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Russian Gun Imperial Stout - Grand River Brewing

Not Rated.
Russian Gun Imperial StoutRussian Gun Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

121 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 121
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 11.62%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Grand River Brewing visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
The Russian gun (or Gun as we call it) is named after the Queens square cannon that sits downtown Galt, Cambridge. The cannon was awarded to the town of Galt for its support of the English troops during the Crimean war which ended in 1856.

That year to celebrate the victory during Victoria day the Cannon was fired at noon. The men firing the cannon successfully fired three shots however during the forth the powder prematurely exploding killing both men charring their upper bodies beyond human recognition and dismembering the arms and hands of both men; two children were lightly scratched.

We have crafted the Russian gun to commemorate this local tragedy taking the recipe from an old English recipe dating back to the early colonial times.

(Beer added by: Viggo on 04-03-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 121 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by KrisDLSmith:
Photo of KrisDLSmith
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

KrisDLSmith, Dec 29, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic glass. A rich, near-black brew, with an almost imperceptible brown tinge. A solid 1/2 inch tan head. Good retention and creamy sheets of lacing.

Nose of coffee, caramel, burnt toast (almost like slightly charred marshmallows). A bit of alcohol can be picked out here.

Starts off with bitter coffee, some caramel, cream/butter, dark malts, and finishes with warming alcohol and bitterness. Fairly robust, though there are certainly more potent RIS's out there.

Keeping with their tradition, this GRB brew is fairly thin, which would make it more drinkable, but it's too thin for the style. Silky, but pushing syrupy.

Not a bad stab at the RIS style. I quite enjoyed it, actually. It paired well with strawberries and chocolate for dessert. The mouthfeel was a bit off, however. Just needs a bit of tweeking.

JohnnyBarman, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of pwoods
2.35/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to beachbum1975 for sharing this brew.

500ml brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours deep brown with light throught the edges. A good head forms and holds for a minute or two. Good lacing.

S: Big lactic nose. Actually almost smells a touch sour. Not much roast or char or anything that needs to be there.

T/M: Not big at all. Some lactose up front. Not much roast or depth. No alcohol. A bit of odd coffee thats wierd with the lactose. Body is only about medium and it feels a bit flat.

D: Not very tasty, and not on style. It'd be pretty drinkable is those two where right.

pwoods, May 13, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer appears a solid black, with faint red tints, no head, and a small ring of beige lace around the edges of the glass. It smells of light chocolate malt, some cafe au lait, plum, and a bit of booziness as it warms. The taste is caramel malt, treacle, milk chocolate, and soft, muted alcohol. The carbonation is very low, the body full, smooth, thick, and creamy, and it finishes sweet, the silky caramel malt mixing with the mild booze warmth.

A very good, put-some-hair-on-yer-chest imperial stout - drinkable, although with a booze edge, but not overly so. However, said booze eventual effect will indeed self-limit.

biboergosum, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of mintjellie
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black body topped by a thick layer of tightly-formed and creamy looking tan head. Almost looks like a nitro pour. Excellent retention. Alternating bands are left in its wake. Lots of raisin in the aroma, paired with mixed nuts. Molasses and chocolate undertones. Tastes of plums and raisins followed by molasses and black coffee with a lingering slight charred flavour and mild bitterness in the aftertaste. Bitterness chases away an initial sweetness. Medium bodied with soft and low carbonation. Feels smooth, but a little on the light side. Theres some good flavour and aroma going on here, but it could use a little bit more weight. Still, it's good to know that there is a decent RIS with somewhat wide distribution in Ontario.

mintjellie, May 13, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Thanks to korguy123 for sending this my way.

A: Pours jet black with a foamy tan head. Head retention was ok, dissolving to a thin layer of bubbles on top. Not much lacing.

S: A good bit going on in the aroma here, some maple sweetness, a little bit of coffee, molasses, raisins, but very sweet overall.

T: Similar to the aroma, with a good bit of maple, some dark fruit, molasses, and a little sweet. Hints of chocolate and coffee are mixed in, but play a minor role.

M: Medium bodied, maybe a touch on the thin side, with moderate carbonation. Pretty boozy for only being 8.5%.

O:

mdaschaf, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Between a stout and an RIS, but a good idea for a cask. Roasty coffee, and beery aroma was above averag for a cask. Brown, not thick, with a casky bubbly crowning head. Taste is decent coffee, some roasted barley, a bit of chocolate malt. A sipper. Medium mouthfeel.
Better on tap a few weeks later at Beer Bistro, and raised my rating accordingly

Sammy, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of augustgarage
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Courtesy of northyorksammy (thanks!). Bottled March 9th, 2010 - this batch weighs in at 8.4% ABV. Poured from a 500mL bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Very dark taupe/brown body with a smattering of ballooning bubbles forming a wheat colored skin and a creamy soft-serve collar. Thick sandy lacing leaves uniform arcs surrounded by a thin layer of legs.

Roast malt, black coffee, chocolate, and light fruity esters (turkish apricots?) aromas all complement one another well.

Everything in the nose is on the palate with a deep maltiness as well, suggesting a baltic porter at times - though the coffee and chocolate notes make sure you know this is a RIS. Mild hops add further depth with a bit of citrus and perhaps loam, and along with the astringency of the roast malt help balance out the sugars in the finish. A grainy element comes through which makes this a bit more "rustic" then many examples of the style, but it isn't off-putting.

Medium to medium-heavy bodied, but not really as full or rich as many stouts. While the flavor profile is good, it lacks the alcohol, body, or immensity of the better "Imperial" stouts.

If this beer has sacrificed those things mentioned above, it is in the service of drinkability, so some may find this a welcome trade-off.

Happy to get a chance to try this.

augustgarage, May 30, 2010
Photo of traumaqueen
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

traumaqueen, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of ohiobeer29
4/5  rDev +8.1%

ohiobeer29, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of heebes
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottled Jan 05 2011
Fresh from a visit to the Grand River Brewery in Cambridge.

Pours dark black with a two finger foamy tan head. Lacing is plentiful. Nose is dark chocolate, burnt roasted malt, slight coffee undertones. Taste is heavy on the toasted malt, biscuity flavour with some bitterness in the finish. On the lighter side mouthfeel. Drinks oh so smoothly and has a well disguised ABV. One of the best locally crafted stouts I've had! Wonderful beer from a wonderful Ontario brewery.

Bottles sporting the new updated labels which look great.

heebes, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of jsnoek
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

jsnoek, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of eat
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled at Volo's Ontario Cask Imperial Stout event. Just-off black...very dark brown in colour. Thinnest ring of head around the glass. Bits of visible sediment at the bottom.

Buttery sour dairy in the smell...diacetyl? Some caramel, roasted malt, a little coffee. Can't say I'm into the sour cream aspect.

Luckily the stout is big enough to cover up whatever spoiled milk was in the nose. Strangely, for a stout, there's quite a bit of grapefruit, especially on the finish, which I don't find to be a completely pleasant addition. Astringent and almost a little sour. Dark roasted malt. Not much character beyond the strange grapefruit finish. The alcohol only shows itself a little bit on the finish.

Feel is decent. Viscous medium body and very lightly carbonated.

I don't know about this one. Seems like this wasn't pulled off too well. I'm interested to check this out in the bottle (a new release at the LCBO) to see how it measures up. Can't say I'm too into this cask version. An odd stout.

eat, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of Brutaltruth
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice Russian Imperial Stout from Grand River Brewing. Decent but not a monstrous head with great lacing on the glass. Thick and black in color, opaque. Smells of coffee and roasted malts. Coffee comes through on the front with smoked and roasted malts, licorice and tobacco with a light dose of sweetness to carry it through. Dry but succulent on the aftertaste, with warmth coming through from alcohol level. Very nice offering and would purchase again. An excellent Russian Imperial Stout from Canada.

Brutaltruth, May 26, 2014
Photo of Bung
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Bung, May 31, 2014
Photo of DaveBar
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not a bad Stout from Ontario....

500ml bottle served at 12deg C in a chalice.

A- Very dark. Nice dark brown foam head nearly 1" thick in a standard chalice

S- Alcohol, nuts, chocolate and spice

T- Pretty darn good. It's the saving grace for this brew. Otherwise not so good.

M- Creamy. Very good chocolate sliperies Touch of the bitter nuts you find in Guinness.

O- Pretty good. Have a few to age.

Not bad. Will try them as the months pass. Don't want to save for years.

Food Pairing

This creamy chocolate gem can be enjoyed with....Rack of Lamb with a Chocolate Sauce

Definitely compliment each other 100%

Enjoy!

DaveBar, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of Stocean1
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 release, poured a two finger caramel cocoa head, reminiscent of coke, near black body, good retention and lots of sticky lacing

Smell is burnt malt, molasses, coffee, dark bread

Taste follows the nose with some licorice, dark fruit, and a light metallic note (light for this brewery). Booze is well masked.

Medium bodied but light for a RIS, little carbonation and akin to a watery syrup, not overly bitter for the style.

A decent RIS although pales to Wellingotn's version.

Stocean1, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light black color stout with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt notes with hints of dry raisins. Taste is a balanced mix between some roasted malt with vinous notes and a dry raisin finish. Body is too thin for style with good carbonation and no signs of alcohol. Not bad and interesting side of vinous/dry raisin notes but body is too thin for style.

Phyl21ca, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured in to Duvel tulip

A = Poured a dark brown; not as thick and black as many RIS but still a nice deep brown colour with half a finger of light brown head. Some visible carbonation.

S - The nose is dark roasted malts, dark chocolate and a hint of coffee and dark fruit. Some sweetness here too: perhaps some caramel or molasses (only the general sweetness sticks out). Slight alcohol smell is prevalent as well.

T - The taste is odd for a RIS - very prevalent dark fruit up front with a general roasted malt profile - but no discernible chocolate of coffee taste as was present in the nose. With a few more sips, a slight coffee flavour shows up and the dark fruit fades a little bit. There is also some bitterness in the background - definitely some hops in here. The hops become much more noticeable the more I drink and provide a nice backbone to the roasted malts. No real alcohol taste at all here despite the 8.4% ABV (my bottle says 8.4% - not sure why the details above say 9.1%).

M - Not typical for a RIS. Light to medium body, no silky texture and somewhat overly carbonated. If I was tasting this blind, I would likely say that it was a robust porter as opposed to a RIS.

D - A nice beer and very drinkable. Not sure I am all that impressed with this as an RIS, but ignoring the label, this is a nice beer.

Now I have to decide if it is worth picking up another bottle or two to age...

TheSevenDuffs, May 19, 2010
Photo of EgadBananas
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black body, with a monster head. Looks like a marshmallow and it won’t go away. Roasted metallic dark fruity aroma. Bittersweet, roast, chocolate. Creamy, not too full, but pleasant. Overall, a decent stout. Glad to have tried it, but nothing I'd seek out regularly.

EgadBananas, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of ThinkAgain
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

ThinkAgain, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of ZorPrime
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks for bobsy for this beer. Tasted on September 10, 2009 to celebrate the start of the 2009 nfl season! This bottle was bottled on April 24th, 2009.

A: Dark beer however, not pitch black. Red edges. The head is creamy and sticks to the glass so well. If this was a darker beer, the looks would be awesome.

S: On the smell side, I get licorice and dark fruits.

T: Ouch... so metallic on the first sip... doh! Later sips are way better... phew!! After a few sips, I get licorice with a good bitterness that I get from the dark fruits... As the beer warms up, I get some molasses.

M: Creamy feeling with a medium to thin bodied beer.

D: Drinkability is not great... one per session is good. I would say the drinkability is average.

Overall, this is a average to good beer. I prefer the other 2 beers I got from this brewery. I'm glad a tasted it 'tho! Not a bad drink, just that I don't think I would crave for it again...

ZorPrime, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

this one courtesy of northyork, the bottle leaked a good bit in transit but there was still about 5 ounces left and it was carbonated, so i went for it as i did not know when i would see it again. poured into a mad elf snifter.

decent pour, jet black and actually still had a small puff of a head before fading down into a light lace. aroma is hot, lots of alcohol here but it gets cut by a nice dose of chocolate and vanilla and coffee as it warms. much thinner then i thought it would be, not flat just a bit thin but the flavor was there for sure. really nice balance of smoke notes cut into by vanilla and coca and a touch of bitter coffee and tobacco. smooth finish left a nice touch of licorice on the tongue and a light fading to the taste.

overall i think it was a nice tasting ris, though a bit thin, the flavor and aroma were spot on.

mikesgroove, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of irishkyle21
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

irishkyle21, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of IronDjinn
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to wfeddern for including this in my CanBIF 5 package.

Opaque black in appearance, yet reveals garnet cola highlights when held to direct light. Creamy light beige head that holds steady as a thick cap. Thick rings of lacing.

The aroma is not intense, but is equally effective. Light roasted malt, coffee, mild cocoa.

Dry roasted malt bitterness up front in the flavour, with some cafe au lait sweetness in the middle, with moderate bitter malt and slight herbal hops. A sweeter aftertaste at first, with a mild bitterness lingering on longer.

Mouthfeel is smooth, a bit light, but for the most part medium-bodied.

Hey now, it's not overly remarkable, but quite drinkable for an RIS, the abv% is well hidden. This would make a great gateway or stepping stone stout into the style. If you're not a stickler for boundaries this would also make a great short term session ale for a stout, as that abv% would catch up with you sooner than later.

IronDjinn, May 14, 2009
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Russian Gun Imperial Stout from Grand River Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.