Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout - Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse

Not Rated.
Emelisse Imperial Russian StoutEmelisse Imperial Russian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

93 Reviews

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Reviews: 93
Hads: 232
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 15.35%
Wants: 18
Gots: 16 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 93 | Hads: 232
Reviews by eslemarc:
Photo of eslemarc
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.16 oz bottle in a snifter.

The beers pours a dark roast coffee color, no real head comes to life, just sparse little bubbles clinging to the edge of the glass. Agitating the beer brings a little life to the beer, but it quickly falls down.

The nose is very rich with dark chocolate and anise, a real creamy sweetness is present. With more agitation comes a little cool booziness and even brings hints of coffee around. But this time some of the flecks of head have started holding to the glass.

The beer feels alive up front with light carbonation but quickly smoothes out into a wonderfully creamy texture and semi-full mouthfeel. The body is between medium and full; there is now a little caramel coming through. The finish hangs a little with coffee on the palate and an interesting (hop?) bitterness. It's certainly very warming and changing with each sip. I would say this beer is worth a go if you come across it but I wouldn't be cashing in any favors to get it.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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!

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Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of bishopdc0
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of codysjb
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Guinnsslvr
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of kaneel
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown, close to black, in colour. Beige head that gives way to a beautiful espresso-like lacing. If you spin the glass around a few times, you'll get a finger of head again, just beautiful. Smells like roasted malts, dried fruit, dark cherries and coffee. The taste is what you'd expect from the aroma - dark cherries, dark chocolate, molasses and instant coffee. The texture is incredibly smooth and the aftertaste is cherry-bitter. Amazing beer. I am tasting this after several of its barrel-aged variants, and I can see why the latter are so good, because they have an awesome base beer to improve on.

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Photo of Mantooth
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.87/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of Zonian1
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of prdstmnky
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Mar02x
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of GoldenVIKE
2.59/5  rDev -33.8%
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.

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Photo of whatname
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of aztraz
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Filosoof
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout from Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse
87 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.