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Ursus Spelæus - Sound Brewery

Not Rated.
Ursus SpelæusUrsus Spelæus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

79 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 7.09%
Wants: 9
Gots: 10 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sound Brewery visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 01-22-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by RickS95:
Photo of RickS95
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The pour starts off an extremely dark brown, but by the time the snifter is half full, it's turned completely black. There's a faint head for a bit, but it's quickly gone. While it lasts it a nice shade of brown. Has a viscous look. If the head made a better showing, it would be a 5.

Early on it reminds me of a Belgian dark ale with an initial blast of dark, ripe fruits. Eventually, all the scents meld together and they get harder to pick out individually. Chocolate and licorice start to evolve as the smell of the fruits intensify.

For some reason the taste doesn't quite match the smell. The same tastes are there, but they don't work in harmony like in the nose. It's a bit more chocolately on the tongue than in the nose and the fruits are kind of in the way. While not a bad tasting beer, something isn't quite right to me. As it warms, the taste of the alcohol grows more prevalent.

A bit thinner than you'd guess...again, I think it's the fruit that's out of place. A bit of sweetness dances with tangy notes from the fruits before bitterness grabs the taste buds leading to a warming, slightly bitter, boozy finish. A bit of carbonation might liven things up. It's anything but light bodied, but I wouldn't call it heavy or full bodied. That's another place where it just misses the target.

Overall, it's an easy beer to drink and despite the warming feeling, the high alcohol is very well masked. In looking at the bottle, I had the beer a little cooler than suggested. The warming brings the chocolate to life, but none of the scores change.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Seattle_Suds
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of HoppySeb
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of jpbebeau
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, 8.5% ABV, and dubbed a 'Belgian Style Imperial Stout'.

This beer pours a solid black, with prominent cola highlights, and nothing but a thin film of flaccid bubbly beige head, which bleeds away before my eyes, leaving a low landfall pattern of lakeshore lace around the glass.

It smells of chalky dark cocoa, lightly toasted caramel malt, thin toffee crisps, black licorice nibs, a very subtle dry yeastiness, and herbal grassy hops. The taste is semi-sweet chocolate, softly caramelized toffee, rather rich anise drops, ethereal zingy yeast, and earthy, leafy hops. A hint of warming alcohol permeates as it warms.

The bubbles are fairly low-key, but still capable in their support role, the body a sturdy medium weight, and really quite smooth, with a mild touch of creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, the cocoa, licorice, and caramel malt all lazily colluding to push out any lingering Belgian-inspired yeast, or alcohol edge, for that matter.

As Belgian Stout is not yet a style on this site, it falls that this must be shoehorned in elsewhere. However, that seems patently unnecessary here, as this comes across as mostly just a lighter (in all manner save ABV) version of a Yankee Imperial stout, sexed up with licorice. Worthy of a try, even at around 10 bucks a bomber.

Photo of Doppelbockulus
4/5  rDev -2.2%

This beer is getting rated as a promise from a trade nearly two years ago.

Appearance: If you shine a light right through it, you will see a dark ruby color. From a distane, it looks black.

Smell: It smells like burned caramel and cffee, pretty simple.

Taste: highly toasted grains, a tiny bit of coffee, and a nibble of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: the most irrelevant catagory. It is thin with little carbonation. Okay, still a good beer.

Photo of jmccraney
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of FalconA
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Kmlund
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of dtx00
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of oso
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of nice liquorice notes with some light fruity notes which mix well with some light black chocolates notes. Taste is also dominated by some liquorice notes which are well-balanced by some black chocolate notes with some light roasted malt with some light fruity notes also noticeable. Body is semi-full for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I really enjoyed the liquorice notes and the creamy texture of this beer.

Photo of Launch890
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Hopmodium
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 picked up today at Home Brew Stuff in Garden City for a sorta pricey $10... Poured into my slim tulip and a thin brown head rises quickly and leaves nearly as fast. The brew is black.

The nose is rich dark fruits that mesh perfectly with dark malt and some lesser Belgian character.. "boozy raisinettes", does that sound interesting? It is in this beer. Some anise and possibly some clovey phenols.

Flavor does not disappoint.. thick and rich... cocoa, milk chocolate, a lot of golden raisins, lingering dark fruits... A bit of char/light smoke brings things back mid palate and lingers forever...

Body is thick and inviting... velvety.. carbonation is on the light side.. surprisingly there is very little alcohol... This is very well done.. Just hints of yeasty Belgian notes that I honestly believe could be bloomed a bit more..

I am amazed how much I like this one... As far as I can tell Home Brew Stuff is the only store that got this one in.. but Boise stores should pick this one up... so should Boise peeps. Really good... No Shit.

3.5/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.25

Not nearly as good as the best RIS out there, but certainly better than ANY Belgian Imperial Stout that I have had before... I am very.. VERY impressed.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours pitch black, thin light brown head that dissipates to a thin film and ring around the glass with slippery lacing. Pleasant RIS aroma of roasted and dark malt, molasses and a hint of Belgian yeast. Flavor follows, dominated by roasted malt but with a lighter fruit and anise element. Finish with a sharp hop bitterness and espresso coffee that lingers on the tongue. Very tasty. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. Somewhat light bodied for a RIS, but the flavor is rich and compelling. A very nice stout and my fifth straight excellent beer from this stellar brewery.

Photo of blackie
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

drat at uber tavern

a: had no idea what to even think of/call this at the bar, served in a stubby snifter glass, ursus is deeply brown, opaque in color, with a short mocha head

s: loaded with dark fruits and caramelized sugars, strikingly complex from the start, notes of molasses, chocolate and char hint at the “ris” but it’s really much more, flashes of belgian yeast, plum and raisin, mildly hopped

m: thick, rich mouthfeel with a carbonation to the higher side of the moderate range

t: loaded with dark tree fruits and complimented with roasted barley, hints of cocoa, a touch of smoke, and a belgian yeast profile giving some interesting spice notes, maybe a touch of coffee, nicely bitter to finish with lots of lingering flavor

o: a unique an interesting style combination that completely impresses, quality stuff

4/45/45/45/45

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of ifixufly
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of KevSal
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of deschutes_fan
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

- Pours thick and dark with a small layer of tan foam

- Nice smell of roasty dark chocolate and cherries.

- Very pleasant taste, bitter dark chocolate mixed with black cherries and roasted malt. Clean and not very BIG compared with other RIS. Medium body.

- Overall, a tasty, smooth RIS with nice cherry flavor. Not very complex (not BA), but it does hide the 10% ABV quite well. Solid offering here, but certainly not the best in a very competitive RIS category.

Photo of sukwonee
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with reddish tint, half a finger mocha head.

S: Milk chocolate (I think they added lactose sugar), some funky aroma, some roasted malt.

T: Yep definitely lactose sugar. It almost tastes like a milk/sweet stout. I can taste some hops towards the end, but it's not overpowering. Chocolate, malt, lactose sugar, some dark fruits coming through. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M: It's not super thick for the style, but it's thick. It's not super syrupy but it's syrupy.

O: This brew is quite solid. To me, it tastes like a robust sweeet stout, rather than a Russian imperial stout, but still it's quite delicious. Belgian yeast can be noted in the nose and taste, which sort of adds uniqueness (not really).

Photo of karmachief
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of MaseFace
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

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Ursus Spelæus from Sound Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.