1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Your Black Heart Russian Imperial Stout - O'Dempsey's

Not Rated.
Your Black Heart Russian Imperial StoutYour Black Heart Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

177 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 177
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.33%
Wants: 10
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
O'Dempsey's visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: elgiacomo on 11-08-2011

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 177 | Reviews: 52
Photo of ChelseaH
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite RIS of all time. Rich, thick and malty - with just enough robust coffee and chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth...or make me crave another :)

Photo of TheSSG
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Pours a soapy, tan head. Acidity and toasted malt combines to make a pleasant black olive-esque aroma. Black. Starts with an acidic, toasted malt. There is a medium hoppiness. Finish is lightly burnt coffee and toasted malt.

Not too shabby. Not overly aggressive on any fronts (an a medium thickness) so it's nothing amazing, but it's definitely solid.

Photo of ONUMello
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Pitch black with a one-finger tan head
S: Chocolate, roasted malts, a bit of coffee and molasses
T: Roasted malt, dark coffee, cocoa and brown sugar
M: Medium-bodied, balanced, a bit bitter
O: A very solid RIS. Wish this were available in Ohio as I'd drink it often

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Sampled October 2014 from bottles in pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark color, dark tan head that lasted for a while.

Smell: Sweet with strong toasted coffee aromas, also some hints of chocolate and hops.

Taste: Full-bodied with great balance of malt and hops. Dominated by toasted coffee, but with some chocolate flavor as well. Taste starts sweet with malts, then comes the roasted coffee flavors, and then a little bitterness from the hops. Overall a great combination.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, but smooth.

Overall: Great stout. Best if you enjoy a combination strong malts & coffee, with a little bitterness from the hops. I will buy this again.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%

12 oz bottle into a wine glass. Brewed at Thomas Creek in SC.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a finger high, with a lighter tan shade. Retention isn't the greatest, but it's a relatively creamy head that *tries* to leave a thin collar of lacing behind. Loving the darkness, though. (3.75)

Smell: Really rich and roasty. There is a significant chocolate sweetness, as well. Auxiliary notes of brown sugar help round it out. It's definitely not an endlessly complex beer, but its handful of notes work extremely well together. (4)

Taste: Oh yeah, this is how I like my imperial stouts. Read: it's a roast bomb. Some initial flavors of bitter dark chocolate, dark fruits, and brown sugar help give it some needed depth. But even still, the back end is gloriously roasty. I'm really enjoying the coffee flavor, in particular; there are even some notes of leather, tobacco, and char. The big roastiness balances perfectly with the subtle sweetness, creating a superbly enjoyable RIS, even if it isn't infinitely complex. (4.25)

Mouthfeel: Definitely not bone-dry, but still dry enough. The carbonation gives it a cake-like density that I love. I could use a touch more creaminess in the texture, though. Still, it goes down very easily for 8%, while retaining its relative richness. (4)

Overall: Crappy label. Not even a morsel of hype. This one sucks, right? NO! It's a killer RIS. This manages to pack a shitload of roasty goodness in 8%. I always love ending up with a hidden gem...it makes me feel like I know something others don't. ;) Or maybe I just like roast bombs, I don't know. (4)

4.1/5: Great roast-laden RIS devoid of hype

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense dark brown head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, dark bread, light raisin, smoke, light char, herbal, light pine, and roast/smokey earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of deep roast/black malt and light-moderate hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, dark bread, light raisin, smoke, light char, herbal, light pine, and roast/smokey earthiness. Fair amount of earthy hop/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roast, dark bread, molasses, smoke, light char, and roast/smoke earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and balance of deep roast/black malt and light-moderate hop flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly creamy, and moderately chalky/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial stout. All around good complexity and balance of deep roast/black malts and light-moderate hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of richj1970
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep black with hint of brown. Small tan colored head and light lacing.

S: Roasted espresso beans and bitter chocolate. Subtle hints of oak.

T: Bold roasted malts, and rich espresso flavors. Some bitter dark chocolate.

M: Full bodied but not thick. Finish is a little bitter and dry. It did get a little creamier as it warmed up.

O: Solid RIS but a touch on the bitter side. Perhaps a bit more sweetness would have made this more enjoyable.

Photo of GallowsThief
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Savannah, Georgia. Served in my tulip.

A – Black as night. Nice rich, creamy tan head that left a small amount of lacing.

S – Roasted malts, toffee, coffee and dark chocolate.

T – Nice strong punch of coffee and espresso flavors with roasted malts. Dark and milk chocolate flavors with just a bit of sweetness. Light toffee and molasses. Finished with a bit of alcohol burn and a touch of bitterness.

M – Medium to full bodied with light carbonation. Creamy on the palate.

O – Good solid RIS here with very nice flavors. Warms up well and the flavors shine through. Pleasantly surprised with this nice brew.

Photo of StHopNick
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is one of the best beers brewed in georgia. I very light bodied RIS that you can drink for a while if you can handle the 9+% alcohol. Really good coffee and chocolate flavors. A not overwhelming aftertaste completes this excellent beer. Every beer drinker in Georgia should try this. Outstanding for Georgia's new and budding craft brewing community.

Photo of brureview
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a 1/2F head in a snifter, with an opaque dark chocolate color.

The aroma wasn't strong for an RIS, but it was different. Lot of emphasis on dark dried fruit ( raisins etc) , licorice and some coffee. The aroma intensifies with warming.

The beer is not as carbonated as other RIS, and the body is lighter.

The taste is coffee-chocolate, some plum , raisins or licorice.

The finish is lightly hoppy.

Overall, an enjoyable RIS, especially at higher serving temps. 50F+

There is more emphasis in this beer on the dried fruit & licorice than the chocolate-coffee.
Regardless, this is an excellent beer worth looking for.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours very dark brown. Nearing black. Thin, brown head rises then pops away.

A-Nice and roasty. Dark chocolate. Bitter, dark maltiness. It's not overpowering or specifically unique but it's pretty tight to the style.

T-Flavor is again pretty roasty. Dark chocolate and some fudge. Dark coffee and some burnt, charred flavors.

M-Full bodied but not exactly viscous. There is a creamy component to the feel. Alcohol warms my cheeks.

O-Very solid but very generic. Not many negatives with this brew except for it lack of memorable flavors. Pretty cut and dry.

Photo of rudzud
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip. 2012 vintage.

A - Pours a nice pitch black hue with a thin one finger mocha head that fades to leave a thin, creamy blanket, but not much side lacing.

S - Aromas of big, strong dark chocolate. Heavy swirls bring out sweeter dark fruits, faint roast, light nuttiness, brownie batter aroma. Quite pleasant.

T - Taste is much more smokey/roasty , the big dark chocolate is still there, but the dark fruits are more assertive as well. A bit more harmonious than the nose, the alcohol was hidden well though is a bit noticeable.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly creamy, alcohol hidden nicely, quite drinkable.

O - Overall, this was a tasty RIS. Wish the taste was a bit more chocolate heavy. Not a bad RIS though.

Photo of bigpatvoodoodad
4.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The one I have says brewed and bottled by Thomas Creek Brewery here in Greenville, SC.

A - poured about a 2 finger caramel colored head which dissipated quickly. Pitch black and completely opaque

S - faint chocolately smell

T - start off chocolatey and sweet. Finishes with a bitter dark chocolate with a hint of the alcohol becoming apparent.

M - sticky, sweet and kind of thick. Great example of the style.

O - This is a great imperial stout. Easy to drink and very delicious. Glad I picked this one up to sample

Photo of brentk56
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Tar black, with an inch of tan foam on top; a few shards of lace are left behind

Smell: Dark chocolate syrup, with a hints of caramel and tobacco

Taste: Dark chocolate dominates, with hints of caramel, tobacco and vanilla, in the middle; the caramel and vanilla come through with more vigor in the finish, but this is still a very chocolatey stout

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and somewhat creamy; low to moderate carbonation

Overall: More like an American double stout than an RIS, this is a nice beer for what it is though it lacks the depth and complexity of others in either the American or RIS styles

Photo of dbrauneis
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear but opaque jet black in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy dark tan to mocha head that reduces to a couple of medium sized patches of thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall a very light aroma to this beer which is surprising for the style. There are very light aromas of roasted malts with hints of chocolate and some dark fruits.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of charred roasted malts with some lighter flavors of bittersweet chocolate and light hints of dark fruit (red grape) sweetness. Overall this beer has moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Not bad but I wish that the smell matched in the intensity of the taste of the beer. There are some good notes but it needs to have the alcohol a little more well hidden and a little more sweetness to balance the beer out.

Photo of ryan1788a5
2.92/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Sludgy, oily black on the pour. The tan head sputters out almost instantly. Spotty and patchy lacing.

S: Fudgy, brownie batter, semi-sweet dark chocolate. Touch of smoke, mild char, coffee roast. Salty/mineral. Dried fig and dried apple.

T: Soy sauce and a brine-like saltiness right up front. A slight rubbery flavor could be coming from a high phenol spike or just some heavily charred malts. Fudge, brownie batter, smoke, deep roasted malt char and soot. Fig and apple fruitiness. Long roasted malt finish of char and chocolate, but unfortunately a slightly distracting solventy alcohol taste follows into the finish as well.

M: Slick, sludgy body. Thick and chewy. Weighty and a little viscous. Light prickling carbonation. This part is done very well.

O: This beer has a lot of potential. You can tell there's some real greatness underneath the flaws. Looks like they just need to nail down their quality control.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown; clear with a tan head. Leaves a good amount of lace on the snifter, and looks very nice.

Aroma: Consisting of roasted malts, dark fruits, smoke and alcohol. Also kind of has a woodsy hint to it as well.

Taste: Robustly malty, reminiscent of a strong coffee. Mild citrusy hop flavor, but fairly bitter. Malts have some peat and nutty cocoa notes. Alcohol is present but well tempered. This imperial stout is warming and tastes quite nice.

Feel: Full bodied, well carbonation. Malty sugars linger into the finish along with some smoke, like sweetened coffee.

Overall: A nice beer brewed by Thomas Creek, O Dempseys must be contract brewed. Thomas Creek seems to do a lot of that, they need to get credited for their work on this site. Good recipe, that's for sure.

Photo of csparace
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked this up back home as I sampled all the local flavors. Currently working as my night cap and is working perfectly for that task!

Smell (4.25) – The biggest thing present here is chocolates and roasted grains. Hints of fruits and coffee notes. The smell makes me think its going to be sweet and even a little milky. Once it's poured the coffee notes come out a bit more. If you really really look for it you can potentially smell alcohol – or something else that smells similar.

Appearance (4.00) – Pours a pith black tar with a two finger nutty brown head. No light penetrates. Huge active bubbles in the head which comes down quickly. Once the head comes down you can see slight amounts of carbonation coming to the top.

Taste (4.25) – Initial impression is that of roasted grains and coffee with a hit of hops. The coffee fades while the roast continues. The hops come out more a few seconds later. A slight smoke feel is present throughout. The roasted flavors are huge in this beer but not overwhelming at all.

Mouthfeel (3.75) – This stout has a moderate thickness. Lips are decently sticky. Its definitely a slow drinker but not to the extent that you're chewing it.

Overall (4.00) The main idea of this beer seems to be in the bitterness that the roasted body delivers. It's pretty satisfying as a stout and delivers a complexity that includes chocolates and coffee.

Photo of horshack7
4.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Incredibly dark in fact down right black. The head is a dark beige pushing brown.

Aroma: Heavy dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate with some milk sugars. Light char, dark roasted hops with a floral note. A few dark fruits in the back.

Taste: Very malty in the front that has so many chocolate malts. Silky smooth mouthfeel, hops are roasted very dark. Milk sugars, and some char.

Notes: Very tasty all over and would pick this one up again. Cheers.

Photo of AmitC
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A very thick pouring brew, dark brown to almost black in color. Pitch black inside the glass. A good shining brown colored less than a half finger thick head that stays really well. An excellent lacing on the sides. Opaque.

Aroma is of dark roasted malts and some hops. A bit of coffee aroma, not really ground. Strength is mild to only moderate. A good burnt up nose. No alcohol. Difficult to pick up mainly due to fading aroma.

Flavor is that of burnt up and charred malts. A good and balancing hop profile. Finish is dry to slightly bitter. Some chocolate and coffee in the taste.

Mouth feel is full bodied. Low carbonation. No astringency of any kind. Drinks really nice and easy. A good alcohol warmth.

Nothing really wrong with the brew but no wow factor either.

Style Rate: 4
Personal Rate: 4.25

Photo of tdm168
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - pitch black with a thin lacing of dark brown head that has good retention

S - chocolate, roasted malts, faint coffee, sweet sugary notes

T - roasted malts, coffee, some faint chocolate, mildly bitter finish

M - full bodied, well carbonated

This is a rich beer. It may not have the depth and intricacies of some of the great RIS out there, but this definitely has some character. It's dark and malty, rich and drinkable. This isn't the best RIS out there but it ain't bad either. It's worth checking out.

Photo of sammib528
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A – This beer poured thick and dark with a small dark caramel head the disappeared quickly

S – There was a deep rich coffee smell like fresh espresso, hints of molasses and caramel

T – The taste was surprising. While there was a strong coffee flavor, it was rich and deep. There was a chocolate taste that made it smooth on the tongue.

M – Heavy, rich and inviting. Not overly carbonated. Left my mouth dry, wanting another sip

Overall – this was a very satisfying glass of beer. Rich flavor that teased my tongue and then disappeared with a dry finish.

Photo of rajendra82
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The dark brown pour had ruby highlights while coming out of the bottle, but looked nearly pitch black in the glass. The head was nearly two finger thick, and khaki in color. The smell was very foreboding, with dark chocolate, dark coffee, and dark skinned fruits. The taste was not quite as aggressive as the smell hinted at. There was sweet cocoa, caramel toffee, dark roasted coffee, and vanilla in the taste. Some bittering hops showed up in the finish briefly. The body was appropriately dense and chewy. The beer was good, but could have used a bit more boldness.

Photo of zuperman
4.91/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great Imperial. Nice balance and taste. Not too high abv. The coffee notes in the smell are great and the bittersweet taste from the dark chocolate masks the alcohol perfectly. Pour it to sip in enjoy!

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up recently at Buy-Rite in Jersey City, having never tried this before. Beers like this are rated pretty highly on here so I didn't think this would measure up but in some odd way, it held its own. This wasn't the top of the line for its particular style but in terms of taste, strength, and drinkability, I enjoyed this a lot, especially the fact that this wasn't as harsh as some of the more popular Russian Imperial Stouts.

The pour to this was nice, with a full and dark brown hue and a nice, thick head that looked like it came from a dessert serving of chocolate mousse. Lots of milk chocolate and cocoa nibs in the aroma which was repeated in the mouthfeel. This wasn't powdery or had a lot of alkali in it but it leaned more towards the espresso end of the coffee spectrum. Not a large amount of carbonation here and hardly any lacing to be seen but this still went down easily with just a hint of molasses and a burnt, roasted tone in the back. This had a nice warming effect to it to without overpowering the taste or balanced body to this.

Even the alcohol was just right as I could only feel it once I finished up my serving. By itself, this was a great beer and a good introduction to the style for someone who has never tried one before. This would rate higher if there weren't so many better examples out at the present but in terms of surprises, they don't get much bigger than this. Certainly worth a try for anyone who loves Stouts or something dark, fairly strong, and easily accessible.

to view more.
Your Black Heart Russian Imperial Stout from O'Dempsey's
89 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.