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Black Rat Imperial Stout - Cellar Rats Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Rat Imperial StoutBlack Rat Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

29 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 29
Hads: 94
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 10.18%
Wants: 8
Gots: 14 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Cellar Rats Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: adamette on 12-30-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 29 | Hads: 94
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.06/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours dark brown, a shade from black with a finger of dense light brown foam. Retention is remarkable.

S: Roasted malts, milk chocolate, lactose sweetness, and toffee with light coffee in the background. All fairly faint, though.

T: Sweet lactose and milk chocolate start off with roasted malts in the background. As the beer warms, I get some nuttiness. A bit sweet for me, but not bad.

M: Thick mouthfeel with creamy carbonation.

O: A bit too much lactose sweetness and not enough roast and complexity for an imperial stout, not quite smooth enough for a milk stout. Not really the bests of both worlds, but not bad.

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Photo of Omnium
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours out head, all head, nothing but head, had to pour this in SIX tries. After the stupid amount of foamy tan head settled down you're left with a ruby black beer.
S - Aroma is very good, lots of chocolate, a little coffee, big sweet roasted malt, a little alcohol at the end.
T - Tastes of sweet dark dried fruit, cherries, apricot, toasted caramel, dark chocolate. Definitely boozy. Its very fizzy from over-carbonation .
M - Thick, sticky, boozy.
O - I'm pissed at how much time i had to wait to drink this beer from over-carbonation. I liked the aroma, but the taste was too much sweet booze.

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Photo of biglite351
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Orange around the edges with an extremely tall tight tan head

S - Very mild roasted malts and a nut like smell. Hint of dark chocolate

T - Roasted malts and a nice nuttiness with a creamy chocolate finish

M - Medium thickness and coating. Major tingle in throat

O - Luke warm. Quite close to being very good, but just a little short

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Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Continuing to clean out the back of the fridge, we find this fine-looking extra from fiver29. A new brewery for me. 12 oz. bottle with, yes, rat-themed artwork. Well. I guess all the better ideas were taken.

The pour is black & the carbonation is enthusiastic. Nose is very milkweed with plenty of coffee/roast. Pretty routine.

Black Rat Imperial Stout hits the bulls-eye of the milk stout style. Roast, malts, lactose, touch of chocolate, creamy, easy to sip.

Absolutely nothing distinguishing about the beer. Good representation of the style, pretty good beer, but nothing to separate it from the pack.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

No bottling date, but it's a Russian Imperial, so no loss for me. My dad picked up a four pack of this on a whim while we were in Cleveland last week. I know this site and probably the brewery consider it a milk stout, but I don't think it's like one at all.

Appearance: Pours black with some ruby tinges to it. Half a finger of a light tan head on it. Little lacing.

Smell: More roastiness than anything. Not really getting any dark fruits or chocolate, and only a little coffee. Smells like an average Russian Imperial.

Taste/feel: But the taste is a different story... yep, a big ol' Imperial Stout. First thing I notice is the feel, and I'm impressed. Full body with a slight prickly carbonation working itself through. Very nice. For the taste, it's a bit interesting. Deep roastiness like I'd expect, but then there's a lingering roasty nuttiness on my tongue on the finish that I really enjoy. Despite the ABV and style, I don't get the normally to-be-expected dark fruit, or, to a lesser extent, soy sauce kinda flavors in this beer. It's not huge on depth of flavor, but it's really enjoyable, too drinkable for the style (ABV can't be tasted or felt), and a beer I'd recommend.

Dark roasted malts, char, and roasted cashews are the dominant flavors I pick up. Maybe some coffee and chocolate in the background, but it doesn't have the depth many of the style have. At the same time, it also (dangerously) lacks the warmth or alcohol flavor many do as well. Interesting RIS, and an unexpectedly enjoyable one as well. I was teetering between a 3.75 and 4 overall rating, but went up just because it's coming from a brewery I hadn't ever heard of.

SNAP EDIT: I'm drinking my last bottle of this beer, and I've decided that this beer is actually a bit of a letdown. I'm bringing the taste and overall rating down from 4's to 3.5's, because this beer is actually quite a lot sweeter than I even remember it being. Sweet, sweet, sweet and almost like a completely different beer for some reason. Still has that great roast aftertaste, but it's like there was half a cup of sugar poured into this bottle. Not sure why it's tasting so different, but man this is a letdown.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours jet black with a tan head. In the aroma, coffee, and notes of alcohol. In the taste, A small bitterness with some coffee presence. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry coffee and note of alcohol in the aftertaste. Nothing really exciting, decent, but kind of run of the mill.

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Photo of Morey
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no freshness date.

Pours a very dark brown color (almost black). The head stood about one finger tall following a medium pour, but has since settled to a pretty thin layer of light brown colored foam. Decent head retention, but almost all of it makes it's way back into the beer after a bit.

The aroma was much bolder immediately after the poor with hints of chocolate, coffee, and roasted barley, but it's mellowed some, and is actually pretty clean at this point.

The malts hit you first, but there's a pretty significant sweetness that sweeps over the palate shortly after. I'm getting a bit of chocolate towards the middle with a hint of cola in there as well. There's just a touch of bitterness that surfaces near the back end, but the sweetness and chocolate dominate the finish.

Medium bodied (which is thin for a RIS) with moderate to light carbonation.

I've heard that this is actually a milk stout? It definitely taste like a milk stout that's for sure.

Morey's Bottom Line: If I was rating this as a Milk Stout, I would have probably given it a higher score, but as a RIS, it falls a bit short for me. Still a good beer, but it's on the sweet side.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bottle into a tulip glass

A- Poured black with a two finger frothy mocha head that left no lace

S- Big milk chocolate aroma, some grains

T- Licorice notes up front, coffee in the middle, and milk chocolate on the finish. Some sweet cracker notes. Big coffee like bitterness to the beer. Each sip tastes a little different, some good flavors, but it does not quite blend together. Alcohol presence is there in the taste, not overpowering though.

M- Soft on the front, more highly carbonated through the middle of the tongue and finish, some warming sensation

O- Definitely glad to see a small local brewery bottle a unique beer like an Imperial Milk Stout. It started out more bitter than sweet though, although it eventually became very sweet. The aroma smelled like a milt stout but the taste had a lot of licorice and bitter coffee notes.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black Rat Imperial Stout
Cellar Rats Brewery
Style: Milk / Sweet Stout
ABV: 9.20 %

LOOK: Dark brown bordering on black. Light brown foam looking very dark and beckons everything roasted and oily. Leaves a nice ring of lace as the sips go by.

SMELL: Roasted malt, milk chocolate, espresso coffee. You can call me the undertaker because I am digging this nose.

TASTE: Sweet malts, big time milk chocolate flavor, lactose sugar, cream, coffee (in a mocha sense) and little to no bitterness. As there is very little bitterness from hops or the roast, the beer ends up being pretty sweet. For a sweet stout its about on point but it does cloy.

FEEL: Full bodied, well carbonated, a bit slick. Smooth overall feel and very easy to imbibe in.

OVERALL: Not a bad stout from Cellar Rats. Cloying sweetness, but the flavor is pretty solid otherwise. Perhaps a few spare hops in the brew kettle and we'd have a world class stout on our hands.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola color with a dark one finger khaki colored head. The head stays around and leaves decent lace on the glass. The aroma is of coffee at the start and then a big milk chocolate aroma with hints of cream at the end. The taste follows suit with a big milk chocolate taste up front before giving way to a coffee and cream like back end. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and seemed to be a little off. Overall it was a very good beer.

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Photo of Bung
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Picked up in Columbus OH. Descently thick looking black pour. Just a ring of cream colored bubbles.

Aroma, roast malt, dark chocolate, quite a bit of mocha latte. Some cocoa.

Taste, quite a bit of strong flavors. Milk sugar, milk chocolate up front. Some roast malt, solid dose of coffee. Kind of tastes like one if those Starbucks coffee drinks.

A little thin, but it drinks quite easy. Fairly active carbonation helps the lighter feel as well. Maybe just a tad sweet.
Actually reminded me a bit of Williamsburg Alewirks Coffeehouse.
Worth trying one.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 fl oz bottle
Served in a snifter

L - This beer pours black with a mountain of tan head.

S - I get lactose. It is very sweet smelling with some chocolate.

T - It is sugary sweet. I get coffee and cream.

F - Medium

O - It is a little too sweet. The alcohol is well hidden. It is a good beer but definitely on the sweet side.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in trade from barak316, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a solid black with a small creamy tan head that shows some retention. Smells of milk chocolate, lactose, coffee, and roasted grains. The bottle says Imperial stout, but this smells like a sweet stout. Taste is creamy with milk chocolate and caramel and bits of roast and coffee. Tastes like a sweet stout as well. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet coffee milk kind of mouthfeel. This is a nice milk stout that doesn't show one bit of its 9.2% abv.

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Photo of RuckusDu
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wasn't going to review this but it is delicious. 12oz bottle to New Belgium globe. Thin half finger head of mocha color. Body is black but can be seen through at about 6mm. Some good amber color. Smell is a lot of licorice and molasses. Not my favorite. Flavor is where this wins me over. Wonderful chocolate, licorice (but much less), and a little caramel. Mouth feel is full and balanced carbonation.

A great stout that I would like to enjoy again sometime. Flavor is amazing and goes down well.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was a bit surprised at how good this was. It may be one of Cellar Rats' best yet.

It pours black with loads of lace. The aroma is big and roasty. Similarly, the taste is malt, sweet, and roasty, but mildly so in all respects. It does not seem boozy in any way, but it is. It also has a thin, mellow character - not harsh or biting in any way. The finish is sweet.

Overall, this is a very good, easy drinking imperial stout. It may not have the huge over the top mountains of taste that some do. It is a civilized imperial. More of a united nations than an imperialist take over.

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Photo of imaguitargod
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a 1.5 finger head, bone white in color and the beer is black as night. Lives up to the Black Rat namesake. Slight malt sweetness but big roasted malt taste up front. Smooth to drink and that slight sweetness flows in and out of all the flavors. Hint of hop bitterness in the middle.

There is a little burnt aftertaste but nothing really distracting. Could be that the beer needs time to mellow for another month. Tasty enough that a whole growler was purchased!

~Jonathan Passow

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Photo of ONUMello
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: A very dark brown with a thin head that quickly dissipates. A fair amount of carbonation.
S: Very aromatic; espresso, roasted malt, dark chocolate and a hint of hops.
T: Predominantly dark chocolate but background notes of cream and coffee. A touch on the sweet side but has a richness that balances the sweetness. Medium finish and no discernible heat from the 9.2% abv.
M: Medium to full bodied, smooth as can be yet with a nice kick from the carbonation. Pleasant on the tongue.
O: A well made beer from a brewery only a few miles from me. It's attached to a winery that was there first and to be honest their beers may be better than their wines. I have not tried this on tap but agree with others that in bottle it shows more like a milk stout as listed here than an imperial stout as the bottle says. That being said, it certainly is tasty.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1467th Review on BA
Bottle to Great Lakes Snifter

No bottle date
CA Gang Bang BIF

App- Pours out a dark brown with a good density. A small 1/2 finger brown head was there and gone. A few good dots of cling.

Smell- Chocolate milk with malts and sweetness kicked up and a smattering of booze on the nose. Quite enjoyable and lush.

Taste- Let's see? Booze, chocolate, creme, malts and blend. Voila! This beer. A little one dimensional but creamy and flavorful and a hidden ABV. Lush and rich.

Mouth- A solid medium body with a medium creamy carbonation. Residual chocolate and a little bit of cream.

Drink- I really enjoyed this. 1 of our 2 bottles was infected but the one I had tasted great. Smooth, rich and quite good.

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Photo of superspak
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in late 2011. Pours pitch black color with a fluffy 2-3 finger dark khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice foamy lacing on the glass, with a lot of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of coffee, roasted malt, caramel, milk chocolate, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, and light fruitiness. Nice and well balanced aromas with good complexity. Taste of coffee, roasted malt, milk chocolate, toffee, toast, nuttiness, and light fruitiness. Fair amount of coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, milk chocolate, roasted malt, toffee, toast, and light fruitiness on the finish for a good bit. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Very smooth to sip on. Overall this is an excellent imperial milk stout! Great balance of roasted and sweet flavors, with good complexity; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyable stuff.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a pitch black color with a nice brown head. Head is a thick layer of foam, that doesn't go any where and leaves pretty thick lacing.

S- I'm picking up roasted malts, bakers chocolate, and light char. Nothing over powering.

T- Taste is really solid too. Char, bitter chocolate, roasted malts and a bit of sweetness that I can't quite figure out what it is, but I like it.

M- Full in body and low carbonation.

O- Wow this is pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler at World Wine & Liquor in Mentor, Ohio. This batch is up around 9.2%.

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a jet black, with no light getting through anywhere. Slow rising light mocha head of about two fingers that gently drops to a mere wisp of foam. Some light lacing.

Aromas of light cocoa, coffee, slight roast. Aroma is very subdued. Not overwhelming.

Flavors of sweet malt, roast malt, some anise, light cocoa and coffee. Finish is medium with roasted malt and sweet cocoa in the fade.

Mouthfeel is full, chewy, mouthcoating roastiness.

Overall very drinkable, nice RIS. Alcohol doesn't really come through, very dangerous brew.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark tan head forming thick, fine even speckled lacing with a pitch black body absorbing all of the visible light. Aroma has dark chocolate/mild coffee accents from the dark roasted malts, mild fruitiness with herbal hops in the backend. Flavor has creamy dark chocolate notes almost like a big milk stout caliber creamy sweetness. I like the red rat on the label with the soviet hammer and sickle on it's side. "The Black Rat is a juggernaut of a beer. This imperial, milk stout is big and full of flavor and may remind you of an Irish coffee with lots of cream and sugar. This monster beer clocks in at 9.2% A.B.V. It truly is bitter sweet and velvety smooth." Yep I knew this was too laden with milk sugar not to be a sweet stout, it's imperial and has some serious alcohol that I can't even taste. Big smooth mouthfeel big body with big creamy textures, even carbonation mellow smooth big beer at it's best for a small brewer in Ohio. Drinkability overall it's one and done for me the roasted malts get hidden by big layers of fruitiness and big layers of lactose infused sweetness, which makes it lack some much needed balance. I may get diabetes if I drink too much of this but for an enjoyable imperial stout experience this is good up there with the new Southern Tier 2X Imperial Milk Stout.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

late find from a box from Jason (dakkon54).

This thing gushed like crazy. I actually gav eup and poured off about an inch of head containing huge bubbles. Body is pitch black.

Smells like dark roasted coffee with a bit of caramel creamer. Balance of coffee, bitter malt, thick cream, and a bit of caramel.

Oooo, now this is better than I remember. It wants so badly to have the thick presence of Founders Imperial Stout (its got the same type of thick roasty leathery malt), but just subdued a bit. what differentiates it from FIS is the flavors. Its much lighter, slicker, and sweeter. Theres the lactose for a nice smoothness, some caramel notes for flavor, and a somewhat light body to set it up for success.

Sits somewhat light on the mouth, leaving those ever so amazing FIS flavors (in moderation naturally) floating .

Overall, I like it.

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Photo of adamette
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

My 1000th review. Again, this is a live review. Poured from the growler that I bought last Thursday at the brewery. I was motivated to revisit this Stout again as I remembered it, having had it on tap at the brewery some time ago. Cost for the re-fill was $12 plus tax. Poured into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass.

A Great 3 inch medium brown creamy head over an absolute black body. The growler clearly retained the freshness of the beer as I heard a release of air when I took off the cap and the cascading head also suggested that the beer is fresh. Very good look for the style. 4.5

S Dark roast malt of course but also a nice dark chocolate smell to accompany it. I do not get a sense of the 8.7% ABV that was listed above the bar at the brewery. It is well hidden. 4.5

T/M Dark chocolate washes over me followed by a great, dark deep roast malt with a thick, syrupy feel that is not only appropriate to the style but is one that I really like. The beer commands your attention and satisfies with its big, heavy tastes and feel. 4.5

D This is not a highly drinkable style or a drinkable version of the style. It is meant to be savored and drank slowly in my opinion. I certainly enjoyed it but I will only be having one or two of them (I need to try to work through most or all of the growler in the next 24 hours of course!). 3.0

Notes: Glad that I picked this one up in the growler last week. Cellar Rats Field Rat Wheat continues to be my favorite from the brewery but that and this huge Imperial Stout are such different styles that comparisons fall short. This beer stands on its own as a fine Imperial Stout.

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Photo of BB1313
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black, barely any light getting into this one. Off-white head which fades, nice retention and decent lacing. Lots of roasty characteristics up front. There's a nice touch of smoke and milk chocolate. The flavors are pretty sweet. Irish coffee in the mix with lots of cream and sugar, just how Cellar Rats described it. Finishes bittersweet, with an expresso aftertaste. Body is extremely fluffy, smooth and creamy, but light and not heavy or chewy. It would be hard to drink more than one due to the sweetness, but it's pretty tasty and has alot going for it.

I really like the Irish coffee, cream and sugar vibe. This is such a nice stout, sweet, but it's supposed to be. Great unique take on the style. Recommended.

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Black Rat Imperial Stout from Cellar Rats Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.