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Laika Russian Imperial Stout | Straight To Ale

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Laika Russian Imperial StoutLaika Russian Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.05/5
Exceptional
176 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#3,887
Reviews:
44
Ratings:
176
pDev:
11.11%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
41
Gots:
31
Trade:
3
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 176 |  Reviews: 44
Photo of Jeffo
1.95/5  rDev -51.9%
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 -31.6%
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%
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

Photo of suzychesser
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is awesome. It's brewed in my home state and if you don't laika it, you can go straight to ale!

105 characters

Photo of Lbry
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Boone757
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ilikebeer03
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of JohnofUpton
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mikexw
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of FriedSlug
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark and requires an aggressive pour to coax an inch thick creamy head out of it. The head stays for just a little while and then is gone. The aromas are nicely roasted malt, dark chocolate, raisin, vanilla and a touch of bourbon. The taste is all of the same with a coffee taste near the end followed by a pleasant bitterness that balances out the sweetness of the chocolate and malt. A ever so slight bourbon burn at the end finished the sip. This is definitely one of my favorite RIS mainly because of the balance and that extra creamy feel. This is really a great beer.

 579 characters

Photo of papat444
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

 172 characters

Photo of Raziel313
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of TheBeard89
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Rschimmell
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of myteam24
4.59/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of snakebit8
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Duffman79
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of von_kaiser
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of rolltide8425
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of arlingtonjoe
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Laika Russian Imperial Stout from Straight To Ale
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 176 ratings
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