Ex Umbris
Mike Hess Brewing - Miramar

Ex UmbrisEx Umbris
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,119
Ranked #5,089
4.15 | pDev: 7.23%
Mike Hess Brewing - Miramar
California, United States
Ex UmbrisEx Umbris
Notes: Imperial Stout brewed with Rye
Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 68 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of impending
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


TapRoom Pacific Beach

Served black black black, no highlights no head no lace.

Aroma is all about roastiness, thick char without smoke. Bitter coffee. Unmistakable rye.

Taste is preciously what the scent said. Strong flavor, roast again. Complexity lies in the sensation of an abrupt strong flavor fading away, doesn't evolve as much as simply fade nicely. Mouthfeel is rich slick and nicely lifeless.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at AndrewK’s tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa nibs, cookie dough, and alcohol. Taste is of dark roasted malt, rye, and cocoa nibs. There is a pretty high level of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great set of aromas but the taste is a tad too roasty for my liking.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery; this beer pours jet black with a massive brown head that lasts and lasts. I basically had to drink through it because it took so long to dissipate. Lacing was sticky and extensive.

The nose is roasty, with a touch of a metallic note from the rye; coffee, bittersweet chocolate, winey tannins, a bit of oaky woodiness. The taste follows the nose; it’s complex, with a balance between the roasted notes, chocolate, and mineral taste. Again, there’s that slightly metallic rye note underneath. A bit of hoppy bitterness in the finish as well as that wine-like flavor detected in the aroma. Subtle sweetness, spice, and smoke.

Carbonation is moderate, the body is full and smooth, creamy and sticky. Not super chewy but actually pretty easy drinking for a beer of this strength. Very tasty.

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Photo of brew3crew
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery

A-black body with little head at all.

S-maltiness with a slight bit of roastiness.

T-nice roasty body that goes down really smooth. Very good but one dimensional

M-medium body and smooth

O-very nice stout. Would like toto see what happens with barrel aging!

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Photo of benclimbs
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Hess brewery - without a doubt, the head and shoulders standout of their craft. This is one of the most interesting beers I've had in a long time.

Pours dark, mysterious and beautiful.

Smell is something unique and amazing - very very wine like super oaked yet somehow fruity and deep tons of Pinot Noir character...having a light fruityness but big dark woody earthy notes.

Taste is just beautiful chocolate and coffee, bitterness is just right, maintains a lightness and is totally drinkable

feel is as it should be for the style.

Overall this is a simply gorgeous brew - something wholly unique and a stand out among imperial stouts, a style all its own! Keep kicking ass Hess!

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Photo of ehammond1
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Stone 15th Anniversary Celebration
CSU, San Marcos
San Marcos, CA

Thick black body with a thick light brown and cinnamon red head. Lots of lacing up and down the glass.

All the great big stout aromas are here without one dominating the stage too forcefully: roasted malts, espresso coffee, some sweet cream and chocolate notes as well.

A simple, yet complete, big stout. It does everything just about perfectly. The roast and espresso coffee stand out initially along with substantial yet not overwhelming hop bitterness, followed by sweet cream and chocolate. Zero alcohol presence. A complete stout.

Medium to thick bodied. Appropriate.

A supremely delicious imperial stout. The one beer I decided to have 2 tasters of at the Stone Anniversary event.

I'll be down to the brewery soon to fill a growler of this!

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Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A: Ebony in the glass with a fleeting creamy light brown head.

S: Dark chocolate melds with earthy coffee and black strap molasses. Malt displays an upper moderate roasted profile. Dark chocolate is pervasive and the rye is definitely noticeable.

T: Dark chocolate with roasted malt, molasses, and rye. The various aspects are well balanced. Bitterness is earthy and at a lower moderate level. Finishes with bitter dark chocolate and a light spiciness.

M: Full body with medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is chewy, sticky, and full.

Overall: A nice Imperial Stout. Recommended.

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Photo of d4114
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Jet black mostly, some deep red on the bottom of the glass where the light comes through. Big brown head with big bubbles.

S- Big chocolate notes, sort of a milk chocolate. Coffee notes coming through pretty strong and the alcohol peeking through a little. Also its generally creamy smelling.

T- Follows nose closely; Big milk chocolate and coffee notes. Good creaminess on the taste overall. Alcohol isn't really present on the taste. Really nice balance with a dry finish.

M- In between medium and full bodied; mostly smooth and creamy feel to this but it does leave a bit of a resiny feel.

O- Really good imperial stout, big balanced flavors with a good dryness from the rye they use in it.

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Photo of Retsinis
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a taster (about 4 oz) of this on tap at the brewery recently, but this review is from a "Prowler" (1 liter growler) that I bought and brought to a tasting event. The review is from notes.

Poured into a Bruery tulip glass.

A: The beer pours a dark hazy near black, with mahogany brown highlights. The was a nice chocolate brown, about a quarter to half inch, with left nice coating lacing.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate, espresso, mild smoke, and a kiss of rye spice.

T: A nice layer or two of different sweet roasted malts, toasted biscotti, cappuccino, milk, chocolate.

M: Full and creamy, with an almost milk quality, as a lot of Hess beers have, light to medium carbonation.

O: Very good and Solid Imperial stout. Having this beer makes me sad, since I live so far from Hess, and they don't yet bottle or keg their beers being a Nano brewery. Looking forward to having this again next time I get down to San Diego, though not sure how often it will be made.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Strong Ale 2010.

Pours dark reddish brown, hazy, off-white head, good retention and lacing.

Aroma is roast, milk (?), caramel, char, and chocolate.

Flavor is burnt, roasted, and harsh but at the same time sweet and milky (confusing). Also a healthy dose of chocolate, rye, booze, and bitterness.

Body is sufficiently full. Contains FDA approved levels of drinkability.


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Ex Umbris from Mike Hess Brewing - Miramar
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 68 ratings