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Berkshire Russian Imperial Stout - Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Not Rated.
Berkshire Russian Imperial StoutBerkshire Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

456 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 456
Reviews: 299
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 64
Gots: 36 | FT: 3
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-30-2001)
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Ratings: 456 | Reviews: 299 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lawnboy33


2/5  rDev -50.5%

11-14-2011 14:34:18 | More by Lawnboy33
Photo of pveilleux


2/5  rDev -50.5%

12-17-2012 04:54:07 | More by pveilleux
Photo of donkeyrunner


2.08/5  rDev -48.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2009 22:28:38 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of drummermattie02


2.5/5  rDev -38.1%

03-18-2013 02:36:21 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of cpetrone84


2.68/5  rDev -33.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2014 14:44:26 | More by cpetrone84
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2014 18:55:09 | More by Jeffo
Photo of Smurf2055


2.75/5  rDev -31.9%

07-20-2013 04:22:27 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of Rekrule


2.75/5  rDev -31.9%

01-15-2012 16:41:22 | More by Rekrule
Photo of shippos

New York

2.8/5  rDev -30.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2004 05:21:23 | More by shippos
Photo of Urbancaver


2.93/5  rDev -27.5%
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 :/

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2010 00:42:50 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of 11millsown113

New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -25.7%

12-27-2011 02:54:22 | More by 11millsown113
Photo of erlenmeyer


3/5  rDev -25.7%

02-02-2013 03:59:13 | More by erlenmeyer
Photo of s1ckboy


3/5  rDev -25.7%

01-27-2012 16:11:36 | More by s1ckboy
Photo of orcasteve

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2008 14:52:51 | More by orcasteve
Photo of JDV


3.15/5  rDev -22%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2008 20:41:55 | More by JDV
Photo of bamadog


3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 01:16:40 | More by bamadog
Photo of BeerAndBourbon


3.23/5  rDev -20%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 03:38:32 | More by BeerAndBourbon
Photo of akorsak


3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 01:15:34 | More by akorsak
Photo of tango22


3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

11-26-2013 23:04:35 | More by tango22
Photo of sendsilk


3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2011 04:06:10 | More by sendsilk
Photo of seplo


3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

10-30-2012 18:29:19 | More by seplo
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2007 20:34:48 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of StrangeBrewer76


3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 01:58:27 | More by StrangeBrewer76
Photo of tigg924


3.3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: one inch head, dark brown in color, clear

Smell: burnt malt, cocoa, and cream

Taste: burnt malt, some cream, slight touch of syrup and nut

Mouthfeel: medium/heavy body, light carbonation, semi-sweet

Drinkability: The price is right, but this one strikes me as being average to just above average in the style. The combination of flavors almost tastes like medicine at times. This beer does get better as it warms. Not a bad beer just does not jump the way others in the style do.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2010 16:02:05 | More by tigg924
Photo of harrymel


3.3/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 07:48:56 | More by harrymel
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Berkshire Russian Imperial Stout from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 456 ratings.