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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 118 |  Reviews: 55
Photo of jmdrpi
4.06/5  rDev +29.7%
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.

 376 characters

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.

 760 characters

Photo of n2185
4.04/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not for sure why this beer has such relatively low scores, but I enjoy it. Nice mix of vanilla and bitter cacao. The body is a little thin, but that's about the worst that I can say about it.

 193 characters

Photo of zekeman17
4.18/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.25/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of twelveinches
2.5/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.25/5  rDev +3.8%

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 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 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 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 lillitnn92
4.25/5  rDev +35.8%

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.

 549 characters

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 Keith_R
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of CoryR
4/5  rDev +27.8%

Photo of aquazr1
3.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

 486 characters

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 robgage
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Kramerwtmf
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of jmccraney
4/5  rDev +27.8%

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
2.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

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 Nordbier
3.85/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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