1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Anniversary Ale XV - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anniversary Ale XVAnniversary Ale XV

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

227 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 227
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.66%
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: drummermattie02 on 06-25-2011)
View: Beers (57) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 227 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GregSVT


4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 04:43:45 | More by GregSVT
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

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 04:49:35 | More by Fenris244
Photo of titty_mcbitty


4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2014 04:57:42 | More by titty_mcbitty
Photo of champ103


4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2011 03:50:13 | More by champ103
Photo of brystmar


4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 04:14:07 | More by brystmar
Photo of elNopalero


4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-11-2011 22:11:22 | More by elNopalero
Photo of Sweasty


4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Real Ales 15th anniversary Imperial Stout pours a nice dark black. It's not the blackest stout I have seen. Some ruby hued edges shine in the light. Things are topped off by a fingers worth of light mocha head. Head Settles to a ring and leaves some lacing down the glass.

Onto the aroma. Plenty of dark roasted malts hit upfront. Dark roasted coffee shines. Some light bitter sweet chocolate hits next. Some fruit notes, figs perhaps, come into play as well. The hops show up lending a vague citrus quality.

15th anniversary hits the palate with sweet roasted malt quality. The dark coffee in the nose takes on a decidedly sweeter note. Sweet dark chocolate notes hits next. A dried fig quality flows underneath the dark roasted malt notes. Hops show up and add balance. Some light citrus hop notes try to break through the dark malt. The finish is sweetly herbal with some alcohol spice.

This brew is medium bodied and very creamy

Real Ales 15th anniversary imperial stout is a nice brew. The 9.8%abv is fairly well masked. It starts to show as the beer warms, but never overpowers. This brew falls just short of greatness. The thin, by style standards, mouthfeel is a bit of a letdown. The creaminess, though, tries to compensate a bit. While not the best Imperial stout our state has to offer, this brew is a worthy edition to our beer landscape. Props to Real Ale for 15 years of brewing. May you have many more anniversaries ahead.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 01:17:49 | More by Sweasty
Photo of JayAre46


4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz long neck pours black, surprisingly heavier looking than i thought it would be. gives a nice 1 finger khaki head that shows good retention leaving sheets of lace. the aroma is big roasted malt, with some chocolate malt infused. a little char in the air as well. the taste is absolutely dominated by roasted malt, deep dark chocolate comes in a bit with some burnt caramel and fresh coffee beans. the mouth feel is different on this one, initially it may appear heavier than it is and i think that can be attributed to the lack of carbonation. the carbonation is almost flat on the palate creating a slick oily coat over the path it crosses. its definitely not full, id say slightly less than full, all in all i would rather this than over carbonation. overall this is a pleasant surprise while i had low expectations for it. well made by real ale and i wont have a problem drinking anymore. knocks would be the carbonation miss and the lack of complexity. drink it.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 03:56:52 | More by JayAre46
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

4.06/5  rDev +3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 01:14:07 | More by chinchill
Photo of DCon


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

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Schlafly Repeal of Prohibition Festival @ the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, MO. Tapped from the White/Red Tap Handle w/ 15th Anniversary on it into a 16oz Schlafly Cup.

Appearance- Received with a 1 finger, dark brown head that has great retention. Has the deepest brown body you can find in an Imperial Stout. Leaves a few suds behind but doesn't stick.

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2012 21:09:12 | More by DCon
Photo of TheHopMonster

New York

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

Appearance: pours a dark black with a fast dissipating head. Completely black, no light shines through the glass, no visible bubbles; leading to an intensely malted brew.

Smell: Fresh ground coffee, Intense chocolate, and deep earth. Slight sweet tobacco aroma

Taste: Alcohol upfront with sweet malt at the finish. second sip is deep earth with mushrooms; very natural.

Deep imperial stout, intense yet kind with a slight throwback to Irish stouts that have a slight vanilla backbone. Very pleased with its complex taste but it lacks body and a sticking taste. Head dissipates too quickly.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2012 02:32:11 | More by TheHopMonster
Photo of HardTarget


4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Opaque black glass refused to allow even strong back lighting to show anything more than a thin slightly ruby edge. Long lasting tan foam clings to the edge of the glass leaving distinct, widely spaced tide marks.

Smell:Black strap molasses mingles with dark roasted barley. Sweet, burnt, under attenuated , this is a tough neighborhood more than a refined fireside sipper.

Taste: Sugary malt cut with West coast citric hops save the day! The charred blackened nose runs as a ribbon through the candy base giving a complex, satisfying and easy drinking beer (for close to 10% abv.).

Mouthfeel: Body is a tough thin but that helps lighten the beer. Carbonation is almost cask, a bit low in my view, but it doesn't hurt the package much.

Overall: A great celebration beer for a great Texan brewery. Looking forward to many more, and hope this one shows up on a seasonal rotation!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 04:43:28 | More by HardTarget
Photo of hdelavega


4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 03:24:18 | More by hdelavega
Photo of genitempo


4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 09:11:44 | More by genitempo
Photo of DavidST


4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a 1/2 pint of this on tap. This was a pitch black color with a minimal tan head. The smells are of espresso, dark roasted malts and some coco, there was also a fruit presence but I'm having trouble describing it, maybe a dark fruit like a prune. The feel was medium to heavy (thinner than the barley wine I had before it). The taste was pretty good, not the best IRS but good, some sweet dark fruit, the roasted malts and a little hop bitterness, many IRS are more bitter though. I'm glad I got it and I'll have to get a few more pints.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2012 04:51:29 | More by DavidST
Photo of Humulus85


4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my snifter. Produced a modest one-finger, tan head that dissipated rather quickly and didn't leave all that much lacing. Nice deep black color, but not quite opaque.

Smells like a mild Russian Imperial Stout, but well balanced. Nice roasted coffee and chocolate and some sneaky, floral hops notes, and an appropriate alcohol sting.

Again this is a mild tasting RIS. A lot of RISs can bruise the tongue but this one is toned back a bit. Still a robust profile of roasted malt with a strong hop backing, but not very deep or complex in either.

For a RIS, this is a very drinkable brew. Super smooth and relatively light bodied with great carbonation, this beer slides right down. I wouldn't even call this one a sipper. Very nice.

Overall this is a beer I really like from a style that I don't often visit. So I would definitely recommend this to a new BA looking to try a good Russian Imperial Stout: while it might be lacking in depth for a true fan of the style. I liked it so...Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 06:15:00 | More by Humulus85
Photo of SmellsofMahagony


4/5  rDev +1.5%

05-22-2013 03:18:40 | More by SmellsofMahagony
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-11-2011 01:58:38 | More by Mora2000
Photo of cisteve


4/5  rDev +1.5%

04-07-2012 02:01:29 | More by cisteve
Photo of mhenson42


4/5  rDev +1.5%

12-01-2011 11:34:37 | More by mhenson42
Photo of fiedler84


4/5  rDev +1.5%

05-29-2012 22:27:04 | More by fiedler84
Photo of jheezee


4/5  rDev +1.5%

07-02-2013 03:50:08 | More by jheezee
Photo of Shruggy


4/5  rDev +1.5%

08-28-2012 21:54:41 | More by Shruggy
Photo of dumptruck81


4/5  rDev +1.5%

01-20-2012 00:49:15 | More by dumptruck81
Photo of Acoke


4/5  rDev +1.5%

01-19-2012 01:13:39 | More by Acoke
Anniversary Ale XV from Real Ale Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 227 ratings.