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Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout (Brothers' Reserve Series) - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout (Brothers' Reserve Series)Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout (Brothers' Reserve Series)

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BA SCORE
83
good

109 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 109
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 12.47%


Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Zorro on 12-31-2012)
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Ratings: 109 | Reviews: 22 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Arrives a deep, dark, nearly black liquid with a creamy, dark tan head. Retention is quite good and settles to a big island. Glass is just covered in a sheet of lace.
Smell is odd. The first and strongest note is cider. Not certain if this is just from an incompletely cleared line or intentional. Once past that, faint malt and cocoa are all I found.
Taste is rich with toasted malt, dark chocolate, some toffee and a whiff of rum and dark fruit in the post swallow/aftertaste moment.
Full bodied with just a minimum of carbonation. Rich, supremely smooth, almost like drinking velvet. Some coating of the tongue and palate. Extremely good once past the nose.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2013 23:12:07 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver

California

3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bottle from 2013

A: pours black with a finger of dense tan head from a vigorous pour that fades to a small pool and collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: smell is heavily chocolate with some roast malt and a hint of coffee
T: taste is chocolate, roast malt, more chocolate, a hint of coffee and still more chocolate. Swallow is bitter dark chocolate and bitter roast malt with a tinge of coffee on the back end
M: I wouldn't call this a full mouthfeel as it feels a bit on the watery side. carbonation is soft but there and the finish is a little dry
O: Not bad but not great. there are better beers out there for the same price. Based on the way it poured I thought it would have a little more going on and drink a lot bigger.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 03:52:31 | More by SHODriver
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : Poured a deep brown, nearly black with a nice mocha colored head with good retention but minimal lacing...odd

S: Big roastiness and mounds of cocoa, not bakers powder cheap cocoa, but a deep reich cocoa like a bitter chocolate. Some coffee notes are also noted

T : Big dark chocolate upfront with a minute amount of milk chocolate, a bit of espresso in the background riding a full length roasted malt backbone which persists start to finish. The chocolate is pretty unrelenting.. The finish is a nice, chocolate, roasted, scorched malt taste, some bittering. The booze is pretty evident but not overbearing, well played.

M: Well carbonated for the style, medium-full to full body. A nice creamy and decadent feel, creamy.

O: This was a very good beer that lives up to its name. If the label had sound "Founders" or "Bells" this stout would have been rated much higher. The Widmer stigma prevents people from rating objectively but rather subjectively.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 19:56:24 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Monteiro
Monteiro

District of Columbia

3.59/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look - About as black as black gets. Medium lacing for a RIS.

Smell -Pretty style-standard. Alcohol and heavily roasted malts.

Taste - Cocoa, coffee, cocoa and cocoa. Did I mention cocoa? More reminiscent of powder then nibs. Not a lot of stone-fruit tones but decent maltinesss.

Mouthfeel - Dry and thin, A little less carbonated then I would other wise prefer.

Overall - Decent. Split a bottle with 3 others as a dessert at $13.99 retail. Totally delicious and passable, but grab the Yeti or the Surly darkness if they are on the same shelf.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2013 00:30:15 | More by Monteiro
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured an attractive dark chocolate color with a 1Finger head.

Nice aroma-cocoa with hints of vanilla.

The mouth feel was a bit carbonated, almost pungent.

Unfortunately, the taste was disappointing- the aroma did not carry to the taste.

The chocolate- cocoa was not rich and does not stand out as in other Imperial stouts.
There isn't a bold character to this beer, which is an important element to an IS taste.

The finish was semi-hoppy. No alcohol finish prominent in other Imperial stouts.

The beer mellows with warming- it tastes a little better.

Overall, a decent Imperial stout- but not in the same tier as Old Rasputin, Ten Fidy, Storm King,
Parabola and the Yetis.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2013 17:30:54 | More by brureview
Photo of cleve00
cleve00

Virginia

3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent RIS but probably won't repeat due to price point where I live.

After pour, dark brown/black with a plum color at the stem of glass at bottom. Head 2 fingers at the pour which dissipates quickly after a minute, which leaves you with a flat cola look.

Smell has major notes of roasted coffee, and hint of raisin, plum

Drank at room temp in a glass goblet, not much carbonation noted. Bitterness comes in and stays to the swallow but eventually gives way to the roasted coffee and finishes dry.

I would love to see what this limited 2013 would be like in "14" or "15", alas the price point detracts from this pursuit.

Much more to explore below this price range that will fill my needs/wants.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 20:20:10 | More by cleve00
Photo of JMScowcroft
JMScowcroft

Vermont

3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company - Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout '13, poured into a Lawson's tulip.

Look - Pours thinner than most RIS, but still jet black. A small, quickly dissipating foamy head that retains slightly. Lacing is on the lower side but apparent.

Smell - Strange, almost like green beans.... Definite anise/black licorice (which works in brews like Ten Fidy but not so much here), very faint on chocolate. What the hell?

Taste - I was scared after the aroma but thankfully the taste was (somewhat) redeeming. Cocoa, coffee, some vanilla, all-in-all a bit watery though.

Mouthfeel - Probably the thinnest RIS I have ever had. Booziness makes it throat hot, drinkability is "meh" because flavor is just not there to make you want to put up with the abv.

Overall - This is the worst RIS I have had so far, but it's not a total failure, it's just dull and not good. Maybe my palate has been ruined by other greats of the style but I found this to be one I would tell my friends to skip if they see it. Would not recommend.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2013 18:25:55 | More by JMScowcroft
Photo of BKBassist
BKBassist

New York

3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip.

A - Nice deep dark brown. Initial two finger head was mocha with hints of red. Looks every bit like a stout.

S - Rich milk chocolate and cocoa. Hints of milk stout type sweetness.

T - Chocolate is more featured in this than raspberry was in the other 13 release. Rich and roasty, not overly sweet intially, sweetens and bitters at the finish equally. There are hints of some dark fruit, raisins and figs, and some coffee notes, but mostly a solid stout base with chocolate throughout.

M - A bit thinner than the velvety smooth feel that a good sweet stout can bring. Perhaps a bit overcarbed. Not unpleasant by any means, just not ideal.

O - Having had this and the raspberry only a few nights apart, I think this is the more successful of the two. The chocolate is fairly front and center, if not overly so. I think this is a solid chocolate stout, if not one that I would go out of my way for again. A cut above Widmer's usual offerings at least.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 03:29:04 | More by BKBassist
Photo of stephenjmoore
stephenjmoore

Maryland

3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown, settles black, frothy tan head that leaves some sticky lacing.

S- Just a hint of roasted barley with some toasted malt. No chocolate, no coffee, nothing.

T- Flavor comes through way more than the nose would indicate. Cocoa powder, hints of coffee and vanilla, roasted malt.

M- Full bodied, medium carbonation. Not thick, but drinkable.

O- A pretty good RIS, but the aroma is not there. Not terrible, but not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 02:20:53 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

2.18/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

OK so I've never liked over the top bottles with wax or corkers. This one however does the wax and does it with this messy crappy wax that is flaking everywhere. A can would be better folks, even of the snobs!

Pours a nice creamy black body with a nice tan foam cap. Totally a great looking beer. Though I guess we take a point off for the awful bottle.

Vanilla and light milk chocolate aroma with some slight roast hints. Not enough hop or enough roast given the imperial and RUSSIAN parts.

Hops, chocolate, vanilla, but it is almost a hint sour and it isn't well blended. This beer might need some age to see it blend together but right now it is a lot of odd flavors that don't blend together.

it's pretty drinkable with enough cream and yet kinda light and drinkable given the creamy feel. Still the flavor makes it less than desirable.

I'm not a fan of this beer. It has all kinds of good elements but they don't work together and it wasn't well thought out. Pass this isn't good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 02:25:24 | More by bobhits
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.24/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Nearly black in the Ommegang chalice with a dark beige head. Not too foamy in the glass, but a prickly carbonation on the tongue. Aroma is not very pronounced. The body is almost watery, though it has very substantial maltiness.

A big black charred flavor with a faint sourness. Burnt sugar and something like a charred whiskey barrel. Starts out with some malty richness, but that seems to evaporate, leaving just the bitter chocolate, an alcoholic burn, and a dry finish. The hoppy tang leaves a little more bitterness, which is pleasant and adds some interest.

This is perfectly drinkable, and has some pleasant flavors, but the competition in this category comes from dozens of wonderful brews, so this one rates only average. Especially for 14 bucks. From the 22 oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 06:15:30 | More by mactrail
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sweet malts are present in the nose along with notes of licorice and hints of roasted malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, although it also has favors of roasted malts. A light amount of bitterness is present. The chocolate flavors become stronger as the beers warm up.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer doesn't taste as roasty compared to other Russian Imperal Stouts and doesn't deliver as much chocolate flavors as I would have expected.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2013 04:01:36 | More by metter98
Photo of dtivp
dtivp

West Virginia

3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep dark brown with two fingers of a foamy dark tan head with good retention that fades into a thick cap with heavy lacing.

Aroma of dark chocolate, roasted malt and hints of alcohol.

Taste was roasty with dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate with a slight hint of sweet cocoa or milk chocolate and a slight dry bitter ending with a little alcohol warmth.

Mouth Feel is medium leaning full body with light carbonation, smooth with a slight bitterness and a nice alcohol glow at the end.

Overall a very nice Russian Imp Stout, I'm not a big chocolate beer lover, however, I enjoyed this one and would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2013 00:50:11 | More by dtivp
Photo of richj1970
richj1970

Alabama

4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter glass.

A: Pitch black with nice 3 finger brown head. Some minimal lacing but nothing to speak of. The wax seal makes for attractive packaging but made the bottle a pain to open.

S: Roasted malts with coffee notes, chocolates, maybe a bit of licorice.

T: Bitter chocolates are up front especially as it warmed up. Nice coffee and roasts flavors coming through. A slight hint of some fruity flavors underneath, maybe cherry.

M: Nice medium body with average carbonation. Not too thick, but coats tongue well.

O: Good chocolate stout. Very enjoyable to drink. I prefer the Yeti chocolates just a bit to this one, but a solid choice still.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 23:05:19 | More by richj1970
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown, pretty close to black with a shim of tan head that doesn't last long.

Smell. Sweet dark chocolate, dark malts and molasses with a bit of licorice and smoke.

Taste. Bitter dark chocolate with high cocoa content (in a good way), a bit of dark malt and dark fruits, and some grain alcohol.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium-low carbonation with some soothing warmth.

Overall. A decent chocolate stout that's heavy on the cocoa. I liked it.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 17:48:18 | More by Rutager
Photo of Maltmaiden
Maltmaiden

Alabama

3.54/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: well it looks like a stout. a dark brown one.

S: Lots of milk chocolate. fig. alcohol. vanilla.

T: Bitter chocolate. Very roasted/burnt malt. alcohol is definitely there. some citrussy hops.

M: Medium. Moderately dry with a long finish.

O: Not bad flavors but the alcohol kinda killed the moment by being do overpowering. Probably won't drink another this year...maybe I'll age one to mellow it out a little...

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 04:18:14 | More by Maltmaiden
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black color. Frothy and fluffy in the head department. Looks nice.

Roasty nose with bitter chocolate and charred grain; combatted by noticeable hop bitterness. Creamy notes also evident.

Sweet maltiness and dark chocolate with secondary notes of black coffee and licorice. Some char. Some toffee sweetness.

A little prickly with back-of-the-throat booze. Body feels okay. On the full side. Carbonation is soft.

Decent Chocolate RIS. Would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 01:14:00 | More by thecheapies
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - pitch black with a thick, dark brown head

S - cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, coffee

T - huge, chocolate notes, big coffee presence, roasted malts, some alcohol, mildly bitter finish

M - full bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This was a really nice offering. The chocolate was absolutely impressive. The balance was also impeccable. The coffee added a nice bitter balance to the sweet coffee. Overall, this is one of the best beers I've had from Widmer. This is definitely a beer I will have again.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2013 01:47:39 | More by tdm168
Photo of SawDog505
SawDog505

New Hampshire

4.21/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Lost Abbey glass, bottled on 12/13/12. Pours a slick black with a 3 inch light brown head, that leaves lace all over the sides of the glass. Smell is very large dark chocolate, coffee, some roasted malt, and toffee. Taste is similar, rich chocolate dances on the palate to start and gives way to some roasted coffee and carmel. Body is medium, plenty of life, a little dry, and very drinkable. This is very nice, maybe a little more expensive than some equal or More quality beer, but tasty for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 01:22:10 | More by SawDog505
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up tonight at the COOP for $11ish... Poured into my slim tulip.. 1 finger of brownish head sticks around for a while and leaves decent lacing for the entire glass.. the brew is pretty much black but a tiny bit of light shows deep ruby in the stem end of my glass.

Nose is more oriented toward chocolate and cocoa than RIS aromas... cocoa nibs and some slight dark fruits are the highlights.. Unfortunately there is a bit of pronounced EtOH with warmth..

Flavor shows cocoa and light roast that is brought up front by a light sorta creamy sweetness... a bit of char and hints of smoke in the finish remind me that this is a bigger stout... some dark fruit notes show as the temp rises..

Body is a solid medium with a light carbonation... sorta silky..

Decent beer... not great... could use more traditional stout flavors (albeit light) to help make this brew standout a bit more.

3.75/3.25/3.5/3.5/3.5

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2013 06:34:17 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Gregfalone
Gregfalone

California

3.51/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber, bottled 12/13/12

Appearance is appealing, dark brown, damn near black. A very high pour into my newcastle nucleation glass yields about two inches of dense, tight light tan head, which dissipated to a thin layer after about 10 minutes. Nice lacing

Smells of chocolate, hops, and alcohol.

Tastes strongly of dark heavy chocolate up front, followed with a bitter hops taste, and a warm, but boozy taste. The flavors aren't bad, but the don't blend smoothly enough for my taste. The potential is there, and I think this beer might benefit from a year or two in the cellar. Maybe ill update this next year.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, and slightly over carbonated for my liking. Not unpleasant, but not great.

Overall, I think there is potential here, and I'm going to get a couple more bottles to drink in a year, and later.
Unfortunately that is not what I am rating, and I have to say that fresh, this beer is a little dissapointing for the price. A good beer, but I definately feel like I overspent

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2013 07:47:47 | More by Gregfalone
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ale brewed with chocolate nibs.

Pours thick with the color of used motor oil. Light proof beer with a tall brown colored head.

Smell of chocolate and toasted grain with a little smoke and a charred grain aroma. Mildly sweet with some caramel in the scent and a little coffee. OK but it could be more aromatic.

Starts out sweet with a bittersweet flavor overall, chocolate is the after taste. Slight bit of smoke in the flavor the malt is about perfect to balance out the patent malt. Good chocolate and it is just slightly bitter. More of a 3.75 in the flavor area.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Tasty beer but not really outstanding. Similar to North Coast Old Rasputin.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 01:22:15 | More by Zorro
Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.