Anniversary Ale XV | Real Ale Brewing Company

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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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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 248
Photo of LtCracker20
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours an almost black body with ruby hues. A 1-finger khaki head that falls pretty quickly to a thin cap. Leaves some nice lacing.

S- Very roasted aroma, some bitter chocolate, and espresso.

T- Bitter chocolate, roasted malts, slight citrus and piney hop flavors as well.

MF- A little on the thinner side, but still a moderate body.

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Photo of CorbinB
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Emptied about 1/4 the bottle into a pint glass. Pours with the consistency of warm syrup. Appears to be very dark black with a roasted brown head that is no more than a quarter-inch thick even when trying to get a rise out of it. The head dissipates later in the tasting and the beer becomes noticeably dark brown.

S - I'm getting a bread/yeast scent with fig and alcohol. Not much of a bouquet but that's not to say it doesn't smell good. It's inviting.

T - High ABV is noticeable up front and delivers a slight burn to the tongue and throat. Sweet fig and raisin flavors come through and are well balanced by a medium bodied hoppiness. Enjoyable.

M - This is where I was disappointed. Very low carbonation, syrupy, medium bodied and leaves a lingering bitterness on the tongue. After each sip it leaves my mouth feeling fairly dry.

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Photo of diamondc
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Standard RIS appearance ... some spotty lacing. Just a thin cap of foam after a few minutes.

S: Burnt toast, pine-y hops, licorice.

A: Burnt roasted malts, dark chocolate, more pine hops. A subtle dark cherry note. A bit of booze too.

M: Creamy, lingering pine bitterness.

O: Laying down a bottle for a year down the road, see how this develops.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cellar temp. 12 oz. bottle poured vigorously into a snifter. No apparent bottling date.

Look- Deep, deep brown, near black, with lighter hints around the edges. Two fingers of dense puffy chocolate milk-colored head that sits there for what seems like forever. Dense rings of lace left as the glass empties.

Smell- Crushed licorice root is the first thing to mind, followed by bittersweet chocolate. Dark molasses, hints of burnt grain. Swirling brings out a stronger chocolate character and a bit of booze.

Taste- Mild pine-y hop bite at the sip, followed by a tangy malt profile reminiscent of quality microbrew root beer. Strong milk chocolate throughout, hints of espresso. Finishes a bit boozy and earthy. Aftertaste is of dark bitter chocolate and faintly raisin-esque, perhaps dates. Alcohol is well masked.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, but on the light side for an RIS. Light carbonation that flip-flops between smooth and prickly. Crisp on the sip, fairly easy drinking. Not as dry as expected.

Overall- It's pretty good, and definitely worth the price, but it doesn't put forth anything I haven't seen before. Hides the alcohol better than most, and it's more drinkable than the average RIS. Tasty as well, but stops shy of blowing my mind. I'll look for it on tap, though I don't know how available it is.

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Photo of Retail1LO
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to LadyOfMuchBeer for including a couple of these in a recent trade.

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Beer pours a typical dark as hell black. The head was a nice espresso-like two finger crown that wreaked of coffee and cocoa. Lovely stuff for sure. The taste has a good coffee type presence with some real sweetness to it. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, yet still has some astringency to it. The 9.8% is pretty forward in this offering. Not hidden, but at the same time, it's not a huge detractor either. Very complimentary, I'd say. The finish is on the bitter side, and lingers for a good while afterwards. Recommend.

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Photo of DoktorZee
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a schooner. No best before date on the bottle.

A - deep black with a tight tan head that resolves quickly, but leaves thick lacing at its edge

S - solid nose of chocolate and smoke with just a hint of citrus

T - surprising initially hops bitterness with a hint of citrus that resolves fairly quickly into deep molasses and smoke. Maybe even a bit of dark fruit in the background. Intense, but not overly so; I'd even say this almost seems a bit like a Cascadian ale with its hops character.

M - heavy with a hint of booziness. Sharp carbonation cuts the weight somewhat, but it still coats the mouth

D - a bit of a sipper, but is also quite smooth.

Overall a solid Russian Imperial, though it lacks the weight and impact of beers like Jester King's Black Metal Stout and Old Rasputin. Another good beer from Real!

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night with a 1/4" head that didn't last long, and so-so lacing.

Smell is lots of roasted and burnt malts, dark chocolate, coffee.

Taste follows smell, with loads of coffee up front, tons of semi-sweet baker's chocolate, a plethora of malts, burnt and roasted, a little bit of sweetness and ample bitterness from a well balancing hops presence.

Feel is full and bitter, lingeringly bitter from the hop, and with a slight choco-coffee finish. Alcohol a bit noticeable on the finish.

Overall it's tasty and a pretty good RIS. Certainly worth a try, and I'd be happy to have a four pack of it too.

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Photo of mactrail
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a golden glint. Nice beige foam doesn't stick around too long, but leaves plenty of lacing and a sprightly mouthfeel. Poured from the 12 oz bottle bought at Texas Wine Cellars in Fredericksburg, TX.

Sugary sweet to start. Brown sugar and burnt sugar. The hops come on suddenly in a rush of bitterness. This is quite a complex and interesting interplay of flavors. A touch of sourness from the burnt malt. Warm caramel flavors with a winey character. Sort of a Vermouth taste of sweetness and bitterness. Hot and spicy on the tongue. Quite pleasant sipping and conveys a lot of flavor as well as power.

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Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with a little head. A story in coffee, very fresh tasting. Good for what it is. A nice very coffee tasting IS. Real Ales has picked it up a notch from the basic stuff I tried from them years back. Very good drinkability, and surprising as I am not a coffee drinker. Nicely hopped.thanks for sharing Pino.

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Photo of crossovert
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Cellar temp.

IT pours a dense black with a foamy tan head.

The smell is nice, a mix of sugars and cocoa with a bit of dark fruit and yeast action.

The flavor is nice. It has a rich roasty bitter cocoa flavor along with some caramel and dark fruits. It is mildly alcoholic which is nice considering the abv.

The mouthfeel is just a tad it think, but I really like the mouthfeel.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%

A - Pours dark black, opaque, and a very thin ring of toffee colored lacing.

S - Cocoa, dark chocolate, and char.

T - Follows the nose pretty closely with medium intensity of char, roasted dark chocolate, and cocoa. For 9.8%, the alcohol is extremely well hidden, very mild warming on the way down. Chocolate bitterness is balanced, has a very slight bit of dark fruit on the very end but is quickly beat down with the dark chocolate roast.

M - Medium to heavy medium body, somewhat creamy on the tongue, slick.

O - Better than expected

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Photo of Phoenix2443
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Real Ale anniversary party. Black with a tan head, this left alot of lacing behind in the anniv glass.

Coffee and dark fruits, nice hop smell too.

This beer was tasty albeit a little thin but then again it was getting warm in my glass with the heat outisde. Hop presence was noticeable but balanced well with the coffee tones that loomed.

Good beer from one of my favorite local breweries, good stuff.

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Photo of 2xHops
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not an usual stout drinker, but I saw this being served at a local bar, then I had to try it.

The head was foaming and the color of the beer is just dark, dark, dark as it should be.

The taste of this beer was pretty good, but it was not something that had something unique to bring to you. It had a strong ABV, but it took a while for the alcohol to come alive. When it did, it still wasn't too overpowering, so I think that is something to like about the beer.

For me, the mouthfeel didn't feel too overly thin like you might find in some stouts.

I personally like this better than some of the other stouts I have drank in the past, so I think it is something I would drink whenever I'm in the mood for something strong. I can't say with certainty it is a strong beer for the style, as I will need to try more stouts that people think are the standard.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, 2011?
Foothills stout snifter

A: Pours pretty dark brown, leaning to almost completely black. About a quarter finger of tight bubbles tan head. Faded quickly into a ring around the edges.

S: Really deep dark chocolate. That blueberry strange fruity sweetness. Roast malts. Coffee. Although the coffee is certainly secondary.

T: Tip of the tongue, it's all dark chocolate bitterness. Deep rich cocoa. Lingers. Then you get that touch of blueberry sweetness or fruitiness. Roasted malts. Slight dark coffee. Finish is long and lingering with that dark cocoa flavor. Sticks on the palate.

M: it's full bodied but nicely carbonated. Could here the bubbly carbonation during sip.

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Photo of peensteen
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you to LadyOfMuchBeer for sending this my way.

Dark and near black in colour, tan coloured head with some lace left behind. Nose is of coffee and roasted malt, liquorice, bakers chocolate and even some molasses scents show up as well. Taste is of coffee up front, roast and some earthy hop, chocolate of of both milk and dark varieties, more coffee and roast flavours in the finish. Mouthfeel is a little thin but still works well here, lightly carbonated with touches of cream as well. Quite good overall, good drinkability and very flavourful, thanks again for this great extra Laura.

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Photo of UTCengOwl
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this a few times on tap and I had it again last night. It's not mindblowing, but it's quite solid. Figured that I'd give it a quick review... though not as thorough since I had it at a bar where I wasn't aiming to review. This review is based off of last night's snifter at the Addison Flying Saucer.

The XV looks like most any other RIS. That is to say impressive. Dark body with a tan, frothy head. The head melts down and leaves a little on the surface. When the glass gets lower, I can see through the edges and it's a surprisingly thin brown hue. Hunh.

The beer is very stouty, with chocolate notes at the forefront. The XV seems to be a bit low on the hops bitterness relative to what I want in a RIS, but it gives it a smoother flavor. I'd like a bit more of a roasted bitter bite. However, this smoothness plays well into the beer's mouthfeel. Creamy and luscious.... maybe it's molasses in the taste and texture. This tastes like it's been aged for a bit, even though we know it's from 2011.

Overall, this is a solid offering from Real Ale and I keep getting it when it's on tap. However, I'd prefer a bit more bite and maybe a bit of flavor that I can't find in just a standard RIS.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received via trade. Poured into tulip glass. Appearance is opaque and jet black, brown head with nice lacing sticks around. The nose starts with a large dose of chocolate malt paired with delicate notes of black licorice and a touch of booziness. I don't really get much in the way of roasted barley on the nose. Dark bitter chocolate comes in big on the taste as well. Lots of depth to the flavor with notes of dark fruit, a hint of herbal hoppiness, and a bit of a boozy bite at the end. The finish is heavy on the bitter side and certainly cancels out any sweetness from the big malt bill. The mouth feel is thick and slightly oily with mild carbonation. Overall, this is a flavor packed Imperial stout that is a little to bitter for my tastes.

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Photo of imasloth
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark with some reddish hues around the edges when held to light. Very little head, even when poured roughly in an attempt to induce some. What head there is dissipates quickly.

S- Fantastic. A sweet bitterness that reminds of premium dark chocolate. Their is a slight fruity nose, but nothing overwhelming.

T- As some others have noted, the surprise of this RIS is the hoppiness which is rare in the type. As a hophead I am totally digging it. An initial sweetness is followed by the aroma bitterness which again reminds of high quality dark chocolate (which is not to say this beer is chocolatey...).

M- Good initial feel with some coating power, followed by a crisp after-swallow bitterness that leaves the long a bit puckered.

I bought a single and wish I'd sprung for the entire four pack. The beer goes beyond tyope to incorporate hops and comes off as more balanced than most RIS. Definitely worth a try and likely my fave from Real Ale so far.

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Photo of bmwats
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured froma tap into a tulip.

a: black. pours about a qtr. finger brown-white head. settles fairly quickly. leaves a nice foam blanket on the surface. some pretty substantial lacing. leaves some dry sticky residue in it's wake.

s: dark unsweetened chocolate. a little molasses, and roasted coffee beans.

t: roasted malt and espresso with a bitter touch of black licorice.

m: bitter bite. dry finish. high alcohol character.

d: bitterness and alcohol qualities make this a sipping beer.

atmosphere is nice. deep, dark appearance. fair head, and really nice lacing. nose is typical of the style nut well done... dark chocolate, roasted espresso, and licorice. flavor follows suit, dark roasted malty flavor, with hints of sweet and bitter. overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of rudzud
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade poured into a dogfish head chalice.

A - Poured a deep dark brown black hue with a nice one finger mocha that left light side lacing and a very thin blanket.

S - Aromas of light chocolate, roasted malts, bitter grounds, and light soy sauce.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with more bitter roast and slight Russian imperial soysauce.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side for my liking. Actually quite thin.

O - Overall this wasn't a bad ris it just was too thin and a bit much soy sauce.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black. Medium tan head, nice lace. Nice, but subtle roasted malt aroma. Taste is fairly chocolaty, roasted, with a light coffee note. Feels thick, full, and creamy. Nothing disappointing there. Solid RIS, but I think some age might do it well. I'm up to the challenge.

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Photo of Siggy125
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to tulip glass. Dark espresso black in color. Pillowy tan head leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

Burnt roasted malts on the nose with resiny hop presence.

Taste similar to aroma. Burnt toffee and malts with burnt black coffee overtones. Hefty hop presence, but seems to mellow with temperature increase. Dark bitter chocolate on the finish with a strange lingering salty-sweetness.

A fairly bold RIS with medium body mouhfeel. I apired with some smoked almonds, very nice.

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: The liquid is an inky brown but, with even a hard pour, very little head could be raised; lacks lacing, too

Smell: Dark fruit (blueberry, black cherry and prune) with roasty undertones of chocolate and molasses

Taste: Roasty, with chocolate and dark fruit joining through mid-palate; after the swallow, the molasses adds earthy sweetness but the roasty elements dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low carbonation

Overall: A cut above the other beers I have sampled from this brewery but still a middle of the road example for the style

Thanks, Phoenix2443, for the opportunity

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Photo of gtermi
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The Beer pours a very nice dark brown/ black body with a nice inch thick brown head.

S: There is a bit of roasted malt on the nose, but other than that, there just isnt that much to me.

T: Now this is where the beer really shines to me. It has a lot of great roasted malt with a very strong amount of alcohol. As the beer lingers, you start to pick up some chocolate and coffee flavors.

M: This is very smooth for an Imperial Stout, but it has a little burn on the back of the throat. Nothing too great, but not bad either.

O: I really enjoy almost all that Real Ale puts out and this was another great one. I wish this was one of their year-round beers because I would get this all the time.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks for this one, codewarrior.

A: Pours black with a thin and fuzzy dark brown head that almost lasted the whole beer through.
S: Rich notes of chocolate fudge brownies and a hint of molasses. Not super complex.
T: Chocolate and a whole lot of roasted malts and slightly burnt caramel. Flavors are sweet, syrupy, and lightly fruity. I get notes of licorice and coffee in the bitter finish, and the aftertaste has a hint of vanilla with some roastedness and tart lingering forever.
M: Fuzzy carbonation that is fairly soft, medium-full body, and a creamy mouthfeel. Mouthfeel is just a touch on the thin side and a bit sharp but this beer is pretty drinkable.
O: An above average imperial stout although I wasn’t crazy about the flavors. Good mouthfeel.

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Anniversary Ale XV from Real Ale Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 248 ratings.
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