Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout
Sprecher Brewing Company

Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial StoutBrewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #844
Ranked #38,503
3.71 | pDev: 13.48%
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Very Good
Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial StoutBrewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout
Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 295 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From old, undated notes; had this on draft.

Pitch black color.

Dark khaki head; minimal lace.

Licorice & dark chocolate nose. Nice.

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Sweet lactose flavor; tastes & feels like a regular milk stout. Not bad, but wrong for the category.

Sep 03, 2019
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the re-branded 12 oz bottle with the king on the front in a snifter. This favorite
from years past pours a rich blackish brown with a nice head of brown foam that settles
to a thick ring, thin subtle pool, and shows some nice sudsy lacing. Nose of heavy dark
chocolate, heavy dark roasted coffee, and layers of char and dark fruit. Flavors nail it
with heavy bakers chocolate, brulee torched cream laden dark coffee, and dark fruit
notes of blueberry and blackberry ridden with char notes. Very nice mouth feel; full
body, lightly slick, coating, lightly warming, light carbonation, and a rich smooth coffee
and cocoa laced finish.

Overall, a brew that I have enjoyed for years and one that is now in a six pack.
An excellent version of a classic style from a great brewery.


Apr 20, 2018
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The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a very intensely flavorful RIS, with lots of malty sweetness and a boozy yet smooth aftertaste. Very viscous and with just about the right amount of bitterness. The taste would make you guess the ABV was much higher (my bottle actually lists the ABV as even lower than what BA has listed: 7.9 instead of 8.5%)

Mar 09, 2018
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8/3...pours jet black, light tan foam with a swirled in layer on top. Rich roast of coffee chocolate malt aroma. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel with an espresso tasted bitter. Very well balanced bitter. Somewhat milky consistency. Nice.

Aug 20, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Russian exterior, Russian interior. Jet black appearance, full inch of tan head. Aroma dumps out some hefty bread, prune, raisin bitterness and some booziness.

Taste gives more of the licorice, chocolate, dark fruit edge again. The ample thickness helps cover up any residual alcohol and bitter anise and dark fruit in the mouthfeel to a little degree.

The price on this is nice so that helps out when rating it from a cost/benefit analysis.

Jan 24, 2016
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am up late tonight to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road at Vancouver. As such, it gives me an opportunity to drink some of the beer that local, in-person trader Tone77 had dropped off for me. He came by tonight to say farewell as he heads south for the winter.

This came with a twist-off cap, so there was no Pop! or so I thought until I could not open it with my bare hands. I then resorted to an opener, only to reveal it to actually be twist-off. I am so embarrassed! Let us not speak of this again. A heavy-handed pour to relieve my frustration produced just under two fingers of light-brown head with excellent retention. Color was simply Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing precisely ZERO light penetration and just the barest of cola highlights at the edges. Nose had a powerful edge, like dried dark fruits (think prunes, raisins, black cherries) with hints of drying tobacco and a slight medicinal quality. Mouthfeel was medium, and while it was not bad, it was on the thin side for the style. The taste was initially smoky, but it slowly built to an interesting fruitiness. It suddenly dawned on me - chocolate covered cherry! It was not at all what I was expecting, but it was really tasty. I can only shake my head in wonder at my recent non-IPA bent as a self-avowed hophead. The trend is due to reverse itself, but in the meantime ... Finish was semi-dry and I found myself licking my lips and thinking of my mother's maiden name and her side of the family: Kirsch! This just exuded cherry. I think that I shall now lay down.

Nov 05, 2015
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Ksmoove27 from Pennsylvania

3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look - Black with a small caramel-colored head (poured from a bottle that was in the fridge for some time)

Smell - alcohol and coffee...hint of coffee and caramel

Taste - Good roasted maltiness...chocolate/caramel with a hint of smokiness...outperforms the aroma, still not as complex as the better stouts.

Feel - Medium to full with a nice carbonation...the maltiness gives some chew.

Overall - This beer to me is underrated. While it's not in the class of some of the higher ranking Imperial's a good beer.

Aug 30, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Bright black pour under a 2” rocky tan foam collar that provides thick lace. S: wine, alcohol and malt in the aroma along with a little citrus T: Well rounded malt flavors with malt caramel sweetness and chocolate in balance with light roast flavors. Starts with a little sweetness up front and slight grainy tartness on the finish. F: Fulll bodied with fine soft carbonation. O: A balanced, easy to drink Russion Imperial Stout.

Aug 09, 2015
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sarient from Wisconsin

4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

What a great beer!! Nice aroma when poured and the look of a real man's beer. Head is nice with good consistency, never really going away. Strong taste with some bitterness at the end. Fan flipping tastic!! 4.5/5

How many?: give it 2 of these and some'll be just fine.

Jul 14, 2015
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tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, licorice, some coffee. Taste is roasted malts, milk, some coffee, hops are present but in the background. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

Apr 04, 2015
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mothmanscott from Georgia

3.51/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep brown, so dark as to appear black, with garnet highlights producing 2 fingers of mocha, somewhat lasting, frothy head that leaves no appreciable lacing. Aroma is dark roasted malt, rich sweet & dark chocolate, molasses, caramel, cherry, prune, faint coffee. Taste is dark roast & dark bready malts, very rich & semisweet chocolate & bitter coffee with a burnt note; molasses, some vanilla, cherry, dark fruits, licorice & light smoke. Alcohol prominence is low. Hops are there but I can't quite define them other than the bitterness which is partially the deep roast of the malts. A bittersweet, bready chocolate cake in the finish. Afrertaste is bready, burnt caramel & chocolate. A pleasant bitter quality develops following mid-sip, increasing through the finish & balancing with sweet in the initial aftertaste but slowly gravitating toward a lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with moderate carbonation, smooth & dry.

Jan 15, 2015
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jwc215 from Arizona

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

On-tap at the brewery:

Pours black with a brown head that leaves some lacing.

The smell is of toasted dark bread, coffee, chocolate, licorice and a hint of alcohol.

The taste follows the nose. It's a roasty, drier version of the style. Carbonation is slightly high for the style, but it does have a smoothness to it.

Could be richer, but pleasant as it is. Enjoyable overall. A bit different, but it works well enough!

Sep 12, 2014
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BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz twist-off bottle poured into Sprecher snifter.
7.9% ABV, 32 IBUs

A - Sprecher's Russian Imperial Stout pours out almost opaque black with a loose and fading mocha head. The small ring of bubbles left behind makes for nice decoration below the wisps of lace.

S - It's rich and chocolaty malt presence slowly opens up as the beer warms, gradually releasing the full experience of a candy bar; nougat, milk chocolate, and hints of caramel sweetness overlap heavily roasted, bitter espresso and charred oak.

T - Sweeter chocolate aromatics turn much more bitter and roasted as this beer develops into a baker's chocolate, dark iced coffee, and charred oaky flavor with overtones of burnt sugar and blackstrap molasses.

M - The heavy malt presence provides a nice heft to the body but the dryness and bitterness seem to cut it's thicker feel, thinning it out a bit more than desired as this "lighter" Russian Imperial Stout finishes with just a touch of warming alcohol.

O - This Russian Imperial Stout's lack of sweet malt in the flavor allows the roasted malt and hoppy bitterness to overtake the whole profile a bit too much for my liking which, in turn, leads to an unbalanced body that ends up feeling thinner than it smells, tastes, or looks. By no means is this Sprecher beer poor, I'm just not into the hoppy and really bitter-leaning stouts.

May 19, 2014
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silverking from Florida

3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- pitch black with mahogany highlights. Thick khaki head that fades fast, lacing is present in sheets.

S- burnt, liquorice, alcohol, coffee.

T- tastes like burnt sugar. Lightly tart, smoky, coffee, bakers cocoa.

M- full bodied, thick, slick, more carbonation than expected.

O- there is a fine line between roasted and burnt, and this one it.

May 15, 2014
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kaufmaal from Alabama

3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pitch black, some dark brown highlights around the edges, a thin head, darkish tan. Not too much aroma: some anise and chocolate, sweet malts, not much else. The taste is more robust. Sour cherries, dark chocolate, smoke, anise, rum. Sour aftertaste, like candied fruit in fruitcake. Not too syrupy in terms of its body; the carbonation is right for me in that is all but non-existent.

Jan 09, 2014
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JerUrbans from Wisconsin

3.34/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle to pint glass.

Vigorous pour gives a tan creamy head that dissipated quickly. Very dark black color.

Smell is first alcohol then some chocolate and smoke.

Kind of a tangy taste. Definitely alcohol, and bitter roast flavor turning sweet and smoky at the end.

Good mouthfeel, smooth, Not over carbonated

Overall not a bad imperial stout. Found for only 6.49 a 4 pack it's well worth this price.
That said there are way better imperials out there. Well be aging the other three from this 4 pack.

Jan 06, 2014
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Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4


Pours jet black with a tan film for a head. Good retention.

Smells of cocoa, brown sugar, and a bit of hazelnut.

Flavor is of brown sugar malts up front, followed by coffee, lactose creaminess, and a bit of oakiness.

Full body with a tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

Really tasty RIS, manages to pull off the style while being a little lower in abv which is nice. Not the greatest, but pretty good and worth trying for sure.

Sep 10, 2013
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Lemke10 from Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a very dark brown color with a slight head. The aroma is mild with sweet malts and sugars. The flavor has a sweet malty taste that finishes a little chalky. There is also a little bit of a alcohol burn in the finish. Pretty decent stuff, give it a try!

Sep 04, 2013
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a very dark brown, basically black once in the glass. The head is cream colored. The lacing an retention is decent. The smell is roasted with a dark fruit sweetness. The taste of the beer is roasted, slightly chocolatey with a subtle tartness. The mouthfeel is a bit over carbonated and thin for the style. Overall it's decent but nothing like it should be for a RIS.

Jun 23, 2013
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vfgccp from New York

3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

2010 bottle opened 2013.

A - Nice creamy cap of dark khaki head. Great retention and nice lace. Dark brown, almost black body with cola highlights.

S - Super sweet. Plum, molasses, dark caramel, whoppers, tobacco.

T - Medium roast ice coffee, coca cola, molasses, blackened toast, burnt caramel. Great finish.

M - Medium-light body is surprisingly thin for the style.

O - Drinks like a flat cola with charred edges - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's a shade sweet, but it's got a nice roast character and great integration.

May 09, 2013
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sajaffe1 from Utah

3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

A- Very dark brown, light brown head that disappears fairly quickly, some lacing on sides of the glass

S- Charred oak, smokey, maybe a hint of coffee and dark fruit, hoppy

T- A bit of coffee, dark fruit, heavy hops presence

M- Somewhat creamy, medium carbonation, goes down quite easily

O- Not a bad beer at all, but there are better RIS out there.

Apr 04, 2013
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Mosca from Pennsylvania

3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nothing wrong with it, but nothing outstanding, either. Dark, hoppy, beery. You know how, when you try new beers you taste and think, "That's ok." And you taste another, and you think, "That's okay." And another, and you think, "Yeah, that's OK." Well, this is okay. It's good enough. If you bought more than one, you'll drink the others, but you probably won't buy it again.

Dec 28, 2012
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righthereisay from Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Purchased for $2 at Harrika's Brew Haus in Swansboro, NC (A great place)

Poured dark black, dark brown head. Smells of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, maybe a little raisin, not sure about that though.

Doesn't taste that great. Nothing worth noting really. Chocolate, roasted coffee maybe. Doesn't remind me of an Imperial Stout, almost like a lame attempt at a dark Belgian beer.

No question, I would consider the label a little misleading. Would never have even thought it was from Wisconsin....I guess that is their strategery.

Anyways, not impressed.

Sep 30, 2012
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AleWatcher from Illinois

2.99/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle into Founders tuliped snifter.

Very dark body... Kinda brackish and murky looking with some serious rust color in the edges and legs.
Smells hugely of bitter chocolate and roast coffee. Very big roasty character with an acrid bitterness.
The flavor has just a little sweetness up front that rather remind me of plums before it turns bittersweet cocoa, dark cocoa, roasted coffee, and very bitter. The bitterness reminds me more of chocolate/coffee bitterness than it does of the usage of bittering hops, but perhaps I'm just projecting that.

Feels a little light of full, very oily, and a bit overcarbonated.

Overall-- far from terrible, but also far from good.
I wouldn't turn this one down, but I won't buy I again. I'll take Pleas the 5th, Expedition Stout, or Founders Imperial over this any day of the week.
The best thing this beer has going for it is that it is always available on shelves here in IL, unlike the ones I just listed. I was hoping I could stumble upon a secret, but alas, foiled again.

Sep 14, 2012
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BrownAleMale from Wisconsin

2.59/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a Capital Maibock pint glass.

Appearance- A very dark brown with nice 3 finger head that does dissipate rather quickly.

Smell- Faint nothingness. There was very little there and I won't justify trying to explains these faint nothingness for a bold style such as an Imperial Stout.

Taste- Not many flavors that I associate with an Imperial stout. Almost like drinking a pop with the slightly bitter hops and carbonation level.

Mouthfeel- Watery and highly carbonated for an imperial stout.

Overall- Very sad especially for the style. Looks nice but that is about it. Really like drinking a shitty porter.

Sep 03, 2012
Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout from Sprecher Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 295 ratings