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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

67 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 6.3%
Wants: 9
Gots: 6 | 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: 67 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KiMiRaiK
KiMiRaiK

Washington

3/5  rDev -27.4%

01-28-2013 00:14:13 | More by KiMiRaiK
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

3.59/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured at a good temperature with an average size, tan, foamy head and some lace. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is quite mild with some cocoa and coffee. Flavor's a vinous, Belgian, like nose, bit more sweet than bitter, hint of tang. Body and carbonation are good. Finish is like flavor, long, no sign of alcohol. Decent enough but I don't find much special.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2013 01:10:46 | More by drpimento
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From notes

22oz bomber purchased at Total Wine on the northside of Spokane. No freshness date, though the label had a space for one.

Poured a viscous-looking shade of broen that looked virtually black, even when held up to light. Thin, mocha colored head was rather short-lived, leaving spotty lace on the sides of a St. Bernardus goblet.

The nose was primarily of chocolate and toffee. Not too complex.

The taste was more interesting. Dark chocolate first hit that tastebuds with a subordinate amount of coffee-like bitterness. Spicy Belgian yeast notes were detected, but they were far in the background.

Full bodied, with a level of carbonation that seemed a little low. Rich, coating mouthfeel.

This was pretty good without being great. I've had better RIS, and I've had better beers purporting to be Belgian stouts. Still this was more than drinkable, and a big improvement over the last time I had a bottle from Sound Brewing. For the right price, I'd drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 03:42:18 | More by woemad
Photo of jmccraney
jmccraney

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

07-11-2013 06:21:55 | More by jmccraney
Photo of karmachief
karmachief

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

11-25-2013 04:45:52 | More by karmachief
Photo of DaveAnderson
DaveAnderson

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A vigorous pour into a Darkness tulip reveals an oily dark liquid, and yields a tall, but thin head, which recedes quickly and leaves little lacing.

S: What an unusual smell. It's unlike any Imperial stout I have had before. I don't even know how to describe it. There might be some chocolate in there, and maybe some black licorice. I am at a loss for descriptors.

T: The taste is much more familiar. It has the usual Imperial Stout characteristics, with above-average hop presence and below-average sweetness.

M: This is a very thin Imperial Stout, which makes it seem really light. The alcohol is well-masked. I don't know whether the thin body is an asset or a flaw. It's very drinkable, but I kind of want something richer.

O: I don't know if I have ever had a Belgian Imperial Stout before. This is interesting and drinkable, but in the end, I find it slightly challenging, and lacking harmony.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 04:47:13 | More by DaveAnderson
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

07-03-2013 08:35:41 | More by beernads
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 05:44:45 | More by biboergosum
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours an indigo color with a rather modest head that grows wispy with alacrity and fades to a ringlet though it leaves wisps of lacing; when a brewery calls their beer a Belgian stout, however, I am expecting it to look like a Belgian, so I have deducted .5 points

Smell: Chocolate, chalk, roasted meat, charred toast and coffee

Taste: Chocolate and lactose, up front, with toast, red licorice and a hint of coffee developing, in the middle; the flavors up front, blend nicely together in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I am flummoxed a bit with how to rate this beer; I don't think it measures up as a Belgian stout as it lacks the yeasty complexity and the appropriate look/mouthfeel; on the other hand, I really like the way it tastes and would rate it higher as an American Double Stout or as an Imperial Milk Stout

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2013 01:40:26 | More by brentk56
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 04:01:55 | More by RickS95
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HoppySeb

Washington

4/5  rDev -3.1%

06-09-2014 20:34:39 | More by HoppySeb
Photo of FalconA
FalconA

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -3.1%

01-04-2013 00:11:10 | More by FalconA
Photo of dtx00
dtx00

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.1%

08-22-2012 04:30:29 | More by dtx00
Photo of oso
oso

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.1%

04-01-2014 19:04:10 | More by oso
Photo of HopsMatt
HopsMatt

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -3.1%

06-13-2013 06:23:38 | More by HopsMatt
Photo of irishgreensoda
irishgreensoda

Washington

4/5  rDev -3.1%

07-16-2013 19:18:42 | More by irishgreensoda
Photo of sprucetip
sprucetip

Alaska

4/5  rDev -3.1%

11-11-2012 06:05:17 | More by sprucetip
Photo of 604growler
604growler

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev -3.1%

09-18-2013 01:52:18 | More by 604growler
Photo of Rempo
Rempo

Indiana

4/5  rDev -3.1%

10-01-2012 23:52:00 | More by Rempo
Photo of leedorham
leedorham

Washington

4/5  rDev -3.1%

05-03-2013 03:07:17 | More by leedorham
Photo of C_S
C_S

Washington

4/5  rDev -3.1%

08-22-2013 16:47:27 | More by C_S
Photo of TheDrunkenDeer
TheDrunkenDeer

Idaho

4/5  rDev -3.1%

03-23-2014 07:37:56 | More by TheDrunkenDeer
Photo of Zaximus
Zaximus

Washington

4/5  rDev -3.1%

06-26-2014 02:59:23 | More by Zaximus
Photo of schopenhauerale
schopenhauerale

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev -3.1%

09-16-2013 05:02:53 | More by schopenhauerale
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650ml bottle poured into tulip 31/12/13

A looks fairly black with a deep cola edge, lots of tiny bubbles go up the side when you tilt the glass, a large, dense mocha foam has good retention but doesn't leave any lace until the head fell to a thin film

S burnt toffee, licorice root, candied dark fruit, root beer, coco comes out strong, has some Belgian flair with a little spicy yeast and brewers candy

T some bakers chocolate and more licorice then I smell, a little char but other then that it mimics the smell and the booze is well concealed but I preferred the nose

M medium full, somewhat silky upon entry and it stops short of creamy, a little slimy after the fact with chocolate and sour plum on the finish

O a fair bit going on and overall a solid brew, I haven't had to many Belgian stouts but I like what their doing here, everything works well together

I liked this one but for 11$ a bomber its a little steep, nothing to put in into the big leagues but well worth a try

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 05:50:33 | More by wordemupg
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Ursus Spelæus from Sound Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.