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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

(Read More)
Reviews: 93
Hads: 235
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 16.37%
Wants: 17
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 93 | Hads: 235
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 avalon07
3.99/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of zoolzoo
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black center, cocoa around the edges of the glass. No head until the trailing end of a motor oil-ish pour...a half finger coffee bean head appears and quickly disappears into barely a cap.

S: Burnt malts, smoke, and an oaky character backed up by chocolate sweetness and booze.

T: Burnt stuff up front, smoke...wood....lots of roasted character. Semi-sweet chocolate and a bit of coffee provides a suitable base. Theres some heat, a little alcohol note in the finish.

M: Thick and chewy, low carbonation. The motor oil pour is re-affirmed in body.

D: Pretty good despite the heat. In non barrel aged stouts, I really seem to prefer char and smoke up front as opposed to lots of chocolate sweetness. This is giving me what I want, while allowing that sweetness to remain in a supporting role.

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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 bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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

A - Black beer with no real light coming through the glass, little bit of head, not much stuck to the sides.

S - Roasted malts, caramel, little bit of bitter chocolate. Slight bit of wood with a little bit of alcohol burn.

T - Pretty nice taste, good roasted notes. Bit of bitter chocolate. It's fairly straight-forward, but pretty good.

M - Thick, moderate carbonation, full bodied.

D - Drinks easier than an 11%. It's a solid beer that I can hapily drink.

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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 superspak
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of IPA35
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a coffee coloured, tan head.

Smells of dark fruits, coffee, dark choclate, citrus (zest), liquorice and dark malts.

Taste has lots of roasted malts, dark fruits giving it sweetess, bitter chocolate, liquorice prehaps, some alcohol and hops.

Mouthfeel is rather creamy and the carbonation is low.

Nice sipper but too flavourfull for me to really like it.

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

11.16oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Body is quite black. Big tan head leaves plenty of lacing.

S: Mostly espresso with some fruitiness.

T: Strong espresso notes. Some dried fruits. A bit of tobacco. Plenty of roasty bitterness. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

M: Slightly thinner than I would like, but good creaminess.

D: A solid RIS. It didn't wow me, but it did the job on a cold December night.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body w/ a one-finger tan head that left some lace patches on top of a great malt aroma of chocolate, toffee, caramel, roasted and coffee malts. Tad simplistic for style but still a great tasting beer as a smooth, medium body passes w/ chocolate and caramel and is balanced with a dry malt edge of roasted and coffee. Some hints of dark fruits like black cherry as well. ABV is well-hidden and that's scary considering how high it is and this is a must try for any stout drinker.

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Photo of kwjd
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I don't know if this is the 2009 or not since the picture doesn't look like the label, but there are no other entries. Google translate says that the date on the side of the bottle is the best before date and it best before December 2010, so assuming this had to be brewed before this year.

Pours an opaque dark brown with thick tan head. Nice lacing, but minimal head retention after a couple sips. Smells almost like burnt malt, beyond roasted. Some coffee and bitter dark chocolate with burnt caramel. A little syrupy and boozy, maybe could have waited a bit longer before opening. I'm really glad the guy in the Binny's in Chicago recommended I pick this up because I wouldn't have thought to grab it.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am drinking the 2010 vintage. Pours jet black with a tan head that dissipates to a fine layer of bubbles, leaving some lacy clouds on the glass.

Aromas of coffee, cherries, chocolate, hops, and alcohol.

Tastes follow the nose. Mainly coffee and chocolate, a little bit of fruit, I'd say cherries. But overall the taste is kind of like a chocolate/coffee ice cream, which is good, but does not blow me away. Finishes dry, with a hoppy aftertaste.

Body is moderate and not much carbonation, gives this a creamy, melted ice cream mouthfeel.

This is a good, drinkable version of an RIS.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this one at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours out jet black and produces a ½ finger medium looking beige head that quickly fades to a splotchy wisp and a ring. Noisy one as well. Jet black body with no carbonation evident at all. A faint ring remains but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Big bold nose on this one for sure. Lots of roasted malts, caramel and toffee sweetness, as well as notes of dark chocolate and espresso. Aromas jump out on the pour. Enticing.

TASTE: Roasted and sweet caramel malt up front, with some toffee and sweet molasses as well. Big coffee and espresso notes with some dark chocolate as well. A big, bold and long lasting aftertaste with sweet caramel notes, molasses, and bitter dark chocolate and espresso is well balanced and plenty roasted and boozy. A flavourful imperial stout.

PALATE: Medium body, medium carbonation, and creamy smooth on the palate. Goes down smooth and finishes somewhat mouth-coating, with a little heat at the back on the finish. Nice here too.

OVERALL: A bold and flavorful imperial stout, so much so that it became somewhat tough to finish the 30cl bottle. Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable offering and I would certainly track this one down again. A little under the radar perhaps, but if you can find one, give it a chance. Recommended.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of thierrynantes
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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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 metter98
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
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).

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Photo of dcmchew
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 't Arendsnest, Amsterdam.

Pours impenetrable black with a cappuccino head that's slow to fade. Coffee, bark and sticky orange - huge for both malts and hops. Heavy chocolate cake malts, roasty tightness in the middle and some piney resin to end. A bite in the finish and a dry linger. Full, sticky and round.

Complex, lots of coffee cocktail (java, sugar) notes, and very drinkable for 11%.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
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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Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big vanilla and chocoalte aroma. Sharp but balanced coffee notes up front on the palate along with rich milk chocolate. A very good beer, but for +$1.00/oz at a high volume beer bar.... there are better options.

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