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Cocoa Psycho - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Cocoa PsychoCocoa Psycho

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

329 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 329
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 13.16%
Wants: 17
Gots: 76 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
BrewDog visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dgilks on 03-14-2013

Welcome to the world of Cocoa Psycho, a liquid dimension where pure indulgence reigns.

Originally brewed some 250 years ago to celebrate the Russian Royal Family, this 10% Imperial Russian stout borrows from the decadence of the time with its extravagantly smooth blend of crushed coffee beans, cocoa nibs and dark malts.

But continue to dig a little deeper, past the infusions of vanilla pods and toasted oak chips, and eventually you'll come face-to-face with the madness required to make this beer; a kind of insanity that would have made Rasputin himself proud.

To fully unleash the aromas and bittersweet luxury of this stout, we recommend drinking it from a stemmed beer glass before taking a sledgehammer to a Faberge Egg.
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Ratings: 329 | Reviews: 57
Reviews by CWVegas:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Birdsall House in Peekskill, NY

Pours damn near to black, under a very dark, rich and creamy mocha head that leaves nice solid rings of sturdy lacing with every sip.

Sweet mocha/chocolate/dark grains nose

On the palate, waves of chocolate, malt balls and again smooth and flavorful dark grains.

10% well masked, super smooth, dangerously delicious and easy drinking.

Quality RIS-happy to get to savor it on tap...

Photo of Bung
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tap at Good Bottle. Thick place pour, dark tan fine bubble head. Retains well.

Aroma, roast malt, mocha coffee, black licorice.

Taste, big roast malt, fudge, molasses. Coffee and cocoa finish. Sounds simple but this is really good and right on point.

Full body, near creamy carb, costs well. Warmth kept well in check for the size. I bet draft is the way to go with this.

Usually not a fan of the quality-cost point with these guys, but if you can find on draft and get a half pour, this stuff is top notch. A quality non barrel aged imperial.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%

11.2 ounce bottle, Batch 253, best before 22/10/18. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch brown head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like burnt/charred malt, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and some dark fruit. I like the taste too, it tastes like bittersweet chocolate, burnt/charred malt, coffee, vanilla, molasses, and a bit of dark fruit and licorice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and a bit coating with moderate carbonation. I think this is a good bittersweet imperial stout, I wouldn't mind trying this again in the future. $10.99 a bottle.

Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I was hoping to taste more of the coffee and vanilla notes, but I didn't get much of that. I definitely detected chocolate, raisin, and molasses. Not that those flavors are bad, but they just remind me too much of Raisinette candy. Despite the Raisinette flavor, the beer wasn't too sweet, which I've noticed before in other Russian Imperial Stouts. There was also a bit of dryness to the beer too, which I enjoyed.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours pitch black with a thin light brown head that dissipates slowly to patches and a small ring around the glass that still manages to leave light lacing. Nice, nice aroma of chocolate, toasted malt, vanilla, hints of coffee and dark dried fruit. I gained pounds just smelling this glass. Flavor starts with molasses, toasted malt, chocolate and a hint of char, then notes of dark dried fruit, woody vanilla, light coffee and finally finishing with lightly charred dark malt, lactose and moderate hop bitterness. Medium to heavy bodied with light creaminess. A quite rich and flavorful Russian stout. The coffee seems to be mostly subsumed into the char flavor, but there is enough going on here that one mild component isn't noticed. Alcohol completely covered and this required pacing to allow savoring it and not being knocked on my ass. A worthy RIS and one I will watch for again. Brew dog has been a rare visitor to the Northwest and I welcome them back.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look: very dark indeed. Not much light getting through this bad boy. substantial mocha head on the pour.
smell: a nice charred RIS foundation. Hints of vanilla, coffee, chocolate but this is all RIS.
taste: A little sweet vanilla softens this beast but that RIS roasty char wins in the finish.
overall: Nice RIS with a wrinkle. Way to easy to drink for a 10%.

Photo of metter98
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color—slight traces of red are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a quarter finger high mocha-colored head that left a large patch of bubbles in the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of coffee beans and roasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of bitter coffee beans along with hints of roasted malts, cocoa nibs and oak. Coffee-like bitterness lingers through the finish. No alcohol is perceptible. The taste seems to get a little better as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly chalky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't as full-bodied compared to other Russian Imperial Stouts and seems like it could have more dominant aromas and flavors.

Photo of IAmThird
2.71/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Great cocoa very little vanilla. Good mouthfeel and color. No lace. I would have liked more for the price. I've had beers for 2/3 the cost with more.

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 fl oz. bottle, batch #218, best before 13-09-2018 printed on the label. Another big beer to me from BrewDog. I haven't reviewed many BrewDog beers here on BeerAdvocate, since I usually overlook them often due to the high cost. Imported by Anchor Brewing Co., strangely enough. Anyway, I'm excited to have it.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a dark inky opaque black, one of the darkest beers I've seen. Straight pour down the center conjures about two fingers of luscious dark mocha chocolate head. Head has excellent staying power for the high abv. Thin strands of lacing. Looks excellent.

S - Smell is of dark freshly ground coffee bean roast, dark bitter cocoa, subtle vanilla, some brown sugar / molasses, & some crisp green apple / musty yeast presence noticeable.

T - Taste follows the nose - dark bitter coffee bean roast, dark chocolate, mild cream / vanilla presence, & notes of char. Bitter roasted coffee seems to dominate the most, with the cocoa and vanilla firmly in the background, which is somewhat disappointing.

M - Feel is silky smooth and creamy. Medium-full bodied with excellent carbonation. Dark bitter roastiness lingering on the palate. No alcohol heat noticeable at all.

Overall, an excellent imperial Russian stout, but definitely not worth the $13.99 I paid for this tiny bottle. There are much better everyday shelf stouts that can be had in a 4 pack for less than the cost of this bottle, so for that it gets the thumbs down. The coffee dominates and the cocoa and vanilla aren't nearly as prominent as they should be. I'd love to see what some barrel aging would do to this beer. As it is, I'm glad to have tried it, but it leaves much to be desired.

BrewDog Cocoa Psycho ---4/5.

Photo of ThickNStout
3.41/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

11.2oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 10.99. Best by 11/20/18, assuming brewed 11/20/13. Served in my Phish snifter.

Pours oil black with an eighth finger deep mocha head. The froth disappears quickly without lacing.

Smells a bit muted but there's definately coffee and cocoa with a little roasty sweetness.

Bitter dark black coffee and dark chocolate remain in the forefront throughout. Burnt caramel/sugar, char/smoke, molasses, earth, faint vanilla and booze. More bitter than sweet, it's a shame the vanilla isn't more prominent because it might have served to balance the hefty bitterness.

Feel is fairly substancial yet somehow still comes accross to me as too thin. Very faint carbonation. Bitter dark cocoa and burnt coffee finish.

I really wanted to like this more. Instead, I find it all around lackluster and while it won't affect my score- entirely over priced. In the end Cocoa Psycho is a decent imperial stout with unfortunately only my least favored aspects of coffee and chocolate.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 218 with a Best Before date of 13-09-18. 11.2 ounce bottle.

A: Pours pitch black with a dark and frothy mocha head which leaves semi-rings and spots of lace.

N: Rich cocoa, roast, slight char, coffee, vanilla, malts, and dark fruits/berries.

T: Initially boozy but settles down to earthy malts, nutty roasted coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla. Well balanced.

M: Full body and moderate carbonation. Creamy, rich, smooth roasted chocolate and coffee finish.

O: Very nice, though a bit pricey. Would have again (if someone else buys).

Photo of yankeepride
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours the deepest brown imaginable, with some chocolate notes coming out of the tulip. I was able to taste the chocolate malts and the roasted character, but I was expecting much more. Didn't really get vanilla, and there was some mild bitterness that would probably account for some of the coffee. Overall, was enjoyable for breakfast on a Saturday, but didn't have the depth I was hoping to experience.

Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +1.3%

A: Pitch black, black hole, thick crude oil like as it pours into the glass. Virtually impenetrable. Topped with 2 fingers of dark brown rusty head with a yellow ochre tinge. Oil like head consistency but leaves no lacing


S: Chocolate, cocoa, black licorice, alcohol, light lilac floral scent.


T: Sweet, smooth, chocolate, ash, lilac. Little alcohol, but a burn in the throat.


M: Thick, oily smooth with little carbonation.


O: Well done but not overly complex for the style, especially for the addition of cocoa nibs and coffee. Nonetheless, I was tickled to find this through Wishbeer in Thailand. Drank Sept 7th, 2014 in Kunming, China.

Photo of Karibourgeois
2.86/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Too smokey and boozy for me.

Photo of Wumsphire
1/5  rDev -74.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

at $12 per 12oz beer its worth a 1. Piss off!

Photo of mdagnew
4.44/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast...

Poured jet black - nothing gets through even when held up to the light. Dark dirty brown head poured thick and foamy then faded to nice thickish covering... very faint lacing...

Aroma - Big blast of strong espresso coffee and toasted malts, some milk chocolate, oats, light blackcurrent/blackberry notes, cocoa, leathery, woody, some faint vanilla traces, light spicy hops, burnt sugar...

Taste - Lots of creamy chocolate and rich dark coffee to the fore, roasted malts, faint smokey notes, some liquorice, some peppery hops, nutty, light molasses sweetness..

Feel - Very smooth and creamy with just a little sharpness after... full bodied... very drinkable for 10%

Overall - An outstanding brew although a little aging wouldn't do it any harm to round out the edges... definitely recommended

Photo of dbrauneis
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque though still clear extremely dark and thick jet black with very faint traces of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has an eighth of a finger tall sudsy foamy dark mocha head that reduces to a small patch of very thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of bittersweet chocolate and coffee bean with moderate aromas of vanilla and just a hint of roasted malts. Very light aromas of oak as well.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of roasted malts with a light hint of ash. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of rich dark chocolate (more bittersweet than sweet), freshly roasted coffee, oak, and vanilla. Light hints of earthiness. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness present in the finish which does not linger for long.

M: Just shy of full bodied with light amounts of carbonation. Thick and viscous yet smooth. Hints of dryness towards the finish.

O: Very rich and decadent, one that I really enjoyed though this is definitely a slow sipping beer. Definitely one of the more expensive beers that I have picked up recently, but definitely worth trying. Alcohol is relatively well hidden.

Photo of mportnoy
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Too smokey for me. One noted smoke.

Photo of HipCzech
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: 12 oz bottle (marked "best before 22/10/18") poured into a stemmed Pilsener (beer tulip) glass.

Appearance: Pours near pitch black with a thick, foamy, medium brown head.

Smell: Deeply roasted grain, coffee and chocolate. Almost salty caramel emerges as it warms.

Taste: More roasted grain with plenty of sweet dark chocolate, black coffee and vanilla. Only slight bitterness on the finish. Alcohol is subtle, emerging a little as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth, full bodied, almost viscous sweet, and moderately carbonated.

Overall: Not overly complex as a RIS, but lives up to its name with big cocoa character.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer pours an oily, jet black coloring with scant traces of a dark brown, filmy head. Aromas of booze first and foremost, with a heavy and rich roasted coffee backbone, smoke and charcoal, bitter baker's chocolate, cigarettes, and earth. It smells like someone dropped a campfire into a monster RIS. The flavors are smoke and char forward, with a quick blast of solid cocoa and coffee, blended together very well, with cream and vanilla highlights. This beer is insanely rich on the palate, and that is heightened by the smoke and char characteristics. More tobacco notes coming forward, as well, with some earthy backbone to ground everything. Smooth and slick in mouth, but always heavy. There is no underestimating this one once you have made it past the initial taste. Wow. Aftertaste of cream, mocha, and hints of vanilla, with surprisingly little to no note of the smoke/charcoal. It's really impressive how that clears your palate towards the end of each sip. The finish is smooth and slick, leaving a slight linger of bittersweet chocolate and rich cream and coffee notes. This is a beast.

Photo of MarkoNm
2.7/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

With a name like that, I just had to get it.
Pours with an extremelly deep black color and a very small chocolate colored head.
The aroma is quite strong - there is roasted smell and coffee as well. I was missing some chocolate aroma perhaps.
The taste was a kick in the head. A very strong and extra bitter roasted and coffee taste.
Personally, a bit too strong, and too much coffee (not a fan of it) and not enough (or at all) chocolate. Just a hint of it in the aftertaste, maybe.
Definitely not a bad beer, but it just doesn't suit my style. It would be much better with more chocolatey taste.

Photo of kojevergas
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label and branded black and gold pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local bottle shop for $12.99 USD and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. 10% ABV confirmed per the label. "Batch 218. Best before: 13-09-18." Expectations are above average given the description - "Imperial russian [sic] stout brewed with coffee, chocolate and vanilla." Reviewed as a Russian imperial stout for obvious reasons.

Served at fridge temp and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours an absolutely gorgeous rich tan colour head - 2.5 fingers wide - with an impeccable shiny complexion. Good creaminess and thickness. Appealingly frothy. Soft looking. Retention is great for the high ABV - at least 9 minutes. There's some sticky inconsistent lacing on the sides of the glass as the head recedes too. Love how rich and dark it is.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black. I wouldn't call it jet black, but it's dark. No yeast particles or hop sediment are/is visible. Appears aptly carbonated.

In short, I'm craving the first sip. While far from unique, this is how a Russian imperial stout should look. Good execution.

Sm: Roasty creamy coffee/java notes. Even a bit of a burnt espresso edge. Dark malts. Chocolate malts. Burnt sugars. Char. Molasses. I have trouble finding the vanilla; it's not very explicit and seems obscured by the cream. The cacao nibs are similarly unevocative; I don't find the richness I expect from true cacao nibs, and can only find a pretty generic chocolate character.

Still, the coffee works well with the burnt character, and the roast is lovely. I'm really looking forward to trying this. As it warms, I almost pick up on a cayenne powder note, but I'm probably just tricking myself. It does have the dustiness of cocoa powder.

Overall a very inviting aroma. Moderately strong.

No yeast character or hop character is detectable. The roastiness tames any malty sweetness, suggesting a very balanced flavour profile.

T: I do find that cayenne/chili powder note here; it's got a bit of heat. Cocoa powder, dark malts, chocolate malts, and a kiss of roasted barley comprise the foundation. The coffee character is less interesting here than the aroma suggested; I do find a bit of roast and burnt grounds, but there isn't much depth or diversity of flavour. Char, burnt sugars, molasses. Light cream. Faint kisses of vague dark fruits emerge as it warms. No hop character, alcohol, or overt yeast character comes through.

Boy, any vanilla is extremely reticent here. The cacao nibs are equally unevocative to the point that I'd question if any were even really used. Why is this called Cocoa Psycho, again? I'm not finding any oak, either.

The sweetness is very well balanced by the roast. BrewDog handles the complexity of this beer well, balancing each note carefully. There's even some subtlety here. That said, for the style it's not uniquely intricate or nuanced. The shallowness of flavour is definitely disappointing. Average flavour intensity and duration.

It's a damned enjoyable beer overall, and I really like it. It boasts a gestalt build and plenty of layers of flavour.

Mf: Near perfectly coarse and dry - in large part due to the well-utilized roasted barley and coffee roast. But the creaminess lends it just enough smoothness and wetness to prevent it from being rough or scratchy on the palate. Medium to full-bodied, with apt thickness. Not too filling. Has a good overall presence on the palate, with a fitting softness and near ideal carbonation.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Texture suits the taste well overall.

Dr: A very drinkable and enjoyable imperial stout with plenty to offer the discerning drinker. I'll easily murder this bottle and wish this was sold by the 6 pack (albeit at a much more reasonable price). In fact, I'd go so far as to say I could and would easily kill a 6 pack of this in a single sitting - it's that tasty. While the price point is a strong deterrent to buying this again, I do think every beer appreciator should give this a spin just once. Definitely one of BrewDog's better offerings. I'd recommend it to friends and trade partners. Well worth trying.

Strong B+

Photo of Browninc1
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Works well over vanilla ice cream as an amazing Affogato! Try it!

Photo of bark
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

The colour is jet black (120 EBC); the finger thick head is dark brown, firm and compact. It leaves some lacing on the glass.

The smell is deep and complex. Vanilla, coffee (lots of it), smoked salami, liquorice, oak wood, dark chocolate, dried fruits and olives. No alcohol.

The taste is roasted, sweet and smooth. Vanilla, coffee, caramel and a light sour flavour. Some oak-aged cellar notes. Red berries and orange peels in the background. The bitterness is a both flowery and citric, it is quite strong but stays behind the massive malt flavours. Passing hints of caramel. Full body. The aftertaste is somewhat sweeter with some spicy notes of nutmeg and allspice, coffee with cream, gunpowder and orange chocolate. The long finish is dry and roasted.

The carbonation is light, the few small bubbles are fresh. The liquid is thick and a bit sticky.

A powerful yet delicate RIS, lots of flavours going on but it still manages to be balanced without any noticeable alcohol. Impressive.

Photo of Mebuzzard
1.86/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Sampled at the Great International Beer Fest sponsored by Elite Brands.

Pours a dark ruby red, very dark. Looks thick and rich, not much of a head, if you can call it that.

Oof. Aroma is booze and nail polish remover. Hot, burn....not a hint of anything RIS

Flavor is just a mess. The booze kills everything. Cocoa is burnt and barely alive. Malt is putrid.

Not even a sipper beer. Too hot, too messy

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Cocoa Psycho from BrewDog
88 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.