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Imperial Russian Stout | Black Sheep Brewery PLC

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Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout
32 Ratings
Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout

Brewed by:
Black Sheep Brewery PLC
England, United Kingdom

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mdagnew on 07-19-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 18
Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of AlexAfonin
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of igl
4.5/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dentist666
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint.
Deep dark brown with bubbly tan head, mediocre retention.
Smell - roasted
Taste - roasted, dark chocolate, smooth, rather boozy and full-bodied.

 163 characters

Photo of hdtrice
3.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Beer-Ed
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MeetMyBackhand
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Near perfection on the tongue, with a nice bitter/sweet finish.

63 characters

Photo of UniversitateaDeBere
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of interzen
4.14/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served into a tulip glass

Look: Dark brown, almost black with a big, diffuse tan/khaki head. Big head retention and a decent amount of lacing. Ruby-red highlights if you hold it to the light.

Smell: Roasted malts, coffee and chocolate predominate with a slight tang of alcohol.

Taste: Chocolate and coffee predominate - coffee to begin with, before the roasted malts kick in and you're left with a long, dark chocolate finish. Not a massively complex flavour profile, but not bad nonetheless. Slight alcohol heat in the finish.

Feel: There's a decent enough body and it's fairly smooth but compared to something like Sam Smith's Imperial Stout or Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout this feels a bit on the light side.

Overall: I thought I was familiar with most of Black Sheep's output so this one was a new one on me, which given that it was apparently a limited run isn't that surprising. I'd hesistate to call this a 'proper' Imperial stout as it lacks complexity and body - it's more like an over-clocked milk or oatmeal stout. Even so, it's not at all bad - if you like stouts and see this it's worth a shot.

 1,127 characters

Photo of DeanBB
3.44/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sd123
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of leitmotif
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of dcmchew
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Marius
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Mendicant
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of dwren89
2.96/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark, dark brown with deep garnet hues when held to light, big tan head, too opaque to judge clarity

Aroma: milk chocolate, roasted coffee, dark chocolate,

Taste: Very chocolatey. Dark chocolate on the uptake, a little roastiness in the middle, and lingering milk chocolate flavor on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth. Too light bodied to be a real Russian imperial.

Overall Impression: More like a milk stout than a Russian Imperial. The dominant flavors were all roasty and chocolatey, with a milk stout mouthfeel. There just simply isnt enough complexity to call this a Russian imperial in all fairness to the style. That said, this is a very drinkable and tasty beer that would go well with any chocolate cake and ice cream.

 758 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.06/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in North Yorks while I visited last fall.

Best by 18 Aug 2013

A: deep copper brown color, off-white/tan colored head, thin veil
S: great traditional Black Sheep nose, slight astringency and extremely dry in keeping with the brewery's taste profile, deep roasted malt
T: traditional Black Sheep dry taste, roasted barley upfront, maybe not what you'd expect from a typical IRS but, combined with the brewery's dry taste profile, not bad at all
M: thinner but pleasing, some astringent dryness throughout

 514 characters

Photo of horshack7
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown and on top is an off white head only about a finger thick.

Aroma: Dark fruits, light smokiness, whiskey, pumpernickel, mild espresso.

Taste: Raisins, plums, grape, prunes, smokiness and some roasted malts.

Notes: Very tasty all around and drinkable. Cheers.

 283 characters

Photo of mmapes
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brought home from York. 330 ml bottle. Not pure black like some imperials. Very dark brown. Seems more like a porter.

Smells like dried fruit, prune, maybe a bit of bitter chocolate/smoke on the nose.

First sip - smoky, pruney. Sweet but bitter. Long finish. Complex, with smoke and bitter chocolate. Light body for a stout.

Second sip - complexity comes through. Bitterness offsets sweetness.

Would buy again if I were in Yorkshire.

 440 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with an off-white head.
Nose shows sweet chocolate liqueur, port, dark dried fruit and fudge. Very sweet-smelling.
Pretty similar flavours; burnt caramelised fruit, port, alcohol. Big vinuous notes override most of the roast. Tastes like grape juice....

 283 characters

Photo of heygeebee
2.62/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From Warners.

Pours black, and erm, not tan, almost grey in fact. Very off putting. Head dies quickly.

Aromas are of cigar box and smoke. Little roast malt.

Taste is similar, not robust enough and the smoke makes me think porter-style not stout. Searching to find a little chocolate. Merest hint. By the end it has warmed and morphed into something akim to a Scotch Ale, all malts, no real roast flavours in the mix, very odd

Mouthfeel medium bodied, almost too light for style. Watery by end.

All in all, it's an OK beer but no way into the Big Boys league than an RIS should be.

 585 characters

Photo of dgilks
3.08/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Inky black with a creamy tan head. Fair head retention. No lacing.

Very fruity and milky sweet. Sort of cherries and raisins. Fresh fruit too. Interesting.

Again this is really fruity. Lots of berries and sweetness. Tobacco and milk chocolate. Port. Higher fusel alcohols. Maybe a touch of acetaldehyde.

Medium body with moderately-low carbonation. Fine.

An okay RIS but nothing special. It is far too fruity and sweet and lacks balance and depth.

 451 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Oct 2012. I bought this ages ago from Trembling Madness in York; it's been cellared in my garage ever since. Originally brewed to participate in the 2011 Great Baltic Adventure - sending Russian Imperial Stouts from the UK to Russia. I really like the label art.

Poured into a Delirium chalice. A deep black hue, though ruby highlights appear when held to the light. Good carbonation. Yields a huge head of creamy light-tan foam with good retention; this slowly subsides to a surface layer. Aroma of rich, fruity malt with notes of dried fruit, molasses, yeast esters, vanilla, mild spice and faint stewed hops. Quite sweet and a tad cloying, with a huge warming whiff of alcohol in the background.

Tastes of rich, sweet malt with a fruity character and a prolonged finish. Notes of dark malt, molasses, caramel, dried fruit, chocolate, yeast esters, vanilla, faint spice and stewed hops. Fruity and complex, with a considerable hint of alcohol in the background. A restrained malt/hop bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is thick and velvety, with a spicy, tingly sensation that pervades the palate. Quite astringent. Aftertaste of sweet, fruity malt and stewed hops.

A decent RIS with good complexity. Lots of fruity malt and tons of yeast esters (perhaps too much). The aroma is great, though the flavour feels like something is missing - the depth just isn't there. This doesn't seem to be bottle conditioned, which I think would have added extra character. Also a bit too hot and boozy - this aspect could be more attenuated. An impressive and tasty effort, but falls short of greatness. Worth sampling if you have the chance.

 1,664 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chesnut-tinged midnight brown with creamy sepia head that leaves wispy trailers. Cola, salami, burnt caramel, and charcoal on the nose.
Molasses, black currants, demerara sugar, a sweet roasty hit and cocoa powder end with no real hops.
Caramel raisin chew finish and minty bitter linger. Medium even leaning towards light, slight cling, dry, no burn.

Interesting at first in trying to create a less plodding, dark-flavored version of the style: the nose is zesty for an RIS, lots of white smoke, and the tastes are all high and bright. But it all doesn't justify the ABV, and with the lack of body, plays more like a strong brown ale or overstrength regular stout. Maybe it needs a few months at sea (this was brewed for the Great Baltic Adventure) to cut the sugar and deepen a bit, but I doubt it would help.

Ultimately insubstantial.

 839 characters

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Imperial Russian Stout from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
Beer rating: 3.52 out of 5 with 32 ratings
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