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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

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458 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 458
Reviews: 393
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 26.32%
Wants: 20
Gots: 11 | 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:
Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 02-19-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 458 | Reviews: 393
Photo of putnam
4.87/5  rDev +42.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured it. I didn't read any other reviews. I stuck my nose in the glass. A little Flanders-brown-ale yeat speaks up at first. All cherry and raspberry confit. Chocolate covered red sour berries. Chateauneuf du Pape with cinnamon sticks in the glass. This stuff smells cool and refreshing as well as cthonic and gut-filling.
Burnt Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez syrup is exaggerated on the ooze-like texture. This is serious, alive, Imperial. Think: the power of Rogue's Russian I.S. combined with the soul of Sam Smith's combined with the unruly, sour yeast of Goudenband, and you have this beer. Hardly drinkable...but seductive. Note to self: must make all efforts to stock this.

Fresh stock. 4.28.2004
Much creamier, more slick and densely chocolated than the last sample. I've been experimenting with Dutch process cocoa, brown sugar and whole cream, trying to combine them with just enough sugar to make it edible and just enough cream to create a pasty texture. This approximates that. Bitter fudge in a semi-liquid state that melts even more on the palate.
Also found in this challenging, mind-boggling liquid: creosote, tar, rum, pepper, nutmeg, raisins, Domecq Venerable PX, roasted branches, burnt apples, leather, black oil, laquer, grease, dates, tamarind paste and kirsch.
Probably underrated at 4.85

Photo of Dogbrick
4.15/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

I'm not sure of the vintage, didn't think to look. It is 9% abv, though, not the 10% listed, maybe that's for an earlier year?

Appearance is in a word, black. To expound...

...there is no head whatsoever, barely a crown of tan bubbles on the outside.

Aroma is immediately fruity and vinous, like a red wine. Just a background hint of earthiness or woodiness.

Taste - big tannic, fruity taste and a mouthful of alcohol! As the heavy sweetness lets up a little, some dark, *dark* roasted flavors come through, only to continue developing into an even darker strong charcoal taste. The aftertaste is a mix of slight bitterness and some yielding but still plenty strong charcoal smokiness with just a touch of sourness on the sides of the tongue. Mouthfeel is huge, heavy, oily and thick. Don't believe me? Tip your glass, straighten it up and observe the viscous coating left on the glass. Good for another 3000 miles and protects against thermal viscosity breakdown, don't you know...

I'd have to be in some kinda mood to have a 2nd one of these, one is plenty. I'd only mark it as awful (1.0) if the beer tasted nasty, which is definitely not the case here. Still, this 9% brew drinks more like a 12% brew, the alcohol is a bit too intense for a higher drinkability score.

Photo of hotstuff
3.46/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2001 Vintage. This particular imperial stout poured a small head with very large bubbles that dissipated quickly. There was no lacing on the sides of my glass. The aroma was that of vinegar in my opinion. It had a smooth taste and a lingering aftertaste.

Photo of TheDM
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2001 Vintage. This brew poured a very small head of large dark brown bubbles that quickly disappeared leaving a ring of very small bubbles around the top of my mug. This aroma of this brew is amazing. It is very strong licorice aroma that can be smelled from across the room. Its body is 70,000 mile motor oil thick black. It has a strong licorice and roasted coffee flavor with a noticibly high alcohol content. A very interesting brew with a fair amount of complexity to it. I would like it better if the alcohol content was more hidden and the mouthfeel was more smooth. None-the-less, it is a very potent stout indeed!

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.09/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It was very interesting reading the reviews on this one. Most stated the same characteristics, but the ratings were all over the place. This is one of the strongest tasting beers I've had. As others noted; burnt coffee, cherry, bitter, tart, sour, flat (no head, no lace). The guy who sold me this talked me out of it several times, but I finally had to try it. I'm glad I did. A definite sipper, and I coudn't drink two in one sitting. Overall, a quite unique, complex, and interesting treat. The overall effect reminds me of when I had Expedition, and maybe even Westy12 and Rochefort 10. Strong, sweet, and a blast to the taste buds!

Photo of jaz
3.25/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of jeffboo
4.05/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 1999. This pours like cold, black coffee- no carbonation, just black liquid. Aroma is lambic-like, strange aroma for a Imperial.I can't quite describe the aroma other than lambic-like with maybe some smoke. The texture is very chewy,with a tar like consistency. The roasted malt dominates the flavor,with chocolate and smoke in the finish. The sweetness is balanced with astringent roasted malt and a lambic-like tartness, almost like a red wine. It is warming like Expedition stout, but even thicker. I'm also picking up molassas and brown sugar the further along I go. Very interesting, try it if you find it- unlike other Imperials.

Photo of PhantomVodoo
2.08/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

2000 Vintage

The wrap says contents under pressure, so it's obviously supposed to be carbonated. Mine, however, is completely flat which knocked it down in several categories.

Black as night. Looks thick and syrupy, but has no head or carbonation at all.
Aroma is heavy of molasses and I don't care for that aroma or taste. Alcohol is readily evident. There is a dark fruit character to the aroma which is nice.

Taste: again big on the molasses. Behind the molasses flavor is dark roasted malts with some bitter chocolate and coffee notes. Alcohol not hidden. Slight dark fruit character. Slightly sour.

Full body. Heavy and syrupy. Might have been exceptional with some carbonation present.
Drinkability: I'd be happy to never have this beer again, although I am curious what it would be like with some carbonation.

Overall, I didn't care for this beer at all. The taste, aroma, and lack of carbonation remind me of Sam Adams Triple Bock which I'm not fond of either.

Photo of SteveP
4.62/5  rDev +35.1%
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.

Photo of PatandDavid
4.37/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We were lucky enough to enjoy a 1999 vintage of this the other evening, thanks Redbones! We missed the dinner, but thankfully for us, there were some beer leftovers.

Oh My! This is a big beer! In such a little bottle.

You couldn't see through this beer, it was the color of night. Yes, really. All I could think of was that it reminded me of a port, and that the alcohol was as prominent at 9% as I perceived it in a WWS.

This is a sipping beer, like I said, it reminded me of port. The taste of raisins was quite apparent. Very enjoyable. A beer like this really knocks your socks off.

I gave it a 4.0 for drinkability...while I couldn't have another at the time, it is a beer I would drink again.

Photo of goz
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2000 bottle :
Pours super deep black, no carbonation and no head at all. Aroma is very vinous, grape, raisin and other dark fruits took the front, although the alcohol was close behind. Flavor had some chocolate hints, the dark fruits mentioned before, and the alcohol showed up in the back a a bit. Body was a bit light feeling for something with so much flavor.

1999 Bottle :
Similar to the 2000, but the alcohol was the dominant force from start to finish, taking a much more upfront line to the nose and mouth, and pushing all the other stuff aside.

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.11/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Harvey's...or Le coq...or Tartu Brewery Imperial Double Extra Stout is a vintage 2000 edition. At 9% abv it is strong, though not as strong as the new 10% addition. Tar pitch black in color. Thick, heavy malt and highly hopped. Strong and dark chocolate and coffee notes. Hints of banana and a trace of grapefruit. Fairly sweet malt fails to hide the very big alcohol kick. Rich and creamy with very little head. Really worth trying!

Photo of WanderingFool
4.22/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This 1999 version of Le Coq was recommended to me by a well respected beer store owner. I was a bit surprised to find a cork under the silver foil of this 11.2 oz. 9% alc. brew. It poured like motor oil gone bad. Jet black with only a few bubbles found on the surface that quickly disappeared. The aroma is cherry and molasses and reminded me of a port wine. Each sip of this medium bodied beer gets more complex as you drink it. At first all I tasted was burnt coffee, then after a few sips my taste buds settled down to discover cherry, molasses, coffee and a mild alcohol flavor. It feels silky smooth on the tongue and leaves behind a hint of cherry and molasses after each sip.

This is definitly a sipping beer that would go great with steak or a chocolate dessert. There are a host of flavors to be found with every sip.

Photo of scottum
1.4/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1


I'm thinking this did not age well. Tastes a bit sour and very much of alcohol. The brew poured out almost black with no head to speak of. The '99 brew is past it's prime for sure. I'm guessing a later year would be a nice beer, but this sucka tastes old. Me thinks me should not finish said brew, but me is a cheap bastard. Yuck!

Photo of Wildman
4.17/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2000 edition:
This beer poured as black as the night and like oil hitting the pavement. No real head with even a hard pour and only a slight medium tan ring around the edges. The aroma is of malt, cherries and other dark fruit and some hint of the alcohol. The flavor is of malt, cherries and dark fruit. A very heavy feel to the flavor and body of this beer, with hints of the alcohol. A very different style of imperial as compared to the American versions. Almost more of a wine feel than an imperial. A very dark animal of a beer with hidden elements that may present themselves better if this beer were to be aged more.

Photo of maxpower
4.5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Small 11.2 oz foil wrapped corked bottle, 1999 vintage. Dark jet-black color,has a small tightly bubbled, creamy tan head. Sweet roasted chocolate, coffee and fruity aroma, sweet fruity plum-chocolate flavors. Nice hoppy burnt bitterness in the finish. Medium-full body with creamy smooth thick and silky mouthfeel, alcohol is very well hidden very smooth and sweet.

Photo of Gusler
4.53/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

{2000 Release}: Let me say you must like any beer that goes to the trouble to cork and wrap their beers so tightly.
The beer pours my benchmark for stouts and porters, “Jet Black”, the head planetary in size, creamy in its consistency" and the residual lace glutinous sheets that weld themselves to the glass. The aroma of black strap molasses, caramel, coffee, chocolate and even Hickory smoked bacon also comes to mind, but then food and beer are always on my mind, not necessarily in that order, quite complex nose and beer for that matter. Ambrosial start, the top is rich and thick, chewy, full as mere words does not do it justice. Hop spicy bite, moderately acidic, bittersweet chocolate dry and one hell of a fine "Stout" in my book.

Photo of Amdahl
4.07/5  rDev +19%
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.

Photo of UncleJimbo
2.93/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I sampled a bottle marked "1999" (therefore, 3 years old); an 11.2 oz bottle. I thought this beer tasted odd, but I have been told that this is how it is meant to taste.

The stout poured to give a dark brown/black beer with a rich, creamy head (chocolate brown), but this head did not linger long.

The aroma was evident as soon as the cork was removed from the bottle, but the aroma was somewhat sour, smelling of green olives with a hint of oak.

The taste was very, very strong, and very bitter and sour, with a burnt malt flavor and the noticeable taste of alcohol. The aftertaste was hoppy with a hint of bitter chocolate.

The moutfeel was full and sharp, and the flavor lingered on the tongue.

The drinkability was not great -- too bitter and sour.

I would like to try this one again, but from a different year.

Photo of marc77
3.99/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jet black and opaque. No head whatsoever in this bottle. Completely flat. There was no audible release of carbonation after opening the cork. A shame. Swirling the brew releases vinous, sherry notes and notes of deep chocolate dusted prunes. Dark, singed carbonaceous roasted barley adds a dryish sharpness. Hints of tart green apple and unripe plums, along with heaty fusels. The aroma would be more pronounced if there was carbonation to release it. Bittersweet, rich chocolate sweetness at first, followed by bitter, smoky, slightly acidic deeply roasted and dark caramel malts. Even without the carbonation, this beer is still quite good, being akin to homemade chocolate milk well laced with brandy. Hop bitterness has faded significantly, allowing malt sweetness to dominate, being only countered by roasted grain bitterness. Mouthfeel is of viscous, stagnant oil due to the complete flatness. Finishes w/ molasses sweetness and notes of prune lingering long on the palate. My 1999 AND 2000 bottle obviously had cork problems. I've had this in the past before reviewing, and there was carbonation. If this beer wasn't totally flat, it would be stupendous. Am I just unlucky, or have others experienced this as well? It says wonders for a brew to be utterly flat yet delicious regardless.

Photo of purplehops
4.62/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was vintage 1999 at 9% abv. This stout poured a rich black with a cocoa colored head that only lasted for 20 seconds at most. The aroma was alcohol and fruit with a touch of molasses. The taste starts with a bold warmth of alcohol like a Calvados and finishes with a thick malty after-taste with hints of dried apricots and plums. Each sip brings more and more complexity of flavors to you taste buds. I'm glad a bought a few of these because I think it will age for a few more years to come. Here's hoping.

Photo of aracauna
4.14/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Imperial Stout Blind Tasting notes (11-16-02): Headless, one of the darkest. Big alcohol and fruitiness makes it smell a little like banana bread soaked in wine. This is a very nice aroma. Very-wine like buttery mouthfeel. Very dry, very unusual. Coffee and dark chocolate also present. The oddities in this make it a sipping beer in small quantities so it hurts on the drinkability. Amazing beer.

Photo of cokes
4.7/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of zerk
3.49/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep black with a thick tan/pink head. I have had this before where is has no head, and I think the cork may be to blame in those instances. Aroma is a pungent mixture of vinegar, port wine, grape, cherry, and light oak-like aroma. Flavor starts vinous and fruity, then to more of a roast malt, finishing with an espresso flavor. As the beer warms, it mellows a little bit. Has a full body and medium carbonation. Goes great with chocholate brownies.

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Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 458 ratings.