Sean Coughlin's picture

95 Rating: Declaration by Reformation Brewery

December, 2017
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Declaration is an Imperial Stout (2015 BJCP Category 20C) and is being evaluated as such according to the BJCP guidelines. 

Chocolate heavy aroma with cacao, baker’s chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate morsels.  There is a faint trace of floral hop notes, but this imperial stout is extremely malt forward.  The beer is opaque with a small, creamy khaki head that slowly dies.  The flavor is surprising – dark roasted coffee is dominant and the bitter coffee flavors are offset by some deep caramel malt flavors, akin to raisin and molasses.  Hop bitterness is restrained and just the right amount to balance the beer. 

There is no hop flavor to be found and the finish is slightly sweet, showcasing a long aftertaste of chocolate.  The mouthfeel is rich with a medium-full body and an luxurious creaminess which help hide the beer’s alcohol well.  This is an excellent Imperial Stout that is more English by design compared to American interpretations which can utilize more hop character.  The malt is center stage from start to finish and has wonderful complexity.  The beer could be potentially dangerous due to its drinkability…limit yourself to one bottle per evening!