Tunguska - The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works

Not Rated.
TunguskaTunguska

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

100 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 100
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 7.67%
Wants: 27
Gots: 15 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: nrbw23 on 06-13-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 52
Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

complex, a reddish brown appearance and lacy. Big bitter. Coconut from the barrel,. An IPA 60 level of hoppiness. Interesting characteristics that do not come together to offer good drinkability. Bourbon does not pull it together. Good roasty aroma. A little disappointed.

Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Not quite "Black as Oil" but pretty darn close; the rocky tan head fades a bit too quickly but leavea nice patches of lace behind

Smell: A dark fruit-oriented aroma that makes me think of a RIS; plenty of caramel, dark chocolate, coffee, as well; hints of licorice and molasses round out the profile

Taste: An alcohol bite, up front, with ensuing prune, caramel and chocolate flavors; by mid-palate, the licorice and molasses elements appear; after the swallow, sweeter flavors develop (perhaps a tad too sweet) though the complete package returns in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; plenty of warmth in the gullet

Overall: I would like to see the sweetness dialed back just a bit, but this is otherwise a very nice beer; given the flavor profile, I would suggest the style should be categorized as a RIS, particularly given the name and the red star on the label

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark and deviant to its core, the play off of Russian imperial stout lands in the U.S. to take on a dry and roasty tone that doesn't back off of the strength but promotes a bitter finish to boot.

The Brew Kettle's Tunguska's ominously dark hues are a shade off of black, simmering like bold roast coffee in the snifter. As those espresso roast aromatics fuel the scent, a backdrop of smoky chocolate, walnut and burnt toast round out its medley. And with the creamy-dry sweetness of scorched molasses and heavy cream, its taste is certainly well supported.

Across the middle, the palate becomes coated with seared malt sweetness, dipping into the over-cooked caramel taste at times. But its a perfect bed on which the espresso, bitter baker's chocolate, walnut and toasty elements rest. As the marshmallowy texture subsides, dryness sets in and gives the finish a surprising rate of drinkability.

Its full texture engulfs the mouth with its creamy char, but then its weight and sweetness is carried away by strong carbonation. Creamy at first, but dry in finish- the drying taste exposes the abrasive edges of smoke and singed grain in the stout's waning moments. Its warm and spicy finish however is smooth and quite easy for a stout of its stature.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This American Double/Imperial stout might be 'Black as Oil', as seen on the label, but it is not fully opaque. Highlights of scarlet and orange are seen at the bottom edges of the glass, while a tight-bubbled crown of khaki colored foam is seen up top. Extensive sheets of BB-shot lace help the cause.

The nose is roughly equal parts dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans, with very little hoppiness. It's wonderfully aromatic and solid as a rock, which is what all versions of the style should aspire to. My palate should be pleased.

Tunguska delivers the good with loads upon loads of roasted malty style. This is definitely one of The Brew Kettle's better beers... and should only improve as it continues to warm and the flavors have time to show their stuff. Flavor intensity is definitely not an issue and we're only in the upper half of the first glass.

An appealing char suggests that black malt has been added, in addition to a few metric tons of chocolate and roasted. Sweetness is right up there too, though the beer is not over the top in that regard. Specifics include high-cacao dark chocolate, espresso, a generous shot of blackstrap molasses, and hints of vanilla bean. Was honey used?

Thanks, in large part, to a palate-swamping amount of flavor, alcohol is nowhere to be found. Its effects on the central nervous system are another matter. The mouthfeel is huge and oily and heavily silky and clings for all it's worth. Great job here.

The Tunguska explosion, which was felt to be due to the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet, occurred above Russia on June 30, 1908. The Brew Kettle Tunguska explosion occurred (and continues to occur) in my mouth on April 17, 2011. Bottom line: damn good beer that is a steal at only $5.99 per bomber.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.36/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Tighthead Oktoberfest shaker pint glass.

Thanks to johnyb for this bottle!

Nothing like contemplating a century-old explosion in Russia than a stout and Dodgeball on the tube. Right? Anyway, this stuff pours a bleak black-brown topped by a finger of khaki-tan foam. The nose is pretty meek and one-sided, comprising only some light roasted malts, straight outta the bag from the homebrew store. The taste holds notes of burnt malts, light vinyl, and some bitter dark greens. However negative those words sound, things come across well as a hoppy stout. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, despite a weak, barely-descript smell and an overly-thin body, this was a generally enjoyable drinking experience.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black body appears completely opaque with a deep tan head...forms thick with fine even lacing... Aromatics offer up deep cocoa notes and dark coffee notes along with dark roasted malt tones. Flavor has dark cocoa notes with hitns of soy sauce dark chocolate malts flooding the palate. A very heavy dark malted chocolate ball expression with each sip exitsted with my initial sip. That trend continues a very dessert like chocolate note exists, wih every sip. Full bodied chocolate malts express fully with an even bodied carbonation level even if it feels full to the level of expression where you totally enjoy it all. Drinkability overall is awesome brew that I want to enjoy over and over again, great big dark brew that will live on through flavor and flavor alone.

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter. Pours very dark brown color with a dense 1 finger tan head with great retention that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap. Some decent lacing is left on the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, dark fruits, and maybe a bit of smoke as well. Nice aromas here, with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, caramel, and some dark fruits. A small amount of bitterness noticed on the finish that lingers with some spiciness. Big chocolate and roasted flavors linger on the finish as well. Light to medium carbonation and very full bodied. No alcohol on the taste and a decent warming on the finish. Very well hidden for the alcohol level. Very creamy and viscous body. All around great imperial stout! Very well put together.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Chris for this bottle!

A: Pours an oily black color with a small mocha colored head on top. Reduces to a ring around the top. Nice rings of lacing along the glass.

S: Nice, deep aroma of dark chocolate, some caramel, and brown sugar. Slightly sweet as well, with a little bit of an oat aroma.

T: More chocolate on the flavor profile, some sweet oat flavor combined with some lightly roasted malt. Very faint dark fruits add a bit of depth as well.

M: Medium bodied, extremely smooth, with moderate carbonation. No sign of the 10.8% at all.

O: Impressed with this beer, easy drinking and smooth. Great beer to sip during the game!

Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber split into a pair of snifters. The brew pours black wth a finger of mocha colored head. It displays decent powers of retention. Some brown clarity is noted around the edges. Spotty fingers of lace stick to the glass.

The aromatics smell full of oats with a grainy freshness with mild roast and chocolate character. A hint of raisins and light anise blends into more roasty quality with charcoal.

The taste is bitter and char-like with plenty of dark roasted grain flavoring. Mild black licorice, freah oats and molasses. As it warms up, lots of chocolate and minor coffee tinged emerge with some dark alcohol hints.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. A nice beer overall that was well balanced and enjoyable with the alcohol inclusion being well masked. This brew shares remarkable similarities to hoppin frog's boris.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%

Dark brown, near black body with a soapy tan head. Chocolate, molasses, roast. Hints I coffee. Oily and viscous feel. A touch of smoke. Pretty good.

Photo of liamt07
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Sammy, 22oz into a tulip. 60 IBUs.

Black in colour, light tan head that appears quite dense. Sticky lacing and good retention. Nose has some light roast, smoke, gentle fruitiness, licorice and prominent chocolate notes. Taste has more roast, dark fruits, a bit of brown sugar, less licorice. Hopping is evident, and imparts a moderate amount of bitterness. Big body, but the booze is hidden well. A tasty imperial stout and one of the standouts of the evening.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is very strong, the brew smells like roasted malt, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate and coffee. The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, but with the addition of some charred/burnt malt and a little bit of licorice. There's also a good roasty bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and coating with low carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and the alcohol isn't very noticable either, which helps makes this easy to drink. I think this is a good overall brew, I'd definitely buy this again.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber courtesy of kirok. Pours pretty much black with only a few reddish highlights at the edges. Nice, rich and dense brown head sticks around well enough and nice lacing.

Nose is plentiful cocoa powder and sweet chocolate. Some raspberry fruitiness comes out and tropical alcohol makes the scorecard as well.

Raspberry jam meets melted bakers chocolate with a few shots of whipped cream vodka dropped in. Roastiness is there, but more of a background flavor. Not much in the way of hops but the beer still finishes rather dry from the big alcohol. Its ok, but not very well integrated. Mouthfeel is average at best, leaning a little thin. Seems like with a few tweaks this could be quite good. Ive had a few BK offerings and this one falls about in the middle.

Photo of Brenden
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not quite black as oil, but it does in fact look more like motor oil than it would if it was black, pouring a thick, viscous dark brown. A tan head forms and, while a bit on the wispier side, maintains what it's got (about 1/2 to 3/4 of a finger) for the entirety. Lacing is a bit leggy with some spotting as well.
The bigness of this beer pours out of the bottle as soon as it's opened. This is definitely a strong beer worthy of a beer geek's expectation of an RIS, as the roast is prominent but doesn't dominate so much that plenty of other aromas and flavors don't come out with it. There's a big complementary note of plum and perhaps raspberries along with a toffee and caramel sweetness, but far from cloying or overly sweet as bitterness from char stays alongside it. Some baker's chocolate and the impression of coffee. Stick with it and some anise-like notes, not as evident as in a proper doppelbock, do make an impression.
The feel is right, big (make that huge), inky, thick and viscous without being any more cloying than the flavor on the tongue. This is a big-bodied beer, as it ought to be, though there's enough smoothness and liveliness to make it good without crossing to special.

Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Roast malt and big cocoa sweetness in aroma, with a hint of coffee.

Flavor is roast dominant, with bitter coffee and a slightly astringent finish. Slightly sweet chocolate opens the profile, which counters the modestly acrid roast malt initially. There's a nice nutty malt presence underneath. Light boozy notes are contrasted by dark cherry. This does not drink like a 10.5 percent beer.

Photo of gford217
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle courtesy of alexsdad06 poured into a tulip.

Pours inky black with a thick tan head that recedes to rocky cap and leaves some light lacing.

Massively roasted black malts, licorice and lots of bittersweet bakers chocolate. There is some espresso and dark fruits on top of that.

Taste is hefty - black malts, molasses and licorice. Thick chocolate flavor and slightly bitter espresso. Lots of burnt toast and oatmeal in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation and very creamy overall.

This is a very drinkable impy stout and I certainly didn't feel the burn of the 10.8% ABV.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to drgonzo3705 for this super generous extra.

a - opened and filled my founders sniftery tulip. Solid classic double imperial stout...dark as night and frothy offwhite head. Visible carbonation. Quite attractive.

s - roasty malts, somewhat porter like. Some vanilla but mostly barley like malts. Malt bomb.

t - Wow...SOLID. This is a phenomenal brew. Good amount of roasty malts and a good amount of smoke in there. Chocolate. Excellence.

m - smooth. Oaty. Pretty perfect for the style.

o - overall - ISO more. This was one of the best surprises I've had in a long time. Really fantastic. This beer should be called "Bill & Ted's" since it is so excellent.

Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased 7/2011

A - Pours black with half a finger of tan head. Head has decent retention. No real lacing to speak of, but normal for the abv.

S - Huge chocolate aroma to start off the aroma, with some dark fruits, roasted malt and faint coffee. Aroma has some sweetness to it, but it isn't overwhelming. Nice.

T - Similar to aroma, chocolate is really the star here, mostly dark chocolate with a bit of sweet chocolate. The roasted malt brings a nice balancing bitterness to the taste, which is slightly sweet overall. Some nice dark dried fruit flavors.

M - Full mouthfeel that is initially sticky/sweet, but has enough bitterness later to prevent the sweetness from becoming too much.

O - This is a very tasty imperial stout, and a good value at $5.99 a bomber. A little too sweet to be superb, but definitely something I would have again.

Photo of prototypic
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tunguska pours a very dark chocolate fudge color. It’s not quite “black as oil,” but it is dark. A bit of light does cut through and reveals some burgundy highlights at the edges. Nevertheless, it is a nice color. A soft tan head tops it. It rises to about a finger and a half in height before falling back. Lacing was a little sticky, but on the lighter side.

The nose is a little light on aromatics, but it does smell good. It starts out with a nice mix of roasted and chocolate malts. They seem to be present in roughly equal proportions. Roasted coffee follows. It smells relatively strong and blends well with the malt base. There is a bit of dark fruit, but it smells secondary. I’m getting some plum or raisin. It’s a nice touch and adds some quality depth. Alcohol is there, but really doesn’t smell all that strong. Not 10.8% territory anyway.

The flavor is pretty impressive. The malt base is a blend of roasted and chocolate varieties. The roasted flavor comes through nice and strong. Bittersweet dark chocolate complements it well and tastes really nice. Roasted coffee is nice and strong. As a coffee fan, that works well for me. It blends well with the malt base and adds a lot to the overall flavor. Dark fruit flavors of plum and raisin emerge late. They’re secondary, but definitely add something positive. Alcohol is there, but surprisingly, isn’t warm or hot. Finishes roasty and chocolaty.

Tunguska has a heavier body. It’s definitely viscous. Carbonation is light and soft. It’s very silky and smooth. For such a big beer, it’s very drinkable. I anticipated much more trouble with this bomber.

Tunguska is an impressive release from The Brew Kettle. It’s a nice American/Double Stout that’s relatively complex and very tasty. It’s deceptive for such a big beer though. It drinks far smaller than its 10.8% abv. Very good stuff. Easy recommendation.

Photo of Jeffo
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Doops cracked this one open on random night last week. Bottle says it's like oil. Sounds like my kind of brew. Thanks Doopie!

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A transparent brown pour, relatively thin for the style, yields a one finger, medium-looking, tan head with decent retention. Black in the glass with lover carbonation evident. Head fades to a wisp and clings to the sides. A slight ring and wisp remain leaving a few dots of lacing down the glass. Average at best, and certainly doesn't resemble oil.

SMELL: Big nose on this one. Massive. Roasted malts, dark chocolate, and piles of molasses and soy sauce. Some caramel and toffee in there as well. This is a massive, menacing malt bomb of a nose. The soy is a little worrisome, but the rest of it is just big and intimidating. Love the big, bold roasted and molasses aromas, but not so much the soy sauce. Score averages out.

TASTE: Monstrous flavors as well. Roasted malts, dark, pure chocolate with lots of licorice as well. Piles of sweet molasses; very sweet. Some slight flavors of bitter coffee and chocolate at the swallow, with slight notes of soy sauce again. A big, bold, and sweet aftertaste of molasses and caramel, with some roasted and minor bitter notes trying to balance the show. Big stuff, and perhaps a little too sweet for some. Reminded me much of Dark Lord ’09.

PALATE: Medium body and medium-higher levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, smooth, but lighter than hoped. Goes down fine, a slight burn after the swallow, and finishes relatively mouth coating.

OVERALL: This was a massive malt bomb. Unfortunately the palate was a little too light to really support the massive flavor profile, and the look a little too thin for a big, bruiser of an imperial stout, but everything about the nose and flavor was huge. There was a little too much soy in the nose that luckily wasn’t as present in the flavor, but nevertheless, the sweet molasses and caramel flavors may simply be too much anyway. In all honesty, this brew reminded me of Dark Lord 2009 with a slightly thinner and lighter body. Glad to have tried this one and could have had more, but wouldn’t go out of my way to get this one again. Thanks for sharing Doops. This was a monster.

Photo of KYGunner
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dry chocolate malts, cocoa powder, walnuts, toasted nut, scorched marshmallow with little to no sweetness, honey toffee and a bit of alcohol on the palate. A bit of tinny alcohol and astringent in feel. Well done stout with great complexity.

Photo of nrbw23
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pitch black color with a nice brown head. Head has great retention and leaves some nice layered lacing.

S- Smells very fruity to start off with. Mainly dark fruits, cherries, raisins and plums. Followed up by a good amount of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee.

T- A bit sweeter than I'd like. I thought this one was much better after I let it warm up a bit. Smell followed the nose really well. Tons of dark fruits, roasted malts, and chocolate dominating.

M- Fuller side of medium but nothing super thick. Carbonation was light.

D- Easy to drink just let it warm up a bit.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black in color-nice tight tan head on top. Aroma is on the lower end if the spectrum. Some roasted and choclate malts going on but nothing in great quantities. Big, heavy roasted and dark chcolate flavors dominate. Moderate espresso like quality. Nice grainy taste. Body is very smooth and silky-almost comes of as "thin" for the style. Very drinkable and enjoyable. 10%? Could have fooled me!

Photo of jampics2
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, purchased @ Rozi's.

After missing this at the Fat Heads Brewers Brawl, then missing it AGAIN at the Kettle, I was thrilled to hear it had been bottled.

Into my snifter. Pours a dark opaque black, if you gave this to BP they would spill it in the Gulf. Small tan head sticks around, looks great!

Smell is dark fruit, chocolate, and other roasty flavors. Smells sweet and perhaps a touch boozy, but pretty good so far.

Well, I don't hate it. Sweet chocolate syrup, roasted coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, and cherry are all present and balanced, but there's a slight tar taste I find distracting. Don't get me wrong, this is a good beer and I would have it again, but its profile just doesn't match *my* flavor preferences for a RIS. This would probably be someone else's favorite in the world - and I do think a nice bourbon barrel treatment would make this quite amazing. Actually, TBK, PLEASE do a bourbon barrel of this for Ogrefest next year. I'll be first in line!

Mouthfeel is really nice, body is full and carb is so creamy and perfect. And this drinks quite well even though I don't love one component of the taste. It's growing on me, and I'm very happy this is another balls to the wall no sell out offering from the Brew Kettle. Big ups!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Jack for sending me just so I could try and review it. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Blue Point Snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a 2 finger semi-fine light brown head with decent retention. Beer is as the label claims: black as oil. Lacing is stringy and spotty and with good cling.

S: Nose is deep and aromatic. Espresso, sweet soy sauce, and a bit of raisins and prunes in the background. Everything is tied together nicely by a hoppy background.

T: Smoky and burnt malt upfront with an unmistakable alcoholic heat. I feel all 10.8% of this one. A second sip reveals sweet dried dark fruits in the background along with a smooth hop backbone. Good balance here between some rather bold flavors. Ends with a bit of licquorice and chocolate tapering out to a finish of burn malt sour and bitterness. Slight presence of hop bitterness in the aftertaste that lingers and coats the mouth.

M: Medium bodied with little to no carbonation and very smooth in the mouth and going down. A bit hot for my tastes but considering the high ABV, well executed. Finish is messy and aftertaste lingers and coats the palate.

D: Definitely one of the better "hoppy imperial stouts" that I've come across. The body is a bit thin and the beer is quite hot. However, the flavors here are very well balanced and complement each other well throughout the experience. Its also super smooth considering the heat. I definitely wouldn't mind having this one again. Try it if you get a chance. An under-the-radar stout for sure.

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Tunguska from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
90 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.