Edgar's Ale
Craftsman Brewing Co.

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Craftsman Brewing Co.
California, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
4 | pDev: 10.5%
Dec 04, 2016
Nov 09, 2003
Very Good
Notes: None
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Rated: 4 by redfox405 from Virginia

Dec 04, 2016
Rated: 3.86 by Sumdeus from Indiana

Jan 22, 2015
Rated: 4 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

Dec 15, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by Raziel313 from California

Dec 02, 2014
Rated: 4 by Lucnifter from California

Nov 25, 2014
Rated: 4 by ronricorossi from California

Nov 22, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by cfinch2 from Virginia

Nov 18, 2014
Rated: 4.48 by grilled-sandwiches from California

Nov 09, 2014
Rated: 4 by wethorseblanket from California

Oct 23, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by getkrunkhoe from California

Aug 25, 2014
Rated: 4 by ste5venla from California

Mar 28, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by Booner818 from California

Mar 22, 2014
Rated: 4 by kmoen from California

Feb 02, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by Sammy from Canada (ON)

Jan 19, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by NickMunford from Wyoming

Nov 23, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by drewone from California

Nov 23, 2013
Rated: 4 by DeanMoriarty from California

Nov 12, 2013
Rated: 4.25 by zestar from California

Nov 11, 2013
Rated: 4.25 by moonknight31 from California

Sep 23, 2013
Photo of Marq18
Reviewed by Marq18 from Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A- Poured black with nice lacing and dark brown head

S- Smelled of roasted malt and sweet caramel

T- Tasted of dark roasted malt, some coffee and chocolate, with no hoppy flavor but a bit of bitterness.

M- Nice full, thick, creamy mouthfeel

Overall a well-balanced beer with nice full body and great roasty flavor. Would definitely get again.
Dec 31, 2012
Rated: 4 by SocalKicks from California

Dec 30, 2012
Rated: 4 by gregmoscetti from California

Dec 28, 2012
Rated: 3.75 by tbeq00 from California

Nov 19, 2012
Photo of Murrhey
Reviewed by Murrhey from Washington

3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Had on tap at Haven Gastropub, served in a 5 oz tulip glass. Reviewed from notes.

A- Thin tan head, deep dark color. Thin, wispy lacing.

S- Roast malts, booze, coffee smells.

T- Coffee and roast malts, hides the booze very well. Wonderfully complex.

M- Very light bodied surprisingly. Can't tell the carbonation. Seems light.

O- Good Russian Imperial Stout, though I've had better.
Feb 06, 2012
Rated: 4.5 by lballstar from California

Jan 10, 2012
Rated: 3 by hawkmage from California

Dec 31, 2011
Photo of mactrail
Reviewed by mactrail from Washington

3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Tastes like it spent some time in a barrel. A drier sort of bourbon flavored beer. Woody and less sweet. Some coffee tastes and rather acidic as well. Harsher and more bitter with charred malt. Nice nose of bourbon and a whiff of the campfire. Not so noticeably hoppy, though it has a bitter finish. Rather austere with less of the sweet malt. Intriguing and complex, and quite drinkable.

On tap at Tiger Tiger in San Diego.
Dec 05, 2011
Rated: 4 by jeff1973 from California

Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Ambiorix
Reviewed by Ambiorix from Kentucky

4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
On tap at Small Bar, San Diego.

A: Black pour, thin tan head, good lace.

S: Nose is bourbon, oak, vanilla, yeast.

T: Nicely muted bourbon flavor, vanilla, cocoa, a little earthy.

M: Medium-full, nicely carbonated for the style.

D: Really good. I was a little leery after catching the bourbon nose, but this was really well crafted, the bourbon nose accentuating the base stout without overwhelming it as many of these do.
Jan 21, 2011
Photo of ManuelHerrera
Reviewed by ManuelHerrera from California

4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
On tap at The Surly Goat

Poured with a burnt dark head with a nice size and decent lacing. Smelled pleasant, with heavy malt and smoky aromas.

Heavily malted flavoring, toffee and coffee notes come through on the front and a hint of sourness at the back. Mix that together with an overall smokiness and you have yourself a pretty complex ride through Edgar's town. A chewy thickness gives the beer a heavy mouthfeel, which matches is stark black pour.

Overall a solid, heavy beer for cold wintertime sessions. It'll warm you up.
Nov 17, 2010
Photo of berebrando
Reviewed by berebrando from California

4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
served a pint at haven gastropub in orange. head is a robust dark tan that dissipated minutes later. the flavors!!! it was too cold to smell adequately. massive chocolate flavors. coffee and a little licorice. it was a little boozy on the tail. very good I'd recommend to anyone, just rec'd this one to a couple at the bar. drink it... its drinkable and feels good in myk mouth.
Nov 14, 2010
Photo of jminsc76
Reviewed by jminsc76 from Texas

4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5
On tap at FO1 (probably no longer by the time of this review).

Into a tulip, pours a decent , espresso-brown head atop a black impenetrable body. Decent lacing with a decent look.

Aromas of bananas, nutmeg, and even some bubblegum. Maybe a little cinnamon in the nose? Mmmm, pleasant.

The flavors are where the heart of this beer is, with coffee, a little raspberry, cinnamon, and spices up front; espresso bitterness on the finish.

The mouthfeel is thinner when compared with other stouts, merely decent.

Overall, I love Edgar's from past indulgences, and between the aromas and the flavors I could consume three to four in one serving. A tamer Russian Imperial Stout to be sure, but a highly drinkable one at that.
Apr 02, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
Reviewed by augustgarage from California

4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse. Served in a generic wide-mouth tulip. Named after Edgar Allen Poe, who I may be related to via adoption (I seem to share his temperment in any case...)

Velvet, seal brown body with faint ruby highlights - otherwise opaque. Thin yellow brown (khaki/tan) skin punctuated by a few dozen bubbles of various sizes. A thick creamy collar joins a slick frosting of lacing. No discernable legs.

Roasted malt, chocolate malt, brown bread, treacle, apricote stones, and mild phenolics in the nose. Sort of a fruit-laden porter. A touch of diacetyl.

Coffee and cream, slightly stale astringency and a touch of port wine in the first sip. Bread, brown butter, cocoa, anise, and coriander arrive mid-palate. Faint hop notes, prunes, and leather in the finish. Diacetyl once again...

Smooth, rich, medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation. Not much astringency all in all...

Listed as an "American Strong Ale," which makes a little more sense than a Russian Imperial Stout - though this could almost be an "imperial" porter too. Classification aside, this is a pleasant ale, with a good balance of flavors - though some imperfections take away a few points. One of the better offerings from Craftsman - worth a try if you are in SoCal...
Dec 02, 2009
Photo of tyanow
Reviewed by tyanow from California

4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
For the record: I do not consider this to be an Russian Imperial Stout. It does not exhibit the typical heavy roasting, dark fruit and throat twang. This is much more like an English Dark Ale or an American Porter.

A - Almost black. Beautifully delicate lacing from a foamy light head.

S - Anise, chocolate and toasty grains.

T - Don't expect an RIS. Expect something between a more refined Hobgoblin and a Black Butte Porter. Cocoa, nutts, a little spiceiness.

M - Light body goes down easily and leaves a great throaty aftertaste.

D - Highly drinkable (if you can find the stuff)

This is my favorite Craftsman brew so far. I love how easy it is to drink and how rewarding each gulp is. Not a common combination.
Jul 23, 2009
Photo of charlzm
Reviewed by charlzm from California

2.29/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2
Four ounce sample, consumed 2009/11/14 at the Hollywood Brewfest. Earlier review below.

Looks a lot like it did almost a year ago - black with deep ruby highlights, very fine tan head that leaves nice lacing.

Aroma is off from previous encounter - this time, instead of coffee, I get musty leather and wood.

Mouthfeel is thin and somewhat dry.

First flavor I noted was bitter charcoal. Mineral water follows. Dark malts are barely discernable and have no distinct character, certainly not the bold coffee of the previous batch.

What happened to this beer I reviewed 11 months earlier? This must have been a bad batch.

Consumed 12/17/08 at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA.

Black beer with deep brown highlights. Extremely fine tan head that leaves a thick sheet of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is primarily coffee.

Creamy mouthfeel and somewhat dry.

Flavor starts with roasted malts, then segues through overroasted malt into coffee territory. Coffee style bitterness on the finish. The coffee flavor is so strong and authentic that there must be coffee in the brew.

Overall, a decent beer, but not my favorite coffee stout.

RATING - all 4's across the board
Dec 20, 2008
Photo of errantnight
Reviewed by errantnight from District of Columbia

4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
There's a kind of middle ground for Russian Imperial Stouts which lies just below the supremely awesomely complex variety, the ones you MUST sip, and probably share, and are an experience as much as a beverage... and then there's the ridiculously drinkable, subtly complex deeply roasted nice dessert Russian Imperial Stout that probably doesn't quite have it in it to be a beer geek obsession... but should be regularly enjoyed and appreciated by the locals lucky enough to have access to it. This is more the latter than the former.

Pours a rich creamy black with a frothy deep tan head that lingers all the way to the bottom... it's not pitch, there's ruby highlights around the edges. It's not completely opaque, and the clarity adds to the slight thinness around the edges.

Aroma is subdued but a bit wave of roasted coffee with mocha and deep chocolate notes. Prune-y sweetness comes with a bit of the esters around the edges as it warms.

A superbly drinkable, moderately thin RIS, this isn't engine oil, sticky and rich, this is smooth and full bodied, creamy and delicious. More a Sammy Smith's Imperial Stout. Big coffee flavors and roasted malt complexities again on the palate, chocolate much more faint.

Lovely to conclude your evening with, hearty and rich enough to finish you off, not so sticky rich and strong to leave you panting. Superbly crafted. Dammit, stupid double meaning with the... never mind. If you're in LA, and you see this, do yourself a favor and try some.
Dec 16, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
Reviewed by t0rin0 from California

4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5
Very black, dark brown head, great lacing (couldn't see through the exposed glass), great retention.

Medium/heavy roast aroma, some chocolate, balanced all around.

Flavor is roasty, chocolate, a touch of redwine, and only a little tiny bit of alcohol. High bitterness but good balance for all the flavors present.

Body was very light and thin. This is probably more traditional but not quite what I want in an RIS. Very smooth and "only" 8% abv. Very drinkable.
Oct 26, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
Reviewed by Halcyondays from California

3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
On-tap at Beachwood BBQ for $5 at Happy Hour,

A: Pours black with a medium brown head with good retention and concentric full rings of lace.

S: Mild smell of chocolate and licorice.

T: Taste is good, though on the weaker side for this style. Dark chocolate is prominent with a little bit of coffee ice cream, licorice and a hint of vanilla in the aftertaste. As an American Stout it's a 4, but I had to dock it a bit as an RIS.

M: Quite light for an RIS, it felt like a normal stout, definitely need more body, oily and roasty feel overall.

D: A good stout from Craftsman, I prefer the bourbon barrel version, but still a nice drinkable RIS on the lighter side of the style.
Oct 16, 2008
Photo of illidurit
Reviewed by illidurit from California

4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz.
Pours black but not completely opaque. Head is dense and tan, with some lacing.

Aroma is clearly dark chocolate with some raw coffee and a hint of dark fruits.

Taste starts with dark chocolate with a slightly boozy cherry note, then finishes with coffee grounds.

A little thin in body, but the carbonation and smoothness are top notch.

Extremely drinkable beer.
Jan 12, 2008
Edgar's Ale from Craftsman Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 48 ratings