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Imperial Brown Stout London 1856 - The Kernel Brewery

Not Rated.
Imperial Brown Stout London 1856Imperial Brown Stout London 1856

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

53 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 53
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.41%
Wants: 26
Gots: 7 | FT: 1
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
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Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brother_kenneth
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

brother_kenneth, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Sammy, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of macesq
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

macesq, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

mendvicdog, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

ygtbsm94, Apr 15, 2014
Photo of xnicknj
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into taster - thanks rob

Pours a viscous blackness with a faint, bubbled dark head on top. Fades out completely into a thin collar of lacing.

Nose with dark chocolate, molasses, booze and vanilla. Hints of dark fruit with roasty malts and sweetness.

Full, robust chocolate and molasses sweetness up front. Touches of raisin and date with a heavy, almost earthy backbone. A bit sweet, but fairly balanced with the malt and chocolate. Finishes boozy with cocoa and dark warmth.

Full body, decent carbonation, creamy and smooth on the tongue. This was my first experience with The Kernel Brewery and I'm definitely excited to try more.

xnicknj, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of JavierGC
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

JavierGC, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of hopley
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

hopley, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of kscaldef
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours nearly still, just a slight suggestion of head, no bubbles visible. Dark cola color, with moderately thick legs.

S: Nutty chocolate. Even as it warms up, pretty minimal, perhaps hindered by lack of carbonation.

T: Certainly not an American Imperial Stout. This keeps the classic london stout characteristics, but dials everything up a bit, without getting sweet or cloying or harsh. Dark chocolate, a hint of coffee and dried dark fruit

M: A delicate balance. Slight sweetness lingers on the corners of the mouth, but generally finishes dry, but not overly bitter. No carbonation to speak of, but despite that it isn't heavy.

kscaldef, Jul 12, 2014
Photo of mmapes
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

mmapes, Oct 29, 2013
Photo of ghostwalker
3.94/5  rDev -7.9%
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!

ghostwalker, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of JohnQVD
4/5  rDev -6.5%

JohnQVD, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of GABrew
4/5  rDev -6.5%

GABrew, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of Anatole
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Anatole, Oct 17, 2014
Photo of tbeckett
4/5  rDev -6.5%

tbeckett, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of brbrocc
4/5  rDev -6.5%

brbrocc, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of CwrwAmByth
4/5  rDev -6.5%

CwrwAmByth, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of Jeffo
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one at De Molen in Bodegraven.

From a bottle into a snifter.
ABV: 9.2%
Best Before 22.07.2013

APPEARANCE: Gushed a little upon opening, but a careful pour yielded a 2 finger, medium-thinner looking, tan head with good retention. Poured out black and sat black in the glass with only a touch of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full wisp and clings to the sides of the glass. A wisp remains but leaves only touches of lacing.

SMELL: Roasted malts, cocoa powder and a touch of dark chocolate. Slightly mild, but opens a bit as it sits in the glass.

TASTE: Roasted malts, dark chocolate and sweet dark cherries or grapes. Moves into a bitter, charred and burnt aftertaste with dark chocolate and espresso notes. Bold and lingering aftertaste lingers nicely, with plenty of roasted malt and bitter chocolate and coffee. Flavors are much more forthcoming that the aroma, and work really nicely.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Good feel.

OVERALL: Pretty good beer, but not as impressive as their Export stout. Flavors were great, very bold and interesting, but the nose needs to follow suit there. One worth checking out, but if you can only buy one, chose the Export stout over this one.

Jeffo, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of wl0307
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
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!

wl0307, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of MarkJBurch
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

MarkJBurch, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of TheBaumer
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

TheBaumer, Oct 29, 2013
Photo of His_Royal_Hoppiness
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

His_Royal_Hoppiness, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

drewone, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of barryjg
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

barryjg, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of Kaizoku
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Kaizoku, Jun 07, 2014
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Imperial Brown Stout London 1856 from The Kernel Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.