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Imperial Russian Stout - Wellington County Brewery

Not Rated.
Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout

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BA SCORE
87
very good

161 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 161
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 9
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wellington County Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-28-2001

Imperial Stout is patterned after the highly fortified Russian Stouts that were exported from the U.K. to Russia in the 1800s.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 161 | Reviews: 101
Photo of Jeffo
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got a few of these in trades last summer. Thanks for the cans guys!

From a 16oz can into a snifter.
Canned in 2011

Note: Pitted this one against Grand River's Russian Gun Imperial Stout in an All-Ontario stout showdown!

APPEARANCE: Clear black pour yields a one finger, looser looking, tan head with decent retention. Black body with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a good, full wisp, though only splotches remain leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Didn't start out that well, but finishes strong.

SMELL: Mild nose with some roasted malts, licorice and cocoa powder. Touches of caramel too. A little too mild to be memorable.

TASTE: Roasted malts and some caramel sweetness up front, then some licorice notes and dark chocolate at the swallow. Decent lingering aftertaste of roasted malts, dark chocolate and sweet molasses. Pretty nice after the swallow, and more impressive than the nose had led on.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A touch watery perhaps, but still creamy enough. Goes down fine and finishes slightly mouth-coating.

OVERALL: This was pretty good, as the flavor after the swallow saved it from being mediocre. Though it is nothing to write home about, I would gladly drink it again, and especially fresh on-tap. This one actually kicked the Grand River brew around the playground. Give this one a go if you find it. Cheers!

Photo of Digimaika2
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of papat444
3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of mulder1010
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of MattPS
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of 80b
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of jsnoek
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of jrutigs
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of hopsolutely
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of divineaudio
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from notes. on cask at c'est what in toronto, served in a pint glass.

a - came to the table an opaque dark brown with a finger of fluffy tan head. leaves a fair bit of sticky lace in the glass and head retention is excellent.

s - roasted malt with herbal hop character and notes of coffee.

t - more roasted malt with dark chocolate and coffee notes, balanced nicely by a mild hop bitterness.

m - medium body, adequate carbonation, incredibly smooth.

o - thoroughly enjoyable and recommended if you come across it. wish i had a cask of this to take home.

Photo of DaveHS
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

Photo of Stocean1
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of dgilks
4.02/5  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.

Photo of peensteen
3.97/5  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.

Photo of jrenihan
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black, with a very thin layer of dark tan head.

Maybe it was a function of the glass, maybe not, but I could smell almost nothing from the beer. Just a hint of fairly typical stout smell. Not bad, but not distinctive at all.

Taste was decent. Burnt caramel and a fair does of bitterness. Enjoyable, but not a particularly complex taste. Alcohol was more hidden than expected.

The beer was much lighter than expected. Particularly for an imperial stout, it was quite thin. However, carbonation was wonderful, perhaps partly as a function of the fact that it is from a cask.

Drinkability is good. Despite the strength, it goes down very smoothly, and is an enjoyable but not exciting beer.

Overall, I would be happy to have another of these, but would not go out of my way for it.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Burger Bar.

A - Poured darr black with one finger of very bubbly light brown head that slowly disappeared.

S - A robust nose with chocolate, maple syrup and coffee. A nice overall sweetness to this one but it also had a complimenting bitterness to balance it out. Agreat nose!

T - Chocolate, coffee, and hints of maple syrup. A slight bitterness in the finish at first but as I continued to drink this one, the bitterness became more and more evident. The taste wasn't quite as over the top as the nose suggested, but this was still a good RIS.

M - Creamy & smooth. Lightly carbonated.

D - This was very good - better on cask than it was on regular draft as I remember from about a year ago.
4 to 4.5.

Photo of biegaman
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Off cask at C'est What?, in Toronto.

At only 8%, this 'imperial' may be on the lighter end of the style's scale but it's certainly not on the light end of the colour spectrum. Dark as a winter night, opaque as coal, giving off not a single highlight and, as if the beer didn't look intimidating enough already, even it's head is stained a deep ebony tone. Frankly, it's a little daunting...

This roasty, malty aroma offers hints of black licorice and coffee. Well, coffee beans. Or coffee grinds. And the character is smoky, a wee thin and a tad harsh - more robusta than Arabica. This certainly doesn't have the bells or whistles that most imperial stouts come decked out in, but it's no worse off: simplicity and reserve have their virtues too.

Although it never saw the inside of a barrel, Wellington RIS soaked up lots of dry, woody characteristics somewhere along the way. Along with the heavy, sooty taste of pure, undiluted cocoa, the beer can sometimes hit the palate rather harshly and travel down the throat with a woolly texture. There's also a distant sour note of dark berries.

I won't complain, however, about the beer's bitterness, which is ample. It comes from a generous addition of hops which have also contributed by way of a vine-y, leafy flavour that proves very compatible with the sooty, roasted malts. The overall impression though, it must be said, is far from the most stimulating, dynamic or distinctive the RIS style offers.

Wellington RIS is a pleasant drink and strikes a good middle ground between those options that are too plain and those that are too strong. On the whole, however, it makes for an underwhelming example of the style. Like an aging veteran athlete whose body can no longer keep up physically, a beer with this kind of subtle and collected temperament simply doesn't compete with the new generation of bigger, more exciting stouts.

Photo of mrnobody
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of Long813
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: West 50

A: Dark black body with two fingers of dark chocolaty head. Retention is decent and leaves some lacing.

S: Full of rich milk chocolate and coffee. Roasted malts, not much else

T: Following the aroma, nice flavours of chocolate and coffee.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Not to think, no alcohol notes and leaves a bitter coffee aftertaste.

D: Pretty good, I'd buy this again if I could get my hand on it.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a pint of this on cask at C'est What, one of 5 casks available while I was there (!). This was dark brown colored with a thin tan foam made up of finely grained bubbles (in other words it looked like a RIS on cask). It smelled really good, roasted and toasted malts with more coffee than I expected, this isn't listed as a coffee stout. The coffee isn't really there in the flavor, more sweet and roasted malts, a little chocolate, and an earthy quality not unlike peat (at least it gives me the impression of wet soil, in a good way). The body is great, light carbonation (cask) which makes this extremely easy to drink quickly. Delicious.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
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!

Photo of kwjd
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of irishkyle21
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of liamt07
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Half pint at C'est What on cask, would've liked to have had it in a snifter, but I guess I'll deal with the pint glass. Pours jet black, almost opaque when held up to the light. A trace of head when I received it, no head retention and no lacing whatsoever. Got some molasses, some cocoa/coffee in the smell. Tasting this I got a bit of the same cocoa/coffee, some mild sweetness and roasty malt. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, lacking body as others have indicated but still pretty good, low carbonation. Not as 'imperial' of a stout as I was expecting. Drinkability is dangerous, half pint was gone in less than 5 mins, as scary as that would be for an 8% ABV.

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Imperial Russian Stout from Wellington County Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.