Anniversary Ale XV | Real Ale Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Anniversary Ale XVAnniversary Ale XV
Very Good
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 248 |  Reviews: 98
Photo of turfy
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of YaKnowBrady
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of bentwookie
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of Yulles
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of lackenhauser
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black-as in jet black. Could use a bit more of a head. Looks almost still though it is definately carbonated. Sweetish, toffee like aroma-somewhat burnt caramel like. Deeply roasted flavor but has a very prominant, upfront sweetness to it like it is an imperial milk stout. Burnt and bitter roasted flavors. Molasses and treacle. Full and sticky mouthfeel-again quite sweet all around. Velvety smooth. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Well done-might be a touch sweet for some folks.

 480 characters

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!

 657 characters

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

Thanks Charlie

A - The pour is surprisingly light in color, quite transparent and red-brown, but it fills nicely to a deep dark brown body with a nice amount of fluffy tan head.

S - Smoked meats, dark fruits, nutty, chocolatey, a touch boozy. Pretty good.

T - Lots of roasted malt flavor, some heat of alcohol and hops, some sweet fruity and smoky notes. Much more roasty than I'd expect or like, but it's pretty good. Some nice chocolate stuff.

M - smooth, full, nice body.

O - Kind of unimpressive, but not offensive. It's good, not great. I don't think this is a candidate for extended aging.

 600 characters

Photo of Nesued
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 1,028 characters

Photo of UTCengOwl
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

 1,199 characters

Photo of amphion1065
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 1,148 characters

Photo of depechemode1983
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

 795 characters

Photo of Retail1LO
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 641 characters

Photo of DoktorZee
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
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!

 846 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

 715 characters

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.98/5  rDev +1%
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.

 616 characters

Photo of pwsoldier
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

 715 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

 546 characters

Photo of bmwats
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

 786 characters

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

 643 characters

Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

 777 characters

Photo of Ungertaker
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

 685 characters

Photo of crossovert
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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.

 395 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a huge 3 inch puffy dark khaki head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. A nice latticework of lace forms on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, coffee beans, some smoke, and cocoa powder. Taste is of dark roasted malt, roasted coffee/espresso beans, some smoke flavors, and bitter cocoa beans. Very mild roasty bitterness on the palate quickly fades after each sip. This beer has a crisp carbonation level with a slightly bubbly but smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good RIS with some nice roasty smells and tastes. I am glad I got to try this one as this seems like a low key regional release.

 701 characters

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.

 794 characters

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!

 1,024 characters

Anniversary Ale XV from Real Ale Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 248 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.