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 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 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 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 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 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 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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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 cindyjeffsmith
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark and opaque except for some cola highlights around the edge.slight, dark mocha head.
Smell: mild chocolate and bread pudding. Not as in your face as a typical ris. Not complex, but nice.
Taste: much like the nose. Quite mellow. Drinks more like a 'not' imperial stout.
Overall: good not great. Very drinkable.

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-almost black with about 1 finger of head that leaves some lacing as it fades

S-lots of dark chocolate and maybe a touch of coffee

T-chocolate shows here as well maybe not as dominate as the smell but a fair amount

M-medium body but a little short on creaminess

O-pretty good imperial stout that is easy to drink

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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 aasher
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a full bodied dark chocolate black with a nice one finger, foamy dark khaki head. The nose is soft and full of sweet milk chocolate and dark roasted malt. The flavors too, loads of milk chocolate. It's smooth and bitterness is minimal. If a chocolate bomb is what they were aiming for then they nailed it. It is just so smooth and easy to drink. It's big but the alcohol isn't present at all. I don't know if its 100% up to RIS standards but its definitely a solid imperial stout. If you're looking for chocolate then definitely try this out. It's a great bang for your buck.

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