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Cocoa Psycho - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Cocoa PsychoCocoa Psycho

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

66 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 389
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 31.04%
Wants: 26
Gots: 103 | 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: 66 | Hads: 389
Photo of heygeebee
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of ADZA
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

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Photo of drpimento
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

Appearance has a brown thick head that slowly settles, some lace and an opaque brown black color. aroma is on the mild side with malt Cocoa, hint of molasses and roast. flavor is like aroma very small subtle hints of coffee and good balance between bitter sweet and tang. Perfect body. A velvet Hammer beer with some booze at the very end of the finish.

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Photo of danieelol
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%

Pours black as ^@*$ with awesome tanned head, big lacing. Looks pretty awesome in the grand scheme of things.

Nose is so roasty, huuuuuge coffee, bit of chocolate and a hint of banana.

Taste is massive roast, slight hint of banana, big burnt flavours, coffee in huge amounts. There is a hint of balancing sweetness holding the oppressive roast at bay.

Mouthfeel is about Big, Black Coffee. Kind of bitter. Lots of chocolate comes out later, lots.

Despite the American-style adjuncts this also has Euro leanings in its burnt, acrid dry style. If you like roasty RISes the coffee in this really takes it to the next level. Could use some balancing maltiness to counteract all that acrid coffee and a bit of booze. But quite a good beer on the whole, with a distinctive profile. Maybe I would split the bottle next time. I think ultimately the adjuncts are quite forward and dominant also. Strong coffee is pretty dominant in both nose and taste.

An ambitious and unique beer. I think this beer has a lower rating than it deserves which I largely attribute to BrewDog reactionaries.

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Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%

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.

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Photo of vauxhaulastra
2.5/5  rDev -36.4%

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.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16 oz snifter. Pours pitch black with a huge 2 inch mocha head, that leaves behind some solid lace.

Smell is expresso, dark chocolate, leather, tobacco, and vanilla.

Taste follows the nose. Starts with a shot of expresso, dark chocolate and finishes with a leathery, tobacco, and vanilla.

Body is only only maybe medium, slight carbonation, very dry, and pretty easy drinking for a fan of aggressive stouts.

This is very nice, but will take an equally if not better Founder's imperial stout at the same price a four pack as a single bottle.

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Photo of beergoot
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
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...

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Photo of Mebuzzard
1.86/5  rDev -52.7%
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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Photo of Svyturys30
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
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.


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Photo of trippytbta
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into snifter. Pours black with approx. one finger of dark tan head that disappears quickly. Aroma of dark chocolate and a little coffee. Taste is similar to the aroma with roasted malt and char. Kind of tastes like dark chocolate over coffee beans. A little hop comes through as well as other tastes, excluding the vanilla, i never really tasted vanilla. The mouth feel is good accompanied by the warm alcohol presence.. A pretty good beer for such a high ABV.

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Photo of Jack_Malts
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.38/5  rDev -14%
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.

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Photo of yankeepride
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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

A-dark brown black color with a nice light brown head and decent lacing

S-dark malt, chocolate, vanilla, earthy, coffee, hint of brown sugar

T-dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, molasses, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-nice flavors and enjoyable sipping, nice dessert beer

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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+

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

An overly thick black pour with barely a finger of dark brown head. Smells a bit like nail polish remover upon pouting but once it settles it's a nice Chocolatey ostmeal aroma.. Smells very boozy. The flavor is dark, roasty, rich, a bit sweet, a bit soy sauce, a bit charred oak.. The alcohol isn't as present. This is a nice full body low carbonation dark roasty stout. Definitely better than I expected it to be. A bit too pricy, but I had the money at the time so why not?!

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of pkalix
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

black! dark brown foam on top that settles quickly.
dark bitter cocoa aroma, earthy.
taste is earthy also, chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, bitter. some coffee...
a little heavier, but that was expected. nice suds down the side of the glass. very interesting and flavorful....

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Photo of Bung
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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).

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.93/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Cocoa Psycho from BrewDog
88 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.