Blackbeerd Imperial Stout | COAST Brewing Company

very good
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Blackbeerd Imperial StoutBlackbeerd Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
COAST Brewing Company
South Carolina, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
As dark as the legend of Blackbeerd himself, behold the Imperial Stout. Sweet malts battle roasted grain on the decks of yer tongue. Like a blast from a cannon, hop are followed by smoked malt. Hold on to yer booty, a dark stouts a brewin'.

Added by MarkSCCOT on 12-08-2007

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Reviews: 153 | Ratings: 349
Photo of Arbitrator
2.85/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Received in a trade from funkydelic. Thanks, Cameron! Shared at the monthly South Bay gathering at the Rose & Crown.

I found out _after_ the tasting that this is apparently pretty limited (~50 bottles this year?), so I'm thankful to have had a chance to try it.

A: Pours a pitch black with a mocha-colored head. Good retention and lacing for an RIS.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate. Coffee is last, and I'm very happy about that, as I'm not a fan of coffee-forward RISes.

T: Lots of roasted malt and dark chocolate on the initial taste, progressing into coffee in the mid-taste. I am pleasantly surprised by some burnt toffee and molasses floating around. There is also an element of smoke that adds some complexity to the beer. Didn't really detect any hops. A solid flavor.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Could stand to be a little more viscous, I think. The ABV was definitely noticeable as an ethanol sting.

D: I thought this was decent. We had it side-by-side with the Otter Creek RIS, which I thought was worlds better. Given that this is generally hard to get, I doubt I'd look for another.

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Photo of iowaherkeye
3.06/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, <i>bottled 2.18.08</i>. Pours black with plenty of ruby highlights and a small beige head, low retention.

A-Some roast--not too much though--starts out the aroma with some cola notes, toasted grain, and a bit of dry dog food.

T-Had a fair amount of earth up front, roasted malts and cola again, and some brown sugar. Dry finish with the bitterness peaking around a 3-4 (out of 10). Alcohol is masked well.

M-Lightly carbonated with a medium body.

Not really that great of a beer. Thanks to <i>kersta8</i> for sharing.

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Photo of craytonic
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very thankful for the opportunity to review this one.

Appearance: Pours near-black with a nice tan head

Smell: charred/roasted malt, with some burnt coffee, burnt toffee, and burnt chocolate in the background.

Taste: Burnt malt, burnt coffee, burnt toffee, chocolate, blackstrap molasses, bitter hoppiness coming from somewhere. Some sugar, but it is fructose, not brown sugar. Perhaps some vanilla. Alcohol is well masked.

Mouthfeel: Much lighter than I expected, nothing like an abyss / kate / DL / Darkness.

Drinkability: Low; pales in comparison to the Jack Daniel's barrel aged version.

Can't hold a candle to the top offerings; nice to have if it is locally available though I guess. Just lacking for me, but then again they are just starting so this review may become a bit dated eventually.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.27/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from notes. Thanks to a generous BA for bringing this to our tasting.

A rather dark looking beer, slightly murky, with a slight trace of a head. Some loose bubbles here and there. A big nose that is assertive in the roast. Coffee and burnt toast top the line with lesser licorice and leather character. Touch of smoke maybe? The flavor is less than desirable IMO. Too much licorice and ash kind of smothers everything else. Hint of sweetness reminiscent of plums. Pretty full bodied and moderately carbonated. Not the best drink I guess.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber shared at our Epic Chicago Tasting and poured into BA taster.

A - Pours black, very little head, thing ring, no lacing.

S - Dark fruits, chocolate, hot alcohol. The alcohol here was a little too much for me.

T - Same as nose...too much alcohol...not hidden well at all. Dark fruits, chocolate, some spice, brown sugars.

M - Light to medium, not as much body as I was expecting with a slightly dry finish.

D - Meh. Average, at best. Way better stouts right down the street at any Binny's.

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Photo of drewba
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - near opaque brownish black with a one finger head that recedes into a thin ring.

S - smoke, caramel malt, slight alcohol presence.

T - Fucking smokey! Touches of roasty malt, carmelized sugar, bitter dark chocolate. A lot of astringency in the finish.

M - thing ot medium, low carbonation. Too thin for me.

D - the smoke is killing me...

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Photo of rudylaw
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks again to HawkeyeDaz for sharing this 2010 bottling.

Pours your typical dark black with a small, light tan head.

Smells of roasted malt, chocolate. There seem to be no surprises afoot with this. Seems very straightforward.

Tastes exactly as it smells and doesn't vary or stray from that as it warms. Some roast. There are a bit of hops here but this beer is fairly boring for the style. In fact, this seems more apt to be classified as a milk stout.

Medium to light body with good carbonation but I'm sad to say that I'm really letdown with this one. It tastes like a west coast RIS to me which is very light, airy and boring. I liken it to recent vintages of Stone IRS which I think is a decent beer but milquetoast compared to what other breweries can do with the style.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An old review from our Epic Chicago Tasting

A - Blackish beer with a little bit of brown coming through on the sides. Small brown head that had a decent amount of lacing and retention.

S - A nice roasted smell, with some odd fruit sweetness. A bit of charred malts, with some burnt cocoa powder. It's not bad, but it's nothing special.

T - It's roasted malts in the front with some chocolate and burnt coffee malts. Little bit of licorish adds a somewhat fruity sweetness that lingers in the back of your mouth. Can't say I care a ton for this, it's solid, but not great.

M - Heavier side of medium bodied, little bit slick.

D - This is of average drinkability considering the style and ABV. I'm not a huge fan, but wouldn't go so far as to call it "bad."

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.41/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle. 4oz. sample poured into a Founders snifter. Reviewed from notes. Shared by me at a tasting on 10/16/10. Side by side with the JD and BT versions.

A: Pours a thin layer of light mocha head with much better retention than the JD version that flaots atop a slick, opaque, black beer. Lacing is also more ample here. Stringy and with better cling.

S: Detectable sweet fruit esthers make this one a bit weird. Completely different than JD and BT. Grapes, and other dark fruit mixed with an odd, creamy hoppiness. Roasted malt in the back. Very different but in at least an appreciable way.

T: Roasted malt goes full-frontal in this one. Sharp and sweet. Bitter chocolate, brownie, and liquorice are all present. Finish is grainy and smokey with a soy sauciness that creeps in the background.

M: Medium bodied and much more viscous, smooth, and rich compared to the JD version. Filmy in the mouth with low carbonation. Finish is dirty with an oily aftertaste that lingers.

D: The agreed upon second best of the bunch (compared to the JD and BT). Thicker, fuller body with an admittedly odd nose but a taste that's more appropriate though not necessarily much better that the JD. I'd come around to this one again with a little more age on it to see how it develops.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.41/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to treyrab for sharing this one with me...

Bottled on 2-18-08

A: Lighter colored head than most RIS offerings that I have tried. The characteristic creamy head is still there, perched right on top of a completely black body.

S: Slightly sweet with bitter coffee, but other than that, there isn't a whole lot going on in the smell. I was slightly disappointed with the smell, given what I was expecting. It could be one of those cases where it's built up so much that it can't possibly live up to expectations, but I think the real issue was the lack of depth and complexity to the smell.

T: A little bit of flowery cascade hops up front, giving way to bitter coffee flavors and a little bit of chocolate malt. The malt sticks with you on the palate, and when you exhale, it mixes nicely with the hops to recreate a nice flavor profile.

M/D: Great texture and feel with a creamy finish, but not quite creamy enough. The hops really add a lot to this beer, and save it from general taste obscurity.

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Photo of sisuspeed
3.41/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to glid02 for the bottle.
Bottled 2/23/10

Poured into a Foothills tasting glass. A nice dark body with almost two fingers of foamy tan head. Lots of patchy lacing left behind.

Cocoa and roasty malts on the nose. Light smokiness. Could use a little more going on. On the sweet side.

Somewhat smokey with burnt dark malts and bitter hops on the tongue. Faint metallic notes linger. Fairly average for the style. Also has a hint of dark chocolate.

Smooth body with a decent thickness, but the carbonation seems a little off.

Above average for drinkability, but not overly exciting. Not bad, just lacking.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.41/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Graciously shared by beerandbourbon (thanks Roger!) at a Jackie O's tasting. Followed by the Jack Daniels version (my bottle) and Buffalo Trace version (Roger's). This was a 2010 bottle.

The beer is brown-black with a thin tan head, a little lace. Lots of roasted malts in the nose, other than that nothing really noteworthy. I get some smoked malts (faintly) in the taste, otherwise a lot of roast character. And maybe the thinnest portion of cocoa.

Medium carbonation, this was pretty much a standard American stout. Not as good as most Russian Imperial Stouts that I've had, just a roasty stout. By trying it directly before the barrel aged versions it was very apparent that the barrel can change a beer MUCH for the better.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.44/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours pitch black with a quarter inch of beige head. Retention is ok, lacing is minimal.

Dusty cocoa, and some dark fruits. The nose is pretty boring though. Can't smell much at all.

Taste of black currants, raspberry juice, a bit of chocolate, and then a bitter and roast driven finish. The raspberry flavor is the most apparent, a bit weird, but good.

The mouthfeel is a bit light for the style. Well carbonated to the point of almost being dry.

This is a bit weird for a RIS. Mouthfeel is super light and the raspberry flavor is super distinct. It's weird, but it's not bad, just quite different from most other RIS's.

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Photo of pepsican
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to cokebottle. Thanks for the pour man! Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head. Aroma had chocolate, toffee, and a hint of caramel. The flavor was very similar. Again, chocolate, coffee, toffee, a slight hop bitterness and some brown sugar. It had a slight pickle flavor that I get with a lot of strong wheat beers. Finishes really smooth, not much hint of the abv%. A little thin for the style, nothing really stands out to me. Very drinkable though.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bob for sharing this at the Hunahpu release party.

A – Black with a tan soapy head and relatively big bubbles of foam for the style. It is obviously less thick than the style requires.

S – Not terribly impressed with the nose; it has vague burnt toast and a wee bit of Bavarian hoppiness, but that's about all I'm getting.

T – It tastes a lot more like an ‘Imperial’ Schwarzbier. It tastes rather good, but it can't hang in the RIS or AIS category. There is a very prominent cereal grain flavor, and for some reason it has a lager essence throughout, and perhaps a hint of malted milk balls. I don't get the usual nuances in any significant measure; little or no coffee, chocolate, cocoa, tobacco, tar or char. At this point I'd settle for a bit of carob. Just kidding, carob sucks.

M – Adding to the Schwarzbier theme, this was like Kostritzer but slightly heavier. The carbonation moves through the body of the brew with far too much ease.

D – I will say this about organic products: if it is food, go organic; if it is beer or wine, no organic. I don't know why, but organic beers are always underachieving, in my experience.

For the style, this probably deserves a lower rating. But purely for its merit, it is pretty good.

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Photo of Orangevango
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The aroma of this one is mostly a dry roasty, almost burnt thing and hops. Big hops. Its a bit cold right now... perhaps as it warms up... nope, no such luck, all that comes out is a slight breadiness.

The flavor is similarly dominated by hops. There is a bit of super dry roastiness, and a bit of alcohol. Pretty unengaging.

As for mouthfeel, dry with low carbonation. The level of carbonation is baby bear (just right), but the combined dryness of the roasted grain bitterness and the hop bitterness is a bit much.

There are (at least) two schools of thought when it comes to Imperial stout: some like em hoppy, some like em malty. I fall firmly into the second camp. The hops in this beer altogether drown out the malt subtleties. Perhaps It was intended for long term aging, or perhaps David and Jaime just like their Impy stouts bitter. It isnt a bad beer, but it certainly isnt a stand out among imperial stouts.

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
3.51/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks to md655321 for hooking me up with this one!!

Poured a dark brown almost black with a small mocha head. Smell is sweet with some malt and a little alcohol. Some chocolate and a little coffee as well. The taste is a very sweet chocolate and malt. Slight alcohol on the finish as well. Nice creamy mouthfeel but I think it missed the mark. Since its so limited it gets a lot of hype and I don't think it lives up to it. It was way too sweet and I don't think I would want any more.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume III, Issue II:

Stout black and lots of head, the head retention shows a promising beer. Light molasses, brown bread and black currant fruitiness in the nose. Big, lush, full body. Roasted flavors are really mild, but mild is far from flavorful, and it does not lack in subtle complexities. Balancing hoppiness lays down a light citric herbal flavor and some bitterness. Hints of dark fruit and roasted cocoa nibs come to mind, as well as some yeast in the back end. Alcohol chimes in with its warmth--it grows but never becomes hot. Raw on the palate, but pleasantly balanced. Finishes roasty with a semisweet, malty linger.

A solid Imperial Stout: bold but not reckless. Not so complex that it has a need to be paired with food or even sipped carefully. Well ... it probably should be sipped, but it is pretty damn drinkable.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

650 mL bottle poured into a taster. Bottled 12/21/2011. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black, but not inky. Small brown head and a little lacing.

Smell - Chocolate predominantly. Hops come through after with a smokey aroma that I didn't expect. Sweet smelling, too.

Taste - Chocolate dark roasted malts. Loads of hops. Sweet with a licorice taste. Bitter finish and rather thin. Not the most interesting RIS.

Mouthfeel - Thin, high carbonation. Missing a depth of flavor and a chewiness.

Overall - I expected more. Decent, but disappointing. Nothing offensive, but just an average RIS.

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Photo of tpd975
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark black with a small head. Light retention and some spots of lace.

S: Lots of roasted malt, chocolate, smoke, and band aid.

T: No band aid which is a good thing. Very roasty toasty with light chocolate notes. There is a molasses or dark fruit like sweetness before a nicely hopped bitter finish.

M: On the fuller side of medium, nice carbonation.

D: Drinks pretty good.

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Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 12.09.08

Pours viscous, jet black and completely opaque with a one finger dark beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Streaks of spotty lacing left behind.

Sweet, slightly roasted malt aroma with a balance of burnt sugar, dark malt and cocoa. Notes of dark chocolate, oatmeal and spent coffee grain countered by lactose, bakers chocolate and toffee. Stronger alcohol presence than expected.

Tastes very similar to the aroma with the addition of a surprising hop forward flavor that has somehow held up for four years. Dry and earthy with subtle resinous pine flavor that lingers over the complex malt profile into a dry finish. Underneath the earthy hops, there's a nice balance of sweet and roasted malt notes. Lots of dark chocolate, licorice and alcohol sweetness countered by slightly acrid, roasted coffee bean flavor along with oatmeal, toast and burnt sugar. More alcohol flavor than I prefer but not hot per say with a well masked ABV. A decent imperial stout but the barrel treatments of this beer are a vast improvement.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to CrellMoset (Christopher) for this beer in a trade awhile ago! Bottled on 2/28/10.

22oz bottle poured into a tall tulip. Pours a deep evil-looking black with a thick 3-finger mocha head on top. Excellent retention; left tons of lace on the glass. Big smoky nose, with hints of plum, milk chocolate, and roasted espresso beans. Nice.

The mouth is thinner than I'd expect with how this bad boy sits in the glass. Pretty slick going down. Carbonation is light. Not coating at all. The smokiness is present in the flavor as well, but it is masked more by the coffee notes I'm getting. The finish is of mildly bitter black chocolate and licorice. This wasn't anything special, honestly, but it is drinkable. The thin feel makes this one a gulper. Not bad, just not that great.

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Photo of urwithdave
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joey for sharing at the 110k release. Reviewing from notes.

A- Pours very black in color. A dark brown head that disappears rather quickly. Decent lacing left behind.

S- Roasted malts and a little dark chocolate. I'm not picking up on much of anything else here.

T- Roasted malts, a bit of coffee, and the dark almost burnt chocolate. A little bitter and not a good bitter.

M- Kind of thin for the style but the carbonation is spot on.

D- It was a decent brew, but the BA version blows the base out of the water.

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Photo of treyrab
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Mike for sending this one over in an LIF. I've been waiting for the right moment to crack this beauty, and a tasting last night with jac5084 and nittanybeerfan was the right moment.

Handwritten: Bottled on 2-18-08

A: Pours black but with very apparent brown/burgundy edges. Not viscous, but a nice creamy pour yields a 1" frothy head. The head on this surprised me, as it was a bone-white and much lighter in color than most Imperial Stouts.

S: The smell is tons of roasted cocoa powder. Smells very dry with a background of chocolate, roasted malts, some spicy hops and slight astringent alcohol. Not that powerful in the smell, as the smell reminds me more of a baltic porter.

T: Taste also reminds me of a big porter with a lot of cocoa nibs, chocolate espresso beans, slight caramel, but that astringent alcohol still comes through a bit and is a little bit of a turn off.

Overall, I feel grateful to have tried this gem. Thanks again Mike!

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Photo of aasher
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was courtesy of thagr81us in a recent reader and shared at Joe's annual tasting. It pours a nice dark, dark brown in color with a slight beige lacing around the glass. It has a nice roasty sweetness and is fairly.aromatic. It tastes of roasted malts with bitter chocolates and a slight roasted malt sweetness. It drinks ok and is a nice drinker but it isn't anything crazy. The consensus is that this is a very nice beer but nothing spectacular. Solid beer, as usual by COAST.

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Blackbeerd Imperial Stout from COAST Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 349 ratings.
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