Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

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

very good
41 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Nickel Brook Bolshevik Bastard Russian Imperial StoutNickel Brook Bolshevik Bastard Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Better Bitters Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by Sammy on 01-13-2012

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 131
Reviews by spinrsx:
Photo of spinrsx
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pint at the Arrow and Loon Ottawa for 8$

Appearance - Black/Brown colour with with an average size fizzy/frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and it comes across as slightly thin for a RIS. I can taste malts, chocolate, and some roasted/toasted/burnt notes. There is also a bit of a smokiness and a bitter coffee flavour and something along the lines of cherries. It ends with a sweet aftertaste that turns bitter and lingers on the taste buds.

Overall - A solid beer from this brewer that continues to step up their game. It was served a little too cold and it got better as it warmed up.

 816 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Single bottle from a six pack I picked up from the brewery. I had this on tap at the KW Craft beer and rib festival and enjoyed it then.

Poured into a snifter. Nearly black, with a tan head of about a half inch, which produces tons of icicle lacing. Nice looking stout indeed.

Nose is roasted malt, bit of grain, chocolate, and a mild licorice.

Tasty stout, not quite into the full on RIS category, but still enjoyable. Sweet chocolate, a bit of dryness in the middle, and with a licorice finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy, but very thin.

Enjoyed this one, not quite as much as I did at the festival, but still quite enjoyable. A sweeter stout with a good bit of licorice.

 674 characters

Photo of SurpriseTruck
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Tilly
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. Super dark brown, almost black! Creamy khaki head that doesn't have a lot of retention. Vanilla, coffee, chocolate aromas! Tastes don't fall far from the smell. I get some berry flavours. Black currents. Mouth feel is smooth as silk and then a fine bitterness.
Well done Burlington's Nickel Brook!

 317 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

341ml bottle, day 14 of the 2013 Craft Beer Advent Calendar, the kind of thing that inspires stupidity in people, such as "d'y'all still have any of those Advent beer things left?", posed more than halfway through said period. God, I need a beer.

This beer pours a solid black, with labyrinth-like streaks of subtle cola highlights, and one fat finger of fizzy, tightly foamy, and sort of bubbly light brown head, which leaves some rather decent cobwebbed lace around the glass as things dissipate.

It smells of bittersweet milk chocolate, a sturdy caramel/toffee malt, a nice double-double coffee essence, sharp licorice root, dark sugar, a touch of grainy wood fiber, floral, leafy hops, and a certain alcohol testiness. The taste is more heavy mocha goodness - sweet cocoa blended deftly with bitter strong coffee - a granular toffee maltiness, dark dried fruit - figs and sultana raisins, mostly - a weak hint at oak, perky anise, and piney, floral hops, which attain a kind of perfumed character when sat together.

The carbonation is understated, but still right there when it's fundamentally required, the body medium-heavy in weight, and actually quite smooth, the hops and a touch of alcohol barely making a dent. It finishes on the sweet side, the chocolate, doctored coffee, caramel, and simmering booze making a strong case for their cause.

A pleasant enough rendition of a new-world RIS, the flavours big and brash, the mid-range ABV worthy of the visage of Big Joe Stalin glancing out from the label. One of the better offerings that I have yet tried from this brewery, as it hits the spot on this freezing rain kind of winter day we got going on here.

 1,669 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Volo. Though a smooth mouthfeel, it is in volume rather thin, accounting for it being a cask, for a RIS. Not really a RIS. Substantive chocolate. Black coloured body with a tiny head. Weak for the style however an OK beer, and reasonably flavourful owing to the chocolate, and therefore drinkable if you like that kind of a beer.

 340 characters

Photo of beergorrilla
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jsnoek
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of al_al1357
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark opaque looking beer with strong notes of roasted and chocolate malts on the nose. Taste represents that common in Russian imperial stouts with a creamy bitter and sweet finish with hops present. Overall, the beer is well-balanced, rich, and very drinkable despite the higher alcohol content.

 306 characters

Photo of DaveBar
4.51/5  rDev +15.3%
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


 469 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 18 JAN 2016. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch and a half tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like bittersweet chocolate, coffee, burnt/charred malt, molasses, licorice, dark fruit and some herbal hoppiness. For the most part I think the taste is just like the aroma, but there's also some vanilla and pine hops noticeable too. This one gets better the warmer it is (and I let the bottle sit out of the fridge for around 20 minutes before opening it). Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick and creamy with a good amount of carbonation. I think it's a good imperial stout, next time I'll have to try this fresher since the label says Drink Fresh, Do Not Age. I've seen it around for a little while but didn't buy any until last weekend. Definitely worth picking up, this is the 2nd Nickel Brook brew I've tried and I haven't been disappointed yet! $2.59 for a single bottle.

 1,000 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.31/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Cask: Poured a dark black color stout with a light dark brown foamy head with light retention. Aroma of chocolate and green pepper is not the most interesting. Taste is also dominated by light roasted malt, bitter chocolate and with loads of green peppers. Body is a bit light with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I am not sure what brewing flaws generates the green peppers ester but this was not the most pleasant experience.

 439 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to Duvel tulip. Fresh batch.

A - Dark almost ink black with half a finger of medium brown head.

S - Robust nose with roasted malts, char, smoke and chocolate aromas. A touch of sweetness and some noticeable alcohol.

T - Heavily roasted, almost charred malts up front. Smoke and some warming alcohol in the middle and a touch of bitter dark chocolate in the background.

M - Medium body, light to moderate carbonation.

O - Very big and robust and could probably benefit from a while in the cellar.

 511 characters

Photo of ThinkAgain
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of WillAndSarah
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of irishkyle21
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of GeoffMw
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this 4 or 5 times now. That latest batches are what I've scored. The beer has improved from the earlier batches.

Smells great although a little muted. I think that could be put down to the style of beer. Chocolate, tiny bit of hops in the back.

Drinking it is like drinking a chocolate milkshake. Big chocolate up front, a little caramel, vanilla and then just enough hops give a little bitterness to help balance the sweetness. Clean finish leaving you feeling warm and drowsy.

Love this beer, one of my favourite Ontario beers.

 539 characters

Photo of DMarlinJ
4.46/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Antilochus
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

 273 characters

Photo of Derek69
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into pint glass, very little head. Very black colour, mostly chocolate and coffee taste, slightly sweet aftertaste. Very big, bold flavour as a good stout should be. Lacing is also non-existant. Noticable alcohol content, which may turn some people off, listed at 9% so its somewhat to be expected. They added hops to balance out the flavour which i think worked well. Very thick, will coat the tongue. I prefer less sweet stouts, but thats a personal preference.

 470 characters

Photo of russwilliam
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of lisahope27
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of DamageCase76
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Zaphog
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Nickel Brook Bolshevik Bastard Russian Imperial Stout from Better Bitters Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.