Mikkeller ApS

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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #142
Ranked #2,326
4.18 | pDev: 8.37%
Mikkeller ApS
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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 306
Photo of stakem
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dinky little 25 cl bottle poured into a stemmed mikkeller glass. This brew appears black in color with a dark brown head about a finger strong that recedes down to a thin film across the top. As it recedes, it leaves some spots of lacing effect on the glass. A light swirl brings forth more than a finger of brown froth back to the surface. When held to the light, hardly any light permeates, but what does shows the faintest amount of brown clarity around the thin edges.

The smell of this brew is straight charred grain. It smells of charcoal mixed with a bit of citrus hops, tobacco, earth and licorice. More smells bring forth a bit of chocolate grain scents that mixes with more of a deep earthy and char feel than the usual sweet chocolate indications present in some stouts. The 11+% abv is felt with a slight tingle across the nose that seems accented by a solvent spirit almost like vodka.

The taste is as roasty and charred as you would expect based off of the aroma. Flavors of charcoal mix with very bitter burnt grain that imparts a flavor of chocolate, licorice and coffee all through the body. There is a pretty solid citrus element that mixes with some earthy notes and a touch of mineral components. The aftertaste is quite bitter with a flavor of unsweetened chocolate mixed with coffee that persists long after a sip is taken.

This is a medium bodied brew that is very bold. It boasts a light to moderate amount of carbonation. The alcohol is not hiding at all in this brew but it really works with the other bold flavors present. The 8oz bottle size is very fitting here, I dont think having any more of this would be welcomed as I sit here and sip away, this becomes more of a chore as it warms up. Not bad, but honestly something that could sit for years in order to mellow out and blend together a little better.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Deep black pour with beautiful mocha colored one finger head that fades pretty quickly with decent lacing. Loads of roasty malt in the nose with hints of chocolate, peat, alcohol, and burnt espresso. The chocolate really comes out in the taste. Roasty malt, caramel, cocoa, molassess, and alcohol round it out with hints of smoke, espresso, and a touch of dark fruit. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and a little flat, with a nice bitter hop finish that helps balance the sweetness of the malt. The alcohol is present throughout, but it is 11% afterall, and it doesn't really hurt the drinkability. It's obviously a sipper, and it warmed me up nicely on a cold fall day. Yet another solid offering from Mikkeller!

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Photo of Mar02x
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For some reason or another I woke up at night. Now a couple hours later I am still awake and now I know why; I just have to drink something special. I had a look at my collection and selected the George, so lets give it a try.

A - Looks pretty damn good. A pitch black beer with a brown head that very slowly retracts. Looks a bit like 'the Messy', so its very promising.

S - Chocolate, oak wood, peat, roasted malts, espresso and some sweetness added to the flavor. Man I just can't stop smelling this beer, gorgeous.

T - To much peat and wood for my, it overwhelms the other flavors. Is was such a promise and now its lost. There is how ever some dark fruit to be discovered. I find it rather dry compared to the flavor.

M - Low to medium carbonation, a bit sticky. The bitterness and the alcohol come in the end. This beer has got the nicest warming after taste, its rare indeed.

O - It's a special brew thats for sure, but so close after the Borefts beer festival I must say its a bummer. The balance is off in this one.

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Photo of gford217
3.61/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

25cl bottle thanks to jbeatty.

Pours pitch black and has that typical mocha head that you always see on Mikkeller stouts.

Aroma is also typical for Mikkeller with the distinctive charred malt character with hints of smoke and bakers chocolate.

Taste has an interesting sweetness that I didn't get in the nose with some molasses coming out. There is still the ashy character that permeates the taste and leaves a smoky burn on the palate in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, kinda thick and chewy. Carbonation is fairly low.

This is another Mikkeller stout that didn't overly impress me. I love the Beer Geek variants but this one veers toward the Black Hole territory which is to say smoky and charred. Not bad but no my favorite.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Masterski for providing this in a trade.
OK, so this mighty have the darkest head on a beer I’ve ever seen. Usually Imp Stouts have a dark brown or even a bronze/brown head. This one was almost the same black at the beer. Also, over time it got lighter and lighter as the beer apparently filtered out of it.. Yet a head remained. Ain’t NO light getting through this one… (I apologize to all my English teachers) Not much in the way of lace.
Aroma is all about deep dark roasted malt with some sweetness and black licorice.
Oh man, this is black licorice and soy sauce. Some prunes and other dark fruits. A moment of molasses later in the flavor.
Really thick with a sense of elevated ABV.
Even in a small bottle this is a beer to share. Just need a few ounces. Interesting.

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Photo of mmurphy525
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip

Pours a bitch black with a very very thin mocha coloured head that dissipates extremely quickly leaving behind a slight ring.

Smell is great full of chocolate, molasses, lots of espresso, roasted malts, and faint alcohol.

Taste follows the smell closely with chocolate, molasses, and rich espresso coming through. The roasted malts are also present with some slight char characteristics. This beer finishes with a nice hop bitterness with a little alcohol. Though the alcohol is detectable it is nothing near the 11.11 percent the beer holds.

This beer is thick, creamy, and very rich. Carbonation is low.

Overall this beer is excellent, very rich and full of flavour. Nothing overpowers the rest and everything intermingles to make one of the best Mikkeller beers I have had. I would definitely recommend this to any stout lover.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Thick, viscous black colored with a tiny ring of an off-whitish head. No lacing.

S - Coffee, chocolate, dark fruity malts. Earthy hops in the background. Slightly smoky. Light alcoholic aroma is pleasant.

F/M - Rich dark malts, chocolaty, roasty, and loads of caramel and sweet bready malts. Over-ripened dark stone fruits emerge as the beer warms. Smoky phenols blend nicely with the other flavors. Lots of earthy hops with a firm bitterness, accentuated by the roasted malts. Thick oily mouthfeel with a slightly slick feel in the finish. Full bodied with medium low carbonation. Lingering dark malts.

O - Very nicely brewed stout. Hoppy, dark, rich and tasty. I like this beer.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Massive thanks goes out to BRoss242 who shared this one with the group at the "Evening Wood" tasting graciously hosted by cmrillo! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured pitch black with a minimal brown head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, wood, and smoke. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, BIG smoke, and wood. It had a very thick and heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. You would never know it was weighing in at 11%+ though. There was no sign of the alcohol anywhere. Maybe it was covered up by the big smokiness??? Who knows... But I do know that it was quite nice on the flavor and aroma. Definitely worth giving it a shot if you can. You won't regret it.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
2.91/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to tpd975 for the share (I think...) Full disclosure this beer was sandwiched between one of the worst beers and one of the best: Ziel and Zaligheid, and PvW Eclipse. There was, realistically, very little chance that this brew could hang with either one, and it didn't

A - It pours a dark brown-black, oily, and is capped with a reasonable amount of deep mocha froth.

S - The nose is fairly smoky, but not in a good way, more akin to the smoke that billows out the door of a dive bar. Other notes include both charred and naked grain, cocoa, molasses and 'homebrew store'.

T - The flavor takes the notes suggested in the nose, and runs with the most unpleasant. Cigarettes and ashtrays are slightly evoked (again) and the rest of the beer just doesn't come together very well. Notes of coffee, chocolate and earthy hops are there, but I just really don't dig it.

M - The feel is just short of full, and the carbonation is quite soft.

O - This beer reminds me of a homebrew; it has potential, but it seems experimental rather than meticulously crafted.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black beer with a bit of brown head that stuck around for a little bit and had pretty good retention for something with that much alcohol.

S - Lots of chocolate and sweet berries with some roasted malts. I like the smell on this quite a bit.

T - Lots of roast and smoke with some sludgy tar and char. The berries and chocolate give it a rich flavor, and I like it quite a bit.

M - Fuller side of medium body with lower carbonation.

O - Really nice beer that I enjoyed drinking. It's kind of thick and charry and makes it hard to drink tons of, but I enjoyed it considerably.

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Photo of EnemyWithin
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Les Trois Mousquetaires tulip glass on June 17, 2011

Appearance: 3.5
Coffee black with touch of brown body and a creamy brown-white head that dissipates into a thin, incomplete ring of head.

Smell: 4
Nutty and fruity with moderate roastiness of the malt. Notes of cocoa, esspresso, and faint presence of alcohol detectable.

Taste: 4.5

Starts with sweet dark fruit and chocolate/cocoa, transitioning into the added presence of a very mild, but nicely balancing bitterness. From there, it finishes with a growing roasted malt and cocoa flavor that is just great.

Mouthfeel: 4

Very creamy, with mild carbonation and appropriate thickness. Slight astringency from alcohol.

Overall: 4.5
An excellent crafted brew. Rich and complex, but not overpowering, even despite the 11.10% ABV. Extremely easy drinking, and with its small size, could have multiple. Sometime Mikkeller can disappoint, but this definitely not the case. Sadly, now the I have moved out east, access to this is very limited. Too bad because I really loved to have a few more of these.
Highly Recommend.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one at Geers in Ghent.

From a 25cl bottle into a snifter.
Note: Drank this one just prior to the BA version.

APPEARANCE: Pours pitch black and yields a one finger, medium looking, dark mocha colored head with pretty good retention. Though it’s pretty noisy initially, this is probably the darkest and most menacing head I’ve ever seen on an imperial stout. Thick pitch black body with just a touch of carbonation evident. head fades to a good wisp and dark mocha colored ring. A ring and light wisp remain until the end but leave no real lacing down the glass. Dark and dark.

SMELL: Big nose for sure. Roasted malts, burnt charcoal and smoke, lots of dark chocolate, molasses, and some lighter coffee notes. Baker’s chocolate, molasses, and some booze in there as well. Big, burly and tough.

TASTE: Just as tough as the nose. Big and bigger. Roasted and charred malts, with lots of that signature Mikkeller burnt charcoal and smoke. Burnt and very roasted. A touch of sour cherry comes through, but soon ushers in lots of baker’s chocolate, sweet molasses, and bitter coffee, chocolate, and cocoa powder in the finish. Bold, boozy, roasted, and powdery aftertaste is full of sweet molasses and bitter chocolate, lingering nicely on the palate. Massive smack-you-in-the-face flavor. Great stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Soft and very creamy on the palate, goes down smooth with some heat after the swallow and finishes quite powdery and dry. Oddly quite sticky on the lips as well.

OVERALL: This was excellent. Lots of enjoyable and bold flavors, and one of the meanest heads on a stout beer to date. If you ask me, this imperial stout is one of the best Mikkeller has brewed, and can easily stand up to anyone in the business, including its brothers on the continent as well as over the pond. One worth tracking down and giving a shot. Glad I was able to give this one a go. Great stuff.

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Photo of chickenm
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

250ml bottle, thanks wordemupg. Pours jet black with a dark brown head. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, smoke, molasses, and a little booze. Big flavor, mostly coffee and chocolate, as well as prunes, molasses, and licorice. Chewy full body with light carbonation. A tasty imperial stout, I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Andrew Hilton Wine Cavern in Lethbridge. Served in a hotel tumbler. My bottle says 11.11% - same difference I suppose.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of dark red-tinged mocha foam that settles to a persistent thick cap, leaving splotchy lacework behind. Body is pitch black, oily, and slightly intimidating.

S - Intense milk chocolate, berries, light coffee, and dark roasted malts. There's some mild alcohol apparent, but nothing out of place for the listed ABV.

T - The taste is far roastier and smokier, with that patented Mikkeller scorched Earth flavor. Much less sweetness than the nose suggests. Gets some more booze-soaked fruits as it warms up. Ends slightly burnt and astringent.

M - Sticky, medium-full body. There's some roasty dryness, and medium carbonation that keeps things from getting to syrupy. Not much alcohol warmth.

D - I crushed the 25cl bottle. The weakest part of this beer is the flavor, which is good but slightly too burnt and charry for mass consumption. If it tasted a bit more like it smelled it'd be truly world-class.

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Photo of liamt07
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from wordemupg, split with a buddy in a couple of snifters. 25cl, and listed at 11.11%ABV.

Pours pitch black, with a finger of dark, dark brown head; one of the darkest I think I've ever seen. A creamy dense cap of a head, with big legs. Nose has brown sugar, dark fruits and a general dark berry feel. Taste amplifies the nose, with caramelized, alcohol soaked, rich dried dark fruits (enough descriptors?), with hints of dark berries, blackberries and black currant and chocolate covered cherries. All of this blended with some coffee beans. Leaves a lingering roasty finish, with minimal alcohol (this adds another level of potency at such and ABV). Sticky and sweet mouthfeel, full with low carbonation. A massive sipper, and even splitting the 25cl bottle was substantial. Interesting and complex, but a bit too much for me and just misses the mark.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

250ml wee bottle. Weird Afro-sporting red boxer caricature on the label - George Foreman tribute, perhaps?

This beer pours an indubitable and unblemished black, with two fingers of dense, creamy, Brown Cow brown head, which leaves some sparse random blots of lace around the glass as it evenly settles. It smells of thick caramel toffee malt, mild smoke, molasses syrup, and leafy, musty hops. The taste is strong chocolate malt, edgy black licorice, dark indeterminate fruit, coffee grounds, and earthy, dry leafy hops. The carbonation is very sedate, the body full in weight, thick, and creamy in the Balkan yogourt sense. It finishes still big on a one-pack-a-day smoky caramel chocolate bent, with a herbal, musty offset keeping things just this side of sane.

Whooooweee! All those semi-literate words, and not one mention of the demon alcohol. Now why is that? Well, apparently, it is possible to hide a 22 proof ABV in a melange of chocolate, coffee, and hops. Huh. Bravo. Bravo, indeed.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 250 ml brown bottle. Two fingers of creamy mocha coloured head, opaque black

Molasses, licorice, raisins and dates on the nose, along with some sweet alcohol, and mild notes of roast and coffee.

Sweet rich flavour of dates, alcohol, mild dry roast malt, licorice, even a bit of purple grape. Hops kick in well into the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel but with a full slick texture (that gets a bit sticky after a while), low carbonation.

Still carries the alcohol quite well for the strength, yet the flavour comes across fairly mild and wishy-washy for the style.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

250ml bottle poured into tulip mar29 2011

A black as night and even the short lived finger of foam is super dark but it only leaves a few specks of lace

S molasses, coffee, bakers chocolate and some booze and a faint bourbon smell that works well

T faint smoke on top of what I smell with some licorice, raisin and maybe some other dark fruits with some leather and other earthy notes

M thick as can be it would make a great meal, chewy as all hell I think I got a little bit of this stuck in my teeth

O If 4.25 was an option I would have dropped it for smell, only looked good but better then that in all other areas, pretty solid brew if you like a stupid thick and dark stout, perhaps a good thing it comes in small 250ml bottles because this one is very rich

I will be buying a few of these to see how they age, crazy rich brew that left me feeling full as if I ate a steak. pick up a few of these if you get the chance

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Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 25cl bottle from Dranken Geers in Ghent.

Poured into a snifter.

Wow, this is a thick black motor oil black looking stout. It has a dark mocha colored head that goes back to one finger in minutes.

Lots smells on the nose. Sweetness of dark fruits, coffee and dark malts. Makes me want to drink it.

Tastes are all that the nose promised. Coffee and dark roasted malts upfront and a bit of bitterness.

Medium to full mouthfeel decent amount of carbonation. Full flavors linger around for a while.

This is nothing short of a fantastic stout. One of the best I've ever had. This is one you'd seek out.

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Photo of pixieskid
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Full bodied, incredibly creamy mouth feel, nice frothy carbonation.

Rich malt presence upfront: notes of roasted malts, smoked malts, and strong presence of oats.

Solid dark chocolate note throughout with a nice coffee bitterness.

Finishes with a unique earthy note and nice undertone of smokiness, with just a hint of alcohol.


Straightforward and solid with a nice smokiness to it.
Really wish that this didn't come in such a small bottle!

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Photo of Sammy
3.28/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks Svend. 250 ml bottle is more than enough. Big boozy splash of thick coffee and sourness. Black, little white head. Good for what it is, but not a RIS I want again. A little infected or intentional I cannot tell. Not the best I have had from this brewer.

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Photo of ADZA
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is actually 11.11%ABV anyways it pours a thick dark as night hue with a creamy cappicino looking,chocolate laced two finger head and a distinct rim of lacing,the smell is a little different to most other RIS's its very oaky with hints of prosicuto,bacon,Milo and some coffee roastiness,it has a full lucious mouthfeel which coats the palette with flavours of smokey bacon,milky dark coffee,mocha,dark dark chocolate and the finish leaves you hanging on with a dry mix of sweet dark chocolate and bitterness,overall its a beautiful drop that has a very different taste to most other Mikkeller RIS's and thoroughly recommend i just wish this 250ml bottle was a little bigger,it would be the perfect nightcap for a cold night.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

25cl bottle into my Rochefort glass...Black pour with only a whisp of medium tan carbonation...The aroma is super malty with mostly all sweet chocolate, some sweet bread, light vanilla, a slight hop finish. A lot going on, but mostly just sweet...The taste is a let down, most of the sweetness is gone replaced by bitter coffee. Light grass hop finish. This beer got rave reviews by some locals, but I was really disappointed in. Nothing special in taste, look, or drinkability.

A very average stout.

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Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Mikkeller pub in Copenhagen.

Pours black with a two-finger dark brown head - the head is one of the darkest I have seen in a while. It eventually settles into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of sweet and dark molasses backed by good amounts of dark chocolate and mildly roasted malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly roasted malt flavors kick things off before being overtaken by loads of molasses flavors. Midway through the sip the sweetness is toned down a bit with the addition of unsweetened chocolate flavors that carry through to an ending that remains decidedly on the sweeter side.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall despite the large amount of sweetness up front it manages to level out through the end. Not the best-balanced beer ever but one that's worth a shot.

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George from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 306 ratings