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Nickel Brook Bolshevik Bastard Russian Imperial Stout - Better Bitters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Nickel Brook Bolshevik Bastard Russian Imperial StoutNickel Brook Bolshevik Bastard Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

87 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 1
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Better Bitters Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sammy on 01-13-2012

The newest Nickel Brook creation was brewed for those of you who aren't afraid of big and bold beer! Made with a blend of roasted barley, chocolate and amber malts, this Imperial Stout gives rise many deep flavours of rich, roasty chocolate and dark fruit. To counterbalance the sweetness, The Bolshevik Bastard is aggressively hopped at 70 IBUs to give rise to this remarkably smooth Imperial Stout that you won’t believe is 8.5% ABV!
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BakaGaijin
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A very solid RIS and for the price this beer is amazing value.

Photo of Cramshawbar
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A nice stout. Not very much of the bitter aftertaste that characterizes stouts and the strength is cleverly hidden. Decent beer.

Photo of russwilliam
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KyleMcD
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MatChar
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of biegaman
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bolshevik Bastard has the same opaque black body and dirt-stained head as its Russian Imperial Stout comrades. It looks rich and hearty enough to hold one over for an entire winter (might have the calories to boot). Not even my LED desk lamp can tease out a single highlight.

There's a good deal of gooey fudge and espresso aromas here but nothing so strong as to really jump out the glass. The fact it's not overly impactful, however, doesn't make it any less enticing - this smells delicious. Everything's great so far, though it's worth pointing out this doesn't seem like the kind of RIS to kick you in the teeth, even if does possess the flavours to do so...

Indeed, Bolshevik Bastard provides much the same vanilla, cigar, and dark chocolate profile as its bourbon barrel-aged edition, Kentucky Bastard, albeit without the additional booziness. Way more approachable. And while the flavours are not quite as profuse they are plenty appreciable; it's still awfully rich, potentially overwhelming so if one's not accustomed to the style.

That being said, for 9% and 70 IBU this is nowhere as intimidating as you'd expect. One reason is the lack of long lingering smokiness and acrid bitterness present in many examples; the taste may be strong espresso but the finish is mocha or tiramisu. You might even say by imperial stouts standards it is, for want of a better term, relatively "sessionable".

When I saw four-packs of this stuff on the shelf I didn't hesitate even for a second to grab a couple. When I found out at the cash how reasonably they were priced I went back and grabbed a couple more. Bolshevik Bastard isn't a world-class RIS in that it's not insanely, wickedly rich but it does deliver the classic characteristics in an incredibly drinkable package.

Photo of Mr_Hoptimistic
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Antilochus
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Can't read the bottle code.

A: Thin beige head. Fully opaque against a light.

S: Dark chocolate, burnt sugar, pine.

T/M: Bitter on the palate. Dark chocolate, dark fruits finish is balanced. Smooth m/f.

Pretty nice one from a brewer I am not generally impressed with.

Photo of hunterjames
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wajohnst
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of byronic
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of SurpriseTruck
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of polloenfuego
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer looks good, black with a ring of root beer head that goes quickly but leaves you holding a glass of thick and rich beer. The smell is also spot on for an RIS, malts, roasts, cocoa all working together. The taste is nice and rich with the malts and roasts dominant and the cocoa coming in later. There is a real nice finish on this beer, one which I would have expected on one with more age on it.

All in all, a great effort by Nickel Brook after what I consider to be some disappointing previous offerings.

Photo of Ultrarunner100
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of AugustusRex
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of yancot
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of kevinlater
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle into oversized wine glass. 2014 batch is 9% abv. 70 IBU. part of the printed code on the bottle is smeared off, but it looks like "11/03/14" which i'm guessing is a bottling date of november 3, 2014. served to myself on november 28, 2014

a: pitch black coming out of the bottle, and pitch black once all of it gets into the glass. around a finger of coffee-coloured head. a very slight ruby tone at the bottom

s: caramel, alcohol, roasted/burnt malt, raisins and dates, dark chocolate. mild coffee on the back end. slight piney hop presence

t: a huge, deep roasted character right away. wow. heavily-roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate. a touch of alcohol, far from off-putting, shows up quickly, then fades out to give way to a mid-palate of citrusy-tangy, piney hop flavours, and woody bite. there is a bit of an ugly salty presence. the finish is hoppy and dry with strong lingering roasty, chocolatey notes

m: absolutely killer. you can feel that it's thick as hell right when it touches your upper lip. also comes with mild carbonation

o: a full-flavoured, full-bodied imperial stout. what an incredible brew

Photo of Whatup14
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of DaveBar
4.51/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the LCBO for $9.95 for a 4pk. Served at 6deg C in a tulip.

A- Opens well pours next to no head that is gone in no time. JET BLACK. Same as Fidy

S- WOW this is fantastic. Chocolate, coffee, toffee, everything.

T- Very good. All is there plus. Love it. Super coffee and caramel and chocolate. All

M- A bit chalky

O- Love it. Super good beer. Will go get more for the cellar

Food Pairing

This wonderful beer went well with..... Chocolate cake


Photo of Bf_89
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of valianes
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Cycle69
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of Mack
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of cinsoundradio
4.52/5  rDev +18%

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Nickel Brook Bolshevik Bastard Russian Imperial Stout from Better Bitters Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.