Reserve Ale Russian Imperial Stout | Cricket Hill Brewing Co.

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Reserve Ale Russian Imperial StoutReserve Ale Russian Imperial Stout
Very Good
44 Ratings
Reserve Ale Russian Imperial StoutReserve Ale Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Cricket Hill Brewing Co.
New Jersey, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by muskiesman on 02-11-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by metter98:
Photo of metter98
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color - traces of red are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a half finger high dark tan head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface, a collar around the edge and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of sweetness and dark roasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has some initial sweetness followed by notes of roasted malts. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste but I would have liked it if some of the sweetness could have been replaced with bitterness or roasted flavors.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color, opaque, 1 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and cream

Taste: caramel, chocolate, charred toasted malt, and cream at the end

Mouthfeel: medium body, high carbonation, sweet

Overall: An excellent value RIS and one of the better beers I have had from Cricket Hill. Not the most complex RIS, but nothing offensive and one I will certainly get again. A bit sweet for the style, but good.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of quirkzoo
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

LIF win from Brooklynbrews.

Pours straight black with a surprising amount of head. 1 finger of cappuccino head.

Lots of roast and chocolate, exactly what I am looking for in a RIS. As it warms the alcohol becomes more prevalent.

Nice well balanced RIS. A lot of chocolate up front, with tons of roasted grains. Well balanced but not terribly complex. A bit of bitterness and definitely not sweet.

Mouthfeel is nice, on the carbonated side for a RIS but it works in this beer and definitely adds to the drinkability. Extremely easy for me to take down this whole 22oz bottle.

Overall a very solid RIS. Doesn't bring anything particularly spectacular to the table but a very good RIS that delivers exactly what I was looking for.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Denzo
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of puboflyons
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on December 3, 2013.

It pours like a decent Russian Imperial Stout should with its deep black color, modest tan head and opaque black oil quality. The head fads after a bit.

Lots of vibrant aromas of dark toasted malts, dark fruit, and a slight earthy hop quality to it. The 10.5% ABV can be picked up a smidgen.

The body is medium to full.

The taste is also full of toasted malts but there is more of a fruitiness in the flavor that is not as notable on the nose. Dry finish. A nicely done Impy Stout.

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Photo of IdrinkGas
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Etan
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

A: Pours a coffee-like black body with a sticky light tan head.

S: Pleasant aroma of savory roasted grain, light mocha, plenty of chocolate malt. Nicely balanced between sweet and roasty.

T: The taste brings mildly astringent roast, cocoa, coffee-like bitterness, lightly leafy hoppiness, moderate alcohol heat.

M: Between medium and thick-bodied with light carbonation.

O: The alcohol combined with the roasted malt and hoppiness give the beer a bit of a bitter astringency, but besides that this is a serviceable imperial stout.

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Photo of jaemeno3
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Dougwillhike
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Robert63
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up on one of my trips to Maine I think, probably at RSVP in Portland.

Pours into my Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip with a big mocha colored creamy thick almost 2 finger head that fades at a med pace but leaves some nice layered lacing, over super pitch black dark colored beer, with nice legs even.

NOse is pretty nice, dark chocolate, powdered cocoa, little baker's choc, light roast, coffee, thick dark caramel, even a light vanilla porter like malt base. Smells like it has some creamy oats and lush like, chewy, thick milk chocolate, big malts overall. Light earthy hops in the background, hint of black malt as well.

Taste starts with big thick malts, dark malts, tons of chocolate, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, little baker's chocolate, creamy melted belgian chocolate like too, and light fluffy nougaty cocoa. Then light roasted malt, a hint of roast with a hint of almost smoked malt flavors, and faint coffee. Big fluffy carbonation, and creamy malts with oats and chewy feel give a nice body to it. Light warming booze in the middle, with mild sweetness, and some nice spicy earthy hops cutting through with a fair bitterness. The roasty malts turn very slightly acrid in the background, more of a note than an off flavor. Finish is more roasty black malts lingering, hint of that acrid coffee coming through, fluffy malts, plenty more chocolate, spicy earthy fairly bitter and slightly salty hops really come through on the finish, but a big sweet almost syrupy malt mouth coating.

Mouth is fuller bodied, just a bit of warming booze, nice fluffy carbonation, thick slightly syrupy mouth coating.

Overall not bad at all. I would love to see this bourbon barrel aged, or even just a couple years on it. It's a nice RIS by itself but would really kick up with some aging to round off that faint acrid notes and bitterness, and esp some bourbon and barrel balancing. Nice chocolate, nice malts and roast, creamy rich, nice hops even. This came as a surprise from them as I wasn't a huge fan of the bourbon barrel porter.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 22oz bottle sent as an extra from mdfb79 – Cheers Dan!
*Notes taken on 05/22/14 – with my Stone IRS snifter glass

A: Pour is black as cole with s smidge of dark brown and a nice reflective sheen across the body. A ridiculously stubborn sponge of dark tan head fills more than half of my glass. Sinks down to something a bit more regular but never subsides completely. Leaves the glass looking wiped clean which is odd given the amount of head involved.

S: Opens up syrupy sweet with some dark molasses and sorghum followed by a heavy dark roast and charcoal character. Kind of gives off a bit of marshmallow likeness which is nice. Has a touch of soy sauce/umami there and a good dose of earthy hops. Some alcohol also noted. Not bad and you definitely get the sense this will be on the sweeter side.

T: Dry and roasty with lots of dark char notes and there is a big hoppy bitter bite to this. More so than expected and it comes off a touch acrid when combined with the spent coffee bitterness. I get some light crème and a bit of powdery cocoa in the middle. Lightly smoky with some alcohol heat coming through and a finish of earthy licorice and molasses. A little rough around the edges at times but overall enjoyable.

M: The body is full but the feel is lighter and super frothy. Almost like an upper level of carbonation going on. It is spritzy and bitter which cuts through the syrupy thickness quite well. Comes across much thinner actually. Good drying finish with some mellowed alcohol warming. Clean mostly with some light slickness on the tongue.

D: A sweeter stout with a ton of roast, some big hop bitterness, and a bit of lurking alcohol. A little clunky at times between the high bitterness and sweet malts but in the end I did enjoy this and would have again. I would probably avoid if you are not into hoppy stouts however.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter.

Picked up a bottle on a whim from my local beer store in their "clearance" section. Didnt go wrong here.
The beer pours a fairly thick black color with creamy tan head of 2 cm foaming up and fading away slowly to a sturdy surface layer. Looks the part of a robust imperial stout.

Aroma is pleasant yet maybe a little one dimensional, I get roasted malt and dark cocoa, but not much else. The roast is clearly dominant over other scents. No hint of booze and I dont get any real hop presence, maybe a little earthy aroma, but that is very faint.

First sip reveals a thick body and smooth rolling carbonation.
Flavor is roasted malt and roasted malt, I get a little burnt molasses, but otherwise not too much diversity on the flavor either.

Both the nose and flavor on this beer are appealing but maybe one dimensional. Some dark fruit or chocolate or other stout notes would really boost my scores. I didnt dislike the beer, in fact I enjoyed it, I just wouldnt put it in the excellent category.

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Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cricket Hill Russian Imperial Stout, bomber bought at Jersey City Super Buy Rite for $9.99.

Appearance: Poured into my Lost Abbey chalice, this comes with a great frothy-fluffy head (almost three fingers), hefty bubbles on top and good retention. Carbonation is rather solid and lacing is just artsy! Very black looking beer. I love how it pours thick and creamy, as a beer in this style should indeed.

Smell: Great roastiness, reminds me of a working fireplace, with a bit of smoke and that cozy "hominess". Wood, in logs and lyin about the forest waiting to be picked and thrown on said fireplace. A bit of schist/opaque rock, plus coffee beans at the end. Bitter chocolate all around.

Taste: The weakest link here. Nice smoke feel on the lips, and creamy chocolate, but otherwise a tad underwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, rich, smooth. Full body, medium flavor and carbonation. Could be just a tad more carbonated, but this really is how a good RIS should feel like. Not too dry, not too thick, just right. Well balanced.

Overall: All of the above and drinks rather great to boot. Easily the best Cricket Hill beer, and a damn nice Imperial Stout!

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Photo of YeastEnthusiast
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of johnnnniee
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from RSVP
Pours a solid black with a huge creamy tan head that persists forever leaving lots of sticky lace on the way down. Aromas of chocolate and roast with hints of dark pitted fruits, licorice, and just a touch of oxidation. The flavor is chocolate drizzled sweet cherries and raspberries up front with just a touch of warming alcohol. Licorice, caramel and brown sugar with a touch of earth hop flavor round this one out nicely. Thick body with a velvety creamy smooth mouthfeel, and a light level of carbonation. This is a very nice brew, the chocolate and fruity flavors integrate very well and the abv is well hidden.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold and black to a Stone 10oz goblet with a full finger, long lasting tan head leaving a sheet of lace to the run.

Aroma of smoky dark malts, hint of earthy hops.

Medium bodied, big carbonation, smooth and creamy. Cocoa, hints of coffee and big smoke.

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Photo of Marti403
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of twenty5
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of zekeman17
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of Bandi
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

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Reserve Ale Russian Imperial Stout from Cricket Hill Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 44 ratings