Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout | Harvey & Son Ltd.

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Le Coq Imperial Extra Double StoutLe Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout
482 Ratings
Le Coq Imperial Extra Double StoutLe Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout

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.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 02-19-2001

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Ratings: 482 |  Reviews: 403
Photo of JasonA
1/5  rDev -70.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I hate having to do this review, but I feel obligated at this point

At the British Beer Company in Natick, MA I ordered one of these. It was a 1999 Vintage server to me ~32F. Not a good sign. I allowed the brew to warm.

I decorked and took a whiff. Buttersctoch with immediate cayanne pepper. Not good. Poured no carbonation, oil click black, zero movement in the beer. Smells of oxidation, buttersctoch and plain ass. I sent back this $15, 10yr old beer. I have NEVER sent a beer back in my life.

Steward offered me another. A 2000 vintage. Pulled cork which looked in better condition. Smells hinted at some malt. Poured into a new snifer. Again, zero carbonation, oil slick black. Not nearly as much cayanne, but buttersctoch notes were heavy. Zero malt, zero dryness, just ass.

I explained to the nice steward that the bottle recommends it to be conditioned 50-56F. That you were doing these beers a terrible disservice keeping them in the fridge. However, Im confident that they hadnt kept them there for 9 and 10 years. Never the less, these beers were ... BY FAR ... the worst beers Ive ever tasted. Extremely disappointed as I was stoked to try them.

I ended up ordering 2 06 Thomas Hardy's (again at 32f) and allowed them to warm. They were good, but not great. Im sure the keeping temp needs to be adjusted.

Sad sad day for what im sure was supposed to be an excellent vintage beer

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Photo of wyllder
1/5  rDev -70.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is vile.

There are no two ways about it, you might as well drink soy sauce.

This pours midnight black. It might be appealing if it had a head, or maybe some hint of carbonation or some hilights around the edges. It has none of that. Inky black with a few small, clear bubbles that immediately gave me the impression all was not well here.

The nose. For me to describe anything other than a cloying, briney, downright reminescent of soy sauce scent, would be pure and utter fabrication.

The flavor is no better. I've had other Russian Imperials, and if this is/was the essence of the style, then I'm grateful to all the breweries who decided to experiment. Any chance at the complex flavors others have noted is washed away in sea of salty, soy sauce, brine. This beer tastes like a severely over salted syrup.

Mouthfeel is puckering and downright offensive.

Drinkability should be negative numbers. This stuff has Fear Factor potential.

I'm sorry. I've had the unfortunate occasion to encounter this twice now. The first time I had only a sip, and the second time I braved a full bottle. The bottle took me over an hour to work my way through and every sip was torture. Warming only helped to accentuate the brinyness and actually made this worst. If you like this, more power to you. If you tried this and didn't like it, I hope this review lets you know there are others who feel the same way.

btw, I let 3 others at the bar sample this and they all thought it tasted like shit.

I can only hope this is the only beer I ever 1-out.


I have since sampled this when two friends ordered it. One was significantly better, and I would probably rate in the high 3's as Russian Imperials go. The other, however, was nearly as repulsive as the one I reviewed above. Subsequently, I will not be changing my rating.


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Photo of ImperialStoat
1.09/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Marmite. Bovril. Vegemite.

If ever you've tried any of these three products then you've also had Harvey and Sons Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout.

I wish I was willing to spend more time promulgating on why this is inarguably the most repugnant liquid that's ever addressed my taste buds, but I'm too distracted by a throbbing in my brain that reminds me in short, painful intervals that the money I spent on this beer could have been spent instead on another bottle of Hanssens Oude Kriek.

Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

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Photo of philipquarles
1.11/5  rDev -67.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

'Vintage' bottle from 2003. Aged by B. United, not me.

Yay autolysis and oxidation!!

After making a mess of the counter and myself trying to get the cork out, I poured a bit of this oily-looking stuff into a snifter. Completely opaque and really, about the consistency of 10w 50. About the same head, too. It doesn't look incredibly appetizing, but it's pretty hard to pass judgment on a beer for its appearance. Where this stuff can be faulted is, well, everywhere else. It smells god-awful. Not just awful, which apparently awards it a '1.0' here on BA, but god-awful. Where's the .5? 0? In any case, the wave of soy sauce is the first thing that hits the poor little smell-receptors. They're in for a beating. This stuff really reeks. It's beyond oxidized. There should be new terminology for this. The odor is so off-putting I could barely keep my nose in the glass long enough to smell the comparatively dainty roasted malt. As I guessed, letting this stuff loose on my tongue was none-too-pleasant. Revolting is fitting. What a ridiculous, oxidized mess. There's still a stout there somewhere, but it's awfully hard to find. Kikkoman beware, this stuff might beat you out in a blind tasting over vegetable fried rice. Maybe they could make it into a spread and sell it to those people that somehow enjoy choking down vegemite.

I haven't reviewed anything in ages--it seems like a pointless exercise, normally--but I had to express just how incredibly bad this stuff is. If I had actually bought this bottle, I would rage.

This is why beer should not be put down in a cellar. Even by professionals. I've had a lot of beer, but this *might* be the worst ever.

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Photo of harrymel
1.15/5  rDev -66.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Vintage 2008, ABV 9%, 9.3oz Crowned bottle

Pours black with profound three fingers of mocha foam, this falls slowly, to a regenerative quilt of the same. Initial smell is like lacto and butterscotch. Hard to get past these two characteristics. The flavor is of leather, burnt beef, chokecherries and tobacco. Really nasty. Thin for the style with insane carb feel (although not a gusher) for the style. dry finish. Not sure how this beer earned all these medals indicated on its label, because this beer is shite.

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Photo of Beervis
1.18/5  rDev -65.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

After reading much about this brew, I decided to give it a try. Let me start out by saying that I NEVER pour a beer down the drain, I always finish them no matter what. This one on the other hand, I just could not stomach. After reading some very favorable reviews, it seems you either love or hate this stuff...I personally hated it. I thought it may be a bad bottle, but it seems other people have had the same experience.

Pours from the corked 11.2oz bottle a dark black, motor oilish looking with no head or carbonation at all.

Smell is coffeeish with slight chocolate notes, but mostly a sour mustiness.

Mouthfeel is medium, but without the carbonation to assist, any hint of complexity is overtaken by the soy sauce like taste.

Finish is lingering now that my mouth is coated with slight chocolate notes and a minor bitterness.

This is definitely not drinkable, it's by far the worst beer I have ever tasted. If this is what the original Impy Stouts tasted like, let's just say I am very happy to have the American Double Stout to wash this down with. Just not my style I guess.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
1.18/5  rDev -65.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured a thick dirty motor oil color with no action at all.

Smells like a very boozed up old lady wearing a leather jacket with really strong perfume.

The first thing to hit me was a really sour taste which was overpowering. Tasted like I was biting on a black leather shoe.

I wouldn't even dare trying to get a mouthfeel of this.

Really dissapointed with his since I paid like $8.00 for this. I would definately never drink this sour tasting dark shoe again.

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Photo of rudzud
1.21/5  rDev -64.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

*2003 Vintage*

Picked this up on a whim from Julio's. It was in a random section, no price no anything. Rang up as $6.99 so I figured I would take a stab at it. Very angry I bought this instead of Péché Mortel.

A - Cork was a pain, very brittle which I suppose can be expected from something 8 years old. Poured into a tulip a oily black pour with zero carbonation. No head, poured like a bottle of oil.

S - Wow, I smell soy sauce. A little smoke and alcohol but this is mostly soy sauce.

T - Wow, this is almost a stomach turner. First taste I get is salt. There are some dark fruits somewhere in there but ugh. The last thing I taste is salt. This is saltier than Kelpi, the seaweed beer!

M - You call this an imperial stout? Stuff is like water. Thin, salty water.

D - Yeah, drainpour. No question about it. Was really looking forward to this too. Damnit.

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Photo of ATPete
1.27/5  rDev -63%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2000 vintage
shared with a co worker

The cork was stained with a tar-like black substance and actually broke into pieces after being removed. Horrid aroma of extreme oxidization and alcohol. Sour and abrasive to the tongue, coating and lingering flavor. My first sip was actually spit out upon gag reflex and my second attempt was my last. Bad bottle maybe? It looks like im not alone. I would revisit a more current vintage. Maybe age hurt this one...

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Photo of tjthresh
1.3/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pitch black with ZERO head. Smells of alcohol and gasoline. Roast charactor does manage to break through after a good swirl. Harsh. This is going to be too hard to get down. kind of cough syrupish. Lots of alcohol burn. I sure hope this is a bad bottle.

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Photo of blackjack000
1.3/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Appearance: Pours out dark black and flat; incredibly dark. A slight fizz, but nothing much else.

Smell: Wine, plum.

Taste: Wine, dry stout that is going flat, syrupy coffee, brown sugar, dates. Strong coffee aftertaste, like when coffee has been brewed too strong and too much water has been steamed off.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and flat, syrupy and smooth.

Drinkability: Thick and wine-like. It doesn't feel so much like a beer, nor an imperial stout. It wasn't what I expected at all. This bottle might have gone flat, and skewed the experience. I really can't finish this. I'm angry that I spent a bit of money on this.

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Photo of AMo
1.3/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2003 Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout, tried in 2009 poured a flat brownish black. Zero carbonation, as flat and thicker than wine. The smell was actually there, but it was pungent and offensive of burnt, leather, and sour. Taste was putrid of spoiled sour meat, pureed with soy sauce. Extremely difficult beer to hold in my mouth. It had no properties of beer what so ever. Thick, flat, dense, spoiled liquid feeling. I couldn't drink this due to the spoiled taste and subliminal thought of getting sick due to some kind of liquid food poisoning.

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Photo of mdvatab
1.31/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Found several 11.2oz bottles of the 2003 vintage at Parti Pak.
Poured into snifter.

Aroma: Winey, bretty, and sour. Black licorice. Mouth waters in anticipation of the tartness. This is not how an imperial stout is supposed to smell...

Appearance: A hard pour yields no head whatsoever. This one looks flat as hell. The body resembles thick black ink.

Flavor: Black licorice up front, then Jaegermeister, then sour and funky, then a very strong bitterness, which clings to the palate like duct tape. Unpalatable...

Mouthfeel: Full body is thick as pudding. Had the flavor of the beer been even the least bit tolerable, the mouthfeel would have been great. Carbonation is low to non-existent as expected.

Overall: Lesson learned... I usually carry my iPhone w/ me into bottle shops to check BA ratings on beers I don't recognize. Had I done so this time, I would have promptly returned this $9 disaster to the shelf. I can only hope my fellow Indy BA's heed this warning and avoid this brew. 100% bonafide drainpour material.

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Photo of SFLpunk
1.33/5  rDev -61.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to Andrew for this one. 11.2oz brown glass corked bottle. 2003, 9% ABV on the label.

Pours a thick, still black with some brown hues around the rim. Nose smells just awful...maybe infected, maybe just awful. Like old meat and tire rubber.

Palate...ugh...here goes...is foul. I can't believe this passed my lips! Acidic, acrid, rubbery, like a mouth full of top soil and vinegar.

Notes: AVOID this beer. Wow, that was f***g awful.

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Photo of Beaver13
1.36/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

11.2 oz bottle dated 2001, annoyingly corked (the cork actually broke). Pours a black brown with no head at all.

The aroma is strong raisin and rummy alcohol with some molasses sugary sweetness.

The flavor is washed out (oxidized?) roasted tar and black licorice, bitter alcohol and cork. This tastes kind of like paint thinner, with all the harsh alcohol. It actually had me gagging. The mouthfeel is medium and very watery with zero carbonation.

Overall, I don't know if this is a bad sample or what, but it is terrible - a drain pour.

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Photo of biglite351
1.38/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Honesty did not realize that this was a dated bottle. I simply never had it before so I grabbed it. It is dated 2003 so I have high hopes for it. I had a 2004 of a different brew about a year ago and loved it, this is now 2 years older.

A - beautiful blackness with zero red around the edges. Very little foam at all, just a touch of dark brown.

S - prunes and vinegar, no longer looking forward to taking a sip...

T - old prunes pickled in vinegar.

M - don't really know, one sip and dump! But my tongue is tingling so that is something.

D - potentially never again no matter what year!

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Photo of erz316
1.38/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

bottle from 2001 poured into la chouffe snifter.

A - oh man, I think I smell some of that soy sauce like flavouring from the cork, just like the sam adam's triple bock. lets hope I'm wrong; ugh, I think I wasnt. the body pours jet black with no head. it looks like it could be a decent tasting stout, but the smell gives it all away.

S - yeah, its like soy sauce, burnt tar, and cork. its not as bad as the sam adams triple bock, but man, its pretty bad.

T - this is undrinkable, but not as much as the sam adams, so I am going to give it a half point more. just because it wasnt as bad as it could have been.

MF&D - there is no carbonation and it seems to be a medium body, but who even cares. I'm not drinking it, and I can hardly get enough in my mouth to assess any of the characteristics.

Note: if it isnt obvious, the bottle had gone bad; the cork has let out all of the carbonation, and the cellaring conditions were probably not even cellaring conditions. it was probably sitting in a warm store room at sahara mart for a couple of years.

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Photo of scottum
1.4/5  rDev -59.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1


I'm thinking this did not age well. Tastes a bit sour and very much of alcohol. The brew poured out almost black with no head to speak of. The '99 brew is past it's prime for sure. I'm guessing a later year would be a nice beer, but this sucka tastes old. Me thinks me should not finish said brew, but me is a cheap bastard. Yuck!

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Photo of maximum12
1.41/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to my lovely wife for always buying me a few bottles I'd never have purchased myself over the holidays; it's a lovely surprise, since I never know what will show up in the "beer bag". 11.2 oz. bottle, 2003 vintage. Thanks hon!

Pour is dead flat black that could be used as a backdrop to the stars. Minimal carbonation, as might be expected after 8 years. Smell is nothing like expected: sherry. Dark fruits. Good at first, but then morphs into a bit of sourness. Oh oh.

Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout is fouled by bitter, dry dark fruits that eat up whatever else is allegedly in the brew. Malts briefly rise out of the slime & die quickly, their lungs filled with bile. Impossible to have more than a few sips of this.

To the drain. Glancing through the reviews, it looks like the 2003 was not a good year for this brew. Blech. Love to try it again, but I'm sure I won't if I had to pay for it.

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1.41/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

2001 vintage.
This beer had no head when poured. Smells like wine that has gone bad. Tastes like vinegar. I could not possibly take another sip... My hope is that the bottle has gone bad due to pre-purchase storage in sunlight. I would hate to think that this is the product that Harvey & Son were striving for. I'm afraid to purchase this again after reading some of the other reviews.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
1.45/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bottle 2001:

A-Deep oily black with no head whatsoever. Thick appearance with no carbonation to be found.

S-I really cannot figure this one out. I expected deep roasted undertones with big nutty punch, but it smells sour like a flanders oud bruin. Smell like wet oak soaked in cheap red wine or port.

T-I really have to start with the disclaimer that I am confident that I got a horrible bottle and is not indicative of the true beer. Ok, this one made my eyes water to sip and my whole body shiver. It tasted like half flat stout half bum whiskey. The alcohol is disgusting and overpowering. The taste is also sour and acidic...not your typical stout!

M-Cant really review because this was so bad that I couldn't keep it in my mouth long enough to pick anything up. The rancid sourness was piercing.

D-I will steer clear of this with all effort. I know I got a bad bottle, but I dont want to give it a shot in the near future.

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

Photo of BarrelO
1.48/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

11.2oz bottle poured into a goblet. 2003 vintage. Opening the bottle was an adventure in itself. The cork broke in half as I tried to pull it out, and trying to extract the remaining half just pushed it in further, so I ended up having to pour the beer through a hole in the cork.

A: Jet black. No head whatsoever.

S: Like Worcestershire sauce. Seriously.

T: Guh. What the hell? Aside from an occasional twinge of sourness, this is literally flavorless. Is it too old?

M: At least it feels like something that theoretically could be mistaken for a stout.

D: Absolutely horrid. Is this really what the Russian imperial court drank? No wonder the Bolsheviks shot them all.

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Photo of Hellpop65
1.5/5  rDev -56.3%

Photo of leansean88
1.5/5  rDev -56.3%

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Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.43 out of 5 with 482 ratings