DenisLD (87) - Montreal, Quebec, - DEC 19, 2010
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2010 release 341ml bottle. Poured into a large baloon snifter glass...
Appearance - Wow, this looks rather unique. Very very dark brown body, so dark you will not be able to see any light through it. The head is surprisingly dark as well, of an almost brown colour. Great head retention and some very impressive lacing on the glass. Really, this is a perfect-looking RIS!
Smell - Just from the first whiff I could tell this beer is well-hopped. It’s got a floral aroma to it, but that’s not what this RIS is all about, since the malts still dominate the nose! Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and a bit of wood is what makes up the intense aroma this beer gives out.
Taste - Balance. This beer is all about balance. It’s well-hopped, giving you some nice floral notes and lingering bitterness. It’s super malty, but not to the point of being thick and chewy. Tastes very chocolatey and rather sweet, with a nice vanilla undertone from the oak, and some roasted coffee bean notes. A little bit of a tobacco-like undertone. The bitterness comes from both the hops and the roasted malts, yet it is not overwhelming and fades away gradually. The after-taste is bitter and chocolatey, with a hint of woodiness.
Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is exceptional, at least for an Imperial stout. Medium-to-full body to it, just enough to be felt and not enough to be hefty or too thick. Low carbonation level. Coats the palate nicely and feels almost creamy. NOT boozy, which is amazing and very pleasing. Moreover, it does not get very boozy even after warming up. Somewhat dry but not to the point of drying the mouth out.
Drinkability - This is a sipper, no doubt about that... BUT you could drink it in gulps, and it would still be as pleasant and drinkable. That would be a bit of a waste, though, since this is a special and uncheap beer.
Overall, McAuslan really impressed me with this beer. I did not expect it to be quite as good as it did. It is super smooth, complex and BALANCED! One of the finest Russian Imperial stouts I’ve tried to date! It is almost mind-blowing!
toffsbury (118) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 21, 2017
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2016 bottle, opened April 2017. Deep rich black with thin, swirling brown head. Aroma is full of bourbon, booze, smoky wood and fruits, with some molasses and other delicious things. Palate is thick and full like an imperial stout should be. Taste of vanilla and rich dark malts, but somewhat overwhelmed by burnt malt character. I suspect this will go away with age, as this is a fairly young bottle and an extremely age-worthy beer.
Aroma: 9. Appearance: 5. Taste: 7. Palate: 5. Overall: 17. Total: 4.3.
2013 bottle: same look as the young bottle, but the aroma - such aroma! Booziness is toned down, while the scent of Madagascar vanilla blooms along with a tiny hint of plum. Taste: the burnt taste has toned down, but there’s a strong metallic tinge that emerges. This calms down with warmth. Hop bitterness is present but not overdone. Very nice.
Aroma: 10. Appearance: 5. Taste: 8. Palate: 5. Overall: 18. Total: 4.6.
Bierdimpfe (624) - Quebec, CANADA - FEB 28, 2017
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2015 Edition, a year old bottle : Opaque black color, very dense. Creamy and foamy brown 3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes. Strong lacing, thick legs, a swirl slightly reconstructs the head. Flavors of wood, leather, oysters, dark malts, raisins, plums, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, herbal spices. Thick rich fruity sweetness, while heavily bitter, spicy, and earthy. Creamy and milky medium body with soft prickly carbonation. Highly strong dry finish, deeply earthy, thick herbal and chalky espresso feel on the tongue, fruity esters and burnt malt sugars, lots of dark chocolate and vanilla at the end, hints of liquorice and peppercorn, with a nice bourbon barrel aged feel that lingers a for while. Not very fresh, but not alcoholic, yet incredibly warming and filling. Good intensity, not excessive, still enjoyable. Complex flavors, very tasty and incredibly rich, all well balanced and easily distinguishable. The perfect winter beer after a cold day outside. Feels like a cross between a barley wine, sweet stout, and wee heavy. Overall superb quality craft.
papat444 (136) - Carignan, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 20, 2017
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Appearance: Pours a body as black as motor oil with a surprisingly dark brown (like an Aero chocolate bar) bordering almost on a light black head. Huge and thick that lasts a long time. Very impressive.
Smell: An aroma of bourbon, vanilla, espresso & chocolate. A nice medley of aromas.
Taste: At first i thought it was discreet but definitely opens up. Bitter-sweet chocolate (like baking chocolate), espresso beans, with a very good supporting role by the hops. Was actually pleasantly surprised by the nice hop presence. Can definitely taste the oak as it seems drenched in liquor, bourbon and maybe a little whiskey. Very good & flavorful.
Mouthfeel: Weak point of the beer IMO. Low carbonation with a very smooth body but i found it a little lacking and maybe a bit thin & watery. Not much really but not as robust as an RIS should be. It’s still good but not RIS good.
CRock (235) - Ontario, CANADA - FEB 5, 2017
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cellared since 2013. Pitch black with grey head. I get coffee, chocolate, vanilla. It’s also a little boozy. But it’s also extremely smooth and creamy.
UXO (1813) - CANADA - NOV 27, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Appearance: opaque unrelieved black with two fingers of creamy dark brown head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: toasty malt, boozy dark fruit, chocolate, marshmallow, leather and tobacco, oak, bourbon, vanilla. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Full viscous body, moderate-soft carbonation, lingering bitter and warming finish verging on astringent. (4/5)
Considering I’ve now collected four different vintages of this one, I figured it was time to try it new, just to establish a baseline. I’m glad I did: I’m not disappointed by it, as such, but I feel like there’s room for improvement, and I suspect ageing might accomplish some of that improvement. As it stands now, as a young RIS, it’s definitely hot, with some edges that I think (hope?) ageing might smooth. In particular, it feels to me like both the alcohol heat and the slight astringent thinning in the finish could stand to mellow. Very good, but I have high hopes that it will exceed that some day. I’d recommend buying at least two, with the intention of ageing one, but you won’t be disappointed by trying it fresh, either. (16/20)
Sudz4Dayz (130) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 15, 2016
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12oz bottle shared with Julien. 2013 version. Pours jet black with a light foamy mocha head. Smells of dark fruits, berries, a bit of cocoa and roasted coffee and malts. Roasty flavor, slight vanilla and cocoa, some boozy and way too much fruits. Good mouthfeel, seems promising but the flavor just doesn’t pull through. Disappointed in this one but still enjoyed it. The 2015 is MUCH better.
tielord (71) - Quebec, CANADA - SEP 28, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Chocolate and marshmallow aromas, sweet chocolate and smoky tastes. Medium to high-bodied beer.
Really nice beer made by an underrated canadian brewery.
beerplace (1460) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - SEP 24, 2016
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
341ml bottle from Viti Liquor Store DT. Vintage 2013. Pours an opaque dark brown with a dark brown head. Aroma is chocolate, leather, caramel, marshmallow. Taste is slightly sweet, loads of chocolate, burnt malt bitterness, slightly boozy bourbon notes. Slightly sour, burnt malt aftertaste. Amazing beer.
electrotype (655) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 20, 2016
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Les notes sont très axées sur le chêne, autrement elles sont assez classiques au style. C’est très rond et agréable en bouche comme liquide. Une bière forte, qui a du punch, mais qui manque légèrement de folie, à mon avis. Au bout du compte, c’est plutôt bien, particulièrement pour quelque chose qui se trouve relativement facilement!
Sledutah (7376) - Utah, USA - AUG 15, 2016
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle (2014) thanks to robinhood
Pours thick black with a small dark tan head, some lacing. Aroma of dark malts, chocolate, leather and bourbon. Flavors of dark malts, leather, caramel, chocolate and woody