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 mentor
4.57/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I can sum this beer up in a single word, tadcaster. Sour tang, yet sweet dark and delicious.

Pours a half finger of brown head over a pitch liquid. A few streams run up the side of the glass. Smells deep dark raisins, dark grains (coffee, black patent sourish), plum, date, heavy esters. Molasses is heavy and thick.

Tastes raisin, cherry sour, toffee, rich sweet and sticky on the tongue. Roast, but not in a coffee manner. I could see some thinking this too sweet, but I think the carbonation helps lift the sweet just enough from the tongue. Leaves enough flavor on the tongue to ponder, but not like syrupy candy. Storng on brewer's licorice. Perhaps a bit of peated malt. Alcohol is mild compared to the intensity of the other flavors. Comes across clean and a weak voice in a crowded room. Md-thick body and moderate, but sharp, carbonation. Yummy.

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Photo of blackearth
4.53/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Ray's Liquors in Wauwatosa, WI. Pours a midnight black body with a dark tan head the falls over time. Aroma is of cream, brown sugar and chocolate. Full bodied and smooth this beer has burnt, smoked wood and dark chocolate and mocha flavors. Great complexity and drinkability. Gets more interesting with every sip.

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Photo of storksonm
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a Mug

A: Deep Dark Black, Nice head retention kept 2-3 in. of head for quite awhile.

S: The nice roasted barley really strong in this beer, with subtle hop flavor.

T: Coffee like roast, you can really feel the alcohol content but it's not overbearing in the least bit, it kind of gives it a earthy taste to it. Rich toffee and caramel tones in it.

M: Smooth with a strong aftertaste of sweet sweet barley.

D: If you like dark then this is definitley right up your alley. It is a very nice Russian Imperial Stout in my opinion.

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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 yesyouam
4.41/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sprecher Imperial Stout is a black beer with a thick, creamy, dense, light brown head that has outstanding lacing. It has a sweet aroma with notes of caramel and brown sugar. It has a smooth, full body with a clean, dry finish. It tastes a little sweet and very roasty with notes of molasses and coffee. It's rich, drinkable and enjoyable, but an Imperial Stout? It seems like a Baltic porter.

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Photo of ikats
4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown in color. Almost black. Nice brown head slowly dissipated into a solid cover. Aroma is of roasted malts. Definitely sweet (but not too sweet). I smell chocolate and may be some caramel notes. There may be a hint of dark fruits. Slightly sweet, velvety mouthfeel. Very drinkable - goes down very easy. Taste has roasted dryness and chocolate sweetness. Very pleasant.

My bottle was a short pint bottle with a picture of St. Basil's Cathedral on its label. Although not factored into this review, I always get a kick out of beer labels that relate to my Russian heritage.

Very enjoyable beer. I always had high respect for Sprecher and bought this bottle purely on their name knowing that one day I'll want a good imperial stout. I am not disappointed.

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Photo of Risser09
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours an opaque black color with a brown 2" head that shows great retention. Mostly small foamy, Guinness-like bubbles, but there are large ones, too. Islands peninsulas and archipelagos of lace.

Smell: Deep aromas of chocolate, espresso, almond and godiva liquor. Sweet wheatena and graham cracker. Leathery, oily and complex. Wow.

Taste: Deep, dark flavors are chocolaty and full of coffee. A distinct graham cracker chewiness and flavor is very nice. Not terribly sweet, as the aroma would indicate.

Mouthfeel: Heavily bodied, mild sweetness, a roasty sensation, and little alcohol. Smooth, and incredibly easy to drink.

Drinkability: This is an awesome RIS. It's nice not to be destroyed by sweetness. Great flavor and aroma. Very, very drinkable. I love it.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half a liter bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a deep black color with one finger of light tan foam. There is no lace. The smell is rich in roasted malt, cocoa powder, and coffee. A real nice blend of aromas. The taste is sweet, with lots of malt. Caramel, chocolate, and molasses with a hint of mocha cappucino. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth. The drinkability fairs well too. A nice imperial stout.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a syrupy black with 1/2 pinky of burnt tan head. Good creamy retention left good lacing. Smells of dark fruits, chocolate, soy sauce, and roasted malt. Tastes of dark fruits like raisins, plums, and cherries, along with chocolate syrup, roasted malt, saltine crackers, light coffee, soy sauce, a hint of anise, and spicy hops in the finish. Medium full in body, smooth and creamy with good flavor and balance. Lower in alcohol than many other RIS but still very flavorful and enjoyable, easy to drink.

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Photo of scoobybrew
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - jet black opaque color with a modest tan head that settles into a well retained lacing

S - rich roasted sweet malty aroma characterized by chocolate and coffee scents; some herbal-like hop scents as well

T - roasted malt character noticed at first with moderately strong hop flavor profile that immediately follows, moderately strong hop bitterness on finish fades and leaves a nice roasted grain taste afterward, alcohol noticed as it warms

M - medium body, moderate to high carbonation

D - This is a nice interpretation of the classic style. While the flavors I think are quite remarkable, the feel and carbonation could be improved slightly: lower carbonation & slightly more body (but lower carbonation would help this also). Nonetheless, it's a very good beer and I'm glad I can get this at my local grocery store - an outstanding selection for the aisle.

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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 scruffwhor
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a big blue, one liter, flip-top bottle.

Appearance- Greeted by winey, yet straight up black that has a little Grenadine like cling to my wine glass. Mild tan head with very little lacing to speak of.

Smell- Lots of bunrt caramel, creamy vanilla, and bitter roasted and even lightly smoke malts.

Taste- Smakcs with some complex toasted and roasted malts and there delicious bitterness hit me right away. Giving way to some velvety smooth. Lots of burnt fruits dance slight nuances with teh almost nutty caramels and vanillas and coffees that take center stage in my palate.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth and just great for sipping after dinner and putting a futon together.

Complex and feels just great going down.

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Photo of clvand0
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark color that is a reddish if held to the light. Had a small tan head that dies off quickly. Coffee, chocolate, and malty aroma. Very nice. The flavor is the same: some coffee, chocolate, lots and lots of malts. The mouthfeel is nice and the body is moderate, could be a little more full. Nice beer.

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Photo of Atron67
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- was the standard dead black that you would expect, a heavy brown foam

S- roasted and malty scents, heavy dark scents

T- a solid stout, roasted scents predominate, some dark chocolate, heavy malt throughout, good balance

M- a heavy body mild carbonation that flows over the tongue well

D- a solid RIS

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured just a shade below black, letting light in at the top edges. There is little head that falls to nothing. The nose is a good strong chocolate wtih a hint of fig in there as well, very nice. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Excellent. This beer is highly drinkable. I really enjoyed it and am glad I have another in my stash.

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Photo of WJVII
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass this brew is as dark as the night, with a thick brown head that didn't last long, but settled into a nice 1/4 inch cap. The smell of this brew is strong of coffee with some hints of chocolate and nice aroma of roasted malt. The taste of this beer is wonderful. I enjoy the chocolate flavor very similar to a chilled cafe mocha. There is a strong coffee aftertaste. I would love a pint of this before work!!! Brew is thicker with a light carbonation that doesn't take away from the flavor. Nice work on this brew.

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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 Pintofbrown
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this in a Premium nonic pint.

Appearance- The head only reached about a finger in width and is brown sugar - hued. The retention is bad and there is barely enough foam to cover the lid.

The body is completely black. That aspect looks great.

Smell- A sweeter head with some toffee and caramel that also features sweet and fruity alcohol. The roasted malt is just barely coming through, and easily stays behind the sweet character.

Taste- This is a pretty sweet RIS, but it works out very well. The front of the drink is all toffee and some of that fruity, brandy-like note that was on the nose. Even some mashed dark fruit kicking around.

The middle of the drink seems to grow in alcohol flavor, which is a little strange seeing as this one is not even 8% ABV. Brown sugar also adds to the experience, and it is not until the finish that the drink really starts to get roasty and has some leathery notes.

This RIS has a nice combo of flavors.

Mouth feel- This is one is a weird combo of creamy and watery. It may just be that the body is a pretty heavy medium, but there is virtually no coating.

Overall- Yeah, a good RIS that will not disappoint. It may not be the"greatest RIS I have ever had", but I certainly have this one again.

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

On tap at the brewery.

Pours very dark ruby with a good, brown head. Not very opaque but that's okay, it still looks nice.

Smells solid, very strong. More like a strong dry stout than an RIS. The malt is what's strong and very syrupy--no yeast nodes or alcohol burn (or hops).

Tastes like a very, very strong chocolate stout. Not real complex, you don't get any of the cornucopia of burn that you usually get in Imperial stouts, but it's still very tasty. The chocolate is very tasty.

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Photo of Pauly2X
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Solid one finger dark tan head. Very opaque black.

S- What you smell is a war between sweet, caramel malts and earthy, spicy hops competing for your attention over the other.

T- Great malt profile with just enough hops to balance it all out. Rich and complex without being overpowering.

M- Very smooth and rich but not too thick.

D- Suprisingly drinkable for a beer of this magnatude.

Although some fans of extreme beer may pass on this one, I however feel its truly enjoyable. It may not have that smack you in the face factor that some Imperial Stouts have but it adds drinkability while retaining character and depth.

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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 blackie
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz. bottle with a "Premium Reserve" twist-off cap, into my Piraat snifter

a: nice deep tan head with some orange hues over a brown, nearly black colored beer, recession leaves a respectable ring and surface coating

s: pleasant nose of cocoa, bittersweet chocolate and a slew of other roasty aromas, very chocolaty, charred wood and licorice, rich mocha drinks, caramels doused in chocolate, appropriately complex, quality aroma here

m: carbonation on the low side, thick bodied, full

t: again chocolate heavy, in a bittersweet and deeply roasted kinda way, espresso-dark chocolate drinks, licorice, finishes with a lingering char flavor, much better than the ratings led me to expect

d: a tasty sipper, abv on the lower side for the style makes things a touch easier

shipped southward by dirtylou quite awhile ago, maybe early winter

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Photo of karengarys
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours nice and dark, um - black with little to no foam. Yep, it looks flat. Lets see, holding it up to the light - still black!

This smells sweet, like burbon. Nothing but alcohol and sweetness.

Taste is different. Not what I would expect from a RIS, but - none the less it is good. A bit sweet. The alcohol is not biting my tongue, and I like that. It has a sweet syrupey overtone. There is this almost grape like syrup like flavor too.

Mouthfeel shows a bit of creaminess, but it is a bit flat. There is no harmful adjuncts you may expect at this alcohol level, though, so that is good.

Finish is sweeet, and buttery and clean.

This is not too representative of a RIS, but - times are changing and craft brewers are pushing the limits. Must we always be the same as some standard benchmark to be good? If our American craft brewers bend that rule on purpose, are they doing wrong? Then how do you write that review? Do you say: "I like this MUCH MORE, but I've gotta review it bad because it is not like standard x"? I don't think so!!!! I say "kudos" to those making beers that are different and interesting. This is one example of a "beer I like, call it what you want". I recommend this anybody who likes obscure beers try this. It is different, but darnded it, it is a great flavor to taste!!!! Oh - and Thank You, Sprechers, for putting it in a bottle! I would have not had the opportunity to try it if it were not available like this.

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Photo of mothman
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not the same bottle I had. I had a 16 oz bottle with a twist off premium reserve cap on it.

Poured into Boulevard Smokestack Chalice

Pours hardly any tan head. Obviously no retention or lace. Color is a dark dark chocolate brown.

Aroma: Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, raisins, plums. Has a few red wine characteristics to it. A very complex beer.

Taste: A big roasty taste to this beer. Chocolate, coffee are right up front. Then towards the end I get a big raisin and dark dried fruit taste. Very dry flavor to it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. A touch of booze mixed in. Full bodied, a decent amount of carbonation, maybe a tad on the low side. Leaves a dry roasted malt flavor aftertaste.

Overall, this beer is good, but not great. It fits the style pretty well, but doesn't go above and beyond. I will finish my 16 oz bottle easily, but that will be it.

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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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