Podge Belgian Imperial Stout | Picobrouwerij Alvinne

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Podge Belgian Imperial StoutPodge Belgian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Picobrouwerij Alvinne

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by paterlodie on 02-08-2006

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Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 241
Photo of Sammy
4.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tip of the hat to Papsoe. A dark not jet black colour with some white head. Aroma of yeast and coffee and chocolate. Unique rich stout, not as thick at a top RIS, not a Bell stout, just enjoyable Belgian style, similar to Hercules. Great balance as not too coffee (spelled Koffee), nor too chocolate, nor too bitter.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.64/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Initial comment is that this beer just isn't what it purports to be, at least in my opinion. It tastes like no stout I've ever tried.

Pours a hazy brown/black with a very quickly disappearing head. Pleasant light nose of simple fruit and simple ripe grapes. Some sweet malt/ripe pear nose, as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation and no overwhelming character except that this is like no stout I've ever tasted. Flavors are a cross between wine and a sour. Not terribly appealing or pleasant on any level. Very different flavors. Spices, cooked fruit and some grape acid but not the kind of flavors that have you wanting more.

Interesting high acid, aged red wine finish. I can't really imagine drinking a glass of this for any reason other than a tasting experience.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

I usually don't mention bottle formats, but this beer was sampled from a magnum.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruits, and slight cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but it's definitely more of a Belgian, fruity type of stout.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out pretty dark, I think it should have been much darker since it's supposed to be a Russian Imperial but whatever. The smell of the beer gives off a good amount of roasted malts on the nose and maybe a touch of chocolate also. The taste of the beer actually had a smokey/salty flavor to it. I found it to be an interesting twist on things. The mouthfeel was too thin for the style I think. Overall this brew could be better if it is concentrated down a little more I think.

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Photo of metter98
3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is dark reddish brown in color (close to black) and poured with a two finger high beige head that died down but has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: The aroma is quite complex and smells like a hybrid between a Belgian Stout and a Belgian Pale Ale.
T: The taste has flavors of roasted malts with notes of chocolate and dark fruits. There is some sweetness along with hints of bitterness.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is easy to drink for the style because it isn’t very full bodied.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rich O's Gravity Head '08:

Never really understood the curriosity of a Belgian and a Stout comming together-- both styles seem to have plenty of character on their own. The swing of aromas and textures bounce from roasty maltiness, to tart esters and phenols, to crisp sweetness, to soft fruitiness, to hop intensity... the interplay goes on. The feel is a firmly weighted beer with high carbonation and head formation / retention. Finishes with a charcoal, berry-tart finish. Very peculliar and comnplex. Still not sure if the blend is preferred.

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Photo of emerge077
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A ton of frothy head unexpectedly results when the last dregs are poured into the chalice. Tan foam, dimpled surface. Leaves some lace, looks a little like a trappist Dubbel. In the light, the stout pours almost an amber color, not very dense.

Aroma of roasty malt, very subtle banana. Not strong at all, could use a boost in the nose.

Very malty and rich, unfortunately there's a metallic note that can't be shaken. Roast malt, chocolate, fried plantains. Thin mouthfeel, it needs work there too. Tastes like a cross between a Dubbel and a Guinness. Slight residual astringency. No hint of %10+ abv.

Average at best, when compared to other Belgian stouts, and American counterparts. I really wanted to like this, but it doesn't hold a candle to De Dolle Export Stout, Hercule, or others from Belgium.

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Photo of zeff80
3.67/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This didn't look like a stout. It was a brown hue that wasn't nearly as dark as most stouts. It had a small, thin, bubbly head that did not leave any lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruits and some yeast. Not stout-like.

T - It tasted of dried fruit, molasses and sweet caramel. There was also a licorice flavor.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer than had a warm alcohol presence.

D - This was not your typical RIS. It really had a Belgian feel to it.

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Photo of nickfl
4.55/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The comically large head is light brown and creamy, leaving behind dense lace as it slowly settles. The body is very dark brown, almost black, with hints of amber showing through when held up to the light.

S - Intense nutty (peanut butter oddly enough), chocolate malt aroma and mild fruity notes. Herbal, earthy hops with a hint of licorice and some coffee.

T - Lots of fruity esters and yeast spice. Banana, pineapple, and maybe coconut. Notes of nutmeg and clove. Chocolate malt character with some licorice and coffee. The malt bitterness blends into big, round, spicy hop bitterness with an earthy, herbal character. Finishes with chocolate and hops and lots of alcoholic warmth.

M - Medium to thick body with high carbonation. Finishes dry.

D - Easily drinkable for a robust, high alcohol beer. The closest thing to a flaw in this beer was the stupidly large head which required a three part pour to allow me the get the entire 33cl bottle into my Delirium tulip. Otherwise it was exquisitely flavored and balanced.

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Photo of jlindros
3.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap @ Stoutfest @ Armsby Abbey.

A: Pretty ugly, like a mud dark sloudy brown color with a little head.

N: Somewhat hoppy, spicy, little dark malts, some creamy malts, slight sweetness.

T: Belgian dark malts, tons. Some sugar, slightly sweet but still has a slight dry Belgian saison like flavor. Some strong ale malts, little earthy bitterness, some smoke and chewy malts.

M: Medium to lighter body with lower carbonation.

F: Semi sweet but still dry, lingering spicy bitterness, chewy, some sticky sweetness lingering with a slight candi sugar finish. A little lingering smoke too.

Overall, very meh beer. Nothing special, very light for a stout, especially RIS, but then again all Belgian stouts are.

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Photo of chinchill
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into a tulip glass. 2016 stamp on the cap.
Near black body with ruby edges. Decent tan head but only semi-durable and leaving limited lacing.

Aroma: sweet, floral, bready, boozy, as well as faintly fruity and spicy; hint of wet leather.

Flavor: strong and complex. Bittersweet. Hints of chocolate, raisins, nutmeg and light coffee -- but not as appealing as that description suggests.

Feel: medium carbonation; full body. Light alcohol bite and warmth.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Monk's.

Dark brown-black pour, typical of a stout, with a small collar of bubbles for a head; little to no retention or lacing to speak of. Aroma of roasty dark malts, dark fruits, dark chocolate. The beer description didn't mention anything about this brew having any fruit in it, but the first thing I noticed upon sipping was a distinct dark fruit taste, cherries and plums, slightly tangy. Not sure if some kind of infection was going on here, but it actually didn't taste too bad. I just wasn't expecting it in any way. Otherwise, dark malts, semi-sweet chocolate. Mouthfeel was a bit thin for the style, and serving the beer cold didn't help at all. Overall this wasn't too bad, even if it was slightly infected, but it's just not what I typically look for in a RIS.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.63/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a mighty thin-looking, dark brown body. No head to speak of.

Smell: Candyish, sweet-smelling aroma of chocolate cake and sour fruits.

Taste: There's a rich, sweet chocolatey flavor upfront with a note of sour black cherries soaked in milk. From start to finish there's this odd medicinal quality to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Very low carbonation.

Drinkability: Medicinal and an ultra thin body are two things I don't care for at all in Imperial Stouts. Not recommended.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.12/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark tobacco brown with generous cherry and orange highlights. Despite a crazy amount of carbonation, the bottle didn't turn into a foam volcano. The khaki colored cap is huge, as expected. It's also harsh, crackly and unsticky. No more than a few small splotches of melty lace make it to the glass.

This Belgian/Russian Imperial Stout smells like a BSDA without the yeast spiciness (an Irish ale yeast was used). As far as aroma is concerned, it doesn't have the roasted maltiness and power that all good RISs possess. Dark fruit is dominant, followed by faint cocoa and molasses notes. More personality with warming allows the score to be increased.

Podge is one intensely flavored ale! It tastes like a thunderously black malty BSDA, which is exactly what I think a *Belgian* Imperial stout should be. More than 5 years since bottling (2003 vintage) may have taken a toll in some ways, but it tastes like the flavors have done nothing but use that time to get more comfortable with one another.

If the mouthfeel had held up, Podge would be one of the most classic versions of the style that I've ever had. Specifics include dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, raisin paste, figs and a surprising amount of licorice. Sweet, bitter and tangy complement one another in ideal fashion. Finally, alcohol is prominent without being harsh... like a warming shot of Sambucca.

It's too bad about the carbonation. The bubbles are still going strong (although starting to flag) more than 20 minutes after crown cracking. While it's easy to appreciate the beer's medium-full body, the buzziness causes drinkability to suffer. Thankfully, it eases a bit by the final swallow.

What might have been. I hope Picobrouwerij Alvinne brews Podge Belgian Imperial Stout on a yearly basis (at the very least) because this sucker oozes potential. For want of a proper mouthfeel, legendary status was lost. I would jump at the chance to try a fresh bottle.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a Pint Glass

A – Poured a very nice deep dark brown, not nearly opaque as enough light was coming through that you could tell there was a good amount of cloudiness and sediment in it. A very nice three finger plus head of tannish colored lace formed across the top and was very slow to recede. It finally let go and left behind large amounts of side glass lace and a good deal of film across the top.

S – The aroma was full of dark yeast like smells. A very nice caramel and nuttiness was hidden in there but the big dominant aroma was of a dark chocolate mixed in with some yeast and a good bit of an earthy tone as well. Very different from any stout I have had before.

T – The flavor as well was quite different. Started by picking up hints of all the normal flavors you would expect in a big stout, there was a good amount of sweetness, mixed in with some chocolate notes and a touch of almost what seemed like vanilla. But then you started to pull out some of the flavors from the yeast, with the strong dark fruit that was hidden underneath. Almost a fig like flavor. This was very nice and was a welcome change from the standard stouts.

M – Very rich and creamy. This was definitely a full bodied ale; however there was a touch of lightness to it as well. Lots of carbonation was evident even from the beginning. There was a very nice smoothness to the whole session and it was not nearly as filling as I thought it would be.

D – An excellent late night sipper. The alcohol in this was high, but you could not find it anywhere in the flavor. It was just so well blended and so many other unique flavors were inside that there was just soo much more going on than that. I could have easily had another and will have to try and track this one down again.

Overall this was very interesting. It was a different take on a style that gets soo much attention this time of year, the depth of the flavor profile really just made all the difference as there were things going on in here that were just awesome. I would love to get a hold of another one of these, really a great beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured cool from an 11.2oz brown bottle into a goblet. Picked this up at Shawan Liquors in MD.
A - Deep brown w/ a reddish hue and a full 3 fingers of whipped cream type head that forms a tight bead at the base and expands as the eye moves upward. I didn't pour the whole bottle heeding the warnings of others and waited for the large foamy head to subside. The yeasty brown is lightly murky w/ yeast.

S - Roasty, stout like creamy aromas w/ a musty spiced dry essence. Nuts and vanilla w/ sugar and a tinge of coffee are detected when inhaled deeply. A light hop spiced element is noticeable w/ a bit of the irish yeast character.

M - A rich light roastiness in the feel w/ a huge dose of carbonation and smooth chocolate oily texture w/ subtle spice.

T - A big boozy stout flavor that lets you know it has a wallop packin' - booze, chocolate and creamy nutty toastiness w/ a woody vanilla character. The malt is rich but gets carried away by the yeasty mineral character and agressive effervescence. Heady and full of alcoholic warmth with plenty of dry yeastiness.

D - Huge Imperial Stout flavor and Belgian spicy flavors - this is big dark and in your face. Not for sessioning by any means, it is one to sit back w/ and sip. Very flavorful and full of potency I would recommend sharing this one.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.91/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a big tan head. Nose is malty, but in a Belgian sweetened up with sugar kind of way. Flavor is rich, yes. There is that deep malt character about it. But it still exhibits a lot of that Belgian sugary sweetness. Feel is thick in a general sense, but thinner than many others of the style I have tried. Full carbonation. A blind taste test might be interesting on this to see how many geeks pick it up. But knowing what it is, it makes a lot of sense. An RIS out of Belgium. Interesting indeed. They certainly get points for going for it and doing a pretty decent job. Overall it just seems a bit too soft around the edges, but that is most likely due to the Belgian influence.

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Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blind Tiger in NYC. Always a treat to try a pretty rare (in least in the NYC area) brew like this one and even better to find it on tap. This one poured the expected near black, with very little head, no lacing and seemingly non existent carbonation. Some roasty malt notes, chocolate, cocoa, moderate hopping. I sensed some sourness layered in there somewhere. Nice stuff, subtle, not the kind of Impy stout that will knock your taste buds out. Less of a R.I.S. and more of a mellow, lighter body wise, easy drinking but still fairly complex Belgian style stout. Worth a try.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Podge Belgian Imperial Stout, Picobrouwerij Alvinne. 48 IBU, 10.5% abv, a lot of other info, also, on the label...24.3 degrees Plato OG, 302 EBC, whatever that means, for the color. Ingredients: water, pilsner malt, 6 special malts, hops (Challenger and EK Goldings), candi sugar, Irish ale yeast. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, bottle-conditioned. End of label info...that I feel like typing out.

11.2 oz bottle. Goes into a short little La Trappe chalice.

Cocoa brown color. Hard to tell under such large foam, i have to wait for it to diminish, and peer beneath. Foam was so prodigious, I had to suck some down or it would spill over and make a mess. Gorgeous head. A rusty, roasty, dotted, bubbly, lacey, lovely. Very effervescent, also

Espresso and chocolate in the nose. Rich and bittersweet. Creamy and supple. Traces of bourbon and licorice. Beautiful. I just want to sniff and sniff.

In the mouth: mmmm. Full bodied. Long, sweet, dark and delicious finish. Booze rises higher in the profile. Gets more whiskey-ish, cognac-y. Not as roasty, and thick as other Imperial Stouts. And sweeter than others. But oh, so, tasty.
Certainly won't find itself on the top of mine, or anyone else's list of best Imperial stouts. But this is a unique interpretation, more reminiscent of Belgian strong dark ales than most richer, roastier versions of the style.
Baker's chocolate, that's what's biggest on the tongue and down the throat.

I like it, though. I really like it. This should be a whole new style. a luxurious dessert beer.

I've had a handful of Belgian stouts, and this may be the first Imperial Stout from Belgian that's passed my lips. As usual, it's nothing if not a Belgian beer first, and something like an Imperial Stout second.

All that aside, it's damned tasty, and I'm loving it!
Love, love, lovin' it!

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Photo of GClarkage
4.08/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09/08/07- Purchased at Healthy Spirits in Sa Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz stubby nosed bottle. 2003 vintage as per the label. Poured into 8oz size taster glasses.

Appearance- Kind of medium brown color in appearance. Maybe a burnt caramel color. Bottle foams upon popping the cap. Lost about an ounce of beer. Large two inch plus head as expected. Staying power at about a 1/2 inch. Does leave pretty decent lace marking behind though.

Smell- Caramely, a touch of chocolate and maybe a tad butterscotch. Hmmmm...really not a strong outgoing nose.

Taste- Very nice blending flavors of bittersweet chocolate, espresso and even a bit nutty. Flavors work very nice together.

Mouthfeel- Overcarbonated at first sip. Settles down quicky though. Lasting mocha like aftertaste.

Drinkability- As per a reccomendation, this beer didn't dissapoint. Was a bit hesitant after popping the cap and sseing the color, but the flavor was one of the better ones per style that I have had.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky brown red amber with lots of black floating particles. Massive medium tan head and lacing. Faint toasty malt, light fruit aroma. Taste of toasted malt, sweet malt, light fruits, maybe chocolate. Pleasant light cherry like flavor in the middle and finishes brightly with an nice slightly acidic fruit flavor. Quite different approach to a RIS. Will try again if it isn't too pricey.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picobrouwerij Alvinne : Podge

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby hints. A huge off white foamy mass tops this beer, poured into a snifter, but would definitely be better suited in a chalice. Carefully decanted, only a few small particles of yeast are noticed, the rest, reserved in the bottle.

Smell: Dark, roasted malt and Belgian yeast apparent right away. Go figure, a Belgian style Russian Imperial Stout. Alittle minerally and faint hop aromas.

Taste: Roasted malts upfront, along with a semi tart Belgian yeast twang. Minerally, some lemony hops and a bit sour. Light undertones of bakers chocolate and chalky yeast. Absolutely no hint of alcohol, and the slight sour notes prevent the malt sweetness from being cloying during the long journey to Russia (or my glass). Alittle too tart for a stout though.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, easy drinking enough, tart yeasty finish.

Overall: An interesting take on a Russian Imperial Stout, very classic. About what you would expect from a Belgian export stout, but to style, there are much clearer and better examples.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.08/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, almost black in certain lights, and quite hazy. Big, beautiful, tight head that leaves some streaky lacing. Smells somewhat roasty with pumpernickel bread, licorice, coffee, and ash aromas, with the barest hint of sour at the end. There is also a dark fruit aroma like armagnac soaked prunes. A little hot smelling. A little more of that Belgian sweet/sour hint to start the taste buds off, leaning toward candi sugar. From there it transitions to more macerated fruit and licorice, with a hot, peppery finish. Big and bold, but in that Belgian stout kinda way. Mouthfeel is a little solvent-like, it probably could use more time. It's also fairly highly carbonated. Not one to drink lightly- its definitely a big beer, but also a pleasure- The peppery finish is almost Saison like, but it has a good deal more residual swweetness than a Saison. One of the more interesting and full-bodied Belgian stouts (which should be its own category if it already isn't by the time you read this).

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.47/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 squat Belgian bottle picked up at the Boise Coop for about $5... shared with my partner in crime brother from my New Belgium balloon... appears to be a 2003 vintage from the label. Listening to iPod RIS party mix. Rufus Wainwright "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk".

I am going to preface this review by saying, I am NOT basing this review on RIS style guidelines.

Big head 2" cappucino colored head that lasts forever leaving behind good lacing... Dark brown but nowhere near black brew.

Smell is funky Belgian yeasty fruitiness... not alot of roasted grains... the fruits (raisins figs and dates) dominate.. no noticeable hop aroma suprisingly. Some chocolate and coffee in the mix.

Mouthfeel is waay to bubbly.. with nowhere near enough body for a RIS. Reminds me of a Strong Belgian Dark with more dark roasted grains mixed in. Sorta has a whiskey character that comes from the yeast... quite boozy as it warms up.

Overall, I would probably buy another or two.. but this one does not even remotely fit into the standard RIS category... Burpy carbonation and needs a bunch more body and hops... pretty much needs more of everything except carbonation.

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Photo of John_M
3.91/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's the other night.

The beer pours a darkish brown color with decent head retention and lacing. On the nose I get virtually nothing, which is surprising given the style of beer and amount of flavor there is on the palate. Maybe there is some slight coffee and chocolate on the nose, but for the most part I get nothing. On the other hand, this beer has plenty of flavor on the palate, consisting of moderately sweet coffee and chocolate. This beer is very rich, smooth and long, and the abv. is remarkably well hidden (my beer menu at Max's states that it's 12%, actually). In any event, for such a high alcohol beer, drinkability is amazing (Southern Tier could take a few tips from these guys).

Impressive. An exceptionally easy drinking beer for one with such high abv.

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Podge Belgian Imperial Stout from Picobrouwerij Alvinne
3.48 out of 5 based on 241 ratings.
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