Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Amsterdam Tempest Imperial Stout - Amsterdam Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Amsterdam Tempest Imperial StoutAmsterdam Tempest Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

54 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 54
Hads: 127
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 9
Gots: 27 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Amsterdam Brewing Company visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sammy on 05-29-2011

Brewed with a complex grain bill and three types of hops that make for a bracing bitterness which quickly blends with deep malt notes and slight spiciness.

100+ IBU
View: Beers (52) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 54 | Hads: 127
Photo of byronic
3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Breaking into this bottle acquired from the LCBO was quite the chore. Far too much wax is used in sealing the bottle and no means to rip it off is provided.

A - Complete darkness with a dark thick head which dissipates very slowly.

S - Very dark chocolate with espresso, roasted barley

T - Bitter chocolate and coffee, alcohol, smoke

M - Medium carbonation and very warming, some alcohol burn

O - Not impressed with this brew. The alcohol is not very well disguised and is very present in the after taste. Pretty poor offering for an imperial stout.

 554 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.22/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Recieved this one last summer during a big trade day. Thanks guys!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter.
Vintage: 2011
Black wax

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a small, medium looking, tan head with decent retention. Head fades to a nice ring and wisp. Transparent black body with lower levels of carbonation. A ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. Too thin and light for the style.

SMELL: Milder nose of roasted malts, licorice and roasted coffee beans. A touch of dark chocolate as well. Nice aroma, but just not as bold as it needs to be.

TASTE: Roasted malts, caramel malts, licorice and then some bitter coffee flavors at the swallow. Bolder and lingering aftertaste of roasted black licorice, bitter coffee and a touch of sweet caramel. Pretty nice, and slightly more memorable than the nose.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A touch light on the palate perhaps, but creamy and smooth on the palate. Goes down fine and finishes a tick dry. Pretty creamy and nice, though a touch more weight would really help.

OVERALL: This is alright and was enjoyable to drink, but there are a lot of things that just aren't quite there, holding it back from being the world class stout it wants to be. The look is far too transparent for the style, the nose too mild, and palate a little too light as well. More weight in the feel would also help bring the flavors out a little more. Good beer, but nothing worth writing home about. Thanks again guys.

 1,498 characters

Photo of MeadEater
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Looks like a nice RIS, nothing exceptional on either side of the spectrum about it. Poured out to mild chocolate aroma, glass seems to transmit no smell beyond that.
Has that good oily texture in the mouth I expect from this style.

Tongue is left hanging a bit, instant coffee and roasty flavours, ending with bitter hops and an astringent feel. Mild sweetness if you let it hang around.
Solid, though typical RIS. For the price, I'll still be picking up Wellingston's RIS.

 477 characters

Photo of polloenfuego
3.54/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the 500 ml bottle to a snifter.

Tempest pours a deep dark brown, almost black, with a very thin head of just about a thumb thickness. This head breaks somewhat quickly and one is left with little lacing and just a tiny island of bubbles in the middle of glass.

The smell is chocolate, coffee, a touch of leather, and unfortunately rubbing alcohol. This is somewhat off putting.

Taste is bitter coffee, burnt malts, and bitter chocolate...again the alcohol also sneaks through in an unfortunate way...it is almost invasive on the finish.

Mouth feel is good carbonation, thickish, warming from the aforementioned alcohol gives a good finish.

Overall, I would have to say this is an okay beer. I have to wonder if age would help it, but that cat is out of the bag at this point. Perhaps I will pick up another and put it away. The alcohol smell and taste is the weak point for this beer, otherwise it makes the mark pretty well.

 936 characters

Photo of mintjellie
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Almost black, it's actually a very dark shade of brown. Small head quickly recedes without lacing. The slightly underpowered aroma features burnt sugar, black coffee, and delicate anise notes, as well as a blast of alcohol. Presents the palate with dark roast coffee, dark brown sugar, and raisin, followed by a strong char note and a long bitter finish. Medium bodied with low carbonation. Feels smooth but a little bit light for the style. I'm surprised how subdued the booze is, given how prominent it is in the aroma. Decent and drinkable.

 543 characters

Photo of Dna_Infinity
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to glass

2013 vintage

Appearance - Pours a really dark colour, mocha head that leaves good lacing

Smell - Lots of roasted malts, you smell the alcohol and it even smells a little like rubbing alcohol. Slight raisin smell

Taste - Coffee, dark chocolate, raisins, the weird alcohol taste lingers at the very end however. Smooth finish

Overall - A good offering from Amsterdam but the weird rubbing alcohol is a little disappointing because it does linger. Dangerously easy to drink though, you don't realize how much you've drunk until you stand up! I have two more that I am going to lay down

 603 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL wax-dipped bottle from the LCBO; this is the 2012 edition. Poured into a tumbler, and served only slightly chilled.

Pours an opaque brownish-black colour, generating one finger of frothy, light tan-coloured head that quickly recedes into a soapy, bubbly film at the surface, with a modest collar. Minimal lacing. The aroma is muted and not particularly unique for the style - roasted malts, coffee, cocoa nibs, and a pronounced earthy, herbal dryness make up the bulk. Some dark cherry (or other dark fruit notes) become easier to make out as it warms, but on the whole the aroma is closer to average than outstanding.

Not all that impressed so far, but perhaps I've been too hasty - flavour is why most of us drink beer, and this stuff actually tastes pretty good. Roasted malts, semisweet chocolate and burnt coffee grinds all come to mind early during the sip, with molasses and raisin notes coming through as well. It finishes with a pleasant, charry, roasted malt character, with a hint of espresso and some accompanying herbal hop dryness. Dry, somewhat roasty aftertaste that lingers on the palate. For a 9% brew, the ethanol is actually surprisingly well-hidden, never really interacting much with the flavour profile. Medium-bodied, with relatively high levels of carbonation that give it a spritzier mouthfeel than most imperial stouts. This is not an especially complex beer for the style, but it is ridiculously drinkable for its heft.

Final Grade: 3.68, a B grade. Amsterdam's Tempest Imperial Stout is a solid brew, though I'd be lying if I said it was a favourite as far as big dark beers go. This is one of those beers that genuinely tastes and feels lighter than it actually is - which can be either a blessing, if you're not big on high-abv brews in general, or a curse, if heat and complexity from the ethanol is one of the reasons you seek out the style. Lightness aside, the flavours are deftly balanced, with the profile leaning toward the dry side overall, making this a highly quaffable double stout that won't exhaust your palate with sticky sweetness or booze. In a market that seems to lack wide access to locally-made beers of this style, this is an affordable offering that is definitely worth at least one try, though you shouldn't expect to be blown away.

 2,297 characters

Photo of CanuckRover
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pretty darned close to black and almost completely opaque, just swallows light. Mocha head is about a finger off the pour, settles to a thin film within a couple minutes.

Disappointingly shy aroma. Very, very, very light coffee aroma, but mostly just booze where there's anything.

Carbonation picks things up right off the bat. Bit hard to pick apart at first taste, possibly a bit too carbonated. Finds its own mid-palate with a good roasty malt hit settling down to boozey chocolates. Some pretty standout cherry flavours throughout as well.

A nice imperial. Satisfying, if not as complex as the bad boys out there. That said, as someone with no love for imperial stouts, it's a fine beer.

 702 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For a beer named "Tempest" this doesn't generate much of a storm insofar as head is concerned. What does last, however, is, like the beer itself, so wickedly dark as to be frightful - I may have to sleep with lights on tonight. This inky dark concentration shows any brown colour only along the trim and if held at off angles directly into the light.

The aroma smells Kahlua-like, albeit with a little more muscle behind it. Swirling helps to bring out the roastier, meatier malty notes; otherwise it succumbs to a faded, oily coffee monotony. The bouquets falls under a more traditional style, offering up a lightly roasted, only loosely chocolatey flavour and esters evoking plum.

Roasted grain factors heavily into the taste, perhaps too much as the anticipated, more decadent dark chocolate flavours fail to arise. Still, it supplies a welcome tarry, black coffee note and a creamy hazelnut middle. It's far from "rich" but also features a tea leaf earthiness and traces of black currants and blackberries that provide a little extra enjoyment on the finish.

So far as 9% stouts go, this is considerably lean-muscled. Not terribly dense, it's got no baby fat to drop and doesn't have the meatiness to withstand extended time in the cellar. Drink it sooner rather than later - and why not? It's in great shape. Despite warming to a more liqueur-like texture it keeps a fairly taut, solid composure and rarely exposes any alcohol.

Amsterdam Tempest is no match for the majestic Yeti or Abyss; were it literally an American double stout it'd rank second tier. However, it may well be one of the better Canadian offerings and does well to evince the style's pedigree (without stylishly showing it off). This was one of the more hyped and sought-after beers around these parts lately, and not without reason.

 1,814 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $6

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a large size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and vanilla. There is also some coffee, a bit of booze, and a roasted/burnt bitterness.

Overall - Better than I though it would be based on the ratings. Curious to see how this ages since it seems a little rough around the edges.

 617 characters

Photo of Omnium
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber > tulip
A - Pitch black with a big two finger bubbly khaki head, thick lacing
S - Lots of licorice and burnt wood aroma, smoke, dark roasted malts, earthy hop tones
T - Very burnt kind of flavor, lots of black licorice, roasted malt, big herbal and earthy hop flavor, burnt grains, woodiness, smoke, some slight dark fruit notes in the background
M - pretty viscious and deep, very bitter and dry though
O - Decent imperial stout, very bitter, and lots of licorice, not my favorite.

 490 characters

Photo of papat444
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

***2012 Vintage***

Thanks to jrenihan for this one.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle.

Appearance: A very dense, black body but the head barely manages more than a finger before disappearing. Not much lacing left.

Smell: Miles better than the looks. Alcohol soaked raisins, brownies, fudge, coffee. Quite powerful.

Taste: Mix of milky & robust coffee, chunks of chocolate, good constant roastedness.

Moputhfeel: Slightly gassy at first but smooths out after a while yet still retains some bitterness.

Overall: All over the map on this one but overall, it's good but not great. Worth a shot.

 592 characters

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle from LCBO received as Christmas gift. Have been curious about this one for awhile, but never bothered to pick it up. Served chilled into a pint glass.

Appearance - Dense dark brown nearly black beer spills into the glass. Ended up with about 2.5 fingers of dark brown head that appeared to lighten as it receded. Nice spidery lacing on the glass and the head retention is great, lasted for along time, leaving a foamy cap on top.

Aroma - Earthy, slightly floral, hoppy aroma. Some smoke and faint licorice scents as well. While there is also the coffee and chocolate aromas that accompanies many stouts it is not terribly pronounced.

Taste - A little bit of a hop and coffee mixture transitioning into a smoky bitter chocolate finish that further evolves into a dry hop bitter aftertaste. The initial flavors up front are rather subdued making the flavorful last half of any sip that much more dramatic.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth and frothy, not slick but nice medium body as well. The finish is neither dry nor wet, striking a nice balance of moderation. While knowing this is an American Imperial Stout, it is actually rather light and doesn't overwhelm with its density.

Overall- Pretty tasty brew, especially on a cold December night, and would recommend to have again. I'm interested in trying again to see what it tastes like at colder temperatures and whether there is a significant difference, compared to the moderately chilled bottle I had.

 1,469 characters

Photo of beerluvr
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours black as night, thick and opaque with a lingering deep brown head of foam.

S - Deep and dark with espresso and roasted barley aromas

T - Coffee, burnt malt, tobacco and bitter chocolate, alcohol and some hoppiness but it's overshadowed here by the intense roasty malts.

M - Thick and warming, flows over the tongue with some viscosity to it

O - A super roasty take on an Imp Stout.

 395 characters

Photo of ritzkiss
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml waxed cap from the brewery store. Waxing is nice and thick, classy. Labeling is amateur though, doesn't match. Any ways, who cares what's on the outside - the the beer! Poured at cellar temp.

Pours a nice rich black with thin lines of cherrywood around the edges. Two fingers of compact, mocha head which pleasantly leaves rings of lacing.

Out of the bottle there is a dash of smoke detected, dark fruits, roasted malts, chocolate syrup,

Roasty flavor, molasses and leather, smoke, slightly ashy, baking chocolate, caramel. I don't remember all this smoke in the bottle I had right after release, not sure if it's intentional. Certainly in the English vein of things, not an American Imperial. Slight over carbonation, bone dry finish with some bitterness there which is slightly unusual for style, not much residual sweetness. Smooth mouthfeel if not just a hair thin for what I would aim for, a little sweeter more robust body.

Will have to revisit to see if other bottles have the smoke profile. Either way, it's a fairly solid attempt at a style rarely done in these part. While not amazing, it's solid and a nice step forward.

 1,143 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a rather large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry roasted malt with some black chocolate and roasted coffee notes. Taste is mix between some roasted coffee notes with light bitter notes of black chocolate with some subtle notes of liquorice and light lactose finish. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very drinkable and well balanced though doesn’t necessarily stand out from the pack with limited complexity.

 526 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours completely black, no amber glints even to speak of. The espresso colored compact head leaves several meandering trails of lace on the glass. In the nose, chocolate and black coffee mix with some citrus and alcohol. The taste is enormously malty and roasty with molasses, tobacco, coffee and cocoa flavors. A creeping alcohol heat is always evident. Citrus and pine hops are in the background, providing a good balance to the maltiness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a subtle, moderate carbonation. A moderate hop bitterness blends with chocolate, roasty and booze flavors in the long finish.

This is a good Imperial Stout. It could be a little fuller bodied and modest in alcohol flavor, but still definitely worth a try.

 734 characters

Photo of BGDrock
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black like motor oil, with a fine milk chocolate coloured head which fades fairly fast leaving a crema-like film

Aroma: dark chocolate; tangy bitterness of roasted malt; anise

Taste & Mouthfeel: big dark chocolate flavour, rich and full; finish presents the roasted bitterness expected, but it's not the thin, acidic tang sometimes found in this kind of beer, but that of a perfect espresso shot; good carbonation; alcohol is present but not overbearing

Overall: flavour is focused and strong, not trying to be complex and is probably the better for it; sure it would be great after a couple years ageing

 619 characters

Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Review/Rate #900. Wax cap 500ml into a snifter. ANBL's first-ever Imperial Stout stock. Only took until 2014! Heard lots of complaints about the difficulty of getting the cap off, but it really just takes a little precision and some muscle and it should come off fine.

A - pours rich dark brown with a tan head, about half a finger.

S - I was actually most surprised by the aroma - lots of hops upfront. If I didn't know better I would think this was a CDA or a black IPA. Roastiness and chocolate sneak in after.

T - bitter coffee upfront, lots of choclate, espresso roasty goodness on the finish. Not much sweetness despite the abv.

M - thick and rich, low carbonation.

O - not a bad brew. Certainly the best RIS going here in NB (read: the only one). In a category with other behemoths though, this would certainly be lost at sea. But on its own, it's pretty good. I'm sitting on another.

 896 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Complex and satisfying imperial stout. This is to be brewed on a rotating basis. Spicy rye,wheat,oats some sugar and coconut,chocolate malts, and warrior, centennial and cascade hops delivering their measured IBU of 100. This is a big beer, no head, carbonation right there. Coca-cola like caramel, some Maris Otter.At Castro Amsterdam event.
Had a few weeks later again at C'est What. Dry, coco more pronounced,no barrel ageing observed.

 438 characters

Photo of uno99
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gift from a friend who visits the brewery regularly.

A: Nice presentation; although looks like the brewery took some inspiration from Nogne O Dark Horizon's bottle. Wax dipped, 500ml bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pour is very thick and rich. 1/2 finger head settles into a thin halo of mocha foam around the meniscus.

S: Quite boozy after a quick swirl. Chocolate Syrup, dark cherries, dark cocoa, slight licorish, and apple. Not too bad.

T: Taste is less boozy. This is quite drinkable actually. Quite sweet, but a hint of sourness and dryness on the finish.

M: Mouthfeel is spot on. Thick, not too sticky and carbonation is nice and smooth.

Overall, this is a pretty damn good Imp Stout. Not sure if I'd go all the way to the brewery for it, but I'd definitely recommend it if you are in the area.

 817 characters

Photo of mmapes
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle traded from Andrew (thanks!) Opened Jan 2013 (bottle is 2012). Pours very black, but not as opaque as some. Nice. Thin head dissipates quickly.

Smell: smoke, sweet dried fruit, grainy

First sip: Molasses, smoke. It's bitter. Sweet up front, but long bitter finish. Heavy-ish mouthfeel (full body).

Second sips: less bitter, more sweet.

Paired well with grape leaves stuffed with rice.

 404 characters

Photo of mick303
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark black, creamy coffee coloured head with really good lacing.

Aroma is of rich bitter coffee, roast malt, quite earthy, maybe a touch of stonefruit notes. Light on the chocolate but otherwise typical imperial stout notes.

Taste has a big upfront bitterness, and tons of roast dark malt. Big body, but quite a decent sipper. A bit unbalanced maybe. Plenty of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate notes though. Carbonation is light and body quite a bit malty presence. Alcohol is very well hidden and comes across a lot lighter than the ABV would suggest. Finish is very clean and structured, a nice dryness.

Not a mind-blowing imperial stout, but it has a really nice flavour and it works quite well. For xmas time, this is a nice local treat and quite enjoyable, nice and rich, with a surprising lightness. Certainly a good offering from Amsterdam. Won't rock your world but makes a really good no-frills holiday stout.

2013 vintage - tasted july 2014. Aroma is bitter and mildly roast. Lots of rich earthy dark chocolate. Taste is clean, with a balanced chocolate coffee character, developing more bitterness, lots of hop bitterness coming through, more apparent carbonation, with a rich earthy character, picked up more of the coconut and buttery vanilla notes, a bit of a balanced stout character, a bit more lively on the nose than on the flavour, some semisweet milk chocolate and strong coffee, still not an mind-blowing IS, but a full bodied and flavourful one with a pretty good complexity, updated ratings.

 1,529 characters

Photo of MeisterBurger
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First things first. The waxed cap was a frigging nightmare to get off. Looks great. But I was about two seconds away from smashing it with a hammer, grumble grumble I'mtoooldoforthisshit.

Pours inky black with a nice, creamy, tan head. Retains okay and leaves spots of lacing.

Aroma is roasty, slightly ashen, dry dark roast coffee beans, with dark fruits underneath and just a hint of sour cherry pie.

Taste is roast and sweet black licorice, a little ash and prunes as well. Baker's chocolate, pumpernickel, dry finish with a lingering bitterness.

A tad light of body, but nothing too overly detrimental.

Great stuff overall.

 632 characters

Photo of BigBry
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft, served in a snifter at Amsterdam BrewHouse.
Poured a pitch-black color, with a tall dark brown, foamy head. Good retention and leaving chunky lacing.
Aroma of roasted coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate.
Taste is of same roasted coffee, dark rich chocolate, slightly bitter to finish.
Body is quite full, with good carbonation keeps it smooth not bloating.
High alcohol is hidden, well balanced, very drinkable.
2 thumbs up.

 429 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Amsterdam Tempest Imperial Stout from Amsterdam Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.