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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.

447 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 447
Reviews: 390
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 447 | Reviews: 390 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of johnnnniee
3/5  rDev -12%

johnnnniee, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of scruffwhor
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

2001 Vintage.

Syrupy black oil. Leaves a quick, filmy trail of oil on the inside of the glass after each sip and swirl in my snifter. Only a light brown head with the first pour. The aroma is a of dry toffee and burnt, dark fruits mixed with some room temperature coffee. The taste is very unique compared to what I'm used to in Impy stouts. Very unmalted, yet very roasted and smoked garin taste. Malty notes of toffee, coffee, tart, yet dark fruits that were slightly burnt and then covered in caramel. Very unique tasting Impy stout. Great sweet and dry mouthfeel with a nice, slow alcoholic burn. Nice.

scruffwhor, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of ccrida
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%

2001 vintage bottle poured into my Deschutes snifter, Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout is a lifeless pitch black brown - I can't even wrestle a bit of foam with a vigorous swirl.

Smell is very leathery, oaky, soft red wine, bordeaux like. From the first whiff, I was really taken back, mainly because it doesn't small at all like most RISs, rather wine. However, I really warmed up to it and ultimately enjoyed it, like walking into a leather shop, clean and fresh.

Taste is very intense and vinous, like port wine, but funked, the sweeter and sharp brett, like a oud bruin without the acetic acid. Lots of oakiness, bitterness, ripe dark berries, alcohol vapors on dry, quick finish, with a lingering bakers chocolate/port aftertaste. Extremely complex, I really had to take my time and loosen my palate to try and savor it all. I've only had this once before, but it was my first every RIS, and it was so long ago, I don't recall my exact impressions (such as did I realize it was so unusual) other then really enjoying it in spite of the high cost...that bottle may not have been aged as long, I'd say this particular one may start to decline from here, at least the cork!

Mouthfeel is slick and lighter, but still has some viscosity.

Drinkability isn't too bad, obviously not for everyone, I dig the 'historical' old-style take, and enjoyed this bottle quite a bit. Just let go of your expectations. Still, there tannic wood/leather/corkiness is a bit trying.

ccrida, Oct 29, 2008
Photo of avalon07
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and thick, totally impenetrable consistency. Zero head - none in the least - and very little lacing.

S: Had a very strong, almost bourbony smell, along with malt and coffee.

T: A strong, odd taste with this one. Coffee, malt, chocolate, a woody quality, a smoky aspect and a weird sweetness. Definitely not a taste for everyone, but interesting. NOT like a Russian imperial stout in most of its character.

M: There was a fair amount of carbonation a very slick, very oily finish I didn't care for. Medium- thick-bodied.

D: I haven't seen a beer so divisive on this site in a while. It's definitely not for everyone, but an interesting experience.

avalon07, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of KAF
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

KAF, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of bluejacket74
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%

11.2 oz. bottle, 2003 vintage, 9% ABV. Served in a pint glass, it pours dark brown/black with absolutely no head at all. It smells like whiskey, dark fruit, chocolate and molasses. But alcohol is definitely the first thing I smelled. With that being said, the aroma is nice IMO. It tastes like dark fruit, whiskey/alcohol, wood, worcestershire sauce and dark chocolate. It definitely has a kick to it, the taste is very strong. Mouthfeel/body is full. It's thick and oily with very low carbonation, and leaves a nice coating on the tongue. Drinkability is good, it's smooth but it's also a sipping beer, not something I could drink very quickly. Overall I think it's a good brew. It's not excellent, but it's worth trying. I'd like to try a different vintage in the future and see how it is.

bluejacket74, Oct 13, 2007
Photo of vfgccp
2.38/5  rDev -30.2%

2003 bottle

A - Oil black. No head or carbonation to speak of.

S - Very strong. Sweet alcohol, cognac, liquorish, chocolate liquor, rasins,

T - Whoa.... Not what I was expecting. Loads of scotch, tannins, roast coffee, hazelnut, oak. If you told me this wasn't a beer I'd believe you.

M - Incredibly dry, even by wine standards. It wasn't enjoyable for me.

D - Drinks more like a burbon than a beer; need to sit and sip on this one.

vfgccp, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of Dogbrick
4.13/5  rDev +21.1%

2000 Bottle: This beer reminded me a lot of the 23%DFHWWS, even though the ABV is much lower in this 11.2oz bottle. This was probably my first corked Imperial Stout. Pours a black tar color with an ultra thin light beige head. No real lacing to speak of. Aroma will knock your socks off with licorice, chocolate and port wine. Full bodied flavor with a great roasted aspect. Flavors of malt, alcohol, spice and coffee come in wave after wave. This beer also has a very long and roasty burnt cedar finish. The only way to enjoy this beer is SLOWLY.

Dogbrick, Jul 06, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
4.65/5  rDev +36.4%

2001 - 11.2 oz bottle, thick silver foiled neck and top which is corked, no cap. Pours a inky thick dark brown and settles black as a moonless night in the glass, hazy thin tannish head with some loose bubbles that stick around nearly the whole glass through, lace is in minimal oily thin spots. Aroma is heavenly, dark chocolate covered cherry bon-bons dipped in brandy; very port like, vicious and pungent. Alcoholicly big and darkly wine-like, oaky sweet, notes of dark cherry, plum, and chocolate cake. A nice wiffer. Taste is quite complex; layered full with lots of goodies, very chocolatey, deep dark cherry sweetness, lightly oaky sweet, mildly roasted maltyness, smooth dark caramel, notes of vanilla, molasses, plum, raisin, chocolate candies, cake, and cookies. A wonderful display of chocolatey sweetness and dryness with some oaky tartness, sea salt/salty ham lingering in the finish. Close to port-like in its character. Feel is quite full with a thin start that builds quickly, staying fairly creamy, smooth, firm, and lasts with a nice complex candy sweetly tart and cake/waffer-like dry finish. Beautiful! A nice sipper, the 10% is hidden well, only detected in the nose, which tends to fade as it warms as does the mellowing power of this serving. Its very calming and warm as it does the same. A nice Imperial Stout!

tavernjef, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.1/5  rDev -9.1%

The first whiff of this beer was like a barleywine, but the second was more like a stout - smoky with hints of coffee. Still there is a decided barleywine or cider overtone. It pours a deep opaque sable with a decent tan head. Flavor is rich, oily and smoky with a mocha undertone and a strong alcohol bite. Texture is smooth, a little fizzy, and just a bit slimy. Aftertaste is a rather strong alcohol bite like brandy.

Cyberkedi, May 31, 2009
1.35/5  rDev -60.4%

2001 vintage.
This beer had no head when poured. Smells like wine that has gone bad. Tastes like vinegar. I could not possibly take another sip... My hope is that the bottle has gone bad due to pre-purchase storage in sunlight. I would hate to think that this is the product that Harvey & Son were striving for. I'm afraid to purchase this again after reading some of the other reviews.

WOLFGANG, Mar 02, 2005
Photo of stcules
4.53/5  rDev +32.8%

An "amaretto" and chocolate smell, with liquorice and toasted hazel nut notes. No head, quite flat. A full body, similar to brandy. Taste of berries. A great beer.

stcules, Jun 16, 2002
Photo of RoyalT
4.33/5  rDev +27%

Appearance – It looks exactly like a can of 40 wt. Absolutely no head. Bizarre.

Smell – This is crazy. There’s definitely cherry in there along with super dark malts and alcohol, but there’s another strong aroma that I can’t pinpoint. It reminds me of good Kentucky bourbon.

Taste – This doesn’t even taste like beer. It is so thick that I’m sipping it out of a spoon that I’m using for dipping. If I spilled this on the floor I’d 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 you’re 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 can’t 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.

Comments – Shit!

RoyalT, Aug 21, 2003
Photo of gford217
3.2/5  rDev -6.2%

330mL bottle, 2000 vintage listed 9% ABV, poured into a snifter.

Pours a viscous, oily black with hardly any head at all. It's more like a bubbly tan collar that leaves no lacing.

The aroma is a cross between an impy stout, barleywine and old ale. There is definitely a big of dark roasted malts hiding in there, but the massive malty sweetness, slight tartness and alcohol are more dominant. It definitely smells higher than a 9% ABV and burns the nostrils slightly.

The taste isn't as good as the aroma and is much, much more sour up front with stronger signs of oxidation than the aroma indicated. The malts taste almost burnt and stale leaving a dry bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is super slick with no carbonation to speak of. It's definitely a little light for the style.

This one is definitely past its prime as the oxidation has taken its toll on the taste. The aroma was decent, but this is definitely not one of my favorite stouts with a definitely sourness starting to take over.

gford217, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of cjgator3
2.58/5  rDev -24.3%

2000 vintage. 11.2 corked bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a very thick dark black color with no head. The aroma is surprisingly sour with dark chocolate, molasses and a whisky/boozy smell. The taste mimicks the aroma and starts out boozy followed by earthy (almost cigar-like) flavors with a bitter finish. The mouthfeel is semi-thick and very flat which I feel hinders the beer. Overall, this beer is an interesting and unique interpretation of the style, it simply isn't for me.

cjgator3, Nov 06, 2007
Photo of puboflyons
3.58/5  rDev +5%

From the 2003 batch. Sampled on February 21, 2011. It was nice to see a bottle with a 2003 date sitting on a shelf in the store so I picked it up. Perhaps I should have left it there. It poured black as night with no head. Bourbon and chocolate filled the nose. It was a nice heavy body but the taste was too much like burnt, dark chocolate. The chocolate was just a bit overwhelming for my tastes. The hints of a nice Imperial Stout character were there but maybe it would have been three or four years ago.

puboflyons, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of illidurit
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%

Odd little bottle purchased at Ledger's in Berkeley. Dated 2003. Poured into a snifter. Deep viscous black with browned edges. No head whatsoever. Coats the glass with a swirl.

Aroma is unusual, more along the lines of a Flanders red than a RIS. Deep winey berries and grapes drizzled with chocolate. Portlike and very alluring.

Flavor is nothing like the aroma, really. Still acidic like wine but the flavor is leathery and woody. Vinous quality like chewing on grape seeds. Regains some white wine fruitiness with warmth, but not much.

I have to dock this beer's mouthfeel and drinkability for the lack of carbonation. Body isn't really all that thick, and the wine-like qualities help create a dry finish.

Really interesting beer. Something you should try even if you end up not liking it.

illidurit, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +17.3%

1999 Edition: Kicking around last Saturday. This beer is a very dark opaque black colour with no head as I recall, just some faint bubbles clinging for life! The aromas were heavily roasty, nice and toasty, heavy and boozy, and not too shabby. The taste was a nice blend of roasted malts, booze, and chocolate. The mouthfeel was very thick and the drinkability was good, but not great.

Nice to try.

2001 Edition: Like the 99 this is an opque black colour but this version has a nice mocha coloured head that lasts for quite a bit, and leaves some minimal lacing. The aromas are less roasted and more vinous than the 99, and the alcohol is more pronounced as well. The taste is very medicinal, orval, and wine like. The mouthfeel is thinner and the drinkability is just decent. This would probably score a 3.3 or so....stick with the 99 or another vintage. The 2001 is not that good yet!

francisweizen, Sep 25, 2003
Photo of mrfrancis
2.25/5  rDev -34%

mrfrancis, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.78/5  rDev +40.2%

*1999 Vintage*

As per the BA Database picture. 1999 Vintage, corked. Cost me $5.99 for the 11.2 ounce bottle. Thankfully, the cork was in excellent condition & had preserved this beer well, which is not always the case I hear.

Solid black mass, a semblance of deep brown bubbles formed when poured, not really a head, more like a “washing up liquid” froth. These bubbles soon burst to leave just a very thin brown halo ring that clings to the edges of the glass. This beer has no head whatsoever, which is no surprise at all, in fact it is to be expected for the style. Anyone who has ever had a Courage Imperial Russian Stout, especially those of 10+ years old, will be very familiar with the appearance of this beer – they are incredibly similar. Each top-up quickly releases carbonation & forms a short lived brown head.

Slightly vinous at first, but nothing to be concerned about, especially when the dark fruits, figs, molasses, dark treacle syrup & plums even, break through. What an incredible nose. The way the dark fruits, the Flanders Red sourness & a rich deeply exotic luxurious powerful dark stout ‘kick’ – are all wrapped up with a semblance of aged oak wooden casks soaked in Port – is quite incredible. I must spill some of this my Pillow to remind how good it was when I wake up tomorrow.

A very strong Port like entrance, rich & voluptuous it warms the inner mouth a little as it smoothly coats the cheeks & tongue with raisins & other dark fruits, like Cashmere on the naked body of a Supermodel, it feels good. Imperial & Imperious with a stunning complexity.

Huge mouthfeel, just fucking huge. So Big, it’s the Galaxy C-5 of the beer world.

You’re never going to take a 6-Pack of this to your Neighbors BBQ, but I found it to drink relatively easily, mainly due to the fact that the alcohol is well controlled & your concentration on the recognition of all the complex tastes distract you from the mere act of imbibing. Even though the 11.2 fl.oz were sipped, it soon disappeared. I must get some more!!

Enjoyable. Whilst this is a very good attempt at recreating an Imperial Extra Double Stout, it lacks the fine refinement of say a Courage Imperial Russian Stout twice its age. Aging may well improve this one a little bit; I would certainly risk aging this '99 sample further.

Like an old dialect of a modern day foreign language, many people may not understand, recognize or even appreciate this quite marvelous complex beer style – but this really is what an Imperial Stout should be like.

TheLongBeachBum, Oct 29, 2003
Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +17.3%

ROGUE16, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of popery
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%

2003 - 3.5/4/3/3/2
2001 - (likely bad cork) 2/3/1/1/1
1999 - 3/3.5/2.5/2/2

I would love to try a more recent vintage of this beer for comparison, but I probably couldn't justify buying it strictly out of curiosity. I have a suspicion that all three bottles are well past their peaks, so take this review with a grain of salt. Furthermore, the '01 is terrible and almost certainly suffered from a corking issue. Also, the cork on the '99 had staining on the top of the cork from the beer soaking through along one side. It doesn't actually seem bad, certainly not like the '01, but I want to note that for accuracy's sake. At any rate, I gave the beer the benefit of the doubt and used my scores from the 2003 version.

All of the beers poured motor oil black with very little to no head with a ring of lacing on the '03, nothing on the '01 and a very thin ring on the '99. The aroma was the best part of these beers. The '03 smells quite nice with lots of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. The '01 smells distinctly off, and the '99 has some odd vinegar and brandy notes that don't exactly improve things. The flavor isn't horrible but isn't great. There's more alcohol heat than I would expect on a five year old beer and some alright big malt notes that already have a faded taste to them. The '01 tastes like old cardboard and rotten vegetables mixed with motor oil. The '99 has certainly lost character. There are some cardboard-vinegar notes but also some lingering roasted malt and brandy. The '03 has some carbonation left for the feel but ultimately comes off a bit thin and sticky. The '01 is water thin and makes me want to retch. The '99 still has very light carbonation but the off flavors just kill things. None of them are easy to drink. My girlfriend was horrified by her sips. I'm valiantly trying to sip them, besides the '01 which is going down the drain, but it's an uphill battle. I freely admit that this review will probably not be a good guide for bottles with less age on them, but I hope I can help convince everyone not to let this beer age as long as these bottles have. Cork problems seem to be commonplace and it seems to be going downhill after only five years. Maybe, it's great at three years, but I don't think that I would have loved this beer at any age.

popery, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of DmanGTR
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

DmanGTR, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of cokes
4.68/5  rDev +37.2%

1999. The definition of black. Very small, wispy tan head. Staring into the glass filled with black ether, and specks of foam, mixed with tiny round bubbles, I feel like I am at the edge of existance, exploring a map of the cosmos.
Mindbending aromas of ripened fruit, dark and otherwise. Plums, prunes, cherries, raspberries. Heavy port and sherry aromas as well.
Taste is all of the above and more. Hugely vinous. With the port and sherry flavors coming to the forefront. Ventures through a range of fruits. Too many to possibly descipher. So cryptic and mysterious. Cherry and berry hues betwixt the plum syrup. Mangos and anise dance forbiddenly, with molasses cutting in. Liquorice shows up and strikes up a conversation with the heavy oak tones. An absolute melee of flavors. However, roastedness is oddly excluded. Present only in the periphery. Finish dries out, and leaves you wanting to revist the place you just left.
Moderately thick, viscous mouthfeel. Null carbonation.
With a touch more roastedness, I doubt I could even fathom how good this would be. I can barely fathom it now.

Oynx under a wispy and short-lived tan lace.
Burnt cedar, sherry, candied yams and pine bark aroma.
Smoky up front. Teryaki glazed cigar ash. Light, dry toffee sweetness with some molasses. Immensly woody with sour oak and dry, spicy cedar characteristics. Earthy as hell too. The vinousness traits are unmatched. Grape, plum, raisin, raspberries port, brandy. Damn.
So very, very bold and complex. Thick palate paint. A beer that takes an entire evening to drink. Smiling all the while.

cokes, Oct 13, 2002
Photo of woosterbill
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%

'99 bottle into a Duvel tulip. Shared with friends.

A: The cork slides out completely silently, and the beer pours an utterly flat, thick black color that coats the sides of the tulip with bright brown legs. Pretty nice for such an old, flat beer.

S: Definitely sour, but a great balance of coffee and molasses maltiness with acetic sourness. Smells like a Flanders Black, if there were such a thing. I'm a fan.

T: Sour up front, followed by coffee, chocolate, tobacco, soy sauce, and basement must. Tastes old but not spoiled, sour but not overbearing, roasty but not astringent. It's not great, but it's pretty darn tasty, especially with its rich chocolate aftertaste.

M: Still, thick, and sticky. Ok.

O: It took some getting used to, but in the end I really enjoyed this one. Not quite like any other beer I've had (even other sour stouts), it was definitely worth trying. I don't think I'll be buying more, but who knows.


woosterbill, Dec 10, 2011
Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 447 ratings.