Plow Horse - Brewery Vivant

Not Rated.
Plow HorsePlow Horse

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

62 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 10
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.28%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Supergenious on 11-20-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 10
Reviews by sweemzander:
Photo of sweemzander
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz. can poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours pitch black. Some tan froth.

(S)- Good roasted coffee and grains meets some cocoa and molasses.

(T)- Again, some good roasted grains with raisin/coffee combo. Ever such a slight yeasty funk to its backbone.

(M)- A lively carbonation level. It has a good base, but the belgian yeast throws it off just a bit.

(O)- Pretty good, but this might have benefitted from NOT having the belgian yeast added.

More User Reviews:
Photo of docoman
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Clubhouse BFD on Sunday, very good overall RIS. Quite a bit of cocoa smell and taste on this one.

Photo of StoutHunter
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a can of Brewery Vivant's Plow Horse yesterday for $4.09 at The Lager Mill. I've been wanting to try this one for a while and I really liked Tart side of the Moon which was the unintentional tart version of this beer and i'm interested to see how this beeris in intended to taste, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Vintage, fresh can. Poured from a tall 16oz can into a goblet as the can suggests.

A- The can looks pretty nice, it's got a dark brown background with a nice drawing of an actual plow horse. It poured a dark black color that didn't let any light come through with two fingers worth of light mocha colored head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some spotty rings of lacing behind. This is a pretty good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness that had a light molasses like aroma followed by some yeast aromas that impart a lighter tart aroma that resembles Tart Side of the Moon a little especially with some nice cherry aromas and some dark fruits in the background. Up next comes the malts which impart a roasty, dark malt, light char, light coffee and cocoa aroma with a nice chocolate aroma seeming to stick out the most. The aroma is very nice, it's got just enough roasted malt aromas and the balance was good.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness that has a slight molasses like flavor to it and it's followed by some dark roasted malts that impart all the aspects that I got in the aroma with the chocolate still sticking out the most, but not by much. Up next comes a nice fruity flavor with some dark fruit flavors showing up and the cherry still sticking out the most and they work well with the malts. On the finish there's a light amount of medium bitterness with a slightly higher amount of light tartness that seems to hide most of the bitterness and it had a roasted, tart, and cherry like aftertaste. This is a very nice tasting beer, it's got that signature Vivant yeast that imparts a light tartness that somehow works well with the roasted malts.

M- Pretty smooth, clean, lightly tart, crisp, a little rich, on the slightly lighter side of being full bodied with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was very nice and it worked really well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a very nice beer and I think it's a good and pretty different example of a Belgian style Imperial Stout, it was pretty similar to Tart Side of the Moon, but the tartness and cherry flavor were toned down in this beer and I thought they still stuck out enough and it provided better balance then Tart Side of the Moon had. This beer had pretty good drinkability, it was smooth, clean, a little filling and the taste did a good job at holding my attention, I think I could drink a couple pints of this without getting tired or bored with it. What I liked the most about this beer was the balance, the tart cherry flavors showed up just enough to work well with the dark roasted malts. What I liked the least about this beer was the appearance, it wasn't bad at all, but a little more head and lacing wouldn't hurt. I would for sure buy this beer again and I'll be picking up more shortly, I would also like to put some in my cellar to see how well it ages. I would recommend this beer, it's a nice very unique example of the style. All in all I was happy with this beer, I wasn't expecting it to be tart so now I know this beer was intended to be a little tart but not as tart as Tart Side of the Moon. The sour cherry followed by roasted malts is a pretty nice combo that held my attention well. I pretty much like both beers equally, Good job Brewery Vivant, thanks again for another great and unique beer.

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a motor oil black with a one-finger tan head. Light amount of lacing.

S - Dark chocolate, sweet roasted malts, and some dark fruit.

T - Starts of with sweet chocolate and dark roasted malts. Nice amount of dark fruits come through mid drink. The finish has a good amount of bitterness from the Belgian yeast.

M - Medium bodied with light carbonation. Smooth creamy mouthfeel.

O - Nice beer with lots of complex flavors. Really enjoyed this.

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce can into tulip glass; no canning date, but was released recently. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger fairly dense dark brown head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, toffee, molasses, raisin, clove, pepper, light coffee, light banana, light char, and roasted/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of roasted malt and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, molasses, toffee, dark bread, clove, raisin, pear, light banana, light char, light pepper, and roasted/yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, molasses, toffee, dark bread, clove, raisin, light char, and roasted/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of roasted malt and yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian imperial stout. All around great complexity, balance, and robustness of roasted malt and moderate yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Poured into a snifter, I was amused by the huge bubbles in the mocha head. These bubbles were like holes in Swiss cheese. The stout itself was a handsome black color with little variation.

Smell - The aroma was largely that of burnt sugar/burnt malt. There was nothing particularly attention getting about the aroma.

Taste - In the initial taste, I detect dark, almost bitter chocolate. Further, the malts were more dry than sweet. Amidst the sugar were hints of banana like a banana malt with a modest sourness. The burnt sugar becomes more evident in the aftertaste as the taste angles toward the more bitter side.

Mouthfeel - Based on the head, I expected a carbonation bomb. That was not the case as the carbonation was actually appropriate. The beer itself was a hair too thin for my liking.

Overall - I would suggest this to be a slightly less than average imperial stout. I would have like to have seen a little more sweetness.

Photo of MaximalC
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From notes:

Smooth, light, well-concealed alcohol, mildly roasty, vanilla, oak, slightly nutty, slight milk chocolate, brown sugar, juniper, slightly spicy...

This is a silky smooth Belgian-style imperial stout that drinks way too easy for nearly 10 % ABV. Complex and balanced, it won't wow you with over-the-top flavors, but it will wow you with it's subtlety and luxury.

Photo of schepelz
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16oz can poured into snifter

A - Deep dark brown with one finger dark tannish head that dissipates rather quickly. Moderate lacing

S - Getting a lot of roasty coffee notes right away. Followed by a sweet malt. Slight dark chocolate and cocoa. Also some subtle dark fruit

T - What a complex imperial stout this is, so many flavor profiles dancing around. Initially, taste follows the nose with coffee and cocoa. Getting a VERY subtle sour taste from the yeast. Left with a nice bitter/tart taste of dark chocolate. Big boozy stout. Can only imagine it's barrel-aged counterpart

M - Holy thick....definitely heavy body. Moderate carbonation.

O - This one definitely grew on me the further into the glass I got. Was caught off guard by having very subtle aromas but huge complex tastes. Another great beer put out by Brewery Vivant.

Photo of gueuzedreg
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Pretty thin, the can exploded with four finger head. Retention is very good with quarter pinky head after one minute. Dark brown/black non transparent.

S- It has that weird belgian RIS smell that belgian yeti has too. Just not natural here. It is like two styles meeting and a weird smell comes out of it. Can't put my finger on it. It's like rain-soaked wood for three days.

T- Definitely the best attribute of this brew. Dark roasted fig fruit backbone to this RIS that works better than the Belgian Yeti. Interesting. Molasses, toffee, but lots of roasted dark fruits here.

M- Pretty thin, but 40% up the ladder of thickness for a RIS.

O- The taste is waaaay better than all of the other attributes. I think this one is better than my stomping ground's Belgian Yeti.

Photo of Fcolle2
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark black in color, no light makes it through this brew. Tan is a quarter finger and tan in color. Head retains nicely.

Smell is great rich aromas of bittersweet chocolate along with warm notes of molasses caramel and toffee. There are some faint phenol notes reminiscent if cola also detectable. Moderate boozy finish.

Taste is great and follows the nose molasses toffee and mild cocoa are forward. Semi sweet malty flavor follows along with a light phenol flavor that works well with the rich flavors.

Mouthfeel is good. Good thickness with a mild soft carbonation keeps it this very drinkable through all the sticky rich flavors and feel.

Plow Horse from Brewery Vivant
87 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.