Tsar | Buxton Brewery

very good
26 Reviews
no score
Send samples

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 70
Reviews by beholder_pl:
Photo of beholder_pl
4.73/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: pitch black with a thick tan, long-lasting head. Awesome lacing.

Aroma: dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee and roastiness. Not very intense, but really good, just the way it should smell.

Taste: first comes the intense roastiness, followed by dark chocolate and coffee. Some delicate notes of cocoa in the back. Bitterness is medium. Alcohol is hidden very well, almost untraceable. Some small hints in the aftertaste, but that's because I drank this beer in room temperature. Pretty warming.

Mouthfeel: thick, oily, full bodied, soft carbonation. Superb.

Overall: maybe not mindblowing, but almost perfect russian imperial stout. Plus the name Tsar makes this beer even better. Really, this is probably the best way to name a beer in this style.

Enjoyed in a teku glass.

 783 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of alarmclock314
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
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 Marius
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 330ml bottle with a BB of March 2014. Acquired ages ago from Trembling Madness in York and stored in my garage. I keep hearing that Tsar is amazing stuff - time to put that claim to the test!

Poured into a Delirium chalice. Bottle conditioned. A very dark brown hue that appears ultra-black in the glass. Produces a decent head of creamy brown foam with a fine texture; this subsides after a few minutes to leave a patchy surface layer. The aroma is a heady experience - rich roasted malt with notes of burnt grain, coffee, cocoa, molasses/brown sugar, faint vanilla, pine, stewed hops and earthy yeast. A warming whiff of booze in the background. Superb!

Tastes of exceptional roasted malt with a deep, hoppy character and a huge bitter finish. Notes of burnt grain, roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, molasses, brown sugar, a hint of vanilla, faint smoke, pine resin, stewed hops and earthy yeast. Well-attenuated, accompanied by a warming hint of alcohol in the background. An ardent bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with light carbonation and a touch of spiciness. Good body, though could be a shade thicker. Highly astringent, followed by an aftertaste of bitter roasted malt, piny hops and earthy yeast.

Amazing - an amplified taste sensation. It looks the part, while the aroma and flavour are towering tributes to dark malt and aromatic hops. The body is good, though enhanced thickness might have done the strength more justice. The powerful malt/hop combo reminds me of Flying Dog's Gonzo. Fantastic - a future classic. Add this to your must-try list.

 1,592 characters

Photo of djcreepshow
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of azkkr
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SamuelR
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of aztraz
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of russpowell
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours mahogany with a pinky of tan head. Great lacing & good head retention

S: Smokeyness, bubblegum

T: Dark fruit, hints of bubble gum, a touch of booze & oaky dryness up front & leafy hops up front. Carob, oaky dryness & vinous flavors as this warms, a bit of leather & dates too, some chicory as well, some dark chocolate & charred grain breaks through, along with booze bite. Finishes dry, fruitty, with some strong smokey notes

MF: Chewy, fairly lively carbonation, warming

A decent RIS, glad I got to try it

 518 characters

Photo of Bung
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. picked from the Greenville Beer Exchange. A fairly viscous looking black pour, just a few dark tan bubbles.

Aroma, roast malt, anise and some resiny hops. Dark chocolate as well.

Taste, heavy roast, malt and a little coffee. Anise and pine kick bitter through. Coffee, cocoa some more herbal bitter. Pretty nice.

To the right of mid bodied. More carbonation than would appear. Coats well, drinks well, no abv. presence.
Quite solid.

 444 characters

Photo of Samp01
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black with no head. Aroma is of dark fruit, plums, black figs, with liquorice notes, some dark cacao notes as well. Taste same as aroma with mild bitterness. A full bodied, rich and thick mouth feel, smooth and mildly sticky on the palate with good carbonation. Finishes with a full flavored dark fruit, dries plums and figs, raisins, a bit of sweet bitter chocolate and a mild bitter liquorice flavor on the end for balance. Overall a very good full flavored and tasty brew.

 489 characters

Photo of liquorpig
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of smakawhat
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Big thick rocky, and foamy tan head. Thick creamy top of three fingers even on a slow pour coming out, voluminous and ballon forming. Classic opaque and dark walnut brown out of the bottle.

Classic aromas of bitter fruit peel. Hints of lime zest and dark roasted malted coffee. Fruited coffee bean flavors and hints of cherry and red wine grape. Husky and big thick sensation with light fruited brandy notes minus the sweetness and boozy quality. Mild sense of dark bakers chocolate to match. Excellent bouquet.

Palate performs nice and simply. Roasted grains and chocolate angle does bring the bitter bakers quality. Fruit component follows on the swallow, in a carbon coffee sensing way. Real unexpected tight carbonation that hits an impressive and very unexpected fresh cracked black peppery quality in the mid palate, nice and explosive. Almost a creamy mouthfeel but not quite, giving to basic but malt backbone that doesn't get in the way of the palates flavors. Controlled roast and hop bitterness, going to lime, astringency, and woody grain.

A real neat and solid Russian Imperial.

 1,151 characters

Photo of Boldenglishale
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled September 1st 2014. Lots of carbonation on this one, don't pour too aggressive. Taste: Lots of dark chocolate, mocha coffee, mild dark fruit notes ending with more dark chocolate bitterness on the tongue. A very nice English RIS. Yum! I wish i had several bottles. :(

 275 characters

Photo of BrazilianAussie
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured like motor oil with a thin dark tan head that quickly died down, leaving a collar of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark malts and licorice are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of licorice along with notes of dark and roasted malts.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The aging of the beer might have lended it a little flat but it is not too difficult to drink considering the strength.

 574 characters

Photo of hdtrice
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jmaharaj
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours thick and black with a tan head that streaks the glass. Smells big, but a little muddled. Molasses seems to dominate, above layers of spent coffee grinds a some spicy hops. Taste is similar. big and bold, but not distinctive. All the elements are there but they haven't come together perfectly. They hit the tongue at once and almost instantly a sharp hop bitterness cleans it all out. There is a little warmth from the alcohol. There may be something about this beer that feels a little artificial. Mouthfeel is good. Not as thick as expected but it rolls over the tongue with some weight. Overall pretty good, and not ridiculously priced, but not a standout Russian imperial stout.

 689 characters

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of pin
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of killcore
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ludachris
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Its body is as black as the label on its bottle. The head that forms on top is massive. It's meringue-like and frothy and looks like a dessert inits rich shade of khaki. Its level of retention is something worth noting. Thick and chunky patches of lace glue themselves to the sides of the glass. Very few beers look better to me than bottle conditioned RISs. What a beauty.

Hefty loaves of pumpernickel and rye have gooey notes of raisins and dates smothered over them. A rich roastiness and stripe of alcohol buttress this hefty stout. Dark chocolate brownies come as an afterthought. Lively and juicy blackberries are tossed in all of the above and make for an intriguing center.

The alcohol comes in quick and zippy. There's much more of a hop presence, coming in green and leafy. The melange of berries and dark fruit settle on the middle of the tongue. Spiked roasty coffee coats the sides of the palate.

The body is full and rich with a soft creaminess. Not at all slick or oily. The finish is dry with still enough body to chew on.

Overall, a fantastic rendition of the style. It's a bubba in every aspect but never comes across as overwhelming. Its high ABV doesn't weigh it down and the flavor and all its complexities make it a treat to drink. Well worth a try.

 1,279 characters

Photo of kinmundy77
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Tsar from Buxton Brewery
3.88 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.