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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

123 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 123
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.65%
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: 123 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of crashingthrough
5/5  rDev +35.5%

crashingthrough, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of ThinkAgain
4.5/5  rDev +22%

ThinkAgain, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of MattPS
4.5/5  rDev +22%

MattPS, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of Molson2000
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Molson2000, Sep 20, 2012
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.43/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, opaque sable with a tan head of average thickness and persistence. Rich aroma is fruity, malty and smoky with a firm coffee undertone. Strong, smoky flavor has undertones of fruit and caramel without being too sweet. Texture is smooth, tingly and fizzy. Worth finding.

Cyberkedi, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of Ralphus
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally I get an opportunity to try this beer, thanks to a friend of mine who graciously offered it up. Cheers!

It pours midnight black with an offwhite head that is rich, creamy and an inch thick. The head has some staying power and leaves thick gobs of lacing. I'm not sure what more you can ask of a Russian Imperial Stout.

The smell is slightly muted, but there is complexity. Chocolate, coffee, malt pine and wood smells come through. V. Good.

The taste is really well done. There is layers of complexity, folded between bitterness and chocolate, coffee and sweet malts. The volume is quite high but its really well done in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is soft and silky thanks to some pinpoint sized carbonation.

Drinkability is good for a beer of this strength. There's something moreish about it. Anyway, well done GR - you've moved up a notch in my book.

Ralphus, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of tabhill
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

tabhill, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of kinguy
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

kinguy, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of nullbort
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

nullbort, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of KrisDLSmith
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

KrisDLSmith, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with chestnut highlights and a dark, tan head. The ring of retention leaves some nice leg & lace.

S: Roasted grain (coffee, nut, hints of chocolate), pleasantly fruity, woody spicing, brown sugar, with hints of tar & soy sauce.

T: Coffee, dark rye bread, licorice, figs, roasted nuts, molasses, bakers chocolate, woody spicing, good bitterness, alcohol is subtle. The Willamette hops are certainly different (they're obviously not British, but they don't have the pine and citrus of the stereotypical American varieties, maybe this is a Canadian IS?).

M: Well attenuated for its strength (I'm sure the molasses played a part in that), modest carbonation, slight roasted acidity with a drying finish.

D: I think this was at its prime after a couple months in the bottle, but I've still got a few I'll save 'til the fall/winter. Good stuff.

Derek, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of wordemupg
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into pint glass oct14 2009

A not quite black with a big mocha head that fell to an island leaving patches of lace

S lots of espresso and some very dark chocolate

T again the dark roast coffee and chocolate are nice but I also taste a small amount of black licorice I could not smell. although the booze is well concealed you can still taste it and feel it

M not as thick as I expected but nice and creamy nonetheless

D lots of small things make this a well rounded beer. I would drink this again and for 9%alc its very easy to drink

one of the better imperial stouts I've had from Canada, I wish more brewers would make this style. thanks to wittaker for this fine beer

wordemupg, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of thehyperduck
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; bottled on Nov 13 2012. This is one of the few 'major' Grand River brews that I haven't managed to get my hands on until now. This bottle was listed at 8.0%, and served only slightly chilled.

Pours an opaque black colour, with only a few brown highlights under the light. Atop the liquid is seated slightly more than one finger's width of silky, creamy, beige-coloured head - almost looks like a melted marshmallow, but with a little more tan colouration. Retention is very good; it takes well over 10 minutes to seep away, leaving behind a thin, foamy cap, collar, and a few rings of sticky lacing. The aroma is enticing, and is comprised mostly of molasses, roasted nuts/barley malt, butterscotch, and a few hints of dark fruit. A pleasant smokiness and some spice underlies this bouquet, adding an additional layer of depth.

Tasty stuff, though perhaps not as complex as the aroma suggested to me - it starts off with a solid dose of roasted, biscuity malts, molasses, cocoa, and some scant undertones of charred coffee grinds and smoke. Earthy, herbal hop notes and spiciness come through toward the finish, with the roasted character of the malts combining with these factors to produce an exceptionally bitter finish. Lingering bitterness and roasted character hangs around on the palate after each sip. On the heftier side of medium-bodied, but not quite full, with restrained carbonation that helps cut through the bitterness without becoming a distraction. The booze never really comes into play. Not as thick on the palate as it could be, but the creaminess (thanks to the long-lasted head) gives it a silky, luxurious mouthfeel that I absolutely love.

Final Grade: 4.04, an impressive A-. One of the best beers in Grand River's portfolio, their 2012 Russian Gun Imperial Stout is a satisfying, full-flavoured brew that I wouldn't hesitate to pick up more of in the future. It's not easy to find a good RIS around here, but this is a solid choice that falls right up my alley - with its relatively low abv, smooth mouthfeel and pleasant, drying finish that contrasts nicely with the big malt flavours. I would definitely take this over Wellington's RIS, and will probably pick up a few more bottles before 2013 is upon us. Well worth trying for anyone seeking out a 'bigger' stout that won't have you slurring your speech after the first bottle.

[Updated Nov. 1 2013]

Another bottle, dated Oct. 30 2013 (so extremely fresh), and listed at 8.5% this time. I'm getting a lot more dark chocolate off of the aroma than last time, but other than that I can't really think of anything to add. While this tastes fine (and it drinks more lightly than most beers of this style), it doesn't really have the intensity or complexity I seek from an IRS. Maybe I'll hold onto a bottle for a few months/a year and see if it develops any.

thehyperduck, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark black coloring with a frothy, bubbly, light tan head that settles into a sparse surface coating. Aromas of roast coffee, vanilla, mocha, and some earthy notes. Flavors are very bitter forward, with coffee heavy, followed shortly by a heavy roast and slight char to add to the bitterness. Wow. Notes of chocolate to highlight, but leans to the bittersweet side. The body is lighter than most RIS, but solid enough to handle the flavor profiles. Dry, slick finish with a lingering bitterness. The aftertaste is roasty and bitter, with a blend of coffee, chocolate, and hints of booze. Interesting, and lighter bodied than you may be used to for the style, but it works.

GarthDanielson, Sep 03, 2013
Photo of heebes
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
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 ohiobeer29
4/5  rDev +8.4%

ohiobeer29, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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 mrmanning
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Chancey Smith's in London, ON- Deep opaque black, darker than motor oil. Nice fluffy and frothy mocha cap that laced and lasted over an hour as I sipped this beast. In the nose, lots of espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, and as it warms, there is a bit of vanilla. Tastes roasty, toasty malts, vanilla, espresso, dark chocolate and towards the end, a touch of minty hops that adds to the bitterness in the finish. Not at all boozy, and quite dry and bitter in the finish. At 9%, I sipped it, but it was a delicious beer that hid its alcohol well, and at times I wanted to take larger sips. Another solid brew from these guys.

mrmanning, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of BBP
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8.0% version. Unsure as to whether the recipe has changed or just the ABV.

Pours black with decent head and lacing.

The aroma is of cocoa and a bit of pine from hops. It's pleasant but a bit light.

The flavor is predominantly chocolate with some pine and citrus bitterness. It's not so hoppy that I'd call it a black IPA, but there's enough hops to provide balance to the malt and then a little bit extra. There's a little bit of sweetness with some caramel malt but the flavor is overly bitter and roasty.

The mouthfeel is medium heavy and medium full. The finish is slightly dry and moderately sticky.

Overall, this was a better stout than I was expecting, especially in terms of what's brewed in Ontario. It wasn't extremely complex, but everything done in it was done well. I'll have to try more grand river brews to see if they're done as nicely.

BBP, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of GodOfBeer
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a thin foamy white head. Not as dark as I was expecting for an RIS.

Even though it doesn't smell like your typical stout, it still smells delicious! Smells more belgian like, very fruity, raisins, strawberries, and pretty hoppy.

Does not taste like any RIS I'm used to, but nonetheless still a great beer. Nice and malty, fruity and surprisingly hoppy. Finishes bitter, no coffee or chocolate flavours.

Overall a very good beer, but for a Russian Imperial this falls short.

GodOfBeer, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of EskimoDave
4/5  rDev +8.4%

EskimoDave, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of JMBSH
4/5  rDev +8.4%

JMBSH, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of pootz
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I waited to do this review until I sampled this both on tap and bottled. There is a difference and I have to say when this is fresh I prefer the bottled version.

Appearance: Served at 45deg.F this pours a light-defying black ale in the thistle with a creamy 2 finger mocha colored cap. This cap reduces to about 1 finger and lasts the drink. Moderate carbonation.

Aroma: Cocoa, roasty cereal husks, burnt toffee, figs and leafy hops...a light earthiness... very nice.

Flavor profile: Front end has a rich flood of malty toffee tastes mingling with dried fruits and cocoa...mid palate some complexity as the balance starts; cherry pipe tobacco, nuts, spice and dried fruit riding just above the lush bittering hops....finishes cocoa-bitter and roasty...great stuff!

character and impression: Rich viscous mouth feel, massive malt spine, toasty-toffee-bitter profile. One of the best domestic RISs I've tasted. Rich,flavourful, well balanced, satisfying. ...too bad a few kegs could not be cold stored and sampled mid winter 2010 as I plan to do with some of the bottles I stored.

pootz, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of kevinlater
4/5  rDev +8.4%

kevinlater, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of yancot
4/5  rDev +8.4%

yancot, Feb 13, 2014
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Russian Gun Imperial Stout from Grand River Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.