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Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout - Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse

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Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout
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BA SCORE
88
very good

220 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 220
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 15
Gots: 15 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse visit their website
Netherlands

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sammy on 01-03-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 220 | Reviews: 91
Photo of Mantooth
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This viscous brew is just shy of amazing, pours jet black with a nice mocha head. Loads of malt & grain in the nose and the taste follows suit.

Photo of aleigator
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an oily mahogany color with a small head, leaving back only a thin lacing at the edges.

Nose is full of bitter chocolate with coffee and burned caramel, along with a sweet, well integrated alcohol note.

The taste is centered around dark chocolate, which is earthy at first, and then turns sweeter immediately, due to a slick coffee bitterness with strong mousse-au-chocolate and molasse impact. This brew is incredibly creamy and smooth, which comes along with a warm alcoholic peak, wrapped up in sweeter cocoa. Has an intriguing complexity, between sweet and bitter flavors, between creamy chocolate and earthy, bitter coffee. Finishes bitter, while cream still remains noteable.

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lot A BB 9/14 bottle at 40 degrees into tulip
Aroma very malty with dates
Head light brown, instantly gone
Lacing none
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor very strong with roasted malt, dates, raisins; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 4.5, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4, Overall 4.125
A decent RIS, good flavor, with the alcohol hidden in flavor but showing up as stomach burn. Somewhat sticky. Loses points because of neither head nor lacing.

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into snifter, best before 6/2015. Pours dense fairly pitch black color with a small dense dark brown head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, raisin, plum, light char, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malts and light-moderate dark fruit notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, licorice, raisin, plum, light smoke/char, and roast/toasted earthiness. Good amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, raisin, plum, light smoke/char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of big dark/roasted malt and moderate dark fruit flavors; with a nice roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, moderately slick, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice imperial stout. All around great complexity and balance of big dark/roasted malt and moderate dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of Jonathan_Dunne
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Fantastic. Delightful taste, not very frothy but STRONG. One to start the night, not to be abused. I'm slightly lit by first one.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer is a deep dark brown with a thin, oily beige collar. Aromas of dark fruit, particularly plums, chocolates, raisin, chocolates with raisins all up in them, raisins dipped in chocolate. Chocolate flavor, a hint of vanilla. Rich, roasted malt with a touch of espresso. Double digit abv well masked. A nice sipper.

Photo of avalon07
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an almost jet black color and a thick consistency. There was a small amount of tan-colored, foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing.

S: A nice aroma of chocolate, dark fruit, and a hint of malt.

T: Tasted of dark chocolate, malt, dark fruit (plums, especially), and a little bit of coffee. A big flavor (just like an RIS should be) that's complex and satisfying. Didn't get much of the coffee that other reviewers got, but still a good flavor.

M: A below average amount of carbonation with a slick, smooth finish. Full-bodied, but not overpowering.

O: A very solid beer. Usually I don't expect that much from Belgian brewers when they stray from their native styles, but this was a very enjoyable beer.

Photo of dcmchew
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark brown, almost tar black. A tiny beige head build up, only to be reduced to stick lacing quickly.
Big chocolate and coffee in the smell, with a dark fruit zing in the back, that gets more apparent as the beer warms. Lots of caramel, some vanilla and licorice. akes me think of sweet milk & coffee with a bit of cognac.
Taste start with roasted malts, sweet with molasses, caramel, mildly strong dark chocolate and espresso. Acidity, not just from the coffee notes, but also from juicy dark cherries, plums and blackberries. A bit of red grape mustiness that works well with the warm alcohol. Sweet spices are felt towards the finish, with some licorice, peppercorn and faint anise, just before coffee and ashy burnt grains come in to settle, with a mild bitterness (some hop presence too).
Full bodied, but not too heavy, low carbonation, smooth, fits nicely. Aftertaste consists of roasted malts, coffee sediment, but no dark fruit.
A tasty IRS, not ostentatious or flashy, but elegant and rich.

Photo of soccerman7
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into my De Ranke glass.

A - Midnight. Thin tan head. Fine and consistent carbonation.

S - Dark fruits and coffee. Really nice. Reminds me of sherry in the nose. Very faint dose of hops in the nose. Interesting and complex.

T - Coffee, chocolate, and red wine. This is a really deep and big flavor. Really loving it. Hops come up at the end and really herbal and spicy. Dates come forward after a few sips.

M - A little rough around the edges but this is not a small beer. Pleasantly lingers and drier than many American RIS.

O - I love this. It is available fairly often and will need to be in my fridge more for the winter. A really great example of a classic take on the style. Strongly recommend.

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aaah, the classy yet rugged flavor of Russian Imperial Stout is on full display in Emelisse's take on the time-honored style. Spot on to its style, the ale is wonderfully complex, bold and full throughout.

Pouring the darkest brown of browns without spilling over to full-on black, it shows garnet low-lights nearest its margins. A creamy espresso-like, mocha-stained lather builds upon its ominous body underneath. Its long-lasting retention laces the glass with a scattering of sticky foam. It's the strong, dark and handsome type.

Bold french-press roast aromas are front and center, but is firmly supported with sweeter notes of burnt toffee, light molasses and maple. Coming up to temperature, complex vinous fruit note come to life in form of grape, cherry, currant and eventual licorice. Boozy aromas take on cognac proportions with a tinge of peppercorn.

Its taste is a balanced melange of robust sweetness and roast- molasses, toffee and sorghum all seem over-cooked and take on burnt proportions. That hearty sweetness weaves seamlessly into the bold roasted coffee flavor, its heavy toast and its light mesquite taste. Its middle palate introduces a medley of grilled fruits that range from grape, to currant, to cherry and dark berries. Its charred taste lessens going into finish to allow the fruity, boozy-sweet flavors to linger well past its roasty closure.

Full bodied, but not absurdly so- its low-lying carbonation allows the full weight of the beer to sit happily on the tongue, saturating the taste buds to its fullest potential. This allows for full and savory sipping in slow contemplation, akin to after dinner port sipping. Its long finish is semi-dry as its malt sweetness refuses to let its alcohol and roast to fully dry the beer.

In studying the history of Imperial Russian Stout, this is the kind of taste that's read about, dreamed of and homebrew attempted. But its a taste that's rarely achieved in today's world of over-the-top or nothing. But don't get me wrong- this is far from a reserved beer!

Photo of thierrynantes
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Chez Clem's, and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : dark color, with tan foamy head.
Smell : heavy malty, roasted caramel and licorice aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : roasted malt, with coffee notes leading to a dry bitter finish.
Drinkability : a nice beer in the Russian Imperial Stout.

Photo of LestatSabastian
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The appearance was black with no head on the pour
smell was nice but could smell the alcohol
Taste was better than expected coffee, prune, and chocolate notes.
alcohol hidden better than I expected too.
mouthfeel was to thin for a stout for me
overall liked the beer. may buy again for a friend.

Photo of stcules
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost pitch black. Dark cappuccino colore foam, quite compact.
In the smell cocoa, hazelnut, toaste and lightly burnt, Not too intense, but complex. Some vanilla notes, too.
Full and round in the mouth, complex, smooth. Cappuccino. Important beer, but not too overwhelming.
And a good hop bitterness, too.
Intense, well hidden alcohol, good bitter and toasted aftertaste.
Good.

Photo of woemad
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

11.16oz bottle purchased at Jim’s Homebrew in Spokane for $6.74. The label seems to indicate that it’s meant to be consumed by March, 2013. The wording is in Dutch, however, so all bets are off. Speaking of the label, it’s different to the one in the photo on BA.

Poured a viscous looking deep dark brown color that seemed almost a crude oil black. Things became a little browner looking when held up to the light, at which point some floaties could be seen drifting around the edges. Minimal, mocha colored head that quickly receded to a thin collar - not surprising given this beer’s 11% abv.

Initially, there was a big brown sugar aroma. Once things began to warm up, some chocolaty scents emerged as well. What did not seem to emerge were the more bitter elements associated with the style, nor was there any nasal inkling of the high alcohol content.

The taste starts out with the sweet elements noted above. A minor bitterness then makes itself known, but it’s nowhere near adequate for providing any real balance. The taste ends on a very mild dry note at the swallow.

While carbonation is low for the style, don’t expect a heavy, leaden mouthfeel, as things are actually rather watery in that department.

This seems like an incomplete beer, like an unfinished Imperial Stout, or a regular stout that happens to have a huge abv percentage. It's drinkable, but only just, and why would you when there are lots of better examples available?

Photo of jmdrpi
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle, label is notched as best before 12/2013.

pours jet black, with 3/4" thick khaki colored head. head is creamy, and has excellent retention, lasts to the bottom of the glass. smell is extreme roasted malt - burnt coffee, unsweetened cocoa. more of the same in the taste. big espresso flavors. acidic, a bit astringent, dry. thick, full bodied. oily, slick. low carbonation.

overall- definitely unique, probably the the "roastiest" beer I've ever had.

Photo of snaotheus
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.16oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours black with no head. Some fine carbonation is struggling slowly up through the murky depths, but it doesn't appear likely to survive. Smell is black licorice, whisky, and tar. Smokey with coffee.

Taste is initially sweet, and then burnt bitter. More of the black licorice, some more of the coffee, a slightly tart flavor.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, pretty surprisingly so. Overall, this is a pretty nice beer.

Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

A good finisher for International Stout Day, which exists apparently.

Solid obsidian liquid, oily, a few stray, straggling bubbles on top, but no real head to speak of; syrupy streaks left on the surface of the glass. Dark malts in the nose, a bit phenolic, dark dried fruits, dark chocolate, and something almost citrusy in there as well. The taste reflected the nose, though I really got a big hit of raisins from this up front, and it lingered pretty much through the entire session. Dark malt sweetness, roasty, but not excessively so, slightly and tolerably phenolic, notes of coffee and dark chocolate. Body was just about full, fairly chewy mouthfeel, and a bit warm with alcohol...it's hard to hide 11% in a beer like this. Very nice overall.

Photo of Bierman9
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the last of three Emelisse biers I tried at Cafe Frape on 06Oct12. The 0.33l bottle cost me €5.50.

This brew was an opaque, dense, oily black color. The short, tan head was creamy and fine, with decent lacing. Nose was of inviting, roasty choco and coffee. THis one was smooth and velvety, with a medium body that wasn't quite in the chewy range.

Nice roasty coffee and dark choco and cocoa flavors appeared. Was not really bitter at all, though; more semi-sweet. Also found some rasin and date action lurking in the background. Real nice, indeed! Zum Wohl!!

4.33/5 rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1527

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A hard pour produces half an inch of beige foam that squats atop the black liquid; somewhat leggy, with dots of foam tracking the legs

Smell: Roasty and charred, with chocolate and espresso dominant

Taste: Very roasty, almost burnt, up front, with the chocolate and espresso developing in the middle; fruit tones add a subtle balance, but the burnt flavors dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: This has the makings of a good RIS, but it needs more fruity complexity (including better hop balance) and less char

Photo of rudzud
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at Hunger Mountain Co-Op. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep, dark almost oily black with a nice quarter inch mocha head that has great retention but not much lacing.

S - Lots of dark, deep roast aromas but also a fair amount of sweet malts. not really jiving for me.

T - Taste is alright. Not getting much chocolate. Lots of slightly salty sweet malts, faint roast. Hmm...Theres no alcohol atleast, just not getting alot of good flavors here.

M - Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with the alcohol hidden wonderfully. Good and silky.

O - Overall this was a nicely executed stout. The flavors/aroma arent anything special but that mouthfeel is great.

Photo of drpimento
4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Boom boom; out go the lights! This is one serious beer. Poured at a good temperature with an medium size, tan, foamy, frothy, sudsy head with brown highlights and a little lace. Aroma is a little mild and has malt, coffee, cocoa, roasty, dark ripe fruit, molasses. Flavor's like nose, Bitter, sweet, and mild tang are very well balaanced and marry in harmony with just the right body and carbonaton. Finish is like flavor, of average length, and has a little boozy warmth. Understated greatness.

Photo of jdhilt
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a four finger khaki head that fades slowly to a thin layer, leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights, yeast left in bottle. Medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Chocolate and grapefruit nose and flavor is roasted to burnt chocolate with a grapefruit finish. Unusual tartness for a RIS. High ABV is hidden. $5.99 for a 330ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, Vt.

Photo of Flounder57
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger mocha head that has reduced and left some nice lacing. Pitch black with sights of tiny bubbles at the top of the glass.

Smell: mocha, vanilla, oak, and earthiness. Other aromas are too difficult too tell.

Taste: mocha, chocolate, roasted flavors, oak, vanilla, oats, earthy tones, smokiness, and bitterness towards the end too.

Mouthfeel: very dry, smooth, medium to high carbonation, full bodied, and some bitterness too.

Overall: Not a bad RIS, but I have had better ones over the years. It was a good experience to have enjoyed this beer after a hard nights work. 11% is hidden very well too.

Photo of DARIVA
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark beer (say black) with no head.

S: Lots of licorice, chocolate and fishermands friend.

T: Licorice, macaroons and also chocolate with hazelnuts.

M: Light carbonation with a delicious bitter aftertaste.

O: Good beer and good drinkable.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 6/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark brown amber, appearing black in the glass with dark red highlights at the edges. Half finger light brown head dissipated, leaving light lacing. Pleasant aroma of toasted and sweet malts, a bit of fruit. Taste is toasted malt, coffee and chocolate. Hops show up quickly. Finishes with dark toasted malt and a hop kick. Starts a bit sweet, finishes dry. Interesting progression and well integrated. Nicely done.

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Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout from Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse
88 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.