DenisLD (87) - Montreal, Quebec, - 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!
mar (4590) - Dallas, Texas, USA - MAR 7, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Black with a dark khaki head. Nose is rich chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, and espresso. Great palate, heavy coffee, roasted malts, light vanilla, hint of alcohol.
jonnyguns (776) - AUSTRALIA - FEB 22, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Mane Liquor. Pours a deep black pour with a thick tanned head. Nose is dominated by cocoa powder and dry dark chocolate. Chocolate fudge is the first thing that comes to mind. Roasted coffee also can be found in there too. Taste has that upfront coffee bitterness that I crave in my imperial stouts, has me back and back for more! More dry cocoa powder and chocolate fudge round it off. Not overly sweet too which adds to its balance. Damn tasty brew and over exceeded expectations!
Cuso (3638) - Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC - FEB 20, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle (Vintage 2013) from my Secret Santa, many thanks Robin. Almost black colored beer with thick beige head. Aroma of roasted malt, cocoa powder, dark chocolate. Taste, chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, very light licorice, wood. Very smooth not sweet, tasty imperial stout.
jksipa (164) - NEWMARKET, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 19, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from the LCBO (2013 vintage). Pours a deep brown with a one finger deep khaki head. Nose is coffee and vanilla with dark fruits and a grassy background. Start is sweet toffee and vanilla which leads to a nice level of coffee and chocolate bitterness that produces a relatively dry finish. Bourbon comes out as it warms. Creamy full body with soft carbonation.
YanIpa (143) - Quebec, CANADA - FEB 12, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Couleur intensement noir. Col brun superbe. Nez très riche et complexes de céréales grillés, café et de bourbon. Saveur similaire a l odeur, mais aténué par une saveur grillée. Très bonne après 2 ans de veillissement !!
MunBro (105) - St. Albert, Alberta, CANADA - FEB 2, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a darker black than a dark star... Engine oil has nothing on this brew. Aroma of chocolates, espresso, also some vanilla and citrus notes. Tastes immediately of bourbon, oak, espresso, chocolates, roasted malts, burnt toffee and caramel. Thick, foam tan head that left some nice lacing. Robust and complex!
Cinctus (157) - - JAN 25, 2014
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours impossibly black with thin brown head. Tastes like strong bitter black coffee, some bitter dark chocolate, yeast, hops, and malt. Powerfully flavoured, but not entirely enjoyable.
bulldogops (1008) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 11, 2014
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rating #900 - always try to dig up an overall 100 score beer for the big numbers - January 10, 2014 - bottle from Sherbrooke. Big bubbly black pour with a tan head that erupts from an aggressive pour. Aroma is heavy roast malt, caramel,mild vanilla. Taste is roast malt espressoey bitterness, medium-heavy alcohol character, but well tempered with the luxurious toffee sweetness. Impressive.
cargo150 (371) - Quebec City, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 5, 2014
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Couleur d’un noir TRÈS intense avec un col brun très résistant, d’une allure presque parfaite. Nez intense et complexes de grains grillés de café et de bois, a ce moment j’étais très confiant que cette bière allait être excellente avec son allure de perfection et son nez bien malté. En bouche grande déception, les grains grillés prennent presque toutes la place, laissant peu de place au café au chocolat a la vanille et au bois sur une moyenne amertume. Elle est complexes mais se bois très lentement et mal, selon moi elle est très surévalué a voir les cotes de tout le monde a par si la version 2013 a changé. De plus elle ma coûté très cher seulement pour une bouteille 341 ml. Constat finale, je ne la recommande pas a personne, elle a une belle allure un beau nez mais se bois mal et malgré son 9.2% on dirait que c’est beaucoup plus que ça... Je donne quand même une note potable car la moitié de la bière est réussi!
Shark_Pants (130) - AUSTRALIA - JAN 5, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
341ml bottle comes in a great looking cardboard tube that really makes me feel like I’m opening a special gift. Pours thick, syrup-like and dark as a collapsed star into my De Struise tulip glass with a nice 2 finger dark brown head. Strong vanilla aroma immediately apparent, followed by bourbon, oak, coffee and chocolate. Dying to take a sip of this. Tastes of espresso coffee and bitter dark chocolate straight up, followed by the sweet bourbon and oak notes, then strong vanilla and finishes dry and bitter with soy sauce and charred meat flavours. Only letdown is a slight metallic taste in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very smooth, oily and creamy. Really good RIS.