Catherine The Great | Brouwerij Smisje

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Catherine The GreatCatherine The Great
170 Ratings
Catherine The GreatCatherine The Great

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Smisje

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 04-06-2008

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 170 |  Reviews: 108
Reviews by ViveLaChouffe:
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The label of this beer declares that this is an imperial stout. De Regenboog has yet to disappoint so I am looking forward to this one.

Surprisingly, this stout pours out a murky brown instead of a pitch black. Highlights of mahogany with a frothy tan head. Smells fruity, of Granny Smith apples and ripe pears. Quite yeasty and hint of alcohol.

Lots of lovely roasty flavors, espresso, bitter chocolate and mocha. Oaky too, vanilla, toffee and hints of dark fruit. Full bodied and sweetish, not sticky. Roasty and bitter in the finish, the coffee flavors coming through again.

If you closed your eyes, this would be a classic roasty imperial stout. It's very good, just that odd appearance that throws you.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of kaimcm
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a Caracole glass.

A: big big fluffy head. tons of lace and rocky peaks and valleys. its dark in here which obscures the color, or is it that this beer is so dark it obscures the light? who knows...

S: some generic fruit, some brown sugar, some stale cigar, yeast. if you really go for it some burn off that 10%.

T/M: sugar and sweet green grapes and apples up front supported by a creamy and soft mouthfeel. palate is rich but not heavy, leave it to the Belgians. the burnt tabacco and borderline astringent sugar round out the finish which lingers but kinda makes me wish it didnt. a roasted malt quality rises on the back palate along with some coffe and mingles with the finish. a robust combo of flavors, this is a big beer with a hint of elegance. some rum-esque qualities as it warms to near room temp and the booze comes out.

D: goes down dangerously easy for 10%. a nightcap and a solo one at that but good drinking for the style.

A nice beer and one I'd revisit, though the corners should be smoothed out a bit. What can I say, I dig Regenboog.

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Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Label calls this one "T'Smisje Catherine", this is the closest listing I could find and I did not want to add another brew, so anyway, here goes....11.2 ounce typical stubby, heavy glass Belgian bottle. No freshness info offered. Allowed to warm up in the bottle, then pours with a HUGE darker tan head, fine retention, gobs of lacing/sheeting. Slowly dissolves and leaves a nice cap of meringue. Best way to describe the color is dark chocolate, brownish with a glint of almost dark plummy purple. Nose is of milk chocolate and powdered sugars. Carbonation is bright and a bit prickly. Tons of more darker chocolate notes, some coffee grounds, cocoa, oreo cookies, and smoke. A lot going on here, heady stuff, chaotic Belgianess flows unmistakably from this one. Interesting but it could use some smoothness and a sense of order and direction. Worth a try, be ready to have your senses challenged.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep mahogany-brown with a medium tan head. Pleasant aroma of chocolate, licorice, roasted malt, and wood. Solid amount of roasted malt, some smoke/peat flavors, caramel, licorice, spice, and the expected Belgian yeast. Not the most imperial of stouts, but a good beer.

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Photo of pat61
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nose coffee, light roast. Pours dark brown with a slight haze under a 3” foam cap that slowly dissipates while producing good lace. The palate has chocolate with some light coffee notes with some caramel and a little sherry. The beer is highly carbonated with a medium body. The carbonation is a little harsh and the beer is a little solventy and the alcohol is a little hot.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.43/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2


Pour It Black
Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

This is a hazy, auburn and gold beer with a thin white head that doesn't leave much cling or stick to the glass. This looks more like a lifeless barleywine than it does any stout I've ever had.

A sweet, fruity, and boozy aroma. There's quite a bit of white fruit flesh aroma, like apple and melon, along with some citrus and bread components. There's also a strong alcohol heat element as well.

This has a lot of white fruit flavors like apple and melon, along with a strong citrus and bread component and strong, biting, hot alcohol.

Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

Not like any RIS I've ever had, and not in a good way.

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Photo of kwkdmk
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of chefpeet
2.75/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle served in a Belgian snifter. $5.50 at Total Wine.
Bottle released considerable pressure when the cap was unsealed, suggesting it might gush, but it was well behaved. It did raise a very tall head in the pour. This reduced to a complete top coat fairly quickly.
A cross between a Belgian strong, a Belgian stout and a RIS, the Belgian character is particularly evident in the aroma. No points deducted for style: this is delicious and, besides, the "Imperial Stout" on the English label may be due to the US distributor. Very good balance and complexity.

Overall: recommended.

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Photo of SPRichard
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of acurtis
2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.11/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Muddy, fudgy milk chocolate color. Looks like liquefied Slo-Poke, and nothing like any beer I've seen, stout or otherwise. Head is thick, fluffy, rock, and retains well. Certainly not your typical black stout color. Plus points for looking so unique.

Aroma is milk chocolate, caramel, and wet penny, mingled nicely and balanced well.

Loved the flavor. It's different, but I didn't judge it by RIS standards, and I'm glad I didn't, as I agree with the BA listing that it's more a foreign/export stout than anything. Loaded with burnt sugar, toffee, caramel, and milk chocolate. As the sipping goes on, the toffee becomes heavy and dominant, which is fine by me. Yeast provides its own nutty backdrop, adding another element to this unique beer.

Texture is melted butter, slick yet not totally thick. Candy-like and decadent. Where Belgian stouts like Podge and Buffalo are way too effervescent, this feels truly stouty despite its non-traditional character.

Too unique, weird and big to drink regularly, but a fine indulgence I'll definitely seek out again. Would pair ridiculously well with Belgian chocolates. Go for it, especially if you like Troubador Obscura and De Dolle's Special Extra Export stout.

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Photo of mattfancett
2.6/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There are many very good RISs out there, this one found at State Line. A moderate one, and yes a foreign export stout, not very thick with chocolate and coffee and the like. In fact, little coffee. Quaffable, black with some head.Nice roasting.Distinct bitterness.

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Photo of dbossman
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Really nice looking beer but it looks more like a dark Belgian; deep mahogany hue; hazy, thick gorgeous cream-colored hue with decent lacing

S: A lot going on: tart fruits--grapes, cherries, plums, apples--also some roasty, burnt malts and leather and rubber? Man, this smells like a Belgian sour stout--I'm intrigued

T: I'm not sure if this beer is supposed to be like this but I think I like it; sour, sweet, malty, weird; sweet fruits up front that turn slightly sour--cherries, apples, and then a burnt coffee, burnt tire, burnt leather flavor takes over; almost like someone mixed a sour and a stout in an ash tray but oddly enough I really like this though sweetness does become a bit cloying in the back end

F: A tad over carbonated and thin

O: I don't quite know how to rate this beer--it's on one of the weirdest beers (and not really a stout) I've had and yet I find myself really enjoying it

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.41/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip- pours a very dark brown with a hint of ruby (so moderately clear), but still some solid sediment floating around. HUGE 3+ finger head with exceptional retention and beautiful lacing. For that, have to give it a 5 on appearance.

Smells like a Belgian strong dark ale for sure- lots of yeast up front, some candi sugar, and a little roasted malt. Maybe a tiny bit of hop bitterness in that mix of strong smells.

Taste is consistent with nose- a good balance of candi sugar, Belgian yeast, and roasted malt. Alcohol is very well concealed. Finishes pretty sweet.

Mouthfeel is great- medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation of the live variety. Great beer- get it if you see it. First time I had it on tap and if I remember correctly the bottle is just as good.

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Photo of zonker17
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Bung
2.85/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

11.2 oz. Another Belgian with a black pour and HUGE cream head. Some roasted malt aromas, more fruity and sweet than a stout would have. Some roasted malt, molasses, dried fruits, slight nut. Could have been very intersting but again, to me the carbonation really confuses everything. A quad? Get them (Belgian stouts) their own category and stop insulting the poor RIS's everywhere!

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Photo of Ryften
3.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Roasty, toasted malts, vanilla, smokey.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 11.2 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on February 21, 2010 at about 45 degrees. The pour is a fairly hazy reddish-brown with a tremendous two-inch thick puffy off-white head that sticks around. I expect an Imperial Stout to look black and while the head looked good for an Impy Stout, the color was more long an amber ale. A bit of roasted caramel in the aroma, a note of alcohol (10% ABV), and maybe a little yeast. Decent enough heavier mouthfeel but the taste is way too alcohol for me. A little sour and hoppy at the end but overall it is the alcohol that I get for most of it. A weak take on the Impy Stout recipe.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A coppery-chocolate pour yields a sienna coloring with a swirling haze along with a 2 finger khaki colored head that retained well enough. The head had a marshmellow structure that settled to a frothy whipped covering leaving a weak lacing.

S: Sour apples are dominate on the nose from the yeast along with fresh raisins, and plums also making their presence known. The yeastiness covers much of the malting here with no signs of your typical coffee roastedness, chocolate malts, or bitterness. The overall strength was somewhere between light and medium and not quite what I was expecting.

T: The flavor opens with boozy and sweet notes of caramel raisin along with some acetaldhyde presence of green apples. Warming alcohol, similar to fermented apple mash about sums this up, along with some dark fruit skins of plums. Similar to the nose the Belgian yeastiness is dominant with no signs of roasted malting or bitterness. Instead we are treated to a malting that was sugary and caramelized. Toasty oak with a bit of licroice and sweet fennel wraps things up flavorwise that wasn't bad, just not what I was expecting from a imperial stout and was a bit overbearingly sweet.

M: A bit thin substance wise with an elastic feel. Flat and lazy effervesce with some swelling occurs upon the hold but really doesn't do much to entice and comes off rather uneventful.

D: Not bad flavorwise, but was really to sweet per style lacking any dark roastedeness and to much to handle or enjoy. The 10.0% was an after- thought, not even noticeable except from the sugary presence from the grains that was not balanced by any hops it seems. Catherine the great comes off as Catherine the mediocre and hardly worth a mention per style let alone as Belgian brewed. Disappointing.

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Photo of bonbini26
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of Surlington
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, cloudy reddish-brown. The head is thick and creamy, and doesn't dissipate.
S: First waft is of alcohol, then cherries.
T: Almost a little too sweet. Alcohol flavor is a little on the strong side. Otherwise, I taste mostly a pleasant burnt caramel.
M: Thin for a stout, but with just the right carbonation.
D: Average drinkability, maybe a little better for a beer with such high alcohol content.

Overall, it's a nice little number. Pretty standard though.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark cloudy brown color ale with a super large off-white foamy head with great retention and some perfect lacing. Aroma of Belgian yeast with some caramel malt and some dry fruits - not a stout per say but good aroma nonetheless. Taste is closer to a dark Belgian ale then a stout with loads of dry fruits ester, some caramel malt and some light lingering sugar. Body is quite full with perfect carbonation and no alcohol was discernible. Well done thought I could never had guess this was a stout form looking and drinking this.

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Catherine The Great from Brouwerij Smisje
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 170 ratings