Capitol City Brewing

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #533
Ranked #17,230
4.04 | pDev: 7.18%
Capitol City Brewing
District of Columbia, United States
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 18 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Hopskii
Hopskii from New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured at the brewery in DC. L: nice pour S: strong coffee and chocolate malt character T: not as balanced as I was hoping. F: Easy to drink for high abv. O: solid beer but nothing spectacular.

Feb 04, 2018
Photo of John_M
John_M from Oregon

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

On tap today at the Arlington location. Served in a 10 ounce chalice.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color with good head retention and decent lacing. The nose is also attractive, showcasing coffee, milk chocolate and milk duds. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this moderately sweet beer, with a hint of hoppy bitterness to counter that sweetness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a faily long finish. Alcohol is fairly well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can tell the abv. is up there a bit (still, this beer is all too easy to drink for the abv.).

A solid beer from CC, though certainly nothing extraordinairy either.

Aug 11, 2011
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck from Virginia

3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Completely black pour with a nice small off white to light brown head. Retention and lacing are solid.

S: The smell is very nice. Coffee and other roasted malts. The boldness of the coffee is quite impressive.

T: While it's pretty much a one trick pony with the coffee, I still enjoy it. Sort of missing some chocolate or any hops to compliment the dry roasty flavors already present. It's a bit watered down, but you can't taste a single hint if the alcohol.

MF: It's a bit light. Carbonation seems a tad low. I was expecting more of a body from what was advertised as their biggest beer.

O: For all its faults this is a very enjoyable beer. I'd certainly get iut again. $6 for a 10oz goblet I believe.

Jun 18, 2011
Photo of Chaney
Chaney from District of Columbia

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Cap. City while out on a date night with my wife. This was the one and only beer she ordered.... so naturally, she didn't need to do much coaxing to get me to order one as well.

A: Black as the sky on a cloudy night, with about a 1/2 inch or so cappuccino colored head that lingered as a ring around the brew throughout the entire session.

S: VERY strong coffee, with a tinge of chocolate and molasses... you know.... the usual band of Imperial Stout characters.

T: No fruitiness whatsoever, which I found a bit disappointing, however, the coffee was there in spades. The redeeming part: the coffee was actually a GOOD coffee!

M: I was impressed by how creamy and thick this was... it actually transcended into chocolate milk territory in terms of mouthfeel. There was also a very tempered, disciplined sweetness and a ridiculous amount of lacing.

D: Sure this is a one-dimensional brew, but the coffee lovers sure do love it!

Feb 20, 2011
Photo of joe1510
joe1510 from Illinois

4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10oz Goblet
Capital, DC

9% abv

I imbibed Fuel at the DC brewpub but was told it was brewed at the Arlington location, hence the review. Fuel was as black as night as it was brought to the bar without any hope of light fighting through the body. A cap of beige foam quickly settles into a skimming and manages to leave behind some wide swathes of lacing.

Roasty malts and dark roasted coffee are front and center. Fuel isn't a coffee bomb; instead it's well integrated coffee stout. A mild creaminess wafts through in the background with mild hints of dark chocolate here and there. Dark berries bring up the rear once I get past the roastiness of the coffee. Faint, clean alcohol tickles my nose each time it enters the glass.

The coffee is dominant in the flavor but this beer is no one trick pony. Roasty malts and dark chocolate, that becomes cocoa powder at times, lend a helping hand to the moderately roasted coffee. Caramel maltiness plays a strong role as well that was unexpected. Dark berries are here and there but are never clear enough for me to pull out exactly what kinds of berries they are.

The body is full but leans more in the moderately-full range. The carbonation is bubbly enough to keep this beer moving at a nice clip but also keeps the body from reaching that full, slick feel that would be so perfect for this brew.

This beer is actually very easy to drink. The lighter feeling body and lack of noticeable alcohol puts this one in the dangerously drinkable category. I could see the 9% catching up to me easily with this stout.

This was the best beer out of the bunch I drank while at Capital Brewpub. The coffee was very well integrated into a good stout base. Too bad they can't sell growlers in DC; I would have liked to bring one home.

Apr 21, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub on 4/5/09. Served in a 10 oz goblet.

Pours black (ruby hues shine through here and there though) with a 1/2 finger of foamy burnt mocha colored head. A thin creamy film skims the surface, staying robust when swirled, leaving a fizzy cascade of lace and brown gooey oils behind. The aroma starts out with a big blast of roasted coffee character that is well balanced out by an equally big waft of chocolate malts and some other sweeter malt tones. I'm also maybe getting some dark fruits in there, as well as just a smidge of alcohol warmth.

The taste once again begins with a firm dose of roasty and bitter coffee character that is nicely evened out by a chewy mix of chocolate malts and (more subtle) tangy dark fruits. I'm only getting a touch of astrigency behind the coffee flavors with the majority of the finish consisting of additional roasted malt and coffee bitterness. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a very sharp carbonated feel that while accentuating the more roasted and bitter accents of this, doesn't do much for the sweeter nature of the profile. I do have to give props on the drinkibility of this though. For a 10% beer, the alcohol is marvelously hid. Alcohol beef adds to the full body of this but that's about it. Nice!

A robust and powerful Imperial Coffee Stout, this is probably the best thing that I've had from the Cap Brewing chain. That 10% ABV is quite dangerous though, as it would be quite easy to down a couple of these in a sitting.

Apr 08, 2009
Photo of JasonA
JasonA from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours basically a carbonation and headfree dark coffee brown black. Not what I im used to for a RIS.

Dark and deep roasted malt with lots of coffee present. Maybe some chocolate. Hint of rum-raison? No ABV present.

Light. Feels medium bodied. VEry surprised this is considered a RIS and 10% ABV. Feels more like a breakfest Porter to me. Light on the palatte.

Im having a hard time believing this a 10%. Sits very well, I could easily have a number of these, I wish I hadnt ate so much food. Taste lasts, which brings it up in the body. No warming abv present.

I would love to have a few more of these. Hopefully will have a chance to get back down sooner rather than later.

Aug 29, 2008
Photo of sholland119
sholland119 from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A delicious coffee imperial stout from Capitol City.

Pours a deep black with a very thin brown head.

Smell is dominated by coffee with a bit of dark fruit and some alcohol.

Taste follows the nose with a very rich coffee/dark fruit blend. A bit of warming alcohol is noticeable on the finish but it is pleasant.

Mouthfeel is rich and viscous.

I could have one or two anytime.


Aug 09, 2008
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps from Oregon

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10oz chalice served at close to cellar temp

A: Black with dark brown highlights with a very thin light beige head

S: Medium roasted coffee right up front with a little bit of fruity sweetness( melons and red grapes?) and dark chocolate. Quite wonderful

T: Full bodied roasted coffee flavor up front with a mild sweetness. The finish is dry and pleasantly bitter and burnt. I'm ALMOST getting a hint of some berries in there. Just a tad more bitter than i'd like

M: Well carbonated with just the right amount of tingling to go with the bitter finish

D: I would never guess this was 10% It's dangerously drinkable

Apr 06, 2008
Photo of Rootdog316
Rootdog316 from Virginia

4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Probably the best beer they have at Capitol City in Arlington, VA. There is a thin cream colored lacing around the goblet it was served in. There is an entirely obvious aroma of roasted coffee in the smell, as well as the initial taste. It has a medium body, while the mouthfeel is very smooth yet very rich. The finish leaves a good aftertaste of coffee. I'm not sure how long it is around for, but I recommend gettnig it sooner rather then later.

Jan 27, 2008
Photo of hopsaplenty
hopsaplenty from District of Columbia

4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10 pounds of Sumatra coffee are used in each batch. This was a Gold Medal winner at the 2006 GABF.

Solid black with thin sienna highlights at the margins. Small piles of crema colored foam accumulate at the edge along with a scattering of dust. Aromas of roasted coffee with some sweetness, not overly burnt. Nice sweet coffee, deep roasted up front, finishing with a pleasing blend of coffee and sugar that is just a touch bitter in a good, pleasing way. No hint of the 10% alcohol whatsoever which is surprising. Short, lingering coffee flavor, that is more sweet than bitter in the finish. Medium body with a rich, smooth mouthfeel. Amazingly light for such a high powered beer. The roasted flavors come up a bit, but never become bitter or astringent. Nice and balanced overall. Highly drinkable. Get some while it is available.

Nov 19, 2006
Fuel from Capitol City Brewing
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 18 ratings