Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout - Harvey & Son Ltd.
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Ratings: 446 | Reviews: 390 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by avylover:
3.58/5 rDev +5%
This stuff pours out straight black with virtually NO carbonation, as if I had this in a growler for two weeks after opening it. Aroma is quite interesting. Notes of bovril, cherries, soy sauce, and alcohol...very nice. The taste is beyond complex. There is a distict meaty taste (hence the bovril) along with some saltiness, finishing quite dry and smooth. I can tell you this is nothing like an american Imp Stout...which is a plus for me. Then comes the mouthfeel...wheres the carbonation? bad bottle or no, I expect some bubbles in my brew. This beer is absolutely flat, depite being corked & sealed. It is slick & full though, to it's credit. Drinkability....well it's tasty, but too flawed in the carbonation department to make me want another..
Notes: I believe in reviewing bad bottles (if this is actually one) since it represents the quality of the brewery in the overall score of the beer.
01-29-2005 14:55:44 | More by avylover
More User Reviews:
4.2/5 rDev +23.2%
2001 vintage,pours black as an oil slick with very small mocha colored head that is gone very quickly,wow the complexities in the aroma,raisins,cedar,roasted nuts with a lighter earthy dry earthy raw nutiness.Full almost syurapy mouthfeel coats the mouth,man there are alot of different flavors going on here starts out quite swee like that of brandy like a few others have noted in their reviews quite rasiny and buttery with hints of wood and drying earth in the finish.Wow what a nightcapper here even though Iam drinking this in the middle of the afternoon,whew this one exudes complexities.
01-26-2006 20:20:36 | More by oberon
4.33/5 rDev +27%
Appearance It looks exactly like a can of 40 wt. Absolutely no head. Bizarre.
Smell This is crazy. Theres definitely cherry in there along with super dark malts and alcohol, but theres another strong aroma that I cant pinpoint. It reminds me of good Kentucky bourbon.
Taste This doesnt even taste like beer. It is so thick that Im sipping it out of a spoon that Im using for dipping. If I spilled this on the floor Id clean it up with a broom instead of a mop.
It is by far the heaviest, thickest substance I have ever drunk. The alcohol is so strong it should be served in a fifth. It tastes more like whiskey then beer. Bourbon, to be more precise. Ancient Age comes to mind.
Also, the burnt flavors are huge. OK Ancient Age garnished with bread crumbs scraped from burnt toast.
Then, just when you think youre done, the sweetness stops by to say (loudly) HELLO! Everything dark, of course. Plums, dates, Rainer cherries, and blueberries. The tobacco alone could knock out a gorilla.
This is monster flavor. Like it or hate it, you cant ignore this one.
Mouthfeel Completely flat, with the consistency of motor oil. I could pour this down my driveway and beat it to the garage.
Drinkability Ninety-nine out of a hundred average people would spit this out in the sink. The drunken alcoholic on the corner nursing a bottle of Everclear would need some schnapps and a pack of Kools to chase this down. Buy it as a gift? Only for the experienced, adventurous beer lover.
08-21-2003 02:48:54 | More by RoyalT
2.6/5 rDev -23.8%
2003 vintage. Serving date: 2009-06-03. No visual evidence of cork damage.
A: It has a pitch black color. The liquid is thick and lifeless. A rather aggressive pour results in just minimal brown head. The head dissipated quickly but swirls result in some lacings, so the beer seems to have some carbonation.
S: The smell is rather special and really weird. Think a mix of decent lambic and a not overly roasty and somethat sweet stout - and there you have it. Notes of vinegar, funky barnyard and wet hay, and hint of aged cheese. Beneath this lie another set or smells, more common to stouts - sweet chocolate, roasted malts, wood and some fruity aromas. Initially, I find the smell quite interesting but as the beer warms up and gets to breed, the pungent and funky aromas becomes more prominent and after a while it just gets too assertive.
T: The smell is also very weird, and far from good. The beer actually tastes kind of bad. The character of a tart lambik appear here as well, but is not as prominent as in the smell. But still, here are plenty of tart notes that all in all seems rather out of place. In the mouth, there is not much going on, except for some notes of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. But upon swallowing, things start to happen. A very strong salty taste develops and this does not work well at all with the tartness. Soy sauce, green apples, horse blanket and something that reminds me of pickled fish blend in a devilish concoction. Some sweetness tries to get everything back on track, but fails completely. In the finish there is a strong note of licorice, some wood and a taste of alcohol that doesn't fit well with the other flavors.
M: Full-bodied with a sticky texture. Almost no carbonation and as a result, the beer is too much to handle after a while.
D: This is a very strange beer. It's complex and poorly balanced, and frankly it doesn't taste good. Some parts of it are nice though(some components in the smell and some of the tartness in the taste), but as a whole, it fails to be anything but a disappointment.
07-06-2009 12:39:07 | More by ricke
5/5 rDev +46.6%
2008 Vintage Sampled August 29 2012.
Appearance- Jet back with a copper-colored head with a texture like velour. It only gives a thin surface cap but hangs around the edges of the glass waiting to reclaim thick legs that take entire minutes to fall. Opaque.
Aroma- sweet dried fruit, very vinous, suggestive of a brett character... getting chills and visitations from memories of thomas hardys. Flowery, earthy, leathery. Center of the aroma is well-fermented molasses, sour cherrys, faint metallic odor, baking bread, hint of ash, ..definitely some funk running up in here. I could smell this forever.
Flavor- Wow. Where to start? A little sour as anticipated, but grounded in a deep, rich, dark syrupy malt base with peppery alcohol dropping the bottom out for a roasty finish. Flavors and sensations pass in waves. Notes of baked apple and fig. Just bitter enough. Lovely fennel/ caraway dimension. Candied plum coming out with warmth. Chocolate-covered strawberries. At times begins to impersonate a well-aged fruit forward / jammy red wine. Hey rides into the sinuses. A little nut and mocha coming out in the finish. Amazingly the classic stout points of roast, chocolate, coffee, etc are basically the last thing I notice when drinking this beer. That stuff is really mellow and there is just so much else going on.
Mouthfeel - This beer makes love to my mouth. It is velvety, creamy, heavy, smooth, fluffy, oily, full-bodied, all at the same time. Carbonation is on the low side but certainly present even at this age. There is virtually nothing bracing going on at all. Smooth all the way down. Sourness and alcohol only tease the palate and tickle the senses making me want to keep this beer in my mouth as long as possible.
Overall - I don't know what to say. My mind is totally blown. I feel guilty I opened this without other people around. Why does nobody talk about this beer? It is literally the awesomest thing I have drank in my life. Why does this beer not have a higher score? Fine by me, I'll be buying it up every chance I get.
08-30-2012 03:28:38 | More by JudgeRoughneck
1/5 rDev -70.7%
I hate having to do this review, but I feel obligated at this point
At the British Beer Company in Natick, MA I ordered one of these. It was a 1999 Vintage server to me ~32F. Not a good sign. I allowed the brew to warm.
I decorked and took a whiff. Buttersctoch with immediate cayanne pepper. Not good. Poured no carbonation, oil click black, zero movement in the beer. Smells of oxidation, buttersctoch and plain ass. I sent back this $15, 10yr old beer. I have NEVER sent a beer back in my life.
Steward offered me another. A 2000 vintage. Pulled cork which looked in better condition. Smells hinted at some malt. Poured into a new snifer. Again, zero carbonation, oil slick black. Not nearly as much cayanne, but buttersctoch notes were heavy. Zero malt, zero dryness, just ass.
I explained to the nice steward that the bottle recommends it to be conditioned 50-56F. That you were doing these beers a terrible disservice keeping them in the fridge. However, Im confident that they hadnt kept them there for 9 and 10 years. Never the less, these beers were ... BY FAR ... the worst beers Ive ever tasted. Extremely disappointed as I was stoked to try them.
I ended up ordering 2 06 Thomas Hardy's (again at 32f) and allowed them to warm. They were good, but not great. Im sure the keeping temp needs to be adjusted.
Sad sad day for what im sure was supposed to be an excellent vintage beer
06-26-2009 13:18:28 | More by JasonA
1.53/5 rDev -55.1%
2003 vintage. Served in a tulip.
Is it fair to critique a beer this old?
Tightly corked. Popped out clean.
Poured dark and flat. Totally flat. Nothing. Nada. Flat.
Chocolate notes picked up in the glass. Bitterness on the nose foretells what's to come.
Bitter chocolate. Like the most bitter chocolate you ever tasted that's intended for cooking, not to eat.
I want to savor this beer but just can't. No redeeming value to this beer at all unless you're into punishing your palate.
Drain pour? Haven't decided yet. I'm compelled to drink it just so I can say I did.
Update: I drainpoured this sucker. I just couldn't punish my senses any longer. Life is too short.
01-15-2012 23:31:58 | More by NWer
1.3/5 rDev -61.9%
11.2 oz bottle dated 2001, annoyingly corked (the cork actually broke). Pours a black brown with no head at all.
The aroma is strong raisin and rummy alcohol with some molasses sugary sweetness.
The flavor is washed out (oxidized?) roasted tar and black licorice, bitter alcohol and cork. This tastes kind of like paint thinner, with all the harsh alcohol. It actually had me gagging. The mouthfeel is medium and very watery with zero carbonation.
Overall, I don't know if this is a bad sample or what, but it is terrible - a drain pour.
11-12-2007 06:17:56 | More by Beaver13
3.75/5 rDev +10%
Presentation: 11.2oz vintage looking bottles, corked and finished with a silver plastic wrap. The year 1999 in noted on the label a the vintage year. Actual history on the label about the beer.
Appearance: Pitch black with a brownish lace that holds tight.
Smell: Hints of ripe bing cherries soaked in alcohol and whiffs of roasted grain and wood.
Taste: Syrupy mouth feel and full bodied with a minimal carbonation ... deep bitterness from the roasted grain and hops, acidic twang from the wood and roasted character cut through the sweetness. Then a quick burst of date like fruitiness followed by a complex dark roasted coffee and wood taste that lend to a long lasting finish.
Notes: Flavours are quick yet complex. Stylistcaly speaking this is as close as you can get to an Imperial Russian Stout in modern day. Truely a interesting and remarkable brew. A great brew today though a few if not several years of aging could benifit this brew. Brewed for A. Le Coq & Tartu Brewery Estonia.
02-19-2001 23:34:04 | More by Jason
1.25/5 rDev -63.3%
Pitch black with ZERO head. Smells of alcohol and gasoline. Roast charactor does manage to break through after a good swirl. Harsh. This is going to be too hard to get down. kind of cough syrupish. Lots of alcohol burn. I sure hope this is a bad bottle.
08-31-2005 12:34:42 | More by tjthresh
3.78/5 rDev +10.9%
11.2 oz bottle, 2000 vintage. Corked bottle with a label that details the history of the style. Very interesting. Pours the blackest of black and leaves no head or lacing. Aroma is unique. Dark fruits, port wine, charcoal, alcohol and cocoa let you know that this is going to be interesting. Mouthfeel is absent of carbonation, but is coating and full bodied. Taste is highly complex, with all kinds of dark fruits, sour cherries, some cocoa, oiliness, and immense tones of burnt, roasted dark malts. Oh yeah, there's a big alcohol punch, as well. This one is a beast to figure out. It's a big one, for sure, and has a variety of flavors marching all over the palate, but hops seem to be missing in action. This puppy would benefit from a few years in the cellar, in order to bring out even more complexities. Although this one is a true historical masterpiece, its drinkability suffers from the flat carbonation and syrupy aftertaste. This Imperial is straight out of the 19th century, and worth a try for its historical significance, if nothing else. Very different.
02-27-2004 23:08:13 | More by merlin48
2.63/5 rDev -22.9%
2001 Corked Bottle
Poured a pure balck with no head and no lacing whatsoever. Smelled a bit like red wine with combinations of dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, and toffee. Taste was less than impressive, had the taste of coffee, some butter, nuts, I'm not sure, something just didn't seem right, normally I would like that. Mouthfeel, no carbonation, thick like motor oil, wasn't impressive. Drinkability was, well, it was a bit challenging at times.
Note: Perhaps it was a bad bottle, I will try this again and re-review at somepoint, but this bottle was not my cup of tea.
02-02-2006 04:43:42 | More by badbeer
4.1/5 rDev +20.2%
Presentation: 11.2 oz bottle with a foil-wrapped top covering the cork. "1999" listed as the year this was brewed, ABV listed on the bottle as 9%. Blurb on the bottle noting the history behind this beer.
Appearance: Poured a very dark and mysterious dark ruby-red in color. Only the slightest wisp of tannish-colored head is noted. Dark and foreboding. Only around the very edges of the glass is any light able to be seen. Subsequent, more aggressive pours yields a little more head, but it quickly disappears into streaks of foam.
Smell: A complex beer. That could be the understatement of the day. One of the few beers that I've ever just sat and "sniffed" for a few minutes, trying to place a finger (or nose, rather) on what it was I was smelling. Baker's chocolate, spiced rum-soaked fruits, aged oak...a delicate tapestry of aromas that make for a wonderful aroma.
Taste: For some reason, "unsweetened Hershey's Chocolate Syrup" was the first thing that popped into my mind after the first sip. Bittersweet in flavor, with a "forest"-like, woody flavor lurking in the background. Kiln-roasted coffee bean flavor shows up. A certain "smoky" characteristic is also noted. ABV rises up near the end, threatening to drown out everything else. Finishes with a little dose of warming in the belly, sure to take the edge off those cold winter nights.
Mouthfeel: Very thick and syrupy, just the way a proper Imperial Stout should be. The lack of carbonation didn't bother me...in fact, I rather liked the hefty palate-coating number this beer pulled on me.
Drinkability: One at a time. It'd be tough to drink anything after this one. Certainly a beer to just sit with in your favorite chair, with a roaring fire and a good book, waiting for the snow to pile up outside.
Notes: After writing this review, I checked to see what others had said about this beer and I was surprised at the diversity of scores. Some people really loved it, while others obviously didn't care for it. That's what makes this site so interesting...reading other beer-drinkers opinions. This is definitely a beer I will purchase again, put in the "cellar" and see what happens to it in a few years.
09-24-2003 00:42:40 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
2.85/5 rDev -16.4%
I found a bottle of the 2003 release at a shop in Boston. As the aging has no doubt affected the brew (this review being written in 2009), this review should be taken with a grain of salt. On the nose, then, this smells of incredibly dark, sugary malts and fruit esters--imagine the richest loaf of banana bread you can, mixed with port aromas.
In the mouth, there's an immediate explosion of dark sugars, the extra-rich banana bread/dark fruit esters aroma translating almost exactly into flavor. Another comparison might be caramelized turbinado sugar and blackstrap molasses. Deep caramels, toffees, and aged port flavors are also present, overlaying a layer of burnt chocolate malt that starts off far more subtle than would be expected, but grows quickly and becomes the dominant flavor in the aftertaste. My bottle was sadly bereft of carbonation--whether due to storage or manufacturing, I don't know--leaving me with a liquid so viscous and thick that I almost had sensation of a beer-flavored mouthful of light olive oil.
Despite these wonderful flavors, I was disappointed with the beer in the end. Some have said that the American release has a distinct soy sauce flavor. While I didn't find this to be true with mine, I did feel at times as if I were drinking maple syrup that had slightly fermented, leaving a nasty sugary/yeasty combo on my tongue. Like many of the reviewers below, I wonder whether the corked bottle somehow negatively affected the outcome. I would gladly try this brew if it were fresh, or came with a (metal) crown cap, as I think this stout *could* be great. But in its current condition--that is, until I can find a better bottle to review--I can't recommend this one.
08-13-2011 20:32:46 | More by jondeelee
4.35/5 rDev +27.6%
Poured from 9.3 oz. bottle into a snifter glass. 2008 bottle.
Appearance: Pours very dark and black. Nice four fingers of deep tan head which slowly fades into a thin layer. Lots of lacing around the glass.
Smell: A big aroma of sour dark cherries up front is the dominate smell. Some hints of dark fruits including raisins and plums. Also some chocolate, Brett, and dark roasted malts. Smells a lot more like a wild ale than a imperial stout. Very interesting.
Taste: Like the smell, a big taste of tart and sour cherries with hints of dark raisins and plums. A subtle burnt roasted malt presence emerges towards the finish with hints of chocolate. Finishes somewhat dry.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a lower level of carbonation. Tart with a dry finish. Alcohol is hidden fairly well.
Overall: Probably the wildest version of a stout I've had. Is this really a stout or an American Wild Ale? I happen to like sour beers so I like the flavor going on here.
10-23-2011 07:18:35 | More by MattyG85
4.38/5 rDev +28.4%
1999 vintage...sherry or brandy wine-like aroma, dark and forbidding color, thin head as black as some Porters are in color BELOW the head. Foam is spidery, lasts about 40 seconds. Low carb...Bitter hops/dark malt molasses/rum-soaked fruit flavor out the wazoo! Burnt raisins, molasses/fruit again. Cough syrup body. Whoa baby...Slight tartness at finish, associated with vinous aroma. One bottle is the perfect amount, I have no idea when I'll crave another. Dang. I have no idea how to fully rate this beer (I personally can't give it THE highest taste or drinkability ratings even if it is an outstanding example of style). Its on my list under the new category "Historical Honour"...ADR looks at the glass, the brew is sticking to it like the "Blob" did on the diner in the classic sci-fi movie...probably one of the more astringent of the Imperials in aroma, maybe the most molasses and prune in the taste.
03-25-2002 12:17:35 | More by ADR
3.93/5 rDev +15.2%
2001 vintage 9% abv on her pours an absolutely opaque shade of black although comparing this beer to motor oil may seem extreme it's pretty accurate to it's appearance leaves a nice creamy texture tan head lacing is thin and sparse. Oak aging is prevalent in the nose with some strong port wine vinous notes and deep dark chocolate edge and some dark roasts as well are thrown in there. After the first sip it's hard not to compare the flavor to something out of Asian cuisine deep plum and raisin notes, bitter dark chocolate, and a soy or teryaki tone to the flavor it's extreme, once again the oak aging peers through the taste and you can tell the woody tone is in there, wow so this is an Russian Imperial Stout. The sheer texture is a bit cloying coats the palate with a layer of sticky syrup after each sip, it's hard to say that I have had a thicker beer full bodied by all means heavy on the palate. Drinkability for me would questionable it's an experience to sample a beer of this magnitude there is much complexity and alcohol and body but does it creat an experience that I will crave over and over again, probably not.
03-21-2004 22:56:22 | More by WVbeergeek
3.65/5 rDev +7%
Appearance: Aftering peeling back the plastic adorning the top, I popped the cork but there was no loud burst with this brew, It was more of a mellow pop that you just throw away. The color was of burnt black and a brown head followed but it was insignificant.
Smell: Molasses, espresso and some sizzled fruit (plums, grapes, dates) seemed to hine through the nose. There was a hint of candy sugar but that could just be me.
Taste: The taste is of roasted chocolate and espresso beans. Some dates and prunes come through as well but they are less pronounced.
Mouthfeel: This beer just wets sinks into the pores of your mouth and shines through. There is a dryness but is never overpowers the other flavors.
Drinkability: The 9% alcohol is hard to deny but it is still a very inviting brew. Give this a chance and if it is sill good you will rewarded.
03-10-2007 19:34:56 | More by stereosforgeeks
United Kingdom (England)
3.93/5 rDev +15.2%
2000 vintage. Pretty darn big and tasty, not very elegant, extreme roast coffee roastiness and quite bitter, i would love to lay one down for a while so it softens itself up a bit and becomes a bit drier, quite a sweet start, not overly impressed, but very different, and well worth a try.
07-25-2002 12:07:41 | More by rastaman
4.35/5 rDev +27.6%
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a jet black hole body with a thick sticky light tan head that last and last. There is no sign of carbonation in there.
S- The flanders red tartness has a cherry quality to it and some smoke notes to the dry black charred grain in the finish. The black grain is mellowed in the finish aswell.
T- The slight tart sour flavor reminds me of a nice flanders red with some chocolate malt and dry black roasted inky malt soon taking over. There is a slight cinnamon quality to the black malt and a smokey note. The dry finish has a tartness and cherry hint to it with a gentle roasted bitterness that lingers a bit afterwards.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and no real astringency or alcohol noticed.
O- This beer has lots of nice layers but much of the malt flavors are hidden. The flanders tartness, smoke and black roasted grain surprisingly work well together. Even though it was complex it was very nice to drink, and not to heavy as to need a chaser or a spoon.
08-23-2011 20:30:46 | More by rhoadsrage
1.78/5 rDev -47.8%
Bottle from 2003 aggressively poured into a bottle and there is almost no head.
a-Pitch black and the slight head that is there is a deep red in color.
s-Very oakish and liquor heavy along with a variety of old shoes and socks and anything else I would find in my grandpas gym bag.
t-Very repulsive up front that tastes like an OLD imperial stout. There is bitterness and an old cork taste towards the end.
m/d-Feels like an angry WW2 vet is kicking your ass with a cane. We are drinking this one way past its' prime.
08-23-2010 00:44:21 | More by hughesm4
3.48/5 rDev +2.1%
Vintage 2000, requires a cork screw to open
Appearance: oily black color, no head, no carbonation.
Smell: Alcohol, fruity, a hint of chocolate
Taste: Complex, like the smell, fruity with a hint of chocolate finish. I can definitely taste the alcohol, and what seems like a faint smoky flavor.
Mouthfeel: Interesting, absolutly no carbonation which gives it a smooth watery feel.
Drinkability: It is not thick, but has a heaviness. Definitely a sipping beer. It is a very complex and interesting beer, however I don't think I would drink more than one in a sitting.
I would recommend it, although it is not for the faint of heart.
02-19-2006 05:49:41 | More by kamiller
4.63/5 rDev +35.8%
Appearance: Ink black, with dark ruby-brown highlights where it's edge meets the glass. No head, no lace.
Smell: Oak, port wine, licorace, deep roasted malt, plums, over-ripe cherries... incredibly complex. Pleasing alcohol nose-tingle.
Taste: Beautifully balanced oaky port wine, plum and syrupy sweet malt start, then smokey, espresso, date/raisin at the top. Alcohol warmth swells then relents leaving a semidry version of all these flavors lingering in the aftertaste. Super!
Mouthfeel: Sinfully rich, chewy malt. Mouth-tingle from absolutely minimal carbonation combined with high alcohol level.
Drinkability: Incredible in spite of being almost completely flat. I will try this again and re-rate if the next sample has better carbonation.
12-16-2003 01:45:47 | More by DagFishHead
United Kingdom (England)
1.08/5 rDev -68.3%
Marmite. Bovril. Vegemite.
If ever you've tried any of these three products then you've also had Harvey and Sons Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout.
I wish I was willing to spend more time promulgating on why this is inarguably the most repugnant liquid that's ever addressed my taste buds, but I'm too distracted by a throbbing in my brain that reminds me in short, painful intervals that the money I spent on this beer could have been spent instead on another bottle of Hanssens Oude Kriek.
Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.
01-02-2010 03:21:19 | More by ImperialStoat
4.15/5 rDev +21.7%
This poured to pure blackness with a few bubbles at the top but no real head. There's no lacing either.
The smell is mostly of oak and molasses, and fairly strong. The taste is a blast full of flavors. Raisin flavor comes through strong in the front followed by malt. Alcohol and slight bitterness take over in the finish. The mouthfeel is flat yet full.
12-09-2004 07:13:18 | More by watermelonman
Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 446 ratings.