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 Oxymoron
2.56/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The web site lists a OG of 1.101 but only a 8% ABV. That is odd. Pours a black hue with some limited viscosity. Needed help with the pour but some larger tan bubbles came out. Not much on retention and lacing.

The nose has a limited malt profile. To start there is a light roast aroma with some minor chocolate notes. Some minor smoky almost BBQ (weird). Very high ester aromas. Some rose peddles and some vegi. A little bit of dank, or drainage. Some raisin and figs comes out as well. Some noticeable yeasty characteristics, that really are a deterrent.

The taste is not as bad but still have the off yeast flavor. The malt comes out a bit more as well, with a stronger roast flavor. Some chocolate and lactic, almost milky flavors on the backend. There is a noticeable white wine flavor that just doesn't work with the roast. Some yeasty notes, rose peddles and raisins.

The body is closer to full than moderate. Some slick textures that I associate with diacetyl. Carbonation was low. Overall, I can't believe the rating on this one. The esters are overbearing, there is noticeable off yeast notes, and the malt backing is limited.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.74/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: A beautiful looking pour from a 12 oz bottle. The beer is black and viscous with a finger's worth of tan head.

S: The smell is a bit of a let down, especially considering my hopes for this beer. There is a fair amount of alcohol and acidity to the nose which sort of overpower even the coffee and chocolate.

T: There isn't any improvement in the flavor, I'm afraid. A strong bitterness to the beer and an almost medicinal astringency. Behind that, the chocolate and coffee flavors do come out, but I'm having trouble getting past the faults.

M: At least the mouthfeel is nice. This is a full bodied beer with low to moderate carbonation.

D: Just too much unwanted and unpleasant bitterness in this beer to overlook it. Hopefully I just got a bad bottle, but as for now, I don't think I'll have this beer again.

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Photo of SocalKicks
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Hopstout
3/5  rDev -25%

Photo of mothman
3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours 1/4 finger of khaki tan head. Color is a deep black.

Aroma: A lot of roast. Coffee, chocolate, and caramel. Kind of sweet. A lot of grains. Silky,

Taste: Even more roast here with some coffee flavors. Raisins and molasses. Caramel and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Roasted and dry. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with more roasted flavors.

Overall, a decent RIS, but fairly average. Nothing out of the ordinary. A bit too roasted for me.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.06/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's black with some brown edges when the light comes through. It has a little head that doesn't even cover the span of the glass. The smell has a little roastiness with a big alcohol smell. It also has coffe, raisin, and fig in the smell as well. In the taste the alcohol is prevelent with a big coffee flavor like a cappacino. The mouthfeel is good. I would have another, but would want to age it first to get some of the green characteristics out.

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Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at an Imperial stout tasting, and while this wasn't bad, it definitely didn't stand out. Black pour with a thin beige head. Roasty flavor with a hint of a stale-ish cardboard flavor. Average body, and not too thin, at least. Roasty but mildly so for the style, I thought. Decent beer overall, but not stacked against the best Imperial Stouts

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Photo of waldowin
3.18/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle labeled "Vintage 2006"

Pours an opaque near-black, with a brown head forming slowly, and sticking around for a while. The head is dense enough to resemble cake, and leaves great lacing.

Smell is of coffee, plums, golden raisins, and a bit of alcohol.

Taste is wild and almost harsh. A very small hint of plums and cherries up front is run over by alcohol, a blast of hops, and then a very strong finish of coffee grounds. Way, way too bold right now, but I'll bet with a year or two on it, this could be truly excellent.

Mouthfeel is slightly drying, and harsh.
Make sure you have something heavy to eat this with, that will stand up to it, this is one wild brew.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.18/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

From a 650 ml brown bottle, vintage 2006. Abv listed as 8%. Pours out a light impermeable pitch black, with a deep tan spongy/creamy head that retains to a fair sized cap. Sticky, coral reef-like lacing.

A rich, vinuous nose on this Imperial Stout, with rich roasted malt, dates, figs, blackstrap molasses, and some sharp notes of alcohol. A touch briney, similar to soy sauce.

Quite the whammy on the first sip, the palate is overwhelmed and the alcohol content goes straight to my head, as if it's splitting up into two to take me over--one to distract and confuse me, and the other party to go straight to the control center. Fortunately by the third sip the paranoia passes, and the flavour becomes more comprehensible. Massive chewy malt in the beginning, although dry as well, probably from a combination of the roasted malt and the alcohol. Fig newtons with a dash of soy sauce in the middle, along with a combination of raisins, rum and brown sugar. Some leather as well. The finish becomes more rounded yet just as bold, with dark chocolate and Turkish coffee, very dry and quite bitter. That dry coffee grounds character lingers on well into the aftertaste.

Smooth mouthfeel, with a creamy medium bodied texture, not as thin and runny as other Imperial stouts can come across.

I have to admit though, I'm really wrestling down this stout, this king of the sea isn't necessarily all that accomodating and friendly. In fact I keep glancing out of my peripheral vision for Captain Ahab to come along and help me out with it. Definitely a slow sipper of an ale, and best to share the bottle of this size with another willing party. I was happy to see this on the shelves here locally, but I can't really fathom going back for another one, not after the struggle it's taking to polish this one off. A good example of the bigger beers getting too big for their britches and less palatable as a result.

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Photo of drpimento
3.2/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a surprisingly small thick textuered head. Some decent lace. Very dark/opaque color. Aroma and flavors are of a kind not personally too appealing to me: a bittersweet that has a fruitiness. Nice body. Can feel the punch after a bit. Long finish.

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Photo of DrJay
3.28/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received from nlmartin as part of BC2. Thanks Nate!
This one poured a very dark brown with deep red highlights and a tight tan cap. Decent head retention with some spotty lacing. The aroma was mostly caramel and grassy hops, with nutty grain and light roast backing it up. Bitterness was very muted to start, but grew to give more balance by the end. Malty caramel with some burnt and semisweet chocolate notes. Alcohol was apparent throughout and grassy hops lingered a bit in the finish. The body didn't seem overly full, but felt heavy due to the low carbonation. A little dryness from the dark malt with some alcohol warmth. A fair/average impy - the alcohol really shocked my palate, plus the balance and body/mouthfeel felt a little off.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.28/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle provided by Alex to compare with the ba version. This one was greatly outclassed, and that little bottle barely got touched...Dark brown pour, with a small white head, not much to look at...The aroma is so-so with burnt malt, caramel and chocolate...The taste is more burnt notes, just not very good. Coffee, grains, and alcohol.

One of the worst stouts of the night we had, I wouldn't go out of the way for it.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.31/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This came in a 750 ml bottle from batch #4 of November 2002. This poured out an opaque thick black with a very tall dark brown head. The picture perfect head falls fairly quickly and leaves no lace in its wake. The smell was sweet with a bit of tartness and alcohol mixed in. Towards the end of the second glass the alcohol seemed to be the dominated scent. I couldn’t detect any of the usual coffee or chocolate smells associated with RIS. Flavor reminded me of medicine upon first sip, with alcohol mixing with an odd tart flavor with a good amount of bourbon like qualities. There was a slight fruity sweetness that helped offset some of the odd flavors. The mouthfeel was quite good though with a full body and a slick feel. This got old be the end of the first glass let alone the whole bottle. I would try this again in the future but this was definitely not one of the better RIS I have had.

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Photo of blakesell
3.32/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mcallister for sharing this one with the group.

Poured from 22oz bottle into a tasting glass.

Appearance- Beer pours obsidian with a creamy head that quickly dissapates. It has brown highlights when held to the light and the head itself also possesses these same brown highlights.

Smell- Smoky, sweet malts, a chestnut roastiness that I hope was not my imagination due to the season. Plums, figs, and a sugary sour candy smell which strangely smells a bit like sour patch kids. Which are smellable if you get close enough.

Taste- Muscat grapes, a flatness on the tongue that is somewhat similar to stone fermentation such as Samuel Smith, chocolate, espresso, lactose sweetness and a hint of diacetyl.

Mouthfeel- Creamy and light on the mouth. It could use a bit more carbonation and it is not terribly warming for a russian imperial.

Drinkability- Although this is not my favourite RIS of all time, this is quite drinkable for a session and if it were easily obtainable, I would give it a revisit.

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Photo of TheBungyo
3.32/5  rDev -17%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2002 vinatage(aged in red wine barrel) :

I was overjoyed with the pour. A finger's width of head and a body darker than your shadow. Nose is full of red wine, and bourbon. I get a little chocolate if I really try to find it. Taste is of red wine. Overwhelmingly so. I get far more red wine than I do stout ...
Once it warmed up to room temp (I let it sit for 20 minutes on the counter but I guess that wasn't long enough) I could pick out more stout characteristics. A little esspresso, chocolate and burnt buttery toast mingled with boisterous red wine. Mouth is better than most of the Poseidon's I've tried. I really am in no rush to drink this again. If I want a stout, I want a stout ... not what tastes like an amazing stout overshadowed and lessened by red wine. I'm personally glad that they've stopped aging their stout those barrells.

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Photo of Sammy
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Opaque black with disapearing white head. Coconut in the coffee and chocolate malt that just didn't work. much more drinkable when warmed up to full room temperature. Carbonation pushed the fomer taste into the mouth. Whole thing didn't work that well. Bit of a disapointment, but thanks Joe McPhee.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 3/26/2010. Bottle. Pours black with a small ring of tan head. Aroma of sweet roasted malt, charred malt, sweet molasses, vanilla, booze. Flavor is similar with very sweet, heavy roasted and sweet malts, molasses, sweet dark fruits. Heavy palate and somewhat boozy (I was surprised to see the 8% abv). Meh, a little boring for me and I wasn't a fan of the flavor profile.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a dark brown and black color with a dark tan mocha head. Dark fruit, molasses, chocolate, and roast. Medium/heavy mouthfeel. Roasty and sweet with a molasses backing. Not overly roasty. Nice sweet dark chocolate. Lingering roasted flavors. Decent. Overall, this to me is an pretty average RIS, not overly complex in any way but drinkable.

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Photo of gford217
3.4/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, 2006 vintage I believe, courtesy of dave12285 poured into a tulip.

Pours dark opaque black with only the faintest hint of light showing through the edges when held up to light. The head is small and tan, fading quickly to a tiny ring and leaving no lacing.

The aroma is fairly one-dimensional, with the dark, sweet roasted malts dominating the nose altogether. It's definitely sweet with some chocolate, licorice and dark fruits.

The taste let me down a bit as it seems to be a watered down version of the aroma. The sweetness isn't nearly as deep, with the chocolate malts and licorice present, but in less amounts. The finish is chalky with a bitterness that lingers through the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is light, almost watery, with low carbonation and much less body than I would expect from an RIS.

The nose had me looking up but this stout ended up a little too bland and watery to be great. It's a decent example of the style but nothing to bring me back for another one.

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Photo of akorsak
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bomber from Liquid Solutions.

A: The stout has a dark brown color resembling more of a brown ale than a stout. The beer is not oily thick, looking like a standard dark ale. The head is a small white band.

S: The nose is an acrid, burnt malt. Chocolate and caramel notes come out as well.

T: The stout is strong on the burnt malt profile. Dark coffee beans and roasted grains shine throughout the beer. Some chocolate and caramel notes come through midway through the sip. The coffee and grains are somewhat thin the more I sip on the ale though, losing the malty flavor and leaving burnt element.

M: The mouthfeel seems to fall a little short on the flavor side, there are no wine-like elements, nor is there a truly memorable aspect of the flavor.

D: The beer is good but not great. I am quite surprised to see that this ale is sitting on the top 100 domestic beers list.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Onthe bottle, 2006 vintage. Usually a good start, and a beer that I look forward to if the brewer is using a word like "vintage." But this one didn't live up to it. Started well with a beautiful brownish tan head, very bubbly, silky smooth cream on top of a jet black but not opaque black with ruby highlights with a strong light behind it. Good looking beer in a pint class. The smell is even pretty good with a strong, roasty malt that with little hop. But it ended there for me. The assertive coffee in the taste lingers on the roof of my mouth, distracting from the overall taste. Which isn't bad, but a buttery flavor, diacytal, that coats the mouth. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for an Imperial Stout, watery going down. It was a good beer, but not great. I wouldn't been fine with a smaller bottle.

One caveat, all my fish tale ale reveiws are from Jasper Liquors in Jasper, Canada, which I think is light struck from the flourescent lights because I'm getting a similar off taste with every beer I bought from there. Should be a good beer, but I don't think I got the best version of it.

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Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Alex for bringing this bottle out to try along with the barrel-aged version. Served in my Cantillon tulip.

Pours a really dark brown with a single-finger tan head. Fades into a light cap. The nose brings forward a bit of roasted malt and some chocolate. Not terribly complex--especially compared with the BA version--but nothing off about it. The taste is along the same lines. It's fairly decent but not good enough to warrant a four. Some roast plus a bit of chocolate. Slightly dry with the roast. Medium body. Decent enough in the end, but nothing remarkable.

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Photo of artdob
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Thin tan foam that quickly fell into the beer. Beer is black as night without a moon.

S: I smell figs.

T: Slightly burnt character. Fruit coming through - figs and raisins, contributing to underlying sweetness. Overall flavor not as robust as other Imperial Stouts.

M: Initial carbonation was high - so much so, I found it distracting from the flavor.

O: Drinkable brew but with a definite dry finish.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had right after a 2001 BA Poseidon's at an after-Christmas tasting, both courtesy of Masterski (thanks Alex!). This was a 12oz bottle, consequently small pours for everyone.

It poured dark black and opaque with a lot of tan foam. Pretty similar to the aged BA version in appearance alone.

The smell is not too similar, this is fresher (a plus) but less complex (a minus), and in many ways seemed kindo of pedestrian. Cocoa and roasted malts, maybe just a hint of raisin or plum. These all sound good but together it didn't seem so special without the wine barrel aging.

I felt the cocoa came through the strongest up front, with a lasting roasty bitterness in the aftertaste. A medium body, again not bad but not spectacular.

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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