Papessa | LoverBeer

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12 Ratings

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Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

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Added by rvdoorn on 11-20-2011

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 5
Reviews by danieelol:
Photo of danieelol
1.25/5  rDev -63.8%

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

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3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of laituegonflable
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark brown, no head. No lace. Looks like a heavy homebrew to be honest.

Smells incredibly sour and funky. Hugely spicy as well, with lemon pepper, barnyard and balsamic. Touch of roast. Interesting, I'll give it that.

Big funky spice taste. Balsamic vinegar with leather, astringent off cider and szechuan pepper bite. Blended with a touch of chocolate base. Not very stouty, but very weird. Not an everyday drinker, but interesting enough to be tasted.

A bit thin actually. Bit of presence late from funky yeasts.

Yes, an odd one. Worth a try for its idiosyncracies, but not quite expertly crafted so there are flaws and quirks all over it.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tried on-tap at the Local Taphouse in Sydney.

Pours a deep brown colour with a rather thin, reedy body. Initial bubbling in the head settles out very quickly, ending up looking rather flat. Looks decent without being very exciting.

Sharp and vinous on the nose, probably a bit sharper than I expected. Acidity comes through, apples and red wine, with just a little bit of dusty darkness. It's okay, but I'm not sure I expected this.

Black olives on the palate immediately. Dark and dusty for a while, but more berries and more of that vinous character. Crisp acidity again, lots of oak and a fair amount of liquorice. It's quite complex, and very strange. I'm not sure it's meant to taste like this, but surprisingly it works even so.

Feel is solid enough. It works at least.

It does taste like it's infected or inoculated. I hope it's the latter, because it's fairly decent as it is. If it's not intentionally soured though, this is a worry. I'll keep drinking it, but perhaps with a more skeptical look on my face.

 1,021 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beer Temple, in Amsterdam.

LoverBeer Papëssa ("high priestess") pours with plenty of airy bubbles but no foam between them. It looks like it was served from cask. A mixture of brown and black tones, it's far from the most intimidating Russian Imperial Stout I've come across.

The beer smells thin and lightly soured (very balsamic-esque). The abundance of vinous and dark fruit character is not unusual of historic representations of the style (of which this clearly is). Indeed, an American version this is not - there is no massive roast or strong coffee.

Italian brewers aren't typically ones for sticking to script, but this Russian Imperial Stout fits the historic mould. A relative lightweight at 7%, this more temperate, English-style interpretation has a far more approachable drinkability (though is correspondingly less rewarding as result).

I get the balsamic, but curious for an Italian imperial stout not to have any espresso flavour. No coffee and not really that much cocoa either, just minor hints of milk or bakers chocolate. Instead there's the taste of tart red grapes, currants and even a pinch of mole-like spice. Hops outlast roast malt and provide an appreciably earthy bitterness. Neat and a bit offbeat.

I liked Papëssa more than this review may let on but wouldn't recommend North American consumers shell out big time import prices for it (especially not when there's so many great domestic examples on the shelf). Europeans, on the other hand, and Italians especially, do whatever you can to support this pioneering brewery. Great potential here.

 1,594 characters

Photo of rvdoorn
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at BBF
Look: The beer pours a very dark black color with a nice light brown head that disappeared fast.
Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and some alcohol
Taste: Bitter sweet, roasted malts chocolate, wood and licorice, a bit sharp in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation
Overall: Nice drink

 325 characters

Photo of Beervana
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of TobiasG
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of Kirk
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of dcmchew
4.21/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black, small dark beige head, almost mocha dark, receding slowly to a nice generous thick film on top, some bubbles too, looking just like freshly made black coffee.
There's a clear sour note on the nose, probably from some yeasts, with some rustic red wine notes. Coffee is strong, some chocolate, deep roast, woody notes. Vinegar. Close to a Flanders Oud Bruin, but the roast is way deeper. Hints of oak, too.
Yep, acidity in the front, with dark cherry and some red wine vinegar, mixed in with the dense dark malts, not sweet at all, for the start. Light hints of some other dark fruit, like fig and dark grape, then the roast settles in, deep, dark, salty (!), bitter and ashy early on, with a strong ristretto note. With that dark coffee acidity, too, even if there aren't any beans added. The finish has some woody hints, too. Am I really sure if this isn't barrel aged, or has some stuff added?! Not anymore. Some earthy tobacco hints in the end, a mild funkiness too.
Aftertaste has toasted wood notes, roasted grain, some faint coffee, no chocolate (!), earthiness, lingering red wine vinegar acidity. Medium body, fizzy carbonated, works well with the sourness. Feels creamy if you really keep the sip in. Again, i am really surprised this is altered just by aging and yeasts. There are clear woody notes, there's a nice clear roasted coffee bean. Am i wrong?! Weird. But, hey! Awesome "imperial" stout.

 1,413 characters

Papessa from LoverBeer
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 12 ratings