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

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 480 |  Reviews: 401
Photo of pfknapp
1.56/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I really wanted to like this beer, and I may have gotten a bad bottle. No freshness date that I noticed, but the label is quite cluttered. It poured completely still, no carbonation whatsoever. But I figured with a cork and no cap it was possible that this was the intention. It smelled like damp, old cork, salty and sour. Very little malt or sweetness in the smell. Upon tasting, I got mostly soy sauce and old cork. A wee bit of dark dried fruit and some malty sweetnes, but barely. No hops to speak of. The finish actually had a nice lingering coffee taste. But I only noticed that after the salty, sour corky taste faded. The mouthfeel was actually quite watery. No carbonation and no body, but not entirely offensive. I could have tolerated the mouthfeel if the rest of the beer could hold its weight. I couldn't drink this beer, so I would give it a zero if I could on drinkability. All in all, a bad experience. I will investigate whether or not this was a bad bottle, but I don't think it was as I got it from a very reputable source.

 1,043 characters

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.

 595 characters

Photo of Erdinger2003
1.96/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I had to use a wine opener on this bier, the first time I have used it for bier. No head. Black, Jet Black. Brownish-red appearance along the edges. Looks like wine and smells a bit like wine. The smell is very thick, it has slight chocolate aroma. Smells dry. Tastes watery, smokey, bitter, and very rich. The first sip was an attack on my senses. It tastes and feels a little charcoal-like. It smells as though I've been eating a deli sandwhich after a few sips, I can imagine a sandwich with lettuce and tomatoe. I've never smelled or tasted anything like this before. The more I drink, I realize some coffee flavor, this is a very complex bier. When it hits my tongue it's very salty. The mouthfeel was disturbing, salty and watery wasn't what I was expecting. This is a very rich bier for sipping on.

 805 characters

Photo of arguemaniac
4.12/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2000 Vintage…

Pouring like motor oil, the color is an opaque black with copper highlights and absolutely no head whatsoever. The sweet aroma features a deep roastiness with dark fruit notes, and dark chocolate. The flavor of this beer is very similar to the nose and includes a heavy, multi-layered roastiness (chocolate, bitter coffee, etc.), various dark fruit flavors with plum and sugary raisins being the most notable, and a touch of hop bitterness thrown in there. There is also a fairly distinct oakiness, sipping this beer reminds me of drinking an earthy red wine. The mouthfeel is thick with no detectable carbonation.

Lovers of red wine will appreciate this one: it’s very oaky with no carbonation. Add that to a viscous, oily texture and you’ll quickly realize that “Imperial Extra Double” is putting it mildly. Not the best Imperial stout I’ve ever had, but certainly the thickest. Recommended.

 919 characters

Photo of OldSock
2.66/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – 11.2 oz bottle dated 1999 with a cork purchased from half time. Only a slight escape of CO2 when the pull the cork. In my snifter it is pitch black with a half finger brown head that dissipates almost immediately. Lacing is almost non existent.

Smell – Oak and alcohol with rich dark malts. Bits of oxidized sherry, but not in a bad way. Not particularly roasty or hoppy. It’s a really unique smell that I would associate more with an old ale or English barleywine than a RIS.

Taste – Rough flavor unlike anything I have had before. Sharp roasted grains, smoke, charcoal, dark fruits the list goes on. Most of the flavor actually shows up after the beer has been swallowed. Slightly sour/wild note with a solid amount of sugar and bitterness.

Mouthfeel – Thick and syrupy, low carbonation.

Drinkability and Notes – Certainly a sipper because of the big aggressive flavors which are strong even after aging since I was in high school. Really a unique beer, glad I tried it once, but once a century is plenty for me.

 1,045 characters

Photo of Absumaster
2.92/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This was a beautiful bottle with a very nice label. This was actually the first Russian Imperial Stout I ever drank. The bottle was closed with a cork and when opening it there was no sign of life coming out of the bottle, the beer was flat. In the smell I recognized roasted malts, alcohol, some acidity almost like wine, and the smell of band aid (plaster). The taste was also that of burned malts, coffee, bitter, warming, oak and in a way also like red wine. Although this beer was flat, the taste is complex and full of taste, but unfortunately it was not my taste.

 570 characters

Photo of SwillinBrew
2.79/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had the 2000 vintage I bought at Hi-Times... I heard it had a sour tint to it. (i'm just getting into the sour brews)

Ap - poured a very inky jet black without any light being able to penetrate and absolutely no head. Acually there were about 24 bubbles (yes i counted them) clinging to the side of my glass.

Sm - Not like the stout aroma you may expect. It had the sour flanders red/lambic, green apple scent to it. Rather nice and totally unexpected. I dont know if this is good for a stout's profile, but i liked it.

Tst & mthfeel - .A non-sweetened madeira like flavor rolling to a bitter finish and a very slight roasted note... ending on a soy sauce finish. A somewhat dry totally flat brew.

This one is just not for me. I really wanted to like it but alas could not. I let it warm up, i tried sipping it, but nope.

 833 characters

Photo of CastAStone
3.64/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

2000 vintage, it appears other reviews are for 2001.This beer usually sits for 3-4 years, so I was worried that this beer would taste "old", but it didn't. Dark with a capital D. You can not see through this beer when held to the light, even in a clear glass. Pours like chocolate syrup. Little head. Smells Chocolatey and hoppy.. It is really quite like a bitter dark chocolate bar. Feels like chocolate syrup in the mouth - maybe thicker. Very sticky. Coats your throat. Taste is mostly hops and chocolate. You can certainly taste the alcohol, but it isn't overpowering.

 572 characters

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.

 366 characters

Photo of Dithyramb
2.89/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2000 vintage, labeled as 9%, interesting corked 11.2 oz. brew, purchased from a man named Peanut with a handle-bar mustache at the Dilly Deli in Cincinnati

Extremely viscous liquor that pours like black corn syrup. No head whatsoever, but the finest hint of a dark tan ring comes up from a hard pour and some whisking.

Aroma of figs soaked in alcohol spiked molasses, enjoyed by a warm fire near a peat bog.

Flavor was astringently bitter, oily and vinuous. Dark, overly burned malts with espresso rinds and soy sauce. Sorry, I read that earlier review and just detected it. Not the saltiness, but the cut on the back of the throat that it gives you. Vinuous, but not in a wine way, but more like that alcoholy smoothness behind the bite with grappa. Grappa is better served to evil old Napladons and cheesy people in the very early 90's.

Mouthfeel was surprisingly smooth, but the lingering bitterness sits like coffee grounds in your mouth that won't wash out. Almost smokey Saison-like peatness at the end.

Overall, the port/sherry qualities just didn't do it for me. This brew needed a touch more cream and sugar in it for my liking. Very interesting brew and my first Impy from England. This type of beer would generally be used by satirists to make fun of craft beer drinkers. However, if I was deep in Estonia or Siberia, with nothing to keep me warm but my hunting dogs, I would drink the hell out of this. Would be excellent as a marinade.

 1,464 characters

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.

 699 characters

Photo of amatuerbeerguy
4.35/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out black, strong yeast aroma possible flanders. Alcoholic, no head, creamy, molasses comes to mind, some chocolate, some roastiness, some fig. Huge mouth feel creamy, syrupy. Flanders sourness appears in the finish, some whiskey character,, some coffee. A complex character, aroma extraordinary, unique alas.

This is a 2000 bottle. WOW,
I apologize but the discriptive words escape me at the moment

Finally up to temp.

The alcoholic aroma almost overwhelms the fig, molasses, chocolate aroma. With the suttle roastiness apparent, attributiting to the fig character in the flavor, delectable. Some chocolate appears with some raison. Alcohol is apparent in the flavor it adds a gentle warming to the palette. Very nice mouthfeel being creamy with full body, nice alcohol warming. Pleasant to the senses. Aged as this one is some of the characteristics are some what hard to ascertain in the chilled condition which this one sat in 38 degree refrigerator. After warming the aroma, flavors are almost overwhelming with the pleatherea of them that you get this one is a must for the stout drinker.

 1,112 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.72/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One discrepancy: my bottle said 9% ABV, not 10.

Pours pitch black. Black like the night sky without any stars, like tar on a hot roof, the absolute lack of any, ANY light at all. No light penetration at all. This brew sucks up light. No head, no lace, no film.
Smell is malt, smoke, oak, peat, dark fruit and whisky.
Taste is malt, smoke, molasses,oak, dark fruits soaked in whisky and alcohol. Oh, yeah, it has ABV, baby.
A medium-full body, smoooth, creamy, with no, NO carbonation at all. This is what I would expect from a great sipping whisky (if I were wont to look for one).
This is a near singular experince. Think of this as a drinkable Samiclaus or Sam Adams Triple Bock without the killer, over-the-top ABV. Absolutely amazing complexity and balance throught this brew.

 787 characters

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

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

 253 characters

Photo of Sephiroth
4.87/5  rDev +42%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

1999 Vintage: I have poured this into a tulip. It is possibly the blackest beer I have ever seen. Totally still. The nose is of dark, roasted malt, and dark fruits.

The taste is of chocolate, then a vinous quality, and then smooth, roasted malt. There is a bitter coffee flavor at the finish. This has aged well. The mouthfeel is quite light for such a big beer. The lack of carbonation is not an issue. As for drinkability, I am compulsively sipping this beer to death. I have never had any other vintage of this.

 518 characters

Photo of lokaen
3.28/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Vintage 2001. This may in fact be the darkest beer I have ever seen. Near perfect black with no head and no carbonation. Dark chocolate aroma, along the lines of a 90% cocoa chocolate bar. Malty, salty, and a non-hoppy bitterness being the strongest tastes in that order. The total lack of carbonation, although unusual, is not inherently displeasing. I find myself shielding my tongue from the saltiness of this beer. This characteristic overrides all others unless care is taken to avoid it. Although an excellent sipping beer, I could not imagine this as a casual drinking beer.

 581 characters

Photo of ypsifly
4.17/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2000 vintage poured into a pint glass.

Black with a light tan wisp for a head.

Figs, plums and alcohol in the nose. Slight bitter aromas with some vinous notes. Green apple comes through as well.

The first thing I noticed was the total lack of carbonation. Roasted malt and muted bitterness jump in and work well together through the finish. Some suggestions of earthy chocolate and cocoa in the middle. While I do enjoy beers that have at least decent carbonation, this one has enough flavor to fill in what would otherwise be a gap.

Tasty. Something to be sipped and enjoyed.

 590 characters

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.

 806 characters

Photo of paterlodie
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Woww what to think about this one. No head and black beercolor. Nose is rodenbach like cherry, malty with sharp roastnote, noticable hoparome altogether fine. Taste is fully flavored also being very roasty and burnt, bittersweet and strong as best Bordeauxwine, alcoholic and sweet. Aftertaste is very bitter and burnt but fine. This with the oily mouthfeel makes it a good and recomendable brew.

 396 characters

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.

 939 characters

Photo of amicar
3.78/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting. Poured into my favorite tasting glass dark and inky from a corked bottle. Is this supposed to be carbonated? At all? Smells musky and like fortified wine. Taste took some getting used to, but has a sweet roasted flavor balanced by the tart port or sherry like sense; A little raisiney as well. Sticky and thick in the mouth. Drinkability is hard to asess. I almost was going to bring this one back to the store for a replacement at first. But I kept trying and it became more like a warming evening apetif feels. Grew on me substantially. One bottle was more than satisfying though. Could probably split it, given all its funky attributes.

 652 characters

Photo of twelvsies
3.22/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer is a challenge. A good challenge though. My friend got this one at Premier in Buffalo, and I'm wondering if it's anywhere else, since I'm adding this beer just now... Anyway, it's easily the most intense stout I've had. The term "imperial extra double" may sound redundant, but it's actually and understatement. Pours a thick black opaque motor oil color, zero head. Pretty impressive. Smell is really wonderful - loaded with port wine, alcohol kicks, dark chocolate, dark fruits, and leather. Taste has all those qualities as well, though I think it's a bit much, to be honest. You really have to love this style to appreciate this beer. I appreciate it, but it's just too intense to be easily enjoyed I think, and I've never had that opinion about a beer before, and I've tried tons of styles. Sticky, thick molases mouthfeel. My friend started drinking this beer, and he loves stouts, and had to split the 12 oz bottle with me because it was hard to finish. This is definately a night time sipper or dessert beer. I'm curious to see what others think... go try it for yourselves, it's quite the experience.

 1,119 characters

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.

 634 characters

Photo of Sigmund
4.65/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask conditioned at the 32nd Cambridge Beer Festival, as "Harvey’s Double Extra Russian Stout". ABV was 9.5%. Gravity dispense. Pitch black colour, low head. LOVELY complex aroma, surprisingly fruity: Plums, cherries, oranges. Roastiness, oak and cigars too. Flavour is extremely roasty and bitter, but also elements of oak and dark fruits. Warming mouthfeel, as expected from a 9.5% ABV beer. The roasty and bitter aftertaste lasts "forever", making it difficult to move on to another beer. Belongs in the top division of beers.

 530 characters

Photo of Ego
4.02/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2001 vintage found at Spirits in Red Bank, NJ

eyes: dark as night.. a night without moonlight, nearly inpenetrable bleakness, a thin (and I do mean thin) layer of head clings to only the outer edges of the glass, I could have counted the bubbles on one hand on the pour

nose: cherry wood with a touch of black cherry soda, powerfull, a chocolate/coffee sweetness, ginger ale, a tinge of earthiness deep in the aroma and the alcohol is perceptible but not killing you loudly.. very interesting to say the least

the big one, taste etc.. : wow, this almost tastes like wine, unexpected! The wood cherry flavor is on the tongue and lingers into the drying alcohol which then warms the gullet. absolutely astounding for a beer to taste so unique., it is wine like on the pallette with barely noticable carbonation. it finishes dry with a subtle maple syrup/coffe tone.

compared to other russian imperials this is definitely different. I'm used to the Old Rasputin and this is a different animal all together. An intense fascinating brew that must be held accountable with something strong like sharp or spicy cheeses. This would make a wicked reduction sauce for beef or game (maybe even as a marinade?). Of course with this style this is not a session beer by any means but worth trying if you see it, it's one of those that you have to try at least once.. very intriguing.

 1,381 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.