Hantverksbryggeriet AB

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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #825
Ranked #38,935
3.66 | pDev: 9.84%
Hantverksbryggeriet AB
Very Good
Notes: Previously known as "Prototyp X".
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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 45 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of clevelandhops
clevelandhops from New York

3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Got this in bottle from a Polish Supermarket in Brooklyn, NY. Funny little stubby bottle. The fact that it was a Swedish imperial stout caught my eye. Though it's a hard beer to decipher, the previous reviews got the details.

A: Looks like a stout, not an imperial stout. Too much brown and not enough black, though still an attractive pour. The beer lacks a thickness, and pours fast, with an effervescent head that I'm not used to from this style. The head is there, but it doesn't last.

S: Smells nice- molasses, chocolate.

T: Sweet still, still chocolate, but sour like a Flemish ale especially in the later portion of the taste.

M: Carbonation is too quick to dissipate, not embedded in the taste. Alcohol is hidden relatively well.

Interesting find. Would drink again under the right conditions, but would prefer an Old Rasputin.

Sep 14, 2013
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57md from Pennsylvania

3.26/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance is a dark brown with a thin beige head that dissipated far too quickly. The nose was more sour notes than anything else -- way out of place for the style. The flavor profile includes roasted malts, but the overall taste is far too light for an RIS. The body is also very thin and oddly fizzy instead of creamy.

Basically, this offering is an average stout (maybe), but it certainly lacks all the enjoyable traits of an RIS.

Aug 30, 2013
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snaotheus from Washington

2.97/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

11.2oz bottle poured into a large snifter. Can't find any bottle codes. Bought it yesterday at Malt & Vine.

Pours surprisingly (disappointingly) light, pretty translucent. I've had much darker stouts, let alone Russian Imperial Stouts. Small beige head, surprisingly coarse carbonation. Smell is pleasantly chocolatey, lots of anise (black licorice).

Taste is oddly light and fruity and sour, not much of the chocolate and anise flavors that I was hoping would come out based on the aroma. It actually gives me a bit of a cherry soda impression, which is not what I'm looking for in a Russian Imperial Stout. The sourness does not belong.

Mouthfeel is light, not sticky, effervescent (weird for RIS).

Overall, I would not rely on this as an example of the style. And I won't buy it again.

Aug 25, 2013
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Evil_Pidde from Sweden

3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours all brown thick head at first. After a while the head starts to set while the dark brown head, almost black, rises. Rich lovely lacings after forever...

S: Hard roasted dark malts, sweetness and vanilla. Strong black coffee alongside with dark bitter chocolate. Some citrics notes hidden in the back. Some smoked notes as well.

T: Sweet roasted malt together with rich vanilla notes. Everything else, from the smell, is overpowered by the sweet malty vanilla notes.

M: Fullbodied, low carbonated nice aftertasting bitter and burnt beer.

O: Perhaps my bottle has been cellared for some time - the fresh one would probably get a little lower ratings.

Aug 09, 2013
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macrosmatic from Florida

4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at Mr. Dunderbak's. Served in a goblet.

A: Very dark brown, nearly opaque, with a sizable mocha head and low visible carbonation.

S: Very roasty coffee malts, a bit of chocolate, with big raw tobacco aroma. There is a milky/creamy/lactose aspect as well.

T: Follows the nose, though there is significantly less coffee than in the aroma, and the tobacco flavors take on moderate hints of smoke, with a background of chocolate.

T: Thinner body than expected but not quite out of range for style. Low carbonation sensation as expected, and the alcohol is well-hidden (although the ABV is quite moderate for the style).

O: Good beer and one I enjoyed. Nothing I'd actively seek out again, but a decent offering from a brewery I'd never heard of.

Apr 09, 2013
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Fatehunter from Oregon

3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Almost a finger of tan head. Pitch black body.
Smell is roasted malt, charred wood and molasses. Nice and bold.
The taste is roasted malt with a touch of sweetness and a dry bitter finish. Pretty good.
The body was a little light and fizzy for an imperial stout.
A well built ale.

Dec 30, 2012
Photo of rarbring
rarbring from Sweden

3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark, black, brew, a brown sugar, small lacing, good curtains.

A small smell, coffee, red fruits, chocolate.

Sweet brown bread, brown sugar, caramel, minimal coffee notes.

Little carbonation, smooth, sticky and oily, but a rather thin body.

A nice ? Baltic Porter ?

Jul 21, 2012
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a one finger khaki head that fades quickly to a thin layer, leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Chocolate nose and flavor is roasted chocolate, dry chocolate finish. Thin, not malty enough and low ABV (7%) for a RIS. $5.49 for a 330ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, Vt.

Apr 25, 2012
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours very dark brown, appearing black. Thin tan head that dissipates to a ring, light lacing. Light aroma dominated by molasses, light malt and chocolate. Taste is mellow roasted malt, chocolate, light coffee. Flavor is subdued, but nicely integrated and pleasant. Medium bodied, but surprisingly creamy with a very pleasant mouthfeel. This is much closer in style to a foreign stout than a RIS. I enjoyed this, but the price (nearlly $9 for a small bottle) is cost prohibitive. Glad I tried it.

Mar 01, 2012
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Beer #8 from Shogo in the blind beers BIF.
Served in a tulip (as this is what Shogo designated as the proper glassware!)

As always; opened, poured, and sampled completely blind... (until I reveal the beer when I'm about 1/2 done drinking it, allowing me to properly score to style).

Pours a deep dark black, almost shiny and glossy like the surface of a dark marble. Creamy looking dark tan head settled quickly into a listless collar and thusfar I've seen only the spottiest of lacing. Lots of red and brown hues in the edges and legs.

Smells of giant chocolate and coffee notes.
Why the hell dis Phil tell me to use a tulip?! A snifter would seem more appropriate!

The coffee and bitter cocoa notes are too intertwined to be disentangled. The coffee flavor actually seems to come from the malts, rather than any actual coffee beans added. A little caramel sweetness also occurs upfront and some dry roasty bitterness hits on the backend.

The feel is a little thin for whatever type of stout this is, and it is a hair overcarbed on the tongue... A little less might help make it feel more creamy.

So... This is some sort of stout. It is in the same type of stubby 11.2 oz bottle as all the other strange imports that Phil has sent so far, so I'm thinking it is more of the same.... Although, I don't get any Belgian yeast in this one.

--REVEAL-- Hantverksbryggeriet Kosacken
An imperial stout from Sweden.
Not bad Sweden.
Not bad at all.

I retract all my comments regarding the lack of good beer coming from within your snowy borders! Add "decent stout" to the list then!
Right ho!!

Feb 03, 2012
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a matte black body with a quick accruing froth comprising a mocha-hued head.

Smell: A sharp slice of roast with bitter chocolate, fire-charred licorice twists, burnt fruits, a splash of liquor, and a little umami.

Taste: Strong roastiness upfront cut with bitter chocolate, a puff of smoke, basic licorice, and some sugary caramel. Incidental hop profile. Some peppery alcohol. Some sips yield rich chocolate and caramel, but some sips press upon you the less desirable harsh tones. Drying, lightly bitter, slightly savory finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Well, it's a bit different, and, maybe, in an ideal mood, I could even give it a half-nod of approval.

Jan 14, 2012
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi from Georgia

3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Strong, smoky aroma has quite a fierce alcohol overtone, more what one would expect from a barleywine. Unfortunately, it tends to overwhelm the "stouty" parts of the otherwise quite inviting aroma. It pours a rich, warm sable with a thick and fluffy, if not too persistent, dark chocolaty-tan head. Flavor has roast quality coffee, unsweet chocolate and woody tones with a hint of licorice - alcohol bite is not nearly what the aroma suggests. Smooth, full-bodied texture has plenty of fizz and just a bit of an alcohol nip. Like stouts? Look for this one!

Dec 04, 2011
Photo of emerge077
emerge077 from Illinois

3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours into a Hamms goblet with a tight layer of mocha stained foam. Jet black body, dark chestnut around the edges. Decent head retention, head lasts a few minutes and dwindles after the first couple sips. Sticky collar of thin lace. Thin veil and a small cluster of irregular bubbles floating in the center.

Smells like Welch's grape juice, dried cherries, and red currants. Fruity obviously, with little in the way of roastiness.

Flavor has a bit of cocoa and roast in the middle and background. Fruity and lightly astringent at first with a mild artificial note that fades away quickly. Mild bitterness from the roast in the middle that lingers in the aftertaste. Cacao and medium roast coffee intermingle with dried currants. The fruit character blends well, but the initial astringency throws off things a little. Overall an interesting Swedish imperial stout, not sure i'd pick it up again though.

Oct 19, 2011
Photo of Pahn
Pahn from New York

3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one and a half inch, frothy, light tan head that dissipates slowly and rockily, leaving small, tight arches of lacing. Pours black with brown highlights, and speckles the glass with spots and large islands of lacing.

Smell: Fruity, with a sort of red wine grape and anise thing happening. Effervescent. Some interesting sugary coffee and dark chocolate come out with time. Pretty good, but not very complex or distinctive.

Taste: Very mild coffee and semisweet chocolate up front. The rather subdued flavor is rounded out in the finish by some of that grape from the nose. Lack of sufficient bitterness is immediately apparent.

Pretty delicate flavor for an imperial stout (to put it nicely), but not bad. I like the mild grape, anise, coffee thing, but it's a bit watery and could really stand some roasted flavors (or something bold and "imperial"). No dryness at all... it feels kind of under-attenuated and under-hopped. Also, tastes like some Belgian dark ale malts like Special B were used prominently (if anything here can be called "prominent"), but fail to be adequately balanced by roasted malt or bitterness or dryness.

It's hard to rate this... in a lot of ways, it's pretty bad; far from imperial, and sorely lacking in most areas that one expects from stouts (imperial or otherwise). On the other hand, I actually like the flavor. Even the vegetal sourness that eventually dominates the finish strikes me as--while not great--not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Appropriate carbonation. Gives the impression of a profound dullness, like there's more areas than I can keep track of that needed to be dialed up.

Overall: This is a pretty sad beer. It fails to assert itself, and tastes like a lot of mistakes were made in its brewing.

That said, I actually think you could find many places where this beer would be appropriate and enjoyable to drink. While it's almost laughable to call it a Russian Imperial Stout--and it's not even that above average as any kind of stout--it has some nice flavors and is moderately refreshing.

I think this beer would be good with food, particularly hors d'oeuvres. So i guess this beer's place is... at a wedding? Boring family gathering? Cocktail party a la what casually wealthy people on TV frequently attend? Though I've never seen an entire episode, I would imagine that you would want a large supply of this beer if you are ever transported into the universe of HBO's Sex In The City.

Also, it bears noting that the beer is grossly overpriced here in the USA.

Oct 18, 2011
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Bung from Michigan

3.37/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. Thick enogh about black pour, some brown around, but barely a ring of light tan head.

Aroma, quite a bit of molasses and maltiness. Some peat, caramel and chocolates. Maybe a little more porter like.

There is some roast, dark chocolate, caramel. Finishes with a bit of coffee ground, like I just chewed a coffee bean. A little much on the roast.

Over carbed at first, but mellows out after a while. It still goes down ok. The carb plus harsh roast didn't help. Low alc though.

More like a Foreign stout. Not my favorite from the region.

Sep 03, 2011
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popery from California

3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes 7/29/11. Dark chocolate and cola are strong in the aroma. It also smells sweet and toasty, like fresh bread and caramel. Unfortunately, it’s all a tad weak. The taste is marred by the body which is fairly thin. Feel is kinda fizzy and washed out but not terrible. There's still some body to the beer. Taste is fairly sweet with roast and mineral hop bitterness in the finish. A touch of booze throughout. Pours about the color of black coffee with a dissipating beige head. Decent but nothing special.

Aug 16, 2011
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rfgetz from New Jersey

3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark and near black, oily sheen to it, cap of creamy and dense khaki head. Scent showcases dark roasted malts with minimal amount of fruityness (mostly cherry) and a light creamy sweetness. Taste is simple and straight-forward - dark roasted malts with notes of chocolate and coffee, fruityness is again light with cherry notes. Light toffee like lingering sweetness. Finnish is dry, full bodied, creamy. Muted as an RIS but a good stout none the less.

May 23, 2011
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Rapax from Sweden

4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have tasted this beer in every available form, I think - bottle, tap and straight from the maturation tank on site. But you are required to put in a serving type so I put bottle.

Jet black with tan foam, just as it should be. Oh sweet darkness, devour me.

Smell is really nice, although not that overwhelming. No detectable hop character, but none is required in my opinion.

Well inside your mouth this beer starts to do things to you. Darkness, chocolate, darkness, sweetness, and other good stuff too. It is surprisingly soft, making me suspect there is oats in it (can anyone confirm?). Low on sharp and bitter coffee notes and low bitternes for the type. Almost an imperial porter rather than a stout, if not for the dark color.

Mouthfeel is fantastic. Right on the spot.

All in all a really nice beer. Catherine of Russia might want more alcohol and more bitterness but I am satisfied with whats in my glass.

May 19, 2011
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raszputini from North Carolina

3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the tap...pours jet black with oily brown head. Nose is roast, chocolate. Mouth feel is a little thin, but still with some meat. Chocolate, coffee, roast, oats? dominate the taste. It has a very understated hop character that balances well. I enjoyed it.

Apr 24, 2011
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100floods from California

3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

pours a bubbly ink black with a dirty tan head. Smells of milk chocolate and smooth roasted coffee. I'm getting some faint herbal notes, too, but hardly. Very smooth mouthfeel followed by a huge burst of dark, bitter and roasted flavors. After letting this sit for a bit the roast bomb simmers down a notch or two. The mouthfeel also went from smooth to thin. Slight hints of chocolate hidden among the malt. Kind of a roasted and something else finish. At first this beer was running out the gates, but then it subsided. Not bad, just not great. This does not meet the standards of an RIS.

Mar 25, 2011
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avalon07 from South Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a most thick consistency. There was a small amount of tan-colored, somewhat long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A decent, if a bit subdued, aroma of coffee, malt, and a trace of chocolate.

T: Tasted like it smelled: Malt, mild coffee, and some chocolate. Not terrible, but very, very thin for a Russian Imperial Stout. Could have been better.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A decidedly uneven RIS. Not undrinkable, but not really memorable either.

Mar 12, 2011
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vince4953529 from California

3.01/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got myself another handsomely priced North Euro import, I love the cute label; 7% abv indicated.

Aggressive pour yielded a medium head, color was pure black, lacing coated along the glass.

Smell of malt and hop, a bit of alcohol smell.

Tasted a bit thin and watery. Black coffee taste, more hops, a little soy sauce flavor came up near the middle. The finish manifested with a little smoky and malty flavor.

Drinks fine, but too pricey and unspectacular for a second purchase.

Mar 11, 2011
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OskarL from Sweden

3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Thick black with a brown head that disappears fast and leaves very little lacing.

Smell - Roasted malt, coffee, sweet chocolate and some hops.

Taste - Roasted malt, coffee, cocoa and bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, medium/full body and little carbonation.

Jan 24, 2010
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dqrull from Sweden

3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A brew black as night with a small, and fast disappearing head that doesnt impress.

Smells heavily of roasted malt, strong notes of chocolate and even some coffee, accompanied by some grassy, earthy hops, a very sublte sweetness in the form of really dark chocolate cake, might just aswell be my imagination though.

Tastes very much like what the nose indicated , rather long and persistent bitterness from the heavily roasted malts, but it still fits rather well with the overall bouqet of flavours. The big minus here is that I dont find the beer rich en ough in flavours overall for the style.

Creamy and surprisingly viscous mouthfeel considering the ABV, soft and well fitting carbonation.

Jan 19, 2010
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bark from Sweden

4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Commercial name "Hantverksbryggeriet Kosacken". (the Cossack).

The colour is pinch black; the low head is brown.

Smells of lots of roasted (almost burned) notes. Rye? Butter. Coffee. Sweet elegant hints of marzipan.

The taste is also elegant with lots of roasted malts. I also found notes of coffee, nuts, roasted vegetables and toffee. Some bitter flavours and a hint of lemon and fruits. The aftertaste is powerful with notes of dark bread, espresso and nuts. Some sour notes in the finish.

The carbonation is soft, the bubbles are medium. The liquid is thick, smooth and a bit sticky.

A bit too sweet, otherwise a fine imperial stout.

Oct 07, 2008
Kosacken from Hantverksbryggeriet AB
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 45 ratings