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.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 32
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 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 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 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 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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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 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 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 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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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 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 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 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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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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