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

very good
138 Reviews
no score
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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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Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 157
Photo of ngandhi
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2001 Vintage

Half of all bourbons on the market today do not taste as much like bourbon as Poseidon's Imperial Stout does. Laden with oaky vanillans and a smooth, distillate palette, this is as close to whiskey as I've tasted any beer come -- bourbon-aged or not.

There is some minimal malt bitterness and ripe plums underlying the bourbon, maybe even hints of chocolate, but this is, at its worst, a low-alcohol bourbon and, at its best, a plum-infused low-alcohol bourbon.

It manages, however, to be wonderfully integrated. The alcohol is apparent in that this so closely resembles whiskey, but it is never intrusive and doesn't interfere with the taste in any way.

Despite such huge flavor, Fish Tale leaves this beer inexplicably one-dimensional. It's hard to believe, given the absolute uniqueness and craft of this brew, but the deep bourbon flavor goes no where and we're left, not with a stout, but with some facsimile of those extreme beers that certain bigger breweries are going for nowadays. At 10% abv, however, an impressive distillate quality is not enough.

It lacks hops, it lacks malt, and I'd rather not suck on used oak chips.

On the nose and on the palette Poseidon's Stout is a dead ringer for bourbon and pulls off this mimic act better than any brewery could ever hope to. As much as I love bourbon, however, this beer grows dull and tired near the bottom of a pint and a complete snooze by bottle's end.

Relax, relax.

 1,469 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

After a rather troubling evening I feel like the only thing that can provide me solace is this bottle of imperial stout. This was chosen on the drive home. I hope it turns out to be a good choice.

Pours brown from the bottle but looks black in the glass. The head is creamy and thin and leaves some lacing.

The nose is very nice but only if you know what you are smelling. Molasses and chocolate with a sharp astringent burnt grape and cherry character. The oak fairs well in the aroma as well and the barrels also gave the aroma some sherry characteristics.

I don't really like the flavor. The bordeaux barrel aging did nothing for this beer but eliminate all of the traditional imperial stout flavors. No chocolate, no coffee, no roastiness but a shitload of sweet molasses. However, this is still pretty damn good. The burnt dark fruit flavors take over...everything in this beer is wine, wine, wine and more fucking wine. Which was enjoyable at times but not at others. One thing I didn't get that I was certainly hoping for was hints of the oak aging asI didn't get much.

 1,087 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.76/5  rDev +19.3%
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 erica
4.63/5  rDev +16%
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.

 775 characters

Photo of aracauna
3.69/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

(Nov. 2002 bottling) Nicely black with a large, dense and creamy chocolate milkshake head. The aroma is vinuous, a little chocolate and a lot of fruit. The flavor is also vinuous and a little tart not quite vinegar. The wine flavors dominate the imperial stout, which is sad. There's a chocolate there, but not a whole lot of roast malt, coffee or char. Nice sweetness. I'm not sure the wine flavor from the cabernet cask meshes very well with the imperial stout flavors. Whiskey barrels are perfect for this, but perhaps wine barrels are better suited for Belgian strong ales and maybe barleywines.

 599 characters

Photo of BierReise
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured thick and black with maybe the biggest head I've seen on an Imperial Stout. Can definitely smell the Cab coming through in the nose. Very interesting blend of wine and malt in the flavors. Also detect some chocolate in there as well. Body is full and smooth. Cascade seems to be buried in the wine flavor which I found a bit overpowering.

 345 characters

Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #4, Bottled November 2002. Pours a dark brown into my Duvel tulip...thickly. In the glass it is black. The low head that formed was the color of espresso foam and clings mostly around the edges of the glass. When some of the head cleared I noticed that blackness has a wonderful reflective sheen to obsidian. The sheen and head color boosted my appearance rating to a five. The complex dry aroma contained, cherry, chocolate, mild smoky/toasty malts, coffee, some alcohol, and subtle winey-ness. Intriguing but not as powerful as I was expecting. The taste... smokey, semi-sweet chocolate, and somewhat winey. A prominent zingy/tart sensation continually stimulated the outside edges of my tounge... but its hard to describe as a flavor. There were some fruit like flavors in there as well. A great hop character rounds it all out. All in all very unusual. Mouthfeel was full and smooth. The drinkabilty is good, alcohol is very well hidden and integrated into the flavors. Very enjoyable and certainly unique.

 1,026 characters

Photo of woemad
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
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?

 1,972 characters

Photo of beerguy101
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

 371 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #4. Bottled in November 2002.

This beer has an ink black appearance with a hefty, well-retained, fluffed up and somewhat cloud-like light cocoa brown head. Beautiful. Aroma consists of sweet molasses, oak graininess, bourbon, cabernet and a little charcoal. Not quite as harsh as I was looking for, but very pleasing in a non abrasive sort of way. The feel of this beer in my mouth is silky beyond belief. One of the creamiest beers I've ever had. On the flip side though, the body is a little light for an Imperial. Medium-full tops. Flavor profile follows suit with the nose. Pleasing, but not very coarse. However, there is a lingering bite that is a bit obtrusive and fitting. Seems like a stinging alcohol spiciness blended with some hop bitterness. Otherwise, the first thing that strikes me with the flavor is the winey sweetness. Bourbon, dry cedar, vanilla bean, baker's chocolate and bitter hops blend with a subdued roastiness to create an enjoyable tasting experience. Quite enjoyable.

 1,006 characters

Photo of jcalabre
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

 279 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
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 Wildman
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

 479 characters

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Fish Tale Poseidon's Imperial Stout from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
3.99 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
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