Death | Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House

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132 Ratings

Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House
Ohio, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A high-gravity Russian Imperial Stout brewed from a blend of dark malts and Jolokai peppers (Ghost Chili Peppers).

Added by Ohiovania on 12-15-2012

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 132 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by russpowell:
Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of OldTime
4.63/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I had this on draft at Beer World in Jacksonville, FL & I have to say I really liked this, but I like experimental beers and this was one.

138 characters

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
2.17/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

32 oz. growler filled last week at the brewery poured into a NB snifter.

A - Pours a dark brown in the glass. A very loose, bubbly head of dark khaki foam disappears quickly, leaving a small sheen on the surface in the middle. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is almost jet black and solidly opaque.

S - Distinctive notes of cherry/almond right in the front of the nose just after the initial pour along with a fair amount of ABV. Very dark baker's chocolate in the background. Hints of burnt, charred wood and heavy-roast coffee grounds. As it warms up, hints of dark caramel emerge.

T - Whoa - that's a black and chili pepper blast to the olfactory senses that's going to take some adjusting to. The freshly ground black pepper is especially prominent and lasting on the tongue. Letting the beer warm in the glass lets anise emerge just behind rich, dark caramel malt and black, almost bitter, molasses. Dry, dark chocolate appears in the finish. As it reaches room temperature, it settles into something resembling cough syrup with a pepper chaser.

M - A bit smooth, but pretty neutral with soft carbonation. Body is not only thin, on the verge of being watery, but noticeably undersized. Structure of components seems to be missing, but it's hard to find them behind the pepper - there's just not enough substance to support the pepper bomb. Because of the pepper, the finish echoes a long, long time.

O - Do you like pepper? I mean, there's no such thing as too-much-pepper-in-the-dish like pepper? If so, you'll probably enjoy this beer. There's really nothing subtle about it. I could see pairing this beer with a thick, juicy grilled steak or a big bowl of meaty chili that, on it's own, is on the mild side. It would be interesting to see what would happen to the pepper if this beer was aged, especially in barrels matched to the spicing profile. Pepper is a spice, meant to be an accent. In this beer, it's pretty much the whole show, not only because of how dominant it is, but also because the rest of the recipe simply isn't big enough to support it and so gets overwhelmed.

 2,119 characters

Photo of ChaseBacon
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Zonian1
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Adkins1203
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Iparedman
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of BamfBacon
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of SomethingClever
2.67/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Death 22 oz bottle poured into ice cold shaker

A: coal black with almost no head looks like a good bit of carbonation

S: lots of anise and licorice light peppers

T: very mild chocolate light anise and some chili pepper heat on the end

M: dead feel no carbonation and oddly thin and watery

O: This is just a flat out bad stout the taste is muddled and the beer is completely lifeless the chili peppers can't even save this beer as they don't impart a nice pepper flavor as much as just some heat on the backend.

 519 characters

Photo of Lanstrum
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ohiobeer29
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of KYGunner
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

The flavor is full of peppers which tends to take over. Capsaicin, chile peppers, and actually habenero flavor is at the front. There is some chocolate malt and a wee bit of caramel sweetness. Obviously this is hot, really hot! The feel is unpleasant at times but it masks any booziness you may get from the 11.5%.

 314 characters

Photo of cyrushire
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of West_Chester_Ale_Tester
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bluejacket74
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a quarter inch tan head that went away quickly. There's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice but light, it smells like roasted malt, dark fruit, chili peppers and some molasses. Luckily the taste is stronger than the aroma, it tastes like chili peppers, roasted malt, chocolate and a bit of dark fruit. There's definitely spice noticeable, but I was expecting this one to be hotter. But the spice is lingering, it is a tasty brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and syrupy with moderate carbonation. I think this brew is certainly worth a try, $2.99 a bottle. I wouldn't mind seeing Rivertown making this one again.

 709 characters

Photo of dental
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Derek_Besly
3.09/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Inky, spicy, some decent roasted malt. Peppers feel too prevalent to allow for complexity. Over all not the best

112 characters

Photo of dcisco44
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of BuckTuckian
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Buckeye_Bill
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Mr_Meursault
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

Photo of tommy5
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of buschbeer
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a snifter

A - I'll just call this beer black. I held it up to the light and none came through. It has a half inch of mocha head.

S - The smell is sweet. I get some chocolate and roasted malt. There is no noticeable pepper.

T - It leans more towards the chocolate side on the taste. It almost tastes like a milk stout. The ghost pepper is barely perceptible. The heat does grow a little as I drink it. It is either well hidden or faded after almost a year.

M - It is very smooth with low carbonation. It does not quite have a full mouthfeel.

O - I think it tastes pretty good. I like the subtle pepper flavor. I thought the pepper would be more significant, but it is about perfect at this point in its maturity.

 746 characters

Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin beige head that died down a little, leaving a bit of lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of black licorice in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of black licorice but this transitions to spicy flavors from the peppers in the finish and linger through the aftertaste.
M: It feels rather full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The Jolokai peppers leave a bit of heat and dryness in the finish. The heat intensifies as the beer warms up.
O: I thought this beer was quite drinkable considering its strength and the use of Jolokai peppers, which are spicer than Habanero chili peppers. There are no traces of alcohol in the taste and there aren't too much peppers, just enough to leave a sharp pop of heat in the finish.

 890 characters

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Death from Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 132 ratings