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"Old Yeltsin" Imperial Stout | Hoptown Brewing Company

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"Old Yeltsin" Imperial Stout"Old Yeltsin" Imperial Stout
55 Ratings
"Old Yeltsin" Imperial Stout"Old Yeltsin" Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Hoptown Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 07-09-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 53
Photo of Zorro
2.26/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a black brew impervious to light.

Smell is sweet and fruity with the expected coffee and chocolate aroma. Grain sneaks in under the stronger aromas.

Taste is very metallic! BLAH! Tastes like nails! I try but all I get is an Iron Taste.

Mouthfeel is thin.

Maybe I got a bad bottle but this was some bad stuff. I tried to like this but I had to pour it out, rusty nails brau.

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.38/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I love Imperial Stouts.
I don't love this one.
Poured jet black with a half finger tan head that melted to fine lacing.
Aroma is subdued dark fruits and alcohol.
Taste is raisins, prunes, coffee, alcohol. Pretty much the right elements, but tastes like they are artificial flavorings added to alcohol rather than the results of fine brewing byproducts. Coffee taste is like too much instant coffee was put in the mix...dark fruit flavors are there, but not like they are mixed..more like they are setting on top of the alcohol.
Aftertaste is bitter reminisces of the dark fruits and a definite alcohol tasting.
Mouthfeel is too thin for this style.
One of my favorite styles done synthetically.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The color looked promising when it poured on the verge of black, thick with dark brown foam. Then the smell of of citrus was very evident along with roasted malts. The taste was a dissapointment. It tasted of burnt roasted malts, with a sour taste of citrus. Although it was creamy it didn't help the flavor.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle received from a previous trade. Sorry, but I have forgotten who sent this to me, but I do know it was my first CA to MA trade.

Pours an almost black in color. Thick brown head that dissolves to a thinner brown hear. But it never completely dissolved. Nos eis lots of burnt malts and overripe/rotting cherries.

Flavor is not as complicated as I would think for the style. Straightforward toasted malts and burnt biscuits. Some overripe and (gone bad) fruits that if they were real fruits would probably make you spit them back out. Medium to heavy body that improves as the beer warms. A decent slow sipping example of the style.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.32/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown color. Large tan foamy head. Aroma is chocolate and coffee. A medium bodied Imperial Stout. Malts are chocolate with a hint of caramel and coffee. Hops are slightly spicy. Nicely balanced. Perhaps a little thin for an Imperial Stout. No alcohol bite. Mouthfeel is thin. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of poluti
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a dark muddied black with a very dark tan head. It is a great looking imperial stout. The smell is a muddled chocolate with a hint of nut and alcohol. It's sensation is a little bit above average for the style. I was missing the minor hop notes associated with my favorite beers of this style. However, all in all, a decent nose. The taste was pleasant. Very malty with minor bitterness for the style. It was a tinge sour on the sides of the tongue. It had a decent body but a little too thin for an Imperial Stout. There didn't seem to be a sound balance between sweet and bitterness as the sweet malty flavors do an overload on the taste buds. It is a very drinkable beer. Just be weary of the alcohol content. It could be the equivalent of a night-cap if you don't watch yourself.

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Photo of beerpadawan
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of mzwolinski
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Black in color with no head at all -- just a thin swirl of minute bubbles lacing the top. Roasty malt aroma with notes of tobacco.

The malt starts of dominant and fairly sweet, with the roastiness waiting to emerge until the aftertaste, and growing stronger as the beer warms. Finishes with hints of anise and a surprisingly strong hop flavor profile for the style. Alcohol is unobtrusive.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinnish. Very smooth, but still, all-in-all, this is a bit thin and uncomplicated for the style.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

01/01/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA. First review of 2006!

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no bottling or freshness info. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Darker in color, approaching black. Nice larger inch or so creamy dirty brown head. Leaves very nice patches of lace behind.

Smell- Darker roasted malt scent with some chocolate notes, but not much coffee. Can smell some hop bitterness as well.

Taste- Wow, this is one hopped up beer. The sweet malt stuggles and barely cut through the sharp bitterness from the hops. Bittersweet chocolate, some maybe even smoky malt taste with just a touch of coffee.

Mouthfeel- Bittering doesn't last much into the aftertaste, but kicks you in the teeth when you first take a sip. Not really creamy, but fairly easy to quaff. Carbonation is about normal for most Double Stouts these days (too much). I even aged it for about a year. Wonder how hoppy this thing is fresh?

Drinkability- Probably will pass of this one again if I see it. Would be curious though about the taste from a fresh tapped keg.

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Photo of brentk56
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nice black color but the head is a bit disappointing and doesn't leave much lace

Smell: Lots of rum-soaked dark fruit and a touch of dark chocolate

Taste: Starts out with a coffee and chocolate blast that is joined, mid-palate by dark fruit and some roasted malt flavors; after the swallow, a significant bitter presence joins the fray; the finish has some off flavors (phenolic) that detract from an otherwise impressive array

Mouthfeel: A tad above medium body with modest carbonation

Drinkability: This is a near miss that has a lot going for it; a heavier mouthfeel and a better finish would make this a winner

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Photo of aracauna
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not perfectly black, you can see brown light around the extreme edges, but it's dark enough not to count off for. The head is a nice medium brown soup foam, but thin and quick to fade into a weather pattern. A very rich malty aroma with some fruit aroma. Low hop presence. There's a lot of fig in the flavor. I can almost feel the tiny seeds in the fig preserves my mom makes from the fig tree in our yard next to the cannaa lillies. It's sweet, almost a little too sweet as it edges on cloying. This mild bitterness in the back keeps it just on this side of the line, though. Still, that figgy flavor makes it pretty interesting.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark tan brown head full of large bubbles. Nice and thick, lasting spontaneous haze. Pitch black heavy-looking brew, viscous on the pour. Before too much warming, nose is wet and mild, with obvious black cherry sweetness, coffee and sharp vanilla but very little in breadth to cover the lurking alcohol.

Tastes super bitter, lots of blackened malt in this. Charred meat and carbon dominate the palate, and it becomes hard to figure out what role hops play in the brew. Alcohol takes even stepping with the cherry sweetness that makes up the remainder of taste left behind by the carbon.

As could be expected, alcohol eases off a bit and the bitterness mellows out to give old yeltsin some much needed thick malt body and buttery smoothness -- and more touches of coffee and vanilla. Fruity.

Not overly drinkable or exciting, but good and stylistic -- makes an impact as well.

 890 characters

Photo of bhitt
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: black & syrupy with light brown head, not much lace, medium-small bubbles.

Nose: very sweet with everything expected from an imperial stout (toasty espresso, caramel, molassas).

Taste: Up front, taste is sweet and with very ripe, dark fruits. The sweetness lingers quite a while and then some hops and roasted, charcoal bite comes through in the finish. Mouthfeel is very refreshing and silky with low carbonation and small bubbles.

For a 9%, this is incredibly drinkable. Warming and refreshing simultaneously.

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Photo of alexgash
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black as an eight ball with a dense layer of beautifully brown head. Lacing coats the over-sized tulip glass nicely. Nose is made up of roasted coffee, sweet alcoholic raisins and plums, soy sauce, dark chocolate, and maybe some hop bitterness. Not bad, if maybe a little [too] reserved.
Solid, rather raw, roasted grains and sweetish malt up front. Sweet, dark fruit and alcohol pick up in the middle, with notes of astringent hops sneaking in. Astringent bitterness swells into the finish, as the alcohol does a little burning. Finish is bitter, with a sweet roasted malt skeleton. Big, full body, with a thick, chewy feel. Not a bad beer, but I think it could use some tinkering, as the hops are too astringent, not enough flavor.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from westsidethreat I believe. I am sampling at room temp in a stemmed flute glass. The beer pours a pitch black and is fairly thick. A thick forthy tan head foams up 1 cm and recedes to a sturdy surface layer. Aroma is dark roasted malt and some coffee beans and a bit of molasses. First sip reveals an average to thick body with fin tingly carbonation. Texture is silky smooth. Flavor starts a little sweet or bittersweet chocolate some brown sugar and molasses with a finish of dark fruit, raisins and long roasted notes that linger. no real hint of abv anywhere. A tasty beer to try if you see it. I would like to have the opportunity again.

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Photo of BierReise
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much of a head on this one but all the characteristics of the style. Slight alcohol in the nose along with coffee, hops and a faint caramel aroma. Very English smelling and similar to Samuel Smiths. Alcohol is very present here with a pungent aroma. Body is medium to full and smooth as expected. A little sweet with fantastic roasted malt flavor and finishing a little dry. Great stout! I'm impressed!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rough pour brings up a decent-sized head of creamy dark-tan foam atop an opaque black body; but it fails to hold for very long and leaves only minor spotty lace about the glass. Of course it is 9% abv, which cuts down on the head retention a little.... The nose delivers sweet cocoa, toffee, sugar, day-old coffee, a thick drizzle of molasses, and a pinch of citrus rind. It's delicate, seemingly natural (bottle-conditioned?), and exceptionally fine-bubbled carbonation leaves smooth across the palate. The flavor is more intense than the flavor suggests, with notes of burnt sugar, molasses, caramel, dark toffee, poorly made espresso, dark fruit, dark wine, citrus, and berries. It finishes dry and lingering with a splash of alcohol, a burnt/carbon note, and juicy citrus fruits. Interesting!

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Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To be fair, I'm not sure of the exact age of this bottle. I know I ordered it from liquidsolutions at least 2 years ago and it's been sitting in my fridge since...
Appears a pitch black onyx with a small, creamy tan head that fades into a mild cap. Lots of streaky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of molasses, cream, ripe fruit, coffee, cocoa, and roasted grains.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a mild sour note. I'm not thinking oxidation due to age b/c there's none of that cardboard, or slickness going on in the flavor.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly astringent, toasty, and mildly tart with coffee, & cocoa lingering on the semi-dry finish.

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Photo of Phatz
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to weeare138 for sharing this beer.

Appearance: Pours opaque black with a moderate tan head and nice lacing.

Smell: There is a pleasant berry red fruit aroma along with the chocolate and roasted malts.

Taste: Dark malts and chocolate flavors and a berry tartness with a long lingering roasted aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium light in the mouth.

Drinkability: It is OK. The 9% does not show so that it a plus. It is a big beer to share. Worthy of a taste.

Hope this is helpful.

 509 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled April 2007
When poured fairly vigorously, it ends up with a nearly three-finger thick, light brown colored head that sits atop an almost black colored brew. The aroma is richly malt focused, and has perhaps even taken on some aged malt notes. The aged malt notes seem to have accentuated some dark malt derived Maillard browning aromatics. These notes intermingle with notes of chocolate; a touch of warm rum & molasses; lots of well toasted, dry, biscuit malt character; some hints of burnt figs and even some notes of burnt concord grapes. It even takes on a rich, meaty, almost brothy like quality (is it umami?) as it warms up.

Thick and chewy, while not quite being syrup-like and certainly not cloying. This is definitely a sipping brew; it is served at about 50ºF (10ºC), which is a pretty good starting temperature. The malt is quite soft and enveloping, with a mix of dark chocolate, complex malty sugars and something akin to a chocolate shake made with lots of espresso-roast coffee beans. The finish tries to dry things out a bit with sometimes austere notes of toasted grain and burnt barley; in the end though this can't shake the dark sweetness, as even a lightly sweet, rich molasses burnt caramel note seems to close things out. This brew is just so smooth; there is really not much hop bitterness here; just enough to keep things from being cloying. Up front it has a touch of sharp, burnt grain derived acidity, but this is well tempered and is not even an after-thought by the time the beer rolls past your lips. This definitely has some age to it (without a bottle date I don't know how much though), but it has only just started to oxidize a bit (a touch of blackened sherry is noticeable); this has added a bit more malty complexity to this brew at this point, though this should still age quite gracefully for many years to come.

This is the quintessential smooth, sipping brew, the mouthfeel on this beer is just about perfect. The flavors and aromatics are quite good, but not nearly in the class that the mouthfeel sustains quite effortlessly. One thing is sure, I need to go back and down grade a bunch of Imperial stouts after this brew.

 2,183 characters

Photo of winomark
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep dark brown with soem slight deep reddish hues. A tiny, light brown head sticks around for a while. Sweet alcohol tones dominate with good coffee and roasted malts noticable. Chocolate and toasted malt control the palate, with alcohol sweetness and a good bitterness take hold of the finish. Dry, ligering finsih. A coating mouthfeel, wiht a slight syrupy component. A nice drinkable imperial stout. Alcohol is in check, with good toasty character. Well done. A beer I would like to have a few of. Definately worth a try.

 538 characters

Photo of beersarang
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid above average imperial.

Pours a black with a very small dark tan head, so far spot on. Leaves some minor lace. Easy to see the slick alcohol.

Sweet grain aroma of coffee and smoky phenols.

Malt character is big, full of all things roasty with an emphasis on charcoal. Leads into an assertive bitterness with little hop character. A fairly two dimensional but well balanced beer.

Medium to full bodied, could have used more thickness, but this beer gains points in drinkability.

I like it, Hoptown I believe has some good brews.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample at the Most Honorable SuperHappyFun Stout Tasting. Bottle from Park Lane Liquor in Lancaster, CA. This beer pours black with a medium beige head that recedes steadily. Stringy lacing. Aroma of roasted malt and coffee, plus some hops. Rich body with a chewy mouthfeel and flavors of roasted malt, coffee and hops as well as some dark chocolate. The finish is rich and smooth with sweet malt and coffee lingering in the aftertaste. Pretty good overall.

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Photo of ism
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black with auburn tint, opaque, topped with a russet head that quickly disappears. Aroma is very pleasing and almost... meaty; unsweetened chocolate with a touch of roasted coffee bean are dominant, with hints of dark berries and rum. This is replicated on the palate, with grainy notes, finishing with roasted chococoffee lingering just right. Medium mouthfeel, but chewy without effort.

Tastes aged and complex, great for sipping.

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"Old Yeltsin" Imperial Stout from Hoptown Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 55 ratings
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