Laika Russian Imperial Stout - Straight To Ale
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
4.23/5 rDev +1.9%
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!
10-15-2013 20:58:50 | More by barleywinefiend
4.16/5 rDev +0.2%
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.
08-07-2013 06:49:46 | More by AgentMunky
4.18/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
03-10-2014 03:53:12 | More by Dope
4.03/5 rDev -2.9%
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.
09-25-2013 00:08:13 | More by jzeilinger
4.5/5 rDev +8.4%
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....
01-30-2013 14:18:12 | More by Tilley4
4.1/5 rDev -1.2%
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.
02-16-2013 03:59:00 | More by elgiacomo
4.28/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
12-22-2010 06:24:27 | More by sommersb
4/5 rDev -3.6%
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.
02-25-2013 16:10:39 | More by GPHarris
4/5 rDev -3.6%
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.
03-11-2012 17:26:15 | More by Reaper16
Laika Russian Imperial Stout from Straight To Ale
92 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.