Cocoa Psycho | BrewDog

very good
76 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Cocoa PsychoCocoa Psycho

Brewed by:
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Welcome to the world of Cocoa Psycho, a liquid dimension where pure indulgence reigns.

Originally brewed some 250 years ago to celebrate the Russian Royal Family, this 10% Imperial Russian stout borrows from the decadence of the time with its extravagantly smooth blend of crushed coffee beans, cocoa nibs and dark malts.

But continue to dig a little deeper, past the infusions of vanilla pods and toasted oak chips, and eventually you'll come face-to-face with the madness required to make this beer; a kind of insanity that would have made Rasputin himself proud.

To fully unleash the aromas and bittersweet luxury of this stout, we recommend drinking it from a stemmed beer glass before taking a sledgehammer to a Faberge Egg.

Added by dgilks on 03-14-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 424
Photo of Catalin90
4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap @Brewdog Bologna. In my opinion, it's an world class Imperial Stout. Tons of cocoa in the smell, taste and aftertaste. You can also feel vanilla, dark fruits and slightly roasted coffee. I enjoyed drinking it.

 216 characters

Photo of drpimento
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

Appearance has a brown thick head that slowly settles, some lace and an opaque brown black color. aroma is on the mild side with malt Cocoa, hint of molasses and roast. flavor is like aroma very small subtle hints of coffee and good balance between bitter sweet and tang. Perfect body. A velvet Hammer beer with some booze at the very end of the finish.

 353 characters

Photo of crispinol
4.64/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was quite surprised at what a good beer this was. Smoother than most RIS and better balanced combination of roast/coffee/vanilla/chocolate. Their show stinks tho'!

 165 characters

Photo of flyingpig
4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£4.50):
A mixed bag really in that it started pretty well and the smell was incredibly complex but very enjoyable although after that things started to slide a little. The taste wasn't a bad one per say but it was a touch strong for my liking and touches alcohol were a little to noticeable although it is an Imperial stout I guess.
(Original review: 4.25 - 4 - 3 - 3.25 - 3.5 = 3.44)

Update from January 2017:
A much better version of the beer I tried a couple of years ago, down to the fact that I enjoy imperial stouts a lot more now. The balance of the beer seemed a lot better this time around & it was a very smooth, drinkable offering that combined the darker fruits & sweetness with the roasted malts very well, hiding a lot of the alcohol content in the process. I really enjoyed this one at the second time of asking & will definitely pick it up again; excellent stuff and one I'm glad I gave a second chance.

 965 characters

Photo of mdagnew
4.44/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast...

Poured jet black - nothing gets through even when held up to the light. Dark dirty brown head poured thick and foamy then faded to nice thickish covering... very faint lacing...

Aroma - Big blast of strong espresso coffee and toasted malts, some milk chocolate, oats, light blackcurrent/blackberry notes, cocoa, leathery, woody, some faint vanilla traces, light spicy hops, burnt sugar...

Taste - Lots of creamy chocolate and rich dark coffee to the fore, roasted malts, faint smokey notes, some liquorice, some peppery hops, nutty, light molasses sweetness..

Feel - Very smooth and creamy with just a little sharpness after... full bodied... very drinkable for 10%

Overall - An outstanding brew although a little aging wouldn't do it any harm to round out the edges... definitely recommended

 843 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

black! dark brown foam on top that settles quickly.
dark bitter cocoa aroma, earthy.
taste is earthy also, chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, bitter. some coffee...
a little heavier, but that was expected. nice suds down the side of the glass. very interesting and flavorful....

 270 characters

Photo of Dentist666
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into pint.
Pours opaque jet black beer with dark brown cocoa head.
Smell - strong cocoa/chocolate, roasted, leather, vanilla.
Taste - mellow, roasted, cocoa, coffee, pepper, oak characters.
Full body, soft carbonation, outstanding.

 238 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, best before date of 9/24/19, batch #363. Pours jet black with a smaller sized dark brown head. Smells of roasted malt, char, earthy hops, cocoa, and some dark fruit; somewhat abrasive. The taste is rounder with roasted malt and hops followed by a nice blend of cocoa, dark fruit, vanilla, coffee, and char. Just a hint of sweetness and good amount of dryness; surprisingly refreshing. Smooth mouthfeel and above average body. Although the smell is somewhat abrasive, the flavors really blend well and have good complexity. Good example of a RIS.

 567 characters

Photo of zac16125
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle into a tulip
no bottling dates

A: Opaque jet black, thick on the pour like motor oil, one of darkest heads I’ve ever seen on a beer, probably second only to Zhukov. Disspiates down fairly slowly and leaves only a few small patches of lacing. Beautiful beer. 4.5

S: Very roasty, lots of leather/tobacco characters, dark cocoa, subtle vanilla and roasted coffee. Excellent nose. 4.5

T: Like the nose, roasty characters dominate; big leather and tobacco; herbaceous characters; a bit of coffee; very subtle semi-sweet cocoa. 4.25

M/D: Fuller side of medium bodied, carbonation on the higher end but not bad, ABV is very well masked and drinkability is pretty good. 4

O: Its not very chocolatey, at all, so Cocoa Psycho is a misnomer; but its a very well done IS that I enjoyed quite a bit. 4.25

 817 characters

Photo of trippytbta
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into snifter. Pours black with approx. one finger of dark tan head that disappears quickly. Aroma of dark chocolate and a little coffee. Taste is similar to the aroma with roasted malt and char. Kind of tastes like dark chocolate over coffee beans. A little hop comes through as well as other tastes, excluding the vanilla, i never really tasted vanilla. The mouth feel is good accompanied by the warm alcohol presence.. A pretty good beer for such a high ABV.

 474 characters

Photo of Bung
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tap at Good Bottle. Thick place pour, dark tan fine bubble head. Retains well.

Aroma, roast malt, mocha coffee, black licorice.

Taste, big roast malt, fudge, molasses. Coffee and cocoa finish. Sounds simple but this is really good and right on point.

Full body, near creamy carb, costs well. Warmth kept well in check for the size. I bet draft is the way to go with this.

Usually not a fan of the quality-cost point with these guys, but if you can find on draft and get a half pour, this stuff is top notch. A quality non barrel aged imperial.

 547 characters

Photo of Marius
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black pour, very thick-looking. Velvety head, dark brown, with nice retention - it looks perfect, for a RIS. Smells of cocoa and dark chocolate, roasted malts and a bit of bourbon. The taste follows the same notes, but overall is a bit mellow - there isn't anything that stands out, not bitterness, not sweetness, not even alcohol.

 337 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look: very dark indeed. Not much light getting through this bad boy. substantial mocha head on the pour.
smell: a nice charred RIS foundation. Hints of vanilla, coffee, chocolate but this is all RIS.
taste: A little sweet vanilla softens this beast but that RIS roasty char wins in the finish.
overall: Nice RIS with a wrinkle. Way to easy to drink for a 10%.

 360 characters

Photo of basshaug
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle of batch 281 (best by nov 2018) poured into a snifter.

Jet black beer with a nice dark brown head when poured into center. It has a chocolaty and slightly boozy nose.

Loads of chocolate flavor that lasts. There is a nice touch of coffee in the finish . Overall a very nice beer.

 297 characters

Photo of kkleu357
4.24/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very black. Has a sweet oak aroma. Sweet dark chocolate taste with mild hints of coffee. Moutfeel is a little this for a beer of 10% ABV . I'd say it's a little pricey since I paid $10, but not a bad beer.

 211 characters

Photo of PorterPro125
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: 330 mL Bottle

A- Pours thick and black. Completely opaque. Thin cap of dark tan head. Patchy lacing.

S- Cocoa Nibs (or really high cocoa content chocolate), sugary malt, and a hint of alcohol (nothing off-putting)

T- Cocoa Nibs, Dark Roast Coffee, and roasty malt. Little bit of alcohol burn on the finish.

M- Thick and Creamy body. Low Carbonation.

O- I haven't had many Russian Imperial Stouts (maybe Five or so) but I must say that I was impressed with this one. Extremely flavourful and a dream of a body.

 532 characters

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle with a Brewdog style label and artwork with a dark purple or even navy color(depending on how you see it) clashing with white. I've always been fond of Brewdog and their labels. Poured into a stemmed tulip that's tulip isn't all that pronounced but just a slight flare at the the top.

A - black as anything I've ever had with dark brown and the slightest bit of ruby cutting the bottom corners. Head is pure cinnamon brown with excellent size fluff quickly vanishing to a ring of lacing that leaves minimal stick as expected.

S - classic barley and hints of roasted malt. Black coffee beans in abundance with this aroma while the cocoa and vanilla stay somewhat in the back ground.

T - this is an awesome flavor and complex while sticking every detail. Roasted coffee and malt ger things started with hints of bittersweet cocoa and soft dark chocolates creeping up from the black depths this pysco has to offer. Some real breakfast like characters pop up with sweet vanilla bean as this warms. It almost balances perfectly bitter with sweet the more it warms. An excellent flavor.

M - big and full with superb texture and thickness. Drinks smooth and doesn't overwhelm you with bitterness but actually balances black coffee beans with bittersweet cocoa and Vanilla notes. Finish lingers with a bittersweet imperial stout Booziness that adds to its complexity. Very nice

O - what can I say? Brewdog has some odd, off the wall creations, but they knock it out of the park more often than not in which I continue to find myself buying their beer. Cocoa Pysco is a blend of traditional imperial stouts and infused bittersweet American double stouts, in the end being a must try for massive stout junkies. This is one I'd like to thank Brewdog personally for and one I'd buy again and again. Top shelf imperial stout.

 1,832 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%

11.2 ounce bottle, Batch 253, best before 22/10/18. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch brown head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like burnt/charred malt, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and some dark fruit. I like the taste too, it tastes like bittersweet chocolate, burnt/charred malt, coffee, vanilla, molasses, and a bit of dark fruit and licorice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and a bit coating with moderate carbonation. I think this is a good bittersweet imperial stout, I wouldn't mind trying this again in the future. $10.99 a bottle.

 646 characters

Photo of little_star
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Definitely tasty....but I had higher expectations for this one. Bitterness (from the chocolate?) overpowered the other flavors for me. But that said, a very enjoyable imperial stout that goes down pleasantly and probably too easily.

 232 characters

Photo of mick303
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cocoa Psycho
330 mL bottle, poured into a tulip. This pours the colour and viscosity of motor oil, it is impenetrably black and thick and viscous. A slightly aggressive pour yielded about 2 fingers of dark caramel brown foamy head. Lacing is great, leaves some whispy film and a coating around the edge. Wow, excited indeed. 4.5

S- coffee brewing in a log cabin, no joke. Big rich aromas of dark roasty malt, notes of lemon and cumin, lot of coffee, chocolate a big understated, both hot cocoa powder and sweet milk chocolate notes. Lot of balanced bitterness and spice notes. Some vanilla and oaky campfire, surprising toffee sweetness. 4

T- bitter coffee, bitter cocoa pods, vanilla, roasty malt, log cabin with some wool blankets about, smooth mocha, more earthy spice. An amazingly smooth and creamy feel to it. Bitter dark chocolate on the end, dark malt with a really pleasant bitterness. A very tasty Russian stout, with a fair bit of sweet, almost milky, character. Quite complex, maybe not as much as some others, but still very solid. 4

M- creamy initially, then a perceptible coating bitterness of coffee and cocoa. Ends with a lingering oaky warmth, a sort of mouth puckering coffee tannic coating. Amazingly the alcohol is hardily noticeable behind the really big body of this stout. Really sippeable, and satisfying. 4.5

Well, a solid and well-made Russian stout. I enjoyed it a lot, really balanced and creamy for this strength which made it quite the treat. I suspect however it doesn’t have the complexities to challenge the titans of this style. The more I sip it the better it gets though and I would highly recommend this, quite well-balanced even with the amped up hops. Worth trying for sure. 4.5

 1,724 characters

Photo of Aaron_Eicher
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yeah this beer is pretty serious. Tons of flavor and aroma that cover up the 10% ABV pretty well. The bitterness balance out the complex flavors, but it finishes a bit more bitter than I would have liked (hence the lower taste). Fantastic body though, and is exactly what I look for in a stout.

 295 characters

Photo of wl0307
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Coming in a slim 330ml brown bottle, BB 11/12/2013, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pitch black in colour, coming with a dark khaki foamy head retreating slowly to a rim to last, on top of rather mild carbonation.
S: jammy dark fruits, dates, dark chocolates, sweet coffee, vanilla, marzipan and aromatic roast nuts abound, with a whiff of warming alc. lurking in the background and some Fuggles-like aromatic hoppiness.
T: a lubricating swallow of roast malts, syrupy chocolates and licorice-coffee precedes a rather neat mid-taste of mild hoppiness and weighty spicy bitterness balanced by a decent lease of acidity from both dark fruits and roast coffee beans, leaving a lightly spicy bite at the end of each long sip. Chewy, bitter-sweet, aromatically coffee-ish and nutty-malty goes the long finish.
M&O: full-bodied, softly carbonated and just lightly lubricating on the palate, this fulsome, chocolaty, coffee-ish and fruity Imperial Stout is executed beautifully on the balance, with the alc. strength hidden a bit too well…

 1,053 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque though still clear extremely dark and thick jet black with very faint traces of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has an eighth of a finger tall sudsy foamy dark mocha head that reduces to a small patch of very thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of bittersweet chocolate and coffee bean with moderate aromas of vanilla and just a hint of roasted malts. Very light aromas of oak as well.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of roasted malts with a light hint of ash. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of rich dark chocolate (more bittersweet than sweet), freshly roasted coffee, oak, and vanilla. Light hints of earthiness. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness present in the finish which does not linger for long.

M: Just shy of full bodied with light amounts of carbonation. Thick and viscous yet smooth. Hints of dryness towards the finish.

O: Very rich and decadent, one that I really enjoyed though this is definitely a slow sipping beer. Definitely one of the more expensive beers that I have picked up recently, but definitely worth trying. Alcohol is relatively well hidden.

 1,305 characters

Photo of danieelol
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours black as ^@*$ with awesome tanned head, big lacing. Looks pretty awesome in the grand scheme of things.

Nose is so roasty, huuuuuge coffee, bit of chocolate and a hint of banana.

Taste is massive roast, slight hint of banana, big burnt flavours, coffee in huge amounts. There is a hint of balancing sweetness holding the oppressive roast at bay.

Mouthfeel is about Big, Black Coffee. Kind of bitter. Lots of chocolate comes out later, lots.

Despite the American-style adjuncts this also has Euro leanings in its burnt, acrid dry style. If you like roasty RISes the coffee in this really takes it to the next level. Could use some balancing maltiness to counteract all that acrid coffee and a bit of booze. But quite a good beer on the whole, with a distinctive profile. Maybe I would split the bottle next time. I think ultimately the adjuncts are quite forward and dominant also. Strong coffee is pretty dominant in both nose and taste.

An ambitious and unique beer. I think this beer has a lower rating than it deserves which I largely attribute to BrewDog reactionaries.

 1,085 characters

Photo of Roguer
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an inky, oily black, topped by a very large dark brown head. Retention is quite nice; head composition is firm.

Smooth, big aroma: roasted barley, semi-sweet chocolate, dark coffee, a touch of dark fruit and banana esters, and a bit of vanilla. Perhaps a touch of oak.

Flavor delivers on the promise of the nose, firing on all cylinders. A touch sweet up front, with chocolate, grapes, vanilla, and yeast. Around mid-palate, the roasted barley comes on, riding a wave of coffee. Incredibly roasty finish, long and bitter, with a flat, oak edge to it.

Big, strong beer; smooth and full; the 10% comes across very cleanly and goes down far too easily.

This is a big, traditional Russian Imperial Stout, with some extra flavorings that certainly complement the overall profile, if not coming through all that strong.

 823 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Cocoa Psycho from BrewDog
3.95 out of 5 based on 424 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.