Chernyy Medved
Valiant Brewing Co.

Chernyy MedvedChernyy Medved
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Stout - Russian Imperial
4.18 | pDev: 9.57%
Valiant Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Chernyy MedvedChernyy Medved
Notes: A powerful and fearless Russian Imperial Stout brewed in collaboration with our comrades at Black Market Brewing in Temecula CA. Chernyy Medved was brewed in tribute to the OC Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival which takes place in December in Orange County CA. Brewed with smoked wood, pine, vanilla, cherries and coming in at 13% ABV this intense black beauty will warm you right up this winter or will cellar nicely to be enjoyed in the years to come.
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 71 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by el_bobbo:
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el_bobbo from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Slightly Smoky which is unexpected. Smooth and easy drinking with almost no hint of it's HUGE abv.

May 10, 2019
More User Reviews:
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iebforever from California

4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black/opaque in color with a tan head which dissipates quickly. Smoky aroma is prominent. Campfire in a glass is the only way to describe this beer after five years. After it warms trace cherry flavor is present. The roast is huge but pleasant. Hides the 13% well and held up well. Full bodied and well carbonated. I remember this beer when it first came out and it was like a cherry cordial. The prominent cherry flavor faded and the beer finishes much drier than back in the day. Sad Valiant closed, I only have one more of their beers left in my beer cellar (Valiant II Barleywine).

Dec 21, 2019
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RBorsato from Virginia

4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apr 10, 2017
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JMBSH from Colorado

4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jul 24, 2015
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Hellpop65 from Kansas

4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 07, 2016
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metter98 from New York

4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a finger high dark tan head.
S: Moderate aromas of iodine from the smoked malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell but isn't nearly as smoky and has additional notes of cherries and oak.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This Russian Imperial Stout is quite complex and has a variety of interesting flavors. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

Jan 03, 2016
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Ranbot from Pennsylvania

2.09/5  rDev -50%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Cherry Robitussin with a shot of espresso. Seriously... I tried to think of what other flavors were there but my mind just kept coming back to cough syrup and very dark roast coffee that lingers long into the aftertaste. There's fair amount of bittering hops in this too that become more apparent as it warms up and build-up in my tastes over time. Some points are awarded for it being a very nice looking beer, opaque black topped by a thick tan head that stays around a long time. Smell is OK, with some cherries and vanilla, little to no hop aroma. Mouthfeel is pretty good. But the taste....cough syrup and espresso. I worked through approximately 12 oz of this over 45 minutes or so hoping it would get better. Nope. There was no reason to contine the pain, so the rest of the bottle went down the drain. Mind you, I rarely drain pour and this one hurt a bit because it was a pretty expensive bottle.

Feb 21, 2016
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mabermud from Washington

4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is underrated. What's going on with the raters these days? Every benchmark in my book is made and surpassed with flying colors. This is good stuff. Don't believe the mis-hype or de-hype.

Look - Great. Dark.
Smell - Stout, easy cherries, and slight vanilla.
Taste - The cherries and stout do not overpower the stout. I like how everything melds together nicely. Cherry integration. The vanilla is standing in back somewhere. Nice is how I describe the taste of this beer.
Feel - Great. Body is about medium. Carbonation is right there.

Overall - Well-made. Give this beer a break!

Mar 20, 2015
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AndrewMichael from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Part of the Rare Beer Club
750 mL capped bottle poured into a stemmed glass.
Jet black color with big, brownish head on the beer.
Rich, chocolately, oak, with subtle cherry and vanilla flavors.
I find Russian Imperials very smooth for the abv.
Outstanding beer from the OC.

Apr 03, 2016
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pkalix from California

4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jul 05, 2015
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mwilbur from Minnesota

4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a beautiful brownish black hue with a 2-3 inch dark mocha head with excellent retention. Nice lacing too.
S: Black malt, dry dark chocolate, wood smoke char and cherries, peat smoked malt, vanilla, and molasses. Smells big, deep, and complex!
T: Dark cherry, dry dark chocolate, and vanilla seem to hit first. The mid-palate picks up more of the wood smoke char and peat smoked malt notes. Heavier notes of molasses and a kick of booze round out the finish. Nicely constructed! As this warms, more subtle notes of caramel, brown sugar, and red berries (raspberry?) emerge.
M: Heavy body. Darkly sweet (cherry, chocolate, vanilla) and amazingly smooth. The booze is there, but kept in restraints. Lingers and matures nicely on the palate (the cherry note again plays first fiddle here too).
D: Love what the cherry note brings to this brew...absolutely brings it all together with a focal point. Also really enjoyed the beech smoked barley and peat smoked malt notes. Wonderfully balanced and complex...and inventive. A tremendous winter sipper (just shoveled out 8+ inches today). Seek it out if you can!

Dec 30, 2015
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dec 17, 2016
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leroybrown10 from Missouri

3.34/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours black and thick. Huge dark khaki head. Head looks super dense and creamy. Slow to recede and leaves a thin layer of creamy foam once it does. Massive amount of sticky lacing which sticks around the whole time.

Very smoky aroma. Charred wood, charcoal, and smoked peat. Earth and ocean brine. Dark chocolate.

More smoke on the tongue though not as strong as the aroma. Earth, pine, and cedar. Dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and vanilla. Even though the smoke taste isn't as intense as the aroma, it quickly drowns out the other flavors.

Thick, creamy mouth feel. Moderate carbonation. Smoke coats the tongue, like breathing a campfire. Bitter aftertaste.

Lots right with this beer, really everything but the taste. Supposed to be cherry but zero presence. Smoke overwhelms.

Mar 12, 2016
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GRG1313 from California

3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mar 15, 2016
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass with a fine half finger light brown head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet dark toasted malt, vanilla, mild chocolate. Flavor is mildly sweet dark toasted malt, vanilla, dark chocolate, a hint of licorice, light smoky char and a hint of cherry. Finishes with pleasant lightly charred malt, chocolate and light fruit that is barely recognizable as cherry. Very nice mouth feel, creamy with good carbonation. A great, well integrated stout with a very deft use of cherry that gives it a very mild fruit zing without adding tartness or lightening the dark malts. That's exactly what I hope to find in a stout with fruit elements. Rich and interesting enough to make the 13% ABV unnoticeable. Had to pace myself here. Tasty and well made. Not sure why this is listed as an American stout here; it is not aggressively hopped and has all the character of a Russian imperial stout, which both the theme (Russian bear) and name on the bottle.

Jun 05, 2015
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benzalman from California

4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 16, 2015
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valkyre65 from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jan 04, 2017
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Mages64 from Washington

4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 02, 2015
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dec 28, 2018
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smithj4 from New York

4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jan 01, 2016
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hefffiend from California

4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jan 20, 2015
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, char, smoke, vanilla, and sour fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with smoke, char, cocoa powder, vanilla, and tart cherry flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some tart cherry qualities in the smell and taste that somehow work with everything else even if they weren't intended.

Serving type: bottle.

Apr 26, 2015
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riotontheroad from California

4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apr 20, 2015
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warrendietrich2001 from Nevada

4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oct 04, 2019
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kjkinsey from Texas

4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jul 10, 2016
Chernyy Medved from Valiant Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 71 ratings