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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

45 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 8.96%
Wants: 6
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: 45 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received in summer in trade.Much worse than expected, this did not store at all, and it is my duty to report this.Black and some head with some roast, the roast aroma is more present further into the bottle. However a lactose sour milk taste builds up as you drink it, so not so drinkable. Average mouthfeel, and understated carbonation, all consistent with something gone.

Sammy, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color stout with a medium light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of chocolate and light dry coffee notes is quite pleasant. Taste is also dominated by nice black chocolate notes with some light dry coffee notes and roasted barley is quiet pleasing. Body is a bit thin for the style with good carbonation with no signs of alcohol. Very well done though a bit light in body and extra character would have made a better beer.

Phyl21ca, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Viggo
4.22/5  rDev +5%
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 Derek
4.18/5  rDev +4%
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 TheSevenDuffs
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

650 ml bottle shared with my brother at the Rhino.

A - Poured completely ink black. Appears thick and viscous. A small amount of light brown head formed and receded quickly.

S - A somewhat light nose of roasted malts and chocolate.

T - Roasted malts, chocolate, some sweetness and a touch of licorice.

M - Very disappointing mouthfeel, especially after the pour. Thin and watery. Light body overall with light carbonation.

O - A decent offering from Phillips but this one needs some work.

TheSevenDuffs, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of wordemupg
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into tulip April17 2011

A nearly black with some cola at the very edge, a dark tan thumbs worth of foam leaves a partial ring of lace before falling

S chocolate milk and some dark fruits with a hint of charred wood

T smokey licorice and milk chocolate opposed to chocolate milk but other then that as it smells but with a little extra

M a little thinner then expected after how dark it poured but the bubbles fluff it up a bit

O tasty brew and at the end of the day that has to count for something

well concealed booze for 8.3% its pretty light and easy to drink, thanks chickenm for getting this one out my way

wordemupg, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of canucklehead
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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 bobsy
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Midnight black pour with a creamy tan head. Enticing full-on roasty aroma... coffee, bittersweet chocolate and molasses. The taste follows the nose almost exactly, though I'm also picking up a light lactic sourness, which I'm not sure is a good or a bad thing. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Body and carbonation is medium, but I think it could have done with being a bit heavier.

Not a bad impy. Cheers Eric!

bobsy, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of Rutager
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours black with a finger of bubbly, deep tan head that fades pretty wuick and doesn't leave much lacing.

Smell. Coffee, brown sugar, roasty malt, chocolate liquer.

Taste. Roasty, toasty malt. Molasses, vanilla. Nice coffee and burnt wood in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium, bubbly carbonation.

Overall. A nice, easy drinking, everyday kind of stount. Will buy again.

Rutager, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of grub
4.18/5  rDev +4%
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 schopenhauerale
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

schopenhauerale, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of DaPan
4/5  rDev -0.5%

DaPan, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of peensteen
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nearly jet black, some brown/tan head one finger thick, good lacing. Smell is roast malt up front, black coffee, dark chocolate and a faint alcohol presence. Taste is fairy roasted, coffee, chocolate - milk chocolate and bakers chocolate, light sweetness, touches of warm alcohol. Mouthfeel is a touch thin for the style, light-med weight, medium carbonation. Nice drinkable RIS, ABV hidden well, would like a bottle of this to open in the winter.

peensteen, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of schnarr84
4.34/5  rDev +8%
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 joemcgrath27
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - tar black with a half finger of dark brown head
S - strong bakers chocolate and very roasty malt, light coffee and vanilla
T - starts with smoky and roasty malt, hints of chocolate and light coffee, a hint of the oaky burbon, and a blood like note
M - just a little too thin and watery for a stout, more like the feel of a porter with a bit of a chaulky finish
O - it is big on flavour with the burbon barrel again adding a unique and complimentary quality, alcohol is very well hidden, definitely worth a try

joemcgrath27, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of Kmat10
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Kmat10, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of chickenm
4.18/5  rDev +4%
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 BDTyre
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
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 ZachT
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
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 ritzkiss
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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 CalgaryFMC
4.06/5  rDev +1%
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 LampertLand
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
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 leaddog
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a rich dark chocolate brown with a finger width of creamy mocha head.

Smell - Milk chocolate, bourbon, chocolate syrup, slight hint of dark fruits.

Taste - The milk chocolate blends together with the woody barrel flavour. There's also a hint of the chocolate syrup and ABV.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A tad thinner than expected for the style.

Overall - An easy to drink imperial stout from Phillips. For myself, the alcohol is quite concealed. I expected a little more body from this one, but other than that, an enjoyable brew.

leaddog, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of ericj551
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
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
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The Hammer from Phillips Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.