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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 cratez
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle purchased at Gambrinus Bistro & Cafe in London, ON. Pours an impenetrable black with one finger of brown foam and some dots of lacing on the tulip glass. Head subsides after a few minutes. Smell and taste are roasted malts, black liquorice, dark chocolate bitterness, coffee grounds, smoke, currants, malty tartness, cookie crumble and ashtray on the cough. Very little sweetness, and the alcohol is undetectable. Mouthfeel is creamy, fuller than medium-bodied, prickly carbonation, bone dry chalky finish. Overall, this is a really enjoyable and complex strong stout. At 7% ABV, The Hammer isn't quite an RIS, but it's still a great quaff nonetheless. I'll be grabbing this regularly to share with friends.

cratez, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of peensteen
3.95/5  rDev -2%
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 LazyL
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark black with a nice mocha head that disapates rather quickly. Good dark chocolate, coffee and roasted malt on the nose with an underlying boozyness. The taste is mostly smoky charcoal with some burnt raisin over a coffee base. Slight coffee liquer notes. The mouthfeel has a heavy body and a cramy finish. There is a rough bitterness and metalic sourness that is slightly off putting. The carbonation is a little high up front. The alcohal is mostly hidden but you can feel it warmth immediately and it burns my lips.
A little to rough and over roasted.

LazyL, Jun 09, 2011
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 wordemupg
3.83/5  rDev -5%
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 Rutager
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
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 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 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 eat
3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to ritzkiss for opening this 2009 vintage bottle. No expiry date.

Pours an opaque, oily, viscous black. Patchy cover of mocha head with no lacing. The texture looks promising...

Smells a little weird. Sweet raspberry, pool chemicals, smoke, salty minerals. Weird but alright at the same time.

There's almost no roast character to be found. Sour, unripe raspberries and dusty cocoa powder. Light and watery. Apparently this one doesn't age that well.

The pour looked great but in the mouth I'm finding it to be too thin. Almost no carbonation.

Damn, this bottle got poured out. Too much age for its strength it seems. The sourness of this would have caused a sore stomach if we had kept drinking it.

eat, May 02, 2010
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 Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -2%
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 Sammy
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
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 bobsy
3.83/5  rDev -5%
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 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 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 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 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 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 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
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The Hammer from Phillips Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.