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St-Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe - McAuslan Brewing

St-Ambroise Stout Impériale RusseSt-Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

215 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 215
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.93%


Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: papat444 on 12-05-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 215 | Reviews: 115 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ink. Oily black with a big, creamy tan head. Good head retention.

Wonderful aroma. Rounded. Liquorice. Roast and bitter chocolate. Some alcohol. Nothing over the top but really well composed and well integrated.

Rich. Not too sweet but clearly big with lots of roast and chocolate. The liquorice is not over the top and works well. Mild alcohol. Very nice.

A touch chalky before a rounded creaminess comes through. Moderate carbonation works well.

A delightful beer. Big and bold but refined at the same time.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 09:17:28 | More by dgilks
Photo of Tuey13
Tuey13

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was a 2011 vintage that I am reviewing picked up while in Quebec City this summer.

Pours a very thick, almost syrup-like liquid with a dark mocha head with tight bubbles of a two finger head that sticks around and leaves some impressive lacing on the glass.

The smell is luxurious... espresso, dark chocolate, black licorice, molasses, vanilla, and oak with a smoky note there as well. Smells wonderful!!

The taste is phenomenal... thick, velvety and very rich! Tastes of espresso,bitter chocolate, and licorice mix with the smoky wood and oak... also a little sweetness and even a litter bitter hop taste which is impressive for a beer over 2 years aged. Not very boozy as i am sure it has mellowed and transformed over time.. but the alcohol is definitely there, but to me... very smooth. I love every sip of this and how it transformed as it warmed... i got more of the vanilla bourbon as it warmed as well as the bitterness increased in a good way.

I loved this beer... it was well worth the $6.99 I paid even after carrying it in my backpack as i was on my bike back to my fiance's apartment haha! I hope to try a 2013 vintage this Holiday season or even score another 2011 or 2012 to compare. If you can find this.. buy it. I love the fact that the bourbon does not dominate and overpower like many barrel aged stouts.

St-Ambroise always impresses... try if you can find this!!

Cheers!!

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 09:08:49 | More by Tuey13
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341 mL bottle-in-a-tube picked up at the LCBO. 2013 edition, listed at 9.2% and served at cellar temperature. This is one brewery that almost always manages to impress me, and I've probably heard more good stuff about this stout than any of their other offerings - so picking up this one was a quick decision.

Pours thick, black and totally opaque like old engine oil, topped with just under two fingers' worth of dense, creamy, dark tan-coloured head. Its recession is a gradual process lasting more than a few minutes, eventually culminating in a modest cap with a sheet of lacing around the edge of the glass. An impressive-looking stout, and the aroma ain't half bad either - bourbon and oak are noticeable contributors, in addition to roasted malts, molasses, vanilla extract, ethanol and smoke. Not bad, but I could use a bit more coffee/chocolate to entice me into a sip.

This is a delicious imperial stout, with the barrel ageing process bestowing upon it a number of interesting traits not typically found in this style. Toffee and molasses sweetness form much of the backbone, with big notes of bourbon, black coffee and charred wood to keep things interesting. Toward the finish, there is a brief but intense splash of licorice, with dark chocolate and roasted malts soon overtaking it. The aftertaste is quite bitter, with a smoky, char-like tannin astringency lingering on the palate for quite a while. The alcohol doesn't figure into the flavour strongly, but it's not exactly hidden, either. Full-bodied, with light carbonation that gently prickles the tongue, accenting the velvety-smooth mouthfeel nicely. A slow sipper if there ever was one; this is a brew to savour.

Final Grade: 4.48, an outstanding A grade. St. Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe is a fabulous barrel-aged stout that all fans of the style should actively seek out. While this fresh bottle is drinking rather nicely, this is the sort of beer that is just begging to be cellared for a year or two - frankly, my mouth is watering just thinking about a mellower, smoother version of this stout, a concept almost inconceivable to begin with. Hopefully I'll be able to procure another bottle before the stock runs out, although if history is any indicator this stuff will fly off the shelves (for good reason). Don't hesitate to grab a bottle of this if you spot it, because it's well worth a try and absolutely worth the 6-7 dollar price tag.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 06:54:40 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of CanuckRover
CanuckRover

Ontario (Canada)

4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A 2011 bottle put aside for a couple years.

What a pour. Thick (in the best way) black liquid pours into a snifter and sends up a lively mocha head. Pretty much opaque. Glass covering lacings right to the finish. A 5 on appearance.

Dark red fruit on the nose with a hit of alcohol. Slightly smokey and roasty, but really it's all about big fruity malt flavours in the aroma.

Deep and dark. Loads going on with this. Bitterest chocolate. Vinous. Boozey wood. Ever-present dark red fruit. Even after a couple years I get significant hop bitterness.

Another 5 for mouthfeel. Incredibly satisfying imperial stout. Thick and chewy while being shockingly easy drinking.

Glad I laid this down for awhile. Well rounded and quite tasty. Great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 00:38:35 | More by CanuckRover
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Special reserve bourbon wood aged 2013 poured into a tumbler.

Good looking and forming head. Creamy dark coffee tan and three fingers deep. Huge lacing while drinking on a classic dark walnut brown to black body. Very nice looking.

Bouquet is a lot of husky grain, and that classic tobacco like smoke I remember from their oatmeal stout. Some bitterness is coming off of this with a bit of red fruit. Not much oak or whiskey sensing hints here.

First sip while somewhat drinkable is shocking. Mid palate brings some red fruit angles which quickly disappear. To replace with lots of bitterness. Some dry tannic wood and huge tobacco mix with a somewhat cherry bitterness and slick but wet oils. The aftertaste is horribly bitter. Unbalanced. A hopped pine sort of earth indistinct quaity that really clashes with everything. Classic barrel aging notes arent even here. Oak round character isnt even present.

Where is the coffee, chocolate, slight roast sweetness and mellow oak feeling? This beer is just a bitter mess of clashing fruit and hop bitterness with a horrid tobacco smoke that doesnt go away. I certainly hope Canada does better examples of barrel aging than this.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 16:00:11 | More by smakawhat
Photo of DenisKolkin
DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

341 ml bottle that comes in an awesomely decorated cardboard cylinder. Picked one up for $5.95 CDN which is a lot for figured I would have to try this at least once. 2013 Vintage and ABV is indicated as 9.2% on the bottle rather than the 9.1% listed here.

Left the bottle out for about 30-40 minutes after being in the fridge so that it would warm up a bit. Then served into a pint glass.

Appearance - Black as night like in an unlit mine shaft. I've recently commented on some dark beers and how they had been the darkest beers I'd had, but this one takes the cake. Towards the end of the glass even tilted this towards me as to spread out the liquid and looked directly into the sun and... not a glimmer of light made it through. Wow. Also 1 finger of dark brown head that receded moderately. Beautiful spidery lacing left everywhere. If the head was more impressive of lasted longer this would have scored quite a bit higher. Still very impressive.

Smell - Lots of coffee, licorice candy a complex mixture of chocolates. Caramel and butterscotch mixture. Wonderfully dessert-like. Pretty much having a platter of strong rich dark chocolate and all the combinations with other dessert items in front of you with a black espresso. Also some vanilla and smoky oakiness. Slight element of rum soaked pastries and fruitcake.

Taste - Enormous flavors here, and found that there was about four stages to this beer with every sip. First a mild sweetness of the caramel and butterscotch combo transitioning into about a second where the palate is actually clear and void of much. Then boom a massive licorice and smoke explosion with some coffee and dark chocolate mixed in. To conclude a dark chocolate (like 95% pure cocoa) and coffee mixture that lingers on the tongue for a long while.

Mouthfeel - Rich, decadent velvety smooth, great warmth in the back of the throat. Obviously heavy bodied prohibiting you from mass consumption and also an oily texture to it. The slickness coats the mouth and tongue throughout the session.

Overall - Excellent RIS, huge flavor and very good representation of the style. Don't know if I will purchase another this year due to the cost, but definitely worth trying at least once.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 00:44:17 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of TwilightTavern
TwilightTavern

Ontario (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle into a brandy snifter

when poured from a bottle, i immediately noticed how thick the beer was. The thickest beer I've ever drank in fact. Thick one inch medium brown head that dissipates to half an inch that lasts forever, the longest head retention I've ever seen on a beer thats 9 abv+

Walnuts were the first impression the aroma gave off. Next was typical dark chocolate and espresso typical of RIS', and finally dates, and alcohol.

Taste is burnt toast, dark chocolate, espresso, extremely malty, and even hoppy bitterness atypical of RIS'. Exceptional complexity.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, extremely thick, and leaves a nice alcohol bitterness on the palate, along with a slight hint of molasses.

I'm aware that there is a novelty on high abv (or "big beers"), and particularly RIS', and I'm even more sure that the fancy case the 341mm bottle comes in may not help either, however all aside, this is a truly exceptional beer, and possibly one of the best I've ever had in any dark beer style.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2013 01:31:05 | More by TwilightTavern
Photo of FrostBlast
FrostBlast

Quebec (Canada)

4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341mL bottle

2013 vintage

I never mention bitterness in my reviews, my bitterness taste buds are ridiculously under-
sensitive.

APPEARANCE : Deep dark brown colour, oily looks on pour. Mocha head that rises pretty high as far as bourbon aged stouts are concerned - then drops down leaving some average-heavy lacing. The head really got me enthusiastic about this brew.

SMELL : First nose is mostly roasted malts, coffee, mocha, with some molasses on the background. Second nose opens up the caramel/molasses profile a bit more. Third nose shows some smoke as well as expanding on the previous elements.

TASTE : Pitch black coffee, like espresso. Pitch black chocolate, I'm talking 95% cocoa. I know I never usually mention bitterness but this brew hits home for me, which means it must be VERY bitter for anyone with normal taste buds. Very nice complexity, yet pretty straightforward, nicely funnelled. Extremely coffee oriented.

MOUTHFEEL : Pretty much follows what the appearance seemed to predict - almost oily texture. Pretty high carbonation for a stout aged in bourbon barrels and this kinda cuts down on the oily factor, but since I like my bourbon aged stout on the oily side, I simply gave it a few more swirls in the glass and I got to something I really enjoy.

OVERALL : Yet another outstanding product from the McAuslan brewery. This is something very special to me since the brewery is 5 minutes walk from my place. I always taste everything they put out and their pale ale is my standard "everyday beer." I'm glad I have such a great brewery right next to my home and I'm glad they put out such an amazing bourbon barrel aged imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 01:30:48 | More by FrostBlast
Photo of mmapes
mmapes

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Mathieu for the trade of a 2011 bottle, opened in 2013. Hate to drink it so soon, but if it's excellent, I'll try to find some more to take home.

Pours black with a thin tan head.

Smells very rich -- malty molasses, brown sugar... smells like a great stout. Scent seems to fade quickly. It's probably too cold; it has been refrigerated. Rich grains on the nose as it warms up.

Unexpectedly smoky, a little sharp. Long malty sweet finish. Oily, fairly thick mouthfeel. Strong molasses flavor. Not cloyingly sweet like some Russians Imperials, but very flavorful with a long finish. I hate to admit that I'd like something a tad bit sweeter and a tad bit less smoky, but it's really very good. Might buy more if it's not too expensive.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2013 20:54:17 | More by mmapes
Photo of TerryW
TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

3.61/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark walnut brew under a big head that coats the glass on the way down. Pretty impressive look.

Nose is dominated by unusual sweet dark fruit - prunes, currants and a whiff of alcohol - that all works together quite nicely. Appetizing.

Sweet, fruity to taste. Charcoal and coffee. Noticeable dry alcohol finish. You'll figure out in short order that it's 9%. Tasty, but strong and won't be to all tastes. Mouthfeel just a little too full and sugary for me.

Worth a drink, not my favorite style, but well made.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2013 04:25:12 | More by TerryW
Photo of laituegonflable
laituegonflable

Australia

3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very, very black-reminiscent colour. Head is just stunning. Show-stoppingly thick, ochre in colour, with some impressive - if a little thin - lace left behind. Pretty close to amazing.

Smells sweet, and smokey, in equal measure. Weird bubblegum character with some banana and cherry notes, but also, on the other hand, smokey notes. It's completely separate in fact. Quite subtle, with wood smoke and a hint of bacon. The sweetness is a dominant thing though, which is unfortunate.

Taste is an interesting one. Lots of smoke and roast, with a touch of sweetness to it. Upfront there's cocoa, caramel and a hint of banana. Then gets roasty, smokey and burnt midway and to the back. Ends with a slight sweet note, boozey and vanilla, but it has a heaviness to the end. Quite dry on the back, but retaining lots of flavour.

Full body, a little bit sharp late, and yeah, dries up a lot.

Decent, doesn't quite reach the heights the flavours suggested. Not bad at all though.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 08:24:17 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of SebD
SebD

Ontario (Canada)

4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick dark tan head that dies down slowly and leaves very nice lacing. I don't think I've ever seen a nicer looking RIS.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of sweet roasty malts, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, light bourbon, some sweet molasses and a touch of smokiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some sweet roasty malts bringing out notes of chocolate and coffee, along with a light roasty bitterness, some bourbon, a slight smokiness and some woodiness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2013 20:02:40 | More by SebD
Photo of NoLeafClover44
NoLeafClover44

Delaware

4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn goblet. Bottle neck says 2011.

A - Pours uncommonly thick. Tar black in color with a brief showing of Nesquick head. A complete coat of lacing paints the walls of the glass.

S - Overripe bananas, dark chocolate, raisins, and oak. Bourbon and bitters round out this uniquely aromatic brew.

T - Rich espresso, plum, and banana bread dominate. The finish is riddled with char, bourbon, and milk chocolate.

M - Viscous body with a suede-like feel.

O - This is a very good example of the style. Bold flavors of coffee, bourbon and char with a rich, luxorious mouthfeel. It has mellowed over the last few years, but I think I preferred it fresh. I rarely drink foreign beers, but I highly recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2013 02:23:02 | More by NoLeafClover44
Photo of Beersquad
Beersquad

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had the bourbon wood aged version of this beer:

A: Thick black dark pour with 1 finger head that leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S: Nice sweetness add by the bourban, molasses and black fruit

T: nice roasted malty coffee bitterness with woody tones throughout that drifts off slightly leaving a satisfying aftertaste. A little more carbonated then what I was expecting judging from the pour but still good.

M: The mouthfeel was medium textured at first but leaves a velvety and tingly after taste.

Overall: A complex premium stout with a little more carbonation then what I would have preferred but with a bourbon wood aged touch that adds so much to the nose and pallette. I'd love to try this beer on tap or cask!

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 19:42:32 | More by Beersquad
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours pitch black with a large, creamy dark tan head.
Nose shows liqourice, alcohol, sweet coffee liqueur, heavy roast, bready malt and coconut.
Decadent flavour. Soft roasted malt, cocoa, sweet malt, coconut and oak with a little bourbon and booze as well.
Nice creamy carbonation and slick body.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 07:33:13 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of ThePorterSorter
ThePorterSorter

Missouri

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Seblp for the hook up, vintage 2012

The beer pours jet black with a generous inch of dark tan head that laces. The nose is a potent mix of roasted coffee and milk chocolate. The taste slaps you in the face with s'mores (caramelized marshmallow, chocolate, and hint of graham cracker) and brown bananas (?) that are both incredibly distinct and flavorful. The beer leaves a pleasant, slightly lingering burnt/bitter caramel aftertaste. I was not expecting such pungency in the flavor. It's full bodied, rich, milk chocolate forward, well carbonated, and leaves a slight bitterness that lingers. I can barely detect the 9.1%abv. I must say, this is an impressive RIS that's definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 00:28:10 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle, 12 oz. twist off, Quebec sticker on the bottle.

Pours like motor oil into a tulip glass, black with brownish edges. A good amount of creamy mocha foam on the surface, that fades to a swirling skim after a few minutes in the glass, with spotty lace around the edges.

Aromas of chocolate and light soy at first, autolysed yeast. Flavors of creamy smooth chocolate, hints of vanilla and barrel in the aftertaste. Full bodied with a light sweetness at first, segueing into dry roast and light bitterness in the middle. Overall it's drinkable and remarkably smooth. Thanks for sharing Chris!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 19:04:39 | More by emerge077
Photo of FondueVoodoo
FondueVoodoo

British Columbia (Canada)

4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black & tan, black brew that practically swallows light and an espresso creme tan head that's creamy like toothpaste. Some lacing and when swirled leaves a thin oily coating up the glass.

S: Big whiff of espresso followed by a chocolate with notes of lactose or milk chocolate, finishing with a big boozy brandy ester. Big whiffs of smoky wood, but smooth smokiness , rich and dark.

T: Darkest chocolate and molasses with cigar box smokiness and dry coco. Similar to a red wine that's been in American oak barrels. The lingering taste of smokiness and dark coco hangs on the tongue long after the last sip.

M: Velvety smooth and enough alcohol esters to warm the palette, just the barest minimum of carbonation. Oily and thick and coats the mouth leaving enough to enjoy well after the last sip.

O: A wonderful late night sipper that's smokiness compliments the chocolate and espresso offering a characteristic unique of a Russian Imperials. The boozy brandy esters suggest an after dinner aperitif, lending to a terrific paring with a late night snack of good chocolate and fresh fruits. Truly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 04:34:30 | More by FondueVoodoo
Photo of LampertLand
LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

St.Ambroise 'Stout Imperiale Russe' @ 9.2% , served from the 2012 edition , a 341 ml bottle purchased for $6 (ouch)

A-pour is dark brown/near black , with a small thin tan head that is quickly dissapating leaving some streaky lace film along the pint glass

S-smell is vanilla and chocolate , hints of coffee/espresso

T-no sweetness , taste some smoke and roasted barley , bit of a dry finish

MF-viscous full bodied , low carbonation , dry and bitter on the palate , with a boozy kick

Ov-good beer , ok/good RIS , one of St.Ambroise best

Sampled alongside Brooklyn 'Black Chocolate Stout' , Howe Sound 'Pothole Filler'

prost LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 07:24:51 | More by LampertLand
Photo of CookstLiquor
CookstLiquor

British Columbia (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 341ml bottle. Pours a ridiculously blackened brown with an iodine-like head and lacing. This is a dense, hearty brew. The nose is a delightful blend of baking spcies, citrus and pine. Taste reveals spicy fruitcake, chocolate, molasses and smoke. Incredibly complex. Truly a unique tasting Russian imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 03:30:48 | More by CookstLiquor
Photo of DaftCaskBC
DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 1/4" brown head over black liquid.

S: Bourbon, alcohol, oak and smoke,

T: Heavily toasted malt, smoke, bitter hops, barley, coffee. Like a more bitter, dry and smoky version of the oatmeal stout.

M: Medium to thick viscosity, very dry, some alcohol burn and taste, a high level of fine carbonation.

O: Very dry, bitter, and toasted/smoky. If you like your beers that way, this is a must try.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 20:19:23 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very challenging RIS that finishes very dry and has a distinct smoky note combined with the oaky flavours from the barrel aging. There is an intensity to the coffee and chocolate esters that dominate the midbody. Very well made and most suitable for aging this is a pleasure to find in BC>

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 03:34:46 | More by canucklehead
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Deuane or sharing this one. 12oz bottle into a snifter. The brew appears black with a brown head. Some spotty lace sticks to the glass as the cap fades. Some lighter brown coloring is seen around the edges when held to the light.

The aroma is roasty with coffee and bitter black chocolate upfront. A spicy oak inclusion like cinnamon or cedar reminescent of incense is present along with some earthy tones. Not bad smelling, just a bit different.

The flavor includes some herbal hops. Roast and bitter chocolate and coffee come out from the level of char to the grain. A hint of fruity hops and alcohol blend into leather and earth. The finish is a bit drying.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is interesting and enjoyable but the barrel character has an awkward spiciness about it instead of a blended smoothness. Still worth a try if you get the chance.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 19:08:44 | More by stakem
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by yourefragile, thanks Michael. Another long time want for me. At the time of this review, this is the #39 beer on the "Top Beers - Russian Imperial Stout" list on beeradvocate.com.

Beer is black with almost no head, tan bubbles, low carbonation.

Aroma is oaky and boozy with this great sweetness to it.

Beer is medium to full in body, quite sweet up front, mixture of booze and malt, a nice roundness to the whole thing, finishes a bit bitter and dry but overall a really nice beer. I'd have it again if that were possible.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 14:13:11 | More by drabmuh
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

341 mL screw top bottle in a cute cardboard tube. 2009 vintage.

Pours a thick, opaque, still near black, chocolate color with a thin, quickly fading mocha head. Nose of smoke, espresso, roast malt, ash, oak, mild bourbon sweetness and dark chocolate. Flavor has a mild dry, acrid bitterness thoughout, like an old cup of bad coffee. Not bad, just gives the stout a unique smokey dry finish. The smoke and dry wood provides a strong balance to the sweeter flavors, molasses and dark chocolate, light oat and brown sugar. Chewy, medium thick body with soft carbonation. A respectable, subtle BA RIS that would probably be better enjoyed fresh.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 19:50:36 | More by yourefragile
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St-Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe from McAuslan Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 215 ratings.