Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout - Harvey & Son Ltd.
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Ratings: 446 | Reviews: 390 | Display Reviews Only:
3.68/5 rDev +7.9%
I was very lucky to get this in Secret Santa '11, 2001 vintage, poured at cellar temp. The cork was on the dry side, but this is an 11 year old beer. It pours with a very slight head. The color is jet black. The aroma has notes of cherries, coffee, wood, chocolate. There definitely is a sour note to the beer, it rounds out with coffee and chocolate. It is very smooth, very low carbonation, 9% abv not noticeable. This is the oldest brew I have ever tried, and it has held up quite well. A little different take on a RIS, but very enjoyable.
03-28-2012 22:53:22 | More by bonkers
1.13/5 rDev -66.9%
Vintage 2008, ABV 9%, 9.3oz Crowned bottle
Pours black with profound three fingers of mocha foam, this falls slowly, to a regenerative quilt of the same. Initial smell is like lacto and butterscotch. Hard to get past these two characteristics. The flavor is of leather, burnt beef, chokecherries and tobacco. Really nasty. Thin for the style with insane carb feel (although not a gusher) for the style. dry finish. Not sure how this beer earned all these medals indicated on its label, because this beer is shite.
03-06-2012 08:29:25 | More by harrymel
3.8/5 rDev +11.4%
2008 vintage. 9.3 oz bottle poured into a snifter. 9% abv.
Appearance is pitch black with a decent one finger dark brown head. Decent retention for a beer of this strength.
Quite a bit of cherry in the nose along with wood, dark cocoa, and red wine. Almost a slight sour, lambic smell to it.
Taste has a lot of cherry at first along with some other dark fruit. This then leads to a sweet, almost milk chocolate flavor along with some roastiness. There is a light tartness on the tip of the tongue along with a strong warmth from the alcohol. Mouthfeel is very slick and finishes quite sticky.
I'm sort of torn on this beer. There are many complex flavors but the whole package seems a bit overwhelming. The alcohol is more present than the 9% would lead one to believe and the sweetness comes close to being cloying. Not sure I would get it again but I'm glad I tried it.
02-21-2012 00:47:45 | More by rangerred
1.53/5 rDev -55.1%
2003 vintage. Served in a tulip.
Is it fair to critique a beer this old?
Tightly corked. Popped out clean.
Poured dark and flat. Totally flat. Nothing. Nada. Flat.
Chocolate notes picked up in the glass. Bitterness on the nose foretells what's to come.
Bitter chocolate. Like the most bitter chocolate you ever tasted that's intended for cooking, not to eat.
I want to savor this beer but just can't. No redeeming value to this beer at all unless you're into punishing your palate.
Drain pour? Haven't decided yet. I'm compelled to drink it just so I can say I did.
Update: I drainpoured this sucker. I just couldn't punish my senses any longer. Life is too short.
01-15-2012 23:31:58 | More by NWer
3.43/5 rDev +0.6%
This one poured out as a deep black coloe with a brown colored head on top. the head settles pretty quickly with some scattered lace on the glass. The smell of the beer was a little on the musty side, very earthy and almost reminded me of a very old wooden barrel or something. The taste of the beer packs a little bit of a punch to it. I was surprised by the flavor but not really impressed by it either. The malts were roasted and that was ok but there were some other funky flavors going on that I wasn't too fond of. The mouthfeel of the beer was far too thin for an Imperial Stout in my opinion. Low carbonation and lacked depth. Overall I wasn't too thrilled with this brew. I can't see myself picking this one up ever again.
12-29-2011 05:10:28 | More by Knapp85
3.5/5 rDev +2.6%
Corked and foil-wrapped 11.2 oz bottle dated 2001 per the label. Bought at Sundevil Liquor in Mesa, AZ. Label states the ABV is 9%. The cork was in excellent condition (couldn't as for better). Poured half the bottle (without disturbing whatever may be on the bottom) into a snifter.
Pours without head. The body looks black, but when held to strong light shows muddy-grey highlights. There is still some crimson life left in this beer, but it takes some strong light to show it. I didn't expect any red colors to be left, and I am impressed.
The smell is surprisingly powerful. Vinous notes, almost grape-like sweetness, and tawny port are prominent. A little swirl brings up a tiny bit of carbonation, and reveals that this was a stout at heart with sweet but charred notes of roast. Powerful, interesting, and complex. I am blown away by how this smells.
The flavor is crazy. I am not sure where to start. When it first hits my tongue I get a very sweet port-like flavor but this is very short lived. The next flavors are something like roast mixed with a tartness, and maybe the after-effects of what used to be hops. To this point the beer is quite tasty and easy to enjoy. It is in the aftertaste that things get strange. I think that this was infected (maybe intentionally?) with a lacto strain. A pleasant tartness and vinous flavor seems to be the result in the primary flavor. However in the aftertaste, there is an almost bitter acrid savory (almost salty?) taste that might be the long term result of this infection when paired with the roasted malt flavors. It reminds me of the aftertaste of infected Deschutes Abyss, except thinned out. As if the roast and the tartness conflict and produce a strange savory unpleasant taste. However aside from this mildy gross flavor, the beer overall is quite drinkable.
The mouthfeel is surprisingly thick after almost 11 years in the bottle. There is just a touch of carbonation left which surprised me, but I imagine this is due to the cork's excellent condition.
Conclusion: The more I drink this the more I think it was infected with lacto/pedo bacteria. In a way, I think that it is still somewhat tasty because of this, as the tartness is actually pretty nice and not overpowering. I wonder what it would taste like without it. If you love extreme aging for its own sake I say that you should try an example of this vintage, otherwise you will most likely feel that you wasted your money.
12-27-2011 20:18:27 | More by allforbetterbeer
2.53/5 rDev -25.8%
I poured this authentic RIS into a shaker pint.
Appearance- This one is a looker. Great three and a half - finger Tootise Roll colored head is quite magnificent. So many pock marks dapple the cap and are accompanied by tiny bubbles. And of course, the retention is great, with big, random flecks of chunky lace.
The body? Pitch black.
Smell- How incredibly unbalanced is this one! The list includes: red wine, roasted malt, wood chips, some dark fruit, and soy sauce. All of these flavors mixing together create some rather unpleasant scents.
Taste- Unfortunately this stout is not much better here. I get a definite feel of leather and some more red wine to lead off the drink. A nice touch that went far too quickly was some dark cherry tang.
Roasted malt is also doing some good things here, but it takes forever to pick it out after adjusting to the weird flavors. The finish is strong with some fresh mint and soy sauce. Wow. Wow not in a good way.
Mouth feel- The feel is good. Technically, this beer is fine. This one is pretty flat and slick, but for how long this was aged, I was expecting that. And the body is bordering on full.
Overall- Well, it is not terrible. But how incredibly strange can an RIS get? The smells and flavors are all over the place, and maybe parts of them worked, but as a whole it is mostly a mess.
Honestly, for how much a bottle of this was, I could never justify picking it up again.
12-22-2011 22:43:58 | More by Pintofbrown
3.05/5 rDev -10.6%
The look is classic: opaque black with a thick tan foam. Not much more to ask for.
The smell is a link to Dark Lord, its long lost cousin: sweet chocolate, port, dark fruit and anise.
Mouthfeel is spot on: thick, full and chewy.
Overall, the flavors lean toward the sweet: caramel, toffee and dark chocolate take the lead. The signature flavor of this beer is a strong licorice note which has a cooling, minty finish that seems to be interpreted by some as a soy/acidic flavor. My guess is that's the source of polarization on the reviews and, needless to say, if you don't like anise flavors, this is one to avoid. My objection isn't to the flavor itself, but rather the lack of balance; there should be more char/coffee to balance the sweet and licorice. With repeated sips this lack of balance builds on the tongue. Overall this is a very interesting beer (both from a taste and historical perspective), but it's difficult to imagine a lot of repeat visits.
12-12-2011 02:48:11 | More by chicagobeerriot
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.
12-10-2011 22:59:26 | More by woosterbill
1.3/5 rDev -61.9%
Found several 11.2oz bottles of the 2003 vintage at Parti Pak.
Poured into snifter.
Aroma: Winey, bretty, and sour. Black licorice. Mouth waters in anticipation of the tartness. This is not how an imperial stout is supposed to smell...
Appearance: A hard pour yields no head whatsoever. This one looks flat as hell. The body resembles thick black ink.
Flavor: Black licorice up front, then Jaegermeister, then sour and funky, then a very strong bitterness, which clings to the palate like duct tape. Unpalatable...
Mouthfeel: Full body is thick as pudding. Had the flavor of the beer been even the least bit tolerable, the mouthfeel would have been great. Carbonation is low to non-existent as expected.
Overall: Lesson learned... I usually carry my iPhone w/ me into bottle shops to check BA ratings on beers I don't recognize. Had I done so this time, I would have promptly returned this $9 disaster to the shelf. I can only hope my fellow Indy BA's heed this warning and avoid this brew. 100% bonafide drainpour material.
12-05-2011 03:29:20 | More by mdvatab
Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 446 ratings.