Thornbridge Saint Petersburg Imperial Stout. This is my 'go-to' Imperial Stout as it's pretty widely available. Thick, dark black, all the elements are there, coffee, chocolate, roasted malts etc. 8/10.
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.
Like a beefed up stronger version of the standard Guinness, which I also enjoy from time to time. I probably lose craft-beard-nerd points for this but it's pretty decent I think. I'd like to taste this next to the Belgian export version to see the difference. 7/10.
Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter.
So rich and strong but smooth and velvety. Love it. 9/10.
I think it was probably unfair to compare it to the others, as being a sweet milk stout, it's a different beast. But this did nothing for me and tasted bland in comparison to what I was looking for. 6/10.
De Molen Rasputin.
This is more like it, roasted espresso, intense, jet black, bitter dark chocolate, ooft it's good! I love everything from this brewery I've tried too, you just need take out a mortgage to buy it. 9/10.
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. Yep, this did the job too. I'm running out of descriptions for this kind of beer, but it's those roasted malts again, fruit cake, sweet and bitter. 8/10.
Siren / De Molen Empress Stout. This has black pepper in it, and I'm not normally a fan of beer with extra stuff in it. You can taste there's another element in it but on a blind tasting I wouldn't have guessed it as black pepper. Interesting but not a favourite. 6/10.
Thornbridge Wild Raven. I crowbarred this beer in but it doesn't really fit, being a black IPA. It's a very decent beer though. 7/10.
I continued with another tasting session...
The Kernel Export Stout London 1890.
This is so gorgeous, silky, velvet, pitch black. A very good one. 9/10
Unfortunately, it was so good that all the others I sampled afterwards paled in comparison.
Arbor Breakfast Stout tasted weak and watery. 5/10.
I just didn't rate the others much above average; Sierra Nevada Stout and Porter, and even a usual favourite, Odell Cutthroat Porter couldn't compare. (All 6/10).
So my favourites were Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter, De Molen Rasputin and The Kernel Export Stout London 1890.