Gerbeer (3468) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 21, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
341 ml bottle. Pours black with huge dark tan head. Aromas of hickory smoke and dark roasted malts. Smooth and full bodied. Dark flavors of burnt wood, burnt malts, dark fruit, and dark chocolate
Fred182 (305) - valleyfield, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 11, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bouteille de 341ml, robe noire au reflets rubis, arôme de houblon et de torréfaction, goût de moka vanillé et de houblonsl e tout bien balancé
tderoeck (9029) - Gent, BELGIUM - DEC 11, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
23/11/12 - 341ml bottle @ home - 2011 vintage - BB: n/a (2012-1304) Thanks to Hafiz for the bottle!
Clear dark brown to black, thick substance, small beige to brown head, unstable, non adhesive. Aroma: sweet, caramel, pretty yeasty, pumpernickel bread, cocoa powder. MF: quite some carbon, medium to full body. Taste: pretty bitter overpowering a lot of the flavours, caramel, cocoa powder, bit sourish, incense, slightly sweet touch. Aftertaste: caramel, charcoal, coffee, little sour, some vanilla.
Iphonephan (6645) - Jackson Hole/McLean, Virginia, USA - DEC 4, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Shared from a 11.5 oz bottle at home. Pours d black with a creamy tan head. Fermented raisin nose. Hints of dark fruits, coffee and chocolate. Bitter finish.
TipsyMcStager (1139) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 2, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pure decadance. Pours an opaque black with large, foamy brown head. Aroma of chocolate, coffee, wood. Sweet coffee and fruit, licorice. Smooth finish with some alcohol. Creamy mouthfeel. Gonna through some of these in the cellar and wait a few years.
mathieuc (3776) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 8, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2011 vintage, poured into its own snifter. Pitch black with a milk chocolate head, quite sexy and luscious. Smell is bourbon, smoke, roasted malts and hops. Taste is more roasted malt, with a certain bitterness and some alcohol heat. Overall a very nice IS from McAuslan, one that I could substitute for the Hornbeer Black Magic Woman in my diet. In fact, let me just add that I am not a big stout guy and this one I actually really like.
dandeman (915) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 24, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 6, 2013 Millésime 2013 dégusté le 3 Nov.
Nous retrouvons en olfactif le bourbon, la mélasse, le boisé, le chocolat, le café et les cerises. La même complexité des arômes. Elle nous offre toujours la même apparence également; mousse onctueuse, crémeuse et épaisse. La dentelle tient un peu moins que l’au passé. Le café est toutefois dominant dans ce brassin-ci, avec du bourbon et des notes de boisé. Les cerises et les notes de sucre sont moins présentes que par le passé, laissant place à une légère amertume en finale. Le café et le boisé ressortent plus cette année. réduction de la note de 2 points par rapport à l’an passé (4.6) I was pretty anxious to taste that 2012 vintage having made my 12 pack reservation many weeks ago.
Aroma: A lot of molasses with black coffee, wood notes,black chocolate and cherry. Aromas are exploding up the nose in a remarkable complexity. This powerful and complex nose can easily serve as reference to all other stouts.
Appearance: pitch black, marvelous creamy head with two colors: pale and chocolate brown. Head is sticking to glass for several minutes and developing a tremendous lacing.
Taste: Attack and mouth feel is very round and unctuous, paired with a little sparkling all around the tongue. Perfectly roasted malt flavors are pushing up the perfectly balanced notes of molasses, caramel, cherry, chocolate and coffee. Sugars are very well balanced too.
An exceptional beer. Body and texture are perfect. Every zip is a delight. Having tasted the last three vintages, I have to say that 2012 is a great if not the best batch.
piscator34 (2395) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA - OCT 18, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled sample via Fred82. Black in colour with moderate carbonation. Aromas are of red grape, plum, bourbon, and mocha. Flavors are of chocolate, caramel, espresso, bourbon, and pale malt. Medium bodied, with a ’coffee dry’ finish. A bit fruit forward for my taste on the nose, but the flavor is very nice. Not world class, but it definitely holds its own with other barrel aged imperial stouts I’ve tried.
MacBoost (1821) - Victor, New York, USA - OCT 13, 2012
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a thick black with almost no head. Aromas of bourbon, oak, roasted malts. Thick, boozy mouthfeel. Quite nice. Subdued alcohol tone. Nicely smooth and refined. Love it.
ChadPolenz (1778) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 19, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I received an 11.5oz bottle in a trade with a beer blogger in Quebec (thanks, Marc-Oliver!). I paid the equivalent of $33 for this bottle. I poured it into a tulip glass.
Appearance: One of the darkest beers I’ve ever seen. Absolutely midnight black body and a huge, dark brown frothy head which laces and retains wonderfully.
Smell: Sweet red grape, black licorice, roasted malt and a hint of alcohol.
Taste: It begins with a remarkably sweet red grape taste, which a unique flavor since some beers of the style tend to have a sour grape component to their palate. Black licorice and a general confectionary sweetness come rushing in through the middle and the palate ends with a strong, dry bitter note. It’s actually one of the most bitter beers of the style I can recall, which certainly makes it unique. There’s a subtle alcohol warmth and accompanying dry flavor in the aftertaste, too. The roasted malt has a very unique dark chocolate and almost peanut butter taste to it.
I’ve had many rare, exclusive, hyped Russian Imperial Stouts and there’s definitely a difference between them. St. Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout is a very tasty beer for sure, but nothing I’d consider a Hall of Fame brew (or a contender for such). Although I’d be hard pressed to point a flaw in the palate other than it not having an obvious bourbon barrel character to it.
Drinkability: For a pretty hefty beer, St. Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout is a cinch to drink. In fact it might almost be too drinkable because the mouthfeel is so soft and comfortable, the finish is so smooth, the texture is so soft and the aftertaste is so pleasant. Sure there’s a touch of alcohol warmth and dryness, but it’s very easily overlooked. It seemed to sit heavier on my system than most 9.2% ABV would, though. Still, it made for a perfect dessert brew and if this were readily available and reasonably priced I’d buy it all the time.