RIP - Russian Imperial Porter | Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

38 Ratings
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RIP - Russian Imperial PorterRIP - Russian Imperial Porter

Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Kentucky, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Cresant on 03-31-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of Cresant
3.11/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 25.4 oz. brown bottle into a Samuel Smith tulip. No date and no ABV listed, I'm guessing it is rather high. The dark brown/purple body was clear of sediment. Two fingers of creamy tan head slowly faded to a collar.

Smell was tangy and sweet. Sour grain. Fresh bread. Somewhat medicinal. Alcohol apparent but not overwhelming.

Taste was tart and bitter. Sweet and rich. Molasses. Toasted grains. A sugary film coats the lips. Black coffee and hints of chocolaty bitterness. This one has a longer bitter linger. Formidable bottle for one person.

Mouthfeel is silky and full bodied. Mild carbonation.

From the website:

The label design for "Russian Imperial Porter 210", which features twin-dancing radioactive skeletons and a photographic image of an atomic blast on an electrifying tie-dye look background, pays tribute to the 1986 Russian Chernobyl disaster with the "210" added as a reference to "a beryllium/plutonium 210 neutron initiator", (like the one used in the Manhattan Project"), which can be used to create a chain reaction in a nuclear device".

Too bad they don't tell us anything about the beer.

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3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a murky super dark brown almost black body. A strong pour creates a foamy one finger thick dark tan head that stays creamy and long. Nose is a very zesty spicey feel with noticeable burnt malt and notes of peanuts and oak. Huge syrupy sweet zestyness swarms around the tongue on first sip. Slightly soured oak and hints of port develop also. Malt characters are sticky and alchol is slightly up front. Burnt malt feel comes through on the end of the mouthfeel. Soured malt feel slightly hurts the drinkability.

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Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of russpowell
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is courtesy of BEERchitect, cheers Kevin!

Pours an effervescent brown tinged mahogany with a finger of mocha head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Faint toasty malt & figs

T: Toasty malt, brown bread, chocolate, a bit of powdery dryness, figs & herbal hops up front. A touch of coffee intertwines with dates & a touch of booze & leafy hops as this warms,along with a bit of coffee. Finishes fruitty with pralines & dryness

MF: Medium bodied, smoothly carbonated, skews fruitty

Drinks fairly easy, more American Porter with a touch of English, than anything else. Not bad, but nothing to get too worked up about. They should've put the effort into brewing they did in tarting up the packaging

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25.4 ounce bottle, served in a Samuel Adams pint glass. No date/ABV information on the bottle or label. The beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention is pretty good. It smells like chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and a bit of citrusy hops. It tastes the same way to me, but there's a sour tang to it and the grapefruity bitter hoppy taste is stronger than you'd think. Seems a bit weird for a porter, it's not quite what I expected. Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied, very smooth and a bit slick. Drinkability is good too, except for the unexpected sour tang. I think this is a decent beer, but not a great one.

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Photo of Chaney
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Okay... I was born and raised in Kentucky and am always stoked to try a Kentucky brew!

I picked this up several months ago in Louisville, at the brewery, when I was in town to attend my cousin's wedding.

A: Black as night, but the thickness looked rather lager-like.... kinda thin. The head, which was mildly off-white, ended up being a mere ring around the brew.

S: I got sort of a mild roasted banana scent here.... that's about it.

T: This has more in common with dark fruit than coffee or chocolate. It tasted like roasted figs with melted "Larabar."

M: BBC has some MAJOR mouthfeel issues. Every beer I've tried from them so far, including the Heine Bros Coffee Stout (which I like), would benefit greatly from some sort of creamy element. Nothing here on this one. It's like a dark, non-hoppy lager in terms of mouthfeel.

O: Not bad, but the thinness killed this one for me. It wasn't worth holding on to.

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Photo of cameraman
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A black opaque color, slight hints of red at the bottom of the glass. A beige head forms, that is two fingers thick and it slowly laces down the glass. A first scent a twinge of alchol hit the nose, then the fragrance of dried fruit, currants and raisons comes foward. The aroma is rounded out by the by calming scent of coffee. The coffee comes out at the start of the taste, then it blends itself to the dried fruit and finishing with a tart bitterness. A medium feel at the start, it gains weight as the syrupy texture rolls across the palate. The warming sensation of alchol does come forward at the back of the throat. A unique approach to the imperial style, I was hoping for more robust porter flavor and aroma.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed March 31, 2007. Pour from a 750mL. Thanks BBB63. Faint toasted oak aroma, with light weak malt. Deep mahogany pour with lilting tawny cream head. Flavor comes across as a somewhat dry, bland middle-malt, with overly hot alcohols. One of the hottest beers in memory for me, actually. Tannins are singing and don’t lead to other nuanced flavors. Cherry perks up before being washed away in fusels. Not much body or depth, unfortunately.

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Photo of gnemesis
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up from the brewery. Poured from 750ml bittle into snifter on 4/19. Very dark brown almost black with a 1 finger head. Dark fruits, sweet malts, zero hops. Taste is the same with chocolate. Alcohol is very well hidden. The mouthfell is medium with ok carbonation. Lighter bodied than I wanted but was ok. This beer was good but not great- drinkable for the high ABVs

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my man Compass for this one

Poured a dark brown color with red hues a small head and good carbonationbut think for an Imperial brew. Nose has hints of chocolate and sweet maltiness. Taste is very malty with chocolate and plenty of bitterness at the end. Tasty brew with hints of alcohol and perhaps crystal, chocolate, Munich. Medium bodied and drinkable but was looking for a bigger creamier brew.

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Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Jon's bottle, this one is sweet and drinkable. Brown body that leaves spider lace. A tad below average mouthfeel. Some chocolate, and a bit of cooconut. Too malty to be very interesting, and booziness still there. Somewhat coca cola.Maybe better with ageing.

 258 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of merlin48
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle with label as pictured, pours a dark mahogany body that shows some clarity when held to light. Otherwise, opaque. One finger tan head retains well and leaves some patchy lace.

Aroma is mild chocolate with just a hint of dark roasty coffee. Also, some grapefruit hops and airplane glue.

Mouthfeel is medium with even carbonation.

Taste is chocolate, bubblegum, alcohol, bitter grapefruit hops, and restrained coffee notes. The roastiness is more apparent as it warms. Flavors are a bit jumbled and out of sync.

Not the best effort of BBC. Doesn't know whether it wants to be a porter or brown ale so ends up somewhere in between.

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Photo of drpimento
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle warmed out of the fridge. Poured with a nice, tan, foamy, frothy, head that slowly subsided and lots of lace.Color is a clear, very dark garnet. Aroma is mild and malt, hop, and toffee. Flavor is like nose, but sweetness is more apparent due to light carbonation. Body is good but carbo is light. Finishi is like flavor and of medium length but is boozy. Not bad, not great.

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Photo of mrandypandy
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml foil and capped bottle purchased in Valparaiso, IN. Interesting artwork on the bottle.

A- Pours a flat dark brown that borders on black. Billowing brown/tan head on pour, quickly dies down.
S- Aroma is strong dark fruits with a touch of roast.
T- Roasted malts, dark fruits (raisins, figs), tobacco. Almost has a coffee like bitterness to it.
M- Thin, almost watery. Low carbonation. I was expecting there to be more body on this.
D- Too many mistakes in the RIP. Flavors are OK, and the aroma is good, but the thin body really takes away from the overall experience. Not sure what the ABV on this is, but it feels high.

Overall - I feel like this beer had a lot of potential but let me down in too many areas. Thin and flat is no way to go through life son...

***Note: I origionally reviewed this at night, and didn't finish the bottle (750ml is a lot for one person). The next morning I finished (don't judge me) and I somehow liked it better. Better appearance, slightly better flavors. My score has been adjusted a bit to reflect this.***

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Photo of becktone
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Eye: Almost black in color, this beer is an extreme dark brown. Its got congealed blood red garnet highlights, very faint in coming out as it were. Head is nice and creamy, retention is good, laing looks nice as well. A very optically appealing brew.

Nose: A strong aroma fills the room once this brew is opened, even moreso when poured. Alcohol is apparent in the nose, huge dark malts, some chocolate, sweetness from alcohol, all in all very similar to a RIS. No heavily roasted aroma.

Tongue: Alcohol is present in the taste of this brew and helps to balance out the sweetness from all the dark malts. Roasted/burnt grain bitterness/flavor also gives some balance to this beer. Spiciness and a bit of heat from the alcohol. Chocolate malt is also present, not too much caramel though.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This one finishes with a semi-dry feeling in the mouth, lots of dark malt to dry the palate out-roasted/burnt/chocolate. I have no objections to the feel of this beer in the mouth, medium heavy body, lower carbonation, thick and filling this beer is what I would expect from an "imperial porter." This is a beer that is perfect for a rainy day, hey look at that-today its raining in CINCY, a good opportunity for me to drink this beer before it gets to warm with the spring coming round and all... To me this seems like it would serve best as a desert beer, nothing to session here, This isn't a beer that I'd normally drink, too much to take in for a session beer, to strong in flavor, doesn't compliment that many food categories/styles as well as say a pale ale/bitter/pils/eruo lager. Good for after meals, but as to drinking this (more than one bottle-750-seems like it would be absurd.)

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Photo of ferrari29
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from bottle into Snifter glass

A - Dark brown colored body; low amount of visible carbonation; small head formed and dissipated rather quickly

S - Sweet; cherry and strawberry; some chocolate; spices like coriander; almost like a shortcake with currants

T - Mild taste; slightly bitter; slightly dry but refreshing; crisp notes of dark berry fruits; lots of raisins and currants; coffee

M - Thin consistency, almost watery; sips are followed up by a light bitter aftertaste

D - I'll have another; worth a shot if your curious

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ditmier provided this one a while back.. thanks buddy...

Tannish yellow head.. short lasting atop a surprisingly dark brown/black brew.

Nose is pretty good... chocolate and lite cinnamon.. bits of caramel.. okay.. sorta rich, but reaching.. multi-dimensional but never meshes.

Flavor is better.. milk chocolate essence and minor roasty notes.. there are some dark fruit notes that add well... honestly.. I don't have alot more to say.. the chocolate points do alot to push this one out of the mire, but I just don't dig it too much... body and carbonation seem average to a bit above, but I still having a hard time pushing it to the upper echelon.

Eric... I wanted to like this one more, but sorry.. it just doesn't jive. Thanks a ton for dragging this one back from your travels.


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Photo of clvand0
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brown color with a small head that falls quickly and leaves no lacing on the glass. The aroma has hints of chocolate and sweet maltiness. The flavor is very malty with chocolate and plenty of bitterness at the end. Tasty brew with hints of alcohol. Medium/thick body. The drinkability is good for the alcohol levels.

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Photo of ejyoung
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice near black color with a good amount of brown head that hangs around for some time. Smells of figs, raisin, coffee, and cocoa. Taste is similar, with a good amount of toasted malt, chocolate, and molasses. I could use some more body - at times it seemed a little thin. It's definitely a big beer and drinks that way.

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Photo of hopdog
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle acquired in trade with CaptainCougar (thanks!).

Poured a dark brown color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of roast, cocoa, nutty, licorice, and molassess. Tastes of dark fruits, caramel, cocoa, and licorice. On the sweeter side. Alcohol content very well hidden.

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Photo of manahansf
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark color with a nonexistent head but a big bold sweet malt and vinous aroma. The nose is echoed in the drink with strong and warming vinous flavors alongside malty sweetness. No hop presence at any level of the drink which is mildly heavy with moderately low carbonation. The finish sweetens with the estery flavor of figs and prunes as it fades quickly into a coffee flavored end.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I always wonder if these bigger Porters will loose the balance and push it into the Russian Imperial Stout catagory. This one seems to keep the chocolate, roasty balance with Porter-like fruity esters. Subdued hoppiness comes through in the bitter and flavor, but only balances the sweetness and complements the flavors without dominating. The body certainly substantiates the R.I. prefix, but the alcohols push into fusal territory, leaving a bit of harshness in the finish. Otherwise, a straight-forward Porter, just amped up a lot. The carbonation was medium and supported the heavy brew well. Medium on the head formation and retention with light lacing on the glass. I'd gladly have another, but prefer to give it a year's age if possible.

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Photo of RickS95
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fine looking drink. Pours dark, black, almost pitch black, and thick with a huge plume of brown bubbles. Good retention and the lacing starts as the head thins.

Just from the smell you can tell this beer means business. There's a note of coffee, but mostly you smell smoke.

Smoke is prevalent on the tongue as well. In addition, there is a subtle hint of bittersweet chocolate.

I'd like to score this a little higher, but there is major alcohol going on. It starts off creamy, but the smokiness takes care of that. In the finish you get the heat from the alcohol.

Not sure what the alcohol is on this, but it's got to be impressive. The high alcohol burn and the ABV make this something that's only slightly drinkable. Glad I had at least one however.

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RIP - Russian Imperial Porter from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.7 out of 5 based on 38 ratings.
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