Sixpoint Brewery

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #233
Ranked #4,290
4.13 | pDev: 8.96%
Sixpoint Brewery
New York, United States
Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 119 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Sycodrummer:
Photo of Sycodrummer
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap from Sunset in Allston, Ma. Presented to me in a tulip glass the beer was a jet black color with one sticky finger of tan head. Lace clung all over the glass and no other outright signs of carbonation.

The smell has a strong coffee and expresso aroma upfront with a chicory like bitterness "scent." Some dark chocolate and cocoa aromas and slight sweetness and molasses as well. Some intimation of its ABV in the nose, but not overpowering.

The taste is abound with coffee flavors. Strong, black, burnt flavors of coffee with a semi-sweet, semi-bitter finish. An overall smoothness with slight hints of toffee and mollasses that is quickly cut short by a quick "coffee bitterness." Alcohol is also apparent in the taste. Well balanced with many flavors, but nothing seems to get in the way.

Medium-heavy mouthfeel with the alcohol more apparent as the beer warms. As said; balanced, but powerful as the sample progresses.

A very drinkable stout and one to be respected. First had it at the EFB and it has not dissappointed either time I've had. A bit steep to seek out for the $20 bottles, but so enjoyable nonetheless.

 1,142 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of jdhilt
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger, light brown head that slowly fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Solid black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted chocolate nose. Starts with a roasted/burnt chocolate flavor, smooth, some of the burnt flavor lingers in the aftertaste, high ABV is not noticeable. Pricey, [a Stone Russian Imperial Stout is $6 and just as good] - $17.95 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

 428 characters

Photo of sponberg
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black, as it should be. Aroma of roastiness with a serious hop bite - almost pine tree like.

Great hop-roast malt balance - hard to achieve when shooting for a hoppy RIS. Starts with a coffee-chocolate roastiness along with a spicy, piney hoppiness that's really, really appetizing - and underneath it is a toffeeish malt. Finishes with a spicy roastiness. Niiice! Silky mouthfeel is appropriate. Would love to have another, but do I look like I'm made of money?

Really good example of a hoppy RIS.

 509 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This imperial stout poured a black color with brown highlights near the edges. The white foam settled flat but left a bit of lace on the inside of the glass as the beer level went down. The smell was licorice, hops, dark malt, lightly sweet molasses, and dark caramel. The taste was richly malty with a bit of sweetness. There were some flavors of licorice and molasses, and there was a strong hoppiness beneath all the malty flavors. The mouthfeel was smooth and velvety with full body and low carbonation feel. The finish was hoppy, and dark malt flavors lingered in the aftertaste. This was a very nice and enjoyable stout.

 626 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The only bottled sixpoint beer. Hand bottled hand capped, hand dipped, and signed 22oz gold wax bomber bottle. This one pours motor oil dark with a nice espresso head of tan foam that is long lasting and provides the viewer with excellent lacing and retention as well as some fast running boston marathon legs. Aromas is all deep roasted malt, espresso, chocolate, black anise, and more. There is a definite herbal green hop aroma as well which transcends into the taste as well. Speaking of the taste this one is super roasty, with chocolate and coffee notes mid-palate. Than this one gets very roasty and hoppy in the middle and end. Mouthfeel is somewhat medium light and this works very well and lends an excellent drinkability as well. no dark lord to be sure, but a more authentic Russian/British imperial/double stout would be hard to find. Unfortunately this bottling is quite old and aged and I did not have a chance to try this one fresh. I can only imagine that future bottling will be even better. This is a great rendition of one of my favourite beer styles from the hands-down best brewery in New York State at this moment in time...

 1,147 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to zrrbrrt for opening this one...
Batch# 74, Bottle# 735

Appears black with dark brown edges and a large, fluffy, tan head of foam that that never really fades away. Lots of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of roasty malt, ripe fruit, bitter baker's chocolate, along with a touch of mild tartness.
Taste is much of the mentioned aromas with some roasty cocoa nib flavors coming through.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, roasty, fizzy up front with a long, lasting, roasted finish.

 507 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Redbones.
Presented well chilled, opaque blackish, with mahogany edging.
Dark beige head sustained throughout.
Thick chocolate nose, with espresso and citrus laden hops poking through.
Aromatics finish a bit acrid and dry, with lingering hops.
Full body, thick and chewy, plenty of gription.
Pallet is loaded with plenty of roasted barley, bakers chocolate, coffee grounds, and hop pellets.
Finishes a bit astringent, especially in the back of the tongue and throat.
Alcohol well hidden, and a big imperial stout, indeed.
Cellaring may help Bolshoi mellow out its somewhat over-aggressive hopping rate.

 622 characters

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #662

Thanks to Alex for this one.

A ton of beautiful rich fat foamy carmel colored head easily reaches the top of the glass standing over three fingers. Nice retention and massive waves of lace are left. Body is definitely imperial blackness. Nose is full with zesty almost peppered spice character with hints of coco and alchol. Enters the mouth with some bittersweet chocolate and slightly soured dark fruit. A creamy dark richness glazes the back of the tongue and turns back to the dry bitter coco side and leads to the same mouthfeel. Solid drinkability as the alchol is nicely hidden in this one.

 611 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 74 Bottle 854

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a towering tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a rich earthy scent that boasts of black and roasted malts along with a nice hop aroma. It's dry and mildly bitter. The taste is good. It has a smooth black malt flavor that goes down easy and warms on the finish. The hops peek through the rich malts; very nice. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a big beer that drinks well. It's full of flavor and wonderful hop character.

 567 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The stout has an abundantly thick three finger mocha-colored head. The stout itself is very black.

S: Aroma is very offputting. It is slightly vinous but it lacks depth. It seems like a coffee bean aroma, but fresher and not roasted.

T: Taste seems to refocus the beer, providing a very full bodied taste. The first flavors are a bold roasted malt strength that doesn't hide the alcohol. Vinous flavors continue to emerge, but that odd aroma from the nose continues to pop up here. Luckily it fades away and finishes with a long roasted malt chocolate flavor.

M: The impy stout qualities are very good, adding a depth to the stout, but that aroma continues to confound me.

D: I find it difficult to drink more than one of these big beers.

 753 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006. Nice looking head, over a black body with brown edges. Long lasting and large foam. Fairly intricate nose shows some oxidation, but also notes of dark fruit, chocolate and coffee. Flavor still shows some hop character (grapefruit,) and solid bitterness. Doesn't quite have the malt complexity I was hoping for. A bit off balance with hop character and over-roasted malt. Still a nice ale, but not an excellent Imperial.

 425 characters

Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to have had this on cask at the Brazen Head awhile back. Poured jet black and oily thick with only the tiniest hand-pumped head, a strong mix of espresso malt with a liberal dose of hops, tastes like heavy dark Belgian chocolate (the 95% bittersweet variety that's more 'bitter' than 'sweet'.) Just enough creamy roasted sweetness in the finish, balanced well with some tart hoppy spice on top. I've had this in all it's permutations (bottle and tap too) and though I like them all I think the cask is the best, the 'mellowing' serving style does wonders for the flavor. A bit of extra alcohol comes through but that's what this style is for as far as I'm concerned.

 683 characters

Photo of John_M
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Bailey's tap house the other day during a low key sixpoint event. Was surprised to see this beer listed as retired on BA.

The beer pours a pretty dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty attractive as well, with dark chocolate, light coffee, considerable vanilla, and definitely a pretty noticeable anise/licorice component. The flavor profile replicated then nose pretty closely, but thankfully the licorice flavor wasn't quite as overpowering or pronounced on the palate. In fact, the flavor profile was pretty complex, with all the flavors noted on the nose, but maybe also some cardamom and light clove. Pretty interesting really, and not the sort of thing I often encounter in a RIS. Mouth feel is fairly full and soft, and the finish was long and smooth. There really weren't any rough edges in this beer, and the alcohol was well integrated into the flavor profile.

These days, I rarely order a RIS that isn't barrel aged, but this was one of the better non-barrel aged impy stouts I've had in some time. Impressive effort from the folks at Sixpoint.

 1,109 characters

Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Eagle Provisions, open early in the day so I can get these good beers. Batch 74 bottle 759. Not a thick RIS, and yet a very tasty one. Good combination of chocolate malt, well carbonated.Good roasting and its in the smell. Fine craft, very drinkable, smooth.

 271 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased from Julio's, Westboro, MA. Gold wax, signed by brewer, hand-numbered Batch 74, Bottle 715.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1 1/2" brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head goes nowhere fast, with heavy, coating lacing. Aroma is hearty chocolate sweet, coffee bitter, and piney hops. Taste is all that the nose hinted, and more so. Mouthfeel is velvety, and drinkability is only limited by the fact that the sweetness may eventually overpower, and/or the alcohol will leave you in a heap somewhere. Nice brew.

 558 characters

Photo of RichThatchr
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I shared a bottle of this lightly chilled with a friend while recording a podcast on the subject of Sixpoint Craft Brewing last night. We tasted it after we tried the Apollo Wheat and the jet black coffee look of the stout was interesting as the contrasting cream head was nestled on top of the darkness. It had an interesting smell that reminded me of some of the better known Belgian Dubbels.

The first taste was very deep and the following second revealed more about the malty strength with an edge of hops dryness. It was unlike the signature Sixpoint overt display of hops, which made it very accessible.

As we took the bottle down, I reflected that the Bolshoi was a very good ale and probably a worthy mark to judge others of its kind. It's only downfall is the price, which is something different for a brewery that almost entirely makes beers for tap. It was batch 74, bottle 483.

 895 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been wanting to try something from this brewery for a while and this was definitely on my list. I never thought I would get it but it showed up at a recent tasting. Very nice. Also a cool name for an RIS, bolshoi means big or large for those that do not know.

Beer is black and appears thick as its poured into the glass. Beer forms a thick brown (dark brown) head that is propped up for a long time by massive carbonation. Head leaves lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Aroma is strong. There is alcohol in there as well as almost a bitter chocolate. Smells fine, alcohol is a little biting.

Beer is way more bitter than I expected, completely bitter in the back of the mouth. Beer is full bodied and really harshly bitter, its mostly from the roasted grain and what I'm assuming is cocoa.

 796 characters

Photo of zen
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served in a brandy snifter from the 22oz bottle with the wax top
pours out black and no light through
this beer has got to be one of my favorites now. it has the smell of choclate and a touch of alcohol and coffee. as the beer gets more to room temperature the taste gets better and better. it is very drinkable for me even with the high alcohol content. would really drink more then one bottle or maybe 1 1/2 (only if i didnt have work the next day haha) in one night.
as i said before with all the talk about this beer i had to pick one up and im glad i did. now im going to try and find it on draft somewhere.

 615 characters

Photo of twelvsies
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well they finally bottled something, hip hip hooray. About time. I love many of their beers, but have only had them on tap for the most part, and therefore haven't commented on as many as I could have. But oh man, this one's a doozy. Pours an opaque black, no discrepencies. Nice head. Even took a break from this one, went outside, and the head is still inhabiting the mug. I'm a big fan of balance, and this beer takes that ideal to the exreme. There's a big difference between some itty bitty balance beam and the big time tight rope, and this one walks the line. Plenty o' hops contribute to the supposed 126 ibu's this one boasts, as well as lots of roasters contributing to the bitterness. Tasty, and relatively complex, in a sort of bitter, malty, hoppy, explosion. Mostly a big fat malt muscles, but plenty of soft milkness to go around, plus a nice, oddly, but also perfectly placed citrussy hop profile. Chocolate covered citrussyness, plus bitter excellency. Dry. Heavy hitter.

 988 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 74; Bottle 96

Appearance: Pours a viscous brown color with a thick and creamy tan head; plenty of leggy lacing sticks to the side of the chalice

Smell: Mocha fudge with hints of citrusy hops and mint

Taste: Chocolate fudge with mocha and citrusy elements, up front; after the swallow, the citrus leads to a puckering sensation, though the chocolatey flavors continue to dominate the flavor profile

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: Kept this one in the cellar since its release and am amazed by the way the hops still come through four years on; not as full bodied as others of the style, but the hops add a unique dimension

 680 characters

Photo of apintofknowledge
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a brandy snifter, this beer pours black as night with a moderate tan head and aromas of rich roasted barley and floral hops eminating from the glass.

The taste is complex, warming, and extremely drinkable all at once. The initial rich roasted but not burnt flavors meld slowly into a mildy fruity, sweet and caramel-like middle, finishing with the subtle but noticable presence of warming alcohol and ever so slightly spicy hops, while the roasted notes carry right through to the finish. There's a creaminess that permeates that just makes it even more drinkable. While other such imperial stouts may have strong chocolate or coffee notes, this one is all about the complexity of the roasted malt itself, which has dimensions and flavors that may include bittersweet chocolate and dark roast coffee, but goes far beyond. I honestly can't even describe all the flavors that come through... it changes and gets better the more you drink. Of course, with its high ABV, one glass will do just fine for an evening... even though the alcohol doesn't come through in the taste as strong as one might expect.

Simply put, a wonderfully rich and complex stout, perfect for lingering over on a cold winter evening.

 1,220 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

aah, the russian.

ok buddy, this was quite a harsh brew in its infancy. on the advice of the brewmaster, i let this sit for a while before consuming to review. once i saw the reaction of the folks drinking this at split thy skull.. i knew the time had come.

beer is black with absolutely not the slightest bit of light penetrating through. foam is tan and splotchy, creamy like the top of a freshly decanted espresso. big bubbles accent flat, smooth areas.. like the crust on a good pizza pie. this beer laces up intricately.. some areas cascading and some stay put like solid sugarwalls.

this beer smells like a young hop bud dipped in chocolate. hops dominate, but not in a citrusy or fruity way. these herbs are purely botanical, bleeding a sappy, forest green. nestle quik syrup is the river that the lupulin flowers float up your nose on.

this beer sips like a double ipa roasted out to the max. bitter, husky chocolate malt has been milled in raw earth and spit out vigorously through a randall. the alcohol and acidity are adequate foils, creating a neutral buzz that carries up into the nasal cavity. some homebrewey yeast creeps in, bringing me back to the days of rich, pot-brownie tastes. mouthfeel is like velvet and repitition brings the sweetness of ultra-dark cacao-heavy chocolate. even slight hints of wet wood chips are detectable here.

the idea of paying $20 for a beer that you shouldn't even drink right away did seem preposterous.. but sixpoint's dream is materializing against all odds. i have one bottle left, and if i'm right, it's gonna be close to a 5.0 by next fall.

good now, on its way to greatness.

 1,648 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first choice on tap as I walked into the Barcade this past Friday...thank the beer gods there was still some availabe after Thursday night's event.
Arrived in a chalice glass a solid black color with no light passing thru...a full finger and a half of creamy tan head. The head disappeared fairly quickly, but a thin layer remained for most of the offering.
Served just slightly chilled so the scent was very nice...dark chocolate up front with an espresso backbone.
The taste was very nice...again, more chocolate than coffee, but the malt sweetness showed up to balance this one beautifully.
Mouthfeel was solid...silky smooth texture, medium bodied and the carbonation was just where I like to see it.
A very dangerous RIS at 10%, as this one goes down so easily...can't wait to see this one come up to won't last long.

 840 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle / $16.xx from Finger Lakes Beverage in Ithica NY almost a year ago now (saved this second bottle for Christmas this year)
Gold wax seal / Batch 74 Number 847 / signed by brewer

A - Opaque black... not even a glimmer ray would penetrate when held up to the light. Three finger, stiff dark tan head when poured into an imperial pint glass. The head did not go any where after drinking; lines the glass, reluctant to lace.

S - Had to get right down in the glass before getting the deep roast earthy aroma.

T - Wonderful roast coffee, chocolate and some caramel before the hops and alcohol along the edge of the tongue. The taste lingers and coats the tongue. Outstanding. More alcohol and hoppiness as it warms.

M - Thick, heavy and dry mouthfeel. Quite thick and the creamy.

D - Very drinkable. A perfect sipper to be savored on a cold winter evening!

 878 characters

Photo of hopdog
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared courtesy of Josh. Bottle labeled batch #24, bottle # 734.

Poured a dark black color with a larger sized tan head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, earthy, coffee and some smoke. Tastes of cocoa, dark fruits, roast, and had a bitter coffee finish. Alcohol content well hidden (just noticed it was over 10%).

Notes from 4/18/07

 342 characters

Bolshoi from Sixpoint Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 119 ratings