Tsarist Imperial Stout | Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse

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8 Ratings

Brewed by:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-23-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8 |  Reviews: 5
Reviews by 2beerdogs:
Photo of 2beerdogs
4.95/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a phenomenal beer! I almost cried when it was not pouring when I visited a few years ago. It is one of the main reasons I go to Victoria from California. It has a beautiful balance between the malt which comes through nice and sweet with a roasty roundness, and the warm alcohol presence. I have enjoyed stronger Imperials, including one variation of this beer that came in over 9%ABV several years ago, but although less heavy than some it is a lovely, robust drink. I look forward to every trip to BC just to partake. God Bless Spinnakers!!!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mrmanning
3.15/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours looking like flat cola, with just a thin ring of mocha froth, and slight dusting. Mild coffee aromas play the main role, with dark chocolate, some raisin, and subtle hopping with pretty mild roasty-ness. FLavours are pretty nutty, with lots of roasty chocolatey bitterness. Fruit flavours follow, lead into the finish. Dry as anything, with an unacceptable watery finish. The second BC stout lately to be really watery. Thanks for getting this rarity Derek bo berek!

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Photo of Derek
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just purchased from the Spinnakers Brewpub (their spirit merchants have it as well). Bottle is good 'til Feb. 18, 2006.

A: Dark black, with a slight ruby tinge. Some off-white, almost tan head, but no retention or lace. A stout needs a standup head!

S: Dark roasty malt, with a little fruit.

T: A roasty chocolate flavour dominates. It's quite malty, but not overly bitter... it's actually balanced very well. There's a little dark, fruity flavour (raisin/prune?). The fruity esters from their British yeast work EXTREMELY well here (they don't take over, they provide the balance). A lot of American versions are lacking that British fruityness (and higher alcohols)!

It could use some more dark, roasty flavour, though it's not a necessity.

It certainly doesn't have the overwhelming hop flavour and bitterness of some of the American versions. From the style definition: "Hop character can vary from none, to balanced to aggressive", so it is still to style. I think some of the Imperials have been misguided by the current hop-bomb trend... this one is not. Hop character is closer to 'none'.

I really wish I had bought more. It'd be nice to try this back-to-back with Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout. I think this one's more flavourful.

M: Moderate body and carbonation. It could use some more body.

D: It's VERY smooth and drinkable. Awesome.

This is a great brew... but where's the head?

It was within a couple months of the expirey date, so perhaps the bitterness had mellowed and the head suffered because it wasn't fresh?

Anyway, this is an AWESOME, world-class brew!

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Photo of EskimoDave
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of harpus
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Coastal_Brew
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of BDTyre
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1. This beer is not retired. I've had it on tap just over six months ago, purchased it in bottles a month ago and have seen it on Spirit Merchants about a week ago. I have submitted for a status change shortly after having it on tap but nothing ever came of it....

2. I thought I reviewed this already, but I guess not....

I get very few IS...this is only my fourth. It does not quite stand up to the other two I've had, but it is the only one I can get on a regular basis. Regardless, it is well done and enjoyable as anything by Spinnakers tends to be.

This is not quite as "black-hole" black as North Coast, Samuel Smith or Great Divide, but it is still black as tar -holding it up to the light reveals only the faintest of ruby on the bottom of my glass. Very little head and it is a definite coffee-and-cream brown. It lacks the subtle purple of North Coast or Sam Smith.

Smells malty, chocolatey with a mocha overtone. Like the others I've had, there is a definite winey, vinous hint, but not as strong. Tastes malty, with a bitter-sweet winey flavour. Chocolate and dark roast coffee hints. Faint traces of prunes. Not as strong, and a bit sweeter than others I've had.

This is one of my favourite beers to date, and was a great accompaniment to my meal at Spinnakers when I had it there. Works equally well with a main course or dessert. I prefer this on tap, but I don't visit Victoria too often.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spinnakers. Dark black, nearly opaque with a nice head of creamy, bubbly tan/brown foam that lasts and leaves very nice lacing. Aromas are all dark patent malts, some chocolate, a bit of caramel, a slight prick of booze, and some other aroma notes. The aromas of this brew make me think that this is a strong extra stout or FES. The taste confirms my thoughts, this is no imperial! It is a damn nice stout though, with a really nice malt and UK hop character as well as some nice coffee, chocolate, caramel flavor notes. Mouthfeel is thick and filling, but not as thick as it can be, drinkability remains solid. Very nice, but not quite imperial, at all.

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Tsarist Imperial Stout from Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 8 ratings