1. Introducing the Respect Beer® Society. Upgrading your account to a Society membership entitles you to more than a dozen awesome perks, from discounts, to add-free browsing, extended users stats, and much more. Join today.
  2. BEER FEST ALERT: Don't miss FUNK Boston: A Wild & Sour Beer Fest on June 14-15!

Le Coq | Harvey & Son Ltd.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Le CoqLe Coq
484 Ratings
Le CoqLe Coq

Brewed by:
Harvey & Son Ltd.
England, United Kingdom

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The style “IMPERIAL RUSSIAN STOUT” and the name “ALBERT LE COQ” are synonymous. In the early 1800’s the Belgian A. LE COQ exported Imperial Stout from England to Russia and the Baltic area.

After the import traffic increased dramatically in the early 1900’s, A. LE COQ was invited by the TSARIST government to brew his legendary IMPERIAL EXTRA DOUBLE STOUT within the Russian Empire. In 1912 the first Imperial Extra Double Stout left the Brewery in TARTU, the former province of LIVONIA, now ESTONIA. World War I and the Russian Revolution, however, brought a dramatic end to A. LE COQ’s venture. Production ceased until 1921 and his brewery was nationalized by the BOLSHEVIK government. The facsimile label on each bottle of Imperial Extra Stout pays homage to A. LE COQ without whom this classic style would never have reached its legendary place in the world of beers.

View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 484 |  Reviews: 405
Photo of ljdrinksbeer
4.53/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle, 9% abv, capped storage conditions unknown
L - pours thick and dark, thin dark tan head waits around.
S - Tart fruits, raisin, hint of booze.
T- Vineous tang upfront, coffee and rum raisin flavors follow. Incredibly complex. Dark chocolate covered sour cherries? The flavors linger around after each sip. Would have guessed that the abc was higher or the beer fresher because the booze is there, but pleasantly so.
F- thick, heavy bodied ale, leaves a sticky coating on the lips. Not much carbonation which makes sense given the age.
O- This is an exceptional beer. I imagine the sour flavors put some off, however, I find them intriguing and this thing keeps me coming back for more sips even as the chocolate and coffee flavors still linger on my tongue. Wish I had a fresh on to compare. Picked this up at a bottle shop that is shutting its doors and selling off inventory.

 889 characters

Photo of janubio
2.27/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Black colour with a big beige head that last for a while. Small lace. Aroma is a bit smokey, with coffee, licorice, roasted malts and ginger. Medium to full body, creamy texture, good carbonation. Sweet finish with cola notes. Taste has a lot of cola, coffee, ginger, licorice and chocolate.. If it wasnt for the cola thing, it would mediocre. It's even worse than that.l No way I'll drink it again.

 399 characters

Photo of sweemzander
1.47/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

thanks to the wonderful bull and bush christmas party, i had the opportunity to taste vintages from 2000 and 2011 side by side, which i have to say, was a rare and special treat! having never had these before, the age is immediately evident, no clue what it would be like fresh, but the older of the two now exhibits a certain stage of decomposition that flatters it. english yeast still present, but the beer has turned slightly acidic, not funky or weird or infected, but just past that old ale phase, almost a soy element to it, still some sugar, and a permanent marker aspect as well. the flavor is better, licorice and tobacco and figs, some oxidation obviously, but its flattering to the beer. a relic at this point, this would be hard to drink a lot of, but was insanely interesting to taste. i liked the 2011 vintage much better, still mature, slightly oxidized, and super well integrated, but the flavors of the malt are much more nuanced, i still get some breadiness out of it, bran and dark cereal grains, a slight dairy aspect somehow, and cognac. a little paint thinner on the nose, this is hotly alcoholic even after all this time, but its attractive to me too. it feels wintery, possibly partially sour mashed, roasted like crazy, and with a faint anise character. its almost dead still, but i like it being sort of mellow yet slippery feeling. something to appreciate in small doses and share, and i am thankful for bull and bush allowing me to have this wonderful experience. i will seek this out fresh, but it sure ages with the best of them!

 1,560 characters

Photo of VoxRationis
4.15/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Decanted from a 9.3 oz (264 ml) bottle into a Chardonnay glass; no production information.
A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black color.  Less than a quarter inch, mocha to brown head with little retention.  Little or no Belgian lacing.
S: Dark roasted, almost burnt malts evident with aromas of rum, raisins, and coffee grinds.
T: Flavor of sherry and burnt coffee predominate, offset by mild bitterness.  Sweet aftertaste.
M: Medium bodied, persistent effervescence evident.
O: Interesting take on Russian Imperial Stout.  Tastes as if aged in port/sherry casks.  Would certainly try again.

 604 characters

Photo of RochefortChris
4.28/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of TheMadJack
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz brown glass bottle into nonic glass

A: Pours like old motor oil. Thick, almost syrupy appearance which forms a stout pool of completely opaque beer only a shade lighter than true black. A deep tan head rises to an inch and a half from the vigor of my pour before settling down to a quarter inch over the next two minutes. When I swirl the beer I see signs of viscosity and a light lacing clings to the glass about an inch high. This small head retained itself throughout the entire tasting.

S: Surprisingly sweet. Dark chocolate covered fresh fruit which I am still trying to identify. Some kind of berry is coming to mind, and maybe plums. A back note of powdered sugar and dark toast.

T: Very subtle for the style. Gentle background of dark, nearly charred toast carries berries and a peppery alcohol kick. Medium bitterness. Charred notes rise to the nose on swallow. Very clean finish.

M: Rich without being heavy or oily. There is a slight sensation of it perhaps being salty or gently foamed. The overall impression is perhaps closest to chocolate milk, frothed by hand.

O: Well executed, very drinkable due to the toned down flavor. I usually expect something more robust from an Imperial stout, especially one labelled "Exra Double" so I marked it down points. However, don't steer clear of it on that account. It solidly hits every quality a Russian Imperial should have.

 1,403 characters

Photo of bobhits
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Jet black, viscous, and flat. Reasonable legs but doesn't compare to higher abv stouts.

The nose brings out the smell of an aged stout, a certain mix muted aroma of old something is always present when I open a stout more than a few years old.

The same old aroma is in the flavor as well. I think of this is an interesting flavor but not good or bad. Chocolate, sherry, perhaps some almond, with a lingering coffee note once the beer is gone.

Flat but with enough body to support the beer.

I'm pretty indifferent on this one. It's a tasty beer. 2003 vintage so about 13-14 years old now.

 605 characters

Photo of Bunuelian
4.38/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Odysseyalien
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Beginner2
3.98/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had several times with varied freshness and off-ness, often a sour-ness like an old ale that had gotten too old ...
But the subject of this review had 2013 stamped on its bottle top. Here I am in February 2018 and it still has a decent foam and only a little sediment on the bottom compared to the past. So, not too old.

Basically, it Tastes as I remember it; figgy balanced by very few hops, but mostly lots of heavily roasted malt for bitterness.
I'm guessing there is less brewers sugar in the Le Coq recipe than the typical American RIS... and that is what I speculate as the average low score at 3.43. This is a far better stout than OK. When it sits in my mouth, I think "classic."

Le Coq is listed in "The 1001 Beers" and the reviewer re-tells the story of how Le Coq's joint venture with the Russian royal family got interrupted by the Revolution.... but started up again in the 1920s. (I speculate that the Commissars liked the stout's warming qualities in winter.) Even without that story, it deserves to be on the list.
As further proof of this stout's legendary power, it is reviewed in Roger Protz' "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
And as final proof, MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave it 3.5 of 4 stars calling it "oily and as heady as marijuana." ... just in case you needed more evidence of the master's diverse training.

 1,336 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.75/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

This one pours a pretty deep dark black, with a small quarter inch creamy looking head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like earthy roasted malt, tobacco, raisin, plum, red wine, and slight tartness.

There is quite a lot going on here in this one. This might be the biggest gulf in expectations vs actual taste in a beer I've had- this one of the best stouts I've ever had. I had fairly low expectations for it. The slight tartness- much less pronounced than people are saying in other reviews- gives a wonderful counterbalance to the other flavors, and seems to make them even more pronounced. It's like a chocolatey red wine, with heavy roast, vanilla cream, leathery tobacco, slight soy sauce, and dry smoke. It's quite dry, but not bitter. This is a superb sipping beer.

This is medium bodied, with a pretty low level of carbonation. It is quite creamy.

This was quite a revelation- it was a highly enjoyable way to end this evening. One of the most complex beers I've ever had.

 1,047 characters

Photo of sjccmd
4.32/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark fruits, licorice, saddle soap, leathery funk, figs, and cherries. A whole lot going on. Raspberries, and maybe a bit of barnyard. Burnt fruitcake and some bubblegum. Some industrial asphalt kind of aroma as well. This is crazy complex.

Pours black with a small dark tan head. Head just leaves a ring around the glass but sticks around. Thick gloopy. Serious sediment at the bottom.

Straight up burnt fruitcake. Raisins and caramelized sugars. Bitter espresso. Sweet upfront but surprisingly balanced. Bitterness from roasted malts balances out the sweetness. A touch of acidity is surprising, but adds complexity.

Full body, low carbonation. Silky and chewy. Finish is surprisingly dry leaving behind a touch of sweetness and acidity.

I can see why some don't enjoy this beer. The wild character may be off putting, but it does seem likely that this is what the original RIS's tasted like. I find the funk and acidity to subtle and complimentary. Despite everything going on in this beer, I find it easier drinking than many of the high abv sweet american-made RIS's.

 1,077 characters

Photo of REVZEB
3.39/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Josh_Leonard84
2.39/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Aged this way to too long, no carbonation horrid vinegary taste

63 characters

Photo of TravisMason
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ShanePB
1.96/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Bottle vintage 2003. So we're at 12 years old right now. No clue about storage conditions as a buddy found this sitting on a shelf last week. Corked. Oily black body with absolutely no head. Appears this one will be rather flat. Aromas have some oxidization, molasses, soy and smoke. Flavor is much of that cardboard, soy and awful smokiness. This aged rather poorly. No clue how this beer is 'fresh' but this is beyond where anyone would want to drink it now.

 460 characters

Photo of kevanb
3.69/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

9.3oz bottle, cap is dated 2013, poured into a Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout stemmed glass.

The beer pours an insanely thick and oily texture, jet black, beyond opaque with a firm, thick, taut caramel head, about 2 fingers high that has fantastic retention and leaves nice swatches of soapy lace behind. The nose is initially very unusual, almost sour cherry like, perhaps a bit of vinegar, plenty of stone fruits, leather, roasty malt, thought after it opens up for a while, the sourness fades, perhaps some musty brett remains and a super leathery, rich, smokey and roasty aroma lingers with really pleasant stone fruit qualities. The flavors don't quite have the sourness that the nose showcased, a bit vinous with a touch of acid, but really deep rich flavors, roasted malt, stone fruit, leather, molasses, chocolate, perhaps even some peat. Impressive depth of flavor, minimal oxidation despite the age, a light twinge of acidity, definitely unusual, but still enjoyable. The mouthfeel is nice, big full body, minimal carbonation, just a light playful tickle on the tongue, coats well, finishes with a bit of a tart twinge.

Verdict: I can definitely see how this is a love it or hate it beer and at first I was really put off but how tart the aroma was, but once this was allowed about 15-20 minutes to open up, this was a beer that I actually enjoyed. An odd mix of roasty, vinous, rich, but it somehow comes together in a fairly decent package.

 1,459 characters

Photo of DucksFan16
3.28/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DVMin98
3.52/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 off the shelf in Fort Mill, SC. The flavor is very sour up front. Reminds me of a poor man's Tart of Darkness. The back end of the flavor lets the roasted malts shine. Wasn't ready for the sourness, though. Different.

 227 characters

Photo of mJJJJJJJ
4.28/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StoutBoi
3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Rutager
3.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a viscous looking deep dark brown with a thin creamy brown head that fades pretty quick. Strange nose of vinegar, chocolate, and light funky barrel. Taste has some dry brett but pretty much none of the sour I was getting in the nose. Lots of dark chocolate and roasty dark malts, a bit of dark roasted coffee, maybe a little char. Interesting, I'll say that. Not sure if brett and stout go together.

 405 characters

Photo of Sweffin
4.42/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very cool beer, pretty unique. Basically a roasty bretted stout - a combo that sounds weird but is really working for me

120 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Le Coq from Harvey & Son Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.43 out of 5 with 484 ratings