RATINGS: 101   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
This little beauty will keep Oleg and his huskies warm against the bitter Ural wind. Russian Imperial Stout is a variety of British stout brewed considerably richer and stronger than the norm. Originally crafted for export to czarist Russia, Catherine the Great, among others, was a known enthusiast.

First, YEM is dark. Dark, dark, dark. When you get your nose down to the rim of the beautiful teardrop glass, on that reddish-brown, lacy head of foam, you will pick up some strong aromatics of chocolate, alcohol and black fruit. Or maybe it’s red fruit, I don’t know. I’m on my third glass already.

The brilliance of its composition becomes clear at first taste, where a deep bass of very rich, sweet chocolaty flavor gives over to high notes of elevated alcohol and then decrescendos to a slight bitterness from highly-roasted malts. If you’re better at this than I am, you may detect some hop flavor-we used British Northdown. Continuing its articulate arpeggio across your palate, YEM trills notes of vanillin, hints of bourbon and oak, and an enchanting tannic note of red wine, with a smooth, creamy licorice flavor that coats without cloying. A final improvised splash of cherry-ish fruit grabs for your attention before a ridiculously long, lingering, espresso-roasted finish.

YEM has been aged since early September in a variety of oak barrels, both American oak from Jack Daniels, and French oak from Cognac used for barrel-aging pinot noir, before being blended back together. It exhibits great complexity contributed by tannins, toasted oak, and oxidation which complement the myriad flavors of malt and alcohol. Several small kegs of unblended, pinot noir barrel-aged YEM will be released at a later date. When? We’ll keep you guessing. It is 10.5% ABV, and quite beguiling for its richness. So please enjoy responsibly.

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jtclockwork (18159) - , New Jersey, USA - NOV 1, 2017
Bottle at weekly share - pours dark brown tan head - nose and taste of black licorice, chocolate and Alpo - medium body

RobertDale (7178) - Lansing, Kansas, USA - JUL 10, 2017
750 ml. bottle. Pours black with a nice tan head. Aroma of malt, bourbon, and chocolate. Taste is roasted malt, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruit. Nice.

RickTheRick (949) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 20, 2016
Un épais nuage de mousse brune se forme sur une bière noire et opaque, mais cette mousse n’étire pas trop sa présence. Un pot-pourri olfactif fort alléchant comprenant des arômes de tabac, de fruits noirs, de bois imbibé d’alcool et de chocolat promet de grandes choses en bouche. Malheureusement, c’est un peu trop déséquilibré. La carbonatation est trop vive pour le style, l’alcool est extrêmement prenant, tout comme le chêne. Quelques saveurs de fruits rouges réussissent à percer et à alléger le tout, mais c’est un peu "too much" comme bière.

Oakes (19907) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 28, 2016
Carbonated, dark brown, some rich dark sugars like demerara, vinous barrel, bright almost tomatoey notes. Has some lush fruity sugars more veering towards gula melaka, but the carbonation knocks the thickness out of the body, which is disappointing. Has a certain something that I like.

Ferris (18225) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 26, 2016
Bottle - Dark roasty chocolate . Jet brown with a rich brown head. Dark roasty chelate, touch of tartness and cocoa with a nice long finish. Weird cola notes likely from the very active carbonation.

fiulijn (21581) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 26, 2016
Tasting at Matt’s, explosive cork
Black color, generous brownish head. Given the high carbonation, an infection was feared, but eventually it’s not apparent; it has a lot of booze in the aroma, but also roasted malts, and nice Bourbon. The flavor is chocolately, lightly sweet, with a strange but pleasant blend of red wine and Bourbon.
A bit weird, but very interesting.

beerplace (2504) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 26, 2016
750ml bottle at Matt’s place. Pours an almost black with a strong brown head. Aroma and taste are complex: whiskey barrel, lactose, vanilla. Taste is too sweet thought. Chocolaty aftertaste. Good stuff.

mcberko (20852) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 26, 2016
750mL bottle, sent from yourilevesque (thanks a lot, Youri), pours jet black with a large brown head. Aroma is complex, with whiskey barrels, cognac and red wine barrels, with lots of woody tannins and roasted malt. Flavour is complex as hell, with bourbon, cognac, followed by roasted malt and brown sugar. The carbonation is too high, hinting at a slight infection, but it’s not too serious. A little messy, but it all works well together. Excellent.

Slubgob (348) - West Hartford, USA - APR 10, 2016
Pours very dark, thick cream head like a root beer float. Nose heavy on the vanilla. In the mouth, bourbon overwhelms the stout. Sweet, brown sugar, raisin, almost liqour-like. Licorice? Finishes with some funky malt notes. The bourbon aspect is overdone, overwhelms the stout. Almost more of a desert drink than a food drink proper.

yourilevesque (1829) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 13, 2016
Merci à Mademoiselle Irina pour la dégustation! Un liquide foncé et huileux ne forme aucune mousse. D’importants arômes de noix de coco accompagnés d’un alcool chaud et sec. Un bourbon presque poivré a eu chaud et me donne chaud! Une touche de vanille et le tour est joué. Un nez toutefois peu complexe mais qui m’apporte beaucoup de satisfaction. En bouche le liquide est huileux et acide. Un mouthfeel qui me déplaît furieusement. L’alcool y est toutefois bien dissimulé. Beaucoup de tabac en feuilles qui se résous sur des notes plutôt courtes et épicées. Appréciable.

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