Sly Fox Brewing Company

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Sly Fox Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Stout - Russian Imperial
3.76 | pDev: 11.97%
Jan 21, 2020
Dec 22, 2012
Very Good
Notes: None
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Photo of Sabtos
2.86/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75
by Sabtos from Ohio

8 ball black with a bubbly concave khaki head.

Sharply metallic malt pairs with nutty espresso, which has an acidic character that only amplifies the unwanted Brillo notes. The coffee, (added, or emulated?), also brings a red fruit note with it. An unexpectedly astringent orange candy element brings the actively fizzy, filling body to a dry finish.

Jan 21, 2020
Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

Sampled February 2019 from 26oz bottle in pint style glass. There is no bottled on date listed on the can. I drank this less than 1 month after purchase.

Appearance: Very dark black, with a very thick dark tan head of many fingers. Huge head like Guiness, but the head is not creamy, instead it has larger bubbles, like most RIS. The head lasted a long length of time, and did not leave much lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: Strong hops aroma. Also coffee and roasted malt aromas. Maybe a little vanilla in the aroma as well. Nice combination and balance between the various aromas for a complex bouquet.

Taste: Pronounced coffee and hops flavors. Also burnt malt flavors and caramel. Full-bodied with interesting balance of flavors. It is extremely smooth and thick for a stout. There is a hint of chocolate that may be due to the oats and malts, but it has a very good taste. The flavors provide for a unique RIS stout.

Mouthfeel: Strong-bodied, with strong alcohol which matches with the 10% on the label.

Overall: This RIS Stout is a very good stout. It has stronger flavors (especially hops) than most RIS stouts, and the mix of caramel and malts makes for a unique and interesting stout. I liked this, and would buy it again.

Feb 03, 2019
4.5 by 1971bernat from Virginia on Dec 03, 2018
3.92 by wpreynolds from New Jersey on May 21, 2017
3.94 by ckollias from Maryland on Apr 18, 2017
4.02 by madelf66 from Pennsylvania on Jan 08, 2017
Photo of q33jeff
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
by q33jeff from New Jersey


Appearance: dark black color, frothy off white head.

Lost the rest of my notes, but the numbers are accurate.

Vee still vant ze money Lebowski.


Jan 03, 2017
3.37 by Abe_Froman from Massachusetts on Dec 18, 2016
Photo of Gavage
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Gavage from Nevada

Appearance: deep black in color with a 1" tan head that falls to a thick surface covering that lasts.

Smell: roasted malts and dark chocolate are detectable.

Taste: follows the nose as roasted malt, rich dark chocolate, some coffee tones, a hint of molasses, and a nice bitterness is wrapped in warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smoother and velvety at the finish, Long lasting aftertaste here along with the alcohol warmth.

Overall: a very good slow sipping big stout. This can replace a meal as it is filling and satisfying.

Oct 01, 2016
Photo of DrDemento456
4.16/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

A while before winter so I assume this is 2015 vintage.

Even though its a bit old the foam is rocking a bit too much for the style two plus inches of mocha foam that takes a minute to disapate. Color is pretty deep dark blackness one would expect with the style. Dry cocoa nibs meets sugary molasses and its pretty much what I expected. Maybe some licorice or chocolate not sure. Taste is pretty nice walnuts, dark fruits, mild coffee roasts, and a sweet cocoa finish with some dry hop bitterness. My only issue is the carbonation is a bit bubbly so it makes it a but lighter than the style

Overall for 10 bucks a bomber its not bad but I have had pretty similar if not cheaper stouts for way less.

Sep 26, 2016
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

Sly Fox Brewing Co. "Nihilist"
750 ml. brown glass bottle, corked & caged, no apparent freshness dating
$9 @ Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, PA

Seeing as how I am in many ways a nihilist-existentialist, and also a fan of Russian Imperial stouts, this seemed like the perfect beer for me.

Appearance: The bottle opened with little ado, nary a hiss, but the head then rose up out of the glass upon pouring. As you might expect then, the head retention is exceptional as it's constantly bolstered by very fine bubbles rising from below. Typical black-brown body beneath a dark tan head. Solid mountains of lace rise majestically above the surface along the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Fruity like red and black berries over a delicate smoky roastiness and black chocolate.

Flavor: The chocolate comes forth, along with its bitterness, and it's very much like dark, bittersweet chocolate. Roastiness is of course present, ashy and lightly smokey, but dull... I don't find coffee as much as I find cold espresso, but there is some pleasant nuttiness to it, and a good amount of molasses and caramel as well. The fruitiness remains very strong, and is almost the main component of the beer as it starts full in the aroma and then runs straight through, even lingering gently in the finish. Some alcohol is present, but not much more than is really required for the style. If it wasn't there I feel it would seem empty, or at least lacking; the question is to what level is it present, and how does that affect the balance? With that said, I think the balance is fine here, but I'l also note that it's an aggressive, fully bitter, and biting take on the style. While many "malt heads" are drawn to the style, this might not be the one for them.

Mouthfeel: Initially I felt it was a little bubbly, and over-carbed, but as it warmed a bit it softened to become as you'd expect, creamy and smooth; which it needs to be given the dark malt acidity, roastiness, bitterness, and alcohol. Given that it's bottle-conditioned, once that change takes place I'm not sure you can get it any better, and I feel that that's really hard to achieve via forced carbonation. The trade-off is that you have to wait. On the other hand, does the medium body really work so well overall? I'm not sure, I can only look at a beer as it is, not how I feel it might be.

Overall: Once warmed, and softened a bit, it's smooth while at the same time it remains intense. I generally think of stronger, darker ales as sippers to be enjoyed slowly while relaxing, and not beers you'd have out at pub with friends. In that case, this one works because it never lets up. Each sip hits you, and I can appreciate that. If every brewery made each style the same way we wouldn't have much, would we?

Sep 22, 2016
Photo of g00ey
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by g00ey from California

Let this one sit in the cellar for a couple of years, which, from other reviews, seems to have been a good idea. Wasn't expecting much and was pleasantly surprised. Lots of carbonation that disappears rather quickly. The color and smell are stout-like, and the taste was smooth and a little chocolaty.

Sep 04, 2016
Photo of DavoleBomb
2.16/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75
by DavoleBomb from Pennsylvania

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Yup, sure is bottled conditioned. I needed several pours to get a full glass given the amount of foam this spewed out. Black color. Bubble-bath type beige foam. Long retention and sparse irregular lacing.

2.5 S: Mega amounts of molasses. Also a strong char and roastiness going on. Secondary, there is caramel, coffee, some dark fruits, woodiness. Bready yeastiness. The nose is intense, but it's not that great. It's overly roasty to the point that it's almost tangy.

2.0 T: The taste is equally unbalanced, but is even harder to handle. Loads of roast and char. Borderline tangy, plenty of yeasty breadiness, and quite woody. Again some of the other flavors in the nose, but the roast and char overwhelm them all.

2.25 M: Medium body. Well overcarbonated. Mildly creamy.

1.75 D: Poorly made beer that wouldn't be good even if the carbonation was appropriate. Why they would cork and cage this, let alone release it to the public, is beyond me.

May 26, 2016
4.06 by CharlesK from Pennsylvania on Apr 11, 2016
3.49 by epyon396 from Pennsylvania on Mar 18, 2016
3.9 by Whitey_from_Remedy from Pennsylvania on Mar 17, 2016
3.98 by RBorsato from Virginia on Mar 16, 2016
3.87 by BeerForMuscle from New Jersey on Mar 13, 2016
4.19 by micropale from Pennsylvania on Feb 09, 2016
Photo of crisis1290
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by crisis1290 from South Carolina

Spent a few hours down at the brewery. Decided to try this from the brewery tap lines. Needless to say the Sly Fox Brewing Companies Nihilist was amazing. I am a big fan of the Russian Imperial Stouts and this one did not disappoint. Super dark color , almost black with a very large tan head . The taste was outstanding. Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and caramel and spices. A fantastic mixture for sure.
Nothing too over powering. These guys at Sly Fox are really putting out some fantastic product ? They are winning awards and starting to compete with some larger craft breweries. Great taste for a 10.0 ABV. Well hidden for sure.

Feb 07, 2016
4 by nathanmiller from New York on Dec 16, 2015
Photo of Slatetank
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by Slatetank from Pennsylvania

I enjoyed this during our recent annual stout gathering poured chilled in a stout glass courtesy of tenderbranson69 from the corked and caged bottle.

The color is very dark almost black with opaque clarity and thick medium tan head. The smell is roasted barley in the aroma with light yeast scent and spice ester from hops with light alcohol and toasted/coffee-like nutty odor. The feel is very good with roasted body and light woody dry texture with slight sweet middle and medium bitterness level with slight alcohol with moderate carbonation and mild spice texture as it finishes.

The taste has a roasted barley quality with mild hop backing with light roasted and creamy fruity yeast mid palate with nutty dry flavor as alcohol cooperates with malt toward the dry finish. This has a good solid malt flavor throughout with some hops in the mix although more of a traditional take - I consider this a solid example of the style

Jul 05, 2015
Photo of tigg924
2.99/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by tigg924 from Massachusetts

This to me is an average to slightly below average RIS. Taste is dry cocoa, char, baker's chocolate, light coffee and oaking. The oaking adds a bit of dryness. This one tends to be on the bitter side of the style, but is never hop forward. Worth a try, but a pass for me in the future.

May 18, 2015
Photo of stonewall2
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by stonewall2 from Virginia

Surprised how much i am liking this style, and this example of it. I like the malty toasty smoothness. I like the almost wine-like alcohol heat in the mouth feel. I like how the carbonation rounds the mouth feel. And i like how the flavor elements last a while.

Apr 02, 2015
3.58 by Kmlund from Massachusetts on Mar 05, 2015
3.87 by robgage from Pennsylvania on Feb 27, 2015
3.96 by Dicers from Colorado on Feb 23, 2015
Photo of Davepoolesque
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

Getting a fruity sweetness. Decently bitter. On the higher end of carbonation. Drinks lighter than a standard Russian. It's interesting. Almost for Quad than Stout.

Feb 13, 2015
3.49 by BcOneSeven from Pennsylvania on Jan 17, 2015
3.62 by kayakandbeer from Florida on Jan 16, 2015
3.27 by Beer21 from Florida on Jan 15, 2015
3.13 by wellsnb from Ohio on Jan 13, 2015
Photo of Ozzylizard
4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

750 mL bottle BB 1/20/18 at 50 degrees into tulip
Aroma of roasted malt with a hint of dates and alcohol
Head large (6 cm), light brown, frothy, diminishing to 4 mm ring and convex layer
Lacing fair – partial rings and islands of small bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque – sediment in bottom
Flavor of roasted malt, dates, and raisins; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.25

Dec 22, 2014
4.09 by JPB88 from Pennsylvania on Dec 21, 2014
3.68 by JNForsyth from Pennsylvania on Dec 21, 2014
4 by wilmerkatie from Pennsylvania on Nov 15, 2014
3.75 by IdrinkGas from Pennsylvania on Nov 01, 2014
4.25 by lysergicdream from Colorado on Oct 25, 2014
3.5 by GreenMind from Pennsylvania on Oct 20, 2014
3.75 by parkwood from Pennsylvania on Sep 02, 2014
Nihilist from Sly Fox Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 83 ratings