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

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Le Coq Imperial Extra Double StoutLe Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout
481 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: 481 |  Reviews: 402
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 Halcyondays
4.37/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

9.3 oz. bottle, 2008 Vintage, 9% ABV,

A: Pours black with a nice 2 finger brown head, thick lace.

S: Definite chocolate, with fermented carob. Some definite acidity adds chocolate covered cherries, coffee and strawberry.

T: Definitely a lot of dark chocolate here, it dominates. Roast with some dark fruit, black cherries, sweet heather flowers are there as well. The fruit which is clearly evident in the nose really comes out at it warms, drink this above 60F for the full flavour and brilliance.

D: Very creamy with carbonation, full-bodied, quite smooth and an easy drinker.

D: This is an interesting beer to look at. I've only had the old corked bottles, the '01 and '03 vintages back before my BA days. I loved the lactic raw acidity in those, the tradition was clear. The bottle cap clearly preserves the beer better, but I think it's just missing something to make it stand out, like the old bottles did. This is a good imperial stout as is, no doubt. The old acidity made it something special, above just good, hoping they'll move back to that in the future. Perhaps it needs more age? In the end though, this beer is a classic of the style and something that's always a joy to drink.

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Photo of KAF
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of avalon07
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and thick, totally impenetrable consistency. Zero head - none in the least - and very little lacing.

S: Had a very strong, almost bourbony smell, along with malt and coffee.

T: A strong, odd taste with this one. Coffee, malt, chocolate, a woody quality, a smoky aspect and a weird sweetness. Definitely not a taste for everyone, but interesting. NOT like a Russian imperial stout in most of its character.

M: There was a fair amount of carbonation a very slick, very oily finish I didn't care for. Medium- thick-bodied.

D: I haven't seen a beer so divisive on this site in a while. It's definitely not for everyone, but an interesting experience.

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Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of cjgator3
2.62/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2000 vintage. 11.2 corked bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a very thick dark black color with no head. The aroma is surprisingly sour with dark chocolate, molasses and a whisky/boozy smell. The taste mimicks the aroma and starts out boozy followed by earthy (almost cigar-like) flavors with a bitter finish. The mouthfeel is semi-thick and very flat which I feel hinders the beer. Overall, this beer is an interesting and unique interpretation of the style, it simply isn't for me.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

note: this brewery is nortorious for thier poor bottling/capping lending to flat and off flavored beers.

Vintage 2000. sampled 1/08.

A: Poured a thick, viscous pure black crude oil color with no head.

S: On the nose was some dried fruit (plums, raisins) along with a tart cherry aroma . There was some medicinal notes (cough medicine), black roasted malt, along with some burnt acrid woodiness as well.

F: The initial flavor was dark malt and had very strong medicinal notes coming through along with some warm teriyak sauce. There was some raw wet tobacco leave flavor as well and very putrid flavors with a soft carbonation. Some sour dark fruits (plums) stood out. The beer drinks very vinous, and best consumed in small moderate sips and finshed with some sourness, warm teriyaki sauce, medicinal notes. It drank very similar to a Sam adams triple bock.

M: thick, viscose with a syrupy texture and some burnt acrid malting.

D: Definitly not a session beer and found it a hard one to swallow.

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

Photo of corby112
4.11/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at room temperature at Monks. Pours a purplish dark brown. It looks and tastes like a red wine without any acidity. There is a perfect balance of strong maltiness and slight hoppiness that result in a smooth very enjoyable stout. Best sampled at room temperature.

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Photo of PEIhop
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of rfgetz
3.98/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 Vintage. Pours a near motor oil black color with no head. Scent is muddled and made up of boozy alcohol, dark fruit, heavy roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Taste is quite a suprise, the chocolate, fruit and alcohol notes from the scent combine to give a dark chocolate cherry cordrial candy like taste with touches of strong roasted coffee. Full bodied, oily, coating and bitter aftertaste. This beer is a definite sipper and not for everyone, but the strong aggresive flavors work well.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.64/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Aftering peeling back the plastic adorning the top, I popped the cork but there was no loud burst with this brew, It was more of a mellow pop that you just throw away. The color was of burnt black and a brown head followed but it was insignificant.

Smell: Molasses, espresso and some sizzled fruit (plums, grapes, dates) seemed to hine through the nose. There was a hint of candy sugar but that could just be me.

Taste: The taste is of roasted chocolate and espresso beans. Some dates and prunes come through as well but they are less pronounced.

Mouthfeel: This beer just wets sinks into the pores of your mouth and shines through. There is a dryness but is never overpowers the other flavors.

Drinkability: The 9% alcohol is hard to deny but it is still a very inviting brew. Give this a chance and if it is sill good you will rewarded.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle, 2003 vintage, 9% ABV. Served in a pint glass, it pours dark brown/black with absolutely no head at all. It smells like whiskey, dark fruit, chocolate and molasses. But alcohol is definitely the first thing I smelled. With that being said, the aroma is nice IMO. It tastes like dark fruit, whiskey/alcohol, wood, worcestershire sauce and dark chocolate. It definitely has a kick to it, the taste is very strong. Mouthfeel/body is full. It's thick and oily with very low carbonation, and leaves a nice coating on the tongue. Drinkability is good, it's smooth but it's also a sipping beer, not something I could drink very quickly. Overall I think it's a good brew. It's not excellent, but it's worth trying. I'd like to try a different vintage in the future and see how it is.

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Photo of harpus
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of wl0307
4.25/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

* 2008 Vintage (9%abv.)
BB 2012, served cool in Gulden Draak tulip-shaped sniffer.
A: surprisingly, the bottle is cracked open with a high-pitch hiss, then the beer just storms out of the bottle taking me totally off-guard; ending in the glass is a pitch black hue coupled with lots of microscopic fizz in action, topped with a super huge dark tan foam, settling very slowly to a thin sheet to last. Totally different in appearance from the previously corked version.
S: acidic mustiness (like a lambic+oak-aged cider) and aromatic old oak woodiness spring to mind, along with secondary notes of black prunes, black cherries, soy sauce and burned woods, against a rich & thick oily black malty backbone. True to the old-ish style.
T: the very smooth foretaste of sour-sweet black malts with a spicy edge come on top of pleasantly sour oily black prune juice, then bitter-sweet coffee, charred nuts and burned malts, licorice root, earthy bitterness as of English hops with a hint of treacle prevail, leading to a long aftertaste that is simultaneously bitter, chewy and sour-sweet, showing at times aroma of charred wood-chips even.
M&D: although the appearance implies a lively carbonated body, on the palate it is surprisingly smooth and silky, finely carbonated at the lowest-necessary level. This classic, full-bodied yet easy-to-drink English RIS is as delicious and well-structured as ever, yet the overall performance is not as complex and desirably "stale" as other much older versions I've tried. But since the essential heavenly elements are all well retained in this new capped RAIB version, I really look forward to trying another bottle in two years time.

* 2003 Vintage (9%abv.) Tasting Date: 15/08/2009
This is actually the last vintage packaged in the traditional corked and sealed version, as the brewery hasn't got the cork-ing line ever since. 6 years old Le Coq this is, BBE 2009, served cool in Hapkin's bulb-shaped sniffer.

4 A: pours a jet black hue, coming with unknown carbonation and a rimmed soapy brown head. Looking just like a proper glass of overly-aged stout...
4.5 S: the nose is surprisingly pronounced for a 6-year-old English RIS - suggesting black malts, a faint touch of warming alc., tobacco, tart apple-juice, sour-sweet Chinese smoked black prunes, old Rioja Grand Reserva-like oakiness with a little musty vinegar and stale woodiness, and utterly bitter (and sour) dark chocolates... Most lingering is the sour woody element that actually penetrates the air to reach my nostrils a good 10cm away from the glass! Hops are pretty much non-existent, driving this ale apart from any contemporary take on the style. For drinkers not familiar with this old-world RIS, I'm sure the balance is not so enticing, but for me a Le Coq's lover the stale+oaky nose in the glass is absolutely welcomed.
4.5 T: lubricating without being oily, the immensely burned bitter foretaste has with it LOTS and LOTS of smoked black prunes, charred wood-chips, and stale woodiness, ensued seamlessly by a flow of tobacco-ish and semi-coffee-ish roasted malts, while the bitterness of a bucket load of hops makes up the really chewy mouthfeel, as well as a lightly spicy leather-ish and black-pepper-cone like undertone in the very end. Beautiful black prunes add to the lingering aromatic finish, with a key note of sourness to it of course.
4.5 M&4.5 D: ever so smooth on the carbonation, the bitterness actually renders the slightly soapy, chewy, powdery and spicy mouthfeel; this full-bodied RIS doesn't show any alc. to my tongue, a loyal witness to how the last vintage of corked Le Coq has matured patiently over the last 6 years... A classic RIS.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.33/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a jet black hole body with a thick sticky light tan head that last and last. There is no sign of carbonation in there.

S- The flanders red tartness has a cherry quality to it and some smoke notes to the dry black charred grain in the finish. The black grain is mellowed in the finish aswell.

T- The slight tart sour flavor reminds me of a nice flanders red with some chocolate malt and dry black roasted inky malt soon taking over. There is a slight cinnamon quality to the black malt and a smokey note. The dry finish has a tartness and cherry hint to it with a gentle roasted bitterness that lingers a bit afterwards.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and no real astringency or alcohol noticed.

O- This beer has lots of nice layers but much of the malt flavors are hidden. The flanders tartness, smoke and black roasted grain surprisingly work well together. Even though it was complex it was very nice to drink, and not to heavy as to need a chaser or a spoon.

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Photo of thinwhiteduke
3.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of ppoitras
2.73/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

11.2oz bottle received in the No BS BIF Beta from HimerMan. Bottled in 2001. Had this one before, but now with another year on it, we'll see what happens.

Poured in a Rapscallion glass, a totally still opaque dark brown/black brew. No lace, but nice legs. Aroma is leathery dark malts with ample tartness. Taste is watery dark malt upfront, prickly sourness in the middle, closing with alcohol warming. Mouthfeel and drinkability are still tough for me. Second time for me with this one, similar coniditions, maybe I just don't like this beer.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.18/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque viscous black with caffe au lait-colored foam that sticks and piles like a cappuccino and leaves cathedral lace. As dark as any beer I've seen. Nose is oak barrel, leather, fermented grape skin, prune and cinnamon. Sweet fruitcake - candied fruit, spice and bread - plus baker's chocolate, brown sugar and raisins. Sour high notes. Earthy nutmeg and some roast at the end. Silky smooth, full, chewy, no burn.

At least a year's cellar on this. Note, labeled 9% not 10.

Monster dessert beer. No trace of American RIS (big hops, big roast) tendencies, no heaviness for an RIS and no 10% kick. So smooth and lovely, a true old school Imperial Stout.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.22/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 Vintage.

Syrupy black oil. Leaves a quick, filmy trail of oil on the inside of the glass after each sip and swirl in my snifter. Only a light brown head with the first pour. The aroma is a of dry toffee and burnt, dark fruits mixed with some room temperature coffee. The taste is very unique compared to what I'm used to in Impy stouts. Very unmalted, yet very roasted and smoked garin taste. Malty notes of toffee, coffee, tart, yet dark fruits that were slightly burnt and then covered in caramel. Very unique tasting Impy stout. Great sweet and dry mouthfeel with a nice, slow alcoholic burn. Nice.

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Photo of Suds
4.45/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2001.
Words cannot describe the utter blackness and deep thickness of this beer. It literally pours like cold and thick syrup. Very brief shadow of a head; no hint of a bubble from then on. It's an absolutely still liquid. The first tastes are a little rough-edged and difficult to describe. As your senses become accustomed to the beer, though, it settles into a teriffic mix of multi-layered malts and fruits. The alcohol is extraordinarily well balanced. Consume in ultra-small sips...it's amazing. Aroma presents a variety of sensations: hints of alcohol, smoky scents, molasses, pitch, cocoa, and countless others. There's an unrelenting fullness and mouth-coating sensation in the body. Take your time to enjoy this one...it's worth the price.

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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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Photo of FLima
4.18/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This actually has 9 % ABV.
Let’s see 10 years have gone by. Release of 2003!
Poured the blackest liquid I have ever seen, no light could get through and with practically no head.
Aroma of oak, dark fruits, licorice, toffee, earthy hops and coffee. Great, no infection! Let’s go for the treaty then.
Distinguished taste with a strong character. Bold flavor of sweet concentrated toasted malts, lots of licorice, raspberries, definitely molasses all over it, prunes, figs, oak and cherries. Hints of cigars, condiments and shoyu. Not really sour, actually it has an elegant bitterness.
Liquorish body and as smooth as it gets. The beer was completely flat, all carbonation was gone. 9% ABV is completely harmonic and actually well hidden.
Awesome beer. A non-sweet Port Wine would be the closest drink to this brew. Not sure if I won the lottery here, but I am glad I got this release.

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Photo of Hellpop65
1.5/5  rDev -56.3%

Photo of Bighuge
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3


Black beer with no head and no lace. Nice aroma. Dark fruits. Cherry. A little alcohol. Roasted malts. Body is light. Almost watery. Thin mouthfeel. No carbonation. Flavor is good enough. Although, now there is a tart component to it. Like tart blackberry. A little acidic in nature. Bitterness is there. Roasted malt. Char in a big way. Alcohol is on the palate as well. I'm wondering if I let this one age a little too long.

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Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.43 out of 5 with 481 ratings
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