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Unorthodox Russian Imperial Stout | Two Roads Brewing Company

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Unorthodox Russian Imperial StoutUnorthodox Russian Imperial Stout
Very Good
211 Ratings
Unorthodox Russian Imperial StoutUnorthodox Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Two Roads Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This most unorthodox Russian Imperial Stout is brewed with malted rye and aggressively hopped with four different Pacific Northwest varieties to create a depth of character that's unmistakable. Full-bodied with notes of rye, treacle, chocolate and espresso that join together to create a crescendo of flavor. You’ll want to do an unabashed Kalinka after just one taste!

Added by jhartley on 08-04-2014

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 211 |  Reviews: 47
Photo of jagada
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vfgccp
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours and looks as I'd expect. Head short lived;
The flavor profile is that of an imperial stout but I think it's thin. At first the flavor's there but it just doesn't have the stance of other fine RIS'es I've sampled. The hops are definitely amped up a little, I can't find the rye but maybe it's there way underneath. It is an enjoyable beer it's just not a stellar beer. Worth your time and effort to sample and enjoy.

 424 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap.

A - Pitch black pour with micro-thin lacing, no carbonation.

S - Char with some acidic astringency, bakers chocolate, black licorice/anise.

T - Light chocolate up front with black licorice, oxidized, lingering chocolate char and alcohol on the back end.

M - Big medium body

O - Glad to have tried and reviewed this beer. Wouldn't have it again, unfortunately.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mike22ne
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle dated 1/4/17 (age 9 months)

Looks great, a deep dark brown black with a dense brown head that fades to a thin layer of bubbles.
Smell is pretty good, spicy earth notes with dark roasted malts. A little bit of chocolate and dark fruit but overall the aromas are not very strong.
Taste is nice, with sharp bitter roast malts and a dark spicy rye flavor in the finish. A little bit of dark caramel and roasted coffee, but as with the aroma it's not overpowering.
Feel is pretty good. Flavors are well balanced and the unique rye character comes out nicely without overpowering. The body is a bit on the thin side with the smooth spicy bitterness and a dry finish. It is very drinkable, as the alcohol is well hidden.

Overall, a tasty, unique stout. It's not as big as some other great RIS's out there but it's got some good flavors and is very drinkable.

 874 characters

Photo of DaveCash
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance was a dark brown color with a finger’s worth of foamy off white to tan head. Nice coat of lacing running all around the glass. The smell takes in some rye spice, dry roasty chocolate. Light coffee bean. The taste is basically the same as the smell. Light spicy to roasty aftertaste. Dry roasty semi-spicy finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium in body with a decent sessionability about it. Carbonation felt good. Rye does hit as the harshness and leaves a slight stickiness on my tongue. Overall, I’d say this was a decent Russian Imperial Stout, nothing over the top. Last RIS I had with rye in it was Midnight Sun’s Moscow. If I remember correctly, I think that was a bit more balanced than this and this came across with more rye. Good effort for the most part.

 798 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.50] The bottle lists the ABV (9.2%) and there is a clear bottled date (01/04/2017). The beer is black and forms a nice thick 2 finger khaki head. The head is dense and recedes really slowly.

S: [3.50] The nose is pretty subdued. Fig, plum, Charred wood. That is about it.

T: [4.00] Cinnamon, currants, smoked wood, bitter chocolate. No hint or heat from the alcohol.

M: [3.75] Medium body and decent carbonation. There is a lingering dryness from the bitter chocolate flavor.

O: [3.75] The nose is weak. That is most of the negative. The appearance is great. The flavor is really nice. I listed cinnamon first but it was just a hint - but it was the first flavor I got. The 9.2% is totally hidden. The only other ding is that it is a bit ashy if you drink it too quickly (the sensation stacks if you sip too many times in a row). This is a solid RIS.

 872 characters

Photo of MattXT
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jmdrpi
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, date on back of neck. About 4 months old.

Jet black in color, tan head That fades to a ring. Aroma is milk chocolately. Same with taste, but there is a balancing bitterness. Mildly roasty. Medium to thick bodied.

 228 characters

Photo of danielejock
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Too much hops for a stout. Need to drink cold and slow. Recommend pouring half and keeping the other half in the fridge. Otherwise great.

140 characters

Photo of PaulSlazinger
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of q33jeff
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


Bottle to Tulip Glass.

LOOK: dark black color, medium cream colored head.
AROMA: roasted malt, touch of smoke.
TASTE: malt, malt, malt. hay and grass type flavors seem to dry out the finish.
FEEL: medium to full body. good carbonation for a stout, but this is a little on the thin side for stout, so that seems about normal.

Pretty simple Russian.


 378 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A local beer pal & I were recently in PHL to meet a couple of AUS fellows & I managed to talk them into ... (ahem) convince them to visit The Foodery (Rittenhouse Square). As soon as I spied this on the shelf, I was sold! It is a young bottle, dtd "BTLD 01/04/17", but it was the last on the shelf & I am anxious to drink it. If I find another, it will be on a straight shot into the cellar.

From the bottle: "From Stratford, With Love"; "An Unorthodox Russian"; "The Road Less Traveled"; "Aggressively Hopped Imperial Stout"; "This most unorthodox Imperial Stout is brewed with malted rye and aggressively hopped with four different U.S. varieties to create a depth of character that's UNmistakable. Notes of rye, treacle, chocolate and espresso all come together to create a crescendo of flavor that's Unbelievably full-bodied. One taste and you’ll want to do an UNabashed Kalinka!"; "Here's to taking the road less traveled, in life and in beer!"

I always like to cue up Matt Munro's "From Russia With Love" every time I open a beer in this style! I have met Mlle. Rasputin, a Russian expat cutie who works as a bartender at our local Iron Hill & she promises to teach me to (at least) read Cyrillic, if not speak it. Historically, men have learned a foreign language to woo a foreign woman, but not in this case. I simply want to read some of the classic texts in their original language. I also want to hit on Keri Russell, but that is secondary to my stated goal.

Having Pop!ped the cap, I was faced with a choice - an aggro pour & a potential mess or a gentle pour & a post-pour swirl. It was late & I have been catching up on big beers, so the latter was the key. Once decanted, the aforementioned swirl raised just over a finger of foamy, soapy, light-tan head that quickly dissipated into wisps. Color was solidly Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose smelled strongly of dark chocolate, black coffee, caramel & light smoke. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was not thin, per se, but it was very light for the style. The chocolaty, smoky taste was accompanied by a light, but unidentifiable spiciness. I am sure that it was borne of the rye malt, but I would not have been able to identify it on my own. I feel like a calibration of Rye Whisky is in order! Fortunately, I have a large supply of just that distilled drink on-hand. I'm back! The whisky seemed to enhance the rye flavor of the beer, but I would not recommend this combination outside of the home. I am in no shape to operate heavy equipment as a result of that wee experiment! The beer remained on the light end of the spectrum for its style & I cannot help but wonder if aging might help it along. Mine was a VERY young bottle, but it was the only one on the shelf & I do not relish adding to the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody. Finish was dry, but it reminded me more of an Irish Dry Stout than its assigned style. I really think that if you can score a bottle (or two), you are better served by cellaring it (one).

 3,009 characters

Photo of Dougwillhike
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TrevFlory
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MacMalt
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 1/4/2017. Poured into stout glass. It pours ink black with a slight ruby-cola color evident when held to the light. It has a huge, fluffy khaki-colored head and extensive lacing that lasted through the pour. The smell was dubdued: roasted malt and a faint whiff of coffee. The taste equally underwhelmed with some dark roasted coffee, chocolate, and the advertised rye. None of the flavors really popped and I it lacked the dark fruit that really makes a good RIS. It is medium in body, lightly carbonated, and the 9.2% ABV is evident. I don't think I would have noticed it as much with a more full-bodied taste. Overall, it simply doesn't compare well to the leaders of the style.

 692 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown. Light tan head.
Roasted malt, rye, chocolate aroma.
Taste of dark chocolate, espresso, and rye.
The rye adds a little bit of spice to the beer. I'm not sure I like it.

 184 characters

Photo of Urs
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Two Roads Brewing Co. "Unorthodox Russian Imperial Stout"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BTLD 01/04/17" and sampled on 02/17/17
$3.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of conscious: I had the chance to buy this beer while I was in Vermont a while back but I chose to pass it by as I wasn't sure how old it was, but this I know is fresh. Typical appearance, black/tan. Good head retention and very good lacing. The aroma is lighter than I expected. It's got dark malt, bakers chocolate, soft roast, and an almost licorice like note that I'm sure is coming from a combination of piney hops and the malt - it's not particularly hoppy though. The label does read "AGGRESSIVELY HOPPED IMPERIAL STOUT". Hmmm? That's OK, it might be more hoppy in the flavor. A little thin I think, in body at least, but flavor as well. Perhaps as it warms a bit. There's a distinct bittersweet chocolate to it, some black coffee, molasses, and what I'm perceiving as tropical fruitiness but there's nothing that particularly stands out about it. What I thought were piney hops in the aroma don't seem to be very present, and I'm only really finding them in the lingering finish. Oh, wait, is that rye? It must be. That makes more sense, and gives me a little more respect for the beer as the use of rye in unusual (haha, hence the name), and it works. It gives the beer an overall spiciness (I thought it was alcohol), but especially in the finish. There is some alcohol there, I can feel it, but like a lot of other great beers it's there more as a presence than something that directly pops out at you. There's no real dark malt acidity, and it doesn't really seem that bitter - it's solidly bitter, but not boldly or brashly bitter - although the spiciness of the rye gives it more of an aggressive edge. I'd say it's warmed now. It's better. I get some orange out of it, and the caramel has widened. Do I like it compared to other Russian Imperial stouts? I don't know, it's a different beast. I do like the tropical fruitiness once it's opened up. And I like the rye, but overall I'd say it's probably a bit too aggressive. That doesn't mean it's bad, that's just my personal preference. I'm glad I didn't buy that bottle in Vermont, that was a large bottle. Or would that have been a good thing? Maybe a little bit of age would smooth it out a bit.

 2,353 characters

Photo of Urk1127
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bdiiorio
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of h4ger
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kkmiller76
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Unorthodox Russian Imperial Stout from Two Roads Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 211 ratings
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