Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 905 | Reviews: 440 | Display Reviews Only:
1.3/5 rDev -62.9%
After tasting the monstrosity that was Belgo Old Guardian I just had to have this beer. $7.99 poured into a Jackie O's snifter.
It looks good. The head is slow to arrive, but slow to leave. The glass is quickly coated in spotty lacing. A minor pillow of spongy foam gravitates to one side.
This beer slaps you with anise, HARD. The black licorice aroma is very intense and comes at you right out of the gate. Burnt sugar is really the only representation of roastiness that I can pick out; and it really just smells like someone tried to smoke a licorice rope. Black pepper is found in the middle, like a shot of Jagermeister with pepper in it. This aroma has me seriously reconsidering the idea of drinking this beer.
At first sip I thought this was going to be alright, but the awfulness was merely a delayed reaction. I can barely get through this part of the review. Good grief this is one of the very WORST tasting beers I've ever had, and I actively seek out terrible tasting beers. The flavor is metallic, burnt and plasticy. Burnt licorice and charcoal, melted cellophane, weird spices and alcohol booze. This stuff is so bad that it is literally not even funny. The flavors are just a team of pure evil. The flavors are menacing, spiteful and immoral.
The beer hasn't really lost much of it's body, but I think the carbonation is a bit high. The finish is kinda slick, but the worst part is that nasty burnt anise that lingers and lingers.
This beer is utterly contemptible. I imagine that various fluids that drip off of an old car to taste very similar to this.
Use this beer to kill weeds or to keep deer out of your yard.
This beer tastes so much like old, turn of the century medicine that I keep expecting Mary Poppins to swoop in with a spoonful of sugar and a jaunty tune to make me feel better.
I'd drain pour this, but I'm not certified in HAZMAT disposal.
The worst tasting beer ever. Period. And I thought Belgo Old G was bad...
07-02-2011 00:55:20 | More by MbpBugeye
1.33/5 rDev -62%
Brendan comes through with the tick!
Decent looking pour, I guess. But holy balls, I can smell this garbage from my chair. Mint, currants, dirty socks, and armpit hairs make up the aroma. More mint and mildew round it out.
Imagine having a mint porter that was poured through a pair of heavily used sweatpants. That's Belgo Anise. Am I really gonna give this a worse rating than the Peat Whiskey Black Hole? Maybe; goddamn this is awful.
So bad, not sure my drain will even accept it.
07-19-2012 02:41:53 | More by brystmar
1.5/5 rDev -57.1%
Had this on draft at Bob's Bar at the tapping party for Shoot Your Rye Out.
Served in a pint glass. Seriously? This was not only a horrible way to serve a 10.5% stout, but also a horrid amount of this beer to throw at someone.
Looks decent enough. Black. Maybe a little less thick/heavy than the regular IRS.
Smells a little odd, but I have to give it props for doing what was claimed: a licorice beer. Black licorice was really strong on the aroma. It was sweet with maybe some slight vanilla notes. Little real stout was coming through. I love black licorice, but after tasting the beer the aroma started getting to me.
The flavor was just plain bad. I don't get how Stone manages to be so large and yet produce so much bad beer at huge quantity. Were test batches of this made? Did they survey their target audience at all before bottling this and distributing it nationwide? The Belgian yeast doesn't lend a ton of Belgian flavor, but I must assume that it does plenty to muck up the beer in all sorts of horrible and unintended ways. Anise IRS alone would have been off-putting to the average consumer, but Belgian yeast? Not needed. The yeast is about as superfluous as the coining of the term "Belgo."
Licorice immediately browbeats your palate into submission. If you didn't like licorice before, you're going to hate it now. Then all sorts of weird flavor combinations rise up and make you almost gag. The most predominant was the notion of fresh black enconomy trash bags. PLASTIC is a flavor second only to licorice.
Overall this beer was the worst thing I have ever had from Stone, and likely the worst I have ever had from the entire West Coast. In short, it never should have been brewed at quantity, or at the expense of the regular IRS. It never should have been bottled or sold to the public either. Hate DFH all you want, at least in DE they know how to dump bad beer when they see it.
I left 3/4 of the pint sitting on the bar when I left.
09-08-2011 06:12:42 | More by Spider889
1.53/5 rDev -56.3%
22oz bottle poured into a duvel tulip. Served slightly chilled.
A: This beer pours jet black with slight, and I mean slight dark brown hues on the edges in the light. The pour came with about 2-3 fingers worth of dark mocha brown head. Left some lacing on the side of the glass. A great looking beer.
S: Black licorice. Holy freaking CRAP. The anise quality of this beer is almost to much to handle. The smell is so intense its actually hard to make other aromas the beer is giving off. I smell very faint roasted malts and chocolate; also some oak and dark fruits.
**I don't mind licorice at all, but this is going over board. At first whif, i was actually thinking about not taking a sip at all but went with it for the hell of it.**
T: Following the nose perfectly, taking a sip of this beer is like geting slapped in the face with a anise plant. It is over powering and completely revolting. It is so strong, I have hard time trying to figure out the other flavors. After powering through a quarter of the beer it became a drain pour.
M: Besides the awful taste, the beers mouth feel wasn't to bad. Medium bodied and very smooth. It was slightly over carbonated but not to bad. Alcohol was well hiddin by the disgusting taste.
O: Just plain bad.
They tried to turn Jagermeister (which I love) into beer and it simply did not work. Will be avoiding this beer like the plague.
07-07-2011 12:39:48 | More by CaptainTripps
1.55/5 rDev -55.7%
Unusual black color in the pour. A nice black with wispy white head.
Rich and dense look as it coats the glass.
Intriguing black legs left on the side of the glass.
Nose is of strong anise and fennel.
Aroma is strong and permeates the palate/
Lush and creamy
Creamy and dense in the mouth
A nice beer but the nose is way too strong of what...?
Keep wanting to sip this to nail down the exact overall taste.
Extremely difficult to stomach much more due to the smell.
Well, that was thoroughly unpleasant. The anise didn't come off well at all and gave the beer an overall funky, restroom kind of note.
06-26-2011 02:12:36 | More by kirok1999
1.6/5 rDev -54.3%
A - Below average head. Black body with no hues. not much to talk about with appearance. Very flat and boring.
S - Very licorice. BTW, i'm not a licorice fan... Chocolate behind the licorice.
T - Phew. Tastes like it smells. unique, but nowhere near awesome. Blah. I hate licorice paste.
M - Overly carbonated.. Medium bodied. Very bitter.
O - All over the board... Not my favorite. Glad I tried it, but won't be purchasing more. I'm almost done with Stone after this one... Drain pour.
06-12-2011 04:52:43 | More by chugalug06
1.63/5 rDev -53.4%
Black in color and fairly viscous with a well-formed tan head and good lacing.
Smells decent, with notes of anise, roast, and dark chocolate, but the anise is a bit strong.
On the flavor...oh man, this is terrible. Disgusting licorice flavor with booze and harsh Belgian notes. The base stout hides behind the craptastic modifications they made.
Fairly full-bodied with an astringency and booziness that is not pleasant.
Made it through a couple ounces and then duuuump. Stone really shouldn’t have messed with a good thing here. This is an abomination.
08-15-2011 18:12:52 | More by nickd717
1.63/5 rDev -53.4%
Appearance: Very dark w/ a one finger tan head, a little lacing.
Smell: What I pick up here seems to be a mix of anise and taint.
Taste: Matches the smell fairly well, which isn't good. Licorice, ass and a bit of char.
Mouthfeel: Doesn't feel bad, just tastes bad. Decent body and texture.
Overall: I bought this based on a recommendation from one of the beer guys at my favorite shop. We talked about our mutual love for Abyss, and he said this was a great substitute. Not sure I'll listen to him next time...
07-15-2011 00:08:42 | More by buffs9
1.63/5 rDev -53.4%
Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 12/2/11
2011 vintage (duh)
Pours a dark brown that results in a dulled black in the glass. Three fingers of sandy brown foam doesn't last long at all; very fizzy. Thin retention with some clumpy lace. Ah, the lace doesn't hold at all.
This smells terrible. Soap, perfume, anise, fruity bubble gum, dark fruit, dirt, oak, chocolate, molasses and roasted coffee. As you might guess, it's the first several contributors that are the troublesome lot. My second pour smells more like oak. Wisps of booze. Yay.
Hobo dick juice mixed with deer piss? That's the combined suggestion from my friend and his fiance. Shrug. I'm picking out belligerent ramblings of anise, dirt, stale swamp wood, ash, and earthy hop kick. There are a lot of burnt notes, too - molasses, coffee and scorched chocolate. Tangy fruit and spicy yeast tones. Yup, this is a mess.
The feel is an overall medium, but it's thin for the style. Carbonation is too high; it tames over time but it's not exactly comfortable. Alcohol heat builds over time and is quite warm. Finishes with a dry, vapid dirtiness. Coating.
Overall? This is really bad. Drinkability? No thanks. The three of us couldn't finish the bottle. The silver lining is that this and the Belgo Old Guardian are finally out of my fridge, never to return.
12-03-2011 07:36:32 | More by Ryan011235
1.65/5 rDev -52.9%
Split a bottle of this up with some peoples to investigate just what the hell is going on in Escondido. Something in the water, surely.
The Belgo Old Guardian wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't an improvement. I suppose we will see what time will do to that beer. Well, not me, but someone surely bought a case or two and is praying like hell.
Pours dark and thick, a little ruby edge, low carbonation, but otherwise looks like that most reasonable of Stone IRS offerings. An evil twin, perhaps.
A little chocolate and roast, not much hop anywheres. But someone appears to have poured a shot of absynthe into my glass. Licorice as a mofo. This is not going to end well. Not really picking out any "Belgian yeast notes."
This is a pretty gross fennel bomb. How often can you say that a beer is a fennel bomb? I only got about halfway finished with mine before someone through my glass away. I wasn't even mad. Oh well.
Stone, I like a lot of what you do. So why did you do this? Will it age gracefully 5 years from now? Will the licorice blend in, the yeast bring out dark fruit notes that meld with the stout?
Tell me later, I'm not buying one.
06-25-2011 12:49:52 | More by dragonWhale
1.7/5 rDev -51.4%
Dark deep brown with a decent head, looks more or less just like their regular stout only perhaps a touch less head.
I’d never heard of anise before having this, turns out it’s a spice that tastes much like black liquorish. Apparently, Stone really like this spice because it more or less dominates the aromas and everything else is left out.
The flavor is even worse with the anise just controlling everything. Yes, there is oak in the finish to mellow things out, sure chocolate is apparent, and it does have some roasted flavors. This isn’t anything like their traditional Russian Imperial. It is so odd and off that even calling it an Imperial Stout seems a touch out of line.
Thick and creamy in the mouth with virtually no alcohol to be noticed.
This beer is an amazing failure. Their attempt with the Old Guardian very well could age for a few years and become a decent beer and at least it came out as a crazy different version of the original. This is just awful beer.
06-07-2011 01:42:41 | More by bobhits
Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 905 ratings.