97 Bourbon County Brand Stout, Goose Island Brewing Co. (IL) 2008. 13% ABV (1/09)
Opaque brown-black color with a saffron tint and lacy reddish brown color. Intense aromas of vanilla bean, spice, toffee and caramelized roasted nuts follow through on a rich, chewy entry to a dry-yet-fruity full body with delicious toasted raisin bread and dried cherry notes. Finishes with a long, complex, evolving toasted oak fade. A powerful and decadent imperial wood-aged stout.
94 The Abyss, Deschutes Brewery (OR). 11% ABV (1/09)
Inky black-brown color with a copper brown mousse. Melted baker’s chocolate, crème brulée, coffee gelato, roasted pecan and licorice aromas follow through on a satiny smooth entry to a low carbonation, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body with a great plush texture and beautifully integrated flavors. Finishes with a touch of caramelized golden raisins, espresso bean and chocolate-covered orange peel. A gentle giant of a stout.
94 Ryan Sullivan’s Imperial Stout, Moylan’s Brewing Co. (CA). 10% ABV (1/09)
Blackish brown color with a reddish tint and a fine tan mousse. Aromas of Bananas Foster, chocolate soufflé and honeyed raisin bread toast follows through on a silky, smooth entry to a dryish medium-to-full body with lingering charred nut, brown sugar and dried fruit notes. Finishes with chocolate-covered espresso bean, white peppercorn and bitter lemon peel fade. A broad shouldered and lively stout that will shine with grilled meats.
94 Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, North Coast Brewing Co. (CA). 9.9% ABV (12/07)
Brown-black color with a light brown head. Toffee and citrusy, piney hops aromas and flavors with a rich, honeyed, medium full body with great, creamy frothiness. Rich lemon marmalade, celery salt, praline and resiny hops on the finish. A wild and woolly, broad shouldered, richly hopped West coast interpretation of the style that really works.
94 Imperial Stout, Rogue Ales (OR) 2006. 11% ABV (1/09)
Muddy black brown color with a taupe head. Toffee, molasses and black peppercorn aromas have a mossy clay edge and follow through on a rich, chewy entry to a dry-yet-fruity full body with great smoothness, depth and balanced. Finishes with a long, charred nut, bitter chocolate and mossy river stone fade with great astringency.
94 Imperial Chocolate Stout, Rogue Ales (OR). 9.5% ABV (1/09)
Muddy black-brown color with a medium brown head. Aromas of cashew brittle, melted toffee, vanilla custard and crayon follow through on a rich, supple entry to a fruity yet dry full body with fruit cake and delicate spice notes. Finishes with a rich artisanal (Venezuelan?) chocolate fade. A delicious post-prandial treat.
93 Sasquatch Stout, Harmon Brewing Co. (WA). 8.3% ABV (1/09)
Deep brown-black color with a reddish tint and a tan lacy head. Chocolate and roasted pecan aromas follow through on a soft, chewy entry to a dryish, medium-to-full body with toasted coconut and bitter citrus peel notes. Finishes with a long, toasted fruit-nut cake, coffee and molasses fade with balancing astringent hops. A very well-made and satisfying imperial stout.
93 Blackout Stout, Great Lakes Brewing Co. (OH). 9% ABV (1/07)
Dark brown-black color. Sweet fruit, dark caramelized nuts, raisin, aromas follow through to a frothy and crisp dry-yet-fruity medium body of raisin toast, chocolate-covered tangerines and dark caramel flavors with a fruity, tangy and mildly astringent fade. A very lively and fruity stout.
92 Ten Fidy Imperial Stout, Oskar Blues Brewery (CO). 9.5% ABV (1/09)
Muddy black color with a brown tint and frothy medium brown head. Melted chocolate, brown apple and delicate peppery spice aromas follow through on a rich, chewy entry to a dry medium-full body with dark roasted nuts and burnt sugar notes. Finishes with a long chocolate-covered dried peach, sautéed pepper and nut fade. A deliciously rich and chewy stout with great appeal.
92 Sick Duck Imperial Stout, Flyer’s Restaurant & Brewery (WA). 10% ABV (1/07)
Dark ruddy brown color. Dark caramel, sour cream, cocoa and grilled citrus aromas. A smooth and creamy entry leads to a dryish medium body of melted brown sugar, cocoa-dusted citrus and faint spice. Finishes with a tangy, fruity and lightly custardy fade with mild balanced astringency. Very interesting and reminiscent of fresh brownies. Yum.
90 The Midnight Oil Imperial Stout, Bastone Brewery (MI). 8.8% ABV (1/09)
Deep, dark brown color with a wispy tan head. Baker’s chocolate, faint dried cherry and subtle pork fat aromas follow through on a soft, creamy entry to a dryish medium-to-full body with a touch of cherry cider, mashed fig and Brazil nut. Finishes with a smooth, chewy oily fade. Nicely balanced and highly drinkable for an imperial stout.
90 Imperial Stout, Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery (England). 7% ABV (1/09)
Dark brown color with a frothy taupe head. Aromas of melted chocolate, white clay and spicy poached apple follow through on smooth, silky entry to a dryish medium body with roasted almond and roasted pepper notes. Finishes with bitter chocolate-covered sour cherry, dried apple and forest floor fade. A nicely balanced, easy drinking imperial stout.
88 Imperial Stout, North Peak Brewing Co. (MI). 8% ABV (1/09)
Opaque black-brown color with a frothy medium brown color. Chocolate-covered nut and delicate coffee aromas follow through on a satiny, smooth entry to dry medium-to-full body with bitter roasted espresso bean and kiwi notes. Finishes with chocolate-covered lemon rind and nectarine skin fade.
88 Imperial Stout, Bastone Brewery (MI). 9.25% ABV (1/08)
Opaque, dark brown color. Melted dark chocolate and nut bread toast aromas. A lively entry leads to a smooth, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body of creamy cocoa, honeyed nut toast, date and light cappuccino flavors. Finishes with pleasant satisfying super mild citrusy hop fade. A smooth, lighter-styled feminine imperial stout that hides the high alcohol extremely well; pair with grilled game or buffalo burgers.
83 Imperio, Cucapa (Mexico). 8.2% ABV (12/07)
Sweet caramel fudge, spice, hay and dishwater aromas with a sweet and musty character, tangy fruity, burnt marshmallow flavors. Medium full body with a bitter hop finish. Somewhat out of balance, but will be interesting with cheeses.