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


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 911   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JCW (1275) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 18, 2002
Strong stuff to be sure. Aroma of alcohol. Taste of molasse and soy. Very dry after taste.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - DEC 12, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 29, 2003 Psych Prof is right on in his description of soy and sea salt. However, I find the main flavor to be chewing tobacco: rich molasses over tobacco with a nicotine sting. Exactly like Lancaster chewing tobacco, a brand I used to chew as a kid. No carbonation and no head. Aroma is terribly complex prune, molasses wine, but not something I find terribly inviting. Noble and complex, but no fun at all.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - DEC 10, 2002
UPDATED: AUG 3, 2003 I can't believe this one! The single most wine-like, intensely beautiful standard-ish imperial I've had. Most imperials, for me, are a rare beer...I like them but couldn't have them often. Not so with this mysterious beauty. Soy, sea salt, red wine grapiness, some traditional malt sweetness (but it's different), alcohol is perfectly cloaked. Unbelievably smooth throughout the whole experience!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
slimjim (106) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 9, 2002
No Head at all. Black as used motor oil. Very salty. Not like anything i’ve ever tated in a Imperial Stout. Tastes thick. Smells and tastes of Worcestershire sauce.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
brian1233 (30) - North Augusta, South Carolina, USA - DEC 7, 2002
Very unique. My first impression was its similarities to wine. Slightly tart. The alcohol is noticeable, but not overwhelming. I can’t discern many stout-like qualities aside from the color. Very dark, no head. Very little carbonation. I probably won’t drink this often.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
gthank (73) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 27, 2002
Banana and alcohol notes in the aroma. Loses points on the appearance due to the complete lack of a head. The banana notes are also present in the flavor, along with a faint tartness, and a noticeable reduction in the coffee that dominates many imperials. It has an intriguing buttery palate similar to a red wine. This is one of the more interesting beers I’ve had in a while.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
rauchbier (3640) - 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 (3179) - 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 (5346) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - NOV 4, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 1, 2015
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. [5.0]
March, 2015 Bottle at Royal Oak, London. This is perfection. So many flavours. Yet soft and dangerously drinkable. The Cad pointed out Parma Violets which I’d not noticed before. Wow. [5.0]

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