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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
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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
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Ratings: 119 |  Reviews: 55
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2/5  rDev -39.2%

Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired at a local beer store for $6.49. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Expectations are above average; I really liked this brewery's IPA and I'm a big fan of vanilla porters. Although current ratings are quite low.

Served after a warming period after being taken out of the refrigerator. I was looking over the current reviews and noted a tendency toward infection, so I braced myself for beer surging...

...and luckily there was none. I guess other reviewers had waxed caps? Mine is standard, no wax, and there are no surging issues.

A: Pours a half finger khaki-tan colour head of lackluster cream, decent thickness, and bad retention (<30 seconds). Colour is a solid dark black (not quite jet black). Nontransparent / opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks okay for the style.

Sm: Cocoa, booze, artificial vanilla, overdone malt sweetness, and roast. Not real well balanced. Victory At Sea this is not. I'd even go so far as to say there's a hint of whiskey. An average strength aroma.

T: Artificial vanilla up front carries into the second act and then dies at the midpoint. The bitter roast keeps going, though, even overstaying its welcome through the finish. Quite imbalanced. Dark malts form the unobtrusive foundation. Strangely sweet on the open. A bit of alcohol is evident on the climax. I get oak more than chocolate; in fact chocolate is eerily missing. Frankly, this is just a simple two note beer: first half - vanilla; second half - untamed roast. To be constructive, the vanilla isn't bad up front; in fact, this wouldn't be too bad if the whole profile was just that surging vanilla cream.

Mf: Creamy up front, but it hits the brakes when it delves into the third act's dryness and coarseness. Doesn't really suit the flavours, though it mirrors their imbalance. Carbonation is slightly high. Thickness is good.

Dr: There are good elements here, but the balance is just off. I have faith this brewery could fix make this into a great beer with some work; the vanilla does work well here. All things considered, though, it's quite a disappointment. Might be better on-draught. I'll be sticking to Victory At Sea for my imperial porter fix, but this wasn't an awful effort from Black Diamond, and the price could be worse.

C

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Photo of zeff80
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of DrBier
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of mactrail
2.76/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of Slatetank
3.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I poured this slightly colder than chilled into a nonic, the bomber was shared with Kasey.

The color is dark walnut brown with light tan cap with fine bead and spotty lace pattern is left on the glass. The smell is mildly vanilla with some light cocoa and subtle toasted accent in the nose. The feel is not especially great, but it does have a light nuttiness with subtle tannin from the nibs and mild yeast element which adds to the tanginess and moderate carbonation with some dry aspects in the finish with low alcohol presence.

The flavor is lacking in the respect that the yeast tanginess is out of place, perhaps it is a tannin from the cacao nib but the vanilla and malt suffers in the taste as a result and it is not a flavor that you want to linger since it has a vegetal element that doesn't meld well with the mild toasted malt flavors. overall it is a good beer but not great considering what what into it. I won't say I wouldn't get it again because overall this wasn't terrible, but it is not the first vanilla bean and cacao nib beer I would reach for if you know what I mean.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.34/5  rDev -59.3%
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.

 876 characters

Photo of 22Blue
3.96/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 22 ounce bottle. Pours almost black with a decent tan head. Aroma of malt, chocolate, and vanilla. Taste is roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and some coffee. Hides the 8% very well. Nice

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Photo of a77cj7
4.25/5  rDev +29.2%

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.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.75/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown with brown highlights that had a finger of fluffy head and left nice blotchy lacing sticking to the glass. The nose was pretty decent consisting of coffee chocolate aromas with some roastiness but had faint grain, vanilla, and cocoa notes as well. The flavor was roasty coffee chocolate upfront with cocoa vanilla accents but had slight malty, booze, and grain notes. The brew was medium body with too much carbonation which had a roasty, sweet, and slight creamy finish. It drank really well but was overly carbonated and made it little hard to actually enjoy the full flavor of the beer on every sip.

 622 characters

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 bigred89
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.

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Photo of BillRoth
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Latarnik
3/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of Zorro
3.43/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear dark brown colored beer with a tall light brown colored head. Extremely strong head formation took 15 minutes to feel the glass.

Smells sweet with a strong aroma of patent malt. Detectable ethanol and a faint carrot stick hop scent along with a fair amount of coffee scent.

Starts out neutral sweet and strong on the patent malt. This is a beer very big on the patent malt and it pretty much is the only flavor here. Slight chocolate but this beer is all roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is good.

This is pretty much a one-flavor beer; patent malt isn't enough to interest me for that long.

 591 characters

Photo of wrightst
3.75/5  rDev +14%

Photo of DucksFan16
3.93/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jmdrpi
4.06/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. cool label, but no date.

appears not quite black, dark brown in the corners. cream colored head. big milk chocolate aroma, very nice.

slightly sweet chocolate flavor in the taste, a touch of caramel. balanced by a bittersweet dry finish. smooth velvety mouthfeel, medium thickness, lower carbonation.

overall - very good, maybe could just be a bit thicker.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.18/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Jeez, guys, I get it. You can put wax on your caps. But seriously, it's unnecessary for a crown capped bottle, and whatever you're using is ridiculously difficult to remove.

When I finally do extricate the beer from the shattering plastic of the cap, it fizzes violently, leaving an obscenely large, overcarbonated head a good 4 inches high, above a dark reddish black coloured body. Head is quite a deep beige colour, but is far too big - even a gentle pour gives me something I need to wade through to get to the actual beer.

Decent dark characters on the nose, with a sweet vanilla note that is almost unfortunately wiped out with a faintly vinous acidic presence. I think there's something funky going on here, because underlying everything are these very pleasant choc-vanilla notes that scream as though they want to come through as soft and sweet. But the acidity ruins it.

The acidity is less pronounced on the palate, but it does feel like there's something skewed a little weirdly here too. Fortunately, the pleasant nutty and vanilla characters stream through more robustly here, especially on the back, leaving a round and sweet afterpalate. Through the centre, there is a rather pleasant dollop of roasted, charred grain bitterness which adds some depth to the palate. Feel is a little thin for such a strong flavoured beer, but it's not too bad.

There's something a little off about this beer overall, and even if it got everything right, it wouldn't be a stellar example of a flavoured American Porter. But it's drinkable enough. More like credible homebrew than credible commercial craft though.

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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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