Redhook Double Black Stout | Redhook Ale Brewery

Redhook Double Black StoutRedhook Double Black Stout
Liked This Beer
3.86 w/ 345 Ratings
Redhook Double Black StoutRedhook Double Black Stout

Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with coffee.

Added by Todd on 12-10-1998

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Ratings: 345 |  Reviews: 280
Photo of lordeche
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown, almost black, with tan head. Aroma is a bit musty, with some strong coffee roastiness, molasses, and chalky chocolate notes. Flavor is rather bitter, with a fair bit of burnt malt and chalky chocolate notes. Not much in the way of sweetness up front, but some semi-sweet chocolate notes take hold after it warms up a little. The coffee notes emerge with some oily bitterness- very nice. A little bit of prickly carbonation and some stickiness in the palate. Not bad, and semi-original, but not enough quite enough complexity for an Impy.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a dark brown with a firm tan head, good retention and lacing.

S: Coffee grinds, some milk chocolate, burnt toast.

T: Roasted malt and coffee are presented in a good balance. Middle is nutty, almost reminiscent of a brown ale, sweet finish like a milk stout.

M: Would like a bit more body on a big stout, but not bad. Slightly oily, bitter, medium-bodied, low carbonation.

D: This is what I've been waiting for from Redhook. Really good beer, I read about it in Michael Jackson's books, but I haven't gotten a chance to try it until now. Pick it up.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11/16/08- Purchased at Ledger's in Berkeley, CA. $4.99 price tag.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with a born on date imprinted on the label. Poured into my Stone Ruination mug.

Appearance- Off black colored pour. Good sized one inch plus a bit dirty head which is slow receeding. Leaves a slight rim and also leaves some small wisps and patches of lace.

Smell- Deeper roasted malt with a light campfire smoke scent. Mild bitter hop fumes and some coffee grounds.

Taste- About the body and flavor expected from the abv. Lots of coffee notes. Mostly grounds and coffee that has been sitting on the burner a bit long. Mild dark chocolate base. Light cola flavoring.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a bit overcarbonated feel. Calms down a bit towards the end of the bottle. Nice coffee bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not bad at all. Definitely worth the $5 for a try. Not saying I will buy it again, but it was quite nice.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

heard about this coming back out after a long hiatus. don't recall it from it's "production" days. So, how did redhook do reviving a living legend?

A - pitch black, nice khaki head
S - roasted grains, espresso, bakers chocolate
T - espresso, bakers chocolate, roasted grains, molasses
M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth with a roasty lingering note
D - flavorfull, no hint of the abv with a solid coffee roasty punch from start to finish.

a solid brew which must have been way ahead of it's day 10 years ago.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Really seems to be lacking a big coffee punch, which is not bad, but not really what I was expecting from a beer that has "with coffee" in the title of the beer. Smells just the slightest bit like chocolate cotton candy. I'll let this warm up a bit and see what happens then. Still pours a nice deep black and topped with a nice, healthy looking one inch head. Tastes like a stout, not an imperial stout though. Very roasty, bit of coffee bitterness but the malt bill really dominates here. Nice and chewy, not thick or viscous, but chewy and sweet. Moving in halfway to the beer the aroma stays more or less the same. Slightly watery, roasted, slightly smoky maltiness. Taste just seems lack luster. Not bad for a strong stout, but considering all the other imperial stouts available today this one seems about average. Drinkability is pretty decent considering how smooth this beer is, nice, solid mouthfeel adds to this and a 5 dollar price tag for a bomber makes it an easy pickup if you are looking to try something new.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black, tan head, and beautifully black.

Nose is roasty, whopper nougat like, and faint coffee paper filter aroma.

Palate is roasty, coffee grounds (not coffee like in most coffee stouts). It's a rather true to taste of coffee.

Medium to light bodied, and finishes with coffee to the end. Reminds me of wet coffee filter after brewing a pot of coffee.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 08-0410, Dated October 9, 2008

Finally, The stout I've been waiting for from Red Hook. I've been waiting for this for sometime now. Hope it's worth the wait...
Served this slightly chilled, in a pint glass, from a twenty two ounce brown bottle.

Appearance: Red Hook's Double Black pours out a deep dark black, with an almost oily look to it. Not a single ray of light could pass through it. A vigorous pour yielded about two fingers of solid, tight, tannish brown head. Head faded a bit on the quick side into a thick gob of foam atop the beer. Some decent, thick tan lace was left behind on the glass.

Smell: Nice roasty nose. Coffee definitely dominates the nose. Burnt black coffee, milk chocolate, and toffee linger not too far in the background. Huge roasted/toasted malt aromas also make themselves known. Almost reminds me of fresh baked chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Great nose on this one.

Taste: Big flavors here. Tons of roasted coffee is the first flavor to hit you. Slightly smokey roasted/toasted malt flavors. Hints of semi-sweet chocolate enhance the flavor more. Noted some toffee in the background with a touch of alcohol. Some pretty bold flavors.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I had expected. Just a step below creamy. Perfectly carbonated in my opinion. Quite smooth overall with a somewhat slick feel.

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable stout in my opinion. The huge flavors do get to be a bit much after a while. A great offering from Red Hook. Hoping they make this a yearly release!

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Photo of Tolann
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Very dark. Double black is a good way to put it. Some coffee colored head that is thin and doesn't seem to leave a lacing. Can't hide the coffee even in appearance.

S - Sweet and roasted coffee. Some cocoa sweetness. the coffee is obvious.

T - Coffee. Sweet, wonderful coffee. Roasted up, just a little sweet. Reminds me of eating chocolate coated coffee beans.

M - smooth and nice medium body feel. not too much carbonation which is good for the style. Little after taste, but in a good way.

D - Not too sweet, not too bitter, no big alcohol feel. Very nice to drink. This is really what I've been in the mood for in the past few weeks. Yes sir, I'd like another! I give a '5' here just cuz I love coffee beers and I have access to this one. My absolute favorite coffee beer, Surly Coffee Bender, is not available for distribution. This Double Black is worthy of a few more points that are better than a 4.5.

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Photo of scottoale
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. brown bomber with a date on front label: OCT 08 08 and Batch : 08-0410. This black beauty pours a dark ebony with a 1/2" of cocoa creamy froth. Good carbonation, the head fades to a ring and surface patch.

The smell is faintly sweet and very roasty of espresso beans. Smells just like a cup of black espresso that fades to a slight dark fruit.

The flavor is big and coffee infused with lots of bitterness that is just off-set by a touch of chocolate sweetness. Very roasty and toasty. It almost needs some cream and sugar to make the perfect cup of's that bitter. This is a beautiful breakfast stout that wakes you up.

A solid medium-plus body, with the 7.0% ABV being virtually undetectable, and that all adds up to a very easy to drink stout. Nicely done.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a bomber into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours a shade lighter then black with a huge head that leaves sticky lacing. The head is really interesting. It reminds me of a latte. There are 2 layers of head, each with its own color. There is a darker beige layer sitting onto the beer with a light tan layer on top of that. This is the first time I have ever seen this on a beer. It's pretty cool. The aroma is astringent coffee with just a bit of cream, and chocolate malts. The taste is astringent espresso, sweet cream and chocolate. The mouthfeel is full and creamy. This is an absolutely wonderful beer and I can see why it has a cult following.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The wife got this for me as an early birthday present. I'm pretty excited about this one too.

A- Very dark dark brown, almost super black. The head was nice and frothy. Looks a lot like it was a nitro pour. Looks tasty.

S- This has a great smell. Chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. The roasted malts are coming though in a great way. Nice and tasty.

T- There is a tasty coffee taste that is very robust, yet dry and pungent. The chocolate taste is very faint, yet there. There is a slight hop taste there was well, but it is more so there in the after taste. Nice taste, something is there that I can't quite put my finger on.

M- This has a great thick, yet thin feel in the mouth. The carbination is very welcoming in this beer. Very much like a good porter more so then a stout.

D- This is very drinkable, nice feel in the mouth, and I'm glad they brought this one back.

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Photo of Overlord
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excited to see this on the shelves at the Lake Forest Bevmo.

Pours a blackish brown with ... carnelian highlights? Huh? Guess I'm use to syrupy, jet-black heavy stouts. Boisterous light foam head. Smells like coffee and cocoa. Not a real heavy aroma. Just pleasant.

Nice taste. The coffee isn't overwhelmingly, espresso-ey blasty, and the chocolate is definitely more on the cocoa/milk chocolate versus a heavy bitter or dark component. Even some dark fruits ... maybe raisins. Chewy, but not overwhelmingly thick.

I enjoyed this quite a bit, but it's kind of a strange animal. I wouldn't guess it was a Double Stout, nor an RIS ... I suppose an American Stout or even a real heavy porter would come to mind. It's ABV and mouthfeel is manageable, while still having a real strong flavor.

The real reason why this is a winner, though, is the price. At 5.00, it's just right.

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Photo of Brad007
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black color with a very thin brown head into my pint glass.

Aroma has a slight hint of chocolate upfront followed by some creaminess and light coffee.

Taste is nice and roasty with mostly bitter coffee and light creaminess upfront.

As it warms up, I take another sip and in the middle, the coffee flavors start to come out more and they linger as a bitter coffee aftertaste with only a touch of creaminess.

A good attempt at an imperial stout. However, I feel that there's not enough of that creaminess that I was able to detect and the bitter coffee flavor tends to overwhelm my taste buds. Carbonation is kind of high as well. Not a bad beer though and I could finish the entire bomber. Just not sure that I'd buy it again.

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Photo of glid02
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours completely black with hardly any head. Upon emptying out the bomber with zest I got about one-finger of tan head that dissipated into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. Not much lacing.

Smells largely of coffee and roasted malts, with the coffee being slowly replaced with chocolate as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. A whole lot of coffee up front with roasted malts lurking in the background. Mild hits of chocolate come out as the beer warms, but coffee and roasted malts rule throughout. There's a solidly bitter ending throughout.

Mouthfeel is good. It's thick and very carbonated, again, this may be attributed to a weak pour.

Drinkability is good. This beer is good but not great. That being said, I didn't have a problem finishing the bomber.

Overall this didn't quite live up to the excitement when it was re-released, at least to me, but it is a very good beer for the price. Worth a shot.

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Photo of hopdog
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle stamped OCT 08 08.

This one initially appeared a dark black color, but when held up to a light, it was a dark, dark brown. Medium to larger sized off white head. Aromas of roast, coffee beans, vanilla, mocha, and earthy. Tastes of roastiness, coffee, lighter earthiness, and mocha. Body a little thin for an Imperial Stout. Light lacing left on the glass.

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Photo of Domingo
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good stuff - this is a really quaffable strong stout that isn't one-dimensional (aka. roasty flavors taking over everything else) or too potent.
It's the standard "black and thick," with a tan head. This one does a good job creating layered foam rings, too.
While initially you get some up-front chocolate sweetness, the coffee flavors take everything down a hint and keep everything from being sweet. The finish is of baker's chocolate and espresso cream. There's a little molasses that lingers as an aftertaste.
The texture's nice and smooth, and spot on.
Because it's not super-strong in terms of abv%, it would be easy to polish off a bomber or even potentially two. The $4-5 price tag keeps that *very* feasible, although it doesn't affect the scoring.

Good job RedHook - this ain't bad!

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Photo of Reidrover
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well,well,well return of an old PNW favourite after at decade!
Wonderful looking ale in the pint black with a fantasticlly handsome light brown creamy,thick ,delectable head. Dont get much better than this as far as appearancers.
Aroma however is quite ordinary stout territory with nary a wisp of the promised coffee.
Tase however is pretty nice, thick ,roasty,toasty malts and a nice touch of coffee ( mild roast) in the end to finish off..
Great mouthfeel, thick and creamy and silky. The cofee at the end does well to break up the silkiness and leave a litte after taste, which i prefer in a beer.
Good drinkable stout.
Excellent stout..though not at all sure if it is REALLY an Imperial..maybe back in 1996?
But I scored this as a regular American stout.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Double Black is back! Once a big favorite of mine, before this latest, greatest era of American craft brewing unfolded, I'm excited to check out this newest version of the first coffee stout I ever tried.

Super-black, with faint crimson glimmers, with a slim, cola-tinted head holding forth on top.

Rich, roasty aroma, ...perfect espresso nose, with notes of vanilla and toast. Wonderful!

Boards the mouth full of coffee flavor, but doesn't come off as thick and viscous as I remember. Especially ironic, now that the label calls it an Imperial Stout, or, more accurately, "A smooth, Imperial Stout enhanced by coffee and dark malts with a big, roasty flavor." An abv of 7% isn't enough to call it Imperial, and a heartier mouthfeel is needed as well. Maybe Imperials weren't so hot back then...

A sweetness grips the lips, matched with bittersweet coffee tones. Dark fruit, berries, jump on the palate, and get with the cocoa and coffee flavors.

I consulted an old label I have laying around. "Redhook Doubleblack Stout is the only beer of it's kind in the world. Making the most of two well-known Northwest products, this extraordinary brew marries the sweet, smoothness of classic stout with the rich complexity of fine coffee. The recipe is a closely guarded secret."

It was the only beer of it's kind, back then, in, what, 1996-2000? Loved the stuff then, have fond memories of it, but the category has been reinvigorated over and over again. I'm compelled to wonder if my memory of this beer wishes it were bigger, thicker, richer than it is (it hardly matches the full mouthfeel of Bell's Java Stout), or if it was always like this, or if my expectations have changed.

Love the look of this new bottle, love that RedHook is returning to beers like this, but sad that it's not stout enough, nor coffee enough to impress me anymore. Don't get me wrong, plenty flavorful, a decent stout with coffee flavoring...but nowhere as good as other versions that have surpassed the original.

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Photo of Buebie
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber with 10/8/08 freshness date. Batch code of 08-0410.
This bottle features a new lable design as well.

Presentation is black alright, no light penetration. Big frothy 3 finger light brown head. Leaving retention of many different sized bubbles and a layer of foam.
Lace is spotty as most of what was big covering slowly slides down.
No alcahol warming to be found at the nose or in the pallet.

Loads of coffee at the nose, in a fresh brewed dark roast aroma. Not just raw ground coffee beans, but the aroma of just brewing it!
Dark chocolate grains in there as well. A bit of whole milk like sweetness, some mild amoky aroma.

Damn this is thick!
Some carbonation up front, switching to super thick creamy silky smooth mouthfeel.
Dark bittersweet chocolate grain flavor, some buttery notes. Becomming more coffee like in flavor. Finish is dry with a dominating coffee flavor, some chocolate and more buttery dairy flavors. All the way through thick and creamy.

This is terrific. Much better then what I thought it would be. I almost didnt buy this, but the cost was low and the alch seemed pretty nice at 7% for $4 how could I go wrong? I sure as hell didnt go wrong.

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Photo of Tdizzle
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased at BevMo! Brea. Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- Pours jet black with no visible hues when held up to light. An aggressive pour yields a creamy, two-finger, chocolate milk head that settles to a patchy layer. Each sip leaves a good amount of patchy and spotty lacing all over the glass. Nice to look at.

S- The big, rich aroma is very nutty and chocolatey, with coffee and roasted malts coming in at a close second. Everything really jumps out at you.

T- Bold flavors of dark chocolate and coffee hit first, but they quickly subside to a bitter, roasty finish that lasts and lasts. The flavor is very good, but this beer doesn't quite have the viscosity that I expected from an imperial stout. The low, 7% ABV might be the main reason for this. I think that a bigger dose of alcohol is in order here. It needs just a bit more girth. Still very good though.

M- The mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery for the style. It still has a nice medium-bodied texture, but it doesn't have the thickness I was expecting given the style. This would be a very good mouthfeel for a regular ol' stout, but when you slap the word "imperial" on something, it raises the bar.

D- A very drinkable beer. The flavor is big and bold, yet superbly balanced. Plus, the 7% ABV only adds to the drinkability. This really hit the spot.

A very good stout, and by far the best beer from Redhook. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Bung
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Clear black pour, small brownish head. Some roast malt, coffee and mocha in the nose. Really kind of thin bodied. OK roast malt, mocha, coffee flavors. Everything rather subdued. Nothing lingering and a bit watery of a finish. I'd say it is very drinkable though. Probably the best from Red Hook, but I don't care for that many of their brews. I think this is a bit poorly classified. Almost more of a black lager or light American stout

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Photo of vacax
3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber picked up at BevMo Cypress for $4.99 Poured into my New Belgium globe glass.

A: The best element of this beer is the luxurious appearance. Gorgeous latte-colored head with microbubbles that are longingly persistent. Some nice lacing as well. Deep and dark color on the double black stout, of course.

S: Toasty malt aroma, though quite subdued. Perhaps a touch of hops. No coffee in the nose that I could find, just toastiness.

T: Deeply charred roasty characteristics are the primary force behind this beer. Hops seem to round out the bitterness to a quite pleasant state. The burnt quality seems to replace the malt backbone I would expect in an Imperial Stout, preventing a higher score here. Definitive coffee presence throughout.

M: Label categorizes this is an Imperial Stout and for this style the mouthfeel is thus not adequately rich. Rather light body. Would fare better if pitched as an "American Stout."

D: Quite drinkable for having such rich coffee and roasty fundamentals. The lighter body and lower than average ABV for the style make drinking easy.

I have never had any special releases from Redhook before, so I had some surprises and disappointments in this beer. I believe this beer was crafted with care, though it just lacks the depth I want from an Imperial Stout. Worth a shot at $4.99 for a bomber, but it will not be something I come back to.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shared with my buddy Pehlman...

A: Poured dark and remained that way while the big and frothy head developed.

S: A strong roasty aroma with a very subtle coffee/dark malt character.

T: Again, a very roasty coffee character. I also pick up a slight hop bitterness or burnt finish.

M: A lighter body for an imperial stout with just about the right amount of carbonation.

D: Since it's only 7% or so, it makes for a stout that is exceptionally easy to down. Perfect!!

Overall: Even though this imperial stout is lower in ABV than other ones of its kind, it still packs a lot a flavor and character. Very drinkable and a try it on my list. Good job Redhook!!!

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Photo of khiasmus
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost black, ruby highlights when held to the light. A thick crown of dark tan head rests atop, and leaves a beautiful lacing behind as it fades to a ring. Constant bubbles race up the side of my glass, striving to replenish the head as fast as it drops, but to little avail.

Aroma? Like a Founders Breakfast Stout. Tons of coffee, roasted grain, a hint of yeast/biscuit, an ever-so-slight touch of alcohol.

Very slightly sweet, but overridden with tons of coffee, roasted grain, a hint of metallic, and a burnt toast finish. The breadiness/yeast is there too in force.

Mouthfeel runs a bit light compared to most "imperial stouts," though this one is only 7%. It shouldn't be making the "imperial" claim. Carbonation is a mite too high for the first 3/4 of the drink. Slightly creamy, stops short of chewy, and leaves a slick and slightly dry finish as a result of the grain/coffee bitterness.

Overall, this baby is pretty killer. Just a TOUCH below FBS. And certainly a killer deal for $4.49/750. Highly recommended. It would also go wonderfully with bacon and eggs.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Contra drseamus, I did find this brew to be quite dark. As I held it to the light I found only a glimmer of ruby along the lowest edge of the glass. Acceptably black for me. Head is well tanned, with some large bubbles that recede quickly to a collar. Decent lace.

I found more chocolate in the aroma than coffee, all pretty darkly roasted which is great. Not significantly "charred", but the light smoke note is evident. A touch more power for this style and I would be very pleased.

More sweetness than the nose indicated, and this opens a bit with warmth. Still plenty of chocolate, although the coffee is more evident now - thank goodness. Very little hopping; more bitterness comes from the darkly roasted malts than anything. The sweetness seems to be a chocolate/caramel malt mix.

Medium-full mouthfeel, depending on the shot-for style. Just fine for an AIS. Dry, lingering coffee-bitter finish. As a Coffee Advocate as well as a Beer Advocate, I love these cross-breedings and my scores might be slightly inflated for those who don't like coffee.

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Redhook Double Black Stout from Redhook Ale Brewery
Beer rating: 69.6% out of 100 with 345 ratings
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