Laika Russian Imperial Stout | Straight To Ale

BA SCORE
89
very good
173 Ratings
THE BROS
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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 outdoor7or24
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can poured into pint glass.
A: pours a coffee black with hints of coca cola brown, off white one finger foam head that slowly fades
S: roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee
M: creamy rich heavy body
T: sweet chocolate malt, roasted malt, nice sryupy feel
O: good brew, the alcohol is well hidden;

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Photo of AngusOg
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
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 Lance_Hathorn
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark black with very small mocha head.
The aroma is rich dark malty sweetness, dark fruit, char, chocolate, and a little tobacco.
Flavor is dark rich malts, espresso, with a dark dry chocolatey finish.
The mouthfeel is a little thin for the style, but overall is great.
This is an awesome beer, I have no idea how it's even possible it has an 89 on here.

 360 characters

Photo of Lembeh
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a 12oz can from a buddy, pours a dark black tar color with a nice dark tan head. Aroma is a bit weak with nothing much than faint roasted malts. The beer tastes outstanding though, nice bourbon characteristics with some good amount of alcohol heat, vanilla and charred notes. Mouthfeel is thicker than most stouts but not as viscous as I like my heavy stouts to be. All in all this is a very good dark and dialed up stout that's sure to make stout fanboys happy.

 474 characters

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 jrsaffert
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 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 radius129
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of walterk
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance – The beer was dark with mocha bubbles crowning the glass.

Smell – The nose was dark and malty with hints of chocolate.

Taste – My initial impression is dark and bubbly chocolate. The malts were rich. There was a noted metallic taste which was a bit of a draw back. The stout faded into a dry rich chocolate.

Mouthfeel – The feel did not allow the rich chocolate to linger. Instead metal seemed to cling to my teeth.

Overall – Of the Laikas, this is my least favorite.

 494 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage
22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pour like motor oil, jet black with a one-finger thick and creamy dark tan head that retains long after the pour, leaving small patches of lace

S- roasted malt gives deep aromas of dark chocolate with a hint of espresso, followed by notes of dark cherry, sherry, sweet vanilla cream & earthy tobacco. Some alcohol heat hits the nostrils on the close

T- dark roasted malt gives flavors of rich dark chocolate, followed by notes of rum soaked dark fruits, mainly black cherry & fig. Earthy tobacco, licorice & molasses close it out, with a linger of cocoa and more dark fruit

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns creamy into a slightly warming finish

O- a couple of years has brought out some great dark fruit notes and i quite complex for a straight up RIS, very good

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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 Dper
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Zazzi82
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of parris
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour

Metallic-y coffee up front on the nose, milk chocolate follows

Huge sweet body, followed by dark chocolate and coffee, lingering black malt bitterness on the finish.

Not a perfect RIS, but tasty for sure.

 218 characters

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 Johntomk
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jmv0009
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L- Jet black with a nice mocha head.
S- espresso coffee and dark chocolate.
T- sweet raisins and plums with dark chocolate and milk coffee. Quite delicious.
F- slightly lighter bodied than most other RISs I've had.
O- delicious beer, not the best RIS I've had but still a top notch brew. I'll definitely get this again.

 320 characters

Photo of mccorak
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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 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 ccg
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can dated Feb. 15, 2016.
Looks quite similar to Founders Imperial Stout. Motor oil with dark brown foam. The head is pretty fizzy-sounding, though, and it dissipates quickly. Retention and lacing are minimal.
Smell is also excellent for a pure stout. Loads of roasted malt, chocolate, some smokiness, hints of oak and coffee.
Flavor is roasted malt and roasted nuts, almost like peanuts were in there. There is a hint of bitterness mid-palate. At first, there was a slightly metallic aftertaste, but that faded almost immediately.
It has a good viscosity. The carbonation leaves a little bit of tingly fizziness at the end.
This is definitely one of the better pure stouts I've had -- I mean, a plain RIS without adjuncts or barrel aging. Also, I thought I was going to have to buy Laika in bomber format, so I appreciate that Straight to Ale put it in cans. I'm much happier spending $11 on 48oz of beer in four cans that I can spread out over time, rather than spending a similar amount of money on 22oz of beer in a bomber that I have to drink all at once.

 1,073 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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