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 kscaldef
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, with just a ring of mocha bubbles. Lots of chocolate aroma, with some roasty woody notes. Taste is a mouthful of dark chocolate with enough carbonation to keep it easily drinkable. Medium-heavy body, but dry; not at all syrupy or cloying. Very solid, well-made brew.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark as night into my snifter with a little less than a finger of tan head that has moderate retention and lots of sticky web lacing.

S - Roasted malts, sweet chocolate, molasses, cherries and hints of other dark fruits.

T - Lots of dark roasted malts, some char, more of a bittersweet chocolate than the aroma presents, sweet and mild dark fruits with little alcohol presence.

M - Full body with a medium carbonation, makes it come across a little thinner than it really is.

O - Very enjoyable RIS from Real Ale, totally worth trying and hopefully we will see some barrel aged versions down the road.

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Photo of mjurney
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black color, can't see through the light. Thick tan color head, looks very creamy. Has a nice lacing on the glass everytime I take a sip.

I get lots of roasted and smokey malts in the nose. Some hint of espresso and dark chocolate.

Deep dark roasted malts up front. Espresso, ripe black cherries, hint of black licorice, there some smokiness in the back end. Peppery finish, yet very smooth. Body is medium-full.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of Nesued
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a recent trade. Figure I'd try it out on this rainy Tuesday evening.

Appearance - Dark brown, black in color as it poured into my pint glass. A two-finger head formed that was tan in color. Nice lacing formed as the head receded. Carbonation was difficult to ascertain, due to the deep coloring.

Smell - Lots of roasted malts, some caramel as well. Molasses sweetness comes through as well. Some nutty aromas as well.

Taste - The opening salvo is big on the roasted malt side of the house. Rolls nicely into a bit of a sweet middle and a mild hop bite/finish. The ABV is nicely hidden behind the ample profile of this beer. Lots of toasty and chocolate malt forming the backbone.

Mouthfeel - Nice and dense mouthfeel on this one. Very nice and chewy. The retention isn't pasty or clinging, more of a thin layer. Nicely done. The carbonation is nicely done here. Not being relied upon to convey the taste, yet contributing to the overall feel.

Overall - My first taste of an offering from Real Ale. I liked it.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Moth. Poured a solid black with a tan head.

Smelled of roasted, sweet malt and some spicy hops.

Tasted of roasted malt and sweetness that is complimented by an interesting hop character. It's almost spicy, which I'm guessing comes from some noble hops?

It has a medium to heavy body and is almost creamy.

This is a solid Imp Stout with a different hop profile than I'm used to, which makes it interesting. Nothing knocked me out, but it is a big enough beer and tasty.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a huge 3 inch puffy dark khaki head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. A nice latticework of lace forms on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, coffee beans, some smoke, and cocoa powder. Taste is of dark roasted malt, roasted coffee/espresso beans, some smoke flavors, and bitter cocoa beans. Very mild roasty bitterness on the palate quickly fades after each sip. This beer has a crisp carbonation level with a slightly bubbly but smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good RIS with some nice roasty smells and tastes. I am glad I got to try this one as this seems like a low key regional release.

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Photo of beesy
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle in a Duvel snifter. Thanks to Tommyhock for sending this in a trade.

A - pours a very dark brown with some deep mahogany hues at the edges. A 3/4 finger medium-dark tan head forms and dissipates fairly quickly. A slim margin of foam resides along the edges.

S - lots of chocolate upfront that blends into large amounts of dark roasted malts and dark roasted coffee. A slight scrid note from the heavy roasted malts. Once I homed in on the dark roast coffee, it became very apparent - reminds me of fresh ground espresso from Stauf's. I roused the glass and the aroma sweetened with more chocolate and maybe some dark fruits present.

T - Lots of flavor. Chocolate, coffee and roast all mixed together well. A very slight touch of caramel sweetness on the back of the palate. The thing that stands out most is the massive hop bitterness that comes out of no where. Slight citrus/pine hints in the bitterness. Long lasting bitterness suggests a bittering hop such as Columbus or Chinook. I didnt detect much in the way of hops in the aroma. I might have liked to age this a few months to take the edge off the bitterness. Maybe a slight note of alcohol detected, but covered well by hop bitterness.

M - medium bodied. I might have wanted a tad more body to hold up to the bitterness. However, once aged and the hop bitterness resided a bit, it would be a good fit.

D - low for me. The hop bitterness put it too out of balance to kick back too many.

Overall, a fine brew that could benefit from a bit of aging.

Update for 11/17/12 bottle:
Bitterness is still very firm and hasnt seemed to relax much. Notes of alcohol have reduced and maybe a little fading of the coffee profiles as it seems more chocolately with a slighly chalky profile now.

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Photo of coldriver
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle. Pours opaque black with mocha colored head and lacing. Aroma is espresso, roasted malts, and cocoa powder. Taste is a little smokey, with coffee and chocolate, and bitter hops. Mouthfeel is well done with subdued carbonation, although finish is a bit wet.
A very good imperial stout from Real Ale, flavorful yet subtle.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Charlie

A - The pour is surprisingly light in color, quite transparent and red-brown, but it fills nicely to a deep dark brown body with a nice amount of fluffy tan head.

S - Smoked meats, dark fruits, nutty, chocolatey, a touch boozy. Pretty good.

T - Lots of roasted malt flavor, some heat of alcohol and hops, some sweet fruity and smoky notes. Much more roasty than I'd expect or like, but it's pretty good. Some nice chocolate stuff.

M - smooth, full, nice body.

O - Kind of unimpressive, but not offensive. It's good, not great. I don't think this is a candidate for extended aging.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from xpimptastikx; thanks Michael. Always interested in a new RIS. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my DFH tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for a minute or two, and leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, bitter chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, toasted malts, light alcohol, and light caramel malts. Very roasted and chocolatey, and pretty sweet, but I like it.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, sweet chocolate, bitter chocolate, raisins, sweet dark fruits, coffee, light vanilla, and alcohol. As it warms up some light caramel and toffee, and more burnt and toasted malts.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation, smooth and a bit creamy. Pretty nice body.

o - Overall a pretty nice RIS. A bit on the sweet side, especially in the nose, but overall a nice RIS. Lots of roasted notes and chocolate, and pretty creamy thick body. Would have it again.

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Photo of hdelavega
4.02/5  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!

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Photo of Humulus85
4.02/5  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!

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Photo of cavedave
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to the Tx. trader who shall, due to my poor org. skills, remain nameless.

Pours a darkest brown, glugs in thickly, half inch of dark beige lather, kicks back to a floating island and skimpy ring. Mmmm.

Alcohol spice, licorice and rooty sweet, nice roasty behind it all, burnt caramel and dark malty stone fruit, some bitter like a ghost. Med. strength but what a nice aroma.

You can taste that this is the mellow and meld that a bit of age can do, though that may not be a good thing here. All the flavors of the nose, with cherry the most forward, combine into a really satisfying conglomeration, but one that isn't as out front and in your face bold as a well aged Impy stout can/should be. All together a fine brew, but one that suffers in comparison to many wonderful offerings we are blessed to enjoy.

Thin for style, nicely low carb., juicy but mildly unsatisfying finish, the worst feature of this one.

Not that this one is around much now, but I would gladly get another and recommend an easy score of this now-aged stout.

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Photo of DavidST
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

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Photo of genitempo
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of DCon
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of TheHopMonster
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of Sweasty
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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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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Photo of JayAre46
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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