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

Le Coq Imperial Extra Double StoutLe Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout
480 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: 480 |  Reviews: 401
Photo of silenius
2.05/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

2001 bottling consumed in 2005

This is an odd beer that has its merits and its demerits (more of the latter).

Pours a dark black/brown with a frothy, big bubbled head that really coats the glass.

Smell is very vinous and an alcohol burning is noticeable. Smells like a big red Italian brunello that has sat out in a glass a day or two oxidizing in the corner. Could be interesting and could be awful.

Taste is an odd combination of unsweetened chocolate, molasses, cinnamon powder (very mouth drying), and oxidized red wine. Is this what they intended this beer to taste like? Do they care?

Mouthfeel is actually good on this one. Slight carbonation with a slick feeling.

I really have a hard time drinking this. The aftertaste is like a badly made rum ball.

I won't buy this again.

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Photo of charlzm
2.07/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

2003 vintage, consumed 03/18/09. Consumed at approx 50 degrees F.

The cork comes out of ths bottle with little fanfare, just a high pitched pop. The beer pours virtually opaque black into a snifter glass. What tiny head there was (a few stray bubbles) disappears within a couple of minutes. No visible carbonation.

Beer leaves a sheet of sticky "legs" as glass is moved. Thick.

Aromas are sweet sherry wine and alcohol with a vague woody character. Very muted vanilla and chocolate.

Not as thick in the mouth as one would expect.

Flavor is quite bitter. Corky. Salty soy sauce is a strong component of the flavor as well. Distant memories of bitter chocolate on the palate. Not nearly as sweet as the aroma suggests. A dash of cooking sherry.

Undrinkable. I poured this expensive little bottle down the drain.

I have had one previous run-in with Albert Le Coq years ago and it went badly, but I figured I'd give him another shot. In my beer ball game, two strikes is out. I'll avoid this one in the future.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
2.08/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

2000 Vintage

The wrap says contents under pressure, so it's obviously supposed to be carbonated. Mine, however, is completely flat which knocked it down in several categories.

Black as night. Looks thick and syrupy, but has no head or carbonation at all.
Aroma is heavy of molasses and I don't care for that aroma or taste. Alcohol is readily evident. There is a dark fruit character to the aroma which is nice.

Taste: again big on the molasses. Behind the molasses flavor is dark roasted malts with some bitter chocolate and coffee notes. Alcohol not hidden. Slight dark fruit character. Slightly sour.

Full body. Heavy and syrupy. Might have been exceptional with some carbonation present.
Drinkability: I'd be happy to never have this beer again, although I am curious what it would be like with some carbonation.

Overall, I didn't care for this beer at all. The taste, aroma, and lack of carbonation remind me of Sam Adams Triple Bock which I'm not fond of either.

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Photo of 404UGA
2.1/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

The bottle was a corked 2001 (9 year old) vintage. It poored a kind of nasty flat black color with no head, which i guess makes sense since it was so old. The smell was rubbery at best. Maybe if I felt particularly nice I would said it was kind of like licorice. The taste was also very locoricey and rubbery. Couldn't really pick up any maltiness. I guess it felt smooth to the mouth. As far as drinkablility, it was tough just finishing one. I hope that this beer was just too old to drink (although I would've imagined the guy at the beer store who recommended it would have said something if it was, maybe not...). Otherwise, I'm not really sure what the czar that sanctioned this original russian imperial was thinking. He must have been too drunk off bad vodka to care.

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Photo of Gosox8787
2.11/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Presentation: 2003 corked bottle poured into a Smuttynose tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown, almost black and completely flat. Settles into as minimal a lacing as is possible.

Aroma: Tart cherry and pungent raspberries in the nose upfront. Smells more like a sour than a stout for sure. Sherry, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and oxidized red wine are all present too. Very strange. I would definitely not say this is pleasant.

Taste: A slight burst of cherry overpowered by big roasted malt. The roasted malt character is way over the top, like the last couple drops of cold coffee. No sweetness other than the cherries and a touch of banana. Some saltiness in the form of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Actually the saltiness really linger and is a bit overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Absolutely flat, but with some body. I cut it a little slack in the score as this bottle is really old.

Overall, a really interesting and unique stout, but it just fails on some many levels. The cherry fruit notes and the salt notes overpower the malt base and the malt base is burnt with any tempering sweetness. I would not buy again, but I do wonder what a fresh bottle would taste like. I have to imagine it would be better.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.13/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2003 vintage poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a no head that fades slowly and no lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, molasses, chocolate and a touch of dark fruit.

T: The taste is much the same as the smell with strong flavors of molasses, chocolate and some dark fruit but age has taken just about everything else out of this beer. The malt character is very hearty. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Not crisp or smooth but quite viscous, heavy body, no carbonation left, finish is sticky.

O: Some flavor still left, a little filling, strong kick, I’m scoring the beer how it is at 9 years old but I plan on reviewing a fresher release of this beer at some point in the future.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
2.15/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into goblet...2001 vintage

A: Pours jet black, a little viscous and absolutely no head at all, just a few bubbles on top....very disappointed...

S: Heavy black licorice, anise, tobacco, dark fruit, and an almost wine-like aroma...very complex, but not necessarily smelling all that inviting.

T: Heavy booziness, black licorice, oak on the finish along with a little coffee and bittersweet chocolate...but it is all completely overwhelmed by the booziness, licorice and oak....nearly undrinkable, and I love RIS as a style, this is just completely off in my opinion.

M: Completely flat and thin for a 10% RIS...

D: The taste combined with the mouthfeel makes this beer nearly undrinkable...terrible. This beer may be past its prime or just bad...my guess is past its prime as some people have enjoyed this in the past and I can't imagine how anyone could enjoy what I am trying to drink...

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Photo of jhscarborough
2.16/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Vintage 2001
Imagine Worchestershire sauce with alcohol content!
Looks like, smells like, tastes like.... you guessed it... Worchestershire sauce, though not as vinegary. I've heard of people drinking furniture polish to get a buzz, and at 9% this beverage activates the buzzometer. But you would be better off sprinkling it on a steak than drinking it in a glass.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
2.23/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

2003 vintage that I picked up at a local Whole Foods recently. Unfortunately when I got home the cork from the bottle had leaked, so I'm a bit worried about this.

A- Russian Imperial Stout black, creamy coco colored head. Slight lacing, but not too much.

S- The smell is dark, raisins, dates, and alcohol. I'm not getting much chocolate from this.

T- Wow, this is bitter, soy saucy, no chocolate what so ever. Its almost like it is gritty too. Its hard to say if the cork was the issue with this. The cork seemed to be in perfect condition other then the leaking from earlier. There was plenty of carbination when I poured the beer out, but man this taste is very tough. If this is how traditional RIS's are supposed to taste then count me out. That salty meaty taste is just not for me.

M- The mouth feel is hard to explain, other then you just don't want it in your mouth. It is kind of gritty if I were to put my finger on a word to sum this one up.

D- If drinking meat marinade is your thing then yeah it could be drinkable, but this one is making me wince.

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Photo of atsprings
2.25/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured a deep black head that quickly diminished. The aroma was of burnt coffee and molasses. The taste is of espresso that might have been brewed the day before, much more bland than I've come to expect of the style. The blandness gets in the way of the mouthfeel as well. The beer is not heavy by any means, but it just sits on the tongue. This is the first ever Imperial Stout I have thrown down the drain.

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Photo of mrfrancis
2.25/5  rDev -34.4%

Photo of yelterdow
2.25/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Vintage 2000. The label reads 9% ABV, not 10% as this entry suggests. Served in an oversize snifter at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Pours black as tar. There is no head, no lacing at all... just a flat, smooth-as-glass beer that struggles for ruby highlights along the outside edges.

Smell- Aged six years in this bottle, there is some incredible density of aromas happening here. If you could somehow imagine dark chocolate mingling with fermenting apple cider, somewhere in an old, decrepid building... cold, damp floors with spider webs in every corner... that might be close. It's a bit wicked, to say the least.

Taste- I'm not sure if this bottle is going to kill me because it's bad, or this is what it's supposed to taste like. I like to live dangerously, so I'll keep going.

There is a funky, sour quality that I would never have expected from a Russian Imperial Stout, and I've had plenty of experience with the style. Immediately upon entry, the tip of the tongue is tasered by a sourness that grows more intensely by the second... it's so shockingly out-of-character that I hold the beer in my mouth confused... not knowing whether to spit it out or swish and swallow.

After sending the first mouthful down the bathroom sink, I go in for another try. This time, we'll roll it around and see what happens.

The sourness reigns supreme, and dominates the beer's overall character. As it's held in the mouth and distributed, there eventually comes a bittersweet chocolate finish. As much as I truly dislike this one, there's something rustic and raw about it that makes me want to learn more. Is this the way the original RIS might have tasted? Why is it funky and spoiled? Interesting as hell.

Mouthfeel- This is probably the least carbonated beer I've ever had, but it's also the thickest and most full. Consequently, it scores on sheer originality and uniqueness.

Drinkability- I can't finish this glass, no matter how bad I want to. Curiosity has become torture, and it's time to say goodbye. If this beer is actually drinking as it should be, I can't help but wonder under what circumstances one might choose this as their beverage of choice. Quite the enigma.

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Photo of ediaz
2.26/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

2008 vintage sitting on a shelf for 5.99 - should have known.

A: Poured a dark color with a nice thin mocha head

S: tartness, acidity, infection - some reviews indicated that this was there too, but that it was gone in the taste, so i proceeded.

T: a sour, acidic, tarty stout, and not in a cool tart of darkness kind of way.

M: a little light with appropriate carbonation

O: its no good, and if it was not infected I'd be pressed to see how it could be enjoyed. do not try.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.3/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Alastar for this one by way of IS BIF 2. Poured from a 12oz. corked bottle into a Blue Point snifter. 2003 vintage.

A: Gentle pour yields a .25 finger deep, coarse mocha head that dissipates as quickly as it forms. This is by FAR, the darkest opaque black beer that I've ever seen. I didn't know black came in shades until I saw this monstrosity in my glass. Lacing is stringy and spotty in parts with decent cling.

S: Aroma is one of wood, sweet soy sauce, prune juice, booze, and toffee. Definitely unique as the woodiness is very prominent in the nose.

T: This beer may be corked or infected or both. That being said, opens woody with a huge cork taste. Slightly sour at the opening and this becomes more pronounced towards the middle. Booziness is very noticeable throughout the whole experience. Sour cherries and wood engulf any hint of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, toffee, or other "stouty" flavors. Finish is sour, aftertaste is bitter coffee beans and more sourness.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Oily but abrasive in the mouth. Finish is messy and aftertaste lingers.

D: A 2.5 because I'm giving this one the benefit of the doubt that I had a bad bottle. If I have a good one, I'll edit as needed. As it stands though, a total drain pour. Almost vomit inducing. Off flavors were very prominent and they dominated the regrettable though admittedly brief experience.

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Photo of bort11
2.32/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2000 vintage, listed as a 9% ABV. 11.2 oz corked bottle, poured into an imperial pint glass. The color is completely black. I am greatly diappointed that there is no head or lacing to speak of. Just a few spots of bubbles on the glass as it's tipped. I know higher ABV beers sometimes don't have much head, but this is nothing, and I've had higher ABV beers that have good sized heads. Smell and taste is licorice and toffee. It's pretty sour. The mouthfeel is very thick and it leaves a dry vinious aftertaste. It leaves my tongue dried out. No carbonation, it's pretty flat. This is a great disappointment. I like RIS to be sweet and bitter. This is mostly sour and burnt. I think this one is past it's prime. I was only able to drink half of it, the rest went down the drain.

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Photo of trep
2.33/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

11.2 oz Bottled in 2001

Completely opaque black except for glints of ruby at the edges when held up to the light. Creamy, dissipating tan head.

Sour as hell, some chocolate. Hardly any alcohol. Mostly rotten sour cherries, grapes, and plums.

Dark chocolate and a flat, musty soy sauce taste. Tastes nothing like it smells. Finishes roasted and malty.

I can't finish this one. Perhaps use it for a marinade?

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.33/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Release 2000: I'm not as impressed as some of the comments that I'm reading. has a perfect color and opaqueness. Absolutely not head--flat. Shows good legs on the sides of the glass. Strong aromas of sherry and soy sauce. Pungent and musky. A thin molassas aroma, but not appealing. Flavors of soy sauce, sherry, and vinegar overwhealms the sparse flavors of roastedness, chocolate, nuttiness, and hop character. Lighter notes of ripe grapes and cardboard show in the body. Creamy, yet flat to the mouth. Finishes sherry-like alcohols with an aftertaste that is acidic and salty. I would like to try another--perhaps I bought a badly oxidized bottle. It sometimes happens to aged and corked bottles.

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Photo of Buildscharacter
2.37/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is "interesting" to say the least. It pours of of the corked...yes.. corked bottle and doesn't even give a hint of carbonation. No bubbles, nothing.

It smells like sour grapes, or red wine. When you swirl it around in the glass it sticks to the sides. Looks very different from the other stouts that I have had.

I take a sip. Sour. Remindes me of some of the bitter Belgium beers that I have had. Reminisent of red wine. Very shocking actually.

The beer is smooth in your mouth and goes down easily, but I don't particularly enjoy the flavor very much. It's too bitter for a stout. Too different for me to enjoy.

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.39/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not quite sure how to review this one. Not quite sure what to expect, although I've had many, many Imperial Stouts.
Vintage 2003 corked bottle.
Poured jet back with absolutely no carbonation or head.
Aroma is dark fruits...dark raisins, plums, prunes...and strong alcohol with a hint of rum.
Mouthfeel is creamy and thick but disappointing due to the lack of carbonation.
Taste is dark fruits, maybe a little oak...very little sweetness, and major fusel alcohol
Drinkability is ruined (for me) due to a total lack of carbonation more than anything else. This becomes a harsh tasting strong alcohol missing the mark of nice chocolates and coffees nomally found in Imperial Stouts.
I regret rating this so low, as it may be what the brewer is intending, but rating it against other IS's I've enjoyed, it is definitely 'not impressive'

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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

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Photo of neonbrown82
2.39/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This 2001 vintage is quite possibly the worst beer I've ever had.

Pours to a completely opaque black color with absolutely no head on a hard pour. Nothing much to note about it.

The smell is the only thing decent about this beer. Smells very soy-saucy, but accompanied by a huge berry blast. Smells like a port wine.

Every time I take a sip my face literally curls up in disgust. Tastes like straight soy sauce, and looks like it too, with the utter lack of head and all. Also has a barrel-aged taste to it. Very highly tannic with a soapy and thin mouthfeel.

Most definitely NOT recommended for consumption by humans. This one is a drain feeder. I suppose if you are into port wine or sherry, it wouldn't be quite as bad, but I for one think it is the most disgusting "beverage" on the planet.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.41/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

2003 bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Appearance: This is one of the darkest imperial stouts I've come across - no doubt. Body is black, opaque, and very oily. I can't see anything through it. Impressive. What's not impressive is the lack of head. There's literally nothing there.

Smell: Sour, like red wine vinegar. This smells like an oud bruin; not a Russian imperial stout. Anise, roasted malt and smoke are also there, but this just doesn't smell right. It's inoffensive, but definitely off.

Taste: Initially, I thought this beer tasted totally different than it smelled, but then that red wine vinegar flavor came through in the aftertaste. Roasted malt, black licorice, and charred wood seem to be there, because I do find them in the aftertaste. It's weird though: while the beer is in my mouth I don't really taste anything. I tried allowing lots of air in while I sipped, but that didn't help at all. A vigorous swish did nothing more than strengthen the sourness. As with the smell, it's not offensive; it's just really weird.

Mouthfeel: Very, very flat and kind of thin too, especially for something labeled "Imperial Extra Double". I don't think I've ever had a beer with such a boring mouthfeel. It's slug-like; kinda gross. Good deal of warming with a semi-dry finish. Lousy overall.

Drinkability: This is one of the oddest beers I've ever had. I don't know if it's supposed to taste like this, or if my batch was infected, or whatever. I just feel confused... and pretty buzzed (the 10% ABV is getting to me quick). It's actually growing on me now.

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Photo of IBUnit63
2.45/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

2003 vintage. 11.2 oz. into Alpine mug.

Syrupy black molasses with spent motor oil viscosity. Flakes from cork suspend in flat thick body. No head at all.

Corky, almost soy feel. Salty, maybe leathery. Little hop presence. A little molasses sweetness comes 'round with warmth.

Again, leather hide with astringency. Maybe tanning oil. Soyish, corked wine. Maybe spoiled with cork taint? No body or thickness...smoky feel with no accompanying sweetness.

Heavy, unpleasant tannins on the palate. Aging hasn't done this well. Warmth brings out leather but finish is reminiscent of hydrogen peroxide.

Heavy in calories and light on good characteristics. Not what we're looking for. Life's too short to drink this...down the drain it goes.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
2.46/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I really, really wanted to like this beer - i guess you can't always get what you want.

11.2oz bottle from 2000. 9% ABV listed on the bottle.

A: Pitch black with juicelike bubbles floating at the top. No noticeable carbonation.

S/T: Roasted malts and cherries in the nose. First taste is like port - very, very thin and cold (even though the beer temp was almost room temperature). Ripe cherries and alcohol predominate. A bit of wood comes out as does a burnt smoke flavoring.

This really, really did not taste good. The mouthfeel was way too light (like juice) and the flavors were robust and overwhelming.

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Photo of davey101
2.46/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

1999 vintage. 11.2 oz corked bottle into an oversized wine glass. I purchased this after the beer guy said he used it to marinade kebobs. I like kebobs! How hard can it be to drink by itself?

A - Dark black body with red tints. Still. I had some mocha bubbles upon a vigorous pour but that didn't last long. There's some legs and small bubbly lacing.

S - Pungent. Really intense roasted malts, and then tons of savory flavors. Soy sauce, worchestire sauce, steak, meat, kebobs, and burnt meat. Slight molasses sweetness, but hugely savory.

T - I sat here for a few minutes before I gained the courage to take a second sip. Its just so intense and savory. Like liquified steak that was marinating in worchestire sauce for 12 years. Salty, some sweet roasty malts, then BAM....meat. zero carbonation.

O - This is best saved for culinary applications at this point. Its just so intense and undrinkable. I guess its a cool history lesson on how RIS's of the past really tasted.

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Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.43 out of 5 with 480 ratings
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