Unorthodox Russian Imperial Stout
Two Roads Brewing Company

Unorthodox Russian Imperial StoutUnorthodox Russian Imperial Stout
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #794
Ranked #23,712
3.82 | pDev: 9.16%
Two Roads Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States
Very Good
Unorthodox Russian Imperial StoutUnorthodox Russian Imperial Stout
Notes: 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!
Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 244 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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TheSupremeAJ from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I like that this is not cloying or sweet. The coffee profile is suited to a whole bean connoisseur. The chocolate profile reminds me of a Hershey bar. The hops are a bit too westy and uncomplimentary. The ABV is nice and hidden fine. TBH I poured it in a Coke glass and one might think it is Coke based on the foam and lacing. It's not overpowering. Creamy and refreshing just a bit all over the place. Curious to see how this one ages. I got it from Shangy's in Emmaus, PA and they gave it a five mug rating.

Jul 18, 2019
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izraelc from New York

3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A lot going on here. Maybe too much. Pours opaque. Deep brown foam. Smells like burnt coffee. Too may layers. You get bitter coffee and sweet chocolate and an alcohol finish. Someone's trying too hard.

Jan 12, 2019
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EmperorBevis from England

3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black body with good tan head
Aroma ma has
Bevis Maun
Two Roads Brewing Company by Unorthodox
Bevis Maun is drinking an Unorthodox by Two Roads Brewing Company

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Dec 03, 2018
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JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled September 2018 from 12oz bottle in pint glass. Bottled on date Jan 12, 2018..

Appearance: Very dark black, dark color, with a dark tan head of less than 1 finger. The head flattened and dissipated quickly. The head left a little coating on the glass.

Smell: Strong hops aroma, especially for a RIS. There are also roasted malt aromas, coffee, and a little chocolate in the aroma. Interesting combination and balance between the hops, malts, and other aromas.

Taste: Strong mix of bitterness from the hops, coffee and burnt malt flavors. Full-bodied with nice balance. It is very smooth. There is a hint of sweetness like chocolate, but that is definitely overshadowed by the hops and coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, with strong alcohol which matches with the 9.2% on the label.

Overall: This was the first time I tried anything from Two Roads brewery. This is a big RIS in both typicaly stout flavors of coffee and roasted malts, along with the prominent hops flavor. This is a very good Imperial stout. It has strong flavors as well as alcohol, and the mix of malts and hops makes for a unique and interesting stout. As someone who loves RIS and IPAs, this is a nice mix and I would buy it again. I am very interested in trying their other stouts now.

Sep 29, 2018
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Mr-Beer from New York

4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark in color andDark in taste. Rich Espresso dark chocolate in flavor with hints of nuttiness. Another of the dark beers. Another highly recommended dark beer

May 19, 2018
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beergoot from Colorado

3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark, opaque body; thick, frothy, creamy head. Rather faint aroma of roasted grain and chocolate notes. Excellent flavor of cocoa and chocolate with a boozy undertone; somewhat spicy. Heavy body yet a tad watery; a nice sweet residual sugar note on the palate.

A very tasty RIS delivering a nice balance of chocolate sweetness and deep roasted and charred grain goodness. Perhaps it is a bit weak in the aroma and the mouthfeel, but the taste will satisfy lovers of big, rich stouts.

Apr 10, 2018
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Speiglau Stout glass.

Look is pitch black with a cafe au lait head.

Aroma is astrigent roasted malt with not much hops or yeast to distinguish.

Taste is a lotta roast and not too much body.

Apr 06, 2018
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TheChairman from Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A drinkable stout, but certainly not in league with some of my favorites (Founders' Imperial or Breakfast stouts are generally available, for instance).

Feb 13, 2018
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Lucular from Maryland

3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Plenty of rye with some espresso and chocolate. Unfortunately there is a sharply metallic note fighting with the other flavors that does not help the overall profile.

Feb 08, 2018
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spoony from Colorado

3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From a 355 ml bottle (packaged January 12, 2018) to a snifter.

A-A zealous pour produces a fat finger of medium-brown head. The foam lasts about two minutes before fading to a thin cap. I can see some fine carbonation bubbling up on the top. The beer beneath is dark brown, nearly black.

S-The hops advertised on the bottle are certainly apparent in the smell. I get big whiffs of lemony/solventy/pine- forward hop flavors with my first few whiffs. There are some stout flavors here, too, like espresso, char or ash, and a little kick of black molasses sweetness. The beer almost smells like a black IPA.

T-The taste is also hoppy and quite bitter. Dark roasted flavors suggest coffee grounds and bakers chocolate with only a little black molasses and dried fruit flavor to balance things out. The hops are still there, too, with a pine-y bitterness fading into a leafy, medicinal, slightly alcoholic finish.

M-The weight is around medium or average with a chunky, moderate carbonation.

O-I wanted to like this beer from a new-to-me brewery, but I just could not get into it. There was not much balance of flow to the flavor profile. Maybe with a little more time the hops would mellow and the beer would be more enjoyable...I dunno.

Feb 03, 2018
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gueuzeonhigh from Maine

3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

Dec 05, 2017
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.54/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Nov 20, 2017
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mike22ne from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +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.

Oct 07, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Jun 23, 2017
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fscottkey from New York

3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Jun 06, 2017
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

May 13, 2017
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -1%
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.


Apr 08, 2017
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

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).

Mar 21, 2017
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MacMalt from New Jersey

3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Mar 12, 2017
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Mar 11, 2017
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Feb 17, 2017
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fank2788 from Connecticut

3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz served in a couple of pint glasses
Pours a deep dark near black in color with a frothy fine bubbled dark khaki head that is all classic RIS. The smell is sweet coffee, a touch of rye spice, some piney hops and chocolate. The taste is a touch sweet overall but there is a great dark coffee character and a solid bitterness that comes without much in the way of hop flavor. The rye is mildly apparent if you look for it but it is really just a minor addition to what is a solid stout. The finish is quite dry and puckeringly bitter both from roasted malts and the assertive hops. The alcohol builds with time but is surprisingly hidden despite its strength. Good overall but the taste may lack just a bit of the complexity that you'll find in other world class examples of the style, but still worth a try if you get the opportunity. Another good one from Two Roads!

Jun 17, 2016
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keithmurray from Connecticut

3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle dates 10/15/15

Appearance - dark brown mahogany color with beige head

Smell - chocolate, espresso, soy sauce, roasted malts , pine

Taste - rye, citrus, hops, roasted malts, some chocolate

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, high carbonation, very hoppy upfront and in the finish

Overall - this beer misses the usual marks for a RIS, not a whole lot of chocolate or roasted malted notes. Drinks more like a black IPA. Disappointing

Price Point - $7.99/22 oz bottle

Mar 24, 2016
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the bottle, it pours a very dark (seems black, but may be a super dark brown) with a very nice head, lasting a while. Chocolate and coffee in the nose. The same with a bit of bitterness in the mouth. Great variation on a Russian Imperial Stout. Yum!

Mar 10, 2016
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Wiffler27 from New Jersey

4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bottled 12/14/15

pours jet black with a thick head. nice looking RIS.

smell is nice and sweet. notes of coffee, cream, chocolate, and vanilla.

taste is strong. not strong as in alcohol but strong as in bitter and sharp. finishes bitter and dry, a coffee finish. a spice to it as well. (which is due to the rye in this beer, interesting rye imperial stout)

overall this is not bad but is far from great. nice coffee taste and aroma but not as good of a taste as many other RIS'. the rye malt in this changes the taste.

Feb 26, 2016
Unorthodox Russian Imperial Stout from Two Roads Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 244 ratings