Long, Dark Voyage To Uranus | Sawdust City Brewing Co.

very good
24 Reviews
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Long, Dark Voyage To UranusLong, Dark Voyage To Uranus

Brewed by:
Sawdust City Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jrenihan on 02-04-2012

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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 82
Photo of TheDoctor
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Can
Canned: Nov-24-2016

Pours a fairly viscous black
with a couple fingers of kind of airy tan head. Settles to a puffy collar with some lacing in its wake. (4)

Sweet malt roast, roast nuts on the street in NY, currants, coffee, dirt. (4)

Nutty with some roast accents and a berry-like sweetness in the middle. (4)

Slightly boozy, a little thin, medium carbonation, roasty linger. (3.75)

Nice version of the style, smooth roast and fruity character to off-set.
Dark with a ruddy-brown cap in the glass. It smells pretty berry-like and the flavor follows suit. There is some roastiness but it doesn't cross into harshness. The mouthfeel is too boozy and not rich enough for what I usually like in a big stout, but other than that this is an enjoyable beer.
Would definitely have again (despite the name/concept); worth your time. (4.25)

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Photo of leaddog
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

473ml can bottled on Nov 24, 2016 @ 9.5%.

Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate brown with two fingers of bubbly mocha head.

Smell - cocoa, roasted malts, coffee bean, caramel, and earthy and leafy hops.

Taste - Intense flavours of cocoa, coffee bean, and roasted malts upfront followed by the caramel and earthy and leafy hops. There is a pleasant charred characteristic to this beer.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Finishes velvety and chewy with the hops lingering. A warmness from the alcohol is present.

Overall - A beer that displays intense flavours. Each ingredient is not trying to overpower the other with all ingredients working together to make a cohesive and balanced brew. Another gem from the folks at Sawdust City.

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Photo of Brewxer
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Looks amazing, darker than dark and great tan head. Tastes as good as anything out of Quebec, this is fantastic, probably the best imperial stout currently brewed in Ontario.

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Photo of Bcarlos
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours darker and thicker than any Imperial stout I've ever had (and this is my favorite style). Huge cocoa, chocolate and espresso taste with a strong chocolate malt nose. I've experimented with aging this and at two years, the beer is hardly moved in look, taste or mouthfeel. This is a beer that will stand the test of time.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pure black with a long lasting espresso head. Patches of foam cling to the glass on the way down. Intense coffee and dark chocolate in the nose. Cocoa powder, coffee, roasted malts, caramel, hop bitterness, alcohol heat all converge in the taste. The mouthfeel is thick, verging on oil with a moderate carbonation. Roasty bitterness and hop bitterness in the long finish.

A great RIS. Covers all the bases with complexity and depth. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

473ml can into nonic pint. 10.2% abv. "JAN 08 2015 13:17" on the bottom of the can. consumed on april 24, 2015

a: pours thick as hell, pitch black in the glass topped with nearly 3 fingers of dark brown head. leaves a wall, not rings, of lacing

s: fantastic deep roasted malt. lots of fudgy chocolate, prune-like dark fruit notes. lesser coffee and charred wood towards the end. just smells so damn rich and malty

t: follows the nose. super roasty with sweet prunes in the front. mid-palate continues to be roasty, but adds rich chocolatey woody notes as well as a piney, slightly-citrusy hop quality. the finish is roasty, bitter, and slightly hoppy, tapering off with mild black coffee notes

m: nearly full-bodied, with minimal carbonation. very dry finish

o: an excellent imperial stout... but then again i just love imperial stouts


473ml can into snifter, 9.5% abv. canned "oct 07 2015", consumed nov 28 2015. same super rich roasty bready & dry stuff with a mild citrus hop presence (this year's version is brewed with summit & chinook hops)

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Photo of MeadEater
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours with little head, but slowly creeps out as a dark brown inch of carpet thick foam.
So black and thick it blocks light against a bare bulb.
Congested, can't smell it.
Big roasted coffee and dark chocolate upfront; ash, burnt vegetables, raisins, hiding in there. Leaves a strong hop bitterness after swallowing. Hides the alcohol well, but still settles into the stomach with that "warming" tingle.
Something about it reminds me of a hot dog I left over the campfire too long but ate because I'm not making another! ... But a great example of the style, on the stronger side of every aspect.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

473 mL can picked up at the LCBO; packaged Jan 8 2015. Listed at 10.2% and served at cellar temperature.

Pours a murky pitch black hue, capped off with one finger of dense, creamy, dark tan-coloured head. It dissipates slowly over the next five minutes or so, with a thin collar and continuous curtain of lace being the only eventual remnants. On the nose there is a good dose of dark chocolate and molasses, alongside notes of dark roasted coffee beans, licorice, prunes and herbal hops. The aroma is enticing enough, I suppose, but it's still shockingly muted in intensity for such a big beer.

But rest assured, it's all uphill from there - this is a positively delicious stout. Molasses and brown sugar sweetness come through initially, followed up by rich notes of cocoa and coffee liqueur. The bitterness is amped up in the latter half of the sip, with piney, earthy notes that lead into a finish brimming with flavours of baker's chocolate and coffee grounds, as well as hints of anise and smoke. The alcohol is detectable, but well-integrated. Full-bodied, with light carbonation that contributes to the slick, silky smooth mouthfeel - this beer is quite a substantial presence on the palate, and leaves the lips feeling sticky.

Final Grade: 4.31, an excellent A. Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus is definitely my favourite beer in Sawdust City's impressive portfolio, at least of the ones I've tried. It is sinfully tasty and a total pleasure to drink - a must-try for all Ontario stout fans, in my opinion. This is quite possibly the priciest tallboy I've ever purchased, but it's still pretty good value in my opinion. I purchased two cans, and the other one is going to spend at least a year in the cellar.

[Updated Jan 19 2016]

It's clear to me that one year hasn't caused this canned stout to flinch at all. The flavours have mellowed a bit, but the profile is essentially unchanged - perhaps other than the ethanol being even more well-integrated (and thus hidden). No score alterations necessary; I just hope they get another shipment out to the LCBO in the near future, so I can grab a whole bunch more.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

More Russian imperial stouts in cans? Awesome. This beer advertised at 10.2% ABV was purchased from the LCBO for $5.25 CDN. Served fairly cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - the beer in its no so long voyage from the can to my glass, poured a oily jet black color. Even an aggressive pour yielded only a half finger of dark brown head, but it did stay there for a while. While I could go on for a while about the superlatives about how black this beer is, needless to say its among the darkest in color I've tried. Plenty of brown spidery lacing left behind.

Smell - some coffee chocolate truffle mixture, with a liquorice undercurrent and then a floral hoppy aroma lingering in the background. Pretty interesting and a little off the beaten path.

Taste - roasty, but starts bitter and on the hoppy spectrum of things before going full blown coffee and a hint of butterscotch. Then transitions to an earthy flavor with accompanying flavours of liquorice. Reminds me a bit of De Molen X's Baltic porter to be honest. Which is a good thing. Some alcoholic heat noticeable in the back of the throats after a few sips, but little booziness on the tongue.

Mouthfeel - not as heavily bodied as you might expect, good carbonation and smooth slick feel that is a bit oily. Not enough sweetness not make it sticky or cloying.

Overall - a very good Russian imperial stout with a slightly hoppier profile than many out there and a very well hidden booze component. Worth a shot, because I can't imagine they'll be in stores too long.

Edit- had another can of this November 7, 2015. This version was listed as 9.5% ABV. Taste was a little creamier, very rich and very good. Revised overall score to reflect positive changes.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Update- Apr.22/15- Vertical with 2yr old bottle vs fresh can!


A- Opens well and pours a tiny brown head. Super dark black color

S- Sweet, chocolately and malty. Very little heat.

T- Nutty! Coco o plenty. Little heat at all. Smokiness cut right down.

M- Creamy good.

O- Thick and rich compared to the can. The can is watered down compared. Moving up the rating from 3.88 to a full blown 4!

Original review below.....

Purchased at the LCBO for just over $5.00 for a 473ml can. Served at 8deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a tiny head that is gone in 1min. Very dark almost black color

S- Oodles of smoky, malty goodness.

T- Smoky good. Lots of malt and character. No heat at all. Chocolate and coffee abound but the chalkiness does come at the end. Coco is not a good way to flavor an RIS as far as I am concerned

M- Dry believe it or not. Good creaminess but it's not a creamy RIS like many others in the group.

O- Nice blend. Have an old one from two years ago so I will do a vertical soon and report back.

Food Paring

This nice little RIS bit right through...... General Tso's chicken!


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Photo of Jeffo
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very happy that Hopsolutely was able to grab a couple of these for me. Been impressed with Sawdust City so far, so looking forward to this one.

From a bomber into a snifter
IBU: 60
OG: 21.4
FG: 5.0
SRM 2.75 Billion
Hops: Magnum & Centennial
Yeast: California Ale
Brewed at Black Oak

APPERANCE: Pours transparent black and yields a three finger, medium looking, creamy, light tan head with excellent retention. Black body with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a thicker cap and coats the sides of the glass with thick lacing. A splotchy wisp remains leaving lots of nice lacing the whole way down. Could be more opaque perhaps, but definitely good. Dark head as well.

SMELL: Roasted barley, chocolate, dark chocolate, with plenty of citrus hops on the nose from the centennial additions. Notes of caramel and cocoa powder under the roasted barley. Bold and quite hoppy for the style.

TASTE: Very roasted and somewhat burnt up front. Caramel and chocolate at the swallow with a bold and very persistent aftertaste of burnt and roasted malts, bitter chocolate, bitter citrus hops and piney flavors as well. Very bitter, hoppy and roasted with dark chocolate flavors as well. Flavorful and enjoyable for sure.

PALATE: Medium-full body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry for the style. Enough weight for sure. Fuller side of medium bodied with plenty creaminess. Drier perhaps, but still a 1.019 FG on this one.

OVERALL: Pretty good stuff. Very bitter and somewhat drier for the style, but lots of good stuff going on. Roasted and chocolaty flavors with plenty of citrus hop flavor from the centennial. Some might say that it odd, but it works here and I rather enjoyed it. A bit less bitterness might help make this a more menacing imperial stout, but as it is, I very much enjoyed this whole thing. Thanks again Hopsolutely! Would love to drink more of this if it comes out again.

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Photo of BeerWatcher
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I find it to be chocolatey but not sweet. Strange but true. Kind of like the sensation of eating very dark chocolate, but also with a definite alcohol infusion, but again not in a sweet way. I'd also describe it as "hot" as you can definitely taste the alcohol in this thing.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber from the Ottawa LCBO for $8 or so

Appearance - Black/brown colour with a large size light brown coloured head. It's too dark to see the carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, chocolate/coffee, malts

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste chocolate, coffee, and malts. There is also some hops, some burnt/roasted notes and a graininess.

Overall - A fair amount of bitterness on the aftertaste which can be a tad harsh. Still some nice chocolate flavour and a decent mouthfeel. Maybe a touch thin for a RIS. An above average brew.

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Photo of biegaman
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus does indeed look like an exploration of deep space: pitch black, entirely lightless, utter darkness, not a single sign of life. You get the picture. All that typical Imperial Stout stuff (conveniently set to theme). No head persist but oyster mushroom-like patterns of lace have sprung from somewhere.

I can usually gauge how much I'll enjoy a beer simply from smelling it; when it provokes an ear to ear smile such as this one did, that's generally a good sign. The fact that this bouquet, so rich in coffee, dark chocolate and hops, reminds me of Great Divide's Yeti (one of my all-time favourite imperial stouts), that's undoubtedly a great thing.

First impressions last... but not forever. The beer isn't quite as profound on the palate as it was in the aroma. The notions of coffee liqueur, chocolate fondue, and piney hoppiness are present still but diminish slightly with each sip; air and warmth reveal an imperial stout that doesn't quite pack the punch or have the lasting power of others similar to it.

Nonetheless, the mouthfeel reveals a beer with the characteristics of a rich Belgian truffle, a brush of astringency like that of Italian espresso, and the spruce-y, tree-like aura of a Pacific Northwest forest. Maybe add just a wisp of smokiness and a trace of black licorice too. Alcohol is surprisingly present for its percentage (9%) but it works for this profile.

Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus is far from the best beer in this universe, but don't let its silly name fool you - Sawdust City means serious business. It is a roasty-bittersweet-hoppy adventure and there's hardly a more winning combination in all of beer than that. It's offerings like this one (and its barrel-aged variations) that are sure to take the brewery's success to infinity - and beyond.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a nice dark brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of dry roasted malt with some bitter black chocolates. Taste is also dominated dry roasted malt notes with some dry bitter tasting black chocolate. Body is quite full with some creamy texture notes. Body is full with nice creamy texture with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very enjoyable imperial stout with enough character and good drinkability level.

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Photo of TerryW
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark walnut brew under a firm, creamy smooth head that leaves lots and lots of lace. Quite handsome.

Alcohol, licorice and dark fruit on the nose. Soft, smooth and full mouthfeel. Sweet to start giving way to sourness and then lingering bitterness. Charcoal, smoke, licorice, dark chocolate. Big flavours but not as muscular as some other Imperials stouts. Nice melding of flavours, surprising creaminess.

Pretty good.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle poured in to snifter.

A - Poured a deep inky black with a thin layer of medium brown head.

S - Rich roast, sweet chocolate and molasses. Very robust nose.

T - Sweet chocolate and molasses, bitter roast and lighter hints of anise and smoke with slightly warming alcohol throughout. A long, bitter, dry finish.

M - Full body. Sludgy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of mtomlins
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650ml bomber into a stemmed tulip glass.

This beer is dark – jet black – and thick with a short dark mocha head that leaves considerable lacing as it settles to a creamy collar. The nose is heavy roasted malts, dark chocolate and hot alcohol. The flavor follows suit and is dominated by dry, bitter qualities, dark roasted malts, tight coffee and a wack of bittering hops. It starts off with some malty sweetness, by finishes very dry, bitter and very alcoholic. It does have a pleasant full mouthfeel. I would be curious if a bit of age would soften this monster out?

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Photo of mick303
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 ml bomber into a tulip glass, has a nice dark tan head over a jet black body, this retains a quite impressive amount of lace and bubbly film given the style, less oily appearance, looks great. 4.25
S – notes of dark figs and bitter dark chocolate, rich chocolatey fudge, with a strong roasty dark malt, dark coffee, with some vanilla also, a rich and decadent nose that is fairly expected but less assertive than some examples. 4
T – layers of chocolate, milk and dark initially, lots of dark malt, with a dark fruity fig character, mild creaminess pervades it, some of the strong herbal hops come in, pine antiseptic, chili, cuts the creamy chocolate with a solid spice character, then leads to a spicy dry finish. It is really tasty, the chocolate, coffee start is nice and then transitions into a full bitter-pepper that is a bit aggressive but works well enough, 3.75
M – full bodied, nice thick feel, but with a slight creamy start before it gets plenty of bitter-spicy, slight carbonation as appropriate, and it is very satisfying with an alcohol presence that is slight but spicy and warming. 4
Certainly a beer worth having a go at if you see it, I also appreciate the comedic name and also especially the recipe details on the bottle, well done Sawdust for this, its my first beer from them and I was impressed by this, a good hearty bitter RIS, pretty awesome flavour profile and drinkability, it could be better I think if the balance was finetuned (tone down the spice) and allowed some more rich complexity to come through, otherwise a really solid offering. Think it would be worth trying to age it and see what happens.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on World Stout Day 2013

This beer poured a deep dark brown that was almost impervious to light. There was a thin one finger head that broke down quickly leaving some nice lacing. The smell was chocolate and coffee with malts and molasses. Some dark fruits present as well. The taste was close to the smell with the coffee and chocolate being forward. The mouth feel was creamy and nice with medium carbonation.

Overall, a nice stout. I found the flavor full and enjoyable. The alcohol was well hidden in this, though you could feel it a bit after a few minutes. Easy to drink and worth getting again.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(3.75) A: Near pitch black with a thin creamy and bubbly head that quickly recedes to a ring with lacing in spots.

(4.0) S: Lots of dark chocolate, dark bitter coffee, quite fruity as well, figs/dates, and caramel. Nice mix of roasted malt and fruits (rich plums, tart pears) with a smooth aroma.

(4.25) T: Plentiful dark chocolate, dark coffee bean, dark fruits, and caramel. Dark chocolate is the primary focus. Velvety smooth with ample bitterness and finishes dry similar to an irish stout. Alcohol is hidden. Scary drinkable.

(4.25) M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Incredibly creamy and rich. Faintly sticky.

(4.0) D: Sawdust City has impressed me with their offerings so far and this is no exception. I have to say this is one of the best Ontario-made imperial stouts I’ve had from the LCBO. Happy to see this in the store and will be picking some more up.

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Photo of hopsolutely
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes taken during a tap takeover at Imbibe (Kitchener) last night:

My first time enjoying this Ontario RIS and thought it was very well brewed - a beer I'll definitely seek out again.

Visuals were the weakest sense, pouring a near-black with little head or lacing. A beautifully complex and smoky aroma of cocoa, chocolate and coffee and all the goodness one would hope from a decent RIS. Lots of roasted dark, chocolate malts with underlying tannins. The flavour starts on the sweet side but ends with a refreshingly bracing bitterness. Nicely balanced and complex enough to be interesting.

Well done, Sawdust City!

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Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Volo. While not the prime example of an IS, it keeps on drinking/sipping with just good ingredients: licorice, chocolate,vanilla and roast. The roast may be interpreted as coffee, but it was within the range of coffee that does notd istract my taste buds. Black with small retained off-white head. Good roast aroma.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at C'est What.

Beer is totally black with a very very thin tan head. Almost no head really, though that is likely a function of the pour. The bit that is there sticks around for awhile.

I got almost no scent at all off this beer. A bit of roasted malt and little else. Seemed nice enough, but hard to notice.

The taste, however, is quite good. Lots of roasted malt, a little bit smoky. Quite bitter with a bit of an anise flavour. Quite bitter for an imperial stout, though it worked well. Not a particularly complex stout, but enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is fantastic. A nice full body, quite thick like an imperial stout should be. A bit oily. Very low carbonation, great cask feel.

Overall, though the smell was basically non-existent, this was otherwise quite a good imperial stout. I would be happy to see this one again- hope it becomes a regular in the brewery's lineup.

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Long, Dark Voyage To Uranus from Sawdust City Brewing Co.
4.04 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
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