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Rubus Black Blackberry Imperial Porter - Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC

Not Rated.
Rubus Black Blackberry Imperial PorterRubus Black Blackberry Imperial Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

35 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 19.07%
Wants: 9
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  8.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jera1350 on 06-26-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 25
Reviews by Pug:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Snow81
4.9/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark Brown Body

Head: Nice tan frosty head but dissipates quickly

Smell: Sweet roosted malts with a hint of coco and sweet berry

Taste: Fruit up front with dark berry roosted malts

Weight: Medium to light body with low to medium carbonation

Finish: Blackberry fills the palate with a small amount of heat that rolls in

Photo of dirtylou
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap at the Happy Gnome with lunch

cellphone notes

sampled first - quickly ordered a full pour

appearance; served in a small chalice, rich dark mahogany body, creamy brown foam

smell: really nice - chocolate covered fruit - blackberry, cherry, blueberry, raspberry, light roasted malt

taste: nice roasted malt - waves of sweet chocolate and lots of fruit...I get more cherry than blackberry, but definitely a strong profile of dark and sweet berries. ABV doesn't really push this to imperial status and it wasn't listed as such at the happy gnome

mouthfeel: creamy and medium-full bodied, velvety and rich

drinkability: good - more of a dessert beer than a meal-pairer though

Photo of Kegatron
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.

This pours pretty foamy but once everything gets into the glass, which settles down into a flat black color with a couple fingers of fizzy mocha head. This mostly retains with some rich edges and leaves back a soapy cascade of minimal spotty lacing. The aroma is green earthy hops and roast up front, which in turn give way to the raspberry flavor. This luckily isn’t coming across as too artificial smelling and seems to works decently with the cocoa notes from the malt across the back.

The taste is raspberries and chocolate working in tandem again, which are set against a somewhat assertive mix of bitter hops and roast. The finish mostly has an earthy feel to it that mingles with some leftover dry roast. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, and just like the pour, is a bit too carbonated. Things do settles down after a while though and get a little creamier feeling towards the back. Alcohol is pretty well hidden for close to 9%.

This wasn’t bad. I thought that the raspberry character was actually pretty well done and seemed to jive well with the rest of those English Porter flavors but the overcarbonation gave this bit too much overall aggressiveness that combined with the fuller feel here to limit the drinkability some. I’m glad that I was able to split this bottle, as the whole thing would have been a little too much.

Photo of blackie
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: small chalice style glass, the beer is nearly black in color, light tan colored head recedes to a ring around the glass

s: rich black malts, dark baking chocolate, licorice and molasses, huge berry nose with blackberry the most dominant, sweet currant, light english style hops (the brewery website notes that they're estate grown), smells great

m: low to moderate carbonation, body medium-full, smooth and silky

t: smooth black malts bring in dark chocolate, and to an extent licorice and molasses - none too heavy, big genuine blackberry flavor, jammy currant, no harsh dark roast edge, very much like how the fruit and dark malts compliment each other

d: easy, a really interesting porter, the brewery lists this at 8.9 percent, and that's surprising

enjoyed with a wild rice soup at the Happy Gnome, St. Paul

Photo of tvv375ia
2.87/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured from 750ml bottle into pint glass

A-dark brown with about a 2 finger head that faded without much lacing

S-blackberries/raspberries along with some chocolate

T-starts with some berries and bitter dark chocolate finish, not real balanced just a blend of not real complimentary flavors to me

M-medium body but has a lot of carbonation

O-I opened this yesterday and the carbonation was just too much so I let this sit for a day and that helped the carbonation problem but didn't fix the flavor problem this one has an artifical berry chocolate taste that just doesn't work for me

Photo of Thorpe429
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dougofthefuture for sending this in Blind BIF 5. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Cork and cage presentation. Big boom with the cork--really pushed that thing out, no gushing though. Pour is near black with a thick light mocha head. Long-lasting head that sticks around as a cap throughout. The nose brings a pretty strong aroma of raspberries with some chocolate coming in behind. With this combination, right away I'm thinking that American Imperial Stout is the leading contender. Some mild roast in the background. Flavor has a good amount of raspberry with some slight chocolate and roast in the background. Amyliz4 says it tastes like a Tootsie Roll. Finish is really quite dry. Medium body. Some booze. Pretty good. Blackberry makes sense after the reveal. Can of course taste it now. Would woulda figured?

Photo of HosP
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can't remember how I got this beer... I think my wife picked it out. Of course she'd pick out a fruit beer! Still better than what she could have picked out.

A- Pours black in color. Talk about some carbonation. Huge tan head, didn't expect that much carbonation to it.

S- Nice blackberry aroma up front. Some roastiness notes come through at the end. Blackberry dominates the nose though.

T- Actually good taste here. Nice porter type flavor with subtle blackberry flavors. Nothing overpowers any other flavors. Fruits come out, but give good balance without taking over. Very smooth drink here.

M- Medium body with lots of carbonation to it.

D- Pretty drinkable. Not much of a fan of fruit flavored big beers, but this one isn't bad. Enjoy smelling more of the fruit than tasting it. Nice balance all around, not sure if I'll buy another, but wouldn't turn it down.

Photo of AgentZero
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Reddish brown color that lights on the sides. Obnoxiously large head (TWSS) of a khaki color.

S - There are some berries in there, not sure they are blackberries, but at least there is a noticable berry presence. Some chocolate, touch of roast, alcohol.

T - Chocolate, some fruity yeast. Some berry, although not as much as note nose. Nothing particularly well-refined or distinctive about this.

M - Active carbonation, medium bodied, kind of a bad finish.

O - Not a beer I cared for. Flavors weren't good, somewhat generic and off tasting, and the mouthfeel was disappointing as well. Wouldn't say it's a horrible beer, but not something I'd really drink again.

Photo of crusian
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

bottle thanks to scoobydank referral!
pours like a cheap chinese firework. as soon as it hits the glass I see no more liquid. explodes into head.
smell is amazing. blackberry is heavy on the nose. very nice. taste is interesting. blackberry hard on the front, then a nice porter, then blackberry hard on the finish. i recommend this one, try it, for the price, you cant go wrong. honestly nothing more i can say about it. worth it, but not AMAZING.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a black color with a slight brown tint. The head is only a quarter inch in height, and recedes rather quickly which I believe is probably caused by the blackberries. The aroma is of blackberry, milk chocolate, roasted malt, and a hint of coffee. The taste has slightly less blackberry than the aroma, and more coffee and roasted malt. I really like how the blackberry is integrated into this beer. I like how it is a prominent characteristic, but still melds well into the base porter. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with carbonation the is a little too high for the style. Overall, I really enjoy this beer. I can't say it is a style that I would drink regularly, but it is a very well done beer, and I could see myself drinking it on occasion.

Photo of bfife
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had the good fortune to try this while at the brewery. Very berry nose while staying true to its porter style roots. taste was like drinking a rich chocolate cake covered with raspberry sauce. mouthfeel was smooth with an alcohol burn finish
would make an excellent dessert/after dinner beer

Photo of Urbancaver
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle exploded on the first twist of the cage. Literally cork ended up in the next room and half the bottle geysered all over the table. Smells heavy and strong. Like blackberry syrup and malt. Tastes sweet and malty with lots and lots of blackberry. Tons and tons of berry. Overall pretty enjoyable.

Photo of toke737
4.58/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged bottle purchased at MGM Liquor in Mankato, MN. The bottle sat at 50 deg over night and in the fridge for an hour.

The cork was little hard to get off, it wouldn't twist so I had to rock it side to side which made me worried I would break it off.
The first pour was totally foam, probably not cold enough but I like to taste beer on the warm side. Second pour was good with a thick 2" amber head. Beer is very black with the smallest bit of light going coming through it.

Aroma is dried fruit and small bit of alcohol

Moderate carbonation, very thick mouth feel to the beer.

First taste has a whiff of blackberry syrup followed by roasted grains and alcohol. Finished with dried fruit. Overall it's a little sweet, but balances nicely.

I really like the beer. It's big enough to be dessert all by itself.

Photo of brew3crew
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Watch out! Its a gusher! Lost half the bottle as not expecting it to blow

A brown body with s nice tan head that quickly disapates

S-wierd fruit blend of blackberry and something else

T-follows the nose with the fruit. Porter comes through at the end in the aftertaste

M-medium body and smooth

O-nice fruity porter. Don't know if it is really my style

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Jason for bringing this one
From notes

First of all, this thing blew its top like crazy, big gusher...very exciting stuff

A - dark body with a big brown head made of large bubbles.

S - fruity, a hint of wood? roasty and chocolatey, pretty good.

T - tons of blackberry, some chocolate, some roast. pretty good.

M - too much carbonation at first, goes straight to foam in the mouth, but when the carbonation dies down, it's actually quite nice, smooth, drying, medium-bodied.

O - a pretty good beer, wonder what it would be like if it was appropriately carbonated.

Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe from the Blind BIF box. Thanks. This was a sleeper hit.

Beer is black but over carbonated, huge head that sticks around, high carbonation, pushed the cork out with no problem. Some lacing on the glass, head is big and tan.

The aroma is somewhat of a shock to all of us, it is a little solventy and offputting before we realize that it is berries, like raspberries. Still not the greatest aroma for a berry stout.

Beer tastes much much better than the aroma. The beer is thinned out too much by the carbonation but overall it is a decent tasting beer. The fruit comes through in the midpalate (later revealed to be blackberries) and finish is a little dry. Overall a good beer, one of the better ones from the box.

Photo of MasterSki
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks spycow! Served in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Giant tan foam that slowly dissipates, but leaves negligible lace. Body is a dark red-brown color with transparency at the fringes. It's attractive, but is clearly suffering from over-carbonation.

S - Chocolate, roasted malts, nebulous berry flavors, and unfortunately some poorly hidden alcohol.

T - Taste is much more chocolate-forward, with significantly less in the way of blackberry. The yeast imparts some nebulous dark fruit character, and the alcohol is somewhat better hidden.

M - It's a little overcarbonated, but not as bad as I was expecting from the pour. Body is medium, and very watery in a soda type of way. Sticky finish, with some alcohol warmth.

D - I liked this better than most of my friends, but it was still fairly underwhelming. Fixing the carbonation and hiding the alcohol a little better would go a long way to making this a very good beer.

Photo of Fitzgerald
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured two glasses first one lost a little over the top huge tan foamy head, think I poured a little to fast. Very dark with a little bit of ruby highlights, after head dissipated no lacing but a very delicious looking porter.

S- A lot of chocolate,roasted barley, molasses right up front very nice rich nose.

T- I can taste the chocolate, coffee and sweetness right away and after it has warmed I can taste the fruity blackberry come through.

MF- Little bit of bite from the hops and alcohol but a nice smooth and warming finish.

D- Very nice porter with a touch of blackberry makes it great drink on a cold winter night.

Photo of DaCheesehead
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a typical porter brown color with a pale brown head. it smells like a blackberry truffle and peanut butter sandwich.... toss in some light ashy roast and cream too. the flavor is not on par with the aroma... sour like it is starting to turn (or they threw a shit load of tart blackberries in it) and a metallic ashiness. medium bodied, easily quaffable but something is off keeping it from being really good.

Photo of jjanega08
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I love porters and I've loved the Brau Bros corked and caged beers so far... Hopefully this won't let me down.

A= Tough cork to get off. The pour is excellent however with a nice rich black color coming from the bottle. The head is a beautiful thick tan colored two fingers high beast. Lovely looking beer for sure.

S= Tons of toasty chocolaty malt. Nice roasty notes to it that are a great compliment to the subtle blackberry. The guy at the liquor store told me this was a blackberry bomb but the smell is very nice and subtle with blackberries.

T= The taste is very light for an "imperial" porter. This baby is a winner though. Light toasty malt that has some nice light roast to it. The taste isn't as roasty as most porters but still nice. The blackberry sort of lets the other flavors take it along for the ride. I must say however that blackberry is the perfect fruit to add to a porter. Really nice.

M= Super creamy on the mouth. I was expecting something a little overcarbonated but this is perfect Really really smooth and creamy.

D= I wish I knew how much alcohol was in this... This thing is really smooth and creamy with great subtle flavors that just sort of make spashes on your tongue individually. If I didn't know there was blackberry in here I possibly would not have picked out that individual flavor it mixes in so well. The perfect compliment to a great style.

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into Tulip.

A. Holy carbonation Batman! Poured a 5 finger head in my tulip. Thick lacing. Great retention. Color is all Rubus Black.

S. Smell is pretty big. Porter notes of coffee, roasted malt. Definitely pickup the Blackberry aroma. Smells pretty much exactly like the name. Alcohol comes out more as it warms up.

T. Taste is good. Nice combination. Taste a really delicous Imperial Porter with some subtle berry flavors. I am becoming a big fan of fruit flavored stouts and porter. This is a good example why. Would really like to try this beer as just the Imperial Porter recipe.

M. Medium/full bodied. A little lingering sweetness. Massive carbonation.

D. Definitely drinkable. Really liked this one from Brau Brothers. I have had others from them that were not at this level. Good job of having the blackberry accentuate the overall flavor of the beer, instead of overpowering. Good beer.

Photo of jera1350
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Stub and Herbs.

Solid brown, bordering on black. The head is rather thin and a ring of foam is retained around the glass throughout.

Sweet smelling which consists of some chocolate, lightly toasty malt and blackberry jam.

Pretty much like the nose, but on a slightly bigger scale. The blackberry is a nice compliment in the beer. It's not overbearing and really goes well with the rich porter here. Some sticky pudding and toffee are also noted.

May be just a touch undercarbonated. Still smooth and a touch sticky/slick on the palate. Full bodied though.

Drinks really nicely. The only blackberry porter I've come across and I like it. It's imperial too which is a bonus. Seems to be a perfect beer for this fall weather and even into winter. This is one worthy and well crafted brew.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked & caged bottle brought to the September BA tasting in Austin by johnpaulrubio's friend--thanks!

The bottle pours a dark, coffee-colored porter that turns to cola at the edges. Big bubbles form a brown head that quickly settles to a thin wisp of foam. Aroma is an intoxicating blend of blackberry cobbler, chocolate, and blueberries. Sweet and fruity, with a hint of earthy hops lurking in the background.

Remember flavored Tootsie rolls? They had a blueberry version back in the day, and I think the Brau Brothers got a hold of a big stash of them, melted 'em down, and tossed them in this beer. Super-sugary body nearing artificial sweetness, with dusty chocolate and estery yeast notes. Someone at the tasting mentioned blow-pops and Fruity Pebbles; not too far off. Mouthfeel is thin, bubbly, and chalky on the finish. If you like a hefty dose of sweetness and fruit in your porters, this beer is for you. Otherwise, steer clear. Personally, I could have used a bit more "porter" and less "imperial blackberry".

Photo of jrallen34
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Raspberry porter drank after a Framboise to enhance the flavors...Bottle provided by Chris, poured into a perfect pint glass...Dark brown pour with a HUGE light tan head. Excellent retention, but no lacing at all???...The aroma is shockingly great, tons of raspberries with chocolate, reminds me a little of KRE. Combination works perfectly, but a little on the sweeter side...The taste is so bad, didn't see this coming. Only light raspberries with tons of stale coffee and alcohol. Bad over carbonation as well here.

The taste kills this, not worth trying as it doesn't live up or stay true to a great aroma.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Charred chestnut with amber and orange highlights. Cork removal produced the loudest gunshot that I've ever experienced when opening a bottle of beer. The khaki hued cap filled the vast majority of the pint glass on the pour and doesn't look willing to give any quarter to the liquid beneath. Even though lace could be more extensive, this is still a good looking ale.

The aroma is chocolate-roasted malty with an ideal amount of dark berry fruitiness. Since nose and beer are still several inches apart, overall olfactory power doesn't seem to be lacking.

Rubus Black Blackberry Imperial Porter tastes like a blackberry-infused Imperial porter, so points for truth in advertising. It's also tasty beer that most likely hit the target that the brewers were aiming at. Good balancing act with respect to sweet, bitter and tart.

The flavor profile is the beer equivalent of dark chocolate brownies studded with roasted coffee beans and drizzled with blackberry liqueur. Fuggles and Goldings hops, along with British yeast, add authenticity. A better mouthfeel might have allowed the next highest taste score to be chosen. It's that close.

Speaking of which, this offering is thinner than it should be and the carbonation follows the usual pattern when there are too many bubbles right out of gate. In other words... too boisterous early, sweet-spot blown through in 1-2 mouthfuls, borderline limp for the remainder of the bottle.

Rubus is the genus for the blackberry. If the brewers used North American berries, they used either Rubus villosus or Rubus Canadensis. Botany lesson over. A properly bubbled brew is probably the king of BBB's lineup. As is, it's at least the equal of Ring Neck Braun and Sheephead Ale.

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Rubus Black Blackberry Imperial Porter from Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
86 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.