Imperial Stout - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

51 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 7.99%
Wants: 8
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BlackHaddock on 10-31-2013

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 17
Photo of ChrisCage
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My 400th Review!! A collaboration review with my beer loving cousin!

A- Midnight black and light does not pass through this one....motor oil appearance! The head is very rich caramel color and starts out about two fingers thick, before settling into a thick layer that creates shapes, such as a crescent moon in my particular glass! Lacing is moderate with several small patches that slowly running back down into the beer itself! A fine looking stout!

S- The aromas are very rich and lush, with smells of charred oak, leather, burnt toffee, french roast coffee, pure cocoa, and hints of booziness, even though it is rather well hidden. Toasted soil and/or bitter hop presence is noted as well!

T- This is an amazingly full flavored brew! Flavors of straight espresso, huge heavy dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, licorice , smoked grains and Earthy roots....superb! The alcohol quality is very well hidden and has a raisin like quality about it. Hop bitterness is muted due to the sheer richness! I can't put into words fully how tasty this is!

M/O- Full bodied for sure, and super mellow carbonation make this an incredibly velvety beer that is liqueur like. I feel like this isn't really a beer and belongs in it's own class of beverage. Thick and oily too, I could really enjoy many more of these as a fine sipping drink or with a bar of 90% or higher chocolate, which I have complimented with this during the review. Not for the light of heart, but highly recommended!

Photo of teddibrewski
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

i mostly taste liquorice, not overpowering, but not the flavor im looking for

Photo of biegaman
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

We tend to associate light coloured beers with summer and dark beers with winter. In that case Russian Imperial Stouts relate to the coldest places on this planet and this one would qualify as Siberia. One main difference, however, is that this has no white whatsoever (what little foam is there is brown). Still, that tar black liquid looks thick enough to be a solid.

This is brewed according to a traditional English recipe, one purportedly much beloved by the royal Russian court, but it smells more like it were inspired by Italian bitters the likes of Sambuca or Fernet (not to mention that ultimate of Italian beverages: espresso). It has spiced, herbal black licorice notes and plenty of charred coffee roast as well as a distinctively mocha-like quality.

One needs little imagination to describe the flavours of a good RIS; even a weak, inexperienced palate shouldn't have trouble recognizing tastes that are so dark (chocolate) and black (licorice) as well as both (black dark-roast coffee). Few styles are so intense and impactful yet drink with such delightful ease.

I love the idea of adding rose buds to an imperial stout, but in reality what chance to delicate flower petals have going up against such big and bold flavours? Good luck tasting them. The hops, however, fare somewhat better and manage to impart an earthy pungency on the finish, a welcome chaser to such rich and heavily roasted malts as well as the raisiny, dried fruit notes.

Fuller's has more know-how than arguably any brewer on this planet; virtually everything they release is spot-on and worthy of picking up. They have a decorated history and an integrity pretty much beyond reproach. Hence I expected great things from their Imperial Stout. Fortunately - unsurprisingly - it delivered. Another winner. The price is steep but worth it.

Photo of vinicole
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Four bought as part of a mixed case.
Rather young at the moment (2014).
Very good - consistent high score.
I will review properly after some cellaring time.

Photo of LampertLand
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fueller's 'Imperial Stout' @ 10.7% , 500 ml bottle , 2013 vintage , cellared for a year
purchased for $8
A-pour is a dark brown/black from the bottle to almost black in the glass with a medium size tan head leaving a lace film along the snifter after every sip
S-surprisingly boozey
T-sweet raisin start , smooth & crisp , boozey finish
MF-decent carbonation , big full body , real big
Ov- wow , I love cellared beers , a must if you can find one
(and let it sit for at least a year) , patience , you will appreciate it later
prost LampertLand

Photo of kevinlater
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into small snifter glass. "BEST BEFORE END 2023". enjoyed on january 11, 2015

a: pitch black with a finger of coffee-looking head

s: heavy roast and licorice presence in the front with sharp smoky-woody accents. blackcurrant, leather, and raisin afterwards

t: roasted/burnt malt, somewhat similar to toast. wood, licorice, raisin, smoke, leather, and bitter cocoa follow. the fruit flavours come forward as the beer warms, reminiscent of a grape jelly

m: medium-plus body, somewhat thick. mild carbonation

o: i like my imperial stouts to have more chocolate and coffee presence in them, but this is still a great and flavourful beer

Photo of Jeffo
3.1/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this one at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
Centennial hops and rose buds

APPEARANCE: Clear brown pour yields a two finger, medium looking, slightly foamy, light tan head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a full wisp cap. Dark bistre brown body, clear, with lower levels of carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp remains leaving no lacing on the glass.

SMELL: Dark fruits, dark cherries, grapes, chocolate aromas, molasses and leather on the nose. Unique combination for the style and not sure if I like it or not.

TASTE: Leather, dark fruits, molasses and char up front, then a big and lingering finish of dark fruits, grapes, burnt grain, leather and sweet molasses. Some bitter chocolate provides some balance over a bed of spicy booze. Flavorful and unique, though not quite sure if it’s my thing.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Enough weight and creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: I can imagine that this is a rather accurate representation of the style in a historical sense. It has a lot of the aromas and flavors that seem to go with descriptions of original brews many moons ago. If I’m honest, I must say that these characteristics don’t always thrill me, but I can certainly say that this is a quality, well made, flavorful brew. Give it a chance if you see it. Cheers!

Photo of Shadman
4.74/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Sampling this one after cellaring for one year. Can't think of a better Boxing Day treat.
Dark as night with no light able to penetrate the inky depths. Rich, creamy head and massive rings of tan lace.
Aroma consists mostly of dark molasses and rum. Very pleasing though.
Oh the taste. Absolute heaven. Dark toast coffee, dark chocolate in a oh so slightly rum like marinade. Not a single moment from sip to next sip that isn't an absolute joy.
Full feel without being too sweet and syrupy. Virtually no hint of the high Abv.

A fantastic beer that cellars extremely well.

Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $8 or so

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy/fizzy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some charred notes, some hops and I can taste the floral/roses notes quite a bit.. I'm on the fence about it.


Overall - I could go either way with this beer. While I appreciate that it is a little different from the rest of the pack due to the floral notes, I kind of wish they hadn't included them. Either way, a very good beer that is worth picking up.

Photo of DaveBar
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO for just over $7.00 for a 500ml bottle. Served at 7deg in a tulip.

A- Opens super well pouring a dynamite head that is gone pretty quick. Super dark black.
RIS all the way

S- Lots of caramel, fig, malt, chocolate.

T- This is a good blend. The first snap is not so great but like a good mate it grows on you.

F- Not great but not bad. Enjoyable

O- Pretty good. Have a few for the cellar but may return a couple as this brew will not age at all. It is what it is and that is pretty good but not great. Can get $2.50/341ml brews better here in Canada for nice flavor.

Food Pairing

This nice little beer went well with..... Any desert you can make with chocolate in it

Enjoy

Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the LCBO.

A - Two fingers of tan foam settles to a thick cap, thicker collar, and splotches of lace. Jet black body. Pretty impressive and vaguely ominous.

S - Surprisingly hop-forward, with good notes of smoke, roast, dark bread, dark fruits and vague umami. As it warms there's more cake and icing sugar flavors. Gets increasingly plummy as it warms, with a touch of alcohol coming out.

T - Chocolate, dark fruits, jammy. It's on the fruitier, British side of things, but it has a sweetness that is more American; less attenuated than other British RIS offerings. Some dark bread and soy linger into the finish, mingling with a touch of espresso. Not overly boozy.

M - Medium-full bodied, chewy, viscous, with light alcohol warming in the finish. Lingering stickiness on the palate.

D - Quite enjoyable. I easily finished the 500ml bottle over the course of an hour or so. Always nice to see a bigger brewery step up their game a notch. Reasonably priced too!

Photo of heygeebee
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Amazing find for an RIS. Smooth, chocolate, powerful. Hint cherry. Need to buy more!

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Released at Systembolaget, Sweden in november 2013. Best before end 2013.
Pich black beer that fills the glass like motoroil. The beigebrown head is two fingers high.

Nose: Vanilla, roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, milk, butter, soy sauce, molasses and some alcohol.

Taste: Licorice, red berries, molasses, caramel, roasted malt, chocolate and coffee.

Medium carbonation and a full body.

Photo of tmzl
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Pours with thick, creamy, average sized mocha head. Has good retention; creamy, thick layer stays on top. Leaves fair amount of lacing. Clear, very dark brown (light amber hue), some carbonation noticed. Fair.

Smell: Some fresh dark fruity esters, bitter chocolate and light coffee. Booze - makes it a bit metallic. Earthy, herbal undertone that goes into a weird soy sauce-like salty character. Bit of sourness. Roast sweetness gets bigger and more pleasant as it warms up.

Taste: Medium burnt caramel and molasses sweetness that goes into chocolate, coffee and bitter booze notes. Still some esters play in the background. Ends with pleasant medium roasted coffee bitterness with some tingling booziness.

Mouthfeel: Full creamy body with the right amount of smooth carbonation. Soft but ends a bit spicy because of the alcohol sticking out.

Overall: As a fellow BA said: "still a bit young and hot". The booze will probably tune down in time and make this good beer a great one.

Photo of bark
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is black (110 EBC), the liquid clear (I think). The two finger head is airy and brown, it sinks slowly leaving some lacing on the glass.

The smell is smooth with some alcohol, roasted malts and notes of oatmeal porridge and fresh dark rye bread. Some red berries and fruits, molasses and mild bitter flavours. It is quite mild, I think.

The taste is considerably more powerful: Smooth alcohol, salt liquorice, molasses, red berries, burned malt and soy sauce. The flavours goes well together. Full body. The aftertaste got hot almost burning alcohol, more salt liquorice, rubber, and some semi-sweet bread flavours, mostly pumpernickel and other German black bread. The finish is rather smooth and balanced with burned flavours, butterscotch and sour fruit candy.

The carbonation is medium strong, the many small short-lived bubbles are a bit sharp. The liquid is thick and creamy.

Not bad at all, lots of interesting flavours here. It is still a bit young and hot, though.

Photo of biboergosum
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle, dubbed 'Fuller's Imperial Stout' in bottle conditioned format overseas, i.e. here in Alberta. At any rate, it's awesome to see this available here, so quickly upon release.

This beer pours a solid black, with ever so slight basal cola highlights, and three fingers of weakly puffy, and densely foamy 'dark' beige head, which leaves a few instances of porous continental drift lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of musty bittersweet cocoa, black licorice drops, red wine must, weirdly understated caramel malt, a subdued treacle/toffee sweetness, besotted black raisins, earthy noble hops, and a bristling, sharp booziness. The taste is rather large all around, starting with a big baker's chocolate sweetness, followed closely by a musty caramel malt, more semi-sweet salty anise, well-creamed workaday coffee, restrained earthy dark fruit, and a pleasant floral, somewhat spicy hoppiness.

The carbonation is well rendered, a bit frothy at best (worst?), the body a fairly rare full weight, and damned proud of it, with a lilting smoothness, the kind that challenges any and all to dare its provenance. It finishes on the sweet side, some Cadbury's chocolate, multifaceted caramel malt, and game licorice candy notes filling out the winning column nicely, aided by a threatening, but hardly scary booze warming.

A stellar example of the origin of the style, with a more New World idea of ABV, but that's neither here nor there at the present moment. Well-rounded, fruity, chocolaty, and not as hot as the north of 20-proof booze might have you expect. A pleasant surprise to gently sup during this early winter deep freeze we here up north are currently enduring with a stiff upper lip, all in advance of the yearly Christmas tree decorating event - the leftovers from this ensure that I don't have to drink any bloody eggnog, so extra points for that!

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hand-pulled half-pint into a bulbous 'Fullers' glass in The Old Joint Stock, Birmingham on 30th Oct 2013.

A thin wisp and collar sat on top of a dark, heavy looking body.

The nose confirmed this was going to be a heavy, rich brew. Port like esters hit my nose, slightly over roasted malts also appeared in the aroma: this has a great smell.

The taste was a mixture of sweet malty molasses that gave hints of chocolate, dark fruits, old red wine, Port and root liquorice sticks (remember those?).

The body was rich and heavy: did I already mention that?

Very sweet, very unhealthy, very alcoholic, very nice.

Imperial Stout from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
91 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.