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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Ratings: 286 |  Reviews: 188
Photo of sendbeer
1/5  rDev -72.8%

Photo of kajerm
1.73/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I don't buy Sprecher as a rule, but I was at Sam's and got seduced by the cool new bottle. Before the angry beermail comes, let me say this-- it was a swingtop. And the letters were shiny.

Pours dark brown, just a shade under black with a thin ring of tan head and a few spots of lacing.

The aroma is musty and chocolatey with some very subtle hints of molasses. For some reason it doesn't blend together all that well; maybe the stout notes are just too light-- and the coffee is totally absent. With some additional sniffs, I can detect a weird sweetness.

The flavor is a MESS. There's this bizarre, sour astringency to this beer that doesn't taste like normal black malt at all. My best description of the aftertaste would invoke the following flavors: pennies, quarters, dimes, and the Statue of Liberty before it got all oxidized. I love stouts of all shapes and sizes, but this just way too much for me.

As I continue to drink it, I find myself starting to actively despise this beer and feel personally offended by its existence.

It's very thin, which might actually be good in this case.

I can't in good conscience describe the drinkability for a beer that's making me seriously contemplate a drainpour.

This is a nauseating waste of money.

 1,260 characters

Photo of beckje01
1.9/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From notes:

It pours with a black color very expected of the style. Then it has a very heavy malt nose. So far the beer is average nothing shocking either way. The taste is a malty bitterness not really a great flavor, just off putting. The whole character just doesn't seem to fit with a Russian Imperial Stout. All I get is the malty bitterness it's one note and to me the wrong note.

 387 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
2.29/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Poured black with a 3 finger head and decent lacing. Smelled very average but unfortunately tasted much worse than that to me. Disgusting rotten dark fruits, and a bit of a metallic taste. I hated this, and would have drain poured the entire 34 oz. bottle but my friends liked it just enough to drink it for me. I really feel like this was the biggest waste of money in my young beer advocate life.

 398 characters

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.

 405 characters

Photo of ZAP
2.46/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Black with a brown head....smell is of white grapes...almost a bit wine like...VERY thin for an Imperial (but easy drinking on the plus side)..very sweetish with a lot of sweet grapes and darker fruit type flavors (Plums/sweet cherries)...just a tinge of soft cocoa in the background...this is not really what I expect in an Imperial's a good drinking beer, but for this style it truly is below average in my opinion...I am rated low for drinkability because for this style, I shouldn't be able to kick one of these back in 5 should be a 20-30 minute, while this is easy drinking, I rate it low for drinkability because it should be harder to drink fast..the taste isn't what I expect an Imperial to be...I don't dislike it, but again, not true to style...mouthfeel is very sweet and thin...again, I can deal with it, but when rated up against the giants it is poor....This may rate lower in my ratings than some macro lagers and it shouldn't as this is much better and I prefer it...but Imperial Stouts are the major leagues and hitting .200 in the majors is still more impressive than batting .400 in the minors (American Lager)...If you're going to play with the big boys (Imperial Stouts) you better bring your "A" game...this one doesn't...

 1,285 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of BeccaH
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of akttr
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of ColdWaffles
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.53/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is the least impressive imperial stout I've had in recent memory. it lacks the roastiness of an Old Rasputin, and instead has a sticky toffy character that I really don't care for in spades.

Appearance is an inky black with virtually no head. Aroma is a sweet malty toffeeness, as is the flavor. Mouthfeel is very sticky. I didn't find this beer all that drinkable.

I bought this as a single, believing it to be something new, only to understand that only the label was new!

 485 characters

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.

 632 characters

Photo of brentk56
2.61/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with a tan head that disappears quickly and leaves just a few shards of lace

Smell: Coffee and dark, but sour fruit

Taste: Opens with a sour fruit element that just stays sour

Mouthfeel: Medium body and low carbonation

Drinkability: Fancy blue 1 litre bottle but the beer just doesn't live up to the packaging - avoid

 363 characters

Photo of the_beerist
2.69/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bought at Martignetti's in Allston, MA for 5.99. Cap dipped in wax. Pours rather dark black with a quick fading tan head. Smells very sweet. Notes of mollasses and licorice/good and plentys. Taste is average, Fruity, sweet dates finish of burnt wood. Mouthfeel is way too thin for a RIS. It feels watered down. The carbonation is average to high. They need to beef the body up on this one a bit. I was disappointed. There are so many great Imperial Stouts out there. Not one I would ever buy again.

 498 characters

Photo of martyl1000
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of Buebie
2.81/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 16 oz brown bottle with a weird code like freshness date that I could not decipher.
00922FL and 090391020

Poured into an oversized merlot glass. Appearance is less then average here. The color is black alright with no ransparency. The head was less then 1 finger off a rigerous pour. Settling to very mild retention around the edge of the glass. Lace is thin and mostly non-existant.

Smell is sweet milk chocolate with a hint of brownies, malt, mild molasses.

Taste upfront is sweet with more milk chocolate, some creamy texture but a bit watery for a RIS with more carbonation then I'd hope for.
Finish is a snappy hoppieness, some chalky after taste that I didnt like. Mild metalic linger after the swallow. Some woody charred aftertones also. Alcahol warming after the swallow. This is a malt bomb.

Overall not impressed, not a bad beer, but it does not stick out from the herd.
At $3 for this bottle I cant complain to much. I'm sure it would be atleast $5 a pint at the bar.
I can say I enjoyed the milk chocolate aroma off the knose.

 1,057 characters

Photo of aforbes10
2.88/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

single bottle, way, way, way in the back of a cooler at Murray's in Milwaukee. Pours very dark brown, with a little bubble ring of a head. Heavy malt odor, sweet and toasty. vague dull hops on the nose as well. Taste is malty, somewhat sweet and chocolatey...more like the taste of a milkshake but without the thick body. expresso quality present as well. Almost a wine-like texture. Interesting for the style and in a way that makes me think i wouldn't buy another.

 466 characters

Photo of swhitt
2.96/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz. bomber, with a wax sealed bottle cap opening. Label says Russian Imperial Stout. The cap was interesting to get off, I had to use my fingernail to peel off some of the wax in order for the opener to get the right angle on it. This bottle is _really_ sealed - there's no way any air is going to get in. A nifty idea.

Poured into my brand new Alesmith Anniversary Glass. Nice and dark, completely opaque when held up to the light. Virtually no head except around the edges with a light wispy dark brown fuzz. Looks like most RIS style beers do with their high alcohol content.

Held this one up to my nose and the first thing I thought was 'wine'. Wow, that's surprising, I thought. Took another whiff and that smell went away. Now I get an espresso, chocolate malty smell. Not a sweet chocolate, mind you, but a bitter, bitter one. It smells like a RIS, just not a great one.

First thing I tasted was the bitter chocolate I mentioned in the smell. Chocolate, followed by very bitter espresso. It seems very unbalanced in comparison to say, Stone's IRS. Last taste is the carbonation mixed with the espresso flavor. Not sure that I like this one.

 1,174 characters

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.

 557 characters

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.

 1,024 characters

Photo of Jman_01
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of CWhite
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of Viggo
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big swingtop, thanks to grub for opening this one. I still have one in the cellar.

Pours a dark brown, can see clear through it, thin fizzy tan head forms, settles to a ring, no lacing at all, doesn't really look like a RIS. Smell is weird, soy sauce and molasses, smoke, some chocolate, alcohol, oats, licorice, cola/herbs, weird, some things I couldn't place going on in there. Taste is in the same vein, soy sauce, strange sweetness, lots of cola and rootbeer almost, vanilla, licorice, herbal, chocolate, alcohol, caramel, brown sugar, just weird. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, some warming and quite thin. Wow, this is an odd RIS. Too thin, colour is too light, strange aromas and flavours. I don't think I want to drink the one I have in my cellar, this stuff wasn't too my liking. Thanks Russ!

 832 characters

Photo of mkh895
3/5  rDev -18.3%

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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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