1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Tsarina Katarina - Scotch Irish Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tsarina KatarinaTsarina Katarina

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

43 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 43
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Scotch Irish Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Sammy on 10-23-2005)
View: Beers (0) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by trevorwideman:
Photo of trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle sent to me by either grub or pootz...I can't remember! Poured into a snifter. I'm going to assume that this is the 2005 edition, there's no date on the bottle.

Pours completely opaque, black as used motor oil with a very healthy finger of head that may just be the darkest colour of tan I've ever seen. It's almost grey it's so dark. Tons of lovely lacing, carbonation seems a bit above average. Aroma is heady with nutty and bitter chocolate, molasses, vanilla, brown sugar, espresso beans, light smokiness, pepper, and some meaty herbs. Quite intense.

Big, big flavour. Almost savoury off the top with some herbal saltiness that gives way to a massive roasted cocoa bitterness. There's a brown sugary and milk chocolate sweetness in the background that balances this brew nicely. Nice herbal quality to this as well. Earthy and smoky as well with a finish that's all lactic sourness and bitterness. Great balance here. Massive body in this one, very, very heavy with a medium carbonation. Not so much dry as sticky as all hell, bordering on syrupy but not quite there. This is good, almost great. Time has smiled on this bottle, but I'm wondering if it's peaking right now. Whatever, it's a fantastic brew for a chilly evening, and an RIS for Ontario to be proud of. I'm liking this better than the sample I had of Wellington's Impy Stout by far.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2007 03:17:55 | More by trevorwideman
More User Reviews:
Photo of t0rin0


4/5  rDev -2.4%

01-01-2013 05:05:26 | More by t0rin0
Photo of pootz

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From tasting notes dated Oct 15/08

Finally I scavanged a bottle from a trade; this sample has been properly racked for a few years:

Poured jet black with a creamy mocha colored cap that lasts and laces well.

Rich chocolate and wet hay aroma.

Thick silky mouth feel.

Flavour is decadent dark roasted cocoa and figs with a wonderful pervasive resinous hop bittering in the back.

Long rich wet finish with lingering cocoa after tastes. BLOODY MARVELOUS STUFF!

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 01:43:23 | More by pootz
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 vintage, bottle at Volo.

This beer pours a complete black, no light at the edges, with practically nil for head, even after a vigorous pour, and no resultant lace. It smells of fleshy, meaty malt, tangy caramel, and somewhat astringent booze. The taste is bitter caramel malt, a bit hot, and earthy hops. The carbonation is on the low side, the body smooth, silky, but kind of thin overall, with a sweet, herbal finish.

Kind of a disappointment after having its little brother, the John By, which had a heftier body and none of the off-flavours, however small they are here.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 04:24:33 | More by biboergosum
Photo of DefenCorps


3.2/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz bottle vintage dated 2005 received from Viggo last year at DLD and the Heavy Metal BIF. Thanks, Eric, you're too kind!

A: Jet black with a dark brown head. Retention is OK, receding to a disk rather quick. Attractive foam on the side of the glass

S: Unsweetened bakers chocolate and fruit character with raisins and plums. Mild burnt malt bitterness is present on the nose, and that works very well with the chocolate, creating a creamy nose. Licorice and a little anise are present as well. The oxidation has added plenty to this beer.

T: Strange. It opens up with a mild sourness seems quite terribly out of place. It's not an infection, it just seems like sour grape and cherry skins, with a pretty big fruity sourness. I wonder if my nose is way off. Along with the cherry, there is some unsweetened chocolate as well. The sourness segues into a dry, moderately ashy finish. The malt seems to have been completely washed out, as I don't get much flavor, really.

M: Pretty full in body with soft carbonation. Apart from the sourness, this is pretty good on the finish

D: I'm really not in the mood for this, unfortunately.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2009 03:42:00 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - opaque black, a thin cover of mocha provides a little color contrast. It fades quickly, leaving just some stray wisps on top and a streak or two on the glass.

Aroma - dark roast, sweet with raisin and fig, some chocolate syrup and soy as well.

Taste - nicely roasted malts, dark but with some papery oxidation flavor. Not totally unexpected from an '05 bottle. Decent notes of coffee beans and bittersweet cocoa. A touch of char on the swallow, finishes dry and with some lingering roasted malt. Dried cherries edge through as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation is light to medium, which I tend to prefer in the impy stouts. Still enough to prickle the tongue but nothing that fills the mouth. The body is thin for the style, the flavors would come across bigger if the feel was more sturdy.

Drinkability - thanks to Viggo for bringing me this at DLD09. It may be ideal around 24 to 30 months, but it's pretty tasty as is, too. Thanks Eric!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 02:16:37 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of ClockworkOrange


3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I can't remember who sent me this - either grub or viggo. Thanks! Poured from a 341ml bottle into my shaker "pint" glass. Appears a nearly opaque deep brown color with about two fingers of dark, creamy ecru foam. Smells of molasses, plums, prunes, touch of sour cherries, and vanilla. Tastes of sour plums, caramelized malts, mild coffee, muted alcohol, bitter cocoa powder, rich molasses, and treacle. The finish is dry and slightly sour. Rather full bodied with medium carbonation. A tasty and complex RIS. Glad I had the opportunity to try it.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2009 02:50:50 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of sholland119


3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from grub in the '80's BIF last summer. Thanks, Russ.

A-Beautiful crystalline black, with a fluffy brown head and good retention.

S-Oak mostly with molasses, some dark chocolate and malt.

T-Woody, a little sour and quite roasty. Not as much sweetness as I would hope for.

M-Medium bodied with fine carbonation.

D-Nicely drinkable with well hidden alcohol.


Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 02:52:59 | More by sholland119
Photo of Voonder

Alberta (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Viggo for this!
Pours very dark brown whith coffee color thin head. Smell - coffee mostly, some plums on the back. Taste - wow! Somple, but great! Plum-like frutinnes hits at first, then some toasted sugar, coffee and caramel. Alcohol is very vell hidden. Beer is very well balanced and very drinkable! WoW!
Thanks again Eric for this great extra!

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2009 21:41:39 | More by Voonder
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 release, acquired from DrJay courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of rich chocolate and dark roasted malts with touches of dark fruit and alcohol.

T: The taste is very malty as you would expect with strong flavors of chocolate and dark fruit, but overly sweet. There's a mild alcohol sting and a very mild hops presence. The positive effects of age seem very apparent to me even though I've never had the beer fresh. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent beer to sip on for a while if you've still got some left after 3 years, but it would be interesting to see how well the beer holds up for an even longer period of time.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 03:15:07 | More by TheManiacalOne


3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Only an inch of peppery carmel colored head is achieved even with a strong pour. Quickly fades leaving no lace. Body is like used motor oil thick and black. Nose has tones of bourbon, coco, soured dark fruit and raw minerals. Enters the mouth quickly letting you know that this beer may be past its prime. Soured malts are followed by tart dark fruit skins. You then get some mineraly run off and a bit of a burnt malt that adds some balance. There is a lingering dry powdery feel that reminds me a lot of bitter chocolate. Mouthfeel stays along these same lines. Drinkability of this one is just about average for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2008 19:55:41 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of RedHaze


3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Viggo for this bottle. Vintage 2005.

Pours a very dark, almost pitch black with a thin tan head. The foam settles quickly to a thin ring and patch in the center of the beer. Lacing is minimal, but surprisingly sticky.

Smell; black strap molasses and dark chocolate, with some slightly burned toast, a touch of vanilla. As this warms roasted coffee beans and some charred wood come out.

Taste; a touch sweet at first, almost like a milk stout. Then the chocolate and slightly bitter roasted coffee, burned wood and vanilla come through. Towards the finish it turns back to sweet, but with a mild alcohol bite thrown in.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a low carbonation giving it a very smooth feel, and the drinkability is good. I would have no problem sipping on a couple of these in a night.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2008 00:25:35 | More by RedHaze
Photo of seaoflament


3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to grub for this one in our recent trade. This is a 2005 vintage bottle.

Pours the color of used motor oil, slick and shiny, and as soon as I started pouring I could tell that this is one of those beers you need to pour carefully. Even with a slow, steady, pour I managed to get about 2 inches of foam. Very good looking beer in the glass.

Great aroma with some coffee, milk chocolate, toasted bread, cocoa, vanilla, and a touch of a musty wood aroma. The initial aroma is mostly coffee, chocolate, and vanilla with a background of toasted and roasted malts. There's also a bit of cappuccino and milk. After the beer breathes for a few moments the toasted and roasted malts come through a little stronger and I can detect a bit of bitterness that seems to be from roasted barley. I'm also getting a bit of charred wood which seems like the roasted barley again. After it warms up a bit I detect a hint of berries and butterscotch. Pretty good overall.

The first sip revealed a ton of toast, roasted barley, roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. There's a bit of alcohol in the finish too. A little rough at first, it might be a tad too cold still. There's some coffee and chocolate in the finish and aftertaste. I think the carbonation level really hurts the flavor of the beer, it seems to prevent other nuances from shining and inhibits flavors from holding on to your palate in the finish and aftertaste.

The beer is a tad too carbonated for me; it stings the tongue instead of coating it and pass through smoothly.

If this one toned down on the carbonation it would be much better.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2008 02:59:40 | More by seaoflament
Photo of ncvbc

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost solid black, a medium tan head rises up then falls to a ring that stays for the remainder of the session. Smell seems fairly balanced with a little more sweetness than anything. Chocolate, caramel, some light fruit. Also some toasted bread. Taste is very nice and there is surely more roast flavor here than the nose suggested. Rich chocolate flavors and hints of roasted coffee. Fruit comes in and almost adds a tartness to the depth of flavors. Medium mouthfeel, not as big as I'd hoped but still creamy and smooth with a little dry finish. This is an RIS that drinks closer to a Stout despite the fact that it still has some great complexity. I like it a lot.

Thanks to grub for this extra in a trade!

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2008 00:48:16 | More by ncvbc
Photo of tpd975


3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I would like to thank biegaman for this one.

A: It pours thick as oil with a wonderful deep dark black hue. The head is rather full and mad up of millions of tiny khaki colored bubbles. There is a bit of lacing as well.

A: The aroma is big bold and rich. Tons of malt and fresh coffee dominate. There are hints of chocolae with a dose of alchol beneath it all.

F: The flavor matches the nose. Tons of deep dark roasted malt right up front. Big bitter coffee swirled with chocolate. There is a bit of bitter hops along with rum soaked dark fruits. I really like it.

M: Medium to full bodied with ample carbonation.

D: I enjoyed it alot.

Overall: More proof that the men north of the border can brew big bold beers. Lot's of flavor and overall very enjoyable. I am honored to try a brew that rarely makes it south of the border.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2008 00:27:04 | More by tpd975
Photo of Quej

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Pitch black, with dark head which quickly disappears.
S - Smells are quite roasty and burnt, lots of coffee tastes coming from the malts accompanied by a strange sour note.
T - Starts quite sour and quickly becomes dark and burnt and leads to an espresso-like finish. It tastes quite boozy and lingers rather bitterly.
M - Rough and drying, really quite thick and coating. Very heavy body.
D - Could barely finish the bottle with a friend. This isn't the best imperial stout I've had. It was oddly sour and quite harsh.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2008 15:34:57 | More by Quej
Photo of Absumaster


4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Edition 2005, got this from northyorksammy, thanks again!

The beer pours a viscous inky black color. The head is settling into a thin glass-sticking brown cream. Beautiful picture this is.

Smell of roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate. The smell makes me suspect the use of a large amount of unmalted grain like oats or rye. There is a nice fruity yeast flavor present, which adds just that little extra in complexity.

Taste is wow!! full and roasted and has a nice warming alcohol burn going on. Roasted notes remind of coffee and dark, unsweetened chocolate. The alcohol is not sharp, but it is warming. Bitterness is high, given the age of the beer it must have been higher when fresh. Bitterness is a combination of hops and maltbitterness. The English yeast gives a nice fruity taste. Body is full and the carbonation is fine bubbling, which makes the beer really smooth on the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2008 14:10:27 | More by Absumaster
Photo of akorsak


4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 341 mL bottle of the 2005 vintage courtesy of biegaman.

A: The stout has the typical black depth, dark as night and letting nothing escape. A cordoban leather-colored head sits atop the beer and clings to the glass.

S: The nose is unusual, not bad or stale, but strong on vegetal notes. Chocolate and coffee do manage to make themselves known. As the stout warms, the roasted grains make themselves more known, saving the aroma from a dull existence.

T: The stout is showing a touch of its age, a few stray grays, not full hair loss. Chocolate and burnt toast dominate the taste, but they have ceded to a flavor that is almost lactic in its tart sweetness. Black cherries add a fruity sweetness that nicely mixes with the chocolate. The beer seems to have stood the test of time.

M: The mouthfeel has a relaxed imperial stout flavor, some chocolate and coffee, but a surprising tartness mixed with black cherries emerges. The finish is a nice baker's chocolate.

D: The 9% alcohol is nicely hidden and the ale has mellowed out. A real treat.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2008 02:33:12 | More by akorsak
Photo of BeerZack

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted back in December, thanks to HardTarget.

Dark brown, appearing black. Small fine head.

Smells sweet and pruney, also some sour cherries and coffee.

Very tart impression, bitter chocolate, sour fruit (cherries) and a cidery, yeasty citrus thing. odd.

Mouthfeel here may help reveal the problem here, which just might be too much age on this sample (2005), very little carbonation left- almost a still wine feel, watery yet some viscosity.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 03:46:02 | More by BeerZack
Photo of plaztikjezuz


4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i would like to thank grub for this wonderful sample of of a hard to get beer.

tsarina katarina pours thick as motor oil with a color to match the brown head is very thin and composed of small bubbles.
the aroma is very malty and rich with a chocolate aroma dark rummed fruit and a hint of alcohol.
the flavor is malty with a firm roastiness, and a good bitterness, there is a hint of a sour twang, there is a lingering coffee flavor as an aftertaste.
over all a good imperial but starting to show its age, screw off caps maybe?

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 02:12:14 | More by plaztikjezuz
Photo of SkinnyElvis


4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my most excellent Secret Santa biegaman for this brew. Cheers!

2005 vintage. Pours as black as scrooge's heart. Slight head. Nice lacing on the glass. Smells mostly of coffee and malt. Huge taste of malt, choclate, and coffee. I would swear this was a Breakfast Stout clone if I did not know better. The 9.0 ABV is very hard to detect and this is extremely drinkable. This is truly a fantastic RIS & I am thankful for the chance to try it.


Serving type: bottle

12-23-2007 17:43:29 | More by SkinnyElvis
Photo of HardTarget


3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: 2005 neck label, 9% abv., 341 ml.

Aroma: Slightly sour or tart with a whiff of paper, but underneath a solid stout base with roasted barley and a bit of alcohol

Appearance: Inky black with a thin collar of head.

Flavor: Flavor seemed a bit thin, and there’s a definite paper note that’s getting close to unpleasant without going over the line. Malty and grainy with a yeasty element in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin for an Impy stout, and a bit dry.

Overall Impression: I think I held this one a bit too long. If you have some, you probably want to dig in. Glad I got the chance to taste this one.
Hand carried back from Montreal.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 07:31:28 | More by HardTarget
Photo of ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 edition, thank goodness biegaman did not proceed to deplete his supply, he gave me this one for my birthday. What a treat, I'd say this is one of the finest beers I've had the pleasure of tasting and coming right after the Founders Breakfast Stout, that's a real compliment.

Poured very black, opaque. The dense tan head was one finger on pouring and it stuck around with good lacing. Nicely carbonated, generous small bubble activity difficult to decipher in all that inky blackness. I smelled dark chocolate, expresso, and biscotti. The taste is definately dark chocolate, molasses, bitter, with a faint malted milk sweetness that made it extremely palatable. I hardly detected any alcohol at all, if you can believe it. A full bodied, rich, smooth mouthfeel and a nice, long very pleasant finish. Although the finish was not as long as the Breakfast Stout, that is not in any way a criticism. While flavourful, it was nowhere near over the top and never threatened to be overpowering even as it warmed. Extremely nice balance with no astringency and no rough edges, I could savour several of these in a sitting. The 2005 version is ageing nicely as far as I'm concerned, thanks again Jan.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2007 01:54:59 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of JanM


3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tar brown, thick and with very little foam. A very distinct smell of oranges with notes of chocolate. Almost the viscosity of syrup and tasting of organges, chocolate, some espresso and ashes. It's a heavy and full-bodied beer but the strong organge taste threw me off. It makes it a bit sickly. Improves after it has calmed down a bit.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2007 13:52:31 | More by JanM
Photo of funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at the Beer Bistro, otherwise an impossible find around here.

This poured a perfect beautiful black leaving a nice thick tan head that lingered for a while. Smell was quite fragrant, mocha, strong roasted malt. This is also carried into the flavor, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, lots of coffee. This is quite complex. The roasted malts carried into the aftertaste leaving a profound bitterness in the finish.

Overall a thick heavy brew that I enjoyed, but would only consume in moderation.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2007 13:20:52 | More by funkengruven
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Tsarina Katarina from Scotch Irish Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.