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

RIP - Russian Imperial PorterRIP - Russian Imperial Porter
38 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 32
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.

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Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -18.9%

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 Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

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 BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bloody mahogany that isn't quite opaque when weak winter sunshine is allowed to enter the glass. I've decided to cut it a little slack since it is a porter, not a stout. The upper quarter of the glass is filled with a tight-bubbled head of brown sugar colored foam that looks pretty good. Thick sheets of sudsy lace get it done as well.

Even though no ABV is listed, RIP probably has a high-ish ABV (hence the name). The good thing about the aroma is that almost no alcohol is appreciated. The slightly less good thing is that the beer smells like a good (non-Imperial) American porter. Dark caramel and cocoa lead the way.

Russian Imperial Porter tastes at least as good as it smells, and possibly even better. Let's see what warming and many more mouthfuls have to say about the final outcome. What in the world does '210' mean? Why the mysteriousness? The BBC website is no help at all.

The beer really does taste more like an American porter than a stout. Maybe it's the lack of roasted maltiness and coffee. That doesn't mean, however, that it's short on flavor. Far from it. Chocolate-covered caramel mixed with molasses gets it about right. There's also a candied white grapefruit tanginess that is undoubtedly coming from hops that were born in the U.S. of A.

Warming brings an expansiveness to the flavor profile and the mouthfeel. In addition, the alcohol is beginning to warm the belly and numb the tongue. I'll guess an ABV in the vicinity of 10.0%. It's impossible to tell based on flavor, however. Great job guys.

What started as a medium mouthfeel is now at least medium-full. The silky smoothness is probably the result of plenty of malt and dead... solid... perfect... carbonation. The next highest score is just out of reach.

Other than Hell For Certain, I haven't had very good luck with Bluegrass beer packaged in 750 ml bottles. Russian Imperial Porter 210 gets things back on track. This is one of those beers that is (slightly) better than the final score would indicate. Might this be a bigger version of the outstanding Dark Star Porter?

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

dark brown with a nice reddish ruby tint to it. Nearly opaque but enough light came through to show off the red tones to it. Hige pillow like cream colored head was very slow to recede and when it did left behind a large amount of gooey lace on the glass. The smell was very strong of roasted dark chocolate, which caught me a bit by suprise. As it warmed some more sugary, caramel like tones started to come through. The mouthfeel was a little thin, watery which is my only complaint, I expected a bit more of a robust feel to it. The taste itself was very nice. Suprisingly hoppy on the back and very well balanced with the roasted malts. Main flavors here were more of a roasted coffee and sugar, with a ever so slight hint of chocolate, nothing like the smell which was dominated by it. Overall this was a nice sessionable beer.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a very dark brown with brown highlights that had a thin head and left a little frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: chocolate goodness and oats pop out first on the nose alongside some roastiness, milky character, and faint coffee notes.

T: the chocolate qualities are there but not as potent like I thought it would be from the nose with slight roastiness, coffee, no milk character, but it did have a little hop bitter bite on the end.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a slight sweet, roasty, smokey, and hop bitter finish.

D: it drank pretty decent but it did show some signs of oxidsation. It still did have a good taste. Hopefully I can get another bottle to compare.

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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 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 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 Bung
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml picked this up while in South Bend.
Pretty much a black pour with a smaller amount of tan head.

Aroma is pretty strong, a little sweet. Roasty malt, chocolate, molasses little booze.

Taste is less roast more malt. There is some roast malt, but the caramel, molasses and chocolate are bigger. Finish is a little weak some sweeter caramel and peat, oak, but it also leads to a bit of cardboard likeness.

Very easy to drink. Small bubble not quite creamy, mid body mouthfeel. Alcohol is well subdued, this might be a few months old with probably also helps there.

Kind of like malty dopplebock meets porter. Really not bad, but be prepared for something a bit different. It was like 8.50 for the 750, which nowadays seems quite reasonable.

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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 claspada
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromas of milk and dark chocolate rum soaked cherries. Lesser notes of espresso and toffee with very slight earthy notes. Really inviting and fruity, much more so than any porter I can recall in recent memory.
The taste begins with full milk chocolate and coffee flavors. Initially I am not getting the full fruitiness or any of the alcohol that I was getting in the nose with is a negative and a positive at the same time. I wish I knew when this was bottled just for an age reference, anyway... As it warms you can detect the cherry cordial flavors I was describing in the nose. As it further warms you get more of the bitter dark chocolate and espresso bitterness which helps to balance out the initial caramel and cocoa sweetness. This is really a complex beer to say the least.
Mouthfeel is medium with adequate carbonation, could probably benefit from being a little fuller bodied for the style and ABV but by no means is this watery as I have read from some other reviewers; every beer doesn't need to be as thick and heavy as World Wide Stout, Dark Lord, etc. I wish reviewers would grow up and not just go by booziness, thickness and IBU for every review they do. I digress... This is my 3rd beer from this brewery and my first positive review to date; I will not abandon them yet as I was planning to after my first 2 experiences. Let's hope for some more well balanced special offerings like this from Bluegrass in the future.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample at the Most Honorable SuperHappyFun Stout Tasting. Bottle from Ashland Beverage Center in Ashland, KY. This beer pours nearly black with a light brown and foamy head that dissipates slowly. Patchy lacing. Aroma of cocoa and malt with notes of espresso. Medium, dry body with roasted/burnt malt, chocolate and dark fruit flavors. Hoppy character throughout as well. The finish is dry and roasty with malt and hops aftertaste. I am not sure of the legitmacy of a "Russian Imperial Porter" but it's still a pretty good beer.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev +8.1%

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 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 brewdlyhooked13
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - no light getting through this one. A finger of soapy, creamy tan foam. It's heading south pretty quick but leaving a nice blanket of lace behind.

Aroma - toasted grain, a note of alcohol early on, a note of butteriness at times. Fades out a bit after it sets up, with the butter bit gaining ground. Ends up just plain buttery, not portery at all to me.

Taste - a very good robust grain flavor, hints of caramel and toast. A light hop presence followed by warming alcohol on the swallow, a light bitter chocolate and toasted malts at the end. A nicely ramped up porter flavor, good length on the finish.

Mouthfeel - a good solid heaviness and slightly held back carbonation really help amplify the flavors.

Drinkability - not sure of the abv but while it is evident it doesn't come across hot. Another good choice to help get through this latest round of winter weather. Cellarable too I'd imagine.

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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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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 wisrarebeer
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

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 peabody
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out really dark and black where no light penetrates. Lacing is light here even with the three fingers of tan suds.
Smell is coffee and dark cherry with dark chocoloate overtones. Alcohol is definately there.
Taste is very malty sweet at first then a dark cherry and coffee flavor take over giving over the the bitter hops at the end.
Sugary aftertaste with the bitter hops holding on. Pretty nice mouthfeel here.
I wouldn't drink a bunch of this but it is still a nice offering from a beer company in my State.~

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RIP - Russian Imperial Porter from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 38 ratings
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