Worthy Adversary
Fulton Beer

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Fulton Beer
Minnesota, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
4.12 | pDev: 8.01%
Mar 23, 2020
Mar 29, 2010
Worthy AdversaryWorthy Adversary
Notes: This Russian Imperial Stout is not exactly a lightweight. It’s about drawing a line in the sand. It has a consistency similar to 5W-30. Adventurous tattoo artists have used it in place of ink. If left outside during winter, it won’t freeze, even in Minnesota. Beneath the shadowy exterior, a swirling ambush of coffee and dark chocolate flavors lurk atop a mountain of malt. For much of the year, the Worthy Adversary lays low, as if beneath the cover of canopy jungle. Don’t leave this aggression unchecked, or you may find it facing you down—eyeball to eyeball.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
Reviewed by Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
Vintage 2015 - consumed on 3-22-2020

Pours a thick pitch black. There's actually a 1 finger tan head, and the head actually lasts a very long time. Not much lacing on the glass.
The nose is very strong and powerful. Got a nice caramel aroma. Chocolate. Maybe a hint of coffee. Very rich smelling.
Taste - Almost a nutty flavor here. Tons of caramel. A hint of chocolate. I don't get the coffee that I was smelling in the flavor. It says it's 81 IBU, but not getting much in the way of hops.
Thick, and very rich feeling. Very full bodied. Not much of a boozy flavor.
Solid RIS, and I'm a huge fan of "big beers" being in a smaller bottle.
Mar 23, 2020
Rated: 4.22 by dbrauneis from North Carolina

Aug 03, 2019
Photo of metter98
Reviewed by metter98 from New York

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
On-tap at Fulton Beer, Minneapolis, MN

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a narrow beige collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark malts and licorice are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, except that it has a bit more flavors of licorice along with notes of dark roasted malts.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The roasted malt flavors also contribute some dryness.
O: This isn't as heavy or intense compared to there beers in the style so it is relatively easy to drink compared to other Russian Imperial Stouts.

Serving type: on-tap
Aug 03, 2019
Rated: 4.23 by smithj4 from New York

Aug 03, 2019
Rated: 4 by ian_graf from Minnesota

Jul 28, 2019
Rated: 2.73 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

May 05, 2019
Photo of Jeffo
Reviewed by Jeffo from Netherlands

3.47/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Got this one hopsolutely this past summer. Cheers!

From a 16oz can into a snifter
IBU: 81

APPEARANCE: A clear black pour yields a 1+ finger, medium-thicker, creamy, light brown head with great retention. Black body with no real carbonation. Head slowly fades to a thin wisp. A ring and dots of wisp remain but leave no real lacing on the glass as it empties.

SMELL: Roasted aromas with dark chocolate, leather, molasses and licorice on the nose. A bit of tobacco as well. Bold.

TASTE: Leather, molasses and some tobacco up front. Some dark chocolate and more leather at the swallow, moving into a bold and persistent finish of leather, sweet molasses and a good deal of hop bitterness as well.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, a bit light, goes down fine with a bit of a burn and finishes a bit sticky.

OVERALL: This is okay. I prefer more chocolate and coffee character in this style, but this is still a well-executed, more European style big stout. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re a fan of the Euro-style side of the story. Thanks again, guys!
Oct 24, 2018
Photo of chinchill
Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12 oz 2015 bottle on 8 October 2018.
Pours opaque and near black in color with a short but very durable tan head.
Roasted grains and chocolate notes dominate the aroma, but there is also some sweet caramel and coffee as well as alcohol esters.
Flavor: some sweetness that is balanced by bitterness and a hint of smoke. Notes of coffee, cocoa, and chocolates mix together nicely.
Feel: thick and full but not syrupy. Smooth with some warming alcohol but not hot or harsh.
Overall: a well crafted, straightforward RIS.
Oct 08, 2018
Rated: 4.24 by CraftFan5 from New Jersey

Apr 30, 2018
Photo of schoolboy
Reviewed by schoolboy from Ohio

4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
My second Fulton brew, second Fulton big stout, second winner.

It pours black and opaque, with little bubbles, but not a lot of them. Nice lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty. The taste is well settled in on this 2016 dated bottle. Mild, sweet and easy drinking for the huge style. Alcohol is obviously there, but nicely balanced with the malts and some hops. It was nice of them to make a 2016 sample available through their distributors, but I preferred the exceptional imperial Russian coffee stout from them, War and Peace.

Mar 31, 2018
Rated: 4.21 by Zombiefeynman from Ohio

Mar 28, 2018
Rated: 4.3 by Richie_C_Johnson from Minnesota

Feb 26, 2018
Rated: 4.75 by buttsmahogany from Illinois

Feb 15, 2018
Rated: 4.1 by Taybeh from Minnesota

Jan 20, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by Scooter131313 from Minnesota

Jan 15, 2018
Photo of novamat
Reviewed by novamat from Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Echoing what others have said, just a well executed RIS. Keep looking for adjuncts because of the balance between sweet and dry, but they’re not needed. Comparable to Expedition, well worth picking up.
Dec 27, 2017
Rated: 4.88 by dagsix from Minnesota

Dec 06, 2017
Rated: 4.17 by justinm4bama from Alabama

Oct 14, 2017
Photo of StonedTrippin
Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
some next level imperial stout right here, no barrels, no force fed adjuncts, just a really solid stout, technically near perfection, and something i think the beer community is thirsting for more and more as cocoa vanilla marshmallow coconut cinnamon almond stouts seem to be taking over the market, and anything that goes in a barrel gets instant cred, deserved or not. this is short of a middle finger to all of that, but to my palate it is, and i love it. near black in color with a solid half inch of deep mocha head, looks the part, smooth and sturdy. aroma and flavor are classic but so dialed in. tons of roast and mash character, some caramelized elements but balanced by a lot of bitter, burnt layers, and even a hint of smoke and cocoa. its thick but it isnt syrupy, and the finish is dry and bitter for what it is, with some warming alcohol to clean it away, but not hot or harsh even at temperature. its smooth and relaxed all the way, is surprisingly versatile with food, and doesnt drink as strong as it is at all. i love the earthy chocolate and coffee layers from the grain, and the minerals this seems to have in it. suggestions of root beer, oak, and molasses in here too, all very well tied in. this beer needs nothing, and reminds me of when i first had old rasputin all those years ago and thought how remarkably well made and classic it was. this is in that same high level category for me. one of fultons best, one of the best anywhere!
Sep 26, 2017
Rated: 3.47 by Rammed96 from Maryland

May 18, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by DissentFatsquirrel from Minnesota

May 09, 2017
Rated: 4.29 by wisrarebeer from Wisconsin

Mar 19, 2017
Rated: 3.88 by Nolster from Minnesota

Feb 25, 2017
Rated: 4.18 by JeffSK from Wisconsin

Feb 19, 2017
Photo of darktronica
Reviewed by darktronica from Indiana

4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
An excellent Russian imperial with strong roast and a short, dry finish. I'm contrary to the average ratings and would say that I prefer Worthy Adversary to its coffee variant, War and Peace. This stands alone quite well and has been consistently high quality through multiple bottles of multiple vintages.
Feb 18, 2017
Rated: 3.88 by RBuckley73 from Nevada

Feb 10, 2017
Photo of calarkin
Reviewed by calarkin from District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Look is dark with medium sized head light tan head. Taste is dry as should be but with almost a fruity hint. Smooth for the ABV. Solid russian imperial stout. Nothing out of this world but would recommend.
Feb 03, 2017
Photo of Rytr
Reviewed by Rytr from California

4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
I won't go into great detail, as other before me have said what needs to be said. But what strikes me most about this beer is the linger.

The sip, swish and swallow, come and go with not much a small breeze. But then it hits. A wave of flavor, crawls back up and smacks you like an x girlfriend. Then it sits. Very much like salsa that is a touch too hot.

This beer makes you remember it. Not the best stout, but love what it does for me right now.

Jan 28, 2017
Photo of Rogerlb
Reviewed by Rogerlb from California

4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A careful pour, and no head at all. Black as ink. Aroma is a nice balanced malt-wet cocoa blend.

Taste is cocoa, coffee, some anise, vanilla. No real hops or bitterness makes it more chocolate, less char. Bit of leather, along with a sweet molasses. Quite smooth overall, and thick. Mouthfeel is a little sticky, the roastiness is quite present but not at all burnt. This is not Mission Dark Seas. Yet not too sweet either. A minor citrus comes in on the back end.

95% pretty well hidden. Thick, damn good, easy to drink RIS.
Jan 27, 2017
Rated: 3.82 by elec from Minnesota

Jan 26, 2017
Rated: 4.23 by GeorgeAKeim from Oregon

Jan 25, 2017
Rated: 3.99 by npendres from Wisconsin

Dec 31, 2016
Rated: 4.12 by jmh21 from Minnesota

Dec 30, 2016
Photo of Tone
Reviewed by Tone from Missouri

4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
Pours a black color. 1/5 inch head of a tan color. Slight retention and decent lacing. Smells of chocolate, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of yeast, slight oatmeal, alcohol, and a hint of dark citrus. Fits the style of a Russian Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of chocolate, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of yeast, slight oatmeal, alcohol, and a hint of dark citrus. Overall, weak appearance and a little too sweet, but otherwise a great RIS.
Dec 23, 2016
Rated: 4 by calcnerd from Pennsylvania

Dec 19, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by jonbonfondle from Minnesota

Nov 06, 2016
Rated: 4.14 by EdFed from Illinois

Nov 06, 2016
Photo of hoptheology
Reviewed by hoptheology from South Dakota

4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Deep, dark black pour - ink...oil...blackened grease. Head is chocolate cream colored and stays at about 1/2 finger in the tall snifter. Last drops of the bottle fall slowly. I can tell already how heavy this beer is.

Aromas of charred firewood at first sniff, followed by sweet black licorice, ground coffee, and oatmeal.

Flavors of dark, roasted malts, a kiss of sweet prune, a light coating of milk chocolate, coffee grounds, and sweet alcohol soaked dark fruits sprinkled with anise crystals. Finish waxes into burnt grains. Citrus comes out as it warms, I prefer to drink this cold.

Feel is huge. Just thick and otherworldly. Milkshake-like. Thickest ever? Nah. A top contender? Yeah, definitely.

Overall, I'm glad I picked up the four pack of Worthy Adversary. It reminds me a lot of Old Raspy but not as sweet and a little more staleness. Absolutely not bad at all.
Aug 30, 2016
Rated: 3.91 by Rocketmn from Minnesota

Jul 03, 2016
Rated: 4.43 by mikerieder from South Dakota

Jun 12, 2016
Worthy Adversary from Fulton Beer
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 430 ratings