Anniversary Ale XV - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anniversary Ale XVAnniversary Ale XV

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

241 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 241
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 6
Gots: 42 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drummermattie02 on 06-25-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 241 | Reviews: 97
Reviews by whoneeds8:
Photo of whoneeds8
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black into a tulip glass with minimal head, like about 1/8th of an inch of tan head. The scent has all the right smells, roasted malts and chocolate, but it's just not as strong as it should be. The taste is alright for an "Russian Stout", but there's just no imperial about it. The body is medium to just a little thin for the style.

Overall: I'm glad that Real Ale is bottling rare brews like this, but it just isn't up to their historical rare beer greatness.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Common Table.

The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with a decent-sized tan head. The aroma is a mix of roasted malt, chocolate and some pine from the hops.

The flavor is very hoppy for an imperial stout. I get some roasted malt, coffee and chocolate, but what really comes through is a heavy dose of bitter pine. The beer reminds me a lot of fresh Victory Storm King since both are highly hopped stouts.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of chinchill
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 3 year old 12 oz bottle.
A: Dark red-brown: clear.
Feel: Full body with near perfect carbonation.

Rich and fruity aroma, with a similar but stronger flavor.
Lingering aftertaste. Very good flavor balance including bitter/sweet.

O: easily recommended.

Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with a little head. A story in coffee, very fresh tasting. Good for what it is. A nice very coffee tasting IS. Real Ales has picked it up a notch from the basic stuff I tried from them years back. Very good drinkability, and surprising as I am not a coffee drinker. Nicely hopped.thanks for sharing Pino.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep black body. Small khaki head. Settles to a medium collar and some surface wisping.

Smell - Pretty intense. Coffee. Burnt malts. Soy sauce. Raisins. Dark chocolate. The whole spectrum of imperial stout aromas.

Taste - Slightly ashy and burnt up front. Coffee malt. Kinda sweet. Raisins in the back end, maybe from a bit of oxidation.

Mouthfeel - Intense. A little hot and boozy. Medium carbonation. Medium heavy body.

Overall - Slow sipper of a beer. But interesting.

Photo of hdelavega
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another great bonus from lnashsig, thanks Lee!
Pours a rich black with hints of dark brown around the edges where the light comes through the thin beige head that left a moderate lacing down te glass.
Nose hits me with chocolate, raspberry, a tiny bit of coffee, I detect no booze which is surprising due to the relatively high ABV.
This guy is surprisingly sweet, lots of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, booze is more present than in the nose.
Nice creamy mouth feel, awesome smooth finish, nice light to medium carbonation, nice full body.
Really a nice brew. Texas is really starting to impress me. Lee, thanks again for sending me these great beers!

Photo of thagr81us
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy caSSino for sharing this one while hanging out at NoDa Brewing. Served from bottle into a NoDa sampler shaker. Poured pitch black with a minimal khaki colored head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, dark chocolate, and alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a fairly decent brew. I wasn’t expecting much on this one unfortunately. However, this was a fairly nicely put together brew overall. The aromas and flavors on this one were really well balanced which made this a fairly easy to drink RIS. Comes in a 12 oz bottle, so feel free to pick some up for a party as I’m sure it will be a big hit with the beer guys at a party.

Photo of imasloth
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark with some reddish hues around the edges when held to light. Very little head, even when poured roughly in an attempt to induce some. What head there is dissipates quickly.

S- Fantastic. A sweet bitterness that reminds of premium dark chocolate. Their is a slight fruity nose, but nothing overwhelming.

T- As some others have noted, the surprise of this RIS is the hoppiness which is rare in the type. As a hophead I am totally digging it. An initial sweetness is followed by the aroma bitterness which again reminds of high quality dark chocolate (which is not to say this beer is chocolatey...).

M- Good initial feel with some coating power, followed by a crisp after-swallow bitterness that leaves the long a bit puckered.

I bought a single and wish I'd sprung for the entire four pack. The beer goes beyond tyope to incorporate hops and comes off as more balanced than most RIS. Definitely worth a try and likely my fave from Real Ale so far.

Photo of CooperEllis
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from canadianghetto in the TX BIF box.

Based on the nose I would have guessed north of 9.8%, there is a strong alcohol presence here.

The foam comes on strong, deep tan, small bubbles, but is gone before the beer has settled in the bulb. No real lacing, some thin bubbles rim the glass.

The smell on this reminds me of the Southampton IRS when it's fresh - really malty, over the top booze, dark chocolate and cherry.

Not a strong alcohol note in taste or the finish, but it is there. This is a touch creamy - with strong carbonation. This could be aged, likely with good effect. A bit of 'mello' could take this from solid to well above average.

Mouthfeel is fine, certainly keeping with the style.

(158th)

Photo of UTCengOwl
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this a few times on tap and I had it again last night. It's not mindblowing, but it's quite solid. Figured that I'd give it a quick review... though not as thorough since I had it at a bar where I wasn't aiming to review. This review is based off of last night's snifter at the Addison Flying Saucer.

The XV looks like most any other RIS. That is to say impressive. Dark body with a tan, frothy head. The head melts down and leaves a little on the surface. When the glass gets lower, I can see through the edges and it's a surprisingly thin brown hue. Hunh.

The beer is very stouty, with chocolate notes at the forefront. The XV seems to be a bit low on the hops bitterness relative to what I want in a RIS, but it gives it a smoother flavor. I'd like a bit more of a roasted bitter bite. However, this smoothness plays well into the beer's mouthfeel. Creamy and luscious.... maybe it's molasses in the taste and texture. This tastes like it's been aged for a bit, even though we know it's from 2011.

Overall, this is a solid offering from Real Ale and I keep getting it when it's on tap. However, I'd prefer a bit more bite and maybe a bit of flavor that I can't find in just a standard RIS.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black. Medium tan head, nice lace. Nice, but subtle roasted malt aroma. Taste is fairly chocolaty, roasted, with a light coffee note. Feels thick, full, and creamy. Nothing disappointing there. Solid RIS, but I think some age might do it well. I'm up to the challenge.

Photo of 2378GCGTG
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz into a Duvel tulip at 48 degrees.
Appearance- 1.5 inch mocha head, with good lacing, some rather interesting larger bubbles formed in the head (maybe this is an indication of greater protein content?), anyhow retention was great

Smell- Chocolate, roasted malt, very dark fruits and just a hint of hops

Taste: Chocolate starts the taste, velvety on the pallet but is pushed aside by the malt and dark fruits. All of this is followed by a slight coffee taste, which is finished by an awesome hop balance.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, with a light carbonation. Thinner than I typically like in a stout, but it works well with the flavors.

Overall: This is an awesome interpretation of the style, the mouthfeel and appearance are different than I typically see for this style, but it works. I think this will age well for 6 months or so.

Photo of gtermi
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The Beer pours a very nice dark brown/ black body with a nice inch thick brown head.

S: There is a bit of roasted malt on the nose, but other than that, there just isnt that much to me.

T: Now this is where the beer really shines to me. It has a lot of great roasted malt with a very strong amount of alcohol. As the beer lingers, you start to pick up some chocolate and coffee flavors.

M: This is very smooth for an Imperial Stout, but it has a little burn on the back of the throat. Nothing too great, but not bad either.

O: I really enjoy almost all that Real Ale puts out and this was another great one. I wish this was one of their year-round beers because I would get this all the time.

Photo of yamar68
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just got this in the mail today. Thanks bpgpitt10.

a - pours a pitch black with just an edge of coffee clarity around the edges, quick beige head that doesn't hang around

s - pretty much all malts, roast, caramel, toffee, not too boozy for a fresh high ABV RIS

t - really nice, that same caramel and toffee pulls through and is capped by a very appropriate hop sting

m - this one could use a bit more carb and body both, not a total downfall at all but would've enjoyed a little something more

o - very lucky to have tried this one, never even heard of the brewery so had no clue what to expect but it proved itself to me, that's for sure

Photo of mikesgroove
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick with no head, none at all, nadda, not even a bubble. No lace ethier, very odd for an RIS. Smell was very nice. Deep dark chocolate and roasted coffee mixed in with hints of vanilla and sugar. Very sweet, and damn near perfect smell on this, fine job, very rich and desert like. The taste was strong, and definatly packed a punch. Very sweet, with the biggest flavor here being roasted coffee and chocolate. Definate alcohol presence here whci at 10% is not shock. Again the feel was very thick, but the lack of carbonation hurt it, as it did not feel as creamy as it could have been. This left the mouthfeel a bit dull and flat. The finish was nice, dry and somewhat hoppy. This one needs more carbonation. The flatness in the mouthfeel takes away from the great aromas and flavors it possess

Photo of genitempo
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Midnight body into a snifter. Khaki-colored head with heavy lace coating the glass.

S - Syrupy chocolate with subtle, roasted malts , hint of a licorice burn/dark fruits

T - Upfront, the chocolate and nutty malt show up, but quickly dematerialize. The strong note is one of bitterness with a blend of dark fruits. The bitterness endures. I encourage you to savor the taste prior to taking your next sip. I've been told that the bitterness if one of coffee and licorice, and I have to disagree. The taste of licorice in beer abiding on your palate is, in my personal experience, unsavory. But this bitterness is different. I feel like it is very citrusy, with a hint of dark chocolate. I think that citrus flavor can be explained by the hops used.

MF - Medium bodies, heedless carbonation. (I have to interject opinion over subjectivity: RIS and Medium body is almost an oxymoron. An Impressive RIS has weight.)

O - The XV is a fantastic beer, especially for Real Ale to bottle. But I must admit, the best way to enjoy this beer is casked and barrel-aged. Hands down, the best beer I've had this year (2012 Pumpkinator was a very close 2nd) was the barrel-age cask of XV. This beer needed to be bottled for all the right reasons, but judging it based on it's bottle is undermining it's potential.

Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

A: poured into a snifter to a jet black with a two finger dense light tan head that fades slowly and leaves decent lacing
S: smells of roasted malts charred wood, molasses, and chocolate
T: taste is intensely roasty with some chocolate and light coffee, slight charcoal and some sweetness. swallow is rich and chocolatey with some lingering bitter roasted malt and coffee
M: full bodied in the mouth with soft carbonation and a drying finish
O: This beer is drinking great with some excellent flavors that play well together and not a hint of oxidation.

Photo of Fenris244
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

looks like a stout haha, pitch black, thin tan head, sticks around for forever too

Smells much better then it did on tap, light chocolate, coffee, little bit of char? Has subtlety unlike on tap

little bit of chocolate up front, coffee comes though strongly, good roasted bitterness, almost a toffee and brown sugar , a little warming from the alcohol.

This is a smooth one, very easy to drink, has just enough warming from the alcohol, keeps from being boozey, moderately heavy in body, little carbonation

Overall, great stout, good flavors very satisfying, after having it on tap I never wanted to see it again but the bottle? I want more

Photo of abraxel
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Looks a little thin while pouring, but once it's settled in the glass it's nicely black, with pleasant lacing.

S - Lots of sweet, fruity, dark, plums and raisins, with a shadow of roastiness. It's not very complex or interesting, but smells good.

T - More of those dark fruits, and a fair amount of roasty bitterness and some molasses. The flavors seem a little messy and don't mingle well, though. It's a little one-dimensional for a RIS, but it's not horrible.

M - Weak. Quite thin, with a bit too much carbonation bite.

Overall, not bad, but kinda meh.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark body with a finger of frothy tan head.

Nose is rich dark malt with a piney hop note.

Flavor is reminiscent of GDs Yeti. Rich and smooth, plenty of stout-ness, but with a huge hop bite. Huge malt body gives me molasses, coffee, dates, a hint of soy, then the pine blast finish. Tasty as I could hope for, great stuff.

Mouthfeel is slick and coating, with moderate carbonation, but then there's the hop strippiness on the finish. Really nice.

Overall, an outstanding brew from this Texas brewery. I've never had any of their other beer, but I will look forward to doing so after this treat.

I received this brew as an extra in at least three trades. Glad that I have a couple of more of these to age and enjoy.

Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: black with a coffee foam head.

S: smoke, bitterness, coffee.

T: sweet chocolate, roasty malts, coffee beans, milk chocolate, cream, nice hop character. I think this one is aged, as I'm at the anniversary party at real ale and everything seems to be aged. Not sure though.

M: heavy like a hammer and velvety.

O: a good brew. I've had a few already and am a bit tired, but this beer seems well put together.

Photo of AgentZero
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Black beer that browns on the edges. Head bubbled up tan for just a second. Fades to nothing, no stick on the glass.

S - Very chocolatey smelling beer, that's by far the most dominant note. Smells somewhat like carob.

T - Tastes a lot like chocolate, almost milk chocolate at that. It's fine for what it is, but the finish is horrible. Tastes like tar and chalk and lingers for too long.

M - Medium bodied, some soft carbonation.

O - Passable, but nothing I would want to drink again. It's a sweet stout and the aftertaste just killed it.

Photo of crossovert
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Cellar temp.

IT pours a dense black with a foamy tan head.

The smell is nice, a mix of sugars and cocoa with a bit of dark fruit and yeast action.

The flavor is nice. It has a rich roasty bitter cocoa flavor along with some caramel and dark fruits. It is mildly alcoholic which is nice considering the abv.

The mouthfeel is just a tad it think, but I really like the mouthfeel.

Photo of bmwats
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured froma tap into a tulip.

a: black. pours about a qtr. finger brown-white head. settles fairly quickly. leaves a nice foam blanket on the surface. some pretty substantial lacing. leaves some dry sticky residue in it's wake.

s: dark unsweetened chocolate. a little molasses, and roasted coffee beans.

t: roasted malt and espresso with a bitter touch of black licorice.

m: bitter bite. dry finish. high alcohol character.

d: bitterness and alcohol qualities make this a sipping beer.

atmosphere is nice. deep, dark appearance. fair head, and really nice lacing. nose is typical of the style nut well done... dark chocolate, roasted espresso, and licorice. flavor follows suit, dark roasted malty flavor, with hints of sweet and bitter. overall, this is a really good quaff.

Photo of crusian
3.19/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from my phone, so apologies for weird autocorrect and shortened review.
Stopped in trinity hall with the girlfriend and was pleasantly surprised to see this on rotator. Server told me it is served in a sort of flute, but asked for it to be in a tulip before he brought it. Came out with about a finger of head and looked nice and dark!
Nose was a little disappointing, it seemed a bit muted. For some chocolate, coffee, hint of ginger, and booze. After it warmed more I got some anise out of it.
Taste was following the nose, very lacking in the flavors department... they were all there, but really toned down.... with anise coming out more as it warmed, as did the boozy finish.

the biggest issue I had was how thin it was. it looked like it was going to be this big thick masterpiece, but wasnt. really thin for the style... almost seemed watered down. It was nice and creamy, though which made it MUCH more enjoyable than it actually was.

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Anniversary Ale XV from Real Ale Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 241 ratings.