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Simple Malt Impériale Stout - Brasseurs Illimités

Not Rated.
Simple Malt Impériale StoutSimple Malt Impériale Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

86 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 13.2%
Wants: 13
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasseurs Illimités visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ZorPrime on 11-24-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by WorldWideStout:
Photo of WorldWideStout
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Looks delightfully thick and engine oil-like. Small head that's about as dark brown as I've ever seen. Very good legs.

S: Dark, black coffee is the main culprit, with a bit of hoppy bitterness and milk chocolate lurking sinisterly in the background.

T: Starts off with semi-sweet chocolate, a bit of coffee, then moves to a more mellow milk chocolate in the middle. After that the coffee and hops take over, with a dark bitter coffee taste lingering on the tongue for several seconds after the liquid is gone.

M: Just enough carbonation to keep it from getting too heavy, but doesn't stand in the way of the flavor at all. Rather velvety as well.

D: Quite high, as the fairly strong flavors are well-balanced and it feels fairly light for what it is.

This was enjoyable, especially after some of the coffee stouts I had in a mini-tasting yesterday which hit you over the head with a coffee pot. I'd say it's more coffee than chocolate overall, but it's got good balance. I would've guessed the alcohol to be more like 6%. It's not on the level of Ten Fidy or Old Rasputin, but it's not too far behind either.

WorldWideStout, Feb 22, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +1.5%

beerhunter13, Jul 05, 2012
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single 341mL bottle, bought for me as a Christmas gift from Broue Ha Ha. Really looking forward to this!

A damned-near impenetrable black inky demon of a brew flows out of the bottle, sporting an intimidating mocha crown that settles into a thick ringlet. Great looking brew.

Nose is rich coffee and chocolate, mocha, molasses, roasted grain. Incredibly rich.

Well if this isn't a fine tasting stout! Really impressed with the depth to this - cocoa, coffee, molasses, sweet caramel and bitter grains are all balanced nicely, allowing for some great interplay of flavours. The finish is particularly striking: a delayed blast of molasses and dry chocolate.

Sticky and chewy, great viscosity with a nice carbonation pop to keep things moving.

Heard good things about this brew, and it surely did not disappoint. Add this to the list of fantastic Quebec brews. Great start to 2013 - happy drinking to all of you!

JohnnyBarman, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

chickenm, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

341ml bottle, thanks again to papat444 for the suggestion and eventual trade bait!

This beer pours a solid black abyss, with only the slightest of basal cola highlights, and one chubby finger of thinly foamy, bubbly brown head, which leaves a low bleeding berm of lace around the glass as it steadily abates.

It smells of milk chocolate powder, lactic sugars, some darker medium cocoa notes, earthy coffee beans, grainy, roasted caramel malt, a bit of wet tobacco, and some musty, dusty hops. The taste is big and rich (TV spin-off pending) roasted caramel malt and bittersweet chocolate, cold espresso, a hint of juicy black fruit, charred ash, weathered leather, earthy noble hops, and just the tamest of booze warming.

The bubbles are actually quite in play, though just enough to keep things from going off a cliff, the body medium-full in weight, with an unctuous quality to its undeniable smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the char becoming more prominent, across malt, chocolate and coffee alike, with the hops still doing their job so well that it's hard to know they're really there. Still little to no evidence of the 8 points and change of ABV.

A quite agreeable big stout, the fullness belying the inherent balanced achieved. Tasty, and not so boozy (on paper and in flavour) that you couldn't maybe go for another, perhaps, given the opportunity?

biboergosum, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of Tmappin
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Recieved from eat, thanks! Poured from a 341 ml bottle into a snifter glass.

A - Absence of light black, no light passes through this one. 2 fingers of mocha java ice cream head that seemed to disappear about as fast as it appeared leaving a nice lacing on the glass. This beer looks the part.

S - freshly roasted Cocoa nibs and freshly dark espresso roast coffee upfront, hint of fruit... very nice nose. This beer would make a great cake.

T - The obvious are here: Dark roasted malts, semi sweet chocolate and a strong pull of espresso, the fruitiness in the nose comes through a little in the flavor profile.

M - Surprisingly light in body for a beer of this style. Carbonation is perfect.

D - This beer is rich, complex and delicious. A great sipper. Probably not anyone's idea of a session beer.

Overall a real solid RIS, going to have to track down other selections from this brewery.

Tmappin, May 31, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours thick and black billows with creamy head. Promising aromas of chocolate and roast. ABove average mouthfeel. The taste is alike the St. Ambroise RIS. Very bitter chocolate mostly. RIch but one dimensional baker's chocolate.Suitble carbonation.Thanks Lubiere.

Sammy, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

Kegatron, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Brown creamy head very similar to the foam on a freshly brewed espresso. Total black. Even where the glass gets narrower and you'd usually see some sort of hue this one is a complete opaque black. Lacing has a brown caramleized look.

S- Chocolate, dark coffee and bread. Sour milk. A bit of raisin. Strawberry jam.

T- Same as smell, sour milk and all. Heavy burnt chocolate, toast and vegetable in this one. Alcohol is noticeable but not that much.

M- Thick, but the carbonation lightens it up a bit.

D- Something tastes a bit foul and makes me put the glass down but I pick it right up wanting another taste.

Will try it again in a year or so hoping to enjoy it more.

Yoonisaykul, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of eat
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This completely black, oily, opaque beer initially looks like it's going to be a disappointing no-header, but out of nowhere appears this great frothy mocha-coloured head, slowly rising from the bottom up. It recedes to leave a ring around the glass with some resulting lacing. It looked wicked before the head faded away, too bad about the lack of retention.

The usual suspects of chocolate, smokey roasted malt and molasses are somehow blended successfully with salty green olive. Smells like a great and unique version of an imperial stout, though I could use a little more presence.

I wasn't expecting this one to be quite this good. Lots of smoke, molasses, bitter dark chocolate; some coffee, though it's not featured. Quite well balanced, with nothing overpowering anything else. I'm really into the smoke, very nice. Nice dry finish with some hops showing. The bottle lists this one at 61 IBU and it tastes at least that.

Good feel. A bit on the thin side for my liking but not too bad: decent medium body and a bit oily. Fairly light carbonation.

This is a solid imperial stout. With the bitterness being pretty high, it's definitely a sipper but a great one at that. I would definitely buy this again some time, there aren't a ton of good Canadian stouts as smokey as this one. I just had St. Ambroise's new imperial stout a couple days ago and this one holds its own against it if that tells you anything. I'm impressed and looking forward to seeing if they'll be releasing other beers as solid as this one.

EDIT: By coincidence, the same night I first tried this in the bottle, I ended up at a bar that had it on tap. Usually I prefer stouts on tap to the bottle but this one was just about the exact same thing. The problem with the head was there too. Freshly poured I would rate the look a 5: a huge, dark brown head with nice lacing, however it completely disappears after only a minute or two. The one difference I noticed was that the salty thing going on in the smell was noticeable here in the taste and not in the bottle.

eat, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of Rutager
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Jeffo!

Appearance. Pours black with a thin espresso-foam coloured head. Looks ominous!

Smell. Big coffee and dark chocolate liquer, a little molasses and black licorice too.

Taste. Lots of dark chocolate and molasses. A bit of burnt sugar and just a hint of smoke.

Mouthfeel. Fairly full body, low+ carbonation.

Overall. I'm starting to expect something brilliant from every Quebec stout I try. This one didn't disapoint.

Rutager, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a deep pitch-black color stout with a large deep brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of deep black chocolate with a nice dose of espresso and some lightly bitter roasted malt. Taste is a very well balanced mix between some roasted malt with light dry notes and huge flavors of black chocolate and espresso - the balance between flavor is very impressive. Body is full with great creamy texture and good carbonation and no alcohol was apparent. I must admit to being quite surprised by this - very enjoyable without being too extreme.

Phyl21ca, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of Beejay
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very dark black, nice dark tan head, not a lot of head, but what is there looks creamy and delicious. This beer seems fairly thick.

S: Wowzer. Huge chocolate in there. Big sweet chocolate, dominates with malt and a little bit of roasted grain in the background.

T: Lots of booze at first, followed by a slight tart flavor, and it ends with roasty goodness. I wish the chocolate came through a bit more.

M: Very thick, chewable, but with a decent amount of carbonation.

D: Nice but the bit of tartness in the flavor really takes away from this. Who knows maybe that will decrease as it warms.

Beejay, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Hand-waxed top. 8.1% ABV, IBU 61, "T° de service 12-14°"

Thanks to Thorpe429 for this brew! Very cool.

A - The beer is as black as used motor oil in both color and consistency during the pour and actually startled me. No clarity at all, it had short-lived cascading before a dark mocha tan head lingered at a thick skim. Awesome lace adorns the glass.

S - Velvety smooth, rich chocolate malt presents a simply stunning aroma right off the bat. Black silk coffee and heavily roasted malt with very low bitterness present. Melted milk chocolate, molasses and caramel make it heavenly. Unfortunately it changes directions pretty rapidly and turns to a burnt rubber, off-putting smell that lowered this down from a 5.

T - The roasted malts are roasted so much so that they come across as charred. Bitter chocolate and dusty, dry cocoa with undertones of molasses and burn bread finish it out. Unlike the aroma, the taste gets increasingly better as it warms.

M - Dry and bitter through and through, this stout is beyond full-bodied, offering a smooth, creamy feel on the tongue and a thick, throat-coating finish.

D - Very little alcohol is involved in this beer but that doesn't allow it's drinkability any leeway. It's thick and rich as well as bitter. Sip this slowly on a very cold day.

BeerFMAndy, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to freud for this bottle. Poured in to Duvel tulip glass.

A - Dark black with half a finger of light brown head. Poured very thick.

S - Very robust smell with some bitterness and some apparent alcohol in the nose. Roasted malts with some licorice notes.

T - Roasted malts, bitterness, licorice, light cocoa and a little bit of alcohol.

M - Medium body, heavily carbonated.

D - Something about this one didn't cut it with me. I expected much more based on the reviews.

TheSevenDuffs, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of Kacid
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour - beautiful pitch dark black with a small nice lacing head at the very beginning of the pour which then recedes to a floating touch
Nose: sweet dark chocolate, sweet espresso, slight touch of smokiness, slight alcoholic sweetness, a slight amount of alcoholic burn in the nose which blends with alcoholic liqueur flavor. Overall mild but well balanced nose, smells like wet chocolate, the very mildest oxidation. Nice strong juicy sweet chocolatey syrup taste/smell
Taste: medium alcoholic burn, chocolatey liquor burn/flavour, carbonation bubbles in mouth are perhaps sharper and larger than i would have liked. It's also a little thinner than i would have liked (a medium to medium-thin body). Has an interesting chocolaty sour bite aftertaste. Smoothens out a bit as it warms up, very delicious.

Overall: not the greatest or most complex imperial stout, but not a bad one by any standards. Nothing special just a good classic imperial stout. Wouldn't probably buy it again because of the availability of better stouts, but i certainly wouldn't turn it down if given to me. So chocolatey sweet and

Edit: poured the other half of the bottle a bit warmer with less gas in it. Giving it a hard pour it created a beautiful 2 finger head that quickly dissipated after the pour. It was creamy espresso creme. The chocolate taste becomes more pronounced and the alcohol simmers down. A slight touch comes of bite comes out. Smokiness becomes more pronounced, with stronger notes of coffee, with stronger body, slightly syrupy. It seems actually very similar to an Imperial version of St. Ambroise's Oatmeal stout. This makes me very curious to try out St. Ambroise's barrel-aged RIS that i have aging. YUM.
This changed my mind completely about this beer. Warmer is better.

Kacid, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of EgadBananas
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this!

Black as night, with a nice mocha colored head. Dissipates to a nice foamy ring. Big coffee and roasted malt aroma, slight chocolate and a bit of smoke. Big chocolate taste up from, slightly bittersweet, very roasted, almost burnt, with a coffee-like bitter finish. The feel is medium to full, but could be a bit fuller on the palate. Overall, this is an excellent Imperial Stout!

EgadBananas, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of ZorPrime
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure I put it in the right category: American Imperial Stout... it says it is an "imperial stout classique"... whatever that means.

A: Dark black, very dense dark color. The head is brown, yes brown not beige... almost black!
S: Dark chocolate with lights notes of vanilla.
T: First sip all I can say is bitter... This is typical bitterness from espresso coffee grain. Start small but finish big.
M: Creamy and round in the mouth. Sticks well to your palate. The body is full.
D: Dangerous beer at 8.1%... Could easily drink 3 of these but I would be toasted. :)

Another greatness from Brasseurs Illimités. This brewery knows how to brew beer!

ZorPrime, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of StephenRich
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Have you ever pured a beer expecting one thing and got another? Thats kind of what happened to me over the weekend. I grabbed a bottle of Simple Malt's Imperiale Stout from the fridge, and though I knew exactly what I had here; a big lush stout probably brimming with rich malts and deep roast. But when I opened a poured it I realized that I was wrong. This was a tank of an Imperial Stout that I did not see coming. It was big and rich, but much more so than I had anticipated. Oh the joys of a good surprise.

Simple malt is brewed by Brasseurs Illimites in St-Eustache, Quebec - some of the best beer in Canada comes from Quebec. So if you live relatively close, just drive over the boarder and step into any good depanneur, they will have a huge selection of Quebec and French beers. You can also check out BeerFly on Beer Advocate to find one close to where you may be. Simple Malt's 7 beers are all worth your while, and after experiencing each of them, I'd give this Imperial Stout the highest regards.

The Imperial Stout came in a 341ml bottle that I got out of a mixed 6-pack. All the technical details are listed on the back, including the 61 IBUs and 8.1% abv. I guess I should have known what I was getting into, but still I didn't heed the warning. Maybe it was for the best.

I opened it up cool around 12C (54F) and poured it into a stemmed tulip glass. The pour was thick and oily falling heavily from the bottle and building a creamy and silky black beer. This thing was black, as black as I have ever seen. As the beer collided with the midnight pond it was creating in the glass soft rumbles of dense foam was created and lifted largely with out any fuss. Eventually I was left with a totally opaque coal black beer and 2 inches of dark brown head. This head made the beer seem even darker; it wasn't mocha, almond, or pale brown, it was a richly dark brown packed with magnificently tight carbonation and a dense and creamy texture. No light could penetrate this beer. This was the first shock to me; I was not expecting such a potently dark stout.

Next came the nose. It was hugely aromatic and packed with depth and layers of flavor. PACKED! First comes an intense rush of chocolate and roasted malts with a boozy sweet toffee flavor. Aromas of liquorice, dark fruits, vanilla, raisins, prunes, dates, brown sugar, molasses, espresso, tar, tobacco and oak all burst into my nose and filled me with flavor. Bitter comes through in the way of roast and maybe some herbs, but it is so powerfully malty that soft flavors are totally masked.

Relax for a moment before you get into this beer - cleanse your palate and prepare yourself for the rush to come. Ready? Ok. A big wide sip of this stout brings thick and creamy waves of malt heavily onto your tongue and instantly fills your mouth. Big roast, big dark chocolate, big toffee, and big tar is showing up everywhere. Sweetness is aggressive here showing you burnt brown sugar, caramel, berries, raisins and other dried fruit, then a finish of brandy and vanilla.

Letting the flavors evolve on your palate shows gentler flavors of biscuit, espresso, coffee beans, cocoa, oak, roast and toast. This is where some balancing bitter comes in by way of cocoa, roast and coffee. There are definitely some hops back in there aiding the beers drinkability, but they are overshadow by everything else black.

Sherry, cognac and tobacco flows in from the back, and I get the distinct sweetness of tar widely on my cheeks. This is a rush and a half, and is a terrifically large beer. It is even bigger than 8.1% would suggest, and the mouthfeel shows exactly that with the smoothest and creamiest heavy silk sensation from start to end. This bottle was aged for 1 year, which may have brought up some roast, and down some astringency, and probably also reduced the carbonation a touch. So I would say it is hitting its stride right now.

Try this alone, carefully, or pair it with the richest deserts you have.

StephenRich, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of ssmack
2.91/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Very dark brown like a dirty engine oil. A very thin head that disappeared totally in no time. No lacing at all.

The smell of cleaning fluid. Some aroma of green grapes.

The taste is strong chocolate and the taste of earth.

A nice heavy feel. Chewy

Not a complex brew at all. Simple. Not to be revisited.

ssmack, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of 2_Shaynez
1/5  rDev -74.6%

I would list stouts as my second favorite style after IPA....and I had to pour this down the drain after 2 sips.

I've tried almost everything from this brewer and think they do a good job at putting out some decent stuff. They're not the be all end all of Quebecois brewers, but I expected a lot more out of this.

I know it's an imperial stout but it was just SOOO STRONG and OVERWHELMING. Nothing came together nicely at all. It's like chocolate flavored motor oil at 61 IBU

It was litteraly undrinkable...If you're looking for a Quebecois stout, I highly recommend sticking to Dieu Du Ciel, Microbrasserie de l'Île d'Orleans, and Charlevoix Vache Folle.

2_Shaynez, Oct 21, 2014
Photo of Urik
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Urik, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of ritzkiss
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from a trade with eat, thanks for bringing this back from Montreal!

Pours a ridiculous jet black, slinking out of the bottle and settling into the glass with a uber rich chocolate brownie head which recedes to a collar and is easily revitalized with a quick swirl.

Nose reveals a generous dash of smoke to complement the roasty malts, dark chocolate and a brown sugar sweetness. Seems a little light though, doesn't suck me in...

Uhhh, I know there's some love for this one on here but I don't get it. The biggest issue is the mouthfeel which subsequently drags down the flavor component. Thin, overcarbonated and lacking in any body. Pluses - some pleasant roast malt, dark chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, milk chocolate, fairly sweet but a little thin body. Super pluses - hides the ABV extraordinarily well and an awesome bitter, dry finish. Quite drinkable.

This one lacks the complexity and fullness of a top-tier RIS, there needs to be some heft to jump me in the alley and subsequently seduce me into doing things I normally wouldn't do. This has neither. It's nice, I dig the smoky component, love the dry bitter finish and lack of noticable ABV but the mouthfeel needs some work. Thanks for bringing this back so I could try it, Colin!

ritzkiss, May 04, 2010
Photo of gopens44
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I purchased this one several months ago at Once Upon a Vine North, and finally got around to checking it out. No price info though. Poured into a very wide 16 oz. glass coffee mug, of all things...

A - Pitch black with a decent sized (1/2", maybe a tick more) foamy, mocha colored head.

S - Espresso, vanilla and not much else at first. After this warmed up a bit, there was a moderate amount of bitter chocolate smell.

T - Much like the nose in the fact that it started out with almost all coffee with some gentle vanilla notes. Gradually the dark and bitter chocolate tastes came through.

M - A bit more thin than I would have expected, and dry for teh most part. Not too much in the way of aftertaste though. Maybe a bit of lingering bitter coffee taste sticking around.

I was pleasantly surprised by this one, mainly because I hadn't heard much about this one and was expecting a half assed attempt at an Imperial stout. What I found was actually highly enjoyable, and very worthy of picking up again.

gopens44, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of papat444
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 341ml. bottle.

Appearance: Pours an almost pitch black with an average head that is a dark brown. Retention isn't as long as it should be.

Smell: Best feature. Raisins, a bit of anise, nougat, milk chocolate straddling dark chocolate all while riding a wave of mocha coffee. Reminiscent a bit of cognac.

Taste: Strong roasted coffee which is the predominant flavor but there's also some bittersweet chocolate and what i can only describe as alcohol drenched nuts. While good, it doesn't live quite live up to the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a bit higher than normal. Strong body that only reaches a medium level. Veers slightly towards abrasive with the bitterness though it smooths out more as it warms. Lightly thin around the edges.

Overall: Knowing the brewer and the level expected, i am slightly disappointed in this one. Should have been fuller and richer. This is still a very good stout and is recommendable but it's not quite an "A" stout.

papat444, Sep 08, 2011
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Simple Malt Impériale Stout from Brasseurs Illimités
86 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.