Silhouette (Unbarreled) | Lift Bridge Brewery

very good
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Silhouette (Unbarreled)Silhouette (Unbarreled)

Brewed by:
Lift Bridge Brewery
Minnesota, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MattyG85 on 03-02-2013

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Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 148
Photo of alarmclock314
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2017 version, bottle #1838, 10% ABV, non-BA. Pours mostly black with a medium sized dark khaki head; some lacing. Smells and tastes of roasted malt, earthy hops, cherry/dark fruit, molasses, and cocoa; below average intensity. Medium bitterness and off-flavor of tartness. No noticeable alcohol. Surprisingly rich mouthfeel with a thin viscosity and average carbonation. Overall, this could be a great RIS with more intensity, roasted malt, and no cherry/fruit tartness. Would definitely revisit with a recipe change.

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Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.56/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2016 on tap in a snifter at a local bar.

A: Pours jet black in color with a very small, tannish-khaki colored head with minimal retention. Thin, tannish colored lacing initially, which dissipates with time.

S: Aromas of dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, toffee, caramel, roasted malts, and dark fruits.

T: Taste matches aroma well. Starts off with rich notes of coffee and dark chocolate fudge followed by vanilla, caramel, and roasted malts. Finishes with hints of raisins, cherries, and other dark fruits.

F: Full bodied, smooth, thick, and creamy with a slight amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a great RIS. This was my first time having this one and I thought it was extremely well balanced between all the flavor profiles. Super drinkable. This stuff was great! Really wondering if I got the right beer given the other ratings this has received, but just rating what I received in the glass.

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Photo of BigIslandfarmer
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Black with a brown hue. One finger of beige head quickly fades to a thin cap with ring.
Smell is very good. Bitter chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt and alcohol.
Tastes like it smells. Bitter hops on the finish.
Mouthfeel is good. Coates the tongue nicely allowing the flavor to linger.
Overall, a decent RIS for the price. I would purchase again.

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Photo of gregy55902
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours into XL snifter like a standard RIS - not too thick but not too thin. Dark black color. This looks pretty well-carbonated too, which I wasn't necessarily expecting. Decent tan head that is kept aloft by the hefty carb - the ring of foam around the glass never truly recedes because of this.

S - A bit muted. I do notice some roasted malts, dark chocolates and a hop presence, along with some espresso aromas.

T - Better than the smell! Nice rich dark chocolate, roasty malts, a hint of caramel, and the same bitter flavors - may be from the hops, but it comes across like a nice espresso. I'm noticing a hint of anise as well - after all, this is a RIS. Drier finish, but there is plenty of chocolate still on the palate to keep it interesting.

M - A touch thin (I prefer motor oil!), but very drinkable nonetheless.

O - A decent RIS. If they made it a bit thicker it would be even better! Would like to try the barrel version.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.38/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this one from desp59 a while back. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2016
Bottle #1343

APPEARANCE: A slow foamer, which usually isn't a good sign. A clear black pour yields a two finger, medium looking, slightly foamy, light tan head with good retention. Bit of a noisy one. Black body with medium levels of carbonation. Head fades to a full foamy cap though only a swirly wisp remains leaving some falling dots of lacing as the glass empties.

SMELL: Roasted barley, cacao notes, some sweet cream and leather for sure. Definitely a metalic note that screams of oxidization.

TASTE: Roasted flavors with cacao and leather up front. Slight metal flavor at the swallow with a decent amount of alcohol as well, then a long and bold finish of roasted barley, burnt coffee, leather and some sweet cream. A bit of cacao too, with definite metalic notes from oxidization.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. A bit foamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes a bit mouth-coating. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: This is rather mediocre. There's probably some oxidization going on here, as the metalic note was definitely out place and made it rather challenging. The leather flavor clashed with the rest of the flavor profile, and it was definitely more alcoholic than it needed to be at this ABV. There were a few good things going on, but not enough to cancel out the problems. Glad to have tried it, but won't need to re-visit. Let's hope the barreled version is better. Thanks again desp59!

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Photo of cvm4
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage, Bottle #526

L - Pours like any other solid RIS. Black body, seems thick and has tight carbonation that has a one finger dark tan head.

S - Big roasted malt base, powdered chocolate (may'be on the bitter side) and light coffee notes.

T - It's about the same as the nose. Except there is some char or anise to it that I wasn't picking up on the nose.

F - Full bodied and low carbonation. Really chewy and has a wet finish.

O - A really solid offering here. Nothing mind blowing, but just an easy drinking RIS that delivers.

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Photo of TooGood
3.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It poured a nice black with minimal head and almost no lacing. Smelled of dark roast and hints of vanilla. Taste and mouth feel were both substandard, very weak in both departments. For a 10% stout it was missing the big flavors and creamy substantial mouth feel I've come to expect.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.48/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a delicate black with a minimal but pleasant head. Those nose is full of dried fruit notes, like raisin, plum, and apricot. There is also just a hint of coffee flavor in the nose. The taste features chocolate upfront, with caramelly raisin notes following. This is a smooth, sweet beer, but by no means unbalanced. Great stout for a great price. I hope I get to try the barrel aged version soon.

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Photo of rudzud
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Received in a trade, 2014 edition.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice dark brown nearly black hue with a one finger mocha head that faded to leave a nice thick creamy blanket and light side lacing.

S - Aromas of roasted malts, bakers chocolate, powdered chocolate, some very light anise. Slight fudgy qualities too.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Loads of dark malt and roast, almost some char. Light coffee, almost mocha like, nice chocolate both dark and bakers, soft molasses and touches of anise, faint marshmallow. Nothing negative here, pretty straightforward RIS.

M - Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, lighter carbonation. Velvet like, alcohol hidden completely. Nice.

O - Overall, a solid Russian Imperial Stout offering. While nothing out of the ordinary it is balanced nicely and drinks rather easily.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Fairly bland and generic styling. Nothing stands out.

Lots of marshmallow and chocolate.

Not overly anything; very balanced and smooth. Slight english influence. Carbonation is fluid, even, and forward. Sweetness is medium, milky, and crisp. Flavors are bright, sharp, milk chocolate, toffee, and dense molasses.

This is a solid brew!!! I would love to find a trading partner for the Barrel Aged version.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours extremely close to black. Minimal light retention. Dark brown head rises and grows with a swirl or two. Light lacing.

S-Roasty with noticeable anise and/or black licorice. Some chocolate as well. Not super enamored with the aroma.

T-Flavor also isn't jiving with me all that much. It actually tastes like Fernet to me. More anise than I enjoy. It's got an herbal, cocktail bitter flavor to it. There is also a lot of roastiness, coffee and bitter dark chocolate.

M-Not viscous but the body is relatively full. Noticeable alcohol heat. Bitter finish. Medium carbonation.

O-I'm not really big into anise or black licorice flavors. I did think it was neat that the beer had Fernet-like flavors.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.49/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to acropora for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

2014 vintage. Bottle number 1450.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and slight char aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a noticeable hop presence in the taste that I wasn't expecting for the style.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black and viscous. Nice looking stout.

Aroma is heavy on the roast and charred malt. Maybe some dark fruits.

The taste is not terribly complex. Tons of roast from the beginning to end. The finish is huge charred, roasted malts.

Lower carb. Medium mouthfeel.

OK beer but I would not seek out again considering the many stellar options for imperial stouts.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from laymansbeerfan (thanks!) into my New Belgium globe.

A: Very dark & opaque black body with a thicker tan head.

S: Black patent malt, licorice and dark chocolate. Faint herbal leafy hop component to balance. Some molasses and brownie batter in there as well.

T: There is a good amount of dark malt, moderate roast character, coffee, chocolate, licorice, and molasses. Light but bitter presence again. Faint dark fruit and alcohol is barely noticeable.

MF: Creamy, medium/full body with a sticky, viscous finish.

O: A good straight-up RIS with no gimmicks. Plenty of malt character, without being overwhelmingly roasty or sweet.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 22oz bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black with a 1 finger fine mocha head with moderate to poor retention. Lacing is stringy and sparse with good cling. Decent.

Nose is logan, plum, prunes, roasted malt, vanilla and some chocolate. Nicely aromatic but the dark fruit combination doesn't quite work here. Not bad... just not good. There's just something odd about the taste here that I can't quite put my finger on.

Opens prunes and plum with some medicinal overtones and logan. Chocolate and roast in the middle. Fudge and vanilla to smooth out the experience. Finishes roasted malt and cocoa nibs.Aftertaste of chocolate and molasses sweetness. Again, not bad, but there's something weird going on here that I can't quite appreciate.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Silky and smooth in the mouth and goes down warm and caressing. Really drinkable given the high ABV. Finishes accented with a mellow, lingering accent. Pretty impressive.

This beer is not bad by any means but there's a certain flavor that's out of place in the nose and flavor that just doesn't work. Body is incredible though so its still worth trying.

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Photo of morimech
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark black but not nearly as viscous as some other big stouts. Attractive head forms and has excellent retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass.

Aroma of roasted malt, licorice, chocolate, prunes, smoke, and earth. Complex aroma but not really assertive. Alcohol is not detected in the aroma.

Flavor is heavy in roasted malt and chocolate. Even with a little age this beer is still plenty hot and boozy. I do not think they added coffee to this beer, but if they did it has faded away. Hints of licorice, molasses, and smoke in the finish. Good imperial stout flavor but just a little too hot.

Thick and creamy body. Just want I want in an imperial stout.

A worthy imperial stout. Maybe another year or two of age will make this outstanding.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

No freshness dating.

A= Pours a deep dark black color with a coffee colored head that with a vigourous pour rises to a finger and holds some pretty decent retention. The head is suprisingly active for a RIS. There is some nice lacing evident on the glass.

S= The smell is quite light for a RIS. A little coffee and dark chocolate comes through but not a whole lot else.

T= The taste is great. Upon the first sip I thought it might be lacking on the taste as well as the nose because it hits you a little slow. The coffee flavors come through first with a strong bite before mellowing out into a coating dark chocolate flavor. Those two are pretty much the dominate flavors and while sometimes used interchangibly these are two different flavors in this beer. The chocolate is silky smooth and tasty.

M= This is another big plus on this beer. With the active head it thought it was gonna be too bubbly for myself but this baby lays on thick and creamy.

O= While the nose was a big dissapointment this beer delivered what I was looking for. Nice flavor and mouthfeel. For a hotter summer night this beer is suprisingly drinkable and plesant. I'll be buying more of this to drink. No need to age this one at all it's perfect right where it is.

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Photo of yamar68
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm surprised to see Lift Bridge do a straight-up imperial stout. Must have taken some serious self-restraint.

Really a sexy looking stout. Pitch black with a creamy layer of perfect khaki carb and massive, cloudy beading beneath it. Alcohol legs ta boot.

Big dark roast, smooth integrated coffee, chocolate and biscuit... nice.

Chalky charred malt flavors, milk chocolate, fig/date/prune, not terribly dynamic but tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Silhouette pours a black color with very small head. There is a slight roasted malty aroma, but its rather weak, mostly a boozy smell to it. The taste also has a slight roasted maleness, but again a lot of the boozy flavors come through. Drinkable, and not watery, just a little to boozy. Overall not a bad stout.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark black brown opaque with a brief mocha brown cap of foam. No lace. Smell is generally faint though has chocolate, roast malt and dark fruit. Taste is quite nice. Rich dark chocolate, French roast coffee, dried plums, black strap molasses, nice char roasted malt paired against a burst of hop keeps this one lively, wet and non-cloying. Mouthfeel is medium and creamy with adequate carbonation. Finish is medium dark chocolate, coffeebean, and not sweet. Another very nice effort from Lift Bridge. That's two in a row from them that have impressed me. Hop Dish and Silhouette from what I've formerly considered a mediocre brewery.

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Photo of jera1350
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

$10.99- 22 oz. bottle.

Solid darkest shade of brown with very little foam on top and just a touch of lace.

Chocolate, creamed coffee, roast.

Lots of chocolate in the taste, fruity dried plum and raisin, hoppy, coffee and cream with some nice roast. The chocolate, fruit and hops are the major components which make for a nice hoppy RIS. Very tasty.

Full feel with some oily slickness to it, very low carbonation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this. Very well done hopped up RIS. Lift Bridge is putting out some really solid beers these days and this one is no exception. Would love to try the barrel aged version of this one.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an unbranded short stemmed tulip/snifter

Pours pitch black capped by a darker khaki two finger head. Robust roasted malt and grain, bakers chocolate, and light notes of alcohol. Dark chocolate, plump chewy prunes and raisins, anise, and sticky dried black cherries. Fairly assertive bittering hops on the finish combined with light espresso notes, more roasted grain and malt, and slightly bitter cocoa powder. Full bodied, chewy, silky, syrupy on the edges. Low carbonation. A very solid robust RIS. The bottle recommends drinking this brew at 55-60 degrees. I pulled this bottle out of my cellar which is kept at a constant 50-55 degrees and it certainly improved as it warmed. Definitely drink this brew at the higher end of cellar temperature or slightly warmer.

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Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22 oz. bottle recently to go with the barrel-aged version, which we'll be opening up after this. And I have to say, I question the marketing skills (& possibly taste) of any beer that advertises "prunes" on the label...split with my wife.

Pour is black, stupid, it says right there in the style. Nose is a lovely roast - but that's about it. Big roast, maybe a touch of chocolate, nice, but simple.

Silhouette bumps up against the roast machine, then falls in. The nose carries over into the taste as roast forms the aerobic core of the brew. Roast with milk: strong lactose in both the taste & lending its form to a nice creaminess in the mouth. Flecks of chocolate, earthy grains, unfocused dark fruit form an underclass.

This beer has restored my hope for Lift Bridge after a couple of fumbles in the vicinity of my mouth. Very good beer, & now I'm looking forward to the barrel-aged version...shortly.

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Photo of Mdog
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Black, good head.

Smell: Mild chocolate, not too strong.

Taste: Slightly sweet chocolate, mild fruity note, finishes with a lingering bitter chocolate flavor.

Overall: I had this on cask at the brewery and it was awesome, so I picked up a bottle. Not quite as awesome out of the bottle, but still quite tasty. Nice chocolate and fruit, mildly sweet. Another good one from Lift Bridge.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours midnight black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of tan head that quickly fades into a thin patch. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A rich, roasty, chocolate malt forward stout aroma. Dark roasted malts with good hints of cocoa chocolate, coffee, burnt caramel, biscuit, toffee, yeast, cream, and nuts. Some hints of smoked malt and a noticeable presence of anise spicing. Also some sweet molasses. Subtle hints of dark raisin, prune, fig, and cherry. Light hints of earthy hops in the background. A pretty nice creamy dark aroma.

Taste: Follows the nose well, a rich sweet and dark roasty tasting stout. Dark roasted malts with a big taste of chocolate, cream, coffee, caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, yeast, and nuts. Good notes of sweet molasses and anise licorice spice. A fair amount of smoke is present. Undertones of dark fruit with notes of raisin, prune, dark cherry, and fig. Some earthy hops come through towards the finish. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the heavier side of medium with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy, rich, and somewhat slick. Alcohol heat is masked pretty well.

Overall: A very solid imperial stout. Good rich chocolate flavors with a nice creamy smoothness.

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Silhouette (Unbarreled) from Lift Bridge Brewery
3.9 out of 5 based on 148 ratings.
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