Czar's Nightmare Imperial Stout
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #625
Ranked #25,113
3.91 | pDev: 8.44%
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
United States
View: Beers
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 11 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of deapokid
deapokid from Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank at the bar on 1-25-12. Review from notes. Chalkboard calls it a "Roasty Russian Imperial Stout."

Pours a deep, opaque color with a thin ring of white foam and sticky lacing. Very inviting.

Aroma is huge, packed with roasted chestnut, milk chocolate, licorice, cake and mild, dry notes that can be attributed to the alcohol content.

Taste is surprisingly light, with chocolate notes in the forefront and a dry, espresso bean conclusion. As it warms, dark fruit notes peak out. It's a tad bit chalky, like condensed milk, and, if not for the ABV, I'd say it was a straight-up stout and a few steps away from the imperial type.

The liquid itself is initially thin and a bit slight, but the tingly burn of the alcohol and the roasted notes add ripples to the smooth body and excite the back of the tongue.

Overall, this isn't a bad cold-weather stout. The booze warms the body and each note brings to mind after-dinner dessert. It's only fault comes in the mildness of the flavor profile, which is miles away from the forceful, alpha imperial stouts. This could become a beast with a bit of age.

Nov 04, 2012
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Doomcifer from Rhode Island

3.11/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

very dark pour with a nice frothy head. roasty notes on the nose, alcohol fumes, maybe some mild chocolate notes...not too much going on. bitter chocolate flavors, slightly roasty, alcohol was very present on the palate. not too thick for an imperial stout, rather thin actually...semi dry finish. i've had much better.

Feb 28, 2010
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Kegatron from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap via nitro pour at the brewpub.

Pours a midnight black with a finger of creamy light mocha colored head. That nitro pour shows its mettle with a good 1/2 finger of retention that leaves nice thick lacing down the sides of the mug. The aroma is a smooth mix of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, an almost lactic milky sweetness, maybe a touch of vanilla, and a wee bit of heat.

The taste has chocolate dominating up front with notes of lactic sweetness and a touch of coffee being balanced out by a fair amount of roasted bitterness. Make no mistake though, this is definitely one sweet tasting RIS. The mouthfeel is medium bodied (not quite full but almost there) with an overall smooth and creamy feel with just a touch of alcohol beef present.

Definitely an interesting take on the style from brewer Brian McConnell, this one seemed to play it safe with maybe a tad too much sweetness and soft body from the nitro. I'd love to see this with a bit more complexity and jacked up ABV% (but I'm not counting on it being a Rock Bottom). But enough with my nitpicking. This is still one tasty and drinkable RIS and was a most welcome sight to see on, considering that it's only the beginning of summer!

Jul 01, 2008
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HopDerek from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub as of 5-26-08, on nitro.

Poured a dark brown with a deep black center. One finger of creamy milky tan head has everlasting retention and leaves nice lacing behind. Smells of chocolate, nuts, dark fruits, roasted malt, coffee, ad a touch of alcohol. Tastes of sweet chocolate, roasted malt, and nuts with a sweetness from cherries, plums, and figs. Finishes with a blast of espresso, grapefruit and spicy hops, and a hint of anise and alcohol presence. Medium full in body, creamy with lots of sweet and roasty flavors and a bitter but smooth finish. A great sessionable RIS with plenty of taste but not packing as much high alcohol content as others have, supposedly the latest batch is only 8% ABV. Really good on nitro, even if this time of year we really don't desire RISs with a heat wave going thru the area.

Jun 09, 2008
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a pitch black with a small tan head that slowly fades. Leaves lots of streaky lacing around the glass.
Smell is dominated with malty richness, roasted malts with some coffee, and chocolate coming through.
Taste is of the same aromas with some creaminess mixed in the batch, along with a touch of molasses and some bitter hops.
Mouthfeel is full bodied with some rich, roasted malts and some coffee bitterness lingering.

Jan 15, 2006
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GeoffFromSJ from New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very good rendition of the style. Black as black can be. Comes with a nice head and lacing. I suspect it could have looked better except for the pourer trying to maximize the amount of beer in my mug. Tasty with typical Russian Imperial flavors underneath. Very drinkable at 9.8%.

Mar 15, 2005
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PatandDavid from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another style I normally wouldn't go for, but I tell you, this was pretty darn good. Had at the Boston location yesterday. Pint when presented was the color of opaque dark chocolate, some ruby highlights when held up to the light. It had a thick tan creamy head. The aroma was of roasted coffee meets dark choclate, very nice and enticing.The taste was of thick, chewy raosted malts. There was also a nice bready layer there too. Very smooth and easy to drink, the alcohol tried to remain deceptive, but I found it. Would recommend.

Feb 29, 2004
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stirgy from Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served as part of a sampler tray at their brewpub. This is their current “rotating dark beer”. This beer looks and smells great. It’s a very dark brown that’s nearly black in color, a cream-like tan head. The aroma is inviting and complex with roasted coffee and chocolate. After that, the rest of the beer is pretty bland. The flavors of sweet roasted coffee, molasses and sweet black cherries float on top of a light and watery body of malts. Finishes with a sour tang. Amp up the hops, give it more malt body and I’m there. Nice try though – I enjoyed it, actually.

Jan 20, 2004
Czar's Nightmare Imperial Stout from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 11 ratings