Fish Tale Poseidon's Imperial Stout (Barrel Aged) | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

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Fish Tale Poseidon's Imperial Stout (Barrel Aged)Fish Tale Poseidon's Imperial Stout (Barrel Aged)

Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Washington, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Derek on 11-14-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.28/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Batch No. 1. Bottled 11/1999.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, earth, char, and licorice aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour cocoa powder, earth, char, and dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity and roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but at around 16 years old you definitely can tell this one is past its prime.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, David. 2001 vintage, cab barrel aged.

Black as pitch with a tall brown head that retains shockingly well for a beer this old.

Quite a bit of -bals left here. The nose is roasty, chocolatey, very complex and balanced. Notes of acidic coffee, buttery oak and vinous dark fruit. This has held up nicely.

Chocolatey, vinous palate. Chocolate truffles in particular. Some vanilla and a slight buttery note. A little caramel. Nice mellow roastiness and dark fruit in the finish. Full, silky body. Excellent, this exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #3, November 2001. Aged roughly 3 years. Absolutely stunning!!! The opaque black body reveals only minor glints of ruby at the sides and base of the glass, and its frothy dark-tan head seems to hold on forever. The lacing, however, is limited; but that's to be expected in a high alcohol brew. The nose suggests bourbon, cocoa-ish malt, vanilla, and a touch of alcohol-soaked summer fruit. The body is full and rich with a smooth and creamy feel, and it very subtly tingles the tongue before it slides dextrinously away. Rich notes of bourbon dominate the flavor amidst a solid layer of leafy and somewhat pine-like hops and slick, dark chocolate, molasses, and alcohol. And despite the richness of its malt, the alcohol become apparent at mid-swallow and lingers into the aftertaste. Notes of fig and prune appear as well. Well done, and this is certainly a beer to cellar for at least a year. Still, worth trying even fresh!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Alex for sharing a bottle I really didn't think I'd ever come across. Tasted at the post-Christmas tasting in Chicago. Served in my Cantillon tulip.

Pours near black with a pretty good tan head and a than cap as that falls down. The nose is really quite complex with a nice amount of the red wine place some nice fruit and sweet malt plus a bit of chocolate. The taste is really nice and I love the red-wine character in this one. Really complex and smooth. The mouthfeel is pretty full and has held up well over time. Really quite drinkable and tasty; I'm really glad I got to try this.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of drewone
3/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Way past prime, 1999 vintage.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Mages64

A: The beer pours black in color with a big, tan head on it.

S: The wine notes really come through quite strongly on this beer. Lots of red fruits and grape aromas along with the expected roasted malts and chocolate. There is a touch of vanilla as well as some oak.

T: A light booziness to the flavor, but otherwise quite good. Lots of roasted malt and chocolate flavors along with tons of wine, berries, and a bit of molasses. Some lightly charred oak with a light tannic feel to it.

M: A really sticky feel on the tongue with a very long finish. Quite nice.

O: Much better than the regular Poseidon, and better than the BA Leviathan I tried previously.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a Teku snifter. Batch 3 from November 2011.

Appearance - Pours black with a great mocha head. Good retention. Nice thick collar. Good wisps.

Smell - A touch of acidity. Lots of wine notes. Chocolatey with dark fruits. Oxidized, but it adds a nice dimension.

Taste - Everything comes together perfectly here. Really rich chocolate. Wine is distinctive, but less acidic. Leaning more towards the fruit flavor of the wine. Still very oxidized, but again I think it plays very well.

Mouthfeel - No booze. The body has dropped off, but it seems to just make it easier to drink.

Overall - Impressive on its own, but truly phenomenal considering its age. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bgramer for this rarity. Batch #3, bottled November 2001 - over 9 years old! Served in a Rodenbach tulip.

A - This stuff looks superb. Pours with two fingers of light mocha foam that settles to a thin cap and thick collar, leaving behind spotty lace. The body is pitch black.

S - Oak, roasted malts, chocolate, light peppery red wine, a kiss of honey, and a touch of oxidation that imparts some light sherry and a bit of paper. Extremely mellow, with no trace of the 10% ABV.

T - That has a bit more apparent oxidation that imparts a fruity note that is complementary. Lots of caramel and sweet chocolate malts, and only a faint touch of vinous character. Finish is tannic and slightly astrigent.

M - Sticky, chewy, full bodied texture. Nice pleasant, moderate carbonation. Very sticky in the finish.

D - This beer wasn't mind-blowing, but it was still very good. It's probably starting to decline, but it's eminently drinkable as there's almost no booze character. It was also much, much better than the fresh, regular Poseidon's that we had side-by-side. Why did they stop barrel-aging this?

I'm not sure if the quality is more of a tribute to the beer itself or to Bottleworks' pristine cellar conditions and foresight. However, it gives me a lot of hope for the Merlot Leviathan, assuming I can get my hands on one.

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Photo of ShanePB
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Derek
4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch No. 4, Bottled Nov 2002. Enjoyed Nov 2006.

A: Black, tan head, no retention, very little lace.

S: Very boozy, wine, chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit. (The smell & taste are just a little better than 4.5, so I'll adjust the score here).

T: Very winey, grapes, chocolate, dark fruit, molases, vanilla; modest bitterness; Very warming, but not harsh. Fairly dry.

M: Moderate body and carbonation, well attenuated, slight hints of chalk & acidity.

D: Very good considering the strength... but it's a sipper.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 4, November 2002 Bottle Date; Sampled November 2007
A careful pour produces a thick, initially three-finger thick, tightly beaded, light brown colored head. The is simply opaque and black in color. As I pour this interesting aromas of a jammy, definitely oaked, new world red wine are noticeable. A deeper exploration of the nose confirms these notes, but amplifies them and adds to them. Aromatic notes of raisins, brandy and berries quickly succumb to oak driven notes of vanillin, butterscotch and lightly spicy oak. It is interesting the oak character is definitely pronounced, but it is fairly smooth, and not nearly as objectionable as I think it should be (I wonder if I am getting use to copious oak in beer). Touches of the roast malts used in this beer are just noticeable under the oak; touches of chocolate and espresso are the most easy to pick out.

Served lightly chilled (65°F / 18°C or so), the beer is thick, though I wouldn't characterize it as chewy and is actually fairly light for an Imperial Stout. Lightly sweet, and in fact lightly tart too, both of these notes accentuate a roasted fruit character reminiscent of a mix of raisins, plums & figs left for a little too long under the broiler (brightly fruity, sweet, yet definitely a bit burnt). I am quite happy about the sourness, this has really added a great dimension to this beer; it is noticeable enough that it is definitely from some unintential bug, yet it is not overwhelming and somehow marries quite well with the substantial roast and oak flavors. Speaking of which, the roast notes in this beer lean towards flavors of chocolate, a light breakfast roast coffee not up front, but a deeper, burnt note towards the finish as well as a dusty cocoa note in the finish. There is some substantial malt sweetness here as well, it is always held well in check by the other flavors of this beer, but it contributes significantly to many of the other noticeable flavors. I am actually quite surprised / intrigued by the substantial berry-like note that is in this beer; it really is reminiscent of a fruity / jammy, rich, red wine grape varietal. This note seems to be contributed by a combination of the malt sweetness, the tart infection, and probably something from the used wine barrel used. Oak flavors, that are muted compared to the aroma, contribute soft notes of butterscotch, vanillin, tannic wood and a lightly spicy oak component.

Now that I have acknowledge the wild influence in the flavor, my second pours sees me noticing the funkiness in the nose quite a bit more. It certainly contributes substantially to the fruit aromatics, but also adds a sort of fruity, funky cheese note to the aroma which hid out in the oak notes the first time around. I didn't mention that this beer is quite well carbonated too (another sign of the fortuitous infection), this definitely helps to make this more drinkable as well. Of course the extra attenuation in the bottle has, I am sure, contributed to the relative lightness (only when looked at as an Imperial Stout of course) of this brew as well. The berry flavors & tartness also yield a substantial flavor of sour pie cherries. The barrel character here is quite smooth overall; my guess is that the tannins have substantially mellowed since this was first bottled. The sourness in this brew, while definitely lactic, has touches of balsamic and a berry vinaigrette; the sourness is very reminiscent of the notes one expects to find in a Flander's red / brown. The sourness, while just part of the cast here (along with the light funk), would most likely be dominating in a beer of lesser strength; this beer is so complex and huge all ready that this just adds another layer to the flavor palate.

This is really quite interesting, for some reason I have been thinking of the original Porter beers recently, and with this sourness this beer is definitely a throw back to those beers. I would not have guessed that sourness & roast malt could marry so well together. I would expect that the two would almost be mutually exclusive and when found together, creating an jarring discombobulated, almost bi-polar drinking experience. Instead the tart flavors meld so well with the roast character that I am having a hard time imagining this beer being nearly as good without the infection. This beer is substantially more oak driven in the nose than it is in the flavor; this is definitely a good thing from my perspective though. From the perspective of the flavor experience & my particular taste preferences, this is easily one of the best Imperial Stouts I have ever had; the oak, the roast notes, the sweeter malt notes and the sourness just work so well together here in the flavor. The nose is just a bit too oak focused to be as good, but even it is really quite nice. Flavors of cherries, espresso & chocolate, how can you go wrong here.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Bottle shared by Mages64. This was a long time want, thanks! I think this was the 2001 vintage.

A: Foreboding black with a big tan head of froth. Good retention and scatted lacing.

S: Dark chocolate and cardboard with grape and plum. Oak accompanies a light vanilla presence and roasted malt.

T: Dark chocolate blends with grape, plum, and oak. Malt is modestly roasted and there's a firm earthy bitterness. Oxidation is strong, lending notes of sherry, soy sauce, and cardboard (light).

M: Full in body with high carbonation. The mouthfeel is creamy and chewy.

Overall: It was great to finally try this. There are still some nice things going on, but I think at this point the oxidation has taken hold of the beer and it will soon consume the finer notes.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this in 2008 and most recently shared with youradhere yesterday.

A: Poured a jet black with great carbonation and a tannish head

S: Roasted, chocolate, booze, licorice, tobacco, wood and funk

T: Charred, chocolate, tobacco, wood, hot and booze and funky soured notes medium way through and finishing funky, wood, booze, roasted and some cabernet

M: Big bodied with lots going on, even after 10+ years it still has killer taste! Wine like feel, good carbonation.

O: Wow. Still very drinkable RIS. Amazingly good and this is a quality beer. I can't think of a single RIS that would hold up to the test of time. Top notch beer.

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Photo of BDeibs
3.75/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jrallen34
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Alex, the King of Obscurity, for this 9 year old beer I've never heard of...Awesome pour that is totally black with at least two full fingers of medium tan head that settles to a nice cap with good lacing...Complex aroma of oak, red wine, and chocolate. Great balance...The taste is almost as good but loses a lot of the wine character except for the finish.
Enjoyed this. If you like winey stouts this for you.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this as part of a post-Christmas tasting in Chicago, courtesy of Masterski (thanks Alex!). This was bottled in 2001, and has been on my WANTS list for some time.

It pours with more foam than I feared it would be capable of, due to age and barrel treatment. Dark brown-black color with a thick tan foam.

It smells a little old, maybe a touch oxidized, but I like that and it also has a lot of refined or melded things going on, cocoa and oak barrel, mellowed out roast, and a sweet presentation throughout.

Sweet tasting but only lightly sweet, with chocolate and roasted malts matching each other well. The cabernet character is there too, I loved it. Nice thick body, very substantial mouthfeel, it tastes and feels of quality.

Very happy to have had this, and could have gone for more. The age is showing, would have loved to try it a little fresher.

I can now remove this from my WANTS list, but I'd be happy to try it again any time.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Alex for sharing this one side by side with the non-BA version.

A - Black beer with a two finger tan head that faded to a cap with some nice lacing. A pretty impressive looking beer.

S - Oak, roast, chocolate, some vinous notes, oak, vanilla. There's some slight oxidation but it's not ba at all. Has a lot of things going on that all work well together.

T - A little sweet, with chocolate, barrel, some bourbon, roast. Tastes quite nice and balanced. Really have no complaints on this one other than the slight bit of oxidation.

M - Smooth, full bodied, lower carbonation.

O - Great beer, past it's prime, but really hasn't lost much that I can tell. The vinous qualities, although not as present in the taste, give it a uniqueness that sets it apart from most other barrel aged RIS.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Black as night with a tight, blackened head that seemed to last forever. As I made it halfway through the glass by the end of this taste, I also noticed some serious sediment at the bottom of this glass, which is understandable for a brew that was bottled almost two years ago.

Smell - This is terrific. Big aromas abound. The sharp oak-aged port scent comes out right away, followed closely by the lovely smell of cherries dipped in fine chocolate. The roasted malt announces itself as well along with the presence of alcohol. There are a plethora of other fragrances in this glass, but these are the dominant ones that I could readily identify.

Taste - The wonderful burnt malt flavor picks up the pace here. The afore-mentioned chocolate-covered cherry flavor continues from the nose, complimented at the tongue by fine, dark-roasted, shaded Columbian coffee poured just moments after pressing. Notes of alcohol come and go as well, warning the drinker to keep it slow.

I should say that all of these flavors, and many others that I am unable to articulate, are very crisp, refined, and distinctive. This stout screams, "quality," with every sip. I usually don't care for a leaning emphasis on fruits for this style, but this was artfully executed.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation in accordance with the style. The sharp flavors were exhilarating on the tongue and cheeks, and the alcohol notes played well to the roasted nature of this brew.

Drinkability - This was a tremendous experience. It was smooth enough to go down well yet complex enough to keep one entertained.

Comments - I popped this old Batch No. 3 (bottled November 2001) to prost the birth of williamstout's new son, Riley. Congrats on the new addition to the family, bro!

Admin Note -This review got moved into the non barrel-aged category so I had to delete, recreate, etc. It's dated 10/15/10 but I actually wrote and posted it in March 2003.

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Photo of hopdog
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #4 bottled on November 2002.

Poured with a large, thick brown head. With the strong wine smell, you can definitely tell this was aged in Wine casks. Vinous. Other aromas; roasted, woody/oak, coffee, sweet and woody. Stronger wine flavor with subtle hints of coffee, molasses, vanilla, and wood.

Notes from and tasted on 5/30/04

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Photo of baybum
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Floydster
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle acquired in a trade with SuzyGreenberg, thanks to Ben for picking this gem up for me at Bottleworks, poured into my New Belgium snifter tonight, Batch 3, 2001 vintage, color was a very dark brown with some red around the edges, big one inch soapy tan head that did not leave much lace, decent retention though, smell had roasted malts, nice vanilla, mild red wine, slight oxidization, molasses, brown sugar, faint smokiness, and cocoa, taste was quite similar to the aroma but even less evidence of the wine barrel used, lots of nice chocolate and caramel malts up front, enjoyed how the malts were pronounced in this one, mild sour note in the finish but nothing to get worked up over, flavor was nicely balanced, mouthfeel was not as tart as I was expecting since it spent some time in a Cabernet barrel, very roasty and chewy still for an eight year old brew, also dry at certain times, medium bodied, good amount of carbonation, long lingering taste, drinkability was great and even though I am embarassed to admit it, I drank the whole bottle with the exception of a few sips, light on the stomach for a ten percent beer, alcohol is also hidden incredibly well, the slight sour note is the only thing that keeps this category from getting a perfect score, I was starting to think I would never try this but surprisingly get to try all three of the barrel aged Fish Tale brews now, would love to drink again, seems like this one has aged beautifully and bottle conditioning sure helped its cause, highly recommended

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Fish Tale Poseidon's Imperial Stout (Barrel Aged) from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
4.31 out of 5 based on 43 ratings.
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