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


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 939   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.38/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
Bottle conditioned: 275ml. Has occasionally appeared on cask.

Imperial Extra Double Stout is regarded as one of the Worldís most unusual and prestigious beers. The recipe contains a dense concentration of varied malts and hops to produce a bottle conditioned stout of 9.0% ABV.

This brew will improve and develop complexity up to one year and has an intense flavour which is distinctive. The roast, alcoholic and spicy notes combine in this unusually sweet & sour beer.

Contains: Barley

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
SilkTork (5542) - Southampton, United Kingdom, Hampshire, 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 youíre 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 thereís the special flavours you get from one of the worldís 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 Iíd not noticed before. Wow. [5.0]

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
TimE (5046) - Tokyo, JAPAN - APR 22, 2006
2001 drank in 05/04. Absolutely pitch black color, very thin dark brown head. I held this up to a light bulb and it blocked the light. If I held this up to the sun, I am sure it could block it to as well. The bottled opened up with huge whiff of port, I then smelt the cork which I took from the bottle and it smelt like an extremely complex cabernet sauvignon. A spicy nose is filled with plum wine (umeshu), molasses, cherries, port, sherry, liquorices, oak, dark chocolate, nothing short of orgasmic. Bitter hoppy mouth, coffee, chocolate, oak, very rich and intense, hints of dark fruits and liquorices. It also has a smooth, very low carbonation mouthfeel, lingering bitter finish with some strong dark chocolate notes. This is hands down the best imperial stout I have ever had and due to everything about it, I am going to award my first perfect score on ratebeer, which seems very appropriate for my 1000th rating (off ratebeer) 500th on rate beer. I just canĀft find anything I dislike about this style and this beer. If this is what Royalty in Russia drank, I am going to get a time machine and merry into the family, just so I can drink this stuff every day. Perfectly balanced, unbelievable nose, great depth. I am also drinking this in celebration of the Calgary Flames accent into the Stanley Cup semi-finals (2004). I gotta pick me up a case of this stuff to age. My new favourite beer. Despite being my new favorite beer, I donĀft think I would want to drink more than one bottle due to its intense richness. This would go perfect with a big Cuban.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - FEB 25, 2007
This stuff pours as black a overused motor oil w/ only a shallow, beachball spattered froth. Smells like a Congnac aged in a Bordeaux cask. Medium full nectar and still as night. Lays heavy on the palate. Flavors are very earthy w/ hints of ginger bread, plums, vanilla, leather, sodium, iodine, cedar, w/ only slight cocoa. The roast factor is predominant here w/ a slight souring. The finish is bittered perfectly. Nice balance. I highly recommend this to the connoisseur. Itís not your typical style, very English.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
beerguzzler200099 (2) - Colorado, USA - MAY 9, 2001 does not count
hell yea

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
ravidesai (978) - Bombay, INDIA - JAN 28, 2002
a near perfect brew. wonderfully dark. very complex tastes here nutmeg, madeira port, tofee, cloves are the most prominent. nice full palate with a creamy mouthfeel. a slight oily quality in the palate is the only point this beer loses. a great íbigí beer that disguises its alcohol well. pity about the price and availability.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
maltydog (14) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - SEP 19, 2001
Rich, complex beer. Noteable bretamyces flavor in beer, which some take as ísourness,í but well within style. Tastes surprisingly like a ten-year old bottle of John Courage Imperial.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
TAR (2671) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - JAN 23, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2003 1999: Aroma of passion fruit, roasted grains and some spice. Slick oily body with no head. Flavors of espresso come to mind alongside bakers chocolate, fruit and some nice sweet and sour splurge. This makes for a perfect match for the cellar for many years to come.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
MrWalker (926) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JAN 7, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 3, 2005 Bottle @ HBK Black Beer Festival, Nynšshamn Backlog 26 Nov 2004
2001 vintage. Acidic aroma and raisins, and whatever you call that white stuff under an orange peel. Full bodied mature cheese. Black currant? 5/4/5/5/12 3.1
Gravity @ 32nd Cambridge Beer Festival, UK. 25th May 2005
Wow! My beer of the festival. Cask was marked 9.5%. Rich and so full bodied that you can almost chew it. Slightly sour (old - as in matured), complex. Quality chocolate. Quality red wine. Smells like a summerís day. Papery, peppery and a bit salty. A beer to hunt for! Wow!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Pinnhead (93) - New Jersey, USA - JAN 28, 2006
forget sherry and/or brandy, this is the new one. very rich and silky look and taste. deep bitterness is enticing though could be to strong tasting to others.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
coldmeat23 (232) - Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - NOV 3, 2009
GLASS: Imperial Pint Glass TEMP: Cellared @ Approx. 50 degrees Let me begin by saying that for me personaly, this is almost a perfect beer. I love big, thick, dark, heavy beers and this one definitely falls into that category. The bottle and packaging themselves bring about a very nice (old-style) presentation. Being a package with a cork is also a nice touch. I will also tell you that I am reviewing the 2003 vintage. Now, on to the beer! When poured into a glass the first thing you will notice is the color: Black. This is one of the blackest beers that iíve ever poured. Secondly, you notice the minimal head it produces (almost none at all). The darkness is just the way I like it. Donít be afraid of the dark. The smell is good overall but slightly off-putting. Just a bit of alcohol on the nose that turns me away slightly, but I press on. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and almost (unexpectedly) light. Donít get me wrong here, it is a heavy taste, just not as íin your faceí as I was expecting. The taste is phenomenal: dark coffee, light notes of chocolate covered cherries, and smoke. Quite a bit of smoke in the taste, but not overbearing. (I think this beer would make excellent beef jerky because of these flavors.) Finally we come to drinkability, and I think this beer is exceptionally drinkable. It only took me four pulls to quaff mine down and that was while trying to savor itís flavor and prolong itís life in my pint-glass. While I donít kid myself into thinking that everyone loves ídark beersí or stouts, if you do, I canít recommend this beer strongly enough. It is truly an experience not to be missed. I look forward to my next one.

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