1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Imperial Brown Stout London 1856 - The Kernel Brewery

Imperial Brown Stout London 1856Imperial Brown Stout London 1856

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

41 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 41
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 8.16%


Brewed by:
The Kernel Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: thepeter on 05-07-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 17 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by beerdrifter:
Photo of beerdrifter
beerdrifter

Germany

4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An aggressive pour yielded a dark brown, nearly black pour with a one finger beige head with minimal retention but nice lacing. Nice roasty nose with hints of fresh coffee, cocoa, molasses, and toffee. For what the nose lacked, the taste more than makes up for it. Rich, earthy, and complex with hints of fresh brewed coffee, caramel, cocoa, leather, tobacco, milk chocolate, and an amazing subtle touch of sweet nuttiness (almost like peanut butter) on the finish. The mouthfeel is amazing. Thick, chewy, creamy and smooth as silk. The finish is slightly bitter with just enough sweetness to balance it out perfectly. Overall, another amazing beer from The Kernel. This is my first stout from these guys and they really made it a unique experience. Definitely a memorable standout.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2013 17:09:32 | More by beerdrifter
More User Reviews:
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

04-15-2014 20:13:24 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Nolen12
Nolen12

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

04-13-2014 21:07:20 | More by Nolen12
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

04-12-2014 14:07:36 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

04-07-2014 01:02:01 | More by Sammy
Photo of brother_kenneth
brother_kenneth

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

04-05-2014 15:07:13 | More by brother_kenneth
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

03-30-2014 22:16:47 | More by jrenihan
Photo of GABrew
GABrew

Georgia

4/5  rDev -6.8%

03-30-2014 03:03:38 | More by GABrew
Photo of JavierGC
JavierGC

Spain

3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

12-29-2013 06:45:59 | More by JavierGC
Photo of mdagnew
mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast

Poured pitch black... Burnt mocha tan head poured very big thick and foamy with a pock marked meringue like topping which faded slowly to good thick covering with lots of thick sticky lacing...

Aroma - Lots of roasted / charred chocolate malts, tar, sooty smoke, charred bread, molasses / treacle sweetness, dark fruits (black cherries and grapes, dates, raisins), roasted nut brittle, some balsamic vinegar notes, some soy, very earthy, burnt coffee beans...

Taste -Toasted chocolate malts to the fore followed by light treacle and molasses sweetness, sooty notes, strong espresso coffee, toasted / charred bread, stewed prunes, black cherries, grassy hops, light oakiness, fresh vanilla, quite peppery, nice warming booze...

Feel - Sharp initially then and smooths out nicely... full bodied... incredibly drinkable for 9.9% although you can certainly feel the effects of the booze after a while...

Overall - A complex stout which takes a few sips before all the flavours emerge. Highly recommended...

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 17:00:22 | More by mdagnew
Photo of brbrocc
brbrocc

New York

4/5  rDev -6.8%

12-18-2013 21:40:44 | More by brbrocc
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

11-21-2013 03:34:24 | More by drewone
Photo of TheBaumer
TheBaumer

California

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

10-29-2013 18:59:24 | More by TheBaumer
Photo of mmapes
mmapes

Colorado

3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to Craig (or was it Ben?) for the trade. It's been a year since we brought it home. Bottled in 5/2012, opened in 10/2013. Poured into snifters. Probably served too cold. Not much head - practically none.

What is a "brown stout" anyway?

Smells like a grainy malt beer, just a hint of molasses. First sip: strong grain taste. Rich. Just a hint of sweetness at the end. Just a hint of smoke. It's like a brown ale, rather than a full-on stout, but thicker on the tongue -- a little syrupy. Mild and mellow as far as toast and hops go, but strongly alcoholic. In later sips, it seems a bit more smoky/toasty. 12 oz bottle would be too intense for one person - definitely a sharer.

Would buy again if we could get it.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2013 04:04:55 | More by mmapes
Photo of CwrwAmByth
CwrwAmByth

United Kingdom (Wales)

4/5  rDev -6.8%

10-27-2013 19:39:03 | More by CwrwAmByth
Photo of jroof1
jroof1

Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

10-19-2013 19:39:26 | More by jroof1
Photo of Jmitchell3
Jmitchell3

Arizona

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

09-14-2013 02:48:15 | More by Jmitchell3
Photo of Paccamacca
Paccamacca

California

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

09-12-2013 04:37:21 | More by Paccamacca
Photo of ghostwalker
ghostwalker

Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Found a bottle of this stuff at Oddbins just outside London Bridge Station.

A: Huge, thick, dark brown body. Small to middlin head.

S: Smell is super dark and dense. Spice cake? Not as apparent as the Export Stout, however.

T: Strong, rich, smooth, coating. A velvet glove with the mail well concealed for a 10% brew. Mmm, raisins, dates!

M: Slick, coating, but somewhat thin.

O: Nice, unique stuff. I love the historical connotations of their recipes. They taste great too!

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 00:20:58 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of JohnQVD
JohnQVD

New York

4/5  rDev -6.8%

08-21-2013 23:11:36 | More by JohnQVD
Photo of MarkJBurch
MarkJBurch

New York

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

07-15-2013 10:23:08 | More by MarkJBurch
Photo of mick303
mick303

Ontario (Canada)

4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass, an opaque brown-black colour with a creamy whispy tan coffee coloured foam film, not much initial head but good lacing retention. 4

S – thick roasty malts, chocolate, apricot, dried fruits, really full earthy notes. Cocoa powder, a hint of chewy lemon yeasty character. Subtle toffee, a bit of a candy aspect, barn, bitter coffee, quite impressive really, good balance. 4.5

T – an initial thick malty taste, bittersweet chocolate, mild coffee note, a dry nuttiness and mild dry lemon, with an upfront dry earthy character, some dry bitterness on the finish. A bit of molasses caramel, sticky, then some slight cigar tobacco note. Very nice all-round, a bit of a pleasant bitter earthy character. Lots of nice complexity though subtle. 4.5

M – thick and rich, with an appetizing carbonation, a hint of alcohol spice prickle on the finish, altogether very satisfying stout mouthfeel, drying and a bit bitter on finish. It hides the alcohol content behind an incredible balanced smoothness on the palate. 4.5

Would be interesting to see where this goes in a couple years. A rather pleasant balanced bitter imperial stout. Not overly aggressive and with enough sweetness to hold together all the interacting flavors. Shows some good depth. Very pleasing and an interesting historical example, shows a different interpretation than some of the super-hopped imp. stouts. This has an amazing feel and great balanced complexity. 4.5

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 21:27:12 | More by mick303
Photo of TallSaint
TallSaint

New York

4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

May 1st, 2013

In the nose this beer is assertive and pungent. Fresh roasted coffee, melted dark chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar dominate the nose with a touch of vanilla as well. A dark fruity sweetness underpins these smells.

It tastes fantastic. It's smooth and chocolatey upfront with hints of vanilla and a touch of licorice. In the mid-palate a touch of sweet fruitiness comes through but quickly gives way to dry, dark malt and the faintest touch of earthy hops. It finishes extremely dry with a touch of balancing alcohol heat.

The mouthfeel is awesome. It's silky, round, and super creamy. It's full and chewy without being overly heavy. It goes down easy.

Overall this is a great beer. Definitely a sipper, it opens up a bit more with some time out of the bottle and the dark fruit characteristics in the nose and front mid-palate become a bit more visible. A wholesome RIS with fantastic depth and complexity; sweetness upfront is balanced by a nice earthy mid-palate interlude and a long dry back that offsets the dark sweetness upfront. Awesome stuff - good job Kernel.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 22:04:24 | More by TallSaint
Photo of FinalFantasyBrewing
FinalFantasyBrewing

United Kingdom (England)

4.89/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thick viscus dark chocolate Heavily roasted coffee with a hint of vinilla! Do i really need to drone on any further to you that this just might be the best imperial stout in the UK?

Take you're time to immerse yourself in this rich Full bodied liquid artistry. There is a reason this beer is exceptional. You will not find better

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 19:30:44 | More by FinalFantasyBrewing
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at the Kernel Brewery in London, bottle-conditioned in a 330ml brown bottle, bottled on 02/01/13, BB 02/01/17, served cool in Gulden Draak’s branded short-stemmed tulip-shaped sniffer. Note: This is the second Russian Imperial Stout I’ve tried from this microbrewery, the first one being the no-longer-available “Imperial Stout”, clocked at 12.5%abv. It was good, but very heavy indeed. Let’s see how this slightly lighter version fares…

A: the colour comes pitch black, topped with a creamy but not tight frothy dark-tan head with okay retention, while the carbonation level is unknown.
S: the smell is that of a modern take on the style, that it’s dominated by gristy black malts, roasted barley, bitter chocolates, vanilla-ish cocoa, smoked beans, and creamy cold coffee, underlined by a light tinge of hop aroma from perhaps a more traditional hop variety. A very good swirl brings up the warming alc. sandwiched b/w winey fruitiness and decent salted-sourness as of black date preserve and preserved hawthorn fruits. Potent, with a decent degree of complexity at play.
T: medium-bodied on the initial swallow, the flavour is immediately chewy burned- and brown- malty with light hints of estery banana oil, while the warming alc. is well hidden behind the ensuing wave of roast coffee beans, highly bitter chocolates, crushed burned walnuts, (faint) treacle, and (even lighter) hints of jammy dark fruits, then giving way to a solid profile of highly bitter earthy hoppiness; as the bitterness settles, the taste leads onto a lengthy, chewy-woody, aromatic nutty and burned aftertaste. From the start to the end, in each sip I simply fail to pick up overly warming alc., a sign that the beer is very well composed and the ageing potential truly can be very good from the outset of this batch (considering it’s only 2.5 months old upon consumption).
M&O: the mouthfeel remains smooth, fairly rounded, not quite heavy-bodied yet befitting the overall flavour profile just well. As said above, this one definitely tastes more like a modern RIS, despite a suspicion that the subtitle “London 1856” on the label might suggest the recipe dates back to that age(?). For, a level of staleness typical of a robust, aged dark/pale ale back then is not shown enough in this bottle; not like Harvey’s interpretation of the olden style, for instance. But all in all this is a very successful take on the style; the hop profile is not so much “in the face” like many American counterparts, but the bitterness level is substantial enough to effect a good balance vis-à-vis the heavy roast malts and render a satisfying finish in each every sip I’ve taken. Will grab a few more bottles this weekend and age them for consumption over the next five years!

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 22:35:11 | More by wl0307
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Imperial Brown Stout London 1856 from The Kernel Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.