New English Brewing Co.

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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #306
Ranked #5,579
4.11 | pDev: 6.81%
New English Brewing Co.
California, United States
Notes: Zumbar Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout was created as a collaboration between New English Brewing Company, and San Diego boutique coffee roaster, Zumbar Coffee & Tea for the Great American Beer Festival, 2012, winning GOLD in 2015 in the “Coffee Beer” category.

This Imperial Stout is brewed with “El Mundo” a rich blend of Indonesian and Latin American coffee beans in the mash and also in the fermenter. As well as ridiculous amounts of whole bean coffee we added 2 Lbs per Barrel of 72% cacao Belgian Chocolate in the secondary.

A true Russian Imperial Stout at 9.3% ABV, this beer is nevertheless well balanced with Nugget hops providing 45 IBU’s ensuring a pleasant bitterness offsetting the powerful combinations of malt, coffee and chocolate. Enjoy with care!
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 101 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by HopHead84:
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HopHead84 from California

3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75


On tap at Urge. Chocolate Imperial Stout made with Zumbar coffee. I haven't had much from New English Brewing but Zumbar is a quality roaster here in San Diego so I had to try this.

Very dark brown with a finger of brown cream that lingers for some time and never really seems to disappear until I drain half the glass.

The aroma is roasty, nutty, and earthy with bittersweet dark chocolate and an evident but somewhat restrained coffee presence. A touch of dark fruit meets licorice.

A nice blend of earthy coffee, blackstrap molasses, licorice, roast, and dark chocolate. It's a straight forward coffee imperial stout that's hard to fault but difficult to adore when measured against its peers. The quality of the Zumbar coffee is not readily apparent against the backdrop of licorice, roast, and molasses. Moderately bitter throughout. Full body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry, chewy, and sticky with some astringency.

Mar 11, 2013
More User Reviews:
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gshak from Texas

4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jun 06, 2020
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Bradpnnr from California

3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sep 13, 2020
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AnitaBrewski from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a fantastic deal, not expensive, in 12 oz cans, great bourbon barrel texture and flavor, very rich, black, nice head, and it's a 1.5 mile bike ride from my house to New English Brewery! What's not to love?!

Jul 24, 2020
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hockeypuck from Maine

4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

May 24, 2020
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TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce can from Bottle Craft University Ave in San Diego before the pandemic.
Pours a slightly viscous black with a finger of brown whip creamy head.
Aroma is delicious roasty chocolate malt, coffee, char, slightly nutty.
Taste is smooth coffee, chocolate malt, again a bit of char, mildly nutty, and with a nice espresso bitterness at the finish.
Rich full mouthfeel - not sweet, but not overly bitter - amazing smooth creaminess with bright carbonation sells this delicious stout.

May 08, 2020
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largadeer from California

4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jul 02, 2015
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mabermud from Washington

4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Solid imperial stout had at Sublime in San Marcos, CA.

Jul 08, 2015
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StJamesGate from New York

3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viscous jet with pocked tan head that fades fast but webs. 4
Coffee nose with ash and deep dark chocolate underneath. 3.75
Coffee candy, char, fig, chocolate liqueur, slight blueberry, and some licorice. 4
Camp coffee end and creamy leave.
Medium-full, round, chewy. 4

Chocolate is good and dark but coffee is a bit sharp. Plenty of chew, not much hops, but the licorice/chocolate combo give bitterness for balance. Simple and drinkable. 4

Feb 19, 2016
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Zumbar (Chocolate Coffee RIS) from New English Brewing. $ 7.49(Including shipping)/12 oz can ($ 0.624/oz). From Craftshack, San Diego, CA. Received 9/21/20. Reviewed 9/27/20.
Undated can. Stored at home at 42 degrees and served at 60 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. Final temperature 63 degrees.
Appearance – 4.5.
First pour – Deep amber (SRM 15), clear.
Body – Ruby brown (SRM 24), opaque. When held to direct light, ruby at edges where the light penetrates.
Head – Large (Maximum 5.7 cm, aggressive center pour), laser tan, medium density with a few large rocks, average retention, diminishing to a three mm crown and a thick island/partial cap. A large quantity of lacing remains on the glass as the head retracts.
Lacing – Good. In addition to the wall-hanging remains from the head retraction, a split band of extremely tiny bubbles with narrow columns connecting across the split develops as the beer level drops.
Aroma – 4.5 – Coffee! After it breathes, a hint of chocolates wafts by. No hops, no malt, no yeast.
Flavor – 4.5 – Begins with coffee followed by some char and some bitter chocolate. No hops, no yeast. No alcohol (9.3 % ABV, as marked on container) taste or aroma, but a gentle gastric warming occurs. No diacetyl or dimethylsulfide. Ends slightly bitter which could just as easily be assigned to coffee as to hops.
Palate – 4 – Full-bodied, slightly creamy, soft carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 4 (Minus 0.25 point for undated can.) This is a VERY easy RIS to drink – flavorful and with a well-disguised alcohol level, two or three cups cans for breakfast is definitely a possibility.

Sep 27, 2020
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pkalix from California

3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

no date on the bottle, but i KNOW i've had this in my frig for two years+.....
looks nice in the glass, but aroma is the typical adjunct-type smell.....
very creamy, chocolate, slight vanilla, but no coffee or very little (it IS a bit 'ag=ed')..... typical adjunct-typed kind of flavor but decent.
overall, meh..... got better in my frig but wanted to finally get this one done....

Jan 17, 2016
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Bung from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oct 14, 2014
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leroybrown10 from Missouri

4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a 2+finger tan color head. Great retention and lacing. Big coffee and chocolate aroma, dark and bitter for both. Dark roasted malt. Taste just like the aroma, quite intense. Rich, creamy mouth feel with strong lingering coffee. Really great beer. Dark, intense, rich.

Jul 26, 2016
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jjh19 from California

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Black and a off-white head.

Smell: Lots of coffee and malty notes.

Taste: Wow - Big coffee taste. Huge. Not a ton of chocolate. Great roasted character.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable. Cool name. This is a beer I’d order again.

May 05, 2014
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jakecattleco from California

3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle of unknown date into a tulip glass. More brown than black color with thin layer of yellowish tan head. Nose is almost all chocolate. Taste was almost polar opposite of the nose in that there's a plethora of coffee abs almost nonexistent chocolate. Good mouthfeel and carbonation. It's a good beer, but I won't be seeking in the future.

Nov 23, 2015
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Jeffo from Netherlands

3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from ScottO in a recent box. This one is to celebrate that my end finally made it to him.

From a bomber into a snifter
Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
72% cacao Belgian dark chocolate
Zumbar's locally roasted coffee "El Mundo."

APPEARANCE: Clear dark brown pour yields a two finger, medium looking, slightly fizzy, light brown head with good retention. Clear bistre brown body with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full foamy cap and clings to the sides of the glass. Half wisp remains until the end and leaves a few falling dots of lacing down the glass. Decent looking, though not all that dark for an imperial stout.

SMELL: A nice nose of coffee, creamy milk sugar, notes of vanilla and milk chocolate, and some cacao powder in the back. Medium strength, but creamy and well balanced.

TASTE: Medium flavors of sweet cream, milk chocolate, coffee, and cacao up front. Not as in your face as others, but it's all quite nicely balanced and put together. Some coffee bitterness at the swallow with sweet milk chocolate, some toffee notes, roasted coffee beans, bitter dark chocolate, roasted barley and powdery cacao. Pretty nice and not too overwhelming.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. A touch prickly on the palate maybe, but smooth enough, goes down fine and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Bitterness lingers.

This is a good beer all around. It's solidly made and all the right things are in all the right places. Unfortunately it's not bold or forthcoming enough to make it memorable, and it's missing that one, crucial element to give it that wow factor. Still, it's a enjoyable brew that's well worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of coffee stouts, which I am. This one hit the spot for me and it will probably hit the spot for you too. Thanks again for the beers ScottO! I'm happy my end to you finally worked out.

Dec 17, 2015
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jaydoc from Kansas

4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery.

May 17, 2015
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wethorseblanket from California

4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

May 06, 2015
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Sparky44 from Illinois

4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oct 28, 2016
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GRG1313 from California

3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dec 25, 2014
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MickeyHops from California

4.24/5  rDev +3.2%

Oct 20, 2014
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mactrail from Washington

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Opaque brown-black in the New Belgium snifter. Nicely spritzy and very tangy on the tongue. Deep coffee smell.

Spicy and a little hot. An amazing amount of coffee flavor, overlaid by the rich chocolate. Rather bitter, like an espresso. Rather sweet but undercut by the bitterness. Vast amounts of seriously roasted malt. The tang of extra dark coffee is everywhere. Dark caramel aftertaste with a splash of java.

From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

Dec 12, 2013
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ADZA from Australia

3.8/5  rDev -7.5%

Pours a dark black kola hue with a chocolate laced two finger head and lacing everywhere, the smell is dark Belgian chocolate, strong coffee and dark malts, the mouthfeel is full bodied, silky smooth with moderate carbonation and has tastes of dark chocolate predominantly mixed with black coffee and roasty malts and finished with a toasty bitter sweetness and overall quite a nice stout cheers.

Sep 02, 2014
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mikepcarney from Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dec 25, 2015
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.11/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: In color it is the darkest brown can get before it becomes black. Beige head settles into a thin cap. Wispy lacing.

S: Rich earthy and nutty coffee aromas are dominant. Bitter dark chocolate. Sweet blackstrap molasses and somewhat of a tea-like note. Smokey.

T: More or less follows the nose. Earthy and nutty coffee, smoke and a bit of acrid char. Bitter dark chocolate. Molasses. Fleeting berry-like flavors deep within. Long and smokey finish, with the sensation of chewing on a coffee bean.

M: Thick and hefty in the mouth. Full and chewy. Sharp carbonation prickles at the tongue a bit more aggressively than expected and has some scrubbing action.

O: The coffee addition is impressive, and makes the whole beer. Underneath the additives is a good, and perhaps 'no frills' imperial stout. I don't mean that to sound like it's a bad thing either. This is a beer that shows New English knows what they are doing. It takes a lot of skill to nail coffee the way they did. This is a brewery to watch.

Jun 03, 2018
Zumbar from New English Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 101 ratings