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RATINGS: 73   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.67   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This little beauty will keep Oleg and his huskies warm against the bitter Ural wind. Russian Imperial Stout is a variety of British stout brewed considerably richer and stronger than the norm. Originally crafted for export to czarist Russia, Catherine the Great, among others, was a known enthusiast.

First, YEM is dark. Dark, dark, dark. When you get your nose down to the rim of the beautiful teardrop glass, on that reddish-brown, lacy head of foam, you will pick up some strong aromatics of chocolate, alcohol and black fruit. Or maybe it’s red fruit, I don’t know. I’m on my third glass already.

The brilliance of its composition becomes clear at first taste, where a deep bass of very rich, sweet chocolaty flavor gives over to high notes of elevated alcohol and then decrescendos to a slight bitterness from highly-roasted malts. If you’re better at this than I am, you may detect some hop flavor-we used British Northdown. Continuing its articulate arpeggio across your palate, YEM trills notes of vanillin, hints of bourbon and oak, and an enchanting tannic note of red wine, with a smooth, creamy licorice flavor that coats without cloying. A final improvised splash of cherry-ish fruit grabs for your attention before a ridiculously long, lingering, espresso-roasted finish.

YEM has been aged since early September in a variety of oak barrels, both American oak from Jack Daniels, and French oak from Cognac used for barrel-aging pinot noir, before being blended back together. It exhibits great complexity contributed by tannins, toasted oak, and oxidation which complement the myriad flavors of malt and alcohol. Several small kegs of unblended, pinot noir barrel-aged YEM will be released at a later date. When? We’ll keep you guessing. It is 10.5% ABV, and quite beguiling for its richness. So please enjoy responsibly.


3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ernest (6538) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - APR 5, 2015
Bottle (Nov 2014 bottling). Head is initially small, frothy, brown, mostly diminishing. Body is black (opaque, flashlight tested). Aroma is moderately to heavily malty (melted chocolate / fudge, caramel, roasted grain), lightly hoppy (grapefruit), with notes of vanilla, blackberry syrup, whisky/bourbon, alcohol, oak, peanut butter, cocoa butter. Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter. Medium to full body, creamy/oily texture, soft/lively carbonation, moderately alcoholic. The name is just as awkward as Evil Twin’s "I Love You With My Stout", although this one here has been around a lot longer so I guess it wins in some sense. Surprisingly good...and I say that not because Cambridge is hit-and-miss (true), but because I usually hate bourbon barrel aged stouts. Usually the corny bourbon character clobbers everything else (which is what I think most beer bros actually prefer), but not so here...this has all sorts of enticing things in the nose and they integrate very well...never does any one thing stick its head too far above the rest. It’s a bit too sweet for my liking, but the alcohol is hidden quite well and it’s remarkably easy to drink...almost too easy. Good stuff.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
drfabulous (4484) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - MAR 13, 2015
22 ounce bottle from The Beer Trappe. Big dark pour. Slightly boozy nose. Big dark fruit notes with chocolate and bourbon. Very taste.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ratman197 (10640) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - MAR 9, 2015
Bomber poured a clear dark reddish brown with a small lasting brown head. Aromas of roasted malt, dark chocolatelight bourbon and light oak. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of bitter chocolate, roasted malt, light bourbon and light oak with a smooth lingering chocolate finish.

2.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
malrubius (1988) - Springfield, Vermont, USA - FEB 4, 2015
Bottle from Table & Vine. Black with fizzy brown head that disappears quickly. Fruity ashy boozy chocolate woody aroma. Dark chocolate fruity sweetness with somewhat harsh ashy woody bitterness and lingering ash and alcohol. Meh. This is a classic example of an overrated imperial stout. Top 95% of all beers. Not by a longshot.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Lukaduke (2506) - Portland, Maine, USA - JAN 18, 2015
Pours a deep burnt umber color with two fingers of khaki foam. Nose is soft cocoa powder, some bourbon warmth, hints of dark fruit and peanut shells. Palate follows with nice balance, lots of chocolate maltiness, almost ovaltine like with layered complexity of bourbon and plum. Well balanced with a rich yet soft mouthfeel.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Damico (2787) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 8, 2015
Boy, man, God, sheeeeet. Pours thick dark unclear blackish coffee with a nice creamy head. Aroma and flavor are both rich and decadent as so eloquently stated in the descriptions. The aroma brings roasted malts and some of the tannins of the oak and the pinot as well with notes of brown sugar and even hints of the cognac at the end. The flavor brings roasted chocolate clean with a balanced creaminess that ends smoothly with vanilla and spicy rum like booze notes, so nice! Wash Uffizi drive me to Firenze!

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
williamstome (1200) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 21, 2014
Black pour, brown head. Big chocolate and bourbon aroma, flavor of bourbon, dark chocolate, cherry, oak, vanilla and coconut.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Kavu (2657) - Helsinki, FINLAND - DEC 1, 2014
5 fl. oz. on tap @ CBC. Pours very dark brown with no head. Aroma is roasted malts, alcohol and chocolate. Flavor is roasted malts, chocolate, alcohol, a hint of coffee and a hoppy finish. Really good.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dogfish120love (1027) - Westfield, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 28, 2014
2010 barrel aged. On draft 3/28/14. Pours a dark brown essentially black with a dark brown lacing. Heavy notes of chocolate, oak, coffee and some soy sauce.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
GuillaumeCL (344) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 22, 2013
Pours opaque black with a ring of head. Smell is lots of roastiness, coffee, bit of chocolate, and some bourbon. Palate is on the heavier side of medium bodied with nearly no carbonation. Taste is sweet and roasty and tart. Sour tartness builds a bit before the bitter overtakes. Bitter and sour and roaster mingle in the aftertaste. Definite barrel flavor and smell in there, maybe a bit much.


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