RateBeer
overall
84
25
style
Brewed by Harveys
Style: Imperial Stout
Lewes, England
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 900   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.37   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Usually only available bottle conditioned as Imperial Extra Double Stout. Has occasionally appeared on cask as Harveys Imperial Russian Stout.
Also known as A le Coq Imperial Stout - bottle only.
Ingredients: Pale, Amber, Brown and Black malts; high levels of Fuggles and Goldings hops
"Regarded as one of the World’s most unusual and prestigious beers. The recipe contains a dense concentration of varied malts and hops to produce a bottle conditioned stout. This brew will improve over six months to one year to develop its complexity. This beer has an intense flavour which is complex and distinctive. The roast, alcoholic and spicy notes combine in this unusually sweet & sour beer."


3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Niall73 (1388) - Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 14, 2013
Cask at GBBF 2013. Pours a dense black/brown. Meaty, sweet aroma. Full bodied. Chewy, meaty, boozy, lots of licorice, very treacle. A bit too cloying. OK.

4.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Osprey87 (1390) - WALES - AUG 13, 2013
Cask at GBBF. Black with slight foamy head. Smells of coffee, yeast and chocolate. Mouthfeel is very nice - soft, not foamy. Taste is liquorice and aniseed to start, then I pick up smoke, sweetness comes through, slight coffee. Complex. I liked this. A lot. Very slight sharpness in the finish if I have to pick a flaw, but overall this is a real winner. I bought a bottle in the hope it is as good as the cask version. Fingers crossed.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
gregwilsonstl (1027) - Missouri, USA - JUL 6, 2013
Dark like motor oil. Dark chocolate. No head. Very alcohol. Strong, but drinkable. Dark licorice. Really good. Thanks Seymour.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dredd (687) - Bentleigh, AUSTRALIA - JUL 3, 2013
Uber complex, rich prune and raisin aroma. Jet black with tan head. Flavor is licorice coffee, chocolate, prune with a rich oiliness. Absolutely lovely.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ThisWangsChung (747) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - JUN 30, 2013
9.3 oz bottle into a snifter, 2009 vintage. Bottle says 9% A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a one finger tan shade that fades away gracefully. A creamy ring of lace remains on the glass before that fades, as well. S: Man, my fellow reviewers weren’t kidding when they said this had a sour edge. The aforementioned tartness has a wonderful cherry tone to it, as well. When given a chance to open up, it develops stronger notes of chocolate, molasses, soy, and smoke. In a nutshell, the aroma is basically chocolate-coated tart cherries. Epic. T: The first sip bowls me over in terms of layered complexity. It’s also roastier than the aroma suggested. Because I had every expectation of this being sour, its opening presence doesn’t bother me. Flavors become roasty near the middle, and smoky on the back end. A distant aftertaste of earthy notes become prevalent, as well. It’s far more complex than I described, though - the more I sip, the more distinct flavors I pick up (dark fruits, licorice, caramel, tobacco, peat, and leather). The only real flaws I can find is that the depth of flavor isn’t perfectly cohesive, and the finish develops a bit too much char flavor at times. Otherwise, this is some stunningly contemplative stuff. M: It’s creamy, but at the same time, airy and VERY dry. The feel gradually becomes ’wetter’ as more is sipped, giving it the proper decadence it deserves. As a nitpick, it could stand to be a bit beefier in its body - especially since this isn’t something that I’d call ’easy to drink’. O: This ain’t for everyone. I like to think of this one as a rite of passage for most beer drinkers - many will hate it, but those that aren’t initially put off by its strange chocolate-meets-soy sauce-meets-char-meets-sour cherries approach to a RIS will be rewarded spectacularly. In a word, superb; how fitting something of this magnitude was my 500th review on BeerAdvocate.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Countbeer (4311) - Best of E-Town mit ein Brauhaus, NETHERLANDS - JUN 24, 2013
Bottle @ IADM tasting: Served in Chouffe glass: Vintage 2003: Some brown bubbles that disappears right away. A complete black motoroil colored beer. Aromas of deep roast, berries, raisin, liquorice, tar, some earth, leather and ashes... Flavours of the deepest roast, espresso and coffee beans, tar, cacao, dark chocolate, coal, coffee beans, bitter. Really dark and bitter which makes a heavy black Imperial Stout! Aftertaste of roast, bitters, coal, tar, dark chocolate and some ashy grass... Low carbo, soft oily mouthfeel, full body and an oily texture. Really heavy and deep dark roast flavours which makes it a heavy complex as hell beer... Let’s enjoy.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
IluvatarMilan (238) - Greater London, ENGLAND - JUN 24, 2013
IADM tasting- pitch black oily body. Strong raisin flavour, overripe red fruit. Lacks balance though. Bitterness seems to emenate nore from malts than from elsewhere

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
polomagnifico (1202) - Saginaw, Michigan, USA - JUN 7, 2013
Bottle. Aroma has notes of roasted malts, sour fruits, a little funk. Black hue with a small tan head that mostly diminished and left little lace. Flavor is very sweet, a little tart/sour and medium to heavy bitterness. Palate is very full bodied and oily soft. Long finish. Overall a very rich RIS with a noticeable sourness. Nothing too interesting and no desire to drink again.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bbbeer (583) - Massachusetts, USA - JUN 1, 2013
2008 bottle. Oily black with small beige head. Aroma chocolate malt, red fruits, coffee. Medium-full body. Really no alcohol. Flavor sweet and a touch of oxidation in a good way. Molasses, strong fruity flavors, mocha, hops in finish. Very complex. Seemingly underrated.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
seymour (1401) - Maplewood, Missouri, USA - MAY 30, 2013
Tasted 2009 vintage from 9.3 oz brown bottle into a tulip glass. It poured an opaque black with brown foam, thin but persistent with lots of fine lace. Popped with a nice "phsss" sound and more carbonation than I expected. Aromas of berry fruits, cooking jelly, red wine, roasted malt. Predictable strong stout flavours plus beneficial oxidation, strong tannins, definite aging but no soy sauce or vinegar notes, extreme fruitiness, toastiness. Full-bodied, low but harmonious carbonation, warming but smooth alcohol, bready, chewy mouthfeel, crazy complex fruit-wine aftertaste. So well-crafted and well-maintained. Delicious. Absolutely delicious.


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