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Russian Gun Imperial Stout | Grand River Brewing

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Russian Gun Imperial StoutRussian Gun Imperial Stout
161 Ratings
Russian Gun Imperial StoutRussian Gun Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Grand River Brewing
Ontario, Canada

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Russian gun (or Gun as we call it) is named after the Queens square cannon that sits downtown Galt, Cambridge. The cannon was awarded to the town of Galt for its support of the English troops during the Crimean war which ended in 1856.

That year to celebrate the victory during Victoria day the Cannon was fired at noon. The men firing the cannon successfully fired three shots however during the forth the powder prematurely exploding killing both men charring their upper bodies beyond human recognition and dismembering the arms and hands of both men; two children were lightly scratched.

We have crafted the Russian gun to commemorate this local tragedy taking the recipe from an old English recipe dating back to the early colonial times.

Added by Viggo on 04-03-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 161 |  Reviews: 95
Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle purchased from LCBO for $4.95 CDN. Served chilled into a room-temperature glass.

Appearance - Dark opaque chesnut brown colored beer. 1.5 fingers of opulent tan head that lasts a long time. Reddish hues viewed while pouring. Nice foamy little cap that rests on to after the head subsides a bit. The head actually looks like a creamy whipped dessert after pouring. Some sediment noticed at the bottom of the glass. Excellent looking beer.

Smell - Chocolate (dark) and coffee mostly, not a lot else. There is some nice interplay between the two malty aromas, but on the sparse side when comparing the number of aromas to others in the style. Trace smoke aroma.

Taste - Coffee mostly also much smokier than would have been picked up on the nose (which was minimal). A bit of a leather and tobacco combination blended in there for good measure. Slight graininess and breadiness too and ends with a bitter and malty taste in the mouth.

Mouthfeel - velvety smooth, heavy body and a delightfully dry finish that strikes the right chord between "nice and dry" and "too dry" . Excellent feel and weight here. A "big" beer.

Overall - Well executed, wish the nose was a little better a little closer to the taste, since there is significant disparity between the two, but absolutely love the feel of this beer.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of DaveBar
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not a bad Stout from Ontario....

500ml bottle served at 12deg C in a chalice.

A- Very dark. Nice dark brown foam head nearly 1" thick in a standard chalice

S- Alcohol, nuts, chocolate and spice

T- Pretty darn good. It's the saving grace for this brew. Otherwise not so good.

M- Creamy. Very good chocolate sliperies Touch of the bitter nuts you find in Guinness.

O- Pretty good. Have a few to age.

Not bad. Will try them as the months pass. Don't want to save for years.

Food Pairing

This creamy chocolate gem can be enjoyed with....Rack of Lamb with a Chocolate Sauce

Definitely compliment each other 100%


 624 characters

Photo of Vyronian
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of nullbort
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark black coloring with a frothy, bubbly, light tan head that settles into a sparse surface coating. Aromas of roast coffee, vanilla, mocha, and some earthy notes. Flavors are very bitter forward, with coffee heavy, followed shortly by a heavy roast and slight char to add to the bitterness. Wow. Notes of chocolate to highlight, but leans to the bittersweet side. The body is lighter than most RIS, but solid enough to handle the flavor profiles. Dry, slick finish with a lingering bitterness. The aftertaste is roasty and bitter, with a blend of coffee, chocolate, and hints of booze. Interesting, and lighter bodied than you may be used to for the style, but it works.

 727 characters

Photo of gloryhole
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Bf_89
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of TheBeeraholic
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of AddyCanuck
3.49/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Can't say much other than I couldn't see through the bottle.

S - Roasted malts and slight chocolate where all I could pick up.

T - Really bitter dark chocolate taste. Has a slight burnt taste to it. Bitter follow through. The alcohol taste is a bit overpowering.

M - Dry and very easy to drink.

O - It's a good stout. I don't recommend drinking it by itself. Have a heart tomato based meal with it.

 408 characters

Photo of DaPan
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of bigox420
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of JMBSH
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of korguy123
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Dec 5th, 2012
Consumed while homemade bread was rising Jan 6th, 2013.

Oily black, totally opaque pour with a 3 finger dense tan head. Gobs of lacing on the side of the glass.

Dark chocolate, burnt coffee and the molasses added really stand out in this. It smells much better than I remembered from the first time I had it years ago. Slight sweetness of raw sugar with a touch of licorice.

Burnt coffee, dark bitter chocolate (85%+) very little sweetness coming from the molasses. Good sipper with zero alcohol present.

Medium body, low carbonation. Really sticky on the lips.

 587 characters

Photo of lwadd
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up from the local lcbo over the Christmas holidays. Poured very black, with a thin head that dissipated quickly. The initial flavourful was rich with, I think, burnt coffee and toffee. The after taste was a little on the bitter side for me.

All in all, I would drink this again, but I feel I've had better. I had it on it's own though, and it might have been better paired with a nice holiday meal.

 412 characters

Photo of KrisDLSmith
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of kjyost
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of thehyperduck
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; bottled on Nov 13 2012. This is one of the few 'major' Grand River brews that I haven't managed to get my hands on until now. This bottle was listed at 8.0%, and served only slightly chilled.

Pours an opaque black colour, with only a few brown highlights under the light. Atop the liquid is seated slightly more than one finger's width of silky, creamy, beige-coloured head - almost looks like a melted marshmallow, but with a little more tan colouration. Retention is very good; it takes well over 10 minutes to seep away, leaving behind a thin, foamy cap, collar, and a few rings of sticky lacing. The aroma is enticing, and is comprised mostly of molasses, roasted nuts/barley malt, butterscotch, and a few hints of dark fruit. A pleasant smokiness and some spice underlies this bouquet, adding an additional layer of depth.

Tasty stuff, though perhaps not as complex as the aroma suggested to me - it starts off with a solid dose of roasted, biscuity malts, molasses, cocoa, and some scant undertones of charred coffee grinds and smoke. Earthy, herbal hop notes and spiciness come through toward the finish, with the roasted character of the malts combining with these factors to produce an exceptionally bitter finish. Lingering bitterness and roasted character hangs around on the palate after each sip. On the heftier side of medium-bodied, but not quite full, with restrained carbonation that helps cut through the bitterness without becoming a distraction. The booze never really comes into play. Not as thick on the palate as it could be, but the creaminess (thanks to the long-lasted head) gives it a silky, luxurious mouthfeel that I absolutely love.

Final Grade: 4.04, an impressive A-. One of the best beers in Grand River's portfolio, their 2012 Russian Gun Imperial Stout is a satisfying, full-flavoured brew that I wouldn't hesitate to pick up more of in the future. It's not easy to find a good RIS around here, but this is a solid choice that falls right up my alley - with its relatively low abv, smooth mouthfeel and pleasant, drying finish that contrasts nicely with the big malt flavours. I would definitely take this over Wellington's RIS, and will probably pick up a few more bottles before 2013 is upon us. Well worth trying for anyone seeking out a 'bigger' stout that won't have you slurring your speech after the first bottle.

[Updated Nov. 1 2013]

Another bottle, dated Oct. 30 2013 (so extremely fresh), and listed at 8.5% this time. I'm getting a lot more dark chocolate off of the aroma than last time, but other than that I can't really think of anything to add. While this tastes fine (and it drinks more lightly than most beers of this style), it doesn't really have the intensity or complexity I seek from an IRS. Maybe I'll hold onto a bottle for a few months/a year and see if it develops any.

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Photo of RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of jaz58
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first time having this beer. Enjoyed in a pint glass.

Thin head which dissipated quickly.

A good dark espresso colour. You couldn't see through it.

Nice toffee, coffee flavour with a small hint of hops. Silky malt.

Bitters were rough and excessive.

I've had a lot of smoother stouts.

 292 characters

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of kinguy
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of Molson2000
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of Jeffo
2.15/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this one in a trade last summer, though I can't remember for the life of me who it was. Cheers to whoever you are!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
Bottled 5 January 2011

Note: Put this one up against Wellington's RIS in an epic Battle of Ontario!

APPEARANCE: Clear, thin brown pour yields a large, three finger, looser looking, foamy, light tan head with good retention. Bistre brown in color with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a thick cap, then a good wisp remains until the end and leaves lots of chunky lacing down the glass. Too thin a body, and the chunky lacing isn't all that appealing.

SMELL: Yeasty notes, dark fruits and a hint of cocoa powder. Spicy more than anything. Starting to oxidize as well.

TASTE: Yeasty and spicy once more, with a hint of caramel malts. Some spicy pepper, herbal notes, and a touch of bitterness at the swallow. Milder and shorter aftertaste is slightly oxidized, but some bitter cocoa powder and spicy yeast notes do show up, while cardboard hangs around the whole time. Not very nice.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of carbonation. Light on the palate but still creamy enough, goes down fine and finishes slightly dry on the palate.

OVERALL: This was lousy at best. If it's not already starting to oxidize, which would be amazing after a year and a half, then it was simply a bad beer from the start. Drain didn't even like it all that much. Nothing to see here folks. Massive loser in the Battle of Ontario...

 1,506 characters

Russian Gun Imperial Stout from Grand River Brewing
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 161 ratings
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