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Catherine The Great - Brouwerij Smisje

Not Rated.
Catherine The GreatCatherine The Great

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

162 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 107
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 20.06%
Wants: 2
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Smisje visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 04-06-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 107
Reviews by GarthDanielson:
Photo of GarthDanielson
2.15/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Looked interesting in a bottle store over the weekend, but after pouring this I'm a little skeptical. Served in a tulip, the beer pours an auburn-brown coloring, thin and hazy to the point of opaque, with a heavy, tall, foamy head that settles in at about an inch of beige colored foam. Aromas of bread, tangy fruit sweetness, and pungent floral overtones. Flavors are all over the place, with a roasted and slightly smokey molasses backbone that leans more towards an off-balanced barleywine. This does not remotely resemble an RIS, in my opinion. Heavily spiced throughout, with some nutmeg and coriander coming through. This has a very watery, foamy feel as you drink. Tangy sweet, almost sugary aftertaste. Limp, watery finish with a slight linger to the spicing.

More User Reviews:
Photo of kaimcm
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a Caracole glass.

A: big big fluffy head. tons of lace and rocky peaks and valleys. its dark in here which obscures the color, or is it that this beer is so dark it obscures the light? who knows...

S: some generic fruit, some brown sugar, some stale cigar, yeast. if you really go for it some burn off that 10%.

T/M: sugar and sweet green grapes and apples up front supported by a creamy and soft mouthfeel. palate is rich but not heavy, leave it to the Belgians. the burnt tabacco and borderline astringent sugar round out the finish which lingers but kinda makes me wish it didnt. a roasted malt quality rises on the back palate along with some coffe and mingles with the finish. a robust combo of flavors, this is a big beer with a hint of elegance. some rum-esque qualities as it warms to near room temp and the booze comes out.

D: goes down dangerously easy for 10%. a nightcap and a solo one at that but good drinking for the style.

A nice beer and one I'd revisit, though the corners should be smoothed out a bit. What can I say, I dig Regenboog.

Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Label calls this one "T'Smisje Catherine", this is the closest listing I could find and I did not want to add another brew, so anyway, here goes....11.2 ounce typical stubby, heavy glass Belgian bottle. No freshness info offered. Allowed to warm up in the bottle, then pours with a HUGE darker tan head, fine retention, gobs of lacing/sheeting. Slowly dissolves and leaves a nice cap of meringue. Best way to describe the color is dark chocolate, brownish with a glint of almost dark plummy purple. Nose is of milk chocolate and powdered sugars. Carbonation is bright and a bit prickly. Tons of more darker chocolate notes, some coffee grounds, cocoa, oreo cookies, and smoke. A lot going on here, heady stuff, chaotic Belgianess flows unmistakably from this one. Interesting but it could use some smoothness and a sense of order and direction. Worth a try, be ready to have your senses challenged.

Photo of magictrokini
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep mahogany-brown with a medium tan head. Pleasant aroma of chocolate, licorice, roasted malt, and wood. Solid amount of roasted malt, some smoke/peat flavors, caramel, licorice, spice, and the expected Belgian yeast. Not the most imperial of stouts, but a good beer.

Photo of pat61
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nose coffee, light roast. Pours dark brown with a slight haze under a 3” foam cap that slowly dissipates while producing good lace. The palate has chocolate with some light coffee notes with some caramel and a little sherry. The beer is highly carbonated with a medium body. The carbonation is a little harsh and the beer is a little solventy and the alcohol is a little hot.

Photo of ehammond1
2.43/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle

Pour It Black
Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

This is a hazy, auburn and gold beer with a thin white head that doesn't leave much cling or stick to the glass. This looks more like a lifeless barleywine than it does any stout I've ever had.

A sweet, fruity, and boozy aroma. There's quite a bit of white fruit flesh aroma, like apple and melon, along with some citrus and bread components. There's also a strong alcohol heat element as well.

This has a lot of white fruit flavors like apple and melon, along with a strong citrus and bread component and strong, biting, hot alcohol.

Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

Not like any RIS I've ever had, and not in a good way.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.11/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Muddy, fudgy milk chocolate color. Looks like liquefied Slo-Poke, and nothing like any beer I've seen, stout or otherwise. Head is thick, fluffy, rock, and retains well. Certainly not your typical black stout color. Plus points for looking so unique.

Aroma is milk chocolate, caramel, and wet penny, mingled nicely and balanced well.

Loved the flavor. It's different, but I didn't judge it by RIS standards, and I'm glad I didn't, as I agree with the BA listing that it's more a foreign/export stout than anything. Loaded with burnt sugar, toffee, caramel, and milk chocolate. As the sipping goes on, the toffee becomes heavy and dominant, which is fine by me. Yeast provides its own nutty backdrop, adding another element to this unique beer.

Texture is melted butter, slick yet not totally thick. Candy-like and decadent. Where Belgian stouts like Podge and Buffalo are way too effervescent, this feels truly stouty despite its non-traditional character.

Too unique, weird and big to drink regularly, but a fine indulgence I'll definitely seek out again. Would pair ridiculously well with Belgian chocolates. Go for it, especially if you like Troubador Obscura and De Dolle's Special Extra Export stout.

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There are many very good RISs out there, this one found at State Line. A moderate one, and yes a foreign export stout, not very thick with chocolate and coffee and the like. In fact, little coffee. Quaffable, black with some head.Nice roasting.Distinct bitterness.

Photo of dbossman
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Really nice looking beer but it looks more like a dark Belgian; deep mahogany hue; hazy, thick gorgeous cream-colored hue with decent lacing

S: A lot going on: tart fruits--grapes, cherries, plums, apples--also some roasty, burnt malts and leather and rubber? Man, this smells like a Belgian sour stout--I'm intrigued

T: I'm not sure if this beer is supposed to be like this but I think I like it; sour, sweet, malty, weird; sweet fruits up front that turn slightly sour--cherries, apples, and then a burnt coffee, burnt tire, burnt leather flavor takes over; almost like someone mixed a sour and a stout in an ash tray but oddly enough I really like this though sweetness does become a bit cloying in the back end

F: A tad over carbonated and thin

O: I don't quite know how to rate this beer--it's on one of the weirdest beers (and not really a stout) I've had and yet I find myself really enjoying it

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.41/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip- pours a very dark brown with a hint of ruby (so moderately clear), but still some solid sediment floating around. HUGE 3+ finger head with exceptional retention and beautiful lacing. For that, have to give it a 5 on appearance.

Smells like a Belgian strong dark ale for sure- lots of yeast up front, some candi sugar, and a little roasted malt. Maybe a tiny bit of hop bitterness in that mix of strong smells.

Taste is consistent with nose- a good balance of candi sugar, Belgian yeast, and roasted malt. Alcohol is very well concealed. Finishes pretty sweet.

Mouthfeel is great- medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation of the live variety. Great beer- get it if you see it. First time I had it on tap and if I remember correctly the bottle is just as good.

Photo of Bung
2.85/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

11.2 oz. Another Belgian with a black pour and HUGE cream head. Some roasted malt aromas, more fruity and sweet than a stout would have. Some roasted malt, molasses, dried fruits, slight nut. Could have been very intersting but again, to me the carbonation really confuses everything. A quad? Get them (Belgian stouts) their own category and stop insulting the poor RIS's everywhere!

Photo of Ryften
3.97/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Roasty, toasted malts, vanilla, smokey.

Photo of puboflyons
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 11.2 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on February 21, 2010 at about 45 degrees. The pour is a fairly hazy reddish-brown with a tremendous two-inch thick puffy off-white head that sticks around. I expect an Imperial Stout to look black and while the head looked good for an Impy Stout, the color was more long an amber ale. A bit of roasted caramel in the aroma, a note of alcohol (10% ABV), and maybe a little yeast. Decent enough heavier mouthfeel but the taste is way too alcohol for me. A little sour and hoppy at the end but overall it is the alcohol that I get for most of it. A weak take on the Impy Stout recipe.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A coppery-chocolate pour yields a sienna coloring with a swirling haze along with a 2 finger khaki colored head that retained well enough. The head had a marshmellow structure that settled to a frothy whipped covering leaving a weak lacing.

S: Sour apples are dominate on the nose from the yeast along with fresh raisins, and plums also making their presence known. The yeastiness covers much of the malting here with no signs of your typical coffee roastedness, chocolate malts, or bitterness. The overall strength was somewhere between light and medium and not quite what I was expecting.

T: The flavor opens with boozy and sweet notes of caramel raisin along with some acetaldhyde presence of green apples. Warming alcohol, similar to fermented apple mash about sums this up, along with some dark fruit skins of plums. Similar to the nose the Belgian yeastiness is dominant with no signs of roasted malting or bitterness. Instead we are treated to a malting that was sugary and caramelized. Toasty oak with a bit of licroice and sweet fennel wraps things up flavorwise that wasn't bad, just not what I was expecting from a imperial stout and was a bit overbearingly sweet.

M: A bit thin substance wise with an elastic feel. Flat and lazy effervesce with some swelling occurs upon the hold but really doesn't do much to entice and comes off rather uneventful.

D: Not bad flavorwise, but was really to sweet per style lacking any dark roastedeness and to much to handle or enjoy. The 10.0% was an after- thought, not even noticeable except from the sugary presence from the grains that was not balanced by any hops it seems. Catherine the great comes off as Catherine the mediocre and hardly worth a mention per style let alone as Belgian brewed. Disappointing.

Photo of Surlington
3.47/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, cloudy reddish-brown. The head is thick and creamy, and doesn't dissipate.
S: First waft is of alcohol, then cherries.
T: Almost a little too sweet. Alcohol flavor is a little on the strong side. Otherwise, I taste mostly a pleasant burnt caramel.
M: Thin for a stout, but with just the right carbonation.
D: Average drinkability, maybe a little better for a beer with such high alcohol content.

Overall, it's a nice little number. Pretty standard though.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark cloudy brown color ale with a super large off-white foamy head with great retention and some perfect lacing. Aroma of Belgian yeast with some caramel malt and some dry fruits - not a stout per say but good aroma nonetheless. Taste is closer to a dark Belgian ale then a stout with loads of dry fruits ester, some caramel malt and some light lingering sugar. Body is quite full with perfect carbonation and no alcohol was discernible. Well done thought I could never had guess this was a stout form looking and drinking this.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.76/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Curvy squat Belgian 11.2oz bottle picked up over the weekend at the Coop for about $5.... poured into m New Belgium snifter.

Very pretty foamy lite tan 3 finger head.. brew is not black but instead a very dark slightly hazy walnut brown... nice looking lacing lasts forever.. looks like a reverse leopard skin... the eternal head and lacing helps make up for the lack of darkness in this "stout".

Aroma is Belgian spicy and fruity.. quite a bit of clove and lesser dark dried fruits... Doesn't remind me of a stout at all.

Flavor is like a BSDA with a fair amount of coffee and cocoa thrown into the mix. Pretty dry from front to back.. could use a bit of sweetness to tie it all together. Fairly phenolic finish.. I can taste cloves a couple minutes after my previous sip.

Mouthfeel is very smooth with a bunch of creamy small bubble carbonation.. Body is very light for a 10% brew.. needs a little bit more viscosity to really sell me... albeit.. I want another sip shortly after my last one just to challenge my feeble palate... I accept the challenge.

Gets significantly better as it warms.. a little needed sweetness shows through the char and chocolate..

No alot else to say... I have 1 more and will probably pick up a couple more if the Coop still has any.. I am pretty sure they only got a case.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.11/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 5/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Dark brown pour with a huge off-white head. Tons of carbonation, half a glass, spooned out quite a bit just to get the the beer. Sour, sulfur aroma. Alcohol, smoky malts, light sour with roasty malt middle. Mouth explodes with carbonation. A bit of wood, smoke at the end. Not well balanced. Underlying flavor kind of nice, but blown out of the water by odd flavors and explosive carbonation. Whoops. There's a interesting beer in here trying to get out.

Photo of Squelch
3.82/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light brown?!?! in an imperial stout? Enormous head.

Smell: Roasty smells. Bready smells as well.

Taste: Very nice. Not as roasty as I would like but not too bad.

Mouthfeel: Plesant for a 10% abv beer. Alcohol well subdued.

Overall: Decent as a beer. nowhere near the style though.

Photo of Traquairlover
4.29/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to oldhippie247 for this bottle.

A = Cloudy dark reddish brown (I poured without enough care and pulled a lot of sediment into the glass) turns almost to a dark milk chocolate or nut brown after I finish the pour and allow too much yellowed yeast in, thick attractive tan head consisting mostly of foam and small bubbles, allowing head to dissipate slowly resulted in heavy lacing but while drinking only left light-medium lacing.

S = Strong spicy black pepper notes, full thick smokey malt syrup with licorice, traditional English winter spiced jam. Quite complex and enjoyable.

T = Creamy coffee, but with a hint of bittered herbs, rum soaked plums, prunes, slight pepper tones, nice long bitter finish rounding out a strong malty drink. Quite good and distinctive.

M = Very full and smooth, creamy texture, heavy body, foamy carbonation, good mouthcoating.

D = I give this good drinkability. I would be happy to drink one of these again. It is a very interesting beer, not firmly in any established category of stout by my tastebuds, kind of a combination of Russian Imperial Stout and a good dubbel or quadrupel but with a little milk stout and coffee stout thrown in, too.

Photo of largadeer
1.12/5  rDev -67%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks for sharing this, Ted.

Pours like bottled stomach bile, murky and brownish-grey. Incredibly turbid in the glass with visible floaties. Over-carbonated, a huge dense head rises up to three fingers height and takes ages to settle.

Smells sour...fruity. Raisins, dirty feet, iron extract. What the fuck.

Tastes awful. Raisins, minerals and metal, sharp astringency. Thin body, the mouthfeel is almost slimy. Tons of astringency in the finish that lends no actual flavor. This is an abomination.

Photo of metter98
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark brown in color but appears black when viewed from afar. A very careful pour resulted in a two finger high beige head that has good retention properties and took a long time to die down but never completely faded away.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of chocolate malts along with some notes of roasted malts.
T: The taste has flavors of dark malts with notes of roasted malts and hints of chocolate.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: This beer is rather over carbonated and seems a little light in body for the style. It goes down rather easily because of its lighter-bodied nature and a lack of alcohol in the taste. I wished this could have had a fuller body and some more roasted malt flavors.

Photo of oline73
3.02/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at Max's on Belgian Independence day. Poured into a tasting glass.

Appearance: This beer pours a very dark amber, but you can see through it, which is weird. There is a layer of fluffy off white head that fades to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Rather tart, berries and vinegar. Some malt sweetness as well.

Taste: Some roast here. I'm getting dark chocolate and tart berries. The finish is roasty with the sourness fading. I'm also getting some Belgian spice here.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a finish that is dry and a bit gritty.

Overall: This one threw me off from the start and I can't say I was a huge fan. A sample pour was ok, but that's about it for me.

Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark brown, nearing opaque with a thick, frothy, off-white head. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass. Tiny streams of co2 rise to the top of the glass.
Smell is of raisins, cocoa, prunes, cherrywood, figs, brown sugar, tobacco, oats, and shredded wheat.
Taste is of black plums, cherries, brown sugar, toffee, brown sugar, spicy pepper, and raisins.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, sugary, chewy, spicy, mildly astringent.

Photo of ryandurka
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer was pretty good. another hard to find beer imported from euro-land. i would not go out of my way to track this beer down again. it reminded me of the easier to find golden drak. the taste of catherine the great is thick and syrupy. the booze level is high enough to make it a hard hitter, or a beer to have along with food.

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Catherine The Great from Brouwerij Smisje
78 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.