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

401 Reviews
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 02-19-2001

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Reviews: 401 | Ratings: 478
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 Bung
3.12/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz. Bottle 2001 vintage. Dark brown pour with red around the edges. Absolutely zero head. Smelled of a port wine or a full bodied red like a Zinfandel. Did not get much sweet from this one, some roasted malt and mocha, mostly red fruits. Full bodied, but not much outside of the dark red fruits and alcohol. Definetely a bit sour on the finish. Have a feeling this one was a bit over aged. If not than something I would not try again. By the ratings sounds like the 2003 vinatage has been received much better.

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

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

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Photo of Gusler
4.53/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

{2000 Release}: Let me say you must like any beer that goes to the trouble to cork and wrap their beers so tightly.
The beer pours my benchmark for stouts and porters, “Jet Black”, the head planetary in size, creamy in its consistency" and the residual lace glutinous sheets that weld themselves to the glass. The aroma of black strap molasses, caramel, coffee, chocolate and even Hickory smoked bacon also comes to mind, but then food and beer are always on my mind, not necessarily in that order, quite complex nose and beer for that matter. Ambrosial start, the top is rich and thick, chewy, full as mere words does not do it justice. Hop spicy bite, moderately acidic, bittersweet chocolate dry and one hell of a fine "Stout" in my book.

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Photo of stcules
4.48/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An "amaretto" and chocolate smell, with liquorice and toasted hazel nut notes. No head, quite flat. A full body, similar to brandy. Taste of berries. A great beer.

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Photo of ccrida
4.06/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2001 vintage bottle poured into my Deschutes snifter, Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout is a lifeless pitch black brown - I can't even wrestle a bit of foam with a vigorous swirl.

Smell is very leathery, oaky, soft red wine, bordeaux like. From the first whiff, I was really taken back, mainly because it doesn't small at all like most RISs, rather wine. However, I really warmed up to it and ultimately enjoyed it, like walking into a leather shop, clean and fresh.

Taste is very intense and vinous, like port wine, but funked, the sweeter and sharp brett, like a oud bruin without the acetic acid. Lots of oakiness, bitterness, ripe dark berries, alcohol vapors on dry, quick finish, with a lingering bakers chocolate/port aftertaste. Extremely complex, I really had to take my time and loosen my palate to try and savor it all. I've only had this once before, but it was my first every RIS, and it was so long ago, I don't recall my exact impressions (such as did I realize it was so unusual) other then really enjoying it in spite of the high cost...that bottle may not have been aged as long, I'd say this particular one may start to decline from here, at least the cork!

Mouthfeel is slick and lighter, but still has some viscosity.

Drinkability isn't too bad, obviously not for everyone, I dig the 'historical' old-style take, and enjoyed this bottle quite a bit. Just let go of your expectations. Still, there tannic wood/leather/corkiness is a bit trying.

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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 Pencible
2.86/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2003 vintage. (I didn't actually have this on tap; I had it from a bottle. I just wanted to be able to make a second entry on BA, for this vintage at this age.)

This poured 100% opaque black with no other coloring and no head. It smelled like sherry and balsamic vinegar and cabernet grapes, with some prune and chemical / plastic and alcohol. It tasted like musty cabernet grapes and balsamic vinegar and Worcester sauce, with some chemical / plastic and prunes. It was somewhat thick with no carbonation, and had a lasting bitter aftertaste. Overall I'm not sure if this was oxidized, but I don't think it was because the cork was in good shape. It just tasted much older than six years aged...more like 16. The flavor was challenging to drink. Not necessarily bad, but definitely an acquired taste, and one that can only be sipped. The body was nice, but I was expecting something a bit fuller. I've had a seven-year-old bottle of this before that was much more "normal" and actually very enjoyable. But this one was rough.

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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 Cyberkedi
3.13/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The first whiff of this beer was like a barleywine, but the second was more like a stout - smoky with hints of coffee. Still there is a decided barleywine or cider overtone. It pours a deep opaque sable with a decent tan head. Flavor is rich, oily and smoky with a mocha undertone and a strong alcohol bite. Texture is smooth, a little fizzy, and just a bit slimy. Aftertaste is a rather strong alcohol bite like brandy.

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Photo of KarlHungus
1.74/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This beer's physical appearance resembles that of a tawny port. The is absolutely no head. The aroma is sour and tart...almost gueuze like, but with a hint of roasted malt. The taste is of sour cardboard. Simply awful. The mouthfeel is thin for an imperial stout. Overall, this beer is a drain pour. In fact I disliked the taste so much that I had to force myself to take a second sip. I would not suggest this beer to anyone.

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

Quite a rich vinous roast for a classic stout framed as the founder of the style.

Presentation: 33 cl brown capped bottle. Old fashion, antique-like emblem around a crown and the name of the brew. Side notes show several award, brewing license (East Sussex with Estonian supervision), and surrounding the seal there is a long narrative going over the historic background, and tradition. Notes vintage 2008 and 9% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Black pour, with a nice looking 1/3" ecru head, creamy with medium to low retention, nice surface memory and rich wave of lacing.

S - Nose is stimulatingly sour, with port like notes, fruity, and with a malt undercurrent.

T - Hmm, taste has a characteristic roasted sourness that is quite rich. Figs, prunes, roasted malt... Compact and delightful around a vinous sense with touches of cocoa and coffee that is memorable.

M - Full body, very creamy with a nice bitter finish.

D - Great sipper, nice and pleasing in its complexity.

Notes: Allure of the classic aside, or the claim to set a standard for the style for that matter, this is quite the brew. I've have had it before, in some of those corked bottles a while back, and while different vintages this is about right in tune with most of my early memories. The distinct sour and port notes may not be up everybody's alley, both for a brew and for something expected of the style actually. But if one picks up a liking for that range this is quite the brew. Reminds me a bit of how De Molen picked up a classic RIS with their early versions of the Rasputin. While I remember older vintages likable but pretty flat and somewhat thin, this one is not only sturdy on the mouthfeel but also on the appearance.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.33/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 9.3 oz. bottle into a snifter glass. 2008 bottle.

Appearance: Pours very dark and black. Nice four fingers of deep tan head which slowly fades into a thin layer. Lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A big aroma of sour dark cherries up front is the dominate smell. Some hints of dark fruits including raisins and plums. Also some chocolate, Brett, and dark roasted malts. Smells a lot more like a wild ale than a imperial stout. Very interesting.

Taste: Like the smell, a big taste of tart and sour cherries with hints of dark raisins and plums. A subtle burnt roasted malt presence emerges towards the finish with hints of chocolate. Finishes somewhat dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a lower level of carbonation. Tart with a dry finish. Alcohol is hidden fairly well.

Overall: Probably the wildest version of a stout I've had. Is this really a stout or an American Wild Ale? I happen to like sour beers so I like the flavor going on here.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.15/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2000 Bottle: This beer reminded me a lot of the 23%DFHWWS, even though the ABV is much lower in this 11.2oz bottle. This was probably my first corked Imperial Stout. Pours a black tar color with an ultra thin light beige head. No real lacing to speak of. Aroma will knock your socks off with licorice, chocolate and port wine. Full bodied flavor with a great roasted aspect. Flavors of malt, alcohol, spice and coffee come in wave after wave. This beer also has a very long and roasty burnt cedar finish. The only way to enjoy this beer is SLOWLY.

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Photo of popery
3.07/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2003 - 3.5/4/3/3/2
2001 - (likely bad cork) 2/3/1/1/1
1999 - 3/3.5/2.5/2/2

I would love to try a more recent vintage of this beer for comparison, but I probably couldn't justify buying it strictly out of curiosity. I have a suspicion that all three bottles are well past their peaks, so take this review with a grain of salt. Furthermore, the '01 is terrible and almost certainly suffered from a corking issue. Also, the cork on the '99 had staining on the top of the cork from the beer soaking through along one side. It doesn't actually seem bad, certainly not like the '01, but I want to note that for accuracy's sake. At any rate, I gave the beer the benefit of the doubt and used my scores from the 2003 version.

All of the beers poured motor oil black with very little to no head with a ring of lacing on the '03, nothing on the '01 and a very thin ring on the '99. The aroma was the best part of these beers. The '03 smells quite nice with lots of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. The '01 smells distinctly off, and the '99 has some odd vinegar and brandy notes that don't exactly improve things. The flavor isn't horrible but isn't great. There's more alcohol heat than I would expect on a five year old beer and some alright big malt notes that already have a faded taste to them. The '01 tastes like old cardboard and rotten vegetables mixed with motor oil. The '99 has certainly lost character. There are some cardboard-vinegar notes but also some lingering roasted malt and brandy. The '03 has some carbonation left for the feel but ultimately comes off a bit thin and sticky. The '01 is water thin and makes me want to retch. The '99 still has very light carbonation but the off flavors just kill things. None of them are easy to drink. My girlfriend was horrified by her sips. I'm valiantly trying to sip them, besides the '01 which is going down the drain, but it's an uphill battle. I freely admit that this review will probably not be a good guide for bottles with less age on them, but I hope I can help convince everyone not to let this beer age as long as these bottles have. Cork problems seem to be commonplace and it seems to be going downhill after only five years. Maybe, it's great at three years, but I don't think that I would have loved this beer at any age.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.62/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2001 - 11.2 oz bottle, thick silver foiled neck and top which is corked, no cap. Pours a inky thick dark brown and settles black as a moonless night in the glass, hazy thin tannish head with some loose bubbles that stick around nearly the whole glass through, lace is in minimal oily thin spots. Aroma is heavenly, dark chocolate covered cherry bon-bons dipped in brandy; very port like, vicious and pungent. Alcoholicly big and darkly wine-like, oaky sweet, notes of dark cherry, plum, and chocolate cake. A nice wiffer. Taste is quite complex; layered full with lots of goodies, very chocolatey, deep dark cherry sweetness, lightly oaky sweet, mildly roasted maltyness, smooth dark caramel, notes of vanilla, molasses, plum, raisin, chocolate candies, cake, and cookies. A wonderful display of chocolatey sweetness and dryness with some oaky tartness, sea salt/salty ham lingering in the finish. Close to port-like in its character. Feel is quite full with a thin start that builds quickly, staying fairly creamy, smooth, firm, and lasts with a nice complex candy sweetly tart and cake/waffer-like dry finish. Beautiful! A nice sipper, the 10% is hidden well, only detected in the nose, which tends to fade as it warms as does the mellowing power of this serving. Its very calming and warm as it does the same. A nice Imperial Stout!

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Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – It looks exactly like a can of 40 wt. Absolutely no head. Bizarre.

Smell – This is crazy. There’s definitely cherry in there along with super dark malts and alcohol, but there’s another strong aroma that I can’t pinpoint. It reminds me of good Kentucky bourbon.

Taste – This doesn’t even taste like beer. It is so thick that I’m sipping it out of a spoon that I’m using for dipping. If I spilled this on the floor I’d clean it up with a broom instead of a mop.

It is by far the heaviest, thickest substance I have ever drunk. The alcohol is so strong it should be served in a fifth. It tastes more like whiskey then beer. Bourbon, to be more precise. Ancient Age comes to mind.

Also, the burnt flavors are huge. OK – Ancient Age garnished with bread crumbs scraped from burnt toast.

Then, just when you think you’re done, the sweetness stops by to say (loudly) HELLO! Everything dark, of course. Plums, dates, Rainer cherries, and blueberries. The tobacco alone could knock out a gorilla.

This is monster flavor. Like it or hate it, you can’t ignore this one.

Mouthfeel – Completely flat, with the consistency of motor oil. I could pour this down my driveway and beat it to the garage.

Drinkability – Ninety-nine out of a hundred average people would spit this out in the sink. The drunken alcoholic on the corner nursing a bottle of Everclear would need some schnapps and a pack of Kools to chase this down. Buy it as a gift? Only for the experienced, adventurous beer lover.

Comments – Shit!

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

Albert Le Coq Imperial Stout, 2000 vintage, bottle bought at Max's Taphouse in Baltimore, MD, and poured into a goblet at the bar.

Appearance: Black like the day Lehman Brothers went under on September 15, 2008. Never forget! Incredibly thick pour, no head, no carbonation, no lacing. More like an old whiskey, or a fancified kalimotxo (the Spanish proletarian drink made out of cheap red wine and coke).

Smell: Confit olive oil, gasoline, aromas of Spanish tapas. Very nourishing! Bourbon barrel all around the nose. Very little roastiness or coffee, as one would expect in a RIS.

Taste: More olive oil, some hoppy bitterness. Smoke and bourbon. Reminds me a bit of Bourbon-aged Stone RIS. Vinegar and booze.

Mouthfeel: No carbonation, medium body (almost full). Sticky sweet, a tad chewy. Body lingers in mouth like funky fun pop rocks. Smooth, creamy, tasty.

Drinkability: Damn high! Easy at 9%, goes down nice even when warm. Chuggable, enjoyable, beautiful. This is without a doubt the oldest RIS I've ever had, and also one of the funnest old beers ever. Gorgeous!

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Photo of gford217
3.24/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330mL bottle, 2000 vintage listed 9% ABV, poured into a snifter.

Pours a viscous, oily black with hardly any head at all. It's more like a bubbly tan collar that leaves no lacing.

The aroma is a cross between an impy stout, barleywine and old ale. There is definitely a big of dark roasted malts hiding in there, but the massive malty sweetness, slight tartness and alcohol are more dominant. It definitely smells higher than a 9% ABV and burns the nostrils slightly.

The taste isn't as good as the aroma and is much, much more sour up front with stronger signs of oxidation than the aroma indicated. The malts taste almost burnt and stale leaving a dry bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is super slick with no carbonation to speak of. It's definitely a little light for the style.

This one is definitely past its prime as the oxidation has taken its toll on the taste. The aroma was decent, but this is definitely not one of my favorite stouts with a definitely sourness starting to take over.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint. 2003 vintage.

4.0 A: Pitch ass black color. Half a finger of frothy light brown head that falls quickly and leaves no lacing. I'm impressed that there's any carbonation, so high scores here.

3.5 S: This smells like dirt wrapped in mud and roasted. Supremely earthy with mineral and soy sauce notes. Molasses, roasted barley, and some bittersweet chocolate. Quite interesting to say the least.

3.0 T: I have to evaluate the taste in the context of it being 9 years old. If this was fresh and thus the intended composition of the brewer, this would have to be evaluated differently. This is the earthiest beer I've ever drank. Dirt, mineral, mountain stream water dominate. Light soy sauce, molasses, and bitter chocolate. Pithy woodiness, moderate roastiness, and a light booziness. Interesting and not like much of anything I've had before.

4.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good carbonation, especially for a beer this old. Even a nice creaminess. Very good here.

3.5 D: For a beer that is almost a decade old, it's pretty good. I wouldn't want to drink this often, but I'm glad I had it. It's pretty tasty in a new type of way.

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Photo of illidurit
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Odd little bottle purchased at Ledger's in Berkeley. Dated 2003. Poured into a snifter. Deep viscous black with browned edges. No head whatsoever. Coats the glass with a swirl.

Aroma is unusual, more along the lines of a Flanders red than a RIS. Deep winey berries and grapes drizzled with chocolate. Portlike and very alluring.

Flavor is nothing like the aroma, really. Still acidic like wine but the flavor is leathery and woody. Vinous quality like chewing on grape seeds. Regains some white wine fruitiness with warmth, but not much.

I have to dock this beer's mouthfeel and drinkability for the lack of carbonation. Body isn't really all that thick, and the wine-like qualities help create a dry finish.

Really interesting beer. Something you should try even if you end up not liking it.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1999 Edition: Kicking around last Saturday. This beer is a very dark opaque black colour with no head as I recall, just some faint bubbles clinging for life! The aromas were heavily roasty, nice and toasty, heavy and boozy, and not too shabby. The taste was a nice blend of roasted malts, booze, and chocolate. The mouthfeel was very thick and the drinkability was good, but not great.

Nice to try.

2001 Edition: Like the 99 this is an opque black colour but this version has a nice mocha coloured head that lasts for quite a bit, and leaves some minimal lacing. The aromas are less roasted and more vinous than the 99, and the alcohol is more pronounced as well. The taste is very medicinal, orval, and wine like. The mouthfeel is thinner and the drinkability is just decent. This would probably score a 3.3 or so....stick with the 99 or another vintage. The 2001 is not that good yet!

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Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout from Harvey & Son Ltd.
3.43 out of 5 based on 478 ratings.
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