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Propeller Revolution - Propeller Brewery

Not Rated.
Propeller RevolutionPropeller Revolution

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

64 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 100
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 7
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Propeller Brewery visit their website
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MMansfield on 01-19-2007

This beer was born for greatness. Sent by English brewers via the Baltic Sea to the court of the Czars, Russian Imperial Stout was brewed to very high gravities and allowed to ferment on the long voyage. The result? A dark, strong and bracing brew.

Propeller's version weighs in at a whopping eight percent alcohol content, with a deep, rich, black colour. The taste of alcohol is well masked by the intense hop bitterness, extreme roasted malt and dark fruit notes.

Propeller Brewing Company has brewed and bottled this unfiltered ale each year since 2006, making Propeller the extreme brewing pioneers of Nova Scotia. This seasonal offering is only available at the Propeller Cold Beer Store on Gottingen Street, and select private retailers in Halifax.

Russian Imperial Stout - imbibed by Peter, adored by Catherine and now reclaimed by you, the People. Za Vas!

60 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 100
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK, you got me. That is, not one or two but 3 bottles sent by OKBeer.
In a word, ovaltine chocolate milkshake. And a 5 on that. Great coco aroma, appearance, creamy taste and aftertaste--I mean 14 hours later, I am satisfied on chocolate. Not cloying, but sweet rather than bittersweet chocolate.

Not for everybody, as many want a balanced RIS, with noticeable bitterness.
Had it again three weeks later and the fresh and thick taste faded faster than a teenager's ruby red lipstick in the rain. Smokey chocolate. Not bitter nor sweet.

Bobby, thanks again.
Third tatsing a year later courtesy of Neal. More coffee and chocolate second, result of aging? Not as thock mouthfeel.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at GRG1313’s tasting.

Pours a clear super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and vanilla aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and char flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells slightly better than it tastes in my opinion.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.11/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Okbeer: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice big foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of bitter chocolate and subtle coffee is interesting but a tad weak. Taste of light bitter chocolate and coffee is more subtle then expected with some medium roasted malt. Body is oily and even a bit watery; I was expecting a fuller body as well as more of a creamy texture. Overall, while this is an interesting IS I thought it lack some complexity and the body was a bit too watery. I wonder if a got a bad bottle considering the high rating that this beer received or maybe I don’t appreciate the style as much as others.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a black body with a respectably-sized, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Lovely aroma of roasted barley, chocolate, dark caramel, with mild notes of licorice.

Taste: Roasted malts with chocolate and dark caramel sweetness. Faint earth bitterness. Slight sourness on the finish. Scarcely any hop flavor to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: An ample RIS, but could stand to have more potent, more aggressive flavor profile.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of cjbmcdon. Served in a Kuhnhenn goblet. I believe this is from late 2010.

A - Bottle is a slight gusher. Ample finger-plus of dark tan foam settles to a mottled near-complete cap, thick collar, and glass-coating lace. Body is dark chocolate brown with some visible bubbles adhering to the sides of the glass.

S - Smell is heavy on the molasses and dark fruits, tobacco, dark roast, baker's chocolate, with some earthy, leathery notes and perhaps a touch of smoke. There's a fruity and musky aroma when the beer reaches room temperature.

T - Taste has more in the way of milk chocolate and caramel sweetness to it. Definitely sweeter, with some mild roasty bitterness and hint of anise and bread in the finish. Charry flavors get increasingly intense over time.

M - Carbonation is unusually zesty for the style. Body is pleasantly medium-full, with lingering stickiness and minimal alcohol presence - perhaps a hint of warmth on the throat after 6oz or so.

D - The mild gushing and leathery aroma had me concerned there was a nascent brett infection, but the flavor is still quite sweet so I not totally convinced that's the case. Still, it's a very solid traditional English RIS, and it drinks bigger than the listed 8% (other than the mildly obnoxious carbonation). I worked through the 500ml bottle over the course of an hour and would happily consume this again if I were in the Maritimes. However, if you've got this vintage on hand, drink up.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Bottle from the Liquor Store on PEI
Pours a solid black color with a huge frothy tan head that persists forever. Vinous chocolate fudge and caramel maltiness dominate the aroma. Light earthy floral round out the nose. The flavor is rich thick chocolate caramel and roast with quite a vinous fruity edge to it. Light smoke and earth round us out nicely. Medium body with a light level of carbonation and a rich creamy ashy mouthfeel. Wow thats a pretty nice stout right there! Reminds me a lot of Bell's Expedition, I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of liamt07
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip. Bottled November 2012, week one.

Body is fairly black, mocha head with excellent retention and pretty nice lace. Nose has some spiced dark fruits, molasses chocolate and some sweeter malt character. Palate has brown sugar, vanilla, some spice, chocolate and roast comes out heavy in the mid and late-palate. Medium feel, creamy texture and alcohol is disguised. A tasty imperial stout from a brewery that's generally underwhelming.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottled November, week 1.
Poured in to snifter.

A - Poured dark brown, settled black. A thin layer of light brown head formed and receded to a ring around the glass.

S - A fairy sweet nose. Roast, semi-sweet chocolate, dark caramel and molasses.

T - A big bitter roast profile with sweet chocolate, dark caramel and molasses in the background.

M - Medium body, slightly creamy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of biegaman
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Some Russian Imperial Stouts are black as tar, others are not. Revolution's illuminated reddish trim gives away the brownness (as opposed to blackness) of its complexion. Its head also has a distinctly brownish tinge as well as buttery texture; the lacing it etches in the glass appears as some kind of code, the likes of which you'd need to call the Sanskrit experts in to transcribe.

The aroma, oddly enough, has a distinctive pumpkin spice quality as it practically drips with anise, ginger or clove-like spice, traces of vanilla and brown sugar, and a strong earthiness (courtesy of hops). It is also characterized by notes of instant coffee powder and tart choke cherries. Not at all unpleasant though should be richer malt-wise and not what I was expecting.

In the flavour, coffee replays along with smoky malts, black fruits, a sliver of chili and drops of vanilla. More than just fine to drink fresh - it's encouraged. Aside from being unsubstantial for aging, alcohol is a non-factor and significant hopping provides an earthy element for which the beer is better-off having. It definitely has a spiced Christmas cake/pumpkin ale thing going on.

The beer looked a bit gloppy coming out the bottle and, indeed, the mouthfeel is initially quite chewy. Once swallowed, however, prickly bubbles catch you by surprise, clearing the way for a dusty, oxidized, somewhat metallic texture and the heavily vinous qualities that develop in the aftertaste. It is decidedly dry and offers little lingering roast, virtually no depth and zero intensity.

Not to take away from Propeller's pioneering efforts but Revolution is hardly rousing for an imperial stout. Sure, an offering like this goes a long way to rectifying and, ideally, reforming a lacking Atlantic Canadian beer portfolio, but despite the usual excellent quality and artisanal approach of this brewery, it's not an imperial stout I'd confidently recommend.

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Photo of Derek
3.24/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Brown-black, medium tan head; very little retention or lace.

S: Pleasant British fruityness (lacking in plenty of north american versions), chocolate, brown sugar, roasted nuts.

T: Great British fruityness, plenty of chocolate, some nut, warming alcohol, a little fusil. Maybe more of an American Double than a RIS?

M: Moderate body (maybe a little thin for its weight); slightly chalky.

D: Drinkable, but not overly enticing.

Thanks for the sample sammy!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into pint glass may6 2010

A dark as night with a two finger mocha head that slowly falls to a 1/4in film that leaves a few partial rings of lace

S lots of bakers chocolate with some mild coffee and booze pretty much what you expect in a good RIS

T not far off the smell but with a little ash and just a touch of licorice and molasses

M a little thinner then I expected but not watery by any means, decent carbonation helps its cause

D would not have guessed it was 8%alc there's little evidence of it so it may be a little too easy to drink

thanks Moniker for sending this one my way, a solid beer from out east that I will drink again. I have a bottle lined up in another trade so I may set it aside for a while and see if it improves

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Photo of Viggo
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received courtesy of Mandrake for CanBIF3!

Pours an opaque black, huge thick tan head, nice lacing, great retention, looks pretty nice. Smell is sweet, lots of dark fruit, light chocolate, coffee, some dates, not bad. Taste is malty, chocolate milk, roast, light toffee, some light fruits, dates, alcohol is very well hidden. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, pretty smooth. Do not taste the 8% at all, very well integrated. Not the most complex or flavourful RIS but pretty damn solid. Thanks Peter!

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Photo of spinrsx
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $5

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, grains, light vanilla

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some grains and a bit of vanilla.

Overall - Seems a little thin to be a RIS to me. The flavours are nice but not bold either. Drinks and tastes more like a regular stout in my books. Still a good beer though

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Photo of tbeckett
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes.

A - Poured black with a solid finger and a half thick, creamy brown mocha head. Pillowy head sat on there really nicely. Good half finger of retention. No real lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Really nice chocolate and roast combo. Really chocolatey, milk chocolate.

T - Really chocolatey again. Roast, dark fruit, milk chocolate. Sweet but not cloying.

M - Good carbonation, full body, sweet finish turned bitter.

O/D - Simple but tasty for an Imperial Stout. Nails the basic requirements. Quite drinkable. A good one.

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Photo of Rutager
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance. Pours a viscous black with half a finger of dark chocolate head.

Smell. Coffee, roasty malt and dark chocolate. A hint of grassy hops.

Taste. Bitter chocolate, tobacco and coffee. Some lasting bitter coffee and little smokey wood.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium carbonation. Some warm alcohol.

Overall. A good drinking stout. Rich and thick and pretty tasty.

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Photo of papat444
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rutager for this one.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle, production date Week 3 of January in unknown year.

Appearance: Black as night with about 2-3 fingers worth of foam that settles to a strong thick ring. Color of the head is a not too dark, not too light mocha brown.

Smell: Really good with some licorice, cocoa, sweet roasted coffee and some molasses.

Taste: Has a rich but not too sweet flavor. Coffee grains, light licorice, cocoa liquor with some dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Bit viscous with a full body though shows a bit of thinness midway but doesn't really affect the tasting experience.

Overall: Really enjoyed this steady yet flavorful stout.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great brew included in the winter LCBO release.

A - Pours pitch black, finger of head with some retention and sporadic lacing.

S - Nose is sweet with cocoa and espresso, some musty notes and malted milk on the finish.

T - Flavour profile is unique, sweet and musty cocoa, burnt toast, hints of leather and tobacco with a toasted oatmeal flavour that lingers alongside an odd metallic seaweed flavour.

M - Medium bodied, slightly prickly and finishes with a tacky finish.

O - A tasty RIS that offers up some unique flavours and was quite enjoyable. A tasty treat that is well worth seeking out.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black as night, slight light brown head. Light lace and retention. Molasses, roast, leather, coffee, dark fruits, faint booze. Chocolate, figs, molasses, spicy notes, dark fruits. Creamy medium ful body. Solid, nice RIS. Not the highest I ABV, but feels substantial still.

Thanks Chris!

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Photo of canucklehead
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice RIS from one of the best East Coast brewers. Not the most complex but still well made with lots of luscious notes on the finish. Instant drinkability with no need for aging this is on the money for the mouthfeel and the nose. Would purchase again

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Photo of jrenihan
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled first week of November.

Beer is black with a good-sized tan head. Pretty good retention, lots of lace. Looks good!

Smell contains burnt caramel, roast malt and some milk chocolate. Almost a bit of burnt marshmallow.

Taste has a good amount of roast malt and chocolate, along with some caramel. A bit of anise. Finish is moderately bitter, with the hops making themselves known, a bit of an earthy flavour.

Full bodied, sightly on the light side for an RIS, though this not surprising given the 8% abv. Smooth and creamy. Low to moderate carbonation.

Overall, a very solid and tasty RIS.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade last summer. I can't remember who gave me this Propeller stuff, but it was solid. Cheers!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Dark brown pour yields a small, medium looking, tan head with decent retention. Head fades to a faint wisp and ring. Black body and no carbonation evident. Splotchy wisp and ring remain until the end leaving dots of lacing down the glass. Could be blacker for the style, but this is a solid looking beer.

SMELL: Bold nose with lots of roasted malts, dark baker's chocolate, burnt coffee beans and a hint of molasses for good measure. Bold and enticing.

TASTE: Roasted and burnt malts, dark chocolate and a touch of sweet molasses up front. Lots of roasted and bitter chocolate at the swallow, moving into a big and persistent aftertaste of bitter chocolate and coffe, lots of roasted flavors, and even a hint of red wine. Flavorful and interesting stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Enough weight as well. Nicely creamy on the palate, goes down smooth with a little bite after the swallow and finishes slightly dry on the palate. A bit too much burn for the ABV.

OVERALL: Good stuff all around! A nice, inviting nose and lots of good flavor to match. One of the better Canadian imperial stouts I've had so far. Cheers for the trades gents. This one comes highly recommended.

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Photo of peensteen
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly jet black with some brown notes, one finger mocha coloured head, some lace on the top of the glass. Smell is roasted malt and tons of chocolate, coffee, some notes of alcohol, raisin like dark fruit with more chocolatey bittersweet notes. Taste is deeply roasted malt, slightly smokey, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, roasted finish and aftertaste. Light-med carbonation, full body, good weight. Very drinkable, easy drinking with lots of flavour and really good but is missing something that would make this great, very enjoyable though.

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Photo of bobsy
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black body with a small mocha mocha head that provides a decent lace. Delicious aroma of chocolate, dark pitted fruit and tobacco. Raisin, toffee, and chocolate flavours dominate a rich palate, before moving to a rich tobacco smokiness. The alcohol is very well hidden. Medium-heavy mouthfeel with restrained carbonation.

Very nicely done imperial stout from this Halifax brewery. One of the beter imperial stouts in the country. In fact, the alcohol is so well-hidden that this stout could almost be sessioned, which is pretty dangerous!

Thanks to Troy for the bottle.

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Photo of BigBry
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MMansfield for the trade. Got 2 bottles, have been saving this one for a while. LAbel as pictured above, gold foil covered cap.
Desciption from the label - "This beer was born for greatness. Sent by English brewers via the Baltic Sea to the court of the Czars, Russian Imperial Stout was brewed to very high gravities and allowed to ferment on the long voyage. The result? A dark, strong and bracing brew, imbibed by Peter, adored by Catherine and now reclaimed by you, the People. Za Vas!"
Black as used oil, dark tan foam. Head slowly recedes and leaves thin sheets of lace. SMells of burnt toffee, cocoa, coffee. Lots of flavor, coffee, raisins, smoky/burnt malts. Lots of levels of flavor, with more coming out as it warms. I would say medium bodied, which keeps it from being too cloying, and easy to drink. Not overly carbonated makes it smooth and slightly creamy. A well balanced mix of roasted malts and earthy hops.
Excellent pairing with barbequed steak dinner.

 982 characters

Photo of grub
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one with me. thanks eric!

12oz bottle.

pours opaque black with a big dense dark tan head. drops slowly and leaves some spotty lace.

aroma is nice. milk chocolate. light biscuity malt. pretty fruity too.

taste is nice. bit of bittersweet chocolate. light coffee. biscuit malt. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium-large body.

drinkability is good. well balanced. the alcohol is hidden very well. tasty and enjoyable.

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Propeller Revolution from Propeller Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.