Commonwealth Brewing Company

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Commonwealth Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,770
Ranked #19,828
3.77 | pDev: 16.98%
Jul 21, 2022
Nov 19, 2017
Very Good
Notes: None
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Rated: 3.99 by BadgerNCarolina from North Carolina

Jul 21, 2022
Rated: 1.87 by Bad_Attitude_Brews from South Carolina

Jun 22, 2019
Rated: 4 by BEER88 from North Carolina

Apr 13, 2019
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Reviewed by ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
My first experience with hazelnut flavoring in beer was, of course, Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Nectar way back in 2010... and, boy, did I love that beer. Since then, I've tried to seek out most of the hazelnut-flavored/infused darker beers available in my distribution footprint whenever I can, and this is the latest in that tireless search. A couple months ago I bought a four-pack of an insanely (read: way too) decadent coffee/chocolate/hazelnut stout in much this same style from Finback/Mikerphone (Heinous), but only got through one and have never once thought to revisit it. I'll be saving the others for future days, but I'm still excited to taste this one. Perhaps it'll be more balanced?

Pours a brutal looking tar-black with a buildup of dense, mocha-colored head that coats the entire rim of my glass with amazing foam. Though it quickly recedes to the edges after about 40-60 seconds, this head seems to retain some nice legs and even laces solidly in the context of a big, adjunct-laden stout. I'm into it!

The nose is far less sweet than I thought it would be, which allowed me to breathe a quick sigh of relief. I may not have a huge blood sugar spike from this one, after all! I almost smell some coconut in there with roasty grains and baker's chocolate overwhelming my senses. Light notes of acidic coffee and a slight element of dark pit fruit hit my nostrils as the nutty and slightly sweet, espresso-driven creamy aspects come to the fore. I think this will be a little less than "alcoholic Nutella," but it might rub shoulders with that concept on the palate. We'll find out soon enough, I suppose, eh? This definitely has a Russian Imperial-like stout base, with the forward ethanol, intense dark fruit esters and massive roasted malt character. I would say it's much more like a RIS than an AIS, from the nose anyway. Reminds me a lot of Brooklyn BCS in some ways.

Again, much less hazelnut than I thought there would be on the palate. I think this kind of extract-driven flavor can be tough to balance, however, so it's a bit better of them to go lighter on it than to ruin the "beer-ness" with something overly sweet and artificial-tasting. That said, this does have some nice nuttiness to it, at least until it's utterly annihilated by baker's chocolate in the mid-palate. The finish has an intensely thick lactose-driven creaminess that definitely gives this more body than it would have otherwise. The OG for this beer must have been huge for it to still clock in at 11.2% (this page says 9.2%, but this is a 1/2019 batch; looks like they've dialed it up) with lactose... just super filling and chocolate-y. I would like slightly more hazelnut here, for sure, but it doesn't detract from the beer, and, as I said above... better safe than sorry when it comes to these kind of flavor additives. Chewy and intimidating. I'll enjoy the rest of my glass and look forward to grabbing it again next batch. One can will do at this time, though.
Mar 02, 2019
Rated: 4 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia

Feb 25, 2019
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Reviewed by RockHop from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Nutty, satiny smooth, and sweet. Notes of chocolate, coffee, and hazelnut. Great body and carbonation. Thick rich head of dark brown. Lingering lace. Nice brew.
Feb 18, 2019
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Reviewed by avalon07 from South Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
L: Poured from a tallboy can to a pint glass. Had a dark brown / black color and a thick consistency. There was a thin, tan-colored, creamy head that quickly dissipated. Good, but not great, lacing.

S: A solid aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, nuts, cream, and char.

T: Tasted of a moderate amount of roasted malt (present throughout), a bit of cream, some light char (not overly noticeable), a fair amount of chocolate, and some hazelnuts as well. On the whole, this isn't a bad flavor, but it could've used a bit of push with its ingredients, especially the hazelnuts. Gets better as you go along.

F: An average amount of carbonation with a creamy, silky smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This beer's uneven, but somehow still kind of likable. Worth a look.
Feb 13, 2019
Rated: 3.75 by rossracing from Illinois

Jan 31, 2018
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Reviewed by cjgiant from District of Columbia

3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
The black liquid from the can pour more of a very dark brown before regaining its blackness in the glass. The head was light tan to beige, and seemed to hover and cling to the sides of the glass before releasing to the surface - almost like a cross between a dirty glass and a nitro pour. The sparse surface head reformed with each sip, eventually leaving a moderate collar to the beer.

Nose has the hazelnut easily discoverable. There is a little unsweetened chocolate from the malt, but a medium roasted hazelnut comes out most. In some deep whiffs, I actually can get a peanut butter or Nutella sandwich.

Taste does bring some roasted malt, initially as a strange chocolate note, what I will call an artificially sweetened Yoohoo!. It's not as sweet though - with the roasted malt bitterness being a bit more prevalent than the lactose. The hazelnuts might be what is giving the weird taste, as in the end there is an impression of nuts - but those that have been left a little too long roasting in the oven. Warmth blends these slightly better, but they still seems distinct notes that want their own say.

This beer does have a silky smooth feel to it - though it almost seems flat. I can't tell if it's the weird mix of flavors or actually the alcohol giving it a very light and soft (and fleeting) astringent feel in the back of my throat.

This beer grew on me... to the point of being not that bad. It needs some growing to get into actually being worth the price, though. I think the individual components can be noted, but they seem to playing in their own corners of the beer.
Dec 17, 2017
Photo of grover37
Reviewed by grover37 from District of Columbia

3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
This beer is just not that good - not offensive but very unremarkable for what it is. Generic dark roasted malt nose and some vanilla. Light chocolate and strong roast in taste, both lacking nuttiness except for hints in the finish. Mostly lacks depth and not much body either. Not recommended at the $6/pint can I paid for it. Commonwealth has consistently underwhelmed...
Dec 09, 2017
Rated: 3.83 by VeganUndead from Virginia

Nov 19, 2017
Chinchilla from Commonwealth Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 11 ratings