Island Reserve: Russian Imperial Stout | Cisco Brewers Inc.

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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by codsmith on 02-25-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
43
Ratings:
131
Avg:
3.39
pDev:
31.86%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
31
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 131
Photo of ryan1788a5
1.69/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

750ml bottle poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours black with a creamy tan head. Decent retention, broken webs of lacing.

S: Chocolate cookies, sugar cookies, vanilla bean, creamed coffee, nutty and woody scents, and cherry and plum darkfruit. Citric and herbal hop scents. Plastic and band-aid. This doesn't smell right.

T: Roasted tastes get acrid and smokey, a hit of citrus from the hops, powdery chocolate and some darkfruit, but there's also that horrible plasticy taste that overshadows it all. Very hot and boozy too. Rubbing alcohol, even. Something is very off with this beer.

M: Full and creamy mouthfeel. Smooth enough. Low carbonation. Mouthfeel is good.

O: I don't know what went wrong, but there is something very off with this beer. Tastes like lots of phenols. I'd be inclined to guess too high a fermentation temperature, or maybe sanitizer in the beer. Not sure what happened here, but this should not have been allowed out of the brewery.

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.12/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a tulip. This one pours black with a finger of short lived dark mocha head.

The aroma is kind of a mess on this one. Pretty hoppy with a little bit of a vinous with salty black olives lingering in the background. Has a bit of a leathery and roasted malt aroma but there's something off here. Boozy as all hell with small notes of chocolate. Not really to bad but certainly not especially good. A bit of a rubber flavor here.

Hot and full on the feel with soft carbonation. Overall this is just bad. No real redeeming qualities.

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Photo of ThickNStout
2.17/5  rDev -36%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

750mL bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 12.25. No discernable bottling date. Served in a Burnt Hickory snifter.

Pours a deep, near-black brown with a nice finger and a half of mocha hued head. The foam lingers for a while before settling to a thin layer that actually laces pretty well for such a high alcohol brew.

Smell of cocoa powder, light licorice and sweetish dark fruit.

The first flavor I get is a big blast of bitter, semi sweet cherry skins followed by char, imitation dark bakers chocolate, pine bark, burnt cheap coffee, old marshmallow, bittering hops, licorice, moderate booze and a strange unpleasant vegetal astringency. What an ugly nasty mess of disjointed layers.

Oily, dense, medium heavy body with light carbonation. Bitter, caustic cocoa and fruit skin aftertaste.

Wow. This is one of the worst, overpriced calamities of a beer that I've ever had the misfortune of trying. Unlike so many of my favorite high abv stouts this one seemed to get progressively worse as it warmed. A real shame that I paid so much for something I could only stomach for about 8 ounces before drain pouring the rest of the bottle. Stay away. Seriously.

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Photo of korguy123
2.39/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into snifter, no freshness date. Purchased 07/07/12

A- Opaque black pour with brown around the edges. Finger width dark tan head, lacing is decent.

S- Dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee and a healthy dose of alcohol. The alcohol kind of muffles everything else. There is some brown sugar and molasses.

T- Booze up front, dark roasted coffee, burnt toast and a slight medicinal taste.

M- Slightly thin, lively carbonation, sticky on the lips.

O- Wow this thing is a mess from sip one. The booze in this really just overpowers everything. I've had 19+% beers that you don't taste the alcohol, this one tastes as it is a 30% abv and only 13.5... I've never had anything from these guys before (or heard of them) but I'll give anyone a chance, especially a RIS but this is a train wreck.

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Photo of TheBeerologist
2.46/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750 mL into a CBS snifter

Dark brown translucent pour with a thin tan head. No lacing,

At first I smell strong alcohol presence with a subtle backing of roasted malt and molasses.

Tastes like it smells - hot, and not much flavor behind the alcohol

For a RIS the mouthfeel is fairly thin, though well carbonated. Kinda watery.

Overall nothing I will pickup again or recommend - many other RIS's available at the price point ($11) that are much more worth it.

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Photo of andrewinski1
2.52/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured into a tulip. The color is black with a nice creamy tan head.

The aroma is very hoppy. There seems to be a bit of olive in the aroma as well. This doesn't smell quite right, though I will still venture a taste.

The taste is bitter and alcoholic. I love hoppy stouts, but the malt profile doesn't hold up to the bitterness. The finish is off-putting. The taste doesn't deliver typical chocolate or coffee notes of a stout; perhaps the flavors are muted.

The mouthfeel is creamy, not quite heavy bodied.

I don't know anything about this beer except it's a RIS. This doesn't really come together. I'm not sure if it's a little green or what. Pass.

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Photo of ms11781
2.62/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep, opaque brown color with a thick, dense tannish brown head. Great, thick rings of foam are left on the glass with each sip, especially if some time elapses between sips. Really excellent head retention with great lacing.

The nose is pretty subdued when chilled and definitely doesn't get better as it warms. Some nice roast is present when chilled with light chocolate and perhaps a touch of coffee. There is some dark fruit here but it's a bit off, something I can't quite put my finger on. When the beer warms the roast lightens up a bit, the chocolate and coffee become almost non-existent and the fruity notes get stronger. A substantial amount of alcohol is present when the beer warms.

The taste is muddled when the beer is chilled and even more so when it warms. There is a touch of roast with some light chocolate and the odd fruit notes up when chilled but a good amount of alcohol is present and it takes over as it warms. It's a bit odd because the alcohol isn't really harsh nor does it have the warming affect that some higher ABV beers have.

The mouthfeel is thin and the carbonation, while low, is a bit prickly on the tongue. The carbonation probably helps the beer feel as thin as it does.

Overall this was an odd beer for me. It looks fantastic but things head downhill from there. The body is thin, the nose is a bit weak and the fruit and alcohol tastes are off. The fruit almost wants to be tart but it never quite gets there. It's not the normal dark fruit expected from an imperial stout. The alcohol is odd as well. It's not harsh and doesn't have the burn, it just seems to be "there". It really just seems like a beer with no definition, nothing that makes it stand out.

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Photo of SawDog505
2.74/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a 20 oz Duvel tulip. Pours a slick black with a huge 4 inch head, with thick lacing left behind. Smell is huge pungent hops, some roasted nuts, roasted garlic, and some mocha. Taste is all of that, not what I expect from a stout the horror. The body is big, plenty of life, not overly dry, and so over the top drinkability is kind of low. The biggest problem with this brew is the nose and flavors are so uninviting. I love HUGE STOUTS, but the flavors here are so wrong.

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Photo of zaphodchak
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 2011 I think.

Thin fine tan head. Dark opaque brown body.

Nose has some booze and a trace of hops.

Taste is mostly of grassy, medicinal hops. Like hop cough syrup. I let this one sit for a while but it hasn't calmed down. Kinda disappointing.

Mouthfeel is generic as well.

This was neither worth the money nor the cellar space. Glad I opened it rather than face disappointment later, but maybe it would get better with time.

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Photo of Juuroumaru
3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A- Pours black with a nice 1 1/2-2 in tan head and a lot of particulates/sediment collecting at the bottom (small to large). head starts to dissipate at around 90s and leaves a nice lacing around the rim of the glass.

S- A nice chocolaty malt comes through and that's about all i pick up.

T- slight chocolate with a smooth roastyness with a very slight bitter after taste almost like eating very high % Cacao chocolate

M- Coats the mouth nicely with a medium body, not to strong up front or on the back end.

O- i really enjoyed this beer even tho i found it lacking in a few places. For the price im not sure if i would pick it up again considering there are so many great stouts out there for less. i give it a B+

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.05/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of OleSkeen
3.13/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2014 cellar pull. Flavor of chocolate and plum. Really thin for an RIS. Really boozy, should have pulled 6 months ago or sooner...My first and last Cisco beer. Definitely wasn't worth the $14.99. Damn Rhode Islanders....

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Photo of montrealbcr89
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown with a 2 finger mocha-colored head with very tight, creamy bubbles.

S: Did not expect this. The nose is almost straight hops with some alcohol. Smells almost like a black IPA. Only after REALLY getting my nose in there did I detect some chocolate or roastiness. Certainly not what I would expect for a 13% RIS.

T: Immediately hit with some hops. And then...sourness? Im confused. It doesn't taste "bad" but I am a SLIGHT chocolatiness up front, and then it moves to some sourness towards this middle (with a slight metallic taste) and finishes with a mild coffee flavor.

M: Less than medium. I like the fact that it is not overwhelmingly carbonated (that is what really kills an RIS for me), but its is too thin for the style.

O: Strange. It's not necessarily a "bad" beer, but does not fit the style. All the core components of an RIS are almost nowhere to be found. And the sour/metal notes are confusing me further.

I wouldn't pick this up again, but it was interesting to review. Really threw me for a loop!

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Photo of NEhophead
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. On their website it says it's one of their styles currently being "toyed" with, not exactly sure what that means. Poured into CCB snifter.

A- Pours a dark black with about a quarter finger of creamy mocha brown head with good retention. Definitely a little bit above average carbonation for a stout. Not too much lacing.

S- Dark fruits- figs, a little bit of plum; cocoa, definitely a bit hoppy for a RIS, a little bit of espresso, roasted malts, almonds, vanilla, some booze.

T- Cocoa, lightly roasted almonds, some citrus hops, some faint figs + plum (not as strong as in the aroma), some light booze. Different tastes balance fairly well, however not one of my favorite tastes for a RIS. A bit bitter on the finish, lightly sweet + boozey aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, a little bit creamy, slightly syupy, a little bit above average carbonation. A little bit of an alcoholic burn, but not bad at all considering it's abv.

O- This imperial wasn't bad, however it was far from being my favorite. Like the quote on their website, I think they are still trying to improve this one. They should definitely try bringing down the booze a little bit, 13.5% is a little bit too high for this one. They could make it a little bit sweeter, tone down the hops, and make it a little bit less bitter. Overall not a terrible start, but definitely room for improvement. I suggest waiting for later batches on this one, although at $10 it's not terrible.

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Photo of jlindros
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of deg
3.46/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Pitch black with a one-finger tan head
S: Roasted malts, chocolate, plum, a hint of alcohol
T: Plum, dark malt, chocolate and a big dose of alcohol
M: Full-bodied, fairly boozy
O: Not bad though the alcohol is too high. Reminds me more of a barleywine than RIS. Crank the malt up and abv down and it would be pretty decent

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Photo of silentjay
3.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bought this a couple weeks ago. properly cellared it. chilled it for a few minutes in the fridge before I opened it so it was just below cellar temp. before I got to pour it, a couple minutes or so, I look over to see it bubbled over and beer all over the table. Not an extreme gusher, but a slow, steady one.

It pours an opaque dark brown/black with a huge mocha head made of huge bubbles that quickly pop to leave a spattering of foam and some decent lacing after I finish cleaning the table.

aroma is better, cocoa, molasses, brown sugar, roasted malts with a huge amount of piney, woody, herbal and floral hops.

flavor falls back from that, providing chewing tobacco, chocolate, cacao, molasses, woody/earthy/piney hops. thats about it.

very thin for the style with a carbonation that is harsh at first and then nonexistent on the swallow. kind of odd.

well, its drinkable, and I'll probably finish the bottle, but I wouldn't but it again, and I'm glad I only bought the one and didn't send this out to anyone in trades. It has potential, just needs some (lots) of refining. so far the Island Reserve series has failed to impress me.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle shared my wife after it sat in the cellar for 6 months or so. Poured jet black with a huge khaki colored head of excellent retention; tons of sticky lace clinging to the glass. Aroma is roasty; bitter chocolate and some surprisingly hoppy notes, floral and a bit piney, emerge over a lingering whiff of fusel alcohol.

The flavor is moderately sweet, moderately roasted, but aggressively bitter and hoppy, again with pine and floral notes that come to dominate the taste. Booze is present but not obnoxious. This tastes almost like a super-charged India Black Ale with a big body. Caught off guard by this unexpected twist, especially as the bottle’s been sitting for a while.

Medium full bodied, with moderate carbonation and a decent amount of smoothness. I guess I liked this ok; certainly more the BA community seemed to, but it wasn’t something I’d need to have again. The booziness was a little unpleasant and the hoppiness was just a bit too much in a stout, at least for my tastes. Interesting though, and not terrible by any means.

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Photo of socon67
3.69/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had at the Cisco event aboard the Ligthship Nantucket at Hudson River Pier

A - Black pour with a high cola colored foam. Lacing is not too pronounced; half moons of sticky lace on the glass.

S - Scents of cocoa and roasted malt. Has a lingering boozy smell and some smoky qualities as it warmed.

T - A chocolate malt bomb. Perhpas a tad too sweet. There is a slight warming burn in the finish.

M - Pretty much was a one and done for me. The high ABV and sweetness made this sipper. This is a beer people can satisfy a sweet tooth, and then feel sick afterwards.

O - A pretty good dessert beer, but maybe the malt was a bit too sweet and too heavy. Overall fun but really a nondescript RIS.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pitch black with nearly zero head. Barely any lacing too.

S-Big and bold. Booze emanates. Nose isn't exceptionally aromatic. Coffee/chocolate of course. Also get a decent amount of dried dark fruit (nearly Belgian-esque)

T-Again, the flavor is not as overwhelming as it should be. The booze stands out just as much as any of the flavors. Its not exceptionally roasty. I get way more dried dark fruit than roast. It reminds me of a Belgian Imperial Stout. Chocolatey and plummy but not supremely roasty.

M-Big and boozy but the body is somehow thin.

O/D-They either messed this up or they wanted to carve out their own niche here. I was shocked to find out this was nearly 14%. Its thin and lacks flavor yet its uniqueness is oddly addictive. Definitely the most curious pint I had tonight.

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Island Reserve: Russian Imperial Stout from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.39 out of 5 based on 131 ratings.
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