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.
Pailhead (3859) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - MAY 18, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Courtesy of 5000 via trade
Bottle: The aroma consists of chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, and faint alcohol. It pours a dark brown with a hint of orange highlights and a one finger light brown head that quickly fades to a thin ring around the edges of the glass. The flavor starts with chocolate and a touch of fruit. The finish has roasted malt and a touch of coffee. It’s medium-full bodied with soft carbonation and mouthfeel. Overall, a really solid Imperial Stout.
unclemike (1888) - Ft. Riley, Kansas, USA - MAY 15, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark. In fact black as not much light showed through. Medium tan head that lasted for a while. Malts and chocolate. The richness hides the alcohol. Very smooth. This is a really good brew.
wlajwl (2901) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - MAY 13, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Aroma is dark fruit/berries, coffee and earthy malts. The flavor is coffee, light chocolate, vinous notes, dark malts and a mild/medium acidic/mildly tart finish.
GIJOE (127) - Monterey, California, USA - APR 30, 2013
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours jet black with a foamy cappuccino head. Aroma is dark dried fruits and malt with hints of chocolate and coffee. Flavor is predominately sweet with traces of bitter dark chocolate on the sides of the tongue.
Full bodied, moderate carbonation.
Pretty good brew! I'd happily have another.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
mcberko (4054) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 15, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
22 oz. bottle, pours black with a small tan / light brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, some chalk, and some bitter dry cocoa. Flavour brings out heavily roasted malt, bitter dry cocoa, and more roasted malt. Finishes with quite a highly astringency roasted malt note. Full-bodied and medium complex. Good solid impie, but nothing extraordinary here.
umich03jm (909) - Allen Park, Michigan, USA - APR 11, 2013
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Pours near pitch black with a nice 1 finger head that fades very quickly. Aroma is sweet chocolate milk, light roast, and a touch of raisins. Taste is moderately sweet with no bitterness. Mostly milk chocolate with some light roast and very light fruitiness. Creamy finish with an odd aftertaste. Kinda chalky and a little fruity I guess? Doesn’t seem to fit. Overall, not well balanced and not very interested but still decent.
Arayaga2 (1623) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 2, 2013
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark brown/black with chocolate roast notes in both aroma and taste with the smoothness of a something that has milk in it. Very much a rich desert beer without the sweetness ever crossing the line to cloying. $3/10oz
NikkTwist (884) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 26, 2013
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft at Moriartys. Opaque brown pour with a pillowy brown head. Thin nose when cold. Burnt chocolate. Coffee grounds. Cinnamon. Charcoal. Leatherette. Mostly creamy palate. Nice black flavors. Missing a little something from some of the best Imperials but pretty damn good.
radagast83 (3104) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAR 24, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft. Poured a mostly hazy brown color with a touch of ruby notes and a small tan head. Aroma was some roasted malts, sweet caramel character. Flavor was sweet malts, with plenty of roast characters. Was pretty bitter. Dry. Alcohol in this one is really well masked. Impressed enough.
kennydiaz (342) - staten island, New York, USA - MAR 15, 2013
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours a dark black with hardly no carbonation. A little smoky , with roasted malt and hints of oak. A liitle disappointing