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Empire Strikes Black Imperial Stout - Beer Camp #6 - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Empire Strikes Black Imperial Stout - Beer Camp #6Empire Strikes Black Imperial Stout - Beer Camp #6

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51 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 7.25%
Wants: 50
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kleffman on 06-11-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 27
Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of Busker
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of LtCracker20
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Delaney's Tap Room last night. Served in a Sierra Nevada tulip.

A- Served a deep black with a 2-finger chocolate head that stuck around for a long time. Great lace also. Was actually suprised at how great this beer looked.

S- Smell was of boubon (not sure if we actually got the Oak-aged version by accident, our waitress did mess up quite a few of our orders), vanilla, bitter chocolate, roasted malts, espresso, and dark fruits. The alchohol is there, but subdued.

T- Wow, just like the smell, but the alchohol is hidden very well. This taste awesome. The vanilla, chocolate, espresso, and dark fruits are all there, but very balanced and mellow. They all meld very well.

MF/D- This is one smooth and creamy beer. Absolutely amazing body. Full and rich. If it wasn't for the 9.8%, could've drank it all night. Would be a very good dessert beer.

Photo of 31Sam13
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of codynevels
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of AlexM
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Radiodred
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this some time ago when it first came out, over at the real ale festival. What a great name the descibes the color. BLACK, with some tan head. SO drinkable, but what cask isn't. I went back for more, cause its tasted so good, kinda like smoked black licorice. Robust in smell and mouthfeel. Anytime I can find my hands on one i will be drinking it stat!

Photo of twelveinches
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jlindros
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Delaneys in New Haven, served in tall flute glass.

A: Super pitch black color with dark brown rich 1 finger head.

N: Lots of alcohol, some dark roasted malts and slight dark fruits, touch of chocolate

T: Dark malts, some alcohol, lots of coffee, some dark rich fruits, bourbon and oak come through to round it off a bit, a creamy stout center and rich milk chocolate somewhat, sweet dark molasses, more bourbon, and do I detect a touch of salt???

M: Creamy and frothy, thick almost like molasses

F: Coffee and sweet chocolate but kinda sweet, lots of bittersweet malt and an earthy bitterness like charred malts, and some earthy hops, it gets some hop bitterness on the finish, more woody taste and slight alcohol slowly dissipate off the tongue

Final thoughts: This is very rich and complex beer, very delicious, very stout and dark bitter sweet chocolate, it has some oak and bourbon, its 10% alcohol and you can taste some but it hides it well, and finishes with a slight hop bitterness, maybe a little too sweet on the finish, I wish this was more readily available

Photo of OlieIPA
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoyed roughly a 12 oz. pour at Beachwood during their 3rd Anniversary party this past night.

A: A black and viscous looking stout that supported a light mocha colored head. The lacing was mildly intense as well, leaving some "gulp" traces along the way.

S: A good amount of dark fruit character up front that was suddenly backed up with tons of chocolate and roasted malt aroma.

T: A more roasty and dark chocolate flavor than the nose indicated, along with a nice touch of vanilla and perhaps some raisin-like quality. What I loved most was the extremely well balanced sweet chocolate and roasted malt character.

M: The feel off this beer is quite interesting. At first, I thought the beer was quite creamy and thick, but as it warmed up...this brew became more and more dry on the finish.

D: Once I done with my first glass...I needed another; very flavorful and the alcohol is well hidden.

Overall: One of the better "non-barrel" aged Imperial Stouts I've tried. A must try. Cheers!

Photo of womencantsail
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ last week.

A: This is a great looking imperial stout: black in color with a nice mocha colored foam.

S: The smell has the usual cast of characters: roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. There is also a nice hoppiness that I find enjoyable in the porter and stout that Sierra Nevada makes.

T: Like the nose, but more intense. Absolutely wonderful roasted malt character, which helps to bring out the chocolate and coffee flavors a bit more. The hops are still there, but a bit more subdued.

M: A bit disappointing in terms of the mouthfeel. The beer was a bit thin, but still overall quite good. I enjoyed the bitter finish this one left.

D: I was amazed at how quickly I flew through my glass of this. Absolutely amazingly drinkable for the alcohol level and the style. I wish this one was more common, I'd order it all the time.

Photo of scottoale
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at O'Brien's on tap, served in a pint glass. The pour was viscous brown-black liquid with a 1/2" of orange-brown foam with decent retention.

The nose is roasty dark malt with hints of chocolate, dark fruits and a bit of coffee. The smell reminds me of Port truck stout.

The taste is rich roasty malts that are more bitter than sweet, aided by a generous hop backing. The alcohol was really subdued throughout, was expecting this stuff to be a bit hot, not so. It is big and burly in flavor with a chocolatey base and just a bit of coffee bitter like bite. Lingering bitterness in the finish.

Big body with plenty of lively carbonation. A very filling beer but not quite as strong (alcohol wise) as I was expecting. High drinkability if you like big, bold stouts. I'm not sure how much was made but I will definitely seek some more of this elixer of collaboration.

Photo of ste5venla
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of plaid75
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Rattle n Hum, NYC.

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger frothy tan head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured dark chocolate and roasted malts.

The flavor was upfront roasted malts with elements of dark chocolate and charcoal.

The mouthfeel was dry and clean.

Overall a very good dry RIS.

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of glid02
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Lance. I had the original on-tap at Beachwood BBQ a while back and was interested to compare the two.

Pours black with a half-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of heavy roasted malts with large amounts of citrus hops and hints of anise. Also present are mild amounts of dark chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors kick things off and dominate through the mid-point of the sip. A solid amount of deep citrus hop flavors come into play midway through the sip and contribute a good amount of bitterness. The bitterness intensifies through to the solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is great. It's got a very smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have a few more without any problems.

Overall the aroma and flavor of the beer wasn't as complex as well-nuanced as I remembered but the thickness was just as great. A big beer that goes away from SN's roots that's well worth a shot.

Photo of Ghenna
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 1pt 9.4fl oz bottle. Pours a thick motor oil black into a goblet. Foam is solid fat finger thick, sticks around forever (both on top of the beer and the glass) and is the color of milk chocolate.

Smell is heavily of roast/burned malt, with a mild alcohol in the background. I can get almost a nutty or wood smell in there as well. MF is generally creamy with very fine carbonation.

Flavor is a perfect example of what I would expect from a RIS- subdued malt sweetness up front, heavy chocolate/coffee bitter on the back end.

I literally know nothing about this beer, other than it was the 2010 beer camp beer and is a RIS. It is a thoroughly classic example of what I would expect in the style, big flavor, fairly high and well hidden ABV. I'm definitely going to be picking up at least a few more bottles to see how they age over the years. Once the bitterness mellows a bit, I think this will be a top class beer. Congrats to this year's participants and I'm definitely looking forward to making a strong effort to get in to next year's beer camp!

Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served a dark black-brown color with a thin frothy layer of tan-chocolate head. The head fades down slowly leaving behind some good lace.

S - Aroma is full of sweet roasted chocolate malts with some coffee. There is a touch of earthiness and dark fruit as well.

T - Starts off with some sweet roasted chocolate malts with a touch of dark fruit. through the middle some more bakers chocolate comes through with some coffee and a touch of burnt malts. The finish is a mix of chocolate, roasted coffee, and a touch of earthiness.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Overall nicely balanced. Could have used just a touch more body, but it is still a really nice Imperial Stout.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with what seems to be a very dark cherry red undercurrent to it, great carbonation and head that doesn't puff up and show off. Aroma was sweet, alcohol, roast.

Taste, nothing super dominant, definitely get the dark fruit thing going on, true to style. Plums, prunes, dark sugar. Easy drinking for the alcohol, but it is a sipper. Much sweeter than their IS, less roasty. No one aspect of this beer dominates over another really. Good meld going on, prolly due to the wood/oak feel you get.

I can't wait to see how these taste through the years, I was so impressed with it, I went and bought some bottles to use as Christmas presents.

Photo of grahamboudreaux
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of flexabull
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery, from notes.

Pours a flat black color with a decent dark tan head.

Aromas are of toasted nuts, dark roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate and espresso beans.

Taste is much like the nose, but it's not the beast I was expected. A little on the subtle side of the Imperial Stout spectrum. (I think part of this might have been because I drank Hell Raiser prior to this one.) Dark rich caramel, dark cocoa, deep ripe fruits notes, and a finish that is warm with light oak and some earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is nice. Quite smooth and full in the mouth.

Drinkability is very good, and might be this beers strong suit. Not as complex or as flavorful as Hell Raiser. But this is a great drinking Imperial Stout. Goes down way easier than I expected. Good stuff.

Photo of Slatetank
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to stormking47 for sharing this at International stout day. I enjoyed this from a goblet.

The color is like very dark chocolate, deep brown verging on black with a light tan collar. The lace sticks in spots. The smell is very nice with a sweet and slightly fruity nose with some roasted malt odors and slight hoppy floral fragrance. The feel is surprisingly vibrant for the style, standing out among the other stouts I had with a pretty high hop bitterness in the feel with moderately high roastiness and semi-dry finish with a light alcohol influence overall.

The taste has a strong chocolate element from the malt with mellow spice taste which I believe is hop derived. The taste is full with slight fruit note which comes off as lightly citrusy with a taste that seems like bitter chocolate and dried candied grapefruit with light alcohol as it finishes with mild toasted flavor and gentle coffee-like quality which is more in the realm of citrusy beans with slight hints of pine in the back end. The overall drinkability is really good, but comes off almost like a Black IPA as the hopping is very high and if not for the sweetness. I consider this to be a pretty tasty if not unique take on the style.

Photo of neorunner
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blind Beer #5 - http://flic.kr/p/92sG7z
Thanks to Flexabull for sending me this in Round 3 of the Blind Beer BIF.

Ok, this review is from notes taken last Saturday. Bottle said snifter and share with a friend. So I decided to take this with me as I went over to my homebrewer friend Mitch's for some Christmas cheer and beer. While the SWMBOs were drinking margaritas we left to troubleshoot the broken Christmas lights and enjoy this beer.

Opening the 750ml corked and caged bottle, the cork pops quite loudly. Aroma his bitter chocolate and plum with a strong boozy background. Dark black in the glass with a dense brown head. Swirling the glass leaves a good coating and legs up on the edges. Definitely a big stout.

Flavor opens up with bittersweet chocolate chip flavor that is rounded and mellow but there is a sharp fresh tang to the finish, some form of bittering hop perhaps. Mouthfeel is creamy and leaves your tongue dry but not cottony. This stuff is very drinkable and we both demolished the beer in no time.

The reveal gave us: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp #6 Russian Imperial Stout. Amazing bottle to try, after we found out what it was we immediately tried to figure out how to make it down for the next one. We opened a bottle of the 4th anni beer after this one and found that tang in the finish again, must be a common ingrediant between the two. Thanks for sharing this one Paul, very cool.

Photo of kaseydad
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint glass pour with an oli black ale with a mocha colored foamy head with tons of lacing. The aroma consists of dark fruits, tobacco , leather and some mild coffee whiffs. Nice bitter taste with smokiness on the swallow. A big lingering bitterness on the swallow and salivates the tongue. Chewy, full bodied mouthfeel and very creamy too! Nicely done. Very easy drink for 9.2%. No clue it was that high. Overall this is a great beer from the the beer camp. Well made and one worthy of bottling for the masses.

Photo of seaoflament
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got the chance to try this limited brew on cask at the Pizza Port Real Ale Festival on June 12th. I didn't know this one was going to be available and as soon as I saw it on the list I went for a taster.

Pours the color of any other well crafted imperial stout, pitch black but with an impressive mocha colored inch of foam on top. The head displayed some excellent retention and a creamy layer of bubbles from the cask treatment.

The nose was of toast, chocolate, hints of citrus hops, and a bit of smoke and fruity alcohol in the background. A bit of vanilla and more smoke as the beer warmed up. Low level of esters, mostly dark roasted malts, chocolate and a touch of smoke with a background of citrus hops.

Bitter chocolate upfront with the first sip which followed with some toast and vanilla in the finish. Fruitiness from the yeast was a little more evident than the aroma, some chocolate covered raisins and ripe dates in the finish. The beer seemed to get more bitter and smoky as it warmed up.

Low carbonation level but thick and almost viscous mouthfeel. Fairly easy to drink and well done all around. Would love to have a full pint of this.

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Empire Strikes Black Imperial Stout - Beer Camp #6 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.