Imperial Russian Stout | Taps Fish House & Brewery

very good
21 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Taps Fish House & Brewery
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Boilermaker88 on 08-21-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 21 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by moonknight31:
Photo of moonknight31
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This came out of the tent tap a very dark brown in color and clean as a whistle. The blackish head was as stubborn as an old man sending back soup in a deli.

Smell – I didn’t get the chance to let the stout warm properly, but even cold it had a good roasty malt character.

Taste – The dark roasted malts just exploded on contact. This is an extremely roasty stout with a wonderful toffee sweetish compliment. This reminded me of the raw aroma of sniffing a container full of roasted grain.

Mouthfeel – This is a solid medium-bodied and bittersweet with tons of offsetting sugars.

Drinkability – This is an extremely drinkable stout and easily one of the best offerings at the 10th Anniversary Stone Party.

 736 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Taps Fish House & Brewery
Brea, CA

A very dark brown that isn't quite black. Thin tan head. Some spotted lacing down the glass.

A lot of roasted malt character in the nose along with some coffee and chocolate.

More roasted malt presence in the flavor of the beer along with some coffee elements. Somewhat bitter. A dessert sipper.

Thick and heavy, quite substantial in the mouth. Incredibly rich.

A rich and decadent dessert sipper with lots of roasted malt character and some coffee elements as well. Goes great with dessert.

 542 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew arrived at my table looking like the center of a black hole. No light could escape or penetrate this inky, jet black beer. Had a thick tan head that slowly faded.

Smell was full of roasted malt goodness and dried fruit. Also hint of coffee and a slight alcohol astringancy.

Tastes of plums, prunes, and big roasted malts. Quite sweet with little hops bitterness. Alcohol makes presence felt at the finish in a softly warming manner.

Feel was full-bodied, thick and chewy. Pretty smooth.

This is a beer that drinks like a meal. This is what people who say "dark beers are heavy" are envisioning. Thing is, that doesn't detract from the beer at all. I really enjoyed this one and would have had another if I wasn't sampling. That said, this is the best beer on tap at Taps right now next to their hefeweizen. It's one they should offer year-round.

 867 characters

Photo of rallison
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours quite thick, even for an RIS. Truly jet black with a creamy 2 finger brown head that leaves an incredible amount of lacing.

Smell is of chocolate and roasted malts. Touch of alcohol in the nose. Decent, but not amazing here.

Taste is quite rich - Lots of chocolate in this one as well as some nice coffee with the requisite roastiness. Some hops balance the sweetness nicely. Molasses as well. While not as complex as the best of them, this one is rich and tasty.

Mouthfeel is rich and viscous - getting close to syrupy. Carbonation is relatively low, but is about right for this - it keeps it nice and rich. That being said, this is a thick beer you have to drink slowly. Touch of alcohol on the back end.

Drinkability is both good and bad. A very tasty beer, but also very rich (actually richer tasting than the 8% would suggest). The tastiness vs the thickness is what it comes down to. Well, I give it fair marks since I have had no trouble drinking 2 pints of it.

Recommended. A solid RIS that is a regular in the lineup at Taps.

 1,052 characters

Photo of Tdizzle
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Served to me on cask, this beer is solid black with a nice brown head that leaves some thick lacing on the glass.

S- Rich, roasty, and chocolatey. The aroma of this beer is fairly sweet with some not so subtle notes of coffee and vanilla. A big alcohol presence emerges as the beer warms.

T- Very good. Rich roasted coffee and chocolate with some nice hop bitterness on the finish. The alcohol is hidden very well this time around. I've had this before when the ABV was 10% and the booze was way too pronounced in the taste. But this one was about 8% and much easier to drink. Also, this is one of the sweetest tasting imperial stouts that I have had. It's like a kicked up oatmeal stout.

M- The mouthfeel is thick and rich but lighter than I expected for an imperial stout.

D- I could actually have two of these in a sitting since they've lowered the ABV a bit. The flavor kept me coming back for more.

Overall, this is one that I would definitely come back to. My friend and I both agreed that this beer tastes similar to Old Rasputin. Highly recommended.

 1,065 characters

Photo of joecast
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed as a desert beer after brunch.

Black viscous liquid sits heavily in the glass. Not much head but have to say it was served way too cold. Sat there for several minutes cupping the glass in my hands to the point I was going numb.

Aroma wad leaning more to the sweet chocolate than coffee roast side. Pretty nice but again, had to wait for it to warm a bit. Not a lot of hops which s fine and it hides the alcohol well.

Huge body on this. Certainly not a beer I would sit back and drink glass after glass but a nice enough beer. Again it leans towards sweet and chocolate flavors with a bit of balancing bitterness. Wouldn't go so far as to call it balanced overall as the sweet heavy character is much more at the fore.

That would be the biggest drawback to this beer. While it's nice as a small desert serving, I would hesitate to go for it as a regular option.

 874 characters

Photo of amoebalink
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

high ABV beer at Taps. Mine is 9% ABV.
Tried it on tap at the Brewery on 5/06.
Beer is very dark.
has a high alcohol smell to it.
Very sweet taste.
aroma of coffee and mocha chocolate.
Heavy to drink and can only finish a pint and a half.
This is a good heavy dark beer.
probably should be the last beer to drink.

 335 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pint glass, consumed 03/06/08. ABV indicated as 5.4% on menu!

Very dark brown with ruby/dark brown highlights. Thin skin of mocha-colored foam.

Roasted coffee aroma. A hint of toffee

Creamy mouthfeel, though no thicker than water.

A little roasted malt flavor up front (coffee and chocolate) , but a big bitterness steamrolls right in before the malt even has a chance to really register. PIne hoppiness. A little sweet then. Aftertaste is bitter chocolate/coffee. Slight carbonation tingle.

This is no imperial stout, as the low ABV and flavor profile indicate. They ought to consider renaming this one, as I was very disappointed in this offering. Had it been called an export stout, it would have been acceptable. Sort of on the level of a decent homebrew, but to charge customers for this is kind of not cool.

 818 characters

Photo of womencantsail
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On-tap at Taps in Brea

A: The pour is a very dark brown color with some ruby red highlights when held to the light.

S: The nose is primarily of roasted malt with a nice coffee aroma and some mild bitter chocolate.

T: The flavors mimic the nose for the most part. The roasted malt and coffee stand out the most. The beer has a strong taste of ethanol which really ruins it.

M: The body is on the thin side for an imperial stout. The carbonation is low, and appropriate, but the beer is hot on the tongue despite being only 8%.

D: The strong ethanol/solventy quality of the beer just about ruins it. I had a hard time drinking the few ounces of my tasting glass.

 665 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

406th review on BA

App- This was a pretty standard dark brown stout color with a one finger head, no real lacing to it.

Smell- Big Fresh coffee with a big roasted note as well. Malts and hops are very fresh in this.

Taste- The coffee and the bitter are just too much for me. The stout needs to sit for a bit and get some mellowness to it.

Mouth- Medium bodied but almost thin and has a medium almost high carb level. Leaves a bitter roasty feel.

Drink- Like the BW from Taps needs to sit and get a little body to it and to mellow as well. Not be so fresh.

 566 characters

Photo of EB1
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cookie dough, cocoa, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour dark fruit and cocoa flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with a sourness in the taste that is odd.

 622 characters

Photo of OlieIPA
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had the "Imperial Stout" on cask (which I believe to be their RIS, I'm pretty sure) while watching Monday Night Football. Notes were taken and recorded in my notebook function on my cellphone.

A: The first thing I noticed was the two-finger tan head and the complete black appearance the beer had. The lacing was excellent as well.

S: Strong coffee aroma.

T: Again, coffee characteristics with noticeable alcohol. It was a bit too much in fact, but nothing overbearing.

M: Thinner then I was expecting; just about no carbonation.

D: Good

Overall: When I walked into TAPS and saw that this was on cask...I became quickly excited. The beer was really good and the only knock on it was the mouthfeel and the strong alchohol finish. Other then that, one of the better imperial stouts around. Good job TAPS!!

 810 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was hoping a cask ale would be available during my visit today, and I sure got my wish. But why couldn't they have something lighter than this? Oh well. On to the beer:

The beer is jet black in color with a dark tan bubbly head which has solid retention. Good flavors to be found here: cocoa, chocolate, citrus via the alcohol. The taste is powdery (especially the chocolate part of it) and the aftertaste has a pleasant roasted flavor. Served out of the cask, you're going to have a party in your mouth. But at $3.25 a pint(!) during its happy hour, you'll get more than a few parties. Sip and enjoy!

 604 characters

Photo of jpd7374
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of opwog
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now listening to: Misfits - She

A- Thick darkest brown/black with a light brown head.
S- bakers chocolate, dark roast coffee
T- The tatse of this is why I always get Russian Imperial Stouts, when available. Lush, dark roasted malt, expresso and cocoa. Alchohol, but not bourbony.
M- Thick, with enough carbonation to keep it lively
D-NOTE: BA shows this as an 8% beer, Taps showed it as 9.5%, but the kick felt more like 11%!

 426 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of 2beerdogs
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of PatronWizard
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big fat growler presented to me by OlieIPA for... uh, what the hell did he give this to me for? Just to give I guess. Well, it would be rude not to enjoy so...

Black and black. Really nice light brown head after two weeks in a growler. I was worried but this held up just fine.

Nice chocolaty stout aroma. It just came from the fridge but fuck it, I'm gonna down the first glass and let the second one warm up for further exploration.

Good flavor. I believe there must be a decent amount of alcohol. Really mellow in the carbonation. Drinkability is about as high as you could expect for a stout.

So I started working on this growler all by myself and enjoyed it immensely. At bed time, there was still about an inch in the growler and I just couldn't finish it. Not becuase I had drank too much, but because I was just full. So a few ounces got wasted. Sue me.

Overall: very good

 887 characters

Imperial Russian Stout from Taps Fish House & Brewery
3.82 out of 5 based on 21 ratings.
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