Ursus Spelæus | Sound Brewery

BA SCORE
89
very good
104 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ursus SpelæusUrsus Spelæus
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sound Brewery
Washington, United States
soundbrewery.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by barleywinefiend on 01-22-2012

BEER STATS
Ratings:
104
Reviews:
30
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
7.88%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
15
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 |  Reviews: 30
Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

 644 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -20%

Photo of biboergosum
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, 8.5% ABV, and dubbed a 'Belgian Style Imperial Stout'.

This beer pours a solid black, with prominent cola highlights, and nothing but a thin film of flaccid bubbly beige head, which bleeds away before my eyes, leaving a low landfall pattern of lakeshore lace around the glass.

It smells of chalky dark cocoa, lightly toasted caramel malt, thin toffee crisps, black licorice nibs, a very subtle dry yeastiness, and herbal grassy hops. The taste is semi-sweet chocolate, softly caramelized toffee, rather rich anise drops, ethereal zingy yeast, and earthy, leafy hops. A hint of warming alcohol permeates as it warms.

The bubbles are fairly low-key, but still capable in their support role, the body a sturdy medium weight, and really quite smooth, with a mild touch of creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, the cocoa, licorice, and caramel malt all lazily colluding to push out any lingering Belgian-inspired yeast, or alcohol edge, for that matter.

As Belgian Stout is not yet a style on this site, it falls that this must be shoehorned in elsewhere. However, that seems patently unnecessary here, as this comes across as mostly just a lighter (in all manner save ABV) version of a Yankee Imperial stout, sexed up with licorice. Worthy of a try, even at around 10 bucks a bomber.

 1,301 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours an indigo color with a rather modest head that grows wispy with alacrity and fades to a ringlet though it leaves wisps of lacing; when a brewery calls their beer a Belgian stout, however, I am expecting it to look like a Belgian, so I have deducted .5 points

Smell: Chocolate, chalk, roasted meat, charred toast and coffee

Taste: Chocolate and lactose, up front, with toast, red licorice and a hint of coffee developing, in the middle; the flavors up front, blend nicely together in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I am flummoxed a bit with how to rate this beer; I don't think it measures up as a Belgian stout as it lacks the yeasty complexity and the appropriate look/mouthfeel; on the other hand, I really like the way it tastes and would rate it higher as an American Double Stout or as an Imperial Milk Stout

 881 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of nice liquorice notes with some light fruity notes which mix well with some light black chocolates notes. Taste is also dominated by some liquorice notes which are well-balanced by some black chocolate notes with some light roasted malt with some light fruity notes also noticeable. Body is semi-full for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I really enjoyed the liquorice notes and the creamy texture of this beer.

 546 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a small fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, raisin, banana, toast, molasses, light char, clove, pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, toast, molasses, raisin, banana, clove, pepper, light char, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Slight roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, molasses, raisin, banana, clove, pepper, light char, and roasted/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/roasted malt and fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy, moderately slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian imperial stout! All around great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,447 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of mactrail
4.02/5  rDev -1%
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.

 542 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Duff27
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Short tannish mocha head on a dark brown near black body. Head recedes to a collar.

Purple and red grapes. Slightly metallic? All good though.

Fruits, first and foremost. "Slight smokiness" as it warms. Would put this right at its stated ABV, well hidden booze overall.

Diggin' the mouthfeel, thicker side with carbonation on the high end...it works here when considering the Belgian yeast influence.

Well integrated use of malts and yeast rarely used together. Well done Sound Brewery. Thanks for the new beer try 4DAloveofSTOUT!

 534 characters

Photo of BeerOps
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of IPAchris
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours pitch black, thin light brown head that dissipates to a thin film and ring around the glass with slippery lacing. Pleasant RIS aroma of roasted and dark malt, molasses and a hint of Belgian yeast. Flavor follows, dominated by roasted malt but with a lighter fruit and anise element. Finish with a sharp hop bitterness and espresso coffee that lingers on the tongue. Very tasty. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. Somewhat light bodied for a RIS, but the flavor is rich and compelling. A very nice stout and my fifth straight excellent beer from this stellar brewery.

 616 characters

Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of flagmantho
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: totally black hue with a one-finger cap of frothy dark tan foam. Attractive.

Smell: rich, chocolatey and caramelly malt aroma with a distinct oaky character. Not terribly complex but it all comes together rather well.

Taste: several big flavors come together here: a big maltiness with lots of fruit character, either from the Belgian yeast or from the alcohol; there is some cherry, grape and plum here; rich but not dank or dusky. Chocolate comes through from below, but it is not overpowering at all. I like the complexity quite a lot.

Mouthfeel: big body with a smooth, silky texture. Not particularly creamy, but it's a low-carbonation style. I like it.

Overall: a tasty and surprisingly drinkable beer for its ABV. It would be interesting to cellar this for awhile and see how much more Belgian character develops.

 875 characters

Photo of lupercmda
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of NickThePyro
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev +1%
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.

 355 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 picked up today at Home Brew Stuff in Garden City for a sorta pricey $10... Poured into my slim tulip and a thin brown head rises quickly and leaves nearly as fast. The brew is black.

The nose is rich dark fruits that mesh perfectly with dark malt and some lesser Belgian character.. "boozy raisinettes", does that sound interesting? It is in this beer. Some anise and possibly some clovey phenols.

Flavor does not disappoint.. thick and rich... cocoa, milk chocolate, a lot of golden raisins, lingering dark fruits... A bit of char/light smoke brings things back mid palate and lingers forever...

Body is thick and inviting... velvety.. carbonation is on the light side.. surprisingly there is very little alcohol... This is very well done.. Just hints of yeasty Belgian notes that I honestly believe could be bloomed a bit more..

I am amazed how much I like this one... As far as I can tell Home Brew Stuff is the only store that got this one in.. but Boise stores should pick this one up... so should Boise peeps. Really good... No Shit.

3.5/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.25

Not nearly as good as the best RIS out there, but certainly better than ANY Belgian Imperial Stout that I have had before... I am very.. VERY impressed.

 1,225 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of DucksFan16
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 01/10/2016.

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Ursus Spelæus from Sound Brewery
4.06 out of 5 based on 104 ratings.
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