Anastasia's Chocolate Fantasy Russian Imperial Stout | South Street Brewery

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Anastasia's Chocolate Fantasy Russian Imperial StoutAnastasia's Chocolate Fantasy Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
South Street Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.52%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GCBrewingCo on 01-15-2004

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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 68
Photo of hophugger
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Deep dark color with huge tan head and spotty lacing. Aromas of semi-sweet chocolate and some roasted malts. Taste has bitter chocolate with touches of roasty malts and a bit of bourbon taste and feel. Mouthfeel is light and overall, this RIS seems to be missing some complexity and harder flavors that I would expect from a 10.52abv Imp Stout, slightly subdued and a bit watery.

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Photo of Riff
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet black with a thick brown head that slowly dissipates leaving a thin layer of foam on top. Upon pouring there was a strong wave of chocolate smell. After letting it settle, there were also smells of molasses, toasted malts, coffee, and a hint of alcohol. Creamy, obviously chocolaty, slight bourbon flavor,, and a little dark roasted coffee. Overall it's a solid stout, not quite as much chocolate as I would have thought from the smell and name but still pleasantly chocolaty.

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Photo of teromous
2.98/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Below the bar code on the label: "Enjoy By 2-6-17 3-05"

Appearance: The body is black and the head is a medium shade of brown. The head is short with a flat surface and slowly recedes from its short stature to an even shorter one. What is left is a bit of a film and a ring. No lacing.

Aroma: There isn't a lot of aroma here but I to get a bit of coffee and a nutty aroma. The aroma doesn't conjure any sort of "chocolate fantasy."

Taste: I am getting a big peanut shell flavor mixed with a bit of alcohol and some bitter charcoal at the end. No chocolate.

Mouthfeel: It feels a bit thin. While drinking the beer there is this empty thinness in the aftertaste. Too dry to lend any actual texture.

Overall: As a chocolate beer I would give this one a solid "skip it" recommendation. At no point while drinking the beer did it taste like chocolate. As a RIS it was alright but not good enough that I would buy it again for that reason alone. I wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of Beejay
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Happy Oscars 2016! With the Oscars being so white this year, may as well have something dark.

A: Obsidian black, with possibly one of the darkest heads on a beer I have seen. It's brown.. real brown, bar of hershey's brown. Damn.

S: Rich and malty, with dense caramel aromas. Molasses, light chocolate, and a touch of booze.

T: Rich and malty with a nice caramel flavor and sweet and bitter chocolate carrying through the finish.

M: Thick, with a lovely creamy feel. Very full bodied, and luxurious.

O: Pretty tasty.. looking forward to this opening up as it warms.

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Photo of delta490
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black; there's no light getting through this one. The head is a thick deep brown that settles down but never truly disappears and leaves some small soapy lacing. The aroma is big roasted malts initially, with a hint of chocolate, and slowly opens up to more of a blend with some alcohol sweetness. The taste is much the same but just a little dialed back from the big aromas. The medium-weight body is slick but with a solid carbonated tingle throughout.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with one finger tan head. Aroma is mostly roasted chocolate malt with hints of booze. Smooth, fuller bodied beer that has a very sweet chocolate profile, the chocolate almost comes across as roasted/burnt due to dry, boozy edge that surrounds beer (a coffee-ish, charred type of dryness). More of a dry or bitter chocolate than just overtly sugar bomb sweet beer that is pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of skepticnibble
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Picked up 750ml bottle from Wegmans in VA. Pours dark and thick w/ lacy tan head and good amount of carbonation (label indicated beer was bottle conditioned). Strong chocolate and espresso aroma, even more pronounced chocolate taste with spicy oak undertones. Smooth and silky feel with crisp finish and nice bourbony bite. Reminds me of one of my all-time favorites: Speedway Stout. But in this case, available locally on East Coast and for nearly 1/2 the price!

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Photo of Pencible
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: This poured an opaque black with thick tan head.
S: It smelled like rich dark chocolate and espresso with some licorice.
T: It tasted like rich dark chocolate, with some espresso and licorice. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste with some alcohol warming.
M: It was thick with a little carbonation. Nice big body.
D: This was a solid brew, with simple but bold and enjoyable scent and taste. The body was solid, but the finish was hot, so it was better to sip. Age may help mellow.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer is jet black, with a slow flow of carbonation bubbling through the body, and a filmy, sparse, tan colored head that quickly settles out into a halo. Aromas of rich milk chocolate, sweet and creamy, with hints of booze. Very simple, yet very inviting. Flavors are heavily roasted forward, with very bitter coffee notes, bitter cocoa nibs, and a more muted cream characteristic. Boozy notes in the backbone, too. The body is robust, but with a dry undercurrent. Bitter chocolate and roasted coffee aftertaste, into a smooth, layered, velvety yet dry finish, with a roasted and slightly smoky linger. Not bad.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Previously had in July, now bottled and poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. Best by Oct 2016.

Deep dark walnut brown to black body, quite opaque with just a hair of see through up in the head, but the body barely even budges. Dark and thick looking. Head creation isn't much but is also quite dark, an espresso to mocha brown, with an excellent fine collar on the edges, and a thin sheen head whispy top.

Aroma isn't as impressive as I remember, but still solid. Good light but husky dark grains. Mild sensing chocolate notes, somewhere between cacao powder and a dark bar. Cake like flour aromas just slightly as well, maybe a hint of char getting out.

Palate still gives the goods. Excellent silky body, rich and full. First sip has a bit of bitter kick but quickly goes into dark chocolate roast and waffery richness. Aftertaste is equally impressive, a fruited red berry component kicks in as well on the finish, with excellent roasty notes to compliment. Roasted and light tobacco notes also come out with some time.

Everything on the brew still delivers, aromas aren't as impressive, but the taste is definitely how I remember it and it has a much better mouthfeel now too.

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Photo of StoutHobbit
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: It comes out dark, quite dark, almost syrupy in texture, with a tan foam that is velvety
S: Hints of cocoa, bourbon, and coffee
T: Intense dark and rich, tastes like a dark cocoa and hints of espresso
F: Thick feeling, oily, rich, a bit boozy
O: Very indulgent and enjoyable beer, be careful, this stuff is addictive and if you're Hobbit like me, you'll be tipsy after half the bottle.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.36/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a nearly pitch black color. The head is three fingers high, and tan in shade. Its texture is fluffy yet loaded with big bubbles, while the retention is downright excellent. Some webs of lacing are left on the glass. (4)

Smell: This is very heavy on dark chocolate notes. In a way, it's almost like a big fudge brownie. Some piny hops seem to punch through, giving the additional roasted notes a nice ballast. Does a good job of what it sets out to do; could use more complexity, though. (3.5)

Taste: The flavors starts off roasty, with subtle chocolate. Its chocolate notes get a little stronger as this opens up. I'm getting a decent amount of alcohol on the finish, but this version is over 10% in fairness. It's not drinking great right now; this one needs about a year on it. That, and it isn't very deep. (3.25)

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly dry for an imperial stout - this certainly feels well attenuated. The initial creaminess is nice, but it bites a little too harshly on the swallow. Carbonation is mild. (3.25)

Overall: Not a bad chocolate stout, it just seems rather unrefined. The finish is dry but slightly harsh, and the chocolate character is muted. I think this will improve with age, though. Those who buy a bottle of this would be well served to put it down in the cellar for a year. (3.25)

3.36/5: She just isn't ready yet, brother

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Photo of JMUbrewz
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time trying this, so I'm not sure if the BMB guys reformulated this beer or what. It was a tasty, and very chocolately stout though. I'm looking forward to seeing what South Street does in the next year or two under the new ownership.

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Photo of Camjmorton
4.49/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very, very good. I would put it up against the best stouts in Virginia and I think it would stand out. I think it's important to note that since the change in ownership this fall (owned by the couple who own Blue Mountain Brewery now), their beers have greatly improved overall.

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Photo of argock
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a 10.5oz goblet.

A: Nearly black with thin tan cap of head with a thin but persistent line of lace.

S: Light coffee, bitter chocolate is there but not potent, some roasted malt with touch of herbal hops

T: Even flavor with roasted malt combined with some black coffee and dark chocolate finished with herbal, earthy hops. All of the desired components are there, but they don't have a lot of life. There is some caramel sweetness which is nice. Fudgy good. Kiss of alcohol on the first sip, minimal to none after that. Very enjoyable and better than my original try going on 7 years ago.

M: Feel is smooth and silky, a tiny bit chalky in the end, with medium carbonation and decent coating quality.

D: Drinkable and not flashy -- just solid chocolate stout in a nice (dangerously) drinkable package.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.62/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub, 01/12/09, served in a tumbler of sorts.

Appearance: Comes in a 12 oz. tumbler, a dark chocolate brown, nearly black, with only the sheen of tan, cocoa head remaining. The streaky, finger-like lacing is faint at first and fades quickly. Not an auspicious beginning.

Aroma: Cocoa and dark fruits dominate, though it takes far too much examination (sniffxamination?) to detect the cocoa. This one's decently pleasant, with some lighter hop and yeasty, fruity esters emerging upon closer inspection. Best aspect of this beer.

Taste: Surprisingly light, though very heavily hopped with lots of bitterness (for the style), as well as hints of citrus and mint that blend reasonably well with the aforementioned dark fruits and only a sad, faint malt presence. Way more chocolate in the nose, unfortunately, and that's not saying too terribly much. As it gets down to the very, very bottom, some roasted, earthy barley comes through. Average at best.

Mouthfeel: Relatively thick and sticky, though with enough carbonation to cut through, and perhaps too much, given the relative unevenness of it all.

Drinkability: This is South Street's highest rated brew on BA, but I can't say it's my favorite - JP beats this one hands down. There just isn't a lot going on here, and though I know it's only a 7.somethingish% abv brew (the 9.4% is no longer accurate - perhaps they changed the recipe?), they should be able to squeeze some more flavor out of whatever ingredients they used to make this one.

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Photo of spiffylubes
4.69/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As expected, came out in the glass as an fairly oblique brown/black, but actually not quite as dark as some other imperial stouts I've had. Good tan head that lasted a fairly long time though not very thick, lots and lots of lacing. Tasted very much like dark roasted malt and VERY strongly of chocolate, but a considerable amount of hops. Despite what the menu said, the hops were not as strong as I expected, which is not a bad thing, maybe it just means I'm getting used to them and they don't stand out in a bad way as much as they used to. Anyway, the taste was EXTREMELY well balanced between the chocolate, roasted malt, and hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel was very smooth, alcohol did not overpower the balanced taste, and didn't even result in a slightly burning aftertaste as many high alcohol brews do. Aftertaste was mostly of dark dark chocolate. I easily finished one glass, but I think any more would be too much.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer arrived at the table black with ruby highlights. The head was low, but lasting and laced the glass.

The aroma was fruity, mainly dark fruits, and alcohol. There was also a sweet malt aroma and chocolate.

The flavor was sweet malt, chocolate, roasted and an excellent bitterness to balance the sweetness.

The finish was dry and alcoholic. The body was a bit light and only medium full.

On tap at the brewery. 9.4% ABV, 90 IBU.

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Anastasia's Chocolate Fantasy Russian Imperial Stout from South Street Brewery
3.99 out of 5 based on 68 ratings.
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