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

453 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 453
Reviews: 392
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: 453 | Reviews: 392 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TongoRad
4.47/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1999 vintage, 9% AbV

This was given a very vigorous pour- the bottle was at least 8" above the rim of the glass- and still only managed to give about 1/4" of a dark tan head. Color is a dark inky-looking brown/black. The head quickly disappears but is resurrected easily with some swirling.

Aroma is quite strong. There is a lot going on here- the dominant characteristic is 'leathery', but there is also an equally prominent barnyard quality. Then there's some sweet malt, coffee, spiciness (particularly anise), butterscotch, ash and alcohol. It is a very distinctive bouquet, to say the least.

Flavor is definitely 'not subdued'; it is perhaps even a bit coarse, but overall it is balanced in its own way. The mouthfeel hits you first- very full and bordering on oily. Then the roasty/leathery characteristics come on, merging nicely with a good quantity of bitterness. All of the other flavors- barnyard, spices, fruit, butter- come on late and linger a long time in the finish. The alcohol is there as a warming presence only, and not at all out of place.

Everything about this beer screams 'concentrated' and 'saturated' and probably takes some getting used to, but there is nothing else like it.

Historically this beer has displayed, in my own personal experience, problems with consistency. I have had quite a few of these since 2000 (and at least 8 since this past December)- 25% of those have been flat and harsh, 25% have been transcendantly good, and the remainder somewhere in between. This particular sample was at the high end of that range. It works for me, but be warned.

Photo of acrawf6
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a 2001 vintage. opened 4/05

This one poured out a very black, with brown and ruby color when the bottom of my snifter glass is put up to light.

Smell has a scent of cherries and alcoholic and a little chocolate.

taste is very potent, to say the least. tastes of a alcoholic cherries, some chocolate and tastes leathery. also has tastes of licorice, its very complex and sweet, liked cooked molassis.after, it gives my toungue a tingly feeling. i do think they do one hell of a job covering up the alcohol in this.

Mouthfeel is creamy and barely carbonated, and like i said got my tongue tingly. also gives my lips a sticky feeling after from the sugar.

This tastes more like a stout and a port wine. very very complex. if drinkability means to drink a lot of it, no is impossible, would be a 1. But if you mean it as a sipper and drinking it as a beer for complexity, some would give it a 5. I give it a 3 because its one i could only have like once a month, or even less.

Photo of kbub6f
2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2000 vintage.
Almost no head. Some dark brown bubbles. Black beer, brown highlights. Aroma is tangy, fruity, funky, spicy. Funky barnyard up front. Way thick through the middle: flat, syrupy, bitter chocolate. Some nice salty butter at temperature. Tangy soy finish: funk, bitter chocolate, alcohol. Not bad in small sips. It's growing on me.

Photo of silenius
2/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

2001 bottling consumed in 2005

This is an odd beer that has its merits and its demerits (more of the latter).

Pours a dark black/brown with a frothy, big bubbled head that really coats the glass.

Smell is very vinous and an alcohol burning is noticeable. Smells like a big red Italian brunello that has sat out in a glass a day or two oxidizing in the corner. Could be interesting and could be awful.

Taste is an odd combination of unsweetened chocolate, molasses, cinnamon powder (very mouth drying), and oxidized red wine. Is this what they intended this beer to taste like? Do they care?

Mouthfeel is actually good on this one. Slight carbonation with a slick feeling.

I really have a hard time drinking this. The aftertaste is like a badly made rum ball.

I won't buy this again.

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

1999 Vintage

Looks more like motor oil than any other beer that I have ever seen. Pours out with no head what so ever. The smell is so strong that it can be smelled from a couple of feet away. Smell is very port like with hints of cherry and chocolate. Also some sour notes come through. The beer is so think it kinds of coats the glass like wine. Some alcohol as well in the smell.

When held up to the light you can't see through it at all. The first taste is not what I expected at all. The malt flavors are almost completely gone execept some smoky malt notes at the end. The beginning is slightly sour with hints of cherries and other berries. Very thick in the mouth as it completely coats my tongue. I am amazed at how smooth this beer is. The alcohol is so hidden in with all the other flavors.

To be honest, this beer taste much older than 6 years old. (The oldest beer that I have tasted is a 1993 Courage in 2002) The cork held up very nicely as it was still very moist. I have one more of the 1999 in the basement which I might hold off and try at 10 years old. An extremely unique beer that isn't for everyone. I think the next bottle I will split with a friend as a desert. Also, I might serve it slightly warmer than this bottle which I pulled from the cellar and drank at that temperature. It seems to open up a bit more as it warms. The

Photo of WOLFGANG
1.35/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

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.

Photo of Wonka
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 FL. OZ.
9% ALC./VOL.
2001

A taste of the Imperial Russian Stout's roots are present in the A. Le Coq label that takes home in the middle of the label. A historical perspective surrounds the graphic. The cork top certainly adds a great touch.

Appearance: Flat black with a brown airy head that disappears quickly

Smell: Chocolate, molasses, alcohol, cherry, wood, cola and black licorice

Taste: Vinous flavors run over the top of a solid roasted, bitter chocolate, wood tone. Hops edge into the middle of the tongue and setup a distinct flavor combination I can honestly say I have never experienced. There’s almost a salty, woody pop that cleans the palette a bit.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Somewhat syrupy with no crispness from carbonation; satisfying close, but the middle is wavering and losing balance

After gaining an understanding of its birth from the label and the consumption of this reincarnation, I further respect the development of the Russian Imperial Stout. More recent attempts can attest that beer science has cut finer products....or, well, maybe its a bad sample.

Photo of avylover
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

1999 vintage

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.

Photo of bditty187
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2001

Absolute black. There is no hue. It is just black. The head never developed, only a few brunette bubbles formed around the edge of my glass. After a moment the bubbles left, thus I have a super black liquid and no head. There was no subsequent lacing, obviously. Honestly this beer looks a lot like SA Triple Bock. I like the depth of the color but this is still a beer and there should be a head and such. The appearance could be improved greatly. The nose is not what I expected. It smells Belgian (what is with the peppery and cidery notes?). Vinous. Roasted qualities? Hardly any. Alcohol? I got plenty. Raisins, cherries, and chocolate are fairly boastful; there are weak hints of molasses. Traces of cork too. The nose lacks depth; it smells thin and weak. I am not impressed. There is nothing bad about it but I feel it needs something more, something to sink my teeth into. The palate is improved over the aromas. There is still a lack of depth, complexities can be found but nothing is very forceful. First of all, there isn’t much burnt or roasted qualities. Sure, there are some, I can taste it but there is nothing bold about it. This is an Imperial Stout, right? (Yes, I realized this is not an Americanized version but still… and by the way, this is considered traditional? Interesting.) Smoky molasses, slick maple syrup, traces of brown sugar, cake. Green apples, this seems very misplaced to me. Prune juice, this reminds me of Shiner Bock. Yes, I typed that correctly. Raisins. Coffee infused with a trace of vanilla and brandy. Weakly peppery, alcohol heat is at the back. In the aftertaste are the strongest notes of roasted malt. I’m surprised; this beer tastes very similar to a baby SA Triple Bock. It is nowhere near as complex or as bold but I can see some similarities. There isn’t any carbonation in this beer. Obviously there were cork issues. Thus the head development was poor and thus the nose wasn’t properly amplified and thus the palate was “flat” tasting and thus the mouthfeel is lacking. Even as such I can see the promise in this beer but would bubbles make the malt louder, roastier? I don’t think so. Would bubbles lower the apple taste? No. Medium-full in body, slick but filling mouthfeel yet it feels watery. I realize that makes little to no sense. It’s like heavy water? Even without carbonation the mouthfeel is pleasant. It feels like I should sip this beer. The palate says the same thing. I agree with both. I will sip away. Sure, this beer is drinkable. Give me cheese! Chocolate cake! I will try it again as I would like to have this beer with carbonation. I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, there are many things that I’d like to see improved but it is unique and tasty. Relaxing. Its a decent nightcap. I purchased this in Milwaukee, WI for $4.00.

Photo of Sixpoint
2.7/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Kind of a disappointment. According to my research, this beer was one of the original Russian Imperial Stouts. Maybe today's modern interpretations have strayed from the original.

At any rate, this beer was infected. Kind of a disappointment. The infectious bacteria was almost overwhelming, and kind of ruined the experience.

The beer poured with little to no head. Just a faint trace of bubbles at the top - otherwise, it looked almost like tar in a glass.

The aroma was the redeeming quality. This beer almost smelled like a fine Merlot. Very complex - even some oak tones.

The taste was pretty awful. The infection really came through harshly, and it distracted from the nice roasted and sweet flavors from the malt.

The mouthfeel was nice and full-bodied, but the beer was too flat. It was hard to enjoy because of its flatness.

Overall, it's just not that drinkable of a brew. Perhaps I just don't know... is it supposed to be infected?

Photo of horndecker
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2001. I tasted a 2000 last week and was somewhat perplexed by it, so I hunted down another bottle and it was much the same.

Nary a trace of a head. Full bodied, looks like black ink. A nose at first like a nasty week old table wine. I think I opened too cold, so I wait a bit for it to warm up. The aromas open up and I smell roasted malt, soy, cocoa, raisins, coffeeish, more soy. Quite interesting.

The taste is similiar, but without the soy. Roasted coffee, raisins, stewed fruits, and then an intense smoky finish on an oily, but not unpleasant, chewy mouthfeel. But still just the merest hint of carbonation. It's different, but it's tasty. The alcohol is present but not overwhelming.

My previous encounters with Russian Imperial Stout are limited to Sam Smith, Hercule, Old Rasputin and Smuttynose, and all those wonderful Baltic Porters, etc, so this was a new adventure. If this is closer to the original style, then perhaps I prefer the more modern interpretations.

Photo of watermelonman
4.15/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

Pours a pitch black wit a dark tan head that dissipates quickly. The aromas are intense licorice, alcohol, coffee and chocolate. The taste of this beer is huge, layers of dark semi sweet chocolate, espresso, coffee, intense licorice and warming alcohol. The beer grew more intense as it warmed sending aromas out of the snifter. I will be getting more of this beer and enjoying it by the fire

Photo of mzwolinski
4.72/5  rDev +38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2000 Vintage. Pours completely black without the slightest trace of carbonation. The aroma is chocolatey with hints of prune and toffee. A slightly sweet toffee comes out in the flavor as well, and nicely compliments the taste of dark, bitter chocolate. Dark figgish fruit flavors emerge mid-palate, leading into a spicy alcohol finish, and a really wonderful burnt malt flavor that lingers subtly into the aftertaste. Thick and chewy in mouthfeel, with a slightly dry finish. Really, really nice.

Photo of Winter
2.83/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2001 vintage.

Pours black with no head, except for a flat surface covering around the edge of the glass. Very vinous aroma. Almost port-like. Soy, chocolate, and raisin add the the mix. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and coats the tongue like an oil slick. The taste is acquired. Not your typical Imperial stout. This one's much more vinous. Unwelcome flavors of soy sauce and old wine introduce themselves first. Alcohol and stale tabacco follow. Dark fruit and red wine are present in the finish. Like most good imperials, this one takes time to consume and enjoy, kind of like a good cigar. Although, I'd much rather prefer the cigar, I think, in this case.

This strays from the more expresso, burnt malt and chocolate flavors of some Imperial stouts. Le Coq features vinous flavors in it's profile, which is often present in Imperial stouts, but this seems to be the primary focus.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The beer poured inky black and thick, a little viscous, light wished it could penetrate the beer to leave a highlight but it could not.. The head was none, nada, didn't even show up for the party and left not a trace on the glass.

The aroma was slightly sour and with a strong oak presence. Chocolate and roasty aromas were present, but in the background with a vinous winey aroma.

The flavor was thick and viscous with a coffee and chocolate and a winey vinous flavor. The flavors that were present were old and oxidized and not well done.

The finish was chocolate and coffee and vinous flavors lasting well into the aftertaste. The body was completely full and devoid of any carbonation whatsoever.

11.2 ounce bottle, sealed and corked. 2000 on bottle. More of an old ale than a stout. I'd suggest skipping it unless you want a winey flat stout that is well aged and devoid of most of the character.

Photo of SeanChouffe
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Vintage 2000
Well, I have had to rethink my definition of beer. At first, I thought I had gotten a bad bottle. I mean, there was little to no pop from the cork, and there was absolutely not fizz from the beer. No head. This is a different experience entirely.
It looks and acts like motor oil (old of course). The aroma is of oak, whiskey, dark fruits, cork and soy sauce. The flavor is very wine-like in its attributes as well as intensity. Again, oak, fruits, raisons etc., and a dry finish not unlike a wine. The palate is full bodied with no carbonation, and syrupy with a tannic aftertaste. At first I was wholly turned off by this rendition of beer, but as the glass warmed and the more subtle characteristics arose, I became fonder of its distinctive qualities. However, it was so intense that I was not able to keep up. Not your everyday beer. Complex and intense to its own detriment.

Photo of BrewMaster
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Corked vintage 2000 bottle. It poured from the bottle with no head. I mean nothing, zero, zip, zilch of a head. The beer is a dark brown opaque color. The aroma reminds me completely of red wine. Sweet oak, cork, and wine scents. This really does smell more like red wine or port than beer. The flavor is a mix of sharp alcohol flavor in the middle with roasty and sour dark malts flavors. There are also notes of tobacco and overall it has the character and flow of sherry or port...bad sherry or port. I just couldn't drink much of this beer. I love good port, but this is just an oddball beer. It is certainly not drinkable.

Photo of crookedhalo
4.28/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2000 vintage corked bottle. Pours opaquely black with a thin brown head that dies to a small ring of bubbles hugging the edge of the glass. Mysterious aromas, treacle, brine, toffee, smoldering coals and port wine. Not your typical coffee-and-chocolate kind of stout aromas, this beer is really complex. The first sip has to be the best, your taste buds are going "WTF?..." One monster of a mouthfeel, velvety and rich. Big on the malty, vinous, winey character and has a nice bakers' chocolate-like bitter finish with enough woody esteriness from the hops to keep the palate cleansed (well, reasonably cleansed considering it's an global assault on the multicontinented palate). Salty and minerally taste in the background. This is a beautiful beer, one that I've tried a few times before and always enjoy. My only gripe it that it is such a slow sipper. Not so much a gripe, just every time I have one, it takes me 2 hours to consume. I guess that's love and caressing a beer.

Photo of rajendra82
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This 1999 vintage bottle was a packaging rarity, with an 11.2 oz. corked presentation. As I extricated the cork, and poured out the beer, to my surprise it developed a very decent head. Not bad for a five year old beer. The labeling was very authentic looking, and projected an image of an actual English beer brewed for export to Russia, which it is. The label also provided a history lesson into the origins of the style, and the brand.

The body was very dark black-brown, and the head was brown as well. The aroma was quite faint, with a mix of oxidized, sweet, and sour smells.

The taste was balanced between roastiness, sourness, and saltiness. This was definitely a lot more subtle than most American Imperial Stouts, and did not come across as boldly roasty or vinous. There were definite notes of chocolate and brandy on the palette, and the alcohol had mellowed to the point of non detection. The aftertaste was creamy and dry.

This is a very sedate sipping beer, which has stood the rigors of aging very well.

Photo of Crotor
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My only experience with this beer has been a '99 bottle consumed in '04. Unfortunately, it seems to have been a few years past its prime...

The beer poured flat, black, and almost purple-ish. Warm alchol and slight spice aroma dominated at first. Then there was a bit of funky raisin aroma. And an unfortunate bit of nail-polish remover...

The taste was surprising considering the aromas. At first there was all sorts of weird fruit going on, but then it left with a roasty, lingering tobacco component. The beer was completely dry, with no malt sweetness to speak of. I was intrigued by how strong the roastiness became, considering how strong the fruit was at first. I guess I'm not used to encountering these flavors in this succession?

Unfortunately, the mouthfeel suffered dramatically from the aging. The beer seemed thin and astringent, and ultimately too weak to pair with the fullness of the flavor.

I'd like to try a younger version of this beer, and see if it has the malt and body necessary to make this beer great as opposed to just good.

Photo of wyllder
1/5  rDev -70.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is vile.

There are no two ways about it, you might as well drink soy sauce.

This pours midnight black. It might be appealing if it had a head, or maybe some hint of carbonation or some hilights around the edges. It has none of that. Inky black with a few small, clear bubbles that immediately gave me the impression all was not well here.

The nose. For me to describe anything other than a cloying, briney, downright reminescent of soy sauce scent, would be pure and utter fabrication.

The flavor is no better. I've had other Russian Imperials, and if this is/was the essence of the style, then I'm grateful to all the breweries who decided to experiment. Any chance at the complex flavors others have noted is washed away in sea of salty, soy sauce, brine. This beer tastes like a severely over salted syrup.

Mouthfeel is puckering and downright offensive.

Drinkability should be negative numbers. This stuff has Fear Factor potential.

I'm sorry. I've had the unfortunate occasion to encounter this twice now. The first time I had only a sip, and the second time I braved a full bottle. The bottle took me over an hour to work my way through and every sip was torture. Warming only helped to accentuate the brinyness and actually made this worst. If you like this, more power to you. If you tried this and didn't like it, I hope this review lets you know there are others who feel the same way.

btw, I let 3 others at the bar sample this and they all thought it tasted like shit.

I can only hope this is the only beer I ever 1-out.

UPDATE:

I have since sampled this when two friends ordered it. One was significantly better, and I would probably rate in the high 3's as Russian Imperials go. The other, however, was nearly as repulsive as the one I reviewed above. Subsequently, I will not be changing my rating.

Wyll-

Photo of canucklehead
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A lot of reviewers seem to be of two minds after tasting this beer. I happen to love this beer for all its non stout-like qualities. It pours black as a moonless night with almost no head. This 2001 vintage had the nose of an old Normandy cider. The Taste was of aged chocolate and vinous notes. Smooth as silk with only the vestiges of anything resembling a stout. Truly unique and a beer for those who want the far reaches of the brewing craft.

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.

Photo of Sixpack595
1.53/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

This beer is horrible. Oily mouthfeel, strange sickly sweet flavor with an acrid bitterness in the finish. Completely flat with no head. Aroma is weak but a bit cloying. Very strange, but not in a good way. I can honestly think of nothing good to say about this beer.

Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 453 ratings.