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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:
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.

Photo of ImperialStout
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of msubulldog25
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of karmachief
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
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

Photo of Illos
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of lupercmda
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a small fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, raisin, banana, toast, molasses, light char, clove, pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, toast, molasses, raisin, banana, clove, pepper, light char, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Slight roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, molasses, raisin, banana, clove, pepper, light char, and roasted/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/roasted malt and fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy, moderately slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian imperial stout! All around great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of woemad
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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 Kmat10
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of drpimento
3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Photo of 604growler
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of schopenhauerale
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of draheim
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a tulip. Pours a rich opaque black w/ a 1-finger mocha head that settles to a narrow band.

Aroma is big chocolate and espresso, bitter roasted malt, cocoa. As it warms, dark fruit overtakes the chocolate and coffee.

Taste follows nose. Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, chewy dark fruits, earthy roasted nuts.

Mouthfeel is thick, full-bodied but not sticky or syrupy. Good carbonation, finishes semi-dry.

Overall a highly enjoyable, rock-solid imperial stout.

Photo of C_S
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of DJMonroe
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of irishgreensoda
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of jmccraney
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Hopmodium
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of HopsMatt
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of IanSpindler
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of schnarr84
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of BeerOps
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

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