Vinatta Russian Imperial Stout
Kelsen Brewing Company

Vinatta Russian Imperial StoutVinatta Russian Imperial Stout
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Kelsen Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #32
Ranked #546
4.44 | pDev: 7.43%
Sep 24, 2022
Feb 05, 2015
Vinátta is a bold Russian Imperial Stout that required four separate mashes to produce one six barrel batch of beer. This beer has a big, chewy mouthful and has flavors of chocolate, prunes, leather and tobacco. This is a bold beer that pushes the limits of an already extreme beer style.

Vinátta will be brewed once every winter in limited quantities.

Friendship is about strength, longevity and working together. Vinátta, Norse for friendship, is a Russian Imperial Stout brewed by friends, to be enjoyed with friends, today, or years to come. Vinátta is a collaboration with our friend Andy Day, owner of The Drinkery and Cask and Vine.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by Holderness:
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Reviewed by Holderness from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
L — Pours a very dark black body with three fingers of thick pale brown head produced with aerated pour. Great retention and good lacing
S — Herbal hops, caramel, bakers chocolate, dried dark fruit, smoke, toffee
T — Intense and smokey. Lots of well roasted barley malt, caramel, molasses, dried dark fruit, and bitter herbaceous hops
F — Big mouthfeel, medium- carb. Definitely a sipper, this brew is a bruiser
O — A huge RIS that one should definitely be prepared for going into. Perhaps the most intense stout I’ve ever had

Nov 14, 2018
More User Ratings:
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Reviewed by JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

4.66/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into pint glass in September 2022. There was vintage on the bottle label of 2022. I drank this about 4 months after purchase.

Appearance: Very dark black with a one finger high tan/brown head. Head thins out to a very thin covering, and leaves very little lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong bourbon aroma. Also some chocolate, roasted coffee, and caramel. There is some additional sweetness like malts. Not much hop aroma.

Taste: There is an interesting combination of flavors. There are strong whiskey and coffee flavors along with caramel and chocolate. Also, some smoky roasted malt flavors. There is some bitterness from hops. There is a strong alcohol presence that matches 12.0% on the label. There is a strong oak and whiskey aftertaste, that is really enjoyable.

Mouth-feel: Thick, but with an extremely smooth and creamy body.

This is an excellent Imperial Stout. It has a variety of flavors that adds a nice complexity to the beer. It is very smooth and enjoyable to drink. Currently, my favorite beer from Kelsen. This reminds me of "Big Bad Baptist Double Barrel" from Epic Brewing that I had recently. I would definitely buy this again.
Sep 24, 2022
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Reviewed by Sludgeman from District of Columbia

3.73/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Too sweet for my RIS stylistic tastes. Heavy vinous notes in both the taste and aroma. Burnt malty bitterness underneath. Heavy bodied, smooth, with a semi-dry finish. I love the RIS style but this is not a favorite.
Apr 25, 2022
Rated: 3.94 by tonystanhope from Florida

Apr 04, 2022
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Reviewed by tekstr1der from New Hampshire

4.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Really excellent but perhaps I drank this too fresh and might have benefited from som cellaring - was a tad rough around the edges. Aroma's are amazing and align per brewer's description. Would love to grab another bottle.
Mar 07, 2022
Rated: 4 by atlbravsrno1 from Maine

Aug 22, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by Mickt465 from New Hampshire

Mar 06, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by Patches826 from Massachusetts

Jan 29, 2020
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Reviewed by ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Finally opening a 2017 bottle of this beer I've been storing away, and decided to also give it a solid review while I'm at it. Kelsen's darker beer styles have long been lauded as their most vaunted brews, and this is likely their most coveted single release. I've had it before, but only fresh... this changes now!

Pours a tar-black color with some very, very slight brownish notes around the edges. A very thin but retentive head of khaki-colored foam builds up to a half-finger at its highest point. The surface is mostly clear and devoid of bubbles, though some wisps still remain here and there. I will say that it seems the appearance of this beer varies between vintages, and it is likely that this being a couple years old could account for the poor head formation. As such, I will give it the benefit of the doubt.

The nose here is quite rich and dominated by notes of savory meat, tobacco, dark fruit, leather, earthiness, cocoa, caramel, and dark chocolate. Some light notes of fruity dark roast coffee, surprisingly-bright herbal hops, sticky pine, and toffee. This is really holding up after years of careful cellaring, I will say that. I have had some super awful beers recently from my closet of stuff I've been keeping for years, and this does not seem likely to be one of them. This already is giving me way better vibes than Vendel with a year on it, for example. I think this is likely one of the best-smelling RISes I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying.

My first sips of this cement what I thought from the nose... this is excellent with a couple years on it. It ages spectacularly, and displays prominent savory flavors combined with nice coffee and chocolate maltiness. Dark, rye-like grains with a superb spice and pine-y focus from the hops appear in the mid-palate, while dense caramel sweetness and a round, palatable mouthfeel become apparent and really help out the entirety of the experience. Dense toffee and really nice, sweet chocolate suggestions help balance the insane bitterness that this still commands after several years of maturation. I'm really impressed here, not gonna lie. The feel is smooth and velvety, with a slightly oily slickness toward the end of each sip, and a very modest showing of the intense ethanol on order here. This is definitely the best RIS I've had in a while, and it sits in such high regard without any extraneous ingredients or even any type of barrel-aging. Just a big old beer (literally, in my case)... do you dare? You should.
Jan 05, 2020
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Reviewed by Radome from Florida

4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Tasted from a 500 ml Belgian-style bottle.

L - Opaque, deep brown color. Fluffy, long-lasting tan colored head. A very pretty beer.

S - Wonderful aromas of espresso, chocolate, smoke, oak, roasted grain. No real hops notes; yeast gives a low fruitiness.

T - Complex layers of flavors including chocolate, bitter espresso, toasted wood, sherry.

F - Medium to thick body with a creamy, silky feel. Low carbonation. Medium to high hops bitterness that pairs well with the bitterness from roasted grains. Strong alcohol burn., but not harsh because it is in good balance with the other strong sensations.

O - This is a delicious beer, overflowing with rich, deep aromas and flavors. A delicious, satisfying beer that is among the best examples of the style I've had.
Jun 27, 2019
Photo of brewandbbq
Reviewed by brewandbbq from New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
4oz sample served in a plastic cup at the source. Presents opaque black with barely a trace of tan head. Retention and lacing is minimal. Chocolate and char in the nose with hints of roast and coffee. Full bodied with a creamy, velvety mouthfeel. Brownie batter and Oreo shells on the palate. Finishes fairly dry with lingering bakers chocolate.

Nice, straight -forward RIS that's just not done justice in a small plastic cup.

Also tried 2017 on draft that was faded and oxidized with a cola-like aftertaste.
Mar 09, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts

Feb 22, 2019
Rated: 4.35 by fthegiants from California

Dec 15, 2018
Rated: 4.38 by Wizzle32 from Pennsylvania

Jul 14, 2018
Rated: 4.44 by hozersr from Pennsylvania

Jul 14, 2018
Rated: 4.48 by Wheels2532 from Pennsylvania

Jul 14, 2018
Rated: 4.23 by madelf66 from Pennsylvania

Apr 26, 2018
Photo of jdhilt
Reviewed by jdhilt from New Hampshire

4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours a two finger light brown head that fades slowly leaving no lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Coffee, some dark fruit nose and taste is leather, coffee, bitter cocoa. High ABV (12%) is hidden. Pricey at $13.45 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma. Bottle # 14803764.
Feb 01, 2018
Rated: 4.4 by Beerbom from California

Jan 19, 2018
Rated: 4.6 by Burghman from Rhode Island

Dec 26, 2017
Vinatta Russian Imperial Stout from Kelsen Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 94 ratings