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RATINGS: 81   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
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 itís red fruit, I donít know. Iím 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 youíre 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? Weíll keep you guessing. It is 10.5% ABV, and quite beguiling for its richness. So please enjoy responsibly.

mkgrenwel's rating

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
mkgrenwel (602) - North Shore, Massachusetts, USA - APR 27, 2013
First thing I notice is that coconut note I get from CBCís barrel aged beers. Slightly tart and vinious. Some alcohol on the nose as well. Flavor is port, cherries, coconut. Bittersweet cocoa lingers in the back of the mouth. Completely silky smooth, only broken by slight alcohol burn in the finish. The overall impression is chocolate covered fruits. Delicately nuanced, yet bold. Not a typical imperial stout, but in the best possible way.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chalumeaux (504) - Methuen, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 13, 2015
Poured from bottle 11/18/14 thanks Airforcehops. Pours dark cola with a thin lacey tan head. Aromas of coffe cocoa tobacco and faint hint of bourbon. Taste is smooth and has mellowed. Nice notes of coffee cocoa oak and a balanced almost hidden alcohol finish. Well done.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
AirForceHops (4792) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - SEP 13, 2015
22 oz. bottle purchased at Kappyís Liquors. Danvers, MA. Bottle date of 11-18-14. Aroma shows chocolate, tobacco leaves, cocoa nibs with a nice mild undertones of bourbon.

The bourbon barrel treatment is a perfect compliment of the base stout. The body is on the full side which is what I expect in the style. The texture also has a nice creamy feel. The bourbon has totally mellowed out and gives just a slight warming after the sip, no alcohol flavor. Very smooth and a delightful BBA stout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
stevoj (3019) - Boise, Idaho, USA - SEP 8, 2015
Bottle from bottle share, thanks to ???A nice way to finish the evening. thick, rich black RIS. Very warming, very welcoming, wood barrels add the right amount of booziness without detracting from the high quality stout host. Would be perfect on a a winterís day, but enjoyable any time.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
koleminer20 (1244) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JUL 14, 2015
22 oz bottle shared with Spencer. The pour is a medium black, somewhat light with some hints of garnet with a thin ring of light khaki head and a couple spots of lace. The aroma is surprisingly roasty with a strong licorice presence. There is a light barrel on it, with more oak shining through than bourbon or vanilla. Roasty licorice. The flavor is much of the same. There is a strong bitter licorice that carries throughout. There are some chocolate and oak notes, to go along with a big roastiness. The mouth feel is thinner and light with a soft carbonation that could do a bit more to help out. The aftertaste is lingeringly bitter chocolate and roasty licorice. Wish it lasted longer ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JBPortland (1251) - Portland, Maine, USA - MAY 29, 2015
22oz bottle 2014 vintage pours dark brown black with small light tan head. Nose has some dusty cacao, bakerís chocolate, light roast and some dark berry and vinous fruit influence. Taste has nice soft mouthfeel, light roast, vanilla, cacao and cream mixed with some light dark berry sweetness and red grape. Finishes mostly dry dusty bitter chocolate, some lingering fruit sweetness, grape and soft interwoven berry. Iíve had two bottles of 2014 and the first one was much more tart than this bottle, which had subtle red wine acidity. Nice.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
zoucrew102 (944) - - MAY 25, 2015
Bomber. Sweet dark fruit aroma with chocolate, vanilla and some roasted malt. Pours black with a thin, non retentive light brown head and some lacing. Starts with sweet chocolate malt and roasted malt to go with a slick mouthfeel and a full body. Finishes very smooth with sweet dark fruit and a hint of vanilla joining the fun. Nice stout, though the bourbon influence is minimal.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Bebum (538) - - MAY 8, 2015
UPDATED: MAY 22, 2015 Opaque, little lace. Full body, well flavored, oily texture, low carbonation but very high alcohol heat, avg length, fruity finish. Sweet but not excessively, slightly bitter all perfectly balanced by a gentle acidity. Malty, dried fruit, dates, raisins, uva de cavalo, roasty, tar, alcohol, cola, coffee. Aggressive but very delicious, typical imperial stout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
WillRunForBeer (1578) - Massachusetts, USA - APR 28, 2015
Draft at Ale House. Pours black coffee dark brown with a light brown head. Aroma is dark chocolate, dark fruit, coffee, vanilla, bourbon. Flavor is similar. Dark chocolate covered raisin, vanilla, coffee. A hint of bourbon in the finish. Just a touch boozy. Iíd like to try this again in a year or two.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ernest (6831) - 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 Twinís "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. Itís a bit too sweet for my liking, but the alcohol is hidden quite well and itís remarkably easy to drink...almost too easy. Good stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
drfabulous (5044) - 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.

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