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

225 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 225
Reviews: 92
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 15
Gots: 14 | 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: 225 | Reviews: 92
Reviews by DARIVA:
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.

More User Reviews:
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 oberon
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured jet black with a thin mocha colored head that was gone almost instantly.Deep complexity in the nose,dark roast,vanilla,and dark fruit stand out most along with some unsweetened bitter chocolate.Big and syrupy in the mouth and quite sweet on the palate,dark fruit and char,with bitter chocolate and molasses sweetness in a lingering finish.Nice flavors but the sweetness can be a bit much,still a nice sipping RIS.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #44 (Sep 2010):

Pours viscous black with a creamy, tiny-bubbled tan head on top. Big charred grain note in the nose with some chalky yeast in the back. Body is like it pours: thick. Right off the bat, there are some in-your-face chocolate and espresso flavors happening. Mild hopping is not noticed for the most part, aside from a faint leafy flavor. Black currant fruitiness with a slow, back-ended warmth. Hint of charred wood. Bitter chocolate in the finish. A very good run at the style--worth seeking out.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with red highlights and a white head. The aroma is roasted malt with some chocolate. The flavor is heavy chocolate, burnt malt and some coffee. Medium to thick mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation.

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 BranfordBound
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First review in a while. Bottle into snifter, not too cold to start. Best before date is in Dutch: "tenmiste houdbaar tot einde" and is March 2013. (Thanks Google Translate!)

Pours dark, dark brown. At first it appears flat, dead flat, then from the abyss a thick, one finger head of tan bubbles rise. Leaves mild lacing.

Smells of espresso first, then a strong whiff of fruits soaked in brandy.

Wow, this stuff is pretty thick. Starts with a pronounced blend of chocolate and malt, which then transitions into a gentle dark fruit note. Finishes with a light gracing of char that lingers with some earthiness. Sometimes a quick burn of alcohol.

Thick and wet mouthfeel, very smooth.

I'm not sure how I feel about this beer. The head is a little weak, but for a Dutch Brewery this is pretty darn good.

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Dan - thanks!

Pours black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and hints of vanilla. As the beer warms hints of earthy hop aromas waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of dark chocolate. Midway through the sip hints of vanilla make an appearance before fading out to allow earthy and slightly herbal hop flavors to carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was a pretty big fan of this beer but for the large ABV I feel as though it should be a bit more flavorful. Still, it's worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(served in a snifter)
A- Jet black body with a thin film of bubbly tan head that soon fades. There are a few microbubbles at the base but that is all that can be seen.
S- The aroma of prunes and black roasted malt is mellow with a cola aroma that takes on more of a berry aroma when the beer opens up. There is a slight cologne quality to the aroma also.
T- The mellow roasted black malt doesn't have any astringency or bitterness to it and there is a slight watery taste to follow . The berry flavor close, to blueberry, lingers after each sip.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel that is a bit dry and no alcohol heat at all.
D- The strongest flavor in this beer is the fruity berry flavor. The malt is very mellow with not much depth and no sweetness or alcohol to add character. Just not very exciting or big, I don't know where they hid the alcohol but it is gone.

Photo of Mar02x
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On the evening before my grandmothers funeral I had to drink a special brew. I was looking for a tasty stout. I drunk this one before but didn't review it yet.

A - Pitch black and a ring of foam against the glass. The foam is beige colored.

S - Oak wood, dark fruits, some sweetness in the scent.

T - Brown sugar, dark fruit, complex body, cherries, raisin, its all in there but it is not overwhelming.

M - Low carbonation, alcohol is present and some medium bitterness in the end.

O - A good stout, nice taste, a bit bitter with a sweet swirl. I think it would be nice with a good supper because there also some wine like tones present.

I am having a fresh one right now (1st of December 2011), and o boy this excellent stuff. I am raising therefore the tasting point by a half and the overall by a half. This beer tastes fresh, the hop is really fruity and present. The wine tones are gone now.

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

RIS that hits the spot. Above average mouthfeel, no head but black body. Understated carbonation, a tad above average mouthfeel overall. Lumps of sediment, more noticeable towards the end, in the glass. Boozy and roasty aroma. Nothing too complex. Bittersweet chocolate.

Photo of GoldenVIKE
2.59/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a bottle at The Publican, and paid $14!!

A: nice thick pour, creamy beige head that with nice retention and lace.

S: did not smell too great when it was served, but I think the restaurant served it too cold. probably around 40-45 degrees. smelled way more alcoholic than a 11% ABV been should. otherwise, standard coffee and chocolate notes came through, and it smelled much better and richer as the beer warmed.

T&M: first tastes were overwhelmed by alcohol and bitterness, which i didn't expect from a $14 12oz bottle of stout. tastes mellowed nicely as the beer warmed and become much more espresso like by the end. porter-like.

O: for the price there are much better beers out there. while this one did warm up nicely, it didn't offer anything that you can't find in other good stouts or porters.

Photo of Filosoof
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first Russian Imperial Stout. With an open mind...I will have to learn to appreciate this. Nevertheless, I think this is a good, but heavy beer.

L: almost black; no light through it; caramel brown top (one finger);
S: chocolate, vanilla, citrus, caramel, coffee;
T: though I love hops, they come through in a way I don't like. Citrus and caramel stay interesting though; cola element plus honey; the finish doesn't invite....
M: lovely, but I miss something; it is just too less inviting.
O: nice beginning.

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 thagr81us
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured pitch black with a very minimal light tan. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, alcohol, and dark chocolate. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Based on some of the brews I have had from this brewery I was honestly expecting more from this beer than what it delivered on. The complexity on this one was definitely lacking, but the alcohol was there to polish off the brew. It also likely covered up quite a few of the subtle flavors that might have been present in this one. Worth trying, but not the best of the style that I’ve had.

Photo of Ruds
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a snifter style glass

Colour is approaching black, but dark brown when held to light

Minimal head after pouring, less than half a finger and this vanished within a few minutes, leaving a tiny head around the edge of the glass

Smells slightly chocolately/toffee, and alcohol

Tastes slightly hoppy, chocolate - bitter style dark, roasted, and alcohol is predominant, too much so detracting a little from my enjoyment

Mouthfeel - OK, better than average, smooth and silky

Overall I was a little disappointed, I was expecting more from this beer!

Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty viscous black pour, just a ring of cream colored head.

Dark chocolate and roast aroma. Pretty standard, but good.

Taste is more roasty, burnt malt and dark chocolate. Dry cocoa as well. A nice espresso finish. Again straight forward, but solid.

Sturdy medium body, slightly oily, abv really well hidden. Drinkability is very good, nothing out there or real unique, but what it has is done with quality.

Thought this one was actually pretty solid. Waaay better than the other Dutch brewer I've had a few from (looking at you De Molen).

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.16 ounce (330 ml) bottle, best before 12/2012. My buddy Denis picked up this goodie for me, so thanks! Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and some piney hops. The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, but with the addition of some licorice, dark fruit and burnt/charred malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit slick and creamy with decent carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and easy to drink, and the 11% ABV isn't very noticable at all. I think it's a good brew, not sure if it's worth $4.99 a bottle or not but I thought it was a solid overall brew.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of dry roasted malt with light black chocolate notes. Taste is also a well balanced mix between some black chocolate with dry roasted malt notes. Body is about average for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Another one of this brewery beer which I find to be brewed exactly per style guideline with no flaws though lacking a little bit of soul or something to distinguish itself.

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

A: Deep black in color with a beautiful dark tan head. Looks very nice.

S: Lovely dark chocolate aroma. Caramel and Molasses with a nice touch of licorice.

T: Very sweet. Almost cloyingly so at first sip. After the sweetness calms down a bit a bitter roasty flavor takes over. It is almost a touch astringent. There is a bit of coffee grounds and dark chocolate in the finish. It is good, but the balance seems a little out of whack for me.

M: Fairly thick on the mouth, carbonation is a touch much for me.

O: Good, but with so many stellar stouts out there I could easily overlook this one for another that is a bit more put together and rounded off.

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.

Photo of RuudJH
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33 cl. bottle.
This beer, allthough ok aroma, is just a bit too simple. The alcohol doesn't get covered enough.

Light brown head on a very dark brown beer.
Smell and taste of clear roasted malts and nutts character. Some espresso coffee and dark chocolate. Some spice.
A lot of liquorice aroma/flavour in this particular beer. Not much to my liking.

Mouthfeel medium, with a lot of alcohol bite.

Ok beer, but nothing special.

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured jet black in color with a tan head that quickly transitioned into lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of alcohol, dark roasted malts and coffee in the nose.
T: The taste is somewhat complex and is similar to the nose with notes of bittersweet chocolate, coffee and roasted malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied, somewhat smooth and creamy and dry on the palate with some warming sensations from the alcohol. Not that much carbonation is present.
D: The beer is surprisingly easy to drink given its alcohol content and the alcohol is not perceptible in the taste.

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Vigorous, long pour nets a jet black brew with a light mocha head of about thumbs-width. Some lacing, but the legs keep running it down into the beer.

Aromas of heavy roasted coffee, very dark cocoa, roasted malts. Licorise. Alcohol burns the nose hairs.

First sip is similar to aroma - dark cocoa, dark roast coffee, hint of dark roasted malts. Alcohol burn. Long, lingering finish reminds me of dark semisweet chocolate. All bitterness from roasted grains. Good level of carbonation.

Mouthfeel is full, chewy, slightly sweet, not cloying. Some creamy carbonation, surprising considering strength of the beer.

Very drinkable beer. Outstanding example of a RIS.

Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a midnight black with dark tan edges when held to the light. The dark tan head slowly fades into a mild cap and tiny collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted nuts, cocoa, black grapes, herbal hops, pine, Soy sauce, sherry, and cream.
Taste is of the aromas with a yeasty, chalky flavor that yells roasted malt and chocolate.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, astringent, hot, and spicy.

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Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout from Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse
88 out of 100 based on 225 ratings.