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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
101 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by thepeter on 05-07-2011

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,187
Reviews:
34
Ratings:
101
pDev:
8.51%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
27
Gots:
17
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 |  Reviews: 34
Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -29.1%

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

 2,753 characters

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 brother_kenneth
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

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 wesbourne
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bark
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The colour is black (100 EBC), the two finger head is brown and compact, It sinks slowly leaving some lacing on the glass.

The smell is smooth with notes of brandy-like alcohol, roasted nuts and chocolate/cocoa. Hints of toffee and condensed milk. It is milder than expected.

The taste is very sweet (although a smooth sweetness) and roasted/burned. Passing clean strong bitterness and some malt sourness. Notes of molasses, dried flowers, orange peel and coconut candy. Medium body. The aftertaste got growing clean bitterness, green tomatoes and unripe bananas. Hints of charcoal and chocolate brown malt. The finish is rather short and dry with clean bitterness and burned malts.

The carbonation is smooth with lots of small foaming bubbles. The liquid is thick and creamy.

A very interesting and tasty beer; it would have been too sweat and heavy if it hadn’t been for the passing powerful bitterness.

 915 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of macesq
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of kscaldef
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours nearly still, just a slight suggestion of head, no bubbles visible. Dark cola color, with moderately thick legs.

S: Nutty chocolate. Even as it warms up, pretty minimal, perhaps hindered by lack of carbonation.

T: Certainly not an American Imperial Stout. This keeps the classic london stout characteristics, but dials everything up a bit, without getting sweet or cloying or harsh. Dark chocolate, a hint of coffee and dried dark fruit

M: A delicate balance. Slight sweetness lingers on the corners of the mouth, but generally finishes dry, but not overly bitter. No carbonation to speak of, but despite that it isn't heavy.

 637 characters

Photo of JavierGC
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of hopley
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of xnicknj
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into taster - thanks rob

Pours a viscous blackness with a faint, bubbled dark head on top. Fades out completely into a thin collar of lacing.

Nose with dark chocolate, molasses, booze and vanilla. Hints of dark fruit with roasty malts and sweetness.

Full, robust chocolate and molasses sweetness up front. Touches of raisin and date with a heavy, almost earthy backbone. A bit sweet, but fairly balanced with the malt and chocolate. Finishes boozy with cocoa and dark warmth.

Full body, decent carbonation, creamy and smooth on the tongue. This was my first experience with The Kernel Brewery and I'm definitely excited to try more.

 658 characters

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 mmapes
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to Craig (or was it Ben?) for the trade. It's been a year since we brought it home. Bottled in 5/2012, opened in 10/2013. Poured into snifters. Probably served too cold. Not much head - practically none.

What is a "brown stout" anyway?

Smells like a grainy malt beer, just a hint of molasses. First sip: strong grain taste. Rich. Just a hint of sweetness at the end. Just a hint of smoke. It's like a brown ale, rather than a full-on stout, but thicker on the tongue -- a little syrupy. Mild and mellow as far as toast and hops go, but strongly alcoholic. In later sips, it seems a bit more smoky/toasty. 12 oz bottle would be too intense for one person - definitely a sharer.

Would buy again if we could get it.

 728 characters

Photo of ghostwalker
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Found a bottle of this stuff at Oddbins just outside London Bridge Station.

A: Huge, thick, dark brown body. Small to middlin head.

S: Smell is super dark and dense. Spice cake? Not as apparent as the Export Stout, however.

T: Strong, rich, smooth, coating. A velvet glove with the mail well concealed for a 10% brew. Mmm, raisins, dates!

M: Slick, coating, but somewhat thin.

O: Nice, unique stuff. I love the historical connotations of their recipes. They taste great too!

 479 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one at De Molen in Bodegraven.

From a bottle into a snifter.
ABV: 9.2%
Best Before 22.07.2013

APPEARANCE: Gushed a little upon opening, but a careful pour yielded a 2 finger, medium-thinner looking, tan head with good retention. Poured out black and sat black in the glass with only a touch of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full wisp and clings to the sides of the glass. A wisp remains but leaves only touches of lacing.

SMELL: Roasted malts, cocoa powder and a touch of dark chocolate. Slightly mild, but opens a bit as it sits in the glass.

TASTE: Roasted malts, dark chocolate and sweet dark cherries or grapes. Moves into a bitter, charred and burnt aftertaste with dark chocolate and espresso notes. Bold and lingering aftertaste lingers nicely, with plenty of roasted malt and bitter chocolate and coffee. Flavors are much more forthcoming that the aroma, and work really nicely.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Good feel.

OVERALL: Pretty good beer, but not as impressive as their Export stout. Flavors were great, very bold and interesting, but the nose needs to follow suit there. One worth checking out, but if you can only buy one, chose the Export stout over this one.

 1,325 characters

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.

 908 characters

Photo of aztraz
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JohnQVD
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of GABrew
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Anatole
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of bylerteck
4/5  rDev -5.4%

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Imperial Brown Stout London 1856 from The Kernel Brewery
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 101 ratings
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