Imperial Russian Stout
Wellington County Brewery

Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #779
Ranked #14,433
3.93 | pDev: 9.67%
Wellington County Brewery
Ontario, Canada
Very Good
Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout
Notes: Imperial Stout is patterned after the highly fortified Russian Stouts that were exported from the U.K. to Russia in the 1800s.
Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 205 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Blasterson
Blasterson from Canada (ON)

4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A really great beer. I love me a stout and this brew is a new favorite of mine. Colour is dark -- nearly black -- with a dark red note on the pour, with a thick brown head. Looks beautiful in the glass (I used a Chimay goblet in place of the recommended snifter). Smell was somewhat blood/metallic, but that may be a holdover from the can I poured it from. Otherwise, it smelled of roasted malts. The flavour was of coffee, dates, and molasses -- the best roasted malts can give -- with a backbone of booze, which gave it a nice complexity. texture was similar to a Guinness with a higher ABV: smooth and easy to drink. An excellent brew that I enjoyed immensely.

Dec 19, 2020
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Tony787 from Canada (ON)

4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought 1 can at the lcbo in Ontario 473ml at 8%.
poured a 2finger head into glass.
leaves a lace as you drink it. looks like a root beer dark color
taste is rich dark chocolate and malts . full bodied
overall a nice stout beer to drink very enjoyable in the winter time.

Dec 06, 2020
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MichaelGennings from Canada (ON)

3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tan head and a Coca-Cola dark brown colour. Smell is dark malts and hints of Christmas cake. Taste is dark malt and chocolate. Beer is medium to full bodied with a slightly prickly mouthfeel and finish. Grade: A

Jul 25, 2020
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InspectorHound from Canada (ON)

3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Black with amber highlights. Pours with a 3 finger foamy crown that hangs on for 5 + minutes.
Smell: Rich with dates and dark chocolate, somewhat sharp and antiseptic
Taste: Leather, dates, figs. Best on the front end and back end, it becomes harder to pick out individual tastes in the middle.
Feel: Very creamy. This beer fills the whole mouth with different flavours playing in different parts of the mouth. This beer is not a sipper. It begs for mouthfuls to get the whole experience.
This beer earns a solid A-.

Mar 01, 2020
Photo of Thumbman

4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is more or less the top of the line for Ontario stouts, unless you want to get into barrel-aged stuff. Pours as black as black can go, with a tan-brown head. It's a very decadent stout, being full-bodied with a slick but heavy mouthfeel. It's a very balanced beer, with notes of roasted malts, toffee and an overall molassesy taste.

Nov 11, 2019
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Colborne from Canada (ON)

4.93/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredible taste of chocolate, unharmed by the high alcohol content. Just amazingly smooth. The price is modest for this exceptional stout made in Guelph, Ontario.

Nov 27, 2018
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Max8787 from Canada (QC)

4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Favorite Ontarian stout. Well balanced, couldn't be darker, strong chocolate aroma. Great for strong beer fan, maybe not the best pick if you start to drink stout.

Apr 17, 2016
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BadgerBob from Canada (ON)

3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Wellingtons Imperial Russian Stout" 473can, 8%abv

Pours a dark, black brew, with a creamy reddish head. Recedes after 5-6 mins, no lacing. A strong aroma. The taste is a big strong flavour of coffee, chocolate with medium-high bitterness. Mouthfeel was medium carb.

Feb 04, 2016
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al_al1357 from Canada (ON)

4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Out of a can, this beer serves an opaque black with a lit a ring of carbonation throughout. Rich and complex on the nose with a prune and date-like sweetness - chocolate and coffee notes are also present. Loads of flavor in this beer. Taste is influenced by the smell - dark/dried fruits, chocolate, caramel, vanilla and molasses. The taste of alcohol is also present but not overwhelmingly so. Overall, a well-balanced beer with a robust body.

Feb 03, 2016
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Chris_r2112 from Canada (ON)

3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: As black as can be. Pours a one finger, brownish head that dissipated relatively quickly.

Smell: very nice smell. Some dark chocolate, some coffee, has a sweetness that comes from a raisin/date like fruit. Darker fruits shine in the aroma of this brew.

taste: Extremely interesting. The can boasts that it is one of the boldest beers brewed in Ontario, and I would say that it could certainly be in the conversation. Strong chocolate flavours on the fore front, quickly followed by a small hint of coffee. This beer gets more interesting on the back end, with robust notes of caramel, vanilla, and dates. Exceptionally well balanced and flavourful.

feel: Medium-thick feel with light-medium carbonation. Imperial Russian stout is extremely sticky in the mouth, to the point where it is almost unappealing. However, the mouth feel still seems to work with the taste, so the stickiness that I detected is not that big of a deal.

Overall: A little rough around the edges in some areas, but overall very well balanced and very tasty. I have to say that It is my favourite offering from Wellington Brewery. Overall, I would recommend this to all stout lovers.

Jan 13, 2016
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ADicerni from Canada (ON)

3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

An Opaque blackness with reddish highlights.
Brown Creamy foam that lasts only a few sips.

A pronounced maltiness you’d expect from a stout. Well balanced bitterness with the sweet toasty taste of the malt. A dry finish with slight bitterness. The hops are not so aromatic as flavouring. Somewhat herbal or grassy. Overall a clean layering of malt and hops.

This stout has a crisp carbonation but not overly and full bodied. A pleasant experience.

Dec 12, 2015
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polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer starts strong with a really nice pour producing a deep brown/black color beer with a one inch brownish head that lasts a few sips before breaking. What is left behind is a few islands of bubbles. The smell is roasts, coffee, dark fruits and a touch of alcohol. I found the aroma remarkably mild. The taste is a parallel of the nose with the addition of a caramel flavor. Mouth feel is quite pleasant, smooth and almost creamy. Carbonation is moderate and that alcohol smell does not translate to any burn.

Not a bad RIS all in all. Not one I would jump up and down waiting for, but I'd certainly consider having one were it on the tap list at my local.

Nov 26, 2015
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EricVonStein from Canada (ON)

4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A tall aggressive pour nets you a fat two finger head of tanned brown head of big bubbles that fizzle and pop down to a rocky topping. Black and thick as the night, this looks the part.

On the nose, nice black liquorice, burnt brown sugar, dark roasted malts, but not burnt. Sweet but inviting.

Plenty of black liquorice following the nose, sweet molasses, raisin, hints of espresso, earthy bitter hops are noticeable toward the end. Roasted and a little char on the finish. Really thick and creamy, smooth and nicely balanced. Warming at the back of the throat but not boozy.

Overall a really nice well rounded imperial. It comes through on the richness of classic, simple, down to earth and hearty flavours. Not one of the flamboyant stouts - you wont find any caramel or vanilla here. But thats not what this one is about. Easily a go-to in the category - dependable.

Oct 14, 2015
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ZinFanDave from Georgia

3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

$8 for 473ml can in Toronto's Pearson Airport. Very dark. Nice creamy texture and pleasant chocolate and coffee and dried raisin flavor profile with a noticeable roasted grain on the finish. Rather lower viscosity than all other RIP's I've had. A little heavier than a porter. 8% abc helps. Definitely enjoyable

Apr 17, 2015
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Haydn-Juby from Vermont

3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

L: Fairly black. Beige head bubbled out quickly, leaving a mere ring. A bit of lacing. Not super dark, I get some ruby red highlights.

S: Dark fruits, raisins, sweet milk chocolate.

T: This is some sweet stuff. Dark comes of as pretty strong: raisins, a bit of plum, and maybe some date. Dark caramel is strong too. I'm guessing the fruitiness is coming from the dark caramel malts. A bit of restrained roasted barley comes through on the back end, but it's pretty laid back. Very sweet- to sweet for me. Caramel should be dialed back; roasted malt should go up. No booze what so ever, I could easily believe this was a 5% beer, if not for the body.

F: Almost oily. A thick body, and pretty creamy feeling. Carbonation is perhaps just a tad dialed back.

O: It's passable, okay, but passable. Sweet, too sticky, not really my thing. I prefer roastier, lower ABV stouts.

Mar 15, 2015
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drinkininthewood from Canada (ON)

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

473ml can purchased at the LCBO ( $3.15 ). Huge fan of Wellington brewery, i attribute them as being one of the breweries that got me into craft beer years back but have yet to try this brew.

A- Oily black pour, color is dark as night with a tan head of thick foam.

S- roasty with a aromas of breakfast blend coffee and a touch of caramel and brown sugar.

T- Much of the same with some coffee flavors, touch of dark chocolate, roasted nuts, molasses, dark fruit sweetness ( raisins, plums etc. ), hint of toffee, bitterness in the end is decent and balances the beer nicely.

M- very slick almost light but not in a watery way. Smooth in almost a milky kind of way. Finish is slightly bitter but not dry at all. ( some stouts obviously are quite dry in the end depending on the style )

D- A nice warming beer perfect for the freezing cold Canadian winter. very drinkable.

Overall i really enjoyed this brew. Not the best example but a very solid offering. i will be drinking alot of this if its readily available this winter which appears to be the case this year. Fair price too. Thanks Welly!

Dec 12, 2014
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mick303 from Canada (ON)

3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From can into a tulip glass, poured black with a good head of creamy tan foam showing good retention and lacing.
S- black coffee and roasty chocolate malts, earthy bitter notes, dark chocolate, some vanilla also. Some licorice character and full spice character, rossty with a smattering of cinnamon. Quite aromatic.
T- has a chocolatey roasty start with a good hit of bitterness earthy notes, shows more coffee and residual lactic creaminess on the middle, some chocolatey sweetness. A fairly mellow imperial stout in that there is a good balance of milk chocolate, roasty malt notes and some mild earthy bitterness, nothing really sticks out apart from the above average holiday spices. It's quite a drinkable Imperial stout.
M - full bodied with a creamy feel, moderate carbonation, and quite a creamy dextrinous feel. Very drinkable, with a satisfying balanced body.
Nothing very especial about this stout,the aroma is quite nice and interesting, but the flavour. Profile is subtle and balanced, nothing too offensive about it and it's a decent sipper, but the hint of metallic character and general mediocre aspect make it some.thing I wouldn't get regularly. Good stout and it gets the job done decently.

Nov 30, 2014
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Franck from Canada (QC)

4/5  rDev +1.8%

Nose of black chocolate, roasted malt and coffee.
In mouth, strong presence of sugar (chocolate) and expresso beans. Great roundness, mineral taste. Anise appears in final with hops. Not boozy at all.
Bitterness is tastefull, hoppy and bitter, almost dry, short.

Nov 13, 2014
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neenerzig from Ohio

3.81/5  rDev -3.1%

Picked up a single 473 ml can of this from a beverage store in Niagra On The Lake, Canada when my wife and I went there on a vacation about 4 months ago. This beer say in my cellar and then in my fridge for awhile before I cracked it open. Poured out the 473 ml can into my snifter, this beer pours a dark brown, almost black color with a tan/light head about 1/2 inch thick when first poured. Eventually it settles to a medium ring lining the inside of the glass. No film layer of foam on the beer's surface or much lacing here though. Aromas of some roasted malts along with coffee and hints of chocolate. Not much else smell wise here. The taste is pretty much the same, with some toasted caramel malt sweetness that gives way to some chocolate and coffee bitterness that is rounded out with a touch of hops. Has a good mix of flavors, especially as the beer warms up a bit and things balance out. Has a mildly crisp, somewhat prickly, very smooth, slightly oily, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink in the way good beer ought to be. Worth a try.


Oct 07, 2014
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DaveBar from Canada (ON)

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO $2.95 for a 473ml can. Served chilled in a draught glass.

A- Very good. Not much head but what was there was thick and dark

S- Very good. Toasted malt

T- Pretty good. Roasted malt and barley. Sweet and bitter with lots of coffee notes. Excellent attempt

M- A bit lacking in the creamy department but other than that very good

O- Very good. Will buy again as it is a local brew

Food Pairing

This very good stout paired well with... Goat cheese pizza.


Feb 15, 2014
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kevinlater from Canada (ON)

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

473ml can into snifter

a: pitch black. the most aggressive pour in the world gives almost three fingers of light brown, khaki-esque head

s: chocolatey coffee, roasted malts. bits of raisins, cherries, prunes. hints of sweet syrup?

t: chocolate up front, then coffee, some raisins and cherries, and then a lasting roasted/charred/burnt malt presence. a strong and lingering earthy bitterness to finish it all off. zero alcohol presence

m: medium-to-full bodied, maybe closer to the medium side of things. a chewier mouthfeel could improve this a lot. medium carbonation, which is slightly too high

o: a very simple and standard stout, which isn't really a bad thing because stout flavours are delicious. some may just find it boring. a very tasty local brew at an unbeatable price -- just under $3 for the pint can

Feb 12, 2014
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seand from California

3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours an opaque black with a small amount of tan head. Just a ring around the edge of the glass retains, leaving minor lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malt.

T: Sweet roasted malt with a roasty top end; not bad, if a little bit single-noted.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall, OK. Not nearly the best imperial stout I've had, but still decent.

Dec 31, 2013
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dar482 from New York

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this in can at Toronto Airport.

The beer comes in a black color with a light brown head.

The aroma has tons of coffee aroma, some earthy notes, and roasted malt. A very stout smelling beer.

The flavor follows with coffee, like black coffee, roasted malt, and a drying finish of earthy bitterness. There's not much sweetness from the malt, but a bit of toffee flavor in there. There's a medium body.

Nothing groundbreaking, but a well made beer. Could use more flavor at 8%, but also hides the alcohol is a very basic stout.

Aug 29, 2013
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beerluvr from Canada (ON)

3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep brownish head over opaque brown in the glass. Light (too light for a R.I.S.) roasted malt nose offering some coffee tones. First impression on tasting was too light bodied for what the label claims it to be, that aside I get roastiness and light malt and not too much hop to speak of. Finished on a bitter chocolate alcohol tasted. Thought this could be much better though it's a nice Imp Stout for those just testing the waters.

Aug 20, 2013
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decimator from Canada (ON)

3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

473ml can poured into a mug. ABV 8%.

A - Poured an opaque near black with a 2cm light brown head, head reduced to surface bubbles, some lacing is produced.

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, earthy. Certainly smells like stout.

T - Rosted, toasted, chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, a slight sour tang in the middle, medium to low bitterness, herbal and slightly medicinal, and a hint of alcohol. Aftertaste is mostly sweet with some moderate bitterness. Despite the complexity I found the overall flavour rather restrained.

M - Medium-low carbonation, medium-high body, syrupy, some creaminess, a dash of heat, very dry finish.

O - Not a stand out for the style but certainly still a drinkable and enjoyable RIS.

Aug 13, 2013
Imperial Russian Stout from Wellington County Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 205 ratings