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Imperial Russian Stout | Wellington County Brewery

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BA SCORE
87
very good
109 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
109
Ratings:
187
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
13.37%
 
 
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Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Wellington County Brewery
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-28-2001

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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 187
Photo of Max8787
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Favorite Ontarian stout. Well balanced, couldn't be darker, strong chocolate aroma. Great for strong beer fan, maybe not the best pick if you start to drink stout.

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Photo of BadgerBob
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Wellingtons Imperial Russian Stout" 473can, 8%abv

Pours a dark, black brew, with a creamy reddish head. Recedes after 5-6 mins, no lacing. A strong aroma. The taste is a big strong flavour of coffee, chocolate with medium-high bitterness. Mouthfeel was medium carb.

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Photo of al_al1357
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Out of a can, this beer serves an opaque black with a lit a ring of carbonation throughout. Rich and complex on the nose with a prune and date-like sweetness - chocolate and coffee notes are also present. Loads of flavor in this beer. Taste is influenced by the smell - dark/dried fruits, chocolate, caramel, vanilla and molasses. The taste of alcohol is also present but not overwhelmingly so. Overall, a well-balanced beer with a robust body.

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Photo of Chris_r2112
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: As black as can be. Pours a one finger, brownish head that dissipated relatively quickly.

Smell: very nice smell. Some dark chocolate, some coffee, has a sweetness that comes from a raisin/date like fruit. Darker fruits shine in the aroma of this brew.

taste: Extremely interesting. The can boasts that it is one of the boldest beers brewed in Ontario, and I would say that it could certainly be in the conversation. Strong chocolate flavours on the fore front, quickly followed by a small hint of coffee. This beer gets more interesting on the back end, with robust notes of caramel, vanilla, and dates. Exceptionally well balanced and flavourful.

feel: Medium-thick feel with light-medium carbonation. Imperial Russian stout is extremely sticky in the mouth, to the point where it is almost unappealing. However, the mouth feel still seems to work with the taste, so the stickiness that I detected is not that big of a deal.

Overall: A little rough around the edges in some areas, but overall very well balanced and very tasty. I have to say that It is my favourite offering from Wellington Brewery. Overall, I would recommend this to all stout lovers.

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Photo of ADicerni
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

An Opaque blackness with reddish highlights.
Brown Creamy foam that lasts only a few sips.

A pronounced maltiness you’d expect from a stout. Well balanced bitterness with the sweet toasty taste of the malt. A dry finish with slight bitterness. The hops are not so aromatic as flavouring. Somewhat herbal or grassy. Overall a clean layering of malt and hops.

This stout has a crisp carbonation but not overly and full bodied. A pleasant experience.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer starts strong with a really nice pour producing a deep brown/black color beer with a one inch brownish head that lasts a few sips before breaking. What is left behind is a few islands of bubbles. The smell is roasts, coffee, dark fruits and a touch of alcohol. I found the aroma remarkably mild. The taste is a parallel of the nose with the addition of a caramel flavor. Mouth feel is quite pleasant, smooth and almost creamy. Carbonation is moderate and that alcohol smell does not translate to any burn.

Not a bad RIS all in all. Not one I would jump up and down waiting for, but I'd certainly consider having one were it on the tap list at my local.

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Photo of EricVonStein
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A tall aggressive pour nets you a fat two finger head of tanned brown head of big bubbles that fizzle and pop down to a rocky topping. Black and thick as the night, this looks the part.

On the nose, nice black liquorice, burnt brown sugar, dark roasted malts, but not burnt. Sweet but inviting.

Plenty of black liquorice following the nose, sweet molasses, raisin, hints of espresso, earthy bitter hops are noticeable toward the end. Roasted and a little char on the finish. Really thick and creamy, smooth and nicely balanced. Warming at the back of the throat but not boozy.

Overall a really nice well rounded imperial. It comes through on the richness of classic, simple, down to earth and hearty flavours. Not one of the flamboyant stouts - you wont find any caramel or vanilla here. But thats not what this one is about. Easily a go-to in the category - dependable.

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Photo of ZinFanDave
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

$8 for 473ml can in Toronto's Pearson Airport. Very dark. Nice creamy texture and pleasant chocolate and coffee and dried raisin flavor profile with a noticeable roasted grain on the finish. Rather lower viscosity than all other RIP's I've had. A little heavier than a porter. 8% abc helps. Definitely enjoyable

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Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

L: Fairly black. Beige head bubbled out quickly, leaving a mere ring. A bit of lacing. Not super dark, I get some ruby red highlights.

S: Dark fruits, raisins, sweet milk chocolate.

T: This is some sweet stuff. Dark comes of as pretty strong: raisins, a bit of plum, and maybe some date. Dark caramel is strong too. I'm guessing the fruitiness is coming from the dark caramel malts. A bit of restrained roasted barley comes through on the back end, but it's pretty laid back. Very sweet- to sweet for me. Caramel should be dialed back; roasted malt should go up. No booze what so ever, I could easily believe this was a 5% beer, if not for the body.

F: Almost oily. A thick body, and pretty creamy feeling. Carbonation is perhaps just a tad dialed back.

O: It's passable, okay, but passable. Sweet, too sticky, not really my thing. I prefer roastier, lower ABV stouts.

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Photo of drinkininthewood
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

473ml can purchased at the LCBO ( $3.15 ). Huge fan of Wellington brewery, i attribute them as being one of the breweries that got me into craft beer years back but have yet to try this brew.

A- Oily black pour, color is dark as night with a tan head of thick foam.

S- roasty with a aromas of breakfast blend coffee and a touch of caramel and brown sugar.

T- Much of the same with some coffee flavors, touch of dark chocolate, roasted nuts, molasses, dark fruit sweetness ( raisins, plums etc. ), hint of toffee, bitterness in the end is decent and balances the beer nicely.

M- very slick almost light but not in a watery way. Smooth in almost a milky kind of way. Finish is slightly bitter but not dry at all. ( some stouts obviously are quite dry in the end depending on the style )

D- A nice warming beer perfect for the freezing cold Canadian winter. very drinkable.

Overall i really enjoyed this brew. Not the best example but a very solid offering. i will be drinking alot of this if its readily available this winter which appears to be the case this year. Fair price too. Thanks Welly!

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Photo of mick303
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From can into a tulip glass, poured black with a good head of creamy tan foam showing good retention and lacing.
S- black coffee and roasty chocolate malts, earthy bitter notes, dark chocolate, some vanilla also. Some licorice character and full spice character, rossty with a smattering of cinnamon. Quite aromatic.
T- has a chocolatey roasty start with a good hit of bitterness earthy notes, shows more coffee and residual lactic creaminess on the middle, some chocolatey sweetness. A fairly mellow imperial stout in that there is a good balance of milk chocolate, roasty malt notes and some mild earthy bitterness, nothing really sticks out apart from the above average holiday spices. It's quite a drinkable Imperial stout.
M - full bodied with a creamy feel, moderate carbonation, and quite a creamy dextrinous feel. Very drinkable, with a satisfying balanced body.
Nothing very especial about this stout,the aroma is quite nice and interesting, but the flavour. Profile is subtle and balanced, nothing too offensive about it and it's a decent sipper, but the hint of metallic character and general mediocre aspect make it some.thing I wouldn't get regularly. Good stout and it gets the job done decently.

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Photo of Franck
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Nose of black chocolate, roasted malt and coffee.
In mouth, strong presence of sugar (chocolate) and expresso beans. Great roundness, mineral taste. Anise appears in final with hops. Not boozy at all.
Bitterness is tastefull, hoppy and bitter, almost dry, short.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%

Picked up a single 473 ml can of this from a beverage store in Niagra On The Lake, Canada when my wife and I went there on a vacation about 4 months ago. This beer say in my cellar and then in my fridge for awhile before I cracked it open. Poured out the 473 ml can into my snifter, this beer pours a dark brown, almost black color with a tan/light head about 1/2 inch thick when first poured. Eventually it settles to a medium ring lining the inside of the glass. No film layer of foam on the beer's surface or much lacing here though. Aromas of some roasted malts along with coffee and hints of chocolate. Not much else smell wise here. The taste is pretty much the same, with some toasted caramel malt sweetness that gives way to some chocolate and coffee bitterness that is rounded out with a touch of hops. Has a good mix of flavors, especially as the beer warms up a bit and things balance out. Has a mildly crisp, somewhat prickly, very smooth, slightly oily, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink in the way good beer ought to be. Worth a try.

Eric

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Photo of DaveBar
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of kevinlater
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

473ml can into snifter

a: pitch black. the most aggressive pour in the world gives almost three fingers of light brown, khaki-esque head

s: chocolatey coffee, roasted malts. bits of raisins, cherries, prunes. hints of sweet syrup?

t: chocolate up front, then coffee, some raisins and cherries, and then a lasting roasted/charred/burnt malt presence. a strong and lingering earthy bitterness to finish it all off. zero alcohol presence

m: medium-to-full bodied, maybe closer to the medium side of things. a chewier mouthfeel could improve this a lot. medium carbonation, which is slightly too high

o: a very simple and standard stout, which isn't really a bad thing because stout flavours are delicious. some may just find it boring. a very tasty local brew at an unbeatable price -- just under $3 for the pint can

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Photo of seand
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of dar482
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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Photo of decimator
3.89/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Very dark brown (almost black) body. Thick tan head, poor retention, no lace. Mild roasted aroma with notes of coffee, burnt sugar, dried fruit, and a hint of chocolate. Bittersweet with black coffee, raw sugar, char, and light chocolate. Moderately bitter finish. Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Feels smooth, but slightly thin. Warming alcohol, while not completely off-putting, could be slightly better hidden. A decent Imperial stout that would benefit from a chewier mouthfeel.

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Photo of Kremlock
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | 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 Apr. 5 2015]

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 just doesn't impress me like it used to. It's still pretty good, though - it's more drinkable than the average example of the 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: 3.85, a B+.

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Imperial Russian Stout from Wellington County Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.