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Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Raspberry Russian Imperial StoutRaspberry Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

86 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 86
Hads: 371
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 12
Gots: 64 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: smulkowski on 03-25-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 86 | Hads: 371
Photo of nlmartin
1.76/5  rDev -51%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The beer was chilled and served in a pint glass. The beer was allowed to warm up to a proper drinking temperature.

A- The beer looks nice. The body of the beer is black with minimal opaqueness to light. Thick tan head rides the darkness. The lacing is thick and looks like pancake batter.

S- The aroma has darkly roasted, toasted and charred malty. Sure it has a whiff of cocoa and a light roasted coffee aroma. Sadly try as I might, no signs of raspberry or any other fruit can I find. Vague medicinal and or metalic aroma plays around as the beer warms up.

T- This beer falls into the trap of a straight forward dark roasted maltyness with no real layers. Very little in the way of cocoa or coffee flavors. Cant really find raspberry in this beers flavors. The finish on the flavor is like drinking cough syrup.

M- The body is full but the carbonation could stand to be lowered. Alcohol makes no appearance in the mouth.

O- Frankly this beer has bored the shit out of me. I will hang onto it in the glass and let it hit room temperature before finale drain pour but I dont see this getting any better. This was like drinking roasted cough syrup. (1,154 characters)

Photo of harrymel
2.39/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 13FEB12
Pours a black beer with a solid quilt of tan foam. Smells of leather, coffee, black malts, maybe when I really focus, some berry comes through - but I almost feel like I'm trying to convince myself. Flavor of burnt malts, dark, really dark chocolate, coffee and the slightest hint of raspberry (this time not convincing myself). Taste is overly bitter for what I would expect from a fruited beer. Medium bodied and moderately carbed with a semi dry finish. Overall, this beer does not strike as the beer advertised. A previous review mentioned possible pedigree to KGB, wouldn't suprised me as much as I disliked this beer, but it wasn't nearly as poor as KGB for me. I will argue they missed the mark on the berries, and the bitter characters were overplayed. Needed a little sweetness, berry flavor and body with a hint less carb. (848 characters)

Photo of vkv822
2.48/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours black with foamy, bubbly tan head.

A bit subdued, but definite raspberry, cocoa and roast malts are present.

Light cocoa and roast, followed by a large dose of medicinal raspberry flavor. The medicinal raspberry is really perfected by a light booziness, as one would find in a cough syrup.

Medium, slightly viscous body, low carbonation.

I was really looking forward to this one, but unfortunately the raspberry was much to cough syrup-esque in the taste. (498 characters)

Photo of goochpunch
2.65/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1

Bottled in March 2012

Pours out black with ruby highlights. Head is khaki with a pink tinge. Smells of roasted malts, raspberries and ethanol. Taste is so strong with raspberries. Lots of roast and ashy burnt taste. Kind of works but kind of clashes. Lots of burnt in the aftertaste with a sickly sweet fruitiness. The mouthfeel is nice. Kind of full with creaminess. This is kind of hard to drink. (399 characters)

Photo of yankeepride
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Based upon my enjoyment of other Widmer beers, I was really looking forward to this one. After getting through the purple wax, it had a fruity aroma, but not quite as sweet/tart as I was expecting. Had a good dark pour, with a really deep head. Took a taste, and ... raspberry? Just didn't get those here. It had a roasted malt taste, with just a bit of a tang, and then a slight bit of berry on the aftertaste. However, it wasn't a good flavor throughout like I was planning to enjoy. Wouldn't buy this one again. (514 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
2.84/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

1407th Review on BA
Bottle to Woodshop Snifter
22oz

Feb/2012 Bottling
Purchased for $12.99 at Bevmo Chino Hills, CA

App- It looked like a stout but more hazy and like the label said purple. The raspberries added a nice depth of color. Nice mocha looking head with some decent cling.

Smell- It fell hard!!! The nose just comes tumbling down. Grainy, artificial, coffee, and puree. A little bit of coffee and bitter.

Taste- Price would run from this Raspberry. It just wasnt very good. The base stout is lacking the depth to pull this off. The grainular coffee notes really drop the raspberry flavors.

Mouth- A lighter medium body with a pricky low medium carbonation. Residual raspberry puree.

Drink- Just not very good. (725 characters)

Photo of Tracerboy
2.89/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours very dark brown with a beautiful amber-orange tint if held to the light. Bit of a creamish tan head with nice lace. A good looking beer.

Smell: A little malty fruit on the nose with hints of bittersweet chocolate.

Taste: Immediate raspberry chocolate cough syrup with a bitter edge flavor.

Feels smooth and wet.

Wouldn't go out of my way to get this beer but my wife brought it home so I can't complain to much. (424 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured out as a very dark brown but appears black once in the glass. This head is thin and tan in color, had a moderate retention without much lacing. The smell of the beer is slightly fruity with a dominant amount of roasted malts. The taste is heavily roasted and kind of tart, it's an odd blend in my opinion. The flavors got a little better as the beer warmed up but still not something I found that appealing. The mouthfeel was a little on the thin side for a Russian Imperial. Carbonation was decent but the body just wasn't there. Overall this beer sounded like it was going to be awesome but I was just hoping for a lot more Raspberry flavor and a little more body too. I wouldn't buy it again. (707 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.01/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle - $11.98 at Sherlock's in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a black body topped off with a sizable (though, it settles fast), foamy, beige head.

Smell: Heavily roasted malts, giving a noticeable creosote aroma, along with acrid coffee, bitter chocolate, boozy wafts, and raspberries, natch.

Taste: Again, there's the astringent, blackened maltiness. A lightly sweet touch of dark chocolate helps, but it's in far too short of supply. Then, there's the raspberries. Sometimes, you're treating to a really great raspberry taste. Other times, it's a slightly medicinal, off-putting Smarties flavor. It certainly leans towards the latter here. Burnt, berryesque, warm finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's definitely not Olde Hickory Lindley Park, that's for damn sure. (826 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.02/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer is a ruby highlighted dark brown coloring with a low profile, thin, frothy light beige head that starts around an inch but settles out quickly into a filmy coating. Aromas of rich, syrupy raspberry concentrate in the background to underly the sweet molasses and bitter coffee blend on the nose. Smells a little clumsy. Flavors are much more roast on the initial palate, with a ribbon of tart, syrupy raspberry flavors winding along your tongue. A subtle, middle of the road coffee characteristic makes up the majority of the backbone, with some darkly sweet caramel and molasses highlights keeping it on the sweet side as a whole. The aftertaste is roasty, and not much else other than some hints of bitterness. Slick, coating, and slightly lingering finish of bitter and tart flavors aren't overly appealing in mouth. I can appreciate what they were going for, but I was hoping for a bit more. (940 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1/2" tan colored head that falls quickly to a thick surface foam. Some lace paints the glass.

Smell: overtly sweet raspberry flavor hits you first, follow by a roasted malt aroma.

Taste: big roasted malt here, leaning a bit towards a burnt flavor. The raspberry flavor is like a sweet syrup, and doesn't seem to mesh here at all. Dark coffee, prunes, molasses, and a strong bitterness are the other flavors. There is a chaulkiness here too. Alcohol is definitely noticeable and warming.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Light crispness to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste here.

Overall: this is a very slow sipping beer that seems to have flavors that don't marry at all - the fruitiness stands apart from the roasted malt and coffee tones. Tough to finish a glass, let alone the larger bottle. (862 characters)

Photo of avwrite
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Nice appearance. Dark, smoky, little bit of froth, but inviting and pleasant.

S - Good smell. Hoppy and bitter, but no scents of Raspberries.

T - Disappointing. Was expecting a raspberry taste, but there was none. It tasted like any other run of the mill stout.

M - Smooth going down with a hint of bitterness. Easy to drink.

O - A bit pricey. The raspberry advertised never came through, thus it loses its uniqueness. (426 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle split between two snifters

Pours dark syrupy black with a big brown head. Fades to little clumpy islands. Small, fine, slow carbonation. Smell is mild, tart, slightly roasty, but fairly mild.

Taste is a not so hot combination of fruity tartness and coffee bitterness. Not great, but not a drainpour.

Mouthfeel is rich and gritty. Overall, not a huge fan, but I'll finish it. (389 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.11/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle, bottled on date of March 12, 2012. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch frothy tan head that stayed around for a while. There's also a decent amount of lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is a bit weak, it smells like raspberries, roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate. I would say the strongest flavor in this brew is a medicinal raspberry one, with there also being some roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and some coffee noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and coating with a moderate amount of carbonation. At $12.99 a bottle, I wouldn't buy it again. It was nice to try and it's not a bad beer, but I don't think it's worth the price. But if you're going to split a bottle with someone, then why not? (780 characters)

Photo of Bobheed
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pour a very dark, nearly black color with a big two and a half finger light khaki head

S: Lots of roastiness, tons of chocolate notes, raspberry tartness fairly detectable in there. Also got a citrus hop kick in there

T: Raspberry almost undetectable, but it's there, mostly a very roasty and hoppy RIS a la Old Rasputin. A bit of coffee on the end

M: Highly carbonated and medium bodied

Overall this one was alright, maybe better than my review would indicate, but I tend to grade Imp Stouts a bit harder as that's my favorite style. Worth the try, but I don't think I'll buy another bottle at $12 (605 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Mar 12 2012. 2012 vintage. 22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a nonical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm curious about how the raspberries work.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger khaki colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and great retention considering the high ABV. Colour is a very dark brown-blackish. Nontransparent; nonopaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Chocolate malts, hints of roast, grapefruit citrus hop character, some hop bitterness, clean malts, dark malts, and cream. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Cream, dark malts, chocolate malts, raspberry, floral hops, grapefruit hops, and some hop bitterness. Poorly balanced, to be sure. A strange mix. I do like it, and it hides its ABV quite well. No yeast comes through. Nicely layered. Not quite roasty enough.

Mf: Creamy on the open. Smooth and wet, which is wrong for a stout. Nice thickness. Carbonation is off, but I can't tell in which direction.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but far from impressive - especially within the style. I'd like to try it on nitro. So many elements are just wrong within the style - the lack of roast, the lack of coarseness, the lack of dryness - but it remains okay. Sadly, okay just ain't good enough.

C+ (1,526 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - It looked black enough to be a Russian Imperial Stout. Let's allow the comparison to end there.

Smell - This Russian Imperial Stout smelled like a raspberry candle or air freshener. The smell certainly did not make me want to drink the beer.

Taste - At the front, I detected burnt chocolate malt. The raspberry notes very faint and seemed very artificial. It tasted more like raspberry flavoring than raspberries. If there was an intention to make an imperial stout with a sweet fruitiness, this beer has a serious lack of sweetness.

Mouthfeel - There was a degree of thickness, but I would certainly not qualify it as motor oil thickness.

Overall - I told my brother not to buy this one. He did not listen. Now you can listen to me: You need not buy this one. (779 characters)

Photo of SleepyDrunk
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a dark chocolate brown with an initially clear white head that fades to brown. The viscosity looked more like a porter than a stout.

A nice raspberry smell up front with the burnt malts towards the end. The raspberry smell is quite nice - I didn't find it overpowering.

If I'm grading this as an imperial stout, this fell short of expectations. The characteristics were more along the lines of a porter. Outside of the raspberry taste, I didn't find any other complexities to the beer.

Sweet up front that fades to the bitty burnt malt taste. Tartness lasts throughout.

I do not think I would buy this again. (663 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Quite appealing appearance in the tapered Bushmills glass. Dark brown brew with a white foam that lasts well. Spritzy on the tongue.

The raspberry flavor starts right out but is soon overtaken by a bitter coffee flavor. The barest hint of sweetness. The fruit just drops out of sight, but a little berry remains in the nose. Is there chocolate in this, or just the rather charred malt? A plasticky taste from somewhere. Woody and a little puckery. From the very dry aftertaste I would say that they use a Belgian yeast for some reason, but maybe it's just all the seeds and stems. Quite a bitter ending. Very austere.

One of the less-successful brews from Widmer, in my opinion. Unfortunately it has to compare in my mind with the sensational raspberry RIS at the Wedge in Asheville. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Baron's Marketplace in San Diego. (853 characters)

Photo of seedyone
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

03/10/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Not what I expected. Only the slightest hint of raspberry. A gentle taste of stout to say the least. This is a quirky drink that evades my description & I guess that's what lead to the confusing title. (239 characters)

Photo of Wes-Cat
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

First off I gotta say that for a beer I got for less than 4 bucks at a Grocery Outlet, this is surprisingly good. First sip, I hated it. Then I took a second. I won't copy everyone else and say that I taste hints of random fruit, but it has a bit of sweetness that fades into a light bitterness that sticks to you as you taste the alcohol involved. Oh, it's 9.3%. Yeah, that makes sense. There's this kinda floaty sourness that comes and goes too. How the hell do I describe this?

Anyway, it's been in my basement for 8 months or so. My first time tasting it didn't impress me but now it actually tastes good. Wish I'd picked up more.

This is less a gulp and more of a sip kinda beer. Don't drink a ton of it at once and throw it down your throat. I did that and didn't like it. Sipping it actually works pretty good. Oh, and I drank it from a big plastic cup. Cold. So there. (894 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.37/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours an effervescent black with 3 fingers of mocha colored head. Nice vicscious look to this, above average head retention & lacing

S: Raspberry juice, faint roasty notes

T: Raspberry, a little cola, roastyness & Baker's chocolate, plus faint smokeyness & a little boozeyness. Boozeyness, dryness, raspberry, roastyness & a little more carob. Finishes dry, a little roasty & with woody hop notes

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, thins out a bit once warm

Okay, not one I would buy again. I doubt aging this longer is really going to improve this much. Widmer used to make some beers I really liked, not sure about that any more (637 characters)

Photo of Braz
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Parkway Tavern. Reddish brown in color with a thin head that fades to a ring around edge of glass. Aromatics of raspberry like fruit and some dark chocolate. Tastes a bit fruity with dark chocolate undertones. Bitter aftertaste. Body is thin for an Imperial Stout. Sounded interesting but didn't really work for me. (329 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.39/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Congregation Ale House in Azusa, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a thick cap on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and slight berry aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and berry flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but the raspberry aspect is pretty subdued. (613 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Extremely disappointed with the price point on this brew - $13 for a bomber, really? Pretty damn proud of a RIS with some fruit tossed in...a RIS that was $6 bucks a sixer last year. Whatever, my brother bought it. Poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A: Where my disappointment starts; pours a fairly dark brown with light showing through, hardly stout dark. Khaki head is decent, and carbonation is visible on the side of the glass.

S: Faint raspberry/fruit tartness, burnt malt and smoky notes, hints of caramel with rich toasted malt underneath.

T: Burnt malt and hints of raspberry & fruit sweetness, toasted caramel and nutty notes, faint burnt sugar with a light char. Can't find any of the chocolate, coffee, rich roasted malt, licorice, etc. you would expect in a RIS.

MF: Fairly bitter and burnt and dry - medium-to-full mouthfeel, viscous.

O: Not at all impressive, I can kind of tell that its KGB but on the other hand it seems lighter with different flavor profile, and to me the raspberries don't add that extra dimension. Each beer I have from Widmer, I'm closer to be done with them forever. After this brew, I'm pretty sure I won't be missing much. (1,166 characters)

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Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.