Emelisse Espresso Stout | Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse

78 Reviews
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Emelisse Espresso StoutEmelisse Espresso Stout

Brewed by:
Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Absumaster on 01-29-2010

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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 208
Photo of hickmancase
1.62/5  rDev -56.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Bottle from the Bruery Provisions poured into my Ommegang chalice.

A: Not as syrupy looking as I'd expected. As much head as would be anticipated for a 10%. Middle of the road stout looking.

S: Odd coffee. Something's off.

T: Like the smell. Awkward. Not good.

M: Too distracted by the funky flavor to pay much attention to the mouthfeel.

D: How could coffee and beer be so wrong? I love coffee stouts.


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Photo of imaguitargod
2.32/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Pours to a creamy yet large bubbled, tan head that has some good staying power. The head leaves some beautiful lacing on the side of my glass too. Some malt sweetness up front then the coffee hits like a mac truck. Loads of black coffee flavor intermix with the dark roasted malts. This teeters on being acrid but doesn't fall over the edge. I'm going to have to say the flavors are a bit unbalanced because this tastes more like a cup of cold coffee than it does a stout. It's a big, bold beer, but it's just has too much over the top coffee flavor and that's coming from a man who drinks his coffee black as night and strong as the sun. I could force down a pint, but that's as far as I could go. For the massive price I payed for it ($3.99), I would not recommend it.

~Jonathan Passow

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Photo of Minkybut
2.34/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. This not very good beer poured weak head beer that was just not all that great all the way around. Even though it is called a dutch ale I did not think so. Kinda confusing, is it a Dutcxh ale or a stout. Anyway I will not buy again.

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Photo of osusullins
2.7/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm not a fan. I like coffee stouts, but there is something on the back end of this beer that I just can't get past.

Pours a dark black with almost no head. Not much lacing.

Aroma is strong coffee and nothing else. Maybe a subtle hint of chocolate, but you really have to be looking for it.

Taste is ok at first. The coffee comes through immediately, but there is a bitterness that comes into play that doesn't seem to fit the beer. Very light bodied for a stout. If I am in the mood for a coffee stout, this will not be the one I reach for.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.71/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Got this at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht.

From a bottle into a snifter.

Note: More of an Imperial Stout than an Export/Foreign stout, so I reviewed it as such.

APPEARANCE: Pours out brown and forms a small beige head that quickly vanishes down to a ring. Not a thick pour at all; relatively thin and light looking for the style and ABV. Dark brown body and minimal carbonation evident. A faint ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. Thinner body than expected; a little disappointing for the style.

SMELL: Some roasted malts, a bit of smoke, as well as some roasted coffee beans. Hints of vanilla in there as well. A decently enticing nose that isn't overpowered by the espresso notes.

TASTE: Roasted malts, some caramel sweetness, and a good dose of bitter black coffee. Roasted black coffee beans are the most prevalent here, with some booze in the background. Bold and long lasting aftertaste is plenty roasted with lots of bitter black coffee and espresso notes. This is definitely a coffee stout, but it's a little too one dimensional.

PALATE: Medium body and little light on the palate for an imperial stout. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down fine with a little scratch at the end and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A little too light for the style.

OVERALL: Definitely a coffee stout. The taste profile on this one was quite one dimensional, but not enough to make it off-putting. On the other hand, it certainly was one dimensional enough to make it a little mundane. Where this one really failed was in its thin and lighter pour, as well as the lack of a real heavyweight body to go with the big flavour and ABV. A disappointing effort from what is otherwise a solid brewery. Try either their regular Imperial Stout or their double for a better example of what Emelisse has to offer.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured into a shaker pint: Black body with just a dusting of tan head & some floaties. Some brown highlights around the edges.

Very sweet, nougatty cocoa smell, with some dark fruit & a kind of caramel or butterscotch syrup character. Approaching bourbon, but like with a really candy-counter toffee note. Not really getting any espresso.

Taste has a sharp chocolate liqueur note, some licorice, then turns to a kind of black espresso note toward the back. Finishes with some alcohol, raisin-like rum sugar & a mild astringency, a little woody.

Medium-bodied, somewhat warming, goes down both sticky but a little too thin given the strength.

This beer doesn't lack for complexity & I find myself going through it pretty quickly because I keep going back & trying to taste things again, sift through all the flavors & layers. But I also find that none of them are terribly rewarding & are kind of thin & insipid. The espresso is pretty weak, & it's way too sweet for my liking.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Barely any carbonation, stoic and stagnant. Dark brown with light brown trimmin's

S: Very faint and underwhelming for a coffee stout. Brown malts are the most prominent smell, can't really get the coffee. Almost smells like a lager too.

T: Ok some coffee, this is better than I was expecting. Definitely a more refined coffee stout that doesn't punch you in the mouth with boldness. This is also unique in that it lacks pretty much any roastiness. Hops are prominent in the roastiness's absence, albeit seemingly faded/older bottling. Etched 3 13, best by date?

M: Low carbonation contributes to a silkier than average (but not very silky) mouthfeel. Kind of on the sweet side too, which gives a lil sugar drying.

O: Not worth $6 a bottle and seems to be past its prime, just bought it 2 weeks ago.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured jet black with good carbonation leaving a nice tan cap

S: One dimensional. Espresso folks.

T: Roasted malt, coffee, hints of funk and light cocoa

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation, a subtle sour twinge in the aftertaste.

O: Pretty average across the board., Not one I would recommend or go back to.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #44 (Sep 2010):

Lovely brown cap of head on a deep darkness of a brew; head retention is a stellar show of stickiness. Used coffee bean grounds all the way, almost acrid but the roasted grain evens that out. Boiled coffee grounds give off a strong Cowboy Coffee flavor, very bitter. Roasted grain, dark fruitiness, yeast and some veggie-like hop try and round out the palate, but the burnt used coffee flavor stays strong even in the aftertaste. A bit off kilter--even when the beer warms up a bit, the espresso flavor has got a stranglehold on the taste buds. A notch above average.

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Photo of capra12
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed solo at home served out of an East End Pint glass.

Appearance: pours jet black with 1 1/2 finger of light brown and caramel frothy head leaving a spotty lacing.

Smell: a ton of iced black coffee.

Taste: Opens with mild roasted grains, I get a coffee bitter in the middle with a dark and almost sour malt profile. There is an initial black coffee finish that mellows as I finish this pint.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with medium carbonation, a subtle sour twinge in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: this is a one an done for me, I recommend this to those seeking a brew with a strong coffee and espresso presence and unique malt backbone.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.27/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Emelisse Espresso Stout, bottled version, bought at Whole Foods Bowery NYC, poured into a Sierra snifter.

Appearance: Pours with a glug, very thick. Appearance is like a dead black lagoon- no carbonation, no head, no bubbles, no retention. Nothing but an oily black liquid.

Smell: Some coffee and chocolate, dark sugars. Roasted malts and a bit of booze at the end. A tad of medicinal syrup too, a cloying sweetness that is evident but not unpleasant. Bourbon-y too.

Taste: Very watery. Lacks body. Lots of coffee beans. Chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Very thin and watery. Barely any carbonation and body. Finishes dry, bitter, pungent.

Drinkability: Fine. A bit boozy but not too much. It's just not a pleasant brew due to the lack of carbonation/body/flavor. Not exciting.

(note: had on tap in Madrid, Spain, and liked it very much, way better than the bottle)

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Photo of Keffa
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Live review.

Bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a dark brown, small tan head settles into a ring and film. Leaves nice (but small) lacing on the glass that stays.

S: Very deep roast, coffee, toast, wood, ash, chocolate, and smoke. Also has some very faint tart notes, like several of the stouts from Jackie O's.

T: Deep roasted malt, ash and smoke, a very faint chocolate, even more faint woody hop and tartness, and then near the finish it turns into boozy alcohol. Let down here. Coffee isn't nearly what it should be for an espresso stout.

M: Even worse, overly thin body, low carbonation, and slick on the palate make the alcohol stand out.

O: Okay for what it is, but not something I would buy again. Sadly, the regular Emelisse Russian Imperial Stout is fantastic. If you see anything from Emelisse, stick with the Russian Imperial over this.

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Photo of ESPNman
3.34/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter.

A - Pours a near-black (like a too-syrupy coca cola). Virtually zero head, some lacing. It's a very, very dark brew with just hints of brown when you hold it up to the light.

S - Good stout character with some sweetness and roasted malts. A decent amount of espresso and some booze in there as well. Good nose, but nothing really special. Representative of the style, but not as much coffee as I'd like.

T - Just not what I was looking for out of this beer... it's woody, has a hint of bitter espresso, but just too much of the malty sweetness. Some alcohol in the middle, and it just finishes flat. A bit of bitterness lingers at the end.

M - Thin, almost watery. Surprising for an imperial stout like this. Light carbonation, not a lot of body.

O - Not worth the price-point that it sells at. It's good, but certainly not great. It has good elements, but just has too many misses to be considered a recommended beer. This would be a value at $8-10 for a 6-pack, but at $5.50 for a single it's just not there.

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Photo of tony223366
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Brown fluffy 2+ fingered head with a brown color. There's absolutely no light passing through this baby. Big points for the awesome head though. Nice retention too. It lifts the beer way up.

S: About what you'd expect. Tons of malt aroma. Chocolate and dark fruits mostly. Then the coffee hits you. Not as strong as I thought but definitely there. I thought it'd be a little roastier but really the key aroma is the dark fruits.

T: Whoa this beer drops the ball at this point. The coffee is overwhelming. It's like when I try to choke down the work coffee when someone forgot to put the damn heater on so it's cold. But I'm nodding off at my computer so I need the pick me up. No, it's not quite that bad. This is definitely has more of a roasted element in the flavor. But it really is a one trick pony. None of those dark fruits made it to the party!

M: Medium body with some light carbonation.

O: I know some people tear at this beer but you just can't be expecting an American Stout. It has similar flavor profiles to other Export Stouts I've had. So I'd put it at an average.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Small draft pour

Black bodied with ruby highlights and a thick light brown head.

Deep roasty aroma. Taste is basically the same with a pronounced roast.

Smooth and not quite full bodied.

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Photo of DARIVA
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark beer with almost no head.

S: Espresso, espresso and espresso.

T: Espresso, sweet gum and slightly acidic.

M: Too little body. Tastes like coffee grounds in your mouth, but that is the combination of espresso and the carbonation.

O: Great experience, very long aftertaste.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of light dry coffee notes with light roasted malt is OK though not as powerful as expected. Taste is also an OK mix between some light dry coffee notes with light dry roasted malt with a side of caramelized malt. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A bit light for style and espresso flavour fell a bit short.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Very dark brown not quite black and totally opaque with a 1/2 inch tan head and good retention with some very small spotty lacing

Smell: Roasted malt and roasted coffee bean nose with some dark fruit oak and a hint of vanilla

Taste: Lots of roasted malt upfront with quite a bit of ash a lot more roasted malt than expected especially since there is no coffee flavor here

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body and medium carbonation

Overall: Not at all what I was expecting but not a bad beer nor is it something I would buy again

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Dark brown, nearly black pour with one finger beige head that fades quickly with nice lacing. Roasty nose dominated by the espresso along with hints of dark fruits, dark chocolate, and a subtle touch of sourness. The taste is much the same with espresso again dominating with hints of dark chocolate, mocha, raisins, licorice, and a tart, almost sour, bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with light carbonation, leaning towards being thin. The finish is very tart and bitter. Overall, it's a solid coffee stout, but nothing special.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Pours black with a massive head.
Nose shows coffee, roasted malt and sweet bready malt.
Coffee and roasted malt as flavours, not particularly complex though.
Carbonation is much too high.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

B/B 09/14. Lot A

Different label than the one pictured above and label listed ABV at 9.5%, not 10%.

A - Very dark brown with a ring of light brown head.

S - Dark roasted espresso aroma up front that overpowers lighter aromas of roast and sweet molasses

T - Roast, sweet chocolate, dark bitter espresso and brown sugar. Good balance of bitter and sweet. The ABV is very well hidden.

M - Medium body. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a medium brown color with a tan head. The aroma is tart cherries with some roasted malt and coffee. The coffee is not as prevalent as I expected it to be, but it is definitely present.

The flavor is much heavier on the coffee. I also get some roasted malt and chocolate as well as some grassy hop notes and some Belgian yeast character. The alcohol is very well hidden. I had no idea the beer was 10 percent ABV. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Very interesting to see a coffee stout brewed with a Belgian twist.

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Photo of woemad
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.16oz bottle purchased at Jim’s Homebrew in Spokane for $6.74. I have seen this beer nowhere else. The label seems to have a freshness date of March, 2013, but the wording is in Dutch so I’ve no idea if it means the beer should be drunk by then or after then.

Pours what looks to be a solid black color with a decent sized, mocha colored head. The beer takes on an extremely dark, almost imperceptible reddish tint when held up to the light.

Coffee notes are in the nose, along with brown sugar and chocolate. For a coffee beer, the coffee scent isn’t terribly strong.

Coffee and milk chocolate flavors hit the tastebuds pretty much at the same time. Perhaps it should be called a mocha stout rather than an espresso stout. There’s also a warming alcohol sensation in the background, which is not surprising when one remembers this is 9.5% abv. However, it’s just barely noticeable. Hop flavor isn’t really a noticeable factor.

Not as big of a body as I expected for what is essentially an Imperial Stout. The mouthfeel is sticky and coating.

Not a bad beer but not as flavorful as I was expecting, but it might still work as a dessert beer after a meal (and I did have a big breakfast several hours ago), but I wouldn’t recommend it for sessioning on a hot summer day. It’s also deceptively strong, with nowhere near the booze bite you’d expect for a beer of this strength, so watch out.

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Photo of popery
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a coffee black body and a beige head of decent size. Moderate lacing. Smells like dark chocolate and an aggressive amount of good coffee. Some blackberries and raspberries are also present in the aroma. It's a strong coffee aroma but quite rich, and it doesn't completely overpower the roasted malt. The malt flavor is on the sweet side but it's almost entirely overwhelmed by bitter coffee. I'm guessing that this beer was made with excellent coffee, but the flavor has grown somewhat stale, bitter and over-roasted. Finish is mildly unpleasant with coffee bitterness. The feel is thin and watery. The flavor might have worked well with a thicker, fuller mouthfeel, but thin and coffee bitter isn't doing it for me.

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Photo of Heretic42
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another purchase from De Bierkoning, BB date of 06/2013, bottle says 9.5% abv.

A: Pours black with very little head

S: Espresso, some faint whispers of dark chocolate

T: Overpowering espresso, a little bit of smoke, and just a hint of dark chocolate.

M: Medium-low carbonation, smooth and light-medium bodied

O: I like bold flavors, but I'd also like a little more complexity here. Aging it a little might help temper the espresso and bring out other flavors. Overall, it's a pleasant beer and I'd certainly drink it again, but it's not one I'll seek out.

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Emelisse Espresso Stout from Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse
3.7 out of 5 based on 208 ratings.
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