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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
87
very good

91 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 91
Hads: 229
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.03%
Wants: 17
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: 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
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Reviews: 91 | Hads: 229
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
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. (270 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (619 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
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 (568 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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! (2,036 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (526 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (420 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (789 characters)

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (1,571 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (289 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (319 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a creamy off-white tan head, solid head retention and lace.

S: Good notes of chocolate and orange oil, but I also notice a hint of acetone and hairspray in the background, a fault, but doesn't ruin it especially as it warms up.

T: Sweet milk chocolate to dark chocolate with a mild hopping but it makes it from being overly sweet. None of the solvent character from the nose carries through. Good overall flavours, enjoyable, never really roasted.

M: Smooth, creamy, frothy, easy drinking with a medium to full body.

O: This is quite a good beer, a very Americanized style out of the Netherlands which was surprising. Price is a problem, when Yeti or Ten Fidy is half the price and you're not getting as much, why would I buy it again? That being said, I liked this beer quite a bit, it's well made, if you've got a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket, go for it. (919 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev -1%
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. (425 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (1,011 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's tonight.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, smelling almost like a licorice, oatmeal stout. Aside from the licorice, there is the expected coffee and dark chocolate. Flavors replicate the nose in this moderately sweet RIS, though it's a bit rough around the edges and is not as smooth as I might like. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, though there's certainly plenty of flavor. Drinkability is pretty good, even though you can tell the abv. is up there a bit.

This is a pretty nice RIS, one that I think would benefit from a bit more time in bottle or keg. It's good now, but I suspect in a year or two might well be outstanding. (723 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (880 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (393 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of pale malt, slight sweet malt, slight roasted malt, and a hint of earthy malt. Fits the style of a Russian Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, slight sweet malt, slight roasted malt, hint of earthy malt, and alcohol. Overall, decent aroma and body. (418 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (487 characters)

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Thick viscous black body. Hardly any light coming through.

S - This beer has a strong nose of chocolate and burnt malts. Robust roasty smokey nose. Some toasty wood wafting through.

T - Strong syrupy chocolate flavor is foremost. Roasty toasted and burnt malts are present. The taste is thick and intense with plenty of coffee/chocolate and smoked flavors.

M - Very thick body. The mouthfeel was smooth but viscous and chewy. I felt like i was eating this beer.

D - Pretty intense. Wouldn't be able to take down to much of this beer. As the glass became empty, the liquid became thicker. TONS of sediment ion the bottom of the bottle.

Notes - There was literally a half inch of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. I poured some of the beer back into the bottle and swirled it around, kicking up ALL of the yeasty mud. This gave my beer a chocolate milk like consistency and also added a yeasty tang to it. If you like imperial stouts id try this one. Lots of flavor and plenty of kick. (1,006 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (713 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.09/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A friend brought this to a poker game last night, a standard ploy to get others drunk while gambling. 11% ABV, a fine choice for this purpose. I had about 1/3 of the bottle.

It poured dark brown-black with a few fingers of tan head. It looks nice but I didn't really like the aroma, strong roasted malts which smelled a little bitter, also a little alcohol peeking through. Not as complex as I'd hoped in the flavor either, the roasted notes take the lead, with a lasting bitter aftertaste and a noticeable burn.

A strongly alcoholic charred malts creation, not really my cup of tea. Glad for the chance to try it, and I did end up losing some money so I guess it helped the cause. (684 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (871 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (670 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are centered around dark roasted grains, molasses, some dark fruits and roasted candied malts with a undeniable alcohol whiff in the end.

The taste opens with extreme dark roasted java and dark fruit malts. Roast, roast, roast. I get a huge boozieness here from the middle to end which it a bit offsetting. I wish I aged this a little longer before sampling, but the intense roasted maltiness makes me feel like this will always be slightly unbalanced. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with medium carbonation, overly warm.

This is a serious beer indeed. Honestly I enjoyed the Winterbier heads and tails over this offering but it is really not fair to compare the two. This beer definitely needs some time on the back-burner to reach it's maximum potential, but I still question it's ability to balance itself because it is extremely heavy on the roasted grains and even if the alcohol subsides I think the bitterness from the roasted grains still may be too overpowering. (981 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

10.14 oz bottle into my Narke tulip...A dark black pour but only a little carbonation. A light tan head rises only about a finger fading quickly with only a little lacing...Aroma is pretty malty, sweet chocolate. Its ok, but pretty boring one note...The taste thankfully adds a little bit more than the aroma, some roasty bitter coffee comes through but so does a touch of alcohol. Still malty on the front. The taste is a decent stout but the grain alcohol on the finish knocks this down a lot. (495 characters)

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Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout from Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse
87 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.