Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout - Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse

Not Rated.
Emelisse Imperial Russian StoutEmelisse Imperial Russian Stout

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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
Photo of soccerman7
3.87/5  rDev -1%
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.

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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 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 LestatSabastian
3.83/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of stcules
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of woemad
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
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?

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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 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 Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.3/5  rDev +10%
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


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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
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

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Photo of rudzud
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of drpimento
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of DARIVA
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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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 Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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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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Photo of thagr81us
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of Ruds
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
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!

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Photo of lanbewardin
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up from Dranken Geers.

Looks black , little bit of dark tan head but it goes away after a while.

WOW, this smells hoppy. I have never smelled this amount of hops in an RIS, I get a lot of really citrusy hops, maybe some toasty chocolate under it, but the hops dominate, wish I could know when this was bottled. Bottle says best before 9/2013

Taste is hoppy on the front, I get some roasted coffee chocolate on the end, quite bitter, citrusy.

Mouthfeel is good, mouthcoating bitterness, lowish carbonation, just what I look for in an RIS, alcohol is warming but not overpowering.

Overall I am really enjoying this, tastes more like a Black IPA than an RIS to me. Probably going to age my other bottle to see if the hops mellow out.

Edit, I'm going to lower my rating a bit because I think its actually too hoppy , which is not what I normally look for in an RIS and makes it a bit 1 dimensional, hides the chocolates and the coffees. It is really interesting though.

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Photo of chrisrose30
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours out of the bottle a very dark brown with no head, and is slightly fizzy. Espresso aroma, some berries, and definitely a whiff of alcohol. Very smooth with a sweet, sticky mouthfeel. A very mellow, warm IRS overall. I would definitely have another.

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