Saint Petersburg Imperial Stout | Thornbridge Brewery

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88
very good
199 Ratings
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Saint Petersburg Imperial StoutSaint Petersburg Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Thornbridge Brewery
England, United Kingdom
thornbridgebrewery.co.uk

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-22-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
199
Reviews:
103
Avg:
3.96
pDev:
12.12%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
18
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 199 |  Reviews: 103
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of kylehay2004
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single finger head on a deep brown body with excellent lacing. Aroma is very weak with mostly earthy hops and some burnt ambers but disappointingly light. Roasted malts, coffee grounds, earthy hops and pine. Medium body and light to moderate carbonation. I was disappointed in this one after reading reviews. It's too light and under flavored for me.

 350 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, vanilla, cocoa, and slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, campfire, and band-aid flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the aromas and flavors on this one are a bit subdued in my opinion.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a very interesting take on the style. i think we as americans have come to expect big sludgy syrupy beers in this style that coat the palate like tar and boast alcohol contents will into double digits. this is not the case here, its decidedly english, and i admire that about it. the pour is really interesting. while the beer is almost black, the contrast of the head being almost pure white is profound, like a yin yang or something, really opposite ends of the spectrum, its beautiful, and not thick at all. it smells a little oxidized, and like bready old world english ale yeast. these beers are not known for yeast flavors, but there is a lot of it here and it makes this unique. its all about the malts, roasted barley cruises along effortlessly, and without all the weight, i taste elements of it i havent often tasted. light drip coffee, bakers cocoa, and char. the yeast really is pretty pungent in this, and i like that a lot. the alcohol being so low lets it be a more delicate experience. it has forced me to consider and reconsider the russian imperial stout as a style. this is just wholly different than what we have come to expect, and rather than call it thin and yeasty, i appreciate it taking a more classic path. chalky texture on it and very dry, i was impressed with this and need to try some more beer from these guys.

 1,342 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out as a dark black but in the direct light you can almost see through it. The head was very thin and didn't have much in way of lacing. The smell of the beer had a roasted aroma coming off of it. The taste was average really, it wasn't strong enough in flavor to be a RIS. The mouthfeel was like drink a flat coke. Overall not really the best when it comes to RIS's.

 374 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of metter98
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high light tan head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are moderate aromas of roasted and burnt malts as well as peat and smoke in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell, except that the peaty flavors are a bit stronger, and particularly stand out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. There is some dryness, which particularly stands out in the finish. Some hints of bitterness are also present.
O: The beer is rather easy to drink for the style because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste, although the peaty and smoky flavors make this a bit more of a sipping beer.

 760 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Velvety rich, smooth, and creamy, this sturdy stout favors chocolate and soft coffees over the bolsterous roast character that is so popular in Imperial Stouts.

Dark, perhaps black in color with a volumptuous pour, the beer carries an opaque and onyx appearance. A froathy head forms a dense a liquidy creme that caps the beer beautifuly with lacing that rivals the best. An ideal look for any Stout.

Moderate in intensity, the aromas of true malt, mild roast, and grain give an organic scent to the caramel and coffee counterparts. Light grassy hops give a near-herbal note that never interferes with the aroma. Though the aromas are fine, they don't give the same stern impression as does the appearance.

Deep roast coffee, bittersweet chocolates, malted milk candies, and walnuts are the obvious flavors while mild cream/vanilla, tobacco, and leather reveal themselves as the beer warms.

Avoiding the acrid roast that most big stouts strive for, this beer has a soft and velvety feel that makes it much more drinkable than it should be. Creamy early and creamy late, the beer makes a slight transition to textures of warmth and moderate bitterness in the long lasting finish and aftertaste.

Although the beer is effortless to drink, I doubt that it's as easy to make. A lot of work goes into making a Stout this smooth and flavorful. Reminds me of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout- just a bit more of it.

 1,410 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. The label now seems to be in line with the rest of their current offerings, Greek statue and all.

This beer pours slightly off-black, with reddish highlights, and two fingers of dense foamy beige head, which settles relatively slowly, leaving a thorough bonsai tree ring of lace around the glass. It smells of powdery chocolate milk mix, lightly roasted caramel malt, a bit of oily nuttiness, and a slight, thin alcohol edge. The taste is bitter chocolate malt, some mild dark fruit, subtle old coffee grinds, and somewhat zingy leafy hops. The carbonation is present, but on the down low, the body medium weight, with aspirations to fullness. It finishes off-dry, the chocolate sweetness well tempered by lingering hops and swelling metallic booze.

I like that this is an RIS from the original-ish source, but now shipped to that other northern expanse of a nation. I'm no tsarina, but I appreciate this big beer all the same. Not big in the New World Americana sense - I just wish it had a bit more weight, as the alcohol seems a little too successful in thinning this little beast out.

 1,104 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of dry roasted malt notes with light coffee notes. Taste is a mix between some very dry notes with some roasted malt and some dry coffee bean notes with some dry chocolate notes. Body is about average with a high-level of carbonation for style with no alcohol apparent. Interesting beer thought a bit too dry for my personal taste.

 455 characters

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours fairly pitch black color with a small dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, molasses, dark bread, light peat smoke, and roasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt notes; with decent strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, dark bread, caramel, toffee, molasses, light peat smoke, toast, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, molasses, toast, light peat smoke, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors; with good robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a moderately creamy, lightly slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good imperial stout. Good balance and complexity of roasted/dark malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,279 characters

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

Cask at The Ginger Man in NYC 12 January 2008:
Typical appearance. Good head retention. Good lacing. Aroma offers a berry-like fruitiness, soft roastiness, and hints of dark chocolate and toffee followed by a coffee-like roastiness. The flavor follows suit, and the yeasty fruitiness permeates the dark maltiness. It's quite soft and lush, being a cask offering, but it's more than just mouthfeel here - this is a very well-balanced and rounded ale! It's not as aggressive as many examples of the style, and yet it certainly fits within the perception of the style. Perhaps that has something to do with its somewhat limited strength (given the style it is a touch lower than might be expected); or perhaps it has to do with the fact that they haven't over-done the dark malts to the point of sharp acidity; and perhaps it also has to do with the way that they've limited the bitterness and hop flavor to just a few streaks here and there in the background. Yet it retains all of the characteristics that an Imperial stout should have! Superbly done with a delicate touch given to an assertive style! Very enjoyable! Highly drinkable!

 1,134 characters

Photo of oberon
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had the Jaipur IPA a few weeks back from this hard to find brewer and enjoyed it,this beer was just fantastic.Poured into a snifter a near jet black except for just a tinge of ruby when held up to the light,a half finger mocha colored head head atop.Big complexities in the nose,dark fruit,dark roast,smokey peat,and bitter chocolate,as it warmed even a passing leafy note came thru,I say perfection.Quite dry from the start with heavy roast and a light woodiness,a faint smokey peat note as well,after awhile the dark fruit,and vanilla begins to cut thru the roast.A great impy stout,maybe the most drinkable "QUALITY" imperial stout I have had.A joy to drink.

 663 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with two fingers of medium brown head on an opaque, black body. The thick head fades away slowly and leaves nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - Lots of dark malt, chocolate, smoke, licorice, and caramel.

T - Dark malty notes of caramel and dark chocolate up front with some lightly smoky character. More dark sugar appears in the middle as notes of molasses, caramel, and licorice come out. The finish is full of smoky chocolate, licorice, dark caramel, and a bit of medium roast coffee.

M - A fairly thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Very nice, after running across a string of mediocre dark ales recently this is a pleasant change of pace. Plenty of dark complexity with a smoky chocolate note running throughout that makes the beer a pleasure to slowly savor. The licorice and caramel notes work nicely together as well. I had previously tried two other beers from Thornbridge, both of which were excellent, and based on those experiences I had high hopes for this. It lived up fully to my expectations and I will definitely go out of my way to try anything else from them that I can get my hands on in the future.

 1,163 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of dcmchew
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of russpowell
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from Bitterbill, thanks man!

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 2+ fingers of cocoa colored head. Superior lacing & similar head retention

S: Dark fruit & leafy hops, that's about it..

T: Follows the nose a touch of dryness & some dark chocolate up front. A bit of port characteristics once warm, along with dark cherries covered with milk chocolate, molasses, along with some herbal & leafy hops & a touch of boozeyness. Finishes dry, fruitty, with a touch of cocoa

MF: Smooth, slick, medium bodied & great balance

Great drinkability, complexity may suffer a tad from the low ABV for the style, but only by a slight margin, nice to see a great RIS from the country of origin (Brewed FOR the Russian Imperial Court originally)

 745 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Chocolate and Vines in Rochester, NY. 2012 vintage has aged well.

Pours out a deep dark black, with a one inch mocha-colored foamy head that recedes quickly. A little bit of lacing.

Smells heavenly, lots of chocolate and a little bit of coffee. A small amount of roasted malt as well.

The taste is similar, but more complex. There is a slight peat-like smokiness, some tobacco, and leather, with lots of creamy milk chocolate flavors. Slight bit of espresso-like bitterness, other than that, this beer is very smooth with minimal roasted malt flavor.

Thick body, not quite as viscous as some other stouts of its type, but still quite full. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel, very drinkable.

A classic that has taken to aging well, I'm glad I picked this one.

 774 characters

Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of beernads
2.75/5  rDev -30.6%

Photo of Mebuzzard
2.68/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Well, high hopes for this one shattered. From the start this beer disappointed, but in all honesty it's not a good beer.

Pours an oily dark brown/cola with no head whatsoever. A vigorous swirl brings about a little bit, then it dies

Aroma of faded prune, wet leather and some cheap coffee. Thin

Thin feel, too, which does not help the flavors. It has a bit of staleness to it. The sharp prune is quick before it fades. Filling the void is some roasted caramel and instant coffee. A bit cloying with the prune skin.

not a fan. drain pour half the bottle.

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Saint Petersburg Imperial Stout from Thornbridge Brewery
3.96 out of 5 based on 199 ratings.
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