Tsar | Buxton Brewery

Liked This Beer
3.92 w/ 73 ratings

Brewed by:
Buxton Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by maxk on 12-14-2011

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DIM
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow, lots of assertive flavors to pick apart here. Huge roasty almost to the point of being ashy notes blanket everything. Maybe a little smoke in there as well. I found some coffee and cocoa bitterness as well. The finish added some stone fruit to the mix. Hugely flavorful, never had an RIS like this one. Definitely recommended!

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Photo of cbutova
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- 330ml to a pint glass with a dark body that has some ruby hues at the edges where light pierces it. The hiss was supremely loud and the milk chocolate head forms to about three inches high with infinite retention. A few sheets of lacing wrap around the glass.

S- Aromas are mostly derived from the roasted and kilned barley with chocolate milk, baking cocoa, licorice, aged espresso beans, toast and quite a bit of dark fruits from the ferment. Earthy and citrus zest hops are strong kind of like a Storm King.

T- Very much similar to the aroma with the show being driven by the intense charred grains joined by a definite acrid bitterness and some hop bitterness as well here. Rough order of strength are notes of roasted barley, backing cocoa, char, licorice, heavily toasted nuts, espresso beans, milk chocolate, smoke, tobacco, vinous dark fruits, earthy/citrus hops and caramel sweets.

MF- Overly carbonated for this style and the rich flavors; it ends up accentuating the burnt bitterness a bit too much. The texture to the medium-heavy body is foamy and silky cream. Both hop and roast bitters linger for a long time in the end.

Has a few minor flaws which mostly stem from the overly high level of carbonation, it almost gushed but gladly shows no signs of infection in the aroma/flavor. Very much a dark roasted/burnt barley driven brew with some strong hops to balance.

 1,387 characters

Photo of killcore
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Walbert_Neto
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.9/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark ruby color. The head is a bazillion fingers high and tan in shade. It has the structure, texture, and retention of a Belgian-style beer (a good one at least), and huge foamy patches of lacing stick to the glass. An extremely good-looking stout...but with characteristics that are mostly style inappropriate.

I am immediately intrigued. There's a surprisingly assertive presence of Cascade hops coming through (at times invoking a character similar to Victory's Storm King), which is surprising given it's about 20 months old. There are gentle hints of chocolate, espresso, and roasted malt. And the Belgian influence, can't forget the Belgian influence - dark fruit shows itself, alongside black pepper and bread. A bit strange with this aspect, but it reminds me a lot of a well-aged Storm King, which is a very good thing.

It opens up with a nice hoppiness, and a firm bitterness as well. The middle is loaded with dark chocolate and espresso, before finishing with some Belgian yeast, licorice, and dark fruits. I'm not sure if it's the age (bottled 9/1/2014), but it also features an unfortunately metallic back end. The more I sip it, the more this aspect goes away thankfully. Still, I can't help but feel this bottle isn't what it should be at all.

The mouthfeel is wrong for a "standard" imperial stout - it's airy, light, and very well carbonated. I can't be too hard on the texture, as it does showcase a little creaminess. And it goes down quite easily for 9.5%, without a single hint of the alcohol appearing anywhere.

This deserves a second chance. It has aspects of a bad bottle, tasting like it didn't age properly. Both the licorice and the metallic aspects are utterly overbearing and ruinous. There are good elements that display themselves, but it isn't enough to salvage it. Despite my low score, I'll look for this on tap in the future - I can really taste a good stout underneath.

2.9/5: The tsar was once great, now he's a drunken mess

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Photo of AlarmClock314
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz bottle, dated 9/1/14. Pours with a gigantic, overflowing khaki head which lasts a bit before forming into black liquid. Smells of Belgian yeast, roasted malt, bright hops, cocoa, and some dark fruit. The taste follows exactly with roasted malt, bright hops, cocoa, and dark fruit. Moderately bitter and pleasant sweetness. Thinner body and high, prickly carbonation. Overall, its has a pretty desirable smell/taste and has more hops than a typical RIS, but the carbonation and body is way off. Pour this in a glass very gently and near a sink.

 557 characters

Photo of agreenman19
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Fabianno
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of steverx8
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of orangesol
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BrazilianAussie
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jkhara12
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of drpimento
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I think I drank this bottle at too cold a temperature. There was a huge foamy frothy tan head. Aroma is nice, complex with black malt, pumpernickel bread, blood, anise, leather, lumber. Flavor's like nose plus fairly dry, mint, some carbonic tang. strong bitter. Body is decent. Good beer. Be interested in trying it again at proper temp, but that's all --- so far.

 365 characters

Photo of T-34-85
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of thatsmyspot
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of hdtrice
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Vylo
4.66/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kylehay2004
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz bottle. Good standard RIS. Rich lacing. Great smell.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SamuelR
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of azkkr
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Chico1985
2.93/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

My first from Buxton, English brewery of fair intrigue. 330ml with a bottled on date of 9-1-14.

A - Initial pour is 95% brown foam. Eventually it falls and black beer forms. But the head retains that weird-small-bubble-probably infected thing throughout.

S - Some metallic notes plus the appearance hint towards an infection of sorts, but still mostly stout - decent char roast, dark chocolate, licorice, dark fruit, actually quite a bit of piny and resiny hoppiness here as well.

T - Light metal here as well, though not a huge deterrent on its own, when teamed with the super-intense ashy roast it is a bit unpalatable overall. Lots of licorice, sharp piny and citrusy hops, and dark fruit with no sweetness, only tiny bits of cocoa coming through.

M - Too carbonated and foamy but not bad, lots of bitter roast and hops, just not very enjoyable to consume.

O - There's a dense and hopped up (and seemingly good) stout under all that acrid roast overload. The uber-foam and slight metal take away from it as well but honestly aren't too annoying, but the roast level is way too high. Has potential but this bottle had issues.

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Tsar from Buxton Brewery
Beer rating: 80.8% out of 100 with 73 ratings
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