Long, Dark Voyage To Uranus
Sawdust City Brewing Co.

Long, Dark Voyage To UranusLong, Dark Voyage To Uranus
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #575
ABV:
8.5%
Score:
90
Ranked #8,974
Avg:
4.01 | pDev: 9.23%
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
92
From:
Sawdust City Brewing Co.
 
Ontario, Canada
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  8
Gots
  11
SCORE
90
Outstanding
Long, Dark Voyage To UranusLong, Dark Voyage To Uranus
Notes:
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 92 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by spinrsx:
Photo of spinrsx
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

 662 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffo
4.05/5  rDev +1%
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.

 1,967 characters

Photo of TheHammer
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Two fingers of head that produced ample lacing, stuck around for a good long time with an opaque body as black as night. Everything I expect from a good stout.

Smell: Does need some warming to come out of it's shell, but once it does strong toffee malt with coffee, chocolate and a slight touch of vanilla. The potency could be stronger (especially with the vanilla) but all in all I'd say solid stuff here.

Taste: Starts with toffee malt and a touch of roast burnt stout which for a brief pause touches vanilla and then is then cast aside quickly by a train of dark roasted coffee, chocolate and black liquorice of which the last I wish wasn't present. I'm not certain if it's a trick of the malt, or the alcohol being unmasked which is causing it, but I wish it would go away.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is great as the stout comes across and creamy and the fact the head never disappeared is a great positive. The transitioning needs a bit of work, as I'd like to see that sweet vanilla and toffee have a stronger and longer presence before the punch at the end. The aftertaste is mainly coffee which is what I do want to have in a coffee beer and maybe the faintest whiff of vanilla makes it's return here.

Drinkability: Thick, as a good RIS should be and it does a good job of being more then a slow sipper, but not a guzzler which is where great stouts reside. Carbonation doesn't create a gassy experience as the beer settles down well and it certainly has me interested in sipping it. That all said though, I wouldn't want to drink this on a regular basis, as I could see it wearing out it's welcome quick.

Final Thoughts: This is an all around great one off stout, which if it could deal with the liquorice and sweeten itself up slightly would be phenomenal for me. For yourself though, you'll probably find it even more agreeable then I found it. There is certainly some room to improve here for me at least, but I don't think you could go wrong picking up a can of this. Thumbs up.

 2,009 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 495 characters

Photo of TerryW
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

 420 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

 325 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

 465 characters

Photo of Derek
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of biegaman
3.89/5  rDev -3%
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.

 1,813 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 2,119 characters

Photo of Electros
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Gotti311
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of bylerteck
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Long813
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of andrenaline
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

 369 characters

Photo of mtomlins
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
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?

 587 characters

Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of valianes
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of peensteen
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of DaPan
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark as night with a coffee colored head that hangs around for the duration.

Smells of coffee, chocolate, dark bread, and earthy hops.

Taste is bitter coffee and chocolate, backed by a nuttiness that has a bark flavor. It finishes dry with wood and earth notes.
It has a smooth mouth feel and low carbonation. This starts out with some good flavor but fails to come together in the end as the bark and earth are a little off putting.

 442 characters

Long, Dark Voyage To Uranus from Sawdust City Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 92 ratings