Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout - Harvey & Son Ltd.
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Ratings: 446 | Reviews: 390 | Display Reviews Only:
3.73/5 rDev +9.4%
Served into a goblet from a bottle (2001 brewed), it looked like motor oil after I empty my oil pan after 6,000 miles! However, it does not appear to be very very heavy. But it is very dark (no light getting through) with very minimal head on it. To discuss the smell is much like discussing what wine smells like (a dark red dry wine) with hints of oak, maybe some mollasses and maybe some raisins in there as well. Upon tasting it, it gives a very dry, malty taste w/ lots of oak in there. No way this was brewed in anything BUT oak!!!! I also got the slight hint of molasses flavoring in there, but I can't be sure. The texture is actually heavier by mouthfeel than what appearance tended to want to show. Not my favorite beer in the world but very interesting, and I love when I can taste the oak barrels!
03-26-2004 01:50:48 | More by Fish113d
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
3.63/5 rDev +6.5%
This black beer is sitting in front of me right now. Just black, no tan head like everyone else has described it having. In fact, the head is non-existant, even after a vigorous pour.
Aroma is whiskeyish with other dark fruits and soy sauce notes.
Very cloying and very sweet. Grape, molasses, dark fruits, chocolate covered coffee beans and licorice. Clearly this beer has a lot of potential but something happened with the carbonation. This is a vintage 2001 so the carbonation should still be at a descent level. Reading others reviews, especially prAna's in which we received both our bottles from the same case I noticed that he got a nice big brown head. Where was mine? I'd like to revisit this and see if something happened.
03-16-2004 05:59:37 | More by Crosling
3.68/5 rDev +7.9%
2001 vintage, corked, sampled from a 16oz snifter served at 50F
inky black in appearence with little signs of carbonation but some bubbles and a thin tan skim of a head forms after awhile in the glass. very rich and complex full of chocolate wood vanilla oak aromas with some roastiness and alcohol. smooth dry taste that becomes more viscous and thicker, has a very dry woody quality in the aftertaste that seems to keep getting drier the more you drink.
the thing that strikes me the most is that there is some carbonation, but has to be smallest amount that I have ever had in a beer, and was corked but not capped and really didn't show anysigns of oxidation. definetly think this worth getting a few more to see how it ages, different from your usual capped and carbonated Imperial stouts but this is probably as close as you could get to tasting a beer the way it originally was produced.
03-15-2004 23:31:18 | More by shippos
3.68/5 rDev +7.9%
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.
03-13-2004 19:25:08 | More by bewley
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
4.1/5 rDev +20.2%
11.2 oz. bottle. 1999 vintage.
Interesting. This stout took some getting used to for me at first.
Pours deep black. No head and only a few tiny bubbles across the top of the stout. Scents are sour dark fruits like plumbs and cherries. Some bitter candy, alcohol and a touch of molassass and worcestshire sauce. A very vineous quality to the scents.
This stout has a very port wine taste to it. Dark fruits like cherries and plumbs and raisins are dominant. A sour wine flavor at first warms to a sweeter molassass flavor. Some carob appears as it warms also. The flavors give a real after dinner or a great stout to have on a stormy day quality. The flavors meld together well.
The mouthfeel is spectacular. Silky smooth with a velvety warm finish. It coats the mouth and is very gentle on the palate. It drinks very easy and is a sipping stout. Go slow. Let this stout reveal itself. It took me a little time to get used to and enjoy this offering. Very nice.
02-22-2004 08:00:54 | More by Rumrunner
3.6/5 rDev +5.6%
Wow! I had a hard time with this beer at first, but it definitely grows on you with each successive drink. It nearly oozes out of the corked bottle, thick and opaque with no head to mention. It has a fruity, alcoholic aroma with hints of cherry and raisin.
It fills the mouth quite nicely with smooth and subtle spice and fruit flavors, quickly tapering to a long and bitter aftertaste, which is a bit offputting at first but becomes less so over the course of the beer. At three years old, a little longer in the bottle might take the edge off the end of the beer, which is the only downside to the beer.
Definitely not a beer for beginners, this one will challenge even the most steadfast beer drinker.
02-12-2004 05:45:10 | More by emarone
4.08/5 rDev +19.6%
Raw alcohol opens the nasal passageways for a multisensory romp of an imperial stout. Light cocoa and spiced cherry with a barnyard touch of brett are just a few pegs in this tasting wheel of a beer. My boss described this as corked burgundy and I can think of no better a description. Go get yourself a bottle of real earthy pinot noir, pull the cork, and let it go bad. If you concentrated that, you'd have the le coq.
Medicinal around the edges, but markedly complex. An experience, I'd say, for more mature palettes as this beer differs from every single beer on the market right now. Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout needs some more time to age; almost four years old, this beer still drinks young, but with a lot of confidence to mature over the coming years. Buy a case and drink three every winter for the next eight years.
01-26-2004 22:40:40 | More by ngandhi
3.85/5 rDev +12.9%
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.
01-24-2004 21:28:14 | More by MrBen
2.63/5 rDev -22.9%
2000 version. Poured with very, very little carbonation, only a scant island of small bubbles in the center of the glass. Nose is of prunes, figs, deep roasted barley. The taste was burnt grains, tanginess and hot alcohol...not a great mix here. Finished very bitter from the roasted barley with flat mouthfeel. Tasted way past it's prime...couldn't finish it. I'd like to try a fresher sample someday.
01-04-2004 16:26:29 | More by beerluvr
4.45/5 rDev +30.5%
Words cannot describe the utter blackness and deep thickness of this beer. It literally pours like cold and thick syrup. Very brief shadow of a head; no hint of a bubble from then on. It's an absolutely still liquid. The first tastes are a little rough-edged and difficult to describe. As your senses become accustomed to the beer, though, it settles into a teriffic mix of multi-layered malts and fruits. The alcohol is extraordinarily well balanced. Consume in ultra-small sips...it's amazing. Aroma presents a variety of sensations: hints of alcohol, smoky scents, molasses, pitch, cocoa, and countless others. There's an unrelenting fullness and mouth-coating sensation in the body. Take your time to enjoy this one...it's worth the price.
12-31-2003 02:50:37 | More by Suds
3.45/5 rDev +1.2%
2001 Vintage ~ Courtesy of the Cock and Bull - Thanks Howie!
11.2 oz. corked bottle poured into brandy snifter @ room temperature.
Every once in a while I have a beer that makes me realize just how seriously I take my hobby and this is one of those beers. Pours a visciously viscous and opaque liquid darkness that seems to suck in all surrounding light like a black hole. An aggressive pour yields a one inch tan head that recedes quickly with no lacing. The aroma is complex with a perfume like fragrant character--sweet, spicy, alcoholic--soy / worcestershire sauce? This is a full body-and-a-half beer, no question about that, with its thick, smooth mouthfeel. Taste is equally as complexing/compelling as the nose--thick and smooth, creamy roasted sweetness, a sweet/salty soy sauce interlude followed by a vinuous dry, acidic finish that is bouncing w/ ripe dark cherries and green grapes. Roasted bitterness lingers on the palate but is hardly a reminder of the imperial revelation experienced only a few moments ago. Overall, the most unique Imperial stout and possibly beer that I have ever had. This stout is a nice glimpse at the complexity of beer.
12-29-2003 02:46:37 | More by TripelJ
4.45/5 rDev +30.5%
Perfectly sealed bottle with wet cork pours dark deep space beers into waiting pint glass. The beer didnt have the much carbonation, but enough for 1/4 inch of head, which dissipated into a foam ring. Not the best carbonation Ive 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 doesnt need any since this was the original. I dont give originals any sort of privilege, but you cant hold it against them if other beers mimic how they taste and what they do.
This is the oldest barleywine Ive sampled and Im stunned.
12-28-2003 23:52:07 | More by Starchild
4.68/5 rDev +37.2%
1999 vintage. Didn't appear to be any leakage in the cork. Pours thick and an absolute black. No hints of any color escaping the sides. Small dense creamy dark brown head that dissapated to a collar that lasted throughout. Not much lace and a mild carbonation. Definite vinuous notes in the aroma. Port sweetness but also the woody barrel character of a sherry. Chocolate and red fruits(plums,raisins) are also present along with some alcohol.
Sweet malt and sticky red fruit flavors upfront. Chocolate, molasses sweetness and a hint of licorice. A dry woody/oaky vinuous alcohol aftertaste with mild tartness(yeast?) good bitterness and a bit of salt. The flavor profile sort of reminded me of the first year of Samuel Adams Triple Bock I tried so many years ago. Outstanding!
Rich viscous mouthfeel. Definitly a sipper, but I'd have another one if it was here.
From reading other reviews, this vintage seems to be hit or miss. I'm glad I got a bottle in good condition. Great stuff.
12-18-2003 02:44:19 | More by rkhaze
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
3.33/5 rDev -2.3%
2000 vintage Pulled the cork out with little effort and it came out with not even a whisper. Poured black and oily thick with zero carbonation. This is the flattest beer I've ever had I think. It's possible this bottle is past it's prime, I don't know. Aroma is a realy strong one of malt, fruit and alcohol. A bit pruny. Like I said, this is a flat beer and I guess intended to be so? Mouthfeel is thick and smooth with a warming alcohol sensation. Flavors are complex, yet figs, dates and prunes come to mind along with a sugary roasted malt and alcohol. I'd like to try a different vintage of this, but this one wasn't anything I'd want again.
12-07-2003 14:36:54 | More by BierReise
4.28/5 rDev +25.5%
Deepest, darkest, blackest color you can have, with a head that doesn't foam, just exists as a slight toasted brown ring, that swiftly diminishes away.
Aroma: incredible! Dark as possible, whiskeyish, licorice, cherries, chocolatey, dark rum, mollasses, every sensation that ever wafted from an Imperial Stout is here in ample supply, more twisted and viscous and damnable as ever.
Taste: small, if even, evidence of hops, but a vast buttress of dark, tangible malt is fully in command of this entry, here. Rich, thick, sticky sweet, with a mouthfeel that doesn't get quite as full as I like...a bit too slick, with a finish that clings for a time, but not long enough.
I like the idea behind this ale, and the historical connotations, but it's not as well-balanced as it could be. The strength, somehow, didn't stick out..wait, no, here it comes...the missing IS qualities had me reaching for the Old Rasputin bottle waiting for me, but might that be tempting a sadder fate than my evening deserves...
This is quite an interesting, and a good, stout, but isn't going to vault to the top of list of favorites any time soon. Save for special occasions only. Not an everday drinking IS in the least.
11-30-2003 11:00:16 | More by feloniousmonk
4.85/5 rDev +42.2%
Pours black as the night with just a ring of brown carbonation around the glass. The aroma is almost like a Belgian beer. It has an herbal/medicinal aroma, with dark fruits, and an oaky, vanilla smell. You cannot forget the alcohol in the aroma as well. A very complex aroma. The flavor starts out dry, it then flows to dark fruits, medicinal, wine-like, chocolate and coffee, and just a tad bit of roastiness. It then goes to a sweet, bready middle. It finishes with a slight bitter chocolate cake taste. What can I say, complex from beginning to end. A wonderful full-bodied beer. I love this one!!
11-26-2003 17:42:23 | More by BeerBuilder
4.28/5 rDev +25.5%
1999 Vintage, Sampled Nov, 2003 - No head whatsoever. Maybe a couple bubbles on top, but a glass of water would probably have more. Solid black in color with slight garnet highlights around the edges. Aroma is has lots of spicy vinous notes, dark fruits, a little currant, and a slight rum tinge. Medium mouthfeel, and despite the flat appearance, there is a very slight amount of carbonation towards the finish. A bit more carbonation would be better, but this little bit is enough to ward off the notion of a fully flat brew. The start is smooth with vinous notes, and is a bit woody. Sweet notes of chocolate and a small touch of currant soon follow. Le Coq finishes with roasted and bitter sweet espresso notes. The alcohol is slightly noticeable, but blends wonderfully with all the other flavors. Coffee bitterness lingers long into the aftertaste. A unique and complex imperial stout that really feels as though it should be enjoyed slowly.
11-24-2003 20:02:01 | More by byrd
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!
11-21-2003 19:40:44 | More by tavernjef
2.68/5 rDev -21.4%
1999 Vintage Sampled Oct 6, 2003
Pours completely flat. It is oil black in color, there is no head what-so-ever. The aroma is of dark malt and sherry, with a bit of alcohol in the nose. A barely perceptible funky aroma seems to also be evident. This beer really could use some carbonation. My first impression is that the flavor is a bit flat. It is a bit wine like in its profile. Definite roast malt profile, but seems fairly soft and mellow. The beer is thick and has some syrup type consistency to it. Finishes somewhat sweet. Strong malt flavors dominate. In the end a bit disappointing, really needed a bit of carbonation in order to shine.
11-07-2003 19:31:04 | More by Gueuzedude
3.95/5 rDev +15.8%
1999 vintage. Gun smoke from the cork, then out pours a high viscosity black mass, could cause thermal break-down. Large dark brown mass of a bubbly head emerges from the depths. Smell is almost that of port with touches of bitter chocolate, molasses and dark fruits. Taste is similar, strong alcohol flavors and a very vinous character up front with bitter chocolate and bitter roasted malts in the middle with a bitter finish. Big mouthfeel, kind of syrupy. A bit too sweet, not much in the way of roasted flavors, more wine-like that other Imperials, but I'm no imperial stout expert. Pretty great though none-the-less.
10-30-2003 20:01:27 | More by chaduvel
4.78/5 rDev +40.2%
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, its the Galaxy C-5 of the beer world.
Youre 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.
10-29-2003 07:09:29 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.38/5 rDev +28.4%
I lifted the cork on this 2001 vintage with some anticipation of an exuberant torrent from the newly liberated brewing art genie. The cork freed-- nothing happened.
This black as widowers weeds stout cascaded into my tasting glass and swirled to rest. Starless and Bible black I intoned as I held the glass to the penetrating nosey rays of the intense room light only to have them disappear into the black liquid..
Little head- a rather disappointing moment.
But from the scant head, rose a phoenix-- a nose although mild yet complex in nature that hinted at thoughts of ale, alcohol, sherry, and toasted malt.
But the flavor-- ah the flavor!
A splendorous moment upon my palate as it reveled coated with this Cossacks blood.
The hops side of Ale, burnt side of malt, and other assorted flavor notes-- that of chicory, hints of sherry, maybe even molasses leaped upon the scene. Id even venture a daring stab at licorice somewhere in the background-- in essence more of everything from this dark libation..
Alas the show ended with a fine long clean finish, as if bidding homage to the final days of Tsarist Russia.
10-29-2003 06:54:25 | More by gueuzeonhigh
Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 446 ratings.