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

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56 Reviews
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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 ordybill
2.6/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a tulip glass.
Aroma- Big roasted coffee bean aroma
Appearance- Looks like used motor oil, has a small brown head
Taste- Not good to me, acidic with no back end flavor, sort of empty after the initial tasting (this occurred on each sip)
Palate- A full bodied beer with mild carbonation, has a dry bitter finish.
Overall- I did not care for this beer at all. RIS's are not my favorite style of beer but I do enjoy several; this ain't one of them.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
2.92/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Sludgy, oily black on the pour. The tan head sputters out almost instantly. Spotty and patchy lacing.

S: Fudgy, brownie batter, semi-sweet dark chocolate. Touch of smoke, mild char, coffee roast. Salty/mineral. Dried fig and dried apple.

T: Soy sauce and a brine-like saltiness right up front. A slight rubbery flavor could be coming from a high phenol spike or just some heavily charred malts. Fudge, brownie batter, smoke, deep roasted malt char and soot. Fig and apple fruitiness. Long roasted malt finish of char and chocolate, but unfortunately a slightly distracting solventy alcohol taste follows into the finish as well.

M: Slick, sludgy body. Thick and chewy. Weighty and a little viscous. Light prickling carbonation. This part is done very well.

O: This beer has a lot of potential. You can tell there's some real greatness underneath the flaws. Looks like they just need to nail down their quality control.

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Photo of TheBigE5
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown/black with about a half finger of brown head. Foam lacing sticks on the inside of the glass leaving a nice ring after sipping.

S - Notes of coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Surprisingly sweet at first but moves into a roasty mocha coffee finish. Also has a yeasty overtone and leaves a bitter finish.

M - Not as creamy as i would have liked but it warms the mouth, excellent for a chilly night.

O - For my taste, I prefer a little less of the chocolate and roast, but for a dessert or cold occasion I would definitely look this beer up again.

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Photo of oberon
3.37/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first O'Dempsy beer to try,brewed at Thomas Creek.Poured into a nonic jet black I mean no light getting thru this beer,a thick one finger deep mocha colored head atop.Aromas are really light for the style and ABV. of the beer,faint cocoa and even more faint roast,I hate to give it such a low score but I have to.Alot of roasted char on the palate with a little sweet alcohol and bitter chocolate,very much like a French Roast coffee with a bit of chocolate.It's not bad it lacks in some crucial things but I kinda liked it,it's pretty easy to drink for the style.

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Photo of chinchill
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle.

This is a thick, black liquid that was completely opaque even in a rather thin glass in bright sunlight. It pours with a large near-creamy head.

Aroma: very dark and some near-burnt malts, with tones of burnt toast. Something unusual here that I did not find objectionable, but couldn't put my finger on.

Taste: An extreme richness that is not too surprising given the thick pour and deep roasted aroma. Loads of dark roasted grains with overtones of coffee, smoke, spicy hops, and burnt toast. Rather minimal chocolate. A bit too strong for me (I know, some people think a RIS can't be too strongly flavored), but does leave a very long-lasting finish, with clear notes of coffee and burnt toast.

M: very full body with good carbonation. Smooth.

O: a bit too rich for me, at least with the burnt tones. Taste reminded me of Founders Imperial Stout (although the aroma was different).

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Photo of TheSSG
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Pours a soapy, tan head. Acidity and toasted malt combines to make a pleasant black olive-esque aroma. Black. Starts with an acidic, toasted malt. There is a medium hoppiness. Finish is lightly burnt coffee and toasted malt.

Not too shabby. Not overly aggressive on any fronts (an a medium thickness) so it's nothing amazing, but it's definitely solid.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Your Black Heart, 12-oz bottle bought at The Charleston Beer Exchange.

Appearance: Served in a plastic glass at a cheap motel near Savannah, Georgia, YBH comes with less than a finger of persistent head that lasts forever. Great lacing too. Black color throughout.

Smell: Roasty-toasty, burnt grains, coffee, oatmeal, Midwest agriculture and campfire.

Taste: Chocolate powder, dairy, milk. Tastes like a milk stout! Super smooth, some hops on the back. Watery coffee, a tad too thin at the end.

Mouthfeel: Too low on carbonation, but good flavor and body. Milky, creamy, smooth, never dry. If anything, too watery around the edges.

Overall: Drinkable, pleasant enough, unremarkable but tasty.

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Photo of raszputini
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 ounce bottle....it pours jet black, like you would expect with a creamy brown head - larger than you'd expect for an Imperial Stout. The dissipates quickly but around 1/2 inch stays around, along with decent lacing. The nose is somewhat mild, but include roasted malt, smoke, and coffee along with a hint of alcohol. The taste is abrupt and includes bitter chocolate and coffee and then finishes somewhat cleanly for a big stout. The mouth is a little watery for the style. Not bad, I've certainly had many better, but this is a very drinkable stout for the ABV, which is well-hidden. Solid, but not special.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a thick, black body with a slow-growing, didn't-get-there, short-lived, cafe head.

Smell: Roasted malts scattered with distilled alcohol and some portions of dark chocolate, though not quite as much that plays in the taste. Faint, underlying resinous hops and dark fruit esters with some late-breaking graham cracker.

Taste: Squares of dark chocolate fused to black coffee-accented, hard roasted malts and joined by sweet burnt caramel. Plump grape dark fruitiness. A small pinch of Captain Black pipe tobacco. Hop flavor is somewhat masked by the heavy maltiness, but the bitterness comes through abetted by a bit of astringency from the roasted grains and egged on the alcohol. Another thoughtful round of roast, chocolate, and dark fruits nearing the enduring finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A fairly decent imperial stout. Some time in the cellar may benefit this one.

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Photo of KajII
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Snifter]

Pour was a deep dark black with an average sized (1-2 finger) medium brown creamy head and had fair lacing.

The aroma was of burnt bread malts, a mild resin hop and a leathery yeast with notes of bitter-sweet chocolate, molasses, roasted coffee and had a pronounced alcohol presence.

Taste was malty sweet and very lightly bitter with a mild notes of chocolate and molasses at first with a nice bitter strong coffee flavor, a hint of smoke and a strong alcohol finish. The flavor hung around for a long duration with the taste of coffee and alcohol left to settle on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was very full in body and dry yet creamy in texture with a soft carbonation.

Overall a nice and strong flavored Imperial Stout with the coffee and chocolate flavors blending very well with the high alcohol finish.

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Photo of socon67
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark inky black pour. Foam retention is good. Thick and coates the glass.

S - Strong smell of cocoa powder and chocolate. Rich dark malts give a slight smoky smell. As it warmed in the glass, this smelled even stronger of chocolate.

T - Flavor was not quite as strong as the smell, but did have notcieable flavors of chocolate. A mrich malt flavor gave the a "big" stout taste, though there was no warming burn and the ABV was hidden.

M - A big stout that was east to enjoy and not really a sipper. Might be a bit thin for some stout lovers, but was quite drinkable.

O - Glad to have a frined share this one. Haven't heard of this brewery before.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours very dark brown. Nearing black. Thin, brown head rises then pops away.

A-Nice and roasty. Dark chocolate. Bitter, dark maltiness. It's not overpowering or specifically unique but it's pretty tight to the style.

T-Flavor is again pretty roasty. Dark chocolate and some fudge. Dark coffee and some burnt, charred flavors.

M-Full bodied but not exactly viscous. There is a creamy component to the feel. Alcohol warms my cheeks.

O-Very solid but very generic. Not many negatives with this brew except for it lack of memorable flavors. Pretty cut and dry.

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Photo of avalon07
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick, impenetrable texture. There was a big, creamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of coffee, malt, and a little dark fruit.

T: Tasted of coffee (though not as much as I would have thought), a hint of chocolate, malt, hops, and possibly a little dark fruit. Doesn't have quite the punch that a lot of RISs have. Not a bad flavor, but closer in character to a typical American stout.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a surprisingly dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A decent enough beer with some good attributes, but there are other Russian Imperial Stouts I would choose first.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Recent release, so very fresh. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours black with a one finger light brown head that leaves some nice spots of lacing and holds a good creamy cap.

Aroma is initially some coffee and chocolate notes, but then moves to some dark fruits, bread and heavily roasted malts with a noticeable hop presence. Good to very good strength.

Flavor is coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, roasted if not burnt malts, some hops but not as much as the aroma. Moderate sweetness and a little alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied, sticky and somewhat creamy but at times has sharp carbonation. A little thin for the style though.

A good Imperial Stout, very drinkable with the relatively low ABV. Not as big, rich or robust as others in the style, however. Still, I enjoyed it and wouldn't mind sitting on a bottle for 6-12 months to see what it would do with some age.

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Photo of Bung
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Used motor oil black/brown, nice layer of light brown head.

Aroma, roast malt, some earthy peat, chocolates. Some herbal hoppy notes.

Taste, it is quite chocolatey. Caramel and roast malt as well. Cocoa finish, not too much coffee or roast here. Just a faint hop bitterness, more from a bitter chocolate though.

A little thin to carry all that sweetness, otherwise mid bodied and fairly easy to drink. Abv not noticeable.

If it had just a little more heft to it, would not mind having again. More like an American Double since it doesn't have the hop bitterness.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the growler, poured VERY DARK into the glass with a tan head. Beer is heavy on the palate, with lots of toasted (or burnt) coffee and some bitterness. Interesting Imperial Stout.

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Photo of GetTheYayo
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a 12oz. bottle from Hop City in Atlanta for $1.99. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black with roughly an inch of dark tan head that dissipates quickly. Decent lacing throughout the glass.

Smell: Mild espresso, cocoa, and a whisper of peanut. Dark fruit and chocolate comes through the more it warms.

Taste: Bitter chocolate presents strongly with faint espresso notes accented nicely by hints of fig. At 8% ABV alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Viscous, semi-heavy.

Overall: A simple, solid stout. Not the best I've had, but definitely not bad. Would drink again. Plus it's a local beer, and I like to support local breweries.

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Photo of richj1970
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep black with hint of brown. Small tan colored head and light lacing.

S: Roasted espresso beans and bitter chocolate. Subtle hints of oak.

T: Bold roasted malts, and rich espresso flavors. Some bitter dark chocolate.

M: Full bodied but not thick. Finish is a little bitter and dry. It did get a little creamier as it warmed up.

O: Solid RIS but a touch on the bitter side. Perhaps a bit more sweetness would have made this more enjoyable.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear but opaque jet black in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy dark tan to mocha head that reduces to a couple of medium sized patches of thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall a very light aroma to this beer which is surprising for the style. There are very light aromas of roasted malts with hints of chocolate and some dark fruits.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of charred roasted malts with some lighter flavors of bittersweet chocolate and light hints of dark fruit (red grape) sweetness. Overall this beer has moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Not bad but I wish that the smell matched in the intensity of the taste of the beer. There are some good notes but it needs to have the alcohol a little more well hidden and a little more sweetness to balance the beer out.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense dark brown head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, dark bread, light raisin, smoke, light char, herbal, light pine, and roast/smokey earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of deep roast/black malt and light-moderate hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, dark bread, light raisin, smoke, light char, herbal, light pine, and roast/smokey earthiness. Fair amount of earthy hop/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roast, dark bread, molasses, smoke, light char, and roast/smoke earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and balance of deep roast/black malt and light-moderate hop flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly creamy, and moderately chalky/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial stout. All around good complexity and balance of deep roast/black malts and light-moderate hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Mojo
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

This beer pours a deep black, as black as the heart of my ex girlfriend, as black as the void. A one half inch caramel colored head forms, then dissipates quickly. There is minimal lacing. The nose is actually pretty mild. I mostly got raisins and some alcohol. Taste is good. It is very sweet and molasses like on the front giving way to a massive coffee finish with some alcohol warming. Mouthfeel is thick and satisfying. A pretty good offering. Not quite Ol' Raspy, but pretty dang good!!!

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown; clear with a tan head. Leaves a good amount of lace on the snifter, and looks very nice.

Aroma: Consisting of roasted malts, dark fruits, smoke and alcohol. Also kind of has a woodsy hint to it as well.

Taste: Robustly malty, reminiscent of a strong coffee. Mild citrusy hop flavor, but fairly bitter. Malts have some peat and nutty cocoa notes. Alcohol is present but well tempered. This imperial stout is warming and tastes quite nice.

Feel: Full bodied, well carbonation. Malty sugars linger into the finish along with some smoke, like sweetened coffee.

Overall: A nice beer brewed by Thomas Creek, O Dempseys must be contract brewed. Thomas Creek seems to do a lot of that, they need to get credited for their work on this site. Good recipe, that's for sure.

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Photo of brureview
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a 1/2F head in a snifter, with an opaque dark chocolate color.

The aroma wasn't strong for an RIS, but it was different. Lot of emphasis on dark dried fruit ( raisins etc) , licorice and some coffee. The aroma intensifies with warming.

The beer is not as carbonated as other RIS, and the body is lighter.

The taste is coffee-chocolate, some plum , raisins or licorice.

The finish is lightly hoppy.

Overall, an enjoyable RIS, especially at higher serving temps. 50F+

There is more emphasis in this beer on the dried fruit & licorice than the chocolate-coffee.
Regardless, this is an excellent beer worth looking for.

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Photo of cavedave
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to BulbMan for this Southern treat

Blackest black, opaque, thick and billowy four finger brown head, and, eventually, crazy lace coating the Alchemist pint glass. Take a picture, this is how a stout should look.

Roasty malt, bitter chocolate, milk chocolate, hints of coffee, some herbal bitter in there, the nose is not strong, but it is quite enticing.

Wow definitely some English yeast in this baby, tart and tangy, bitter roast, deep burnt caramel, coffee, bitter chocolate, some toast and herbal dank in the mix, with a real deep bitter roasty finish making up the rest of the flavor profile. Not as sweet as many others in this style, but quite tasty.

Thin for style, but perfectly low carb, quite creamy, with a finish that is tasty, but not in the way of the crazy clinging dank, molasses, and bitter of many fine offerings of this style.

I like this, but I could see a lover of some of the major players in this category thinking it isn't thick nor full flavored enough. Very tasty, and I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dropped into the snifter with some chunk; a nice sludgy black with about a half of an inch of mocha foam. Looked really thick coming out of the bottleneck.

I smell creme de cacao, plummy fruits, heavy roast, milk chocolate, cocoa nibs, and a light backdraft of booze and piney hops. The hops are overpowered by creamy dark malts that have a berry fruitiness and some mild coffee after-effects.

Big and burly with espresso-laced cocoa, dried berries, and a lactic sweetness; but, not to outdo huge roast bitterness and peat. There's some nice, simple hop character both upfront and in the finish; mostly of the pine variety, but offering even more earthy notes. Almost tastes minerally like the way topsoil smells. I really enjoy how beefy this is on its own. Quite excellent.

There are some big bubbles in here and it really stirs up the body, which is nice and thick, but not one of the thickest. There's a lovely mouth-coat upon the sip, but the loud carbonation is exactly that. Still has a great feel with a warming alcohol that does its job for a lower-tiered strength R.I.S.

Awesome chocolate notes and big-time Imperial Stout flavor and body make this a superior offering. This beer should have more reviews than it does, because I have a feeling that it's the cream of the crop from this brewing company and an excellent example to compare many other Russian Imperial Stouts to. Not to say that it's average, just that it executes in all of the qualities a RIS should have, but isn't showy or exceptional. It's close, however, where the only fault is a bustling effervescence and a coming-up-short lack of great complexity.

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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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