Theophan The Recluse | Three Taverns Craft Brewery

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Theophan The RecluseTheophan The Recluse

Brewed by:
Three Taverns Craft Brewery
Georgia, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Theophan The Recluse was a Russian monk known for the spiritual depth and complexity of his writings. We consider him a perfect namesake for this rich, complex imperial stout, brewed with eight specialty malts, dark Muscovado sugar and a Belgian yeast strain. Deep, mysterious, full-bodied and indefinably exotic, Theophan The Recluse is meant to transport drinkers to a place of deep contemplation, spiritual insight and inspired conversation.

Added by mweso2000 on 10-25-2013

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Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 114
Photo of spacecake9
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours black with a small tan head
S - Aroma has quite an alcohol sting to it
T - Flavor is pretty straightforward roasted malt.
M - Mouth feel is thick, carbonation low.
O - This is one of those times when I got fooled by the label and name. Really nothing special happening here. Not a bad beer but I would not seek it out again.

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Photo of Nominoe
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with no head until my bottle was vertical. What little brown head showed up on top of this black beer dissipated very quickly and left no lacing while drinking.

Smells like a belgian quad. Plummy, raisiny, chocolatey. It's an intensified fruitiness of those dark chocolate-covered fruits you smell in great Russian Imperial Stouts but without the coffee/vanilla/roastiness. Just the fruit and chocolate.

Tastes a bit sour, like a fruit just on the left of the left-to-right gaussian curve of ripeness. I mean like a quarter-sigma left. That not-so-ripeness that makes you wonder whether you actually like it this way. The chocolate from the nose is subdued and zero roast/coffee/nutty/vanilla exists. (This is not a Russian Imperial Stout.)

This beers feels great. Somewhat thick, but not an artificial syrup-like feel. An easy swish around the mouth certainly brings a heavy alcohol burn to the nostrils, which shows up well concealed in a normal sip as fermented dark fruit. Very very little carbonation, like a heavy stout. Nice.

Overall, this is dark in color, dark fruit in smell and taste and lacking carbonation - all in favor of an RIS, but I cannot compare it to any RIS I have had before. It is delicious. It is not a quad, but certainly Three Taverns knows how to throw in a Belgian twist to their beer.

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Photo of adamette
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750 ML bottle that my brother in law Steven brought on our vacation. He picked it up near Atlanta. Thanks Steven! Poured into a clean, clear glass.

A Oil black with minimal head...really a few hundred small bubbles with a medium brown color dance across the top of the beer...and do not even cover the surfaces...after a vigorous pour.

S Deep Dark Roast Malt. Wonderful!

T Whoa...this is one hell of a deep dark RIS. Immediately I am imagining this Barrel Aged and how great it must be. Back to reality: A fine RIS with a very good taste.

M Mouthfeel is deep, dark molasses that lingers on the tongue for several minutes after last taste. Very, very good feel.

D/O: Drinkability is not great since the ABV is so high. Overall this is a very good RIS.

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Photo of zac16125
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Opaque black, less than a sliver of light tan head, which is very bubbly and dissipates away quickly, leaves no lacing. 3.5

S: Roasted malts, lots of leather characters, some booze, a bit of sweetness. 3.75

T: Like the nose, mostly leather notes and roasted malt. Some bitterness, herbaceous notes, sugary sweetness. 3.75

M/D: Medium body, thinner than I would like, carbonation very low but not flat, ABV well masked, drinkability is good. 3.25

O: Good beer, but nothing special. I’ve heard lots of good things about this brewery, so I was a bit disappointed. Still worth a drink but not something I’d likely purchase again. 3.75

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, near black body with, despite a heavy-handed dispensement, very little to no head formation.

Smell: The roastiness of the nose is a bit hard, ashen, but not overly so. A little anise, chocolate. Anticipate dark fruitiness. Aroma is marked by an appreciable soy quality.

Taste: Presents a middling roasted maltiness wrapped in snippets of licorice sticks and gently dunked in your basic, everyday soy sauce. Ineffusive bakers chocolate quality, relatively restrained sweetness. Dark fruitiness of plums, prunes. Hint of black olive. Moderate alcohol tones and accompanying warmth. Bitterish roast on the soft, earthy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Low carbonation.

Overall: A disappointment, really. What landed in this bottle (couldn't spot any born-on, expiration, etc. dating), heavy on the soy and on the flat side, was a far cry from the one I had one draft several months prior.

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Photo of argock
4.29/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml brown bottle into a clear glass tulip. No obvious bottled on or freshness date but presume it is from end of 2013. Received in a local exchange with good friend randomjazzr.

A: Black with beige 1-finger head, tightly bubbled with good retention and a bit of lacing at the top of the glass.

S: Aroma is good but could have bit more heft. LIcorice, black coffee, light to medium caramel and raisin/prune aromas with some fig/date pop through.

T: Really nice smooth, melded flavor with a solid dark malt fruity raisin/fig/prune background kissed with black coffee and light, deft licorice notes. There are some sweeter caramel flavors too to keep balance with and assertive medium bitterness. SOme dark chocolate also sneaks in there. Alcohol is well-masked and the yeast character is a bit smoky without being ashy.

M: Good and drinkable, a bit light perhaps but still, all in all, really balanced feel with medium-full body and medium carbonation to support a well-crafter brew. Aftertaste is light licorice with black coffee and chocolate, light caramel sweetness.

O: I was really impressed with this 3 Taverns beer -- thanks to my good bud Erinn for sending such a superb brew along -- enjoyed by all (and by that, I mean Allyson and I!).

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Photo of JamesStreet
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml into snifter
A- nice-looking dark coffee color with a small, one-finger khaki head. Not much lace
S- Semi-sweet dark fruits like fig, blueberry(?), plum mixed with some milk chocolate. Red wine sneaks in there too.
T- A little more of the fruit, leather, some bitter chocolate, a slight sense of oak. Alcohol is buried nicely.
M- Really nice medium-bodied feel. A little prickly carb but not enough to make you go "hummm"
O- A nice take on a non-BA Imperial Stout. I really like the sweet fruit and red wine hints in this beer. A nice gift that I will seek out more of.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid RIS, with a smooth finish and a particularly nice note of bitter chocolate. It loses a little something after sitting in the glass for a while, and could use a little more depth- almost too smooth, a little roughness around the edges might actually help this beer a bit. Still, I enjoyed this well enough.

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Photo of chinchill
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured nearly black from the tap with a very good head.

This has a load of coffee and black licorice with the dark roasted malts. Mildly bitter; strong and bold. Alcohol is nearly invisible. Lasting aftertaste.

Feel: light-medium carbonation; a bit lively for style.

O: rich and strongly flavored, even for style.

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Photo of GeorgiaBrewed
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Very dark brown, opaque, almost black. It pours with very little head that dissipates quickly and leaves almost no lacing on the glass.

S: Smells of strongly coffee with perhaps a little bit of cocoa.

T: Starts off with some subtle raisin notes and roasted malts, then it hits you with the strong taste of black coffee and dark chocolate, and finishes with a refreshing bitterness from the hops.

M: Much lighter than I expected. I was hoping for something a little bit heavier.

O: This is a solid stout. It has a nice color, great taste, and it's very drinkable. I was just looking for something a little heavier to get me through this cold winter night.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle from Sherlock's (Marietta, GA). 11.98. Bottled 12/09/13 (I think. The ink was smeared). Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours with chest nut edges under the light but rests in the glass solid black. The finger and a half of foamy capucinno head settles to a thick ring with a nice haze over the surface but leaves little in the way of lace.

Aromas of toasted malts, dark cocoa, coffee, brown sugar and some vaguely Belgian yeasty notes.

Sharp flavors of bitter pure dark chocolate, deeply roasted malt, black coffee, raisin bread, cherry skins, resiny hop oil bitterness, a little licorice and just a tad of booze. Overall toasty and bitter with a little less sweetness than I'd prefer.

Body is on the lighter side of medium with mild but present carbonation. Bitter coffee and burnt fudge settle on the tongue for a lingering finish.

While this is far from my favorite imperial stout I must admit that I've enjoyed it a little more every time I drink one. Not hunt-worthy but I don't shy away from it when it's offered. I'll be socking a couple away to see if the bitterness will fade to reveal more balancing sweetness.

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Photo of Zach136
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml Bottle - $11 and some change - poured into a 3T Chalice

A - Pitch black, very little head and virtually no lacing

S - Not a super assertive nose, hints of roasted malt and a touch of burnt rubber. Very little Belgian yeast esters.

T - Roasted coffee and mild hop bitterness, touch of adjunct sugar sweetness that gives a touch a semi-sweet chocolate, but is also starting to give me a headache.

M - Low carbonation, with a silky mouth feel and sticky finish.

O - Nothing wrong with the beer, but the $12 price tag has me feeling a little burned

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: dark and nearly opaque. Some ruby highlights peak through. Not much head to speak of, slight legs/lacing.
Smell: pleasant enough. Not very rich for an imp but let's see what happens as it warms. Smells more like a milt stout than a Russian. There's a slight sourness amidst the semi-sweet cocoa and mild roastiness. Guess that's the Belgian yeast. This does get more interesting as it warms.
Taste: I'm really diggin this. Very smooth, tasty and complex. Hard to identify a stand out flavor, instead they blend well into a unique beast. A hint of spice in the finish.
Overall: a little thin for the style. I usually prefer rich and decadent. This is more on the subtle, complex side, and done quite well.

Edit note: this opened up more as it warmed. Went back and upped smell, taste, and overall. Kudos.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with two fingers of creamy light tan head. The foam slowly settles down to a film. Average lacing.

S: Milk chocolate, brown sugar, malted milk balls, coffee, and a bit of dark chocolate. Well balanced, but not terribly interesting.

T: Brown sugar is now pretty strong. Milk chocolate and malted milk balls are also there along with a bit of dark chocolate and coffee.

M: On the thin side with creamy carbonation.

O: Tasty, but a little uninteresting. Could use some more complexity and some more intense flavors.

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Photo of mweso2000
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From the brewer

Theophan the Recluse was a Russian monk known for the spiritual depth and complexity of his writings. We consider him a perfect namesake for this rich, complex imperial stout, brewed with eight specialty malts, dark Muscovado sugar and a Belgian yeast strain. Deep, mysterious, full-bodied and indefinably exotic, Theophan the Recluse is meant to transport drinkers to a place of deep contemplation, mystical insight and inspired conversation.

What an impressive beer from the new brewery in Georgia. A rich complex malty flavor. I get hints of chocolate and dark fruit flavors and just a tad bit of licorice but not so much that it turns you off. Such a complex flavor profile. Starts off velvety smooth and then the 60 ibu's kick in and give it a nice bite but not overly bitter. Some times RIS can taste slightly burnt but not this one. Put this against the big boys at Stone, Oskar Blues and North Coast in a blind taste test and this one would hold its own.

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Theophan The Recluse from Three Taverns Craft Brewery
3.88 out of 5 based on 114 ratings.
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