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Catherine's Passion - Swamp Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Catherine's PassionCatherine's Passion

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

46 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 10
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.68%
Wants: 6
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Swamp Head Brewery visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CampusCrew on 01-02-2011

Catherine II, the 18th century Empress of Russia, is said to have been the inspiration behind the creation of the Imperial Russian Stout, an intensely flavored, robust, dark ale with a noticeable alcohol presence. Legend has it that Catherine also had a voracious sexual appetite; she was known to have many lovers, but the story about the stallion was probably a myth.
We infused our Russian Imperial Stout with cocoa nibs and fair trade coffee, to create a sensual stout with an extra kick. We think Catherine’s Passion would be aroused by this stout…ale.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 10
Photo of pmangold
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jblain
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Afroman
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of maximum12
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to moose3285, a guy who has been giving me good beer since before I was legal. I kid, I kid, but it’s been a long bloody time. This is the latest in a long line of fantastic-looking hauls. Big old 750ML bomber split with my wife.

The pour is stout black with an afro head that’s never seen a pick; takes a while to jam all that into a pair of 14 oz. glasses. I while away the idle moments watching Loren on Intervention, an alcoholic. Never mind. The nose makes me double-check the description of the beer: sweet sugar & crushed raspberries, fruitier than Merrick…never mind. Smells more like Founder Big Luscious than a coffee/chocolate stout.

Catherine’s Passion has undergone some kind of Transformer-style change since being written about. Sweet malts writ big hold up a solid dose of roast before the raspberry patch kicks in. Mid-palate is more bitter than Newt Gingrich: not hoppy, perhaps fallout from the coffee addition, but it’s more than that, & I can’t quite put my midline groove on it. The finish is pure circus freak, with the slippery fruit mixing with the malt & coffee &, yeah. Uh huh. Despite all the bearded women, I’m having little trouble putting this away.

Swamp Head is so hit & miss for me, ranging from great stuff to, ah, suckage. This is neither, but with no trace of chocolate, weirdly zinging coffee bite, & rampant orchard leavings, I doubt this is what the brewer intended. Still, oddly, pretty good.

Photo of WesM63
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Stinger80OH
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of chrismattlin
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Resuin
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of my_knew_craft
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Dicers
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Soto
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of TonyJ815
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of MrBryson
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of jbwimer
2.99/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I really did not enjoy this. Mostly because it smells like green peppers and stale, used Folger's coffee grounds. That being said, it was drinkable... just not very pleasant at all. I love some roast, but the char flavor was not enjoyable... Shame. I enjoyed Resentment, but this iteration did not vibe with me.

Photo of hollywood_15063
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Poppellian
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Bartos
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of mrebeka
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of JasonR1975
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of fmccormi
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

Straight pour from a 750ml/25.4oz pry-off bottle to a short, stubby tulip. There’s no freshness or bottling dating on this bottle, but this is from this year’s batch, which was released on July 2, which now was about six and a half weeks ago. So the beer is six and a half weeks old. Using simple subtraction. And calender conversion. It’s 45 days old. Yum!

Appearance (4.5): Whoa, hell of a pour on this beer: nearly two fingers of very dense, tight foam the color of hot chocolate. Foamy, frothy, thick, rich. The body is pitch black, of course, and the head shows much better than average retention, taking a decent amount of time to die down, leaving a nearly unbroken collar at the top, thick, scattered legs, and a dense film on the surface.

Smell (4.0): Rich, chocolatey, and very malty, showing rich toffee, overcooked caramel, caramelized nuts, and a rich, dark, fruity aroma—raisins, a little date, and prunes. Raw dark chocolate, the kind that’s got a lot of cocoa and is only lightly sweetened, a little cocoa powder, and a modest dose of French or Italian roast coffee. Rich, and fruitier than I would’ve guessed, but really nice stuff.

Taste (4.5): Absolutely delivers, but with bigger balls and quite a bit more edge. The caramel and toffee are turned way down here, but the dark fruit component—raisins, dates, and prunes, just like in the nose—acts as a solid base for the coffee and chocolate aspects of this beer. The chocolate is the subtle one of these two, boasting rich, 60-70%+ cocoa dark chocolate and cocoa powder, while the coffee shines. Medium-dark roast brew, with moderate tannins, a solid floral tone, light citrus, a bit of leather, light tobacco, baker’s chocolate, and a long, tangy finish: grapefruit peel, a little alcohol heat, and a tannic snap, and it all hangs for a minute before dying out. Man this is good stuff. Alcohol’s there, but it’s pleasant and partially blends in.

Mouthfeel (4.0): A little light for a beer of this style and this size, with a body on the dry side, but it’s smooth, fuller than medium weight but not extremely heavy, and quite tannic feeling, all of which makes up some for the lightness of body. It’s pleasantly oily at first, but it finishes surprisingly dry, thanks to some alcohol heat and that tannic character.

Overall (4.25): It’s a very solid imperial stout, generally speaking, but there are a couple of aspects that really set it apart. First, that rich, dark fruit character in the smell and the flavor offer a really solid, hearty base that you don’t find in all beers like this—a lot of them relay on heavy roast and sweetness, but this has a thicker, more interesting backbone. Second, the coffee is just extremely good coffee, it seems. It comes off subtle at first, but then you find its layers spread out in the flavor in a more integrated, dynamic way. And, it’s a lesser joy, but the tannic character of this beer makes it edgier and more complete, in a way. Overall, it just works, extremely well, and offers a more dynamic character than a lot of others. Absolutely worth it.

Photo of craftbeerasian
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of JVinson
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Lasering
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

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Catherine's Passion from Swamp Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.