Craftsman Edgar's Ale | Craftsman Brewing Co.

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48 Ratings

Brewed by:
Craftsman Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Rumrunner on 11-09-2003

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Ratings: 48 |  Reviews: 22
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of t0rin0
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.

 464 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of mactrail
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.

 425 characters

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of redfox405
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber filled at the brewery.

I'm told there's smoked malt in here, but I'm calling rye on this too. It reminded me the most of a smoked porter, but really this beer was all over the place (in a good way) when it came to flavor: roasted malts with cocoa, rye-like spice, and a bit of hops. All in all a tasty beer, and if nothing else, a departure from your normal big stouts.

 391 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Lucky Baldwin's, June 2007
I was so pissed that I missed this by one person at a beer festival in 2004, I am quite happy to get another chance to try this beer.

The beer has a dark, creamed chocolate brown colored head that starts out a fat-finger in thickness and is fairly frothy. The head sits atop a dark, deeply brown, almost black colored beer. The aroma is an interesting melange. It is not as roasted as I was expecting and it has some burnt fruit notes that are quite nice and rounded. Notes of burnt figs, blackened raisins and even something akin to cherry are noticeable. The aromatic finish has some spicy, woody notes to it. There is a dark malt character here and it leans towards notes of dark chocolate and lightly roasted coffee.

The beer is thick and creamy tasting. It picks up some chocolate & malt sweetness towards the middle and this lingers on into the finish. The finish is offset by a spicy oak character that leans towards rye-whiskey type flavors in some way. This beer has some really nice flavors going on. Notes of roast malt mix in with spicy, whiskey like flavors, ample chocolate notes, plus some hints of roasted prunes. Dusty cocoa powder notes are noticeable in the finish as the beer warms up a bit. This is a really nice beer; it is certainly a sipping beer and it is nicely contemplative.

 1,354 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
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.

 679 characters

Photo of Raziel313
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Lucnifter
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of jeff1973
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of illidurit
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.

 398 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Sampled at the Stone Bistro and Gardens during my inaugural visit. Typical Craftsman “styled” Tap Handle takes on a different tone with its tall thin square sectioned wooden body colored black and having the word “Edgar’s” writ in a blood red scripted text that has a look of the Rocky Horrow Show about it. No strength listed.

Appearance: Dark black body looks to be infused with a dark rich red blood sacrificed from Virgins. Pale brown head strained at the edges by the time it arrived at the table, yet it managed a broken covering throughout and never disappeared entirely. Decent carbonation.

Nose: Dark chocolate, coffee grinds fester in the background, but the dominating smell is one of oak-aged Bourbon.

Taste: The rich roasted coffee runs throughout, the Bourbon is not as strong in the nose as it is in the nose, but tends to invade the back end and linger in the mouth coating finish. Dark chocolate has bitterness, with some nutty feel and a gentle fruity nature.

Mouthfeel: Firm body, smooth conditioning and a creamy feel which has some nutty bitterness to raise the stakes. Rich dark fruits aid this self-promoter.

Drinkability: From the initial whiff to the last mouthful, this one is a real treat, nicely balanced and full of twists and turns which have one on the brink of labeling this a Russian Imperial Stout in the absence of any direction otherwise, yet it also exhibits Bourbon Stout, Porter and even Old Ale qualities.

Overall: I am not one for sticking out RB style Beer Reviews from memory, but I always make exceptions for the draft only brews that I experience from my two favorite (and seemingly under-rated) Cali brewers; Ballast Point and Craftsman. I am not really sure what style this is supposed to be, I don’t much care, but what I did like was the smooth rich Stout body and its tempered but important bourbon contribution with the coffee background. Lovely stuff, and very enjoyable, a great Winter brew. Don't miss this one.

Another winner from Craftsman!

 2,040 characters

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Floydster
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

8 ounce glass at Stone World Bistro for four dollars, named after famous author, Edgar Allen Poe

Reviewed on November 14, 2007

Pour was very dark brown with a huge tan head that was over an inch high, left thick lacing on the glass

Smell was lots of vanilla and sweet malt, small hints of dark fruit, and strong sugar aromas

Taste was sweet with a dry finish, thick and chewy, had lots of chocolate and coffee, but much sweeter than most, had raisins and toffee, malt overpowered the small amount of hops, but still had a recognizably dry finish, taste lingers for a few minutes after each sip

Too much carbonation for me, mouthfeel was okay, just too aggressive

Could not drink much of this as it is very heavy and mostl likely was high in alcohol

Better than the first Craftsman beer I had, not the best RIS but pretty good, recommended if you find it on tap somewhere

 877 characters

Photo of NickMunford
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of charlzm
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

 1,165 characters

Photo of augustgarage
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...

 1,264 characters

Photo of tbeq00
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of kmoen
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev 0%

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Craftsman Edgar's Ale from Craftsman Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 48 ratings
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