Nihilist | Sly Fox Brewing Company

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80 Ratings

Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by yourefragile on 12-22-2012

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of wpreynolds
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ckollias
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of madelf66
4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of q33jeff
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


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.


 166 characters

Photo of Abe_Froman
3.37/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Gavage
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

 563 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.16/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 701 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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?

 2,761 characters

Photo of g00ey
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

 304 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.16/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

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.

 1,002 characters

Photo of CharlesK
4.06/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of epyon396
3.49/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Whitey_from_Remedy
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of RBorsato
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of micropale
4.19/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of crisis1290
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

 639 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Slatetank
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

 934 characters

Photo of tigg924
2.99/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

 288 characters

Photo of stonewall2
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 265 characters

Photo of Kmlund
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of robgage
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Dicers
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Nihilist from Sly Fox Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 80 ratings
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