Hercule Stout | Brasserie Ellezelloise

268 Reviews
Hercule StoutHercule Stout

Brewed by:
Brasserie Ellezelloise

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by zerk on 10-12-2001

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Reviews: 268 | Ratings: 450
Photo of BarberDan329
1.73/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: pours a nice dark brown, thin in body, yet enticing.

S: Smells nice, maybe sweet, but i smell something different,

T: to the lips, not bad, but once it hit the back of my tongue, just awful, the licorice/anise is SO overpowering. I like it in sambuca, so ita not that i don't like licorice.

M: The dry mouthfeel and taste reminds me of some flavored skoal i tried in high school... Never again... NOT a stout in my opinion.

O: at 7.99 for this i am beyond apalled, it has nothing besides a nice color... Please if you want a stout go american double or imperial, avoid this

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1.77/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Served in a chalice for $5 for a happy hour discount. Sampled 2/29/12.

A: Dispensed with 1 1/2 fingers of airy foam head, light brown in color, and creamy on top. Great retention. The purely black body deposits small slings of lace on the glass.

S: Wet earth, burnt toast and traditional skoal. That's right, snuff - the dipping tobacco. Perhaps it was winterfresh and not traditional flavor. Either way, the nose is very awkward - and nothing like an RIS should be.

T: The flavor matches. Adding something reminiscent of watered down scotch. A light fruity element tries to come through but is overtaken by the earth and tobacco. Not a good showing.

M: Unexplainably thin. Light and watery. It's hard to believe the ABV is 9%. Highly disappointing.

O: I've been meaning to pick up a bottle of this beer for quite some time but was always put off by the price tag. Glad to have the opportunity for an inexpensive pour since paying the bottle price ($10 I think) would have been like throwing money down the drain. Literally. I had no interest in finishing the glass.

It's interesting to note that almost all of the highest ratings for this beer were logged between 2002-2004. Maybe this beer has fallen off considerably, or maybe this keg was bad.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
2.37/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Almost, but not quite, jet black. Very active and thick beige head. Great retention and lacing.

Smell: Smells kinda fruity, like grapes, plums and jams. No roasted or chocolate malts on the nose at all. No hoppy scents, floral or bitter, at all, either.

Taste: Sweet and sour with a hint of hoppy bitterness at the end. Lingering dried fruits (raisins, dates, and such) on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very light for the style, regardless of which style it is.

Drinkability: Given the price I paid ($10.25).. no, hell, no. Seems better classified as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale than an Imperial Stout. My scores wouldn't change too much if this were the case. Save your money for Sam Smith's Imp. Stout, Trois Pistoles, or Shakespeare Stout instead.

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Photo of Franck
2.5/5  rDev -38.3%

Nose of roasted malts and hint of black chocolate.
In mouth, an unpleasant sour taste appears followed by an aroma of wood ashes.
Drinkable but not more..

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
2.57/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip at TJ's Belgian Beer Paradise event on January 22, 2011. Reviewed from notes.

The body is a very deep garnet hued nearly opaque black color. Verbose, I know, but it does the color justice. Thin head, and it dissipates quickly, providing no lacing.

The aroma is overwhelmed by a potent licorice character. Really searching, I find a touch of roast and a bit of cocoa aroma, but really, this is dominated by the licorice. I don't know if this is a young batch, or if the licorice will fade in time, but I find it just on the unflattering side of the astringent line. The taste brings in more stout flavors that I look for -- the smokey flavors, the roasted coffee. The licorice again comes in at the end though, and steals the show. There are some hints of the wet cardboard-like undesirable oxidation.

The higher level of carbonation makes this feel a bit thin and uninspiring. The lack of complexity in the flavor, coupled with the poor mouthfeel make this a very 'meh' beer. Call it a Belgian Stout or a Russian Imperial Stout, either way, this falls well short of my expectations and the good representations of each. Neither my fiancee nor I was impressed.

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Photo of saccro
2.85/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: dark mahogany. decent head that lasts. not much lace.

S: bitter-sweet chocolaty note with hints of vanilla, and a slightly taste of figs. Slight hints of hops. Dark sugar. Sherry oxidized notes.

T: dark chocolaty flavour backed by licorice and bitter-sweet roastiness of black malts. Aftertaste with suggestion of brown sugar, dates

M: very approachable beer with a full body. Softly carbonated

D: not bad. this sample is outdated.

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Photo of ibbjamin
2.89/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I have tried this before and thought that it was more mild in flavor but quite drinkable and great at hiding its alcohol content. This 11.2oz bottle with a plastic and rubber cork held down by a metal clasp was cracked and poured into a snifter. A modest audible note of carbonation was noted. The price is listed at $8.99.

Not the thickest on the pour and the small tan bubbly head dissipated to nothing very quickly. Dark brown in color and opaque.

Smell is malty, sweet and boozy. Burnt brown sugar, dark chocolate, heavy molasses and weak coffee.

Taste is more mild than the aroma with many of the aforementioned characteristics becoming more muted.

Medium body; certainly one of the lightest in its style. Seemingly watery mouthfeel with a medium finish of lightly roasted sweet malt. Minimal carbonation.

I recommend to drink this one more fresh; I remember liking the last bottle I had better and this one's been sitting around for maybe a year or so. To me, at this price point, I'd rather get a bigger more assertive stout, but if you have the extra cash and are looking for something lighter and easier to drink, this may be your ticket.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.9/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

ok, so I'm in to trying new things and I grabbed this stout at Vine Street pub in Denver. Not knowing what to expect, i was disappointed. notes:

Very dark ruby, but looks thin. Rather shallow head, soapy. As it goes down some lacing, but it seems oily.

holy crap, licorice. Anise. Jagermeister in the nose. Some faint prune or raisin. very faint caramel and malt.

This is not what I expected, even though i didn't expect anything other that a stout. Anise/licorice are overwhelming. Sure, a hint of either would be nice, but they dominate here. Prune? gone. Raisin? Nerp. If this had more abv, it would be Jagermeister. Thin. Blah. Choke this one down (who knows it may grow on me...nope), and get a Ruination to cleanse my raped palate. Nasty.

UPDATE: Ok, i tried another at a different place. The anise is not there much at all. This helps let out the dark soft fruit and some spice. ratings adjusted.

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Photo of Jwale73
2.97/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

330ml swingtop bottle served in a snifter. Batch 192 notched on the label. Pours the color of cola with no head, just a thin, tight band around the bowl and an oily slick across the surface. No lacing on this one. Nose expresses dark malts, molasses, burnt sugar, ethanol, brewer's licorice and anise - very much style consistent. Taste is a major letdown - earthy/ashy and watery; I can't say that I'm really enjoying this. There's a suggestion of chocolate, but it's a bit dull and lacking in any appreciable flavor. There's also a slightly acidic tinge and a faint herbal character present in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a more or less watery texture and a carbonation a little livelier than still. Overall - major let down. Probably one of the worst RISs that I've had in a while and the $7.49 price tag makes it even less palatable. The only redeeming quality is that the alcohol is fairly well-hidden at 9%. Perhaps it's an off bottle but this is not something I'm too willing to partake of again any time soon.

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Photo of Bryson
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bought a bottle of this while I was out in Colorado. Has been in the cellar for a few months now so I figured I would give it a shot

A- Very thin appearance, Dark brown with a thin cream colored ring around the glass.

S- Slight Caramel up front followed by a huge dose of plum, raisin, and booze.

T- Mocha, vanilla, Raisin, Chocolate, slight coffee taste followed by alcohol...bleh

M- Too thin for my liking...feels watered down with a little too much carbonation

O- Well I can say I tried it...I am really not a fan of this at all. I feel like it was lacking a lot for a stout and the balance was way off

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Photo of Bung
3.08/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Black pour with a TON of cream colored head. Robust roasted malt/coffee nose. Coffee, slight mmocha/molasses maybe slight licorice. I just don't enjoy this much carbonation in a stout, it overshadows everything. People love these "Belgian" stouts, I don't get it I guess. I will say I like this one the best of the 6 or so I've tried.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention. Aroma of bitter roasted malt is quite powerful. Taste is dry, I would even say too dry for my own taste, with a long bitter finish and a strange yeast taste that doesn’t mix very well with the rest. Body is above average and alcohol is well hidden. Cannot say I was overly impressed with that one and I can’t see what everybody is raving about. Well, I will go back to their blonde and brune which I enjoyed a great deal more.

 511 characters

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Lot 102(?) Into the Northwind Snifter...

A - Average tan head with medium dark brown body. No lacing and very little head retention.

S - Cinnamon, vanilla, wood, bourbon, chocolate, custard and I swear a bit of curry spice in this sweet and fun aroma. I'm picking up some minerals, cherries, and prunes too. Alcohol seems well hidden in the aroma.

T - Semi-sweet chocolate and raspberries seem to be the primary flavors. Alcohol becomes more present towards the swallow. Finish is very light, with some coffee bitterness to balance out the lingering chocolate and raspberry sweetness. All balaced and drinkable, but underwhelming.

M - Reminded me more of a dubbel than any type of stout. Very light body, almost watery.

D - After the really attractive nose, this beer was a huge letdown. Very mild, with much less complexity than I would expect from this style. Underwhelming, and not worth the money spent.

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Photo of bowersdm
3.24/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

33cL bottle poured into a pint glass

A - near textbook for the style. The beer was black with a slight hunt of red at the very bottom. A 1cm sand colored head formed and slowly became a continual 0.5cm head.

S - chocolate fudge, a very very sweet (too sweet) smell with some charred malt and some fruit

T - roasted barley, burnt (or charred) malt, bitter chocolate, smoke and cocoa round it out. There's a weird taste going on throughout the whole thing that I can't quite put my finger on. I really didn't love the taste.

M - too carbonated, plus it felt kind of thin.

D - I didn't really enjoy the taste, but it's fairly weak for an RIS, so it would be easy to drink a few of these (it's expensive though.) This beer didn't strike me as an RIS. It seemed to be more of a regular stout or even a schwarzbier.

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Photo of dogfooddog
3.29/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml swing-top bottle opens with a very distinct 'pop.' This beer pours into a pint glass with a huge head; 75% of glass volume is head, with the bottom quarter actual beer. Big head volume is for me a worry sign of possibly heat-damaged beer. This beer came recently from belgianshop.com. (after seeing the result of this review I will try to get another bottle and compare, something might be amiss here based on other recent reviews)

Note that this beer is now 8.4% volume. I do believe older bottles were 9.0%. I have not had this beer in a few years but recall it was a very tasty stout. Unfortunately the 8.4% version is not as tasty as I remember the 9% and as some of the older (2002) reviews substantiate.

THe nose is full of notes of raisiny notes as well as distinct hoppy character. Something roasted floats in the background but it is secondary for sure.

The taste is somewhat bland, with a rather bitter front end giving way to a very mild roasted aftertaste. The actual taste is not very complex at all, and I am not sure what is going on here.I have had a number of RIS's and this bottle does not resemble the style very much, and it is probably too light as well.

Further into the aftertaste/finish it becomes much more roasted and dark, still quite subtle.

Hard to know if ellezelloise has had changes in the beer or other issues, but not nearly as good as my memory tells me.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Black throughout with a light brown cap that eventually leaves small, irregular lines down the glass.

Roasted malt, a touch of coffee, and a lot of dark fruits aroma, especially red grapes.

An interesting and unusual imperial stout, with the red grape flavors dominant, along with lots of roasted and black malt flavors, a bit of Belgian yeast tang, as well some mild coffee presence. Strange.

Medium to full mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

A strange, unique, grape-forward stout. I wouldn't have this again, especially for the price.

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Photo of grandq
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark brown to prune with a surprisingly sizeable head despite a gentle pour. Smells of molasses, prune, licorice, and meets the tongue with a sweeter version of the bunch, along with sweet cherries, raisin, grape, smoke and pumpernickel bread. The mouthfeel is thin and effervescent, a bit too much like cola (can't say that's favorable) and gets much more cloyingly sweet as it goes to boot. I like the flavors in small doses but I feel my teeth rotting like I just drank a can of coke.

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Photo of beerpirates
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle poured into my lost abbey stemware glass

A: Full hand of tan head. Decent lacing as head falls to a more stout like film.

S: Spicy coffee, chocolate, orange zest hoppiness.

T: light bitter dark chocolate, grapefruit zest. A bit of yeast character thats been aged. Ends with à light coffee flaver

M: to watery , Nice carbonation

D: Nice but to light on taste

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 8/15/08. Bottle. Pours black with a thick light tan head. Aroma of sweet fig, vanilla, chocolate. Flavor is super sweet! Some burnt caramel, roast, general sweetness. Kind of weird tasting though. It's not an imperial stout and it didn't really taste like other Belgian stouts I've had. Just an odd beer that I wasn't impressed by.
7/4/7/3/13 (3.4/5)

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Photo of Odysseyalien
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

On tap at Churchkey Beer Bar, Washington, DC. This one has all the bells and whistles that I look for in an imperial stout. Black as night, beautiful lacing, a smell that differs from all other imperial stouts I've had in a positive way. But the real slam dunk I look for is taste. It just didn't do it for me. Maybe it's time for me to 'fes up and say "I don't like Belgian beer.

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Photo of Takahiro
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: black, with tanned lacing head
S: coffee, roasted malt, yeast esters, alcohol
T: creamy roasted coffee, fruity esters (apples, pears, plums), some alcohol, earthy and piney hop flavor and bitterness
F: full body, but not too sweet. a nicely balanced.
O: a great imperial stout!

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Photo of sweetLew
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hercule is a subtly provocative Belgian-style stout that is deceptively drinkable, and illustrative of the conflict between deeply roasted, burnt grains and Belgian yeast.

With an aggressive pour, the head is dense but thin, and fades quickly. A bottomless, inky blackness highlights hues of dark brown when held to the light. The aroma is mild and of low intensity, perhaps the beer's prominent disappointement, but there are some nice tones of roasted grain, dark fruits, and an earthy mustiness that are pleasant enough.

The taste is where the interplay of roasted grains and the fruity Belgian yeast give Hercule its personality; restrained and complex, a well balanced melange of flavors tease the palate, but none are overbearing. Plum, raisin, woody tannins, lemon, and brown sugars all beckon to be discovered. The slick mouthfeel and an upfront pinch of carbonation help the beer linger on the palate. As to be expected with a beer of formidable alcohol, there are some medicinal phenols to be found with the finish.

Overall, Hercule is an enjoyable and thoughtful drinking experience. The beer doesn't necessarily beg you to return for more, or cry out for a challenge, but it does follow the path of conflict that can be the Belgian Stout.

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Photo of deepsouth
3.49/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this beer poured a nearly black color with perhaps a tinge of red and some nice tan head that leaves excellent lacing.

the smell of the beer is of chocolate, sherry, butterscotch, fig & toffee. the smell is super complex. i really can't even begin to pick out AND name everything going on in this beer.

whaaa happened with the taste? alcohol, bittersweet chocolate, a bit brassy tasting. not bad, but it doesn't even begin to match up with the smell.

the mouthfeel is medium and velvety. feels a bit flat.

i'm glad to have tried this beer, but unless it gets a good bit better before i'm done, it's one and out for this one with me.

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Photo of jkendrick
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A; Dark brown with light at the edges. Lots of carbonation and a thick light brown head crackles as it quickly recedes. Almost no lacing.

S: Lots of licorice, roasted malt and powdery cocoa.

MF: Medium-bodied and thinner than I was expecting. In the mouth the carbonation is largely gone which was not expected given the appearance

T: Roasted malt, licorice, some coffee and cocoa. There is some hoppy bitterness in the finish

Overall: The thinness and balance and the well-hidden alcohol make this go down easily but it isn't one of my favorite stouts, especially for the price. I'm not too familiar with Belgian stouts so this may be typical for the style but it isn't really my thing.

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Photo of tpd975
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bosse for sending this one over.

A: Pours deep and dark flat black with a small tan head. Dies to a solid cap and lingers for quite sometime. Some spotty lace noted.

S: Lots of chocolate, brown sugar, and loads of dark fruit.

T: Sweet and malty. Molasses dipped raisins and figs mostly. Notes of gooey caramel and chocolate. Mild notes of earth, but mostly sweet goodness.

M: Medium in body, smooth, light carbonation.

D: Pretty good. Good but not great.

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Hercule Stout from Brasserie Ellezelloise
4.05 out of 5 based on 450 ratings.
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