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

very good
138 Reviews
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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 allergictomacros
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black with a huge, immovable tan head. Looks promising.

S - Smells promising also. Amazingly fruity smelling - grapes, berries, cherries. Coffee and toastiness including caramel and molasses. Typical RIS aromas I suppose, but very pungent.

T/M - Smooth, light carbonation. Very bitter and somewhat astringent. Coffee is very strong in this - like chewing on coffee beans. Fairly dry as well. Some solid hops in this as well, but the coffee flavour and bitterness really carries this one. It's almost too much - seems to obliterate all other flavours. It's not that I don't like the flavour, but some better balance would be preferred. A light apple seemed to bring in the back end...

D - If you like a big coffee/espresso stout, this really is something to try. For my money though, seems a little one-dimensional.

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Photo of tedpeer
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce pour into a pint glass.

A - Poured black. Huge tan head settled to a half inch.

S - coffee, chocolate.

T - Chocolate, then coffee. Slightly bitter, slightly sweet, Creamy finish

M - light. lightly carbonated, just right.

D - pretty tasty.

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Photo of MAB
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having sampled many Fish Tale products over the years, I would not have even picked one of these up except that their 10th Anniversary bitter turned out to be a super find.
That and I'm usually game for a nice new stout.
In general I find a lot of Fish Tale beers to be kind of watery, but this one held up its own.

Looked very nice in a glass, nice head retention. Classic stout color.
Smelt great. Roasted grains and coffee.
Tasted better than I expected. Mouthfeel was bang-on and the carbonation was just right. Not watery, so I'm a happy camper.

Well worth seeking out. Pricier than most though (organic = extra cost, in my experience).

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was finally able to track this one down and get to try it last night. I have been sitting on a few of them and it was nice to finally get to enjoy one of them. It was a 2007 release in a 12oz bottle which I poured into an Imperial pint glass after letting it warm up to cellar temperature.

Appearance - The look of this was just brilliant from the very beginning. Poured a jet black, completely opaque, and black as night, thick looking liquid into my glass, exactly the way it should have. A nice two inch high head of chocolate colored foam rose up out of the depths to come over the top of it. Excellent retention allowed it to hang around for a good five minutes or so before it retreated down to just a thin layer of tan across the top of the glass. Very nice side glass lace left silky smooth and cascading films over the side of the glass. It really was holding up to its reputation on looks alone.

Smell - The aroma was full of burnt malt smells. Hints of some light smokiness came over me first and were not at all unwelcome. I let it sit to let the flavor come out and some nice dark fruits then began to emerge. Lots of sweet aromas in here too, with hints of molasses and sugar all over it, some caramel and toffee like aromas coming through as well. Towards the end I started to get some coffee mixed in with it as well, pretty good here I have to say.

Taste - The flavor followed along the aroma very well, really starting to show off what it could do. The first flavor to hit was toffee and molasses which let you know right away that this was going to be a sweet stout. It rolled around for a little while with hints of plums and figs coming in and out of the picture. Rich molasses soaked burnt coffee coming into the picture, offering just the slightest touch of bitterness to it as it starts to finish up. Nice sweet creamy finish to it now with a good touches of smokiness to it as well. Really nicely done here with a good bitter and smoke filled taste lingering for a good while after.

Mouthfeel - The only slight knock I have against this one is that it felt a little bit light to me. Not really bad, just with the amount of flavor and depth this one had, I thought it could have been a little thicker. Lots of carbonation in this one, which was probably why it felt that way, but nonetheless very nice indeed with a good smooth creamy feel.

Drinkability - For an 8% ABV RIS this had outstanding drinkability. I found myself taking increasingly larger sips as it went through and really pushing it down towards the end. Everything was remarkably well done and it really came across quite nicely. I could have easily had another one of these.

Overall this is a very good stout. I would have no issues with buying more of these. It had an interesting mix of smoke flavors and a nice sweet stout taste which came across very well. I would have to recommend giving this one a try as it is an excellent representation of the style.

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Photo of tpd975
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one thrown in as an extra from my beer guy Deepak at Kingdom.

A: Pours a deep dark black hue. Medium sized head, tan in color which recedes to a cap. Nice sheet lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Nice roasted malt coming at you in waves of coffee and chocolate. Hints of brown sugar and maybe even a bit of hops.

T: The chocolate is apparant from the start. It starts off with a milky chocolate taste. A bit of dark fruits can be noted as can sweet brown sugar. In the middle a bit of burnt coffee comes thru and the finish has tons of hops. One of the hoppiest RIS' out there.

M: Nice rich full bodied beer rather smooth and somewhat creamy.

D: Not too bad at all.

Overall: This is not the biggest or boldest RIS I have ever had which makes it nice to drink. I started off not really liking this one but as it warmed a bit the character really developed. I love the amount of hops in this one. It's a pretty good beer overall.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.74/5  rDev +18.8%
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 Halcyondays
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle at the Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black, with a full off-white head, leaves great lacing.

S: Roasted coffee, chocolate liquor, brown sugar sweetness.

T: Dark chocolate really comes to the forefront in this beer and dominates the flavour. Light mocha coffee is a secondary characteristic. One of the hoppier RIS's out there, there is a burst of herbal bitterness at the end of this beer.

M: Very silky and oily, resiny, medium-bodied and creamy, light on the tongue at a high alcohol brew.

D: One of the sweeter RIS's that I have had. A nice beer, would have again if it were easier to find.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours near black, thin tan head settles to a ring. Smell is quite intense and pretty nice. Roasty scents and both dark and bitter fruit. Nice depth to it for the 8% the label states. I'm not sure whether I believe the 10% the site says or the label because it drinks toward the latter to me. Taste is nice but not as well rounded and complex as the smell might suggest. Good roast flavors and also a bit of sweetness behind it. A bit of caramel and chocolate. Some hoppiness hides beneath and features the bitter fruits. Mouthfeel is about medium but has a little persistent carbonation that gets to me at times. Overall it's pretty good. This one bottle was about my limit, though. Nothing too impressive and lacks great balance but still, drinkable enough.

Thanks to seaoflament for the extra treat!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been sitting on this bottle since 2006 and just cracked it open tonight.

Poured like a burnt motor oil with a deep brown head. The nose had more of a prominent roasted, chocolate smell after two years than my other tap review. This thing aged well for ABV but not as much for the taste. On the pour I could really smell the alcohol and the taste was really strong too. Of ourse after two years I am sure the ABV was not 10% anymore. Taste was coffee, hints of chocolate and roastiness. I was hoping the age would bring the flavor out more but it just brought the ABV out.

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Photo of charlzm
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle labeled 8.0% ABV, consumed 04/05/08.

Pours black with a two finger dark tan head. Lacing is persistent to the bottom of the glass.

Red grapes stand out in the nose, supported by dark roasted chocolate malt.

Creamy texture. Very smooth. Some carbonation burn, but not much and it's quite agreeable in this context.

Chocolate flavor is strong and rich with dark fruit overtones. Coffee style bitterness is restrained but certainly a major component on the finish.

Very enjoyable imperial stout. I will gladly drink this one again.

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Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -22.3%
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 Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy creamy tan head, which left some nice sticky lacing and small islands. The nose is malty, nice tones of toffee/chocolate/coffee. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, and some toffee/chocolate/coffee. Medium body, alcohol is hidden very well. Very drinkable, a pretty nice tasty stout, glad to had had a chance to try it.

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Photo of seaoflament
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up from South Bay Drugs and Liquor recently.

Pours a dark cola color with a dense, two fingers thick of foam.

The smell is not as intense or floral as other imperial stouts I've had but I can pick up some scents of milk chocolate, roasted nuts, cocoa, earthy hops, and maybe a touch of licorice. It also reminds me a bit of chocolate chip cookies with a bit of oats. I'm also detecting some yeast as well.

Tastes very similar to the aroma but more bitter-sweet chocolate with some chocolate and roasted malts, cocoa, licorice, and a touch of dark fruits like raisins and dried prunes. Slightly grainy with some alcohol heat in the finish. There's also some dark chocolate covered cherries.

Finishes with a little bitterness, dry and a grain aftertaste. Slightly rough with the roasted bitterness in the finish, but the mouth-feel is quite good.

Not bad but I've had better ones.

*bottle states this one has 8% alc./vol.*

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Photo of vurt
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle purchased from Red Carpet Liquors in Glendale, CA. Label has a "Spawned On" date on the side, but it doesn't look like any month is notched. Ah well. Enjoyed in a nonic pint glass.

Note: Label clearly shows that this beer is 8% ABV, rather than the 10% mentioned in the description at the top of the page.

Opaque black, capped by a dense head of light brown foam that shrinks quickly to a persistent collar and a thin skin across the top surface of the beer.

Sweet and earthy, with cocoa, rich malt, caramel, and some blackberries in the mix. There is also a touch of oxidation, some lactic acidity, and a prominent alcohol note.

Mmmm...milky and sweet with a bittersweet, dusty chocolate flavor that lingers. Underneath the chocolate are notes of vanilla, caramel, floral hops, and something clay-like that reminds me of an art class. (It may not sound appetizing, but it's a nice note.) Finishes dry and roasty with ample bitterness.

Just a bit thin for a Russian Imperial Stout, in my opinion, but it has good carbonation. Goes slightly astringent and numbing in the finish.

Fairly drinkable, as high-alcohol, strongly-flavored stouts go. But honestly, I've had bigger beers that were easier to drink. There's something a bit harsh in the mouthfeel and the finish.

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Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to grub for cracking this one open!

Pours a deep opaque black, thin tan head forms, settles quickly down to a thin ring, leaves some lace spots behind. Smell is neat, oatmeal, chocolate, toffee, molasses, some burnt grains, nice roast, pretty solid. Taste is nice, roast, chocolate, charred wood, vanilla, floral and citrus, nice bitter and nutty finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, warm going down. Pretty solid RIS, thanks Russ!

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Photo of ccrida
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage bomber (labeled 8% ABV, not 10) poured into my Hommel snifter, Poseidon's Imperial Stout is pitch black, even when held in front of a lamp. The tan head is medium sized and settles down to a thick collar and light skim pretty quickly, leaving moderately heavy sheets of foamy lace.

Smell is strong, and very sweet, caramel and dark fruits with a touch of vanilla, like a baltic porter. A bit sweet for my taste.

Taste is very good from the first sip, lots of depth and not nearly as sweet as the nose. Chocolate, toffee, a nice roast offsets the sweet crystal malt, overall very balanced and smooth. This has aged very well.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy and full bodied.

Drinkability is excellent, like this beer. This bomber disappeared way too fast, I'm glad it's only 8% ABV. Man am I glad I have a few more left. This aged much better then the '06 Fish Tale Leviathan Barleywine I had the other night, which had already started to fade, in spite of being stronger.

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Photo of markaberrant
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - pours an opaque black. Medium sized head, tan coloured, recedes to a cap. A few gobs of lace are left behind.

S - upon cracking it open, I got a quick whiff of citrus hops. As I poured it, I was getting a very strong smell of dark fruits. In the glass, it's an enchanting mix of the two, although the hops are quite faint, but unmistakably american. Light aromas of chocolate are evident, but otherwise not much for roast.

T - taste starts out smooth, but roasted flavours show up midway and into the finish. Malt backbone provides a gentle sweetness, and some more non-assertive citrus hops are lurking in the background.

M - full bodied, mouth filling creaminess. Alcohol is well hidden, but gently creeps up on you.

D - While I appreciate bigger stouts, I actually prefer the ones like this around 7-9%, and this is a great example.

I've enjoyed the hoppy Fish beers, but hadn't gotten around to much else of theirs. This had been sitting in my fridge for a good 6 months, and tonight finally seemed like the right time. This stout is smooth as can be, and quite sophisticated, but it's no whimp either. I quite like the non-overwhelming approach the brewer took, the end result is superb.

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Photo of blakesell
3.32/5  rDev -16.8%
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 brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Bottling, tasted Dec 2007

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a mocha head that sticks and laces better than I would have expected

Smell: Mocha dominates, but there are undertones of dark fruit, chocolate and grapefruiy pith

Taste: Opens with a rich chocolate and fruit flavor that builds in pithy intensity by mid-palate; after the swallow, the balance between the chocolate, dark fruit and pith linger into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nicely balanced; not the biggest impy stout, but certainly quite flavorful

Thanks, PretzelCity, for the chance to re-visit a few years later

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Photo of grub
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got this one from bax72 as part of BC2. thanks chris!

12oz bottle.

pours deep brown, not quite black, with ruby edges. a small very fine brown head rises up and falls quickly leaving spotty lace.

aroma is good. dark chocolate. milk chocolate. bit of grapefruit. roast. alcohol. orange. bread and biscuit malts. coffee.

taste is good. medium bitterness level. dark chocolate. coffee and espresso. bit of alcohol. multi-grain bread. biscuit. roast. very light grapefruit. light orange. bit of cherry.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium-large body.

drinkability is great. nice depth. really good balance. the alcohol is almost completely hidden. great stuff. thanks chris!

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Photo of BDTyre
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
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 Pooba001
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The 12oz. bottle notes that this is 8%ABV, not the 10% that BA currently states. There is a place for a "spawned on" date, but the label isn't notched, so I don't know when this was brewed. I left the beer out for a few minutes before opening, so its probably around 60 degrees. When poured this ale is totally black, even when held to a light there's nothing but total darkness coming from this. Head is thick and dark brown, decent persistence. Smell is potent, roasted grain, dark malt, alcohol, are apparent, with surprising notes of fruit and apple.

Taste is well balanced, not as sweet as I was expecting, and the alcohol I detected in the aroma isn't apparent either. The roastyness is prevalent and is quite tasty, accompanied by cocoa powder, espresso, lush fruit, and raisin.Very dry finish with a slight bitterness a just a smidgen of tart.

Good mouthfeel and exceptional drinkability for an Imperial Stout. Best of the three brews I've had from Fish Brewing so far.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of CBA: Poured a deep black (not pitch black) color stout with a good foamy head with some good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of black chocolate with some bitter notes. Taste is also dominated by some nice rich chocolate notes with some bitter notes at the end. Body could be slightly fuller but the creamy texture and the chocolate notes are well balanced.

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Photo of ablaze
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a 650 mL bomber that states 8% alc/vol. No date.

Creamy mocha brown head that quickly sinks into the red-hued, nearly black brew. Average lacing.

Rich chocolate covered cherries with a dab of molasses. Smells fantastic.

Dark cherries, rich chocolate cake, a hint of sweet soy sauce and brown sugar. Roasted coffee beans and raisins. A fruit cake soaked in melted chocolate. Texture is slick and slightly oily. Not as chewy as I hoped, but it's there, along with something powdery (cocoa extract?).

I had this with a mocha coffee cake. This is a decent enough stout with some nectar qualities. Fun to drink on it's own or with a dessert. Not quite bold enough to satiate my desires, but gets the job done.

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Photo of DrJay
3.28/5  rDev -17.8%
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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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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