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Worthy Adversary - Fulton Beer

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Worthy Adversary
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

60 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 60
Hads: 351
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 47
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 60 | Hads: 351
Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Warming, Sweet, Char, Even

Sometimes I don’t feel like drinking the Russian Imperial Stouts from my stash in the winter. This lovely beast hits hard with a one-two combo of sweetness and roasted/burnt maltiness. Then the alcohol lays down a mellowing warmth that I did not even notice until a few sips in. Everything is quite balanced in the finish, which makes me want to go in for another sip. An exceptional drink and a worthy adversary indeed.

STYLE: Russian Imperial Stout | ABV: 9.5% | AVAILABILITY: Seasonal

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #101 (JUN 2015) (576 characters)

Photo of larryi86
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thank you garymuchow for this!
12 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Jet black with a two finger mocha head

S- Dark fruits, figs, creamy chocolate, caramel, faint roasted coffee, very rich.

T- Not as big or rich as the nose, dark fruit, dark chocolate, roasted malts, coffee finish, molasses.

M- Smooth, medium body, carbonation is a light high.

O- Though the taste falls short compared to the nose this is still a well done stout. If Fulton ever does a bourbon barrel version I would love to it. (500 characters)

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 (454 characters)

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. (582 characters)

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. (816 characters)

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. (193 characters)

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. (395 characters)

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. (2,220 characters)

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. (1,032 characters)

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! (741 characters)

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. (891 characters)

Photo of 2beerdogs
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Thanks & Maximum Respect to @Jlabs for this surprise.

A straight up RIS. Not too sweet. Not barrel aged. A bit roasty. Enough heft. Slightly creamy mouthfeel, great slightly oily finish. Without getting all crazy with the descriptors, it's a damned respectable RIS! Would drink this one 'til the cows come home. (316 characters)

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. (950 characters)

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

L: Poured into large snifter: reddish brown/black with minimal, dissipating brown head

S: Strong smell coffee/espresso and malt

T: Delivers what the nose lead me to believe - great, strong imperial stout style malt with espresso.

F: Slightly thicker than other Imp Stouts I've had recently. Slides over the tongue with light carbonation.

O: Best surprise in my quest for an Imperial Stout this season! Definitely recommend if you are looking for the coffee-esque imperial stout without the overpowering alcohol. (517 characters)

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. (1,159 characters)

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. (1,039 characters)

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. (676 characters)

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. (577 characters)

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. (599 characters)

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

No date that I could find.

A: Thick black pour. Tall, dense medium brown head. Head fades out slowly with quite good retention. Moderate thick splotchy lacing.

S: Big roasted malt character. Especially charry. Mild bitter, acrid coffee and cocoa. Touch of smoke and anise? Has an interesting chocolate milk aroma sometimes, almost with a lactose character (even though I believe this isn't a milk stout).

T: Strong, strong roasted malt character. Sweet milk chocolate up front with quite a bit of char. Turns into a bitter cocoa with a decent chunk of smoke. Touch of anise towards the finish. Finishes bitter with acrid coffee and baker's chocolate. Lingering smoky char and bitter coffee grinds.

M: Lower carbonation, heavy body. Thick and viscous.

O: A strong, sharp RIS for sure. Huge, borderline harsh roasted malt characteristics. Not overly boozy, just very bold flavors. Overall balanced, despite the strength. Really highlights roasted malts in general, no barrel aging or adjuncts. Still quite complex and delicious. I really enjoyed this one. (1,059 characters)

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. (374 characters)

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 (639 characters)

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. (516 characters)

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. (613 characters)

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. (643 characters)

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Worthy Adversary from Fulton Beer
91 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.