Anniversary Ale XV | Real Ale Brewing Company

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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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 248 |  Reviews: 98
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.94/5  rDev 0%
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 CorbinB
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
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 imasloth
3.82/5  rDev -3%
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 womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
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 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 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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Photo of Sinewave
4.31/5  rDev +9.4%
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 EgadBananas
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
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 whoneeds8
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
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 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 zander4dawin
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
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 jefe2
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
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 TenHornsProud
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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 ElCommodoro
4.94/5  rDev +25.4%
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 2xHops
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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 crusian
3.19/5  rDev -19%
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 fatmcb1
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth on tap into a snifter

Poured deep black with a finger of brown head. Incredible lacing covered the glass

Chocolate, very sweet, and dark fruit.

Taste is much fuller and stronger. Tons of dark chocolate and sweet roasted malts. It finishes with a bit of dark fruit and hops, which add complexity and balance.

Incredibly rich, creamy carbonation. The ABV is very well masked.

Though I only had one pour, I could have had an entire bottle and not gotten tired of it. My new favorite from Real Ale.

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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 jamescain
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
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 Phoenix2443
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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 bisonkron
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
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 bread112
3.03/5  rDev -23.1%
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 drummermattie02
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Real Ale anniversary party. Pours black with a nice tan head. Leaves good lacing and legs.

Lots of hops in the nose and a nice roasted coffee note as well.

Taste is slightly sweet with quite a bit of hop bitterness. Roasted malt and coffee in the finish. Very smooth finish despite the hops, I suspect this will age well.

Overall a very good beer from one of my favorite Texas breweries.

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