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 rkhaze
4.67/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1999 vintage. Didn't appear to be any leakage in the cork. Pours thick and an absolute black. No hints of any color escaping the sides. Small dense creamy dark brown head that dissapated to a collar that lasted throughout. Not much lace and a mild carbonation. Definite vinuous notes in the aroma. Port sweetness but also the woody barrel character of a sherry. Chocolate and red fruits(plums,raisins) are also present along with some alcohol.
Sweet malt and sticky red fruit flavors upfront. Chocolate, molasses sweetness and a hint of licorice. A dry woody/oaky vinuous alcohol aftertaste with mild tartness(yeast?) good bitterness and a bit of salt. The flavor profile sort of reminded me of the first year of Samuel Adams Triple Bock I tried so many years ago. Outstanding!
Rich viscous mouthfeel. Definitly a sipper, but I'd have another one if it was here.
From reading other reviews, this vintage seems to be hit or miss. I'm glad I got a bottle in good condition. Great stuff.

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Photo of DagFishHead
4.61/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2001 edition.
Appearance: Ink black, with dark ruby-brown highlights where it's edge meets the glass. No head, no lace.
Smell: Oak, port wine, licorace, deep roasted malt, plums, over-ripe cherries... incredibly complex. Pleasing alcohol nose-tingle.
Taste: Beautifully balanced oaky port wine, plum and syrupy sweet malt start, then smokey, espresso, date/raisin at the top. Alcohol warmth swells then relents leaving a semidry version of all these flavors lingering in the aftertaste. Super!
Mouthfeel: Sinfully rich, chewy malt. Mouth-tingle from absolutely minimal carbonation combined with high alcohol level.
Drinkability: Incredible in spite of being almost completely flat. I will try this again and re-rate if the next sample has better carbonation.

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Photo of BierReise
3.32/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2000 vintage Pulled the cork out with little effort and it came out with not even a whisper. Poured black and oily thick with zero carbonation. This is the flattest beer I've ever had I think. It's possible this bottle is past it's prime, I don't know. Aroma is a realy strong one of malt, fruit and alcohol. A bit pruny. Like I said, this is a flat beer and I guess intended to be so? Mouthfeel is thick and smooth with a warming alcohol sensation. Flavors are complex, yet figs, dates and prunes come to mind along with a sugary roasted malt and alcohol. I'd like to try a different vintage of this, but this one wasn't anything I'd want again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.29/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2001 Edition
Deepest, darkest, blackest color you can have, with a head that doesn't foam, just exists as a slight toasted brown ring, that swiftly diminishes away.
Aroma: incredible! Dark as possible, whiskeyish, licorice, cherries, chocolatey, dark rum, mollasses, every sensation that ever wafted from an Imperial Stout is here in ample supply, more twisted and viscous and damnable as ever.
Taste: small, if even, evidence of hops, but a vast buttress of dark, tangible malt is fully in command of this entry, here. Rich, thick, sticky sweet, with a mouthfeel that doesn't get quite as full as I like...a bit too slick, with a finish that clings for a time, but not long enough.
I like the idea behind this ale, and the historical connotations, but it's not as well-balanced as it could be. The strength, somehow, didn't stick out..wait, no, here it comes...the missing IS qualities had me reaching for the Old Rasputin bottle waiting for me, but might that be tempting a sadder fate than my evening deserves...
This is quite an interesting, and a good, stout, but isn't going to vault to the top of list of favorites any time soon. Save for special occasions only. Not an everday drinking IS in the least.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.84/5  rDev +41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2001 Vintage

Pours black as the night with just a ring of brown carbonation around the glass. The aroma is almost like a Belgian beer. It has an herbal/medicinal aroma, with dark fruits, and an oaky, vanilla smell. You cannot forget the alcohol in the aroma as well. A very complex aroma. The flavor starts out dry, it then flows to dark fruits, medicinal, wine-like, chocolate and coffee, and just a tad bit of roastiness. It then goes to a sweet, bready middle. It finishes with a slight bitter chocolate cake taste. What can I say, complex from beginning to end. A wonderful full-bodied beer. I love this one!!

Sampled 11/19/03

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Photo of byrd
4.26/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1999 Vintage, Sampled Nov, 2003 - No head whatsoever. Maybe a couple bubbles on top, but a glass of water would probably have more. Solid black in color with slight garnet highlights around the edges. Aroma is has lots of spicy vinous notes, dark fruits, a little currant, and a slight rum tinge. Medium mouthfeel, and despite the flat appearance, there is a very slight amount of carbonation towards the finish. A bit more carbonation would be better, but this little bit is enough to ward off the notion of a fully flat brew. The start is smooth with vinous notes, and is a bit woody. Sweet notes of chocolate and a small touch of currant soon follow. Le Coq finishes with roasted and bitter sweet espresso notes. The alcohol is slightly noticeable, but blends wonderfully with all the other flavors. Coffee bitterness lingers long into the aftertaste. A unique and complex imperial stout that really feels as though it should be enjoyed slowly.

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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 Gueuzedude
2.7/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

1999 Vintage Sampled Oct 6, 2003
Pours completely flat. It is oil black in color, there is no head what-so-ever. The aroma is of dark malt and sherry, with a bit of alcohol in the nose. A barely perceptible funky aroma seems to also be evident. This beer really could use some carbonation. My first impression is that the flavor is a bit flat. It is a bit wine like in its profile. Definite roast malt profile, but seems fairly soft and mellow. The beer is thick and has some syrup type consistency to it. Finishes somewhat sweet. Strong malt flavors dominate. In the end a bit disappointing, really needed a bit of carbonation in order to shine.

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Photo of chaduvel
3.98/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

1999 vintage. Gun smoke from the cork, then out pours a high viscosity black mass, could cause thermal break-down. Large dark brown mass of a bubbly head emerges from the depths. Smell is almost that of port with touches of bitter chocolate, molasses and dark fruits. Taste is similar, strong alcohol flavors and a very vinous character up front with bitter chocolate and bitter roasted malts in the middle with a bitter finish. Big mouthfeel, kind of syrupy. A bit too sweet, not much in the way of roasted flavors, more wine-like that other Imperials, but I'm no imperial stout expert. Pretty great though none-the-less.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.77/5  rDev +39.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

*1999 Vintage*

As per the BA Database picture. 1999 Vintage, corked. Cost me $5.99 for the 11.2 ounce bottle. Thankfully, the cork was in excellent condition & had preserved this beer well, which is not always the case I hear.

Solid black mass, a semblance of deep brown bubbles formed when poured, not really a head, more like a “washing up liquid” froth. These bubbles soon burst to leave just a very thin brown halo ring that clings to the edges of the glass. This beer has no head whatsoever, which is no surprise at all, in fact it is to be expected for the style. Anyone who has ever had a Courage Imperial Russian Stout, especially those of 10+ years old, will be very familiar with the appearance of this beer – they are incredibly similar. Each top-up quickly releases carbonation & forms a short lived brown head.

Slightly vinous at first, but nothing to be concerned about, especially when the dark fruits, figs, molasses, dark treacle syrup & plums even, break through. What an incredible nose. The way the dark fruits, the Flanders Red sourness & a rich deeply exotic luxurious powerful dark stout ‘kick’ – are all wrapped up with a semblance of aged oak wooden casks soaked in Port – is quite incredible. I must spill some of this my Pillow to remind how good it was when I wake up tomorrow.

A very strong Port like entrance, rich & voluptuous it warms the inner mouth a little as it smoothly coats the cheeks & tongue with raisins & other dark fruits, like Cashmere on the naked body of a Supermodel, it feels good. Imperial & Imperious with a stunning complexity.

Huge mouthfeel, just fucking huge. So Big, it’s the Galaxy C-5 of the beer world.

You’re never going to take a 6-Pack of this to your Neighbors BBQ, but I found it to drink relatively easily, mainly due to the fact that the alcohol is well controlled & your concentration on the recognition of all the complex tastes distract you from the mere act of imbibing. Even though the 11.2 fl.oz were sipped, it soon disappeared. I must get some more!!

Enjoyable. Whilst this is a very good attempt at recreating an Imperial Extra Double Stout, it lacks the fine refinement of say a Courage Imperial Russian Stout twice its age. Aging may well improve this one a little bit; I would certainly risk aging this '99 sample further.

Like an old dialect of a modern day foreign language, many people may not understand, recognize or even appreciate this quite marvelous complex beer style – but this really is what an Imperial Stout should be like.

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

I lifted the cork on this 2001 vintage with some anticipation of an exuberant torrent from the newly liberated brewing art genie. The cork freed-- nothing happened.
This black as widower’s weeds stout cascaded into my tasting glass and swirled to rest. “Starless and Bible black” I intoned as I held the glass to the penetrating nosey rays of the intense room light only to have them disappear into the black liquid..

Little head- a rather disappointing moment.

But from the scant head, rose a phoenix-- a nose although mild yet complex in nature that hinted at thoughts of ale, alcohol, sherry, and toasted malt.

But the flavor-- ah the flavor!
A splendorous moment upon my palate as it reveled coated with this Cossack’s blood.
The hops side of Ale, burnt side of malt, and other assorted flavor notes-- that of chicory, hints of sherry, maybe even molasses leaped upon the scene. I’d even venture a daring stab at licorice somewhere in the background-- in essence “more of everything” from this dark libation..

Alas the show ended with a fine long clean finish, as if bidding homage to the final days of Tsarist Russia.

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Photo of euskera
3.36/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was really anticipating this one, then...

No carbonation at all, dark as molasses. Smell was classic stout, but with a port wine feel that pervaded through the taste and the mouthfeel. Something just wasn't quite right. It tasted more of port wine, or very very well aged balsamic vinegar. The total lack of carbonation gave it a flat feeling that just wasn't pleasant. Disappointing in the extreme...

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.07/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An incredible bottle of beer, this one being vintage 2000. I only bought one at Cork N Bottle, but I'll go back for more to let them condition for each of several years. This is truly a fallback brew that tells us what the original Imperial stouts were all about. The beautiful little 11.2 ounce bottle is truly corked and wrapped in thick platinum foil.

The look to this beer is incredible and yet disappointing as it has no head nor lace, just a few bubbles of beige foam on a rough pour. The body is as black and thick as crude oil. No light penetrates this liquid. Dark burgundy shows at the extreme edges when held to strong light.

The nose is huge on this beer. It gives off ripe fruit scents, of cherries and berries, while hinting of roasted grains and woodiness. The taste is simply overwhelming in its strength and complexity. The feel is oily and syrupy with no hint of carbonation or crispness. This is a definitive slow sippin' beer if there ever was one. The aftertaste is exceedingly strong and lingering, almost to a fault. There are wood notes, roasted grain notes and a very strong port wine sense. Complex. Filling. Strong. Lasting. This is in no way a high drinkability beer. Alcohol is obvious and notable.

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Photo of Brent
3.09/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For starters, this beer wins the award for number of superlatives in the name. 2000 vintage. No caged cork here, and honest-to-goodness-get-out-the-corkscrew cork. Pours a tar black, with a hint of ruby showing through at the very edge against the light. Flat as a pancake - almost no discernable carbonation, which I think is the way this is supposed to be. I would have liked just a little bit of fizz to liven it up a bit. Almost like some Godzilla of cabernets. Aroma of cherries soaked in maple syrup and rum. Cherries vie with roasted bitterness as they assault the tongue. Mouthfeel is rather thin and a little oily. All-in-all, this is probably one of those love-it-or-hate-it beers, and I'm somewhat on the fence. I admire the depth, yet at the same time I'm struggling to work though the whole beer.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.23/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2000 bottle.Pours an extremely oily,dense black color.I like it already.Very complex aroma-cloves,port,raisens,vanilla-and a slight alchohol burn.Extremely full flavored-the flavor mimics the aroma.Also has a nice "burnt" flavor that enhances the very "inky" mouthfeel.Big bodied-again the alchohol burn is there.A truley wonderful brew-I love big beers such as barleywines and imperial stouts,and am particularly fond of ones that you can have more then one of in a sitting.However I must say this is a definate sipper-very intense beer for the style-although immensely enjoyable.A great big bellyfull!!!

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

Presentation: 11.2 oz bottle with a foil-wrapped top covering the cork. "1999" listed as the year this was brewed, ABV listed on the bottle as 9%. Blurb on the bottle noting the history behind this beer.

Appearance: Poured a very dark and mysterious dark ruby-red in color. Only the slightest wisp of tannish-colored head is noted. Dark and foreboding. Only around the very edges of the glass is any light able to be seen. Subsequent, more aggressive pours yields a little more head, but it quickly disappears into streaks of foam.

Smell: A complex beer. That could be the understatement of the day. One of the few beers that I've ever just sat and "sniffed" for a few minutes, trying to place a finger (or nose, rather) on what it was I was smelling. Baker's chocolate, spiced rum-soaked fruits, aged oak...a delicate tapestry of aromas that make for a wonderful aroma.

Taste: For some reason, "unsweetened Hershey's Chocolate Syrup" was the first thing that popped into my mind after the first sip. Bittersweet in flavor, with a "forest"-like, woody flavor lurking in the background. Kiln-roasted coffee bean flavor shows up. A certain "smoky" characteristic is also noted. ABV rises up near the end, threatening to drown out everything else. Finishes with a little dose of warming in the belly, sure to take the edge off those cold winter nights.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and syrupy, just the way a proper Imperial Stout should be. The lack of carbonation didn't bother me...in fact, I rather liked the hefty palate-coating number this beer pulled on me.

Drinkability: One at a time. It'd be tough to drink anything after this one. Certainly a beer to just sit with in your favorite chair, with a roaring fire and a good book, waiting for the snow to pile up outside.

Notes: After writing this review, I checked to see what others had said about this beer and I was surprised at the diversity of scores. Some people really loved it, while others obviously didn't care for it. That's what makes this site so interesting...reading other beer-drinkers opinions. This is definitely a beer I will purchase again, put in the "cellar" and see what happens to it in a few years.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.29/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1999 vintage sampled from a chalice at Mugs Ale House in Brooklyn. Label said it was 9% ABV.

Appearance: Inky black with no head or carbonation whatsoever.

Smell: A winey/raisiny smell, reminiscent of a tawny port. Nice floral hop tones.

Taste: Raisiny sweetness that opens the door for some great hoppy bitterness. Very well balanced. Alcoholic taste is very prominent.

Mouthfeel: Very very viscous, verging on syrupy. Rich and velvety.

Drinkability: About as drinkable as a barleywine gets. If I could find this again, I would definitely have it. I wouldn't plan on doing much else for the day, either.

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Photo of dmarch
3.76/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Looks like motor oil as it pours out of the bottle. Thick, black, and no head. Seriously, no carbonation, no head. It's just syrup. Kinda unfortunate since the aroma and taste have potential. Dark fruits like plums and raisins with some cherry flavors all mixed with the sweet flavors of alcohol. I have a feeling it could be perfect 5's all across the board if they would make it a little more drinkable.

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Photo of jcalabre
2/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I originally sampled this beer a while back. I am writing this review from my notes.

1999 vintage. Pours like motor oil and tastes of soy sauce. No head. very alcoholic aroma, w/ some more roasty notes. In my view, it's not a very well done Imperial Stout. Alcoholic Soy Sauce is not a taste I enjoy

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Photo of marburg
4.57/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Blacker than black. Devoid of all light. Completely opaque. Zero head, save the small population of 4 -- oh, no, 3! -- bubbles clinging to the side of the glass where it meets the surface of the beer.

Aromas of raspberry chocolate truffles, chocolate covered cherries with liqueor, alcohol. Smooth, powerful, bittersweet chocolate flavors. Is that roasted bitterness? Brief and cleansing finish. Mouthfeel moves from silky to syrupy.

Powerful and impressive.

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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 Indybeer
4.13/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of a Vintage beer tasting.
Vintage 1999. Poured a pure black, no head, no lacing, and next to no carbonation. Aroma is roasted malt, and sweet, almost wine like. Taste is thick, sweet, and chewy! Lots of alcohol warmth come through, oh such a very good beer! Too bad there wasn't more available!

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Photo of nomad
4.32/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an almost black color but still recognizably brown; also had a very brown head, small carbonation, no lace.

Smell was interesting, didn’t think a stout could smell like this... Smelled of thick oak, a deep earthy wood, cherries soaked in heavy whiskey. Came off as vinuous in its soft-feeling complexity. A tiny bit of yeast settled it down on a second pour, at which time the smell was an inviting mix of a wood shed and a kitchen in deep Autumn. A beer for the nose, no doubt.

Tasted of an amazing blend of nuts and heavy malt wrapped in hops, but both then long-matured. All came on top of a heavy wood accent. Also, had a strange fruit taste – earthly but acrid flavor like from black malts. A deep, subtle, and different stout - I'd say its the traditional recipe and then the aging.

Surprisingly thin body, just enough smoothness but without being too slick. But with a very zingy action on the mouth from the hops, it was hard to drink a lot of this beer.

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

I poured it. I didn't read any other reviews. I stuck my nose in the glass. A little Flanders-brown-ale yeat speaks up at first. All cherry and raspberry confit. Chocolate covered red sour berries. Chateauneuf du Pape with cinnamon sticks in the glass. This stuff smells cool and refreshing as well as cthonic and gut-filling.
Burnt Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez syrup is exaggerated on the ooze-like texture. This is serious, alive, Imperial. Think: the power of Rogue's Russian I.S. combined with the soul of Sam Smith's combined with the unruly, sour yeast of Goudenband, and you have this beer. Hardly drinkable...but seductive. Note to self: must make all efforts to stock this.

Fresh stock. 4.28.2004
Much creamier, more slick and densely chocolated than the last sample. I've been experimenting with Dutch process cocoa, brown sugar and whole cream, trying to combine them with just enough sugar to make it edible and just enough cream to create a pasty texture. This approximates that. Bitter fudge in a semi-liquid state that melts even more on the palate.
Also found in this challenging, mind-boggling liquid: creosote, tar, rum, pepper, nutmeg, raisins, Domecq Venerable PX, roasted branches, burnt apples, leather, black oil, laquer, grease, dates, tamarind paste and kirsch.
Probably underrated at 4.85

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