Laika Russian Imperial Stout | Straight To Ale

BA SCORE
89
very good
173 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score
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Laika Russian Imperial StoutLaika Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Straight To Ale
Alabama, United States
straighttoale.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by sommersb on 12-22-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
173
Reviews:
43
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.14%
 
 
Wants:
40
Gots:
29
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 173 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of Jeffo
1.95/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Got this one from Halo4one a while back. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A thick black pour yields a big, 3+ finger, medium, creamy looking, dark tan head with excellent retention. Black body with no real carbonation evident. Head fades to a huge thick cap and leaves some good lacing on the glass as it recedes. A splotchy wisp remains until the end leaving lots of lacing down the glass. Huge head on this one, but pretty good looking overall.

SMELL: Lots of roasted barley, black malts, coffee, pure chocolate and tobacco initially. Burnt aromas and notes of sweet cream. This starts out alright, but as it comes closer to room temperature, some definite diacetyl comes through rather strongly and casts a shadow over the entire thing. The yeast were probably rather unhappy during this whole fermentation thing. Off-putting for sure.

TASTE: Starts out with roasted and burnt malts, tobacco and more burnt flavors at the swallow. A big finish of roasted and charred malts, bitter espresso, dark chocolate and tobacco. Like the nose, however, as this comes closer to room temperature, a sheet of diacetyl covers the entire experience. In the end, it’s a combination of roasted and bitter flavors clashing with a definitely off-putting bed of diacetyl. Guessing this beer/batch was well underpitched.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Some bitterness lingers. Quite a bit of bitterness, actually.

OVERALL: Not good, unfortunately. The base recipe is probably pretty solid, but the diacetyl character becomes rather overwhelming as it sits. Some other reviewers have described this as a metallic or band-aid character. Diacetyl is a classic sign of underpitching, so that would be my guess. In any case, the yeast was obviously not happy going to work here. Definitely rough going and drain saw the last part of the bottle. I hope the barreled versions came from different batches; otherwise, this might turn into a massive waste of time. Avoid. This batch at least.

 2,096 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
2/5  rDev -50.5%

Photo of MOVERTON1284
2.5/5  rDev -38.1%

Photo of Azpittil57
2.65/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of CNoj012
2.77/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a jet black color with a gigantic, super fizzy, dark brown head. Retention is excellent and there is not lacing. Seems overcarbed. Smell is bitter and milk chocolate, roasted malt, and a hint of coffee. Taste is gross. There is an overpowering metallic taste that absolutely ruins this beer. You can get a hint of bitter chocolate and roasted malts, but the metal taste just dominates. Feel is medium and slick, but a little watery as well. Overall no, just no. I've never had a beer taste so bad before. I'm not sure where a metal taste could come from in a beer, but I would avoid this one like the plague.

 624 characters

Photo of deadliest
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of fredmugs
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of allenc85
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of DCgolfpro
3.39/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Raziel313
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of sendbeer
3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Dracarys
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of StArnoldFan
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of Stevedore
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of mothman
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of helios7
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of Evango
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Bobloblawlawblog11
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jamco_76
3.56/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WestBrewer
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Immortale25
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 3/4 inch medium brown head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Lots of char and booze spring forth from the glass. There are some dark chocolate and molasses aromas but mostly just alcohol and burnt bread.

T- Lots of bitter dark chocolate and char. There's also the strong booze flavor that lays over the whole thing. Very bitter aftertaste. There's also a considerable amount of smoke.

M- Very sharp and bitey from the hops and booze, yet very creamy at the same time. I wish I could say they work together but it's just confusing. Medium carbonation and a full body.

O- If you like bitter, charry imperial stouts, this is right up your alley. Unfortunately I like my stouts to have a bit more sweetness. It's not a bad beer, the flavors just don't mesh well on my palate.

 1,029 characters

Photo of Ohiovania
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lots of bandaid in the nose and taste in this one. No bottle date or batch number to compare to other reviews.

There is a brilliant RIS underneath but it's all being muted.

I will hopefully try this one again to see if this is an isolated occurrence.

 252 characters

Photo of Zonian1
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of T_Hass
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JuliusPepperwood
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pitch black and thick looking pour. Quarter inch dark tan head that dissipates to a thin ring.

S: Dark roasted grains, subtle chocolate, and a heads up on the ABV.

T: Roasted malt at the start followed with resinous hop bitterness right behind it. Finishes with dark chocolate and warm alcohol.

M: Thick like most RIS's I've had, a little sticky, and a bit dry on the end.

O: Pretty good stout but a little too bitter and missing some of the heavier chocolate and dark fruit notes. Worth a try for sure.

 512 characters

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Laika Russian Imperial Stout from Straight To Ale
4.04 out of 5 based on 173 ratings.
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