John C. Tull's picture

Big RICC

October, 2015
Judges Rating: 
71
Aroma: 
15 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
27 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

The aroma is intensely roasty and backed by a huge coffee smell. Vegetable and unroasted coffee aromatics indicate that there may be an infusion of green coffee beans in this beer. Chocolate nibs come through after a little warming in the glass. The color is nearly black, very much opaque, and topped with a very thin head of fine, dark tan bubbles. The flavors are as intense as the aroma: huge roast, significant coffee flavor, and some chocolate mingled in also. A taste of alcohol fusels can be detected, but that is more noticeable in the mouth and throat as a slightly hot finish. The beer is less full than the aroma and appearance might lead you to believe. Overall, the beer does not capture the intensity of rich malt complexity that I have come to expect in an Imperial Stout, which is supposed to serve as the foundation of this style. Instead, that complexity has been substituted with over-the-top aromas and flavors of coffee and chocolate. To me, this is a trade-off that I would rather not have. If you are a big fan of coffee (and to a lesser degree, chocolate), then you may disagree.

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