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!

Hercule Stout - Brasserie Ellezelloise

Not Rated.
Hercule StoutHercule Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

380 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 380
Reviews: 252
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 27
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Ellezelloise visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: zerk on 10-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hercule Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 380 | Reviews: 252 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of grandq

New York

3.33/5  rDev -18%

Pours dark brown to prune with a surprisingly sizeable head despite a gentle pour. Smells of molasses, prune, licorice, and meets the tongue with a sweeter version of the bunch, along with sweet cherries, raisin, grape, smoke and pumpernickel bread. The mouthfeel is thin and effervescent, a bit too much like cola (can't say that's favorable) and gets much more cloyingly sweet as it goes to boot. I like the flavors in small doses but I feel my teeth rotting like I just drank a can of coke.

03-07-2008 01:55:44 | More by grandq
Photo of Georgiabeer


4/5  rDev -1.5%

Another Belgian style RIS- this one pours dark brown with a good head that sticks for a bit. Smells somewhat light, creamy, a bit ashy, and with some chocolate notes. Taste is similar, with a light ashiness, some restrained chocolate and wih more of a chocolate malt flavor at the finish, and some light roasted grains. Has the typical Belgian stout lightness of body, and is clean as well as somewhat creamy. Pretty nice, enough so that I'm interested in trying some more stuff from this brewery.

02-27-2008 03:01:27 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of bennetj17


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%

The head is an amazing display, a full inch thick of off-white foam that doesn't shrink at all hardly. The beer is quite black although some light peers about the extreme edges. A hint of chocolate in the aroma, but mostly some tangy fruit and a typical Belgian yeastiness. Lots of plum/raisin with some licorice and spiciness in the mix. Mild EtOH. Not too potent, but a nice bouquet overall.

The taste is dry with a light toastiness. Notes of fig, raisin, and a bit of milk chocolate carry through, rounded out by a sweet, yet toasty finish with a decent bitterness. This is like a Strong Belgian Dark with not quite the depth or heat to it. Medium thick with average carbonation, it has a fine, silky smoothness to it.

Overall a fine beer, and easy to drink. This is nothing like a Russian Imperial Stout. This is clearly a Belgian inspiration, and a good one at that..

02-10-2008 04:47:41 | More by bennetj17
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%

Lagered in German oak casks. 9.0%abv. packaged in short, stout swing top bottles.

A: Poured a dark opaque color with a huge 3 finger frothy light tan head that was fully lasting.

S: light with slight yeasty dough notes with some bananas and pears.

T: The flavor was smooth and refined with a silky texture and light smoky and burnt woodiness and licorice. The flavor started out sweet and yeasty with bananas, pears, melons, and ripe fruit within a light body. Upon warming there were some warm pears and fruit coming through more noticeably along with light coffee notes. The beer finishes with a fade of ripe fruit (pears, melons), and light acidity.

M: The mouthful was light. Carbonation was smooth and very light.

D: a very easy drinking stout that was fruity and refreshing per style. case worthy.

02-10-2008 00:02:31 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of baos


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%

11.2 oz bottle into dog-faced mug.

A: Full hand of tan head. Decent lacing as head falls to a more stout like film.

S: Spicy coffee, chocolate, orange zest hoppiness.

T: Coffee, bitter chocolate, grapefruit zest. A bit of yeast character thats been aged. Ends with nice and dry bitterness.

M: Full and nice. Big and bubbly.

D: Good

02-05-2008 02:10:14 | More by baos
Photo of jdubjacket


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%

Poured into my Moinette goblet.

Pours a dark brown - looks more like a quadrupel than an imperial stout based on the color and consistency.

A prune/raisin aroma with a bit of alcohol.

Taste is outstanding. It's almost a combination of stout and quadrupel - 2 of my favorite styles.

An outstanding beer. Highly recommend.

02-01-2008 22:40:12 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of goochpunch


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%

Pours out a rusted, dark, burnt caramel with a well-maintained cafe au lait head and some decorative lacing all over the glass. Up front are very "English" smells of molasses, coffee, and chocolate tones. Underneath this lies a grape-y character that I get from some stronger dark Belgians. There are some whiffs and apple-like fruitiness coupled with a floral hop presence as well. Flavor is interesting and makes me think of what it would taste like to mix a strong Belgian and a stout on the lighter end of the spectrum. Doesn't carry with it an overwhelming flavor combination, rather it remains wholly flavorful, while at the same time, not beating you over the head with anything. Some soft yeasty fruit mingle with subtle roasted malts and lots of tobacco. Dried fruits are accompanied by floral flavors characteristic of jasmine. Finish is rather dry with just a touch of bitterness. Finish is big on the dried fruits, molasses, and roast with just a hint of smoke. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of things and has a stickiness. Carbonation is really mellow. This is really a great marriage of many things I like in a beer. Fantastic.

01-26-2008 04:17:21 | More by goochpunch
Photo of janubio


4.75/5  rDev +17%

This is in my opinion a really great beer that combines the best of the irish stout with belgian beers. Maybe even a neew style itself.
Black clour with a great head, not as thick as irish stout.
Aroma of coffee, liquorice, chocolate and dark fruits. Medium to full body, very good carbonation.
Taste of coffee, liquorice, dark fruits, some chocolate and even cherries open up their way.
Great beer.

01-17-2008 13:49:03 | More by janubio
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%

Pours an extremely dark brown that is fully opaque. Head is very tan. Malty nose. Flavor is complex, but it takes a while for it all to appear. Strong malts hit you first, then sweet darker chocolates. And it leaves a very nice aftertaste in the mouth. You just want to take your time with this one and savor the flavor, even though a part of you just wants to tear into it and keep having it rush over your palate. Feel is not as thick as other RIS, but it still is decent and the carbonation is good. Overall extremely drinkable. Kudos for an RIS produced in Belgium.

12-31-2007 19:49:32 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of NCSUdo


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%

Poured from an 11.2 ounce, flip top bottle

A: Pours a deep black under a finger and a half worth of tan head. No retention, no lace.

S: This is where the beer begins to separate itself from the RIS style. There is a roasted malt and some chocolate, which belong, but along side it are certain notes of spice and some fruity hints that are a little different from your run of the mill RIS. It's not a smell that makes you think that this beer is something out of left field, but you do take note of it.

T: It deviates a little more with the taste. The fruity notes show themselves much more here along with some slight hints of spice. The roasted character is there, along with some chocolate and coffee in a slightly bitter finish. However, it's the initial fruitiness that really shows you that this beer is of Belgian descent and fermented with Belgian yeast.

M/D: The mouthfeel is very different than expected. At first drinking (I've had 3-4 over the past week) one would not really expect that this one is a RIS. The body is really perfect, smooth and creamy, but it's on the lighter side of heavy, instead of the black hole side of heavy that most of the RIS style are. Drinkability is only hindered by the 9.00%. There are absolutely no hints of the 9.00% anywhere to be found in the beer, but it will obviously catch up with you.

Overall, this beer is a real treat. A friend of mine introduced me to it and I am happy he did. It's not your normal RIS and doesn't pretend to be.

12-28-2007 04:36:37 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of aforbes10


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%

bottle from Capones. 01/2002 (i think). "pop" as the seal goes on the lid. Pours thinner-looking than expected, pale in midstream but much darker in the glass. Surprizingly light head on top too. Big lump of yeast plops out with the last drop. Head falls away fast. Smells of mild chocolate fudge and cocoa powder. some light fruit odors of cherry and grape. Alcohol not evident. Flavor is smooth and muted chocolate and cream with a distinctly Belgian edge of slightly sour malt and noble hops. Some bitter coffee hints and roasted barley. Extremely long lingering expresso bean and chocolate finish. Very bubbly at first, becoming smoother. light bodied for the style. A slow-developing beer and not at all aggressive, but its a good, well-crafted beer from the heart of top-flite beer country. One of the thinnest i've had from the style. I'd probably call this a Belgian Stout.

12-19-2007 21:52:49 | More by aforbes10
Photo of DrJay


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

This beer poured with a giant, billowing head of long-lasting tan foam that produced sticky, chunky lacing. The beer itself was dark brown with chestnut highlights and quite clear. The aroma was of malted milk, cocoa, and burnt malt with hints of sour vinegar and smoke - quite bold. The flavour was mellow and balanced, with lots of depth. Notes of burnt malt and bread crust, mild fruit and nuts started things off. There was a bit of yeast followed by sour cherry towards the end and then lingering bitterness. Medium bodied with lowish, fine carbonation once the initial outgassing was complete. The texture was smooth and creamy, with a light dryness and mild warmth. Very enjoyable and quite complex for being such a mellow beer.

12-18-2007 18:40:38 | More by DrJay
Photo of Trueant1


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%

Pours a medium brown and sits in the glass black. Many large floaties at the bottom of the glass. Has a thick head with good lacing.

There is a mix of moslty good smells. Some off smells.
Good smells: Burnt malts. Raisons. Sharp hops. General sweet fruits smelling. Maybe even boquet flowers in here. Some coffie. The genearl thing about the smell of this brew is it is intense!
There is some off odor in here....I will ignore it as it is not very noticible and could be from many factors.

Tastes of burnt malts, hops and sweet malts. Burnt and bitter are op front on this one. Intence sweet malts are not far behind. A very over the top brew in all senses. ( Not such a bad thing).

Mouthfeel is semithick and a bit chewey. Enough carbonation to mix all the intence sensations as you drink this brew.

This is a sipper. Not for the begining stout drinker. Very very intense flavors. Very complex with hop bitterness and sweets covering many many complexities within. Drink this and look for such complexities, you will love this.

12-18-2007 01:38:36 | More by Trueant1
Photo of jslot38


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%

Presentation: A neat little 11.2 oz curved bottle, swing top and all. This one comes with great recommendation from clabaugh who grabbed it over in Europe. Poured into a DFH pint glass (if you don't have one of these, go online and get yourself a christmas gift).

Appearance: An off white, egg shell coloured bubbly head covers a black body. The head at first was all over the place but dissapates to a little bit more than a top covering.

Smell: Much sweeter of a smell than I would have expected. This is mixed with a lot of earth tones and tucked somewhere in there is a smokey stout like aroma.

Taste: The sweetness continues, the alcohol bursts through. Also present is a bitter taste of earthy hops, and some toffee. As it warms the sweetness fades a bit and some more malty characteristics come out. Very distinct flavour, and tough to place. Interesting none the less.

Mouthfeel: Very thin for a stout, I guess thats why its Belgian. Has that light fluffy feeling of Belgian beers. Also has a strong level of carbonation.

Drinkability: The alcohol is there, and its a bit noticable. Its lightness makes it more drinkable.

12-04-2007 02:59:54 | More by jslot38
Photo of jwc215


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%

11.2 oz. flip-top bottle with a picture of the famous fictional detective Hercule Poirot on the label. Best by April '08:

Pours black with a towering tan head that slowly descends to a thick, lasting cover. It leaves trailing lace in its descent.

The smell is of licorice/anise, roasted coffee and cocoa with an earthy, spicy undertone.

The taste is of espresso coffee, cocoa and licorice/anise. Dark, raisin and plum, fruitiness mixes in. The alcohol is quite warming - very noticeable, but largely uninterfering in the flavors. Woody and earthy notes are in the undertone. As it warms, a spicy Belgian yeast strain comes through making this very unique for the style. Herbal and grassy mix with the dark maltiness in the dry finish. Can't quite pinpoint what type of hops are used - almost Saaz-like, but not quite...Anyway, it is an interesting spin on it that works quite well. Although it goes in different directions - Strong Belgian Dark Ale meets RIS, the flavors come together and mesh well for the most part.

Thinner than expected, especially with the fullness of flavor and strong alcohol presence, it has a light-to-medium body with flavors neither exactly hanging around nor fleeting. It's not watery, or even necessarily thin, just lighter than expected.

Pretty easy to drink for a sipping brew with a high abv, this one is interesting because of its uniqueness that achieves its goals for the most part. I can't see having this with any regularity, but certainly worth trying for the novelty of it.

09-17-2007 15:29:03 | More by jwc215
Photo of Slatetank


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%

Decanted from a brown swingtop 33cl into a Caracole tulip cool.
A - Pours a deep ebony with not light escaping the fluid and a soft tan whipped cream head that leaves thick rings of lace.

S - Faintly fruity and deep roasted malt odors w/ a slightly eathy aroma of hops perhaps.

M - A robust feel which is creamy and moderately carbonated w/ a hint of spice and roastiness.

T - A very smooth flavor of extra dark cocoa and coffee hints w/ a vanilla bean note. The hops have a spice which adds to the dark malt taste. There is subtle flavors of alchol, but not overdone. The taste is mostly smooth rich chocolate, but not sweet, generally dry. The flavor is subdued for an 8.4% stout. Wonderfully balanced - the taste really is liquid velvet, it just begs for slow sips. The deep fruit tastes, like plum and subtle spice notes are more apparent as it warms in the finish.

D - This is a great beer, and a very smooth stout. The strength is deceptive, such smooth tastes, dry and complex - this is a must try! Very Very Drinkable. For the price you can not go wrong. I picked this bottle up at Shawan liquors in Hunt Valley, Md for only about $4.25.

09-07-2007 20:58:44 | More by Slatetank
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%

(Served in a dimple mug)
Vintage 2007, best before April 2008
A- This swing-top opens with a sharp loud pop and slowly the head rises up the neck. The very thick oatmeal-beige creamy head sits on a brown dense body of beer with a huge boiling carbonation of tiny bubbles. The head pushes above the glass never loosing its form and last for the full glass.

S- The light musty smell of fresh rain has a smooth dark malt nose and a hint of aged red wine vinegar. The smell is pretty clean overall.

T- The taste of dark roasted malt has a slight red wine tannin taste to it with a dark chocolate malt flavor to follow. The malt flavors are dark but have a very fruity quality with notes of prunes aswell before the soft malt flavor in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a slight watery texture and a light alcohol burn in the back of the throat as the beer warms.

D-This beer has some nice dark malt flavors and some subtle Belgian yeast character but it was a bit light and watery. This beer won’t stand up to age.

09-04-2007 20:20:01 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +5.9%

The Poirot poured a faded black into a Chimay goblet and the appearance at times was that of a flat cola. The head was a non-starter but the ring around the glass stayed throughout. There were only a few large bubbles gathered in the centre of the glass but the appearance of little carbonation was at odds with a substantially carbonated mouthfeel.

A very pleasant nose on pouring with the smell of fresh black licorice, caramel after that, and leather. The taste was also of licorice but with stewed prunes and toasted malt. Substantial mouthfeel with warmth and a cocoa finish. The after taste was long and drawn out with dry, dark chocolate. Just when I thought that expired, there was pronounced bitterness and flashes of pipe tobacco. Again, a most strange and wonderful experience was the feel of lively carbonation in the mouth without the appearance of such. Gee, I could drink this everyday ... as if!

Many thanks to Milady who returned from Belgium last week and laid two of these on me. One of them was damp under the swing top so was refrigerated on arrival and enjoyed tonight with my beer buddy. The other awaits a suitable occasion.

08-30-2007 01:40:06 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of Beerbuddha


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%

Appearance - Poured a thick dark brown color with huge off white head.

Smell - Malts, chocolate and coffee smells.

Taste - Could taste some fruity flavors and also chocolate flavors.

Mouthfeel - Full body with creamy texture.

Drinkability - This was a good beer; I was very happy with it. When I get into aging I'd like to try and age this one.

08-25-2007 17:58:15 | More by Beerbuddha
Photo of drseamus

New York

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%

I had this at Beer Mania in Brussels. It has a jet black body with a thick off-white head. The aroma is fairly light, but has some roasted malt and chocolate. The flavor is very smooth and filled with rich chocolate with a touch of roasted malt. It was only medium bodied but is a great beer none the less.

08-23-2007 02:18:34 | More by drseamus
Photo of msubulldog25


4.18/5  rDev +3%

A 33 cl swingtop bottle, picked up recently at Belmont Station. Notched at "Best before end: A(pril) 08" and "Lot 2-7". "Alc. 8.4% vol."

A: Opens with a loud 'POP', sending the nearby cat scurrying from the counter. Out of the bottle it looks a lighter/thinner consistency, but in a snifter it's perfectly dark and impenetrable. Under a harsh light, there are many streams of carbonation and a few notable floating bits of white yeast. Capped with at least a finger of dusty tan head, starting a little fizzy and fading slowly to a thick creamy topping. Leaves sheets of lacy cream...nice.

S: A sweet molasses-like grainy aroma, with a good amount of pit fruit and sugariness. Spicy yeast of the dark & strong Belgian variety bursts through in the nose, with a nice smokiness. A little cola & caramel-ness...definitely not like most RIS's (American) I've tried...

T: A light smoked, darkly roasted malty treat that, again, reminds me more of a dark Belgian Ale in style. A lasting toasted/burnt grain flavor and some lactic souring and herbal bittering are keys in determining this does skew towards the 'Imperial Stout'; still it's much more fruity and sweet, definitely less bitter than a 'typical' RIS. Very tasty and quite likable, a different twist on (perhaps) my favorite style.

M: Just a touch of crisp and prickly carbonation, but otherwise this is pretty smooth. Only a faint lingering bitterness; a subtly spicy stout, but a little thin. Medium body.

D: Well, it's not quite my idea of a 'Russian Imperial Stout', but I do admit to liking this interpretation. Maybe because I'm a fan of the spicy Belgian yeast, this one is right up my alley. Just enough smoke and bittering to balance an otherwise nice but otherwise unexceptional Dark Ale and set it a notch above. One I'd certainly have again.

08-10-2007 03:58:26 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of weeare138


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%

Thanks to egajdzis for this...
Appears a deep, dark brown with a dark brown head of fluff that slowly fades away. Streaky spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is nutty with notes of cocoa, caramel, and a phenolic Belgian yeast strain that yells, "ripe fruit!"
Taste echoes the aromas with an obvious nod to the cocoa, caramel, raisins, and roasted nuts.
Mouthfeel is nutty, medium bodied, sweet, with some roasted coffee grounds making their way across the palate.

08-07-2007 18:18:12 | More by weeare138
Photo of brewcrew76


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

2005 Vintage - bottle labeled 8.4%

A - Pours a solid black with a thin tan head that retreats to a ring of lace.

S - Dark fruit, plums, raisins. Very Baltic porter like.

T - Dark fruits dominate. Figs, raisins, plums with a spicy Belgian yeast character. Nice and complex.

M - Lighter than a RIS but very smooth and Belgian Strong Dark like. Medium body with low carbonation and velvet like across the palette.

D - It is like a Baltic Porter on steroids. Very nice and unique. It has aged well.

07-27-2007 23:30:55 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of ArrogantB


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

A friend brought this back from Europe and split it with me. The color was black with brown at the edges. The head was a strange color like a chocolate malted. The smell was slightly sweet and roasty. The taste reminded me of Guinness as it first hit my palate and then changed to a more familiar RIS flavor. This was a very interesting beer and I am glad to have had the opportunity.

06-05-2007 14:50:28 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of IPAcraig


3.85/5  rDev -5.2%

One of the 21 beers I brought back from belgium. This is the first Belgian stout I have ever had, sounds very odd. I bought every Belgium Imperial stout I could find, 2.

Poured from a flip top bottle into me De Garre snifter/goblet.

A - Pours a deep black with a two inch light brown creamy head. If the lacing was better this could have been a 5.

S - It has a nice aroma. A big sweetness is predominant: malty, chocolatey. A slight roastiness in the finish.

T - A very sweet imperial stout. Taste a bit like half and half (perhaps they added a bit of lactose to this brew). Roastiness in the middle, though not as much as would be expected, followed by a lightly bitter end.

M - Very creamy, and chewy. Nice carbonation, not too much (despite the huge head), just right

D - Incredibly drinkable. One of the smoothest Imperial Stouts I have had. The alcohol is barely even present. It is probably best that I only brought one of these back from Belgium as I could several back in a sitting.

05-26-2007 01:44:27 | More by IPAcraig
Hercule Stout from Brasserie Ellezelloise
91 out of 100 based on 380 ratings.