Worthy Adversary
Fulton Beer

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Fulton Beer
Minnesota, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #285
Ranked #5,586
4.12 | pDev: 8.01%
Apr 19, 2023
Mar 29, 2010
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.
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Photo of brentk56
Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with a tan film that fades; a few speckles

Smell: Char, chocolate, tobacco and licorice

Taste: Charred malt and chocolate forward with tobacco and licorice tones developing; additional char on the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation

Overall: This bottle has been in my cellar for quite some time so I presume it is at least six years old; a bit oxidized but a pleasant drinker; it doesn't have the dark fruit aspect I like in an RIS but that is a quibble
Apr 19, 2023
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
Worthy Adversary from Fulton Beer
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 431 ratings