Chad9976 (1502) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 19, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I received an 11.5oz bottle in a trade with a beer blogger in Quebec (thanks, Marc-Oliver!). I paid the equivalent of $33 for this bottle. I poured it into a tulip glass.
Appearance: One of the darkest beers I’ve ever seen. Absolutely midnight black body and a huge, dark brown frothy head which laces and retains wonderfully.
Smell: Sweet red grape, black licorice, roasted malt and a hint of alcohol.
Taste: It begins with a remarkably sweet red grape taste, which a unique flavor since some beers of the style tend to have a sour grape component to their palate. Black licorice and a general confectionary sweetness come rushing in through the middle and the palate ends with a strong, dry bitter note. It’s actually one of the most bitter beers of the style I can recall, which certainly makes it unique. There’s a subtle alcohol warmth and accompanying dry flavor in the aftertaste, too. The roasted malt has a very unique dark chocolate and almost peanut butter taste to it.
I’ve had many rare, exclusive, hyped Russian Imperial Stouts and there’s definitely a difference between them. St. Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout is a very tasty beer for sure, but nothing I’d consider a Hall of Fame brew (or a contender for such). Although I’d be hard pressed to point a flaw in the palate other than it not having an obvious bourbon barrel character to it.
Drinkability: For a pretty hefty beer, St. Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout is a cinch to drink. In fact it might almost be too drinkable because the mouthfeel is so soft and comfortable, the finish is so smooth, the texture is so soft and the aftertaste is so pleasant. Sure there’s a touch of alcohol warmth and dryness, but it’s very easily overlooked. It seemed to sit heavier on my system than most 9.2% ABV would, though. Still, it made for a perfect dessert brew and if this were readily available and reasonably priced I’d buy it all the time.
fletchfighters (1298) - AUSTRALIA - AUG 15, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
A-- Poured oil black with just a few touches of cola on the sides of the pour. In the glass it was all black. Very thick looking in the glass. Just under half a finger of dark brownie looking head, that gave way to a lighter shade of leather brown. No carbonation shown at all on the sides of the glass and some good lacing on the sides of the glass.
S-- Small traces of bourbon followed by smoke, espresso, wood, vanilla and chocolate. Bourbon, Vanilla, espresso, and chocolate really awaken when the beer warms up more. Good smell and reminds me of a brownie out of the oven.
T-- Wood and bourbon right off the bat. Followed by espresso notes and chocolate. Just touches of vanilla sweetness in the taste. Well balanced taste to this. Get a lot of flavors in the taste.
M-- Medium feel and a little bit higher carbonated that what I expected. Not all that thick but it does make it easier to drink I think. Very creamy in the mouth. Bourbon drops off a bit in the mouth and get the barrel, roasted coffee, a little acidity from the coffee. Does finish with a kick of bourbon with a kick of acidic coffee. Vanilla and chocolate really drop off from the mid palate on. More about wood and coffee.
O-- Quite nice beer. Not overpowering at all.
Dnomder (30) - Perth, WA, AUSTRALIA - AUG 10, 2012
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
Darkest head out there, will scare your non beer drinking friends. Tastes like a block of dark chocolate, but the mouthful is a little thin for my tastes
Theydon_Bois (14315) - Tourist Town (West), Berkshire, ENGLAND - AUG 4, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to an IP trade with Patrick in Montreal for this one! Drank at home in Mar ’12.
Poured from a 341ml bottle into a goblet to a rich black colour with a dirty brown speckled frothy head (which is a good thing!)
On the nose dark roasted and chocolate malts, wood, a faint dose of vanilla along with a pinch of bourbon, just the right amount, not overpowering.
In terms of taste I get the dark roasted malts immediately and also hints of coffee along with the chocolate flavour, the former which I didn’t really get on the nose! Some woodiness in the taste and overall very well balanced with you knowing all about the bourbon but it not getting in the way! A bitter/roasty/dryish finish turning slightly sweet as you digest - which was excellent!
Full bodied on the mouth with a rich drinkable finish for a 9% beer and minimal carbonation.
Overall - an excellent imperial stout and the bourbon flavouring was just right!
Whatup14 (1210) - Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 2, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bouteille 341ml. 2011. Couleur noire opaque, mousse couleur lait au chocolat très dense, laissant une belle dentelle. Arômes de lait au chocolat, de café, de feu de bois et de bourbon léger.
Goût de lait au chocolat, fumée, bourbon avec une belle amertume en fin de bouche ainsi que d’une touche d’alcool. Texture crémeuse, riche avec une faible carbonation.
Une bière assez lourde, mais aussitôt qu’on la verse, on a envie d’y goûter.
radiomgb (2560) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 22, 2012
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Very dark brown in colour with a large lingering tan coloured head, excellent lacing. Aroma is quite sweet, some roast, burnt malts, marshmallow, light vanilla. Flavour falls off a lot from the aroma if you ask me, a very thin and watery imperial with lots of noticeable alcohol. Alcoholic mouthfeel, light body, medium carbonation. Finishes thin, burnt with some bitterness.
A very thin, watery stout that lacks a sense of direction. I’ll stick the the regular oatmeal stout thanks. That said, being so far against the grain a re-rete is in order.
341ml bottle purchased at La Trappe a Fromage in Gatineau, Quebec.
Opened on April 22, 2010.
JohnnyJ (5073) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 18, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle as a trade bonus from pushkinwow, thanks! Thick pitch black pour, creamy dense brown head, like chocolate mouse. Nice looking beer. Bitter dark chocolate, heavily roasted malt, earthy, dark fruit, raisin, barrel character, light bourbon, dry cocoa, and some bittering hops still come through. Really nice, glad to try it.
BMan1113VR (7911) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JUL 12, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
2011 bottle via a trade. Pours with a twist off bottle with a high fill line. Pours with a pretty inky black hued body with a massive dark brown head. Great retention. Completely opaque. Great lace. Aromas are of leather, dark fruits, medium roast licorice, barrel, vanilla and currants. Tons of esters and highly darkened roast. Some caramelized character (barrel vanillin and some melanoidin/malt character). Lightly grassy hop character that doesn’t contribute much. Lots of chocolate, roast, medium barrel, coffee, and light vanillin with licorice and raisin. Flavors are medium to low bitter, lots of leather and nutty notes with a touch of smoke. Barrel character is pretty low, but this is still a solid base. Heavy roast and smoke levels are a touch high for my tastes, but that is splitting hairs. Fuller bakers/dark chocolate character, medium coffee, unfermented merlot grapes and currants. Ash and tobacco. Medium brown sugar with low barrel vanillin.
Big, thick and velvety mouthfeel, elegantly low carbonation. Not excessively weighted on the mouth, but nice and soft, with a bit of mouth coating. Overall a very well made beer. For my taste it could use a touch more barrel nuances, but it is still very tasty.
Gramoit (378) - AUSTRALIA - JUL 8, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Another brilliant beer by McAuslan Brewing. Pours black with thin tanned head. Coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts and a slight hint of alcohol on the nose. Taste is sublime and fairly complex with plenty of coffee, slight hint of vanilla and an excellent chocolate finish. So happy to get my hands on this and certainly was not a disappointment.
dcschiller (2207) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - JUL 1, 2012
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
12oz bottle from Savvy1982. Beautiful black, viscous pour with a dark, chocolate head that leaves some sticky lacing. Aroma has coffee, smoke, dark chocolate, dark berry. Taste is sweet with some roast and hop bitterness. Full bodied and oily. Finish is a bit harsh with fusel alcohol. I suspect this is one that would age wonderfully.