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Island Reserve: Russian Imperial Stout | Cisco Brewers Inc.

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Island Reserve: Russian Imperial StoutIsland Reserve: Russian Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
3.44/5
Okay
132 Ratings
Island Reserve: Russian Imperial StoutIsland Reserve: Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States
ciscobrewers.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#41,570
Reviews:
43
Ratings:
132
pDev:
18.02%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
28
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 132 |  Reviews: 43
Reviews by EgadBananas:
Photo of EgadBananas
3.75/5  rDev +9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of jdhilt
3.86/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a four finger tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and heavy bodied. Light piney nose and flavor is baked chocolate, some molasses and piney hops. Very high (13%) ABV is hidden. Lingering piney hop aftertaste. Not enough malts for a RIS. Pricey at $11.70 for a 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, ME.

 373 characters

Photo of jjboesen
3.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of NEhophead
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

25.4 fl oz brown bottle served in a tulip.

Syrupy oak with shades of dark maple. Light coffee colored head that recedes to pools of bubbles and thin intact sheet.

Rich, sweet milk chocolate aroma with a cutting bourbon-like alcohol character. The alcohol component is aided by a tart cherry.

It's a bit strange for the style, but the initial flavors of this Imperial Stout are more fruity than rich. Tart cherry, orange peel, and other lighter citrus qualities. Once the sharpness of the tart fruit subside, a bulky alcohol component, reminiscent of straight vodka, takes over and runs wild. Very mild coffee and milk chocolate tones don't stand a chance against the acidic, slick alcohol character.

Medium bodied. Incredibly slick from start to finish. The texture is just not on target for the style.

In all honesty, it's just tough to get past the acidic, intense alcohol character. Maybe this one would benefit by laying it down for a few years or maybe this is what this beer is.

 990 characters

Photo of deg
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured the beer into a pint glass. The beer is very dark. The head is coffee with cream colored. I can smell something, but I'm not sure what. I got cherries on my initial taste. The beer is fruity in initial taste, I can't taste much malt or roastiness. The roasted flavors come out in the aftertaste. I notice an alcohol burn.

 330 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque black body beneath the thin, yet sticky mocha head that quickly dissolves yet leaves a sticky lacing to coat the glass throughout the beer.

The aroma is roasted and boozy with hints of sweet chocolate and I believe some light woodnotes, perhaps some hop presence. As it warms the chocolate steps forward as well as some dark fruit.

The flavor is also heavily roasted with just hints of chocolate, a boozy bite and perhaps just a touch of woody notes similar to the aroma.

A fairly robust body with medium carbonation and a potent, yet warming boozy finish.

A decent example of the style with some pleasant characteristics but perhaps a bit much on the alcohol.

 681 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.05/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I've been sitting on this bottle for more than six months, easy. Had to crack this bad boy open after taking down the Christmas lights. This is the day before temps get UP to 15 degrees in the chi-town area.

Poured into my Lunar Brewing co. Neil Armstrong snifter.

Oil slick black with a medium brown head of maybe one finger. There's a residual ring of foam that thins out more and more with each sip.

Roasted bread crust, coffee beans, with a viney and warm alcoholic warmth. Perhaps, not the aroma I anticipated, but still pretty good.

As this beer warms, the palate gets thinner, and the abv. content becomes more and more domineering. I still get strong roasted malt flavors, still lots of coffee and dark cocoa. There's still a slightly sour, viney finish, along with the alcohol. Palate is a watery oil mix.

This RIS isn't "bad" per-se, but this something i would not reccommend to someone, or buy again. Glad I tried it though.

 942 characters

Photo of skullsplitter
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In a tulip this beer was a very dark brown, nearly black, color. It had a tan head that left a little bit of lace.

Roasted malt aroma, chocolate and coffee. It wasn't very sweet. Alcohol was noticeable.

Bittersweet chocolate taste. Espresso. I thought there was a bit of charcoal in the taste. And don't forget the alcohol.

This beer was a big mouthful. Nice enough, but not something I would want to drink often.

 416 characters

Photo of Latarnik
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with some hints of chocolate.
T: There are strong flavors of dark roasted malts in the taste along with notes of burnt malts. There are some hints of citrus from the hops in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: For a beer that is 13.5% abv, the alcohol is very well hidden from the taste.

 628 characters

Photo of vande
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of johnnnniee
3.79/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Jaspers, thanks for the Gift Certificate Mike.
Pours a solid black with a huge creamy tan head that persists forever and sticks to everything. Huge hoppy nose of pine resin and citrus with a solid roasty smokey sweet malty base. Mild papery oxidation on the nose as well. Sweet sugary malt flavor with bits of roast and dark chocolate. Plum and anise midway through before a sweet molasses and chocolate with a twinge of alcohol finishes us off. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet creamy silky mouthfeel. Nice imperial stout.

 569 characters

Photo of mltobin
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev +9%

Photo of kaelingirl
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of kell50
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of jlindros
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After the top pops out slowly rises up in the bottle and starts to bubble over, then pours a huge fluffy 2+ finger darker mocha colored head that fades at a med pace with messy lacing, pitch black beer.

Nose is loaded with hops, pine, earthy, spicy, and a bit resinous fresh hops, smells like a big ban of hop pellets. Some dark malts behind that, hints of mocha, caramel, roast, hint of coffee, and a touch of toasted malt.

Taste starts with more malts, chocolate, powdered dry cocoa, carafa and dark malts, a bit of roast and almost acrid burnt roast, coffee, plenty of caramel. Then hops kick in big time, earthy spicy hops, pine, slight resin, starts to hey slightly astringent, a big pine kick. A creamy chocolate milk like taste cuts through the middle, with a hint of vanilla. I can feel some of the tingling booze leaching into my tongue and into my blood stream before I even drink it. Finish is, some stout flavors and dark malts, plenty more lingering hops and bitterness, and a bit more burnt acrid roast.

Mouth is a bit bigger bodied, decent carb, some warning and tingly tongue spicing booze.

Overall not bad, way too much on the hops, this is a russian imperial stout, not a black ipa but drinks much more like black ale. Malts are to light in comparison. Not very drinkable either with the heavy crazy hops and booze.

 1,337 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.72/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color, very large head, in fact, be careful since it very well could overflow like it did with mine, fades at a slow rate and leaves some good lacing on the glass.

Smell is a bit of a surprise, huge aroma of piney hops, based on aroma alone I'd say it would have been an Black IPA, roasted malt and cocoa does make an appearance behind the strong pine forefront.

Taste starts out with the piney hop flavor which is quickly balanced by the roasted malt, a burnt coffee-like presence makes itself known in the aftertaste, body is thin for a stout with high carbonation, the strength is very well hidden though and I would not have thought this to be anywhere near 13.5%.

A bit torn, drinks more like a Black IPA than a RIS. As a RIS it fails, as something else it's quite good.

 797 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a quarter finger tall dark tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a small thick patch and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted malts, possibly a little burnt. Lighter aromas of dark fruits and chocolate. Maybe just the slightest hints of licorice.

T: Very similar to the smell but possibly even a little more intense. There is a strong flavor of the dark roasted/slightly burnt malts along with dark fruits, chocolate, and licorice. Additionally there is the slightest (barely present) hint of citrus hops at the very end of the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and slightly sticky with a light amount of alcohol heat in the finish.

O: Alcohol is very well hidden in both the smell and the taste making this beer pretty easy to drink - though at 13.5% it is most definitely a sipping beer. Nice amount of complexity, possibly a little sweeter than I expected for the style, but very enjoyable.

 1,192 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.79/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of foamy, tan-colored head that lasted an average amount of time. Pretty good lacing.

S: An okay aroma of coffee, malt, and dark fruit.

T: Tasted of a hood amount of coffee, plum, raisin, roasted malt, and a hint of licorice. A big, forceful flavor that doesn't quite pay off; it has its good points, but it wasn't pushed far enough. Not bad, though.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

O: This is another beer with some very good characteristics, but it never quite pushes as far as it should (an RIS should be powerful in all respects). Worth a try, though.

 690 characters

Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of Proteus93
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is one of those beers that I just pick up on a whim and take home. It's also the last beer before a one month sabbatical. Hopefully it is worthy!

A: Pours black as stouts will, topped with a pretty intense brown head that takes a while to recede. Sparkling, rich, with big bubble bursts to release the aromas.

S + T: A surprising note of hops on the nose... some sweet and semi-burnt malt notes, but the big, piney scent is taking it. If I were to close my eyes and blind sniff this beer, I might suspect that it is a Black IPA. The flavour has a similarly unusual quality of citrus, some modest chocolate, and earthy, herbal spiciness. It's not really what I would think of an imperial stout as being.

M + D: Quite thin, as far as stouts go. It's not a terrible beer--not a drain pour--but it's definitely NOT what I would think of a Russian Imperial Stout as being. So... while it might not be a terrible tasting beer, I don't really see myself going back.

 968 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of SLeffler27
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black, very black, in a Dogfish Head snifter. A ring of fine dark foam forms a hazy layer above this viscous and syrupy Stout.

Strong roasted coffee and roasted chocolate dominate simply in this well-done aroma profile.

The flavor is almost exclusively malt with slight malt bitterness and trailing candy sugar. Semi-sweet chocolate combines with light wood notes in the middle, while modest sweetness fills out a short finish. Warmth develops these characteristics exceptionally well, while nonetheless mellowing and focusing the chocolate syrup flavors.

A dense, syrupy body with warming, yet controlled, alcohol for 13.5% abv.

This is a good sipper, perhaps best after dinner or with moist chocolate cake. While a bit too sweet for the style, it is still highly enjoyable.

 779 characters

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Island Reserve: Russian Imperial Stout from Cisco Brewers Inc.
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 132 ratings