Worthy Adversary - Fulton Beer

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Worthy Adversary
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

343 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 343
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 8.23%
Wants: 44
Gots: 75 | FT: 5
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: 343 | Reviews: 60
Photo of scottfrie
3.12/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a deep black with a couple fingers of dense dark brown head. The head slowly faded into a thick and lasting film that left streaks of thin lace down the glass.
S: Rich and potent notes of roasted malt, chocolate fudge, toasted nuts, roasted coconut, slight licorice, and boozy, hot, volatile alcohol.
T: Chocolate and roast dominates, with coconut, vanilla, caramel and fudge coming through in the finish. The aftertastes lingers forever with rich notes of chocolate, anise, and a bit of char. There's maybe a hint of roasted coffee in there as well. This beer is surprisingly bitter as well, and begins to become a chore to drink halfway through the bottle.
M: Medium body, soft carbonation, but the mouthfeel is boozy, hot, and definitely rough around the edges.
O: The anise, the bitterness, and the huge booze presence had it hard for me to love this beer. However, I think with a bit of age this would be fantastic. I could see what they were going for, it's just a bit rough around the edges.

Photo of Chaz
3.35/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown-black on color, topped with a darker tan head. Head falls and provides minimal lacing after a few minutes. Well-filtered with no yeast sediment.

Nose is par for the course: Rich and malty, with roasted malt notes and some sharp hops beneath richer, sweeter malt character. Some anise/fennel character (think: licorice) and dark skinned fruits. Light cocoa...

Sweet and almost too-sweet on the first sip. Cocoa notes followed by plum and licorice and a lighter vinous character, all on top of the sharper and bittering hop profile that keeps this one from becoming too sweet. Bittersweet finish. Gently warming.

As it warms the alcohol character becomes more pronounced in the finish, but for a beer of this strength it is acceptable.

Mouthfeel is good; Coats the palate, not too much carbonation.

Not a bad beer altogether (and better than I was expecting it to be), but still a touch too-sweet for my liking.

12oz bottle (from a split 4-pack) from the fresh mix n' match section at my local packie.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and cookie dough aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and cocoa flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice cookie dough aroma that makes the smell slightly better than the taste in my opinion.

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.

Photo of sonata2008
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fulton's Worthy Adversary was the cask of the moment at the Groveland Tap in St. Paul, MN. I love sampling cask beers, and I looked forward to giving the Adversary a try. I was not disappointed.

Appearance: The cask was served in a 16 oz. glass. The color was dark and dense, just right for a Russian Imperial Stout. It was topped with about a finger width of tan foam.

Smell: The aroma was filled with chocolate and cherry notes and a slight hint of coffee.

Taste: It had a strong roasted flavor, quite sweet, and very light on the hops. I also detected a tad bit of chocolate on the first couple sips. The chocolate flavor seemed to be more apparent the more I drank. The high alcohol content (9.2%) was evident.

Mouthfeel: Creamy mouthfeel, almost a tad syrupy.

Drinkability: A pleasant cask experience, although it was a little too sweet for my taste. It would probably make a great dessert beer. I can even imagine an ice cream float prepared with the Worthy Adversary. Yum!

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 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 VelvetExtract
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours near black but I still call it dark brown. A thin, tan foaminess rises then settles quickly.

S-Surprisingly mild. It's also quite straightforward. I would like more intensity in the nose. Roast and chocolate with a bit of coffee.

T-Flavor definitely has more of the intensity I was hoping for. A solid amount of roastiness and bitter coffee. Some char and a bunch of bitter cocoa. Maybe some black licorice as well.

M-I want more body here. It's a tad too thin. Well carbonated and fairly bitter. A bit of heat.

O-Pretty decent. The flavors and aromas are right to style but they seem to not mix together as good as some. It's till a solid Russian Imperial Stout.

Photo of enjambed
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving: Fridge temp bottle into wine glass. Allowed to warm over time.

Look: Jet black. Moderate pour produces a dark tan head that quickly disperses to almost nothing. Lacing low. Acceptable given the style.

Smell: Roast chocolate, coffee, a little bit of fruity esters resembling dark cherry, and some sweet doughy malt. Litttle to no alcohol presence, and pretty gentle overall.

Taste: Mostly bittersweet, heavily roasted chocolate, and coffee again. Fruity esters and doughy malt not as apparent. Balanced alcohol. Definitely a sipper, but does not overwhelm palate.

Feel: Medium thickness, a reasonable amount of warmth, nearly nonexistant carbonation. Very gentle finish that hardly lingers.

Overall: Pretty interesting imperial that stands out from the others I've tried. The focus is mostly on the roasty chocolately/coffee flavor while fruity esters and rich malts fall by the wayside in the taste. Essentially it's just not as complex as other imperials. But this makes it relatively pleasant and approachable for those not accustomed to all the flavors imperial stouts usually display. It's an imperial that somehow won't blow your palate.

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 jimmah120
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle of "real beer". no date for this actual malted beverage.

glugs out pretty much black, small bubbly head. smell is dark malt and earthy hops. velvety smooth and chewy feel, low carbonation but not too low. taste is dark fruit, tobacco, licorice, cocoa, touch of oak, very sweet. Rubbing alcohol scent and taste come out as it warms.

I liked War & Peace better.

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 garymuchow
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

One of the last bottles I picked up at Lowry Hill before #2 moved on to other things.
From the distance of pouring had a really nice light fruity quality. Closer to the glass it became more rich, a little boozy, soft but prominent roast (coffee), and some darker fruits. Luscious.
Poured with minimal head. Very dark and black - hard to find any color on the edges.
For a fresher RIS has pretty good blending and some maturity to it-however it still has a little bite to it. Roast flavor and dryness on the finish. Even a little spiciness in time blending through the drink. Some darker fruits that seem to come and go.
Pretty heavy (both in appearance with pouring) and a reasonably chewy body. Carbonation is done nicely and doesn't take away from the smoothness of the drink. Feels a little bigger than the 9.5% and the alcohol flavors and nip seem a little bigger than that too.
Largely malt with even a fairly fresh bottle shows little hop flavors-although some appears to show later with a light "green" freshness. In time there is a vegetable quality to the aroma in particular that isn't so pleasant, but then it moved to some real deliciousness when I poured the bottom of the bottle. In sum an overall enjoyable beverage. Good to a little more than that.
I hate to say it but at $10 per bottle when there are (much) better others at that price for a 4-pack this one won't be at the top of my list of must buy beers.
This is the 100th review for this beer.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cast in a classic ebon hue, in the glass, topeed with a rich, creamy, luscious head of tanned cocoa-toned foam. Really looks the part, though it could be tad darker, burnt, roastier...then, I'd know it was for real. Beautiful.

Creamy aroma, light, sweet chocolate, toffe, & nuts. Wish there was more in this department, it's squeeking a little too quietly for my liking. Nice enough, though.

In the mouth and on the palate, it fills the room, but doesn't dominate. There's chocolate here, carob, some some fig, a touch of dates, maybe...well, I'm not getting ash/charcoal/smoke,etc...it's dry, but not that roasty or burnt. Not too sweet, mind you, but, well, just doesn't reach the depths I like to dwell in when I dive into a great Imperial Stout. Tasty, for sure. Drinkable, (despit the unknown, but surely high abv.)yes.

Oh, wait, now...halfway into the glass, we're getting deeper and darker, more flavor's coming through. I'm liking it as a stout, but can't put it into the same league as the best Imperials out there, not yet, ...but, it's not far off, either. A bit more experience and tweaking, and this beer could be much beter. As it is, I do like it. Recommend it. Will continue to drink it, and while I do, try not to think of how little it's like Expedition, Darkness, or Old Rasputin.

Photo of jhawth
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. Pours a solid black with a finger-and-a-half, light brown head. Creamy.

Aroma: Creamy, sweet chocolate, espresso, roast malts. Very aromatic, very nice. Perhaps a little sweet for the style?

Taste: Follows nose, roasty, slightly astringent malt character is much more evident. Doesn't quite live up to the expectations aroused by the aroma, which is truly excellent. Becomes smoother as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, viscous, but almost a little light for a big RIS. Very smooth.

Overall: Very nice RIS. The first beer I've tried from Fulton, and I am very impressed.

Photo of Scotchboy
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle, a sick extra and local from laymansbeerfan (thanks!) split into pint glasses...

A: Dark red pour yields a nearly opaque brown with blood red tints...big Guinness-like brown head leaves minimal lacing.

S: Balanced nose with roasted malts and ample dark sweetness...malt, dark caramel, and milk chocolate. No alcohol detected...

T: Follows the nose, finishes with a coffee bitterness and a bit of drying alcohol...deeply roasted malt is almost burnt on the aftertaste.

MF: Medium body, dry-ish...lower carbonation.

O: Pretty straight-forward and one-dimensional. Solid.

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 mjpolzin
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Decided to plow through an entire 750 ml bottle of this on Valentine's Day. It was a Christmas gift from my cousin. Otherwise this is a beer that I wouldn't be able to get in Wisconsin.

The pour into the glass was a little lighter in both consistency and color than some of the top end imperial stouts. The initial taste was very roasty but as I adjusted to that and it warmed, there were tastes of chocolate and dark fruits that started to come through. There was a slight harsh alcohol taste that would probably go away with some age on this beer.

A very good imperial stout but not spectacular.

Photo of maedhros09
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Dark black with a couple fingers of brown head
Smell: roasty, dark fruit
Taste: A nicely balanced roasty dark fruit sweetness, alcohol, and a moderate herbal bitterness in the finish.
Feel: Thick, smooth
Overall: A solid imperial stout, nicely balanced. When I first opened it I thought I sensed some off flavors but as it warmed they seemed to go away and I actually enjoyed it more.

Photo of humuloner22
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this one as an extra. Sorry I cannot remember from who? Thanks though!

Appearance: What you would expect from a stout, black minimal head retention and some lacing that sticks to the edges of the glass.

Aroma: Not a lot other than some hops and roasted malts, some sweetness. I will say this borders more on a line between a stout and a black IPA, its got a lot of hop notes in there more than most stouts.

Taste: Roasted malts and some bittering hops, not the best stout I have ever had. I guess like mine a little more creamy and smooth. This one is bitter and
biting, and if that is your thing for stouts definitely go for it!

Overall: I don't particularly like this style of stout, but I can appreciate it for what it is!

Photo of zeledonia
3.99/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Tasted 6 January 2015.

Pours black, opaque, and thick. Half a finger of deep tan / light brown head, good retention and lacing.

Smell is rich, full of coffee and dark roasty aromas. A little wood, a little char, some slightly tannic hints. Complex and pleasant.

Taste is likewise full of coffee. Funny that they add coffee (War and Peace) to such a coffee-forward stout. It's followed by molasses, some charred wood. It's a shade more bitter than I'd like it to be, and that inhibits my enjoyment of it.

Feel is a bit odd. It's much more heavily carbonated than most stouts. That, combined with the thickness, makes it feel like electrified oil. Sorta feels like I poured syrup on my tongue and then licked a 9-volt battery. It's not terrible, but it's not my favorite.

A very nice stout. As I mentioned, the feel is odd, but the other aspects make up for that. And I've got to give Fulton major credit for putting it in very affordable 4-packs.

Photo of maximum12
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally had a chance to check this out on tap at the Fulton taproom before a Friday night Twins game. Been hearing about it for so long & it always eluded me. No longer. 95 degrees? Big black stout? Yes, thank you.

Pour is into a 10-12 ounce chalice & it purty as can be, dark & foamy. The nose runs to sweet malt & rough coffee, & there might be a sprig or two of chocolate mixed in, as well.

Worthy Adversary is indeed worthy of consideration. Even cold, the coffee in this one is titanic, slipping the bounds between roast & coffee & going straight to the bean. Chocolate fills in the void behind, & does a nice dance with the sweet malt. The combo leads to a smooth, silky mouthfeel behind the initial roughness that's just lovely.

This one lived up to the bookings - what a nice brew. I'd like to sit down with this one again when I wasn't inside a broiler getting cooked; it might be even better then. Very good stout.

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 wordemupg
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into tulip 1/5/13 cheers Rutager for yet another bottle of goodness

A I'm sounding like a broken record but its black liquid with a deep cola edge, two fingers of mocha foam with lots of unorganized lace, ends up as a paper thin film that still leaves lace

S straightforward but solid, dark fruit, coffee, milk chocolate, faint licorice and char

T chocolates slightly darker and I'm getting less dark fruit, a little booze and espresso compared to the coffee I was smelling

M not overly thick for the color but the bubbles give it some body, a little char and chocolate covered coffee beans on the finish

O dark fruits and dark roast, a good example of the style but nothing to really make it stand out, worth trying for sure but nothing about its going to change your life

I've been drinking so many great stouts lately its going to take something amazing to blow me away this week. Solid beer and one could call it a "mellow" RIS, hits all the spots though I suppose price would determine if I drank it on a regular basis or not

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?

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Worthy Adversary from Fulton Beer
92 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.