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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 268 | Ratings: 450
Photo of skiofpinsk
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought this a couple years ago; the bottle is from ’08.

Poured into a tulip. Seems almost black; but it lightens considerably to a dark brown around the edges. A very thin, light tan head forms but quickly makes its way to the edges of the glass.

Dark fruit (prunes, raisins). Pumpernickel bread. Toffee. Slight booze.

Raisin flavor up front, with some vanilla, wood, and bourbon flavors not too far behind. Slight roastiness, but it quickly settles into a nice chocolate finish.

Although the head was thin, the carbonation is just right, maybe a touch on the heavier side. But this is a Belgian RIS, so it seems appropriate. Beer is thick enough to adequately coat the tongue, but it doesn’t linger too long.

I have been fortunate enough to have this on draft before, which is the reason why I picked up the bottle. I haven’t seen bottles around since then, but would definitely buy it if I happen to see it around. My first Belgian style RIS, and it’s still one of the best.

 1,036 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Cola, small tan head, not much lace.

S - Soy sauce is the predominant smell. Sweet and toasted malt is secondary.

T - Earthy, dry, soy flavor also present.

M - Lesser carbonation than I like, med body, ok balance.

D - Didn't really do it for me. Especially for the price.

 280 characters

Photo of BDTyre
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice black body with a big (2-inch or so) sandy coloured head that settles down to a thin line and leaves a thick film on the glass.

Initially there is a big boozy blast in the scent that hides some nice roasted malts. Not much more than that. The alcohol presence eases off as this warms.

Smooth, roast malt flavour with strong suggestions of cocoa, and lighter notes of whisky and coffee. Definite alcohol presence here, but it eases as it warms.

Smooth, carbonation is spot on. A great dessert beer.

 505 characters

Photo of pixieskid
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Decided to finally try this thing and to make things a bit more interesting, it's a side by side of a 5 year old bottle and a fresh bottle. For the review, fresh will be indicated by an F and aged will be indicated with an A...fancy!

Pours: A- deep coffee black with a thin off-white head.
F- Same color but with a two inch off-white head.

Aroma: A- Dark fruits, mild chocolate, and a bit of whiskey.
F- Cocoa, milk chocolate, and a bit of spice.


A- Medium bodied, slightly frothy mouthfeel, mild carbonation. Milk chocolate, cocoa, and a lingering oaked/whiskey note. Finishes with a bit of sourness, just a touch though that adds to the complexity. Another year on it though, might get a little too funky.

F-Medium bodied, frothy mouthfeel, nice carbonation. Milk chocolate, nice roastiness, and a lingering grassy bitterness. Finishes with a lingering mild earthiness, touch of belgian yeast, and a distinct cocoa note.

Overall; both were awesome. Glad to have done the side by side and I can confidently say that I will be happy to age a bottle or two and pick up a fresh one on occasion. A great Belgian brewed Imperial Stout!

 1,147 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at ChurchKey. Pours dark brown with a finger and a half of creamy head. Bright aroma of sweet fruit, nuts, light chocolate, anise, spruce and spice jumps out. Flavor has some mild roastiness, chocolatey, along with notes of dry leather, brown sugar, and dry tangy spice. The 9% is well concealed, though the mouthfeel comes across as surprisingly light. Overall, a great rare stout.

 389 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.72/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33 cL bottle from K&L poured into an Ommegang snifter. Pours a dark unclear russet, kinda like brown bottle glass, with a puffy tan head. Atoms is vibrant, full of chocolate, marzipan, coffee, toast, and mint. Flavor is a bit more restrained, with burnt caramel, wheat bread, and black coffee. Almost schwarzbier-like in taste and palate. Short mineral water finish. Great aroma but it doesn't follow through in flavor.

 419 characters

Photo of DIM
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a dark chestnut brown, pretty far from opaque. It was served to me with a smallish light tan head.

s: Unique and not all what I expected. Lots of deeply dark vinous fruit with hints of molasses. There was something different about the rich malty chocolate that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I also found a surprising amount of hops and a vague something "Belgian" that was very subdued.

t: The smell was interesting but the taste was amazing. I've never had anything like it. The was an astounding amount of complexity in each sip. Wave after wave of incredibly dark, vinous molasses and incredibly rich chocolate. It wasn't very sweet and it wasn't quite tart either. The finish was shockingly bitter. I tasted coffee and a hint of mint.

m: Not as big feeling as I hoped for from a big Belgian beer. It was kind of oily actually.

o: Not at all what I expected, but much better than I hoped. There was a ton of vinous fruit, but not much that I associate with Belgian yeast. Awesome beer that I hope to come across again. I haven't as excited or intrigued by a beer for quite some time.

 1,108 characters

Photo of zaphodchak
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in DC.

Garnet body, one finger creamy tan head with sticky lace.

Some vague Belgian yeast and some tart grape on the nose.

Mellow, like mulled wine. Vinous, slightly tempered by hop bitterness. Some plum and some malt. Some background cranberry. Cinnamon?

Smooth, fluffy mouthfeel.

Unique-- bitter for a Belgian, but unlike other stouts.

 364 characters

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.

 1,040 characters

Photo of impending
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl into a tulip. Pours a thick dark 11pm, mocha colored minor head recedes slowly to the surface and retains nicely, nice lacing.

Aroma is pure yeasty stout. Minor chocolate and dark roasted fruits way in the distance but otherwise lacks complexity.

Suffers from a dearth of roasty characteristics but has a enjoyable quiet grape chocolate. A tiny bitterness appears late in the aftertaste. The alcohol serves as a pleasant flavor component as does the belgian yeast. Medium bodied mouthfeel.

This lacks complexity, has no hard edges, very undemanding but remains quite nice due to its balancing - the sum is greater than its parts.

 648 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this bottle up in North Carolina the weekend of BA Sexual Chocolate. Can't remember which store I found it at. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Pours near-black with a thin off-white head that quickly fades into a thin collar and plenty of bubbles on top. No real bubbles. Nose brings a bit of roast plus some dark fruits and chocolate. Flavor is mildly sweet and is nearly a cross between a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and an Imperial Stout. Very interesting, though not necessarily fantastic. The chocolate fills out the backside after a mouthful filled with dark fruits and mild roast. Pretty good with a medium body and a chewy feel. Low carbonation. Decent, but not spectacular. Certainly worth a try for how interesting it is.

 729 characters

Photo of indesertum
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two finger caramel foam. Retention few seconds.

Smells malty, chocolatey, caramel,

Wow. Great depth of flavors. Fantastic. Well balanced. Light well placed sweetness to it.

Light mouthfeel, little carbonation, low on hops. Light body, but the flavors make it seem like a heavy stout.

Top 10 stout

 300 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bought this beer in response of a beer thread about recapping a bomber of a heavy beer that you cant drink in one sitting. Watched the video on the hopry and decided to get a few swing top bottles for this reason. This was the beer i selected.

poured into a tulip.

Appearance: light to medium black body. Whitish tan head with lots of tiny bubbles. Plenty of lacing clinging to glass. Head dissapates into small ring around outside of glass.

Smell: Roasty malts and oats. Dark fruits and oddly enough black olives.

Taste: Roasted malts and some sweetness tasting like dark fruits. Moderate nutty flavors and some smoke. Maybe some very mild astrigency from the yeast and a little bite of coffee bitterness right at the end.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the high end of a light body, but packs in some serious flavors. Carbonation is absolutely spot on for this beer.

Overall: Massive flavor packed into a light bodied beer, but its not a light beer. Almost a walking contradiction, but its great! I can't beleive the beer is actually 9% abv, it has the same body as samuel smith oatmeal stout(thin), but has the flavors of really big beers. This is an awesome beer, that was a pleasant surprise.

 1,200 characters

Photo of deapokid
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on March 11th. Reviewed from notes.

A dark brown imperial stout with a lively carbonation and fuzzy head. The carbonation fades to a whisper, leaving behind a calm and mysterious opaque liquid.

Scent of chocolate, cinnamon sugar and alcohol sting the nostril. The cinnamon is reminiscent of a glazed pastry; sweet and indulgent.

Flavor is nutty and dry with a deep, pronounced roasted quality in the conclusion. Some plum and dark fruit show up on the back end, as does a heavy smokiness that brings to mind the billowy smoke of a nice cigar. A touch of dark chocolate provides sweetness and a balance to the stronger flavors.

Body itself is light, but the flavors are strong and the concluding smokiness is masterful. It plays tricks on the tongue and resonates long after each sip.

The ABV seems much lower than it actually is, giving you a chance to focus on the bevy of flavors on display. This is certainly at the height of Belgian Stout brewing, encompassing the best of both worlds for the style; complexity and flavor.

 1,039 characters

Photo of drtth
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to a snifter glass from a glass marked “Lot 021” with best by date notches for November of 2012. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a clear, very dark brown, almost black liquid with a ½” light tan head that soon begins to recede slowly until it forms a ring and thin layer of foam. As it recedes in leaves scattered partial rings, patches and legs of lacing. (Interesting combination.) on sipping the sheets of foam on the side turn into either a partial ring covering the glass down to the foam or into small patches and legs of lacing.

Smell: As the bottle is opened initial aroma gives the impression of coffee and that is reinforced during the pour. Once in the glass the aromas become more complex and include chocolate and some dark roasted malt, especially after the beer begins to warm.

Taste: The flavors include a degree of subtle sweetness up front and the anticipated burnt roast taste never materializes. Rather the dominant flavor is dark chocolate with a bit of coffee in the background, just as predicted by the nose.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the full-bodied side of medium and quite creamy with lots of smooth carbonation. The finish is relatively long. It begins with a touch of sweetness that turns into a nice chocolate/coffee blend. There is a faint, fleeting hint of metallic taste from the hops as the dryness starts. But that disappears quickly as the dryness gradually fades away to the finish.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I really liked this stout. Both because it surprised me (no burnt roast) and because I found it so easy to keep sipping. I wish now that earlier in the day when I’d had the chance I’d sampled it on tap. My overall impression of this beer is that it is very well made and a very good beer that is well worth recommending to those who like stout flavors but don’t care for the “almost burnt” character that some stouts have.

 1,977 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours out as a pretty nice looking deep brownisg black color. The head is a light tan color that seems to be sticking around for a while. This beer has a really nice aroma, it's almost fruity, more so than roasted or burnt like most Russian Imperials. The flavor of the beer is actually kind of refreshing. It's got some really soft fruits on the tongue and a slight burnt dryness in the back but with the fruitiness it kinda balances out really well. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side, which is fine because the flavors are so complex. I like this beer quite a bit. Worth a try for sure!

 601 characters

Photo of bs870621345
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on tap at George Street Alehouse...good place.

Pours black with ruby highlights and around a half inch of head. Leaves a little bit of lacing, not too much.

Smells like roasted coffee, chocolate, pine- sort of noble hops, and molasses.

Taste follows smell, very nicely balanced and full of flavor. Coffee and chocolate up front with a molasses in the middle, finishing with a roast and noble hop bitterness and flavor. Very nice progression and well balanced.

Mouthfeel is too thin. I thought this was a stout, which it would have been fine if it was, but for a russian imperial, it was way too thin. Carbonation was light and prickly, nicely done.

Overall its a good beer, not worth the price tag.

 707 characters

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and has a contrasting thin white head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are light aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of roasted malts along with some hints of roasted malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very drinkable for the style because it's a bit lighter bodied and no traces of alcohol are detectable in the taste.

 491 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 02/26/11 notes. Poured from an 11.2 oz swing top bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of tan head and very light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, sugar, licorice, figs, raisins, light roasted malts, and light chocolate. Reminds me of an old ale, not a RIS.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, figs, raisins. Tastes a bit watered down, but better than smell. Again, reminds me of an old ale.

m - Light body for a RIS and a bit watered down, smooth body. Light carbonation.

d - This beer seemed a lot more like an old ale to me than a RIS, but was pretty good none the less. The smell was a little too sweet for me, and the mouthfeel was a little watered down. Would give another shot.

 759 characters

Photo of darkbegbie
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured from swing-top bottle into chalice

Poured dark like a stout, but no head. Strong smells of licorice and figs. Licorice less strong in taste, but still present. Felt a bit watery, much more like an ale than an imperial stout. Light mouthfeel could let you drink a lot. Definitely does not taste like a 9% ABV.

I would probably try again but not overly impressed.

 370 characters

Photo of mikereaser
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my dogfish head glass on well what is now 2/5/11

A - pours a raisin brown with 2 inches of tan foam that slowly faded leaving lots of lacing

S - smell is fig, brown sugar, molasses and dates. for what it is, it has a very nice aroma

T - lighter than i expected, just like the aroma, fig, brown sugar and molasses with just a hint of some roastiness burnt taste

M/D - medium bodied but lighter than expected, light carbonation. Its light enough to drink a few but the flavor has a bit too much fig for me.

 520 characters

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not sure what to make of this beer.
On one hand it seems like a form of imperial Stout. On the other hand it is more of a Belgian brown ale.
It has a relatively high alcohol content and a flavor in keeping with an imperial stout. It's flavor is strong and prominent with plenty of bitter hops, hints of toasted malt as well. But if I place this beer in the guise of an imperial stout the flavor and mouthfeel bring "donuts" to mind-- there's a hole in the center-- there's something missing-- or there's something thin in the center as if the flavor was stretched in the center-- and there is where this beer is more like a Belgian brown.

Nice long bitter finish, with a clean wash as the flavor dissipated.

Drinkability is "good" and as expected from the ABV.

I may obtain another bottle of this beer and allow it to lager as it claims to be a bottle fermented beer. Perhaps some lager time in the cellar will help develop the flavor..

 946 characters

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.

 1,183 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a nice swing-top bottle

A - Deep medium brown body with some strange shaped lacing atop.

S - Smells of fig, molasses, brown sugar and wood. Dark sugars and smoke come through in the nose.

T - This beer tastes robust and smokey. Some malt sweetness and oakey smoke are most prevalent. Some dark sugar and dark dried fruit are detected.

M - The mouthfeel on this beer is crisp and has medium carbonation. Pretty smooth and refreshing for a stout.

D - Id say this being a smokey stout and has 9% abv, its pretty drinkable. Clearly not as dark and bitter as a typical stout, but with just as much flavor to savor.

Notes - Really well balanced robust stout. Packs plenty of flavor but stays smooth and enjoyable, never overpowering in alcohol or intensity.

 760 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz pour into a glass at the Hulmeville Inn, on a cold winters night.

Hercule pours the standard stout black with not much of a cap coming off the spout. A sparse dashing of tan bubbles with no stick. Smell is light, some roast, vanilla and coffee. A nice malting with first sips going into a very bland territory. It's Belgian, I know, so im kinda thrown off by this laid back RIS. Some cocco, coffee with roast, milk chocolate and malt flavor. It's simple and it works for a fix. Feel is medium and comes and goes on the tounge. A semi bitterness, mid palate. Good for a go, easy drinking straight forward.

 610 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.