1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Imperial Russian Stout - Wellington County Brewery

Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

130 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 130
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.23%


Brewed by:
Wellington County Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout is patterned after the highly fortified Russian Stouts that were exported from the U.K. to Russia in the 1800s.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-28-2001)
View: Beers (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 130 | Reviews: 95 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DaveBar
DaveBar

Ontario (Canada)

3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO $2.95 for a 473ml can. Served chilled in a draught glass.

A- Very good. Not much head but what was there was thick and dark

S- Very good. Toasted malt

T- Pretty good. Roasted malt and barley. Sweet and bitter with lots of coffee notes. Excellent attempt

M- A bit lacking in the creamy department but other than that very good

O- Very good. Will buy again as it is a local brew

Food Pairing

This very good stout paired well with... Goat cheese pizza.

Enjoy

Serving type: can

02-15-2014 22:37:12 | More by DaveBar
Photo of seand
seand

California

3.44/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours an opaque black with a small amount of tan head. Just a ring around the edge of the glass retains, leaving minor lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malt.

T: Sweet roasted malt with a roasty top end; not bad, if a little bit single-noted.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall, OK. Not nearly the best imperial stout I've had, but still decent.

Serving type: can

12-31-2013 01:46:15 | More by seand
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this in can at Toronto Airport.

The beer comes in a black color with a light brown head.

The aroma has tons of coffee aroma, some earthy notes, and roasted malt. A very stout smelling beer.

The flavor follows with coffee, like black coffee, roasted malt, and a drying finish of earthy bitterness. There's not much sweetness from the malt, but a bit of toffee flavor in there. There's a medium body.

Nothing groundbreaking, but a well made beer. Could use more flavor at 8%, but also hides the alcohol is a very basic stout.

Serving type: can

08-29-2013 04:44:13 | More by dar482
Photo of beerluvr
beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

3.29/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep brownish head over opaque brown in the glass. Light (too light for a R.I.S.) roasted malt nose offering some coffee tones. First impression on tasting was too light bodied for what the label claims it to be, that aside I get roastiness and light malt and not too much hop to speak of. Finished on a bitter chocolate note...no alcohol tasted. Thought this could be much better though it's a nice Imp Stout for those just testing the waters.

Serving type: can

08-20-2013 20:15:28 | More by beerluvr
Photo of decimator
decimator

Ontario (Canada)

3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

473ml can poured into a mug. ABV 8%.

A - Poured an opaque near black with a 2cm light brown head, head reduced to surface bubbles, some lacing is produced.

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, earthy. Certainly smells like stout.

T - Rosted, toasted, chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, a slight sour tang in the middle, medium to low bitterness, herbal and slightly medicinal, and a hint of alcohol. Aftertaste is mostly sweet with some moderate bitterness. Despite the complexity I found the overall flavour rather restrained.

M - Medium-low carbonation, medium-high body, syrupy, some creaminess, a dash of heat, very dry finish.

O - Not a stand out for the style but certainly still a drinkable and enjoyable RIS.

Serving type: can

08-13-2013 02:25:51 | More by decimator
Photo of DenisKolkin
DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

473 ml can from LCBO into a pint glass.

Appearance - Black as night in color, nice 1.5 finger head with good retention. Head looks creamy and thick in its tan colored glory and almost seems to sparkle given the lighting conditions. Some lacing is left in the glass.

Smell - Coffee hints as well as some vague chocolaty-ness. Earthy scents also are prevalent.

Taste - Coffee and Earthiness are strongest here, strong bitter aftertaste from the coffee but does not linger too much.

Mouthfeel - Definitely stout, there's nothing thin about this brew, taste is rich and filling with a superior creaminess to it as well. Definitely a fine fall or winter brew, but is not so heavy that you wouldn't consider a second (or a third for that matter).

Overall - This was my introduction to Russian imperial Stouts and as such I will always have a special place for it. It's not the best one out out there but is certainly delicious and worth drinking again.

Serving type: can

08-05-2013 00:47:40 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of FondueVoodoo
FondueVoodoo

British Columbia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tip of the hat to cattersley for the trade, much appreciated.

A: A solid black brown brew capped with a pale oak microfilm that only sticks around long enough to suggest it's a beer briefly, some minimal foam holds onto the glass.

S: Scents of chocolate and espresso, some earthiness, suggestive of wet moss and woods. Finishing with some toasty molasses. Overall the scent is subtle and smooth emphasizing the rich base notes of chocolate, espresso & earthiness.

T: Sweet molasses and smoooth coffee followed with deeply toasted malts. A herbal note in the mid palette of licorice root and mild coffee-esque bitters. Mild alcohol at the end that reminds you of the 8% without overwhelming the brew.

M: Medium bodied, a tiny bit on the light side for a RIS, but doesn't take away from the overall enjoyment. Just a bare minimum of carbonation followed with a warming alcohol heat at the end that compliments the chocolate & coffee notes.

O: A good choice in a RIS to pair with rich food, red meats, stews and roasted chicken. The flavour and notes are not overly sweet, but rich and earthy matching well with rich foods. Like a great wine at the dinner table it compliments the food while still being enjoyable on it's own.

Serving type: can

04-16-2013 02:38:37 | More by FondueVoodoo
Photo of Kremlock
Kremlock

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Deep dark black colour with hues of dark ruby red in the bottom of the glass. Brownish head that pours 1 inch thick then falls to about 1/16 inch. Lacing is medium.

S: Coffee and chocolate dominate the aroma. Plum in the background with some noticeable sweetness. Hop aroma is med-low.

T: Raisins and plum come threw right at the beginning. Roastiness is well balanced with some fruity esters present. A nice dark coffee flavour comes threw. Alcohol is present but is not harsh or distracting.

M: Carbonation is low-medium. Full body and smooth.

O: A very good RIS. IMO I would enjoy a bit more hop bitterness but overall this is a great bee.

Serving type: can

01-18-2013 03:03:59 | More by Kremlock
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

473ml can from the Ottawa LCBO for 3$ - been wanting to try this for a while

Appearance - Black/Brown colour with an average size fizzy brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there isn't much lacing. The head lasted for only 2 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, light smoke, nuts

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and some roasted/toasted nuts. There is also a bit of a smokiness and a bitter coffee flavour and a hint of vanila. It ends with a chocolatey sweet aftertaste with a bit of lingering bitterness.

Overall - I expected a bit more based on reviews, but it's still an above average brew. It needs a bit more sweetness and it comes across as a tad watery for a RIS. There is also something odd with the smell that I can't put my finger on.. something plasticy/chalky.

Serving type: can

10-26-2012 23:46:58 | More by spinrsx
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

473 mL can from the LCBO; best before May 28 2013. I've heard from various sources over the years that this RIS is one of Wellington's best brews, and have always wanted to try it - so I was particularly pleased to see these cans appear on shelves in Sarnia. Served in a pint glass, only slightly chilled.

Pours an opaque black colour, with some deep chestnut tinges under a light. Seated atop is a modest, single finger of foamy, tan-coloured head that is mostly gone before a minute's time has passed. The aroma is pleasant, comprised of a blend of roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, molasses and herbal hops. Starts off with a good blend of sweetness and earthiness, but leans a little too heavy on the sweet as it warms.

I've been a little nitpicky so far, but I feel no need to keep it up when it comes to analyzing the flavour - this is a tasty stout, with lots of big, roasted malt flavours. Chocolate sweetness, weak coffee and some herbal, licorice-like notes are the main features, with an earthy, herbal finish. The abv/heat is mildly apparent, and works perfectly with the flavour profile. Medium-bodied - too thin for my tastes, although this does contribute to its high drinkability for the style. The carbonation gives a good bite, but in general the beer seems to improve as this facet weakens in intensity (while the beer settles and warms).

Wellington's Russian Imperial Stout is easily one of their top beers, right up there with Iron Duke and maybe a few others. This is a style I am rarely able to sample from due to a dearth of locally available examples. While I still think this particular stout is very good as far as big, drinkable dark beers go... when I think of an 'RIS' I just think of something with more body. This is definitely worth a try as a particularly quaffable, fairly tasty, stout with some heft, not to mention increasingly wide distribution.

[Updated Dec. 18 2013]

I picked up another tallboy can, the latest of several I've cracked open since my last review. I'm sorry to say it, but this RIS impresses me less and less nearly every time I try it - and I've been trying a lot of new ones lately. There's nothing wrong with this stout; it's more drinkable than the average example of this style, but that fact owes mostly to the low-ish abv and lack of any intense flavours to intrigue or tire the palate. It's nice to see beers like this finally becoming commonplace, though! Give it a shot; it's a good beer and at 3 bucks a can you won't find a more affordable imperial stout in this province.

Final Grade: 3.83, a B+.

Serving type: can

10-11-2012 19:19:55 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to cattersley for the can!

Pours black, with a medium tan finger of head. Low retention and no lacing. The aroma is roasted malts, chocolate sweetness and a touch of coffee. Not a bold aroma, but good. The taste is quite nice! Chocolate, big roasted notes, some coffee and a hint of bitterness. The feel is definitely creamy, though a bit thinner than most RIS's. Solid medium/upper medium body with moderate carbonation.

A good, well made RIS. Not too filling and not the most robust, but very well drinkable!

Serving type: can

09-22-2012 01:41:30 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of Digimaika2
Digimaika2

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(3.5) A: Black with a tall mocha coloured bubbly head that recedes to a glass ring with minimal lacing down the glass.

(3.5) S: Molasses, caramel, anise, dark chocolate, and mellow citrus qualities in the background. Quite smooth and rich, and appealing, albeit somewhat subdued.

(4.0) T: Flashes of smoke and tart probing citrus gives way to a caramel malt backbone. Fairly light and refreshing for an imperial stout with an emphasis on the hoppy side of things. Hints of dark fruits (cherries and dates) coupled with hints of dark chocolate compliment the initial rush of flavour. The finish reminds me of a chocolate covered blueberry of sorts. Pretty tasty.

(3.5) M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Prickly citrus on the tongue with a lingering bitter and dry mouthfeel.

(3.5) D: Really enjoyed the lighter bodied take on this style and find it quite refreshing, especially with the hoppier elements highlighted. Very easy drinking and worthy of any recommendations.

Serving type: can

08-27-2012 00:55:06 | More by Digimaika2
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to grub for this one.

Poured from a 473ml. can (code A2012 on it so i presume this was canned Jan. 2012).

Appearance: Brown-black body, thick and oily, with about 2 fingers of creamy foam. Not much legs on it but does coat the glass when swirled.

Smell: Cocoa powder, chunks of chocolate. milky chocolate, mild coffee but aroma dominated by various chocolates.

Taste: Decadent chocolate chunks mixed with good bitter coffee and roasted overtones.

Mouthfeel: Weak point. Carbonation a bit higher than expected and the body is fairly average, barely reaching medium strength.

Overall: A decent stout but not one that i would drive out to the brewery for. There are better stouts that are more easily attainable.

Serving type: can

05-29-2012 11:37:12 | More by papat444
Photo of mulder1010
mulder1010

Australia

4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

473 ML poured into a tulip
Thanks to Dgilks for the can? Yes, a can.

A-- Poured a dark cola color and settled jet black. No light penetrating this at all. One finger dark brown leather head that slowly faded to a nice, thick collar and a thin layer of film. Some large bubbles here and there. Nice head retention on swirling. Half finger of head. Spotty lacing.

S-- Roast and quite earthy. Dark chocolate, dark roast, some coffee and a bit of tobacco. Quite nice.

T-- Smooth, quite smooth. Chocolate, coffee, tobacco, roast, and a bit of earthy hop bite. I like.

M-- Smooth body. Bits of coffee bite here and there. Roast and chocolate dominate the body with bits of prickly carbonation. Otherwise medium body and lighter medium feel. Dry chocolate, coffee, and bitter finish. Bitterness picks up a lot once warm.

O-- Nothing crazy about this. Very simple and straightforward but done very well. Roast carries the beer very well and the ABV is well hidden. Feels and tastes like 6%, not 8%. Very old school RIS but that is a very good thing when done this well.

Serving type: can

05-09-2012 14:52:01 | More by mulder1010
Photo of


4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Very dark black with a large tan head that dissipates fairly quickly to a lingering ring.

Smell - lots of chocolate and coffee roasted malt flavours with some toffee, dried fruit, sweet tobacco, and earthy hops.

Mouthfeel - medium bodies, smooth and creamy texture, with moderate carbonation.

Taste - Echo of the chocolate and coffee, dark bread, nice strong bitterness, and a dry bitter finish.

Serving type: can

09-12-2011 00:58:50 | More by
Photo of hopsolutely
hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very enjoyable imperial stout.

Dark, dark brown pour is almost black in its opacity. At least a finger of coffee coloured head which leaves lacing. Slick and oily mouthfeel typical of such a high ABV. There is also a creaminess which I would have expected from a nitro pour more than from this refrigerated can.

Very complex yet well balanced taste profile is getting more interesting as it warms, as one would expect, but I like both the cold and the warm versions. Predominantly mocha and roasted coffee notes with a dry finish, very bitter. There was a definite "tin" scent after the pour which is also dissipating and making this glass progressively more pleasant. I have always thoroughly enjoyed this beer on tap, so was surprised at the aroma of the can.

Definitely recommend.

Serving type: can

08-29-2011 00:36:01 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of DaveHS
DaveHS

California

3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can courtesy of Jeffo.

A-Pours dark, stained wood brown with about in inch of rocky mocha head. Leaves chunky lacing.

S-Cocoa powder, vanilla, burnt white sugar, moth balls, roasted chocolate malts.

T/M-Medium to full bodied and soft, with low carbonation. Lightly roasted dark malts, a little bitterness on the back end, which is slightly overdone considering the lack of body. Would like this to be a little thicker. Finish falls off abruptly, warming the back of the throat.

O-An average RIS. Glad I got to try it.

Serving type: can

07-30-2011 00:53:57 | More by DaveHS
Photo of Stocean1
Stocean1

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - can brewed this week purchased from the brewery - poured agressively to a two finger head - deep reddish brown nearly black - light carbonation - fine sticky lacing

S - sweet burnt malt - dark bread - chocolate

T - sweet malt and choclate and coffee notes up front - some vanilla - well balanced bitterness in the after taste

M - medium bodied with little carbonation - bitter tingle but silky feel going down - the ABV is masked well but produces a wonderful tranquilizing effect as you slowly sip this one

O - a terrific RIS from a local brewery that will be my go to beer for the style (especially given the availability and price) - although I enjoyed this one, I think with a little more complexity this could turn into a top shelf RIS.

Serving type: can

06-10-2011 09:58:16 | More by Stocean1
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JohnnyBarman for carrying this from Guelph to Canberra for me. It is much appreciated.

Very dark black colour with a small, short lasted brown head. The head is really short lasting.

Robust, strong roasted malt aroma. Lots of fruity character and some earthy hops. Good, traditional RIS.

Rich, malt and roast flavour with plenty of fruit, strong bitterness and earthy hops. Classic.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good.

This is a really solid RIS with classic English flavours. No over the top American hop or malt character, just good, strong stout.

Serving type: can

04-26-2011 10:03:41 | More by dgilks
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't had this in a while. Thanks to Helen at Wellington for sending me a few cans.

Near jet black, minimal soapy tan head, no lace to speak of really. Smell is of roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, light alcohol followed by more chocolate. Taste is of bitter chocolate, coffee comes through, good balance, roast malt, light hops, dry bitter finish. Light to medium body, lightish carbonation, smooth and silky feel. Solid all the way, ABV hidden and drinks quickly and well.

Serving type: can

04-11-2011 20:38:54 | More by peensteen
Photo of mrnobody
mrnobody

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

473 ml can poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours pitch black with 3 fingers of pocked coffee coloured head. Retention is not great but leaves nice sticky lacing.

S: Smells of roasted coffee, chocolate. The usual inviting RIS aromas.

T: Lots of coffee flavour with a little sweetness, black licorice. Finishes with some bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel seems a little thin, about medium body with prickly carbonation.

D: The alcohol is nowhere to be found. I'd rate the drinkability of this high.

Serving type: can

01-25-2011 02:48:35 | More by mrnobody
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473ml can with paper label.

Pours into my glass a deep, dark opaque black with a solid inch of creamy tan foam. Gotta love a good stout from a can for sure! Aromas of big dark roasted malt upfront along with a subtle creaminess. Coffee, molasses and dark fruity accents abound with a touch of cocoa.

First sip brings rich, creamy dark roasted malts upfront with a bold mix of molasses, coffee and dark fruits. A touch of cocoa as it flows down along with a mellow bitterness. Hops are mellow but balance out the sweetness well.

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied with good mellow carbonation. Good viscosity without being overly heavy. A solid imperial stout that I'm happy to have been able to try. Nice to drink one of these that isn't an overly amped up crazy American version :-) Thanks Dave!

Serving type: can

09-04-2010 04:16:13 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at the brewery yesterday. Pours an opaque extremely dark brown with thin mocha head and lots of lacing. Smell is tons of roasted malt and some chocolate. Taste has lots of roasted flavour, burnt chocolate, sweet molasses and a mild hop bite. Very good carbonation. My favourite beer from the Wellington line up.

Serving type: can

08-17-2010 00:19:37 | More by kwjd
Photo of irishkyle21
irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice to see this one making it's way up north. Looks like a RIS should dark almost black. Tanned head leaves some good lacing as it drop.

Smells of sweet licorice, chocolate, molases and some roastiness. Hops are hard to notice.

Tastes of roasted malts, sweetness and some hop bitterness. Very drinkable brew. I could easily forget aboutthe abv and have my fair share of these.

Serving type: can

05-16-2010 02:02:02 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of TheHammer
TheHammer

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got six cans of this stuff from my buddy Ludachris. Looking forward to it, as Wellington seldom disappoints.

Appearance: A body as black has night with a finger and a half of dark brown head that retains and laces decently. There is a potential for more lacing and retention but all in all solid.

Smell: A good dose of heavily roasted malts, rich coffee and a hint of tobacco smokiness can be detected. Took a little bit of warming to come out and could be a bit stronger but pretty much everything I'd expect from an RIS.

Taste: Oh wow, just rich enough to make me love it. Starts with a strong well roasted malt presence that turns beautifully into a dark berry and plum fruitiness with subtle coffee and ending with a smooth coffee/chocolate bitterness. A little bit more fruitiness and it would be a 5 in my book.

Mouthfeel: Well, my only real complaint is that once the head disappears, it seems to take on a bit more of a watery texture. The carbonation needs a bit of work in that regard but apart from that, exceptional aftertaste that echos the entire beer and sticks around for just the right amount of time.

Drinkability: This is not a sipping stout that is for sure. I had no problems getting this down as the smoothness of the whole experience and somewhat refreshing aspects of the beer really add to it. Only qualm is that it seems to have given me a little bit of gas.

Final Thoughts: If I didn't know this stuff was 8% I would be on my ass so fast with this stuff it's not even funny. I did not detect even a hint of alcohol. I can see why many feel this is Wellington's strongest brew and I would tend to agree. I'm not a huge stout drinker, but this stuff might change that as I'm glad to still have another five. If you are in Guelph, pick yourself up a six pack at the very least.

Serving type: can

04-12-2010 06:02:19 | More by TheHammer
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Imperial Russian Stout from Wellington County Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 130 ratings.