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.
pdx77 (765) - Oregon, USA - DEC 1, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
On draught at Oregon Public House. Deep black color. Aroma is dark chocolate, licorice, and roasted dark malts. Taste is dark chocolate, plum, licorice, and smoked roasted malts. Really smooth mouthfeel and semisweet chocolate finish.
gdubu493 (17) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 1, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Drank a bottle poured into imperial pint beer glass. Label said it was bottled Jan-2013 in WA. Drank in Dec-2013. Solid, dark pour. Medium head with consistency of boiling caramel. Strong nose; hints of coffee and dark chocolate, and alcohol. Bitter front end; more coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. Bitter back end. Paired surprisingly well with sweet potato pie.
puboflyons (1667) - Allenstown, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 30, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
From the W Series 650 ml. bottle stamped: 11:37-WA-DEC1012. It pours jet black with a modest tan head that settles back slowly and leaves a light lacing cling to the glass. The aroma is full of dark cocoa malts, dark grainy malts, rye, mild sweetness, and a touch of cherry. The body is full. The taste begins with dark malts and bitter almost boozy bite at the end. The 9.3% ABV shows through a little.
maley1 (552) - calgary, Alberta, CANADA - NOV 16, 2013
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark brown pour with medium sized tan head. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and earthy. Taste of roasted malts, stale coffee, unsweetened chocolate, slight hop bitterness. Full bodied, medium carbonation. Nothing really stands out in this one, just an average imperial stout.
sarauckelman (90) - Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, GERMANY - OCT 26, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours black with dark burnt cream head. Aroma of molasses with bits of burnt coffee. Firey in the mouth and down the throat. Taste of fire, burnt, and coffee, with hints of bourbon.
uckelman (142) - Baden-Württemberg, GERMANY - OCT 26, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours dark brown, small tan head with very fine bubbles. Aroma is strongly chocholate, roasty malts. Round, velvety mouthfeel. You can feel the burn from the alcohol and acid from the carbonation on the finish. Taste is earthy, toasty, roasty, bitter dark chocholate.
gyllenbock (3667) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - OCT 6, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sample at SBWF 2013.
Almost black with a small head. Aroma and taste of roasted malt, dark choclate, coffee, caramel and some light notes of fruit. Not that heavy. The finish was dry.
warhawk91 (142) - Newington, Connecticut, USA - OCT 1, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
My 100th rating! 22 oz. bomber. Pour is jet black, milk chocolate head which has decent retention and good lacing. Smell is slight coffee and caramel, some dark chocolate licorice and booze. Taste is very dry a decent hop profile, with all of the aroma flavors coming through very subtly as it warms. Decent booze kick gong down. Pillowy carbonation gives it a decent mouthfeel. Far from greatness but not bad.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Beerandhockey8 (154) - Three Forks, Montana, USA - AUG 25, 2013
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
From 22oz bottle to snifter. Pour is beautiful, very dark brown, thick look to it with a dark cream colored thick head. Nose is aggressive, notes of malt, chocolate, caramel, and molasses are present, as well as a lingering hop smell. Taste is bitter, very heavy body. At times there are notes of sweetness as well. Finishes strong with a lingering flavor, that slight signature imperial bite at the end. Great beer, love the complexity of this one.
mbgrayson (466) - Anaconda, Montana, USA - AUG 1, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours very dark brown, with a nice tan head. Aroma is malty and rich. Taste of chocolate, malt, and is slightly sweet, but still complex. A very smooth, nice Imperial Stout, especially for the price. Thumbs up!