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Amsterdam Tempest Imperial Stout - Amsterdam Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Amsterdam Tempest Imperial StoutAmsterdam Tempest Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
88
very good

109 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 109
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 5
Gots: 23 | 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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 109 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CanuckRover
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of vincechan
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of kjyost
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of mick303
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
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: 3.73, 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.

Photo of biegaman
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of mintjellie
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Photo of Electros
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, very cool, waxed over crown. Mouth feel light, grain bill great, low hoped, high abv masked by malts... other then the little hint of a sour note at the end, pretty damn good. Would by again, alternatively, they have a small beer made from this 35%ish of the abv, I will be checking it out!

Photo of jdhende
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of ludachris
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an incredibly deep chestnut brown, bordering black. Just over a finger's worth of mocha coloured head, leaving fine legs of lace and an alcohol film as it recedes. Although it doesn't look like the biggest imperial stout, it sure looks promising.

Smooth and rounded is the nose for 9%. Deep gooey dark chocolate dominates. A hint of brine and a slight roast rounds out the chocolate nicely. There's a bite of cherry in the background with suggestions of fudge and icing backing it. The alcohol gradually comes out as the beer warms but is rounded and well rendered.

Ahh, so smooth. Hazelnut, dark chocolate, slight coffee, and chocolate cake come all at once in a neatly wrapped package. Brownie and fudge come big in the finish. The alcohol is made noticeable from start to finish but blends nicely. Fudge comes in upon exhale.

Full bodied with a pleasant viscosity and dessert like smoothness. Deliciously drinkable.

One of the best Imperial Stouts I've had coming from Ontario. I was most impressed with how well the alcohol was disguised. Full of flavour and well worth the buy.

Photo of Ryborg11
4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A dark, rich chocolate brown. Almost looked deep purple in the right light when pouring. Beautiful looking mocha head, great retention and halo ring of frothy foam left.

Smell: Strong pleasant roasted hazelnut and coffee aroma. As the beer warmed a distinct scent of the alcohol came through but mixed well much like Bailey's and Kaluah.

Taste: Rich, creamy, tastes like perfectly roasted coffee beans which flows into sweet chocolately mocha. A hint of cherry finishes the experience. You would have no idea of the alcohol content based on the taste of this fantastic stout.

Mouthfeel: Smoothest stout I have tasted in a while, creamy and rich in the mouth. Combined with the taste gives me the sensation of a perfectly blended milkshake.

Photo of BGDrock
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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

Photo of ThinkAgain
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500mL bottle, sealed with black wax (which was a pain to remove, but there you go). Nice to see some limited release Amsterdam bottles in the LCBO, especially this one.

Poured into a stein. Dark as pitch, with a thick cap of mocha foam that has great retention and creates a great coat of lacing. Very nice looking stout.

Nose is quite nice: chocolate, sugar, coffee, caramel. Not overly potent, but still very enjoyable.

Rich chocolate, coffee, cream, molasses, a touch of wood/peat to the finish, with a lingering mild alcohol warmth.

Creamy, chewy, nice mild carbonation, very thick and rich. One of the better feeling stouts I've had in a while. Alcohol is minimal.

Rich and flavorful, thick and hearty - a fine stout all around. Great stuff from Amsterdam - so glad this got a release, because I know this brewery is capable of great stuff. It just needs a chance to show it off.

Photo of Digimaika2
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(4.0) A: Pitch black with an attractive tall, creamy, and bubbly mocha coloured head. Very good retention with some spotty lacing down the glass.

(4.0) S: Lots of dark chocolate, caramel, nutmeg, anise, bitter herbal qualities, and hints of espresso bean. Solid overall aroma that gives an impression of being very creamy and smooth.

(4.0) T: Very similar to aroma with a dominant and delicious dark chocolate milk taste, herbal elements including anise, and a creamy caramel backbone. Faint espresso bean is more noticeable on the back end towards the finish. Alcohol is well hidden. Tasty.

(4.0) M: Medium-lighter bodied for the style (which I like) with a moderate carbonation. Syrupy and smooth with an initial bitterness that transitions nicely to a mellower sweetness.

(4.0) D: Very happy to see some of Amsterdam’s limited release stuff in the local stores. Overall a very nice imperial stout that I’ll likely pick up a couple more times over the winter.

Photo of jsnoek
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of WeedKing4
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow I hate the wax on this thing, such a pain to open. But this was a decent stout. Pours dark black with good caramal head. Tastes quite roasty with strong chocolate and coffee notes in the finish. Not as thin as I was expecting, and its a decent suprise from Amsterdam. I would have no problem drinking another bottle of this. The alcohol is well hidden. Good stout overall.

Photo of PhunkyHops
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of pschul4
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of Jeffo
3.22/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

Photo of korguy123
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this beauty.

A- Super thick, oily pour of totally opaque black. Booming three finger thick, dark chocolate milk head. Lacing is excellent.

S- Dark roasted malt, dark roasted coffee, bitter chocolate and a touch of cinnamon. I don't think the cinnamon was intentional or actually added but the smell of it not only works but adds a whole other level to it.

T- Super dark roasted coffee, dark roasted malts and bitter chocolate. It's super rich and layered it's excellent. There is a slight hop bitterness to it which keeps it from getting too decadent. A touch of cinnamon in the background.

M- Full bodied with a little bit more carbonation than I was expecting. Slightly syrupy but not too much.

Photo of Groulxsome
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Bottle, poured into a tulip glass. It just went on sale at the brewery today, so this is kinda fresh for the style. I just couldn't wait. The ABV is up to 10% this year. For the wax cap (which is a wonderful piece of showmanship for a beer like this), just treat it like a wine bottle and use the cutting edge of a opener to cut around the sides of the cap.

Appearance: Black, really no other colours showing through, even when I hold it up to the light. The head is a very frothy light-brown, toffee or cappuccino-cream colour. Fairly strong lacing.

Smell: Immediately I'm hit with something like molasses, cinnamon, and caramelizing sugar. Very sweet and malty. Some toffee and expresso beans too. Liquorice/Anise really stands out once you notice it.

Taste: It opens big and sweet, that molasses and brown sugar kind of taste. A little smoke and caramelization, almost like a marshmallow on a campfire kind of taste. Maybe that's overstating the smokiness, but it has got that hint of smoke followed by the rich sweetness. That Liquorice/Anise is present right in the middle of the taste. Soon as you swallow the bitterness kicks in and, following it, there is a rich coffee taste which is like iced Americano: really clinging but addictive. Afterwords I still get a rich taste of pine, maybe some citrus like grapefruit, and even a little burnt sugar.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, thick, and with a medium carbonation. An amazing warming feeling, especially right as you swallow; it wears its 10% well. Somewhat sticky and resinous afterward.

Overall: It's rich, complex, and full of wonderful aromas and tastes. All of that sweetness is matched with a really deep and pungent bitter which, itself, has some complex hop notes like pine and citrus. I'm interested to see how this ages over time, as right now the sweetness of the sugars is a little abrupt. This will be a vintage ale that will be, and should be, coveted for some time to come around the Toronto area.

Photo of hopsolutely
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of EskimoDave
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Amsterdam Tempest Imperial Stout from Amsterdam Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.