Worthy Adversary - Fulton Beer

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

338 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 338
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 8.23%
Wants: 44
Gots: 74 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Fulton Beer visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 03-29-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 338 | Reviews: 59
Reviews by PieOhMy:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jahjehwa
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2014; One of the very best MN stouts I've had.

Photo of bsp77
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with moderate tan head and light lacing rings.

Smell: Dark chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, and a touch of coffee. Expected RIS aroma, but quite decadent.

Taste: Strong roasted backbone that does not have the burnt taste that some fresh Imperial Stouts do. Bittersweet chocolate, figs, plum, molasses and light coffee are nicely playing together. Finish has some light roasted bitterness, as well as a touch of citrus. Perfect balance.

Feel: Extremely smooth, creamy and velvety. Full bodied, with the carbonation in check. Slightly warming.

Overall: Wow, I did not know the Fulton crew had it in them, although I have admittedly only had Sweet Child O Vine and The Lonely Blonde. This is one of the better traditional Russian Imperial Stouts I have had, and it deserves more hype. Of course, I really don't want it to reach Darkness levels of hype, as it is nice to just stroll into a store and pick it up.

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Bright dark brown under a finely bubbled 2” tan foam collar that leaves Guinness quality lace.
S: alcohol, faint coffee, chocolate
T: Deliscious grain, espresso, chocolate creaminess. Has a nice grain in the background – oily in a good way.
F: Very rich and creamy medium low carbonation but fine and soft – almost nitro quality, full body to chewy. Some alcohol warming.
O: It has an excellent balance of grainy malt, espresso, and chocolate

Photo of MattyG85
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at The Republic in Minneapolis, MN. Served in a 12 oz. standard shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pretty much pitch black with only a slight bit of brown color shining through the edges of the glass. About a finger of tan head that recedes into a thin patchy layer. A fairly good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A fairly sweet aroma of dark roasted malts with hints of caramel, chocolate, molasses, anise, and a little coffee. Also a light hint of dark fruit in the background. Hops are very faint. Smells pretty roasty and fairly strong.

Taste: A pretty big roasty and sweet taste of dark malts with some caramel and big notes of chocolate and molasses. Also some anise, coffee, and a little dark fruit. Light taste of earthy hops in the background provides some balance to the sweetness. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the heavier side but still goes down fairly easy. Carbonation is moderate. Creamy and moderately sticky and syrupy. No real alcohol heat felt.

Overall: A very good take on an imperial stout. Bold taste and fairly easy to drink for such a big beer.

Photo of rphoffman
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this beer for the first time yesterday at the Fulton Brewery. It was exceptional. It was served in a snifter, which was interesting and kind of charming. I noticed it looked a little thin, but the color was nice, very consistent, very dark, which I like. It smelled and tasted GREAT. It was not quite as thick as I was expecting, but very good. Very satisfying. The 9.5% ABV was noticeable, but it didn't hurt the flavor. I like a beer with some kick, so I loved that about it. All in all, one of my favorite beers, and something I will definitely enjoy many times again.

Photo of Roguer
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Black beer topped with a decent, dark brown head, with good retention.

Lovely imperial stout aroma, with a hint of banana from the yeast, and tons of smooth roasted barley.

Taste is surprisingly flatter and less sweet than I expected. Roasted barley, slightly metallic; not an overly strong overripe fruit presence, but it's there on the back-end; dark cacao and over-roasted black coffee come to mind. Tiny bit of sweetness and yeast presence on the very, very back-end.

Bitterness carried by the roast, although there is a noticeable hop bitterness as well.

Bit of foaming, but otherwise a very pleasant, easy mouthfeel, fairly thick and full, with a bit of alcohol heat.

In a world of sweet dessert stouts and coffee stouts, this hearkens back to a simpler time. Straightforward, no frills, big, bold, bitter imperial stout. The more I drink of it, the more I come to really like it.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 750ml capped bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Beer pours a thick, pitch black. .5 finger dark cream colored head with moderate retention. Lacing is thick and layered with great stick. Thin legs. Very solid.

Nose is roasted malt, liquorice, maple, smoke, and cocoa. A touch of maple bacon in there too. Nice. Moderately aromatic.

Opens liquorice, roast, cocoa, and chocolate. Leather, fudge and some prunes and other dark fruit and more liquorice in the middle. End is smoke and molasses sweetness. Aftertaste of bittersweet chocolate and molasses. Pretty good.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Bubbly and lively in the mouth and smooth and warm going down. Finishes messy with a lingering aftertaste. Appropriate.

I've never heard of this beer before now so this was a pleasant surprise. There's a touch of a strange meat flavor in the nose and taste but it works with the dark chocolate, liquorice, and maple notes. Nice feel carries this one through pretty decently. Worth trying.

Photo of morimech
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown color with a dense, one finger brown head that had excellant retention. The head settles to a very thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass.

Dark malt aroma. Not heavily roasted but more of a chocolate malt. Hints of cherries and grass.

Straight forward Russian Imperial Stout. Does not go into extreme regions like the big players that BAs love. Not hoppy, nor sweet. Just right down the middle. Chocolate notes with some fruity esters. A little grass and earth from the hops. Alcohol plays a role in the finish with some warmth and flavor.

Solid body with some superb carbonation. It is just hurt by the alcohol in the end that hurts the finish.

May not be a stout to seek out, but I am glad I had a chance to drink a bottle. I would say it is an approachable RIS.

Photo of deadbody
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

$5 on tap at Grumpys? Sounds good. Poured into a mug :(

Pours a super dark brown, with a small caramel head. Smell is roasty with some good coffee undertones. Not super aromatic.

Taste is outstanding. Good coffee and chocolate and malt (ate a small piece of Oreo birthday cake with this and it was damn near orgasmic)

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin. I really expected more, and it did affect the taste a bit, a thicker richer mouthfeel would have really helped hold the flavors more.

Overall, really good RIS. When they bottle this I'll be buying some more. Not quite on the level of a darkness, but a good local RIS.

Photo of Rutager
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks for yet another new one Steasy66 and another from Maximum12. Two fantastic traders from MN!

Appearance. Pours thick and black with half a finger of light brown head.

Smell. Dark chocolate, caramel and vanilla, some dark malts, and a little bit of roasted nuts, cherry and raisins.

Taste. Dark bittersweet chocolate, some dates and a bit of coffee. Some dry roasty bitterness and a bit of smoke in the finish and quite dry throughout.

Mouthfeel. On the low side of full bodied, medium-low smooth carbonation.

Overall. A very nice RIS that isn't too sweet or sticky. I appreciate that and am enjoying this very much.

Photo of rjp217
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a bunch of snifter tasters. No bottle date to be found....

A - Black as night with minimal head, maybe half finger and no lace to be found

S - This is my favorite aspect of the beer. Dark chocolate, black licorice, espresso shine through

T - Chocolate, milky creaminess, coffee bitterness, roasted malts, toffee, mild hops with a very noticeable ABV

M - Carbonation, some bitterness off the palate

O - A really solid RIS. I wish there was a bottle date because I would like to compare a fresh and aged one. Seems like the age would temper down the bitterness but who knows. Overall it's an impressive brew

Photo of deford
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 750 ml bottle into a Stone IRS Tulip with a nice hard pour.

L- Oh so dark, no light comes through at all. Very nice 2 fingers of caramel colored head that fades in a few minutes leaving little trace behind.

S- Very definitely dark fruits and chocolate. Bananas come on after a bit with some roasty something or other. Maybe a little licorice.

T- Dark fruits again with cocoa and coffee beans. A bit of molasses, maybe some sweet cherries and a little more roasted coffee. Finishes with a dry bitter hoppieness that balances the sweets just right...really nice!

F- Luscious....just right not too sticky and not too dry.

O- Overall its quite satisfying. Sweet fruits balanced by dry hops with a little char to blend things together a bit. As it warms the alcohol comes forward a bit...pretty much a sipper.

Photo of yamar68
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a huge fan of Fulton, but after a good amount of promising reviews, I figured I should check this one out.

Looks very much like Speedway I think... deep coffee brown to black body and a finger of steady latte colored head that laces well with a tease of legs.

Real straight-forward... chocolate malts, roasty dessert notes, some mild brown sugar, a touch of alcohol heat comes after a big snort. Pretty smooth I'd say.

Loads of roasted malts... some oaky vanilla, mild milk chocolate, a bit of smoke... again, pretty smooth... safe.

A "worthy adversary" for... I don't know, maybe Stone IRS?

Photo of edbeered
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap,this looks like a stout. It's an opaque black color, with a small brown head that quickly dissipates. the smell is faintly of malt and plums. The taste explodes off the tongue, with plums, chocolate, raisins, and coffee flavors blended together. The mouthfeel is rich, as a RIS should be. The drinkablity is hindered only by it's higher alcohol content. This is indeed a Worthy Adversary!

Photo of CraigP83
4.74/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer surprised me, It was much better than I was anticipating. Complex and sticky lwith Carmel notes, rich and flavorful. I would definitely seek this out over some other highly rated RIS.

Photo of mwilbur
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours an opaque black (no light comes through with backlighting) with 1/2 inch dark mocha head that quickly recedes. (4.5)
S: Dark roasted caramel malt, chocolate malt, fig and other dark dried fruit, and a whiff of grassy hops. (4)
T: Dark bitter chocolate, dark roasted caramel malt, spicy rye, toasted grains, and grassy hops. Excellent balance and solid complexity. Dark dried fruit emerges with warming. (4.5)
M: Medium-heavy feel and full-bodied. Starts bittersweet and fairly smooth, then shifts and finishes dry and bitter. Slightly sticky sweet feel. (4)
D: Not as in-your-face as a lot of RISs out there...which in my book is a good thing. The ABV is a bit restrained 9.5% which avoids the overpowering boozy blast that can occur. A very solid brew...definitely recommended. (4.5)

1/16/14:
A: Poured on-tap into tulip. Pours an opaque black with a thin dark mocha head that quickly recedes.
S: Amazing mix of smooth dark chocolate, bourbon, charred wood, and toasted grains. Hint of dark caramel malt and grassy hops.
T: Dark bitter chocolate, rye whiskey, charred wood, spicy hops, and a hint of vanilla. Dark dried fruit emerges with warming.
M: Medium-heavy feel. Smooth with a bit of creamy and bitter aspects. Dry and moderately bitter finish. Sticky sweet feel.
D: Excellent drinkability especially for style. The ABV of 9.5% hits the sweet spot. Good complexity and excellent balance. Highly recommended...seek it out!

Photo of marieli
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Draft. Let it warm a bit before starting. Good dark color with small tan head that didn't stick. Color was more cola as quantity went down. Aroma was minimal. Malt with some chocolate sweetness as it warmed. Taste was coffee on first drink. But it was more of a meld as it warmed. Nothing distinguished. Couldn't really pick out the chocolate. That's not to say it wasn't good! A nice blend. No booze at all for 9+ ABV. Smooth with a little backside bitterness. Medium feel. This beer does not distinguish itself but it's not a bad drink. It just doesn't stand out.

Photo of blakelive784
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to maximum12 for this bottle!

750 ml brown glass bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours an opaque black color with a rich, tan, thick and creamy head of three fingers. Retention is absurdly good for the high ABV (it didn't move for a good 10 minutes), and the head leaves sticky lacing as it recedes.

S - Rich chocolate malts alongside restrained coffee. Plum, licorice and raisin. Sweet chocolates are prominent. Deeply roasted malt body. A moderate strength and sweet aroma.

T - Forceful roasted malts and the same dark fruit notes I'd found on the nose dominate. ON the sweeter side, but surprisingly well balanced. Milk chocolate heavy. Subtle coffee when I look for it. A touch bitter on the finish. No alcohol presence whatsoever. Very well built but not entirely complex.

M - Creamy, thick and silky smooth. Perfect carbonation.

D - High quality and insanely drinkable. I'd love to have it again (or the BA version). I'd look forward to trying other Fulton beers if I'd be so lucky.

Photo of FourBetter
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler into a german style beer mug.

A: Black squared. One finger of head, hung around a while.

S: Sweet aroma with coffee and molasses.

T: Taste didn't quite live up to the smell. Not offensive with coffee and licorice (rather than the molasses or coffee I was hoping for after the smell lured me in).

M: Heavy and more syrupy than I expected.

O: Average. Starts out good and let's you down just a little bit. I would drink again, but might look at other options if available.

Photo of GeezLynn
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Black with a modest tan head. Retention is not great.
S: Strong black licorice, light fruityness, milk chocolate.
T: Dominated by bracingly heavy char that lingers through entire sip. There's also a bit of dark fruit and cocoa apparent and more licorice. Pretty dry finish. As a whole, flavor comes off a bit simplistic and dull.
M: Body is full with light carbonation. Very thick, smooth feel is the strong point of the beer for me.

Overall, nothing I would consider a flaw. But as far as imperial stouts go, it was pretty unremarkable.

Photo of chanokokoro
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into an unbranded short stemmed tulip/snifter

Pours opaque black with a one finger tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. Viscous is an understatement; this brew is like motor oil and is definitely among the thickest RIS's I've had. Big roasted malt, roasted grain, and the deep aroma of mixed dark fruit. Huge robust roasted malt, roasted barley, and other grains joined midpalate by molasses, plums,, sticky sweet prunes and dried black cherry. Finishes with more robust roasted grain notes, combined with a strong bittering hop presence. As mentioned huge devastating full body, chewy, smooth with oily slickness, even some hints of creaminess. This brew is impressive and stands among the better RIS's that I've had. It's surprising that some reviews have referenced a lack of complexity. I find it to be extremely complex and incredibly satisfying. A Worthy Adversary indeed; prepare yourself before pouring a glass of this exceptional beer.

Photo of Phillyz
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks so much to Audiophile for sending me this local goodie. I have to start this review with: OH MY GOD! This beer is amazing. I've drank a lot of renowned stouts lately, and this one is in my top 3.

A: Dark, completely opaque, but not quite oil-black. Nice tan coffee head, and beautiful lacing.

S: Dark fruit. Raisins and plums. But not too sickly sweet, but very sweet. Quite different smelling then tasting.

T: Oh man, this one is special. It follows the nose - dark fruits. Raisins and plums. However, you get that sweet coffee bite at the end of the sip, and chocolate and toasted malts. The 9.5% ABV is nearly invisible in this stout. Once again, this beer is a treat. The after taste is almost purely roasted malt. I need Audiophile to send me more!

M: This is by far the best mouth feel of any stout that I've ever had. I have drank BCBS, BCBCS, Dark Lord '10, Lil' B, and Williamsburg Cafe Royale in the past month. This one is sweeter than saccharine (not literally). Medium feel, not too heavy, not too light, just perfect. It's still full, and leaves a little 'thickness' in your mouth a few minutes after a sip. Once again, near impeccable.

O: This one is a rare one. Find anyone you know in Minnesota and beg them to search all their bottle shops for this. I'm not quite sure why I've never heard of it before, I asked Audiophile to find me a rare, local stout, and he couldn't have done any better. This beer deserves to be a hit. Out of the 5 aforementioned stouts, this one easily takes second behind BCBCS. If anything deserves to be named worthy adversary, it is this.

Photo of JackieTH
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black pour with a finger thick cap of rich mocha colored foam. Smells roasted malt, dried prunes, coffee, dark chocolate, figs, dates, raisins. Taste is rich dark chocolate, figs, espresso roasted coffee, roasted malt. A chocolaty sweetness attempts to develop though this is mostly checked by a wash of hop, coffee ground and dark chocolate bitterness. Nice creamy mouthfeel in a medium-heavy beer. Finish is lightly bitter and chocolate. Good stuff though not as complex as some of the bigger RIS out there.

Photo of cfrances33
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle thanks to yamar68, poured into a snifter.

Pour: Super black body with a fantastic finger plus head. Some really nice sticky lacing and some definite legs as well.

Smell: Big roasted chocolate and a definite floral hop presence. Some bitterness even on the nose. A touch of molasses.

Taste: Really sticky chocolate and sweet toffee. Lots of floral hops again. Some bitter coffee. Sticky sweet on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice velvety mouthfeel, but a definite bitterness throughout. Very sticky throughout.

Overall. A really nice creamy imperial stout. Rather one dimensional, but it highlighted all the aspects of a stout that I enjoy. Would definitely have a again, and I think this could be something special thrown into a barrel.

Photo of TheBrewo
3.59/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This brew was served on tap at the Seven Corners Republic, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It arrived in a stout generic tulip glass, showing a deep and beautiful motor oil black. It held a half finger tall head of dark chocolate brown bubbles, showing decent retention. Lacing was spotty. There was an absence of haze or sediment, and carbonation appeared to be active. The aroma consisted of slick black olives, tin, Elmer's glue, banana peppers, almonds, hot leather, bittering black licorice, harsh phenolic clove, Styrofoam, vodka booziness, potpourri, black, coffee, and chocolate maltiness with infinite roast, campfire char, and fresh linens. The taste brought along more of the same, but was a bit sweeter through a blend of candied almonds, sticky fig and apricot jam, maraschino cherry sweetness, fusel sour booziness, muddy mineral, grainy and gritty whiskey corn, milk chocolate and sugars, curious herbal floral type, mayonnaise, metallic yeastiness, mint leafiness, pencil woodiness, dusty and dry one-dimensional chocolate malts, and raw coffee. The aftertaste breathed heavily of mud. The body was full, and carbonation was moderate. Slurp, smack, cream, and froth are surprisingly lacking for how big the beer is, and the mouthfeel otherwise lacks any thick oiliness or density stylistically. It felt like a younger, sweeter milk stout; a bit powdery and puckering, with little else. The abv was appropriate, and drinkability remained at a reasonable sip.

Overall, this was a nice looking Russian imperial. Its tap handle was nestled in our corner of the bar, and admittedly, we were mesmerized by the beauty of how gorgeously it glugged off the system. It poured like oil being drained from an engine. Superficially, this was the primary reason we ordered it. Each other aspect of the beer fell unfortunately flat for us. For the taste, they threw harsh booziness, punchy roast, bright dark fruitiness, and muddy murkiness all into a pot, but seem to have forgotten to stir them all together. These elements all clashed, making for a disharmonious, forced union. Couple that with a chewy but simply forgettable feel, and you’ve got yourself a middle-of-the-road Russian imperial stout.

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Worthy Adversary from Fulton Beer
92 out of 100 based on 338 ratings.