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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
-
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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 86 | Hads: 371
Photo of BKBassist
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 Batch.

A - Poured into a tulip. Initially poured a great two finger mocha brown head, stuck around for a bit. Otherwise, this looks like a stout. Deep dark brown, bordering on black.

S - Roasted cocoa and bittersweet chocolate, tiny hint of sweetness.

T - Milk chocolate, finishes with the sweet raspberry. There is a tart and acrid character here as well. Still, roast and chocolate dominate.

M - Silky smooth, nice amount of carb.

O - One of the better offerings I've had from Widmer. A very enjoyable, highly drinkable take on a slightly sweet RIS, if not overly complex or really showcasing the raspberry. (622 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 jlindros
3.42/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Shitty plastic wax was very hard to get off even with the pull tab, and fractured and went flying across the room.

Pours a decent fizzy slightly fluffy dark colored head that fades semi quickly then slows to a med pace with nice lacing, over a pitch black beer, no light coming through.

Nose brings dark roasty malts, pretty much all roast and char, burnt characters, like the malt was burnt to oblivion, a bit of cocoa too which I was hoping there at least was some, slight acrid burnt coffee, very burnt coffee, and faint raspberry fruity aroma, touch of a booze aroma.

Taste starts with a raspberry actually, more like bitter tannic raspberry seed though with a bit of juice, then into the dark malts quickly. A decent dark chocolate and cocoa do come out a little which blends well with the raspberry. Then a bit more roast and char, a bit of burnt coffee but not much, powdered cocoa comes through, and a bit of roasty char. Just a touch acrid, and some warming booze also in there. Finish is drier but a bit sticky sweet still, lingering burnt coffee and dark roast, as well as some powdered cocoa and hint of raspberry seed.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, some warming booze, fairly thick almost creamy, decent carb.

Overall not bad, but not nearly as good as I hoped it would be. Very dark malt characters, with too much burnt roast and burnt coffee esp on the nose, chocolate is there but more mild than I hoped, raspberry brings more seed than juice and is barely there on the nose. Booze is about on par, but just doesn't quite hit where the beer should be. (1,570 characters)

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Very dark brown in color, but some light comes through along the edges. A one-finger, mocha colored, creamy head sits on top and leaves behind cobwebs of lacing. Appears very still.

S: Typical roasted malts upfront, followed by a subdued fruitiness of raspberries and a mild coffee finish. Overall, a bit toned down.

T: Similar to the aroma with roasted malts and a finish of sweet and lightly tart raspberries. I'm able to experience the raspberries in the taste more so than the aroma, which give it a slight puckering effect while adding a touch of sweetness.

M: Medium bodied, with a slick finish. A carbonation level that is enough to allow the flavors to wander without being intrusive.

O: Not a bad offering overall. The addition of raspberries was a welcomed one which added a unique element to one of my favorite styles. (883 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.16/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage - poured into a tiny ass glass:

The chocolate and raspberry control the schnoz... smells like the Northern Lites mocha that I used to make at Caribou Coffee.

Chalky milk chocolate, dry vanilla and raspberry extract. I think it's actually pretty tasty, I'm a total sucker for raspberry though... Raspberry puree with hot chocolate and caramel. (357 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 TBoneJones
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours nearly black into my chalice, with a cola-tinged opacity near the rim when held to light. Head is very short-lived, trickles to nearly no foam.
I smell the raspberries, along with bitter cocoa/ roasted coffee, booze.
Starts off with coffee grinds, then comes the creamy raspberries, and with a strong bitter, boozy finish. Not complex and could use more balance.
Feels slick and creamy. Sticky, smooth but with a strong medicinal feel to the aftertaste. .
Worth a shot if you like trying different imperial stout flavor experiments. Otherwise for me, I wont be revisiting this one shortly, especially at around $12.00 a bottle. (636 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for fruit-infused stouts, so this tickled me anyway. 650ml bomber purchased from Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Pours a deep black-brown, with good clarity at the edges, and with a certain sheen of red-pink in the hue. Head forms with frothy ebullience and settles down to a fine ring. Lacing is minor and patchy, but present, at least. Body is surprisingly light, but the carbonation is fine. Overall, it looks pretty good: at least as good as it should look.

Nose is musty and dark, with a mild roasted character than nonetheless remains rather smooth and clean. Some leafy freshness comes through as well: perhaps a slight lift from being truly a straight, dark RIS, but no real raspberry character on the nose at least.

The flavour is where this beer starts to shine: here the raspberry is pronounced, providing a bright, fruity counterpoint to the roast and dry darkness. This is certainly based on a Russian Imperial Stout, which is often darker, roastier and drier than the American style. But the raspberry provides that lightness, the sweetness and the character that stops it from being too intense. On the back, there's a lovely mingling of the charred roastiness and the fragrant berry.

Feel is quite light: the dryness on the palate translates into quite a light, dry feel as well. However, given this is 9.3%, it's quite impressive how clean and light this feels. The booze is extremely well hidden.

Overall, yeah, I'm a sucker. This is a decent (if dry) RIS, made interesting with raspberries and gaining balance and structure in the process. I think that the fruit addition to big stouts is always interesting, and in this case I think it helps a lot. I'm a fan. (1,714 characters)

Photo of LittleDon
3.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a bottle aged approximately 6 months.

Visually appealing with a good amount of lacing a jet black appearance. Faint amount of raspberry and roasted malt aroma, albeit a bit light for the style. Same goes for the flavor. Hints of raspberry and a mild burnt sugar finish. A bit on the dry side. Solid but not great. Medium heavy body and average carbonation. (362 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance- Pours a nearly pitch black color with a one finger tan colored head. The head fades over about a one minute time frame to leave a fantastic level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is heavy of a roasted malt smell with some stronger smells of chocolate and coffee as well as a nice bit of a caramel sweetness. Mixed with these smells are some lighter aromas of raspberry as the name would suggest giving a sweeter chocolate and raspberry flavored coffee smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a big roasted malt flavor with a decent chocolate and coffee flavor up front. It begins slightly sweeter with some almost milky and caramel flavors. As the flavor advances the chocolate gets stronger while the coffee remains relatively constant. During this time a vanilla and raspberry flavor come to the tongue. The raspberry gets stronger to the end of the taste, but never makes the brew too sweet as toward the end the milky, chocolate and caramel flavors dwindle a bit and the coffee flavors get even stronger. These drier and roastier coffee and raspberry flavors mix with a little bit of a boozy flavor to leave a warming dark flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The mouthfeel is on the average to slightly lower side for a stout of nearly 10% abv with a carbonation level that is a bit on the higher side. More creaminess and less carbonation would likely have suited the drier fruit and roasted cocoa and coffee flavors a bit better, but overall not bad.

Overall – A pretty nice imperial with a moderate and not to overpowering raspberry flavor. A nice one to give a try if you are looking for a brew to just sit back and sip slowly. (1,696 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 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 Beerandraiderfan
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, a little lighter than most black ass double stouts, but sometimes when you have bright colored fruit additions, that will dilute the blackness.

Aroma was burnt malt and sweet berries. Don't get your bramble hopes up, not anywhere near that good. Milk chocolate is a nice contribution to the aroma.

Taste delivers some tartness from the raspberries, some alcohol from well, it being a beer, some bitterness, probably from both hops and acrid burnts malt. Slight coffee-esque existence in the mouthfeel as it warms. Wish it had more 2 row. A tad too thin for my tastes. Could do without the small anise aspect, even if small, its distracting and doesn't help the beer here. Tastes like the KGB RIS from '11, but with some berries thrown in.

Ultimately, while I might have spent $10 for a 6 pack of this beer, that amount of money for this bomber assures that this will not be a repeat purchase. Decent, but would not purchase again at such a high price point. (975 characters)

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.84/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2012 offering poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown/black with a lovely 2 finger brown khaki colored head. Some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Roasty malts, some smoke, and raspberry. Very little if any chocolate or coffee in the aroma.

T: Getting a nice smokey-ness, roasted malt, toffee. Getting some dark fruits in there as well, raspberry is coming through but not over poweringly so.

M: Medium bodied, not overly thin but on the thin side of full bodied. Would prefer it to be fuller. Slight bitter finish, almost no residue sweetness/creamy feel which I crave in Imperial Stout. About the perfect amount of carbonation and hides the alcohol well.

O: A very solid offering, though I would like more coffee/chocolate and a thicker body. Outside of those minor complaints its a pretty good beer. One that I would buy again next year. (851 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark. Near black. Beige head with excellent retention.

Bitter cocoa and vinous notes, interpreting that as the raspberries. Roasted grain and spent coffee grounds. Creamy aroma.

Chocolate, rugged roastiness, char, whiff of smoke, light licorice, and nuances of berry. As it warms more, a perfumey raspberry skin and floral note comes through.

Smooth enough. Somewhat chewy. Good balance with a medium carbonation.

A fun try, but not the moneymaker. (452 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout pours a black color, with a nice lasting brown head. There is a diaper like aroma with hints of berries and coffee. The taste lucky has a nice blend of roasted malts, coffee, and hints of raspberries. Great blending of all the flavors, nothing is overpowering, and good full flavor, and also the alcohol is subtle. Overall a nicely put together beer, very enjoyable. (399 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance. Pours a very deep brown, but not as dark as most in the style. A finger of tan head caps this glass and leaves behind some decent lacing.

Smell. Sweet chocolate and dark roasted malts with some red berry and a little bit of citrus.

Taste dark and very roasty, slightly bitter malts along with some dark chocolate, red berries and a bit of fresh dark fruits. There are some bitter, lightly piney hops in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel. On the low side of full bodied with below medium carbonation.

Overall. A decent RIS with the nice (albeit slight) addition of raspberries. (590 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a pretty big head for an imp stout. Tan, sticky, about 4 fingers high. Smells like chocolate covered cordial candies. You do get a nice raspberry scent from it. Like a chocolate covered raspberry jam.

Whoa, very big, very wow, lot going on here. Tart raspberry with big chocolate flavor. Massive viscous body. Sour tartness big roasted flavor on the mid-palate. Big underlying bitterness. Not a sweet beer in anyway, very bitter black chocolate with dark fruit pure. I like it.

You can really taste the raspberries and they go well with the rich roasted chocolate dark character of this brew. (611 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Final Gravity in Roseville, CA

Appearance - A deep, dark ruby brown with served to me with a thin, light tan head. Fair retention. A lining of everpresent bubbles cling to the surface around the glass.

Smell - Strongly boozy on the nose. Faint raspberry and chocolate character struggle to pop through behind this boozy oppressor.

Taste - Thankfully, the brew is tamer on the tongue than on the nose. Big raspberry sweetness upfront, quickly anchored down by a massive bitter chocolate character that hits mid-taste, then gives way to a mildly roasty finish. Raspberry is there too, though severely diminished by the gauntlet of roasty malt depth.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied. Sticky. Low to moderate carbonation. Smooth drinker.

Overall - Well, I'm sold. At $12 for a bomber? Not so much. On tap for $6? Yes please. Fine dessert beer here. Does well to balance out the raspberry sweetness, which a few of the raspberry based brews fail to do. (958 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle
About a half finger of head on an almost black body, it does seems to have a blue hue to it.
The aroma is nice with milk chocolate, raspberry, alcohol and
The taste is a letdown. The raspberry is there with the roasted malt and chocolate, but it doesn't flow smoothly.
The texture is great. Soft and smooth with low carbonation.
Worth trying, maybe some aging will help out the taste. (398 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Label says DEC 13 12.

A- Pours an entirely opaque black color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that retains a bit before relinquishing to an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass and random splotches of surface foam. Sticky, thin lacing.

S- You can really smell the raspberry and, unfortunately, it's a seemingly artificial sort of aroma...and that's actually all you can smell. That and a bit of booze.

T- The taste has much more character and depth. Raspberry in the front followed by rich dark malts that are chocolaty and roasty. The sweetness lingers and is decidedly a bit artificial, but it helps to balance the heavy char that's also present. The alcohol is also certainly present but balanced enough.

M- Creamy and smooth with a bitter feel from the heavy malt. Medium carbonation and a hefty body.

O- Very drinkable while just being a fruity stout with high ABV. (924 characters)

Photo of SkeeterBoganski
3.99/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pretty much jet black with a light brown head and decent lacing

S - some sweet raspberry caramel notes that make me think of Brachs candy; light roasted malts; a subtle bit of coffee

T - a shot of stouty booze in to those raspberry Brachs chewy candied; again, the malts are subtle and the nutty coffee undertones are present but muted

M - this beer is generally pretty solid here: nice, creamy mouthfeel with a smooth finish; solid carbonation and medium-heavy bodied with no sugary aftertaste given the raspberry elements

O - I think this is a pretty solid offering overall with the sweet infusion of raspberry goodness; the abv is there but the beer is balanced with the tasty flavor nuances and clean stout finish; solid shelf offering for $11. (757 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is black with a thick tan head leaving chunky, foamy lace.

Smell is dark malts, some chocolate, very faint raspberry, from cellar temp to warmer.

Taste is malty, again heavy chocolate, not much roast. The berry remains subtle. A sweet, strong, clean alcoholic flavor lingers on the dry finish. I expected more complexity here, maybe it just needs time to come together as this is a new bottling. A little tight now perhaps, but generally any fruit component is most pronounced when fresh.

Mouthfeel is creamy, medium +, and very dry from the alcohol.

Drinkability is pretty good, but I was looking for a lot more out of the berry, from my memory of having it at previous winter ale fests. (707 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 feloniousmonk
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap. Russian Imperial Stout, with raspberries. 9.3% ABV.

Cast in solid ebony, with a lush, creamy, meringue-like dollop of froth capping it off, leaving lace. Looks utterly lovely.

Aroma: fruit greets the nose right off, with cocoa, raisins, and other dark fruit sensations coming right behind. Slightly tart, a little sweet, while still rich and malty in the nose.

Taste: Mmm, there it is, again, gripping the palate, true raspberry flavor, sliding over a coating of chocolate and coffee. More tart, more sweet, more rich and delicious. A little rum in here, some molasses, a trickle of anise.
This works together. They really deliver. This has subtle, wonderful interplay, and, damn it, it really rocks. (711 characters)

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