Anniversary Ale XV | Real Ale Brewing Company

very good
98 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 248
Photo of DCon
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Schlafly Repeal of Prohibition Festival @ the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, MO. Tapped from the White/Red Tap Handle w/ 15th Anniversary on it into a 16oz Schlafly Cup.

Appearance- Received with a 1 finger, dark brown head that has great retention. Has the deepest brown body you can find in an Imperial Stout. Leaves a few suds behind but doesn't stick.

 381 characters

Photo of kscaldef
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, with just a ring of mocha bubbles. Lots of chocolate aroma, with some roasty woody notes. Taste is a mouthful of dark chocolate with enough carbonation to keep it easily drinkable. Medium-heavy body, but dry; not at all syrupy or cloying. Very solid, well-made brew.

 283 characters

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.

 593 characters

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.

 310 characters

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.

 1,312 characters

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.

 582 characters

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.

 507 characters

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.

 699 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy caSSino for sharing this one while hanging out at NoDa Brewing. Served from bottle into a NoDa sampler shaker. Poured pitch black with a minimal khaki colored head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, dark chocolate, and alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a fairly decent brew. I wasn’t expecting much on this one unfortunately. However, this was a fairly nicely put together brew overall. The aromas and flavors on this one were really well balanced which made this a fairly easy to drink RIS. Comes in a 12 oz bottle, so feel free to pick some up for a party as I’m sure it will be a big hit with the beer guys at a party.

 838 characters

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

 1,052 characters

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.

 883 characters

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.

 338 characters

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.

 971 characters

Photo of dwpiercetx
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great addition to the Real Ale lineup. It is a solid RIS. Too bad it's an anniversary ale...because I would love to be able to buy this year-round and for years to come.

It was dark like a stout should be and the head was a nice dark tan that held for a while. Tasted the alcohol since it was above 9% but it didn't shield the taste of the malt and hops. It was smooth even at +9%.

 383 characters

Photo of doughanson78
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to bhollas for this.

A: Very dark black in color. One and a half finger creamy mocha colored head. It has amazing retention and beautiful lacing. The pour was a bit light in color and body. Otherwise this would have been a 5.

S: Big dark and milk chocolate. A nice roasted malt character. Roasted espresso. Some anise and dark fruits.

T: Milk chocolate upfront. Espresso, dark fruits, mainly cherries and figs, and a nice roasted malt come through. Finishes sweet with chocolate, toffee and caramel.

M: Full body. Medium carbonation. Very creamy.

O: Damn good RIS. Complex nose and taste. Finishes a bit sweet but is still very good.

 681 characters

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.


 729 characters

Photo of yamar68
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just got this in the mail today. Thanks bpgpitt10.

a - pours a pitch black with just an edge of coffee clarity around the edges, quick beige head that doesn't hang around

s - pretty much all malts, roast, caramel, toffee, not too boozy for a fresh high ABV RIS

t - really nice, that same caramel and toffee pulls through and is capped by a very appropriate hop sting

m - this one could use a bit more carb and body both, not a total downfall at all but would've enjoyed a little something more

o - very lucky to have tried this one, never even heard of the brewery so had no clue what to expect but it proved itself to me, that's for sure

 643 characters

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle in a Duvel snifter. Thanks to Tommyhock for sending this in a trade.

A - pours a very dark brown with some deep mahogany hues at the edges. A 3/4 finger medium-dark tan head forms and dissipates fairly quickly. A slim margin of foam resides along the edges.

S - lots of chocolate upfront that blends into large amounts of dark roasted malts and dark roasted coffee. A slight scrid note from the heavy roasted malts. Once I homed in on the dark roast coffee, it became very apparent - reminds me of fresh ground espresso from Stauf's. I roused the glass and the aroma sweetened with more chocolate and maybe some dark fruits present.

T - Lots of flavor. Chocolate, coffee and roast all mixed together well. A very slight touch of caramel sweetness on the back of the palate. The thing that stands out most is the massive hop bitterness that comes out of no where. Slight citrus/pine hints in the bitterness. Long lasting bitterness suggests a bittering hop such as Columbus or Chinook. I didnt detect much in the way of hops in the aroma. I might have liked to age this a few months to take the edge off the bitterness. Maybe a slight note of alcohol detected, but covered well by hop bitterness.

M - medium bodied. I might have wanted a tad more body to hold up to the bitterness. However, once aged and the hop bitterness resided a bit, it would be a good fit.

D - low for me. The hop bitterness put it too out of balance to kick back too many.

Overall, a fine brew that could benefit from a bit of aging.

Update for 11/17/12 bottle:
Bitterness is still very firm and hasnt seemed to relax much. Notes of alcohol have reduced and maybe a little fading of the coffee profiles as it seems more chocolately with a slighly chalky profile now.

 1,772 characters

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.

 498 characters

Photo of DavidST
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a 1/2 pint of this on tap. This was a pitch black color with a minimal tan head. The smells are of espresso, dark roasted malts and some coco, there was also a fruit presence but I'm having trouble describing it, maybe a dark fruit like a prune. The feel was medium to heavy (thinner than the barley wine I had before it). The taste was pretty good, not the best IRS but good, some sweet dark fruit, the roasted malts and a little hop bitterness, many IRS are more bitter though. I'm glad I got it and I'll have to get a few more pints.

 542 characters

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

Served from a 12 oz bottle. Pours opaque black with mocha colored head and lacing. Aroma is espresso, roasted malts, and cocoa powder. Taste is a little smokey, with coffee and chocolate, and bitter hops. Mouthfeel is well done with subdued carbonation, although finish is a bit wet.
A very good imperial stout from Real Ale, flavorful yet subtle.

 348 characters

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.

 793 characters

Photo of brystmar
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll preface this by saying that my expectations coming in were rather low. I'm from San Antonio and always *want* to like local brews, but I've never had anything from Real Ale that wasn't "blah" at best.

Strong aromas of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, toffee, and other sweet malts too. Really enjoyed the nose on this.

Taste is strongly dominated by roasty malts. Sweet malt and hints of caramel pop up as well. Pretty one-dimensional for an imperial stout, but this is pretty well done.

Voluptuous body, nicely carbonated. Happy to say this one exceeded my expectations.

 580 characters

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.

 841 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from xpimptastikx; thanks Michael. Always interested in a new RIS. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my DFH tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for a minute or two, and leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, bitter chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, toasted malts, light alcohol, and light caramel malts. Very roasted and chocolatey, and pretty sweet, but I like it.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, sweet chocolate, bitter chocolate, raisins, sweet dark fruits, coffee, light vanilla, and alcohol. As it warms up some light caramel and toffee, and more burnt and toasted malts.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation, smooth and a bit creamy. Pretty nice body.

o - Overall a pretty nice RIS. A bit on the sweet side, especially in the nose, but overall a nice RIS. Lots of roasted notes and chocolate, and pretty creamy thick body. Would have it again.

 1,026 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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