Cocoa Psycho - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Cocoa PsychoCocoa Psycho

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BA SCORE
86
very good

60 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 60
Hads: 357
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.84%
Wants: 22
Gots: 93 | FT: 5
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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Reviews: 60 | Hads: 357
Photo of Deltrus
1.59/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Best before 2018 and $13 for a 12oz bottle, so it better be damn good!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 22oz snifter.

Appearance 4.75/5: Obnoxiously well-developed color. Extremely dark abyss, was darker than my black shirt, as my friend pointed out. The head was an intensely dark luxurious color of tan-brown, definitely was appeasing to the eyes.

Smell 1.25/5: I just wish the nose followed the look. I smelled next to nothing. It smelled like a cheap Russian Imperial Stout, not even close to as good as Old Rasputin. Smelled kind of like tar or rubber, to be quite honest. There were a few deep dark beer notes in the nose, but overall I was not pleased. There was no chocolate, vanilla, or coffee notes in the nose, all in all a boring beer to sniff at.

Taste 1.25/5: Sadly, this beer's flavor follows the nose. I got no chocolate, coffee, or vanilla once again. It didn't even taste like an okay Russian Imperial Stout. It tasted very cheap and like it was trying but had failed to succeed. Tokyo* was a better representation of a strong dark beer from BrewDog.

Mouthfeel 3/5: The only other thing going for this beer other than its looks was the feel. It felt pretty-full-bodied, but unfortunately, that cannot make up for the above two sections.

Overall 1/5: For a beer to truly succeed, it really needs more than just looks and feel. It needs a personality, in the sense of taste and smell. Looks and mouthfeel cannot save something that you are supposed to also enjoy by smelling it and actually drinking it. It should taste good, right? I am quite sad to give this beer such a negative review, but frankly, for spending $13, my expectations were up in the clouds. You do not charge that much for a beer unless it is up there with the greats. If no chocolate, vanilla, or coffee is discernible on the palate or the nose, then it is simply a failure and thus my score of 1/5 overall. If this beer was $5 or less, I'd be more inclined to give it a higher score, like a 2/5, but unless someone hands me this beer free-of-charge, I will not be returning, sad to say. (2,079 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
1.86/5  rDev -51.6%
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 (405 characters)

Photo of vauxhaulastra
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Served in a half pint stemmed glass at BrewDog pub in Edinburgh.
Like sipping cocoa powder and cold espresso.
So strong and bitter yet also a little sweet.
Not sticky at all though.
Very dry in the mouth.
I feel the half-pint I got was too much, this could be something I could drink like a schnapps or a whiskey. Fairly hard to enjoy through the extreme bitterness. (371 characters)

Photo of MarkoNm
2.7/5  rDev -29.7%
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. (600 characters)

Photo of IAmThird
2.71/5  rDev -29.4%
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. (150 characters)

Photo of Svyturys30
3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

Let me start by saying that I am not a huge stout fan. I am trying to delve more and more into these beers as I am wanting to start a mini cellar. I tried this in a bottle and had it served into a small tasting glass.

A- It is like dark motor oil. The way a stereo typical stout looks (IMO) Has a much darker head that most of the stouts that I have seen. Very little head compared to most beers and the head disappears after about 30 seconds.

S- It also has the stout-esce type of smell with a bit of a bittersweet chocolate small on the end.

T- This is the second stout I have had in a couple of days. I thought this one was much better than the other I tried (will review the other one after this).

M- This stout has a very smooth, thick viscosity to it (like watered down maple syrup).

O- I think this stout tastes much better than the Wells and Young stout I had earlier. I hope DL, BCBS or the proprietor is better than this one.

Cheers! (949 characters)

Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.38/5  rDev -12%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
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. (1,028 characters)

Photo of yankeepride
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
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. (404 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
3.44/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£4.50):
Black with a very dark looking brown head that is creamy and about half a centimetre tall before it fades to a patchy lacing about thirty to forty-five seconds later.

Strong and dark roasted malts with a lot of coffee coming through as well in the initial stages. There is a tonne of sugar and sweet malts coming through with a hint of vanilla and spice plus some darker fruits. The fruits include some plum and fig along with some raisin and there is a hint of oak right at the end.

Rich tasting and with a fair amount of alcohol coming through, even at the start with this one. There is a lot of dark chocolate and sugar with some roasted malts and spice. Spicy and with a lot of dark fruits, particularly some dates and figs coming through.

Smooth with a creamy feel and a medium body. Carbonation seems low with this beer but the texture is a rich and complex one that also packs a punch due to the huge alcohol content of the drink.

A mixed bag really in that it started pretty well and the smell was incredibly complex but very enjoyable although after that things started to slide a little. The taste wasn't a bad one per say but it was a touch strong for my liking and touches alcohol were a little to noticeable although it is an Imperial stout I guess. (1,319 characters)

Photo of RandomExile
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: deep chocolate brown, solidly opaque; light brown 3/4" of head;fine cobweb lacing
S: rich hot cocoa, vanilla, oak, alcohol
T: woody espresso, alcohol, bitter
M: thin, dry
O: Pleasant, engaging appearance and smell, but let down by a thin body and unsuprising failure to mask the 10% abv.

Tulip Glass / Victoria Gastro Pub, Columbia, MD (339 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Spiegelau glass

A: pure night with no moon or stars in a glass, held ip to light not a drop escapes the abyss. little very chocolatey head dissipates to nothing.

S: lot of chocolate and licorice

T: Big chocolate, deep almost acidic roast maybe thats the coffee its ver acidic almost like burnt expresso, rich malts, anise

M: fairly full feel but not that creamy

O: this is a big stout but not a very amazing one I thought the vanilla or coffee would stand out neither did. Its just an ok stout, boozy and very acidic. (550 characters)

Photo of TequilaTom
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very good offering from the BrewDogs. Has the darkest head I've ever seen on a beer, a nice chocolatey brown. Aroma was very good. Had an almost gritty mouthfeel from so much cocoa I presume. Alcohol burn kicks in after a while. The only real bitch I have about this beer is the price. At $12 for a 12 ouncer, it should put me into a state of euphoria. It did not. I wouldn't have bought it except I had a store gift card. To be honest, I've had better beers for 1/2 the price or less. But it was worth trying, albeit on someone elses dime! (542 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Totally black, with a dark brown foam.
At the smell a powerful impact of cocoa, coffee, and toasted notes.
A lot of coffee.
Full taste, again chocolate, coffee, toasted. Low bitterness, some dried fruits, woody hints.
Then some vanilla. Full, and still realtively delicate.
The alcohol is (almost) hidden.
Full, but not too much bodied.
Cocoa, toasted, coffee and vanilla in the aftertaste again. Good. (402 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The body appears jet black and leaves a thin, cocoa brown head that eventually fades to nothing. Aroma is primarily a low-intensity cocoa with some charred grain notes. The taste exudes a big, malty flavor infused with baker's chocolate, hints of dates and prunes, charcoal, and a slightly boozy sensation. The feel is heavy-bodied, slick and smooth; dusty dryness.

The beer develops a more alcohol-like character the more you drink yet does a nice job of presenting and maintaining a rich, thick, tasty RIS kind of flavor. Too bad its looks are flat and the aroma rather tame. Nothing world-class about this one, but it ain't no weak, forgettable beer either...it's no 'psycho' but not necessarily for the faint of heart... (725 characters)

Photo of heygeebee
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Flat looking pour, nice and full on nose, but taste let down by a slight bite of coffee bitterness which would likely balance out over time.
Having said that, a somewhat mainstream coffee/vanilla RIS. (200 characters)

Photo of Jack_Malts
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Alc. 10% by Vol, 2014

It pours midnight black with a 1 finger milk chocolate orangeish head that doesn't stick around. No lacing.

Smells of cocoa powder, char, cappuccino.

The taste is mostly cocoa powder. So much of it. There is a slight warming alcohol booziness that adds to the smooth and creamy mouth feel. Roasted malts and char are very present. chocolate liquor. No vanilla. Cocoa powder and unsweetened coffee bitterness on the finish.

This is like drinking dark chocolate covered espresso beans. The vanilla is not really present at all, which is a bit of a disappointment. The chocolate is super dark, and the coffee is very bitter. Its pretty good, but I wouldn't buy it again. Trying it once though - I definitely recommend it. Don't expect any vanilla. (770 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a black motor oil like body with brown head that slowly receded. A heavy aroma of bitter chocolate, maybe some dark as well, dry/roasted malts with a decent coffee profile, and possible oakiness. The beer is heavy, sticky, good chocolatey sweetness mixed roasted coffee malts and it passes over the tongue smooth thanks to a touch of wood. I don't seem to pick up much else after the cocoa and coffee parts so it seems a bit simplistic but very enjoyable to me. The ABV is well-hidden and the beer never gets too dry or rough around the edges. (550 characters)

Photo of hopley
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

• 12.24.14 – Christmas Eve
• 4.5 - Look - Jet black pour with nice .5 inches of tan / light brown head that mostly fades away almost completely and leaves limited lacing
• 3.75 - Smell - Can’t get much smell
• 3.75 - Mouthfeel – Medium mouthfeel – well balanced, not chewy, not thick or thin, similar to what you’d expect for a RIS
• 3.75 - Taste – Too roasty and bitter for my taste, but this lessens as it warms, alcohol well hidden – no alcohol burn at all
• 4.0 – Overall a pretty good RIS but I prefer sweeter and less roasty / bitter RISs, glad to have tried it nonetheless (609 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (890 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.88/5  rDev +1%

Pours the darkest black/brown hue with the most chocolatiest two finger head and a thick rim of lacing, the smell is pepperoni, milk chocolate duds and dark fruits, the mouthfeel is full bodied with very laid back carbonation suiting perfectly allowing every ingredient to be noticed which suprises me with such a complex list of ingredients, it starts off with a good mix of toasted oak and roasted malts followed by milk chocolate, berries and finished with a very smokey oak dryness, overall another well put together complex drop from the dogs that would even age nicely cheers. (582 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours pitch black with a milky coffee coloured head. Look fantastic can't wait to try it.

The smell is sweet malts and just a hint of coffee.

The taste is malts, slight bitterness upfront, giving way to some milky cream and sweetness. The finish has some sourness and a bit of alcohol heat.

The mouthfeel a bit thinner than I like in a RIS, there is a little prickly carbonation which works pretty well.

Overall a pretty tasty RIS just doesn't have the mouthfeel that you get with ten fidy or stone RIS. (508 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (1,738 characters)

Photo of madelfonatree
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24/09/19 poured into a snifter/tulip on July 23, 2015.

Look - Dark, oily black. Thin, dark tan head with aggressive pour. Lacing and head dissipates quickly.

Smell - Chocolate. Liquor. Coffee. Vanilla. A little sour smell.

Taste - Alcohol. Chocolate. Coffee. Prune. Vanilla. Oranges. Slight bitterness

Feel - Heavy. Full. Carbonation high as well. Alcohol sting on tongue.

Overall - This is not my favorite RIS. While it has many of the traditional traits, it is not unique or genuine. Alcohol taste is high. (515 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
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+ (4,401 characters)

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Cocoa Psycho from BrewDog
86 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.