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Reserve Ale Russian Imperial Stout - Cricket Hill Brewing Co.

Reserve Ale Russian Imperial StoutReserve Ale Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

32 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 32
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 8.95%

Brewed by:
Cricket Hill Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: muskiesman on 02-11-2012)
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Ratings: 32 | Reviews: 15 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of robwestcott


3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold and black to a Stone 10oz goblet with a full finger, long lasting tan head leaving a sheet of lace to the run.

Aroma of smoky dark malts, hint of earthy hops.

Medium bodied, big carbonation, smooth and creamy. Cocoa, hints of coffee and big smoke.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 22:45:15 | More by robwestcott
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on December 3, 2013.

It pours like a decent Russian Imperial Stout should with its deep black color, modest tan head and opaque black oil quality. The head fads after a bit.

Lots of vibrant aromas of dark toasted malts, dark fruit, and a slight earthy hop quality to it. The 10.5% ABV can be picked up a smidgen.

The body is medium to full.

The taste is also full of toasted malts but there is more of a fruitiness in the flavor that is not as notable on the nose. Dry finish. A nicely done Impy Stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 01:15:30 | More by puboflyons
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from RSVP
Pours a solid black with a huge creamy tan head that persists forever leaving lots of sticky lace on the way down. Aromas of chocolate and roast with hints of dark pitted fruits, licorice, and just a touch of oxidation. The flavor is chocolate drizzled sweet cherries and raspberries up front with just a touch of warming alcohol. Licorice, caramel and brown sugar with a touch of earth hop flavor round this one out nicely. Thick body with a velvety creamy smooth mouthfeel, and a light level of carbonation. This is a very nice brew, the chocolate and fruity flavors integrate very well and the abv is well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 23:35:02 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of metter98

New York

3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color - traces of red are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a half finger high dark tan head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface, a collar around the edge and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of sweetness and dark roasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has some initial sweetness followed by notes of roasted malts. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste but I would have liked it if some of the sweetness could have been replaced with bitterness or roasted flavors.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 18:03:25 | More by metter98
Photo of sulldaddy


3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter.

Picked up a bottle on a whim from my local beer store in their "clearance" section. Didnt go wrong here.
The beer pours a fairly thick black color with creamy tan head of 2 cm foaming up and fading away slowly to a sturdy surface layer. Looks the part of a robust imperial stout.

Aroma is pleasant yet maybe a little one dimensional, I get roasted malt and dark cocoa, but not much else. The roast is clearly dominant over other scents. No hint of booze and I dont get any real hop presence, maybe a little earthy aroma, but that is very faint.

First sip reveals a thick body and smooth rolling carbonation.
Flavor is roasted malt and roasted malt, I get a little burnt molasses, but otherwise not too much diversity on the flavor either.

Both the nose and flavor on this beer are appealing but maybe one dimensional. Some dark fruit or chocolate or other stout notes would really boost my scores. I didnt dislike the beer, in fact I enjoyed it, I just wouldnt put it in the excellent category.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 16:04:33 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of tigg924


3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color, opaque, 1 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and cream

Taste: caramel, chocolate, charred toasted malt, and cream at the end

Mouthfeel: medium body, high carbonation, sweet

Overall: An excellent value RIS and one of the better beers I have had from Cricket Hill. Not the most complex RIS, but nothing offensive and one I will certainly get again. A bit sweet for the style, but good.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 13:20:45 | More by tigg924
Photo of BeerKangaroo


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

Thanx SammyJaxxx:

Into a chalice:

A: black/almost slightly brown body with a two finger slightly tan/off-white head, sticky lacing that concaves a bit

S: roasted grain, light mocha, slight chocolate malt

T: mainly sweet to the cocoa, coffee-like bitterness, slight chocolate aftertaste yet a dry finish

M: medium to heavy, not sessionable - good night as the ABV is slightly felt

O: I'd say this is good for a Russian Imperial Stout that I would have again

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 21:17:54 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of Etan


3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

A: Pours a coffee-like black body with a sticky light tan head.

S: Pleasant aroma of savory roasted grain, light mocha, plenty of chocolate malt. Nicely balanced between sweet and roasty.

T: The taste brings mildly astringent roast, cocoa, coffee-like bitterness, lightly leafy hoppiness, moderate alcohol heat.

M: Between medium and thick-bodied with light carbonation.

O: The alcohol combined with the roasted malt and hoppiness give the beer a bit of a bitter astringency, but besides that this is a serviceable imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 03:07:49 | More by Etan
Photo of jlindros


4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up on one of my trips to Maine I think, probably at RSVP in Portland.

Pours into my Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip with a big mocha colored creamy thick almost 2 finger head that fades at a med pace but leaves some nice layered lacing, over super pitch black dark colored beer, with nice legs even.

NOse is pretty nice, dark chocolate, powdered cocoa, little baker's choc, light roast, coffee, thick dark caramel, even a light vanilla porter like malt base. Smells like it has some creamy oats and lush like, chewy, thick milk chocolate, big malts overall. Light earthy hops in the background, hint of black malt as well.

Taste starts with big thick malts, dark malts, tons of chocolate, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, little baker's chocolate, creamy melted belgian chocolate like too, and light fluffy nougaty cocoa. Then light roasted malt, a hint of roast with a hint of almost smoked malt flavors, and faint coffee. Big fluffy carbonation, and creamy malts with oats and chewy feel give a nice body to it. Light warming booze in the middle, with mild sweetness, and some nice spicy earthy hops cutting through with a fair bitterness. The roasty malts turn very slightly acrid in the background, more of a note than an off flavor. Finish is more roasty black malts lingering, hint of that acrid coffee coming through, fluffy malts, plenty more chocolate, spicy earthy fairly bitter and slightly salty hops really come through on the finish, but a big sweet almost syrupy malt mouth coating.

Mouth is fuller bodied, just a bit of warming booze, nice fluffy carbonation, thick slightly syrupy mouth coating.

Overall not bad at all. I would love to see this bourbon barrel aged, or even just a couple years on it. It's a nice RIS by itself but would really kick up with some aging to round off that faint acrid notes and bitterness, and esp some bourbon and barrel balancing. Nice chocolate, nice malts and roast, creamy rich, nice hops even. This came as a surprise from them as I wasn't a huge fan of the bourbon barrel porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 01:22:55 | More by jlindros
Photo of DaveAnderson


3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to SammyJaxxxx for the bottle. I've never heard of Cricket Hill before, so I'm excited to try something new.

It looks like an Imperial Stout ought to -- dark and foamy, not too oily, beige head with good retention. Whoa! This smells smoky. I was not expecting that. Hop aromas are on the fruitier side, although the smoke overwhelms them somewhat.

It tastes pretty decent, but as with the aroma, smoke is muting everything else. I can tell there's something complex lingering back there, but I can't focus on it.

I don't care for my stouts to be sweet, and this hits that note just right. Additionally, i would never have guessed this was 10.5%.

In the end, the smokiness of this beer is a huge distraction. It's an otherwise solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 04:24:51 | More by DaveAnderson
Photo of quirkzoo


3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

LIF win from Brooklynbrews.

Pours straight black with a surprising amount of head. 1 finger of cappuccino head.

Lots of roast and chocolate, exactly what I am looking for in a RIS. As it warms the alcohol becomes more prevalent.

Nice well balanced RIS. A lot of chocolate up front, with tons of roasted grains. Well balanced but not terribly complex. A bit of bitterness and definitely not sweet.

Mouthfeel is nice, on the carbonated side for a RIS but it works in this beer and definitely adds to the drinkability. Extremely easy for me to take down this whole 22oz bottle.

Overall a very solid RIS. Doesn't bring anything particularly spectacular to the table but a very good RIS that delivers exactly what I was looking for.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 03:56:30 | More by quirkzoo
Photo of rudzud


3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade from muskiesman.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a deep, thick oily black with a massive, fluffy three finger mocha head that fades to leave a big, fluffy quarter inch blanket that leaves nice side lacing.

S - Lots of roasted chocolate malts and some light dark fruit esters in the background. Subtle carmels and malt sweetness.

T - More of the chocolate and roasty malts. There are some slight malt sweetness, super faint fruits and maybe a hint of vanilla. This all said, its fairly straightforward and typical.

M - Wow, this is a very, very good mouthfeel for a RIS. Smooth, creamy, not quite silky/velvety but very smooth with the alcohol really hidden. Incredibly drinkable.

O - Overall this was a pretty darn good stout. While the flavours were relatively average the appearance and mouthfeel really drove this RIS home. With so many stouts on the market it takes alot to stand out of the pack, but on appearance and drinkability alone this one is a homerun.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 22:31:03 | More by rudzud
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, poured into my petite Duvel tulip.

Cricket Hill's Russian Imperial Stout pours a solid black. Roughly four fingers of mocha foam billow up and threaten to spill over the glass. The head creeps down a little until it's three fingers tall, and then just sits there. Retention from that point on is superb. The lacing left at the top of the glass is a solid ring, but it tapers off a fair bit below that. At first pour the nose has a fair bit of smoke and roasted grain to it. Once the beer warms though a deep dark chocolate aroma gradually takes over and asserts itself. The chocolaty aspect of the nose never really fully translates over into the flavor. It's there, but very much in the background. The taste ends up being highlighted by anise, roasty grains, and smoke (in that order). It's not bad, but for me things are a bit backwards, as those are all flavors I much more enjoy in a secondary role, adding a subtle twist to a beer, rather than leading the way. The body has a nice creamy edge to it, but it is a little on the dry side. Meanwhile, the carbonation is just a touch to prickly on my palate. Cricket Hill's brewed a passable to good RIS, but it's definitely not in the top echelon of those that I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 06:12:46 | More by axeman9182
Photo of DoubleSimcoe

New York

3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cricket Hill Russian Imperial Stout, bomber bought at Jersey City Super Buy Rite for $9.99.

Appearance: Poured into my Lost Abbey chalice, this comes with a great frothy-fluffy head (almost three fingers), hefty bubbles on top and good retention. Carbonation is rather solid and lacing is just artsy! Very black looking beer. I love how it pours thick and creamy, as a beer in this style should indeed.

Smell: Great roastiness, reminds me of a working fireplace, with a bit of smoke and that cozy "hominess". Wood, in logs and lyin about the forest waiting to be picked and thrown on said fireplace. A bit of schist/opaque rock, plus coffee beans at the end. Bitter chocolate all around.

Taste: The weakest link here. Nice smoke feel on the lips, and creamy chocolate, but otherwise a tad underwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, rich, smooth. Full body, medium flavor and carbonation. Could be just a tad more carbonated, but this really is how a good RIS should feel like. Not too dry, not too thick, just right. Well balanced.

Overall: All of the above and drinks rather great to boot. Easily the best Cricket Hill beer, and a damn nice Imperial Stout!

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 06:46:01 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of muskiesman

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter

Pours a dark night black with thick mocha head

Smells an expresso and dark chocolates dark ripe fruit. Tastes of dark ripe fruits and molasses then cocoa. Semi sweet chocolate and toffee. Nice alcohol with vanilla. Great mouth feel thick yet not syrupy and it is nicely balanced. Overall a great beer a real surprise that it is such a stand out.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 00:54:16 | More by muskiesman
Reserve Ale Russian Imperial Stout from Cricket Hill Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.