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Imperial Russian Stout | Wellington County Brewery

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Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout
BA SCORE
3.9/5
Very Good
197 Ratings
Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Wellington County Brewery
Ontario, Canada
wellingtonbrewery.ca

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout is patterned after the highly fortified Russian Stouts that were exported from the U.K. to Russia in the 1800s.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#14,901
Reviews:
110
Ratings:
197
pDev:
10%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
23
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 197 |  Reviews: 110
Reviews by AaronHomoya:
Photo of AaronHomoya
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at C'est What? in Toronto. Delicious with my lamb burger.

Black color with dark-tan head. Not too oily. Pretty good head retention.

Smell is nice, with dark roasted malts and coffee notes. Very good, but not as complex as some RIS's.

Taste was very pleasant with some malt sweetness followed by chocolate and coffee flavors and finished with a nice bitterness and lingering, smooth roastiness.

Medium-thick mouthfeel. Light carbonation, as to be expected from a cask. Very smooth.

Very drinkable for a RIS. The mouthfeel and balanced flavor profile made it relatively easy-drinking for the style and enjoyable throughout.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of neenerzig
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

Eric

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Photo of davegray
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Talisker
2.82/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle received from BA Goldorak via an extremely generous (on his side!) in-person trade.

Pours dark but thin. Almost no head despite trying to force one up. Aroma is heavily dominated by chocolate - not sweet, but not overly bitter or burnt. Not much malt or hops to balance the smell.

That slightly bitter chocolate also dominates the taste. Not at all unpleasant, but not particularly balanced. The thin texture avoids the syrupy viscosity of many American RIS expressions, but a lingering roasted bitterness takes its place, outstaying its welcome, wanting a little sweetness.

Were this beer a work in progress, I would say it's extremely promising, just needing a little tuning before bringing out to the world. But as a finished beer it's not one I'll return to or recommend others seek out.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to biegaman for this can. Finally working through a backlog of stout. Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - Pours with a finger of dark mocha foam that dissolves fairly rapidly to a ring and some light haziness. Not much in the way of lacing. Body is black, with a hint of transparent brown at the bottom of the glass. Looks like stout!

S - Dark roasted malts, espresso, cocoa, dark fruits, a hint of molasses. For a non-infused stout this is quite nice, but also a little generic. Not on the level of Southampton or Kate, but still very enjoyable.

T - The taste is quite bitter dark chocolate and charred malt, with a bit of dark fruits at the back end There isn't quite enough sweetness to balance things out, rendering this a tad one-dimensional. Alcohol is very well hidden. Aftertaste is also roasted coffee bitterness (unsurprisingly).

M - Too carbonated and thin. Reminds me of some porters I've had recently. There's a little bit of stickiness, but otherwise it's somewhat watery. Not off-putting, but not particularly good either.

D - I dig cans, and I dig stouts in cans. However, I'd rather reach for a Ten FIDY, as it's the superior beer in all areas. I'd be interested to try this on cask, as I think it would help the feel out quite a bit.

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Photo of papat444
3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to grub for this one.

Poured from a 473ml. can (code A2012 on it so i presume this was canned Jan. 2012).

Appearance: Brown-black body, thick and oily, with about 2 fingers of creamy foam. Not much legs on it but does coat the glass when swirled.

Smell: Cocoa powder, chunks of chocolate. milky chocolate, mild coffee but aroma dominated by various chocolates.

Taste: Decadent chocolate chunks mixed with good bitter coffee and roasted overtones.

Mouthfeel: Weak point. Carbonation a bit higher than expected and the body is fairly average, barely reaching medium strength.

Overall: A decent stout but not one that i would drive out to the brewery for. There are better stouts that are more easily attainable.

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Photo of Electros
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dar482
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice to see this one making it's way up north. Looks like a RIS should dark almost black. Tanned head leaves some good lacing as it drop.

Smells of sweet licorice, chocolate, molases and some roastiness. Hops are hard to notice.

Tastes of roasted malts, sweetness and some hop bitterness. Very drinkable brew. I could easily forget aboutthe abv and have my fair share of these.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Aroma: very muted. Chocolate.

Looks: Black. Small, tan head. Poor head retention.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, a touch of black licorice (but not bad). Some pine-like hoppy flavours that build up on your tongue.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Smooth, velvety, silky, and chewy. Light carbonation with very fine, small bubbles. Good cask conditioned mouthfeel.

Overall, I like this Beer much, much better in it's cask conditioned version. I don't care much for the black licorice flavour, but this RIS didn't have much of it. This Beer certainly hides it's 8% ABV well.

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Photo of Antilochus
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Volo. Pint glass, on a cool late spring night. Perfect.

Opaque black. Good lace, but poor retention. Rubyish.

Aromas of roasted malt, licorice, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee. Very 'clean' RIS.

Palate has good balance, nice bitterness, lots of licorice, chocolate here. Body is a bit light. Would like to see more complexity, perhaps more fruit. I would have reached for another but I had to catch a train...

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Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cask at Volo.

This beer appears black, black, black, with very slight tan edges, and zero head or lace. It smells of mild roasted malt, and dry coffee. The taste is a bit stronger, with roasted malt being joined by some more coffee and a spot of dry chocolate; the extra ABV is well hidden. The carbonation is low, the body medium weight and smooth, and it finishes dry and clean.

A decent, if a bit plain, RIS.

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Photo of bobsy
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the closest local imperial stout, and isn't too shabby either. I've had it in can, on tap and on cask, and while I prefer the cask format slightly, there's not a huge variation between the different serving types.

Wellington's RIS pours a very dark brown with a reddish tinge, and a medium mocha head. On cask thge head retention and lacing is excellent, whereas the canned version leaves something to be desired. The aroma is has vanilla notes complimenting a deep roastiness, with hints of oatmeal in the background. In fact its very reminiscent of a rich oatmeal stout, especially considering the alcohol is nowhere to be seen.

The flavour exhibits the superb balance that's sometimes lacking in bigger beers, and there are pleasant notes of rich chocolate, caramel and molasses, with a hit of coffee in the finish. As noticed in the nose, some oatmeal stout flavours come through, and this brings a light touch of tobacco. Hopping is kept to a minimum, and the alcohol is skillfully concealed. A medium body and carbonation suit this beer fairly well, though I do feel that something slightly thicker would have helped it out more, and made it feel more like an RIS rather than an export stout.

This is certainly a well-made beer, but there are moments when I wonder if its really an imperial stout. The alcohol presence seems to fall a bit short, and the roast profile suggests something closer to an oatmeal or export stout than anything. Its almost like a lighter version of Stone's RIS. Nonetheless, a decent beer, and very drinkable for its weight.

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Photo of DaveHS
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can courtesy of Jeffo.

A-Pours dark, stained wood brown with about in inch of rocky mocha head. Leaves chunky lacing.

S-Cocoa powder, vanilla, burnt white sugar, moth balls, roasted chocolate malts.

T/M-Medium to full bodied and soft, with low carbonation. Lightly roasted dark malts, a little bitterness on the back end, which is slightly overdone considering the lack of body. Would like this to be a little thicker. Finish falls off abruptly, warming the back of the throat.

O-An average RIS. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of kjyost
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of tommyguz
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of ZorPrime
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another beer from Bobsy. Thanks!

The beer is black, very dark. The head is cloudy looking and brown color. It goes away quite fast. The aroma is dark chocolate with some espresso coffee notes. The taste is roasted malts, slightly metallic at first. The after-taste is more coffee grain... the second sips gives more like a malt + coffee taste. I don't get any chocolate in the taste. Medium body. The alcohol is hiding and this beer could be dangerous. A nice beer from Wellington.

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Photo of dgilks
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JohnnyBarman for carrying this from Guelph to Canberra for me. It is much appreciated.

Very dark black colour with a small, short lasted brown head. The head is really short lasting.

Robust, strong roasted malt aroma. Lots of fruity character and some earthy hops. Good, traditional RIS.

Rich, malt and roast flavour with plenty of fruit, strong bitterness and earthy hops. Classic.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good.

This is a really solid RIS with classic English flavours. No over the top American hop or malt character, just good, strong stout.

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Photo of mulder1010
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

473 ML poured into a tulip
Thanks to Dgilks for the can? Yes, a can.

A-- Poured a dark cola color and settled jet black. No light penetrating this at all. One finger dark brown leather head that slowly faded to a nice, thick collar and a thin layer of film. Some large bubbles here and there. Nice head retention on swirling. Half finger of head. Spotty lacing.

S-- Roast and quite earthy. Dark chocolate, dark roast, some coffee and a bit of tobacco. Quite nice.

T-- Smooth, quite smooth. Chocolate, coffee, tobacco, roast, and a bit of earthy hop bite. I like.

M-- Smooth body. Bits of coffee bite here and there. Roast and chocolate dominate the body with bits of prickly carbonation. Otherwise medium body and lighter medium feel. Dry chocolate, coffee, and bitter finish. Bitterness picks up a lot once warm.

O-- Nothing crazy about this. Very simple and straightforward but done very well. Roast carries the beer very well and the ABV is well hidden. Feels and tastes like 6%, not 8%. Very old school RIS but that is a very good thing when done this well.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got a few of these in trades last summer. Thanks for the cans guys!

From a 16oz can into a snifter.
Canned in 2011

Note: Pitted this one against Grand River's Russian Gun Imperial Stout in an All-Ontario stout showdown!

APPEARANCE: Clear black pour yields a one finger, looser looking, tan head with decent retention. Black body with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a good, full wisp, though only splotches remain leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Didn't start out that well, but finishes strong.

SMELL: Mild nose with some roasted malts, licorice and cocoa powder. Touches of caramel too. A little too mild to be memorable.

TASTE: Roasted malts and some caramel sweetness up front, then some licorice notes and dark chocolate at the swallow. Decent lingering aftertaste of roasted malts, dark chocolate and sweet molasses. Pretty nice after the swallow, and more impressive than the nose had led on.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A touch watery perhaps, but still creamy enough. Goes down fine and finishes slightly mouth-coating.

OVERALL: This was pretty good, as the flavor after the swallow saved it from being mediocre. Though it is nothing to write home about, I would gladly drink it again, and especially fresh on-tap. This one actually kicked the Grand River brew around the playground. Give this one a go if you find it. Cheers!

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Photo of uno99
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Cask at Ces't What?

A: looks thick and chewey. nice head and retention.

S: not much going on in the scent catagory. chocolate and sweet. slight sour tinge.

T: chocolate and dark fuits. malty and satisfying. pretty one dimensional and basic. not as complex as I was hoping but very tasty none the less. slighty sour and bitter finish.

M: perfect thickness. almost feels like a nitro. quite oily and low carb.

D: a strog beer for sure but alchol is well hidden. its not so over the top flavour wise so you could drink 2 or 3 pints and not get bloated and ill feeling.

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Photo of ludachris
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a completely opaque oil black with one finger of frothy tan head that displays decent retention and leaves a good amount of spider leg lacing.

Heavy roasted malts, light cocoa, molasses, espresso, hints of tobacco, and a pleasant dose of dark fruits in the nose. Alcohol is virtually indetectable.

Dark chocolate and dry roasted malts are the most prominent notes in the taste. Dry and bitter notes of espresso come towards the end with a touch of dark fruits in the middle. The alcohol is very well disguised.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a strong amount of carbonation for the style. Good balance and the easiest drinking RIS I've had thus far.

I ordered a case of this directly from the brewery and I'm happy to say this left me quite satisfied. Not overly complex but it has almost everything I look for in an RIS. The mouthfeel is the weakest point of this beer, but it doesn't drastically affect the overall experience. This seems like an excellent introductory/sessionable RIS. Another great offering from Ontario.

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Photo of Clubchat
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at C'est What? in Toronto

A- Black color with some brown reflects, not a big head retention, a bit syrupy down the glass

S- Smell is ok, not really the habitual smell for an imperial stout but it's good, maple syrup, dark malts, cold coffee notes and peat

T- Maple syrup is the first word's coming, probably from the malt sweetness, roasted and chocolate in final

M- Ok mouthfeel, not so thick, extra-light carbonation (cask), no alcohol sharpness going along with the ABV

D- Flavors are well balanced, easy to drink for the style, not a really complex brew but I appreciated it

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

473ml can traded from Bobsy. Pours a dark dark brown, just the faintest hints of light coming in around the edges. Finger of tan head that recedes to a collar.

Light cocoa, dark fruits, brewed coffee, roasted and caramel malts.

Not many in Ontario are brewing a RIS and it's good to see this one out there, in a can nonetheless. It has a nice smooth roasty character, just a hint of bitterness in the finish. Weak brewed coffee, roasted malts more in line perhaps with a brown ale (similat taste to their dark ale, just a bit more prominent), dark fruits, hefty sweet brown sugar body. Smooth, medium-light body, slightly bubbly for a RIS.

This is not a bad attempt. It's certainly on the light side for a RIS but it masks the 8% well, it's drinkable. Could have some bigger, more complex notes but I would grab this one again. Thanks Rob and kudos to Wellington for making a RIS.

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Photo of seand
3.44/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

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Imperial Russian Stout from Wellington County Brewery
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 197 ratings