Reserve Ale Russian Imperial Stout | Cricket Hill Brewing Co.

very good
44 Ratings
no score
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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.

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Ratings: 44 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of Denzo
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of bourassa23
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of quirkzoo
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

 732 characters

Photo of DaveAnderson
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to SammyJaxxxx for the bottle. I've never heard of Cricket Hill before, so I'm excited to try something new.

It looks like an Imperial Stout ought to -- dark and foamy, not too oily, beige head with good retention. Whoa! This smells smoky. I was not expecting that. Hop aromas are on the fruitier side, although the smoke overwhelms them somewhat.

It tastes pretty decent, but as with the aroma, smoke is muting everything else. I can tell there's something complex lingering back there, but I can't focus on it.

I don't care for my stouts to be sweet, and this hits that note just right. Additionally, i would never have guessed this was 10.5%.

In the end, the smokiness of this beer is a huge distraction. It's an otherwise solid brew.

 748 characters

Photo of axeman9182
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, poured into my petite Duvel tulip.

Cricket Hill's Russian Imperial Stout pours a solid black. Roughly four fingers of mocha foam billow up and threaten to spill over the glass. The head creeps down a little until it's three fingers tall, and then just sits there. Retention from that point on is superb. The lacing left at the top of the glass is a solid ring, but it tapers off a fair bit below that. At first pour the nose has a fair bit of smoke and roasted grain to it. Once the beer warms though a deep dark chocolate aroma gradually takes over and asserts itself. The chocolaty aspect of the nose never really fully translates over into the flavor. It's there, but very much in the background. The taste ends up being highlighted by anise, roasty grains, and smoke (in that order). It's not bad, but for me things are a bit backwards, as those are all flavors I much more enjoy in a secondary role, adding a subtle twist to a beer, rather than leading the way. The body has a nice creamy edge to it, but it is a little on the dry side. Meanwhile, the carbonation is just a touch to prickly on my palate. Cricket Hill's brewed a passable to good RIS, but it's definitely not in the top echelon of those that I've tried.

 1,239 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

 1,053 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of jaemeno3
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of YeastEnthusiast
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Marti403
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Bandi
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of mookihouse
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of baybum
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of ChesterHop
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of dfhhead25
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Stinger80OH
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Etan
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

 549 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

 429 characters

Photo of metter98
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

 870 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 1,863 characters

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Reserve Ale Russian Imperial Stout from Cricket Hill Brewing Co.
3.88 out of 5 based on 44 ratings.
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