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Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout - Sorachi Ace Single Hop | Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse

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Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout - Sorachi Ace Single HopEmelisse Imperial Russian Stout - Sorachi Ace Single Hop
30 Ratings
Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout - Sorachi Ace Single HopEmelisse Imperial Russian Stout - Sorachi Ace Single Hop

Brewed by:
Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DARIVA on 04-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 13
Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of dcmchew
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Hayley_86
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Erik-P
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of biegaman
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Does no one else appreciate the irony in this pitch-black Imperial Stout being part of Emelisse's "White Label" series?! The only place this beer isn't entirely opaque is along its trim... if held directly into the light... and at just the right angle. And even then it exposes all the little particles of sediment that look an awful lot like coffee grinds.

First thought: This isn't bourbon barrel-aged? Could have fooled me. The nose has plenty of oakiness as well as undertones of vanilla and, not so surprising for an 11% beer, alcohol vapors (the esters of which are reminiscent of dark, dried fruits). The hops are hard to appreciate amongst heavy burnt coffee aromas.

Single hop aside, this stout has all the classic RIS features such as bitter espresso, burnt grain, unrefined cocoa and traces of black licorice. Imagine melting a block of 72% dark chocolate into a heavy bowl of steel-cut oats, then sprinkling it with burnt breadcrumbs. It's OK, but the finish is astringently sooty; it starts to feel like I'm sucking back coffee grinds.

Some people have remarked Sorachi Ace hops lend a "buttery" component. I'd never noted that until now. This stout definitely has a browned butter flavour, especially on the finish. As for the hop's more common, notorious "lemony" characteristics, I don't get much of any. I do, however, note a long-steeped green tea-like quality in flavour and bitterness.

Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout (Sorachi Ace) is rare enough to make it memorable, which is good because its flavour, drinkability, and overall quality are fairly forgettable. For those of you who won't get to try this hard-to-find variation don't feel so bad - the beer's ratings are far more impressive than its actual content, and the Sorachi Ace goes largely unnoticed.

 1,787 characters

Photo of samEBC
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Rutager
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a small head.
Nose shows heavy roasted malt, liquorice, soft custard sorachi notes, herbal hops.
Full-on flavours, loads of roast, some spicy and piny hops, a little coffee and some hot booze.

 209 characters

Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle - best before 12/15, hence 3 months off the mark. Mahogany pour, with a thin and fine-grained beige head that is slow to rise to the surface. Smells of roasted malts, a bit of smoke, dark chocolate, cocoa, sour cherries and a bit of bourbon, as well as some bubblegum-like smell that can only be the Sorachi Ace. The taste follows the same notes, big on coffee and dark chocolate. Super smooth texture with a chocolate bitter aftertaste.

 449 characters

Photo of leitmotif
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Jeffo
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this at the local liquor shop down the road. Nice to see these guys become available locally.

From a bottle into a snifter
Best Before March 2015
EBU: 75

APPEARANCE: A thicker black pour yields a 1+ finger, medium looking, tan head with excellent retention. Head slowly fades to a splotchy wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. Black body with higher levels of carbonation. A splotchy wisp and ring remain leaving decent lacing down the glass. A little too much carbonation and not quite thick enough to be great. Really close, however.

SMELL: Bold nose jumps out of the glass. Roasted and smoky, charred malts, dark chocolate and molasses on the nose. Light soy sauce as well. Quite bold, interesting and impressive. This is really good.

TASTE: Roasted malts, smoky notes and some dark, pure chocolate. This is quite hoppy as well. Flavor really comes out after the swallow, with lots of molasses, chocolate fudge brownies, cocoa powder and iced espresso. Bold and lingering finish of chocolate fudge, cocoa powder, sweet molasses and bitter chocolate cake and espresso. This is excellent.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A little light on the palate, unfortunately, but very creamy smooth, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. No heat on this one. Could use more weight, but very creamy smooth and slick. A bit of a chalky finish.

OVERALL: Excellent stuff. The feel was a touch too light to really be supportive, but everything else this brew brough to the table was top class. I would love to see them thicken up the feel and really bring this to the next level. A top notch brew; of the six I sampled, this was probably my favorite. Would drink this daily if it weren't so expensive. Highly, highly recommended.

 1,754 characters

Photo of bostonryan
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Coronaeus
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Brabander
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn...this is one heavy I.R. stout! I promised Kees Bubberman, the owner and head brewer i would buy me a bottle and try it. Here you go Kees...

Poured in my small Struise tasting glass this beer shows itself very nice. Pitch black fluid and a lightbrown head. Smell of coffee and the sorachi hops.

This is a pretty balanced beer where the sorachi hops make the beer special. The alcohol is nicely hidden with the first sip, after that it get's more noticable.

Good beer.

 475 characters

Photo of brbrocc
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of beerdrifter
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the Emelisse brewery during ZeeBra Fest. Pitch black pour with a creamy one finger caramel-colored head with good retention and great lacing. The nose is roasty and smokey with hints of burnt toast, cocoa, espresso, chocolate fudge, and the distinct Sorachi Ace hops. The taste is rich and bold with a ton of chocolate fudge along with hints of cocoa, espresso, dark chocolate, subtle smoke, and a good amount of hops on the finish. The mouthfeel is thick, creamy, and mouth-coating with some prickly carbonation and a nice dry, bitter finish. The 11% ABV was not in play as this was incredibly drinkable. Overall, this was a pleasant surprise. With the Sorachi Ace hops mentioned in the name, I almost expected it to be more of a Black IPA. Although the hops were very prevalent, this was one hell of a rich and chocolaty stout. Very impressive! Kicking myself for only picking up two of them...

 914 characters

Photo of MatChar
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of crosenkrantz
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of benbjb
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of simoen
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of moose1980
3.54/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review for a bottle that had almost two years in the cellar on it.

Chocolatey/smokey aroma, but it also certainly smells hoppier than their regular IRS. I find their regular IRS a bit too bitter, so the additional bitterness from the Sorachi Ace doesn't improve it, just IMO. Bottom of a cup of Turkish coffee-type bitterness. Nice creamy mouthfeel, though.

Edit: After drinking, I checked the bottle for BBD. It was 9 months past. I would think an 11% IS would still hold up, but maybe this isn't the fairest rating.

 521 characters

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened and drank this bottle on 7 Jan 2013. Bottle was dated 03/15/2012...there was also an "A" notched near where the date was. It said on the bottle that this was the best before date, and having tried one of these about a year ago, I seem to remember it was better when it was fresher. The notes below are from the one I am drinking now....

A: Black with a brown head...nicely carbonated, probably about a two finger foamy head
S & T: Immedaite taste of burnt roast, almost to the taste of a rauchbier...it is good, but it is a thick, heavily burnt, roasted stout. Lots of deep flavors, so it is possible that the sorachi ace hops are starting to fade and ruin a bit in flavor at this age....it is good, but seems a bit off...almost a bit sour...i want to compare this to the Bruery Tart of Darkness, but it is not quite as sour as that!
M: Thick.
O: Really good. I don't want to knock this beer because I think I just waited a bit too long to drink it....I had one fresh and remember it being much better. Of all the White Label Emelisse Stouts however, this one ranked the lowest. The other RIS' aged in barrels by Emelisse are much better.

 1,146 characters

Photo of DARIVA
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep black beer with a minimal head.

S: Slight salty smell.

T: The taste of coffee, chocolate and some herbs.

M: Good mouthfeel and a nice bitter aftertaste.

O: Very good drinkable and a good balance.

The hops which are used is from the Japanese Sorachi hops.

 277 characters

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Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout - Sorachi Ace Single Hop from Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 30 ratings
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