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 bread112
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at a Real Ale's anniversary party in a plastic cup on 6/25/11.

Perfect day for a stout with the relative humidity at 104, no seriously! First impressions: light to medium roast with an coffee underlining. Light body. Tad bit high on carbonation for this style of beer. Reminds me of their coffee porter. Finishes with coffee and a bit of bitterness hop finish.

Overall: There're are a lot of representations of this style on the market. Many push the limits and some miss the mark. This one missed the mark. Looking towards the future to taste the same beer with a bit of age and in a barrel?!?

Label as: session-able RIS

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Photo of AgentZero
3.17/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Black beer that browns on the edges. Head bubbled up tan for just a second. Fades to nothing, no stick on the glass.

S - Very chocolatey smelling beer, that's by far the most dominant note. Smells somewhat like carob.

T - Tastes a lot like chocolate, almost milk chocolate at that. It's fine for what it is, but the finish is horrible. Tastes like tar and chalk and lingers for too long.

M - Medium bodied, some soft carbonation.

O - Passable, but nothing I would want to drink again. It's a sweet stout and the aftertaste just killed it.

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Photo of crusian
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from my phone, so apologies for weird autocorrect and shortened review.
Stopped in trinity hall with the girlfriend and was pleasantly surprised to see this on rotator. Server told me it is served in a sort of flute, but asked for it to be in a tulip before he brought it. Came out with about a finger of head and looked nice and dark!
Nose was a little disappointing, it seemed a bit muted. For some chocolate, coffee, hint of ginger, and booze. After it warmed more I got some anise out of it.
Taste was following the nose, very lacking in the flavors department... they were all there, but really toned down.... with anise coming out more as it warmed, as did the boozy finish.

the biggest issue I had was how thin it was. it looked like it was going to be this big thick masterpiece, but wasnt. really thin for the style... almost seemed watered down. It was nice and creamy, though which made it MUCH more enjoyable than it actually was.

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Photo of abraxel
3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Looks a little thin while pouring, but once it's settled in the glass it's nicely black, with pleasant lacing.

S - Lots of sweet, fruity, dark, plums and raisins, with a shadow of roastiness. It's not very complex or interesting, but smells good.

T - More of those dark fruits, and a fair amount of roasty bitterness and some molasses. The flavors seem a little messy and don't mingle well, though. It's a little one-dimensional for a RIS, but it's not horrible.

M - Weak. Quite thin, with a bit too much carbonation bite.

Overall, not bad, but kinda meh.

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Photo of bisonkron
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light black in color, with a light brown head. Lacing sticks around to the end. Carbonation seemed a bit low.

Smelled sweet and roasty. With some chocolate and dark fruit.

Very smooth with sweetness and chocolate following the nose. Roasted malt and coffee. Body is light.

Overall: Very easy drinking, but lacked a bit of kick in the flavor. Does not seem like it would hold up well with age, but perhaps they will barrel age some.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Put in fridge for 5 minutes then poured into Tulip.

Appearance-Looks pretty dark to me. Head came out as a nice bubbly khaki head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell-Sweet dark malts, some cherrys. Was hoping for more.

Taste-Sweet malts, Pretty roasty. Some vanilla and anise like flavor. Hops are there, but not exactly coming through that well. I do get some light booze, but I can definitely feel it more then I can taste it.
EDIT: When I came down to the final few ounces, I really started getting some more booze.

Mouthfeel-A little watery, would like a little more body on it. Nonetheless it's very easy to drink.

Overall-Not that bad of a beer, but nothing to brag about. Not very viscous of a stout which makes it easy to just drink, but just not very flavorful.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Freetail 2012 shaker pint glass.

Thanks to twiggamortis420 for this bottle!

I remember having this a while ago, not sure why I didn't make any concrete notes about it, but an opportunity has shown itself for some revisitation. Oh yeah. This stuff pours a very deep black-brown, verging on onyx, topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts...and nothing much else, really... Honestly, it just smells like mildly-roasted barley. Straight up. Okay... Oh, wait, there's occasionally a spike or two of booze, as well. Yup. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some bitter dark chocolate and some light pine resin. The body is a hefty medium, bordering on true heft, with a very light moderate carbonation and a chewy feel. Overall, this is still a decent impy stout, but I feel the year has not been kind to it. I'd drink another if given the chance, but I wouldn't hold out very high hopes.

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Photo of tut2528
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shoutout to fatbeats18 for this one, thanks man!

A: black body, completely opaque even when held up to the light. Creates about 2 fingers worth of light tan colored thick head with phenomenal lacing. Moderate size bubbles stick to the sides of the glass.

S: the usual components of the style are easily picked up. I get a nice balance of coffee grounds, chocolate, so sweet dark fruits, malt, and a touch of vanilla. I also notice some hops lingering in there as well.

T: very similar to the nose (all the same components), except I find more toasted notes here and the alcohol makes itself present.

M: full bodied, leaves a slight toasty aspect on the tongue along with some bitter hops.

O: a slightly above average brew in my opinion. The drinkability is high, I just don’t find it all that much different than other RIS.

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Photo of silentjay
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pitch black with a decent dark mocha head that quickly starts to recede leaving behind decent lacing.

lots of molasses, some woody hops, caramel, toffee, root beer, licorice.

lots of licorice and molasses, mostly molasses. very sweet almost an aged Old Ale malt profile. woody/earthy hops bring in some tobacco leaf and a bit of citrus pith.

full bodied and sticky with decent carbonation (if not too heavy) and a long-lingering sweetness.

well.... I liked it a bit, but not a lot. It's like if you took a 2008 Old Stock Ale and mixed it 75/25 with a fresh Storm King. I'd rather either of those separately, I think.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep black body. Small khaki head. Settles to a medium collar and some surface wisping.

Smell - Pretty intense. Coffee. Burnt malts. Soy sauce. Raisins. Dark chocolate. The whole spectrum of imperial stout aromas.

Taste - Slightly ashy and burnt up front. Coffee malt. Kinda sweet. Raisins in the back end, maybe from a bit of oxidation.

Mouthfeel - Intense. A little hot and boozy. Medium carbonation. Medium heavy body.

Overall - Slow sipper of a beer. But interesting.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from canadianghetto in the TX BIF box.

Based on the nose I would have guessed north of 9.8%, there is a strong alcohol presence here.

The foam comes on strong, deep tan, small bubbles, but is gone before the beer has settled in the bulb. No real lacing, some thin bubbles rim the glass.

The smell on this reminds me of the Southampton IRS when it's fresh - really malty, over the top booze, dark chocolate and cherry.

Not a strong alcohol note in taste or the finish, but it is there. This is a touch creamy - with strong carbonation. This could be aged, likely with good effect. A bit of 'mello' could take this from solid to well above average.

Mouthfeel is fine, certainly keeping with the style.


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Photo of jaasen64
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle thanks to SSW117. Split 3-ways in a mini-tasting- 4 ounces each. Poured into Founders snifter.

A- Pours a fairly opaque dark brown black with some light carbonation. Some decent lacing.

S- Some cocoa, light alcohol, light roasted malts. Not too much aroma strength.

T- Cocoa, some booze, very light roastiness, some licorice, and mlats. Pretty average taste for a RIS.

M- Medium bodied, low carbonation, a very tiny bit of heat, fairly smooth, decently easy to drink.

O- This was a nice average RIS. Easy to drink, nothing that really stood out about it though. I enjoyed drinking it, probably wouldn't go out of my way to get it though. We had a few RIS tonight and this was around the middle.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this, Bobby.

A: The beer pours almost black in color with a small khaki colored head.

S: Sort of roasty with a bit of prunes and licorice. A little bit of molasses sweetness, coffee, maybe some earthy hop notes. Really kind of bland for an imperial stout.

T: Licorice and burnt sugar, some dark fruits (probably raisins), and an overall sweetness. A definite bitterness and roasted malt note, maybe some coffee and molasses.

M: Smooth, medium bodied and medium carbonation.

O: Sort of disappointing and bland for an imperial stout. Not what I was hoping for.

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Photo of Ungertaker
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Miikezombie for this bottle! 12oz pour into a New Belgium snifter.

A- Deep black pour with a 1/4" sand-colored head that cascaded throughout. A thick lacing was left after each sip. 

S- figs, chocolate, cherries, roasted malt, black licorice

T- dark chocolate, slight cherry flavor, licorice comes in and quickly fades at the end. 

M- thick and viscous, short of motor oil, but very thick. The carbonation remains from start to finish.

O- I thought this was a good beer in its current state. I have one more bottle that I am planning on aging for about six months or so. I think the flavor will develop over time, along with the dissipation of the licorice at the end.

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Photo of gford217
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark chocolate brown, definitely not completely black, with a small tan head that lingers as a thick collar.

Aroma is sweet with molasses and licorice on top of the roasted malt backbone. There are coffee hints and still some hops hanging on after the months in the bottle.

Taste is hoppy up front with lots of heavily roasted malts and chocolate. There is licorice and coffee before a bitter roasty finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with more carbonation than I was expecting. Comes across a little watery vs. most in the style.

This is a heavily roasted and hoppy impy stout and a pretty tasty one at that.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike for sharing this one. Served in a Darkness glass.

A - Quick-dissolving light tan foam settles to a thin collar, leaving tiny spots of lace. Very dark brown body that is near-black.

S - Dark chocolate, light smoke, roasted malts, some dark fruits, and a bit of light oxidation and vinous port character.

T - Taste is mostly chocolate, with some caramilk, and a somewhat charry and tarry finish. Alcohol is thankfully well-hidden.

M - Smooth, medium-full body, lower carbonation, and a bit of alcohol warmth in the finish. Solid stuff here.

D - This is a decent Russian Imperial Stout, but nothing special. Probably the best thing I've had from Real Ale, and I had no problem drinking my 6oz pour.

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Photo of whoneeds8
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black into a tulip glass with minimal head, like about 1/8th of an inch of tan head. The scent has all the right smells, roasted malts and chocolate, but it's just not as strong as it should be. The taste is alright for an "Russian Stout", but there's just no imperial about it. The body is medium to just a little thin for the style.

Overall: I'm glad that Real Ale is bottling rare brews like this, but it just isn't up to their historical rare beer greatness.

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Photo of chanokokoro
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mhenson42 for this brew.

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Jet black with a foamy one finger tan head that quickly dissipates.

S: Deep bold smell of chocolate, toffee, anise, roasted malt and a touch of fruit.

T: Chocolate up front transitioning to heavy roasted malt and raisins closing with bitter espresso.

M: Fairly well-bodied but I would like just a bit more in a RIS. Silky mouthfeel that disappears just a bit too soon.

O: A solid RIS that hovers above average, but falls short of being great. Very much enjoyed trying my first offering from Real Ale.

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Photo of chocosushi
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

4oz->Smokestack Tulip
Picked up at Spec's in Austin
There is a space for a 'Bottled By' stamp that is left blank in this beer's case...

A ~ Pours black with a mahogany/brown edge to it. Nice head that slowly dissipates into a swirling ring. Slight lace. Viscous.

S ~ Whiffs of grapefruit & kumquat buried beneath dark malts & rum soaked wood with hints of red apple. Touches of herby notes (anise & basil). Thick & Organic in smell.

T ~ Espresso grounds, tree bark & dark chocolate. Theres a mellow caramel note mid palette that quickly shift back to chocolate. Cinnamon Raisin Bread carries throughout. Hints of firewood & bourbon after awhile.

M ~ Sharp bitterness followed by brief sweetness, with an immediate smack of a dry finish with a tingling hop bitterness resonating through. Esters become aggressive after some time. Becomes smoky upon sitting.

D ~ Very nice stout that I am glad made it into 4-packs as opposed to bombers. Worth a shot, even though the price is a tad high. A good, not great Imperial by any means. Intensely bitter

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Photo of kmatlack
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into my Stone Brewing snifter.

A- A black pour rendered a very small mocha colored head that disappeared into the beer. Dark brown around the edges. No lacing on the glass.

S- Smells of dark malts, licorice, chocolate, marsh-mellows, surprising amout of citrus hops on the nose. Little bit of booze. Have had this in the cellar for about 6 months now. Had this fresh and dont remember there being this much of a hop profile back then. Weird.

T- Sweet on the tongue up front, licorice, molasses, little bit of bakers chocolate. Mid palate is pretty boozy with more molasses and brown sugar. On the back end, there is a lasting licorice taste and biscuits.

M- Not as thick as id like, still decent though. The beer is a little boozy but pretty drinnkable.

O- I like Real Ale beers. This is the first stout from them ive had. A good offering nonetheless.

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Photo of jefe2
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real Ale XV Imperial Stout
a - dark black, med thin white/cream head
s - sweet dark malts
t - roasty sweet, little bit woody, nitty chalky, but sweet dark malts dominate and keep chalkiness at bay. Boozy. Good balanced sweet malty imperial stout with just enough woody roasty earthiness to balance. I'd give it an A-
m - fairly thick viscous imperial stout, with some creamy carbonation
d - a bit much for more than a pint maybe, but a good balanced creamy earthy boozy imperial stout

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Photo of amphion1065
3.69/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a Portsmouth tulip, courtesy of htomsirveaux.

It pours a classic RIS black. A half-finger coffee-colored head quickly recedes. Moderate lacing.

A rather beguiling aroma to this one. It's definitely sweet: dark fruits, and a lot of cherries, combine with a brown sugar scent. What's strange to me is the very evident hop profile, which almost makes this smell like a Black IPA. There are definite citrus fruits in the nose, and though that combination doesn't sound terribly appealing it works here.

A very hoppy RIS. Very present bitterness from the hops are accentuated by some roast. An unmistakable taste of citrus fruits, and even more sweetness in the form of molasses. Virtually zero alcohol in the mix.

The carbonation is a little high, but not to a distracting degree. The minimized alcohol presence certainly helps this in the drinkability category.

One of the most hop-forward imperial stouts I've ever tried, this would be an interesting candidate for cellaring. Though it's far from hot, I'd imagine that a lot of the underlying sweetness will only become more present over time, though it's quite fine as is.

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

A - Pours black with some deep brown around the edges. Creamy tan head shows great retention. Lacing is moderate.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, char, and a faint hint of vanilla.

T - Coffee and dark chocolate persist with a resinous hop presence making this beer a bit brash up front. Notes of dark chocolate linger into a charred finish. Alcohol is well-hidden. The bitterness eases up a bit as it warms, creating a smoother and fairly well-rounded flavor profile.

M - Full-bodied and a bit creamy with a lingering bite from the hops.

O - This is a solid RIS. A bit harsh, but I think it'll mellow out with age as the hops eventually fade. All in all, it's very enjoyable and shows a decent amount of complexity.

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