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The Hammer - Phillips Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The HammerThe Hammer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

44 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 4
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BDTyre on 01-28-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pudoo
5/5  rDev +24.1%

pudoo, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Hornet2003
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650mL bottle purchased at Village Park Royal Liquor Store, West Vancouver.

Appearance: Extremely dark. Black and a chocolaty head.

Smell: Extreme roastiness. Coffee and smoke.

Taste: Such an amazing flavour profile. Smokey like an Alaskan Smoked Porter and Chocolaty. Coffee almost like a Peche Mortel. Huge abundance of burnt malt flavours. Slight bitter hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy. Not prickly like a lot of other Imperial Stouts. So many different flavours hitting all over the tongue.

Drinkability: Such smoothness makes this extremely drinkable for the style.

Overall: I'm actually taken aback by this beer. Way better than I expected. Probably one of the best Imperial Stouts I've ever had. It has elements of all the best niche Imperial Stouts(roastiness-Brooklyn, coffee-Dieu du Ciel, chocolate-Rogue). Seek this one out and buy a few for years to come.

Hornet2003, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of Coastal_Brew
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Coastal_Brew, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of Exeter
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Exeter, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of ZachT
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black in color, dark, fluffy head, good lacing on glass
S: Rich toasted malts, coffee and chocolate, slight alcohol presence
T: Rich and malty, coffee and chocolate notes, very drinkable for the style
M: Thick and creamy, very smooth, slightly bitter finish - everything you could want in an imperial stout
O: Extremely drinkable imperial stout, almost none of the harshness that other imperial stouts have, very rich and creamy - it is on the lighter side for imperial stout, if there is such a thing

ZachT, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of canucklehead
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well I kept the bottle in my cellar for a year until on my birthday on Dec 21st. This is a world class RIS that ages gracefully. Dark and thick this is pure sexy chocolate and roasted coffee malts. I have had bigger and even better impys but this has to be one of the best BC beers ever. The case for Matt Philips as one of the best BC brewers can be made from this beer alone.

canucklehead, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of schnarr84
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Poured at around 8C and allowed to warm to room temperature over an hour or so.

The beer pours near pitch black with a half finger of tan head which doesn't really dissipate. The beer smells strongly of roasted barley, with a nice blend of dark chocolate and roasted coffee notes, as well as some mild sweet toffee notes in the mix as well.

The beer has an intense dark roasted coffee flavor, with nice dark chocolate flavours as well. There is a very nice roasted malt backbone that really sets the tone for this beer. It is highly drinkable - maybe too easy to drink for 8+% ABV. Drink this slowly, as the beer really evolves as it warms.. a great tasting experience.

This is a perfect beer to sit back and enjoy after a nice meal, or in front of the fire on a cold night, or watching the game, or for breakfast. Frankly this beer is great anytime. One of my favorite mid-ABV stouts. Once again, Matt Phillips and team do not disappoint.

schnarr84, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of BDTyre
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow!! Whatever Matt Phillip's missed in his previous attempts at stouts and porters he found in this one.

Coal black body with a rich, milk chocolate brown head that stacks up like abandoned cars in a snowstorm. The head clings to the side of the glass as I drink, and it leaves fluffy chunky rings.

Rich dark chocolate and coffee flavours. This is what I envisioned in Phillip's now-defunct Espresso Stout. Semi-sweet molasses background. Slight alcohol noticeable on the tongue, but not excessive and not distracting.

The only weak point, as usual is the body. A beer with this look, big nose and body should not be as thin as it is. This may work with a regular stout, but not an imperial stout.

Aside from the weak body, this is a smooth, big imperial stout and kudos to Matt Phillip's for delivering a drink worthy of its name.

BDTyre, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of ChuckGnarly
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

ChuckGnarly, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of IanSpindler
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

IanSpindler, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of Larz_73
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Larz_73, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of LampertLand
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Phillip's "The Hammer" Russian Imperial Stout @ 8.3% , a 650 ml bottle , that's been in the cellar for only 10 months , needed to make room
A-pour is an oily black with a small fine tan head leaving some spotty lacing along the pint glass
S-roasted barley malt
T-smooth tasting RIS , no alcohal bite
MF-low carbonation , viscous , should be full bodied (it's a bit thin)
Ov-very easy sipping beer , yes

cheers LampertLand

LampertLand, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of Viggo
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to canucklehead for sending my way via CanBIF4.

Pours a deep dark opaque black, oily, thick brown head forms, sticks around forever, slowly drops leaving a ton of lacing on the glass, nice layer and ring. Smell is nice, roast and chocolate, caramel, toast, dates, oreo crumbs, some alcohol, dark fruits, nice. Taste is nice, roast, chocolate cookies, caramel, coffee, dark fruits, licorice, bready, real rich flavour, creamy, dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth, but alcohol is well hidden. Pretty great imperial stout, thanks Mark!

Viggo, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of chickenm
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a brown head. Mild aroma with milk chocolate and some roastiness. The flavor has sweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and a little bit of bitterness. Very nice mouthfeel, this is quite creamy and smooth. No alcohol was noticable in this. Good drinkability, this is an enjoyable and tasty stout.

chickenm, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of grub
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled july 18/08.

pours deep brown, nearly black and pretty much opaque. a small dense brown head forms, quickly dropping to a ring around the glass and leaving lots of lace.

aroma is great. lots of chocolate. dark and milk chocolate. cocoa. coffee. light alcohol. biscuit and whole wheat bread. light roast and toast.

taste is good. light roast. just a hint of lactic sourness. milk chocolate. coffee. bit of dark fruit. toasted multi-grain bread. biscuit. bit of dark chocolate. light alcohol. medium-low bitterness level. touch of caramel sweetness. light anise. touch of vanilla.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium-large body. silky smooth.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced. a solid imperial stout.

grub, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of Derek
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a tan head, very little retention, slight leg/lace.

S: Awesome nose: Coffee, black strap molasses, tar, dark chocolate, alcohol.

T: Coffee, black strap molasses, licorice, slight sourness, tar-like roasted bitterness. Really boarding on a Balitc Porter.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body & carbonation, off-dry frinish.

D: I think it's very enticing, but it's a bit of a brute.

Derek, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of phishsihq
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aged somewhere around three years. The Hammer pours midnight black with a well-retained, thin tan head providing plenty of lacing. Roasted malt aromas dominate the nose with coffee, molasses, and chocolate all present. The taste basically mirrors the nose, with the added exceptions of black licorice and a slight sourness. Aging well, this "imported" Russian Imperial stout is light-to-moderate in both body and carbonation

phishsihq, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of spree92
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this 650ml bottle in February and have been saving. Pours an oil black that thins out to a heavy brown. Zero transparency. Inch head looked like coffee ice cream on top. Noticed some carbonation. Dark chocolate and burnt malts are prominent. Subtle espresso bean with a grain character to it. Taste is up front about the malts. Phillips doesn't hide the fact they they used various malts for this process. Robust flavors burst in the mouth as they dis in the nose same onea as well. Mouthfeel is light and smooth. Higher abv is not noticeable.
Glad I have a second bottle to let sit and try in about six months, see if it holds up with time.

spree92, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of ericj551
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The Hammer pours an inky black with a decent head that fades to a thin light brown layer. Roasted malt overwhelms the aroma with plenty of dark chocolate. The flavor is roasty, with a slightly sweet maltiness. The sweet, caramel malt gives way to a dry, burnt malt character that is a bit astringent in the finish. A slightly smokey flavor lingers after the beer is gone. The alcohol is completely hidden, it drinks like a slightly heavy stout.

ericj551, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big bottle out from the cellar, poured into a tulip glass. An opaque nearly pitch black brew, with the barest hint of a ruby red halo at the very bottom of the glass. Aroma is complex, dark and rich with ashtray, baker's cacao powder, dark roast coffee, and dry nuts swirling together. Palate starts similar, initially very harsh, ashy, and roasted, but evolves toward a more refined faint sweetness over time. A thing of beauty. After the initial charcoal hit, I get burnt chocolate pudding and coffee, pumpernickle bread without the caraway seed, licorice candy, and brazil nuts. Nice malt matrix with a faint whiff of earthy hops down there in the mix. Low carbonation and dangerously smooth and creamy once the dry astringency loses steam ... These Russian imperial stouts never fail to get me at least a bit tipsy. Finish is long and lingering, with some roasted notes and light caramel apparent nearly 30 minutes after the last sip. One notable feature is just how well the alcohol is concealed! Often these Russian imperial stouts are discernably hot and boozy, but here this flavor was particularly covert. I lament that a certain current Russian ruler fails to emulate the class and refinement embodied by this pacific coast gem. ;)

CalgaryFMC, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

341ml bottle, day 6 of the Phillips Snowcase pack. Been looking for this one for a while, as we've 'only' got the barrel-aged version thus far in Alberta.

This beer pours a solid, uninterrupted black, no highlights, no how, with three fingers of bulging bubbly, tightly foamy, and somewhat creamy dark beige head, which leaves some pleasantly disjointed webbed lace around the glass as it slowly subsides.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, a touch of dry toffee, mild bittersweet chocolate, soft hints of watery coffee, an earthy hop astringency, and lurking warming alcohol. The taste is more gritty toasted barley malt, a fading caramel/toffee sweetness, some acrid char, unsweetened mocha, a wee black licorice note, dried dark fruit, feeble drying hops, and a well-behaved, yet still bristling booziness.

The understated bubbles are pretty much just there to keep this from falling under its own heft, the body a fairly dense and challenging medium weight, and mostly smooth, some meddling hops and iceberg alcohol taking it down a peg or two. It finishes off-dry, and not nearly as sweet as I might have expected - very balanced.

Almost like an Imperial Dry Stout, the coffee, well-roasted malt, and booze rendering my sweet tooth duly unsatisfied. However, my stout appreciation center is lit up like a Christmas tree - tasty, and with a well-integrated warming character, this one almost sneaks up on you.

biboergosum, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of ritzkiss
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jan. 2009 brewing.

Pours a nice dark brown with a couple fingers of coffee head. Light lacing down the glass.

Smells of malt and coffee, some roasting and touches of chocolate.

Taste is on par with other imperial stouts. On entry you get some brown sugar, bold espresso notes, roasted malt. Alcohol taste hits you in the back, reminds you it has a high ABV, also some sweetness that coats the mouth. Dry finish.

Quite a nice addition to BC brewing, it's not everyday you find a solid RIS. This one would definitely do well aged, mellow out some of those alcohol flavors.

Bottle reviewed one year later: Ok, I was wrong about the aging, I don't think it helped it any. More dark fruit coming through, a strong tang/tartness in the finish, hardly any malt or roast coming through. Ended up drainpouring a good portion of it - Do NOT age this beer!

ritzkiss, May 01, 2010
Photo of Kmat10
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Kmat10, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of rogerdandy
4/5  rDev -0.7%

rogerdandy, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of EskimoDave
4/5  rDev -0.7%

EskimoDave, Nov 21, 2011
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The Hammer from Phillips Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.