DrnkMcDermott (2800) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - DEC 16, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft taster. Big, deep brown head over a black/brown body. Smell of chocolate with a little mocha. Smell is definitely not as deep as a barrel-aged version. Pushed by CO2 for a fizzy texture. Probably pretty young, so I pick up a mild roastiness. Just a bit of bittering hops at the edge of my tongue. Roast is light, not harsh. Emphasis is still on malts and a slightly warming alcohol note.
rxeight (1319) - Illinois, USA - JAN 25, 2012
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tall pint draft. The thing smells absolutly fantastic. Rich and flavorful malty aroma. Hints of smoke carmel and chocolate. Mostly stong imperial malt flavor. Taste is very close to the Founders RIS.
Overall, this is a solid Russian Imperial. Well worth trying.
TheAlum (5701) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - JAN 15, 2012
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Premium Sampler on tap at the brewpub (Lombard, IL). Pours a rich opaque blackish thick pour. Good legs on the swirl, healthy black qualities, a good darker brown head, dies to a decent ring, laces ok. Aromas are sweeter overall, lots of molasses and cocoa, roast and carmel, some touches of smoke waft into the fold. Toffee, biscuits. More cocoa, anise, and dark fruit. Gentle dryness, roast, and earth temper it a bit. A lot going on. Initial is thick and full, heavier bodied with good dark malts, cocoa and roast, toffee and caramel. Dry biscuits, toffee, sweetness. Some dark fruit, anise, and softer smoke. More bakers chocolate, distinct dark fruit element lingers up front and into the middle. Finish is touches of smoke, dryness, and cocoa. Gentle sweetness, thicker mouthfeel. Pretty nice beer. Aroma and appearance were on.
tmoreau (2431) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - JAN 13, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap and dispensed to a footed ale glass with a deep, black/brown color, chocolate brown, persistent, meringue-like froth to the substantial head, and very clingy waves & spots of blanketing lace. Served a bit too cold, but gradually warmed to expose full roastiness, a hint of sweetness, cocoa, then light coffee, some woody/tannic hints, and a touch of smoke/char. The flavor included warming alcohol from the start, a dry, hop bitterness that lingered, and soft to medium carbonation, all in a hefty body. I’d say that this RIS has matured very nicely since the initial tapping. An excellent brew!