Old World Russian Imperial Stout
BrewDog

Old World Russian Imperial StoutOld World Russian Imperial Stout
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Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #534
ABV:
9.5%
Score:
89
Ranked #7,905
Avg:
4.04 | pDev: 13.37%
Reviews:
45
Ratings:
132
From:
BrewDog
 
Scotland, United Kingdom
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  20
Gots
  19
SCORE
89
Very Good
Old World Russian Imperial StoutOld World Russian Imperial Stout
Notes: Brewed exclusively for sale at Total Wine locations.
Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 132 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.36/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this from Total Wine. Was real sad how the clerk there insisted this was produced by the Bruery. Poor guy, total Dunning Kruger type.

Anyways, usual stout descriptors, pours black, used motor oil black, brown head, 1/2" deep. Looks are definitely the best part about this beer. Aroma of roasted malt and that bitter dark fruit typical in a Russian Imperial Stout.

Taste is ok, its a heavily roasted malt body and more of the yeasty dark fruit prune like bitterness. It is pretty generously hopped, I would venture a guess to think that the IBU on this bad boy are close to triple digits. Slight ashiness and smokiness to it, plenty dry. Carbonation is fine. Alcohol burn is there, dare I say that it is pretty prominent. Good amount of earthy tobacco as it warms.

Probably the best Brewdog beer I've had. Well made, even if it is about my least favorite subgenre of the stout style.

Jul 01, 2020
Photo of joaopmgoncalves
joaopmgoncalves from Portugal

3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured to an Ora et Labora taster.

A: Body is pitch black with a brown-ish to burnt caramel colour. The head is 5mm thick and has a very good retention.
S: Aroma is very strong on chocolate, spices and there's also a light smokiness.
T: Taste starts off with an instant coffee-like flavour that could be improved, it then moves to a minor burnt caramel touch and then you get just alcohol topped with some spices. The aftertaste is clearly instant coffee with hops, a terrible mix.
M: Body is medium. Carbonation is good. Sweetness is mild. Bitterness is low. Alcohol is noticed but not much.
O: Please use real coffee buddies and use hops with less power. That way it's easily improved.

Nov 12, 2018
Photo of jazzyjeff13
jazzyjeff13 from England

4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 660ml bomber with a BB of Oct 2018. Purchased ages ago from the Brewdog webshop - I can't remember when exactly but I've been storing this for several years. Here's hoping it has aged nicely. A big beer for a freezing November night.

A: Poured into a tulip (twice). A very dark reddish-brown hue that appears blacker than an event horizon in the glass. Yields a large head of creamy mocha-coloured foam that lasts for a few minutes before eventually subsiding to a patchy surface layer. Slight lacing.

S: Aroma of rich fruity malt with hints of prunes, dried fruit, molasses, brown sugar, mild roasted grain, cocoa, subtle coffee, ale yeast, delicate soy sauce, faint stewed leaves and a twinge of liquorice. The booze is well hidden. Incredibly smooth, complex and well-rounded - fantastic!

T: Tastes of sweet, fruity malt with notes of prunes, dried fruit, fruitcake, molasses, brown sugar, roasted grain, cocoa, mild coffee, ale yeast, a hint of soy sauce, faint stewed leaves and a whisper of liquorice. Quite sweet, followed by a robust malt-driven bitterness upon swallowing and just a touch of heat from the alcohol.

M: Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, with soft carbonation and great body that envelops the palate. Aftertaste of sweet fruity malt, bitter roasted grain, molasses, mild coffee and ale yeast.

O: Simply superb - a top tier brew. Wonderfully mellow after aging. Looks great, while the aroma and flavour are sublime; dried fruit, molasses, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee and yeast all combine perfectly. Excellent body - creamy and smooth. An absolute dream for a cold winter's evening. Another fantastic effort from Brewdog.

Nov 30, 2017
Photo of Catalin90
Catalin90 from Romania

4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On 0.66 l bomber. Very little foam. Smell and taste reminds me of Cocoa Psycho, but not that high on cocoa. Lots of coffee, notes of cognac and also tobacco. The alcohol is starting to feel stronger after it gets warmer.

Mar 06, 2016
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PolarBear3 from Australia

4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark black colour with large foamy brown head that dissipates to a thin film

S - Sweet dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, caramel very prominent and slightly boozy on the nose

T - Similiar to the nose with sweet malts, dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, dates, cherries fairly prominent..but definitely get some vanilla and spice at the end. The alcohol seems to be hidden nicely and its not overpowering.

M - Medium bodied and carbonation and very smooth

O- A fairly good quality stout and definately worth a try on a colder evening.

Jan 25, 2015
Photo of flyingpig
flyingpig from Scotland

4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle from Brewdog's Online Shop (£7):
Black with a 0.5cm foamy brown head that turns to a patchy lacing 30 seconds later.

Sweet & quite boozy with darker fruits on the nose initially, some very dark malts too. Spice, faint grains & oak with hints of vanilla aren't far behind but the chocolate & coffee dominate. A great espresso like smell & the toasted/burnt notes work well with some dates & figs at the end.

Sweetness & chocolate, espresso & coffee with a little spice start things off. Some cocoa dominates the taste with some light alcohol flavours. Dark malts & fruits with some figs & dates, plus cherries & a little vanilla all make themselves know.

Medium to full in body, boozy from the alcohol but not overpowering. Some grain & spice with a smooth & almost bitter mouthfeel & medium carbonation.Some sweetness features throughout too.

I'm really enjoying my Imperial Stouts of late & this is no exception. Excellent stuff from the start, bold & complex with just enough alcohol to give it a good kick. Perhaps not quite as good as some of the other recent beers of this style I've enjoyed but a great beer nonetheless.

Aug 12, 2014
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo from Netherlands

4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one on a recent trip to Belgium.

From a 660ml bottle into a snifter.
ABV: 9.5%
Best by 17 October 2018

This one says batch #251 and is 9.5% ABV, which tells me it's a new batch of this and is perhaps on a new system. Not sure, as the older 8.2% ABV version was batch #400 or something.

APPEARANCE: A clear black pour yields a 2+ finger, medium-thick, creamy, tan head with great retention. Black body with medium levels of carbonation for the style. Head slowly fades to a nice full cap and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. A swirly wisp remains and leaves lots of nice lacing down the sides. Really good looking.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark baker's chocolate, coffee, light sweet cream and vanilla notes, with hints of tobacco as well. Cocoa and some milky cream make this quite nice. Bold and well balanced. Enticing.

TASTE: Plenty flavorful up front, with roasted malts, toffee sweetness and some dark chocolate in there. Some spicy dark fruit, raisin for sure, accompany the roasted chocolate at the swallow. Big and lingering finish is lightly roasted with spicy yeast, dark fruit sweetness, tobacco and some bitter baker's chocolate. A hint of sweet cream lingers and some burnt notes show up well after the swallow. This is really good.

PALATE: Medium-full body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky. Some spicy alcohol lingers. Solid feel.

OVERALL: Unreal. Finally a good Brew Dog beer. I didn't think these guys could just make a good beer and be done with it. It's always marketing BS and horrible "experimental" creations that just suck. This was excellent, however. While the nose and palate didn't exactly match 100%, both the aroma and flavor were bold, complex, interesting, well-balanced and very enjoyable. Good look and feel on this one as well. Just an all round good beer that went down dangerously fast. Well worth checking out if you find it. Recommended.

Apr 25, 2014
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, aged for about 1 year, served in a Belgian snifter. Batch 406; best by 21 Sept., 2014 stamped on label.

Pours dark brown and sits basically black in the glass, covered by a dark tan head that has decent retention. Good, spotty lacing.

Aroma: inviting and loaded with dark fruits, if a bit boozy

Flavor: rich and moderately complex, with a the solid base of dark roasted grains coming to the fore in the finish and aftertaste, along with hints of black coffee and chocolate. More dark fruits at first. Lasting and pleasant aftertaste. Low bitterness for style.

Feel: the full body is smooth, with nice, soft carbonation. Warming.

O: has all the traits of a fine RIS without any detectable flaws. Still, not quite as tasty as the Moylan's I had last night. .

Mar 13, 2014
Photo of craftbeersweden
craftbeersweden from Sweden

3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A 660 ml bottle from Systembolaget, Sweden.
Clear black beer with a two finger high, brown head that leaves lacing on the glass.

Nose: Cardboard, dark chocolate, dark bread, coffee, licorice, vanilla and oak.

Taste: Roasted malt, coffee, dried fruit, molasses, ash, raisin, dark chocolate and hops.

Medium body. A little to watery taste. Still very good though!

Mar 04, 2014
Photo of tmzl
tmzl from Slovenia

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Pours with large, dark mocha, creamy (small bubbles) head. Has a steady, slow, delicious retention. Mostly diminishing, thick solid layer stays on top, leaves lots of random but fine lacing. Dark, dark brown. A good looker.

Smell: Milk (with some dark side) chocolate notes at front, roast, fat sweet malt. Also some light coffee, dry fruit and fresh, herbal (maybe floral) notes. Light burnt caramel, molasses, reminds of bourbon comes into play when the beer warms up a bit.

Taste: Lovely medium roasted malt sweetness with strong milky chocolate notes that transfer into light/medium dark coffee and continues into pleasant medium roasted/coffee bitterness with some hop notes. Long in the after a bit of milky chocolate crawls out. Solid.

Mouthfeel: Full body, but not as creamy as I wanted it to be. Still smooth, maybe very light alcohol warming to detect. Alcohol well incorporated tho, nothing in taste or smell.

Overall: Solid, easy, chocolaty; good opener for a nonbeliever to imperial stouts.

Mar 01, 2014
Photo of dcmchew
dcmchew from Romania

4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a big light brown head. Lasts a lot and leaves lots of traces on the glass.
Initial smell of coffee, right after popping the cap. Roast, cooking chocolate, licorice, dry berries.
Sweet and rough roasted malts, with dark chocolate, sweetened espresso, cocoa powder, then some dark fruit, dried but also juicy, with a bit of citrus zing, followed fast by big charcoal notes, dry wood, burnt hay and fresh ground coffee coming back in the finish. Dark spices and vanilla. BrewDog hoppy character throughout the beer, with green, herbal and fruity notes.
Booze fits right in, reminding of black rum and, irish coffee. Aftertaste is bitter and dry from the roast, not especially from the hops. Smooth, a (very) tiny bit too crisp.
A by-the-book RIS, nothing bad to say about it, but also nothing extravagant, which is weird for a BrewDog beer. Good one.

Jan 31, 2014
Photo of shand
shand from Florida

3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The owl on the label made me buy it. I'm a sucker for owls. Old World RIS has an awesome black pour with a large head. Roast, licorice, and leafy hops on the nose. Taste-wise, it's got a nice roast presence that goes with the leafy hops, but not really much to stand out. Tasty and drinkable, but this beer won't knock you on your feet by any means.

May 31, 2013
Photo of facundoCNB
facundoCNB from New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a dark brown/black pour with 2 fingers of fluffy tan head leaving behind nice lacing. smells of roasted barley, chocolate, dates, coffee. the taste is of light roasted coffee, toasted grains, cocoa, burnt caramel with a nice bitter dark roast aftertaste. medium body with low carbonation.. actually drinks really nicely and still leaves behind a creamy mouthful like a full body beer.

this is a very nice affordable beer, perfectly aged for about a year. maybe i'll pick one up again if i see it this winter.

Dec 02, 2012
Photo of stakem
stakem from Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased and consumed while on vacation in florida back in July. Poured in a snifter, the brew appears black in color with brown clarity around the edges when held to the light. A dark tan to mocha colored head appears with a finger strength that recedes leaving fingers and patches of lace on the glass.

The smell includes notes of licorice and dark fruity quality. Some sweet milky chocolate is also thrown into the mix with herbal hop quality emerging as it warms up.

The taste includes a bit of licorice, dark roasty quality that brings out some espresso roast character but with raisins and a herbal bitterness along with fruity fusel alcohol. There is a bit of milk chocolate aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is smooth and easy drinking for the level of alcohol. A bit more on the fruity side than what I would prefer but not a bad brew. The price point on these makes it worth a try if you get the chance (much unlike nearly every other brew they have.)

Sep 07, 2012
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM from California

3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1379th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22oz

Batch 406, bb 21-09-14
Thanks to Heatwave33 for this gift,

App- A very dark brown pour. It borders on black, had a huge 3 finger head that fell quickly and was fairly dense with some cling as drink falls.

Smell- It had a few things going on booze, roast, anise, chocolate, cherry. Was pretty straightforward, but wasnt bad.

Taste- This had a taste akin to the nose. It was more like the nose than most, had a ton more bitter with coffee, a prickly malt and a rich dark chocolate.

Mouth- A full medium with a medium prickly carbonation and a malty chocolate residual flavor.

Drink- Not always a fan of brewdog but this was tasty and sneaky good.

Jul 07, 2012
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter from Oregon

4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. A big two fingers of tan head on top of a black body.

Smells of rich chocolate, roasted malt, dry barley and a hint of burnt malt at the end.

It tastes like a dark chocolate bar, bittersweet, a little boozy, and burnt wood. Delicious.

Thick and sticky body, low carbonation.

A big and bold stout. Bring your friends to help you with this powerhouse.

Jun 22, 2012
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver from North Carolina

4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured into a DFH snifter. Pours a deep black with a finger of tan head
S: smells sweet with notes of chocolate, dark fruits, roast malt and a bit of coffee. some caramel and vanilla too. it has a nose similar to many bourbon barrel aged beers. I just can't stop smelling it
T: almost char like roastyness with some sweet chocolate flavor. more roast malt and caramel like sweetness, a bit of coffee as well and on the swallow some bittersweet roast malt that lingers for some time.
M: medium to full in the mouth with a decent amount of carbonation. a bit toward the heavy side but not over the top. soft though bordering on prickly at the front
O: this is a very good beer with a lot of complexity and great flavors. BrewDog did this one right.

Jun 14, 2012
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DoubleJ from Wisconsin

3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Catchy label. Doesn't it look like the castle to "It's a Small World"? I swear, me and my brothers must have rode that thing until our dad....sorry, on to the beer:

Polished obsidian in a glass. Good formation of head, the lace it brings is good quality, and the retention is good as well. The nose brings some common characterisitcs of an imperial stout; semi sweet chocolate, charred mmalt, also some raisin and other fruitiness.

This definately has an English thing going. Despite being brewed by a Neo-American brewer in Scotland, Old World RIS is strong but not overpowering/over the top. Similar to the nose, flavors of dark chocolate, grapes, charred malt, brownie mix, pleasant astringent finish. It's not quite full bodied, though certainly bigger than medium. Carbonation is easy to notice, just enough to keep it from feeling "flat".

This is a nice strong stout from BrewDog that is also easy to drink. Far and away a much better effort than that bottle of Rip Tide I had a long way back.

May 21, 2012
Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4thelvofbeer from Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome all around super drinkable nice clean stout! Brew Dog does not disappoint with this nice stout. A bit light compared to some of the more recent "big" stouts, but really nice overall.
A: Brown/Black, nice head
S: See Taste
T: Molasses, fig, earth
M: Silky and smooth
O: Really nice stout....very drinkable..

May 08, 2012
Photo of thetwins722
thetwins722 from South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky to find this at the crappy beer store (they're really not so bad I guess) down the street from me.

Look: Pretty good head retention, it took a little work to get foam on this beer. No real lacing
Smell: Deep chocolate notes, with a slight floral hop presence. Some earthiness
Taste: Rich Cocoa notes. Slightly burnt malty taste too. Some toffee notes and a slight hoppy finish. Honestly, it tastes like I've been chewing on a stick (which I think is a good thing).
Mouth: Great body and ultra smooth with a little carbonation. Goes down as fast as you want to drink it (which can be dangerous).
Overall: Amazing imperial stout, I rank this one up among my favorite RIS's. Similar to "Rabid Duck" from duck-rabbit, but a little bit more drinkable. Brew dog got another one right.

Mar 17, 2012
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk from North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours into the snifter an impressive deep oil black, with a mocha/tan head that remains fluffy and thick for a minute before chilling to a skim across the top.

Now THAT is an incredible aroma. Heaps of chocolate abound, with lighter shades of anise, coffee grounds, mineral, plum/fig, and steamed milk laying the bedrock. No alcohol detected, and wow...just wow.

At first the taste seems masked by the tickle the carbonation offers, but gradually a seriously delicious personality emerges. Still big on chocolate, almost fudge-like even, with more anise, coffee, mineral, dark fruit and sweetened vanilla almond milk coming into play. So, quite a bit like the aroma, with hardly any of the alcohol on the tongue. A totally wonderful taste, with lots going on but never overly busy, and just a total treat to drink.

Texturally this beer isn't quite as round, thick and/or soft as I'd hoped. Would have been that much more amazing of a beer if it had, but it's certainly not bad. Just a little thinner than expected, but smooth, and with a soft tickle that offers some textural energy. So, not bad at all, just maybe not right for this particular style/flavor.

As said above, a total treat. Period.

Feb 29, 2012
Photo of dedrinker
dedrinker from Kansas

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pure oily black with garnet edges and a smallish tan head due to my getting my greasy possum beard into it.

Deep roasted malt aroma evoking a chocolate camp fire.

More dark chocolate on the tongue with some mocha notes amidst the bitter hops and burnt malt. My moustache melted off my face like Montgomery Burns' finger nails into his bowling alley beer.

Full bodied with a robust roasty malt finish. It's like I'm licking the Czar's polished boots.

More than the sum of its parts, I place this Imperial Stout on the top shelf with my other favorites.

Feb 22, 2012
Photo of bonkers
bonkers from New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a bomber into a cigar city tasting snifter. It pours with a thin white head, good retention, good lacing. The aroma is roasted malts, cocoa notes. The beer is very roasty, bitter chocolate, burnt toast, finishes lingering bitterness. The body is full, average carbonation for style, easier drinking for style. Solid stout, something is missing that I can't put my finger on.

Feb 16, 2012
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer from California

3.35/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to UCLAbrewn for sharing this one

Look: Black with brown rings around the edges. 1/8 inch head and ok retention

Smell: Very malty nose with touches of chocolate and floral hops

Taste: Much of the same as the nose. Starts off very malty with some chocolate and coffee trying to find its way through the malt but the malt is just too much. Finishes with a hoppy backbone

Mouthfeel: Full body mild carbonation and a bit creamy

Overall: Its a decent RIS unfortunately I had this one the same night that I had some exceptional RIS's so that may have hurt this one slightly

Feb 14, 2012
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Arithmeticus from Maryland

4.87/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured slightly chilled on Superbowl Sunday

A: solid black, great head; too dark to see carb; good lacing
S: beautiful leathery smell; classic RIS
T: very rich, complex RIS; high ABV, high flavor; hoppy; chocolate, cocoa, bass notes; clocks in among the best RIS's I've had; one will do ya

Feb 12, 2012
Old World Russian Imperial Stout from BrewDog
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 132 ratings