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Old World Russian Imperial Stout - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Old World Russian Imperial StoutOld World Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

41 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 41
Hads: 124
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 6.87%
Wants: 19
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BrewDog visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Immortale25 on 11-10-2011

Brewed exclusively for sale at Total Wine locations.
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 124
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Strong, smoky aroma has firm tones of molasses and chocolate as well as hints of licorice and caramel. It all but screams "Drink me!" to a lover of good stouts. It pours a dark, slightly reddish sable with a thick, fluffy, and fairly persistent tan head that leaves heavy lacing. Mouth-filling flavor has smoky, chocolate and molasses tones with hints of coffee and caramel. It is slightly sweet, which balances a subtle bitter tang. Full-bodied texture is smooth as almond milk and just fizzy enough to let you know this is beer. Very satisfying. (547 characters)

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.87/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured slightly chilled on Superbowl Sunday

A: solid black, great head; too dark to see carb; good lacing
S: beautiful leathery smell; classic RIS
T: very rich, complex RIS; high ABV, high flavor; hoppy; chocolate, cocoa, bass notes; clocks in among the best RIS's I've had; one will do ya (290 characters)

Photo of weller1js
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pours a clear yet heavy dark brown, with orange-red hues noticeable at the edges when held to light, creamy-foamy carbonation with similar head and lacing.

smell: malt aromas are complex, essences of toffee and chocolate, further enhanced by the floral hop notes (yet with notable slight bitterness); well-balanced, very pleasant and elegant scent.

taste: begins boldly with malt notes presenting themselves outright, rapidly followed up by notes of smokiness and burn of alcohol, bitter hop notes follow; factoring in all elements, the taste becomes very balanced and lingers in the finish as such.

mouthfeel: heavy bold body and complex balance provides for a notable mouthfeel.

overall: above-average imperial stout, well balanced yet complex, adequate abv, very good. (787 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours into the snifter an impressive deep oil black, with a mocha/tan head that remains fluffy and thick for a minute before chilling to a skim across the top.

Now THAT is an incredible aroma. Heaps of chocolate abound, with lighter shades of anise, coffee grounds, mineral, plum/fig, and steamed milk laying the bedrock. No alcohol detected, and wow...just wow.

At first the taste seems masked by the tickle the carbonation offers, but gradually a seriously delicious personality emerges. Still big on chocolate, almost fudge-like even, with more anise, coffee, mineral, dark fruit and sweetened vanilla almond milk coming into play. So, quite a bit like the aroma, with hardly any of the alcohol on the tongue. A totally wonderful taste, with lots going on but never overly busy, and just a total treat to drink.

Texturally this beer isn't quite as round, thick and/or soft as I'd hoped. Would have been that much more amazing of a beer if it had, but it's certainly not bad. Just a little thinner than expected, but smooth, and with a soft tickle that offers some textural energy. So, not bad at all, just maybe not right for this particular style/flavor.

As said above, a total treat. Period. (1,200 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. A big two fingers of tan head on top of a black body.

Smells of rich chocolate, roasted malt, dry barley and a hint of burnt malt at the end.

It tastes like a dark chocolate bar, bittersweet, a little boozy, and burnt wood. Delicious.

Thick and sticky body, low carbonation.

A big and bold stout. Bring your friends to help you with this powerhouse. (379 characters)

Photo of thetwins722
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky to find this at the crappy beer store (they're really not so bad I guess) down the street from me.

Look: Pretty good head retention, it took a little work to get foam on this beer. No real lacing
Smell: Deep chocolate notes, with a slight floral hop presence. Some earthiness
Taste: Rich Cocoa notes. Slightly burnt malty taste too. Some toffee notes and a slight hoppy finish. Honestly, it tastes like I've been chewing on a stick (which I think is a good thing).
Mouth: Great body and ultra smooth with a little carbonation. Goes down as fast as you want to drink it (which can be dangerous).
Overall: Amazing imperial stout, I rank this one up among my favorite RIS's. Similar to "Rabid Duck" from duck-rabbit, but a little bit more drinkable. Brew dog got another one right. (793 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewed by JBW 77 (BrewDog) for Total Wine.

Batch 406. Best before 9/21/14.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 3 inch puffy dark khaki head that settles to an island of foam in the middle of the glass. A nice latticework of lace lines the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and coffee beans. Taste is pretty much exactly like the smell but with a strong emphasis on almost burnt tasting malt and roasted coffee beans. The roasty bitterness is pretty assertive after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good and very tasty RIS that is quite impressive. I had no idea these were being brewed for Total Wine and I just picked one up on a whim for a decently priced RIS in the new beer section. I am definitely going to go back and stock up on more of these. (889 characters)

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome all around super drinkable nice clean stout! Brew Dog does not disappoint with this nice stout. A bit light compared to some of the more recent "big" stouts, but really nice overall.
A: Brown/Black, nice head
S: See Taste
T: Molasses, fig, earth
M: Silky and smooth
O: Really nice stout....very drinkable.. (314 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a big light brown head. Lasts a lot and leaves lots of traces on the glass.
Initial smell of coffee, right after popping the cap. Roast, cooking chocolate, licorice, dry berries.
Sweet and rough roasted malts, with dark chocolate, sweetened espresso, cocoa powder, then some dark fruit, dried but also juicy, with a bit of citrus zing, followed fast by big charcoal notes, dry wood, burnt hay and fresh ground coffee coming back in the finish. Dark spices and vanilla. BrewDog hoppy character throughout the beer, with green, herbal and fruity notes.
Booze fits right in, reminding of black rum and, irish coffee. Aftertaste is bitter and dry from the roast, not especially from the hops. Smooth, a (very) tiny bit too crisp.
A by-the-book RIS, nothing bad to say about it, but also nothing extravagant, which is weird for a BrewDog beer. Good one. (865 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one on a recent trip to Belgium.

From a 660ml bottle into a snifter.
ABV: 9.5%
Best by 17 October 2018

This one says batch #251 and is 9.5% ABV, which tells me it's a new batch of this and is perhaps on a new system. Not sure, as the older 8.2% ABV version was batch #400 or something.

APPEARANCE: A clear black pour yields a 2+ finger, medium-thick, creamy, tan head with great retention. Black body with medium levels of carbonation for the style. Head slowly fades to a nice full cap and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. A swirly wisp remains and leaves lots of nice lacing down the sides. Really good looking.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark baker's chocolate, coffee, light sweet cream and vanilla notes, with hints of tobacco as well. Cocoa and some milky cream make this quite nice. Bold and well balanced. Enticing.

TASTE: Plenty flavorful up front, with roasted malts, toffee sweetness and some dark chocolate in there. Some spicy dark fruit, raisin for sure, accompany the roasted chocolate at the swallow. Big and lingering finish is lightly roasted with spicy yeast, dark fruit sweetness, tobacco and some bitter baker's chocolate. A hint of sweet cream lingers and some burnt notes show up well after the swallow. This is really good.

PALATE: Medium-full body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky. Some spicy alcohol lingers. Solid feel.

OVERALL: Unreal. Finally a good Brew Dog beer. I didn't think these guys could just make a good beer and be done with it. It's always marketing BS and horrible "experimental" creations that just suck. This was excellent, however. While the nose and palate didn't exactly match 100%, both the aroma and flavor were bold, complex, interesting, well-balanced and very enjoyable. Good look and feel on this one as well. Just an all round good beer that went down dangerously fast. Well worth checking out if you find it. Recommended. (1,970 characters)

Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Total Wine. Deep black pour, thin layer of tan head.

Roast malty aroma, caramel, chocolates. Maybe some molasses and anise.

Taste, Some more roast here than in the nose, meshes well with the dark chocolate. Fades to coffee cocoa and anise. There is some hop bite here as well. Lingers nicely. If there was a 4.25 I'd use it here.

Solid medium body, just shy of creamy carbonation. Drinks very well, reasonable abv for an imperial is hidden well.
Solid effort. (468 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle from Brewdog's Online Shop (£7):
Black with a 0.5cm foamy brown head that turns to a patchy lacing 30 seconds later.

Sweet & quite boozy with darker fruits on the nose initially, some very dark malts too. Spice, faint grains & oak with hints of vanilla aren't far behind but the chocolate & coffee dominate. A great espresso like smell & the toasted/burnt notes work well with some dates & figs at the end.

Sweetness & chocolate, espresso & coffee with a little spice start things off. Some cocoa dominates the taste with some light alcohol flavours. Dark malts & fruits with some figs & dates, plus cherries & a little vanilla all make themselves know.

Medium to full in body, boozy from the alcohol but not overpowering. Some grain & spice with a smooth & almost bitter mouthfeel & medium carbonation.Some sweetness features throughout too.

I'm really enjoying my Imperial Stouts of late & this is no exception. Excellent stuff from the start, bold & complex with just enough alcohol to give it a good kick. Perhaps not quite as good as some of the other recent beers of this style I've enjoyed but a great beer nonetheless. (1,144 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured into a DFH snifter. Pours a deep black with a finger of tan head
S: smells sweet with notes of chocolate, dark fruits, roast malt and a bit of coffee. some caramel and vanilla too. it has a nose similar to many bourbon barrel aged beers. I just can't stop smelling it
T: almost char like roastyness with some sweet chocolate flavor. more roast malt and caramel like sweetness, a bit of coffee as well and on the swallow some bittersweet roast malt that lingers for some time.
M: medium to full in the mouth with a decent amount of carbonation. a bit toward the heavy side but not over the top. soft though bordering on prickly at the front
O: this is a very good beer with a lot of complexity and great flavors. BrewDog did this one right. (749 characters)

Photo of tmzl
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Pours with large, dark mocha, creamy (small bubbles) head. Has a steady, slow, delicious retention. Mostly diminishing, thick solid layer stays on top, leaves lots of random but fine lacing. Dark, dark brown. A good looker.

Smell: Milk (with some dark side) chocolate notes at front, roast, fat sweet malt. Also some light coffee, dry fruit and fresh, herbal (maybe floral) notes. Light burnt caramel, molasses, reminds of bourbon comes into play when the beer warms up a bit.

Taste: Lovely medium roasted malt sweetness with strong milky chocolate notes that transfer into light/medium dark coffee and continues into pleasant medium roasted/coffee bitterness with some hop notes. Long in the after a bit of milky chocolate crawls out. Solid.

Mouthfeel: Full body, but not as creamy as I wanted it to be. Still smooth, maybe very light alcohol warming to detect. Alcohol well incorporated tho, nothing in taste or smell.

Overall: Solid, easy, chocolaty; good opener for a nonbeliever to imperial stouts. (1,015 characters)

Photo of dedrinker
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pure oily black with garnet edges and a smallish tan head due to my getting my greasy possum beard into it.

Deep roasted malt aroma evoking a chocolate camp fire.

More dark chocolate on the tongue with some mocha notes amidst the bitter hops and burnt malt. My moustache melted off my face like Montgomery Burns' finger nails into his bowling alley beer.

Full bodied with a robust roasty malt finish. It's like I'm licking the Czar's polished boots.

More than the sum of its parts, I place this Imperial Stout on the top shelf with my other favorites. (557 characters)

Photo of rootbeerman
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pour black with a two finger light brown head. The head leaves thick lacing on the glass.
S: dark roasted malts, give a sweet aroma. More chocolate and a bit of coffee as it warms. There also is a light hint of alcohol.
T: very upfront roasted malt flavor. Roasty, chocolate,and very light coffee flavors linger for a while.
M: its Russian imperial stout, it thick, enough said.
O: exclusive to total wine, I like the idea sort of, I would really want to try this on tap. (477 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a dark brown/black pour with 2 fingers of fluffy tan head leaving behind nice lacing. smells of roasted barley, chocolate, dates, coffee. the taste is of light roasted coffee, toasted grains, cocoa, burnt caramel with a nice bitter dark roast aftertaste. medium body with low carbonation.. actually drinks really nicely and still leaves behind a creamy mouthful like a full body beer.

this is a very nice affordable beer, perfectly aged for about a year. maybe i'll pick one up again if i see it this winter. (509 characters)

Photo of PolarBear3
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark black colour with large foamy brown head that dissipates to a thin film

S - Sweet dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, caramel very prominent and slightly boozy on the nose

T - Similiar to the nose with sweet malts, dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, dates, cherries fairly prominent..but definitely get some vanilla and spice at the end. The alcohol seems to be hidden nicely and its not overpowering.

M - Medium bodied and carbonation and very smooth

O- A fairly good quality stout and definately worth a try on a colder evening. (556 characters)

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

750 ml bottle, aged for about 1 year, served in a Belgian snifter. Batch 406; best by 21 Sept., 2014 stamped on label.

Pours dark brown and sits basically black in the glass, covered by a dark tan head that has decent retention. Good, spotty lacing.

Aroma: inviting and loaded with dark fruits, if a bit boozy

Flavor: rich and moderately complex, with a the solid base of dark roasted grains coming to the fore in the finish and aftertaste, along with hints of black coffee and chocolate. More dark fruits at first. Lasting and pleasant aftertaste. Low bitterness for style.

Feel: the full body is smooth, with nice, soft carbonation. Warming.

O: has all the traits of a fine RIS without any detectable flaws. Still, not quite as tasty as the Moylan's I had last night. . (777 characters)

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

ST: 1 pint 6.4oz poured into a snifter. The bottle lists the ABV and a BBD. The batch number is 406.

A: Espresso bean black with a half-a-fingernail hot chocolate brown head, which disappears quickly leaving small bubbles and and misty patches on the surface.

S: Sweet roasted malts, coffee bean, bitter chocolate, dark fruits, and alcohol esters.

T: Roasted and slightly burnt malt quickly joins bitter chocolate and coffee bean. The finish leaves strong smoke and slight dry char without much sweetness. It leaves nice warmth in the back of the throat.

M: Heavy and dry.

O: As its name suggests, this beer was brewed to be like the old world stouts the Czars loved. If you enjoy sweeter stouts, you will not like this beer. This stout is very bitter and smokey, though it does soften as it warms. It has a nice warmth that, I am sure, would have been enjoyable in Russia. I think it is a well balanced beer (the alcohol is blended well), which is perfect for cold weather. (983 characters)

Photo of shand
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The owl on the label made me buy it. I'm a sucker for owls. Old World RIS has an awesome black pour with a large head. Roast, licorice, and leafy hops on the nose. Taste-wise, it's got a nice roast presence that goes with the leafy hops, but not really much to stand out. Tasty and drinkable, but this beer won't knock you on your feet by any means. (349 characters)

Photo of bonkers
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a bomber into a cigar city tasting snifter. It pours with a thin white head, good retention, good lacing. The aroma is roasted malts, cocoa notes. The beer is very roasty, bitter chocolate, burnt toast, finishes lingering bitterness. The body is full, average carbonation for style, easier drinking for style. Solid stout, something is missing that I can't put my finger on. (388 characters)

Photo of Beejay
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown as it pours. Deep black in the glass, with no visibility. Thick dark head rises out of the body of the beer and forms a giant creamy head.

S: Dark chocolate, and a bitter earthiness. There is a bit of a maple syrup type of smell, and something else in the finish, almost a salty, or sea breeze smell. Some caramel, and coffee in the finish. As it warms it looses a bit of the harshness and salty scent, and picks up more sweet caramel.

T: Dark chocolate, and burnt coffee in the front of it. There is a bitter earthiness that is present throughout. The finish has a creamy coffee flavor.

M: Thick on mouthfeel, it is somewhere between syrupy and creamy in texture. Carbonation is appropriate for the style.

O: Overall I enjoy the beer a bit, but there is something in the flavor that I am not in love with. Maybe as it warms I will enjoy it a bit more. It is just a touch too bitter perhaps.. Regardless, for the price I think it is a pretty good deal. (973 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Cigar City pint glass. Label says best before 27-09-14 which, since it's from Scotland, I presume translates to September 27, 2014. I guess this beer is meant to age but I'm drinking it fresh off the line. Was so new at Total Wine & More that it wasn't even on the shelf yet.

A- Pours a black color with no light shining through and a light tan two finger head that goes down to an 1/8 inch head with a lot of brilliant lacing and plenty of retention. I noticed dents in the foam on the way down that indicate the beer's freshness as far as yeast and carbonation goes. Possibly bottle-conditioned.

S- Burnt, roasted coffee aroma indicating this is gonna be one heavy beer. A bit of alcohol fumes.

T- Comes on full-force with all the cumbersome properties of an RIP. Loads of roast and dark chocolate followed by the usual metallic aftertaste. A good amount of bitterness that could be brought on by the hops. Heavy indeed, but manageable.

M- Medium-high carbonation brings a lively element which isn't detrimental to the style at all in this case. Thick but not intensely so which is cool since RIS's tend to go overboard in that area.

O- A lot to sink your tongue and stomach into but is quaffable all the same. Took a chance with this one and I'm glad I did because I would definitely have it again. (1,320 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Catchy label. Doesn't it look like the castle to "It's a Small World"? I swear, me and my brothers must have rode that thing until our dad....sorry, on to the beer:

Polished obsidian in a glass. Good formation of head, the lace it brings is good quality, and the retention is good as well. The nose brings some common characterisitcs of an imperial stout; semi sweet chocolate, charred mmalt, also some raisin and other fruitiness.

This definately has an English thing going. Despite being brewed by a Neo-American brewer in Scotland, Old World RIS is strong but not overpowering/over the top. Similar to the nose, flavors of dark chocolate, grapes, charred malt, brownie mix, pleasant astringent finish. It's not quite full bodied, though certainly bigger than medium. Carbonation is easy to notice, just enough to keep it from feeling "flat".

This is a nice strong stout from BrewDog that is also easy to drink. Far and away a much better effort than that bottle of Rip Tide I had a long way back. (1,003 characters)

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Old World Russian Imperial Stout from BrewDog
87 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.