Black Rat Imperial Stout | Cellar Rats Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
32 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Black Rat Imperial StoutBlack Rat Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Cellar Rats Brewery
Ohio, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by adamette on 12-30-2009

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 98
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.06/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours dark brown, a shade from black with a finger of dense light brown foam. Retention is remarkable.

S: Roasted malts, milk chocolate, lactose sweetness, and toffee with light coffee in the background. All fairly faint, though.

T: Sweet lactose and milk chocolate start off with roasted malts in the background. As the beer warms, I get some nuttiness. A bit sweet for me, but not bad.

M: Thick mouthfeel with creamy carbonation.

O: A bit too much lactose sweetness and not enough roast and complexity for an imperial stout, not quite smooth enough for a milk stout. Not really the bests of both worlds, but not bad.

 653 characters

Photo of Omnium
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours out head, all head, nothing but head, had to pour this in SIX tries. After the stupid amount of foamy tan head settled down you're left with a ruby black beer.
S - Aroma is very good, lots of chocolate, a little coffee, big sweet roasted malt, a little alcohol at the end.
T - Tastes of sweet dark dried fruit, cherries, apricot, toasted caramel, dark chocolate. Definitely boozy. Its very fizzy from over-carbonation .
M - Thick, sticky, boozy.
O - I'm pissed at how much time i had to wait to drink this beer from over-carbonation. I liked the aroma, but the taste was too much sweet booze.

 626 characters

Photo of biglite351
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Orange around the edges with an extremely tall tight tan head

S - Very mild roasted malts and a nut like smell. Hint of dark chocolate

T - Roasted malts and a nice nuttiness with a creamy chocolate finish

M - Medium thickness and coating. Major tingle in throat

O - Luke warm. Quite close to being very good, but just a little short

 340 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Continuing to clean out the back of the fridge, we find this fine-looking extra from fiver29. A new brewery for me. 12 oz. bottle with, yes, rat-themed artwork. Well. I guess all the better ideas were taken.

The pour is black & the carbonation is enthusiastic. Nose is very milkweed with plenty of coffee/roast. Pretty routine.

Black Rat Imperial Stout hits the bulls-eye of the milk stout style. Roast, malts, lactose, touch of chocolate, creamy, easy to sip.

Absolutely nothing distinguishing about the beer. Good representation of the style, pretty good beer, but nothing to separate it from the pack.

 609 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

No bottling date, but it's a Russian Imperial, so no loss for me. My dad picked up a four pack of this on a whim while we were in Cleveland last week. I know this site and probably the brewery consider it a milk stout, but I don't think it's like one at all.

Appearance: Pours black with some ruby tinges to it. Half a finger of a light tan head on it. Little lacing.

Smell: More roastiness than anything. Not really getting any dark fruits or chocolate, and only a little coffee. Smells like an average Russian Imperial.

Taste/feel: But the taste is a different story... yep, a big ol' Imperial Stout. First thing I notice is the feel, and I'm impressed. Full body with a slight prickly carbonation working itself through. Very nice. For the taste, it's a bit interesting. Deep roastiness like I'd expect, but then there's a lingering roasty nuttiness on my tongue on the finish that I really enjoy. Despite the ABV and style, I don't get the normally to-be-expected dark fruit, or, to a lesser extent, soy sauce kinda flavors in this beer. It's not huge on depth of flavor, but it's really enjoyable, too drinkable for the style (ABV can't be tasted or felt), and a beer I'd recommend.

Dark roasted malts, char, and roasted cashews are the dominant flavors I pick up. Maybe some coffee and chocolate in the background, but it doesn't have the depth many of the style have. At the same time, it also (dangerously) lacks the warmth or alcohol flavor many do as well. Interesting RIS, and an unexpectedly enjoyable one as well. I was teetering between a 3.75 and 4 overall rating, but went up just because it's coming from a brewery I hadn't ever heard of.

SNAP EDIT: I'm drinking my last bottle of this beer, and I've decided that this beer is actually a bit of a letdown. I'm bringing the taste and overall rating down from 4's to 3.5's, because this beer is actually quite a lot sweeter than I even remember it being. Sweet, sweet, sweet and almost like a completely different beer for some reason. Still has that great roast aftertaste, but it's like there was half a cup of sugar poured into this bottle. Not sure why it's tasting so different, but man this is a letdown.

 2,180 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours jet black with a tan head. In the aroma, coffee, and notes of alcohol. In the taste, A small bitterness with some coffee presence. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry coffee and note of alcohol in the aftertaste. Nothing really exciting, decent, but kind of run of the mill.

 305 characters

Photo of Morey
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no freshness date.

Pours a very dark brown color (almost black). The head stood about one finger tall following a medium pour, but has since settled to a pretty thin layer of light brown colored foam. Decent head retention, but almost all of it makes it's way back into the beer after a bit.

The aroma was much bolder immediately after the poor with hints of chocolate, coffee, and roasted barley, but it's mellowed some, and is actually pretty clean at this point.

The malts hit you first, but there's a pretty significant sweetness that sweeps over the palate shortly after. I'm getting a bit of chocolate towards the middle with a hint of cola in there as well. There's just a touch of bitterness that surfaces near the back end, but the sweetness and chocolate dominate the finish.

Medium bodied (which is thin for a RIS) with moderate to light carbonation.

I've heard that this is actually a milk stout? It definitely taste like a milk stout that's for sure.

Morey's Bottom Line: If I was rating this as a Milk Stout, I would have probably given it a higher score, but as a RIS, it falls a bit short for me. Still a good beer, but it's on the sweet side.

 1,184 characters

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bottle into a tulip glass

A- Poured black with a two finger frothy mocha head that left no lace

S- Big milk chocolate aroma, some grains

T- Licorice notes up front, coffee in the middle, and milk chocolate on the finish. Some sweet cracker notes. Big coffee like bitterness to the beer. Each sip tastes a little different, some good flavors, but it does not quite blend together. Alcohol presence is there in the taste, not overpowering though.

M- Soft on the front, more highly carbonated through the middle of the tongue and finish, some warming sensation

O- Definitely glad to see a small local brewery bottle a unique beer like an Imperial Milk Stout. It started out more bitter than sweet though, although it eventually became very sweet. The aroma smelled like a milt stout but the taste had a lot of licorice and bitter coffee notes.

 863 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black Rat Imperial Stout
Cellar Rats Brewery
Style: Milk / Sweet Stout
ABV: 9.20 %

LOOK: Dark brown bordering on black. Light brown foam looking very dark and beckons everything roasted and oily. Leaves a nice ring of lace as the sips go by.

SMELL: Roasted malt, milk chocolate, espresso coffee. You can call me the undertaker because I am digging this nose.

TASTE: Sweet malts, big time milk chocolate flavor, lactose sugar, cream, coffee (in a mocha sense) and little to no bitterness. As there is very little bitterness from hops or the roast, the beer ends up being pretty sweet. For a sweet stout its about on point but it does cloy.

FEEL: Full bodied, well carbonated, a bit slick. Smooth overall feel and very easy to imbibe in.

OVERALL: Not a bad stout from Cellar Rats. Cloying sweetness, but the flavor is pretty solid otherwise. Perhaps a few spare hops in the brew kettle and we'd have a world class stout on our hands.

 937 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola color with a dark one finger khaki colored head. The head stays around and leaves decent lace on the glass. The aroma is of coffee at the start and then a big milk chocolate aroma with hints of cream at the end. The taste follows suit with a big milk chocolate taste up front before giving way to a coffee and cream like back end. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and seemed to be a little off. Overall it was a very good beer.

 445 characters

Photo of Bung
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Picked up in Columbus OH. Descently thick looking black pour. Just a ring of cream colored bubbles.

Aroma, roast malt, dark chocolate, quite a bit of mocha latte. Some cocoa.

Taste, quite a bit of strong flavors. Milk sugar, milk chocolate up front. Some roast malt, solid dose of coffee. Kind of tastes like one if those Starbucks coffee drinks.

A little thin, but it drinks quite easy. Fairly active carbonation helps the lighter feel as well. Maybe just a tad sweet.
Actually reminded me a bit of Williamsburg Alewirks Coffeehouse.
Worth trying one.

 561 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 fl oz bottle
Served in a snifter

L - This beer pours black with a mountain of tan head.

S - I get lactose. It is very sweet smelling with some chocolate.

T - It is sugary sweet. I get coffee and cream.

F - Medium

O - It is a little too sweet. The alcohol is well hidden. It is a good beer but definitely on the sweet side.

 330 characters

Photo of OrangeMen
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 vintage
~ 1 year since bottling, no bottle date but going off when beer was purchased

Appearance- Pours a black color, opaque. Half finger thick, light tan colored head, creamy thick. Some spotty head lacing and slight alcohol legs on glass.

Aroma- Sweet chocolates, creamy sugar, caramel, toffees, vanilla. Mild roasted malt, subtle mocha / coffee notes. Sweet, sugary, creamy.

Taste- Milk chocolates, subtle bittersweet dark chocolates, roasted malt, subtle smoky undertones. Creamy sugars, chocolate milk, caramel, toffee, almonds, dark fruits, and mocha.

Feel- Medium body, creamy and sweet but lacks a little in consistency. Lower carbonation.

Overall- Sweet, creamy, and rich. Sweetness really dominates but has a good depth to it. Roasted malt and coffee bitterness balance.

 791 characters

Photo of barczar
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 vintage, so rating set to current average.

Aroma is roasty, with dark fruit notes of plum and black cherry adding complexity.

Flavor is fairly sour throughout, with roasty malt dominating the finish, along with toasted notes.

 233 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in trade from barak316, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a solid black with a small creamy tan head that shows some retention. Smells of milk chocolate, lactose, coffee, and roasted grains. The bottle says Imperial stout, but this smells like a sweet stout. Taste is creamy with milk chocolate and caramel and bits of roast and coffee. Tastes like a sweet stout as well. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet coffee milk kind of mouthfeel. This is a nice milk stout that doesn't show one bit of its 9.2% abv.

 541 characters

Photo of RuckusDu
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wasn't going to review this but it is delicious. 12oz bottle to New Belgium globe. Thin half finger head of mocha color. Body is black but can be seen through at about 6mm. Some good amber color. Smell is a lot of licorice and molasses. Not my favorite. Flavor is where this wins me over. Wonderful chocolate, licorice (but much less), and a little caramel. Mouth feel is full and balanced carbonation.

A great stout that I would like to enjoy again sometime. Flavor is amazing and goes down well.

 499 characters

Photo of Stevem68
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate color. Aroma is light chocolate and roasted malts. Flavor is roasted malts and chocolate with a smooth subtle vanilla in the back of the tongue. Has a smooth velvety mouth feel and a touch of dryness in the finish but overall really nice.

 261 characters

Photo of schoolboy
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was a bit surprised at how good this was. It may be one of Cellar Rats' best yet.

It pours black with loads of lace. The aroma is big and roasty. Similarly, the taste is malt, sweet, and roasty, but mildly so in all respects. It does not seem boozy in any way, but it is. It also has a thin, mellow character - not harsh or biting in any way. The finish is sweet.

Overall, this is a very good, easy drinking imperial stout. It may not have the huge over the top mountains of taste that some do. It is a civilized imperial. More of a united nations than an imperialist take over.

 582 characters

Photo of imaguitargod
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a 1.5 finger head, bone white in color and the beer is black as night. Lives up to the Black Rat namesake. Slight malt sweetness but big roasted malt taste up front. Smooth to drink and that slight sweetness flows in and out of all the flavors. Hint of hop bitterness in the middle.

There is a little burnt aftertaste but nothing really distracting. Could be that the beer needs time to mellow for another month. Tasty enough that a whole growler was purchased!

~Jonathan Passow

 489 characters

Photo of ONUMello
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: A very dark brown with a thin head that quickly dissipates. A fair amount of carbonation.
S: Very aromatic; espresso, roasted malt, dark chocolate and a hint of hops.
T: Predominantly dark chocolate but background notes of cream and coffee. A touch on the sweet side but has a richness that balances the sweetness. Medium finish and no discernible heat from the 9.2% abv.
M: Medium to full bodied, smooth as can be yet with a nice kick from the carbonation. Pleasant on the tongue.
O: A well made beer from a brewery only a few miles from me. It's attached to a winery that was there first and to be honest their beers may be better than their wines. I have not tried this on tap but agree with others that in bottle it shows more like a milk stout as listed here than an imperial stout as the bottle says. That being said, it certainly is tasty.

 887 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1467th Review on BA
Bottle to Great Lakes Snifter

No bottle date
CA Gang Bang BIF

App- Pours out a dark brown with a good density. A small 1/2 finger brown head was there and gone. A few good dots of cling.

Smell- Chocolate milk with malts and sweetness kicked up and a smattering of booze on the nose. Quite enjoyable and lush.

Taste- Let's see? Booze, chocolate, creme, malts and blend. Voila! This beer. A little one dimensional but creamy and flavorful and a hidden ABV. Lush and rich.

Mouth- A solid medium body with a medium creamy carbonation. Residual chocolate and a little bit of cream.

Drink- I really enjoyed this. 1 of our 2 bottles was infected but the one I had tasted great. Smooth, rich and quite good.

 730 characters

Photo of superspak
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in late 2011. Pours pitch black color with a fluffy 2-3 finger dark khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice foamy lacing on the glass, with a lot of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of coffee, roasted malt, caramel, milk chocolate, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, and light fruitiness. Nice and well balanced aromas with good complexity. Taste of coffee, roasted malt, milk chocolate, toffee, toast, nuttiness, and light fruitiness. Fair amount of coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, milk chocolate, roasted malt, toffee, toast, and light fruitiness on the finish for a good bit. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Very smooth to sip on. Overall this is an excellent imperial milk stout! Great balance of roasted and sweet flavors, with good complexity; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyable stuff.

 1,063 characters

Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a pitch black color with a nice brown head. Head is a thick layer of foam, that doesn't go any where and leaves pretty thick lacing.

S- I'm picking up roasted malts, bakers chocolate, and light char. Nothing over powering.

T- Taste is really solid too. Char, bitter chocolate, roasted malts and a bit of sweetness that I can't quite figure out what it is, but I like it.

M- Full in body and low carbonation.

O- Wow this is pretty easy to drink.

 458 characters

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler at World Wine & Liquor in Mentor, Ohio. This batch is up around 9.2%.

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a jet black, with no light getting through anywhere. Slow rising light mocha head of about two fingers that gently drops to a mere wisp of foam. Some light lacing.

Aromas of light cocoa, coffee, slight roast. Aroma is very subdued. Not overwhelming.

Flavors of sweet malt, roast malt, some anise, light cocoa and coffee. Finish is medium with roasted malt and sweet cocoa in the fade.

Mouthfeel is full, chewy, mouthcoating roastiness.

Overall very drinkable, nice RIS. Alcohol doesn't really come through, very dangerous brew.

 652 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark tan head forming thick, fine even speckled lacing with a pitch black body absorbing all of the visible light. Aroma has dark chocolate/mild coffee accents from the dark roasted malts, mild fruitiness with herbal hops in the backend. Flavor has creamy dark chocolate notes almost like a big milk stout caliber creamy sweetness. I like the red rat on the label with the soviet hammer and sickle on it's side. "The Black Rat is a juggernaut of a beer. This imperial, milk stout is big and full of flavor and may remind you of an Irish coffee with lots of cream and sugar. This monster beer clocks in at 9.2% A.B.V. It truly is bitter sweet and velvety smooth." Yep I knew this was too laden with milk sugar not to be a sweet stout, it's imperial and has some serious alcohol that I can't even taste. Big smooth mouthfeel big body with big creamy textures, even carbonation mellow smooth big beer at it's best for a small brewer in Ohio. Drinkability overall it's one and done for me the roasted malts get hidden by big layers of fruitiness and big layers of lactose infused sweetness, which makes it lack some much needed balance. I may get diabetes if I drink too much of this but for an enjoyable imperial stout experience this is good up there with the new Southern Tier 2X Imperial Milk Stout.

 1,299 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Black Rat Imperial Stout from Cellar Rats Brewery
3.94 out of 5 based on 98 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!