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Phil Farrell's picture

Seven Summits

March, 2016
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

This beer pours the darkest brown imaginable (almost pitch black) and is opaque. A low, brown head is very thick and creamy with great retention. The bubbles don’t lace the glass, however there are legs that form from the liquid when you tilt the glass. A very complex and rich aroma assails my nostrils. Roast coffee, dark chocolate and dark fruit initially are discovered, and sweet, clean alcohol is evident right from the start.  As it starts to open up, the coffee becomes more of an acrid, earthy, artisan-style espresso shot with baker’s chocolate sprinkled on top. I don’t specifically smell any hop aroma but there is enough going on to keep my nose entertained. Like the hop aroma, I can’t specifically say what are specifically esters and what are specifically malt-derived dark fruit notes. Either way, I smell plums, raisins and dried cherries, which are very pleasant all the way around. This beer is as strong as it smells. Sweet alcohol with coffee and lots of dry chocolate hit the palate initially. The dark fruit hits in the second wave of flavors and features everything you get from the aroma. There is some sweetness – a combination of the flavors rather than specifically elevated sweetness levels. Ths beer features a very bitter finish from the roast and hops, and chocolate, acrid roast and raisins linger in the long aftertaste. The alcohol character is very strong, creating a warmth that borders on hot. This Imperial Stout features a very full body with medium carbonation, and there's an elevated astringency from the combination of the bittering hop and roast. Despite that, the fullness leaves an impression of creaminess. This is a very tasty Imperial Stout. All of the elements are there with roast and alcohol being the most prevalent. The result is a very strong and complex Imperial Stout that will please those people who like beers with lots of roast and a strong alcohol component.