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Tsar - Buxton Brewery

Not Rated.
TsarTsar

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

35 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.02%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Buxton Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: maxk on 12-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jazzyjeff13:
Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 330ml bottle with a BB of March 2014. Acquired ages ago from Trembling Madness in York and stored in my garage. I keep hearing that Tsar is amazing stuff - time to put that claim to the test!

Poured into a Delirium chalice. Bottle conditioned. A very dark brown hue that appears ultra-black in the glass. Produces a decent head of creamy brown foam with a fine texture; this subsides after a few minutes to leave a patchy surface layer. The aroma is a heady experience - rich roasted malt with notes of burnt grain, coffee, cocoa, molasses/brown sugar, faint vanilla, pine, stewed hops and earthy yeast. A warming whiff of booze in the background. Superb!

Tastes of exceptional roasted malt with a deep, hoppy character and a huge bitter finish. Notes of burnt grain, roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, molasses, brown sugar, a hint of vanilla, faint smoke, pine resin, stewed hops and earthy yeast. Well-attenuated, accompanied by a warming hint of alcohol in the background. An ardent bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with light carbonation and a touch of spiciness. Good body, though could be a shade thicker. Highly astringent, followed by an aftertaste of bitter roasted malt, piny hops and earthy yeast.

Amazing - an amplified taste sensation. It looks the part, while the aroma and flavour are towering tributes to dark malt and aromatic hops. The body is good, though enhanced thickness might have done the strength more justice. The powerful malt/hop combo reminds me of Flying Dog's Gonzo. Fantastic - a future classic. Add this to your must-try list.

jazzyjeff13, Aug 05, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of aztraz
3.75/5  rDev -6%

aztraz, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours mahogany with a pinky of tan head. Great lacing & good head retention

S: Smokeyness, bubblegum

T: Dark fruit, hints of bubble gum, a touch of booze & oaky dryness up front & leafy hops up front. Carob, oaky dryness & vinous flavors as this warms, a bit of leather & dates too, some chicory as well, some dark chocolate & charred grain breaks through, along with booze bite. Finishes dry, fruitty, with some strong smokey notes

MF: Chewy, fairly lively carbonation, warming

A decent RIS, glad I got to try it

russpowell, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of Bung
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. picked from the Greenville Beer Exchange. A fairly viscous looking black pour, just a few dark tan bubbles.

Aroma, roast malt, anise and some resiny hops. Dark chocolate as well.

Taste, heavy roast, malt and a little coffee. Anise and pine kick bitter through. Coffee, cocoa some more herbal bitter. Pretty nice.

To the right of mid bodied. More carbonation than would appear. Coats well, drinks well, no abv. presence.
Quite solid.

Bung, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of Samp01
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black with no head. Aroma is of dark fruit, plums, black figs, with liquorice notes, some dark cacao notes as well. Taste same as aroma with mild bitterness. A full bodied, rich and thick mouth feel, smooth and mildly sticky on the palate with good carbonation. Finishes with a full flavored dark fruit, dries plums and figs, raisins, a bit of sweet bitter chocolate and a mild bitter liquorice flavor on the end for balance. Overall a very good full flavored and tasty brew.

Samp01, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured like motor oil with a thin dark tan head that quickly died down, leaving a collar of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark malts and licorice are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of licorice along with notes of dark and roasted malts.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The aging of the beer might have lended it a little flat but it is not too difficult to drink considering the strength.

metter98, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of jmaharaj
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours thick and black with a tan head that streaks the glass. Smells big, but a little muddled. Molasses seems to dominate, above layers of spent coffee grinds a some spicy hops. Taste is similar. big and bold, but not distinctive. All the elements are there but they haven't come together perfectly. They hit the tongue at once and almost instantly a sharp hop bitterness cleans it all out. There is a little warmth from the alcohol. There may be something about this beer that feels a little artificial. Mouthfeel is good. Not as thick as expected but it rolls over the tongue with some weight. Overall pretty good, and not ridiculously priced, but not a standout Russian imperial stout.

jmaharaj, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

DrinkSlurm, Sep 11, 2012
Photo of pin
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

pin, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of ludachris
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Its body is as black as the label on its bottle. The head that forms on top is massive. It's meringue-like and frothy and looks like a dessert inits rich shade of khaki. Its level of retention is something worth noting. Thick and chunky patches of lace glue themselves to the sides of the glass. Very few beers look better to me than bottle conditioned RISs. What a beauty.

Hefty loaves of pumpernickel and rye have gooey notes of raisins and dates smothered over them. A rich roastiness and stripe of alcohol buttress this hefty stout. Dark chocolate brownies come as an afterthought. Lively and juicy blackberries are tossed in all of the above and make for an intriguing center.

The alcohol comes in quick and zippy. There's much more of a hop presence, coming in green and leafy. The melange of berries and dark fruit settle on the middle of the tongue. Spiked roasty coffee coats the sides of the palate.

The body is full and rich with a soft creaminess. Not at all slick or oily. The finish is dry with still enough body to chew on.

Overall, a fantastic rendition of the style. It's a bubba in every aspect but never comes across as overwhelming. Its high ABV doesn't weigh it down and the flavor and all its complexities make it a treat to drink. Well worth a try.

ludachris, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of kinmundy77
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

kinmundy77, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of mdagnew
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle bought from Chatsworth House farm shop...

Poured pretty much pitch black. Dirty mocha head poured small but thick and foamy then faded quite quickly to the faintest covering with a thick ring around the edge... light patches of lacing...

Aroma - Deep roasted chocolate maltinesss, nice toffee and treacle sweetness, nice light peaty smokiness, muscovado sugar, charred wood, quite earthy, dark fruits (raisins, dates and figs), fruit loaf, light vanilla traces, peppery, no real hint of the alcohol, slightest hint of cardboard... wonderful stuff...

Taste doesn't quite live up to the stunning aroma... Quite a lot of roasted chocolate malt backed with light vanilla, some peat and charred wood smokiness, coffee, some molasses sweetness, spicy nutmeg, sooty and earthy, booze is just noticeable, light sourness, dried dark fruits (prunes to the fore), faint anise..

Feel - Pretty rich and smooth... full bodied... pretty drinkable for an 9.5% brew..

Overall - An excellent example of a RIS... highly recommended

mdagnew, Jul 24, 2014
Photo of dbrauneis
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours an opaque extremely dark jet black in color with minimal amounts of visible carbonation and just a hint of very dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall dark mocha head that reduces to a medium large medium thick patch of larger bubbles and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark and roasted malts with lighter notes licorice/anise and some stronger notes of booze.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of dark and roasted malts with just a touch of dark fruit sweetness (raisin and plum stand out). There are lighter notes of chocolate, licorice/anise, and just a touch of burnt malts. Light amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin with a light amount of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: Moderate amounts of complexity which make this brew pretty enjoyable though it is a big beer - made for slowly sipping to enjoy.

dbrauneis, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of jdhilt
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a one finger light brown head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Chocolate nose and flavor is sweet chocolate with a bitter chocolate finish. Higher ABV is hidden. $4.99 for a 330ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Marlboro, MA.

jdhilt, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of ROGUE16
3.75/5  rDev -6%

ROGUE16, Aug 14, 2013
Photo of John_Henry
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. This is a truly great beer. A wonderful depiction of the style. Full body, full flavour and fabulous complex nose. Looks good, as one would expect, black. Not too carbonated. I imagine it would age well if you could resist it.

Overall, I can't wait to have this again, truly great beer.

John_Henry, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of YeastEnthusiast
4/5  rDev +0.3%

YeastEnthusiast, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of avalon07
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A big aroma of dark fruit, chocolate, malt, and something sweet.

T: Tasted of dark chocolate, malt, a vinous quality, toffee, and dark fruit (plums?). A good, solid flavor, but it doesn't quite live up to the promise of the aroma. Nonetheless, a complex taste.

M: An average amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Surprisingly medium-bodied.

O: Very much a likeable beer. Not as powerful or robust as other Russian Imperial Stouts, but worthwhile.

avalon07, Yesterday at 03:30 AM
Photo of mmapes
3.34/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Possibly traded from Ben (or did we buy this at the bottle shop in York?). Bottle said do not refrigerate, but we did, as the preferable alternative to a too-warm cellar. Poured into two North Coast snifters. (Proably should have let it warm a bit.)

Color is velvety black. Maybe a hint of dark red/brown on the edges. No head, but we poured carefully because there is a layer of yeast.

Smell: "stout," black licorice/anise, toasted malt.

First impression: grainy, dry -- a little from hops and a little from toasted malt/smoke. Hot with alcohol.

Later impressions: the alcohol/grain/toast finish is almost a little sour. The russian imperial stouts I'm used to a re sweeter, this one is dry and grainy. It's a nice change. Might be a little too dry/smoky to make my "buy again" list.

Pairs really well with a smoked gouda.

The dregs are more bland, more one-note. Interesting -- I would have thought the yeasty layer at the bottom would be more complex.

mmapes, Feb 07, 2013
Photo of lgmol
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

lgmol, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

kjkinsey, May 22, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, char, and herbal hop aromas. There are also some cocoa and vanilla aromas that come out as the beer warms up. Taste is much the same with cocoa nib and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that reminds me much more of a black IPA than a RIS in terms of the aromas and flavors I am getting.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of DonFrap
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

DonFrap, Jul 18, 2013
Photo of beholder_pl
4.74/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: pitch black with a thick tan, long-lasting head. Awesome lacing.

Aroma: dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee and roastiness. Not very intense, but really good, just the way it should smell.

Taste: first comes the intense roastiness, followed by dark chocolate and coffee. Some delicate notes of cocoa in the back. Bitterness is medium. Alcohol is hidden very well, almost untraceable. Some small hints in the aftertaste, but that's because I drank this beer in room temperature. Pretty warming.

Mouthfeel: thick, oily, full bodied, soft carbonation. Superb.

Overall: maybe not mindblowing, but almost perfect russian imperial stout. Plus the name Tsar makes this beer even better. Really, this is probably the best way to name a beer in this style.

Enjoyed in a teku glass.

beholder_pl, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of marct
4/5  rDev +0.3%

marct, Feb 23, 2013
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Tsar from Buxton Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.