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Your Black Heart Russian Imperial Stout | O'Dempsey's

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Your Black Heart Russian Imperial StoutYour Black Heart Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Georgia, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by elgiacomo on 11-08-2011

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 196
Photo of TSJ4000
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yeah. I'm going to have to say this is a bitchin' Russian Imperial Stout. Rich and creamy and hop freshness on the finish which keeps this refreshing for a RIS. A+ This beer is not syrupy at all. Boy, this is pitch black with a touch of mahogony on the outer edges. Several really tight lacing rings make this beer awesome. I'm buying these little 4pks again.

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Photo of ChelseaH
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite RIS of all time. Rich, thick and malty - with just enough robust coffee and chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth...or make me crave another :)

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Photo of zuperman
4.91/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great Imperial. Nice balance and taste. Not too high abv. The coffee notes in the smell are great and the bittersweet taste from the dark chocolate masks the alcohol perfectly. Pour it to sip in enjoy!

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Photo of Heischman
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beer/Brewery – Your Black Heart Russian Imperial Stout/O’Dempsy’s
City/State- Atlanta/Georgia
STYLE – Russian Imperial Stout
ABV –8%
IBU – 90
DATE – 03 JAN 2012 (Beer # 3 in the 365 new beers tried in 2012)
SERVING TYPE – 12 oz Bottle
GLASSWARE – Tulip glass
APPEARANCE – Black as the blackest night. No light passes through the beer. Thick frothy head cocoa in color maintaining at ¼ inch with wonderful lacing!
AROMA- Nice aromas of cocoa and roasted coffees
TASTE – Tart but rich with the roasted flavors and a nice smoky flavor lingering in the back
MOUTHFEEL – Creamy but Thin for a Russian Imperial Stout but not too thin, the carbonation leaves are perfect
CONCLUSION – By far my favorite beer form O’Dempsey’s! It is great to see the small guys tackle such a big brew and pull it off!

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Photo of sammib528
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A – This beer poured thick and dark with a small dark caramel head the disappeared quickly

S – There was a deep rich coffee smell like fresh espresso, hints of molasses and caramel

T – The taste was surprising. While there was a strong coffee flavor, it was rich and deep. There was a chocolate taste that made it smooth on the tongue.

M – Heavy, rich and inviting. Not overly carbonated. Left my mouth dry, wanting another sip

Overall – this was a very satisfying glass of beer. Rich flavor that teased my tongue and then disappeared with a dry finish.

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Photo of horshack7
4.51/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Incredibly dark in fact down right black. The head is a dark beige pushing brown.

Aroma: Heavy dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate with some milk sugars. Light char, dark roasted hops with a floral note. A few dark fruits in the back.

Taste: Very malty in the front that has so many chocolate malts. Silky smooth mouthfeel, hops are roasted very dark. Milk sugars, and some char.

Notes: Very tasty all over and would pick this one up again. Cheers.

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Photo of bigpatvoodoodad
4.51/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The one I have says brewed and bottled by Thomas Creek Brewery here in Greenville, SC.

A - poured about a 2 finger caramel colored head which dissipated quickly. Pitch black and completely opaque

S - faint chocolately smell

T - start off chocolatey and sweet. Finishes with a bitter dark chocolate with a hint of the alcohol becoming apparent.

M - sticky, sweet and kind of thick. Great example of the style.

O - This is a great imperial stout. Easy to drink and very delicious. Glad I picked this one up to sample

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a chocolate brown head. In the aroma, a sweet malt and notes of sweet chocolate. In the taste, a sweet dark chocolate malt. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry coffee and small sweet chocolate malt in the aftertaste. Big chocolate and nice coffee presence in the end, a super nice beer.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into goblet

A: Pours absolutely pitch black with a finger of dense light brown head. This beer is even opaque on the way out of the bottle.

S: Intense roasted malts with strong dark chocolate with caramel sweetness in the background to balance. Not much as far as hop aroma.

T: Roasted and burnt malts again dominate, though they are even stronger than they were in the aroma. Dark chocolate is still present but is now mixed with milk chocolate flavor and light toffee sweetness. Hop bitternes is moderate, surprising since it's advertised at 90 IBU. Burnt malts are really quite strong in this beer, but the beer somehow still seems balanced. No hint of ABV.

M: Quite thick with strong carbonation.

O: I was very pleasantly surprised by this beer. It's intensely flavored with burnt and roasted malts, supported by moderate hop bitterness and toffee sweetness. I'm glad to see a local brewery has a great RIS offering.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Inky pitch black liquid; barely any light passes.

Dark khaki head; strong lacing.

Coffee, chocolate & a hint of black licorice in the nose. Definitely smells the part.

Thick mouthfeel.

Nice RIS flavor here: dark chocolate, hints of coffee & licorice. Not the most complex version, but more than serviceable.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong, smoky aroma has firm tones of coffee and semi-sweet chocolate with hints of licorice and anchovies. It pours a rich, opaque coffee brown just a hair above black with a thick, fairly persistent tan head. Flavor has notes of roast coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and molasses with hints of licorice, anchovy and hops and just a touch of sweetness. Full-bodied texture is fizzy and lively, quite satisfying. Definitely fit for royalty!

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Photo of StHopNick
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is one of the best beers brewed in georgia. I very light bodied RIS that you can drink for a while if you can handle the 9+% alcohol. Really good coffee and chocolate flavors. A not overwhelming aftertaste completes this excellent beer. Every beer drinker in Georgia should try this. Outstanding for Georgia's new and budding craft brewing community.

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Photo of sendsilk
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in my annual visit to North Carolina. I have never seen or heard of this beer before. After reviewing my notes, I did have the 2 other offerings by this brewery at this same time last year.

I did not look at any reviews on this beer before reviewing so this should be pretty unbiased:

A- Nice, very dark pour with some nice lacing. Seems a bit high on carbonation.

S- I'm a little excited now since I have let it warm for about 10 minutes. I am seriously getting a very strong smell of peanuts from this beer. If there is an excellent stout and someone added peanuts/peanut butter to it, I would absolutely hunt it down.

T- A little bit of a let down on the PB, but pretty solid none the less. I'm pretty impressed by how easily I could easily knock of this bottle.

M- Nice. Who cares, I can taste peanut butter in this beer!

O- I will have to pick up some more of these in the next week that I am here!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shared with Dempsey himself, courtesy of RussianDragon.

Dark brown body with a dark beige cap. Licorice, molasses, chocolate, bitter cocoa. Quit tasty! A beautiful merging of an Irish dry stout with a heavier and richer Russian imperial stout.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Sampled October 2014 from bottles in pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark color, dark tan head that lasted for a while.

Smell: Sweet with strong toasted coffee aromas, also some hints of chocolate and hops.

Taste: Full-bodied with great balance of malt and hops. Dominated by toasted coffee, but with some chocolate flavor as well. Taste starts sweet with malts, then comes the roasted coffee flavors, and then a little bitterness from the hops. Overall a great combination.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, but smooth.

Overall: Great stout. Best if you enjoy a combination strong malts & coffee, with a little bitterness from the hops. I will buy this again.

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Photo of tdm168
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - pitch black with a thin lacing of dark brown head that has good retention

S - chocolate, roasted malts, faint coffee, sweet sugary notes

T - roasted malts, coffee, some faint chocolate, mildly bitter finish

M - full bodied, well carbonated

This is a rich beer. It may not have the depth and intricacies of some of the great RIS out there, but this definitely has some character. It's dark and malty, rich and drinkable. This isn't the best RIS out there but it ain't bad either. It's worth checking out.

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

-Appearance 4.0: Poured out a gorgeous jet black with a half-inch, amber colored head. Head slowly dissipated, but a creamy foam stuck around the edges.

-Smell 4.0: Striking, acerbic smell of hops and deeply toasted grains. Very concentrated and sharp. Promising.

-Taste 4.5: Slightly sour at first, but this is followed by a delicious taste of a mix of toasted grains, chocolate and coffee. There is a slight burning sensation to the throat and then an aftertaste of grains and hops. Long, toasty & chocolaty finish. Delicious.

-Mouthfeel 3.5: Level of carbonation is good, but some may find the slight burning sensation a bit off-putting (I did not).

-Overall 4.0: Excellent Imperial Stout. I would consider this a more than acceptable substitute for Old Rasputin. Highly recommended, even if the label is a bit goofy looking. ;)

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Photo of csparace
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked this up back home as I sampled all the local flavors. Currently working as my night cap and is working perfectly for that task!

Smell (4.25) – The biggest thing present here is chocolates and roasted grains. Hints of fruits and coffee notes. The smell makes me think its going to be sweet and even a little milky. Once it's poured the coffee notes come out a bit more. If you really really look for it you can potentially smell alcohol – or something else that smells similar.

Appearance (4.00) – Pours a pith black tar with a two finger nutty brown head. No light penetrates. Huge active bubbles in the head which comes down quickly. Once the head comes down you can see slight amounts of carbonation coming to the top.

Taste (4.25) – Initial impression is that of roasted grains and coffee with a hit of hops. The coffee fades while the roast continues. The hops come out more a few seconds later. A slight smoke feel is present throughout. The roasted flavors are huge in this beer but not overwhelming at all.

Mouthfeel (3.75) – This stout has a moderate thickness. Lips are decently sticky. Its definitely a slow drinker but not to the extent that you're chewing it.

Overall (4.00) The main idea of this beer seems to be in the bitterness that the roasted body delivers. It's pretty satisfying as a stout and delivers a complexity that includes chocolates and coffee.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 8.99/ 4 pack. From the initial bottling batch released 10/2011. Served in a Terrapin snifter. 

Pours pitch black with 2 fingers thick mocha head. The froth recedes within a few minutes but leaves a few spots of lacing here and there. 

Smells of roast, chocolate and coffee. Overall smooth and subtle with some dark fruits noticable as it warms. 

Taste follows the nose- nice roast malts hit first with a pleasing blend of bittersweet cocoa, mild coffee and molasses mixed in. Slight plum/ raisin and almost leathery (in a good way) notes. Obviously well-hopped with a long, balanced bitter aftertaste. The relatively low abv (for a Russian Imperial) is covered by the layers of flavor. 

Medium to thick mouthfeel. Carbonation is good and mellow. It could stand to be thicker but it's quite drinkable as-is. 

I'm glad I waited 6 months to review this. I enjoyed it fresh but time has really helped the overall feel and blend of flavors- making it rich, creamy and pleasing. While I'd be lying if I said this is the best RIS available, it is a solid brew and my favorite of O'Dempsey's releases (with the exception of the one-off collaboration with Jailhouse Brewing, "Community Service" Wee Heavy- that stuff was/is outstanding!). Like most stouts, if you have the patience to wait a few months to enjoy Your Black Heart you'll be duly rewarded. I'm happy to have a few more from the same batch downstairs "developing" for a later date

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Photo of rajendra82
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The dark brown pour had ruby highlights while coming out of the bottle, but looked nearly pitch black in the glass. The head was nearly two finger thick, and khaki in color. The smell was very foreboding, with dark chocolate, dark coffee, and dark skinned fruits. The taste was not quite as aggressive as the smell hinted at. There was sweet cocoa, caramel toffee, dark roasted coffee, and vanilla in the taste. Some bittering hops showed up in the finish briefly. The body was appropriately dense and chewy. The beer was good, but could have used a bit more boldness.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a wine glass. Brewed at Thomas Creek in SC.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a finger high, with a lighter tan shade. Retention isn't the greatest, but it's a relatively creamy head that *tries* to leave a thin collar of lacing behind. Loving the darkness, though. (3.75)

Smell: Really rich and roasty. There is a significant chocolate sweetness, as well. Auxiliary notes of brown sugar help round it out. It's definitely not an endlessly complex beer, but its handful of notes work extremely well together. (4)

Taste: Oh yeah, this is how I like my imperial stouts. Read: it's a roast bomb. Some initial flavors of bitter dark chocolate, dark fruits, and brown sugar help give it some needed depth. But even still, the back end is gloriously roasty. I'm really enjoying the coffee flavor, in particular; there are even some notes of leather, tobacco, and char. The big roastiness balances perfectly with the subtle sweetness, creating a superbly enjoyable RIS, even if it isn't infinitely complex. (4.25)

Mouthfeel: Definitely not bone-dry, but still dry enough. The carbonation gives it a cake-like density that I love. I could use a touch more creaminess in the texture, though. Still, it goes down very easily for 8%, while retaining its relative richness. (4)

Overall: Crappy label. Not even a morsel of hype. This one sucks, right? NO! It's a killer RIS. This manages to pack a shitload of roasty goodness in 8%. I always love ending up with a hidden gem...it makes me feel like I know something others don't. ;) Or maybe I just like roast bombs, I don't know. (4)

4.09/5: Great roast-laden RIS devoid of hype

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up recently at Buy-Rite in Jersey City, having never tried this before. Beers like this are rated pretty highly on here so I didn't think this would measure up but in some odd way, it held its own. This wasn't the top of the line for its particular style but in terms of taste, strength, and drinkability, I enjoyed this a lot, especially the fact that this wasn't as harsh as some of the more popular Russian Imperial Stouts.

The pour to this was nice, with a full and dark brown hue and a nice, thick head that looked like it came from a dessert serving of chocolate mousse. Lots of milk chocolate and cocoa nibs in the aroma which was repeated in the mouthfeel. This wasn't powdery or had a lot of alkali in it but it leaned more towards the espresso end of the coffee spectrum. Not a large amount of carbonation here and hardly any lacing to be seen but this still went down easily with just a hint of molasses and a burnt, roasted tone in the back. This had a nice warming effect to it to without overpowering the taste or balanced body to this.

Even the alcohol was just right as I could only feel it once I finished up my serving. By itself, this was a great beer and a good introduction to the style for someone who has never tried one before. This would rate higher if there weren't so many better examples out at the present but in terms of surprises, they don't get much bigger than this. Certainly worth a try for anyone who loves Stouts or something dark, fairly strong, and easily accessible.

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Photo of AmitC
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A very thick pouring brew, dark brown to almost black in color. Pitch black inside the glass. A good shining brown colored less than a half finger thick head that stays really well. An excellent lacing on the sides. Opaque.

Aroma is of dark roasted malts and some hops. A bit of coffee aroma, not really ground. Strength is mild to only moderate. A good burnt up nose. No alcohol. Difficult to pick up mainly due to fading aroma.

Flavor is that of burnt up and charred malts. A good and balancing hop profile. Finish is dry to slightly bitter. Some chocolate and coffee in the taste.

Mouth feel is full bodied. Low carbonation. No astringency of any kind. Drinks really nice and easy. A good alcohol warmth.

Nothing really wrong with the brew but no wow factor either.

Style Rate: 4
Personal Rate: 4.25

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Photo of RescueKitty
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured black like motor oil-old motor oil. I mean this is totally opaque in the glass. Even held up to the light, I can see nothing but black, so it's aptly named. Has a half imch dark brown head. Smells nice and roasty, but not too strong. Faintly floral over the coffee base. Mouthfeel is creamy but not too thick. Taste is overwhelmingly dark, rich coffee and bitter dark chocolate. There's a nice high note of hops and a bitter, dry finish. This very drinkable as the lower ABV of 8.0% is well hidden. I was pleasently surprised by this beer. As it warms, the favors really stand out. Thankfully, it is not sweet but nicely bittered.

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Photo of brentk56
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Tar black, with an inch of tan foam on top; a few shards of lace are left behind

Smell: Dark chocolate syrup, with a hints of caramel and tobacco

Taste: Dark chocolate dominates, with hints of caramel, tobacco and vanilla, in the middle; the caramel and vanilla come through with more vigor in the finish, but this is still a very chocolatey stout

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and somewhat creamy; low to moderate carbonation

Overall: More like an American double stout than an RIS, this is a nice beer for what it is though it lacks the depth and complexity of others in either the American or RIS styles

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Your Black Heart Russian Imperial Stout from O'Dempsey's
3.94 out of 5 based on 196 ratings.
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