Berkshire Russian Imperial Stout | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Berkshire Russian Imperial StoutBerkshire Russian Imperial Stout
Liked This Beer
4.05 w/ 545 ratings
Berkshire Russian Imperial StoutBerkshire Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-30-2001

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Ratings: 545 |  Reviews: 312
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a foamy head, particularly how I tend to pour. Mild aroma of licorice and coffee and malt. Very smooth drinking and fresh, demonstrating that we just took it recently from the shelf. All Berkshires I have had bottled have gone done easily. Mildly roasted, not acidic or bold coffee at all.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one at AndrewK’s tasting.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and dark fruits. Taste is much the same with a slight tartness on the finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the fruity aromas and flavors I am getting aren’t my favorite.

 612 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short light tan head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and a collar of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark malts and licorice are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has notes of roasted malts along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a fairly solid Russian Imperial Stout but isn't as full-bodied compared to other beers in the style and also lacks a lot of roastiness.

 637 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate brown color with ruby highlights; the tan head fizzes away just a bit too quickly but leaves behind a few shards of lace

Smell: Chocolate, roasted malt and hints of both coffee and dark berry fruit

Taste: Plenty of dark chocolate up front, with the dark berry fruit appearing just behind; roasty bitterness arrives at mid-palate, but the flavor tends to fade after the swallow, although it is well-balanced throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, somewhat creamy; moderate carbonation, but a bit thin after the swallow

Drinkability: All in all, a respectable stout; very drinkable but not in the top tier of the Impy class

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a medium black color stout with a medium light brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt with some black chocolate notes. Taste is also dominated by some slightly bitter roasted malt with some notes of black chocolate. Body is definitely too thin for the style with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad overall even though body is watery and too thin for the style.

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Photo of largadeer
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown, slight opacity around the edges, with a light tan head that recedes a bit quicker than I'd like.

Smell: Chocolate chip cookie dough, earthy hops, vanilla, molasses. Subdued but pleasant; on the sweeter side.

Taste & mouthfeel: Flavors of chocolate cake, vanilla and dark fruits. Creamy and rich without an extreme ABV; I like it. The sweetness subsides a bit in the finish, revealing a slightly drying coffee and cream aftertaste.

 456 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This delightfully drinkable Imperial Stout delivers a very dark mahogany body beneath a short but creamy head of dark tan foam that holds quite well and leaves some nice lace at the outset of the glass.

The nose expresses a combination of berry-like yeasty fruitiness and dark chocolate with an underlying note of creamy mocha java.

In the mouth it's slick and smooth with an oily, medium body and restrained, fine-bubbled carbonation.

The flavor expresses the berry-like fruitiness found in the nose, infused with some sprinkled brown sugar, rich caramel, and soft milk chocolate notes. It's more sweetish and fruity than coffee-like or roasty, although a touch of sweet, creamy coffee does appear in the finish. The bitterness is kept well in-check; and the alcohol barely shows itself.

It's superbly balanced and well-rounded with a charming fruitiness, mild roastiness, and low-key chocolate/fudge character that lingers on the palate. It's not quite what I expect of an Imperial Stout, but it's very well done and quite enjoyable!

 1,048 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been a big fan of BBC for a while, and each new beer I try I like even more. I think they're a very underrated brewery and don't get enough respect. I have to start reviewing more of them. Anyways, here's the Imp Stout.

A: Nice creamy 2 finger head with a slight chocolate dark tinge to it. It seems to stick around for a while to enjoy the party with me, and leaves a slight lacing on the glass as it slowly fades. Very dark color with slight hints of light escaping through in the thin parts.

N: Mmmm, a nice nose, lots of roasted malts, some light black patent and touches of chocolate. It has a slight luscious milk chocolate creamy aroma. Some very light dark fruits touch teh nose and other nice malty aromas. The slightly spicy roasted aromas add nicely, but all of it is rounded off to a nice blend and nothing is too heavy.

T: Mmmm, creamy and delicious. It's very creamy with lots of milk chocolate, and I mean real milk chocolate, the kind you would get at a farm with rich heavy milk fresh from a Belgian chocolate fed cow, not the kind you got in grade school from those small cartons that were impossible to open. Also a nice almost spicy roasted flavor adds a really nice addition, but not the coffee roasted flavors, just the spicy roasted barley flavors. Very slight rich fruit touches the tongue on the sides. A very slight warming alcohol comes through. It also adds a slight bitter sweet chocolate flavor nicely and some light black patent malt and other malts. Slightly chewy as well. All the flavors mingle well.

M: Very creamy, pretty rich and thick, lower carbonation for how much head it had but that is perfect for a rich creamy thick stout. Some warming alcohol feel but pretty light in that department.

F: Finishes semi sweet, bitter sweet that is, like good 50% dark chocolate. A slight milky flavor also seem to stay after the swallow, with slightly spicy roasted flavor also lingering. A slight bitter flavor also comes through lately on the finish, a combination of some light spicy hops and some earthy char from roasted and scorched malts. Very drinkable and thirst quenching, a nice beverage.

 2,138 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very dark brown color with a small mocha head that quickly fades into a collar without really leaving anything behind. The nose carries a good amount of coffee, chocolate, and roast. Pretty good balance between each component. The flavor has a roast backbone which is then built upon by some dark chocolate and espresso. Fairly full body with a bit of booze. Slightly creamy. A nice brew.

 418 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a good-sized foamy tan head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is fruitier than most beers in this style. The typical RIS chocolate and roasted malt smells are there, but it’s the dark fruit that dominates.

T: The taste is creamy with flavors of dark chocolate, roasted malt and dark fruits, which stick around for the after-taste. There’s some alcohol burn, but not much. It’s well-balanced and consistent.

M: Very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light carbonation, has a bit of a slick finish but not sticky.

D: Tasty, easy-to-drink, a little filling, good representation of style with a slight twist (the twist being the higher fruitiness), this beer is an excellent sipper.

 824 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a small head of medium tan foam on top of a very dark brown body with just a touch of amber showing through. The foam settles quickly and leaves only light lace.

S - Dark caramel, molasses, and a hint of smoky licorice.

T - Sweet, dark malt up front with lots of molasses and licorice character. Some dark bread character in the middle with a hint of herbal hops. Finishes with more dark sugar and a lingering note of smoky licorice.

M - A medium-thick, oily body, moderate carbonation, and a fairly sweet finish.

D - Not bad, but a bit too sweet for my taste. The licorice blends well with the dark, sugary notes but things get kind of cloying in the finish and it could really use some more bitterness to balance out the malt.

 747 characters

Photo of billab914
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Pours black with a thin tan covering. The head stuck mostly to the sides of the glass where it left moderate lacing on the sides.

The aroma is a little more subdued then a lot of the big RIS's. It doesn't have a lot of the big bold roasted coffee and chocolate flavors, but what it does have a good cocoa and toffee, smooth smell to it. It has a little bit of a tootsie roll aroma going for it which sounds strange, but it's good.

The taste is also pretty smooth for a RIS, but it has more of the roasted, coffee, and chocolate flavors then the nose did. It has a sort of smooth milk chocolate flavor that is very easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is sort of thin and the carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is good, this was one of the easier drinking RIS's that I have had. I wouldn't say it had all the big flavors of some of the bigger RIS's but it did have some good flavors and went down easy.

 947 characters

Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of vfgccp
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A – Dark khaki head holds up with ok retention and relatively poor lacing. Dark cola color with mahogany / amber highlights.

S – Dark roasted grain, soft booze, dark chocolate, and cherry cordial candies.

T – Big, toasty, malt character that stops just short of bitter char. More raw grain flavor than most stouts. There’s a milky sweetness in the center. Alcohol warms the backend over milk chocolate, roast, and a faint woody bitterness.

M – Soft and full bodied with a dry finish.

O – The grain character has an interesting homemade edge to it that I really enjoyed.

 586 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of russpowell
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from ppotrias, cheers!

Pours jet black with 2 fingers of mocha head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Muted cocoa & boozeyness, nose improved as the beer warmed up to room temperature

T: Chocolate & iron, plus a bit of alcohol up front. Dryness, coffee, raisins, rich chocolate, vanilla, herbal hops & booze as this warms. Finishes with toasted grain, nice coffee notes & more chocolate; almost pulled a 5.0!

MF: Medium bodied, warming sticky, with some creamyness as well

Drinks very nice for the complexity, a well finessed IMP Stout!

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Berkshire Russian Imperial Stout from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Beer rating: 83.7% out of 100 with 545 ratings
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