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 lballstar
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of hawkmage
3/5  rDev -25%

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.

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Photo of jeff1973
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Ambiorix
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.

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Photo of ManuelHerrera
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.

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Photo of berebrando
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.

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Photo of jminsc76
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.

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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...

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Photo of tyanow
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.

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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

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Photo of errantnight
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Fathers Office

"The Raven"

A: Pitch black and I mean black. Head is the darkest beige I've ever seen come in the form of bubbles. Bubbles are tight creamy mass creating a very consistent head.

S: Charred wood, vanilla and freshly ground espresso.

T: Begins with a stunning vanilla/marshmallow flavor that cascades into oozing Belgian milk chocolate. Doughy like expressions make me think of liquid chocolate cake. A hint of licorice can be found lingering just under the surface. Then, strong espresso bitternesss compels the palate to stand to attention. Finishes with just a touch of red fruit and caramel in the center of the tongue.

M: Full mouthfeel, thick and chewy.

D: Exceptional beer. After eating a big burger, this beer kicked my ass.

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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!

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Photo of goschool
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Lucky Baldwin's 10/29
(Edgar's Ale was listed as a porter on the beer menu)

This review is from my notes.

The color is black with a red hue and a one finger, dirty-blonde head. Aroma and taste is roasty. Chocolate and ground coffee hit you right away while nutty, sometimes fruity flavors and the occasional bitter hop permeate. The mouthfeel is robust if this is a porter, but on the light side if this is an imperal stout. Wonderfully smooth in either case.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer at Lucky Baldwin's tonight. It was served in a standard pint glass from the bar. The beer arrived with a light brown 2 cm head and a dark fluid color. It was nearly black with a hint of amber. he head rentention on this beer was excellent.

The aroma and the flavor correlate very well on this beer. The aroma has a dark roasty scent with hints of nutmeg. The flavor is deep and complex. A strong roasty flavor dominates with intermitent dances of hops, walnut, marzipan and toast. Very well balanced with a thick body to the beer.

I ordered this beer not really knowing what it was so when it showed up I asked the server if it was indeed the correct beer. He assured me it was. This beer is an excellent R.I.S. and if you ever get a chance to try it I highly recommend it.

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Photo of Rumrunner
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had at the Father's Office. Flute style glass.

Pours a beautiful black with a slight purple hue. A nice deep beige head. Lacing is okay. The scents are a nice deep coffee and chocolate. Very enticing and smooth.

The flavors are so smooth. A nice rounded coffee ground and a flavorful sweet chocolate lay the foundation of this stout. Sipping it and letting it warm a bit bring out some fruit and a smooth finish of the combined flavors. Even a real nice smoky flavor at the end. The alcohol is present but this only adds to the warming effect and pushes the flavors. The flavors are smooth and each one shows itself without a fight.

This stout is full bodied but not overly heavy. There is some mouth bite but as it warms it feels full, bold and smooth. This is definately a stout that could be considered dessert and then one could ask for another.

Overall, a great offering.

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