Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout | Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse

very good
95 Reviews
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Emelisse Imperial Russian StoutEmelisse Imperial Russian Stout

Brewed by:
Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sammy on 01-03-2010

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Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 250
Photo of oglmcdgl
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at capones on black friday.

A- small fizz on top with a few spots of lace and a solid ring. Dark brown black in color with some red in the glow.

S- bakers chocolate and dark roasted coffee. Burnt malts and a bit of molasses.

T- cocoa powder and super dark bakers chocolate. Dark roasted malts that bounce off the other layers of roasty goodness and round things out. Long roasty finish.

M- medium body with a mellow light carb. Semi dry finish.

D- nice stuff and rather easy to drink, just in a field of killer brew this one doesn't stand out for me.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A thick, pitch black beer with initial off-white head, which fades while looking at the glass come to rest.

Smell is good, a roasty, molasses smell combined with an earthy hoppiness, that reminds me most of English hops, EK Goldings?

Taste is wonderful, a big roasty beer with notes of coffee, chocolate and molasses. Maybe some use of oats, I taste a grainy, oily addition. The bitterness is high and has an earthy twist. With it's 11% alcohol, I can feel the warmth of the alcohol in my throat. Mouthfeel is thick and a little syrupy, but very much according to style. The drinkability of the beer is great.

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Photo of farrago
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Manages a half finger of ultra-dark brown, mix of smaller bubble sizes, okay retention given where it started from, not a great deal of lacing. Black throughout, nary a trace of color. Thick dark chocolate, caramel, toffee and chocolate cake icing grace the nose, boozy rum notes, walnuts, raisin, plum and blackberry fruit scents, spiced oranges, moderate amount of oats and wheat flakes, the roast is not over the top allowing the sweetness to carry the load. Full-bodied, dense and close to immobile, the carbonation soft and works hard to little effect. Much toastier and roastier here, brings coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, carob and elevated white grapefruit citrus. The mouth texture is dry given its weight and the sort of flavors it offers. More rum to bourbon flavors, you know this is 11.0% alcohol from the first sip. Coconut, walnuts to pecans, more caramel as it warms. The hops add an unusually high herbaceousness to the proceedings, Given its density and relative lack of fluidity its length seems natural and unforced and it doesn't seem insufferably heavy. The booziness the biggest distraction.

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Photo of Brabander
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We had a grand beertasting a few days ago thanks to Mar02x. A new BA member with a great mind on beer.

This was the seventh bottle or so.

Poured in a normal winelike glass.

This is one of the better beer Emelisse makes. Fluid as to be expected deepdarkbrown with a lightbrown head. Taste is very 'round'and tasty. There is some bitterness at the end but quit a good beer.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a typical thick imperial stout. Vry nice appearance. Smells roasty and coffee heavy. Lots of sweetness on the nose. The malts are overwhelming and strong. Too much going on in this one. The mouthfeeel suffers from the bitterness from the roast overpowering but interesting

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First review in a while. Bottle into snifter, not too cold to start. Best before date is in Dutch: "tenmiste houdbaar tot einde" and is March 2013. (Thanks Google Translate!)

Pours dark, dark brown. At first it appears flat, dead flat, then from the abyss a thick, one finger head of tan bubbles rise. Leaves mild lacing.

Smells of espresso first, then a strong whiff of fruits soaked in brandy.

Wow, this stuff is pretty thick. Starts with a pronounced blend of chocolate and malt, which then transitions into a gentle dark fruit note. Finishes with a light gracing of char that lingers with some earthiness. Sometimes a quick burn of alcohol.

Thick and wet mouthfeel, very smooth.

I'm not sure how I feel about this beer. The head is a little weak, but for a Dutch Brewery this is pretty darn good.

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Photo of drmeto
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

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Photo of aleigator
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Plumpjack Wine Store in San Francisco. I'm unsure of the date, and the label looks different than the one pictured, but I can't imagine this being a different beer. The name (other than 2009), ABV, and style all line up.

Poured into a 7oz. snifter.

Appearance: Standard pour netted a half inch of brown foam that, unfortunately, quickly dissipated to a creamy ring. It held that form for the rest of the session. Body is pitch black and looks thick. Light, splotchy lacing.

Smell: Molasses, roasted barley, figs, black cherries, and alcoholic esters (especially when I take big, close whiffs). I like the fruity components, but the overall composition is a bit sweeter than I'd like. Still enjoyable.

Taste: Dark chocolate mousse and molasses greet the palate, but alcohol and roast barley dominate the finish. Figs are there once again, but they play a lesser role in the taste than smell. I'm also picking out floral esters, cherry pie filling, and a hint of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Rich and syrupy, but not too heavy. The alcohol really makes itself known in the finish, leaving the palate hot and dry. A bit gritty and prickly, but I don't mind either of those characteristics. This actually softened up quite a bit as the session went on, but maybe it was just me accumulating a buzz.

Drinkability: Nothing too special, but I'm happy I bought it. I always like trying new Russian imperial stouts and this one didn't disappoint. Good all around, but sort of forgettable.

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Photo of sendsilk
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as an in a trade with caroroberts, thanks Carly!

A- The pour makes for an interesting head gathering here. Very nice mocha colored head, tons of bubble, very nice.

S- standard for a Russian Imp Stout, chocolate & tobacco.

T- This is very nice. What a great surprise! Chocolate, raisins, toffee, tobacco, heavy booze. Really, excellent.

M- Nice and thick and chewy but not overly done. Brilliant!

O- I could drink a bunch of these. Very nice beer.

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Photo of samie85
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this at The Bad Apple on 11/12.

A-Deep auburn brown with a barely there, syrup colored head.

S-Some notes of roasty coffee and some dark chocolate with some notes of alcohol.

T-Bitter, deep coffee with some dark chocolate notes.

M-A little thin with a little bit of carbonation and warming alcohol notes.

D-I'm not a fan of thin RIS's and unfortunately this is one. The combination of the alcohol presence and the flavor profile are not the best match for me.

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Photo of janubio
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an oil slick black body with a creamy, dark brown head that sits generously atop the beer before patiently dissipating to leave a thin, yet sticky lacing.

Robust aromas of sweet chocolate and roasted malt float from the glass and are pretty much all I am detecting.

Similar to the aroma, roasted malt and sweet milk chocolate hints make up the palate, and they seem to be muted by the carbonation until the beer warms a bit.

Thick and full in body with abundant carbonation and a syrupy like coating on the mouth.

This is a decent RIS, not as complex as some of its counterparts with more muted flavors and a bit too much carbonation in my opinion. Certainly worth a try still.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jeffo for this. Not sure on vintage as nothing marked on the side of the label. A little bit smaller than a 330 ML bottle.

A-- Poured a dark cola color and settled black. Slow medium pour got a huge dark brown head, two fingers, that took it's time to settle down. Really settled at about the one finger mark. Well constructed head. Held it's shape well and good compacted bubbles. Very nice head retention on swirling. No real lacing but left a good trail of alcohol legs on the sides of the glass.

S-- A lot of a smoky, or burnt quality to this. Long roasted malts, burnt oatmeal stands out, chocolate and coffee. Also get good doses of the ABV on swirling and then sniffing. Just flashes of the hops which add a small bit of floral and blackcurrant to this and offset the smoky/ burnt smell.

T-- Roasted malts, coffee, oatmeal. Taste reminds me of some of the Mikkeller Imperial stouts but the hops are a different touch. Floral in some aspects and in others blackcurrant again. Hops sort of take over with the beer getting warmer and more air.

M-- Amarillo hops really jump out in the mouth. Has somewhat of a grassy feel in a way. Kind of odd with the burnt qualities. A little harsh at times but does soften up and has a bit of a licorice feel/ finish.

D-- Slow sipper for the fact of the heavy roasted with the floral, grassy feel for the hops. Does work though. It is big and bold. ABV is well hidden for 11% and really only obvious in the look and smell. Seems a bit young though and the hops are pretty fresh. Good beer.

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Photo of afksports
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Like many others, I had this on-tap at Capone's Black Friday event. Hell of an morning it made for. Running around Valley Forge park in the mud with a dog that I'm allergic to, because Pliny was on tap. Sigh...

As for the beer though, I was not so impressed. For an RIS to stand out it really has to do something special, and it seemed like this one just did the style. It had a mostly flat pour, a pitch black appearance, and burnt malts on the nose. The booze was really present too.

Taste was also typical, but seemed almost not entirely put together. Like the booze masked the coffee and chocolate flavors, rather than the other way round. That made it less drinkable, especially with a Batch 2 Consecration sitting around.

Capone's? A+. This one... eh.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am drinking the 2010 vintage. Pours jet black with a tan head that dissipates to a fine layer of bubbles, leaving some lacy clouds on the glass.

Aromas of coffee, cherries, chocolate, hops, and alcohol.

Tastes follow the nose. Mainly coffee and chocolate, a little bit of fruit, I'd say cherries. But overall the taste is kind of like a chocolate/coffee ice cream, which is good, but does not blow me away. Finishes dry, with a hoppy aftertaste.

Body is moderate and not much carbonation, gives this a creamy, melted ice cream mouthfeel.

This is a good, drinkable version of an RIS.

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.7/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: The beer pours a dark black color, with a small dark brown head.
Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate, sweet molasses, licorice.
Taste: Malts, coffee, dark chocolate, sweet molasses, and licorice. Warming alcohol in the bitter coffee aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy, silk with low carbonation
Overall: Very nice brew, maybe not overly complex, but I prefer a simple RIS over most of the hyped overly complex unbalanced American brews.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.41/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Vigorous, long pour nets a jet black brew with a light mocha head of about thumbs-width. Some lacing, but the legs keep running it down into the beer.

Aromas of heavy roasted coffee, very dark cocoa, roasted malts. Licorise. Alcohol burns the nose hairs.

First sip is similar to aroma - dark cocoa, dark roast coffee, hint of dark roasted malts. Alcohol burn. Long, lingering finish reminds me of dark semisweet chocolate. All bitterness from roasted grains. Good level of carbonation.

Mouthfeel is full, chewy, slightly sweet, not cloying. Some creamy carbonation, surprising considering strength of the beer.

Very drinkable beer. Outstanding example of a RIS.

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Photo of Mar02x
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On the evening before my grandmothers funeral I had to drink a special brew. I was looking for a tasty stout. I drunk this one before but didn't review it yet.

A - Pitch black and a ring of foam against the glass. The foam is beige colored.

S - Oak wood, dark fruits, some sweetness in the scent.

T - Brown sugar, dark fruit, complex body, cherries, raisin, its all in there but it is not overwhelming.

M - Low carbonation, alcohol is present and some medium bitterness in the end.

O - A good stout, nice taste, a bit bitter with a sweet swirl. I think it would be nice with a good supper because there also some wine like tones present.

I am having a fresh one right now (1st of December 2011), and o boy this excellent stuff. I am raising therefore the tasting point by a half and the overall by a half. This beer tastes fresh, the hop is really fruity and present. The wine tones are gone now.

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Photo of RuudJH
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33 cl. bottle.
This beer, allthough ok aroma, is just a bit too simple. The alcohol doesn't get covered enough.

Light brown head on a very dark brown beer.
Smell and taste of clear roasted malts and nutts character. Some espresso coffee and dark chocolate. Some spice.
A lot of liquorice aroma/flavour in this particular beer. Not much to my liking.

Mouthfeel medium, with a lot of alcohol bite.

Ok beer, but nothing special.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a big dense head of brown foam over a black body, head stays a bit before dropping out of the picture. No real legs on this one dispite being a hefty weight stout, the viscosity isn't really there on looks.
The aroma has roasted malts and chocolate malts doing a little dance.
Flavors are pretty balanced between dark chocolate bitterness and sweeter malts and milk chocolate and vanilla sweetness, the roasted malts give that espresso character and it finishes really dry in the end, a clean imperial for sure. didnt really notice the oak that it is aged on much, only for 2 months so more then likely it just rounded out some from it. Wanted more viscosity like i do with every stout though.

$5 a 12oz bottle at Binny's. Good for the try, i enjoyed it and think it's solid. Glad it comes in 12oz cuz that has been all i drink lately. If you are a RIS type of guy def give it a whirl.
*my bottle looks differant, and is purple with a building on it.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the first beers my girl bought for me when we first started dating almost two years ago. It's been cellaring ever since. It was probably a year old when she bought it!

A- A two finger dark tan head that hangs around for a decent amount of time. This pitch black ale is what dreams are made of! Little bits of legs hanging on, but mostly it just settles into a puddle of murky goodness. Touches of carbonation pop and break like kahki sea foam on the surface of this Hell dark Imperial Stout!

S- Dark 60% Belgian Chocolate, bitter coffee, dried raisins, figs, subtle citrusy hops. Sweet caramel, vanilla, and cocoa. This reminds me of some belgian style stouts that I've had... perhaps a little bit less yeast tho. This is really awesome and complex!

T- Chocolate, dark dried fruits, anise, and sitting around the fire wood smoke! It has a nice spicey nuttiness that follows the sweet/sour cherry, mocha burst! The sourness from the fruit hits your mouth and gets opened up from the alcohol! It's a subtle 11%, but it creeps in there. Still lively with hops and yeast! Puckering yet sweet, creamy, and smokey! Insane depth of flavor! It really opens up as it warms up!

M- Creamy and such a wonderful mouthful! Tangy fruit, sweet, bitter roastiness, and a chewy complexity! I wish it was just a touch more sticky and thick! It's not thin, but it's not full of syrup stickiness like I was hoping for. Ya know what... I was wrong... This brew envelopes the tongue like a python on a deer! The caramel/vanilla/coffee/chocolate/dark fruit all grab a different part of the tastebuds, and scream "You're My Bitch!"

O- I need to get some more of this! This is damn close to brilliant! As good of an Imperial Stout as I've ever had! This one needs to be drank almost warm to really apprieciate! Sticky, bitter, sweet, and tons of love in this one!!! Highly recommended!!!

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Photo of BarrelO
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.16oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Body is quite black. Big tan head leaves plenty of lacing.

S: Mostly espresso with some fruitiness.

T: Strong espresso notes. Some dried fruits. A bit of tobacco. Plenty of roasty bitterness. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

M: Slightly thinner than I would like, but good creaminess.

D: A solid RIS. It didn't wow me, but it did the job on a cold December night.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 10.14oz bottle with the imported by Twelve Percent LLC purple label. Pours a DARK black with just the slightest light shining through...and that's a stretch, just not the absolute darkest I've ever seen(Hunahpu). A small, half finger size creamy light brown head forms, and dissipates relatively quick...leaving a very thin ring around the outside.

Aroma is light, roasted malts, and coffee...that's about it. The more I focus, the booze is really becoming noticable.

Flavor is more than decent! Perfect temp to serve at too...around 45 degree. Nice booze warmth engulfs and slides down the throat. Medium mouthfeel, low carbonation. Malty, chocolate, booze, dark roasted coffee. A very solid RIS. What's really interesting, is a very late aftertaste comes into play, of a sweet fruit of some sort...but not strong, and about 3 seconds after the other flavors subside...very interesting!

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Taking the backlash at Beeradvocate for my thoughts on beer trading...Sheesh!!!

Very close...so close I can, and will, taste it!!!

Pours a dense and syrupy black. Not quite completely opaque, as it hints at mahogany around the edges in the light. Very small to no head and lacking lacing. Par for the course, I'm 'fraid.

Very big, sweet, chocolately and roasted malt aromas. Wonderfully melded, too. Not too much of one or the other...A touch boozy, but other than that quite nice and to style.

Flavor is a touch thinner than expected. The kicker on this is the super long, roasty and bitter finish. It lasts forever!!! Not nearly as thick and chewy of a beer as the pour suggested. This is actually a wonderfully complex RIS. Think of the upfrontly powerful Old Rasputin and reverse it...This is that beer. Not as complex or powerful as Raspy, and it drops a touch for that reason. Nice beer, though except for....

The basics: $5.49/12 oz. bottle (ouch!) and 11% ABV (YEAH!!)...

This is really good, but won't be anything super special for those accustomed to big RISs...

What I like most: The nice and complex flavor profile.

What I like least: The price and thinner than expected mouthfeel.

Verdict: Big and complex, but too expensive when there are other cheaper alternatives. Try it if you see it.

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Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout from Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse
3.91 out of 5 based on 250 ratings.
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