Worthy Adversary - Fulton Beer

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Worthy Adversary
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

59 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 59
Hads: 348
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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 348
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)

Photo of zeff80
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured out a jet-black color with a one-finger, brown head of foam. Sudsy lace.

S - It smelled roasty and chocolatey. Some coffee notes.

T - Roasty, dark chocolate, burnt molasses and rich coffee flavor. It tastes really great.

M - Crisp and smooth. A medium to full bodied stout.

O - This is a fantastic brew. Beginning to wish I brought one home to Missouri. (368 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Treebs - thanks Ryan! Served in a tulip.

A - Late-rising tan foam settles to a thin collar, and minimal lace. Very dark brown body that verges on black.

S - This is definite a 'classic' RIS, with hefty notes of roasted malts, anise, char, espresso, dark chocolate, and dark bread. Perhaps a hint of fruity English ale yeast in the periphery.

T - The taste is quite similar, with the aforementioned char, anise, a touch of smoke, and nearly burnt malts. Very low sweetness, with a bit of dark chocolate creeping through. Perhaps a touch harsh in the finish.

M - Medium-full body, dry, roasty texture, lower carbonation, and a touch of alcohol warmth. Pretty much what you'd expect from this style.

D - A solid, well-executed, RIS. Quite a bit different from the other ones you'd find available in the Minneapolis area, with its high attenuation and heavy emphasis on roast. Nice for a glass, but not something I could drink in large quantities due to palate fatigue. (987 characters)

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. (1,304 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Grumpys. $5 for a mug of this seemed like a legit deal to me. I had seconds fo sho.

Pours a tan head. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: A lot of coffee and chocolate. A nice amount of roast. Creamy and malty. Caramel with a bit of dark fruits/molasses mixed in.

Taste: A lot like the nose, but much more flavorful. The coffee flavors are awesome. I was quite surprised by how much flavor was actually here. A lot of chocolate and caramel with a little roast. Dark fruits again, but the malts are the highlights here.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry.

Overall, this beer needs to be seen on tap at more bars and this beer needs to remain this price. Anytime I see this at the bar, I will be buying it. Very impressive offering. This is one of those local hidden gems (thank you darkness). (867 characters)

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 (1,061 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 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. (930 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 jera1350
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Solid black with a creamy layer of cocoa colored foam. Rich malt nose with some light vanilla bean and smoke. Deep malt flavor, smoke, molasses and vanilla. Nice complexity. Smooth and full bodied. This is an exceptionally easy to drink imperial stout. Very well done overall. (276 characters)

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. (626 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 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. (792 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 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 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. (1,465 characters)

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. (1,094 characters)

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. (1,052 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 josephwa
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - very dark brown hue, thin line of head.

S - mild coffee notes, chocolate and roast on the nose.

T - Coffee, chocoloate, very slight bourbon taste and strong roasty taste. Very smooth.

M - well carbonated with a very mild alcohol burn, again very smooth.

O - overall this is Fulton's best offering up to this point in my opinion. A very tasty imperial stout. Would highly recommend it. (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 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 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. (985 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 Mdog
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black, good head, good lacing.

Smell: Big chocolate smell, some coffee.

Taste: Big sweet chocolate and coffee from start to finish. I like big stouts on the sweet side, and this really hits the spot.

Mouthfeel: Substantial, pretty thick.

Drinkability: Very tasty, only on tap right now.

Tried this at the Hanger Room in Willernie, and was really wowed by the beer. Chocolatey, coffee, not too sweet and not too bitter. Really impressed by this one. (465 characters)

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Worthy Adversary from Fulton Beer
91 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.