Fish Tale Poseidon's Imperial Stout | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

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157 Ratings

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 BeerAdvocate on 05-17-2002

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Ratings: 157 |  Reviews: 138
Photo of RedDiamond
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch No. 4, November 2002.

Poseidon’s Imperial Stout is a stellar achievement in its marriage of old wine and aged beer. This tremendous full-bodied brew is matured in oak wine casks before being bottle fermented in champagne magnums. The result is an exquisite creation of profound dimensions and balances.

Poseidon delivers a sublime aroma that mixes notes of sherry wine, dried cherries, and toffee malts. It is crowbar black with a head resembling espresso froth. The mouthfeel delivers the taste in waves of tart fruit, woody tannins, chocolate bean, coffee roast, and warm-bellied alcohol. The taste is like the embers of an old flame – warm, smoky, radiant and soothing.

This is the best comfort food ever poured from a bottle. A genuine masterpiece of a beer and Fish’s finest moment.

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Photo of Beervis
4.8/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours from the 12oz bottle a gorgeous dark black with a thin dense head.

Smell is amazing, dark roasted malt, chocolate, espresso, all the right notes here.

A medium to full bodied mouthfeel is chock full of everything I love about an American Impy Stout. Bitter dark chocolate, with a sweet coffee and very substantial hop bitterness. The bitterness really lingers, and only becomes more intense as it warms. This stuff is smooth on the palate, yet the bitterness dries it right out and leaves you wanting another sip.

I LOVE this beer. It is extremely drinkable, although high in alcohol. This beer is very dangerous for me...wish I had gotten more than just two bottles. Got this as part of the Liquid Solutions Beer of the Month club for January.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.76/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was simply awesome! Awesome 750ml bottle with a crown. This poured out as black as a starless siberian night with a lovely brown head of foam that stuck around for the long haul. Aromas were intense and complex. They consisted of aged French Bordeaux, Deeply roasted malts, alcohol, vanilla, sherry/port wine, subtle floral hops, and more! The taste was a lovely blend of light red wine flavors, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, and a lovely alcoholic finish. The mouthfeel was medium bodied>thick and perfectly chewy and the drinkability was simply amazing! I'd love to try some more beers from this brewery!

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.74/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to tytoanderso for this one.

This beer pours a dark black with a creamy tan collar.

Smells of dark roasted barley, smokey campfire, cocoa powder and crisp coffee blended with cherries and peach. The balance here is stunning.

Tastes of a slick smokey grape and sweet roasted, smokey barley. There are some blueberry overtones to this too. This too is delightfully balanced.

FEels smooth and easy that's effortless to drink. The hidden but notable carbonation helps tremendously with the smoke.

Wow. Gentle, easy and balanced. Classic!

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Photo of woemad
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle (Batch #4, bottled 11-02) purchased from Huckleberry's in Spokane for $9.59. This has been hidden away in my closet/beer cellar for about 2 months. I decided to bust it out to ensure that my mug was obtained by a good beer. When I posed the question in the forum as to whether this, Monkfish or a Stone Imperial should be my mug catcher, this came in 1st - barely (actually the leading suggestion was for a double blind tasting, but then I'd have to share!).
The pour yielded a black as crude oil viscous looking liquid, with a dark head that is somewhere between tan and brown. This head was HUGE. My very easygoing pour was broken into three segments due to the amount of head I was getting (that doesn't sound so beer-related, does it..;)
The aroma of this beer was like its head- BIG. The first impression is like that of a well-aged bottle of port.Beyond the portliness is a cornucopia of scents that all imperial stouts should have: dark fruits dipped in dark chocolate, roasted black coffee, a little bit of molasses.
The taste of this beer is wonderful. Dark, velvety chocolate, ripe cherries, dark roast coffee saved for special occasions, notes of oakey port - all accompanied with a warming alcohol sensation that says "I may be wonderful right now, but if you don't respect me, tommorow morning's gonna be UGLY.". This beer is a sensualist's dream. Monks would feel oblidged to commit acts of self-flagellation to atone for the decadence of this beer.
This is possibly the most viscous beer I've ever had. I mean that in the best sense, of course. This is gloriously thick. I may set aside some to pour over tommorow's waffles.
Had to grade down a little on drinkability. Who in their right mind would make this their session beer? It's just too overpowering for that.
I'm glad I decided to buy 2 more of these today (with more in the future, no doubt). One of them will be split with my brother for Christmas - or is that too good for him?

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Photo of jcalabre
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3, Nov 2001: Thick black pour w/ a tall, long lasting, tightly bubbled tan. head. Smoothly, chocolatey flavor w/ notes of wine. The aging in casks really comes into to play here. Hints of chocolate covered fruit (like raspberries) abound in the taste. Absolutely fantastic.

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Photo of erica
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really loved this beer. It was very dark, black I guess, with a big but quickly disapating tan head that was quite pretty. It smelled pretty good, and then i was told it doesn't smell pretty good, it's amazing, and I said no it smells pretty good. Smells winey, roasty, coffee-like. Almost like a flavoured coffee maybe. So then I took a sip, and it became amazing. The flavours just exploded in my mouth. Extreme red wine, coffee, caramel, roasted malt, and a dry finish. It was heavy on the wine taste, which I found to be most enjoyable, unlike a lot of other BAs it seems. Mouthfeel was good, it was not thin or syrupy at all, and drinkability was good as well because the whole of the beer, just looking at it, smelling it and tasting it, it went down real well.

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Photo of nvsblman
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, Batch 4, 2002 bottling sampled in Mar 2006.

Pours inky black with a thick pillowy coffee colored head. No light making its way through this one. Deep chocolatey aroma with lots of fruit notes. Cherries, raspberriees, raisins... Also some coffee and burnt toast. Maybe a bit of smoke. Wow, what flavor! Loads of chocolate and coffee with some oakiness mixing in nicely. Dark cherries adding a slight pucker. Also some earthy, tobacco notes. Slight lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. This is big and chewy with a light carbonation. It really coats the mouth making the flavor last. Well hidden alcohol makes this pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of Gusler
4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #4 Bottled November 2002:

WOW! What a beauteous site is that pitch-black Imperial Stout setting in my “Chalice, the only glass suitable for such a treasure in my humble opinion. The head is majestic in size, luxuriant in texture, the color an eye-appealing chocolate, and as it slowly evaporates, a silky sheet of lace is left to fondle the glass. The aroma of deep roasted grains, caramel, Starbucks coffee, sweet milk chocolate, with a noticeable oak tone, almost bourbon like, all rolled up in this wonderfully sniffable nose. Thick bittersweet malt start, the top thick and almost chewy, finish is prickly in its acidity, the hops pointful in their spiciness, the aftertaste is dry as they get. The 10% ABV makes itself known in a light alcohol bitterness and in the quite noticeable “Belly Warming”, WOW! What a treat, especially designed for the lovers of the “Dark Side”, and definitely not meant for the palate challenged.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was part of a trade with TheBungyo. The beer was served in a wide mouthed wine glass.

Appearance: This beer pours blacker than black. The beer has absolutely no ruby opaqueness to light. The head was about a finger and a half high. The head was a burnt creamed coffee color.

Smell: This beer has a pleasing smell combination consisting of piney hops and a splash of citrus, molasess, dark fruits figs and dates, very spicy alcohol, loads and loads of burnt and chared roasted coffee and malt.

Taste: The beers smell is fully delivered in the taste. In addition to the above flavors the beer has a bit of licorice and the hops are somewhat oily.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is full bodied. The flavors are long lasting. This beer was very drinkable and enjoyable. Due to the strenghth of this beer. Some people will say this is a self regulating sipper. This beer disappeared far to rapidly from my glass.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best Imperial stouts I've ever had. Deep brown-black with a two finger head that is a good light brown in colour. Deep roasted malts and coffee scent, but they're hidden somewhat behind a slight astringent alcohol - surprising considering my bottle only has an 8% ABV.

Rich, roasted malt taste. Strong coffee notes, with lighter hints of toffee and cocoa. Slight alcohol burn.

Where this really shines is drinkability. Almost no alcohol or carbonation noticeable, and this is very smooth but avoids being syrupy. Without a doubt, one of the best I've had. I could almost session this....

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.52/5  rDev +13%
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 beerguy101
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Oak aged version. Eclipse black color. Smallish head. Aroma is chocolate and molasses. A VERY full-bodied stout. Thick, viscous and oaky. A big bold stout. Very smooth tasting. Touches of wood, smoke, dark fruit, red wine, chocolate and coffee. An incredibly complex beer. Very nice. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of laintringulis
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a wide mouth goblet. Pours a solid black, no ruby opaqueness. Large tan head that lasts well throughout drinking. Large thick white lacing.

Smells: strong earthiness and fresh roasted coffee. Oak, vanilla, anise, spicy alcohol and pine hops. Smells mighty fine.

Tastes as smells. Dark roasted coffee flavor with substantial caramel malt. Spicy earthiness and hops breaks up the bourbon kissed maltiness. Fig/date flavors present, with molases. Has a buttered almond flavor up underneath.

Medium plus body. Creamy and buttery. Pleasant oiliness with a dry powdery coffee finish.

Excellent flavors, balanced well. Alcohol is underplayed. Easy to drink. Good stuff.

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Photo of cokes
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 5, 2004.

Flat black topped with a modest sheet of buttery tan.
Intially charred and smoky on the nose with a backing green, minty hop notion, but vanilla, hazelnuts, toasted oak, bourbon, and fudge crawl out once it sits for a couple moments.
Taste is a reflection of the aroma. Big, black, and burnt up front. Full of espresso and charcoal. Sweetness gradually takes residence, with molasses, liquorice, caramel, and smoked prunes. Woody as it goes along, with a lightly tart oak nuance, waving havelnuts, and a more persuasive vanilla essence. Some tannic elements as this gains vinousness, and brings to mind Pinot Noir. Ends with molten fudge drizzled, bourbon-spiked red wine cut with electric, leafy, wintergreen hops.
Medium-full in the mouth, sedate, but steady carbonation.
This is deep, complicated, heady stuff, but vastly drinkable as well. A real gem.

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Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of Wildman
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured as dark as the night and formed a huge, flowing foaming head much like a Guiness. It slowly subsided leaving only trace lace. The aroma was a heady concoction of malt, chocolate, coffee and plums. The flavor was a heavy taste of malt, chocolate, coffee, raisins with a touch of vanilla. The finish was a touch bittersweet, like the chocolate with a vinous quality to it. A fine imperial that hides it's alcohol content well. Now if it was only easier to come by.

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Photo of illidurit
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

06 vintage. 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Darkest possibly shade of brown, nearly black. Some amber highlights when backlit. Nice dark tan head struggles to form through the viscous liquid. Aromas of cocoa powder, graham crackers, iced coffee, and prune/raisin fruitiness. Flavor is loads of roasted barley but not in an acrid way. Lesser notes of caramel, dark chocolate, graham crackers, raisins, figs, and prunes. Slightly acidic, solid roasted bitterness, dry without much astringency. Hugely flavorful but not crushingly thick-bodied. Very easy to drink. Damn good RIS.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Practially black, yet seemingly more brownish in most light. Thin but thick set dark tanned, evenly firm foam sits atop and hardly moves from there. Laces in thinnly placed sheeting.

Big time waft of oaky bourbon drenched in dark chocolate with nice little notes to sweetness in molasses, dark cherry, raisin, and prune.

Smooth taster, bold, lavish, chocolate sets the tone in the front with a softer, sweet dark fruity backing of raisin and fig.
Slips to coffee roast and burnt barely. Staying smooth.
Turns to a bittering chocolate and hop dance as it finishes.
Chocolate returns late, softening the bitter blow a bit.
Bitterness still intertwines the palate with a well-rounded warmth from the decadently easy alcohol that sifts through the chocolate.

Feel is smooth and silky with a great chocolate body and low carbonation level that speaks to the point of most Imperial Stout-types. Full, rich, evenly heavy, and continuing smooth. Oh so smooth...

A very nice stout. Big, chocolatey, rich, and inticing. Fish Tales' Poseidon's Imperial Stout sea is some smooth sailing. Going across it is a cinch.

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Photo of carln26
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pored a deep black with a thick, fluffy tan colored head. Nice aroma. Deep chocolate, no chocolate covered cherries. A bit of espresso on the back end, and yes a touch of mandarin orange. A thick lace is left on the glass as the head finally recedes. Nice espresso chocolate flavors mix in your mouth at the first sip. The bitterness in the form of orange emerges very quickly. The finish is mainly coffee with a little bit of sherry. The mouth feel is very full, very satisfying. This is a great drinking beer. Finally a beer from Fish Tail in the bottle that matches the wonderful beer on tap.

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Photo of BigBry
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650 ml brown bottle. Vintage 2006 on neck label. 8% alc. Classic painting by Dennis Lyon of a fish on the label. $7.70 CAN.
Pours a dark black color, with chocolate milk colored foam. An inch of creamy foam that hangs around leaving lacing trails on the side of the glass. Just the slightest ruby red shines through whenm held to the light. Lots of complex aromas come from the glass, dark rosted maltiness, chocolate, smoke, coffee. And the smell doesn't disappoint as simlar flavors are there in the taste as well. Charred malt, chocolate, dark caramel. As it warms slightly the roasted barley comes through even more. Alot of hoppy bitterness keeps everything in check. Very well balanced and tastey. The mouthfeel full and smooth, just enough to coat the tongue. Definatley one to sip slowly and enjoy. Very impressive, and although my first sampling of the RIS Style (which keeps it away from any 5s), it has become my personal benchmark.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black and thick pour, slim head of brown foam that dissipates to a crusty ring after a few minutes. The smell is of robust smoky coffee, with a slight aroma of alcohol. The taste has a nice combination of sweet chocolate and bitter roasted coffee malt, a great balance of these two flavors. The alcohol is strong, but doesn't detract. Bitterness is fairly strong, and lingers well. Mouthfeel is nice, thick but smooth, with perfect subtle carbonation. I found it to be very drinkable, as I finished it easily despite it's high alcohol content. I'm just trying to figure out why this brew is retired. I just got this from Liquid Solutions delivered right to my door, and am I glad they still had some. Tasty...

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The color is black as the Vatican's secret files, a vast darkness that will allow no light, and the head is a thin affair, but gives the cocoa-brown hue I would expect, nay demand, for the style.
Aroma: molasses meets the nose to start, dark, thick, treacly, a malificent morass of devilish decadence...dark chocolate, whiskey, with dark fruits, and a full red wine character shining through, as well.
A wicked coating grips the lips, and drips down the throat...damnably thick and rich, viscous and motor-oily. A melted-down candy bar, loaded with liquor, thick, rich, dominant... so painfully full, it threatens any other pretenders to this style...well, almost any other, I'm still partial to a few others, but this is a significant accomplishment on it's own. Damnitty-damn-damn!
She's a bad mamma-jamma!
Oh, it's thick, massive flavor, dripping with the syrupy, deep dark goodness, a big fat, almost oppressive mouthfeel.
Later into the drink, it becomes more approachable, but still a powerful dominant thing upon the palate. yum...lip-smackin', delicious...dee-lightful.
What a nice, and thoroughly amazing brew. Very fine. Highly recommended.

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Photo of morimech
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unknown vintage of this 12oz bottle. Date not notched on label. Label states 8% ABV.

Very dark in color with some noticeable sediment coming out of the bottle. One inch of head forms and hangs around for a little while. Some spotty lacing is left on the glass. This RIS smells very good. Hints of chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, and bourbon. This is not barrel-aged but it sort of smells like it has spent sometime in a barrel. I really enjoyed the flavor as well. Not overly sweet or over hopped like some of the Best of Beer Advocate RIS's seem to be (looking right at you Darklord and Darkness). Nicely balanced. The malt comes through nicely with hints of chocolate and coffee, slightly roasted and smokey. Booziness is there but well intergrated into the flavor. Bitterness is moderate to slightly less than moderate. The body is not as full as other RISs but has nice carbonation and texture. Turned out to be one of my favorite RIS beers. I liked the flavor of this one.

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Fish Tale Poseidon's Imperial Stout from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 157 ratings