Ursus Spelæus
Sound Brewery

Ursus SpelæusUrsus Spelæus
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Sound Brewery
Washington, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
4.02 | pDev: 7.96%
Jan 24, 2021
Jan 22, 2012
Ursus SpelæusUrsus Spelæus
Notes: None
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Photo of leaddog
Reviewed by leaddog from Canada (AB)

4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Appearance - Pours a dark jet black with four fingers of frothy mocha tan head.

Smell - earthy, leafy, and weedy hops, roasted malts, cocoa, coffee bean, dark candied sugar aromas, toffee malts, plum, raisin, fig, and spicy belgian yeast.

Taste - earthy, leafy, and weedy hops upfront. The roasted malts, cocoa, coffee bean, plum, raisin, fig, and dark candied sugar follow suit. The toffee malts and spicy belgian yeast round out the brew.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes chewy with all elements lingering alongside a warming of the alcohol content.

Overall - A bold and highly engageable RIS. This one certainly delivers on all fronts for the style.
Jan 24, 2021
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Reviewed by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
22 ounce bottle from Keg n Cork - slightly aged and more cost friendly.
Black pour that a appears slightly thinner than expected with finger beige head.
Aroma raisin, dark fruit, cocoa/dark chocolate, molasses, moderate char, burnt brownie.
Tastes of dark chocolate, moderate char, dry with note bittersweet coffee - again some dark fruit, raisin, date and hint of licorice.
Medium mouthfeel - moderately dry with tame carbonation; ABV well hidden. Decent RIS , though just short of top tier.
Aug 26, 2020
Rated: 4.35 by DaPan from Canada (ON)

Jan 23, 2020
Photo of Cwrw
Reviewed by Cwrw from Canada (AB)

3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Found unexpectedly at a corner liquor store. Sounded interesting. I didn't notice the word "Coffee" on the label until I got home. I love dark coffee and I love stouts, but I have yet to find a mix of the two that "works" for me. It's one of those things for me: 2 things I love on their own, when combined, are not necessarily better.

Poured into to a tulip glass. Pours a pretty opaque ebony with a nice mocha 2 finger head. The head sticks around, too, and leaves some lovely lacing. Beer looks great.

Don't get a whole lot of coffee from the aroma at first--just a nice roasty malt combined with some cocoa. Perhaps not all that complex, but everything smells really nice. Raisins, cocoa, figs and dates, a little sugary cake, and a hint of lactose. As I said, pretty standard fare, but well done.

Definitely more coffee in the taste, along with the aforementioned chocolate and figs/dates. Off-dry, sweet and chocolatey at first, with a pretty good hit of dryness at the finish. I appreciate the subdued coffee notes. Like the aroma, it's not the most complex stout I've ever had, but all the elements are there and well balanced.

Pretty smooth, a good balance of dryness and sweet malt in the finish. I think this is really well done.
Jan 09, 2020
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Reviewed by MAB from Canada (AB)

3.51/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5
Day 23 of the 2019 Advent Calendar.

The label says coffee, and this beer delivers.
It seems a natural fit, but roasted barley is far better than roasted coffee beans in a stout. Coffee bitterness without the hops, aroma of coffee instead of roasted malt. Too much damned coffee.
If you like coffee, you might like this beer, but if you don't-- or if you want to keep your beer and coffee separate-- then this was a huge missed opportunity for a potentially great Russian Imperial stout.
Dec 24, 2019
Photo of Sammy
Reviewed by Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
purchase of a few years back. Coffee and chocolate. Not thick, like an IS should be. No yeast flavour to make it a true Belgian stout, but maybe that was a good thing.
Aug 29, 2019
Rated: 3.82 by Cruzgator from Massachusetts

Jul 07, 2017
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Reviewed by mactrail from Washington

4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
This is really good. It's not a RIS by any stretch, but whatever it is it's an excellent strong dark beer. It's not overly sweet, and the alcohol is not overpowering. Dark and nicely frothy in the Wander Brewing tulip. Malty body with a rising foamy mouthfeel that is just right for the dark flavors with a touch of fruit.

There is just the right malty sweetness to start. Some hops and a bitter edge add to the complexity. The Belgian yeast gives it the nicest drying finish. Roasted grain with a touch of char, but it's elegant and smooth.
Nov 19, 2016
Rated: 4.09 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia

Sep 21, 2016
Rated: 4 by CaptainQ from Washington

Jun 26, 2016
Rated: 3.56 by IPAchris from Pennsylvania

Mar 25, 2016
Rated: 3.25 by GRG1313 from California

Mar 11, 2016
Rated: 3.39 by kiki3drt292 from California

Jan 16, 2016
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Rated by DucksFan16 from Tennessee

3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Consumed on 01/10/2016.
Jan 11, 2016
Photo of Ninjakillzu
Reviewed by Ninjakillzu from Washington

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
L: Had on tap at Sound Brewery. Body is a very dark brown, almost black. There was a brown finger head, but it has receded to a thin ring around the glass.

S: Dark chocolate, smoked coffee, and some boozy dark fruit.

T: Dark fruits, smoked coffee, and some dark chocolate and nuttiness at the end.

F: Medium/heavy bodied and foamy with a bit of a warming bite.
Dec 20, 2015
Photo of Sathanas
Rated by Sathanas from Canada (AB)

2.86/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75
Slight spiced rum, chocolate and coffee but overwhelmed by an over-ripe banana taste. Over carbonated. Very strange
Dec 18, 2015
Photo of UCLABrewN84
Reviewed by UCLABrewN84 from California

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Pours an opaque black with a foamy super dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, roasted nut, and earth aromas. Taste is much the same with roasted nut, powdered peanut butter, cocoa powder, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of nutty aromas and flavors, but I am not getting any distinct Belgian yeast qualities.

Serving type: bottle.
Aug 20, 2015
Photo of John_M
Reviewed by John_M from Oregon

4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
On tap at the Arch Bridge Tap House the other day.

Really like this beer, and thought it a bit unusual from your typical RIS. There was a considerable amouont of cocoa powder and dark fruits in the beer, in addition to vanilla, licorise and dark chocolate. Alcohol was very well integrated into the flavor profile, and so drinkability was pretty tasty.
Jul 28, 2015
Rated: 3.94 by SamuelR from California

Jul 15, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by cherche from Washington

Jul 10, 2015
Rated: 3.9 by Birdlegs from Washington

Jul 05, 2015
Rated: 3.92 by VashonGuy from Washington

Jun 30, 2015
Rated: 3.78 by FondueVoodoo from Canada (BC)

May 17, 2015
Photo of CalgaryFMC
Reviewed by CalgaryFMC from Canada (AB)

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Tasting notes: On tap at Beer Revolution in Calgary. Big chocolate raisin, currant, purple grape, and coffee hard candy flavors. Thick and sweet, less ash or roast than expected. Minimal booze flavor, at least initially. Very rich chocolate finish. Smooth creamy mouthfeel. Almost a floral tobacco note as well. Tastes wonderful, if a bit strange for the style.
Apr 18, 2015
Rated: 3.81 by 510a from Washington

Apr 12, 2015
Rated: 3.88 by mdaschaf from Indiana

Apr 05, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by shigg85 from Japan

Feb 05, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

Jan 30, 2015
Rated: 4 by JMS1512 from New Jersey

Jan 12, 2015
Rated: 4.19 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

Jan 11, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by Hagbert from California

Dec 07, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by largadeer from California

Nov 29, 2014
Rated: 3.25 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

Nov 29, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by gmag51 from Minnesota

Nov 26, 2014
Rated: 4 by Launch890 from California

Nov 21, 2014
Rated: 4.12 by carrolri from Washington

Nov 10, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by yeaprolly from Washington

Oct 28, 2014
Rated: 4.11 by BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

Oct 24, 2014
Photo of Briken
Reviewed by Briken from Washington

3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Poured from a growler it is chalky black color with a foamy brown head and poor retention. Espresso and a burnt yeast aroma. Coffee and tobacco with a light chocolate finish. Yeasty fruit notes and a moderate tobacco linger.

Not very nice to look at but this has a very intriguing flavor and personally I like the tobacco flavor but it is rather dominating. The flavors are clear and stay interesting throughout the bottle.
Sep 18, 2014
Ursus Spelæus from Sound Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 110 ratings