Worthy Adversary | Fulton Beer

72 Reviews
Worthy AdversaryWorthy Adversary

Brewed by:
Fulton Beer
Minnesota, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by feloniousmonk on 03-29-2010

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 409
Photo of calarkin
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.

 208 characters

Photo of Rytr
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.


 468 characters

Photo of Rogerlb
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.

 527 characters

Photo of Tone
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.

 519 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
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.

 877 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Pours thick, viscous, ebony. Dark khaki head and lace. 4.75

Aroma is a blend of dark chocolate and dark stone fruit. Touch of solvent booze. Creamy sweetness. 4

First half of the palate works just fine, although treading lightly as far as flavor. I get dark chocolate and plums like the nose. Mid-palate things start to go awry. Heavy, rubbing alcohol booze pushes in and floods the tongue in such a way as to practically sterilize my palate. I have to take a break and see if some warmth does this any good. Annnnd, yes, this fills out a bit and the liquor recedes. The roasted malt character develops a bit more character and flavor.

I still find this a bit hot. Solvent-like. It interrupts from the creaminess and makes this less smooth than desirable. 3.5

Good but a bit disappointing. I would expect a cleaner drinker here.

 865 characters

Photo of Evilyak
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

looks like it should. smells roasty and tastes sweet. 9.5% is noticeable here - not overwhelming but the booze ain't shy. mouth is a bit viscous and rich.

i'd hit it again.

 174 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.12/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad. Very bitter with a little lingering sweetness. Some medicinal qualities under the cocoa, black patent, hint of molasses. Little out of balance on the bitter side for me.

 178 characters

Photo of Ri0
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter. Obsidian with a thin 1 finger brown head. Minimal retention and a thin ring clings to the glass. Some spotty lacing on the glass. I pick up big roasty malts and dark fruit. Bitter chocolate, caramel, toffee provide a nice sweetness followed by some bitter hops. Flavor of bold bitter chocolate, dark fruit, more bitter coffee and some woodiness. The middle finds the sweetness of caramel and it finishes with a bit of hops. Creamy, rich and smooth with thick body. Great RIS and it reminds me of GD Yeti.

 538 characters

Photo of Wer34truh
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color, with a small head which dissipates quickly.

Smells very much the style, with a chocolate nose, and some stingy coffee aroma as well. Has some not-so-minor smoked tones as well.

Taste is predominately chocolate, with a substansial amount of molasses which adds some bitterness. Despite this, it's quite sweet, which adds welcome nuance in the taste. Mouthfeel is quite light, and it's quite easy to drink overall.

 442 characters

Photo of Drinkzumbeer
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap in a 12oz tulip glass. Incredible nose of dark chocolate and roasted malts. The palate hits you with an extremely creamy mouth feel that is loaded with roasted coffee, burnt malts and a hint of molasses. A nice pleasant warming sensation on the finish, but is not boozy what so ever even at the impressive 9.5% alcohol. I have to pick up a 4-pack soon to keep me warm in these brutally cold Minnesota winters.

 424 characters

Photo of creepinjeeper
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Libbey porter/stout glass.
Look - Motor oil in color. Tan head that starts out fluffy and settles quickly. No lacing to mention.
Smell - Molasses and chocolate. Whiff of roasted grains.
Taste - Hint of roasted malts and coffee bitterness. Mostly sweet. Chocolate with molasses finish.
Feel - Looks thicker than it feels. Slick and creamy.
Overall - Totally enjoyed this one. Nice morning stout for sure. Wish I lived closer to Fulton. Solid local brewery making equally solid beers.

 511 characters

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Warming, Sweet, Char, Even

Sometimes I don’t feel like drinking the Russian Imperial Stouts from my stash in the winter. This lovely beast hits hard with a one-two combo of sweetness and roasted/burnt maltiness. Then the alcohol lays down a mellowing warmth that I did not even notice until a few sips in. Everything is quite balanced in the finish, which makes me want to go in for another sip. An exceptional drink and a worthy adversary indeed.

STYLE: Russian Imperial Stout | ABV: 9.5% | AVAILABILITY: Seasonal

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #101 (JUN 2015)

 576 characters

Photo of larryi86
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thank you garymuchow for this!
12 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Jet black with a two finger mocha head

S- Dark fruits, figs, creamy chocolate, caramel, faint roasted coffee, very rich.

T- Not as big or rich as the nose, dark fruit, dark chocolate, roasted malts, coffee finish, molasses.

M- Smooth, medium body, carbonation is a light high.

O- Though the taste falls short compared to the nose this is still a well done stout. If Fulton ever does a bourbon barrel version I would love to it.

 500 characters

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Bright dark brown under a finely bubbled 2” tan foam collar that leaves Guinness quality lace.
S: alcohol, faint coffee, chocolate
T: Deliscious grain, espresso, chocolate creaminess. Has a nice grain in the background – oily in a good way.
F: Very rich and creamy medium low carbonation but fine and soft – almost nitro quality, full body to chewy. Some alcohol warming.
O: It has an excellent balance of grainy malt, espresso, and chocolate

 454 characters

Photo of marieli
3.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Draft. Let it warm a bit before starting. Good dark color with small tan head that didn't stick. Color was more cola as quantity went down. Aroma was minimal. Malt with some chocolate sweetness as it warmed. Taste was coffee on first drink. But it was more of a meld as it warmed. Nothing distinguished. Couldn't really pick out the chocolate. That's not to say it wasn't good! A nice blend. No booze at all for 9+ ABV. Smooth with a little backside bitterness. Medium feel. This beer does not distinguish itself but it's not a bad drink. It just doesn't stand out.

 582 characters

Photo of deford
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 750 ml bottle into a Stone IRS Tulip with a nice hard pour.

L- Oh so dark, no light comes through at all. Very nice 2 fingers of caramel colored head that fades in a few minutes leaving little trace behind.

S- Very definitely dark fruits and chocolate. Bananas come on after a bit with some roasty something or other. Maybe a little licorice.

T- Dark fruits again with cocoa and coffee beans. A bit of molasses, maybe some sweet cherries and a little more roasted coffee. Finishes with a dry bitter hoppieness that balances the sweets just right...really nice!

F- Luscious....just right not too sticky and not too dry.

O- Overall its quite satisfying. Sweet fruits balanced by dry hops with a little char to blend things together a bit. As it warms the alcohol comes forward a bit...pretty much a sipper.

 816 characters

Photo of CraigP83
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer surprised me, It was much better than I was anticipating. Complex and sticky lwith Carmel notes, rich and flavorful. I would definitely seek this out over some other highly rated RIS.

 193 characters

Photo of maedhros09
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Dark black with a couple fingers of brown head
Smell: roasty, dark fruit
Taste: A nicely balanced roasty dark fruit sweetness, alcohol, and a moderate herbal bitterness in the finish.
Feel: Thick, smooth
Overall: A solid imperial stout, nicely balanced. When I first opened it I thought I sensed some off flavors but as it warmed they seemed to go away and I actually enjoyed it more.

 395 characters

Photo of TheBrewo
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This brew was served on tap at the Seven Corners Republic, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It arrived in a stout generic tulip glass, showing a deep and beautiful motor oil black. It held a half finger tall head of dark chocolate brown bubbles, showing decent retention. Lacing was spotty. There was an absence of haze or sediment, and carbonation appeared to be active. The aroma consisted of slick black olives, tin, Elmer's glue, banana peppers, almonds, hot leather, bittering black licorice, harsh phenolic clove, Styrofoam, vodka booziness, potpourri, black, coffee, and chocolate maltiness with infinite roast, campfire char, and fresh linens. The taste brought along more of the same, but was a bit sweeter through a blend of candied almonds, sticky fig and apricot jam, maraschino cherry sweetness, fusel sour booziness, muddy mineral, grainy and gritty whiskey corn, milk chocolate and sugars, curious herbal floral type, mayonnaise, metallic yeastiness, mint leafiness, pencil woodiness, dusty and dry one-dimensional chocolate malts, and raw coffee. The aftertaste breathed heavily of mud. The body was full, and carbonation was moderate. Slurp, smack, cream, and froth are surprisingly lacking for how big the beer is, and the mouthfeel otherwise lacks any thick oiliness or density stylistically. It felt like a younger, sweeter milk stout; a bit powdery and puckering, with little else. The abv was appropriate, and drinkability remained at a reasonable sip.

Overall, this was a nice looking Russian imperial. Its tap handle was nestled in our corner of the bar, and admittedly, we were mesmerized by the beauty of how gorgeously it glugged off the system. It poured like oil being drained from an engine. Superficially, this was the primary reason we ordered it. Each other aspect of the beer fell unfortunately flat for us. For the taste, they threw harsh booziness, punchy roast, bright dark fruitiness, and muddy murkiness all into a pot, but seem to have forgotten to stir them all together. These elements all clashed, making for a disharmonious, forced union. Couple that with a chewy but simply forgettable feel, and you’ve got yourself a middle-of-the-road Russian imperial stout.

 2,220 characters

Photo of Chaz
3.35/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown-black on color, topped with a darker tan head. Head falls and provides minimal lacing after a few minutes. Well-filtered with no yeast sediment.

Nose is par for the course: Rich and malty, with roasted malt notes and some sharp hops beneath richer, sweeter malt character. Some anise/fennel character (think: licorice) and dark skinned fruits. Light cocoa...

Sweet and almost too-sweet on the first sip. Cocoa notes followed by plum and licorice and a lighter vinous character, all on top of the sharper and bittering hop profile that keeps this one from becoming too sweet. Bittersweet finish. Gently warming.

As it warms the alcohol character becomes more pronounced in the finish, but for a beer of this strength it is acceptable.

Mouthfeel is good; Coats the palate, not too much carbonation.

Not a bad beer altogether (and better than I was expecting it to be), but still a touch too-sweet for my liking.

12oz bottle (from a split 4-pack) from the fresh mix n' match section at my local packie.

 1,032 characters

Photo of humuloner22
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this one as an extra. Sorry I cannot remember from who? Thanks though!

Appearance: What you would expect from a stout, black minimal head retention and some lacing that sticks to the edges of the glass.

Aroma: Not a lot other than some hops and roasted malts, some sweetness. I will say this borders more on a line between a stout and a black IPA, its got a lot of hop notes in there more than most stouts.

Taste: Roasted malts and some bittering hops, not the best stout I have ever had. I guess like mine a little more creamy and smooth. This one is bitter and
biting, and if that is your thing for stouts definitely go for it!

Overall: I don't particularly like this style of stout, but I can appreciate it for what it is!

 741 characters

Photo of Roguer
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Black beer topped with a decent, dark brown head, with good retention.

Lovely imperial stout aroma, with a hint of banana from the yeast, and tons of smooth roasted barley.

Taste is surprisingly flatter and less sweet than I expected. Roasted barley, slightly metallic; not an overly strong overripe fruit presence, but it's there on the back-end; dark cacao and over-roasted black coffee come to mind. Tiny bit of sweetness and yeast presence on the very, very back-end.

Bitterness carried by the roast, although there is a noticeable hop bitterness as well.

Bit of foaming, but otherwise a very pleasant, easy mouthfeel, fairly thick and full, with a bit of alcohol heat.

In a world of sweet dessert stouts and coffee stouts, this hearkens back to a simpler time. Straightforward, no frills, big, bold, bitter imperial stout. The more I drink of it, the more I come to really like it.

 891 characters

Photo of 2beerdogs
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Thanks & Maximum Respect to @Jlabs for this surprise.

A straight up RIS. Not too sweet. Not barrel aged. A bit roasty. Enough heft. Slightly creamy mouthfeel, great slightly oily finish. Without getting all crazy with the descriptors, it's a damned respectable RIS! Would drink this one 'til the cows come home.

 316 characters

Photo of zeledonia
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Tasted 6 January 2015.

Pours black, opaque, and thick. Half a finger of deep tan / light brown head, good retention and lacing.

Smell is rich, full of coffee and dark roasty aromas. A little wood, a little char, some slightly tannic hints. Complex and pleasant.

Taste is likewise full of coffee. Funny that they add coffee (War and Peace) to such a coffee-forward stout. It's followed by molasses, some charred wood. It's a shade more bitter than I'd like it to be, and that inhibits my enjoyment of it.

Feel is a bit odd. It's much more heavily carbonated than most stouts. That, combined with the thickness, makes it feel like electrified oil. Sorta feels like I poured syrup on my tongue and then licked a 9-volt battery. It's not terrible, but it's not my favorite.

A very nice stout. As I mentioned, the feel is odd, but the other aspects make up for that. And I've got to give Fulton major credit for putting it in very affordable 4-packs.

 950 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Worthy Adversary from Fulton Beer
4.12 out of 5 based on 409 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.