Imperial Russian Stout
Brouwerij Emelisse

Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout
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Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #750
ABV:
11%
Score:
89
Ranked #11,378
Avg:
3.96 | pDev: 10.1%
Reviews:
100
Ratings:
260
From:
Brouwerij Emelisse
 
Netherlands
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  16
Gots
  22
SCORE
89
Very Good
Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout
Notes:
Reviews: 100 | Ratings: 260 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of josanguapo
josanguapo from Spain

3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

De Decervecitas. En copa Teku. Jugando a MTG Arena y despues a Moonlighter. Una RIS bastante correcta, sin resultar excesivamente dulce ni alcoholica. Potente en aroma. En boca esta rica pero no aporta nada especial

Nov 09, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.49/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Best before 9/2014"; drank 5/27/14 @ the Yarchives.

Black color, with tons of tan globules.

Minimal tan head; minimal lace.

Dark stone fruits, fresh jam & slight booze heat in the nose.

Thick mouthfeel.

Milk chocolate up front, raspberry in the middle with a baker's chocolate finish. A fresh jam fruitiness manifests itself on the lips.

A complex, stunning brew. Bravo.

Mar 11, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Starts off as a standard RIS, with the accents in smell and taste being a chocolate covered coffee bean. But then as the beer warms up, some sweeter elements join the fun, figs, plum, and port. The leathery texture and taste also add another dimension when warmed. This is sneaky strong in abv, and sneaky good!

Sep 11, 2018
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Beersnake1 from California

3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from fridge temp. Pours jet motor oil black with good carbonation and nice head. Surprised by how much carbonation was on this one. Nose is black licorice, cherries, blackberries, toffee, and chocolate. Taste is really smooth. A bit sweet upfront and then bitter on the back end. Not getting a ton of depth, but really nice burnt malts, licorice, and coffee grounds on the taste. This is definitely what I expect from an RIS, but not the best of the style. Mouthfeel was a bit thin for a RIS, but good.

Sep 09, 2017
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doktorhops from Australia

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Getting close to #850 I found this Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout that had been sitting at the back of the fridge since last year! I had been meaning to review it for so long however new beers kept popping up and it consequentially got pushed to the back. I’ve heard good things about this Dutch brewery, named after a village in one of the low-lying areas of the Netherlands that got flooded and disappeared off the maps, this Russian Imperial Stout being one of the most vaunted of their brews. I must admit the weather is primed for this 11% ABV RIS - being a chilly (for Brisbane at least) 16 degrees Celsius atm... so time to sit back, pop open a nice RIS and sip it slowly from my Duvel tulip, ahhh, life is good!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep and rich mahogany body, hmmm, not bad, with a centimetre of dense khaki head. It’s a surprise that a beer this strong can even maintain a head, let alone one as luscious as this, excellent work. Lots of yeast clumps at the bottle of the glass, normal for a beer that has been in the fridge for about a year. 9/10.

S: Smells a treat too! Rich espresso, red coffee cherries, vanilla, dark chocolate and an almost floral perfume round out the aroma. Hint of earthiness in there as well, this brew has definitely benefited from a short cellaring in the back of my fridge - when an RIS aroma is this good you just want to tuck straight in. 9/10.

T: The above characters: Rich espresso, red coffee cherries, vanilla, and dark chocolate come through well. Then it takes a decidedly dark fruit slant and throws dates and raisins at you. Touch on the sweeter side - though nothing out of the ordinary given the style. Finish is has a sharp espresso bitter note, a slight detraction from an overall splendid flavour profile. The 11% ABV is hardly noticeable as well, though I suspect this would not be the case with a fresher bottle. 8/10.

M: Decent but not perfect, mid to heavy bodied with a thin carbonation - the only real room for improvement with this brew (oh and the bitterness in the finish). 8/10.

D: Top shelf stuff this! That bitter note, and the thin carbonation were the only things that let Emelisse down. As far as I’m concerned (aware) this is the best RIS I’ve ever had from the Netherlands - a country not well known for Stout styles, however one that I will revisit in future when I spot another Stout from there. Lol, some American reviewer noted that there wasn’t enough bitterness with this brew... maybe I need to get my tongue checked? 8/10.

Food match: Roasted red meats, also chargrilled, with veggies to match, and cigars.

Jun 05, 2017
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MaltyPythonsHopCircus from Canada (BC)

4.74/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep dark brown with dark tan head. Aromas start with a distinct doughiness followed by chocolate and coffee. Doughy flavour start followed by tobacco, leather and coffee roast. Quite smooth with some roasted malt astringency. Highly drinkable for such a high ABV beer

Nov 08, 2016
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moose1980 from Germany

3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Review from a bottle that has been in the cellar for almost two years.

Opaque with a cappuccino-colored, one-finger head that dissipates quickly. Good lacing. Aroma is mainly of cocoa, but not unlike a milk chocolate drink as well. Malty, almost shake-like. Some additional mild coffee notes with caramel, lending to more of a sweet nose than bitter. Very inviting. Taste has more bitterness than the aroma led to believe. Dark, bitter chocolate and coffee grinds dominate, with some supporting liquorice notes. Very low carbonation and thin body, though this could be from the age. Overall, not a bad stout. I just prefer them a little sweeter.

Oct 29, 2016
Photo of janubio
janubio from Spain

4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black colour, with a brown head that kees a ring and a good lace. Aroma of coffee (mocha), milk chocolate, dark fruits, liquor. Full body, live carbonation. Taste of mocha, milk chocolate, dark fruits, alcohol, sherry wine. Great.

Sep 27, 2015
Photo of Marius
Marius from Netherlands

4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown, close to black, in colour. Beige head that gives way to a beautiful espresso-like lacing. If you spin the glass around a few times, you'll get a finger of head again, just beautiful. Smells like roasted malts, dried fruit, dark cherries and coffee. The taste is what you'd expect from the aroma - dark cherries, dark chocolate, molasses and instant coffee. The texture is incredibly smooth and the aftertaste is cherry-bitter. Amazing beer. I am tasting this after several of its barrel-aged variants, and I can see why the latter are so good, because they have an awesome base beer to improve on.

Sep 03, 2015
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Zach136 from Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big vanilla and chocoalte aroma. Sharp but balanced coffee notes up front on the palate along with rich milk chocolate. A very good beer, but for +$1.00/oz at a high volume beer bar.... there are better options.

Jul 12, 2015
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drmeto from Germany

4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L:
-pours the darkest of Brown with a big,frothy,offwhite head
S:
-coffee,milk chocolate,vanilla,prunes,caramel,toffee
T:
-caramel,toffee,coffee,molasses,milk chocolate,prunes,figs
F:
-medium to full body
-low carbonation
-alcohol very well hidden
O:
Fantastic Imperial Stout that fades a bit towards the finish

Jul 11, 2015
Photo of aleigator
aleigator from Germany

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an oily mahogany color with a small head, leaving back only a thin lacing at the edges.

Nose is full of bitter chocolate with coffee and burned caramel, along with a sweet, well integrated alcohol note.

The taste is centered around dark chocolate, which is earthy at first, and then turns sweeter immediately, due to a slick coffee bitterness with strong mousse-au-chocolate and molasse impact. This brew is incredibly creamy and smooth, which comes along with a warm alcoholic peak, wrapped up in sweeter cocoa. Has an intriguing complexity, between sweet and bitter flavors, between creamy chocolate and earthy, bitter coffee. Finishes bitter, while cream still remains noteable.

Jan 13, 2015
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lot A BB 9/14 bottle at 40 degrees into tulip
Aroma very malty with dates
Head light brown, instantly gone
Lacing none
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor very strong with roasted malt, dates, raisins; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 4.5, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4, Overall 4.125
A decent RIS, good flavor, with the alcohol hidden in flavor but showing up as stomach burn. Somewhat sticky. Loses points because of neither head nor lacing.

Oct 23, 2014
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into snifter, best before 6/2015. Pours dense fairly pitch black color with a small dense dark brown head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, raisin, plum, light char, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malts and light-moderate dark fruit notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, licorice, raisin, plum, light smoke/char, and roast/toasted earthiness. Good amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, raisin, plum, light smoke/char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of big dark/roasted malt and moderate dark fruit flavors; with a nice roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, moderately slick, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice imperial stout. All around great complexity and balance of big dark/roasted malt and moderate dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Oct 02, 2014
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer is a deep dark brown with a thin, oily beige collar. Aromas of dark fruit, particularly plums, chocolates, raisin, chocolates with raisins all up in them, raisins dipped in chocolate. Chocolate flavor, a hint of vanilla. Rich, roasted malt with a touch of espresso. Double digit abv well masked. A nice sipper.

Jul 31, 2014
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avalon07 from South Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an almost jet black color and a thick consistency. There was a small amount of tan-colored, foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing.

S: A nice aroma of chocolate, dark fruit, and a hint of malt.

T: Tasted of dark chocolate, malt, dark fruit (plums, especially), and a little bit of coffee. A big flavor (just like an RIS should be) that's complex and satisfying. Didn't get much of the coffee that other reviewers got, but still a good flavor.

M: A below average amount of carbonation with a slick, smooth finish. Full-bodied, but not overpowering.

O: A very solid beer. Usually I don't expect that much from Belgian brewers when they stray from their native styles, but this was a very enjoyable beer.

Jun 02, 2014
Photo of dcmchew
dcmchew from Romania

4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark brown, almost tar black. A tiny beige head build up, only to be reduced to stick lacing quickly.
Big chocolate and coffee in the smell, with a dark fruit zing in the back, that gets more apparent as the beer warms. Lots of caramel, some vanilla and licorice. akes me think of sweet milk & coffee with a bit of cognac.
Taste start with roasted malts, sweet with molasses, caramel, mildly strong dark chocolate and espresso. Acidity, not just from the coffee notes, but also from juicy dark cherries, plums and blackberries. A bit of red grape mustiness that works well with the warm alcohol. Sweet spices are felt towards the finish, with some licorice, peppercorn and faint anise, just before coffee and ashy burnt grains come in to settle, with a mild bitterness (some hop presence too).
Full bodied, but not too heavy, low carbonation, smooth, fits nicely. Aftertaste consists of roasted malts, coffee sediment, but no dark fruit.
A tasty IRS, not ostentatious or flashy, but elegant and rich.

May 27, 2014
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soccerman7 from Vermont

3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into my De Ranke glass.

A - Midnight. Thin tan head. Fine and consistent carbonation.

S - Dark fruits and coffee. Really nice. Reminds me of sherry in the nose. Very faint dose of hops in the nose. Interesting and complex.

T - Coffee, chocolate, and red wine. This is a really deep and big flavor. Really loving it. Hops come up at the end and really herbal and spicy. Dates come forward after a few sips.

M - A little rough around the edges but this is not a small beer. Pleasantly lingers and drier than many American RIS.

O - I love this. It is available fairly often and will need to be in my fridge more for the winter. A really great example of a classic take on the style. Strongly recommend.

Dec 07, 2013
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aaah, the classy yet rugged flavor of Russian Imperial Stout is on full display in Emelisse's take on the time-honored style. Spot on to its style, the ale is wonderfully complex, bold and full throughout.

Pouring the darkest brown of browns without spilling over to full-on black, it shows garnet low-lights nearest its margins. A creamy espresso-like, mocha-stained lather builds upon its ominous body underneath. Its long-lasting retention laces the glass with a scattering of sticky foam. It's the strong, dark and handsome type.

Bold french-press roast aromas are front and center, but is firmly supported with sweeter notes of burnt toffee, light molasses and maple. Coming up to temperature, complex vinous fruit note come to life in form of grape, cherry, currant and eventual licorice. Boozy aromas take on cognac proportions with a tinge of peppercorn.

Its taste is a balanced melange of robust sweetness and roast- molasses, toffee and sorghum all seem over-cooked and take on burnt proportions. That hearty sweetness weaves seamlessly into the bold roasted coffee flavor, its heavy toast and its light mesquite taste. Its middle palate introduces a medley of grilled fruits that range from grape, to currant, to cherry and dark berries. Its charred taste lessens going into finish to allow the fruity, boozy-sweet flavors to linger well past its roasty closure.

Full bodied, but not absurdly so- its low-lying carbonation allows the full weight of the beer to sit happily on the tongue, saturating the taste buds to its fullest potential. This allows for full and savory sipping in slow contemplation, akin to after dinner port sipping. Its long finish is semi-dry as its malt sweetness refuses to let its alcohol and roast to fully dry the beer.

In studying the history of Imperial Russian Stout, this is the kind of taste that's read about, dreamed of and homebrew attempted. But its a taste that's rarely achieved in today's world of over-the-top or nothing. But don't get me wrong- this is far from a reserved beer!

Dec 02, 2013
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thierrynantes from France

4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Chez Clem's, and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : dark color, with tan foamy head.
Smell : heavy malty, roasted caramel and licorice aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : roasted malt, with coffee notes leading to a dry bitter finish.
Drinkability : a nice beer in the Russian Imperial Stout.

May 18, 2013
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LestatSabastian from Alabama

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The appearance was black with no head on the pour
smell was nice but could smell the alcohol
Taste was better than expected coffee, prune, and chocolate notes.
alcohol hidden better than I expected too.
mouthfeel was to thin for a stout for me
overall liked the beer. may buy again for a friend.

Apr 12, 2013
Photo of stcules
stcules from Italy

3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost pitch black. Dark cappuccino colore foam, quite compact.
In the smell cocoa, hazelnut, toaste and lightly burnt, Not too intense, but complex. Some vanilla notes, too.
Full and round in the mouth, complex, smooth. Cappuccino. Important beer, but not too overwhelming.
And a good hop bitterness, too.
Intense, well hidden alcohol, good bitter and toasted aftertaste.
Good.

Apr 03, 2013
Photo of woemad
woemad from Washington

3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

11.16oz bottle purchased at Jim’s Homebrew in Spokane for $6.74. The label seems to indicate that it’s meant to be consumed by March, 2013. The wording is in Dutch, however, so all bets are off. Speaking of the label, it’s different to the one in the photo on BA.

Poured a viscous looking deep dark brown color that seemed almost a crude oil black. Things became a little browner looking when held up to the light, at which point some floaties could be seen drifting around the edges. Minimal, mocha colored head that quickly receded to a thin collar - not surprising given this beer’s 11% abv.

Initially, there was a big brown sugar aroma. Once things began to warm up, some chocolaty scents emerged as well. What did not seem to emerge were the more bitter elements associated with the style, nor was there any nasal inkling of the high alcohol content.

The taste starts out with the sweet elements noted above. A minor bitterness then makes itself known, but it’s nowhere near adequate for providing any real balance. The taste ends on a very mild dry note at the swallow.

While carbonation is low for the style, don’t expect a heavy, leaden mouthfeel, as things are actually rather watery in that department.

This seems like an incomplete beer, like an unfinished Imperial Stout, or a regular stout that happens to have a huge abv percentage. It's drinkable, but only just, and why would you when there are lots of better examples available?

Feb 25, 2013
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle, label is notched as best before 12/2013.

pours jet black, with 3/4" thick khaki colored head. head is creamy, and has excellent retention, lasts to the bottom of the glass. smell is extreme roasted malt - burnt coffee, unsweetened cocoa. more of the same in the taste. big espresso flavors. acidic, a bit astringent, dry. thick, full bodied. oily, slick. low carbonation.

overall- definitely unique, probably the the "roastiest" beer I've ever had.

Jan 04, 2013
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snaotheus from Washington

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.16oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours black with no head. Some fine carbonation is struggling slowly up through the murky depths, but it doesn't appear likely to survive. Smell is black licorice, whisky, and tar. Smokey with coffee.

Taste is initially sweet, and then burnt bitter. More of the black licorice, some more of the coffee, a slightly tart flavor.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, pretty surprisingly so. Overall, this is a pretty nice beer.

Dec 10, 2012
Imperial Russian Stout from Brouwerij Emelisse
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 260 ratings