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 ghostwalker
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark body with a finger of frothy tan head.

Nose is rich dark malt with a piney hop note.

Flavor is reminiscent of GDs Yeti. Rich and smooth, plenty of stout-ness, but with a huge hop bite. Huge malt body gives me molasses, coffee, dates, a hint of soy, then the pine blast finish. Tasty as I could hope for, great stuff.

Mouthfeel is slick and coating, with moderate carbonation, but then there's the hop strippiness on the finish. Really nice.

Overall, an outstanding brew from this Texas brewery. I've never had any of their other beer, but I will look forward to doing so after this treat.

I received this brew as an extra in at least three trades. Glad that I have a couple of more of these to age and enjoy.

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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 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 jamescain
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wine glass at Blackstar COOP in Austin, TX

Appearance: Black and opaque, no chance of seeing anything though this guy, with an off white head about a finger thick that fades into a ring around the side of the glass.

Aroma: Chocolate, Roasted grain, hints of dark fruits and cherries, and toffee.

Taste: Dark, roasted and chocolaty, with a subtle fruitiness in the background. No noticeable alcohol sensation, making it dangerously drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation and a thick full body making this one a sipper for sure.

Overall: Very pleased with this one and I’m glad I got a chance to try it since I couldn’t make their anniversary party. I hope they throw it in some barrels and add it to the mystrium verum seriers, or at the very least bottle it.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark as night into my snifter with a little less than a finger of tan head that has moderate retention and lots of sticky web lacing.

S - Roasted malts, sweet chocolate, molasses, cherries and hints of other dark fruits.

T - Lots of dark roasted malts, some char, more of a bittersweet chocolate than the aroma presents, sweet and mild dark fruits with little alcohol presence.

M - Full body with a medium carbonation, makes it come across a little thinner than it really is.

O - Very enjoyable RIS from Real Ale, totally worth trying and hopefully we will see some barrel aged versions down the road.

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Photo of Sinewave
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Real Ale are masters at making generic looking labels. lol

Pours pitch black with a dark, but small caramel cap. Good lacing.

Hardcore roasted malt on the nose. Dark fruit, chocolate, and some grassy hops.

Chocolate...and roasted coffee bean. Plenty of sweet vanilla and cream. Others mentioned some traces of piney hops, but I didn't pick up too much of that. Though the finish was pretty bitter and damn roasty. Still balanced by sweet chocolate malt. I really enjoyed this. Real Ale does beer good. I cracked a bottle later in the day and the hops seemed more present. They're not huge, but the fruit and pine are a nice addition.

MF is pretty thin. Although this doesn't seem to affect my raiting. I'm not one who believes a stout has to pour like motor oil to be good. There was no "watery" presence at all. Nice, big flavor on a creamy, slick mouthfeel.

Great anniversary beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of depechemode1983
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black with a thick medium brown head. Head retention is outstanding and there are huge amounts of lacing.

S - Nice toasted aroma. Light coffee and chocolate. Some vanilla in there as well along with dark fruits and a touch of citrus.

T - Lots of toasted grains and lots of coffee. There is a good amount of molasses sweetness as well. In the middle you get all your dark fruits. Raisin, plums and cherries. Finish is bitter/sweet and lingering. The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden. Shines through more so as it warms.

M - Medium bodied bordering full. Smooth, no rough edges. Carbonation is spot on.

O - Not a bad RIS at all. Happy I stumbled upon this one. Very well balanced and easy to drink seeing is the alcohol is integrated nicely. A second purchase is a definite.

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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 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 TenHornsProud
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Moth. Poured a solid black with a tan head.

Smelled of roasted, sweet malt and some spicy hops.

Tasted of roasted malt and sweetness that is complimented by an interesting hop character. It's almost spicy, which I'm guessing comes from some noble hops?

It has a medium to heavy body and is almost creamy.

This is a solid Imp Stout with a different hop profile than I'm used to, which makes it interesting. Nothing knocked me out, but it is a big enough beer and tasty.

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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 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 zander4dawin
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Black beer with a light mocha head. The head formed at the top and worked its way down. About a centimeter of head follows the beer down.
Smell - Smells like mocha and coconut with maybe a hint of vanilla.
Taste - Wow, so smooth, amazingly smooth actually. Almost tastes porter like. The alcohol is concealed nicely.
Mouthfeel - Delightfully drinkable. Nice velvety texture.

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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 JayAre46
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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 chilly460
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown with a decent tan/brown head that fades to an outer ring. Decent lacing.

S: Hints of chocolate and coffee with a good bit of dark fruit, some citrus hops in the background. Nice complexity.

T: Basic taste up front is chocolate and medium roast coffee. Slight vanilla or sweeter flavor in there too. Finishes with some sweeter hops, nice surprise.

M: The feel has a nice creaminess with a medium-full body.

O: Very solid beer, easy to drink with decent complexity.

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Photo of eclipse54
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
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 ElCommodoro
4.94/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deeelish. This was a perfect blend of malt, roasted malt, hops, and spices. The ink black concoction was neither too sweet nor too astringent, nor was it too burnt tasting. It was marvelous. I highly recommend this particular brew if you can get a hold of it. Great stuff.
Oh and it smelled like spiced dried fruit. But who cares, it's the taste that matters.

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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 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 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 2378GCGTG
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz into a Duvel tulip at 48 degrees.
Appearance- 1.5 inch mocha head, with good lacing, some rather interesting larger bubbles formed in the head (maybe this is an indication of greater protein content?), anyhow retention was great

Smell- Chocolate, roasted malt, very dark fruits and just a hint of hops

Taste: Chocolate starts the taste, velvety on the pallet but is pushed aside by the malt and dark fruits. All of this is followed by a slight coffee taste, which is finished by an awesome hop balance.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, with a light carbonation. Thinner than I typically like in a stout, but it works well with the flavors.

Overall: This is an awesome interpretation of the style, the mouthfeel and appearance are different than I typically see for this style, but it works. I think this will age well for 6 months or so.

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Photo of Nesued
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a recent trade. Figure I'd try it out on this rainy Tuesday evening.

Appearance - Dark brown, black in color as it poured into my pint glass. A two-finger head formed that was tan in color. Nice lacing formed as the head receded. Carbonation was difficult to ascertain, due to the deep coloring.

Smell - Lots of roasted malts, some caramel as well. Molasses sweetness comes through as well. Some nutty aromas as well.

Taste - The opening salvo is big on the roasted malt side of the house. Rolls nicely into a bit of a sweet middle and a mild hop bite/finish. The ABV is nicely hidden behind the ample profile of this beer. Lots of toasty and chocolate malt forming the backbone.

Mouthfeel - Nice and dense mouthfeel on this one. Very nice and chewy. The retention isn't pasty or clinging, more of a thin layer. Nicely done. The carbonation is nicely done here. Not being relied upon to convey the taste, yet contributing to the overall feel.

Overall - My first taste of an offering from Real Ale. I liked it.

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