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
291 Ratings
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:
None provided.

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Ratings: 291 |  Reviews: 190
Reviews by Douglas14:
Photo of Douglas14
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black color with a nice light tan head that leaves some webbing. It has a nice roasted and burnt malt and chocolate aroma with some alcohol hints as well. The taste is primarily of heavily roasted coffee and dark chocolate, finishing with burnt flavors, very characteristic of any RIS. Towards the end, I also notice some alcohol burn...not really something I was looking forward to in a beer with only 7.9% ABV. Anyway, pretty good beer and I cannot wait to try more Sprecher brews.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Bung
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 oz. Black/brown around the edge pour, very little light gets by even at the edges. Just a thin layer of dark tan bubbles. Retention is very good.

Pretty sweet aroma, molasses, dark chocolate. Some roast malt, anise, but pretty little.

Almost some milk stout like qualities in here. Milk chocolate, molasses, small amounts of roast malt and smaller anise. Needs just a bit more roast.

Very creamy, almost to a fault. Not all that heavy bodied either though, so kind of takes a hit here. Very easy to drink, but not really quite to style. Maybe a baltic porter, but still would not be great in that style either. Just needs "more".

Still have yet to have anything bad from these guys, worth trying.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First time I've seen this locally available so, upon my first trip to the terrific Neil St. Piccadilly, this was a must-grab. Plus, I love Russian Imperial Stout. This is a good representative of the style. Nice presentation, with one and one-half fingers of mocha head nestled atop a black coffee body. More duration from the head would up the appearance score, but this is a good looker. I'm pleasantly surprised with the melange of fruit with molasses and coffee in the aroma. I strongly detect plum with orange peel--very nice.

Very delicious taste, well balanced. I expected more coffee from the label's advertisement, but it's a bit understated--not a bad thing since other flavors emerge to fill any perceived void. The plum and orange are terrific, yet this is far from cloying. Molasses offset the fruit very well. Some coffee, to be sure, but also a little dark chocolate. Very delicious. I'm slightly less impressed with the mouthfeel, which is still good, creamy, and solid. It's just a touch thin compared to others. I think a bit more molasses would do wonders for the mouthfeel even more than the taste, to coat the tongue a bit more. Still, this mouthfeel is no disgrace. Additionally, it's a beer that's easy to down--delicious but also creamy and smooth.

Sprecher is one of the better sleeper breweries in my opinion. I'm quite fond of their Abbey Tripel, and this joins the ranks of very good representatives that Sprecher has to offer. Not the top RIS by any means (Old Rasputin, Samuel Smith's, The Czar, Bell's Expedition, and Oak Aged Yeti rule the roost) but quite good, a bit subtle but more complex than an ordinary RIS. Well worth acquiring.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a pint glass. 11/18/08.

Pours nearly pitch black with a finger of chocolaty brown head. The head dropped quickly to a thin layer. Aroma is sweet milk chocolate, vanilla, powdered cocoa, roasted malt.

Taste starts with sweet milk chocolate and cocoa powder. That is followed by roasted malt and vanilla. The finish is fairly bitter with dark chocolate. Feel is a bit thin with ample carbonation. Dry finish with a slightly lingering aftertaste. Drinkability is decent. It's not too thick and the alcohol is well hidden.

Overall, not bad but not great. There's nothing that really sets it out from the rest. It is pretty affordable though (~$3 for 16 oz).

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Photo of Tilley4
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A new addition to the local scene here...

Poured into my NB globe...

Rich chocolate aromas seemingly dominate right up front with touches of coffee and anise lingering in the background... Deep roasted malts invade the senses with every sniff...

Rather thin feel for an RIS... Taste is pretty good with those roasted malts taking hold of the palate and giving it a good shake... Little bits of coffee and chocolate here and there... Perhaps the slightest hint of booze? Can't say for sure though...

The thin palate sort of brought this one down a bit for me... A little more creaminess and a richer more luxurious palate would've helped this one out immensely... A good stab at the style, but Sprecher has much better brews...

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Photo of Natural510
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz(!) bottle with a laser dating of 090291100, which I interpret to mean it was bottled January 2009. Cap says twist-off, but I had to use a bottle opener. Perhaps this makes me a pussy...

Pours pitch-black with small amount of dark brown head and slight lacing. Somewhat flaccid for the style.
Scent of sweet dark chocolate and toffee.
Flavors of deep burnt malt, dark cocoa and coffee bean, with a sweet sugar undertone. Dissipates clean with only a hint of chalky bitterness; nice hop twang and a fairly dry finish.
Body is full enough for a regular stout, but a bit thin for the mighty RIS. One could argue this makes it an easy drinker, others may be disappointed. Personally, I think of it as a strong Foreign Extra Stout such as Guinness or Dragon, and it's still quite good for what it is...

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Photo of accordselux
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a 2008 bottle aged for over a year.

Appearance: Dark, but still translucent, with hits of a mahogany red at the extremes of the glass. A medium tan head strikes me as different compared to the other big stouts I've had recently- I'm used to shades of brown rather than tan.

Smell: Molasses, a strong sweet smell followed by a bite of sharp fruit. A bit of roasted coffee.

Taste: This is more well balanced after a year. It's not the best I've had by a long shot, but it's melded together a lot more. Sweet caramel up front, coffee and roasted malt flavors at the finish. The aftertaste is a bit upsetting. It is a bit bitter, but not in a good way.

Mouthfeel: Great mouthfeel for an imperial, can't argue with that.

Drinkability: I wouldn't recommend this beer to anyone, but if anyone has it, I suggest they lay down a few bottles for a while.

All in all not really impressed. I'd love to try the Czar Brew, and their Premium Reserve Scotch BA ale is incredible. unfortunately this doesn't live up to the standard the Scotch ale set.

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Photo of enelson
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of mwilbur
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 1 L bottle into snifter. I believe I've had this cellared between 2-3 yrs.
A: Pours a very nice opaque black (no light comes through with backlighting) with 1 inch darker tan frothy head. Decent retention and good lacing.
S: Char, alcohol, roast malt, and a hint of sweet dark caramel. Very nice.
T: Unfortunately disappointing after the nice start...a bit flat. Roast malt, caramel, and too strong alcohol. I suppose I might have cellared this too long...will look forward to a fresher try.
M: Medium body. A bit watery with the feel. Wish this had more body to it.
D: After a promising start, this wound up with a disappointing average ending. Again, will amend this in the future after a try with a fresher brew.

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Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a tulip a semi-viscous solid black. The head is a chocolate brown color and appears creamy with some nice lacing.

A lovely cocoa and chocolate bar smell fills the nose. Lactose sweetness as well with caramel and tootsie roll notes.

Roasted malt, big chocolate presence, a little bit of coffee bean, caramel and toffee notes with some lactose like sweetness and creaminess. Toasty finishing with some molasses.

Really nice carbonation lends a creamy smooth feel. The body is not the biggest, but it is only eight and a half percent so I would say it's right on. Dry finish on the palate.

Drinks really nice for the style. A nice RIS that in my opinion is much better than it's overall score of a B on here. Lighter for the style, but still all around well crafted.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sprecher Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout looks like a huge, viscous stout as soon as I start pouring it. The body is black, opaque, and pretty thick looking. The brown head is a around a finger in height, but very solid and it it has good retention and lacing.

A little bit of alcohol in the nose, with black bread and dark fruit.

After pouring and smelling this beer, I wasn't surprised that this is a big stout. I'm a little bit surprised that it is one of the more fruity versions of the style that I have tried. Dark fruits mix with a distinct flavor of black licorice. A little bit of roast and baker's chocolate mix with black bread. The finish has a pretty powerful warming sensation along with a bit of alcohol flavor.

Really thick body, big mouthfeel.

Sprecher has a slightly different take on the style here, but it is just a little too boozy for me. I do really like the label though.

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Photo of Yesac
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Appears solid black. Large brown foamy head that settles very nicely and slowly fades to a ring.

S - sweet brown sugar overtone. Mixed coffee & chocolate malts. The smell isn't very strong or complex

T - Along with the smell...sweet dark chocolaty taste with a java finish and slight tingle from the 8.5%. The dark chocolate is very present, I like it. Just a little to watery for my taste.

M - medium feel.. nice coating that isn't to dry or sticky.

D - easy sweet and smooth drinker here. ABV hidden well.

Bonus points for coming in a pint size bottle.

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

A one liter bottle of Sprecher Russian Imperial Stout in a dark blue wax-topped bottle. By the way, a full liter of RIS, pushing 9% ABV, is a bit much for a single sitting. I recapped the last pint for tomorrow night, hopefully it stays carbonated.

The beer pours black. There weren't even any ruby hues around the edges. The cap of foam is a cocoa mocha color. An attractive brew.

The aroma is chocolate, coffee with some fruity booze lingering in the background. On the palate, the beer flows full-bodied. The flavor is cocoa, heavily roasted malt, with bitter astringency building toward the center. It finishes with a boozy warming feeling.

I would like to see a few more hops at the end, some bitterness to balance it all out.

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Photo of maximum12
2.43/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked a bottle of this up in Wisconsin some time ago & just now rescued it from the fridge after an evening of consuming home-brew barleywine.

This Sprecher brew doesn't line up well in its weight class. For an RIS the smell is light to non-existent, the taste is thin & not at all distinctive, the drinkability is low, as in, less than half a bottle.

Not impressive. I wouldn't bother with this one.

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Photo of mikereaser
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a completely dark black with just a bit of dark tan bubbles circling the glass

S - hints of chocolate and roasted malts

T - roasted malt, chocolate and a bit of earthy hops rounds this one out to a nicely balanced taste

M/D - medium bodied and a very smooth mouthfeel. I will look for this one again and again. Very good example of a RIS

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Photo of donteatpoop
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man, this beer smells sooo good. I made my wife, who hates stouts of all kinds, give it a sniff. And she loved the smell and asked for a taste. She didn't like the taste, made the "oh shit, I just drank that??!" face. Whatever, she never likes stouts/

This poured a nice dark dark brown with a nice dark thick cap of burnt umber. The smell was excellent, coffee notes, chocolate, burnt and roasted malts... Really a great saliva inducing scent.

I suppose it'd be hard for any taste to live up to the expectations that arose from the nose on this one, but it did a damn good job trying. Milky-smooth, the alcohol content is hardly noticeable, a nice rich flavor of the roasted barley malts... Just a great job all around.

Smooth finish, dry lingering coffee and cream feeling.

Excellent beer. Must buy more for the winter.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into Samuel Smith tulip imperial pint - grabbed this one at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville.

Pours deep black in the glass; some dark brown highlights that were visible while pouring are nowhere to be found now. Big, full two-and-a-half finger creamy brown head settles slowly down into a thin cap over time, leaving sporadic walls of lacing clinging to the glass as it slowly settles in. Mean looking beer.

Nose is really nice - big dark fruit notes start things off, beautifully paired with molasses, a bit of chocolate, and some charred wood and burnt sugar back there too. Really nice - deep, rich, complex.

Taste is nice enough, though it doesn't come close to hold up to the nose. Starts off with a nice bit of char, deep earthy bitterness, more dark fruit, wee bit of burnt sugar as well. Alcohol is literally invisible - could be 4% for all I can tell. Finish is long, again filled with burnt, earthy notes.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, the char carries a lot of dryness, long finish. Fairly aggressive carbonation.

Drinkability is good - alcohol doesn't show up at all, with lots of flavor, even if that flavor is fairly one-dimensional. Nice beer overall, but not world class.

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Photo of chinchill
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 oz bottle poured into extra large Austrian glass beer mug in Nov. 2011; revisited with a 12 oz bottle in Jan. 2017.

Pours near black with some dark brown/reddish hues. Large, creamy tan head has a trace of orange coloration and good retention - leaves a good amount of sticky lacing on the glass.

Sweet and lightly spicy aroma. Less clear-cut aroma of dark roasted malt than expected. Hints of dark, ripe fruits.

Taste is lightly sweet. The hops that lend a spiciness to the aroma fail to do enough to counter the sweetness until the finish, although the sweetness does linger into the finish. Seems to lack a solid dark malt base until near the finish. A bit of tartness to it.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but with some tongue tingle; Near full body. Light carbonation that seemed appropriate.

Sweet from the start to mid-taste. More of a sour component than usual noted in 2011 but not in 2017.

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Photo of spycow
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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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Photo of kconradx5
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this at Creekside Brewing Company during a central coast BA gathering last night. This bottle was delivered by Randy Sprecher himself! 2011 bottle.

Poured into a 4oz. tasting glass.

Appearance: About a quarter inch of dark brown foam appears following the pour; it slowly descends to a thin, yet dense, crown. Body is deep black; totally opaque. Nice retention, no real lace. Love the colors!

Smell: Smoke, caramel, floral alcoholic esters, and blackberries. Not too deep. Decent.

Taste: Smoked malt (although Randy alluded that he doesn't like using smoked malts in his beers), dark chocolate, caramel, and char all come to mind first. Roasty throughout, but with a pleasant amount of residual sweetness that rounds out the bitterness nicely. Roast and a light vinous character come through in the finish and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Big and roasty, finishes moderately dry. Creamy, full, a touch warm. Good mouth-coating. Well done.

Overall: This is a solid RIS. Roast-forward with a decent amount of complexity and nice balance. Certainly worth a try!

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Photo of Soneast
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with 2 fingers of a thick, creamy tannish head, which dissipates fairly quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smells of burnt chocolate/malt maybe a hint of coffee.

Taste is admirable. A nice chocolate front with a bitter coffee finish.

The carbonation feels right in my mouth. Fairly thick on the tongue, leaves an impression.

A decent Imperial stout. This is a pretty tasty beer IMO. Not a session beer by any means, but great for an after dinner snack.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- black body with minimal brown head. nothing that out of the ordinary here.

S- roasted malts with alot of chocolate

T- about how it smells with an added bitter coffee finish and aftertaste

M- a little thin and watery that leaves the mouth feeling dry

D- the alcohol is almost completely hidden which is probably the most drinkable thing about this. im glad i picked this one up on my weekend trip to WI because its not sold anywhere around here, but this one really isnt anything to write home about and a single 12oz bottle was plenty

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

A: The pour is a dark, dark brown color with a thin tan head that has pretty decent retention.

S: A very sweet nose with notes of root beer, caramel, and brown sugar. A bit of roast and licorice and maybe some hints of coffee.

T: It is surprising how root beer-esque this beer is. Lots of sugary sweetness, molasses, and licorice. There is a slight bitterness as well as a nice roasted character.

M: The body is medium with a lively carbonation that is quite smooth.

D: I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, but it is definitely on the sweet side. This was really a pleasant surprise.

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Brewmaster's Premium Reserve Russian Imperial Stout from Sprecher Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 291 ratings