Brewed by Harveys
Style: Imperial Stout
Lewes, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 905   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.37   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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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."

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
rauchbier (3634) - Isle Of Beer, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND - NOV 25, 2002
Bottle conditioned. Its like..how much more black could it be, and the answer is none…none more black. No head and very little condition. Vinous and woody aromas with hints of alcohol and licorice. Quite tart in the mouth with a balancing chocolate and licorice note, and a chocolate bitterness in the tarry, throat coating finish. Not as good as I expected but still good enough.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
aracauna (3138) - Georgia, USA - NOV 18, 2002
Imperial Stout Blind Tasting notes (11-16-02): Headless, one of the darkest. Big alcohol and fruitiness makes it smell a little like banana bread soaked in wine. This is a very nice aroma. Very-wine like buttery mouthfeel. Very dry, very unusual. Coffee and dark chocolate also present.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - NOV 15, 2002
A bit of a shock, not for novices, brace yourself beer at first. Needs a couple of sips to focus your tastebuds. Far out in every aspect, not a beer that holds back anywhere. Pitch black, no foam (why???), like a cup of motor oil. Many similarities in flavor and aroma: sherry, fruit, marzipan, nutty. Grips onto the palate and lingers well. Fairly dry and bitter in the finish. One of those awesome beers that I wouldn’t drink again for a while.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
SilkTork (5275) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - NOV 4, 2002
UPDATED: FEB 23, 2007 20022000 vintage. O my God this is delicious. Melt dark Belgium chocolate with prune juice, fresh plums, fresh figs, Navy rum and a vintage 1987 Chateau-Neuf Du Pape. Stir well, then leave to age in a corked bottle for two years. I enjoyed everything about this beer - from the little wisp of smoke that rose from the neck when the cork was pulled, bringing the fruit, alcohol and chocolate odours out that had been trapped for two years - through the little glug glug noise that the beer made as it travelled along the thin neck toward the glass (I enjoyed this so much that I did it a few times!) - through the first astonishing gulp of this astonishingly smooth, oily, thick, heavenly beverage - through the dark as diarrhea colour - to the long bitter chocolate finish. An absolute delight! A beer to die for! It is a crime this is lying down at 135 in the best beer list! [4.7]
Feb, 20072001 Vintage. The first sip (or gulp) and you know you’re experiencing something a little different. A little special. Huge body. Intense, stunning flavours. Yet, nothing aggressive. Nothing overwhelming or out of balance. This is big alcohol - and the mouthfeel and the warmth is plenty evidence of that; this is like drinking a warm, furry blanket -yet is never biting, never plastic, never overwhelming, never revolting - just warm and inviting. But, despite all the warmth and softness, the tones and flavours are unusual and slightly challenging - and therein lies the beers character and distinctiveness. And it is that distinctiveness that raises this beer to the highest acclaim. This is an extraordinary ale. Full of flavour. Full of history. Full of character. Warm, tasty, flavoursome, unusual, slightly challenging and very distinctive. There are sour notes,. Wine notes, Dark, bitter chocolate. There are all the usual flavours one would expect from a decent enough Imperial Stout, and then there’s the special flavours you get from one of the world’s most distinctive Imperial Stouts. The cobwebs, the chalk, the mouldy, fermenting licorice. The smelly green duffel coat covered in fungus and rain. The leather belt left lying under the sea for a thousand year. The snail encrusted compost heap at the bottom of the garden. The odour of a virile bull in must. This is a masculine beer of demanding character. This is top drawer. I learned today that Chrissie was pregnant. This was the only beer that I thought would do the occasion justice. Fucking awesome.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 7/20
DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 30, 2002
Had a 2000 bottle. Absolutely zero head, tasted like cork. Oily taste, too. I *might* re-rate it, but it might not be worth the $4 per bottle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hopscotch (9509) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - OCT 30, 2002
UPDATED: FEB 5, 2009 Bottle... (1999)... This beer rocks!... The aroma is of exotic roasted nuts, dates and toffee smothered in pure Godiva dark chocolate. Hint of vanilla as well.The appearance is menacing, mean and dark. Pitch Black with a small, quickly diminishing creamy brown head. Excellent lacing. Flavors of alcohol, dark chocolate, toffee and dark fruits up front. Bitter and pungent on the backside. Oily mouthfeel. Soft carbonation. Long, bitter and dry finish. A "must try" imperial stout. World class!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
MaxPower (961) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - OCT 27, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2003 Small 11.2 oz foil wrapped corked bottle, 1999 vintage. Dark jet-black color,has a small tightly bubbled, creamy tan head. Sweet roasted chocolate, coffee and fruity aroma, sweet fruity plum-chocolate flavors. Nice hoppy burnt bitterness in the finish. Medium-full body with creamy smooth thick and silky mouthfeel, alcohol is very well hidden very smooth and sweet. Thanks herbjones.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Uglyradio (791) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - OCT 16, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 14, 2003 1999 Vintage, rated 10/16/02: Pours dark black, like engine oil, with a big tan head. Very complex flavor, hints of oak and molassas, this is more like a wine than a beer. Alcohol is well hidden, but is apparent on the aftertaste this beer leaves on your lips, the aroma is like sniffing some fine furniture, very woody. This is the finest and most challenging beer I have had to date. Magnificent. 2000 Vintage, rated 03/14/03: In contrast to the 1999 I had, this one has absolutely no head. It still pours a jet black color and the aroma is strongly malty, alcoholic, woody, and whiskeyish. Nope, not near what I remember the 1999 being. This one is really flat, with a slightly sour alcoholic flavor and not near the complexity of the 1999. Damn, when I drank the '99, I had found the perfect stout. But now the 2000 has reduced that to nothing but a fond memory. Maybe with another year it would be better. My rating reflects an average between the two vintages.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - OCT 14, 2002
1999 vintage. Black, oily, viscous, small creamy chocolate head that just won’t die. Wonderful nose of port, molasses, raisins just eats into your lungs and sits there. Flavor also very vinous, but I found it closest to a Christmas plum pudding; it’s a bit too thick and alcoholic going down for me. Gets quite bitter and oily at the end. Very interesting, difficult beer; I probably need to expand my palate with more Imperials and come back to it. Interested to see how it ages.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - SEP 26, 2002
UPDATED: NOV 23, 2003 Rerate 11/23/02: 2000 Vintage pours an oily black with a small, short-lived light brown head. Acidic cherry aroma, almost like a lambic. Body has good thickness and very pleasant dry-roasted chocolate malt finish. Light sweetness throughout. Good complexity, but I think the acidity is a detriment. This might have passed its peak, but still a mighty fine and unique imperial stout. Still hides the alcohol quite well. 9/26/02: It looks like oil. It doesn't even taste like beer until about 2/3 of the way down. Extremely complex! Hints of soy and oats. Masks its alcohol quite well in the fact that its body is more like that of sherry. Reminds of Sam Adams Triple Bock, without the harsh aftertaste. 1999 bottle, ages very well.

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