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The Butcher - Societe Brewing Co.

The Butcher
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162 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.57%

Brewed by:
Societe Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Schmaltzy on 07-20-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 20 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cope0021


5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was a wonderful, wonderful suprise. It ranks among the top RIS I have ever had (I've had quite a few)

A: Pours a dark, viscous black. Some lacing visible on the glass. Maintains a decent finger of milk chocolate foam. Completely opaque; no light escapes this dark beast. Coats the glass nicely.

S: A wonderful aromatic delight. Smells of dark, roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. A little bit of booze is present, but you really have to smell for it

T: Wonderfully balanced. A little on the bitter side to offset some of the malty sweetness. Notes of dark, roasted coffee and dark chocolate gently even out the sweetness of the malt. Deffinitely not a syrupy sweet beer; but I like my stouts with a little tang. Some faint prune and raisen notes present. Alcohol is only present very mildy as it warms the back of your throat; otherwise not too boozy.

M: Velvety smooth. This is a beer that can make your spoon stand up. It coats your tongue and mouth like it coats the glass. Deffinitely not for the faint of heart. This is a meal, but the best meal I've ever had.

Overall, this one is up there. One of the best. Would not change a thing about it at all.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2012 17:13:31 | More by cope0021
Photo of mhksuccess


4.66/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap at the brewery tasting room
served in not sure what type of glass but it was tap
it has a great aroma of roasty chocolate hint of coffee if I remember correctly
i could drink this beer on a regular basis
it was smooth chocolate roasty the way a stout should be
had a great feel in the mouth went down real nice
i feel that more places should brew top quality beer such as this
a perfect example of the style

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2013 16:52:49 | More by mhksuccess
Photo of Schmaltzy


4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice big black pour with tan/reddish head. Smell is of loads of roasted malt, dark dark cacao, cocoa powder, nuts, and a slightly bitter hop scent. Taste is similar to the scent with the dark cacao, cocoa powder and nuts front and center with a nice dry slightly bitter finish. This beer is very nice, not cloyingly sweet like some RIS and no trace of the 9.8% alcohol. Liked this very much, just hoping that the next time they make it they will be able to bottle it.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2012 23:19:37 | More by Schmaltzy
Photo of claaark13


4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thank you, my friend.

A - Thick, creamy tan head that looks fantastic, dark body.

S - Lots of roast, mild hops, sweetness comes through after a bit.

T - Much like the aroma upfront, with lots of roasted malt. Bitter yet chocolate takes a sudden grab of the flavor with what seem to be some light hops, then some earthy woody flavor hits (almost like it was in a barrel). Finishes well with the early flavors, which seem very favorable. Maybe a slight hint of heat in the finish, but I'm stretching to detect it.

M - Medium yet creamy.

O - I really like this, especially for a non-BA RIS. On par with something like Darkness.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2013 18:31:42 | More by claaark13
Photo of funkel81


4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado

Served in snifter

Nice dark tan head that stayed present throughout. Near black in color. Smells great, roasty, what you'd hope to expect.

To me the taste was just delicious. Great balance, great mouthfeel. One of the best imperial stouts I've tried in a long long time. Reminded me a lot of founders imperial stout, which is definitely a good thing.

Looking forward to trying this gem again!

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2012 18:58:39 | More by funkel81
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice middle of the road black color, substantial 1.33" head on the chalice. Sure is pretty. Retention solid. Lacing very good. Aroma was pretty simple, heavily roasted malt, no alcohol discernable, smelled like virgin oak. Straightforward.

Taste, wow, chewy, big malt base eats up all the alcohol perceptibility. Serious bitter notes. Not very sweet, we're talkin' that dark baker's chocolate that offers just as much bitterness as it does sweetness. The liquid fits the description of "coating" the mouth. Silky and bitter at the same time. Carbonation is spot on, a little lower than other offerings at the brewery.

Just a massive straight up stout with tons of two row, and keeps the chocolate and coffee to a minimum. Never picked up on any wood in the taste. Pretty substantial stuff, and yet, enjoyable to drink throughout.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2013 18:23:48 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of MasterSki


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Chris (spycow). Served in a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A - Tan foam settles to a wispy cap and thin collar, leaving tiny spots of lace behind. Black body.

S - Plenty of roasted grains, cocoa, molasses, light dark fruits, perhaps a hint of char or burnt coffee. Really impressive aroma for a straight-up RIS. Great balance and no alcohol to be found.

T - The taste doesn't have the same sweetness as the aroma, but it's still quite enjoyable. Heavy on the roast, with light notes of cocoa and vanilla, and a bitter anise-heavy finish. Again, not much in the way of alcohol.

M - Medium-full body, smooth texture, pleasant lower-level carbonation, and minimal warming for the listed ABV.

D - It's nice to reminded that a stout can be this good without going in a barrel of some sort. The flavor is a tad too bitter for me to drink this in large quantities, but otherwise it's a very well-crafted and somewhat traditional take on the style. Will have to try more offerings form Societe in the future.

Serving type: growler

09-22-2012 05:27:23 | More by MasterSki
Photo of reebtaerG


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Societe

A-Black in color with a good sized tan head.

S-Aroma is of heavy coffee and roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, and light smoke.

T-Taste is of dark chocolate, roasted malts, espresso, light smoke, and caramel.

M-Thick mouthfeel and not too sweet.

O-Overall a great russian imperial stout

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2014 19:44:19 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this on tap at the brewery a few days ago. Reviewed from notes.

Light repelling obsidian black with a dark brown cap. Head retention is excellent. The aroma is roasted malts and espresso and dark chocolate in the back. Strong burnt toast roastyness in the taste. Chewy, thick dark malts mix with plenty of bitter hops in the fray. The mouthfeel is velvety thick on the verge of oily. A long lasting bitterness, equal parts from the roasted malts and hops, makes up the finish. Alcohol heat is always kept in check, never detracting from the roasty assault.

This is a fantastic Imperial Stout. Very dry and bitter. If you like your stouts with a strong roasty character, this one's for you.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2012 10:19:53 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of notchucknorris


4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's

A: Pitch black and super oily looking with almost no head on the pour.

S: Huuuge roasted malt and dark roast coffee aroma with some espresso, dark chocolate and charred wood as well.

T: Wow. Short of Big Black Bear Stout, I don't know that I've ever tried a beer as bitter an dark as this. Tons of roasted/charred malt, bittersweet chocolate, espresso bean and wet earth notes. Ends in's burnt chocolate/ dark roast coffee note. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety without ever really showing the ABV. Really nicely done. Make sure you like them really dark before you touch this one.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2012 22:06:19 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of COYS1984

4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured with not much attention to its aesthetic potential. Dark, thick, blackness with slight tan head. Nose is nice - roasted coffee, wood chips?, chocolate, maybe some vanilla on the back end. Taste is first sweet - chocolate, mocha, espresso. The finish is where this beer gets interesting. The sweet richness and dark chocolate qualities dissolve into a smokey bitterness. Pretty bitter for an imperial stout with what comes across to me like some burnt wood (in a good way). Drinks relatively heavy and the alcohol is present the whole time, which is fine at 9.5%. Mouthfeel is really good. Carbonation is there but it still keeps a nice creamy quality. Really nice RIS overall.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2012 19:11:50 | More by COYS1984
Photo of corby112


4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Small Bar in San Diego, CA. March 2013.

Pitch black and opaque with a one finger dark mocha head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring.  Streaks of soapy lace left behind.

Nice roasted malt aroma with sweet chocolate notes.  Well balanced with dark and milk chocolate notes, gourmet coffee bean and oatmeal countered by baker's chocolate and dessert fudge/cake-like sweetness.  

Medium bodied and slightly viscous with a nice balance of deep roast and sweet malt notes.  Burnt sugars, roasted coffee bean, oatmeal and dark chocolate countered by lactose cream, sweet bakers chocolate, fudge, dark chocolate cake, caramel and toffee.  Nicely balanced.  Really dry and slightly burnt up front but the lactose and sweeter malt notes come in on the back end balancing things out.  ABV is invisible making this beer very easy to drink.  

Serving type: on-tap

10-06-2013 00:04:46 | More by corby112
Photo of Nugganooch


4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap @ Societe

10oz pour

A: Pours damn dark. Totally opaque with a shiny luster and hardly even a thinning edge to it. Light khaki cream head with sufficient stay power and some nice tracks of lace down the glass.

S: Nice coffee rich aroma. Firm use roasted barley evident. Toasted cereals with some dark cherry and mixed dark fruits. A faint chocolate nuttiness. Pretty nice nose with roast coffee at the forefront.

T: Flavor has a big roast coffee influence with some dark fruits and blackberries coming through. Roasted barley with nutty toasted oats. There is some sweet toffee that rounds out nicely with a smooth chocolate note. Has a light prickly bitterness to the beer with a tart edge towards the finish. Like dried black cherries covered in chocolate. Some mild anise noted. Alcohol is incredibly low key here. Flavors and balance really come together nicely on this one. Quite delicious.

M: Moderate body that doesn’t bear down on the palate. Very smooth and silky feel with a bit of lingering sticky sweetness. There is a consistent carbonation with a sharp bite towards the finish that is kind of welcoming here as it cuts through the sweetness. Creamy overall.

D: Surprisingly good for their initial Stout offering. Falls more in the Double Stout territory. Incredibly drinkable and complete. I had a hard time letting this one get to temp. Deep rich roast flavors with such a smooth balance

Nitro offering should be nice and I can only see good things putting this one through a barreling program.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2012 22:43:59 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of ehammond1

3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Black throughout with a thin, creamy, light brown head that leaves behind a thin ring all the way down the glass, leaving irregular webs of lace. This is a very pretty imperial stout--gorgeous, really.

Bold roast aroma dominates, with a bit of ash and char as well. There's mild dark fruit character along with a hint of alcohol, but the bold, expressive, roasted malt is more than dominant.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, though slightly more complex. The roasted malt shines again, with a bit of a grainy chocolate flavor as well, along with alcohol warmth.

Medium to near full in body with low-moderate carbonation.

These guys continue to impress!

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2012 17:10:24 | More by ehammond1
Photo of ArrogantB


3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Societe. Black. Smell was pretty damn great. Thick black malts, roasty and dense. Really just a great aroma. The flavor was aiight but didn't really hit the notes suggested by the aroma. Alcohol was not well disguised but it is a Russian imperial stout so what do you expect? I'd buy this again to smell it and hope that the taste would live up to aroma.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2013 02:39:36 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap for Churchill's Renaissance 2013 at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Vintage batch 1 keg.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and slight coffee aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty 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 is tasty and has aged fairly well in my opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2013 18:04:54 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of HopHead84


3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


On tap at Societe.

A: Pitch black with two fingers of dense dark brown froth. Good retention with scattered lacing.

S: Charred malt, earth, blackstrap molasses, and dark chocolate. Prominent licorice presence blends with light alcohol notes. Soft milk chocolate and sweeter malt characteristics come out as the beer opens up.

T: Strong roasted grain presence with pervasive licorice and molasses notes. Bittersweet dark chocolate accompanies a moderate bitterness. Big licorice notes in the boozy bitter charred and slightly astringent finish.

M: Lower full in body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and sticky.

Overall: Not really my style of Imperial Stout in that it's heavier on the roast and licorice than I prefer, but it's well made and still pretty enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2012 03:24:58 | More by HopHead84
Photo of mactrail


3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Richly flavored but somewhat less thick-bodied than you might expect. Winey dark roast taste. Lots of malt coming from every direction.

Really big chocolate caramel candy flavor. Bitterness of blackened barley and plenty of hops. Actually a pretty good balance of malt and hops. Creamy and buttery in the mouth with a hint of ripe cheese. Dark and bitter chocolate bars is the strong flavor.

Handsome brownish black in the big tulip glass. Nice malty, caramel aroma. Plenty of spritz to start but flattens out leaving an oily mouthfeel. On tap at the Regal Beagle in San Diego.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2012 03:22:09 | More by mactrail
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

32 oz. growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. Stains the glass. Not much of a head.

Smell - Extremely roasty. Some hop character, I think. Coffee.

Taste - Super roasty. Bitter. Grassy. Coffee. Minimal sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium low carbonation. Very bitter.

Overall - Intense stout. Very bitter. Too much for my taste.

Serving type: growler

12-17-2013 02:14:30 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of RaulMondesi


3.39/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nice oatmeal imperial stout nose, but the flavor is such a letdown. All the beers here show promise; there is an initial excitement (like in the 8th grade when you find your grandpa's Jenny McCarthy playboy) but in the end, of course you want more! It's 2013; Jenny McCarthy is a busted old floozy and we expect more!

Can a playa just get a Barbara Palvin beer now?

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2013 08:06:50 | More by RaulMondesi
The Butcher from Societe Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.