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

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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

177 Ratings
THE BROS
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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
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Ratings: 177 | Reviews: 52
Reviews by ESeab:
More User Reviews:
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 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 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 oberon
3.37/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first O'Dempsy beer to try,brewed at Thomas Creek.Poured into a nonic jet black I mean no light getting thru this beer,a thick one finger deep mocha colored head atop.Aromas are really light for the style and ABV. of the beer,faint cocoa and even more faint roast,I hate to give it such a low score but I have to.Alot of roasted char on the palate with a little sweet alcohol and bitter chocolate,very much like a French Roast coffee with a bit of chocolate.It's not bad it lacks in some crucial things but I kinda liked it,it's pretty easy to drink for the style.

Photo of chinchill
3.41/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle.

This is a thick, black liquid that was completely opaque even in a rather thin glass in bright sunlight. It pours with a large near-creamy head.

Aroma: very dark and some near-burnt malts, with tones of burnt toast. Something unusual here that I did not find objectionable, but couldn't put my finger on.

Taste: An extreme richness that is not too surprising given the thick pour and deep roasted aroma. Loads of dark roasted grains with overtones of coffee, smoke, spicy hops, and burnt toast. Rather minimal chocolate. A bit too strong for me (I know, some people think a RIS can't be too strongly flavored), but does leave a very long-lasting finish, with clear notes of coffee and burnt toast.

M: very full body with good carbonation. Smooth.

O: a bit too rich for me, at least with the burnt tones. Taste reminded me of Founders Imperial Stout (although the aroma was different).

Photo of socon67
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark inky black pour. Foam retention is good. Thick and coates the glass.

S - Strong smell of cocoa powder and chocolate. Rich dark malts give a slight smoky smell. As it warmed in the glass, this smelled even stronger of chocolate.

T - Flavor was not quite as strong as the smell, but did have notcieable flavors of chocolate. A mrich malt flavor gave the a "big" stout taste, though there was no warming burn and the ABV was hidden.

M - A big stout that was east to enjoy and not really a sipper. Might be a bit thin for some stout lovers, but was quite drinkable.

O - Glad to have a frined share this one. Haven't heard of this brewery before.

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 Bung
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Used motor oil black/brown, nice layer of light brown head.

Aroma, roast malt, some earthy peat, chocolates. Some herbal hoppy notes.

Taste, it is quite chocolatey. Caramel and roast malt as well. Cocoa finish, not too much coffee or roast here. Just a faint hop bitterness, more from a bitter chocolate though.

A little thin to carry all that sweetness, otherwise mid bodied and fairly easy to drink. Abv not noticeable.

If it had just a little more heft to it, would not mind having again. More like an American Double since it doesn't have the hop bitterness.

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 TSJ4000
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yeah. I'm going to have to say this is a bitchin' Russian Imperial Stout. Rich and creamy and hop freshness on the finish which keeps this refreshing for a RIS. A+ This beer is not syrupy at all. Boy, this is pitch black with a touch of mahogony on the outer edges. Several really tight lacing rings make this beer awesome. I'm buying these little 4pks again.

Photo of RescueKitty
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured black like motor oil-old motor oil. I mean this is totally opaque in the glass. Even held up to the light, I can see nothing but black, so it's aptly named. Has a half imch dark brown head. Smells nice and roasty, but not too strong. Faintly floral over the coffee base. Mouthfeel is creamy but not too thick. Taste is overwhelmingly dark, rich coffee and bitter dark chocolate. There's a nice high note of hops and a bitter, dry finish. This very drinkable as the lower ABV of 8.0% is well hidden. I was pleasently surprised by this beer. As it warms, the favors really stand out. Thankfully, it is not sweet but nicely bittered.

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

Appearance: dark and opaque except for some cola highlights around the edge.slight, dark mocha head.
Smell: mild chocolate and bread pudding. Not as in your face as a typical ris. Not complex, but nice.
Taste: much like the nose. Quite mellow. Drinks more like a 'not' imperial stout.
Overall: good not great. Very drinkable.

Photo of tvv375ia
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-almost black with about 1 finger of head that leaves some lacing as it fades

S-lots of dark chocolate and maybe a touch of coffee

T-chocolate shows here as well maybe not as dominate as the smell but a fair amount

M-medium body but a little short on creaminess

O-pretty good imperial stout that is easy to drink

Photo of ThickNStout
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 8.99/ 4 pack. From the initial bottling batch released 10/2011. Served in a Terrapin snifter. 

Pours pitch black with 2 fingers thick mocha head. The froth recedes within a few minutes but leaves a few spots of lacing here and there. 

Smells of roast, chocolate and coffee. Overall smooth and subtle with some dark fruits noticable as it warms. 

Taste follows the nose- nice roast malts hit first with a pleasing blend of bittersweet cocoa, mild coffee and molasses mixed in. Slight plum/ raisin and almost leathery (in a good way) notes. Obviously well-hopped with a long, balanced bitter aftertaste. The relatively low abv (for a Russian Imperial) is covered by the layers of flavor. 

Medium to thick mouthfeel. Carbonation is good and mellow. It could stand to be thicker but it's quite drinkable as-is. 

I'm glad I waited 6 months to review this. I enjoyed it fresh but time has really helped the overall feel and blend of flavors- making it rich, creamy and pleasing. While I'd be lying if I said this is the best RIS available, it is a solid brew and my favorite of O'Dempsey's releases (with the exception of the one-off collaboration with Jailhouse Brewing, "Community Service" Wee Heavy- that stuff was/is outstanding!). Like most stouts, if you have the patience to wait a few months to enjoy Your Black Heart you'll be duly rewarded. I'm happy to have a few more from the same batch downstairs "developing" for a later date

Photo of BeerDocT
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

-Appearance 4.0: Poured out a gorgeous jet black with a half-inch, amber colored head. Head slowly dissipated, but a creamy foam stuck around the edges.

-Smell 4.0: Striking, acerbic smell of hops and deeply toasted grains. Very concentrated and sharp. Promising.

-Taste 4.5: Slightly sour at first, but this is followed by a delicious taste of a mix of toasted grains, chocolate and coffee. There is a slight burning sensation to the throat and then an aftertaste of grains and hops. Long, toasty & chocolaty finish. Delicious.

-Mouthfeel 3.5: Level of carbonation is good, but some may find the slight burning sensation a bit off-putting (I did not).

-Overall 4.0: Excellent Imperial Stout. I would consider this a more than acceptable substitute for Old Rasputin. Highly recommended, even if the label is a bit goofy looking. ;)

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

This beer pours a full bodied dark chocolate black with a nice one finger, foamy dark khaki head. The nose is soft and full of sweet milk chocolate and dark roasted malt. The flavors too, loads of milk chocolate. It's smooth and bitterness is minimal. If a chocolate bomb is what they were aiming for then they nailed it. It is just so smooth and easy to drink. It's big but the alcohol isn't present at all. I don't know if its 100% up to RIS standards but its definitely a solid imperial stout. If you're looking for chocolate then definitely try this out. It's a great bang for your buck.

Photo of sendsilk
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in my annual visit to North Carolina. I have never seen or heard of this beer before. After reviewing my notes, I did have the 2 other offerings by this brewery at this same time last year.

I did not look at any reviews on this beer before reviewing so this should be pretty unbiased:

A- Nice, very dark pour with some nice lacing. Seems a bit high on carbonation.

S- I'm a little excited now since I have let it warm for about 10 minutes. I am seriously getting a very strong smell of peanuts from this beer. If there is an excellent stout and someone added peanuts/peanut butter to it, I would absolutely hunt it down.

T- A little bit of a let down on the PB, but pretty solid none the less. I'm pretty impressed by how easily I could easily knock of this bottle.

M- Nice. Who cares, I can taste peanut butter in this beer!

O- I will have to pick up some more of these in the next week that I am here!

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 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 OWSLEY069
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a chocolate brown head. In the aroma, a sweet malt and notes of sweet chocolate. In the taste, a sweet dark chocolate malt. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry coffee and small sweet chocolate malt in the aftertaste. Big chocolate and nice coffee presence in the end, a super nice beer.

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 Mojo
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

This beer pours a deep black, as black as the heart of my ex girlfriend, as black as the void. A one half inch caramel colored head forms, then dissipates quickly. There is minimal lacing. The nose is actually pretty mild. I mostly got raisins and some alcohol. Taste is good. It is very sweet and molasses like on the front giving way to a massive coffee finish with some alcohol warming. Mouthfeel is thick and satisfying. A pretty good offering. Not quite Ol' Raspy, but pretty dang good!!!

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Your Black Heart, 12-oz bottle bought at The Charleston Beer Exchange.

Appearance: Served in a plastic glass at a cheap motel near Savannah, Georgia, YBH comes with less than a finger of persistent head that lasts forever. Great lacing too. Black color throughout.

Smell: Roasty-toasty, burnt grains, coffee, oatmeal, Midwest agriculture and campfire.

Taste: Chocolate powder, dairy, milk. Tastes like a milk stout! Super smooth, some hops on the back. Watery coffee, a tad too thin at the end.

Mouthfeel: Too low on carbonation, but good flavor and body. Milky, creamy, smooth, never dry. If anything, too watery around the edges.

Overall: Drinkable, pleasant enough, unremarkable but tasty.

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 avalon07
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick, impenetrable texture. There was a big, creamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of coffee, malt, and a little dark fruit.

T: Tasted of coffee (though not as much as I would have thought), a hint of chocolate, malt, hops, and possibly a little dark fruit. Doesn't have quite the punch that a lot of RISs have. Not a bad flavor, but closer in character to a typical American stout.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a surprisingly dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A decent enough beer with some good attributes, but there are other Russian Imperial Stouts I would choose first.

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