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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.
View: Beers (104) | Events
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 389
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black, one finger light brown foam, fast to a tiny lacing, sticky.
Dark roastiness in the smell, with some faint smoked wood, vanilla. Kinda low, if you think about all the added ingredients.
Taste follows nose, but is richer, with dark roasted malts, dark chocolate and sweet espresso. Some covered fruitiness, with juicy plums, dry figs and raisin and some citrus. Vanilla, cocoa powder, orange peel and some nutmeg/licorice spices. A clear taste of burnt/smoked wood, leaving charcoal in the aftertaste. Spicy hop presence in the finish, but already bitter enough from the heavy roast.
Creamy body, adequate, with a low crispness. Booze is nice, with kind of a coffee liquor feel to it. Aftertaste is a bit too "powdery".
A bit of everything, on the dark malt side of a RIS, nicely executed but not the best out there.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.7/5  rDev -31.3%
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.

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Photo of bark
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
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...

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Photo of Deltrus
1.59/5  rDev -59.5%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of RandomExile
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
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

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Photo of wl0307
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Coming in a slim 330ml brown bottle, BB 11/12/2013, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pitch black in colour, coming with a dark khaki foamy head retreating slowly to a rim to last, on top of rather mild carbonation.
S: jammy dark fruits, dates, dark chocolates, sweet coffee, vanilla, marzipan and aromatic roast nuts abound, with a whiff of warming alc. lurking in the background and some Fuggles-like aromatic hoppiness.
T: a lubricating swallow of roast malts, syrupy chocolates and licorice-coffee precedes a rather neat mid-taste of mild hoppiness and weighty spicy bitterness balanced by a decent lease of acidity from both dark fruits and roast coffee beans, leaving a lightly spicy bite at the end of each long sip. Chewy, bitter-sweet, aromatically coffee-ish and nutty-malty goes the long finish.
M&O: full-bodied, softly carbonated and just lightly lubricating on the palate, this fulsome, chocolaty, coffee-ish and fruity Imperial Stout is executed beautifully on the balance, with the alc. strength hidden a bit too well…

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Photo of flyingpig
3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.44/5  rDev +13%
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

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Photo of mick303
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cocoa Psycho
330 mL bottle, poured into a tulip. This pours the colour and viscosity of motor oil, it is impenetrably black and thick and viscous. A slightly aggressive pour yielded about 2 fingers of dark caramel brown foamy head. Lacing is great, leaves some whispy film and a coating around the edge. Wow, excited indeed. 4.5

S- coffee brewing in a log cabin, no joke. Big rich aromas of dark roasty malt, notes of lemon and cumin, lot of coffee, chocolate a big understated, both hot cocoa powder and sweet milk chocolate notes. Lot of balanced bitterness and spice notes. Some vanilla and oaky campfire, surprising toffee sweetness. 4

T- bitter coffee, bitter cocoa pods, vanilla, roasty malt, log cabin with some wool blankets about, smooth mocha, more earthy spice. An amazingly smooth and creamy feel to it. Bitter dark chocolate on the end, dark malt with a really pleasant bitterness. A very tasty Russian stout, with a fair bit of sweet, almost milky, character. Quite complex, maybe not as much as some others, but still very solid. 4

M- creamy initially, then a perceptible coating bitterness of coffee and cocoa. Ends with a lingering oaky warmth, a sort of mouth puckering coffee tannic coating. Amazingly the alcohol is hardily noticeable behind the really big body of this stout. Really sippeable, and satisfying. 4.5

Well, a solid and well-made Russian stout. I enjoyed it a lot, really balanced and creamy for this strength which made it quite the treat. I suspect however it doesn’t have the complexities to challenge the titans of this style. The more I sip it the better it gets though and I would highly recommend this, quite well-balanced even with the amped up hops. Worth trying for sure. 4.5

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Fullers snifter glass.

Definitely top marks for appearance as it pours an inky black colour, with a lively chocolate brown head. Looks absolutely gorgeous.

Smells dark and burnt, with a slight hint of sweetness. Some vanilla too I think.

Tastes first of a massive hit of bitterness - coffee, and dark, burnt malts. Lots of alcohol but not overwhelming (great for 10%, especially considering it's so fresh), and adds an aspect of strong dark fruits, almost like port wine. Dryness lingers on the palate after you swallow. Near perfect level of carbonation - it's there but it doesn't ruin the taste like some other big stouts.

Overall a nice beer, better than what I expected from Brewdog and I'd love to have this again. Good show lads.

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

One of the prototype batches that are now being brewed year-round for 2013.

Light absorbing black like falling into an abyss. Tight, dark tan head. Fair head retention.

Massive roast malt and cocoa aroma. Fair amounts of alcohol and some earthiness. Pretty nice.

Abig alcohol hit with most of the malt being a chocolate note. A little light on the malt sweetness and the bitterness is a touch high for my tastes.

Medium body with moderately-low carbonation. Fine.

A decent strong stout. The cocoa notes are clear but I want a little more sweetness to bring out the chocolate flavour rather than the bitter cocoa.

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