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 Sammy
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer needs to air out and warm to the room. 2000 vintage. Inititially Cantillon sour and chemical aroma that becomes more coffee and above average. Thick black appearance that does not disapoint the palate. Just boozy and sourish at the beginning, then it tapers around the edges as it warmed. Recommended.
Two years later had 2001 vintage that was bourbon and wood and sour.

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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!

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Photo of GRG1313
4.1/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2008.

Black with a thick, pillowy and long lasting mocha brown head.

Nose is cherry whiskey coffee. Hints of soy, black chocolate and molasses.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy chewy. Mouthfeel of manufacturer's cream.

Flavors are complex and huge. Big sweet black coffee, whiskied cherries, sweet soy sauce; brown sugar, molasses, roasted grains; everything you'd want in a big rich stout. There is a "tart" bitterness that detracts for me but this is a first class stout.

Bitter espresso finish rounds it out nicely.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.41/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one poured out as a deep black coloe with a brown colored head on top. the head settles pretty quickly with some scattered lace on the glass. The smell of the beer was a little on the musty side, very earthy and almost reminded me of a very old wooden barrel or something. The taste of the beer packs a little bit of a punch to it. I was surprised by the flavor but not really impressed by it either. The malts were roasted and that was ok but there were some other funky flavors going on that I wasn't too fond of. The mouthfeel of the beer was far too thin for an Imperial Stout in my opinion. Low carbonation and lacked depth. Overall I wasn't too thrilled with this brew. I can't see myself picking this one up ever again.

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Photo of metter98
3.16/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is nearly jet black in color (it has a slight reddish tinge when closely held up to a light) and only poured with a few bubbles floating around the edges of the glass.
S: There are aromas of red wine and sourness in the nose.
T: Like the smell, there are flavors of red wine in the overall taste, which also has a slight amount of acidity.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. It also feels thin and watery and has the consistency of soy sauce.
D: The characteristics of this beer don't seem to fit the style so I'm not sure if I would try it again.

Note: 2003 vintage

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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 emerge077
3.91/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, (capped not corked) re-review. Seeing several positive reviews of this newer vintage made me curious enough to try it for comparison. Served at 50º cellar temp into a stemmed wine goblet.

Looks fantastic, three fingers width of tan mocha foam, creamy surface texture, and copious lacing. Floating island of foam in the center. Skim never disappears, and the sticky lacing coats the glass. Doesn't even look like the same beer as the older corked bottles.

Muted roasty aroma, notes of dry musty leather. A bit of dried berry and damp wood that suggests a Flanders Oud Bruin.

Roasty, tangy flavor, carob, coffee, chocolate. Sea salt chocolate caramels. Very viscous and palate coating. Bare hint of Brett yeast adds a leathery quality. Very rich, dry and slightly bitter, not sweet. Luckily no off flavors of soy, cardboard, or oxidation as was prevalent in the earlier corked vintages. Actually looking forward to drinking the rest of this...


12-26-2007 review #500. B/3.6
2001 bottle smuggled from Kansas City in my luggage.

The bottle and label remind me of some turn-of-the century esoteric "wonder tonic". Pours pitch black, darker than molasses. Zero head, little to no carbonation, and oily in texture and appearance.

Familiar aroma of musty, rich dark fruit, like black cherry soaking in port casks.

Strong resemblance to a blending of De Dolle Oerbier & Special Export Stout. Salty and fudgy, like chocolate yogurt covered pretzels. Carob and dried black cherry. There is a sour, tangy note, along with the salty/spicy, almost like olive brine, which is sure to make the less intrepid shudder. Beef jerky? Really at a loss for words at this point.

It becomes more earthy and medicinal over time, developing clay and soy notes, slowing the sips down considerably. Alcohol starts to really burn through after half an hour.

More than a little strange and left of center. It caught me off guard at first, and honestly became a little difficult to finish. However, it exists as a unique historical interpretation, and seems to be authentic in that aspect. Maybe this is what the Czars were sipping back in the day. Who knows...but it's certainly worth a try to the more adventurous seekers out there.


Edit: 2000 vintage tasting notes

Again, it pours completely still. Leather, raisin, prune aromas. Salty and smoky flavors that verge on jerky territory. Carob and faint cocoa make this tolerable. If you are still reading this, seek out a fresher sample. Sounds like the 2003 is still actually carbonated...i'll pick one up if I see it, and give this one last try.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of brentk56
4.37/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 vintage, sampled in January 2007

Appearance: Pours a motor oil black color but I could only coax a modest head with a hard pour; no lacing

Smell: Wondrous combination of black coffee, blackstrap molasses and fermenting dark fruits

Taste: Starts out with a sour dark fruit flavor (like a vinous Flanders Red on steroids) that builds, mid-palate; after the swallow, some roasted bitter elements kick in and the sour cherry flavor becomes even more distinct through to the long-lasting finish; Is this a RIS or an unusual whisky?

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous; with almost no carbonation

Drinkability: One bottle once in a blue moon is enough for me, but what a treat when that lunar cycle arrives

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2001 Edition. Sampled on my birthday with a ribeye steak.

A - Poured out avery opaque, jet black color with hints of ruby. No head at all and no lacing.

S - It smelled like a red wine, particularly like a merlot. It really had a strong fruit (grape and pear) aroma.

T - It tasted very sweet yet it had some spice. It was very malty with chocolate and caramel flavors. Alcohol flavors were present as well.

M - It was velvety soft and smooth. It drank like a port. A heavy-bodied beer.

D - This was pretty good, but it was simply too heavy to really be great.

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Photo of mothman
3.31/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2003 cork and capped bottle

Poured in a goblet.

Pours no head at all. Caramel brown in color that settles black.

Aroma: Smells of barrel aged notes. Oak is very dominate here. Maybe some whiskey flavors. It i has some vanilla and sweetness flavors. Rich chocolate, molasses, and dark fruits. Awesome aroma.

Taste: Nothing like the aroma. Huge booze and oak flavors. Chocolate, caramel, molasses, and vanilla. The flavors are the same but there is no sweetness and too much booze all around. Big letdown here.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light bodied for how thick it poured. Low amount of carbonation. A rather flat beer on the palate. Ends clean with chocolate flavors.

Overall, the aroma is the highlight of this beer. The rest of the beer... meh. Not something I would seek out again or something I want to drink again.

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Photo of largadeer
2.8/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2003 vintage.

Appearance: Black with a very dark brown 1/2-inch head. The head settles to a ring after a few minutes.

Smell: The nose is strange - it's rather woody and burnt, and it even has a slightly salty quality to it, reminding me a bit of soy sauce. If you soaked a cork in vinegar it may smell vaguely similar.

Taste & mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated, but definitely not flat as other reviews have suggested. The mellow carbonation lends itself well to the style. Extremely thick and heavy on the tongue. It has a red wine quality to it; it's dry, peppery and has a tartness that makes me think of a heavy zinfindel. The finish is a combination of roasted and sour notes, and it's dry all the way.

Notes: This is pretty far removed from most modern imperial stouts, especially those coming from the United States right now. Not something I'd care to drink agian, but it's interesting.

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Photo of jlindros
3.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

For International Stout Day, how about an international stout, a foreign Imperial Extra Double Stout, sounds epic. However, I also noticed the version imported here to U.S. is only 9% while BA lists at 10% so either it changed or they gave us the weaker version.... oh well.

2008 vintage on this puppy.

it pours out like thick black coffee, and reveals a huge fluffy head of 2 fingers, dark chocolate colored, fades slowly with lots of lacing that just coats the glass itself, over an essentially pitch black beer with no real light coming through.

Unfortunately nose starts with an infection set in, which is interesting as there was no infection appearance. A light sour tangy aroma, but behind that is a nice stout, a light acrid roast, bit of cocoa, fluffy nougat and caramel candy aromas, the chocolate caramel candies like milk duds, a hint of earthy malts and a touch of dark chocolate. The tangy infection fades very quickly luckily.

Taste doesn't really have any infection flavor, maybe just a hint in the background luckily. it does start with fluffy airy chocolate, a weird light bitter but slightly milky chocolate that's hard to really explain, with tons of caramel as well, and some fluffy nougat, adding just a touch of nutty flavor in the back makes this a combination of almost every candy bar out there, with much less sweetness thankfully. It brings just a touch of roast and acrid flavor but very little. It does bring some bitterness, but I think more from the charred roasty malt flavors, although a little earthy hop kick as well. It has that foreign extra stout like bitterness and earthiness which is unique and is that flavor I get an itch for from time to time. The chocolate flavor turns more towards baker's or dark chocolate as it goes, and fairly rich at the same time. Finish is like melted baker's chocolate, slightly creamy and thick, coats the mouth well with more bitterness and stoutness, little caramel and chewy malt like flavors, and a long bitterness that turns slightly salty even.

Mouth is fuller bodied, rich and thick with lots of carbonation that is infused well to give it a fluffy feel.

Overall pretty good. Other than that slight infection set in on the aroma it's nice. Good candy bar flavors without the sweetness, nice chocolate characters that change as the beer moves along, quite a bit of nice stoutness and bitterness throughout. Long finish as well.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.16/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 vintage, 9% ABV. The color is pitch black with a thin layer of brown foam the constitutes this beer's head. What little head there is has very good retention. The aroma is understated and not nearly as strong as expected. Smell is of dark fruity malt with a whiff of alcohol. The taste is very complex and seems to go through the different stages of flavor rather quickly. A sip starts with rich dark fruity malt taste, somewhat wine-like. Next, a dark chocolate taste comes aboard with a hint of alcohol. A woody flavor is also in the mix. Finish continues with dark fruit flavors and adds a moderate roastiness. Dark, rich winey malt flavor dominates here, with many side flavors making quick appearances. Strangely enough, after this has warmed up a lot of the flavors seem to mellow instead of intensify. A like this a lot, however it was a tough decision to decide to give this a 4.5 over a 4.0 for flavor. Sip this with respect.

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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 nickfl
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed 2008

A - Pours with a scant one finger head of dark brown foam that rests on top of a completely opaque, black body. The foam settles at an average pace and leaves a hint of foam clinging to the walls of the glass.

S - Surprisingly fruity with big notes of bubble gum, banana, and mango. Some moderately dark chocolate as well with notes of phenolic smoke, leather, and an aroma of fruity, unlit pipe tobacco.

T - Thick, malty sweetness up front with notes of dark chocolate, raisins, leather, and plums. The malt darkens in the middle with more brown sugar and molasses as well as some spice notes of cinnamon, allspice and coriander. Big, phenolic smoke notes come out in the finish with a peat richness that lends complexity and some leathery qualities. Lingering smoke flavors sit on the palate long after the liquid is gone with notes of smoke, plum, and molasses.

M - Thick, oily body, moderately low carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Wow, if I have ever had a throwback beer, this is it. The most distinctive characteristic of this beer is the rich, fruity smoke character. The combination of smoke, plum, and spice is something that is truly evocative of burning peat. If you have ever been in the presence of a turf burning stove in Ireland or the UK, then you would understand what I mean; the finish of this beer tastes the way a peat fire smells (though perhaps a bit more pleasant). I can't call this a drinkable beer, and I don't know that I would want another one, but it is so unique that I would urge anyone with the opportunity to try it to do so at least once.

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Photo of vfgccp
2.48/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

2003 bottle

A - Oil black. No head or carbonation to speak of.

S - Very strong. Sweet alcohol, cognac, liquorish, chocolate liquor, rasins,

T - Whoa.... Not what I was expecting. Loads of scotch, tannins, roast coffee, hazelnut, oak. If you told me this wasn't a beer I'd believe you.

M - Incredibly dry, even by wine standards. It wasn't enjoyable for me.

D - Drinks more like a burbon than a beer; need to sit and sip on this one.

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Photo of oberon
4.19/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2001 vintage,pours black as an oil slick with very small mocha colored head that is gone very quickly,wow the complexities in the aroma,raisins,cedar,roasted nuts with a lighter earthy dry earthy raw nutiness.Full almost syurapy mouthfeel coats the mouth,man there are alot of different flavors going on here starts out quite swee like that of brandy like a few others have noted in their reviews quite rasiny and buttery with hints of wood and drying earth in the finish.Wow what a nightcapper here even though Iam drinking this in the middle of the afternoon,whew this one exudes complexities.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Strange-looking bottle. 2001 vintage shared by bmanning and served in a tulip.

Pours black with no head and some small bubbles resting on top. Nine years old so I won't take too much off here. The nose is cherry with a bit of black licorice. It's definitely oxidized, though not necessarily in a bad way. The flavor shows the oxidation a bit more with a bit of cardboard, though everything comes together and melds with the dark fruits and slight cherry and roasted characteristics. The mouthfeel is really quite smooth with some low carbonation. Drinks really well and I'm glad I got to try this. Thanks, Ben.

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

Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 vintage (9.0% abv) pours black/purple as night with 1" deep mocha colored head. Minimal lacing & head retention

S: Sour & oaky & horse blankety

T: Sour & dry with raisins up front. Chocolate & more dryness follows. Earthy mushroom notes, booze & coccoa follow, with soured oak. Finishes with vanilla, bakers chocolate & lactic sourness

mF: Oily & dry, near zero carbonation

Drinks alright, I assume this is supossed to be this idiosyncratic style-wise, I hope so, otherwise a diasater of Ivan imp stout; more like a heavy belgian lambic with identity issues. Some belgian beer freaks will absolutely love this. I just consider it over priced & confused at $7 a 11 oz bottle. Not sure what this would round into with time, this was a 2003 vintage

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2003 vintage. Midnight black with not even the suggestion of lightening at the edges. The cap is coffee-with-cream in color and is a small, loose collection of bubbles rather than firm foam. I should be thankful that it's carbonated at all, given what others have experienced. No lace graces the snifter.

The nose is intense (helped by the shape of the glass), impressively vinous and licorice-like. This is probably how the original Russian Imperial stouts smelled, not roasted malty and dark chocolatey, like modern American double stouts. 'Classic' is an overused word, but it fits here.

Do we really need Imperial, Extra *and* Double before Stout? Given the name, one could be excused for thinking that Le Coq is the biggest beast on the block. It isn't. Close to 5 years of rest might have something to do with that. Oddly enough, the alcohol is on the restrained side until the flavors fade, at which point it becomes a little hot and harsh. Nothing too bad, though.

The beer tastes like a cross between Hershey's syrup, concentrated Zinfandel (eiswine?) and Sambuca. If there's someone out there who wants to know what vinousness tastes like, have them take a sip of this stuff. The beer is also tremendously dark fruity (raisins and prunes) and tastes like blackstrap molasses. This certainly is a spicy, complex little sipper.

Even though the mouthfeel is overly thin for the style, it works in the grand scheme of things. English beer tends not to be chewy and viscous anyway. There are very few bubbles left at this point (bottom of the bottle), but it isn't quite completely flat.

Harvey & Son Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Super Premium Special Reserve Classic Stout is definitely interesting beer. It isn't something that I plan to buy again, but it's worth a look for anyone who thinks that all big stouts taste like Storm King.

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Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 11.2oz vintage looking bottles, corked and finished with a silver plastic wrap. The year 1999 in noted on the label a the vintage year. Actual history on the label about the beer.

Appearance: Pitch black with a brownish lace that holds tight.

Smell: Hints of ripe bing cherries soaked in alcohol and whiffs of roasted grain and wood.

Taste: Syrupy mouth feel and full bodied with a minimal carbonation ... deep bitterness from the roasted grain and hops, acidic twang from the wood and roasted character cut through the sweetness. Then a quick burst of date like fruitiness followed by a complex dark roasted coffee and wood taste that lend to a long lasting finish.

Notes: Flavours are quick yet complex. Stylistcaly speaking this is as close as you can get to an Imperial Russian Stout in modern day. Truely a interesting and remarkable brew. A great brew today though a few if not several years of aging could benifit this brew. Brewed for A. Le Coq & Tartu Brewery Estonia.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

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.

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