Empire Imperial Stout | Cutters Brewing Company

very good
19 Reviews
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Empire Imperial StoutEmpire Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Cutters Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jmarsh123 on 10-06-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 76
Photo of Bisco42
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Actually changing my review of this entirely.

I purchased this over a year ago because they were $3.99 for 4. Naturally, I bought a case. Regardless, several of the 4 packs went into the cellar because initially they weren't all that great. Overly alcoholic and bitter, sweet and hoppy. I've recently revisited them after having one 6 months ago that was a bit better and now, they are phenomenal. It is billed as an American Imperial but it has so many qualities of a Russian. If the year old cellared version of this beer was readily available I would make this my staple. Can stack up with the best of them, seriously.

Buy this beer, enjoy one fresh, then wait about 8-12 months and enjoy the shit out of them. Cutter is onto something here!

Turn it into a Russian and maybe add a bourbon barrel version and this could be something fantastic.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cutters just announced that they were closing down their operation immediately and I still hadn't tried this beer from them. I had to scourer liquor stores looking for the last of this Imperial Stout.

A - Pours very dark brown and settles into a clear black color. Mild tan colored head with light lacing.

S - First aroma I get is from the molasses. I've brewed several beers with it and molasses gives stouts this signature smell that I enjoy. The strong roasty aroma is also there with chocolate and some coffee. There is also an alcohol smell but seems to blend into the fermented molasses aromas.

T - Initially has the roasted malt character from the smell first. The secondary flavors are the molasses, dark chocolate, and dark roasted coffee flavors blended together. It has some subtle complexities with some acrid bitterness to let you know it is a stout and not a sweeter porter.

M - Full mouth-feel. Light carbonation. The flavors only linger for little while and the bitterness and the ABV quench the sweetness. A little more carbonation would be helpful but the beer isn't the thickest so it isn't bad.

Overall, this is a very good imperial stout. This is not the best RIS I've had but it does have that more novel molasses flavor that I really enjoyed. I am surprised that the brewery couldn't keep it up so I bid this beer a good bye and I hope that next time you try a stout homebrew to add some molasses to the end of the boil to get that signature flavor.

Glass- Snifter

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

4 oz pour at tasting from a growler

A- Deep black holding all the light and goodness inside
S- Coco, vanilla, molassas, wood
T- WOW. This is on par with some well distributed and well reguarded Imperial Stouts. Coco and vanilla ice cream.
M- Silky smooth. Just like I like my stouts!

O- Hugely impressed with this offering from Cutters. I drank a bottle of Clown Shoes Undead Party Crasher a few days ago and Cutters edges that out. Very solid brew!

Updated review. Bought a 4 pack of bottles and was hugely disappointed. Tasted of burnt malt. Bitter and strange.

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Photo of emerge077
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Howard for this one!
Quick review from notes.

Brownish black body, fluffy tan foam forms a substantial head that lasts for a few minutes. Spotty lace around the edges.

Woody tobacco and trace bourbon in the aroma.

Taste is similarly woody with a considerable whiskey booziness, some bitter roast malt there underneath. Feel is somewhat astringent, not overly harsh but it's not subtle. Fairly rich, bitter, woody, and dry in the aftertaste with some residual char. Overall it was alright though I wonder if something went wrong here.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is my first time ever picking up anything from Cutters Brewing; I’ve had their Scottish ale, but that was shared from some cool guy’s growler. Pretty tasty. This brewery’s about 10 minutes or so from my house, so here’s hoping this one’s good – I’d certainly welcome fresh, delicious beer within short driving distance.

A: Mirrored black body with almost no head; what’s there looks like soda fizz, light brown and dissipating quickly. A quick twirl of the glass brings up a bit of soft beige foam and leaves some globs of lacing, though.

S: The rich, gooey aroma of brownie batter and molasses is the centerpiece – dark and authentic, the chocolate here has a depth that’s simply intoxicating. Toasted coconut and warm, oaky booze come out as it warms, though, stopping this nose just short of pure residual sugariness.

T: A bold palate that’s packing a lot of complexity. Immediate tastes are a soft combination of sweets, the vanilla ice cream, caramel, and chocolate fudge of the profile, along with a tangible raisin and molasses tone. The dark fruit hints at a transition to an earthy, bitter back end, slowly tightening the palate with tastes of bittersweet cocoa, tangy sassafras, mellow bourbon, and a small amount of char. It peaks with a hoppy pine bitterness that I’d expect would be quite oily if the dark malt tastes weren’t in the way. The aftertaste is just that: moderately dry, with hop resins more brisk and sustained than expected.

M: Limited carbonation and a silky body make this go down a bit like the molasses it’s sporting – or maybe that’s a consequence of adding that stuff to your beer. I guess I should clarify that that’s actually a good thing, as it means this beer has a drinkable heft to it.

O: I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, but I paid way too much for it: upwards of $5 for a 12-oz. bottle. At that price, I’d be hard-pressed to find a reason to pick it up again; however, it did pique my interest in Avon’s own Cutters Brewing. Hopefully I’ll be sampling more of their offerings sometime soon.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

a - poured a one finger thick creamy, coffee-colored head into a snifter that settled to a thin ring.
s - dark fruits and syrupy sweetness.
t - dark fruits and molasses.
m - creamy and medium.
o - not a huge fan of this beer. the fruit and molasses don't meld well here and there was something else going on that i couldn't quite put my finger on.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: dense black body with some dark brown highlights around the edges. Head is a finger of creamy tan foam with a nice lace left on the glass as it dissipates. Attractive!

Smell: rich, malty aroma with hints of dates and a bit of chocolate. I feel like it is a little low in intensity, but the composition, while not especially complex for the style, really appeals to me. Quite dessert-ey.

Taste: roasty up-front with a pretty mild flavor profile, considering its alcoholic strength. It is smooth and rested, and not hot at all, which I really like. Some of that nice date character remains, and it finishes a little bit sharp, but overall it's quite sweet and mild. I think it has a great flavor composition, but I would love a little more oomph.

Mouthfeel: hugely rich body with a good level of carbonation and a super silky smooth creaminess. I love it!

Overall: this is a good beer; one which is especially smooth for its ABV. It's not strongly flavored for the style, but it is so well-rounded, balanced and clean that this can be overlooked.

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Photo of roger617
2.86/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle poured into tulip

A: 3.5 Even with a vigorous pour, there was a fine line of tan colored head that did not last for over a minute. Color is deep black as expected, painting the edges of the glass.
S: 3.0 There is a lot of roast, molasses, and coffee going on here. It's noted on the bottle as being brewed with molasses.
T: 2.5 I detect a mildly sweet front, with a roast coffe after taste. The molasses is evident, as is a defined roast flavor. The lingering after taste leaves a lot to be desired - all that's left after a few seconds is the roast, makes me feel like I just chewed on a burnt piece chicken.
M: 3.75 This is so silky smooth for the thickness. Carbonation level, despite the appearance is very fitting for the style and flavoring.
O: 2.75 Taste is my primary factor in overall, and this one does not hit my pallet well, nor does it match up to other beers in the same style. I think the addition of the molasses does more damage than good, and it seems like there was a heavy bill of roasted malt that could be backed down to take more of a background flavor.

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Photo of James_007
1.56/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

I am a beer lover regardless, especially a stout. When I opened the bottle and poured the beer into the glass, there appeared to be a white frothy foam that first came from the bottle. It dissipated quick, but made me wonder. The taste was that of molasses, coffee, and roasty kind of taste. Nothing that was satisfying to me at all. The mouth feel was that of a stout, but a little too thick. Smell was like I was smelling a cup of Joe, which I didn't find satisfying, I like drinking a stout beer that smells like roasted grain, a bit of lactose-like sweetness, a bit of coffee bean aroma, just enough to hit a really nice balance between sweet and roasty that a lot of stouts miss.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours very dark brown/black with maybe a half inch tan head that fizzled away quickly. However, there is a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted malt, molasses, espresso, and bittersweet chocolate. The taste is sweeter than I expected since the aroma was more roasty and bitter, it tastes like molasses, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, caramel, dark fruit and espresso. There's a slight roasty bitter coffee finish, but the sweet flavors linger around longer. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and creamy with low carbonation. I liked this brew a lot, I wouldn't mind picking up another bottle of this and also trying some of Cutters other brews at some point.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours syrupy black and leaves and very thick and creamy toffee colored ring, very sticky on the sides of the glass...this beer has some serious legs.

S - Expresso, molasses, dark roasted chocolate and light charcoal.

T - Follows the nose with sweet espresso and molasses dominating throughout, finishes with some char before giving way to a bitter dark roasted chocolate finish.

M - Thin medium body upfront with a really thick heavy bottom on the back end (hard to describe), velvet and viscous on the tongue with no carbonation at all. Lip smacking sticky and lightly syrupy.

O - A decent stout that feels more like a cask beer on the tongue and the $13.99 I paid for this bomber in Indiana is a little steep for what it is.

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Photo of tsauce2
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

P: 12 fl. oz. bottle in to a DFH tulip

A: SRM is dark brown/black. Nearly opaque. Head is tan, 1/2 in, dissipates to outsides of the glass. Medium/light carbonation. Medium lacing.

S: Very nice chocolate nose with some dark roast notes. Nose is just a little faint though.

T: Chocolately with dark roast and a touch of bitter chocolate and light char on the back end. Aftertaste is more dark roast/charcoal forward, in a very good way, with chocolate coming after.

M: Medium/thick viscosity. Initially the beer is a little light in body for a stout, but once it sits on the palate it gives a bigger feel.

O: A good beer overall. Very pricey for what it is though. That said, this beer is nicely balanced and the alcohol taste is almost non-existant, making this very easy to drink for the ABV, which is impressive. Would like to try the BA version. Probably will not buy this agian though given the price point. Hopefully this brewery can cut costs on this beer. If they could get this around the price point of Founders Imp Stout, I would by this again.

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours black with a thin tan head.

S: Dark chocolate, molasses, coffee, dark fruits, caramel, and some roastiness. Lots there.

T: Dark chocolate, roasty/bitter coffee, caramel, with a bit of hops. Just a bit of alcohol warmth on the finish.

M: Smooth and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation.

O: Very good beer, hides the alcohol well for the strength. I'd like to get a little more molasses in the taste, however. Great for a cold Indiana day.
I expected this to be overly sweet but it was surprisingly balanced, even a little bitter.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber courtesy of Khumbard.
Served in my Founders snifter.

Dark, thick, stouty. Deep tan head. Nice legs, but no lacing. Good retention.
Smells roasty and chocolatey. The flavor is much the same with a dry roasty character and a surprising amount of bitterness.

Feels pretty good. Medium-full body, good carbonation, oily feel.

VERY boozy finish. Like just way too much so. Especially as this warmed up.

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Photo of Treebs
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle served in a Deschute tulip. Big thanks to cpmichael for the share.

A: Pours a dark black with mocha colored head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin collar and leave some splotches of lace down the glass.

S: Roasted malts, bitter bakers chocolate, some oats and a little coffee bean fill the nose.

T: The taste matches the nose to a T. Nice combination of roasted malts, some oaty flavors, chocolate and coffee.

M: Medium to full bodied, medium carbonation with a dry roasty finish.

o: This was a very solid brew that I would love to revisit when my palate isn't full of Apple Brandy Zhukov, Brandy Barrel Dark Apparition, Hunahpu...you get the idea.

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Photo of khumbard
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Yogis. I've had this out of a bottle as well.

Pours thick and black with a tan sturdy head, as a big stout should. The nose is full of roast and chocolate, very nice. Taste is complex. Definitely on the bitter roasty side, but with a nice chocolatey sweet molasses quality. Finishes with lingering bitter chocolate. Mouthfeel is thick and coating with lower carbonation which works very nicely.

Overall I was very impressed with this imperial stout from Bloomington's newest tiny brewery. This could actually stand up to a lot of big name stouts. The only downfall is the high price tag at this point, but that aside... a very high quality beer that I will gladly have again if given the chance.

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Photo of ElizabethCraig
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Sahara Mart in a bomber, we brought this back and shared it with one of our fellow beer freaks, Jarrod =)

A dark black/brown brew with a light tan head - a very lovely chocolate-toasted scent. No alcohol 'nose' to this at all to my nasal-palate.

The taste. I'm such a major malt head, but I usually shy away from Imperial Stouts due to a usually very intense alcohol 'bite'. My cheese can bite me back, my sour beers can nip at my tongue, but I like my stouts less challenging.

If all Imperial stouts were like this one, I'd drink them more often. =) Beautiful rich milky mouth feel, bitter chocolate to a sweet oat afterglow. Lovely, and warming - without being over 'alcoholly' in the aftertaste.

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Photo of langm12
4.76/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a bottle on the recommendation of a store employee. Honestly not expecting much from the upstart Bloomington brewery. Boy was I wrong.

A - pours pitch black with a gorgeous one finger mocha head. Beautiful looking stout.

S - Chocolates, Molasses, and a hint of Coffee. Very subtle.

T - The nose betrays the taste. This beer is unbelievably complex. Huge chocolate and molasses flavors up front followed by dark fruits and roasted malts. A crisp hop finish helps mellow out the subtle coffee on the back end. A whole lot going on here. Mouth feel is delightful. Nice and thick. Not as boozy as I was expecting for a beer with a double digit ABV.

Without a doubt one of the best imperial stouts I've ever had. Not expecting this at all. Empire is not to be overlooked. This one can contend with the big boys.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with almost no head. A bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells heavily of chocolate with a little bit of sweetness from the molasses I'm presuming. Not a whole lot of complexity in the nose, but nothing bad here either.

Very thick and syrupy initial sweetness rounding into a profile heavily featuring roasty malts. Very chocolately throughout with a little bit of a coffee/roast finish along with a little bit of booze. Good balance between the roast and malt overall.

Nice and creamy. Carbonation level is a tad high for the style, but not a detriment. Medium-thick without being cloying. Alcohol burn is slightly present, but pretty well masked for the ABV.

I haven't especially liked anything from this brewery before, but I can say this is a very solid beer. Not world class, but a very good smooth and creamy stout I'd be happy to drink anytime I'm the mood for something heavier. The price point is a bit high for a new brewery trying to establish itself, but this a flagship beer so get these out to the masses.

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Empire Imperial Stout from Cutters Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 76 ratings.
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