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Empress Catherine - Short's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Empress CatherineEmpress Catherine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

112 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 112
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 7.65%
Wants: 2
Gots: 12 | 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:
Beer added by: CMUbrew on 11-13-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 112 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zach136
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of atone315
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of rkf1976
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of BEERschlitz
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Stinger80OH
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Sirvis
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Knutron
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of BrewtalHonesty
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of PaulyB83
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Bottling date has rubbed off.

A- Pours black with a slight amount of light coming through on the edges. Has a medium sized light brown head.

S- Some dark roasted malts, slight black currant, and a hop presence that is definitely out of style.

T- Similar to aroma, coffee, dark chocolate, some black currant, finishes with lots of hops.

M- Light for an RIS.

O- You really could label this an Imperial Black IPA if you wanted to, I think it might get better scores as well. Not a bad beer but just less than what I'm expecting for a RIS, especially one from Short's all of their stouts that I've had to this point have exceeded my expectations.

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of adamant1912
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Morakaton
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Served from refrigeration, sipped as it warmed from cool to room temperature. Bottle dating - unknown, but the beer just came out in early February

Well, this beer marks the second of the 4 beers Short's had lined up near the beginning of the year that I've been wanting to try (the first being Publican Porter, my all time favorite Porter, the third Goodnight Bodacious, and finally Freedom of '78). Upon reading some of the other reviews, I was a bit worried this beer wouldn't impress me, but I think some of the negativity comes the idea that this beer is a big thick and chewy imperial stout in the likes of Ten Fidy and FIS, when it's actually it's own unique thing.

Appearance and aroma - The beer poured a nice dark brown, not quite the darkest of any imperial stout, but dark enough. There was quite a bit of character in the foam, with a nice amount of lacing. The nose led to impressions of char and smoke, roasted malt, and a rather boisterous amount of hops for an imperial stout!

Mouthfeel and taste - Like I said before, this stout does not have the same extremely thick body of other imperial stouts, and is slightly watery, docking it some points. With that said, it was still rather consistent feeling, lacking a bit in carbonation but not disappointing overall. The beer tasted roasty with a hint of char, and a bit of nuts came through too. The hops were very prominent when it was cold, but as it warmed the hop balance became very nice. Booziness was mostly prominent at cooler temperatures as well, but faded as it warmed. I would think the dislike here is that the beer wasn't as chocolatey and malty as other staples in the imperial stout category, and the nuttiness may confuse people as well. However, I found the beer unique in that regard. Just because a beer is titled imperial stout does not necessarily mean it has to be a clone of the big guns, right?

Overall - It's definitely worth a purchase if you can find it at a reasonable price. It's not nearly as strong as Publican Porter or Goodnight Bodacious, and definitely not the norm in it's category of beer (but anything from Short's hardly ever is), but it's still a great beer from Short's.

Photo of Stevedore
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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 Slay40
4/5  rDev +5.5%

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 szmnnl99
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of jmbot4371
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Supergenious
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of JohnnieNepal
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Boverhof3
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of bigaltemple
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of DMarlinJ
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of VonZipper
4/5  rDev +5.5%

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 Alextricity
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Empress Catherine

$2 single poured into a shaker pint. No bottling date.

Appearance: Pours black with ruby on the sides of the glass. Looks to have good clarity. Half finger beige head. (4.25/5)

Smell: Smells like a black IPA. A lot of hops overlying the roasty base. Bold. Just a lot of earthy hops with coffee and roasted malts. I like it, but not so much in an Imperial Stout. (3.75/5)

Taste/feel: Super silky mouth feel is what I notice first. Moderate carbonation. A little thin, but nice. The taste is like the smell indicates. Loads of earthy hops, but plenty of coffee flavors to bring this beer back down to earth as an Imperial Stout, and not a Black IPA. The hops are mostly present before the swallow, as the aftertaste is bitter black coffee. (3.75/5, 3.75/5)

It's a tasty beer. Quite different, as I haven't had too many hoppy Imperial Stouts. This is a beer I'd return to if I wanted something like a Black IPA rather than an Imperial Stout, just because I'm generally not a HUGE fan of hoppy stouts.


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