St-Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe | McAuslan Brewing

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St-Ambroise Stout Impériale RusseSt-Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe

Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing
Quebec, Canada

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by papat444 on 12-05-2009

For Trade:
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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 307
Photo of dabeerbuddha
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft. Chilled.
Dark as expected. Mince tan head that reduced to to classic ring around the glass. Aroma is sweet molasses. Flavours include but not limited to roasted malts, black strap molasses, Bakers dark chocolate and black licorice. Quite bitter. Slightly thin mouth feel. Overall - Very enjoyable.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 Edition, a year old bottle : Opaque black color, very dense. Creamy and foamy brown 3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes. Strong lacing, thick legs, a swirl slightly reconstructs the head. Flavors of wood, leather, oysters, dark malts, raisins, plums, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, herbal spices. Thick rich fruity sweetness, while heavily bitter, spicy, and earthy. Creamy and milky medium body with soft prickly carbonation. Highly strong dry finish, deeply earthy, thick herbal and chalky espresso feel on the tongue, fruity esters and burnt malt sugars, lots of dark chocolate and vanilla at the end, hints of liquorice and peppercorn, with a nice bourbon barrel aged feel that lingers a for while. Not very fresh, but not alcoholic, yet incredibly warming and filling. Good intensity, not excessive, still enjoyable. Complex flavors, very tasty and incredibly rich, all well balanced and easily distinguishable. The perfect winter beer after a cold day outside. Feels like a cross between a barley wine, sweet stout, and wee heavy. Overall superb quality craft.

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Photo of D-HopSupreme
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a viscous, deep black body, with very little brown head at the top. The aroma brings up coffee, some vanilla and oak, dark fruit, and a little bourbon hint. The taste kicks off with a wild espresso-like bitterness, with dark fruits and oak branching into more bitterness at the back of the palate. It is still smooth for all of the alcohol, and the velvety viscosity really aids that. Overall a good beer, though one to savour on occasion for myself.

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Photo of PorterPro125
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 Edition. Attempted to turn this bottle into a "long-term" cellar beer but apparently less than a year is the best I could do...

Serving Type: 341 mL Bottle presented in a cardboard tube (like a bottle of scotch)

A- Pours a thick, jet black topped by a creamy 1/2 finger tan head. Although not a great head, it does last indefinitely. Scattered patches of fizzy lacing.

S- Dark Roast coffee, sweet chocolate, and a sweet, caramel bourbon note. Sweet!

T- High Cacao Chocolate (80%), bourbon (caramel/vanilla), and a nice lingering coffee bitterness.

M- Thick, Heavy mouthfeel and low carbonation as anticipated

O- I don't often drink Russian Imperial Stouts but it turns out to be a real treat a majority of the time; this beer is no exception. Big burly body, intense flavours of dark chocolate, coffee, and the extra caramel/vanilla kick thanks to the beer being aged in bourbon. Can't wait to get my hands on the 2016 version (maybe I'll be able to cellar that a bit longer)!

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Photo of DaveBar
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got on trade. Served at 10deg C in a tulip.

A- Open well and pours a huge 2" high creamy brown head that lasts and lasts. Super dark black colour.

S- Chocolate and malt. Sweet. Slight bourbon

T- Light bourbon. Coco chocolate. Bitter Not the most complex flavor but it is nice and rich. Has a balance to it that is nice

M- Creamy and thick

O- Nice and rich. Overall it's missing the bourbon barrel aging I was hoping on but it was there a bit. Hope they make a more bourbon forward one soon

Food Pairing

This wonderful little brew went well with....... Chocolate cake with chocolate icing all over


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Photo of headlessparrot
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 edition (which comes in at 9.2% ABV); sure, I could have cellared this, but what fun is cellaring a beer when you can drink it instead.

Pours a pure, dark, inky black (so black my camera can't even auto-focus on it) capped with dense, dark, tightly-bubbled cappuccino head that leaves lots of lacing (impressive for such high ABV). Decently persistent, too.

Smell is rich and thick--bitter chocolate, Caramilk bars, coffee, toffee, vanilla, slight corny-ness, perhaps a faint hint of bourbon sweetness. Bit of a grassy, English herbal hoppiness.

Taste is initially thick and sweet, turning dry and bitter in the mouth. Dark chocolate, herbal hops, light creamy vanilla, hints of bourbon, bitter coffee. Roasted malt. A slight almost sourness on the finish. The alcohol is noticeable. The body is lightly carbonated and syrupy.

I like this beer; but every year I try it and--while I like it--I'm struck by the fact that, if given the choice, I'd actually take St-Ambroise's standard Oatmeal Stout over this any day of the week. So there's that.

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Photo of kculrich
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 Special Reserve, a 341ml bottle in a classy cardboard tube. Thanks, Jesse! Served at cellar temperature in a tulip glass.

Pours a deep abysmal black with, perhaps, a furtive burgundy highlight or two, a vast mocha head, excellent retention, and thick wads of sticky, foamy lace which last all the way to the bottom of the glass.

The ghost of bourbon past, with raisins, dark chocolate and orange rind.

Vanilla-caramel and tobacco, dark chocolate, fruitcake and campfire smoke. Bittersweet chocolate and sour cherry linger on the palate with a mellow, smoky booziness in the sinuses.

Creamy, very lightly carbonated, silky-smooth and warming. Mouth-coating slickness but with a tannin or chalky character which retains and accentuates the lingering mildly boozy, roasted bitterness.

More bitter than sweet and creamy rather than syrupy. After a year of aging, it's a well-mannered, smooth-drinking but surprisingly bitter RIS which highlights the bourbon-oak character of the barrel aging without in any way being overwhelmed by it.

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Photo of VbolieuV
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 Edition. (9.2% this year.)

Pitch black with a really small creamy head. Nice dark chocolate and espresso smell, with bourbon and vanilla undertones. Really intense dark chocolate taste, like 90% cacao! Nice espresso notes too, with a bourbon and alcohol finish. There's some carbonation in the beginning but it stops quite fast then it gets pretty creamy which is nice. Really really good, it's not the first time I taste this beer, I had it a few years ago (the 2011 and 2012 I believe) and I don't remember them much, but this one is really spectacular.

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Photo of CanadianBacon
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 edition, single 12 oz bottle picked up at my local shop. at almost 8$ its a pretty expensive glass of beer but Very interesting,

Appearance - Poured into a snifter, this beer pours black, absolutely no light gets through. there was 1 finger of caramel colored head that fades to a thick lacing expected of the style.

Aroma - at first smell you get expresso and rich dark chocolate followed closely by oak and whiskey. I then pick up some vanilla and some dark fruits.

Taste - whiskey and oak flavors dominate followed by dark fruit then expresso , extremely rich dark chocolate and vanilla funny how the flavors reverse. The 9.2 percent alcohol is masked very well but this is still a sipper, the flavors kick the crap out of your palate.

Feel - This is absolutely a full creamy body. the carbonation adds to the creaminess this is super smooth for a 9.2 percent beer.

Overall - This is a spectacular beer, Everything a RIS should be and more, Definitely a sipper and at the price point that's a good thing. The flavors and aromas are rich and strong. I know my store has a 2014 edition and im tempted to go pick it up and see how the flavors have progressed over the year. wow. If you can get your hands on it, its definitely a must try.

2014 vintage, drank 2015-11-27.

Appearance - same as 2015.

Aroma - This is where it gets interesting, After being aged a year the Barrel aromas are starting to show their power, I get a strong overpowering Vanilla welcoming me in to take a deeper dive into this beer then I get oak, These 2 flavors overpower the rest but underneath you get a beautiful scent of expresso followed by dark rich chocolate and a faint faint dark fruit. roasted grain is behind all of these scents. I must say the smoothness of this smell is extremely welcoming .

Taste - Its funny how the flavor profile switches again, first im getting 2 flavors mixing, plum and oak followed by some sweet vanilla, then chocolate and expresso together bittering it and some roasted grain on the end. This got really good with age.

Feel - This is now a medium full feel and not creamy at all, The carbonation is prickly on the tongue and then its almost the texture of milk. the oak stands out the whole time keeping the mouthful slightly bitter.

Overall - This beer is an excellent ager and still very much a sipper, It is absolutely delicious yet the rich flavors have a tendency to smack the pallet. Take it slow and you will enjoy every last sip.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pitch black with a thumb's worth of head that slowly breaks leaving generous lacing in its wake.

S: Nice nose of roasts, coffee, leather, wood, faint bourbon and some dark fruits.

T: Roasts right off the bat. Coffee, an almost creamy vanilla, bourbon is faint and perhaps faded on this 2013 vintage.

M: Medium carbonation, creamy and very warming.

O: This is a nice beer. After two years in the cellar some of the bournbon has faded, but otherwise no complaints. I might like to try it again with less age.

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Photo of Gasc0igne
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage

The pour is an almost syrup-thick black with a light cola hue at the edge when held up to light. Massive frothy light russet brown head, very small bubbles. Long retention. Excellent (but messy) lacing.

Smokey bourbon, whipped cream, and milk chocolate dominate the nose. Faint coffee. Soy sauce.

Roasty as all hell. Charred oak, touches of alcohol-like vanilla, and brown sugar at the forefront. Bourbon comes through more in the middle, with a big 'hoppy' bitterness that's reminiscent of 80%+ dark chocolate (more likely cooking chocolate) in the finish. Gets to be a bit too ashy for my taste towards the end but still great.

Full bodied. Carbonation is a bit too low for me, would've liked something more interesting, it feels a bit 'flat'. Feels like it's trying to have a dry finish but it just ends up being a bit clunky and sticky.

Balanced for the amount of things going on here. Quite the contrast between aroma and taste. A must try once for anyone who enjoys bitter/roasty stouts, but the pricetag keeps me from going back.

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Photo of nikolav1990
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look:Very dark brown color, almost no head about .5cm,
Smell: has a smell of coffee, wood and bourbon, a little bit off tobacco/cigar smell, some fruit like cherry.
Taste: very good taste of hops and coffee, chocolate, bourbon, old wood, vanilla. Taste comes on a little sweet with a bitter finish, very well balanced stout
Feel: very thick and creamy feel with a good alcohol throat feel. Very warming on a cold winter day.

Loved it!

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Service: Bottle
Bottled: 2014

Pours an inpenetrable black that is not as thick as one might suspect, really nice brown head that settles to a hazy cap but never altogether disappears. Good retention; lots of swooping and speckled lacing. (4.25)

Smoked Chocolate ice cream. Cinnamon, brown sugar, cocoa, oak, vanilla, smooth suggestion of alcohol. (4.25)

Flatly roasty with lots of the bourbon character coming through. Roasty malts, coffee, oak, bourbon, vanilla, bitter chocolate. (4.25)

Rich but not super thick, full body, some alcohol warmth, slow but unobtrusive finish. (4.25)

This is a very nice Imperial Stout.
It is as rich and substantive as any other, but is not too filling, too syrupy, super boozy, etc. Well made, not over the top with the barrel aged flavors, no sharp alcohol.
It looks great, and smells really smooth and sweet. The flavor is a little more bourbony with a warming smoky flavor that is perfectly balanced in my opinion. All-in-all, the flavor is more on the bitter, roasty side. It is quite drinkable as well, without the heavy, tedious body you sometimes find in stouts.
Obviously always a beer to grab if you see it, I always do. (4.5)

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Photo of jlindros
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

So I originally had this picked for number 3500 review, but it was decent not great, and another surprise beer blew us away so I switched. Still super limited beer, and thanks to grub for this one a couple years ago. Shared with rudzud. 2010 vintage

Light fizzy head, pitch black thick heavy beer.

Big dark malts, choc and cocoa, little fudgey and faint roasty, some caramel and chewy dark malts, dark fruits, fig paste, mild booze, some coffee, etc.

Taste big roast dark malts and fudgey choc, dark choc, cocoa, bitter roast and mild coffee, little creamy. Then bitterness, toasty dark malt charred roasty malt bitterness, lots of fudgey cocoa, and chewy like, mild dark fruits, a bit creamy too. Bitter earthy almost spicy hops, etc. Sticky finish, semi sweet cocoa fudgey, little creamy, thIck mouth coating, etc.

Mouth fuller bod, thick creamy, mild booze.

Overall pretty good, but doesn't really hit as well as many other RIS these days. Perhaps it's better fresh, maybe we'll find out next week when we visit the brewery. Still a nice beer that was enjoyable.

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Photo of rudzud
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to JLindros for sharing, he said this is a super limited beer. 2010 vintage

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown almost black hire worth a thin head that faded to leave a thin halo.

S - Aromas of dark malts, strong dark fruit note, syrupy.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, nice Russian nose, good smoke, charred malts, sweeter dark fruits, chocolate.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, boozy, alcohol hidden well.

O - Overall this beer was a tad disappointing. Lots of dark fruits and char, good but not great.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of TheHammer
2.8/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured with a solid finger of head that produced solid lacing but didn't stick around vey long. The body is a think opaque black that reveals nothing.

Smell: The heavy smell of slightly burnt malt with touches of hazelnuts permiate the beer. Warmning is certainly required for it to come out.

Taste: Starts with a mild thick molassses malt taste that quickly ends up tasting like burnt toast followed by a surprising smoke and hop presence that gives it a hit of IPA bitterness.

Mouthfeel: That bitter smokieness clings like a bad cigar. The carbonation is good, as it does help accentuate the entire beer, for good or ill. The beer doesn't seems to shift to that bitterness far too quickly.

Drinkability: The body is really think and heavy, as you would expect from a stout. It also leaves an odd bizarre dryness in the throat. Can't really say I would want to drink this on a regular basis.

Final Thoughts: This has been the first St. Ambroise beer I've been disappointed with, and given the cost of this offering, really left me with a bad taste it my mouth. Stick to the Oatmeal Stout if you want a better view of what this brewery is capable of.

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Photo of Cadbury
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tasted the 2013 RIS again August 30, 2016. This beer ages beautifully.

Appearance: Jet black, minimal creamy-reddish brown head retention. Beer almost sticks to the glass.

Smell: Liquorice, chocolate, a hint of smokiness.

Taste: Coffee/espresso, dark chocolate, mild lingering bitterness, hint of cherry.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth, quite thick, minimal carbonation.

Comparing to my hand-written notes from 2013, this beer has improved from a 4.5 to a 4.75, with more pronounced chocolate and espresso flavour and a more aromatic blend.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage poured from cellar temp (55 degrees) into a tulip. Pours engine oil black with good carbonation. Smell is of burnt malts, licorice, chocolate, and bitterness. Taste follows the nose, with a bit more licorice and a bit more bitterness. Mouthfeel is very full and creamy. Overall, this has aged very nicely and is a great stout.

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Photo of dgilks
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ink. Oily black with a big, creamy tan head. Good head retention.

Wonderful aroma. Rounded. Liquorice. Roast and bitter chocolate. Some alcohol. Nothing over the top but really well composed and well integrated.

Rich. Not too sweet but clearly big with lots of roast and chocolate. The liquorice is not over the top and works well. Mild alcohol. Very nice.

A touch chalky before a rounded creaminess comes through. Moderate carbonation works well.

A delightful beer. Big and bold but refined at the same time.

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Photo of Tuey13
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was a 2011 vintage that I am reviewing picked up while in Quebec City this summer.

Pours a very thick, almost syrup-like liquid with a dark mocha head with tight bubbles of a two finger head that sticks around and leaves some impressive lacing on the glass.

The smell is luxurious... espresso, dark chocolate, black licorice, molasses, vanilla, and oak with a smoky note there as well. Smells wonderful!!

The taste is phenomenal... thick, velvety and very rich! Tastes of espresso,bitter chocolate, and licorice mix with the smoky wood and oak... also a little sweetness and even a litter bitter hop taste which is impressive for a beer over 2 years aged. Not very boozy as i am sure it has mellowed and transformed over time.. but the alcohol is definitely there, but to me... very smooth. I love every sip of this and how it transformed as it warmed... i got more of the vanilla bourbon as it warmed as well as the bitterness increased in a good way.

I loved this beer... it was well worth the $6.99 I paid even after carrying it in my backpack as i was on my bike back to my fiance's apartment haha! I hope to try a 2013 vintage this Holiday season or even score another 2011 or 2012 to compare. If you can find this.. buy it. I love the fact that the bourbon does not dominate and overpower like many barrel aged stouts.

St-Ambroise always impresses... try if you can find this!!


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Photo of thehyperduck
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341 mL bottle-in-a-tube picked up at the LCBO. 2013 edition, listed at 9.2% and served at cellar temperature. This is one brewery that almost always manages to impress me, and I've probably heard more good stuff about this stout than any of their other offerings - so picking up this one was a quick decision.

Pours thick, black and totally opaque like old engine oil, topped with just under two fingers' worth of dense, creamy, dark tan-coloured head. Its recession is a gradual process lasting more than a few minutes, eventually culminating in a modest cap with a sheet of lacing around the edge of the glass. An impressive-looking stout, and the aroma ain't half bad either - bourbon and oak are noticeable contributors, in addition to roasted malts, molasses, vanilla extract, ethanol and smoke. Not bad, but I could use a bit more coffee/chocolate to entice me into a sip.

This is a delicious imperial stout, with the barrel ageing process bestowing upon it a number of interesting traits not typically found in this style. Toffee and molasses sweetness form much of the backbone, with big notes of bourbon, black coffee and charred wood to keep things interesting. Toward the finish, there is a brief but intense splash of licorice, with dark chocolate and roasted malts soon overtaking it. The aftertaste is quite bitter, with a smoky, char-like tannin astringency lingering on the palate for quite a while. The alcohol doesn't figure into the flavour strongly, but it's not exactly hidden, either. Full-bodied, with light carbonation that gently prickles the tongue, accenting the velvety-smooth mouthfeel nicely. A slow sipper if there ever was one; this is a brew to savour.

Final Grade: 4.45, an outstanding A grade. St. Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe is a fabulous barrel-aged stout that all fans of the style should actively seek out. While this fresh bottle is drinking rather nicely, this is the sort of beer that is just begging to be cellared for a year or two - frankly, my mouth is watering just thinking about a mellower, smoother version of this stout, a concept almost inconceivable to begin with. Hopefully I'll be able to procure another bottle before the stock runs out, although if history is any indicator this stuff will fly off the shelves (for good reason). Don't hesitate to grab a bottle of this if you spot it, because it's well worth a try and absolutely worth the 6-7 dollar price tag.

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Photo of CanuckRover
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A 2011 bottle put aside for a couple years.

What a pour. Thick (in the best way) black liquid pours into a snifter and sends up a lively mocha head. Pretty much opaque. Glass covering lacings right to the finish. A 5 on appearance.

Dark red fruit on the nose with a hit of alcohol. Slightly smokey and roasty, but really it's all about big fruity malt flavours in the aroma.

Deep and dark. Loads going on with this. Bitterest chocolate. Vinous. Boozey wood. Ever-present dark red fruit. Even after a couple years I get significant hop bitterness.

Another 5 for mouthfeel. Incredibly satisfying imperial stout. Thick and chewy while being shockingly easy drinking.

Glad I laid this down for awhile. Well rounded and quite tasty. Great stuff.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.05/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Special reserve bourbon wood aged 2013 poured into a tumbler.

Good looking and forming head. Creamy dark coffee tan and three fingers deep. Huge lacing while drinking on a classic dark walnut brown to black body. Very nice looking.

Bouquet is a lot of husky grain, and that classic tobacco like smoke I remember from their oatmeal stout. Some bitterness is coming off of this with a bit of red fruit. Not much oak or whiskey sensing hints here.

First sip while somewhat drinkable is shocking. Mid palate brings some red fruit angles which quickly disappear. To replace with lots of bitterness. Some dry tannic wood and huge tobacco mix with a somewhat cherry bitterness and slick but wet oils. The aftertaste is horribly bitter. Unbalanced. A hopped pine sort of earth indistinct quaity that really clashes with everything. Classic barrel aging notes arent even here. Oak round character isnt even present.

Where is the coffee, chocolate, slight roast sweetness and mellow oak feeling? This beer is just a bitter mess of clashing fruit and hop bitterness with a horrid tobacco smoke that doesnt go away. I certainly hope Canada does better examples of barrel aging than this.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

341 ml bottle that comes in an awesomely decorated cardboard cylinder. Picked one up for $5.95 CDN which is a lot for figured I would have to try this at least once. 2013 Vintage and ABV is indicated as 9.2% on the bottle rather than the 9.1% listed here.

Left the bottle out for about 30-40 minutes after being in the fridge so that it would warm up a bit. Then served into a pint glass.

Appearance - Black as night like in an unlit mine shaft. I've recently commented on some dark beers and how they had been the darkest beers I'd had, but this one takes the cake. Towards the end of the glass even tilted this towards me as to spread out the liquid and looked directly into the sun and... not a glimmer of light made it through. Wow. Also 1 finger of dark brown head that receded moderately. Beautiful spidery lacing left everywhere. If the head was more impressive of lasted longer this would have scored quite a bit higher. Still very impressive.

Smell - Lots of coffee, licorice candy a complex mixture of chocolates. Caramel and butterscotch mixture. Wonderfully dessert-like. Pretty much having a platter of strong rich dark chocolate and all the combinations with other dessert items in front of you with a black espresso. Also some vanilla and smoky oakiness. Slight element of rum soaked pastries and fruitcake.

Taste - Enormous flavors here, and found that there was about four stages to this beer with every sip. First a mild sweetness of the caramel and butterscotch combo transitioning into about a second where the palate is actually clear and void of much. Then boom a massive licorice and smoke explosion with some coffee and dark chocolate mixed in. To conclude a dark chocolate (like 95% pure cocoa) and coffee mixture that lingers on the tongue for a long while.

Mouthfeel - Rich, decadent velvety smooth, great warmth in the back of the throat. Obviously heavy bodied prohibiting you from mass consumption and also an oily texture to it. The slickness coats the mouth and tongue throughout the session.

Overall - Excellent RIS, huge flavor and very good representation of the style. Don't know if I will purchase another this year due to the cost, but definitely worth trying at least once.

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Photo of TwilightTavern
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle into a brandy snifter

when poured from a bottle, i immediately noticed how thick the beer was. The thickest beer I've ever drank in fact. Thick one inch medium brown head that dissipates to half an inch that lasts forever, the longest head retention I've ever seen on a beer thats 9 abv+

Walnuts were the first impression the aroma gave off. Next was typical dark chocolate and espresso typical of RIS', and finally dates, and alcohol.

Taste is burnt toast, dark chocolate, espresso, extremely malty, and even hoppy bitterness atypical of RIS'. Exceptional complexity.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, extremely thick, and leaves a nice alcohol bitterness on the palate, along with a slight hint of molasses.

I'm aware that there is a novelty on high abv (or "big beers"), and particularly RIS', and I'm even more sure that the fancy case the 341mm bottle comes in may not help either, however all aside, this is a truly exceptional beer, and possibly one of the best I've ever had in any dark beer style.

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St-Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe from McAuslan Brewing
4.21 out of 5 based on 307 ratings.
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