Bolshoi - Sixpoint Brewery

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104 Ratings
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Ratings: 104
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 8.96%
Wants: 106
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sixpoint Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-01-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 65
Reviews by PopeJonPaul:
Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to have had this on cask at the Brazen Head awhile back. Poured jet black and oily thick with only the tiniest hand-pumped head, a strong mix of espresso malt with a liberal dose of hops, tastes like heavy dark Belgian chocolate (the 95% bittersweet variety that's more 'bitter' than 'sweet'.) Just enough creamy roasted sweetness in the finish, balanced well with some tart hoppy spice on top. I've had this in all it's permutations (bottle and tap too) and though I like them all I think the cask is the best, the 'mellowing' serving style does wonders for the flavor. A bit of extra alcohol comes through but that's what this style is for as far as I'm concerned.

More User Reviews:
Photo of sponberg
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black, as it should be. Aroma of roastiness with a serious hop bite - almost pine tree like.

Great hop-roast malt balance - hard to achieve when shooting for a hoppy RIS. Starts with a coffee-chocolate roastiness along with a spicy, piney hoppiness that's really, really appetizing - and underneath it is a toffeeish malt. Finishes with a spicy roastiness. Niiice! Silky mouthfeel is appropriate. Would love to have another, but do I look like I'm made of money?

Really good example of a hoppy RIS.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first choice on tap as I walked into the Barcade this past Friday...thank the beer gods there was still some availabe after Thursday night's event.
Arrived in a chalice glass a solid black color with no light passing thru...a full finger and a half of creamy tan head. The head disappeared fairly quickly, but a thin layer remained for most of the offering.
Served just slightly chilled so the scent was very nice...dark chocolate up front with an espresso backbone.
The taste was very nice...again, more chocolate than coffee, but the malt sweetness showed up to balance this one beautifully.
Mouthfeel was solid...silky smooth texture, medium bodied and the carbonation was just where I like to see it.
A very dangerous RIS at 10%, as this one goes down so easily...can't wait to see this one come up to won't last long.

Photo of pwoods
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. label-less brown bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to the brewmaster, Shane, for the bottle. Traded straight from his cellar. Drank nearly a year ago, review from my notes.

A: Pours black, not overly thick. Decent head with good retention and lacing.

S: Nice roasty character with a thick molasses sweetness. A good alcohol still punches through from nice aging.

T/M: This had to have been real potent when fresh. big roasted and charred notes with more of the thick molasses sweetness. Alcohol has matured nicely and is still pleasantly present. A light smoky and lighter peaty character inthe back. A bit of cherries or berries in the sweetness. Full bodied but not overly thick with higher, Belgian like carbonation.

D: Very drinkable for a big beer and very tasty.

Photo of RichardMNixon
3.19/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

If you've never understood the "soy sauce" flavor some people ascribe to stouts, this will do it. Chocolate and raisins in the nose but dominated by soy sauce on the palate. Not a bad mouth feel but it's hard to o get past that flavor.

Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Eagle Provisions, open early in the day so I can get these good beers. Batch 74 bottle 759. Not a thick RIS, and yet a very tasty one. Good combination of chocolate malt, well carbonated.Good roasting and its in the smell. Fine craft, very drinkable, smooth.

Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz gold waxed bottle into a tulip glass. Bottle number 74/786.

Pours a pitch black, with several fingers of thick, dark mocha colored head. Once things have settled down, swirling the glass fires this up to a near finger, leaving back a big foamy cascade that settles into heavy swathes of foamy lacing. The aroma smells of STRONG dark fruit, which mingles with sweet notes of chocolate and toffee and an acrid espresso character to impart a powerful smoky tanginess in the nose. The high alcohol here really helps bring a lot of that extra sweetness out.

The taste is sweet and sticky the whole way through, with notes of alcohol, chocolate, caramel, and dominant dark fruit flavors, with cherries are really sticking out to me. Some roasted coffee character is present and seems to bring most of whatever bitterness is left in this (as any leftover hops seem to be long gone by now), leaving behind a bit of a meaty and burnt smokiness on the breath and dry lingering sugars and pithy fruit on the tongue. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a thick creaminess to it that is surprisingly still pretty lively feeling in spots. The longer this sits in the mouth and the carbonation starts to lessen, more of an underlying slick chewiness starts to show itself. I will say that the alcohol is beautifully hid here and thankfully so, as I don’t think that a stinging warmth here would have matched up well at all with all of that sweetness, and the lack of it helps keep the drinkability of this up for the most part.

Well, I’d say that is you still have bottles of this left in the cellar; it’s time to drink them. Not only has this peaked but seems to be on the decline, as nearly all of the bitterness has been aged out, leaving behind a sweet mélange of malt, alcohol, and fruit flavors. At this point, it’s not by any means terrible but the complexity just isn’t there anymore and it definitely isn’t going to be getting any better. I wish that I had gotten to this one a bit sooner.

Photo of akorsak
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The stout has an abundantly thick three finger mocha-colored head. The stout itself is very black.

S: Aroma is very offputting. It is slightly vinous but it lacks depth. It seems like a coffee bean aroma, but fresher and not roasted.

T: Taste seems to refocus the beer, providing a very full bodied taste. The first flavors are a bold roasted malt strength that doesn't hide the alcohol. Vinous flavors continue to emerge, but that odd aroma from the nose continues to pop up here. Luckily it fades away and finishes with a long roasted malt chocolate flavor.

M: The impy stout qualities are very good, adding a depth to the stout, but that aroma continues to confound me.

D: I find it difficult to drink more than one of these big beers.

Photo of Jredner
2.74/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

HUGE piney hop aroma lets me know right from the beginning that I have a West Coast approach on my hands. Dark brown to black body with a firm thumb thick mocha head. Bitterness is more from hops than roast in the fore. Some chocolate malt throught he middle, but mostly this is just a big hop bomb of an Imperial...or what I like to call an IPA/Stout. I can appreciate that some people like hoppy beers, but when I pay $18 for an Imperial Stout and all I get is a Dark IPA it irks ne...whatever. Perhaps with age this could become a solid brew, but right now this is just a hopped up mess and has next to none of the flavors you’d expect in an Imperial stout.

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #662

Thanks to Alex for this one.

A ton of beautiful rich fat foamy carmel colored head easily reaches the top of the glass standing over three fingers. Nice retention and massive waves of lace are left. Body is definitely imperial blackness. Nose is full with zesty almost peppered spice character with hints of coco and alchol. Enters the mouth with some bittersweet chocolate and slightly soured dark fruit. A creamy dark richness glazes the back of the tongue and turns back to the dry bitter coco side and leads to the same mouthfeel. Solid drinkability as the alchol is nicely hidden in this one.

Photo of BarBEERian
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The stout itself was black enough to block out the sun, if I were to pick a color it would have to be total eclipse. Wafting from the espresso foam head was a delectably sweet aroma of malty chocolate and almond with some charred coffee going on to. It was a very complex nose, and I'm sure I have missed some of it, so feel free to drop us a line and let us know what you thought. As alluring as the smell was, it didn't compare to the rounded, balanced taste of the Bolshoi. The blitz of sweet booze opened up into a garden of bitter bakers chocolate, heavily roasted coffee, and some berry/cherry flavor. It had a smooth, heavy mouth feel, but totally pleasant.

Photo of weeare138
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to zrrbrrt for opening this one...
Batch# 74, Bottle# 735

Appears black with dark brown edges and a large, fluffy, tan head of foam that that never really fades away. Lots of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of roasty malt, ripe fruit, bitter baker's chocolate, along with a touch of mild tartness.
Taste is much of the mentioned aromas with some roasty cocoa nib flavors coming through.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, roasty, fizzy up front with a long, lasting, roasted finish.

Photo of ppoitras
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased from Julio's, Westboro, MA. Gold wax, signed by brewer, hand-numbered Batch 74, Bottle 715.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1 1/2" brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head goes nowhere fast, with heavy, coating lacing. Aroma is hearty chocolate sweet, coffee bitter, and piney hops. Taste is all that the nose hinted, and more so. Mouthfeel is velvety, and drinkability is only limited by the fact that the sweetness may eventually overpower, and/or the alcohol will leave you in a heap somewhere. Nice brew.

Photo of twelvsies
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well they finally bottled something, hip hip hooray. About time. I love many of their beers, but have only had them on tap for the most part, and therefore haven't commented on as many as I could have. But oh man, this one's a doozy. Pours an opaque black, no discrepencies. Nice head. Even took a break from this one, went outside, and the head is still inhabiting the mug. I'm a big fan of balance, and this beer takes that ideal to the exreme. There's a big difference between some itty bitty balance beam and the big time tight rope, and this one walks the line. Plenty o' hops contribute to the supposed 126 ibu's this one boasts, as well as lots of roasters contributing to the bitterness. Tasty, and relatively complex, in a sort of bitter, malty, hoppy, explosion. Mostly a big fat malt muscles, but plenty of soft milkness to go around, plus a nice, oddly, but also perfectly placed citrussy hop profile. Chocolate covered citrussyness, plus bitter excellency. Dry. Heavy hitter.

Photo of bonbright7
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I shared a bottle of this lightly chilled with a friend while recording a podcast on the subject of Sixpoint Craft Brewing last night. We tasted it after we tried the Apollo Wheat and the jet black coffee look of the stout was interesting as the contrasting cream head was nestled on top of the darkness. It had an interesting smell that reminded me of some of the better known Belgian Dubbels.

The first taste was very deep and the following second revealed more about the malty strength with an edge of hops dryness. It was unlike the signature Sixpoint overt display of hops, which made it very accessible.

As we took the bottle down, I reflected that the Bolshoi was a very good ale and probably a worthy mark to judge others of its kind. It's only downfall is the price, which is something different for a brewery that almost entirely makes beers for tap. It was batch 74, bottle 483.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.61/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Alex for pulling this bottle out at Mike's bachelor-party tasting. Served in a Savor snifter.

Pours dark brown with a fairly-massive mocha-colored head and a nice bit of light lacing as it goes down. The nose brings some chocolate and roast, bordering on Whoppers candy. Behind that, I got a bit of light cherry-skin character and red and black licorice. Also, a bit of light brown-paper character toward the end.

The flavor brings a lot of malted chocolate as well as a faint roast character. The mouthfeel helps this one along--medium body that brings forward a creamy and smooth brew. The finish is somewhat dry and is definitely lacking in booziness. I seemed to be in the minority not really digging this one, but it had a lot of interesting components and was something I had wanted to try for quite awhile now.

Photo of hopdog
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared courtesy of Josh. Bottle labeled batch #24, bottle # 734.

Poured a dark black color with a larger sized tan head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, earthy, coffee and some smoke. Tastes of cocoa, dark fruits, roast, and had a bitter coffee finish. Alcohol content well hidden (just noticed it was over 10%).

Notes from 4/18/07

Photo of AgentZero
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Alex for busting out this rarity at my Bachelor Weekend tasting.

A - A really great looking stout, big tan head that receded to some chunks and lacing. Jet black and full with some browning on the sides.

S - Roasted malts, but there is some brine or olives on this that makes me feel like it has turned a little bit. There's some good and bad, taking this to average.

T - I really like the taste of this one. Smooth roasted malts are the backbone, and really just the essense of this beer. There is some powdered cocoa taste in there as well, that adds a touch of sweetness, but this is a much more roasty stout than sweet.

M - Smooth, some tongue tickling carbonation, full bodied.

D - Don't get any heat on this at all, good beer that I feel fortunate to try. A great one for all those who like roasty stouts.

Photo of zen
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served in a brandy snifter from the 22oz bottle with the wax top
pours out black and no light through
this beer has got to be one of my favorites now. it has the smell of choclate and a touch of alcohol and coffee. as the beer gets more to room temperature the taste gets better and better. it is very drinkable for me even with the high alcohol content. would really drink more then one bottle or maybe 1 1/2 (only if i didnt have work the next day haha) in one night.
as i said before with all the talk about this beer i had to pick one up and im glad i did. now im going to try and find it on draft somewhere.

Photo of jdhilt
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger, light brown head that slowly fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Solid black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted chocolate nose. Starts with a roasted/burnt chocolate flavor, smooth, some of the burnt flavor lingers in the aftertaste, high ABV is not noticeable. Pricey, [a Stone Russian Imperial Stout is $6 and just as good] - $17.95 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Photo of womencantsail
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jer for sharing this one yesterday. I've been wanting to try this one for quite some time.

A: The pour is nearly black with a minimal tan head.

S: An interesting nose, one that I'm not completely sold on. A certain sharpness to it, seemingly alcoholic, that sort of "ruins" the nice coffee and roasted aromas.

T: Luckily, redemption occurs in the flavor portion of the beer. A very nice chocolate aspect that goes just great with the heavy roast that this beer features. As the glass warms up a bit, a mild dark fruit character comes through.

M: Medium to full bodied with a smooth, low carbonation.

D: Really a nice beer, and one that I've been wanting to try for a long time. I was a bit disappointed by the nose, but everything else is quite up to snuff.

Photo of jaxon53
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand bottled and signed by brewmaster Shane C. Welch. Batch 74, bottle 153, gold wax sealed bottle. Served at about cellar into a snifter, from a twenty-two ounce bottle. Poured a deep oily looking black, that no light could pass through. About two good fingers of thick, light mocha colored head rose up from the glass. Great head retention and plenty of stick lace throughout. Head just hung there and barely moved. Smell was of coffee, mild chocolate notes, bitter hops, and some boozy alcohol aromas. Some vanilla and woody notes were also present. Flavor was bitter hops and chocolate up front, with some oaky notes , and a rather smooth coffee finish that left a small alcohol burn in the throat. Almost an English toffee like flavor in there as well. Mouthfeel was a bit watery and thin but not bad. Mildly carbonated. A nice alcohol bit and tons of flavor in this one. This one drinks pretty well in my opinion, but packs a punch.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

aah, the russian.

ok buddy, this was quite a harsh brew in its infancy. on the advice of the brewmaster, i let this sit for a while before consuming to review. once i saw the reaction of the folks drinking this at split thy skull.. i knew the time had come.

beer is black with absolutely not the slightest bit of light penetrating through. foam is tan and splotchy, creamy like the top of a freshly decanted espresso. big bubbles accent flat, smooth areas.. like the crust on a good pizza pie. this beer laces up intricately.. some areas cascading and some stay put like solid sugarwalls.

this beer smells like a young hop bud dipped in chocolate. hops dominate, but not in a citrusy or fruity way. these herbs are purely botanical, bleeding a sappy, forest green. nestle quik syrup is the river that the lupulin flowers float up your nose on.

this beer sips like a double ipa roasted out to the max. bitter, husky chocolate malt has been milled in raw earth and spit out vigorously through a randall. the alcohol and acidity are adequate foils, creating a neutral buzz that carries up into the nasal cavity. some homebrewey yeast creeps in, bringing me back to the days of rich, pot-brownie tastes. mouthfeel is like velvet and repitition brings the sweetness of ultra-dark cacao-heavy chocolate. even slight hints of wet wood chips are detectable here.

the idea of paying $20 for a beer that you shouldn't even drink right away did seem preposterous.. but sixpoint's dream is materializing against all odds. i have one bottle left, and if i'm right, it's gonna be close to a 5.0 by next fall.

good now, on its way to greatness.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for knocking off another want, Devin!

The pour is black with a dense, tan head with great lacing and retention. Brown highlights are noted.

Dark roasted malt, mildly burnt in character along with a surprisingly hoppy backbone, there's a prominent bitterness with malted milk balls. Nice chocolate character, there's some coffee as well.
The palate opens with a big roasted malt character with some sweetness. Milky and creamy I am reminded of chocolate milk. Coffee character is moderate. Hops are present on the finish, mildly bitter and almost slightly oxidized; I get some cheese-like flavor. Fruity , this medium body beer is soft and creamy on the palate with lush carbonation. Solid stuff.

Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 74 Bottle 854

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a towering tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a rich earthy scent that boasts of black and roasted malts along with a nice hop aroma. It's dry and mildly bitter. The taste is good. It has a smooth black malt flavor that goes down easy and warms on the finish. The hops peek through the rich malts; very nice. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a big beer that drinks well. It's full of flavor and wonderful hop character.

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Bolshoi from Sixpoint Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.