Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)

22 oz bottle from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. 2009 bottling from earlier this year.
Been holding on to this for a few months, tonight was the night to crack it open. Into the Terrapin snifter in a number of pours.
Simple stuff on the pour; black as night, mocha head, medium in size. Simple and as expected.
Nose at first gives a bready like aroma but this soon gives way to a quite aggressive, medicinal hop base against a background of a touch of solvent alcohol.
This beer drinks very harshly despite the few months of age on it. Light alcohol solvent, mild burn on the way down and a very strong, medicinal, hop-resin type taste that sits poorly with me. Ultimately this is an extrememely bitter beer which surprised me a bit. Smuttynose often brews better, more rounded beer. This was just astringent and lacked any degree of subtlety.
A touch hot (which I can handle), but to be honest the greenish, raw hop profile really turned me off. American Double Stout in my book, MUCH more so than a sweeter, more rounded RIS. For that reason, although the beer is certainly not *bad* as such, it was disappointing. Quite a lot of citrus grapefruit bitterness which I thought may have subsided a bit since bottling. Quite harsh.
If you are looking for a RIS in the classic, sweeter, English origin mold, then this is NOT it.

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11/20/2009
Format:
bottle
ABV: 9.8 %
Appearance: 4
Taste: 3
Mouthfeel: 3.5
Smell: 3.5
Overall: 2.5
Total: 3.1
Series Name:
Year:

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