Propeller Revolution | Propeller Brewery

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very good
64 Reviews
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Propeller RevolutionPropeller Revolution
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Propeller Brewery
Nova Scotia, Canada | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer was born for greatness. Sent by English brewers via the Baltic Sea to the court of the Czars, Russian Imperial Stout was brewed to very high gravities and allowed to ferment on the long voyage. The result? A dark, strong and bracing brew.

Propeller's version weighs in at a whopping eight percent alcohol content, with a deep, rich, black colour. The taste of alcohol is well masked by the intense hop bitterness, extreme roasted malt and dark fruit notes.

Propeller Brewing Company has brewed and bottled this unfiltered ale each year since 2006, making Propeller the extreme brewing pioneers of Nova Scotia. This seasonal offering is only available at the Propeller Cold Beer Store on Gottingen Street, and select private retailers in Halifax.

Russian Imperial Stout - imbibed by Peter, adored by Catherine and now reclaimed by you, the People. Za Vas!

60 IBU

Added by MMansfield on 01-19-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
64
Ratings:
103
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
10.33%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
14
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 103
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.11/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Okbeer: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice big foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of bitter chocolate and subtle coffee is interesting but a tad weak. Taste of light bitter chocolate and coffee is more subtle then expected with some medium roasted malt. Body is oily and even a bit watery; I was expecting a fuller body as well as more of a creamy texture. Overall, while this is an interesting IS I thought it lack some complexity and the body was a bit too watery. I wonder if a got a bad bottle considering the high rating that this beer received or maybe I don’t appreciate the style as much as others.

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Photo of Derek
3.24/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Brown-black, medium tan head; very little retention or lace.

S: Pleasant British fruityness (lacking in plenty of north american versions), chocolate, brown sugar, roasted nuts.

T: Great British fruityness, plenty of chocolate, some nut, warming alcohol, a little fusil. Maybe more of an American Double than a RIS?

M: Moderate body (maybe a little thin for its weight); slightly chalky.

D: Drinkable, but not overly enticing.

Thanks for the sample sammy!

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Photo of crwills
3.36/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part of a tasting with northyorksammy, biegaman, grub, and derek. Thanks guys!

Great colour on this one. Black with red highlights. Mild milk chocolate aroma. Very dry mouthfeel for an RIS. Flavour is bitter, strong coffee and nuts. Mild dark fruit aftertaste, a little bit sticky.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.39/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: The head is out of control on this one, as after a fairly delicate pour it produced over three fingers of head and overflowed the glass. The body is a dark stout black that shows ample carbonation. Retained it's head like crazy and produced good lacing. Just way too much of it.

Smell: Smoky, dry malt dominates the notes with a slight anise tone to it and notes of plum in the background. Warming really helped out it's case, and all in all it's good but nothing really stands out.

Taste: Starts with a sweet molasses note, that turns quickly as a sudden kick of dry, burnt malt busts onto the scene without much fanfare and then quickly departs with a slight coffee and raw alcohol note. It's a little bit lacklustre for a RIS to be honest. Nothing bad for the style, but nothing memorable.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation helps out the entire beer, and while the transitioning is a little rocky, it does leave a nice smoky malt and molasses aftertaste that doesn't overstay it's welcome or cling needlessly.

Drinkability: Solid, and not quite as heavy as you'd expect an RIS to be. The dryness takes a little bit out of it, but it sits down well and despite ample carbonation, doesn't leave me belching.

Final Thoughts: I'll have to say, of all the RIS's I've tried, this one comes across as the most run of the mill. Nothing bad, but nothing exceptional. I'd give it a try, but I wouldn't set your expectations overtly high.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pouring into a glass resulted in very dark stout, with a small amount of chocolaty tinged head. Smells slightly of roasted coffee. Flavor is also slightly coffee like, somewhat sweet, and finishes with a moderate lasting bitter aftertaste. Based on taste and feel, I wouldn't have guessed it was 8% abv.

Overall, not bad, but for some reason I can't see myself having more than a glass or two at any given time.

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Photo of byronic
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Thanks to CaptainMurphy for this one!

Pours black and leaves a nice thick collar in a snifter glass. Definite presence of chocolate and roasted malts in the nose. Interesting blend of malts, coffee and chocolate with a hint of smoke. The finish is on the bitter side with a strong presence of coffee and dark chocolate. Very little carbonation with a rich creamy texture. Simple yet quite drinkable.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at GRG1313’s tasting.

Pours a clear super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a 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 vanilla aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and char flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells slightly better than it tastes in my opinion.

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Photo of ludachris
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Three fingers of thick and creamy tan head tower over its pitch black body. The head is composed of larger bubbles and has great staying power. No lace is left behind and I question if that has to do with the beer or the glass I'm using.

The alcohol comes through as spicy and dry. Aniseed and a deep roastiness give the trademark impression of a RIS. Alcohol soaked cherries and white and dark raisons add a syrupy sweetness. The nose isn't as intense or pronounced as other RIS's I've had but the weight and complexity is still there.

Spicy alcohol notes mixed with dry roasted malts pinch the sides of the tongue and work there way into the finish where bits of coffee grind come through as well. Soft, understated sweet raisons sit on the middle of the tongue. Mellow notes of anise graze the back of the palate.

Medium bodied with a medium impact. Dry in the finish with a soft creaminess throughout. A little too thin for my liking. The ABV is noticeable but only helps to further the flavour. Well balanced from beginning to end.

Overall, this is a decent, well-crafted RIS but it is nothing out of the ordinary. More weight to the body and feel and more intensity in any or all of the flavours would make this stand out. A good introduction to the style in my opinion.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Okbeer straight from Halifax. The pours out an excellent color and head for the style. Exceptional looking impy stout. Aroma is mostly muted coffee. Didn't get much else, other than a fruity like smell?? Has a nice solid mouthfeel- lively roasted malts with some other sweet tastes- amost like smores -chocolate and marshmellows. Hops are there but in a supporting role. The roast in the malts shows up more on the finish. There's still some sort of fruity flavour I'm picking up that I can't place.
Its great to see a Canadian brewery taking a stab at this style of beer- so big kudos to this east coast brewery. A very enjoyable impy stout and it would be nice to see more canadian takes on this great style of beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a black body with a respectably-sized, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Lovely aroma of roasted barley, chocolate, dark caramel, with mild notes of licorice.

Taste: Roasted malts with chocolate and dark caramel sweetness. Faint earth bitterness. Slight sourness on the finish. Scarcely any hop flavor to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: An ample RIS, but could stand to have more potent, more aggressive flavor profile.

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Photo of markaberrant
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Jan 08.

A - completely black, dark tan head forms and quickly recedes to a thin cap, but holds up well.

S - not overly strong, more malty chocolate than roasted coffee, mild fruity esters, some alcohol

T - comes on strong, but overall taste is somewhat laid back. I can taste the alcohol. Bittersweet chocolate in the finish. More fruit and maltiness comes through as it warms.

M - chewy, almost too full, low carbonation

D - a solid interpretation, but not a stand out.

I expect an RIS to be assertive, powerful and complex. This seems somewhat reserved, the brewer definitely took an English approach. Improves as I work my way into the 2nd half of the glass. The alcohol should smooth out with age, I shall see how my 2nd bottle cellars.

Thanks to NASH for the bottle!

UPDATE: Tried another bottle on Dec 9, 2008 from same batch, so about 1 year old. This is a beautiful beer, powerful aroma, tons of licorice and cherry flavours, with a complimentary smooth mild roast. Alcohol is completely hidden. Rates much higher than my original 3.8

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Photo of biegaman
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Some Russian Imperial Stouts are black as tar, others are not. Revolution's illuminated reddish trim gives away the brownness (as opposed to blackness) of its complexion. Its head also has a distinctly brownish tinge as well as buttery texture; the lacing it etches in the glass appears as some kind of code, the likes of which you'd need to call the Sanskrit experts in to transcribe.

The aroma, oddly enough, has a distinctive pumpkin spice quality as it practically drips with anise, ginger or clove-like spice, traces of vanilla and brown sugar, and a strong earthiness (courtesy of hops). It is also characterized by notes of instant coffee powder and tart choke cherries. Not at all unpleasant though should be richer malt-wise and not what I was expecting.

In the flavour, coffee replays along with smoky malts, black fruits, a sliver of chili and drops of vanilla. More than just fine to drink fresh - it's encouraged. Aside from being unsubstantial for aging, alcohol is a non-factor and significant hopping provides an earthy element for which the beer is better-off having. It definitely has a spiced Christmas cake/pumpkin ale thing going on.

The beer looked a bit gloppy coming out the bottle and, indeed, the mouthfeel is initially quite chewy. Once swallowed, however, prickly bubbles catch you by surprise, clearing the way for a dusty, oxidized, somewhat metallic texture and the heavily vinous qualities that develop in the aftertaste. It is decidedly dry and offers little lingering roast, virtually no depth and zero intensity.

Not to take away from Propeller's pioneering efforts but Revolution is hardly rousing for an imperial stout. Sure, an offering like this goes a long way to rectifying and, ideally, reforming a lacking Atlantic Canadian beer portfolio, but despite the usual excellent quality and artisanal approach of this brewery, it's not an imperial stout I'd confidently recommend.

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Photo of LazyL
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Big Bobby D for this brew from the East Coast. He's leaving the beer Meca of the West Coast for the Seas of limited variety of the East.
This looks as black as a night in downtown Moncton. The large pillowy toffee coloured head flatened out quickly and left a rootbeer float style lace on the glass.
The nose is Stout all the way. Good molasses, coffee and a bit of smoke. I get a bit of sweet alcohal here too.
There is a little bitterness that balances out the sweetness and the boozy flavours.
The carbonation and the body are quite light.
I get a nice sweet/bitter fight on the after taste that is appealing. Over all, this is a good big stout that will definately warm those cold East Coast nights. At least there is one beer worth drinking that I have tried from the other coast. Half way through my bomber and the 8% is starting to kick in. Nice. I'd say its growing on me.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottled November, week 1.
Poured in to snifter.

A - Poured dark brown, settled black. A thin layer of light brown head formed and receded to a ring around the glass.

S - A fairy sweet nose. Roast, semi-sweet chocolate, dark caramel and molasses.

T - A big bitter roast profile with sweet chocolate, dark caramel and molasses in the background.

M - Medium body, slightly creamy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great brew included in the winter LCBO release.

A - Pours pitch black, finger of head with some retention and sporadic lacing.

S - Nose is sweet with cocoa and espresso, some musty notes and malted milk on the finish.

T - Flavour profile is unique, sweet and musty cocoa, burnt toast, hints of leather and tobacco with a toasted oatmeal flavour that lingers alongside an odd metallic seaweed flavour.

M - Medium bodied, slightly prickly and finishes with a tacky finish.

O - A tasty RIS that offers up some unique flavours and was quite enjoyable. A tasty treat that is well worth seeking out.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes.

A - Poured black with a solid finger and a half thick, creamy brown mocha head. Pillowy head sat on there really nicely. Good half finger of retention. No real lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Really nice chocolate and roast combo. Really chocolatey, milk chocolate.

T - Really chocolatey again. Roast, dark fruit, milk chocolate. Sweet but not cloying.

M - Good carbonation, full body, sweet finish turned bitter.

O/D - Simple but tasty for an Imperial Stout. Nails the basic requirements. Quite drinkable. A good one.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $5

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, grains, light vanilla

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some grains and a bit of vanilla.

Overall - Seems a little thin to be a RIS to me. The flavours are nice but not bold either. Drinks and tastes more like a regular stout in my books. Still a good beer though

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pure black with a modest tan head that lasts a good while. Roasted malt, cocoa and licorice take the lead in the nose. Chipotle spiciness and some alcohol heat linger in the background. The taste is huge on roasted malt coffee and chocolate. Some herbal, catty hops provide a balance without ever overshadowing the big malt profile. The mouthfeel is sparsely carbonated and just short of fullbodied. Alcohol is present with a warming kick - never distracting, but always there. The finish is roasty and mildly bitter.

This is a decent Imperial Stout from a great brewery. It could have more hop presence and a thicker, chewier body. Still great stuff worth trying.

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Photo of grub
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one with me. thanks eric!

12oz bottle.

pours opaque black with a big dense dark tan head. drops slowly and leaves some spotty lace.

aroma is nice. milk chocolate. light biscuity malt. pretty fruity too.

taste is nice. bit of bittersweet chocolate. light coffee. biscuit malt. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium-large body.

drinkability is good. well balanced. the alcohol is hidden very well. tasty and enjoyable.

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Photo of peensteen
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly jet black with some brown notes, one finger mocha coloured head, some lace on the top of the glass. Smell is roasted malt and tons of chocolate, coffee, some notes of alcohol, raisin like dark fruit with more chocolatey bittersweet notes. Taste is deeply roasted malt, slightly smokey, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, roasted finish and aftertaste. Light-med carbonation, full body, good weight. Very drinkable, easy drinking with lots of flavour and really good but is missing something that would make this great, very enjoyable though.

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Photo of Long813
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dated: Decemeber, week 3
From: Premier Wine and Spirits

A: Pitch black body with two fingers of dark mocha head. Head retains for a good while and leaves thick blotchy lacing

S: Dark roasted chocolate, roasted coffee and a sweet taste of caramel

T: Much like the aromas, tons of dark chocolate, mild roasted coffee beans a a hint of caramel. Very balanced tasted and alcohol is not noticeable.

M: Medium bodied and medium-low carbonation. Has a water like texutre that I am not fond of for a RIS, but it's still good. Has a bitter malt after taste.

D: Great local RIS and easy to drink. It's not the best RIS I've had, but it is easy to drink and well priced. Props to Propeller.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black as night, slight light brown head. Light lace and retention. Molasses, roast, leather, coffee, dark fruits, faint booze. Chocolate, figs, molasses, spicy notes, dark fruits. Creamy medium ful body. Solid, nice RIS. Not the highest I ABV, but feels substantial still.

Thanks Chris!

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Photo of Viggo
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received courtesy of Mandrake for CanBIF3!

Pours an opaque black, huge thick tan head, nice lacing, great retention, looks pretty nice. Smell is sweet, lots of dark fruit, light chocolate, coffee, some dates, not bad. Taste is malty, chocolate milk, roast, light toffee, some light fruits, dates, alcohol is very well hidden. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, pretty smooth. Do not taste the 8% at all, very well integrated. Not the most complex or flavourful RIS but pretty damn solid. Thanks Peter!

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Photo of Buebie
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer from NASH in an in person trade.

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pub glass. Off the pour only a thinnish brown head forms. But as I look agin 30 seconds later, its now a solid inch. Receding somwhat quickly to leave a collar of retention. Slick lace drapes make its way back into the brew, leaving spotty thin lace down the glass.
The beer itself is black like a moonless night, no penetration.

Aroma is of roasted chocolate, molasses, loads of roasted grains, chocolate malt, and a hint of grain alcohol.

Taste is all about roasted chocolate and plenty of it. Loads of smokey roasted chocolate grains, a touch of coffee after the swallow. Lingering with coffee, bitter chocolate and a semi-sweet candy honey flavor.
Molasses through the middle with something resembling candy sugar, or beat sugar. Alcahol in the flavor is non existant. This beer is a very easy drinker.

Mouthfeel is ultra slick with a super creamy feel, mixing with modest carbonation.

Hops have dropped out, although I'm not sure how old this actually is. The lable is clipped with January, week 2, but no year. Its a solid RIS repping the traditional form. I recommend picking this up if you are in the Halifax area. Its a solid contender to many of the better RIS's I've had.

Thank you greg for this very kind extra! I'm ecstatic I was able to try this.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single 500mL bottle, courtesy of Santa. The big guy always knows...

Poured into a nonic. Black, good viscosity, nice half inch of light tan head, great deal of lacing. Shows its heft. Very nice-looking brew.

Nose is sweet malt, caramel, nice chocolate, bit of hops and leather. Sweetness is this brew's angle.

Tasty stout, quite sweet, but finishes with a decent hop bitterness. Some leather seeps through in the aftertaste. Chocolate is quite noticeable. Fine stout.

Decent thickness, but carbonation is quite mild.

Propeller has always impressed me, and this stout was certainly up to those high standards. A bit sweet, but still hearty and flavorful, and doesn't show its alcohol.

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Propeller Revolution from Propeller Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.
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