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Laika's Imperial Stout - Straight To Ale

Laika's Imperial StoutLaika's Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

63 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 7.91%


Brewed by:
Straight To Ale visit their website
Alabama, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: sommersb on 12-22-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 20 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No bottle date that I can see.

A: Pitch-black pour with a tall dense head that's nearly the same color. Very very dark brown. Head fades at a moderate pace. Zero lacing and zero head retention.

S: Huh, very interesting aroma. It reminds me of stoneground chocolate and coffee beans. Mexican coffee? Pretty subtle but nice.

T: Taste is even more interesting. Dark fruits and molasses up front. Brief bit of char and smoke with lots of bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Coffee heaviest in the finish with more bitter cocoa giving it a quasi-mocha flavor. Coffee and chocolate lingers forever.

M: Heavy with a thick, syrupy mouth-coating feel.

O: I really liked this one. Lots of bittersweet chocolate and coffee flavors primarily. Mouthfeel is especially intriguing, it coats the mouth like hershey's. Almost an oily residue. A little "simple" for a big RIS but I enjoyed the flavors a lot.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 03:53:12 | More by Dope
Photo of WarEagleJeep
WarEagleJeep

Alabama

3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pitch black and thick looking pour. Quarter inch dark tan head that dissipates to a thin ring.

S: Dark roasted grains, subtle chocolate, and a heads up on the ABV.

T: Roasted malt at the start followed with resinous hop bitterness right behind it. Finishes with dark chocolate and warm alcohol.

M: Thick like most RIS's I've had, a little sticky, and a bit dry on the end.

O: Pretty good stout but a little too bitter and missing some of the heavier chocolate and dark fruit notes. Worth a try for sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 00:58:26 | More by WarEagleJeep
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a creamy dark brown head

S: Sweet smells, like brown sugar, and chocolate, and coffee in the nose

T: Dark chocolate, coffee, some light tartness.

M: Full bodied and creamy smooth.

O: An excellent Imperial Stout. Definitely recommended if you can find it. Im lucky to have tried it.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 06:24:21 | More by BierJager89
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured jet black with a big, viscous pour yielding a big brown head, good head retention with good lacing. Very nice.

S: Big roast and scorched malt with bitter chocolate, a nice booze sting, a wee bit of coffee. I can smell what is perhaps a crystal or pale malt base underneath.

T: A big scorched malt presence upfront with layers of decadent bitter and milk chocolates. There is a nice mix of bitterness from the IBUS and the scorched black malt here. A nice booziness throughout reminding me this is a serious beer. The finish is big, bold, rich, chocolatey and pseudo boozey. Everything I like in a RIS.

M: Well carbonated, huge body, creamy, filling and decadent. This beer is extremely robust and could please even the hardest of hardcore RIS fans.

O: A well crafted RIS which nails every BJCP aspect of a RIS, it has great bold flavor to boot. Extremely surprised and happy to see my hometown cranking out world class RIS!

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 20:58:50 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of zookerman182
zookerman182

Alabama

3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a pitch black with basically no head at all.
Aroma is cherries with hints of vanilla and tons of alcohol.
Very big smells of bourbon with hints of burnt toffee and caramel.
The flavor is much nicer than the smell. Super huge body, the beer is what it says it is.
Vanilla cherries with chocolate and coffee hints. My only problem with this beer is that for 9 % abv the alcohol is not hidden at all. Very boozy beer but complex in flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 18:42:54 | More by zookerman182
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Many thanks to richj1970 for sending this bottle my way.

A - Pours engine oil black with a nice creamy layer of toffee colored foam.

S - Roasted dark chocolate, toffee, booze, cherries, oak, and vanilla.

T - Follows the nose with dark roasted chocolate, espresso, vanilla, dark roasted chocolate, oak, light cherries, vanilla, and ends with an Espresso-like lingering bitterness with noticeable alcohol warming in the back of the throat.

M - Thick, chewy, and viscous.

O - Thick, big, and boozy.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 00:08:13 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: Black as night, pouring with a brilliant crema akin to espresso. The head is thinnish but dark brown. Viscous and completely opaque.

S: Incredible. Simply incredible. Unbelievably rich and sweet. Fruity and bitter. Dry and dark and engaging.

T: After such a smell, it's sadly disappointing. The flavor is thin (though the mouthfeel is thick) with not much going on. Noticeably alcoholic, with hints of orange peel and cacao nibs. Some chocolate, milky. Aftertaste is strongly bitter and lingering. It does improve as it warms.

O: An incredible imperial stout. Highly recommended to everyone. I really, *really* enjoyed this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2013 06:49:46 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of Jacurdy60
Jacurdy60

Alabama

4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a typical stout color with a vibrant brown colored, one finger width head with almost no retention.

S-Alcohol stings at first followed by subtle notes of cherries, vanilla, burnt sugar and a slight woody char. Very complex

T-Chocolate, vanilla extract, oaky, bitter coffee with a spicy boozed bite.

MF-The least impressive aspect of the beer. A bit too much carb and too airy. Not as rich as an imperial should be.

O-StA is not playing around. Them and GP are by far the best breweries in AL. If the mouthfeel on this one improved, I would stack it up against the classic imperial stouts (Rasputin, Ten Fidy, Yeti)

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2013 21:38:47 | More by Jacurdy60
Photo of Tonmeister
Tonmeister

Georgia

4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bottle poured in a 16oz Goose Island Glass

Appearance: Dark Black with a thick black head when poured aggressively. It also looks highly carbonated. The lacing dissipates a ring around the glass.

Smell: Chocolatey malty citrusy,

Taste: Taste follows the smell. Pretty sweet, Caramel, Chocolate, Dark Fruit citrusy, alcohol.

Mouthfeel: syrupy, medium thick bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a well balanced RIS. I goes down smooth and it it tastes sweet and not to bitter. This reminds me of Stone's RIS.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2013 20:43:32 | More by Tonmeister
Photo of Roman5150
Roman5150

Spain

3.91/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle into Duvel glass

appearance: pitch black, with large 2 finger mocha head, lots of lacing

smell: roasted malts, espresso, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla

taste: rich oak taste, almost like there's the slightest hint of bourbon, the body is a blend of dark roasted coffee/espresso beans and sharp, bitter dark chocolate. A lot of roasted malt flavor througout. Alcohol is present, felt from the warmth and perhaps not as mixed in as other RIS's.

mouthfeel: low carbonation with a creamy, full, thick body

overall: A great RIS, but probably just out of my top 5. Alcohol presence is too much, while it has some great roasted oak and espresso/dark chocolate flavors, the booziness makes it not as enoyajable as say a Stone IRS, Bells Expedition, or ST Choklat. With that said, I would buy again if I found it cheaper than $9.99 for a 750ml, which is hard since they only distribute to TN and AL. Still, a solid RIS that anyone stouthead should add to their palate.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2013 20:42:13 | More by Roman5150
Photo of hopoilcrazy
hopoilcrazy

Tennessee

4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Totally opaque blackness. Awesome deep tan head that is the exact same color as the discontinued "tan" M&M's. No light is able to pass through this beer

S - Roasted grain bill is pretty hard hitting in the nose, you definitely pick up the grass and char of the roasting process. Treacle or, I've always wanted to use this, spotted dick: sugar cane syrupy and bready. Some middle of the road hop oil aroma, and some vinous hints maybe closer to port.

T - Moderately sweet...at the top end of my sweetness threshold...I can't stand RIS like DL or Darkness that just over fucking load on the residual sugars. There is definitely some here, but it is balanced by the strong hop profile and very complex malt and grain bill. The booze swoops down and takes over the finish along with some remaining hop presence. The booze reminds me of Canadian whiskey like Crown Royal. And this shit isn't even BA.

M - Thick and absolutely coating, but very pleasant and chewy. No alcoholic presence except on the palate during the finish.

Great beer made just outside my figurative backdoor. Gotta love it. I think people should stand in line for this beer. But I guess its just not sweet enough. Please, god, STA don't make this any sweeter its just right as is.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 05:53:49 | More by hopoilcrazy
Photo of sirtomtom
sirtomtom

California

4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

In Alabama, had to try some locals. The fact its local probably skewed my scoring.

A: Jet black, with a coffee colored head. Dissipates to a ring around the beer.

S: Caramel, dark fruit and lots of booze.

T: Caramel, dark fruit, coffee, booze and nice bitterness couple with a mild sweetness.

M: Silky, full-bodied, and a bit dry at the end.

O: An exceptional imperial stout, if I could get it in California, I would. Any improvement to this would be to throw it in some old bourbon barrels to smooth it out. God this was an excellent imperial stout. Stone could learn something from it.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 05:20:39 | More by sirtomtom
Photo of richj1970
richj1970

Alabama

4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bottle into goblet.

A: Poured pitch black with nice one finger chocolate brown head that dissolved to a thin ring which followed the beer all the way down.

S: The nose of this one is incredible. Lots of roasted malts, chocolates, caramel, expresso, and maybe a bit of hops.

T: Big flavors here as well. Bitter chocolate, coffee, caramel, a bit of fruit undertone.

M: Thick and creamy. Everything you want in a big stout.

O: Pleasantly surprised here. This is definitely a top notch stout, and from a local brewer on top, nice!

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 00:38:15 | More by richj1970
Photo of GPHarris
GPHarris

Alabama

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick dark brown head into a snifter that left a thin ring throughout. the body was dark black.
s - coffee, roasted chocolate, some caramel sweetness.
t - roasted chocolate, coffee with some hop flavors coming through.
m - medium and creamy.
o - another really solid beer from STA. this reminded me of left hand's imperial stout as it had more hop character than most.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 16:10:39 | More by GPHarris
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours thick black with barely a finger of very dark brown head that leaves some short-lived lacing and recedes to a wispy cap and ring.

Aroma is coffee, milk chocolate, dark roasted malts, dark fruits, anise, some caramel, hops are there in the background. Good to very good strength.

Flavor is rich coffee & espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malts, anise, molasses, dark fruits, nutty, underlying notes of caramel, fairly sweet, moderate bitterness, moderate alcohol.

Mouthfeel is very thick and creamy, soft carbonation. Really nice.

Very nice Imperial Stout! Straight to Ale is definitely doin’ it right in Alabama. Looking forward to trying some more from these guys.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 03:59:00 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of Tilley4
Tilley4

Tennessee

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple of these while in Nashville recently...

Glugs out into a tulip with a deep black appearance and a slowly forming mocha head... coats the glass with a swirl... looking really good thus far... appears thick and creamy

Very intense aromas of bittersweet chocolate, black coffee, some licorice.... this is extremely pungent... nothing subdued about this beer so far at all... the aromas practically blast out of the glass at me... smallish hints of booze here and there...

Rich, creamy and delicious.... the flavors, like the aromas, are intense and big... licorice, coffee, chocolate... all the usual suspects... done very nicely... maybe even a kiss of hops at the finish... sip after sip, this brew delivers... im very impressed...

I loved this offering from Straight to Ale.... a real sleeper here....

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 14:18:12 | More by Tilley4
Photo of sotted-moose
sotted-moose

Alabama

4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving: On-tap at the Straight To Ale taproom. Served in a snifter-type glass
Date: 12/15/2012

A: Beautiful. Black of night, faint hint of head, ephemeral lacing.

Smell: Coffee notes, heavy breads, faint hops aroma
Taste: Complex taste, hints of coffee, dark chocolate, heavy breads,and an emerging sweetness as the beer warmed up.
Mouthfeel: Faint, lingering bitterness. Good, clean mouth-feel, a bit dry
Overall: An excellent beer. I'm quite impressed with the quality of the beer, which seems to be fairly standardized as I've had this on several occasions. It is good, reliable, and quite enjoyable. I will definitely seek out Laika in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2012 23:04:33 | More by sotted-moose
Photo of darkstar12
darkstar12

Maryland

3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served on tap into a heavy goblet at Mellow Mushroom in southeast Huntsville, AL

A: classic look of a glass of used motor oil. Not even a hint of either a head or lacing.
S: Faint amount of hops, not much else
T: some bitterness, roasted and burnt taste - begins to taste a little more sugary as the beer warms up. Didn't really taste the alcohol at any time.
M: Very thick and syrupy
O: Another very good beer from Straight to Ale. I'll ask for the beer again

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2012 23:44:56 | More by darkstar12
Photo of Reaper16
Reaper16

Alabama

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served on-tap into a pint glass @ Suds of the South beerfest

Pours an inky pitch black. Which is, of course, a good thing. A finger and a half of loose but still voluminous dark tan head forms and doesn't go away quietly.

What strikes me most about Laika is how well-crafted it is. This beer is all about balance (albeit in an admittedly extreme style). There's lots of roast here, but it is held in check by sweet malts. There's some hops here (maybe not enough), but they don't take center-stage at any point. There's some dark fruits here (maybe not enough), but they're always quick to share space with the graham crackers and black bread flavors. The aroma is pretty roasty, but the flavor is so balanced. It provides pretty much every type of flavor that imperial stouts should provide.

The mouthfeel is pretty creamy but not chewy or thick in the ways that some imperial stouts are. Your mileage my vary, but I think it makes the beer quite drinkable. Overall, this is a pretty good imperial stout. Probably the best I've had from an Alabama brewery. It isn't a subtle style, but what separates Laika from, say, Good People Fatso (and there isn't much separation) is its sorta' subtle balance.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2012 17:26:15 | More by Reaper16
Photo of sommersb
sommersb

Tennessee

4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Nook in Huntsville, AL. Laika was the name of the first animal to orbit the Earth, a Russian dog. Very fitting name considering Huntsville's space history and the Russian Imperial Stout style.

A: Dark black in color, with no visibility through the beer when held to the light. A small amount of dark brown head with little lacing.

S: Rich aromas of coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts were dominant.

T: Heavy and complex, I picked up flavors of roasted malts with a subtle sweetness, chocolate and coffee flavors. It had some burnt character to it, but not in an unpleasant sense. The balance of malts and hops was done well. Also had a boozy quality to it.

M: Full body and a dry finish with a slight lingering bitterness.

D: This is an intense brew; not one to take lightly. The big flavors are very enjoyable, although this is not a beer I'd drink more than one of at a time.

I updated my score for the appearance after having this in the bottle. The head was a good size with good retention and lacing.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2010 06:24:27 | More by sommersb
Laika's Imperial Stout from Straight To Ale
92 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.