Laika Russian Imperial Stout
Straight To Ale

Laika Russian Imperial StoutLaika Russian Imperial Stout
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Style:
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #317
ABV:
9.75%
Score:
91
Ranked #4,720
Avg:
4.08 | pDev: 10.78%
Reviews:
46
Ratings:
183
From:
Straight To Ale
 
Alabama, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  41
Gots
  29
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Laika Russian Imperial StoutLaika Russian Imperial Stout
Notes: Named for the Russian space dog, Laika is a huge, chewy beast of a beer. Dark, rich and robust, it has a wonderful body and a flavor that has notes of chocolate, coffee and toffee. It is a fantastic dessert beer. It is part of our Right to Brew series, which we make in conjunction with local homebrewers, scaling up their recipes and producing them to help bring attention to the ongoing fight to legalize homebrewing in Alabama.
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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 183
Reviews by slatetupelo:
Photo of slatetupelo
4/5  rDev -2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of dar482
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The beer pours out in an almost oily black color.

The aroma hits of big chocolate, cocoa, woody hops, lots of caramel sweetness, a touch of dark fruit.

The flavor has a wonderful balance. Layers and layers of milk chocolate, caramel, dried dark fruit, umami, woody hops throughout, onto molasses and espresso bean.

The mouthfeel is clean and medium plus. Not too thick, nor thin.

Reminds me of a blend of Darkenss and Zhukov. Underrated and one of the best imperial stouts available.

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Photo of MMOSNN
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look - a deep oily dark brown with a small mocha head with little retention.
Smell - huge roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, caramel, molasses, vanilla, and a strong foundation of booze rounding it all out.
Taste - basically follows the nose but isn’t as rich and robust, and the roasted malts, coffee, molasses, and vanilla are the strongest notes.
Feel - medium carbonation and kinda thin body for the style.

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Photo of bigedal60
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WickedBeer
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mholdefer
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hopoilcrazy
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Totally opaque blackness. Awesome deep tan head that is the exact same color as the discontinued "tan" M&M's. No light is able to pass through this beer

S - Roasted grain bill is pretty hard hitting in the nose, you definitely pick up the grass and char of the roasting process. Treacle or, I've always wanted to use this, spotted dick: sugar cane syrupy and bready. Some middle of the road hop oil aroma, and some vinous hints maybe closer to port.

T - Moderately sweet...at the top end of my sweetness threshold...I can't stand RIS like DL or Darkness that just over fucking load on the residual sugars. There is definitely some here, but it is balanced by the strong hop profile and very complex malt and grain bill. The booze swoops down and takes over the finish along with some remaining hop presence. The booze reminds me of Canadian whiskey like Crown Royal. And this shit isn't even BA.

M - Thick and absolutely coating, but very pleasant and chewy. No alcoholic presence except on the palate during the finish.

Great beer made just outside my figurative backdoor. Gotta love it. I think people should stand in line for this beer. But I guess its just not sweet enough. Please, god, STA don't make this any sweeter its just right as is.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Many thanks to richj1970 for sending this bottle my way.

A - Pours engine oil black with a nice creamy layer of toffee colored foam.

S - Roasted dark chocolate, toffee, booze, cherries, oak, and vanilla.

T - Follows the nose with dark roasted chocolate, espresso, vanilla, dark roasted chocolate, oak, light cherries, vanilla, and ends with an Espresso-like lingering bitterness with noticeable alcohol warming in the back of the throat.

M - Thick, chewy, and viscous.

O - Thick, big, and boozy.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Easily a half inch of mahoghany colored head. Black in color with no light getting through. I smell dark malt and bakers chocolate. The flavor is sharp dark malt,and strong sweet plum. A bit of coffee is also present. There's a slightly smoky note. The mouth creamy, sticky,and chewy.

 290 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of harpus
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick dark brown head into a snifter that left a thin ring throughout. the body was dark black.
s - coffee, roasted chocolate, some caramel sweetness.
t - roasted chocolate, coffee with some hop flavors coming through.
m - medium and creamy.
o - another really solid beer from STA. this reminded me of left hand's imperial stout as it had more hop character than most.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of grumpygerman
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of papat444
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Roasted coffee and chunks of chocolate in the aroma. Body is medium but maxes itself out on creaminess. Creamy coffee flavors as well as fudge make this RIS go down smooth.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of freduardo
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of mothman
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of elgiacomo
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours thick black with barely a finger of very dark brown head that leaves some short-lived lacing and recedes to a wispy cap and ring.

Aroma is coffee, milk chocolate, dark roasted malts, dark fruits, anise, some caramel, hops are there in the background. Good to very good strength.

Flavor is rich coffee & espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malts, anise, molasses, dark fruits, nutty, underlying notes of caramel, fairly sweet, moderate bitterness, moderate alcohol.

Mouthfeel is very thick and creamy, soft carbonation. Really nice.

Very nice Imperial Stout! Straight to Ale is definitely doin’ it right in Alabama. Looking forward to trying some more from these guys.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple of these while in Nashville recently...

Glugs out into a tulip with a deep black appearance and a slowly forming mocha head... coats the glass with a swirl... looking really good thus far... appears thick and creamy

Very intense aromas of bittersweet chocolate, black coffee, some licorice.... this is extremely pungent... nothing subdued about this beer so far at all... the aromas practically blast out of the glass at me... smallish hints of booze here and there...

Rich, creamy and delicious.... the flavors, like the aromas, are intense and big... licorice, coffee, chocolate... all the usual suspects... done very nicely... maybe even a kiss of hops at the finish... sip after sip, this brew delivers... im very impressed...

I loved this offering from Straight to Ale.... a real sleeper here....

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured jet black with a big, viscous pour yielding a big brown head, good head retention with good lacing. Very nice.

S: Big roast and scorched malt with bitter chocolate, a nice booze sting, a wee bit of coffee. I can smell what is perhaps a crystal or pale malt base underneath.

T: A big scorched malt presence upfront with layers of decadent bitter and milk chocolates. There is a nice mix of bitterness from the IBUS and the scorched black malt here. A nice booziness throughout reminding me this is a serious beer. The finish is big, bold, rich, chocolatey and pseudo boozey. Everything I like in a RIS.

M: Well carbonated, huge body, creamy, filling and decadent. This beer is extremely robust and could please even the hardest of hardcore RIS fans.

O: A well crafted RIS which nails every BJCP aspect of a RIS, it has great bold flavor to boot. Extremely surprised and happy to see my hometown cranking out world class RIS!

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Photo of spointon
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear thick viscous jet black in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a three finger dense foamy dark mocha colored head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of roasted malts, moderate aromas of bittersweet chocolate, and moderate aromas of caramel sweetness. Light to moderate aromas of earthy hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of roasted malts with moderate flavors of dark bittersweet + milk chocolate and caramel sweetness. That is followed by light flavors of charred malts and a moderate amount of earthy hops. There is a moderate amount of roasty bitterness in the finish which lingers for quite a while. Hints of booziness in the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: This is a big, rich imperial stout which is very enjoyable but definitely a slow sipper. A bit boozy but not overwhelmingly so. I could definitely see myself enjoying this one again.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of leroybrown10
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black and thick. Head is about 1+ finger and dark khaki in color. Head looks rather thick and sticks around for a while. Heavy lacing lingers.

Aroma is espresso and dark-roasted malt. A bit of vanilla, burnt toffee, sweet cream.

Taste is like the aroma. Roasted malt, dark coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, and molasses. Sweet notes from cream and vanilla.

Rich creamy mouth feel. Thick body with moderate carbonation. Roasted flavors linger, a tad bitter on the back end.

Very nicely done RIS. Big flavors. Really like the smooth, creamy body.

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Laika Russian Imperial Stout from Straight To Ale
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 183 ratings