and the vanilla shone through even more, it verged on cloying.

M - Kind of thin, but not bad. Carbonation was there, but appropriately in check.

All in all a good Porter, and it could be really good if they rounded out the body a bit and downplayed the vanilla a touch.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.95/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is a very dark brown with auburn highlights on the fringes. A slight, thin filmy tan head sits upon the viscous pour. Aromas of coffee and milk chocolate, with barrel/vanilla scents, also. The beer initially tastes smokey, with underlying dark chocolate and heavy roasted
coffee. Sweet caramel and vanilla essence sneaks in at the end, especially after the beer has had a chance to warm and settle. Very smooth and creamy body helps to carry the bitterness that the chocolate and coffee
flavors leave. Leaves a slight lacing on the glass as you drink, but not overly thick; usually expect a little bit more body from a Porter. The aftertaste is slightly bittersweet, and a littly boozy. Crisp, bittering finish that begs for more. Tasty brew, and would be amazing on a cold day. I would be willing to bet this would age well, also.

 881 characters

Photo of flexabull
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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 Ynot2
1.6/5  rDev -51.4%
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.

 593 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
1.61/5  rDev -51.1%
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 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

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