DenisLD (87) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 19, 2010
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2010 release 341ml bottle. Poured into a large baloon snifter glass...
Appearance - Wow, this looks rather unique. Very very dark brown body, so dark you will not be able to see any light through it. The head is surprisingly dark as well, of an almost brown colour. Great head retention and some very impressive lacing on the glass. Really, this is a perfect-looking RIS!
Smell - Just from the first whiff I could tell this beer is well-hopped. It’s got a floral aroma to it, but that’s not what this RIS is all about, since the malts still dominate the nose! Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and a bit of wood is what makes up the intense aroma this beer gives out.
Taste - Balance. This beer is all about balance. It’s well-hopped, giving you some nice floral notes and lingering bitterness. It’s super malty, but not to the point of being thick and chewy. Tastes very chocolatey and rather sweet, with a nice vanilla undertone from the oak, and some roasted coffee bean notes. A little bit of a tobacco-like undertone. The bitterness comes from both the hops and the roasted malts, yet it is not overwhelming and fades away gradually. The after-taste is bitter and chocolatey, with a hint of woodiness.
Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is exceptional, at least for an Imperial stout. Medium-to-full body to it, just enough to be felt and not enough to be hefty or too thick. Low carbonation level. Coats the palate nicely and feels almost creamy. NOT boozy, which is amazing and very pleasing. Moreover, it does not get very boozy even after warming up. Somewhat dry but not to the point of drying the mouth out.
Drinkability - This is a sipper, no doubt about that... BUT you could drink it in gulps, and it would still be as pleasant and drinkable. That would be a bit of a waste, though, since this is a special and uncheap beer.
Overall, McAuslan really impressed me with this beer. I did not expect it to be quite as good as it did. It is super smooth, complex and BALANCED! One of the finest Russian Imperial stouts I’ve tried to date! It is almost mind-blowing!
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - DEC 19, 2010
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Novel notes of raw oak and licorice in the aroma with some light espresso. The taste is moderately sweet, lightly bitter with lots of lactose heavy milk chocolate, some stale coffee and dark fruit. After the aroma, the taste is hugely disappointing.
Travlr (15204) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - DEC 19, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Maroon color, nice brown head, scant lacing. Nice coffee and chocolate malt aroma. Taste is bitter coffee grounds, bitter finish. OK.
SuzyGreenberg (1603) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 17, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz. bottle in nifty case thingy; thanks Fred!! Dense black pour and huge dark tan head from a rigorous pour; so much so I had a mild foam over – newb!!! Lots of lacing from a slowly fading head; just a beautiful looking beer; rich oats, creamy roast, dark malts and fruits, sweet prunes; fairly big nose too; light, delicate flavor blend of coffee, milky roast, charred malt, bitter coffee and some nutty sweetness; has a rich lightness to it, but well crafted, sweet, smooth and delicate; ashy, chocolaty finish; spot on mix of flavors, richness, restrained bigness and remaining damn smooth and drinkable; everything an impy should be; damn good
georgebrassin (176) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 11, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark hazy with a large creamy and rocky brown head. Aroma is Bourbon, Coffee, chocolate, smoked and vanilla. Full body with low carbonation. In mouth is full of different flavors. Bourbon, smoke, coffee, dark fruits, a hint of chocolate. Finish is a bit bitter with expresso.
neuromatt (1225) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 4, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 23, 2013 2009 vintage. 341 mL bottle from the LCBO, served in a snifter. Pours deep, dark black like used motor oil with a small, dense dark brown head. The head fades relatively quickly to a bare cover but leaves a small amount of fine lace. The nose has big molasses, smoke, vanilla, chocolate and whisky with a touch of hops. The flavour is moderately malty sweet throughout with a strong smokey accent and a bourbon accent. Towards the end, espresso takes over. The finish is long and roasty malts with a tonne of espresso and some smoke. On the palate, it is full in body with a dense, creamy texture and slight carbonation. Overall, this is a decent imperial stout, but a little too harsh for my taste. The smoke and espresso are perhaps a bit too prominent. 2010-12-04
2011 vintage. 341 mL bottle from the LCBO, served in a branded snifter. Pours deep, dark black like used motor oil with a small, dense dark brown head. The head fades relatively quickly to a bare cover but leaves a small amount of fine lace. The nose has big molasses, roasted malt, oak and bourbon notes, along with touches of vanilla, chocolate and hops. The flavour is moderately malty sweet throughout with a moderate roasty accent and lots of bourbon cask. Towards the end, the bourbon takes over. The finish is long and roasty, with oak, molasses, bourbon a touch of smoke. On the palate, it is full in body with a dense, creamy texture and slight carbonation. Overall, this is a great imperial stout with beautiful bourbon notes. I found this vintage to be smoother and more subtle than the 2009--perhaps my palate has matured. A delightful brew well worth aging for a year or so. 2012-12-07
Thorpe429 (5016) - , Illinois, USA - DEC 1, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A: Pours a deep, deep brown with a nice dark tan head. A decent amount of lacing remains off of a two finger or so head.
S: Quite a bit of roast atop chocolate and hints of coffee.
T: Similar to the nose, with the roasted malt again taking the forefront. Hints of smoke along with chocolate and espresso.
M: Medium body. A bit too dry.
D: Pretty good all around. Glad I was able to try this, as the smoke character added a certain uniqueness to it.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 08-05-2010
unibrouefan (200) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 30, 2010
2.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
I drank heavy stout in the past that I rated high, Kuhnhenn American Imperial Stout (12.5%) and Dogfish Head World Wide Stout (18%), but I don’t feel this one. Don’t get me wrong, this beer is fine, but I was expecting more. At least their Oatmeal Stout is great.
UM02 (329) - Quebec, CANADA - NOV 29, 2010
4.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
I had high expectations for this given I paid $5.99 for a 314 ml bottle and given the write up on the carton about how it was made. I left it as the last of the 4 Imperial Stouts of the evening and it was either going to make a big impression or be a big disappointment. Fortunately it is the former. I am not a big fan of the appearance rating and often give 3 as a standard and otherwise use it to correct too high or low ratings. Nevertheless, I have seldom remarked on how black a beer was when I was pouring it not when it was already in the glass. Impressive but still doesn’t effect the taste. The taste is very complex, balanced and drinkable but with a palate of flavours coming through, wood, chocolate, coffee, molasses and some things undefined. Though I personally have to admit an affinity to the smoky taste of Islay scotches, this is the equivalent of the complex highland scotches with a variety of flavours that many connaiseurs prefer. I even had to compare this with the oatmeal stout from the same brewery, my highest rated beer to date and my favourite Canadian beer (my other favourites I prefer to rate when I am in the country and have the fresh original not imported version). I have to say that this is even slightly better than their oatmeal stout. With two bottles costing more than a six pack of their oatmeal stout I will probably drink the oatmeal more often but this will be a beer for a special occasion.
ApisAles (1576) - Greenbelt, Maryland, USA - NOV 27, 2010
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Oily black pour with a thick tan head. Aroma was wonderful brandy, chocolate, roasted malt. Dark chocolate and coffee were throughout. Flavor was similar, dark chocolate, roasted malt. Unfortunately it was a bit on the harsh side. Bitter and a bit mouth pulling. From the aroma of this one I was hoping it would be smoother. Not bad though.