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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

445 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 445
Reviews: 389
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 26.98%
Wants: 19
Gots: 9 | 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)
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Ratings: 445 | Reviews: 389 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thezach


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

02-18-2014 03:09:47 | More by thezach
Photo of MikeHRayn


4.5/5  rDev +32%

07-15-2013 00:46:38 | More by MikeHRayn
Photo of oldhippie247

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted 2008 Vintage bottle.

Pours deep, deep brown to black. Head is tan and fluffy.

Nose is an awesome sweet and sour at the same time, which follows through on the palate.

A bit of the roastiness that was not that evident on the nose is a bit more prominent on the palate. Plum and dark fruit notes are balanced by bitter roasted malt. sourness, and rich dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is relatively light for a 9% Imperial Stout with so much flavor.

I first tasted this beer (from the old corked bottles) about 3 years ago and did not like it at all. Since then I have developed a far broader taste and now love this beer. Don't expect a typical Imperial Stout, but keep an open mind and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 03:30:18 | More by oldhippie247
Photo of admiralcrunch

New York

3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2003 Vintage, served tasting style

I served a bottle of this at a tasting last night.

Cork was difficult to pull out, but showed no signs of damage. It looked exactly like motor oil - no carbonation, slick, and black. Someone who had it as their first beer of the night said it was "disgusting." I was worried it would smell infected or oxidized as with some of the recent reviews, but it wasn't nearly that bad. It tasted slightly sour, which I would never expect from RIS but it makes sense considering how long it spent in barrel. Mouthfeel was a little too slick - I heard many comments of "motor oil" or "wine." As for drinkability, I'm glad I had nine or ten people to share it with. Still pleasantly surprised at how good it was, given the mixed reviews.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2009 19:16:42 | More by admiralcrunch
Photo of BeerHonky

New York

4.4/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Corked bottle, 2000 vintage, enjoyed at Spuyten Duyvil. Poured into a small snifter. Motor oil black with no head whatsoever. Huge aroma here...initially smelled like alcohol and nail polish, but as it warmed up it evolves into a wonderful mix of soy sauce, alcohol soaked raisins and cherries. Roasty malt and wood aromas present as well. Full bodied, obviously, with little to no carbonation. Slick, viscous mouthfeel transports all the flavor directly to the back of the palate and throat. Sweet chocolate malt, soy sauce, and wood appears which then quickly transforms into a sweet fig and date fruitiness. Big alcohol warming affect too. Flavors change dramatically as this beer warms up. More dark fruit appears later on including prunes and plums. Surprisingly this beer isn't not too sticky or cloying. Every sip is different so make sure you have some time on your hands before sitting down with one of these. This is a bizarre beer which truly does taste like a piece of history.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2007 20:39:48 | More by BeerHonky
Photo of MrBen


3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried the 2000 vintage, 11.2 fl. oz., 9% ABV. After I pulled the cork, I was immediately taken by an aroma of Worcestershire sauce and molasses. This beer poured heavy and very flat, save for some streaks of dark cream bubbles that swirled around the middle. The beer left a very narrow ring of tiny bubbles around the glass during about the first half, then nothing. The color was a very deep, opaque black, and the beer had enough body to temporarily discolor the clear glass I drank from.

After the beer opened up a little bit, I smelled and tasted hints of Worcestershire/anchovy, molasses, capers, soy sauce, and even Thai-style fish oil used in that cuisine. There was a small note of chalkiness in there too. The alcohol was not kept secret, even from the start, and became more pronounced, both in taste and smell, the more I drank.

The mouthfeel was nothing too exciting; rather flat, only bubbling up a bit after agitation. I was left with a slightly dry feel between sips. I would say this beer has a medium finish at best.

Overall, I think it's a good beer, just not on its own. It really screams out to be paired with good food. It'd also go well during a day at sea. The whole time I wanted to reach for a juicy, grilled, burger or steak. This beer also would go nicely with some bold seafood dishes (smoked salmon), as well as strong, veined cheeses and others, such as parmesan and even mizithra. At more than $5 per bottle, it would make an expensive ingredient in a beef marinade, but a splash or two would be nice in there. I may try to find other vintages of this, but there are so many other beers I would like to taste first.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2004 21:28:14 | More by MrBen
Photo of supernaut


3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting. A old-school corked bottle lended a unique vibe to this one.

A - decent for the style. Little to no head, very little observable carbonation, and just a smidge of lacing. A jet black syrup pour makes me wonder what I've gotten myself into...

S - Kind of a medicinal scent to this one. The booze factor is up there, and its not hidden in the nose.

T - Old school flavor. A bit like a smoked out port. Hints of wood across the board, and a very burnt malt sensation throughout. Some sweetness but nothing compared to the hickory tones that seem to dominate. Alcohol is a big player in this one. As with the nose, not hidden in the least bit.

M/D - A little on the rough side. Not as drinkable as some of its classmates, nor as refined a mouthfeel. Tad syrupy, and a little sticky on the palate, with some undesirable bite and dryness. Nothing terrible, but nothing smooth either. Kinda heavy in fact.

Falls in the "worth a try" category. Many have noted that this beer reflects what an "original" RIS was all about. If I had to summarize this beer "malty port" would suffice. Good but not great.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2006 02:49:47 | More by supernaut
Photo of Starchild

New York

4.45/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1999 Vintage.

Perfectly sealed bottle with wet cork pours dark deep space beers into waiting pint glass. The beer didn’t have the much carbonation, but enough for 1/4 inch of head, which dissipated into a foam ring. Not the best carbonation I’ve ever seen, but can you really compare a 5-year-old beer with 2-week-old newborn ale? In terms of tastes the most prominent flavor is silky port. The aggressive imperial alcohol sure takes the backseat in this beer after a few years. Hints of espresso, plum, and dark chocolate linger in the background creating an interesting overall mocha flavor. The strong butter backbone acts like thick cream to smooth out this stout. Mid pint the alcohol barks, but is immediately hushed by the smooth warm aftertaste that coats the back of your throat. It's so dry and coying.

The beer is a little bit plain, no surprises, but it really doesn’t need any since this was the “original”. I don’t give originals any sort of privilege, but you can’t hold it against them if other beers mimic how they taste and what they do.

This is the oldest barleywine I’ve sampled and I’m stunned.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2003 23:52:07 | More by Starchild
Photo of Buildscharacter


2.35/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is "interesting" to say the least. It pours of of the corked...yes.. corked bottle and doesn't even give a hint of carbonation. No bubbles, nothing.

It smells like sour grapes, or red wine. When you swirl it around in the glass it sticks to the sides. Looks very different from the other stouts that I have had.

I take a sip. Sour. Remindes me of some of the bitter Belgium beers that I have had. Reminisent of red wine. Very shocking actually.

The beer is smooth in your mouth and goes down easily, but I don't particularly enjoy the flavor very much. It's too bitter for a stout. Too different for me to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2005 14:51:45 | More by Buildscharacter
Photo of Ambiorix


3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled, 2003 vintage. Black pour with practically zero head. The nose was raisins, soy sauce, and some vinous notes. The flavor had some barnyard elemtns to it, soy sauce, raisins, baker's chocolate. The finish had some alcohol notes, and a bit of coffee. This beer had been on my wish list for some time, and I was disapointed. I don't think this bottle aged well, so perhaps it was past its prime.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2010 18:27:16 | More by Ambiorix
Photo of bewley


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

1999 Vintage

This is a deep rich brew, which I--one who normally loves deep, rich brews--found hard to finish one bottle. I'll give a recipe which I feel best approximates Le Coq:

Take a cup of dried black currants, raisins and prunes and combine with a half quart of used motor oil, 3/4 oz of grain alchohol, and 1 tsp of soy sauce. Blend well and strain through a sheer, black stocking used by an 84 yr old woman for over a week and not washed.

Tough to fathom, I'll admit, but there you have it.

It definitely has its place in the world, but where that is exactly I'm not quite sure. No, it's not really that bad, it's well, it's mighty hearty.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2004 19:25:08 | More by bewley
Photo of Amdahl


4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2000 bottle. All that I can say about this beer on appearance is dark. This is the darkest beer that I have seen yet. There is no head from this beer, even with an aggressive pour. Lace is also missing from this beer. The aroma is very fruity. The taste is incredibly complex. It is similar to wine almost. I can taste cherries as the dominate fruit, but other fruits are noticeable. This is a full bodied beer, but not as full as some stouts that I've had. It's a little punchy to consume too many of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2002 03:18:22 | More by Amdahl
Photo of jedwards


3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Yep, I'm one of the folks who likes this one.

Bottle is a 2003 vintage, the last imported to the US as far as I know. Like the Gale's Old Ale, these have a wine-style cork and are often stored upright in very dry (refrigerated) environments, which causes the cork to shrink and over-oxidization to destroy the beer.

This bottle has not died yet -- pour is completely headless, large bubbles cling to the sides from the agitation. Beer is opaque, black and slick, leaves wide legs on the glass when swirled. The smell is molasses, burnt sugar, and soy sauce oxidization -- taste is similar with the addition of a bitter roasty edge, and slight plum/prune notes. Oxidization sourness and almost a hint of salt. Mouthfeel is the big hit on this beer, slick and oily without a trace of carbonation.

I have a few more bottles from this case that I waxed down below the foil.. hopefully they hold up for a few years.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 04:39:21 | More by jedwards
Photo of HopGoblin


3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2001 Vintage: The beer was un-corked and poured out beautiful black and thick. There was very little carbonation. Brown bubbles appeared around the edges of the glass. The aroma and taste of this beer was surprising. The beer gave off aromas of fortified wine, mainly sherry. This brew did not taste that of Imperial Stouts that I am used to. The taste was deep and wine-like with hints of caramel and raspberries. The finish was long and tart. When all was said and done this was a good beer, but not what was expected.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2004 06:17:05 | More by HopGoblin
Photo of jaz


3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured like a cold blend of espresso and alcohol. No head at all, and little carbonation. Smell was bold and strong, with a rich aroma of roasted malt, coffee, and alcohol. The taste was the same; kind of like drinking espresso with whisky in it. Burnt coffee taste and alcohol was very dominant, mouthfeel was heavy and watery. A little over the top for the style, IMO.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2003 09:47:49 | More by jaz
Photo of SteveP

United Kingdom (England)

4.6/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As with IPA, Imperial Stout developed its strong flavours in order to survive long journeys. During the 18th century reign of Porter, the stronger ("stout") version was exported to the Baltic region. It was given extra hops and a higher abv in order to survive the journey. A Belgian, A Le Coq, was the man in charge of these exports. Thrale’s Anchor Brewery Entire (the contemporary name for Porter) was the one chosen by A Le Coq to send to the Empress of Russia. The brewery was eventually bought by Barclay Perkins, and then in 1955 by Courage. The Courage Imperial Stout is rarely made these days - it hasn't been brewed since the 1990's, and may never be made again. Bottles that do exist can fetch high prices.

However, A Le Coq was also responsible for another Imperial Stout that does still exist. Because of the high import duties on the beer, A Le Coq had arranged to have a version brewed within Russia. Brewing began in 1912 in what is now Estonia. After a few ups and downs brewing of this famous Stout ceased in 1969. However, during the 1990's, when it became clear that production of the Courage Imperial Stout had ceased, the Lewes brewery Harvey & Son, with the supervision of the Estonia brewery, revived A Le Coq's Imperial Extra Double Stout. Only brewed once a year, and then allowed to age for a couple of years before being released, this is the only authentic Imperial Stout still being made (Sam Smith's version is not bottle conditioned, and is too low in abv to qualify).

The 2001 edition is now available. It has a Flemish nose: oaky mature balsamic vinegar and minced pies. The mouthfeel is slightly rough and heavy. There are flavours of soy sauce, chocolate, port, ripe plums and wine soaked oak. There is a long, dry finish. It feels old which flatters the mouth into believing this is a beer of distinction.

The roughness and imbalance suggests that this is a little young to be drunk right now. The 2000 edition however was much smoother. The plums were fresh tasting, there were also fresh figs, and the chocolate was finest Belgian mixed with prune juice. A huge, complex and divine brew.

When compared with other Imperial Stouts (Sam Smith's, Old Chimney's Good King Henry or Bell's Expedition Stout) Harvey's comes out a very close winner to Good King Henry, but does show up Bell's and Sam Smith's for the court jesters they are. However, it has to be drunk when ready. Search out the 2000 or the 1999, and leave the 2001 for another year.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2003 01:44:38 | More by SteveP
Photo of Yoshio


2/5  rDev -41.3%

11-15-2011 00:39:36 | More by Yoshio
Photo of tiffanya


3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A *huge* stout for sipping! Big and rich, with hint of char. Syrupy full-bodied mouth-feel with minimal carbonation. Roasty bitter grains and hops, with notes of sour wood, black licorice, and espresso.

For me this stout is a bit too big and the bitterness is too lingering unless accompanied by a couple of sweet brownies. ;-)

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 21:19:35 | More by tiffanya
Photo of liddytime


1.45/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I had high hopes for this one seeing as this was probably the closest representative to a "true" RIS.

Poured jet black with absolutely zero carbonation.
Nose was anise and tar.
Taste was absolutely horrible. Seriously, like oxidized soy sauce steeped in moldy gym socks. It is a stretch to call this beer.
I poured it out after a few sips.
Bleeccchhh! Save yourself the six bucks and get ANY other impy stout recommended on this site!

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2008 03:03:28 | More by liddytime
Photo of maltydog


3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Deep, dark and inky black. No head at all. Nose -Offers a hint of what is to come - dried cherries and prunes with a pleasant woody background. Taste - offers notes of fino sherry, charred oak and the aforementioned dried fruits. Glad I found this one!

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2006 02:05:12 | More by maltydog
Photo of sbluerock


3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

09-23-2012 02:21:59 | More by sbluerock
Photo of ImperialStoat

United Kingdom (England)

1.08/5  rDev -68.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 03:21:19 | More by ImperialStoat
Photo of Hampton73


4.33/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is 2000 vintage in a wrapped cork bottle. Pours dark and thick with no head. Just a brown fringe around the edge. Totally opaque Dark brown glass of history.

The first impression is of a fine dark red wine. Alcohol and dark fruits in the nose. But more. Barnyard smells.

The beer flows down the tongue with a thick feel. And the flavor echoes the nose.

It is easy to see why people in the 1800's compared this style of beer to wine. And thumbed their nose to the wine snobs, because beer is better.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2007 02:35:34 | More by Hampton73
Photo of nuggetsofnectar


4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back to reviewing after 4 years...starting back with a beer I was thoroughly impressed by ten years ago.

2008 Vintage:

App: Obsidian black with a beautiful burnt tan head (1" with slow pour) that left nice lacing....

Smell: dark malts...musky coffee beans...some vanilla and oak in the background

Taste: Wow a few years have maturated this just enough...initial burst of soy sauce dark but also sweet malts...vanilla with a slight cofffee and sweet cocoa backbone....as it warms the aforementioned is highlighted...quiet nice this

Mouthfeel: somewhat thin but not a deterrent...its got a decent viscosity and nice mellow sweet vibe

Overall..I am sure this offering can be good or bad pending the year...I picked a winner....it truly was a nice sipper

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 00:50:32 | More by nuggetsofnectar
Photo of jthor018


3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours black. Has a copper colored head.
S: I can't make out the smell other than a bit of alcohol. Not to say it doesn't have a smell. It smells good but indescribable.
T: Alcohol and copper? It tastes good but leaves a coppery aftertaste in my mouth. But it isn't unpleasant or lingering.
M&D: Goes down really smooth. After I get a better taste for Russian Imperial Stouts (this is my first) I will retry this. As it stands I wouldn't make this my nightly beer. It feels too heavy. But to be my first, it rules.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 01:17:00 | More by jthor018
Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 445 ratings.