Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout - Harvey & Son Ltd.

Not Rated.
Le Coq Imperial Extra Double StoutLe Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout

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BA SCORE
78
okay

452 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 452
Reviews: 391
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 26.98%
Wants: 20
Gots: 10 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Harvey & Son Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 02-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 452 | Reviews: 391 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jlindros
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

For International Stout Day, how about an international stout, a foreign Imperial Extra Double Stout, sounds epic. However, I also noticed the version imported here to U.S. is only 9% while BA lists at 10% so either it changed or they gave us the weaker version.... oh well.

2008 vintage on this puppy.

it pours out like thick black coffee, and reveals a huge fluffy head of 2 fingers, dark chocolate colored, fades slowly with lots of lacing that just coats the glass itself, over an essentially pitch black beer with no real light coming through.

Unfortunately nose starts with an infection set in, which is interesting as there was no infection appearance. A light sour tangy aroma, but behind that is a nice stout, a light acrid roast, bit of cocoa, fluffy nougat and caramel candy aromas, the chocolate caramel candies like milk duds, a hint of earthy malts and a touch of dark chocolate. The tangy infection fades very quickly luckily.

Taste doesn't really have any infection flavor, maybe just a hint in the background luckily. it does start with fluffy airy chocolate, a weird light bitter but slightly milky chocolate that's hard to really explain, with tons of caramel as well, and some fluffy nougat, adding just a touch of nutty flavor in the back makes this a combination of almost every candy bar out there, with much less sweetness thankfully. It brings just a touch of roast and acrid flavor but very little. It does bring some bitterness, but I think more from the charred roasty malt flavors, although a little earthy hop kick as well. It has that foreign extra stout like bitterness and earthiness which is unique and is that flavor I get an itch for from time to time. The chocolate flavor turns more towards baker's or dark chocolate as it goes, and fairly rich at the same time. Finish is like melted baker's chocolate, slightly creamy and thick, coats the mouth well with more bitterness and stoutness, little caramel and chewy malt like flavors, and a long bitterness that turns slightly salty even.

Mouth is fuller bodied, rich and thick with lots of carbonation that is infused well to give it a fluffy feel.

Overall pretty good. Other than that slight infection set in on the aroma it's nice. Good candy bar flavors without the sweetness, nice chocolate characters that change as the beer moves along, quite a bit of nice stoutness and bitterness throughout. Long finish as well.

Photo of FlyAwayPhil
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a pitch black with a copper/chocolate-y head. There is some slight carbonation, but not very much.

S - Smells almost like a sour stout. I initially thought there would be a slight tang to the taste from my initial smell.

T - Malty coffee-ness and dates with a bitter chocolate finish

M - Light initially like a sour stout, but quickly becomes heavier and finishes likes a true imperial Russian stout.

O - This an an interesting beer and a good example of the style. Its initial smell lead me to believe it might have more sour characteristics, but it might be because lately I've been drinking so much sour beer. Nonetheless, the taste and mouth-feel were very pleasant and something I would drink again and recommend to friends. The cap said 2009, so I'm not sure how much the age of the beer affected it.

Photo of sbluerock
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
5/5  rDev +46.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of DarthGuitarHero
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of OldTime
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of leansean88
1.5/5  rDev -56%

Photo of kaelingirl
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of akttr
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of bigred89
2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of slimntubbs
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of bonkers
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was very lucky to get this in Secret Santa '11, 2001 vintage, poured at cellar temp. The cork was on the dry side, but this is an 11 year old beer. It pours with a very slight head. The color is jet black. The aroma has notes of cherries, coffee, wood, chocolate. There definitely is a sour note to the beer, it rounds out with coffee and chocolate. It is very smooth, very low carbonation, 9% abv not noticeable. This is the oldest brew I have ever tried, and it has held up quite well. A little different take on a RIS, but very enjoyable.

Photo of harrymel
1.13/5  rDev -66.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Vintage 2008, ABV 9%, 9.3oz Crowned bottle

Pours black with profound three fingers of mocha foam, this falls slowly, to a regenerative quilt of the same. Initial smell is like lacto and butterscotch. Hard to get past these two characteristics. The flavor is of leather, burnt beef, chokecherries and tobacco. Really nasty. Thin for the style with insane carb feel (although not a gusher) for the style. dry finish. Not sure how this beer earned all these medals indicated on its label, because this beer is shite.

Photo of mdillon86
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of rangerred
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. 9.3 oz bottle poured into a snifter. 9% abv.

Appearance is pitch black with a decent one finger dark brown head. Decent retention for a beer of this strength.

Quite a bit of cherry in the nose along with wood, dark cocoa, and red wine. Almost a slight sour, lambic smell to it.

Taste has a lot of cherry at first along with some other dark fruit. This then leads to a sweet, almost milk chocolate flavor along with some roastiness. There is a light tartness on the tip of the tongue along with a strong warmth from the alcohol. Mouthfeel is very slick and finishes quite sticky.

I'm sort of torn on this beer. There are many complex flavors but the whole package seems a bit overwhelming. The alcohol is more present than the 9% would lead one to believe and the sweetness comes close to being cloying. Not sure I would get it again but I'm glad I tried it.

Photo of jfcaa193
2/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of LJWalker
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of NWer
1.53/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

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.

Photo of Kahlerbock
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of Telestic
4.5/5  rDev +32%

Photo of Knapp85
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one poured out as a deep black coloe with a brown colored head on top. the head settles pretty quickly with some scattered lace on the glass. The smell of the beer was a little on the musty side, very earthy and almost reminded me of a very old wooden barrel or something. The taste of the beer packs a little bit of a punch to it. I was surprised by the flavor but not really impressed by it either. The malts were roasted and that was ok but there were some other funky flavors going on that I wasn't too fond of. The mouthfeel of the beer was far too thin for an Imperial Stout in my opinion. Low carbonation and lacked depth. Overall I wasn't too thrilled with this brew. I can't see myself picking this one up ever again.

Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked and foil-wrapped 11.2 oz bottle dated 2001 per the label. Bought at Sundevil Liquor in Mesa, AZ. Label states the ABV is 9%. The cork was in excellent condition (couldn't as for better). Poured half the bottle (without disturbing whatever may be on the bottom) into a snifter.

Pours without head. The body looks black, but when held to strong light shows muddy-grey highlights. There is still some crimson life left in this beer, but it takes some strong light to show it. I didn't expect any red colors to be left, and I am impressed.

The smell is surprisingly powerful. Vinous notes, almost grape-like sweetness, and tawny port are prominent. A little swirl brings up a tiny bit of carbonation, and reveals that this was a stout at heart with sweet but charred notes of roast. Powerful, interesting, and complex. I am blown away by how this smells.

The flavor is crazy. I am not sure where to start. When it first hits my tongue I get a very sweet port-like flavor but this is very short lived. The next flavors are something like roast mixed with a tartness, and maybe the after-effects of what used to be hops. To this point the beer is quite tasty and easy to enjoy. It is in the aftertaste that things get strange. I think that this was infected (maybe intentionally?) with a lacto strain. A pleasant tartness and vinous flavor seems to be the result in the primary flavor. However in the aftertaste, there is an almost bitter acrid savory (almost salty?) taste that might be the long term result of this infection when paired with the roasted malt flavors. It reminds me of the aftertaste of infected Deschutes Abyss, except thinned out. As if the roast and the tartness conflict and produce a strange savory unpleasant taste. However aside from this mildy gross flavor, the beer overall is quite drinkable.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly thick after almost 11 years in the bottle. There is just a touch of carbonation left which surprised me, but I imagine this is due to the cork's excellent condition.

Conclusion: The more I drink this the more I think it was infected with lacto/pedo bacteria. In a way, I think that it is still somewhat tasty because of this, as the tartness is actually pretty nice and not overpowering. I wonder what it would taste like without it. If you love extreme aging for its own sake I say that you should try an example of this vintage, otherwise you will most likely feel that you wasted your money.

Photo of Pintofbrown
2.53/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I poured this authentic RIS into a shaker pint.

Appearance- This one is a looker. Great three and a half - finger Tootise Roll colored head is quite magnificent. So many pock marks dapple the cap and are accompanied by tiny bubbles. And of course, the retention is great, with big, random flecks of chunky lace.

The body? Pitch black.

Smell- How incredibly unbalanced is this one! The list includes: red wine, roasted malt, wood chips, some dark fruit, and soy sauce. All of these flavors mixing together create some rather unpleasant scents.

Taste- Unfortunately this stout is not much better here. I get a definite feel of leather and some more red wine to lead off the drink. A nice touch that went far too quickly was some dark cherry tang.

Roasted malt is also doing some good things here, but it takes forever to pick it out after adjusting to the weird flavors. The finish is strong with some fresh mint and soy sauce. Wow. Wow not in a good way.

Mouth feel- The feel is good. Technically, this beer is fine. This one is pretty flat and slick, but for how long this was aged, I was expecting that. And the body is bordering on full.

Overall- Well, it is not terrible. But how incredibly strange can an RIS get? The smells and flavors are all over the place, and maybe parts of them worked, but as a whole it is mostly a mess.

Honestly, for how much a bottle of this was, I could never justify picking it up again.

Photo of ajs4bd
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 452 ratings.