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Anniversary Ale XV - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anniversary Ale XVAnniversary Ale XV

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

97 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 97
Hads: 241
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 6
Gots: 41 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 97 | Hads: 241
Photo of kellypodz
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Real Ale 15th Russian Imperial Stout has taken the throne as my favorite beer OF ALL TIME. It's not black as night, but it's close. Mocha head starts thick but dissipates to a ring of bubbles. Lots of chocolate in the aroma. The beer doesn't report to be wood-aged; but I'm getting oak on the nose as well. More chocolate on the tongue with some coffee notes, and a mild citrus hop on the finish. I wish this wasn't a one-time only brew. I have five left I will be rationing cautiously.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
4.94/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deeelish. This was a perfect blend of malt, roasted malt, hops, and spices. The ink black concoction was neither too sweet nor too astringent, nor was it too burnt tasting. It was marvelous. I highly recommend this particular brew if you can get a hold of it. Great stuff.
Oh and it smelled like spiced dried fruit. But who cares, it's the taste that matters.

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Photo of doughanson78
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to bhollas for this.

A: Very dark black in color. One and a half finger creamy mocha colored head. It has amazing retention and beautiful lacing. The pour was a bit light in color and body. Otherwise this would have been a 5.

S: Big dark and milk chocolate. A nice roasted malt character. Roasted espresso. Some anise and dark fruits.

T: Milk chocolate upfront. Espresso, dark fruits, mainly cherries and figs, and a nice roasted malt come through. Finishes sweet with chocolate, toffee and caramel.

M: Full body. Medium carbonation. Very creamy.

O: Damn good RIS. Complex nose and taste. Finishes a bit sweet but is still very good.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a thick black with a slight foamy ring of carbonation. smells of sweet chocolate, coffee, raisins, dates, vanilla. very sweet flavors of toffee, vanilla, chocolate, and molasses up front followed by a tar-like coffee/roasted bitterness. a very delicious stout with a full mouthfeel.. heavy, rich, creamy, low carbonation - everything you expect from a russian imperial stout.

one of the better RIS i've encountered, and by far the best beer from real ale.

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Photo of dwpiercetx
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great addition to the Real Ale lineup. It is a solid RIS. Too bad it's an anniversary ale...because I would love to be able to buy this year-round and for years to come.

It was dark like a stout should be and the head was a nice dark tan that held for a while. Tasted the alcohol since it was above 9% but it didn't shield the taste of the malt and hops. It was smooth even at +9%.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black-as in jet black. Could use a bit more of a head. Looks almost still though it is definately carbonated. Sweetish, toffee like aroma-somewhat burnt caramel like. Deeply roasted flavor but has a very prominant, upfront sweetness to it like it is an imperial milk stout. Burnt and bitter roasted flavors. Molasses and treacle. Full and sticky mouthfeel-again quite sweet all around. Velvety smooth. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Well done-might be a touch sweet for some folks.

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Photo of Sinewave
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Real Ale are masters at making generic looking labels. lol

Pours pitch black with a dark, but small caramel cap. Good lacing.

Hardcore roasted malt on the nose. Dark fruit, chocolate, and some grassy hops.

Chocolate...and roasted coffee bean. Plenty of sweet vanilla and cream. Others mentioned some traces of piney hops, but I didn't pick up too much of that. Though the finish was pretty bitter and damn roasty. Still balanced by sweet chocolate malt. I really enjoyed this. Real Ale does beer good. I cracked a bottle later in the day and the hops seemed more present. They're not huge, but the fruit and pine are a nice addition.

MF is pretty thin. Although this doesn't seem to affect my raiting. I'm not one who believes a stout has to pour like motor oil to be good. There was no "watery" presence at all. Nice, big flavor on a creamy, slick mouthfeel.

Great anniversary beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

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.

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Photo of drummermattie02
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Real Ale anniversary party. Pours black with a nice tan head. Leaves good lacing and legs.

Lots of hops in the nose and a nice roasted coffee note as well.

Taste is slightly sweet with quite a bit of hop bitterness. Roasted malt and coffee in the finish. Very smooth finish despite the hops, I suspect this will age well.

Overall a very good beer from one of my favorite Texas breweries.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of depechemode1983
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black with a thick medium brown head. Head retention is outstanding and there are huge amounts of lacing.

S - Nice toasted aroma. Light coffee and chocolate. Some vanilla in there as well along with dark fruits and a touch of citrus.

T - Lots of toasted grains and lots of coffee. There is a good amount of molasses sweetness as well. In the middle you get all your dark fruits. Raisin, plums and cherries. Finish is bitter/sweet and lingering. The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden. Shines through more so as it warms.

M - Medium bodied bordering full. Smooth, no rough edges. Carbonation is spot on.

O - Not a bad RIS at all. Happy I stumbled upon this one. Very well balanced and easy to drink seeing is the alcohol is integrated nicely. A second purchase is a definite.

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Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to texasfan549 for this one, poured into a SA perfect pint glass. The beer is thick, deep obsidibean pour, little tan head, no lacing. The aroma is sweet, burnt roasted malts. The beer has lots of dark fruits, roasted malts, coffee notes, and toffee. The finish lingers. The body is full, light carbonation. I liked this more than most, I felt it was well balanced and well done.

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Photo of jamescain
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wine glass at Blackstar COOP in Austin, TX

Appearance: Black and opaque, no chance of seeing anything though this guy, with an off white head about a finger thick that fades into a ring around the side of the glass.

Aroma: Chocolate, Roasted grain, hints of dark fruits and cherries, and toffee.

Taste: Dark, roasted and chocolaty, with a subtle fruitiness in the background. No noticeable alcohol sensation, making it dangerously drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation and a thick full body making this one a sipper for sure.

Overall: Very pleased with this one and I’m glad I got a chance to try it since I couldn’t make their anniversary party. I hope they throw it in some barrels and add it to the mystrium verum seriers, or at the very least bottle it.

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Photo of fatmcb1
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth on tap into a snifter

Poured deep black with a finger of brown head. Incredible lacing covered the glass

Chocolate, very sweet, and dark fruit.

Taste is much fuller and stronger. Tons of dark chocolate and sweet roasted malts. It finishes with a bit of dark fruit and hops, which add complexity and balance.

Incredibly rich, creamy carbonation. The ABV is very well masked.

Though I only had one pour, I could have had an entire bottle and not gotten tired of it. My new favorite from Real Ale.

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Photo of zander4dawin
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Black beer with a light mocha head. The head formed at the top and worked its way down. About a centimeter of head follows the beer down.
Smell - Smells like mocha and coconut with maybe a hint of vanilla.
Taste - Wow, so smooth, amazingly smooth actually. Almost tastes porter like. The alcohol is concealed nicely.
Mouthfeel - Delightfully drinkable. Nice velvety texture.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
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

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Photo of GregSVT
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a very dark brown with a decent tawny brown head that fades to a ring and leaves some good lacing on the glass.

S: The nose shows signs of chocolate and coffee with lots of dark fruit and a bit of hops in the background. Everything is balanced and very well done.

T: The taste is big on the hops with a slight citrus twinge but the chocolate malts and coffee win out in the end. There's a slight vanilla flavor on the finish to balance out the hop bitterness.

M: The feel has a nice creaminess with a medium-full body. Very nice for such a big ABV.

O: This is a bit better than I expected but the hops are still slightly more at the forefront than I'd like. I have a feeling this will be extremely good in a year's time. I plan to age a few a find out.

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Photo of yamar68
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
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

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Photo of Fenris244
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
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

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of brystmar
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll preface this by saying that my expectations coming in were rather low. I'm from San Antonio and always *want* to like local brews, but I've never had anything from Real Ale that wasn't "blah" at best.

Strong aromas of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, toffee, and other sweet malts too. Really enjoyed the nose on this.

Taste is strongly dominated by roasty malts. Sweet malt and hints of caramel pop up as well. Pretty one-dimensional for an imperial stout, but this is pretty well done.

Voluptuous body, nicely carbonated. Happy to say this one exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of eclipse54
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle from optimator13; thank you! Poured into a Deschutes tulip glass...

Black body with about a finger’s-breadth of foamy brown head. The head dissipates quickly, leaving a ring around and numerous legs of bubbles throughout the surface of the liquid. Scattered patches/strands of dark lacing are left on the glass.

The aroma is of chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, caramel, roasted malt, faint pine, a hint of citrus, and sweet cane sugar.

It tastes of vanilla, chocolate, molasses, a hint of dark licorice, ample cane and brown sugar, some faint hops/citrus, and a roasted malt backbone. Surprisingly well balanced; reading the label suggested there would be a greater hop presence than found, but that was quite pleasant. It seems to have spent an acceptable amount of time in the bottle at this point.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side from what was expected, but that does add to the drinkability of this offering. It’s disappearing quicker than anticipated (I’d hoped it would be more of a sipper...).

Overall, a tasty RIS that I’m very glad to have tried.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a stout black with these wonderful heavy coffee aromas. There’s a bit of a sweet finish to the nose as well. Quite the boozy kick to the palate. I get some black licorice on the finish as well—nothing like the Stone RIS they released this year, definitely more subdued, but hints of it. It’s oily, not a heavy beer, and oh so good. I don’t know how it is in bottles because I’ve only had it on draught but I love it.

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Photo of champ103
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Anvil in Houston.

A: Pours a near pitch black color. No light gets through. A one finger head forms with good retention. Plenty of lace is left behind.
S: Chocolate, roasted malt, and brown sugar. Some hops intermingle in the nose. Lightly grassy. Some dark fruits of cherries and raisins. Very nice.
T: Again lots of chocolate. Lightly roasted with some sugar sweetness. Baked bread and biscuit. Light alcohol is present. Some hops in the finish with a lingering bitterness. Very nice.
M/D: A full body that is low on the carbonation. Smooth and velvety. So easy to drink. There is a bit of alcohol. Which is expected for the style, but it is a great sipper.

This is a really good Imperial Stout. Something I really enjoyed and would highly recommend. Way better than last years anniversary beer.

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Anniversary Ale XV from Real Ale Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.