Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout | Sprecher Brewing Company

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Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial StoutBrewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-05-2002

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Reviews: 188 | Ratings: 286
Photo of KTCamm
3.89/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of Ksmoove27
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of sarient
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of tone77
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.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of silverking
3.56/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of kaufmaal
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of JerUrbans
3.34/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

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Photo of Knapp85
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of sajaffe1
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.

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Photo of Mosca
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

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Photo of righthereisay
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.99/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
2.59/5  rDev -29.4%
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.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours black but a bit splashy. Nice mocha head, a little on the conservative side but attractive. Disappears kinda fast, making some lace legs along the way.

Aroma - nice big roasty sweet first impression. Notes of chocolate and coffee. Smells great!

Taste - roasty malts, quickly turning sweet with notes of licorice. Very nice footprint of coffee on the swallow and aftertaste. Long finish with some of the roastiness returning. Not a full-on imperial experience, but a good one nonetheless.

Mouthfeel - lots of crispness, good smoothness, not the biggest body.

Drinkability - pretty good stuff at the 7.9 level. These age wonderfully, this is the final of the set from three or four years ago.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When poured into a glass, it has a dark body with a small tannish head to it. The smell is of roasted malt and some chocolate coming through the nose. The taste is of dark fruit and some roasted malt up front with a burnt flavor on the back of the tongue. The mouth feel is ok and overall,i'm not a big RIS fan but i like to try them just to see if i find one i like.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout
Sprecher Brewing Company
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 7.90 %

LOOK: Stubby 12 oz bottle. Pours a darkest of browns bordering into black. Light brown head forms and leaves a fair amount of lacing.

SMELL: Toasted/roasted malts, coffee, herbal hops and alcoholic aromas.

TASTE: Robustly malty, with a small note of dark fruit. Herbal hop flavor and bitterness remains throughout with a moderate presence of alcohol. Roasted malt, smokey charcoal and coffee notes persist.

FEEL: Full bodied, low carbonation, smooth almost slick feel. Aftertaste of roasted malt and clean alcohol.

OVERALL: A solid export stout from Sprecher. Robust malty flavors, somewhat strong, yet satisfying.

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Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout from Sprecher Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 286 ratings.
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