Saint Petersburg Imperial Stout - Thornbridge Brewery

Not Rated.
Saint Petersburg Imperial StoutSaint Petersburg Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
89
very good

167 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 167
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.88%
Wants: 7
Gots: 14 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Thornbridge Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-22-2006

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 95
Photo of jaswilson2
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Some odd taste in there that I can't place.

Photo of MacQ32
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Heavy heavy leather/tobacco aroma. Also almost a our apple aroma

Photo of interzen
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Look: Pours a dark, dark brown topped off with a couple of fingers of fluffy, light-tan head. Good head retention - or at least it took a good couple of minutes for it to dissipate leaving behind some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Surprisingly flat in the smell department, even after being left at room temperature for a little while. There are faint hints of chocolate, coffee and (maybe) smoke, but not at lot else.

Taste: Taste-wise, it comes alive - there's an initial ashy, smoky flavour followed by the more usual 'stout' flavours of dark chocolate, roasted malts and dark roasted coffee. Granted, it's not as intense as you'd find in a 'dedicated' chocolate or coffee stout, but it's definitely there. The smoky flavours are, however, relegated to a background role. Overall, though, wonderfully complex.

Feel: Quite a dry feel, with an ashy, chalky finish. The merest hint of alcohol in the aftertaste, but otherwise the ABV is well hidden.

Overall: I've had good luck with quite a few of Thornbridge's offerings and this one is no exception. Whilst the Imperial stout market isn't as crowded as that of, say, American-style IPAs, it still takes something to stand out from the crowd and this manages it in spades. Well worth a try, and another stout that might benefit from some aging.

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with one finger head and an aroma that borders on smoke and chocolate and for some reason I pick up hints of licorice/anise and/or molasses (something sweet and sugar - maybe burnt sugars...I don't know). Tastes of sweet flavors like chocolate malts, possible toffee/caramel, and a smokiness for a dry, roasted taste and heavy bodied stout. Despite the smokiness being there, the roasted/smoked aspect is actually subdued and lets sweetness shine through thanks to wonderful balancing act.

Photo of zonker17
4/5  rDev +1%

Huge head that fully dissipates. Nice lacing on glass. Rather thin. Good smokiness and general stout flavors.

Photo of FLima
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep black color with no trespassing of light whatsoever. Barely one finger of light caramel head with medium retention.
Delicious initial aroma of licorice, plums, blueberries, some smoke and mild tobacco leaves.
Bold flavor of red and black fruits, licorice, roasted coffee grains, cocoa powder, English tangy and earthy hops, tobacco leaves, burnt chocolate, pistachio and molasses. Very dry and bitter aftertaste.
Smooth medium to full body with appropriate mild carbonation. Alcohol of 7.7% abv is completely absent.
Excellent Russian imperial Stout with no sharp edges and superbly balanced, but still hoppy and with its own and bold character. Not extreme as American RIS, but it does get more and more intense as temperature rises. High drinkability for a RIS.

Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

A: Black body with a beige head. Superb lacing. Definitely bottle fermented.

S: Very peppy. American orange marmalade hops and fudge.

T: Trans-atlantic in character like most of this brewery's beers. A very snappy bright flavour of rindy orange marmalade. The bottle talks about chocolately goodness but really it's a very hop forward impy stout with loads of mango and orange rind. It's delicious. Some lovely woodiness in the aftertaste. Fairly bitter but it's only 7.4%.

M: Velvety and smooth, but not in the least lacklustre.

O: Another great offering from a great brewery.

Photo of sheltone60
1/5  rDev -74.7%

Bitter with a rough finish.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Chocolate and Vines in Rochester, NY. 2012 vintage has aged well.

Pours out a deep dark black, with a one inch mocha-colored foamy head that recedes quickly. A little bit of lacing.

Smells heavenly, lots of chocolate and a little bit of coffee. A small amount of roasted malt as well.

The taste is similar, but more complex. There is a slight peat-like smokiness, some tobacco, and leather, with lots of creamy milk chocolate flavors. Slight bit of espresso-like bitterness, other than that, this beer is very smooth with minimal roasted malt flavor.

Thick body, not quite as viscous as some other stouts of its type, but still quite full. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel, very drinkable.

A classic that has taken to aging well, I'm glad I picked this one.

Photo of thecheapies
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Chocolate black with an inch of sudsy light tan head. Retention is awesome.

There's a little more than mild oxidation in the nose, but there are stout notes offered. Dark chocolate, berries, chewy toffee, cardboard, and English ale maltiness.

Richer flavors of roast, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, anisette, cereal grains, leather, red apple skins, cardboard, and winey fruits. Hints of bitter tobacco smoke. Carries age. Not bad.

A lot of crumpled carbonation with only a medium body. Light for the style, typical of the real-deal English version.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Novare for my uprising.

I subbed this for a RIS they were out of.

Served in a goblet the beer presents a nice lace and tan head.

The nose is roasted and smoky like a camp fire, not smoked meats. There is a definite sweetness but it is balanced with the smoke

The tastes is great, very english, creamy malt and a lingering roastyness. The roast reveal a nice smoke, almost peaty.

This beer reminds me of a local RIS that was aged in peat smoked scotch barrels very nice

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a large, light tan head.
Nose shows roasted malt, nutty and toasty characters, soft spicy and grassy hops. Also some oats and soft booze.
Flavours mainly concentrate of roasted malt and booze. Some of the spicy hops transfer through, leading to a very aggressive bitterness in the finish.
Carbonation seems a little aggressive too.

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours fairly pitch black color with a small dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, molasses, dark bread, light peat smoke, and roasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt notes; with decent strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, dark bread, caramel, toffee, molasses, light peat smoke, toast, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, molasses, toast, light peat smoke, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors; with good robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a moderately creamy, lightly slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good imperial stout. Good balance and complexity of roasted/dark malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of jrenihan
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is black with a moderately-sized tan head. Decent retention, fair lace.

Nose contains a generous amount of dark fruit (grape, plum). There is also some anise and wood, some peat and smoke. Not much in the way of roasted malt, which is unusual. Still, a nice smell.

The peat is amplified in the flavour. The dark fruits are there as well (still grape and plum), but begins to take a bit of a back seat. Moderately bitter. Alcohol heat is noticeable, more than expected for the ABV.

Full bodied, but thinner than expected. A bit sticky and oily. Some alcohol burn. Low carbonation level.

Overall, an interesting RIS. A bit unusual, fairly tasty.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, vanilla, cocoa, and slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, campfire, and band-aid flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the aromas and flavors on this one are a bit subdued in my opinion.

Photo of Mebuzzard
2.68/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Well, high hopes for this one shattered. From the start this beer disappointed, but in all honesty it's not a good beer.

Pours an oily dark brown/cola with no head whatsoever. A vigorous swirl brings about a little bit, then it dies

Aroma of faded prune, wet leather and some cheap coffee. Thin

Thin feel, too, which does not help the flavors. It has a bit of staleness to it. The sharp prune is quick before it fades. Filling the void is some roasted caramel and instant coffee. A bit cloying with the prune skin.

not a fan. drain pour half the bottle.

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a hint of brown and a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. Fades normal.

S - Sweet roasted chocolate and dark caramel malts, dark fruits, roasted coffee, molasses, black licorice, vanilla.

T - Sweet roasted chocolate and dark caramel malts, raisins and other dark fruits, roasted coffee, earthy hops, mild bitterness, black licorice, molasses, vanilla.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit chewy with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Good RIS. Nice complexity, mouthfeel, and balance.

Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +1%

Bottle sampled at Beerfest 2012. Took some notes, then put it away til I could have a full bottle again.
Pours opaque black, tan head rises up then falls down to thin cap. Lace rings coat the glass, foam never fully disappears.
Smell is roasted malt, cocoa and dark chocolate, even some char or smoke present.
Taste is much the same, typical Imperial Stout character. Cocoa, bitterness from roasted or charred malt, coffee.
Lower level of carbonation keep it smooth, dry mouth feel.
Overall, this is a pretty good beer, but there are just as good local examples, with out the higher import price tag.

Photo of heygeebee
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BB Mar 14

Appearance - the usual black with two finger head. Lines of lace.

Aroma - roast malts, choc, espresso, some cigar box.

Taste - super smooth and rounded. Dark chocolate, hint of licorice. Pistachio. Some smoke.

Mouthfeel light carbonation, medium weight. Silky smooth, no booze.

Overall, this has the weight of a 10% beer. Well made indeed, hugely integrated and complex. Great drinking. Say no more.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Snagged a 500ml bottle of this for 5 bucks at the house of 1,000 beers.

A - Pours an expected deep pitch black with a 1/2 inch of deep mocha head. Some ruby hues at the base.
S - Faint roast coffee, aged licorice, chocolate malt and some more roast.
T - Not sure how old this is but damn is this balanced. Cold coffee, licorice sticks, some chocolate malts not too chocolaty since its not really really sweet. Mostly a tad bit of cloying roast and bitterness of the hops. It's a pretty tasty RIS overall.
M - Medium to thick in body, slick with a nice ABV to boot.

Overall this was a pretty interesting find along the same quality as Samuel Smith's RIS. Not sure if I would get it again since it was kind of expensive.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.68/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from my Duvel pokal

A - Pours a thick black colour with a tanned head that stays the course and laces

S - Beautiful roasted malts, coffe and chocolate

T - Oh this is good. Really smooth malts, with nice expresso coffe and dark chocolate untertones. The finish is very creamy and smooth with no hint of booze.

M - Full body and low carbonation makes for a silky stout.

O - This is one of those RIS's that leaves you wanting more. Its very smooth and displays masterful balance. Proves that you don't need super high ABV's to acheive greatness.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours a dense opaque black body with a tan lumpy film and some microbubbles race to the surface up the side of the glass.

S- The dark fruity esters have a rick but mellow black roasted malt aroma that grows and has a nice leathery finish.

T- The rich leather and dark dried fruit esters have some dark vinous character and a note of pipe tobacco before finishing with a black roasted malt flavor. There is some nice gentle roasted bitterness in the after taste and a dark cola note aswell.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle fizz and no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This is a classic RIS. Big and complex flavors but still very mellow and blended easy to drink and each sip has more character that the last. Delicious.

Photo of seand
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark near-opaque brown, with a fair amount of tan head. The head dissipates to a thin spotty film with a thicker ring around the edge of the glass, which leaves pretty good lacing.

S: Thin compared to a big American style RIS; a bit milky, with a pleasantly sweet roasted malt background.

T: Relatively light sweetness, with a background of more complex roasted malt. Nice throughout, not too big, and very drinkable.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall, good, and very different than a big American RIS. Worth trying.

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A bit of a letdown, considering how notable and how much I've enjoyed the other Thornbridge ales I've been introduced to in the past few months.

At no point in this sampling did I get the impression that this was in the style, as advertized. This strikes me as nothing more than a robust, English porter. And merely a serviceable, if not dynamically flavorful, one at that.

It presents itself as a dark brown liquid topped by a fleeting, pale-tan/ashy head. Some smears of lace. Mellow, dark-roast coffee and some cereal-like malt is about the extent of its aromas and flavors. Not much malt sweetness or rich complexity, nor supple roastiness warranting attention. Drinks real clean, light and smooth for what it's supposed to be. Perhaps some powdery wash in the finish. Weakly silky/oily, if you must.

I don't dislike this beer. Throughout the tasting, I was just trying to find memorable things to share about it - something to say, "You need to try this because ___". Just didn't happen. I still highly recommend their others I've had.

Photo of MrKennedy
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle, into a Great Divide Cervoise glass.

Nice two finger pour of creamy looking tan foam on top of a black base that only shows the slightest hint of ruby when held up to the light. Good spotty lacing and nice foam retention.

Smell is chocolate. Mostly light milk chocolate and just a little bit of aniseed late on. Interesting mix of something enticing and something less enticing.

Taste comes through with plenty of chocolate and just a little bit of roast. Some smokiness later on and a little bit of licorice at the end. Good interesting mix. Nothing insane but everything does its job well and it works.

Really nice mix of smooth early and some bitterness late. Not the biggest body at all. But you shouldn't expect it from a 7.7% ABV Imperial Stout. Has an almost Oatmeal Stout feel to it and later some bitterness and spice from the aniseed kicks in. Does make this very drinkable, the fact that you know the first bit will be so smooth.

Overall it really works for me. You shouldn't expect some super sludgy RIS from this. It suits its specs really well and the 500ml bottle format and ABV mix really makes it a hard beer to turn down. Very enjoyable!

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Saint Petersburg Imperial Stout from Thornbridge Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.