lucklys (62) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - MAR 16, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured into a standard tumbler, Widmer’s W’11 KGB Russian Imperial Stout appeared an opaque tar black throughout most of the glass, but near the top, right under the head, a thin highlighted layer of burnt sepia with jeweled garnet tones glimmered in just the right light. A layer of caramel colored foam built quickly from the bottom with medium bubbles while fading just as fast off the creamy top, reaching about 2 fingers thick through the end of a vigorous pour. It eventually faded to a thin, velvety sheet that laid gingerly across the liquid and left evenly spaced lines of lace along the glass. * * *
Hints of a nutty coffee and roasted, smoky malts slathered in melted pieces of dark chocolate dominated the nose from the very first whiffs. As it slowly warmed, aromas of toasted caramel, burnt brown sugar, and toffee wafted from the beer, closely followed by some mild earthy citrus hops that were hardly noticeable. Something sweet was trying to push its way through the heavier fragrances, but I couldn’t quite grab a hold of it - I’ve heard others describe dark fruits and berries, but I just couldn’t pick them out over all of the roasted, toasted goodness. * * *
Segueing right into the flavor profile, I was met with an extremely deep and bitter roast coffee that smothered my entire tongue on the first sip and nipped my taste buds awake. Toasted grainy malts helped to smooth it out, and as I continued drinking, I found that it became more and more silky, eventually keeping the bitterness at a level where the other flavors could present themselves. I was a little surprised that the dark chocolate in my mouth was much less pronounced than it was in the nose, but it also seemed to taste sweeter than it smelled and added an extra bit of roundness to the beer. About a quarter of the way in, the alcohol started to peek through and offered a quick burst of warmth while pairing with the hops and medium carbonation to produce a peppery/spicy character. As the bitterness continued to fade (or as my tongue became more used to it), touches of caramel, brown sugar molasses, and toffee, all slightly burnt, aided in smoothing out the brew and gave me a few more dimensions to work with. Overall, I found the W’11 KGB held a fairly light and oily mouthfeel as well as flavor - especially for an imperial stout - hiding in a medium body, but it’s still quite drinkable despite the high alcohol content. In the end I feel like it could use that fruitiness that continues to evade me through both the nose and taste, even just to help wash down the smoky, biter aftertaste that lingered on the back of my tongue for the next 15 minutes after a drink. * * *
W’11 KGB Russian Imperial Stout is most definitely a winter beer, to be enjoyed as a heat source for the coldest days. So if you still have one in your fridge, I recommend drinking it now, before it gets too warm outside, or wait until next winter, because the weather where I am right now unfortunately does nothing to compliment the beverage.
tectactoe (3099) - Michigan, USA - MAY 8, 2015
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle: Nearly black with some dark brown hues at the edges. Topped with a half-inch khaki head that shows decent retention. Some modest, chunky lacing. Aroma is straightforward & simple. Heavily roasted malts, light ashy char, cocoa powder, maybe some faint anise. Flavor is kind of stripped down & painfully average. Deeply roasted malts, char, burnt cocoa nibs, moderately woodsy finish. Kind of boring. Thin, slightly oily with a wet mouth feel. Not bad, but nothing special, either. Somewhat run of the mill.
jgb9348 (5067) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - DEC 20, 2014
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Deep dark brown coloured body with a thinnish tan head. Aroma of anise, roasted malt, alcohol, pit fruits and some deep raisins and bourbon - nice, but not too pungent. Medium-bodied; Strong roasted malts going on with a touch of coffee, a little earthiness, a lot of pit fruits and some light bourbon and spice. Aftertaste shows more of the same with a little extra sweetness, no complexity and a touch of bourbon with extra alcohol warmth - not too nice. Overall, a decent imperial stout, if that, with no complexity, no depth, no body and not very nice flavours. I sampled this twelve ounce bottle purchased from New Beer Distributors in New York, New York on 02-November-2013 for US$2,99 sampled at home in Washington just over a year later on 20-December-2014.
slowrunner77 (6925) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 2, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
"W ’11 - i’m glad someone else seems to get some cherry in this beer...i thought i was imagining things. chocolate, cherries and roasted malt nose and similar flavor. a very decadent beer. widmer stepped it up with this one. velvety feel. good cold or warmer. slight bitter hops come out in the finish. a cheaper better alternative to many impy stouts."
chinchill (2906) - South Carolina, USA - AUG 1, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz, 2012 bottle of KGB Russian Imperial Stout.
Black and opaque in the glass, with a semi-durable head. Limited lacing.
Aroma: rich dark malts and aged alcohol esters.
Flavor: rich and fairly complex, with a hint of whisky that comes with the obviously high, but not harsh, ABV,
Feel: full, thick and smooth with some warmingand good, light carbonation.
Cybercat (3983) - Georgia, USA - AUG 1, 2014
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a rich coffee-sable with a thick, chocolate-tan head that doesn’t stick around too long, but long enough for a very good impression. Inviting aroma has notes of roast malt, chocolate, quality coffee, and licorice, plus a snip of caramel. Flavor trots roast coffee, toasted malt, chocolate and caramel tones across the palate; a bit of woody hops peeks through. Texture is smooth and viscous, though fizz leaves a little to be desired. Take it into the custody of your stomach.
cards04 (2217) - Steinbach, Manitoba, CANADA - MAY 19, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
A nice RIS. pours black with tan head. Aromas of dark chocolate, and burnt malts. Flavors are burnt malts and bitter chocolate. A solid stout.
arnold931 (815) - Iowa, USA - APR 2, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Dark dark ruby. Tan head with nice lacing. Chocolate in the taste with some alcohol.
kathouse (1237) - Nevada, USA - FEB 16, 2014
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2011 bottle version. Mostly a coffee aroma. Nice tan foam. Full creamy mouthful with coffee and black malt finish that remains well after the beer is gone
DocLock (8500) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 7, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bomber from Wegman’s. Pours dark blackish brown with tan head. Nose was lactic dark malts, cacao, oats, hops. Tasted medium in palate heft, with roasty dark malt, cacao, and a dry finish.
DMLINAZ (326) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - DEC 25, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Split a large bottle with relatives on Christmas, in Nutcracker glasses. Aroma is relatively mild for the style but still a nice mix of malt, alcohol, light bitterness. Pours deep black with mild lacing; a quick swirl gives a nice espresso-like ring. Taste is malts, chocolate, some anise, booziness, bitter finish. Not the best of the style but still good. It’s no Stone.