St-Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe - McAuslan Brewing
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Ratings: 232 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
4.95/5 rDev +17%
2010 vintage, bought for me by @epiclurk. Thanks =)
Pours a deep, black opaque colour, gorgeously thick, and with a lovely chunky head of deep, dark-chocolate brown. Awesome solid and crunchy lacing. But it's the depth, the heaviness, the amazing dark carbonation as it's tilted; amazing. Such an awesome deep and incredibly rich beer.
Nose is a really wonderfully interesting. It actually straddles the divide between a big, sweet American Impy Stout and a dark, heavy, almost smoky and more hardcore Russian Impy Stout. It has the sweetness, the caress, the slight oak characters and the suppleness of the American variety, but with the rawness, the stark almost austere primality of a Russian. It's gorgeous. And better than that, it's *interesting*. It's a new take on the RIS, almost a hybrid.
Taste is also gorgeous, and again it has that lovely blend of suppleness, sweetness and raw, dark bitterness. Mouthfeel is a little lacking, but it doesn't matter—the flavour itself supplies all the smoothness that is required. There's lovely touches of oak, almost a creaminess in the taste. It's a RIS with the sensuous, gorgeous intrigue of a barrel-aged AIS.
Wow, wow, wow. I did not expect this from St Ambroise. I've had many from them now, and nothing, *nothing*, close to this. No wonder this is a special release. This is truly one of the best Imperial Stouts I've ever had, and because it manages to blend and integrate the two disparate genres, making a synergistic whole. After 1400 reviews, to find a beer that excites me like this? It's just amazing.
08-11-2011 10:31:20 | More by lacqueredmouse
4.85/5 rDev +14.7%
Ok, insane... People, count me in, were going nuts to get one. Bought 3 bottles, gave one as a gift and the other two are for me. One is cellared for tasting next year if I can manage to not drink it before.
Simply the best Russian Imperial Stout I ever had so far. This is so good. Worth dying for!
Very dark black color with a nice thick foam head. The head is brown and looks like chocolate milk. The head sticks well to the glass. Perfect looking beer. This is what a stout should look like.
The aroma is chocolate, espresso with some hints of bourbon. Some vanilla notes in there too. The taste is pretty awesome. Bourbon, wow, and then it follows with some chocolate notes and a bitter finish. Light carbonation in the mouth. Lingers long. So good, so awesome. A perfect beer.
2010 bottle: Now at 9.2% ABV and brewed with wood having aged with bourbon, instead of aging the beer in bourbon barrel. Still an awesome beer, maybe less creamy than 2009 version. Still creamy 'tho. On the taste it feels more hot chocolate than the 2009 version. Can't wait for the 2011 and future version.
12-29-2009 17:24:11 | More by ZorPrime
4.85/5 rDev +14.7%
A: Pours thick and really really dark, blocks all light. Head is light brown, quite small but it lasts a long long time, and is really creamy. Lacing is quite impressive as it warms up.
S: Well, the bourbon notes are the easiest to spot, very present. Tons of vanilla, semi sweet chocolate and coffee. Oak and smoke are also present (I guess from the barrels). Liquorice and molasses also there. Some raspberries.
T: Big coffee flavors up front, with dark chocolate also very present. Molasses and liquorice are also very big in the taste. The bourbon characteristics are present: vanilla and oak. The smoke blends perfectly with the roasted malts to give a nice finish, along with the slight herbal/earthy hops present. Raspberries are still there, but less than in the smell. Overall a very big and complex tasting RIS, with every taste being strong and easy to pick.
M: Big, sticky, heavy, syrupy, what I want. Exactly what I want from a RIS. Mid to low carbonation to keep it alive.
D: EDIT, the 2010 version is EXTREMELY drinkable, very dangerously too.
Very much looking forward next year edition, I've only bought one but I'll buy more next year and age 1 for 1 year and another for 2 years.
03-25-2010 23:22:49 | More by flipper2gv
4.8/5 rDev +13.5%
what an absolutely fantastic beer. i had heard this was a doozy, but never imagined it was actually this good. serve cold and poured into a pint glass, the cardboard tubed bottle was consumed on 08/28/2010.
what a rich and decadent pour, just black as tar with a huge head that reached nearly three inches high and left a ton of lacing up and down the sides of the glass.
dark roasted malts and huge notes of coffee dominate this one to the point of sheer chaos. rich notes of chocolate and huge vanilla undertones start to come through. one of the fullest feels i have ever come across in my life, simply amazing. a huge and utterly intense expeirence as each sip just leaves me utterly amazed at the wealth of taste. smooth and decadent finish leaves cocoa and roasted coffee on the tongue and a smooth creamy and slightly sweet flavor.
better then i ever could have thought, amazing beer.
09-01-2010 00:59:56 | More by mikesgroove
4.75/5 rDev +12.3%
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!!
12-15-2013 09:08:49 | More by Tuey13
4.72/5 rDev +11.6%
341 ml 2010 picked up back in december has been sitting around for about 6 months now decided to pop it in.
poured into ddc tulip
appearance: Black. you can't see through this thing, lovely caffe latte coloured head that was about 1 finger wide. this beer is also as other reviewers have pointed out wonderfully silky and oily as it pours.
Smell: chocolate, coffee, major wood notes some vanilla
taste: I got an initial hit of vanilla that led to chocolate and finished off with the same taste in the back of my mouth that i get when i drink espresso. important to note that i get a pretty heavy wood taste shining through here, adds an another layer to this beer.
mouthfeel: not the creamiest of stouts ive had, slightly carbonated, if you like stouts this is easy to drink. slightly chewy as well
overall i loved this beer, it was complex tasty and delicious. however i will add this is without a doubt a sipper. I really enjoyed it and look forward to trying my other one 6 months from now to see how it ages.
05-27-2011 19:31:17 | More by ultrastiledivita
4.68/5 rDev +10.6%
Ah, my two year anniversary here on BA, and I think this beer suits the occasion nicely.
Poured into my snifter, this stuff is slick, oily, and black as tar, refusing to emit even a hint of light. I think my pour was a little too gentle since only a finger's worth of creamy mocha head was yeilded. It still nonetheless displays a good amount of retention, leaving spider legs of lace behind. After a few swirls, strips of alcohol film coat the sides of the glass, announcing that, on top of its deathly black body, this is a big beer.
Shew. What a doozy. Big, robust, and complex in the nose. Vanilla, oak, bourbon, and alcohol are the first things I detect but are only half the story. Rich dark chocolate, espresso, and a perfectly pronounced roasted character also assert themselves in the nose and blend seamlessly with everything else. From the sweetness of the vanilla and chocolate to the roasty coffee notes to the warming character of the bourbon and alcohol, everything compliments eachother. 'Inviting' seems like an understatement.
Smooth and sweet vanilla and oak grace the tongue first and remain at the front of the palate throughout, but its prominence is short lived with a pronounced semi-bitter roasted malt, woodsy character asserting itself midway through. Notes of chocolate and more vanilla are in the back, keeping everything in check and the roasted character tamed. A healthy dose of rich and earthy hops is what we're left with in the finish; an assertive but welcomed end to this wonderfully complex beer.
Full bodied, rich, smooth, and creamy in the mouth with a good dose of carbonation. Its balance is unmatched to any other RIS I've had to date, as is its drinkability. High in alcohol, rich in flavour, yet incredibly easy to drink. The alcohol is very much subdued in the taste with its only true presence coming in the warming feel it imparts in the chest. A tad more creamy in the feel, and I would have had no problem giving this a perfect score.
When this first hit the LCBO in either January or February, it was bitter-sweet. I was ecstatic that this magnificent seasonal made its way down to Ontario, but sad that it was made available almost solely in Toronto; a place close enough but not all that realistic at the time for me to travel down there for a beer. Lucky for me, I ran into a fantastic LCBO manager who had no problem doing an inter-store transfer for me, thats how I got my hands on 7 of these bad boys. From start to finish, this RIS is near flawless. I'm sure one or two of these will be cracked during the cold winter months, and the rest will sit in my cellar. Bring on the '10's!!
11-05-2010 02:51:44 | More by ludachris
4.68/5 rDev +10.6%
Appearance: This ale is one of the darkest I've ever seen. It's darker than cola and it's quite opaque. The head is creamy brown, a bit like crema on an espresso. It's almost syrupy and has a unique feeling.
Smell: Smells hops and caramel. The smell is very rich and pleasant.
Taste: Wow. You can taste a bit of alcool, the bourbon in there. It tastes a bit smokey and mahoganey , and it also has a caramel taste.
Mouthfeel: A bit syrupy, bubbles are thin and silky. It feels like your mouth is being caressed.
Drinkability: That's a beer you wanna sip. I drank mine in more than an hour. It goes down pretty well but at this price, you rather sip it.
02-23-2011 05:14:41 | More by Simonizer360
4.63/5 rDev +9.5%
341ml bottle poured into chalice april 23 2010
A black as black can be even before it hit the glass you could see how dark this one was, thick dark mocha head has great retention and leaves loads of lace right down the glass. this beer looks pretty sexy
S dark roasted coffee with some dark bakers chocolate a little vanilla, earthy wood, and even some mild hops. I do detect some booze but it's pretty well hidden
T now I can taste a little bourbon I was looking for on the nose and some molasses to go along with everything I smell, a great tasting beer if you like utter darkness. the booze I could barely smell is there but still quite well concealed.
M not as thick as one would guess but still quite nice with and initial silky feel and it ends up creamy from the bubbles
D a damn fine beer this is, solid all around and if there was a 4.75 option it would have got that once or twice. this beer could be a little dangerous at 9.1% it's just that easy to down
I like the presentation of this bottle in its tube with the Kremlin looking rooftops. but all gimmicks aside this is a world beater a truly great beer that everyone should try and well deserving of its place in the Canadian top 25. A big thank you to ritzkiss for sending a bunch of these my way.
04-24-2010 00:02:10 | More by wordemupg
St-Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe from McAuslan Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 232 ratings.