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Menagerie #5 - Evolution Craft Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Menagerie #5Menagerie #5

Educational use only; do not reuse.

32 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 32
Hads: 53
Avg: 4.22
pDev: 6.87%
Wants: 47
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Evolution Craft Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: yourefragile on 05-11-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 32 | Hads: 53
Photo of warriorsoul
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a great BA for this one.
22oz. from Evolution. Latest in their Menagerie Series.
Pours a lovely black w/ a full two fingers of cocoa-colored head. Most of which lingers for 20 minutes and creates some nice lacing...looking forward to this one.
Very pleasant in the nose. Vanilla, dark chocolate, and a hint of licorice.
Taste is a wonderful blend of dark chocolate, vanilla and oak. Less of the licorice in the flavor, but the mild bourbon decides to show up and is just enough to complement the style.
Medium bodied, with a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol is hidden nicely. Very easy to enjoy a bomber of this gem by my lonesome, but even the better half is enjoying this offering from Geoff and Co.

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Photo of Jules11788
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pitch black color that lets no light through; very small head, very light lacing

S: Sweet bourbon, dark chocolate woodiness, light notes of roasted coffee

T: Roasted malts, sweet bourbon-soaked wood, and dark chocolate. This stuff tasted like one of those chocolate truffles filled with bourbon liqueur, it was so delicious. I would love to enjoy a bottle of this with ice cream or cookies

M: Thick and smooth, lightly carbonated, just the slightest bite of booze at the end

O: This was a deliciously chocolaty beer that reminded me so much of those fancy liqueur-filled chocolates. If you enjoy a good Imperial Stout you will like this a lot.

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Photo of HosP
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lots of beer karma sent to BeerThursdays for this one. Very generous BA, thanks Jay! Poured into snifter.

A- Pours very dark, almost jet black, other than the dark brown around the edges from the light. Nice khaki head that stays around the edge.

S- Very nice earthy aroma. Nice roasty smell mixed with vanilla and some chocolate. Bourbon aroma comes through nicely to support the other smells. Very enjoyable nose.

T- Starts out nicely with some sweet vanilla flavors. Subtle chocolate hints behind the vanilla. Nice roasted, oak flavors throughout that balance nicely with the sweetness. Bourbon gets detected more at the end and tie everything together nicely. Very smooth, gets a little hot as it warms. Oak, bourbon flavors tend to dominate as you keep drinking a bit.

M- Right at a full body, maybe medium. Low carbonation. A little dry in the mouth but not bad. Some slight bitterness lingers.

O- Very nicely done BA RIS. Very nice flavors, balanced very well with the bourbon. Isn't to over the top with the flavors which makes for a very nice and smooth drink. Enjoyed this one very much. Big thanks to Jay for sending me this bottle for no reason other than spreading beer goodness.

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Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Tonight I will be breaking out my Dogfish Head snifter which should hold most of this twenty two ounce bottle in one gentle pour. Upon pulling off the cap I was really surprised to hear a very loud and boisterous hiss coming out. I noticed the label mentions that this was re-fermented in the bottle and I must say they did a nice job of achieving this aspect. On the pour I went straight on and slow watching the evil black looking sauce just flop right out of the bottle and coat my snifter with such ease. There was just a tiny reminiscent of bubbles while I was pouring but near the end a beautiful head formed and left with me a one finger thick coca colored head that looked like froth on a great cup of coffee. When I hold my glass up to the light there is absolutely no chance of light passing through and I do not see any form of yeast chunks or trub floating around which is a good sign. I gave my over-sized snifter a generous swirl and noticed this baby just paints my glass with a nice amount legs and the lacing creeps down slowly.


Even through this is barrel aged the most prominent aroma I am pulling out is rich deep chocolate and vanilla undertones. Very sweet and dessert like aromas are surly the front and center here with some faint bourbon lucking around which is very welcoming. Preferably I like the bourbon to be a little more noticeable but this is still a great beer so far and it won't take away from its construction. In the finish some burnt roasty flavors and maybe some form of earthy hops pushing through. Not a drop of heat alcohol to mention of.


Simply divine! Very slick and smooth on the mouthfeel with big burst of vanilla up front. Complimented by subtle oaky notes chocolate, and espresso this really makes for a great sipping beer for the evening. Bourbon is present but not overwhelming, more so just a compliment to all of the complex flavors rather than being the only thing noticeable. Shockingly I do not notice any heat alcohol at all which is pretty surprising for being nearly 11%. In the finish just a touch of roasted or smoky BBQ is poking through but thing astringent or off putting. This is great now and I imagine that with a year or so with some age the flavors will mesh much better and even become more drinkable.


Overall this was a nice representation of the style and very easy to drink. Again I say that I like my barrel aged beers a little bit more boozy but that is my preference. I am going to say that this is a huge step in the right direction for Evolution especially since they are so young. I would love to see these guys make the base imperial stout into a regular rotating beer because that in my opinion is what really makes this beer so good, the barrel just compliments it. If you get a chance to try this one go for it because it is just so damn smooth. If any of you are in the Maryland area or plan on traveling to Ocean City for a beach trip search these guys out because Dogfish Head isn't the only great brewery in the area.

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Photo of ratedz
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle received in a trade with slvrmon82. Thanks, Matt!

A - Pours pitch black into a snifter glass. Very thin layer of chocolate brown head covers about 3/4 of the top and fades almost completely within a minute or so. A tiny ring of bubbles surround the perimeter of the glass.

S - Very pleasant. Lots of coffee, rich chocolate, oak, vanilla, and bourbon are detected. One smell doesn't dominate over any other...everything is blended really well. Right on target with what I would want a bourbon barrel aged RIS to smell like.

T - I'm picking up some slightly bitter chocolate initially before some oak and vanilla come into play. A slight alcohol burn from the bourbon is noticeable on the back end, but it is very minor. Again, everything is blended very well.

M - Medium to full body, light carbonation (which is perfect for the style), and creamy. Very easy to go back for sip after sip.

O - This was the second beer I've ever had from Evolution (after the Lot No 3 IPA that Matt included as an extra) and I am very impressed with their beers so far. I'm really excited to try the bottle of 2010 Winter Migration that I have in my basement! Menagerie No 5 was very well balanced and expertly blended. It was complex and enjoyable on a cool fall evening. I have no idea what bottle production was or if it will be made again, but I would recommend trying this one if you are able to!

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Photo of stageseven
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Evo brewery.

Ar - thick aroma loaded with roast, vanilla, oak, and dark chocolate. Bourbon notes as well with just a touch of booze, but in a pleasant way.

Ap - deep brown color, some dark tan head with creamy bubbles. Sticks to the glass a bit when swirled.

T - roast, vanilla, and some oak dominate. A bit of dark chocolate. Theres a moderate bitterness in the back that's pretty clean and well balanced. Very obviously a bourbon aged beer, but so smooth and not much alcohol heat to it. Really comes into its own when it sits a few minutes to warm up. Drink at cellar temps for sure.

M - medium body, well carbonated. Not too much carbonation but not flat either. Could be a little thicker in the mouth but it felt pretty good.

O - Excellent BA Russian Imperial Stout. Bourbon flavors and wood blend well with the beer in a way that isn't overdone. Very well balanced between the bitter and sweet flavors. May not be a "world class" beer yet, but given a few years it should really develop nicely.

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Photo of jamesmbirchnyc
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Chocolately brown color with surprisingly little head. Swashing around the beer almost reminds me of what used motor oil might look like in a beer mug.

S: So malty you almost feel like your standing next to the brewer as the hot licquor is transfered back to the kettle for boiling.

T: The first note is carmel and it lasts very briefly before the slick aftertaste of chocolate takes over.

M: Obviously a very heavy beer at 10.5 and you can taste the heavyness in each sip. But this is to be expected and works really well with the color and smell.

O: One of my favorite beers, and perhaps the best RIS I've ever had.

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Menagerie #5 from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.