Anniversary Ale XV | Real Ale Brewing Company

Anniversary Ale XVAnniversary Ale XV
Liked This Beer
3.94 w/ 248 ratings
Anniversary Ale XVAnniversary Ale XV

Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by drummermattie02 on 06-25-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 248 |  Reviews: 98
Photo of mikesgroove
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick with no head, none at all, nadda, not even a bubble. No lace ethier, very odd for an RIS. Smell was very nice. Deep dark chocolate and roasted coffee mixed in with hints of vanilla and sugar. Very sweet, and damn near perfect smell on this, fine job, very rich and desert like. The taste was strong, and definatly packed a punch. Very sweet, with the biggest flavor here being roasted coffee and chocolate. Definate alcohol presence here whci at 10% is not shock. Again the feel was very thick, but the lack of carbonation hurt it, as it did not feel as creamy as it could have been. This left the mouthfeel a bit dull and flat. The finish was nice, dry and somewhat hoppy. This one needs more carbonation. The flatness in the mouthfeel takes away from the great aromas and flavors it possess

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Photo of Dogleg
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GregSVT
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a very dark brown with a decent tawny brown head that fades to a ring and leaves some good lacing on the glass.

S: The nose shows signs of chocolate and coffee with lots of dark fruit and a bit of hops in the background. Everything is balanced and very well done.

T: The taste is big on the hops with a slight citrus twinge but the chocolate malts and coffee win out in the end. There's a slight vanilla flavor on the finish to balance out the hop bitterness.

M: The feel has a nice creaminess with a medium-full body. Very nice for such a big ABV.

O: This is a bit better than I expected but the hops are still slightly more at the forefront than I'd like. I have a feeling this will be extremely good in a year's time. I plan to age a few a find out.

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Photo of yamar68
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just got this in the mail today. Thanks bpgpitt10.

a - pours a pitch black with just an edge of coffee clarity around the edges, quick beige head that doesn't hang around

s - pretty much all malts, roast, caramel, toffee, not too boozy for a fresh high ABV RIS

t - really nice, that same caramel and toffee pulls through and is capped by a very appropriate hop sting

m - this one could use a bit more carb and body both, not a total downfall at all but would've enjoyed a little something more

o - very lucky to have tried this one, never even heard of the brewery so had no clue what to expect but it proved itself to me, that's for sure

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Fenris244
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

looks like a stout haha, pitch black, thin tan head, sticks around for forever too

Smells much better then it did on tap, light chocolate, coffee, little bit of char? Has subtlety unlike on tap

little bit of chocolate up front, coffee comes though strongly, good roasted bitterness, almost a toffee and brown sugar , a little warming from the alcohol.

This is a smooth one, very easy to drink, has just enough warming from the alcohol, keeps from being boozey, moderately heavy in body, little carbonation

Overall, great stout, good flavors very satisfying, after having it on tap I never wanted to see it again but the bottle? I want more

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: black with a coffee foam head.

S: smoke, bitterness, coffee.

T: sweet chocolate, roasty malts, coffee beans, milk chocolate, cream, nice hop character. I think this one is aged, as I'm at the anniversary party at real ale and everything seems to be aged. Not sure though.

M: heavy like a hammer and velvety.

O: a good brew. I've had a few already and am a bit tired, but this beer seems well put together.

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Photo of brystmar
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll preface this by saying that my expectations coming in were rather low. I'm from San Antonio and always *want* to like local brews, but I've never had anything from Real Ale that wasn't "blah" at best.

Strong aromas of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, toffee, and other sweet malts too. Really enjoyed the nose on this.

Taste is strongly dominated by roasty malts. Sweet malt and hints of caramel pop up as well. Pretty one-dimensional for an imperial stout, but this is pretty well done.

Voluptuous body, nicely carbonated. Happy to say this one exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of eclipse54
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle from optimator13; thank you! Poured into a Deschutes tulip glass...

Black body with about a finger’s-breadth of foamy brown head. The head dissipates quickly, leaving a ring around and numerous legs of bubbles throughout the surface of the liquid. Scattered patches/strands of dark lacing are left on the glass.

The aroma is of chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, caramel, roasted malt, faint pine, a hint of citrus, and sweet cane sugar.

It tastes of vanilla, chocolate, molasses, a hint of dark licorice, ample cane and brown sugar, some faint hops/citrus, and a roasted malt backbone. Surprisingly well balanced; reading the label suggested there would be a greater hop presence than found, but that was quite pleasant. It seems to have spent an acceptable amount of time in the bottle at this point.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side from what was expected, but that does add to the drinkability of this offering. It’s disappearing quicker than anticipated (I’d hoped it would be more of a sipper...).

Overall, a tasty RIS that I’m very glad to have tried.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a stout black with these wonderful heavy coffee aromas. There’s a bit of a sweet finish to the nose as well. Quite the boozy kick to the palate. I get some black licorice on the finish as well—nothing like the Stone RIS they released this year, definitely more subdued, but hints of it. It’s oily, not a heavy beer, and oh so good. I don’t know how it is in bottles because I’ve only had it on draught but I love it.

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Photo of champ103
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Anvil in Houston.

A: Pours a near pitch black color. No light gets through. A one finger head forms with good retention. Plenty of lace is left behind.
S: Chocolate, roasted malt, and brown sugar. Some hops intermingle in the nose. Lightly grassy. Some dark fruits of cherries and raisins. Very nice.
T: Again lots of chocolate. Lightly roasted with some sugar sweetness. Baked bread and biscuit. Light alcohol is present. Some hops in the finish with a lingering bitterness. Very nice.
M/D: A full body that is low on the carbonation. Smooth and velvety. So easy to drink. There is a bit of alcohol. Which is expected for the style, but it is a great sipper.

This is a really good Imperial Stout. Something I really enjoyed and would highly recommend. Way better than last years anniversary beer.

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Photo of JayAre46
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz long neck pours black, surprisingly heavier looking than i thought it would be. gives a nice 1 finger khaki head that shows good retention leaving sheets of lace. the aroma is big roasted malt, with some chocolate malt infused. a little char in the air as well. the taste is absolutely dominated by roasted malt, deep dark chocolate comes in a bit with some burnt caramel and fresh coffee beans. the mouth feel is different on this one, initially it may appear heavier than it is and i think that can be attributed to the lack of carbonation. the carbonation is almost flat on the palate creating a slick oily coat over the path it crosses. its definitely not full, id say slightly less than full, all in all i would rather this than over carbonation. overall this is a pleasant surprise while i had low expectations for it. well made by real ale and i wont have a problem drinking anymore. knocks would be the carbonation miss and the lack of complexity. drink it.

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Photo of DIPAFAN
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of chinchill
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 3 year old 12 oz bottle.
A: Dark red-brown: clear.
Feel: Full body with near perfect carbonation.

Rich and fruity aroma, with a similar but stronger flavor.
Lingering aftertaste. Very good flavor balance including bitter/sweet.

O: easily recommended.

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Photo of Sweasty
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Real Ales 15th anniversary Imperial Stout pours a nice dark black. It's not the blackest stout I have seen. Some ruby hued edges shine in the light. Things are topped off by a fingers worth of light mocha head. Head Settles to a ring and leaves some lacing down the glass.

Onto the aroma. Plenty of dark roasted malts hit upfront. Dark roasted coffee shines. Some light bitter sweet chocolate hits next. Some fruit notes, figs perhaps, come into play as well. The hops show up lending a vague citrus quality.

15th anniversary hits the palate with sweet roasted malt quality. The dark coffee in the nose takes on a decidedly sweeter note. Sweet dark chocolate notes hits next. A dried fig quality flows underneath the dark roasted malt notes. Hops show up and add balance. Some light citrus hop notes try to break through the dark malt. The finish is sweetly herbal with some alcohol spice.

This brew is medium bodied and very creamy

Real Ales 15th anniversary imperial stout is a nice brew. The 9.8%abv is fairly well masked. It starts to show as the beer warms, but never overpowers. This brew falls just short of greatness. The thin, by style standards, mouthfeel is a bit of a letdown. The creaminess, though, tries to compensate a bit. While not the best Imperial stout our state has to offer, this brew is a worthy edition to our beer landscape. Props to Real Ale for 15 years of brewing. May you have many more anniversaries ahead.

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Photo of TheHopMonster
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark black with a fast dissipating head. Completely black, no light shines through the glass, no visible bubbles; leading to an intensely malted brew.

Smell: Fresh ground coffee, Intense chocolate, and deep earth. Slight sweet tobacco aroma

Taste: Alcohol upfront with sweet malt at the finish. second sip is deep earth with mushrooms; very natural.

Deep imperial stout, intense yet kind with a slight throwback to Irish stouts that have a slight vanilla backbone. Very pleased with its complex taste but it lacks body and a sticking taste. Head dissipates too quickly.

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Photo of genitempo
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Midnight body into a snifter. Khaki-colored head with heavy lace coating the glass.

S - Syrupy chocolate with subtle, roasted malts , hint of a licorice burn/dark fruits

T - Upfront, the chocolate and nutty malt show up, but quickly dematerialize. The strong note is one of bitterness with a blend of dark fruits. The bitterness endures. I encourage you to savor the taste prior to taking your next sip. I've been told that the bitterness if one of coffee and licorice, and I have to disagree. The taste of licorice in beer abiding on your palate is, in my personal experience, unsavory. But this bitterness is different. I feel like it is very citrusy, with a hint of dark chocolate. I think that citrus flavor can be explained by the hops used.

MF - Medium bodies, heedless carbonation. (I have to interject opinion over subjectivity: RIS and Medium body is almost an oxymoron. An Impressive RIS has weight.)

O - The XV is a fantastic beer, especially for Real Ale to bottle. But I must admit, the best way to enjoy this beer is casked and barrel-aged. Hands down, the best beer I've had this year (2012 Pumpkinator was a very close 2nd) was the barrel-age cask of XV. This beer needed to be bottled for all the right reasons, but judging it based on it's bottle is undermining it's potential.

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Photo of DCon
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Schlafly Repeal of Prohibition Festival @ the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, MO. Tapped from the White/Red Tap Handle w/ 15th Anniversary on it into a 16oz Schlafly Cup.

Appearance- Received with a 1 finger, dark brown head that has great retention. Has the deepest brown body you can find in an Imperial Stout. Leaves a few suds behind but doesn't stick.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Opaque black glass refused to allow even strong back lighting to show anything more than a thin slightly ruby edge. Long lasting tan foam clings to the edge of the glass leaving distinct, widely spaced tide marks.

Smell:Black strap molasses mingles with dark roasted barley. Sweet, burnt, under attenuated , this is a tough neighborhood more than a refined fireside sipper.

Taste: Sugary malt cut with West coast citric hops save the day! The charred blackened nose runs as a ribbon through the candy base giving a complex, satisfying and easy drinking beer (for close to 10% abv.).

Mouthfeel: Body is a tough thin but that helps lighten the beer. Carbonation is almost cask, a bit low in my view, but it doesn't hurt the package much.

Overall: A great celebration beer for a great Texan brewery. Looking forward to many more, and hope this one shows up on a seasonal rotation!

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Photo of DavidST
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a 1/2 pint of this on tap. This was a pitch black color with a minimal tan head. The smells are of espresso, dark roasted malts and some coco, there was also a fruit presence but I'm having trouble describing it, maybe a dark fruit like a prune. The feel was medium to heavy (thinner than the barley wine I had before it). The taste was pretty good, not the best IRS but good, some sweet dark fruit, the roasted malts and a little hop bitterness, many IRS are more bitter though. I'm glad I got it and I'll have to get a few more pints.

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Photo of hdelavega
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another great bonus from lnashsig, thanks Lee!
Pours a rich black with hints of dark brown around the edges where the light comes through the thin beige head that left a moderate lacing down te glass.
Nose hits me with chocolate, raspberry, a tiny bit of coffee, I detect no booze which is surprising due to the relatively high ABV.
This guy is surprisingly sweet, lots of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, booze is more present than in the nose.
Nice creamy mouth feel, awesome smooth finish, nice light to medium carbonation, nice full body.
Really a nice brew. Texas is really starting to impress me. Lee, thanks again for sending me these great beers!

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Photo of Humulus85
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my snifter. Produced a modest one-finger, tan head that dissipated rather quickly and didn't leave all that much lacing. Nice deep black color, but not quite opaque.

Smells like a mild Russian Imperial Stout, but well balanced. Nice roasted coffee and chocolate and some sneaky, floral hops notes, and an appropriate alcohol sting.

Again this is a mild tasting RIS. A lot of RISs can bruise the tongue but this one is toned back a bit. Still a robust profile of roasted malt with a strong hop backing, but not very deep or complex in either.

For a RIS, this is a very drinkable brew. Super smooth and relatively light bodied with great carbonation, this beer slides right down. I wouldn't even call this one a sipper. Very nice.

Overall this is a beer I really like from a style that I don't often visit. So I would definitely recommend this to a new BA looking to try a good Russian Imperial Stout: while it might be lacking in depth for a true fan of the style. I liked it so...Cheers!

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Photo of cavedave
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to the Tx. trader who shall, due to my poor org. skills, remain nameless.

Pours a darkest brown, glugs in thickly, half inch of dark beige lather, kicks back to a floating island and skimpy ring. Mmmm.

Alcohol spice, licorice and rooty sweet, nice roasty behind it all, burnt caramel and dark malty stone fruit, some bitter like a ghost. Med. strength but what a nice aroma.

You can taste that this is the mellow and meld that a bit of age can do, though that may not be a good thing here. All the flavors of the nose, with cherry the most forward, combine into a really satisfying conglomeration, but one that isn't as out front and in your face bold as a well aged Impy stout can/should be. All together a fine brew, but one that suffers in comparison to many wonderful offerings we are blessed to enjoy.

Thin for style, nicely low carb., juicy but mildly unsatisfying finish, the worst feature of this one.

Not that this one is around much now, but I would gladly get another and recommend an easy score of this now-aged stout.

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Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Common Table.

The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with a decent-sized tan head. The aroma is a mix of roasted malt, chocolate and some pine from the hops.

The flavor is very hoppy for an imperial stout. I get some roasted malt, coffee and chocolate, but what really comes through is a heavy dose of bitter pine. The beer reminds me a lot of fresh Victory Storm King since both are highly hopped stouts.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Anniversary Ale XV from Real Ale Brewing Company
Beer rating: 76.6% out of 100 with 248 ratings
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