bender (293) - Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA - JAN 24, 2003
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark, dark ruby body with a tan, milkshake-like head. No lacing.
Smells very malty and rich. A hint of sourness. I think there's a little hint of smoke in the aroma too.
Taste is malty at first, a huge hit of hops and then a powerful alcohol finish. Very warming but things seem out of balance.
Palate is a bit rough. Heavy alcohol left as aftertaste that almost coats the mouth..
edden (926) - cow- lumbus, Ohio, USA - JAN 24, 2003
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
1/24/03: bottle. very full rocky head, dark cream in color. head quickly diminishes to a flat but present ring of bubbles. no lacing. deep roasted coffee nose with a hint of tin. somewhat sweet taste, with lots of malt. i definitely taste the alcohol here! also a bit watery- or thin tasting. this beer does not have a very refreshing aftertaste.
Linc (737) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JUN 6, 2003
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Deep red/black, voluminous though shortlived head. Volatile banana/choc aroma. Initially too volatile to enjoy but, after some breathing, chocolate flavour predominates nicely. There is still a bit too much overripe banana presence, thin body doesn't help.
Dalle (1145) - Skørping, DENMARK - JUN 12, 2003
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Light brown head and black colour. Sweet aroma with notes of coffe and liquorice. Taste is rather sweet again with hints of coffee and liquorice (also raisins plus ryebread?). Not much bitterness in the finish. Easy drinking but a little too much sweetness.
nick35 (12) - USA - JUN 18, 2003
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Reminded me of a simple sweet stout. Not much complexity--gulpable. A good beginner's introduction to Porter, but not quite the real thing.
lipskin (38) - Youngstown, Ohio, USA - JUL 19, 2003
2.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Aroma is burnt bread, wine, and alcohol. Average tan head, mostly diminishing. It has a nice dark color with a hint of red. Kind of bitter. I can taste bananas and alcohol. Medium body. Finish is dry and slightly acidic. It's terribly average and I won't be going out of my way to get this one.
willblake (2626) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - APR 25, 2004
2.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle, 04.25.04. Pours thick looking and nearly black; medium brown head that lingers and coats with lace. Aromas are sweet, dark maple syrup, raisin, dried cherries, roadwork, rich, ripe wines. No alcohol on nose. Disappointingly, I get no feeling that I should be expecting an unctuous Baltic brew. Flavor seems to lose alot of the aroma's sweetness, but a burnt, slightly smokey edge takes its place. Wine-like tanins come into play across the middle of the flavor and palate. Palate is murky, dry, and somewhat muddled. Lots of raisin, including a tart finish. I wish there was a bit more sweetness to round this beer out at the end; still a pretty tasty brew even if it is dishevelled. (later) As the beer warms, an unpleasant, lingering astringency evolves from the tartness. However, the wine-like qualities of the nose and front really shine to make this, if nothing else, an interesting beer. Still, I am let down by this beer that I was really looking forward to tasting.
Skip (206) - Indiana, USA - MAY 2, 2004
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark brown with some red shown under light. The aroma is malt with a hint of licorice. The taste was initially that of a pleasant coffee followed quickly by the bittering hops and a sweet chocolate aftertaste. Thick tan head and active carbonation.
thegreenrooster (2982) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - SEP 10, 2004
2.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours a very jet black with a nice size tan head. Aroma is very weak and the flavor is weak as well. You get some coffee and chocolate in there but nothing that knocks you off your chair. Good look to this one but it is low on flavor.
Cobra (1100) - In a van, down by the river, Maryland, USA - NOV 11, 2004
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
16.9 fl oz. 500 ml. brown stubby bottle. Best before date of 7-14-05. Product of Russia. I believe this is my first Russian beer. Anyway, it poured out a deep mahogany-chocolate brown color, with a tan colored head. Very thick and sticky. The head slid down the sides of the glass slowly. Aromas are of roasted espresso coffee beans, slight licorice, some oak barrel in the mix also. Wafts of vanilla greet the nose as well. Tastes are of dark, bittersweet chocolate, coffee beans, rich malts, and a background of bitterness. Medium mouthfeel, decent carbonation. Not overpowering with the anise flavors, like so many other porters. Decently balanced, somewhat fruity finish to it.
A decent Russian beer by anyone’s standards.