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Barbapapa Imperial Russian Stout - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Barbapapa Imperial Russian StoutBarbapapa Imperial Russian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

76 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 76
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 6.99%

Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: DomingoOrtiz on 12-09-2013)
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 17 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Scotchboy


4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Stoked to try this one, heard nothing but great things...split into tulips...

A: Awesome, ominous used-motor-oil pour yields a body that sucks the light out of the room. Seriously. Cap and lacing are dark enough and adequate.

S: Huge depth of barley character for a straight-up RIS. The black patent malt and deep, smoky roastiness is off the charts. Beneath that lies notes of dark fruits, leafy hops, espresso and dark chocolate.

T: More of the same, huge amounts of roasted barley, char, dark chocolate, black cherry, molasses, and anise.

MF: What can I say here, just a textbook example of a malty RIS that hides its ABV well. Thick, syrupy, sludgy, sticky, with low carbonation.

O: Just an awesome un-barreled RIS. Thanks so much Adam!

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 15:39:40 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of BarryMFBurton


4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in December 2013, four months before the date of this tasting.

Pours an intimidating viscous black with almost no head. Dark, fruity aromas waft up from the glass in waves of deep fig, raisin, molasses, cigar smoke, and chalk. Big imperial palate with a boozy oak char and tobacco, a bitter and uniquely herbal blend that rises with some distinct notes of anise, blackcurrant, hickory smoke, cooked mushroom, and catty hops. Lots of nuance - very sippable. Finishes a tad chalky, with some dry smoke. Moderate viscosity, thinner than normal, with little carbonation. This beer focuses on some of the flavors and aromas that are usually more subtle in other stouts, so it's an interesting drink - and an enjoyable one, too.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 02:45:47 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of JamesStreet


4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter

A - Thick black pour with a slight brownish-tan head. Real "clunky" pour. Can already tell this will be a weighty beast. Minimal lace.

S - Dark chocolate, raisin, date, some roastiness

T - Some of the chocolate comes through. A bit of cane syrup comes from the thick, sludgy sip. Some molasses with a little bit of the darker fruit hitting the back of the tongue. Alcohol is well hidden and pretty much lacks any hop presence at all.

M - Very viscous, syrupy mouthfeel. Medium to heavy on the palette. Light on the carbonation. Not quite a cough syrup feel but almost.

O - a little different from what I was suspecting but in a good way! The thick, syrupy mouthfeel was a pleasant surprise. Really good. Pretty Things rarely disappoints, imo.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2014 01:31:55 | More by JamesStreet
Photo of Hopdaemon39

New York

4.76/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip- pitch black in color, less than a finger of mocha head, no retention or lacing.

Smell is wonderful- unbelievably rich roasted barley notes. There's definitely a chocolate component but it's very very roasty. I love it. Does not give away it's abv.

Deliciously rich. Lots of chocolate, roasted malt, a little toffee. Not much to say except it is very rich but not cloying and has a hell of a roasted malt body.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with minimal carbonation and full bodied obviously. This beer is awesome- deserves to be listed almost the great RI stouts. Get it!

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 03:56:25 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of DrJay


4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black beer with a short mocha cap of fine bubbles. Looks nice -- clingy lacing and good head retention. Big, malty aroma with tons of chocolate, pronounced roast, caramel, and a hint of licorice. Balanced bitterness, more of a bittersweet character with the big malty sweetness, more chocolate and roast, alcohol in the finish, some caramel mid-palate. Heavy body, really creamy carbonation, alcohol warmth, light astringency. This was really enjoyable, rich and satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 21:23:13 | More by DrJay
Photo of zoober911

New York

4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to tulip.

A - Pours black. My girlfriend said 'Wow that's dark!' It's dark. A half finger of tan head.

S - Chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Smells great!

T - Dark chocolate bitterness, deliciousness. For 12% not catching any booziness. Very smooth and drinkable.

M - Smooth mouthfeel. Little to no carbonation. Very pleasing.

O- Definitely one of the better RIS that I have had in recent days. It is very reminiscent of GI's Big John. Almost spot on actually. Would definitely revisit this one, and will definitely put one or two away for a later date. Very well done!

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 03:12:32 | More by zoober911
Photo of Dope


4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Dec 2013 bottle. A month old or so.

A: Pitch-black, used-motor-oil pour. Thick and heavy. Small but super dense medium brown head. Lower carbonation I think. Despite the small head, it sticks around forever. Great retention and thick walls of lacing.

S: Black malt galore. Char and cocoa with hints of anise. Some dark fruits seep in, maybe raisins with black cherries? Toasted, nay burnt toast abound when swirled. I smell different roasted malt characteristics each time I sniff it.

T: More of the same. Strong, strong roasted malt character. Huge, even. Lower carbonation seems to enhance flavors. Huge charred malts, a little smoke and very bitter, bitter chocolate. Dark fruits show up with again, a black cherry-like flavor. Hints of dates, raisins, maybe even grape? That toasty, burnt bread is everywhere. Hints of anise in the aftertaste. Long lingering, mouth coating (due to the syrupy nature) aftertaste of bittersweet chocolate with some char.

M: Super thick, super viscous, heavy heavy heavy. Lower carbonation amplifies the effect. May be one of the thickest mouthfeels I've had. Better than Ten Fidy, IMO.

O: One hell of an RIS. Huge, bold flavors. Ultra thick and viscous body. This one is a doozy. The strength of flavors reminds me of a black tuesday or something similar with an ABV 50% higher. This is one heavy brew. It's almost too much, drinkability does suffer a bit. Definitely a sipper. A slow sipper. I will say, as much as I enjoy it, some barrel aging would cut the thickness a little and add even more complexity. Are you listening, Dan and Martha? Regardless, this is up there with the best RISes I've ever had. On par with Stone IRS, KtG and FIS for unbarreled RIS brews, IMO.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 02:15:23 | More by Dope
Photo of Thickfreakness

New York

4.79/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours like year old motor oil into my Bruery tulip. Huge deep, dark tan head that doesn't so much float atop this pitch black beer, as it does live and grow upon it. Thick and chunky lacing drips, sticks and clings all over the glass. Nice oily legs. I'm not sure I've ever seen an IRS this amazing!
It's key to let this huge brew warm up. Giant notes of dark Belgian chocolate, vanilla, espresso beans and fudge. It has a nice brightness from the citrusy hops with underlying dark dried frruits. Whisps of caramel rolled in cocoa and orange zest. This has amazing depth! Not picking up any of the 12%abv at all.
WOW! just... I need a moment here! LOL! This everything I always hoped I'd find everytime I popped open an Imperial Stout, but almost never do. Rich dark chocolate covered coffee beans, vanilla caramel candy rolled in citrus zest and dark cherry pieces. The alcohol is barely noticeable and that's saying something in a 12% IRS. Just an absolute perfect blend of Citrus, cocoa, coffee and charred malt. It doesn't get much better than this.
So thick you almost feel like you have to chew each sip. It's so creamy in the way it just envelopes your tongue and mouth. Perfection!!!
I'm not sure I've ever had a regular IRS that WOW'd me like this! This is damn near perfection. I'm not even sure if barrel aging this would improve, or take away from what is already damn near a perfect stout. Hat's of to Pretty Things yet again! I need to do a Black & Tan of this and Our Finest Regards!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 04:48:04 | More by Thickfreakness
Photo of Willytee3

New York

4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a 22oz bottle.

A silky viscous pour with a slowly emerging 1 finger foam head made of tiny bubbles that reduce slowly to tiny islands of film across a jet back sea. The film resembles a star filled milky way night sky with decent spotty lace. Dark, dark, java black color with hints of red highlights when held to light.

Smells of complex toasty malts, milk chocolate and espresso, with no burnt malts presence. Hints of green olive, earth and wood smoke. Red licorice with touch of brown sugar sweetness and vanilla.

Tastes of silky dark red fruit with chocolate and espresso smooth malts. Medium bitter chocolate slowly tapers into a dry slightly spicy oak like finish with damp earthy hops. The brew coats the mouth with silky smooth malts and a dry dusty mouth feel that warms up with only a touch of welcoming alcohol.

Overall a silky mouthful of smooth complex malts without a hint of char and a medium to full body balancing an earthy hop presence.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 01:21:11 | More by Willytee3
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$8 for 12 oz at Atwoods, Somerville MA

Opaque no nonsense black with a wet clay color head. Smalls of char and sweet dark roast malt. Dark, dark malt very sweet and very roasty. Plenty of booze. Burnt caramel. A bit too sweet to be balanced the sweetness and booze didn't bother me at first but as this beer warmed up it got a bit cloying.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 22:44:45 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of cbutova


4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at the Dive Bar in Worcester, MA. Reviewed from notes.

A- Midnight sky, jet black body poured from the tap into a goblet. Small tan frothy, foamy head with good retention. Small ring creates a disproportionately large amount of thick lace rings and webs.

S- Pungent bowl of toasty oats with chocolate drizzled all over it comes to mind with the first sniff. Notes of roast malts, cocoa powder, dark coffee beans, cracked cereal grains and decadent malts.

T- Roast malt and grains seem to dominate but the hops come out to play and balance it all out nicely. Earthy and pine hints from those hops. Chocolate bars, cocoa powder, coffee beans and burnt cereal grain hints. Just a roast attack. Slight yeasty raisin fruit character.

MF- Thick bodied with a medium high carbonation. Creamy texture and silky smooth brew to sip on. Slight alcohol warmth and roasty bitterness lingers on the palate after sipping.

One of the better Imperial Stouts I can think of coming out of MA in some time. I was excited to hear of a 12% RIS from Pretty Things and this delivers. Will have to pick up some bottles to drink with friends.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2014 01:25:26 | More by cbutova
Photo of smcolw


3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Near black color (no light shined through). Decent start to the head, but it settles to a thin layer of bubbles. Still, it leaves plenty of ring lace and some webbiness.

Relatively mild aroma of chalky, malty dark chocolate.

Milky chocolate without a lot of sweetness. There's a bit of cream, but the predominate flavor is dark chocolate. There's a bit of cocoa flavor in the swallow and it lasts through the aftertaste. There's a strong alcohol kick to the aftertaste. Semi-sweet. The body is good for the style and the carbonation is low.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 23:32:04 | More by smcolw
Photo of jlindros


4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally a new beer from Pretty Things... and on top of that a style I love, RIS, just in time for a big snow storm. Best time to enjoy a beer like this, right after coming in from snow blowing the driveway, then playing with my son in the snow for a couple hours. I can warm my cold body nicely with this beer.

Pours pretty dark and semi thick, a nice cocoa colored creamy 1/2 finger head that fades at a med pace, Long legs descend slowly and leave a nice lacing, the beer does look thick pitch black oil like with no light getting through.

Nose is pretty nice, loads of bakers chocolate and black malt, a big caramel and fluffy nougat like center, nice biscuity like malted milk ball too, with a big roasty like black malt without a big acrid roast. A hint of alcohol but it's mostly drowned out by loads of malt, and a hint if an earthy hop mixed in.

Taste starts just as expected, waves upon waves of rich thick dark malts, lots of choc to start, bakers choc and thick cocoa, some black malt and toasty flavours, no real roast or acrid flavours. It gets quite rich and chewy even, some oats I think with a nice creamy flavor. Malts also bring some caramel and mild fluffy nougat, rich thick malts get a little syrupy but not much, and carry a little warming booze, nice touch for a warming beer in the frigid winter. It's even a bit fudgy with all the dark malts touch oats and cocoa and a bit of earthy hops. Finish is long and a bit sticky, fair bitterness, lots more cocoa and choc, sticks to every part of my mouth for a long time.

Mouth is heavy and thick, creamy and a bit lush, mild warming booze, nice fluffy carb.

Overall really good, I had high expectations for this and it met them if not surpassed. Great malt flavours without getting too roasty or acrid, big mouth rich and coats the mouth nicely, and booze is hidden very well. I'm going to cellar a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 03:24:27 | More by jlindros
Photo of taez555


4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Talk about an intense beer.

Pours a very thick black body with a small off-white head.

Nose is rich dark chocolate and dark malts.

Taste is right up there in the same place. Rich thick, DID I MENTION REALLY THIICK?, Dark malt and dark chocolate. There is some serious body to this beer. The 12% ABV, although not in your face, is definitely present. This is an intense beer. It's like sipping used motor oil, thick and rich. Absolutely amazing though. RIch dark chocolate, milk chocolate, touches of raisins and figs, fruit and coffee. Wow.

This is one hell of an Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 21:59:14 | More by taez555
Photo of ryan1788a5


4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle pored into a chalice.

A: Motor oily black with a tight, creamy tan head that retains well. Lacing is sticky and raggety.

S: Thick fudge sauce, chcoate truffles. Acrid char, a little woody and smokey. Espresso. Vanilla bean. Hint of green oily hops. Touch of mint. Blackberry and currant dark fruit.

T: Rich and fudgy. Woody char. Coffee roast. Vanilla bean. Berry and currant dark fruit. Oily green hop bitterness. Spicy alcohol. Long, loud finish of heavily roasted coffee beans and fudge.

M: Thick, rich, and creamy body. Not oppressively weighty or sludgy as one might expect. It glides over the tongue with a velvety smooth texture. Warming alcohol.

O: A huge beer with a lot of grace and poise. An absolute steal on the shelf at $7.99. Ready to drink now, don't worry about aging it.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 22:40:33 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of jaycar06

New Hampshire

4.74/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Poured black, thick mocha head, with nice lacing.

S - Roast, coffee, smoke, chocolate and slight alcohol.

T - Same as the smell. Roasted coffee and bitterness, smoke and dark chocolate. Slight alcohol almost no burn for 12%.

M - Thick, lots of body. Right amount of carbonation.

O - A very, very solid offering. I hope this becomes a constant brew because I will definitely buy again. Would love to see how this is with a few months on it.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 22:20:05 | More by jaycar06
Photo of Brewsephus


4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz into Duvel Tulip glass

A- Black as night. Creamy 2 finger tan head. Superfine bubbles.

S-Roast, intense roast. Chocolate, butter, dried figs.

T-Vanilla bean, bakers chocolate, light roast rye bread, some heat from the alcohol, fresh cut grass, banana esters.

M- Full, thick, viscous. Carbonation is Medium plus.

O- A very tasty, bready, black as the devil's soul, Imperial Stout. Nice balance of roast to mouthfeel and alcohol. Doesn't taste 12%. Lots of flavors to explore as this beer warms. Would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 04:52:41 | More by Brewsephus
Barbapapa Imperial Russian Stout from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
94 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.