Imperial Brown Stout London 1856 | The Kernel Brewery

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Imperial Brown Stout London 1856Imperial Brown Stout London 1856
BA SCORE
4.23/5
Exceptional
110 Ratings
Imperial Brown Stout London 1856Imperial Brown Stout London 1856
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Kernel Brewery
England, United Kingdom
thekernelbrewery.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,331
Reviews:
38
Ratings:
110
pDev:
8.51%
 
 
Wants:
27
Gots:
15
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 110 |  Reviews: 38
Photo of davidsonte2
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of HeWhoHasBeer
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Dudler
4.84/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Zythophile
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: 7/25/18
Palate Contaminants: none

Lots of fine, light brown head. Decent amount of lacing. Discernably brown liquid, letting in very little light at the edges.

Straight up? It smells like Kahlua. Coffee, dairy creamer, and non-sweet (and non-bitter) dark chocolate. There's even some alcohol volatilizing.

The main taste is very heavily roasted coffee. Sweetness and bitterness might not have been on the nose, but they are up to detectable levels on the tongue, with bitterness winning the arm wrestling match. A little bit of desiccated dark fruit, somewhere between figs and prunes. Slight bit of honey. Alcohol shows up in the taste.

Weight is heavy, and the carbonation is fine. Aftertaste is unfortunately bitter charred wood, but the nose and taste were nice. It's also a bit disapponting that the alcohol isn't better hidden for a niner.

 863 characters

Photo of desint
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of HopBelT
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of josanguapo
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From lalonjadelacerveza. In Teku glass. Playing Avadon 3. Very toasted and nutty, with some herbal hoppy notes, maybe a bit more vegetal than desiderable. Alcohol fairly well hidden

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Photo of hopsputin
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: dark, matte black. Like motor oil. Thin tan head

S: dark and milk chocolate, brown sugar, roasted malts, a hint of cola and some sweet malts. More roasted malt and chocolate to finish

T: rich roasted malts and chocolate up Front. A touch of alcohol and a smooth nutty note behind that. A touch of bitterness from the roasted malt behind that, which almost tastes like wood. A slight earthy hop note towards the end also. Finish is roasty and rich

M: heavy mouthfeel with mid carbonation

O: excellent stout. A decadent sipper that should be enjoyed slowly

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Photo of Snowcrash000
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black coloration with a medium, creamy head. Smells wonderfully of dark chocolate, coffee and caramel malt, with just a hint of licorice. Taste follows the nose, with a rich dark chocolate and roasted coffee taste, backed up by roasted, caramel malt and a hint of licorice and vanilla. Very rich and smooth mouthfeel, almost oily. There's not a hint of boozyness to this, with an incredibly rich flavor profile and mouthfeel. Probably the best non-BA Stout I've ever had.

 485 characters

Photo of Phoodcritic
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of S_McAteer_95
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jwale73
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle served in a tulip. Bottled on 20.10.16 Best before 20.02.21. Pours an inky, opaque black with a mocha-colored froth that disperses towards the edges into a thin tight band, leaving an oily residue across the surface. Nose expresses roasted notes and dark chocolate, as well as the merest hint of vanilla. Taste consistent with nose - quite nice. A true RIS - roasty, chocolatey and earthy with a slight char that lingers betweens quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium on body (but closer to light) with a mild, even carbonation. All and all, a wonderful example of the style. This beer stands on its own. No barrel-aging necessary.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.39/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

[Reviewed from notes taken in late Summer 2014.]

9.80% ABV.

330ml brown glass bottle with a classy understated label design purchased at Craft Beer Co. Clerkenwell, London, England, and served into a stem-tulip. Bottled: 07.10.13. BB: 07.10.18. Consumed at cellar temperature.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: None. Just a brief pale khaki ring of foam immediately after the pour that disappears almost immediately. No lacing.

BODY: Opaque solid jet black (not brown, contrary to its name). No yeast/sediment is visible within. Looks like any other traditional porter, lacking any unique or special characteristics as well as the titular brown colour.

AROMA: Actually, I detect bourbon (even though I know it's not there). Vanilla mainly but no oak. That's odd.

Dark malts, chocolate malts, cream, a kiss of hazelnut. Malty as it is, it's not too sweet.

Quite appealing, but not up to par with the aromas of the best expressions of the style.

A pleasant aroma of mild intensity.

No overt yeasty notes or off-notes are detectable. No overt hoppy notes either.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, full-bodied, of apt thickness, well-carbonated, and slightly sticky.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

Suits the taste decently. Doesn't accentuate specific flavours, but it does have a fairly heavy, hefty presence on the palate that plays well to the maltiness of the brew.

TASTE: Dark, schwarz, and specialty chocolate malts comprise the malt backbone. Herbal hints of fennel, anise, and mint play across the palate. Herbal hops complement the herbs. A kiss of vanilla. Raisin. Mellow sticky plum; indistinct vague dark fruits.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

It's balanced, albeit simple for the style. There ain't nothing brown about it from colour to malt flavour; it's a pretty conventional dark porter.

Far from the most complex, subtle, nuanced, or well-layered imperial porter I've had, but well-built and cohesive. Not a gestalt harmonious whole of a beer; the build isn't seamlessly put together or carefully considered. It's more of a loose combination of flavours, most of which are effective. This doesn't have the concise deliberate flavour profile of better imperial porters, but I do like it.

OVERALL: It's a nicely executed imperial porter, and one I wouldn't mind having again (or aging), but it's not world-class fare. I've had far better, and I'm not sure what the "brown" bit is meant to refer to. A nice little English stab at an imperial porter, but it can't compete with the big dogs. Worth trying when in England, though.

Hides its ABV well and is more drinkable than many brews of this strength. A wee bit of age would likely mellow it out.

B- (3.39) / WORTHY

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Photo of Erik-P
3.52/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Marius
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle. Pitch black pour with a thin tan head. Smells like dark cherries, cocoa, chocolate and roasted malts. The taste follows the same notes, with an addition of both brewed as well as roasted coffee. Medium to full bodied, soft carbonation and a roasty bitter-sweet finish.

 281 characters

Photo of _Adam_
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of AlarmClock314
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, dated 5/2/16. Pours black with a medium sized light khaki head; some lacing. Smells of roasted malt, citrus and earthy hops, cocoa, coffee, and molasses. The taste follows exactly with roasted malt, citrus/earthy hops, cocoa, coffee and molasses. The brightness of the hops seems to elevate the flavor. Light bitterness, medium sweetness, and medium lingering dryness. Average body and carbonation for the style. Overall, this is drinkable, fitting of the style, and has a very complimentary hop profile. Well done.

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Photo of trevorpost
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mine's only 9.0%. Fresh from the brewery.

It's really good. Plenty sweet with loads of smokey chocolate. That's all I've got to say.

133 characters

Photo of SadMachine
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bruno74200
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 02/26/15. So it's one year and a half old when consumed
Roasty and bold ris. It's a bit on the dark fruits, cocoa, vanilla. It has almost a oak aged smoothness and roundness. The smell is great. The taste is a bit more boozy but nothing overwhelming. A bit of green apple

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Photo of tux_alin
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of nathanmiller
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of aleigator
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, sunny-amber color, with a huge froth head on top.

Smells of wheat entangled orange peel, spiced up by black peppers and coriander. Offers a soothing wet grass quality among toffee malts and a whiff of rock sugar.

Has a higher, lively carbonation, although the beer's overall soft and creamy mouthfeel prevails, while adding a nice refreshment to it.

Tastes of bitter cardamom and equally bitter lemon peel accompanied by white orange zest, hay and a rock sugar peak. Unusually refreshing with blood oranges and a note of black peppers together with a soft aqueous quality. Finishes with a world class creaminess, while a perfectly dosed, bubbly carbonation cuts through along with sweeter spices, and a still recognizable bitter counterpart from the beginning.

Fantastic beer overall, offers a unique twist while sticking to the style, perfected by its balance and supersmooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of Martine
4.76/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours thick, jet black into a tulip glass from a 330ml bottle. The mocha head, initially 3 fingers high, decreases down to a single finger after a while. The head has good retention, is close, foamy, and leaves excellent lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is fantastic. Charred grain, woodsmoke, roasted dry expresso, tobacco, and booze. This stout has a really mature and complex aroma to it; very country club style nose. But best of all - it smells dry, and stolid; there's not really any other way to describe it. There's no cheapness, it has quality to the odour.

Jesus. The very first thing I notice about it, is the mouthfeel, but I'll get to that in a bit. The flavour has a balance like I've never had before in a stout. All the nose is present - the molasses char, the smoke, the dry expresso, but what I get most of all, is an oaty creaminess. It really reminds me of a well roasted, well charred, complex, oatmeal stout. There's a brown sugar sweetness, and a breakfast nature about it, with a great helping of tobacco, oak barrel, leather, and just pure abyssal gravity.

The mouthfeel is exquisite; it feels satin smooth, heavy, and yet quite dynamic at the same time. It weighs down the back of the tongue yet meanders about the front quite easily. This is a mouth coating, creamy product, make no mistake.

This is a game changer for me; the balance is something to be admired. I've never handed out 5/5's before in all my years sampling beer, but this deserves it. I sampled the Old Rasputin prior to this, and this thrashes it in my opinion. This just might be my favourite RIS so far; true to the style.; light yet heavy, smooth yet solid, creamy yet complex. Just go buy it.

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Imperial Brown Stout London 1856 from The Kernel Brewery
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 110 ratings