St-Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe - McAuslan Brewing
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Ratings: 234 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
3/5 rDev -29.1%
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.
11-25-2013 16:00:11 | More by smakawhat
3.13/5 rDev -26%
Thanks Fred. Pours a thick black with a large mocha head. Nose is very roasted malt forward with some unsweetened chocolate and vanilla. Almost charred. Mouth is heavily, distractingly carbonated. Fairly dry up front, which I enjoy, segueing into a massively roasty, bitter finish. Some nice earthy tones, but way too messy on the finish and the body is way too carbonated.
06-18-2011 01:49:47 | More by JAXSON
3.35/5 rDev -20.8%
Not the beer's fault but I am bourbon barrelled out but just on how much I love their oatmeal stout I had to try this. I am not sure if it is the harshness of the dark malts in this or the bourbon barrels but I am just not grooving on this.
Apologises to all that loved this it just not my thing and the beer was decent just not their oatmeal stout.
03-15-2012 02:49:55 | More by hoser
3.43/5 rDev -18.9%
2009 vintage bottle pulled from the cellar, the bottle was placed in the cellar October 2010.
Bottle poured into a beer chalice. A two finger mocha head forms on a black brew.
This beer smells of sweet dark malt, cola and dark fruits.
Taste is fairly bitter and the dark fruit is prevalent which leads me to believe this bottle has been a victim of oxidation. The bitterness is cloying in the aftertaste. Not many of the typical flavours of an RIS.
Perfect mouthfeel and carbonation.
I should have drank this one as soon as I got it. I wonder if the twist off cap has something to do with the oxidation. I hope I get a few more of these in the future and I will drink them fresh.
06-16-2011 02:13:00 | More by alpineclimber
3.45/5 rDev -18.4%
A: Pours a deep dark black color, like crude motor oil. Has a nice 1 inch chocolate brown head that dissipates quickly.
S: Love the nose hear, notes of bourbon, oak, chocolate chip cookies, espresso and earth.
T: On the palate flavors of bitter chocolate, day old coffee, cream, and baking spices. I really dig the nose and mouthfeel but the taste isn't super well balanced. It's a little to bitter and roasty for me. Some may find this balances out the sweetness but I actually think it's to dry, and I'd like a little more richness.
O: Overall a solid beer, I'm curious if I would like a fresh one better.
07-31-2011 01:46:42 | More by nbree00
British Columbia (Canada)
3.55/5 rDev -16.1%
Black black black with a ring of chocolatey brown head that's gone too soon.
The smell is big, hot, alcoholic, polished dark wood, cocoa, stewed fruit, toast. You know right away what you're going to be diving into.
Taste initially shows off enormous sweet malt and alcohol, dark fruit compote, leading to a whiff of smoke and lots of woody bitterness with roasty coffee notes and a very long, dry, earthy finish. Aftertaste is long and bitter as well, I can't say I enjoy that at ALL. Would be fantastic but I can't handle the bitterness.
Mouthfeel is really creamy, sticky and heavy. It's quite possibly the most enjoyable part of this beer, really luxurious.
Drinkability? I'm all for big beers but this is a monster. It's almost too big, overwhelming for my tastes, and needs a long while to be enjoyed properly.
03-24-2010 02:22:30 | More by strangemusic
3.58/5 rDev -15.4%
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.
12-04-2012 19:08:44 | More by stakem
3.61/5 rDev -14.7%
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.
06-05-2013 04:25:12 | More by TerryW
3.78/5 rDev -10.6%
Bottle shared by Javier, thanks! 2010 batch poured into a Hill Farmstead glass.
A: Pours black and viscous with a big mocha head. Nice retention and a decent amount of lacing. The head is a lingering froth after the initial recession.
S: Dark chocolate and a strong smoke profile that’s redolent of bacon. Coffee melds with roasted malt, wood, dark chocolate, and very faint bourbon. Cocoa and vanilla are evident. On the whole, this seems like a smoked imperial stout with secondary barrel characteristics. It definitely improves when it opens up. I’m really digging the aroma.
T: Smoked bacon with dark chocolate, roast, and wood. Bourbon is faint. Blackstrap molasses surfaces midpalate and roasted malt turns to char. Finishes with dark chocolate, wood, ash, and a little astringency.
M: Full in body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is full, sticky, and very dry.
Overall: A pretty good smoked barrel aged stout. It’s a bit harsh in the flavor at times, but pretty good overall. It reminds me of some powerful bourbon barrel beer smoked bacon I've been enjoying lately.
06-09-2011 03:56:57 | More by HopHead84
3.78/5 rDev -10.6%
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.
05-19-2013 08:24:17 | More by laituegonflable
3.8/5 rDev -10.2%
341ml bottle, 2011 edition. The encasing cardboard tube has a little blurb displaying the Cyrillic, French, and English versions of 'cheers'. Awesome!
This beer pours a solid black abyss, with ever so slight cola-hued basal edges, and a teeming amount of dense, foamy, pillowy chocolate milk head, which sticks around like the nagging sniffles, before giving way to the clarity of some broad Joshua tree lace around the glass.
It smells of mildly caramelized malt, baker's chocolate, dark drupe fruit, an acrid vanilla woodiness, bitter citrus and leafy hops, and a boozy, nose-twitching twinge. The taste is bitter chocolate malt, a bit of weird saltiness, woody bourbon cask essences, softened west coast pine and citrus hops, and a skulking alcohol edginess.
The bubbles are as soft as you could really want them to be, the body a near-full weight, smooth, and almost unobstructed in its silky smoothness. It finishes mostly sweet, in a tempered manner, however, as the wood influence and hop bill continue to assert themselves in the sanity-keeping dance that is this beer.
Well, I would imagine that demanding ol' Kate would have appreciated this offering - lots and lots of stuff going on - sweet, bitter, salty, floral, tangy, fruity - you name it, it's here. The booze, at this point, makes things a little iffy as far as outright drinkability is concerned, but that's a minor piffle for the regal imbibers amongst us.
01-15-2012 01:32:04 | More by biboergosum
St-Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe from McAuslan Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 234 ratings.