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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 |  Reviews: 138
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 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 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 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 beveragecaptain
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Poseidon's imperial stout pours out a completely black color with a dark brown head. Huge aroma of roasted malt, molasses, chocolate, smoke, woodchips, bourbon, grapes, and a burning alcohol sensation in the nose. Smoky, roasted malt flavor with a little tangy sourness. Chocolate and coconut flavor. Dark fruits. Coffee. A little soy sauce. Hops come through as the beer warms. Thick mouthfeel. This is a delicious, complex imperial stout. Give this to a newbie and they may swear off craft beer forever. It's a beauty of a beer, though.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Woodmans, retail was probably 3.49 but i doubt i was charged more than 1.50, purchased about a month ago

Batch #5

appearance: pours an opaque glassy black color, chocolate brown head is controlled and lacing is thin

smell: dark and roasty, molasses, alcohol, raisin, dark chocolate, smoke, ground coffee..lots of interesting things going on

taste: oooh this is nice, quite bold and robust....smoke is heavy on the tongue right away, the most licorice presence i have ever tasted in an imp stout, bourbon covered pruins and raisins as well as other dark fruit are potent, some sweet chocolate buried beneath complimented by a slight hoppiness, cocoa/coffee ground maltiness

mouthfeel: very creamy, thick bodied, slightly bitter aftertaste

drinkability: quite drinkable

This was a nice departure from the norm of the russian imperial stout variety...some great flavors that aren't typically this out in the open

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Photo of czechsaaz
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my second shot at this beer. first one was a 750 that I got at Bottleworks a few years ago. This one is a 12 oz. bottled in November 2004 so it's almost a year old.

Huge aromatics on this sucker. Plum, dried fruit, tobacco (no shit) roast malt and a fair amount of alcohol.

Off the lovibond scale of darkness. Black as can be, no light gets through this. Head, not really, but a small amount of brown around the rim of the glass.

Tons of dark roast malt flavor. Underneath is a ton of malt and quite a bit of bittering hops. Finishes malty sweet and big. Lots of fermentation character of fruit, esters and chocolate.

Body, well, pretty much huge. Carbonation level is pretty low, probably a combination of age and high alcohol.

I'm totally enjoying this with a portion of Chimay aged cheese. Nice sipping beer. Drinkability is a little unfair. Couldn't take it often, but works just right for a savouring beer.

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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 mattcrill
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to weefisheads for the chance to sample this beer. Split the 750 ml bottle with fellow BA cmaruschak.

Presentation: Label says that it's Batch no. 4, bottled 11/02, and oak aged. I am very intrigued.

Appearance: Motor oil thick and black with a fluffy tan head. Black edges (no light getting through this one) and minimal carbonation noted.

Smell: Oak, alcohol, dark fruits, and that classic chardonnay smell (from the oak). All blends well and smells kind of "musty".

Taste: Oooo...this is so good. Sweet cocoa, oak, vanilla, brushes of alcohol, dark fruits, and a powdery, roasted finish. This is a big, complex beer and age has done it well.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full and thick. Slightly creamy with a dry, wonderful finish.

Drinkability: A sipper to be sure. Powerful stuff but oh so good!

Notes: This is the best oak aged beer I've had to date. That being said, this has at least 2 1/2 years of age on it. Most oak aged beers that I've had have been fresh and to me, the oak dominates and subdues the finer nuances of the beer. After this one, I think any beer I buy from now on that is oak aged will sit in my cellar for at least 2 years.

Poseidon is a fish worth catching!

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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 CRJMellor
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

November 2001 vintage
Pours motor oil, visous black with a moderate ecru head. no light refraction. Thick seen of lace on the glass.
Aroma chocolate, light coffe bens and distinctive vinous, red wine notes.
Flavor of chocolate covered red grapes is best description. Hints of roasted coffee on the finish. The aging of these in the barrels really adds a great subtle flavor to this chocolatey stout. Some dark fruity notes appear as it warms. Excellent representation of style and beautiful beer.
Mouthfeel is sweet and vinous and full-bodied with a big malt and liquor backbone. Alcohol fuel note on the back end.
Drinkability is good. Smooth and thick with varying degrees and sweet, roast bitter and alcohol tannins. Well done

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Photo of bnuttz
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour a dark almsot opaque black out of my 12 batch no. 5 bottle. minimal head, which is usually the case with these 10% abv brews. Smells charred and smoky, with some chocolate and alcohol presence peaking through. Tastes smokey, something I'm not really used to imperials. Coffee and charcoal dominate the flavors. Warming alcohol is not far behind. Finishes with a small hop presence, not citrusy in the slightest, most likely english. I have to give this brew a 5 for flavor, one of the most interesting Imperial Stouts that have graced these lips. Mouthfeel is dead on for an impy, nice and full bodied. I have to dock this one for drinkability a bit, simply because I think its still a little green and could definitely use some aging. Overall one of the best imperial stouts I have come across.

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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 Rastacouere
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black, opaque, reddish hints. Low light brown head. Extremely vinous aroma among explosive red wine character. Complex fruitiness (blackberries, berries, grapes) expressed over a leafy/branches tray. Bourbon undertones peaking through a toasted pumpernickel bread and blueberry jam breakfast. This smells terrific. But, upon tasting, I don’t know how well the barrel blends with the beer itself. I get more and more envy to try the base beer as this one may be a bit overly sweet, vinous and balsamic tart, almost like a red wine. This may be a bit too much combined with the roastiness, tobacco and herbal finish. Acidity just doesn’t mix very well in the end. Rather high carbonation, liquorous mouthfeel, medium body. Still very good and challenging. Thanks Sham!

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Photo of marc77
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, batch #3. Bottled Nov. 2001, purchased Jan 2002 and cellared since. Jet black, with complete absorbance. Lofty, dense, steadfast light bister head leaves sticky, coating lace. Buttered chocolate liquor upfront in aroma is offset by agreeable, vinous notes of unripe fermented blackberry. Swirling releases hints of burnt cookie dough soaked in oaky bourbon. Trace minty ethanol hints meld well. Very enticing, and utterly unique aromawise. Initially in flavor is an impression of lightly tart, cherry infused dark chocolate fudge. Notes of coffee liquor and treacle ensue and bolster dark caramel malt sweetness. Subdued citric hops arise mid palate, lending an orange zest twang. Unwavering chocolate dripped prune undertone. Drops in flavor and thins late, but this allows the pleasantly tannic oak tones to surface along with moderately drying hop bitterness. Lightly bodied for an imperial, but acceptly viscous in mouthfeel. As the beer warms, softer, simpler milk chocolate notes augment and cuddle with the mellow ethanol warmth. Finishes with burnt caramel hints yielding to trace notes of cassis and vanilla. A complex and intriguing imperial. Quite delicious. It appears age has treated this fine brew well. I'm rather glad I have a 750ml, since a 12 ounce would be only a tease.

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Photo of MrNuggets
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This opaque brew pourded with a huge brown head. Fruity nose with a hint of alcohol. Some burnt qualities noticed up front. Strangly acidic from begining to end. Not as filling as some of the other imperial stouts I've sampled recently. Which made this highly drinkable.

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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 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 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 ngandhi
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of Crosling
3.72/5  rDev -7%
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.

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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 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 aracauna
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of BierReise
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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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