Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 972   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 276   ABV: 9.2%
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Our take on the stout brewed by 18th century English brewers for the Russian Imperial Court of Catherine II. The special malted barley in this intense and massive brew delivers rich flavors like dark chocolate, coffee and anise.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
notalush (4913) - Denver, Colorado, USA - FEB 9, 2009
Pours fairly viscous and black, with a dark tan head that leaves a thin film behind - bitter, dark roast coffee aroma, with underlying notes of sweet vanilla, and a bit of charred/burnt sugar - medium carbonation, creamy in the mouth - quite bitter and immensely roasty up front - through the middle there is an unusual, artificial sweetener kind of character, but a potent bitterness persists, reminding one of black coffee that has been sitting on the burner for too long - the finish has a bit of chocolate, and rather strong anise/fennel, more so than in a lot of other imperials - I appreciate the fact that this is not as heavy or sweet as other imperial stouts, but it does lack a certain balance and complexity.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
tgncc (2830) - Bellmore, New York, USA - FEB 8, 2009
Aroma is roasted malt, burnt, almost ash-like. Some alcohol comes through, as well as fruit. Brown/black color, tan head, very typical to the style. The flavor is a little more pleasant: coffee, sweet cream, chocolate. The finish is dominated by an alcohol burn, and a slight roastiness. Nice thick, oily mouthfeel. Far from the best in its category (imp stouts happen to be my favorite), but ok. I had expected more.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
fitch256 (32) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 6, 2009
On Tap at the Boston Brewery in the spring of 2008. Pours very dark and very thick, nearly pitch black with a slight coffee aroma. First taste impressions were coffee and chocolate with a hint of vanilla at the end. This was a fantastic beer that they told us would not be available commercially but was rather something they brewed more or less for the hell of it. I see that it’s become slightly more available, and I hope to find this elsewhere.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
SpringsLicker (3156) - Tennessee, USA - FEB 9, 2009
Thanks to Butters for sharing this one at his Februmergency Tasting. Nearly opaque black body with a fleeting tan head. Malty roasty aroma. Sweet with some soy sauce on a chalky palate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - FEB 8, 2009
Bottle at our Febmergency tasting. Pours black with ruby edges and a quick tan head. The aroma is roasty coffee, berries, some sweet chocolate, and prunes. The flavor is coffee, some roasty bitterness, berries, mild toffee, a little bit of sweet chocolate, and a soy sauce finish. The aftertaste is slightly ashy. Not mindblowing, but a solid, respectable effort.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
dogfish120love (966) - Westfield, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 11, 2009
Only thing I can smell is slightly alcohol The flavor is weird, alittle soy sauce, some caramel. Nothing exciting. From previous review I had high hopes. Oh well. I must have gotten a tainted bottle or something

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Butters (3789) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - FEB 4, 2009
Bottle shared with barrios courtesy of sixfootsix. Pours a rich black with solid light brown head. Nose is dark roasty fruit with clear amounts of alcohol. Flavor is delicious, roasty with a light coffee note. Body is wonderfully thick and chewy, but does have a boozy finish, which I suspect will mellow out nicely with a little cellaring.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Barrios (1243) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 4, 2009
12oz bottle with Butters and sixfootsix. Pours a brown head that faded but laced. Body was very dark brown...reminded me of used motor oil. Smells of figs, coffee, and a roasted presence. Tastes roasted, coffee, bitter chocolate and a bit sour. It is also syrupy and sweet. Body is a bit thin for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
LilBeerDoctor (3504) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 4, 2009
Bottle. Pours black with a small, thick dark tan head. Quite pretty. Aroma of sweet roasted malt and alcohol, perhaps a touch of dark chocolate. Flavor is quite intense in the first sip, with a big alcohol punch, and sweet alcohol (almost a touch of bourbon here...) and roasted, chocolatey notes in the finish. Palate is much fuller than I typically expect from SA beers, but it is also rather heavy and boozy. Definitely worth a try though! 7/4/7/4/15 (3.7/5)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
alexsdad06 (5570) - Ohio, USA - FEB 3, 2009
Sample from a 12 oz. bottle at Jungle Jims. Pours black with a medium sized thick but fleeting tan head. The aroma is dark chocolate, roasted malt, a hint of licorice, caramel, and figs. The flavor has a nice roasted character with hints of char, dark chocolate adds bitterness, dark fruits, coffee notes toward the end. There are hints of the alcohol as it warmed. Medium bodied (perhaps a bit thin for the style) but easy to drink. I really wasn’t expecting much and was somewhat surprised. I will re-rate when I drink one of the bottles I purchased.

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