Brewers Reserve Imperial Stout
Old Schoolhouse Brewery

Brewers Reserve Imperial StoutBrewers Reserve Imperial Stout
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #1,950
Ranked #8,152
4.03 | pDev: 9.43%
Old Schoolhouse Brewery
Washington, United States
Brewers Reserve Imperial StoutBrewers Reserve Imperial Stout
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 123 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of draheim
draheim from Washington

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz (indeterminate vintage, but marked "best after 9/5/2012--so assuming maybe 9 years old and in any case, pretty well aged) into a tulip. Pours a deep opaque brown/black with a 1-finger reddish mocha head.

Aroma is rich, chocolatey, and nutty with notes of dark roasted malt, bitter cocoa, and hazelnuts.

Taste is likewise bitter and chocolatey. Nice roasty dry finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, nicely balanced.

Overall a solid, straightforward imperial stout. Highly enjoyable and well made.

Sep 03, 2020
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stevoj from Idaho

3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber from Tavour. Normal pour, black with small beige head. Nose is faint, doesn't give much away. Chocolate, roast. Tadte picks up the roast malts, instant bitterness, behind lurks some dark chocolate, cocoa. Minute amount od sweetness.

Jan 07, 2020
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

$ 15.34 (Including shipping and PA tax)/22 oz bottle ($ 0.697/oz) from Tavour, Seattle, WA. Reviewed 8/16/19.
Undated bottle. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 54 degrees in a hand-washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.
First pour – Dark brown, translucent.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque. Some effervescence. When held to light, still opaque.
Head – Large (Maximum five cm, aggressive center pour), brown, dense, average duration, diminishing to a five to seven mm crown fed by effervescence and a thick partial cap. Prominences of tiny bubbles remain as the head collapses.
Lacing – Good. The prominences drag a wide band of tiny to medium bubbles behind them.
Aroma – 3.5 – Moderate cocoa with a hint of licorice.
Flavor – 3.5 – Begins moderately bitter with some weak cocoa flavor. Ends moderately bitter. No alcohol (9.9% ABV) flavor or aroma, no dimethylsulfide, no diacetyl.
Palate – 3 – Just short of medium, almost creamy, soft carbonation.
Final impression and summation – 3.25 - (-0.25 points for undated individual container). A very basic impy stout, totally unremarkable. Looks good but the other characteristics are hovering around average or slightly above.

Aug 16, 2019
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brewaddict from California

4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - Pours a motor oil black with hints of ruby color. Mocha head.
S - I get nice toasty char. Some chocolate and vanilla. Slight hop bitterness.
T - The flavors are predominately medium roast malt, chocolate, sweet vanilla, and a slight bitterness.
F - Medium body and a little slick.
O - Reminds me a lot of Ten Fidy. Just a little toned down.

Mar 15, 2018
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +4.2%

2010 vintage, drank in 2014. 22 oz bottle with waxed cap.

pours almost black, dark brown in the edges. not much head. nice chocolate aroma, and a little smokey. taste is smooth - but bold - roasty and bitter cocoa, a touch of coffee. a little acidic. medium bodied, very low carbonation. could be thicker, but overall very solid.

Aug 30, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Fleeting khaki head, just a thin collar.

Smell - Deep roasted malt. Licorice. Acrid burnt malt. Smells intense.

Taste - Deep roasted malts up front, but not as burnt as the smell. Bitter in the back. Coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Intensely bitter. A little boozy. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Flavorful and intense. I like it.

Mar 04, 2014
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Ego from New Jersey

4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2 fingers worth of dark cocoa foam (sounds like a stripper name), this is utterly black, light doesn't even bother knocking at the door, slow creeping lacing like a limping pedophile, picturesque example of the style - black oil with a nice hat of lovely foam... looks awesome

all notes are deep and absolutely smother you, heavy bourbonish booze, dark bitter chocolate dipped licorice/raisins, dry cocoa, brewed ice coffee with cream, almost reminds me of the 'dryness' of baltic porters, for some reason I am also picking up some graphite (you know, like from the ever present in childhood #2 pencil), damn sniffy!

taste etc...
super velveteen feel, wow.. just super smooth. the flavor at first is slightly underwhelming but as you sip on it slowly invades the corners of your mouth in a quite insidious, deep roast and chocolate flavors with chocolate bitterness lingering, the booze is very well hidden but you are touched by it here and there, thick and creamy rule the day, beautiful beer, the malt really adds just the right amount of sweetness to counter balance
all the roasty toasty bold flavors.

holy bat balls batman,,, simple. see it, buy it, enjoy it. one of the best brews I have had in some time (I am a sucker for this style when done well)

Sep 19, 2013
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007rtw from Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a glass mug.

Look: 3
Looks almost like flat soda or coffee. Brown-orange-black. Minimal head (ladyfinger color). No lacing.

Smell: 4.75
Dark chocolate, coffee, nut (hazelnut?). Absolutely outstanding: simple, but beautiful.

Taste: 4.5
Very dark chocolate, black coffee, just a tiny hint of solvent. Charred meat/vegetable. Not overly complex, but VERY well done, if a bit too much char.

Feel: 4.25
Some tannin, some solvent, some dryness. Otherwise great.

Overall: 4.25
Fantastic. Thanks to the workers at Pear Market in the Pike Place Market (Seattle, WA) for recommending this. Guy with the beard knows his beer. Next time I see him, I should buy him one of these--it's excellent.

Sep 14, 2013
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ThickNStout from Georgia

3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle from No bottle date but I've had it downstairs waiting patiently since last October. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours black, deep dark russet around the edges under the light with almost two full fingers of light tan head. Several large clumps of lace left behind after the head has faded to a thin cap.

Smells of stone fruit skins, plenty of cocoa, a bit of coffee and some sugary sweetness.

Taste is nice and roasty. Bittersweet dark cocoa, medium roast coffee, plum skins, old leather, a pronounced floral/piney bitterness and mild booze. It drinks quite smooth for 10% abv.

Rich, creamy, medium thick body with mild to moderate carbonation. Bittersweet cocoa infused finish.

A bit bitter chocolatey one sided but a nice quaff none the less. Excellent feel and easy to drink. It was well worth at least the one try and I'd not turn it down in the future either.

Aug 09, 2013
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dbossman from Nebraska

4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark black with a huge and steady brown sudsy head and decent lacing

S: Dark chocolate, so much sweet, delicious-smelling chocolate; roasted sweet bready malts; dark fruits and coffee linger underneath too but man does this smell chocolatey

T: Some booze up front followed by bitter chocolate and coffee; so roasty and chocolatey but I wish there were more of the sweet malts that I picked up in the aromas so this could be a bit more balanced; but it's still pretty tasty

F: Pretty creamy and thick up front; though it thins out a bit in the finish

O: A big, roasty, and slightly abrasive imperial stout--I like it and I look forward to trying more from these guys

Jun 11, 2013
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a thin pancake of tan foam that fades quickly; very leggy, with a sprinkling of lace

Smell: Baker's chocolate, licorice, charcoal and resinous pine

Taste: The resinous, piney hops challenge the chocolate malt from the outset and the malt loses the battle; though there is a charred Baker's chocolate and licorice character to the malts, they just don't stand up to the hops, leaving the beer dry and one-dimensional; interesting that the hops do much better on the aroma than on the taste buds

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: This could be so much better if it didn't have so much of the Cascadian dark influence; I am sure some folks like it just the way it is, but I would like to see more of the Imperial Stout elements come through

Thanks, mdaschaf, for the opportunity

May 11, 2013
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ccrida from Oregon

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into a goblet, appearance is a cola black with some foamy lace.

Smell is sweet chocolate, a touch nutty.

Taste is dark cocoa malt, big and smooth, a touch of almonds. Big and clean.

Mouthfeel is med+, drying alcoholic charter, but very smooth, a nice suppleness to the malty body that brings the flavor.

Drinkability is pretty high, this is a solid, strong RIS that I'd enjoy again.

Apr 02, 2013
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Braz from Washington

3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at Albertson's. Appearance is near black with a thick hearty look and a thin tan head. Aromas are sweet chocolate, touch of coffee and the faintest whiff of mint, hard to place. Smells a little better than it tastes. Flavor is a bit thin. Like they forgot an ingredient or used a subpar ingredient. There's a nice bitterness underlying but the sweetness that is in the aroma doesn't show up. Taste ends up a little flat. Still a nice body with a meatiness and no noticeable booze for a 10%. Decent, but just falls a bit flat.

Mar 21, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to MaxStout for sharing this one at jmgrub's birthday tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and dark fruits. Taste is much the same with a dark chocolate flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but strong.

Feb 26, 2013
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harrymel from Washington

3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled: um, earlier?

Pours black, little foam formation at all. Smells of toasted/burnt malts, some licorice, hints of graham, some malt (like whoppers malt), some sweetened bakers chocolate. Taste matches with depth and a little higher on the burnt malts end - almost a bit of smoke character in here, which normally I'd dislike, but here plays well. I really dig this, but in a fetish way. It's unique to me, although some reviews say it's a beer they've had before. I'd like to compare this to Bell's Expidition Stout, but it's not too licorice characterized, which I dislike about Expo stout, but this is a little more subtle and accents well. Full bodied with low carb and an almost dry finish. Nice beer. I think treatment in a port barrel or an addition of buterscotch character would really, really open this up to the midwest flavor profile. A little too robust for the national masses.

Jan 19, 2013
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RuckusDu from Colorado

3.26/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this from an online shop. Not sure why but needed to fill a box and this was the random I went with. 22oz bottle into Avery tulip from. No date so I'm just guessing it is fresh. Poured a thin head of nice mocha color. Body is very dark. Aroma is nothing special. Lots of chocolate and molasses. Flavor is full but again pretty standard. A little more coffee, some bitter chocolate, and a little cream. Mouth is a highlight with great body and feel and average carbonation.

A very lovely beer but nothing special. I feel like I've had this dozens of times already just with a different name.

Nov 20, 2012
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drpimento from Wisconsin

3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this aggressively at a good temperature with a smallish, light brown head that soon mostly settled and no lace. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is a little mild and has cocoa, roast, malt, dark ripe fruit, leather. Flavor's like nose, sharply bitter, carbonic tang after that, then a bit of sweet. Body might be better but bitterness is a little unpleasant, carbonation accents the bitter. Finish is like flavor and again the bitterness is long lastiing. I'll finish this bomber and that's it.

Oct 29, 2012
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BabyTree from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from waxed bottle into Duvel Tulip glass.

Pours deep and dark with a solid 2 fingers of rich mocha head.

The nose is very nice of a raisin, chocolate, mocha combination.

The initial sip is quite impressive, and as it warmed the fruit notes mixed with chocolate blossomed. Throughout the glass the subtle caramel notes really add to the taste. Big but not overwhelming mouthfeel. This tastes nowhere near the 10% that it packs inside. Quite a good beer and for the cash-point, a great deal.

Oct 15, 2012
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EgadBananas from Louisiana

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice black, with a finger of mocha coloured head. Leaves a big of lacy smudges. The aroma has a bit of coffee roast, bakers chocolate, and plenty of roasted malts. Taste was nice and chocolaty, with a big roasted malt taste and a finish of bitter coffee. Had a nice full body, with a creamy finish.

A super-solid Imperial Stout.

Oct 05, 2012
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brokensail from California

3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pour is black in color with a short lived off-white head. Roasted malt is the main aroma to this. Some coffee and a hint of chocolate. Lots of char to it as well. There is some licorice to the flavor along with lots of char and roast character. Maybe some molasses. Not a big fan of this one.

Jul 17, 2012
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twiggamortis420 from Texas

4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle courtesy of Libbey pours a rich black color with a dark brown head. Nice! Good retention and lace.

Nose shows a nice 1 - 2 combo of malted chocolate and raisin fruitiness. Moderate amount of leafy greens as well.

First sip is impressive...lots of chocolate with a drying alcohol and hop bite with a mild fruity yeast. After a few sips, I must say...this one is a pretty damn well kept PacNW secret. I really like the leafy-ness of the hops, it gives it a noble character that is nice. The chocolate and roast are in perfect balance. Not much negative can I say at all regarding this treat. Very good beer, I would even go so far as to say I need to get a hold of this one again!

Jul 13, 2012
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dr G for sharing this at my recent birthday stout tasting. enjoyed chilled from the bomber in a tulip.

The color is black, opaque with viscous look and quick dropping tan head. The smell has lots of chocolate malt with mild alcohol ester and slight spice notes from the hops with a mild roast presence. The feel is good -rich and thick with creamy body and slight spiciness of alcohol and hops with warming element and slight hint of astringent dark grain subtle roasted with a semi-bitter finish.

The taste is very good, I like the dry cocoa notes and bitter herbal hops which blend together well with slight tinge of caramel in the malt. There is a nice cocoa tinge with light pepper and slight coffee flavor in the background. The alcohol shows up in the finish but for 10% stout it isn't that prominent. Overall I enjoyed this one, I wasn't sure what to expect since I have not had any of their other beers, but was pleasantly surprised and would say it fits the American style double stout well with pretty easy drinking quality for the amount of alcohol.

Jul 02, 2012
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corby112 from Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black with a two finger beige head that very slowly fades into a lasting ring.  Large streaks of lacing left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with some sweetness, lactic sugar and earthy hops for balance.  Hints of coffee bean, dark chocolate, toast and oatmeal followed by some licorice and floral, piney hops.

Slightly chewy body with a very strong roast character that lingers throughout into a bone dry finish.  Dry and bitter with hints of dark chocolate, burnt toast, stale coffee bean and oatmeal.  Very dry and roasty making it kind of acrid and one dimensional.  Could use some sweetness.  Finishes with a strong hop character that provides more bitterness.  This compliments the dry roast but doesn't really balance things out or counter the malt much.  ABV is decently masked but it's a bit harsh and tough to drink.  Not bad but is it desperate need of some sweetness for balance.

May 19, 2012
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jpbebeau from Washington

4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz waxed bottle to tulip.

A: Very dark. Near black with reddish tint at the edges. Absolutely gorgeous chocolate head—two fingers' worth. Solid 360° lacing and legs.

S: Bittersweet chocolate. Plums, raisins, lots of sweet dark fruits—particularly as it warms.

T: Straightforward mild chocolate followed by roast malt bitterness. A bit of that fruit, too.

M: Nice, coating mouthfeel with small carbonation evenly spread throughout. Silky. Not overly thick.

Quite liked this. Solid all-around; really good-looking, great nose. A nice savor.

Feb 22, 2012
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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Schoolhouse Imperial Stout, bomber bought at Jersey City Super Buy Rite for $11.99. Decided on this after reading the glowing reviews here...

Appearance: Poured into my Lost Abbey snifter, the brew comes out as a thick, black and rather viscous liquid. Hefty head, good retention and glorious lacing.

Smell: Roastiness, some grain, then chocolate and liquid sugar. Boiling hops and bitter coffee.

Taste: The hops really shine here, almost too much so. Spicy, floral notes. Bitter coffee and chocolate, this time in powdered form. Intense dryness.

Mouthfeel: Starts off a little thin, but as I let the brew warm, it becomes thicker and more balanced. It settles into an almost-full body, full flavor and great carbonation, offset by a spicy and punishingly dry finish. It almost made me gag, the way it reverberated around my throat like cola-flavored chewing gum.

Overall: A damn nice Imperial Stout, but if only they would tone down the hops and dryness... although drinkable, this feels more like a Black IPA. Seriously dry!!!


Feb 21, 2012
Brewers Reserve Imperial Stout from Old Schoolhouse Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 123 ratings