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KGB Imperial Stout - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
KGB Imperial StoutKGB Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

274 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 274
Reviews: 163
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 6
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Formerly a rotating release, "KGB" is being re-released as "W'11" in late 2010 - with seasonal winter/spring availability.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 06-21-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of KGB Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 274 | Reviews: 163 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dbrauneis
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque yet clear jet black in color with some light amounts of gentle visible carbonation near the surface of the beer and some very dark amber + cola brown highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a couple of small slightly thicker patches and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of dark roasted malts that slightly intensifies as the beer warms up.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of dark roasted malts along with some light amounts of coffee beans. There are some very light hints of dark fruits (raisin) that contribute a little bit of initial sweetness. The beer has a light to moderate amounts of bitterness that lingers for quite a while.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Fairly easy to drink with very well hidden alcohol and not as intense flavors/aromas - not overly roasted or bitter.

dbrauneis, May 28, 2013
Photo of WritersBlock
4/5  rDev +9%

WritersBlock, May 26, 2013
Photo of Topher78
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Topher78, May 22, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kevin or Jeff for this one, not sure who it actually belonged to. It pours out nearly black with some very, very dark brown tints that stain the extremities. The khaki, almost half-inch head actually has decent retention (for a Russian Imperial Stout, anyway) and leaves a few spots of chunky lacing along the sides of the glass.

Straightforward and simple is the aroma, possibly almost to the point of being a little one-track minded. Heavy roasted malts, embarking on the modest trail of light ash and light char. Sprinkle something faintly reminiscent of cocoa powder over that, and you've pretty much summed up the aroma of this one. It's missing out on a lot of great, yet typical RIS elements, and that makes it seem kind of bland and boring.

After taking a few sips, it unfortunately doesn't seem like the flavor profile will end up being the redeeming factor of this beer. It's far from bad, offensive, or gross - it just happens to be far too stripped down and painfully average when other beers of the same style are considered. Some deeply roasted, almost charred and burnt malts scrape the palate along with a dark cocoa bean finish, and now I'm struggling to pick out anything else.

The one and basically only addition the flavor has that the aroma doesn't is a bit of alcohol. In retrospect, it really isn't good nor bad, it's just there. I guess it gives a bit of robustness to an otherwise basic and slightly wimpy RIS. Even the mouth feel is lacking a bit; it's medium bodied, but still thin within the style; more oily and wet than creamy or smooth. Carbonation is pretty good, and sadly, it looks like that may be the high-point.

A pretty big "meh" in regards to a style that's full of huge, robust, and complex beers. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with lighter, simpler brews - hell, I love me a nice German Helles Lager... but when I pick up a Russian Imperial Stout, I have certain expectations and they just really weren't met here. Not bad, but uninteresting to say the least.

tectactoe, May 22, 2013
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

SmellsofMahagony, May 22, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

2013 edition. Has it really taken this long for a Russian imperial stout to be named in honor of the KGB? Regardless, this stuff pours a murky black-brown topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises mild roasted malts, light chocolate powder, and a dash of blackened pretzel. The taste brings in more of the same, with a strong roasty bitterness pervading the second half of things, along with a hint of nondescript booze. The body is a stolid medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a thickly smooth feel. Overall, a middling RIS, one that just doesn't bring the proper amount of robustness or control necessary to communicate the style.

TMoney2591, May 21, 2013
Photo of ksimons
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-very dark brown with two fingers worth of tan head that sticks to the glass

S-rich roasted malt, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and a bit of molasses and licorice

T-taste is similar to the smell with a large amount of roasted malt and black coffee, dark chocolate, a light molasses

M-a bit on the thin side for the style, good carbonation, dry roasted mouthfeel

Overall this may not be the best of the style, but I think the smell is very good and it is easy to drink. I would have it again.

ksimons, May 18, 2013
Photo of iHeartMNBeer
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

iHeartMNBeer, May 16, 2013
Photo of bigbeers84
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

bigbeers84, May 13, 2013
Photo of Kubrickx
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Kubrickx, May 12, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a finger high tan head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of dark roasted malts are present in the nose; these become a little stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of dark roasted malts along with notes of coffee beans and faint hints of raisins. It has a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The roasted malts leave some dryness in the finish.
O: This Russian Imperial Stout is really easy to drink compared to other beers in the style because it's not overly full-bodied, bitter or roasty and hides its alcohol very well.

metter98, May 08, 2013
Photo of markcp
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

markcp, May 07, 2013
Photo of screamking
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head that disappears very very quickly. Lacing from side to side. The aroma in this is quite faint, for such a strong style there is just not a lot here. Dark fruits are present but just barely. That's all.

The taste leaves me wanting more also, there's a nice bitter rasian quality but that turns to a bad old coffe flavor. Worse than that its watered down bad coffee. I would be completely disappointed with this beer if I had any indication of its quality. This was a complete shot in the dark and it missed badly.

screamking, May 05, 2013
Photo of Huffaroma
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Huffaroma, May 01, 2013
Photo of tourdot
4/5  rDev +9%

tourdot, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of zonker17
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

zonker17, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of silverking
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

silverking, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of Jackdevilbiss
5/5  rDev +36.2%

Jackdevilbiss, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

DrunkinYogi, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of ShawneeIrish
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

ShawneeIrish, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of PorterLambic
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Arrives a decadently rich brown with a creamy, thick, golden cocoa colored head. Great lacing but the retention is not so special having dropped to a few chunky islands and a partial ring within 3 minutes.
Smell is a bit weak. Some sweetness, some malt, some chocolate and vanilla all in good balance but the search is annoying.
Taste is better and more pronounced. Bittersweet chocolate, malt, some light hops, vanilla and just a hint of some spice in the background. Really good balance.
Exceedingly smooth, this full bodied brew just slides across your tongue and down your throat willingly. Effervescence is almost non-existent, more of an afterthought once the head formed. Drying finish works well. And it only gets better as it warms.

PorterLambic, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of powdersoldier
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

powdersoldier, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of SHODriver
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: pours black into a snifter with a fingr and a half of dense and deep tan head that slowly fades to a small mat
S: my nose is trashed from cleaning my bathroom but I get a bit of hop bitterness(or cleaning agent astringency) some roast malt and a bit of chocolate
T: surprising hop bitterness up front with a bit of roasted malt and some dark chocolate. swallow brings more roastyness, piney hops and some chocolate
M: seems a bit thin for the style but still feels smooth and a bit creamy in the mouth. carb is a bit too high as well
O: it isn't terrible but it isn't great.

SHODriver, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of ystazi
4/5  rDev +9%

ystazi, Mar 30, 2013
Photo of zestd
4/5  rDev +9%

zestd, Mar 29, 2013
KGB Imperial Stout from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.