1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout - Sprecher Brewing Company

Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial StoutBrewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

245 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 245
Reviews: 179
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 14.44%

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  7.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-05-2002)
View: Beers (41) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 245 | Reviews: 179 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kaufmaal


3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pitch black, some dark brown highlights around the edges, a thin head, darkish tan. Not too much aroma: some anise and chocolate, sweet malts, not much else. The taste is more robust. Sour cherries, dark chocolate, smoke, anise, rum. Sour aftertaste, like candied fruit in fruitcake. Not too syrupy in terms of its body; the carbonation is right for me in that is all but non-existent.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 05:21:29 | More by kaufmaal
Photo of JerUrbans


3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle to pint glass.

Vigorous pour gives a tan creamy head that dissipated quickly. Very dark black color.

Smell is first alcohol then some chocolate and smoke.

Kind of a tangy taste. Definitely alcohol, and bitter roast flavor turning sweet and smoky at the end.

Good mouthfeel, smooth, Not over carbonated

Overall not a bad imperial stout. Found for only 6.49 a 4 pack it's well worth this price.
That said there are way better imperials out there. Well be aging the other three from this 4 pack.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 20:56:39 | More by JerUrbans
Photo of Cylinsier


3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4


Pours jet black with a tan film for a head. Good retention.

Smells of cocoa, brown sugar, and a bit of hazelnut.

Flavor is of brown sugar malts up front, followed by coffee, lactose creaminess, and a bit of oakiness.

Full body with a tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

Really tasty RIS, manages to pull off the style while being a little lower in abv which is nice. Not the greatest, but pretty good and worth trying for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2013 23:15:14 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of Lemke10


4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a very dark brown color with a slight head. The aroma is mild with sweet malts and sugars. The flavor has a sweet malty taste that finishes a little chalky. There is also a little bit of a alcohol burn in the finish. Pretty decent stuff, give it a try!

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2013 02:36:05 | More by Lemke10
Photo of Knapp85


3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a very dark brown, basically black once in the glass. The head is cream colored. The lacing an retention is decent. The smell is roasted with a dark fruit sweetness. The taste of the beer is roasted, slightly chocolatey with a subtle tartness. The mouthfeel is a bit over carbonated and thin for the style. Overall it's decent but nothing like it should be for a RIS.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 03:52:15 | More by Knapp85
Photo of vfgccp

New York

3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

2010 bottle opened 2013.

A - Nice creamy cap of dark khaki head. Great retention and nice lace. Dark brown, almost black body with cola highlights.

S - Super sweet. Plum, molasses, dark caramel, whoppers, tobacco.

T - Medium roast ice coffee, coca cola, molasses, blackened toast, burnt caramel. Great finish.

M - Medium-light body is surprisingly thin for the style.

O - Drinks like a flat cola with charred edges - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's a shade sweet, but it's got a nice roast character and great integration.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2013 00:43:09 | More by vfgccp
Photo of sajaffe1


3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

A- Very dark brown, light brown head that disappears fairly quickly, some lacing on sides of the glass

S- Charred oak, smokey, maybe a hint of coffee and dark fruit, hoppy

T- A bit of coffee, dark fruit, heavy hops presence

M- Somewhat creamy, medium carbonation, goes down quite easily

O- Not a bad beer at all, but there are better RIS out there.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 03:59:27 | More by sajaffe1
Photo of Mosca


3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nothing wrong with it, but nothing outstanding, either. Dark, hoppy, beery. You know how, when you try new beers you taste and think, "That's ok." And you taste another, and you think, "That's okay." And another, and you think, "Yeah, that's OK." Well, this is okay. It's good enough. If you bought more than one, you'll drink the others, but you probably won't buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 02:03:01 | More by Mosca
Photo of righthereisay


2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Purchased for $2 at Harrika's Brew Haus in Swansboro, NC (A great place)

Poured dark black, dark brown head. Smells of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, maybe a little raisin, not sure about that though.

Doesn't taste that great. Nothing worth noting really. Chocolate, roasted coffee maybe. Doesn't remind me of an Imperial Stout, almost like a lame attempt at a dark Belgian beer.

No question, I would consider the label a little misleading. Would never have even thought it was from Wisconsin....I guess that is their strategery.

Anyways, not impressed.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2012 00:19:58 | More by righthereisay
Photo of AleWatcher


2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle into Founders tuliped snifter.

Very dark body... Kinda brackish and murky looking with some serious rust color in the edges and legs.
Smells hugely of bitter chocolate and roast coffee. Very big roasty character with an acrid bitterness.
The flavor has just a little sweetness up front that rather remind me of plums before it turns bittersweet cocoa, dark cocoa, roasted coffee, and very bitter. The bitterness reminds me more of chocolate/coffee bitterness than it does of the usage of bittering hops, but perhaps I'm just projecting that.

Feels a little light of full, very oily, and a bit overcarbonated.

Overall-- far from terrible, but also far from good.
I wouldn't turn this one down, but I won't buy I again. I'll take Pleas the 5th, Expedition Stout, or Founders Imperial over this any day of the week.
The best thing this beer has going for it is that it is always available on shelves here in IL, unlike the ones I just listed. I was hoping I could stumble upon a secret, but alas, foiled again.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2012 03:24:24 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of BrownAleMale


2.58/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a Capital Maibock pint glass.

Appearance- A very dark brown with nice 3 finger head that does dissipate rather quickly.

Smell- Faint nothingness. There was very little there and I won't justify trying to explains these faint nothingness for a bold style such as an Imperial Stout.

Taste- Not many flavors that I associate with an Imperial stout. Almost like drinking a pop with the slightly bitter hops and carbonation level.

Mouthfeel- Watery and highly carbonated for an imperial stout.

Overall- Very sad especially for the style. Looks nice but that is about it. Really like drinking a shitty porter.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 04:40:41 | More by BrownAleMale
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours black but a bit splashy. Nice mocha head, a little on the conservative side but attractive. Disappears kinda fast, making some lace legs along the way.

Aroma - nice big roasty sweet first impression. Notes of chocolate and coffee. Smells great!

Taste - roasty malts, quickly turning sweet with notes of licorice. Very nice footprint of coffee on the swallow and aftertaste. Long finish with some of the roastiness returning. Not a full-on imperial experience, but a good one nonetheless.

Mouthfeel - lots of crispness, good smoothness, not the biggest body.

Drinkability - pretty good stuff at the 7.9 level. These age wonderfully, this is the final of the set from three or four years ago.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2012 16:26:49 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of chefhatt


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When poured into a glass, it has a dark body with a small tannish head to it. The smell is of roasted malt and some chocolate coming through the nose. The taste is of dark fruit and some roasted malt up front with a burnt flavor on the back of the tongue. The mouth feel is ok and overall,i'm not a big RIS fan but i like to try them just to see if i find one i like.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2012 02:27:45 | More by chefhatt
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout
Sprecher Brewing Company
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 7.90 %

LOOK: Stubby 12 oz bottle. Pours a darkest of browns bordering into black. Light brown head forms and leaves a fair amount of lacing.

SMELL: Toasted/roasted malts, coffee, herbal hops and alcoholic aromas.

TASTE: Robustly malty, with a small note of dark fruit. Herbal hop flavor and bitterness remains throughout with a moderate presence of alcohol. Roasted malt, smokey charcoal and coffee notes persist.

FEEL: Full bodied, low carbonation, smooth almost slick feel. Aftertaste of roasted malt and clean alcohol.

OVERALL: A solid export stout from Sprecher. Robust malty flavors, somewhat strong, yet satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2012 03:57:38 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of barnzy78


3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this one a couple of years ago and wasn't a fan. New bottle size (12oz) this year prompted me to try it again.

7.9%, dob 12/3/11? Code on the bottle neck has series of numbers starting with 120311...

Pours black with a fluffy light brown head, decent retention, decent lace. Aromas are smoky with some dark chocolate trying to escape. Tastes are charred malts, extremely smoky (reminiscent of a Rauchbier), chocolatey, dark roast coffee, faint oak, but the smoke and char dominate the palate. Mouth-feel is rather thin, especially for the style. Finishes slightly bitter with a pine hop profile. Alcohol is well concealed. This was better than I remember, but still nothing worth recommending.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 01:31:03 | More by barnzy78
Photo of ChadQuest


3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Body is thin to medium looking with a thing to almost non existent band.
The aroma is unmistakably full of smoked malts, a rauch-lite note. Lets see how far it goes.
Upfront the flavors present an approachable level of smoked malts, i enjoy how far this one went. Rauch for beginners. Some chocolate on the back end. Chicory is there, and some licorice.

I dig this, but it is a unique beer some will not.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 03:16:01 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of TrappistJohnMD


3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a motor-oil black in snifter. Light tan head that lingers along the sides of the glass.

Smell has almost a belgian Quadruple character to it. Lots of candied fruit. There are plums present. Toffee and caramel are there as well.

Taste is sweet toasted malts. Some molasses and coffee. Chocolate comes through as well. Mild bitterness to the finish. This is very sweet.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Full bodied.

Overall this was a little too sweet for the style. Like a Quad/RIS hybrid.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 01:58:41 | More by TrappistJohnMD
Photo of jlindros


3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a SMBDC Stout tasting thanks to Amy and Michael, but don't remember who brought this one.

Pours a light fizzy head, dark brown molasses color.

Nose has syrupy malts, molasses, caramel, vanilla, candy like, malty sweetness, light oak, kinda like caramel candies.

Taste is lighter, little tart sour flavor as I think there's a slight infection, dark syrupy malts, little dark charred malt with a bit of salty briny char, bitter roasty, hint of chocolate and caramel, bit of vanilla.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, decent carb.

overall meh, a bit of an infection doesn't help, but this doesn't seem to be a big beer to begin with.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2012 23:39:50 | More by jlindros
Photo of Pintofbrown


4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this in a Premium nonic pint.

Appearance- The head only reached about a finger in width and is brown sugar - hued. The retention is bad and there is barely enough foam to cover the lid.

The body is completely black. That aspect looks great.

Smell- A sweeter head with some toffee and caramel that also features sweet and fruity alcohol. The roasted malt is just barely coming through, and easily stays behind the sweet character.

Taste- This is a pretty sweet RIS, but it works out very well. The front of the drink is all toffee and some of that fruity, brandy-like note that was on the nose. Even some mashed dark fruit kicking around.

The middle of the drink seems to grow in alcohol flavor, which is a little strange seeing as this one is not even 8% ABV. Brown sugar also adds to the experience, and it is not until the finish that the drink really starts to get roasty and has some leathery notes.

This RIS has a nice combo of flavors.

Mouth feel- This is one is a weird combo of creamy and watery. It may just be that the body is a pretty heavy medium, but there is virtually no coating.

Overall- Yeah, a good RIS that will not disappoint. It may not be the"greatest RIS I have ever had", but I certainly have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 00:20:41 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Most Russian looking RIS I've ever had, the bottle itself just looks so Russian, from the label, to the shape of the bottle itself. Black pour, tan head, 1" in depth, respectable retention and lacing. Aroma is dark bread, mild chocolate, dark fruit in a miniscule way, with a little alcohol to round it all out.

Dry unsweetened chocolate, dark fruits, breadiness, licorice, and plenty of warming alcohol continues into the mouth on the initial sip. While the alcohol is there, it really doesn't detract from the drinking experience, plenty of thickness to the mouthfeel. Pretty smooth overall. Detectable amounts of toffee and caramel, but this stays below average for sweetness of an RIS, if you like sweet syrupy RIS, you might not be all in on this one.

I think this one might have a bit higher of a rating if it wasn't so dang cheap and available. Wisconsin makes some delicious stouts that are available off the shelf in 4 packs for around $10. If only they made them special releases and charged $10+ a bottle. . .

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 23:15:11 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of DrDemento456


3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My parents found this in Philly for 4 bucks.

A - Not very carbonated I get only a slight layer of mocha colored head that turns to a light lace ring. Color is a deep dark black.

S - Smells like overripe fruits (mostly plums) roasted malts and a touch of chocolate.

T - Kind of underwhelming I get almost a cherry roasted flavor (lactic?) and a smooth chocolate finish. Roast is nice though giving it a fairly creamy body.

M - Drinks very good for under 8 percent with an almost creamy aspect.

Overall defiantly not my favorite RIS but not bad either. Still I overpaid and it isn't as big as I like my RIS's so it's really not worth a revisit. Nice try though.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 00:16:43 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of soulfly1492


3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Very rich. Coffee, chocolate, molasses, semi-sweet chocolate. Alcohol is only detectable by using quick short sniffs.

Appearance: Pitch black. Very dark, thick brown head. Good retention and a ton of lacing.

Taste: Disappointed right from the start. Flat, lacking boldness. Coffee, molasses, too much alcohol for only a 7.9% ABV brew. Mild anise.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Mild carbonation. Rather watery and a bit chalky.

Overall: Decent, but I'm not impressed. Flat, mild, too much alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 17:46:31 | More by soulfly1492
Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul


3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It poured black with a thin, almost one finger dark brown head. The glass wasn't clean enough, so it didn't stay, and thus no lacing. It smelled of dark fruit, malty sweetness, some roast, apple strudel. It's sweet, dark fruits like raisins, apples and plums overtop light roasty malts. It feels thin with some light carbonation. This was nice at first, but a bit too sweet. It's pretty light - good for after dinner even on a pretty full stomach. I remember this leaving a somewhat flat kind of memory in my mind.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2011 20:39:38 | More by VoiceOfTheSoul
Photo of TheQuietMan22


4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: Sixteen-ounce bottle. There are cryptic batch codes printed on the shoulder, but no easily discernable freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a snifter. The color is a beautiful, opaque black; no light passed through when I held it to a lamp. About one finger of very tan, almost brown, head dissipated quickly to leave a thin film and bubbly ring around the edge.

Smell: Very dark and imperial. Exhibits a roasted character that is not overpowering. Dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and black licorice. It is very enticing. It has a brandy-like edge, which is very faint and sexy.

Taste: The mouthfeel is pretty dry and on the thick side. It basically mirrors the smell, but the flavors do not stand out as much as their aromatic counterparts; they overlap deceptively. The roasted character, though, is more pronounced. The dark chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and black licorice are also present, and each sip is punctuated by a little alcohol sting.

Drinkability: I am not an expert on imperial stout, but this is good stuff. It is not excellent, but is quality stuff. Leave it to a brewery from a city with deep socialist roots to brew a good Russian stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 04:56:39 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of Tilley4


3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A new addition to the local scene here...

Poured into my NB globe...

Rich chocolate aromas seemingly dominate right up front with touches of coffee and anise lingering in the background... Deep roasted malts invade the senses with every sniff...

Rather thin feel for an RIS... Taste is pretty good with those roasted malts taking hold of the palate and giving it a good shake... Little bits of coffee and chocolate here and there... Perhaps the slightest hint of booze? Can't say for sure though...

The thin palate sort of brought this one down a bit for me... A little more creaminess and a richer more luxurious palate would've helped this one out immensely... A good stab at the style, but Sprecher has much better brews...

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 14:22:56 | More by Tilley4
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout from Sprecher Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 245 ratings.