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Empress Catherine - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Empress CatherineEmpress Catherine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

112 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 112
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 7.65%
Wants: 1
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: CMUbrew on 11-13-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 112 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 1/27/2014. Pours pitch black color with brown edges with a 1-2 finger fairly dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, char, toast, pine, floral, grass, light citrus, light smoke, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of deep roasted malt and a good amount of pine/floral hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, char, toast, light smoke, floral, grass, pine, and floral/roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, coffee, cocoa, roast, char, toast, floral, grass, pine, light smoke, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and balance of deep roasted malt floral/piney hops flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and lightly chalky/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial stout. All around good complexity and balance of deep roasted malt and floral/pine hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of BMart
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of maximum12
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Thanks to tectactoe for this bottle, a hardy survivor of a summertime trade. 12 oz. bottle hoarded for me, myself, & I. Split three ways.

The pour is Microsoft Mouse black with fleeting carbonation: you blink, you miss. Black licorice flows out of the aroma like a dark lava flow, & I wasn’t even sniffing yet. On closer inspection, there’s black licorice & the vague outline of blackberries. Or maybe that was just the muffin I had this morning repeating on me. Interesting, if overpowering.

Empress Catherine might be overstating her station by a good ways. The taste fits oddly on a big stout. It reminds me most of a nut brown ale, very acorn-forward. Underneath the squirrel feed is harsh bitterness, which might come from the prominent roast or accompanying hops, with bits of chocolate & grainy earthiness. The finish finally catches up to the nose, with a long trail of dark fruit, anise & black licorice lingering into forever. Thin. A bottle for myself will be enough.

Very strange take on an imperial stout that almost works, but ultimately is too schizophrenic for its own good. Decent enough.

Photo of tommy5
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of jbaker67
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of homebrew311
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with a thin collar of tan head. The nose is heavily roasted with dark fruits, earthy hops, and burnt malts. The hops come through quite strongly. The taste is very similar to the nose. Robust hops, heavy roasted character, a bit of earth and chocolate. Mouthfeel is where this beer take a hit. The body doesn't match the big flavors. A bit on the thin side with above average carbonation. Overall, nice flavors here, more body would elevate this beer significantly.

Photo of markgugs
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Mitchster
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$2.19 for a 12oz bottle @ BevCo. 8% ABV and 55 IBU's per the website. Imperial stout?

Pours out to a very dark brown, not quite black, forming a small head with poor retention and no lacing. Thin layer of sediment in the bottle. Mild carbonation, ~2.0 carbs or so. The nose immediately reminds me of Founders Porter or the Old version of Kalmazoo stout when it was brewed in Kzoo way back when. Plenty of roast, burnt marshmallows, lots of black walnut, a hint of dark chocolate, and I'm guessing Willamette hops. Very nice nose. Mouthfeel is full, a little chalky and charred, moderately strong hop and roast malt acidity. The taste is a recap of the nose...lots of black walnut. The acidity of the hops and roast interferes with it's potential smoothness. Moderate hop flavor in addition to it's moderate bitterness. Green leafy hop in the finish. Moderately astringent as well.

As other reviewers here have noted, this is an aggressively hopped (slightly bigger, but not Imperial) stout. It doesn't have many of the characteristics of other quality Imperial stouts in that it's not as full bodied, is a bit lighter in color, is more burnt/charred, is lower in ABV and OG, more aggressively hopped, and has no dark fruit character. Still, it's a decent refrain from other stouts if you're in the mood for something like this, but I think it's a misnomer.

Photo of Stinger80OH
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of beergorrilla
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of dfhhead25
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of mrebeka
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of StoutHunter
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Short's Empress Catherine last week for $2.29 at The Lager Mill. I had this beer a couple weeks ago at a local Short's tap takeover and I thought it was pretty nice stout that was a little similar to their Mystery Stout and I'm interested see how the bottles version is, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I know it's fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- the label looks ok, it's got an old Victorian portrait vibe to it, it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice dark black color that took on some ruby hues on the edges when held to the light with two fingers worth of darker tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice patchy rings of lacing behind. This is a very nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart some roasted, charred, and chocolate like aromas with some coffee showing up in the background. Up next comes the hops which impart some earthy, floral, and piney hop aromas with the earthy hops seeming to stick out the most. This beer had a pretty nice aroma, it was very hoppy for the style but the roasted malts seemed like they did a good job and keeping it fairly balanced.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart all the same aspects that they did in the aroma with the chocolate and charred malt flavors seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes the hops which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma with the earthy hops still sticking out the most with a slight bit of piney and floral hops in the background. On the finish there's lower amount of high bitterness followed by a roasty, chocolate, charred and earthy hops like aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting beer, it's very hoppy and it could almost pass for a Black IPA.

M- Fairly smooth, a little rich, fairly dry, a little creamy, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a slightly lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is very nice and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and a nice, but very hoppy version of the style, it was on verge of being a Black IPA and i don't know if I would be able to pick it out as an Imperial Stout, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. This beer had nice drinkability, it was fairly smooth, a little rich, fairly dry, a little creamy, a little filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I could drink a couple of these, I thought the hops would hurt the drinkability a little, but I find this to be pretty easy drinking for the style. What I like the most about this beer was how well well the malts worked with the hops, they didn't seem to clash at all. What I liked the least about this beer was the higher amount of bitterness, I think it could be toned down a little. I would buy this beer again, it was a very limited release so I don't think it's still around, but I would for sure buy it again if they release it next year and I'll be putting a couple in the cellar to see how it changes over time. I would recommend this beer to anyone who likes their Imperial Stouts on the hoppy side. All in all I enjoyed this beer, it wasn't really what I expect out of a standard Imperial Stout, but Knowing Short's I figured they would put a twist on this one to make it a little unique and that's exactly what they did. It isn't my favorite Imperial Stout or my favorite Short's beer, but it may be one of the better hoppy Imperial Stouts I've had and I like it more than Victory's Storm King. Nice job guys, this was a nice and unique Imperial Stout, keep up the good work.

Photo of atone315
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Zach136
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of I_BYE_MI_BEER
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Stevedore
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, dated 1/27/2014 on the neck. Extra'd to me by Nesto114. Thanks a lot David! Poured into a Bell's snifter today, 3/2/2014.

Review #465.

App- Pours just like a RIS should, though looks a bit watery as it pours. Dark black body, one finger tan head, fair retention that dissipates into a thin collar, plenty of lacing.

Smell- First descriptor that comes to mind is nutty. Faint dark fruits, dark chocolate, charred malts.

Flavour- Tastes even more nutty than it smells though nowhere near peanut butter nutty. Charred malts, dark chocolate, bitter black coffee with an strong herbal, earthy finish. Solid flavour profile, clearly a hopped up RIS.

Mouthfeel- Thinner bodied for a RIS; chalky but not very thick and even a bit watery. Drinkable, aftertaste is charred malts and a bitter earthiness that leaves a fairly dry finish. Not difficult to drink, no heat.

Overall- Solid, hoppy RIS that suffers from a thin mouthfeel compared to others of the same style. It's also quite nutty, which is not something I associate with Russian Imperial Stouts.

Photo of JohnnieNepal
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of jschott75
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Kerrie
4/5  rDev +5.5%

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Empress Catherine from Short's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.