Good People Brewing Company

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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #201
Ranked #4,018
4.18 | pDev: 9.81%
Good People Brewing Company
Alabama, United States
Notes: A huge, viscous, full-bodied, dark as night, imperial stout yet somehow amazingly drinkable. Big aromas and flavors including dark fruits, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and spiced rum. Not for the faint of heart. Big but surprisingly nimble, as it can compliment any course of a meal.

78 IBU
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 87 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Tilley4
Tilley4 from Tennessee

4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Smoky and rich.... Strong hit of hops on the finish which surprises me quite a bit... Booze is very subtle... Anise is prevalent... Could be a bit thicker in body... Very tasty...super dark roasted malts... Hits of cocoa... Smoked meat... Some leather... Interesting take on the style...

Jan 06, 2017
Photo of richj1970
richj1970 from Alabama

4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 32 oz growler into snifter.

A: Pours midnight black with two finger mocha colored head with long retention and leaving spotty lacing.

S: Roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, and licorice.

T: Rich dark roasted malts, bitter coffee, chocolate, and vanilla.

M: Full bodied with a slightly creamy and bitter finish.

O: Very nice RIS. I would love to see this regularly bottled or canned.

Jan 17, 2015
Photo of GPHarris
GPHarris from Alabama

4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 34
Batch 4

A - poured a one finger thick coffee-colored head into a snifter that left good lacing throughout. The body was dark black.
S - chocolate, vanilla, roast, hint of booze.
T - same as above but the dark fruits really come through more.
M - medium and slick.
O - held up really well after 4 years. Lots going on in this one.

Jan 01, 2015
Photo of brewskifan55
brewskifan55 from Mississippi

4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Hop City, Birmingham.

A: A very dark brown, almost black, with a mocha colored one finger head that lay there staring up at me. Curtainy lacing.

S: Chocolate, anise, leather, malty. Heavy duty.

T: strong, hefty, robust. Semi sweet chocolate arrives with malts and light espresso notes. A thick, dry finish. What a great sipper.

M: medium with medium, frothy carbonation.

O: A stellar IRS. One of the best surprises from my sampling at the bar. For a stout, this is a real easy drinker. The wait staff think highly of this overweight gem. Recommended.

Jan 27, 2014
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barleywinefiend from Washington

3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured jet black with a nice brown cap, good amount of bubbles and lacing remain

S: Big dark chocolate balanced with milk chocolate topped with fresh coffee beans. Very nice.

T: A nice blend of creamy milk chocolate upfront with a nice blend of bitter dark chocolate. Loads of coffee beans are there but not as prominent as the chocolate and roasted malts The taste is dry, creamy with a bitterining finish

M: Big body as this style should be but a little thin, fairly clean, lots of cocoa sit on the palate

O: Very good overall. No major complaints.

Aug 05, 2012
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AgentMunky from New York

3.51/5  rDev -16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass at the brewery. From notes. Reviewed 11 January 2012.

A: Two fingers of thick, creamy head. Absolutely black. Amazing! Little lacing.

S: Strong milk chocolate with a touch of roasted malt. Dry and haunting with a touch of hops.

T/M: Meh, a bit of a letdown. It's remarkably thin-bodied, sort of sliding down the throat with little fanfare. A touch of sour sweetness. The aftertaste is admittedly excellent; after the initial sour bittersweetness, there is long, lingering coffee and chocolate.

O: A decent Russian Imperial Stout, but not good enough to be recommendable. Good People's Coffee Oatmeal Stout is a better beer. What really puts me off is the strange tart-fruity bittersweetness that pervades the maintaste. Perhaps I just got a bad barrel, but I don't understand what the fuss is about.

ABV: 8.9%
IBU: 78
SRM: 86

Feb 01, 2012
Photo of Reaper16
Reaper16 from Alabama

3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

served on-tap @ The Alcove, Tuscaloosa, AL, into a mason jar

Pours a dark, dark color. It's black. The color, that is, that I described as "dark, dark." Some imperial stouts are just black. We try to say something else about them, something original, but that doesn't really work out ever. This beer is just black. And that's a good thing. So is the head on this pour, which is like almost two fingers (!) in size of dark tan colored foam.

Lots of chocolate in this new batch of Fatso. Lots. The dominant aroma is that of fudge. Well, maybe not real fudge. More like the Little Debbie product called "Fudge Brownies;" you know, the ones with the nuts on them. It smells like those. There's some distant coffee here, as well as a tad bit of dark fruits.

The flavor is pretty similar to the nose, but the ratios are different. This beer tastes mostly of cake batter. Chocolate cake batter, of course. It's not cloying or anything; this is more of a semi-sweet chocolate chips type flavor. But also coming on strong are the dark fruits. It's not distinctly any kind of dark fruit, but sort of a generic melange of prunes and dates and etc. Thanks, yeast strain, for your abundant fruitiness.

If there's a flaw to Fatso it is that it is not thick enough in mouthfeel given its flavors. The body is lacking in thickness and doesn't carry it's rich flavors across the palate in the best way possible. It's not a poor mouthfeel, it just has room for improvement.

Overall, this is a damn solid Imperial Stout. I'm very glad that I can drink this fresh and local, as it is a tasty beer. It doesn't belong in the same class as elite impy stouts, but it is a very fine release.

Jan 07, 2012
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EgadBananas from Louisiana

4.14/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to nhudson for this rarity! From notes.

Pours thick and sludge-like. Head was a very light tan color. Milk chocolate comes through a lot in the aroma, with some charred notes, nice coffee, and molasses. Tastes more char and burnt, which I like. Bitter coffee and chocolate are very nice. Feels chewy and full. creamy and very low carbonation.

Great brew...I'd go to Bama to score it.

Jul 31, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer from Alabama, this should be good? Thanks to Alex for sharing.

A - Dark brown beer with a bit of a tan head that had nice retention.

S - Roasted malts, dark fruits, some nuts, little chocolate and coffee. Pretty pleasant, better than I was expecting.

T - Taste is relatively in line with the nose. Little more chocolate and some sweeter fruits than darker. Gets a little charry in there at the end.

M - A little thin, sickly-sweet finish.

O - Pretty solid beer actually, would drink it again, go Alabama?

Jul 14, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34 from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Alex for this super rare AL tick...A dark brown beer, bordering on black. There is a really creamy tan head that has great lasting power and good lacing. Looks good...The aroma is complex and subtle, a light caramel espresso coffee, then the finish is creamy hazelnuts. Shock is beginning to set in...Chocolate jumps at me on the front, lots of cherries, and a hint of smoke. Finish is not as successful as its becomes pretty bitter with alcohol, chalk, and coffee. A small overall acidic quality that is a little annoying...The beer is pretty thin, warm finish...Easy to drink.

I was expecting nothing out of this, but a pleasant surprised for a gas station beer. The AL worth trying if you can get a hold of it.

Jan 12, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to deaconbluez for this one. Bottled in November '09, and apparently only sold at an Exxon station in Coosa County!? Served in a Tripel Karmeliet tulip.

A - Pours with a half-finger of tan foam that settles to a thin ring and hazy film that is persistent and lingers indefinitely. The body is a very, very dark brown color.

S - Roasted malts, some smoke, licorice, dark chocolate, and hints of vanilla extract, peanut butter, and fruity esters.

T - The taste is fruitier - is there a Belgian yeast strain involved? Reese's peanut butter cups, smoke and char, burnt espresso, and a lightly bitter roasty finish. There's a faint hint of chalkiness mid-palate.

M - Considering the name, this is a little thinner than I expected, although when I see the ABV it makes more sense. Definitely medium in body, medium-low carbonation, and a little bit of warmth in the finish.

D - It's a very solid RIS, but it's probably only an A+ to poor Alabamans who have been deprived of quality local beers for years. Worth trying, but not worth trading the farm, even with the ridiculously low bottle counts. I'm curious about El Gordo though!

Jan 11, 2011
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

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

Appearance: Pours out a hearty-looking, near black body layered with a wispy, tan-hued head.

Smell: Roasty-scented aroma of chilled, concentrated coffee. Supporting malt notes of chocolate ganache, blackened barley, and licorice, with lesser hints of vanilla and good, wholesome chimney soot for a bit of smokiness. Ripe dark fruit character.

Taste: Roasty, coffee-toned maltiness with full tastes of dark chocolate, lightly smoked vanilla beans, and black licorice. Moderate degree of sweetness. Dark fruitiness yielding undertones of black cherry and prunes. Decent dose of hops provide, along with the roastiness, a solid balancing bitterness. Lingering taste of robust coffee beyond the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation. Smooth, tongue-coating mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A mighty fine Imperial Stout from Alabama tha-- Geez Louise, who imagined we'd live to see the day we'd be able to say that.

Mar 11, 2010
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi from Georgia

4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep coffee-brown sable with an average yellowish-tan head. Rich aroma is like a fine mocha and very attractive. Mocha-ish flavor is very pleasing, slightly sweet, and has an undertone of molasses. Texture is fizzy and jazzy, making for overall a very good stout.

Mar 06, 2010
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a pitch black color that is topped by a creamy tan head that drapes webs of lace

Smell: Chocolate and coffee with dark fruit and resiny hop tones

Taste: Burnt black bread, up front, with a developing dark chocolate and raisiny character; fruity hops and more bitter chocolate join by mid-palate; after the swallow, the dark fruit flavor dominates with the bitter chocolate; a hint of espresso on the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A different take on the style, with more fruit than most and a burnt taste that I am not crazy about; still, quite a nice beer

Dec 18, 2009
Photo of LestatSabastian
LestatSabastian from Alabama

4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a truly nice beer. I hate it that I had to get it in a milk jug at dee's package store. The beer is not yet bottled.
Appearance is very black with brown highlights to it, a surprisingly lighter head to it though nearly a light brown.
Smell was nice chocolate and coffee notes with maybe a little smell like raisin.
taste was great. I tasted coffee/nut with a bit of chocolate and was expecting to taste the raisin or some fruit but did not. I did smell the raisin though
mouthfeel it was perfect stout feel to it. A light chewy taste, thick feel not watery, and very creamy.
drinkability would recommend this beer it is a good one if you like stouts.

Sep 17, 2009
Photo of BenSelf
BenSelf from Alabama

4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the J. Clyde this past weekend. The beer pours up nicely with a dark mocha head that lingers until the end. This beer is pitch black, as you would expect. The aroma is full of burnt malt and dark chocolate, with some toasted notes as well. The flavor is satisfyingly big and robust, with lots of roasted malt. The tail end comes in with some hop bitterness, toasted almonds, sweet malt, and coffee. The mouthfeel is almost oily, and helps convey a lot of umph. I'm amazed to see this much flavor in a beer that's not even 9% ABV. Good drinkability for an RIS, which is to say that I can finish an 8 oz. serving. Cheers!

Sep 09, 2009
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Freethyhops from Montana

4.56/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from growler aka ghetto grower aka milk jug to chalice.

the appearence is exceptional. pours a stout lovers favorite color, motor oil black. less than a finger of head, but it is a VERY dark brown. another good sign.

the smell is strong of coffee but roasted and chocolate malts come through as well

the taste is truly unique. the coffee flat out dominates, but not in a bad way. you still taste the sweetness of the chocolate, black/dark malts. the coffee really inhances the bitterness of the hops but it is not overly bitter as the subtle sweetness balances very well.

the mouthfeel is thick but not overly thick. it coats the mouth, though, and lets the flavors linger. i had to get a sip of water to help it down the pipe a few times.

me and a buddy took a growler down fairly easily. as I said the way the beer coats the mouth can lead to the aftertastes lingering too long and making the flavor almost overwhelming. but nothing that can't be fixed with a swig or two of water every glass. but the last glass went down just as quick as the first, which was pretty quick on it's journey. i wanted some more when it was done....

Aug 18, 2009
Photo of everetends
everetends from Alabama

4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another growler review. This one is out of a half gallon growler I picked up from Dee's Package in Birmingham, AL for $9.99. Served up in a standard pint glass. Missed this one at the Magic City Brewfest, so I was excited to finally get my paws on some.

A: Pours a jet black. Like a brand new jet with fresh coat that just shines. Not flat black like the Stealth series, this stuff has some swagger gloss kickin. About have a finger of mocha head rests on top but doesn't throw up much lace. Held to the light . . . it is still black. More of a dark yellow on the edges, that oily look. Move it around on the glass and absolutely getting some yellow oil slick there. Very good looking. This beer just looks big.

S: Smell is nice. Lots of coffee up front. Fresh beans that have been ground, dark roast style. Then some dark chocolates develop, along with some milk chocolate peaking through. You can definitely get the milk in here. Rich malts are just really good. Slightly nutty and that helps with some of the earthy hops aroma coming out. A good bit of alcohol comes up in the aroma but its not too crazy. Smells like an Impy Stout and a good one at that.

T: Oh yeah, and this is what I was hoping a local brewery could do when it comes to an Impy Stout. Chocolate goodness in here. Slightly bitter dark chocolate mix well with sweet milk chocolate presence. Then come the coffee. Dark, roasty goodness (coffee flavor and absolutely some roasted malts coming across as well). Alcohol is light but it is just enough booziness that I want from an Impy. A little bit of a hazelnut and vanilla on the back end. This reminds me a lot of a Ten FIDY and that is not a bad thing. Thats a great thing.

M: Full bodied. This is a big beer. Very thick and viscous, nice slick oil type feel. Chewy for sure and this beer coats the palate with ease. Light carbonation but that may be the growler, but with that included it is still a great feel with all this creaminess. ABV brings just such a beautifully subtle heat on the middle of the throat to the belly. Comforting. Aftertaste is a touch of booze and all that chocolate goodness.

D: Been killing growlers of this all weekend and that is a testament to how easy this big boy drinks. The flavors are just great, definitely as good as Ten FIDY in that department. It is big but it remains drinkable for sure. If this is on tap, I will be having it at the bar or taking a growler from the filling station. Good People is really killing it with the beers they are putting out. If you are in B'ham, don't miss out. Try their line, but start with this beer.

Aug 04, 2009
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PeterLemonjello from Alabama

4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this @ the Music City Brewfest

A - Black and intimidating with a fluffy white head.

S - Smells like it looks (dark and roasty) with some hop aroma cutting through the big dark smells.

T - Lots of flavors. Dark and roasty malts, coffee, chocolate, fruit, brown sugar. Similar to smell, hop flavors manage to compliment the big flavors of the dark malt. Finishes dry and roasty.

M - Very substantial

D - Very drinkable because it tastes so good, but it's certainly no session beer.

Aug 02, 2009
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StuartCarter from Alabama

4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Smell: faint coffee and mild hops.
Appearance: black as dark roast coffee.
Flavour: follows the smell - rich coffee, moderate hop bitterness, lingering coffee aftertaste.
Palate: this is a rich, dense beer that presents to the mouth more like an incredible coffee syrup.
Overall: this is a truly outstanding beer - world class.

Jul 29, 2009
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Bonhoeffer from Alabama

4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was the first beer over 6% ABV ever legally brewed in Alabama. Served on cask at the 09 Magic City Brewfest.

I actually found myself wishing for some more carbonation. As cool as the cask tapping ceremony was, i'm not sure this beer is best served on cask.

Flavor was good. Not earth shattering. I felt some burn in my throat while drinking which i thought might be from some chiles, but Jason (the brewer) said no, no chiles. Vanilla bean. So maybe the vanilla bean gave it a little burn? Not sure.

Enjoyable, but i really look forward to having it on draught soon with some more carbonation to see what that does with it.
Update 7/23/09: just had it on tap at the Clyde. The full production run of this baby blows the trial run cask away. Earth-shatteringly good. Some dark cherry, rum, lots of chocolate, pronounced hop kick, thick as molasses (not really, but humor me), darker than pure evil. A beautiful monster.

One of the greats. Good People is going to put Bham on the beer geek map; mark my words.

Jun 08, 2009
Fatso from Good People Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 87 ratings