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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.

442 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 442
Reviews: 389
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 27.06%
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 442 | Reviews: 389 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yeahnatenelson


3.93/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 2008; capped, not corked.

Appearance -- Pours a very dark oily brown with a finger of stiff creamy mocha head. It looks a bit thinner than the average American interpretation, but whatever. Handsome.

Smell -- The aroma is dominated by dark chocolate, roast char, raisin and tart cherries. Lots of vinous character, almost to the point of seeming infected, or least what I usually attribute this level of dark fruit character to in an RIS. However, smells quite good on the whole.

Taste -- Significant improvement from the nose. Big roast malt character, dark chocolate cherry bonbon, chocolate-covered raisin, hint of smoke and char. Again, very vinous and fruity in the tradition of the proper English style. Lingering flavor of dark chocolate, and berry skin.

Mouthfeel -- Feels full and creamy, almost velvety. Milder carbonation really makes this feel nice.

Overall -- Glad I picked this one up. a year before this I had a 2003 corked bottle (as pictured) and it was total garbage: soured, flat, and definitely 'corked'. If you're interested in trying this, do yourself a favor and hunt down a capped bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2011 01:42:27 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of herman77


4.43/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*2008 bottle, 9%abv

A: Black with a huge thick tan head. Looks extremely creamy, almost like Guinness. Great retention and great lacing.

S: Sour, tart dark cherries with hints of roasted malt and dark coco powder. More than anything, the sour tartness dominates.

T: A very nice mix of classic RIS qualities (dark chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malt and coffee) with light sour/tart dark cherries. It doesn't seem like a good mix, but it actually goes extremely well together. As it warms, it gets even tastier! More dark fruits like dates, prunes and black cherries come out more. Slight tartness mixed with slightly bitter roasted malt flavors linger in the aftertaste.

M: Medium to fuller body, smooth and soft carbonation. Nice.

O: Very well done. Not sure what age has done to this, but if anything it has done it well. Its almost like a mix between a RIS and a wild or sour ale. Worth seeking out, or at least this vintage is.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 00:23:49 | More by herman77
Photo of MattyG85


4.35/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 9.3 oz. bottle into a snifter glass. 2008 bottle.

Appearance: Pours very dark and black. Nice four fingers of deep tan head which slowly fades into a thin layer. Lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A big aroma of sour dark cherries up front is the dominate smell. Some hints of dark fruits including raisins and plums. Also some chocolate, Brett, and dark roasted malts. Smells a lot more like a wild ale than a imperial stout. Very interesting.

Taste: Like the smell, a big taste of tart and sour cherries with hints of dark raisins and plums. A subtle burnt roasted malt presence emerges towards the finish with hints of chocolate. Finishes somewhat dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a lower level of carbonation. Tart with a dry finish. Alcohol is hidden fairly well.

Overall: Probably the wildest version of a stout I've had. Is this really a stout or an American Wild Ale? I happen to like sour beers so I like the flavor going on here.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 07:18:35 | More by MattyG85
Photo of maximum12


1.35/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to my lovely wife for always buying me a few bottles I'd never have purchased myself over the holidays; it's a lovely surprise, since I never know what will show up in the "beer bag". 11.2 oz. bottle, 2003 vintage. Thanks hon!

Pour is dead flat black that could be used as a backdrop to the stars. Minimal carbonation, as might be expected after 8 years. Smell is nothing like expected: sherry. Dark fruits. Good at first, but then morphs into a bit of sourness. Oh oh.

Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout is fouled by bitter, dry dark fruits that eat up whatever else is allegedly in the brew. Malts briefly rise out of the slime & die quickly, their lungs filled with bile. Impossible to have more than a few sips of this.

To the drain. Glancing through the reviews, it looks like the 2003 was not a good year for this brew. Blech. Love to try it again, but I'm sure I won't if I had to pay for it.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 02:47:13 | More by maximum12
Photo of gfreed


3.88/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After you tear off the foil wrapping from the neck, ensure a successful completion of the project by *having a corkscrew on hand* because that's the only way you'll get the cork out of the bottle. Once you pull the cork, expect an aroma full of sherry and dried fruit, mostly cherries and prunes. You'll get no head from this beer. It's noticeably thick and carbonationless, and the ABV is not afraid to smack you after three or four sips (emphasis on *sips*). Sherry is the dominant flavor, not to mention (once again) the dried fruit. Finishes bitter and dry. It's quite good but in small amounts. Split the bottle with a friend. It's a fine accompaniment to a big bag of caramel corn.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 20:46:34 | More by gfreed
Photo of Thickfreakness

New York

1.93/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2008 vintage

A- Pours near pitch black into my Ithaca Tulip glass. Three fingers of thick and sticky foam float upon this brew! Tons and tons of soapy lacing all over the glass! To dark to see if any carbonation is flowing.

S- Sour cherry and chocolate... those notes dominate over anything else! A touch of funk and barnyard? Kinda unusual for an Imperial Stout. What roasted notes that there are, are over powered by the sour cherry! Kinda like a one note guitar solo...

T- Sour cherries covered with bitter chocolate! That's really it... nothing else to even talk about. Not much coffee, some burnt roasted malts, no hops... just sour cocoa! This is damn close to a drain pour! No sign of the 9% so thats a good thing I guess...

M- I wish I could light a match in my mouth and have it go on fire just so that this flavor goes away! This is pretty damn awful!!! The sour and chocolate get a touch better as it comes to room temp, but it's still like having a mouthful of chocolate covered sour patch kids in your mouth!!!

O- I was so excited when I saw a Russian Imperial Stout from England (the country that started it all)... but I gotta say... this is a real let down! Too much nasty sour and bitter chocolate. That's all is has... no other notes or taste... just sour! Sour should never dominate in a RIS... Don't bother... Yuck!

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2011 02:05:47 | More by Thickfreakness
Photo of amphion1065


4.1/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An 11.2 oz. corked bottle from 1999, purchased at Lord Hobo. Poured into a tulip. Reviewed from notes.

The pour is pure black, with absolutely no head. Though the appearance was rather unremarkable, I was pretty shocked at the lack of sediment coming out of this bottle. Barely any bits of suspended yeast in my glass, and almost nothing left behind in the bottle itself.

The smell is pretty wonderful. Lots of rich dark chocolate and raisins. For the most part, the dark fruit flavors have subsided and left a lot of deep, chocolate malt behind. A slight note of oxidation, but nothing too noticeable.

The taste is very nice, if not quite equal to the smell. There is a pronounced soy sauce element to this beer - not totally surprising given its age, but it does detract from the sweetness. Dark fruits and chocolate are present, but they seem a little muted. The aftertaste is very nice though, with those raisins shining through. Absolutely no alcohol burn.

Little to no carbonation, but the beer itself is quite thick. Smooth like velvet and rich like syrup, this is pretty easy to drink.

This beer has held up quite well, in no small part to the conditions under which it was cellared. Though I've heard that a few bottles from this era are undrinkable now, I'm happy to have lucked out.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 22:41:49 | More by amphion1065
Photo of Gosox8787

New Hampshire

2.15/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Presentation: 2003 corked bottle poured into a Smuttynose tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown, almost black and completely flat. Settles into as minimal a lacing as is possible.

Aroma: Tart cherry and pungent raspberries in the nose upfront. Smells more like a sour than a stout for sure. Sherry, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and oxidized red wine are all present too. Very strange. I would definitely not say this is pleasant.

Taste: A slight burst of cherry overpowered by big roasted malt. The roasted malt character is way over the top, like the last couple drops of cold coffee. No sweetness other than the cherries and a touch of banana. Some saltiness in the form of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Actually the saltiness really linger and is a bit overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Absolutely flat, but with some body. I cut it a little slack in the score as this bottle is really old.

Overall, a really interesting and unique stout, but it just fails on some many levels. The cherry fruit notes and the salt notes overpower the malt base and the malt base is burnt with any tempering sweetness. I would not buy again, but I do wonder what a fresh bottle would taste like. I have to imagine it would be better.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 16:53:29 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of plfahey


3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle (2003 vintage) poured into a tulip glass (9/6/11)

Appearance-Pours like engine oil, dark and viscous, and nearly still. Beer is black and opaque, with just the faintest hint of wine-red around the edges when held to the light. There are some tiny brown bubbles, but really no head to speak of.

Aroma-Seductive, vinous aroma, with notes of dark chocolate, port-soaked cherries, slight must from the cork, wood, and charcoal, with a hint of burnt/espresso aroma. There's also a slight toffee/brown sugar sweetness, with notes of raisins and figs, and smooth, warming alcohol. As the beer warms, it gives off even more dark/dried fruit aromas.

Flavor-Tart cherries, molasses, and brown sugar open, with a vinous, port like character to go with them. Some slight wood and bittersweet dark chocolate parade through the midpalate, before being swallowed by bitter, burnt roast flavors, which take over the aftertaste. Finishes dry and slightly astringent from the dark malt and alcohol, with lingering tannic wood, cherry, chocolate, and ash flavors.

Mouthfeel-Medium full to full body with hardly the faintest tickle of carbonation. Alcohol is quite warming on both the tongue and back of the throat, though is smooth and not hot. My one complaint is that the burnt malt character grows on the palate, and becomes a bit acrid.

Good and damn complex, but the finish really takes away from this beer. It smells incredible, but the slightly astringent, burnt finish seriously detracts from my enjoyment of the beverage. It doesn't help that the lack of carbonation allows the burnt flavor/alcohol to sit and grow on the palate. I like it, I just wish I liked it more. For a beer this nuanced, it's a shame that it's knocked down by an overly intense, unbalanced finish.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 05:21:54 | More by plfahey
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.6/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing an English bottle of this beer that a colleague brought back from London. I've had other bottles of this before that were purchased in the States, but I've never bothered to review it because I kept thinking I'd gotten a bad or old bottle. One was most definitely leaking, and the others always seemed sour- and not necessarily in a good way. I was always intrigued by the history of this beer and so kept giving it a go with no success. This bottle is an entirely different story and goes a long way toward showing me what all the fuss is about. Pours black with brown highlights and little head. Smells quite complex. Rich, smokey, a trifle tart, woody, roasted grains, stewed fruit, and chocolate notes. The taste has even more depths to plumb. Bitter, racey, slightly funky, nice deep chocolate and coffee flavors, and a port wine finish. The sourness is still here, but so well integrated and complementary to the other flavors you know it belongs- you don't think "spoiled", you think "wow". Smooth and warming in the mouth, this is a great beer- I just wish every bottle was this good.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 21:11:52 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.35/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a jet black hole body with a thick sticky light tan head that last and last. There is no sign of carbonation in there.

S- The flanders red tartness has a cherry quality to it and some smoke notes to the dry black charred grain in the finish. The black grain is mellowed in the finish aswell.

T- The slight tart sour flavor reminds me of a nice flanders red with some chocolate malt and dry black roasted inky malt soon taking over. There is a slight cinnamon quality to the black malt and a smokey note. The dry finish has a tartness and cherry hint to it with a gentle roasted bitterness that lingers a bit afterwards.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and no real astringency or alcohol noticed.

O- This beer has lots of nice layers but much of the malt flavors are hidden. The flanders tartness, smoke and black roasted grain surprisingly work well together. Even though it was complex it was very nice to drink, and not to heavy as to need a chaser or a spoon.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 20:30:46 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of jondeelee


2.85/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

I found a bottle of the 2003 release at a shop in Boston. As the aging has no doubt affected the brew (this review being written in 2009), this review should be taken with a grain of salt. On the nose, then, this smells of incredibly dark, sugary malts and fruit esters--imagine the richest loaf of banana bread you can, mixed with port aromas.

In the mouth, there's an immediate explosion of dark sugars, the extra-rich banana bread/dark fruit esters aroma translating almost exactly into flavor. Another comparison might be caramelized turbinado sugar and blackstrap molasses. Deep caramels, toffees, and aged port flavors are also present, overlaying a layer of burnt chocolate malt that starts off far more subtle than would be expected, but grows quickly and becomes the dominant flavor in the aftertaste. My bottle was sadly bereft of carbonation--whether due to storage or manufacturing, I don't know--leaving me with a liquid so viscous and thick that I almost had sensation of a beer-flavored mouthful of light olive oil.

Despite these wonderful flavors, I was disappointed with the beer in the end. Some have said that the American release has a distinct soy sauce flavor. While I didn't find this to be true with mine, I did feel at times as if I were drinking maple syrup that had slightly fermented, leaving a nasty sugary/yeasty combo on my tongue. Like many of the reviewers below, I wonder whether the corked bottle somehow negatively affected the outcome. I would gladly try this brew if it were fresh, or came with a (metal) crown cap, as I think this stout *could* be great. But in its current condition--that is, until I can find a better bottle to review--I can't recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 20:32:46 | More by jondeelee
Photo of ckollias


2.78/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this 11.2oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Bottle comes with a gray wrapper and a cork with 2003 imprinted on it. Busted the cork into pieces with my wine opener trying to get this open spewing pieces of cork into the bottle and into my brew. Bad Start. Beer pours a pitch black with minimal head, and I mean minimal head.

S: Strong alcoholic syrupy aroma combined with a spicy caramel smell.

T: Dark syrupy ale with a roasted malt bitterness. Strong chocolate and coffee overtones, with a strong malt background.

M: Very strong and boozy. Heavy body and minimal carbonation

O: Really boozer beer with minimal carbonation. A definite sipper at 9% abv. Not really impressed with this beer – maybe it needed to sit for another 8 years.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2011 03:37:02 | More by ckollias
Photo of davey101


2.4/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

1999 vintage. 11.2 oz corked bottle into an oversized wine glass. I purchased this after the beer guy said he used it to marinade kebobs. I like kebobs! How hard can it be to drink by itself?

A - Dark black body with red tints. Still. I had some mocha bubbles upon a vigorous pour but that didn't last long. There's some legs and small bubbly lacing.

S - Pungent. Really intense roasted malts, and then tons of savory flavors. Soy sauce, worchestire sauce, steak, meat, kebobs, and burnt meat. Slight molasses sweetness, but hugely savory.

T - I sat here for a few minutes before I gained the courage to take a second sip. Its just so intense and savory. Like liquified steak that was marinating in worchestire sauce for 12 years. Salty, some sweet roasty malts, then BAM....meat. zero carbonation.

O - This is best saved for culinary applications at this point. Its just so intense and undrinkable. I guess its a cool history lesson on how RIS's of the past really tasted.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 05:18:08 | More by davey101
Photo of baconsausage


1.78/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Not sure how I should review this beer, I have not ever had it before, and I feel that this should have been consumed sooner(2003 bottle), or cellared for eternity. Pours a tarry still black and smells of burnt sherry and alcohol. Drinking this is like drinking a salt licorice and baking cocoa, leather soaked glass of sherry that is reminiscent of tamari. Thin in the mouth with an unpleasant lingering bitterness. Curious how other vintages taste, but not that curious.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 20:12:29 | More by baconsausage
Photo of emmasdad


3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks very much to Ken for bringing this one for a tasting a while back. Poured a pitch black color with maybe a finger of loose brown head. Tart on the nose, with aromas of dark fruit, chocolate and leather. On the palate, tart and medium bodied, with flavors of sherry, roasted malt, leather and chocolate.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2011 22:20:08 | More by emmasdad
Photo of emerge077


3.88/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, (capped not corked) re-review. Seeing several positive reviews of this newer vintage made me curious enough to try it for comparison. Served at 50º cellar temp into a stemmed wine goblet.

Looks fantastic, three fingers width of tan mocha foam, creamy surface texture, and copious lacing. Floating island of foam in the center. Skim never disappears, and the sticky lacing coats the glass. Doesn't even look like the same beer as the older corked bottles.

Muted roasty aroma, notes of dry musty leather. A bit of dried berry and damp wood that suggests a Flanders Oud Bruin.

Roasty, tangy flavor, carob, coffee, chocolate. Sea salt chocolate caramels. Very viscous and palate coating. Bare hint of Brett yeast adds a leathery quality. Very rich, dry and slightly bitter, not sweet. Luckily no off flavors of soy, cardboard, or oxidation as was prevalent in the earlier corked vintages. Actually looking forward to drinking the rest of this...


12-26-2007 review #500. B/3.6
2001 bottle smuggled from Kansas City in my luggage.

The bottle and label remind me of some turn-of-the century esoteric "wonder tonic". Pours pitch black, darker than molasses. Zero head, little to no carbonation, and oily in texture and appearance.

Familiar aroma of musty, rich dark fruit, like black cherry soaking in port casks.

Strong resemblance to a blending of De Dolle Oerbier & Special Export Stout. Salty and fudgy, like chocolate yogurt covered pretzels. Carob and dried black cherry. There is a sour, tangy note, along with the salty/spicy, almost like olive brine, which is sure to make the less intrepid shudder. Beef jerky? Really at a loss for words at this point.

It becomes more earthy and medicinal over time, developing clay and soy notes, slowing the sips down considerably. Alcohol starts to really burn through after half an hour.

More than a little strange and left of center. It caught me off guard at first, and honestly became a little difficult to finish. However, it exists as a unique historical interpretation, and seems to be authentic in that aspect. Maybe this is what the Czars were sipping back in the day. Who knows...but it's certainly worth a try to the more adventurous seekers out there.


Edit: 2000 vintage tasting notes

Again, it pours completely still. Leather, raisin, prune aromas. Salty and smoky flavors that verge on jerky territory. Carob and faint cocoa make this tolerable. If you are still reading this, seek out a fresher sample. Sounds like the 2003 is still actually carbonated...i'll pick one up if I see it, and give this one last try.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 22:04:46 | More by emerge077
Photo of nuggetsofnectar


4.03/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back to reviewing after 4 years...starting back with a beer I was thoroughly impressed by ten years ago.

2008 Vintage:

App: Obsidian black with a beautiful burnt tan head (1" with slow pour) that left nice lacing....

Smell: dark malts...musky coffee beans...some vanilla and oak in the background

Taste: Wow a few years have maturated this just enough...initial burst of soy sauce dark but also sweet malts...vanilla with a slight cofffee and sweet cocoa backbone....as it warms the aforementioned is highlighted...quiet nice this

Mouthfeel: somewhat thin but not a deterrent...its got a decent viscosity and nice mellow sweet vibe

Overall..I am sure this offering can be good or bad pending the year...I picked a winner....it truly was a nice sipper

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 00:50:32 | More by nuggetsofnectar
Photo of KarlHungus


1.63/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This beer's physical appearance resembles that of a tawny port. The is absolutely no head. The aroma is sour and tart...almost gueuze like, but with a hint of roasted malt. The taste is of sour cardboard. Simply awful. The mouthfeel is thin for an imperial stout. Overall, this beer is a drain pour. In fact I disliked the taste so much that I had to force myself to take a second sip. I would not suggest this beer to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 00:38:46 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of Wowcoolman


4.4/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed in '08, poured into a snifter. Purchased from K&L Wines in Hollywood on a strong recommendation from their beer man- I'm glad I listened, thanks!
A- Dark, with an aggressive head (temp of beer was 55-60 degrees)
S- Dark chocolate, licorice, roasted nuts, slight forest
T- Wonderful and balanced. A mix of bitter-sweet chocolate, roasted malt, butterscotch, alcohol, and caramel.
M- Full, rich, creamy, and buttery in the finish.
D- A sipper that disappeared quite quickly. A model Russian Stout.

Note- This beer has a diminished rating because too many bottles sampled were aged too long. Get an '08 and serve it at a proper temperature. 9.3 ounces only, and every single one is intense.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 05:35:07 | More by Wowcoolman
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 03:07:23 | More by puboflyons
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.4/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite a rich vinous roast for a classic stout framed as the founder of the style.

Presentation: 33 cl brown capped bottle. Old fashion, antique-like emblem around a crown and the name of the brew. Side notes show several award, brewing license (East Sussex with Estonian supervision), and surrounding the seal there is a long narrative going over the historic background, and tradition. Notes vintage 2008 and 9% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Black pour, with a nice looking 1/3" ecru head, creamy with medium to low retention, nice surface memory and rich wave of lacing.

S - Nose is stimulatingly sour, with port like notes, fruity, and with a malt undercurrent.

T - Hmm, taste has a characteristic roasted sourness that is quite rich. Figs, prunes, roasted malt... Compact and delightful around a vinous sense with touches of cocoa and coffee that is memorable.

M - Full body, very creamy with a nice bitter finish.

D - Great sipper, nice and pleasing in its complexity.

Notes: Allure of the classic aside, or the claim to set a standard for the style for that matter, this is quite the brew. I've have had it before, in some of those corked bottles a while back, and while different vintages this is about right in tune with most of my early memories. The distinct sour and port notes may not be up everybody's alley, both for a brew and for something expected of the style actually. But if one picks up a liking for that range this is quite the brew. Reminds me a bit of how De Molen picked up a classic RIS with their early versions of the Rasputin. While I remember older vintages likable but pretty flat and somewhat thin, this one is not only sturdy on the mouthfeel but also on the appearance.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 15:51:19 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Vintage 1999.

The cork pulled without a whisp and the beer poured completely flat. Oily black with zero head or lace.

Aromatics lead off with vineous char, double-black soy sauce, salted bakers chocolate, black cherries, and sherry. Quite wine-like with a fruity, tart promise and a hint of booze.

Medium bodied with a slick, slippery mouthfeel. Flat and a bit tacky.

Burnt malt, black chocolate, and coffee-rubbed figs start the palate. Shades of red wine, soy sauce, and applewood smoke follow through.

Finishes with lingering smoke, soy, and boozy char.

What a unique beer. The soy sauce character is a bit much and the beer being flat detracts quite a bit. Otherwise the intense smoke and vineous character add quite a complexity.
Just too damn bad it was flat, otherwise it would have been much more enjoyable.
A fun experience though for 12 year old beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 01:38:24 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of biglite351


1.35/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Honesty did not realize that this was a dated bottle. I simply never had it before so I grabbed it. It is dated 2003 so I have high hopes for it. I had a 2004 of a different brew about a year ago and loved it, this is now 2 years older.

A - beautiful blackness with zero red around the edges. Very little foam at all, just a touch of dark brown.

S - prunes and vinegar, no longer looking forward to taking a sip...

T - old prunes pickled in vinegar.

M - don't really know, one sip and dump! But my tongue is tingling so that is something.

D - potentially never again no matter what year!

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2011 01:59:23 | More by biglite351
Photo of mntlover


3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2008

Pours a oil black no light through this baby with a big fluffy dark chocolate head that falls to a cap and laces well. Wonderful looking brew.

Aroma is roasted malts, some nice woody notes almost like wine barrel aroma I am picking up, or is it just a touch of sherry. Some dark fruity notes mixed with chocolate with hints of cherries also present. The wine notes or what ever it is adds something nice that is unusual but enjoyable.

Taste is roasted malts light coffee some sweet chocolate all that falls away pretty quickly to what i was smelling. Alcohol notes wine sherry like, or maybe its just the cherries that I am picking up. Just seems not to go well with the roasted malts sure smells nice though.

Mouthfeel is nice full carbonation just a little to much for my tastes but overall nice.

Drinkability is ok defiantly worth a try just seems not to blend well wine like flavors with roastiness.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2011 13:14:18 | More by mntlover
Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
78 out of 100 based on 442 ratings.