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Berkshire Russian Imperial Stout - Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Not Rated.
Berkshire Russian Imperial StoutBerkshire Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

484 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 484
Reviews: 300
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.89%
Wants: 74
Gots: 43 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-30-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (40) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 484 | Reviews: 300 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lawnboy33
2/5  rDev -50.5%

Photo of pveilleux
2/5  rDev -50.5%

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.09/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This one has the Berkshire boys at a renaissance fair. Those guys are everywhere!

Black from afar but if you hold it up to the light it's clear, dark purple. Hooray for purple. Cocoa powder colored head fades to a thick collar that throws up a few lacey gasps.

Vinous dark fruit...actually it smells like grape hard candy. Remember those candies called Eric the Grape (I think it was made by the same people that did Lemonheads)? That's exactly what it smells like.

Tastes like grape soda with a chalky roast character. From reading other reiviews it's like I'm not even drinking the same beer. This lil' feller is meek and artificially grapey with not a robust roast character to be found. Though it's not dated, at 8.5% my bottle has to be good.

Never thought I'd see the day I'd meet a Berkshire I didn't like.

Photo of drummermattie02
2.5/5  rDev -38.1%

Photo of Jeffo
2.68/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bomber of this from totoropanda in a recent box. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a 2+ finger, medium looking, fluffy, light brown head with very good retention. Transparent dark brown body with no real carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a creamy cap and sticks to the sides of the glass. A ring and splotchy wisp remain leaving some good lacing the whole way down. Body is a little light, but the head is good.

SMELL: Mild nose of roasted malts, some cocoa powder and light coffee notes. A good dose of dark fruits with licorice as well. Okay.

TASTE: Lightly roasted up front with some dark fruit sweetness through the middle into the swallow, much like the nose. Milder but lingering finish of dark fruit sweetness, grapes, dates, some lightly roasted flavors, licorice and some light bitter coffee notes. Too mild up front, but much more flavorful after the swallow.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Slightly creamy on the palate, goes down okay and finishes somewhat sticky on the palate. Okay here.

OVERALL: This is an okay beer, but it's a bit mild overall and slightly underwhelming in the imperial stout category. Lighter color and too much dark fruit character for the style perhaps. A bit lighter on the palate as well. Decent beer, but not an imperial stout worth seeking out. Thanks again panda!

Photo of cpetrone84
2.7/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pour is dark brown with a light tan head. Nose is sweet, magic marker, chocolate, uneaten sugar, stale grain. Taste is overly sweet and lacks malt complexity. Some chocolate, lots of sugar, brown sugar, caramel, thinner body and moderate carbonation.

Photo of Smurf2055
2.75/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of Rekrule
2.75/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of shippos
2.81/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

courtesy of ppoitras

poured black with thin tan head. molasses burnt sugar and treacle in the aroma with some alcohol amongst some sweet creamy milk sugar. fairly thick heavy molasses taste with brown sugar and treacle, smooth body and a fairly thin mouthfeel for an IS. finishing off the rest of the bottle becomes a chore as the taste just becomes one dimensional and very repititous which hurts the drinkability of this.

Photo of Urbancaver
2.91/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- looks a bit thin for an imperial stout... Minimal white head

Smell- smells a bit fruity and roasty... Not really much smell to it

Taste- Fruity with hints of chocolate and roasted grains.

Mouthfeel- thin and not really imperially

Drinkability- not really that great for an imperial... It ok i guess :/

Photo of MikeSkaz
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of 11millsown113
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of erlenmeyer
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of s1ckboy
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of orcasteve
3.13/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

strong black coffiee and roast malt flavor hits your toung firstand gives way to alcolhal and carmal flavors, a bit to much carbonation for me in this one, i like flat stouts, all and all this is a ok beer that with some age might become world class, but at this stage this one just gets lost in the pack.

Photo of bamadog
3.14/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been sitting on this one for about 2 and 1/2 years -- let's see how it's done. Review is from notes taken on 5/12/2012 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour isn't as thick as I'd like to see on something that's being billed as a Russian Imperial, but I guess we'll see if it comes through any thicker in the mouth; color is, of course, darkest brown, like coffee; starts with a short 1/2 finger dark tan head that fades to a nice ring and island skim; opaque, tiny lines of thin carbonation near the surface and sides of the glass are all that are visible;

Smell: Smells off... not quite right and I'm thinking there's an infection; seems to be a bit of a saccharine and imitation grape; lots of dark roastiness and a little bit of chocolate, but again, something just isn't quite right...

Taste: Shit. Infected. Not what I was hoping for. It's not bad, in an Abyssident kind of way, but I was hoping for a straight up imperial stout kind of thing. Tart, sour cherry flavor is right up front, followed by a dark, burnt and earthy espresso grind; mild bittersweet chocolate in the back. The more I sip on it, the more I like it, but again, not what I was hoping for.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than what I would hope for, but the time in the bottle hasn't dampened the carbonation, but then again, that could be from the infection as well; a thin, sticky coating is left on the palate and the tummy is left a little warm from the acidity and infection.

Overall: Meh. I guess if I want a funky stout, I'm going to go with Obscura Madrugada, but this isn't too bad.

Photo of JDV
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottles courtesy of jjpm74 and rbuckstar. Thanks guys! Pours black with a medium sized, short lived head. Smell is very roasty at first, but it seemed to fade on me as it sat out for a few minutes. Flavor was bittersweet milk, roastiness, with a touch of stale cardboardiness to the malt flavor. Medium bodied. Not bad, but not my favorite, either.

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

A. Pours a black with brown edges with a small bubbly head.

S. Slightly fruit with caramel and a bit of chocolate.

T. A fair amount of roasted flavor, but less than the Drayman's Porter. Some of the coffee flavors are shared with the porter.

M. Thin to medium body with medium carbonation and some oil.

D. Thin and fairly light on the tongue which makes it an easy drinker, but not a terribly interesting one. I'd certainly pick up the Drayman's Porter over this.

Photo of sendsilk
3.23/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a recent trade. 22 oz. bottle poured into my 'Crab House' pint glass.

A- Dark, not much lacing. Doesn't look like a very thick RIS. Quite a few bubbles.

S- Not too much here. Pretty weak. Subtle maltiness??

T- Not bad. More of a milk stout style to me. WHen I read RIS, I expect less carbonation, heavier mouthfeel, more chocolate, molasses flavor. GOOD taste, just not the right taste IMO.

M- pretty thin for the style.

O- If I was at the brewery I would have it again but I won;t be searching it out.

Photo of tango22
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of seplo
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of harrymel
3.26/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: unk

Black beer with a latte surface of foam and no lace. Nose brings through licorice, malts, licorice, molasses, some sweetness. Not really impressed, but not surprised - this seems to be the standard differentiation from Impy Stouts with the licorice. The flavor has plenty of dark malts, hints of leather and dark stone fruit and a little bit of molasses - the licorice doesn't dominate the flavor as much as the nose. Medium bodied and moderate carb with a dry finish. This is a decent beer, above average, but nothing worth seeking too hard.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.29/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle with no date stamped on the label. It was a dark brown with a medium head and a bit of lacing. It had a chocolate aroma, as well as a fruity (cherry) aroma. The taste was quite fruity and sweet, with some chocolate. Quite pleasant, but more reminiscent of a Belgian than a Russian Imperial Stout.

Photo of akorsak
3.3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to ralflord for this 650 mL bottle.

A: The stout is dark as midnight, even when held up to light nothing gets in or out. A half a finger of head quickly reduced to a thin band.

S: The nose is swirling with chocolate, burnt grains, coffee, licorice and hops. Quite a bit for one small glass.

T: The nose is exciting but the taste failrs to deliver. Dark grains up front never really seque into anything of substance. Darker nutty flavors appear near the end of each sip, showing off some stout qualities but it is too little too late.

M: The mouthfeel is weak, stout at times but not with enough consistency.

D: The abv is a little too high and the beer a little too weak to really dig into.

Photo of StrangeBrewer76
3.31/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured into a mini sam smith's glass, center poured, I increased the height half way through because I doubted the head creation potential. I was right to do so. This glass is fresh from the sterilizer and I suffer for it. A wall of bubbles on the side of the glass is a clear indication to me that this glass has been corrupted.

I will finish this beer but not from the glass. The tip of my tongue burns a little from the cleanser they use so after a pause I will do my best to finish the review once I've cleared this glass of contaminants (regretably by drinking it)

OK Second pour. Still a little side bubbles but the head retention is much better; a nice crown of tan head. Very dark brown if not opaque in color.

In a crowded bar I smell mostly milk chocolate, burnt and toasted malts, nuttyness and a touch of oak.

Tastes of bitter coffee and patent malt. Subtle sweetness at best. There is a citric acidity that I can't quite identify but it's kind of a turn off. This could be just in my imagination though; that's entirely possible.

Mouthfeel with a slight swish is delightfully creamy and light. The finish is neutral; kind of medium dry that requests, not begs, for another sip.

Overall a winner for the local team. I will amend this if I get a chance to sample this limited brew again under different circumstances.

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Berkshire Russian Imperial Stout from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 484 ratings.