So I didn't brew the recipe as is, but rather took it and made additions to it to create the perfect stout to fit my taste buds. I added a pound of lactose to the boil, and left it in primary for 4 weeks to make sure it hit final gravity. It went from 1.108 to 1.030 yielding 10.2% ABV. I then transferred it to secondary over an ounce of heavy toast American oak cubes (I pre-boiled them to leach out harsh tannins), 10 oz. of Buffalo Trace bourbon, and half a cup of maple syrup that I had been soaking the oak in. With the addition of the bourbon and the highly fermentable syrup, the final alcohol content should be close to 11%. I let it sit in secondary for about 9 weeks. The day before bottling I cold brewed coffee with a cup of French Roast coffee and 3 cups of water. I also steeped 4 oz. of cacao nibs in the coffee. I added the coffee to my priming solution and boiled the cacao nibs in the solution to further leach chocolate flavor. I am now drinking a bottle of this stout less than two weeks after bottling and it is already nicely carbonated (thanks to the warm climate I live in.) The beer pours pitch black with a small brown head that dissipates quickly, as expected considering the alcohol content. The chocolate and coffee remain in the background with the oak and bourbon playing the dominant role. No maple syrup presence (I later learned that adding maple syrup is not an effective way of achieving maple flavor.) The beer is sweet, but with a bitterness to back it up. There is a subtle warming alcohol presence. The final product is very good, and should only get better with time. Look forward to seeing how this ages. I definitely recommend this kit, either on its own or to use as a base for any imperial stout you want to make.
Reviewed by: Old Site Reviewer from United States.