Hargreaves Hill Russian Imperial Stout | Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company

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7 Ratings

Brewed by:
Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by danieelol on 01-03-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 7 |  Reviews: 4
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of pin
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of mulder1010
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #600 yea
750 ML poured into a great divide tulip
Bottle says 12.3 ABV

A-- Poured a brownish black color and settled midnight black. No light visible. Two finger dark brown leather head that slowly fell to a thick mocha colored film. Nice spotty lacing with this and obvious ABV legs. Impressive looking beer.

S-- Lots of roast, followed by fig, almond, caramel, milk chocolate and dark stewed plumb. For such a large beer ABV wise it is quite impressive how well the 12.3 is restrained and such a complex nose. Nose has elements of US sweetness in this style and holds the European roastyness well.

T-- Big and bold. Subtle caramel sweetness with a lot of roast, char, and burnt rubber. Once again alcohol is well hidden and just a good mix of flavors.

M-- Slick and oily. Lots of smooth dairy milk and caramel in the mid palate. Alcohol is more obvious and starts creeping up. Not as big in the feel as the taste is though. Low carbonation with medium body.

O-- Really nice RIS. Has US elements and has European elements blended together well. Quite brash and aggressive but very smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very, very very dark colour. Need to hold it right up to the light to get a glimpse of colour. Head is just gorgeous. Ochre hue, beautifully dense and generous with great retention. Lace is amazing, head is amazing. This is an amazing-looking beer.

Smells a little bit salty. Just getting the main criticism out of the way first. Dark, sweet, with lots of espresso, chocolate and caramel, with plenty of nutty - almost rye-esque - notes as well, but yeah, there's a distinct hint of saltiness as well, which makes it a bit below what it could have been, at least in terms of coherence of aroma.

Taste bursts with flavour from the get-go. Loads of dark, roasty character that's big and black and back in black. But it gets sweeter, boozier and more nutty notes towards the mid with hazelnut, chocolate, salted caramel and some hints of creme de cacao, plus a touch of Irish cream. It's god a nice bitterness to it, with lots of strong burnt roasty notes. Not quite a dessert beer but could certainly be paired with something equally big and bold and blokey.

Texture is a bit sharp on the front, finishes decently, both sweet and dry. Not bad.

This is a challenging beer, lots of character but well finessed. Not a gateway beer; more a big, tasty statement for the already-converted.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Slowbeer, shared with @LaitueGonflable before our final 2012 Sydney Festival show.

Pours, just gorgeously. Like seriously black, thick and sinewy, with a full crest of mocha chocolate foam, that forms solid lacing is it recedes. Body is heavy and full. Apart from the slightly too-light colour of the head, it's damn near perfect.

Nose is rich and sweet, perhaps a little too sweet, with a grainy malt character coming through above everything else. Still, otherwise, it's rich with chocolate, mild roastiness and a bright astringency, almost cherry-like, giving a kirsch like potency. It's good, but there are some other characters that could make it great.

Taste—now here's a real improvement. Big sweet roasty characters, with a bite of coffee-like astringency to clean it up. Gorgeous smooth chocolate, roast bitterness, subtle vanilla and sugary depth. Wow, this is good. In fact, I've not had this depth and fullness of character from a beer that didn't rely heavily on oak (and possibly bourbon) for the sweetness. Here, you can tell it comes from the depth of the grain, giving a rich, sweet fullness that is amazingly expressive.

Feel is exemplary. Thick and full, but sweet and open to interpretation—it allows the flavours to get stuck, and then explode outwards.

I was a bit up and down on this beer, but it's genuinely, amazingly good. It's so rich, thick and beautiful, and so obviously crafted with love and skill. The only thing I fault it on is its complexity. But if it's missing that, it makes up for it with raw, unabashed power.

Yes, Yes, Yes.

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Photo of Refloosh
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of danieelol
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at the Taphouse Sydney. Two servings tried, one randalised with some form of exotic-sounding chocolate (accompanied by a nice jelly made with the stout), and one straight. I actually prefered the randalised version.

Reasonable appearance, hard to gauge on their system. Obviously it didnt look like an amber ale, it was a perfectly cromulent black.

Smell is very Belgian actually. Also lots of chocolate syrup. Ethanol intermittently detectable but not in unreasonable quantities for the ABV by any means.

Taste has some pleasant roast and more Belgian yeast type flavours.

Mouthfeel wasn't bad and brought some bitterness.

Overall a solid "B" RIS. Nothing spectacular, and not worth going out of one's way for. Barrel it and it might have some potential, but really don't like the Belgian thing it's got going on.

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Hargreaves Hill Russian Imperial Stout from Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 7 ratings