Imperial Stout

Imperial StoutImperial Stout
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England, United Kingdom
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #222
Ranked #4,108
4.18 | pDev: 7.42%
Feb 20, 2022
Oct 31, 2013
Imperial StoutImperial Stout
Notes: None
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4.25 by steverx8 from England on Feb 20, 2022
Photo of Sigmund
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Sigmund from Norway

500 ml bottle in cardboard box, as Fuller’s Bottle Conditioned Imperial Stout Limited Edition. ABV is 10.7%. From the Fuller’s Brewery store, also available at Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. Pitch black colour, moderate tan head. Lovely aroma, roasty and floral notes, hints of coffee, chocolate, leather and rosebuds. Distinctly roasty flavour, notes of strong coffee, dark chocolate and liquorice, floral notes in the background. Decent hops (Centennial).

May 15, 2021
4.13 by dubadw from Switzerland on Jan 21, 2021
Photo of -steve-
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by -steve- from Canada (ON)

Lovely. Dark black beer with a brown head. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate and cherry. I am reminded of Turkish Delight as is mentioned on the label. Tastes of chocolate, cherry, plums. Oily on the tongue. Superb hop bitterness to finish the initial sweet cherry flavours. Almost 11% but the alcohol is well hidden. A gem.

Apr 12, 2020
4.48 by clarknova from Germany on Mar 18, 2020
Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by TheBierdimpfe from Canada (QC)

Opacity: Deep opaque.
Color: Deep black.
Head: Creamy and bubbly brown 2 fingers.
Legs: Poor but strong lacing.
Smell: Burned coffee beans/Smoke/Wood/Plums.
Taste: Dark chocolate/Roasted barley and oatmeal/Prunes/Vanilla/Herbal.
Feel: Roasted/Earthy/Spicy/Dark esters/Barrel aged.
Body: Medium silky and creamy, superb roundness and smoothness.
Carbonation: Light soft crisp, just the right feel.
Overall: Low alcohol feel, just a bit in the smell. Slightly chalky and dry. Excellent aging process. Real easy to drink yet still bold and quite warming. Superb quality Imperial stout, impressive classic representation of the style.

Visual 7/10 - Flavors 9/10 - Sensations 9.5/10 - Balance 9.5/10 -
Freshness 4/10 - Intensity 7.5/10 - Complexity 9.5/10 - Appreciation 9.5/10

Dec 20, 2019
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by JonnoWillsteed from England

I'm beginning to feel rather cynical about all these 'special' beers, esp. how they're branded, packaged, and marketed around Christmas. £6 a pint in a pretty box? £8 (this one), £what will you spend - they'll test it a la Diageo's Johnnie Walker Red > Black > Double-Black > Green > Gold > Blue labels. Where next?
L- Inky black, glints of deep ruby through the corner of the glass when held up to a light. Pours with thin fine-bubble tan head.
S- Toasty, smokey, high ABV%
T- Pungent, oily, smokey, bonfires, then all of those again. Like something pumped out of an old car engine; in a good way, mostly.
F- Thick and heavy intense flavour and feel, I can't see anyone rushing this one.
O- Like a big smokey malt whisky you perhaps need to be well into black beer and deep/heavy variants to get this one. Interesting to try but a bit of a bludgeoning experience on both the wallet and taste-buds.
500ml bottle. BB: 31/12/2029. £8 from a Waitrose in London.

Edit to add: 13/Nov/2020 - I see that this week this beer has been restocked in our local Waitrose, same price. I suspect it's a seasonal beer pitched as an Xmas gift.

Nov 09, 2019
Photo of thehyperduck
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
by thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

500 mL bottle-in-a-carton purchased at the LCBO long ago. A prime candidate for the oldest bottle in the cellar: it's at least 5 years old, but also bottle-conditioned and 'Best Before 2023', so I'm sure it's in fine shape. Served barely chilled.

Pours totally black, with a deliberately aggressive pour producing one finger of soapy, beige-coloured head that doesn't stick around for more than a few minutes. A bubbly collar of froth and a patchy, filmy cap live on, with minimal lace flung about in the process; looks as expected for the style. Lots of roasted malts on the nose - I'm getting coffee grounds and dark chocolate, with tobacco, leather, earthiness, flowery hops and an herbal anise note, as well as a fair bit of raisin and fig fruitiness. Moderately boozy, but nothing out of the ordinary for nearly 11%.

An exquisite beer: mellow yet intense, rich yet somehow balanced in nearly every respect. Brownie, dark chocolate, molasses and espresso coffee hit the taste buds immediately, with delectable dark fruit flavours of fig, raisin and cherry carried closely in tow. Earthy and herbal towards the back end, with anise, floral hops, vanilla and coffee grounds preceding a warming, roasty aftertaste with suggestions of burnt grains and Turkish delight. Full-bodied, with minimal carbonation and a silky-smooth, slick mouthfeel that allows this beer to slide down the gullet with ease. One of those beers that makes me feel bad for not splitting it with someone... sure, I can finish it off, but a half litre is more than I need.

Final Grade: 4.44, an A grade. I've been clearing out my cellar recently, which means that I have also been reviewing some pretty darn good stouts - for example, this here bottle of Fuller's Imperial Stout, which might well be the best thing I've pulled out of there so far. A fantastic, must-try stout that I emphatically recommend to all BAs; exactly what I'd expect from my favourite English brewer. I'd like to try it fresh at least once, but my gut feels as if this is a beast which benefits from some time being tamed. I can only thank my lucky stars that this seems to come back to Ontario on a yearly basis.

Oct 02, 2019
4.55 by arzt from Russian Federation on Mar 01, 2019
3.85 by bylerteck from Canada (ON) on Feb 20, 2019
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of black chocolate notes with light dry roasted malt notes is quite enticing. Taste is nice mix of black chocolate notes, dry roasted malt notes, and subtle residual sugar notes with some nice cocoa notes. Body is full with nice texture and good carbonation with no real apparent alcohol notes. Enjoyable and I enjoyed the balance level of residual sugar.

Jan 25, 2019
4.23 by deonreds from New York on Oct 22, 2018
Photo of josanguapo
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
by josanguapo from Spain

From Hopt. In Teku glass. Playing Avernum 2. Superbly balanced,with delicious roasty notes, raisins, some minerality and a complete smoothness that makes it very drinkable in spite its abv

Jul 07, 2018
Photo of rex_4539
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by rex_4539 from Greece

L: Drank from bottle but appears to be jet black.

S: Raisins, alcohol. Very light aroma.

T: Raisins, wine, alcohol, oats, super smooth.

F: Smooth and silky, yet full bodied. Out of this world.

O: This is a world class beer.

May 17, 2018
4.26 by Silke_Neryn from Sweden on Mar 03, 2018
Photo of Bruno74200
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Bruno74200 from France

Seems like drinking history in a glass. Nowhere but near the American vision of the style, this Imperial Russian Stout brings elegance to the table. The yeast presence reminds you this is clearly a Fuller's beer. The big malt roasted notes of the American ones are replaced by more subtle cocoa and licorice notes. The hops bring balance with floral and spicy notes. Rose buds addition is very subtle to not really present.
Very drinkable despite the abv. A nice beer

Nov 14, 2017
Photo of snaotheus
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by snaotheus from Washington

500ml bottle served in a tulip. Best Before end of 2024. Bought at the Hung, Drawn, and Quartered in London and brought home in my suitcase.

Pours black with a medium to small head and a fair amount of fine, small carbonation. Smell is chocolate and anise, rich and nice.

Taste is bittersweet and strong, rich anise and coffee. Lots of coffee after the second sip.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich. Overall, this is a quite tasty beer.

Sep 02, 2017
4.35 by HopBelT from Belgium on May 25, 2017
Photo of byronic
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by byronic from Canada (ON)

Black as night, low carbonation but nice lacing. Nothing much on the nose. Chocolate and lots of dark cherry with a touch of bitterness in the finish nicely masked by the cherry. Smooth and velvety but still a nice kick of booze after a couple of years.

Apr 11, 2017
4.25 by Hayley_86 from Netherlands on Feb 27, 2017
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

Pours black with plenty of ruby glints around the edges of the glass. Chunky tan foam leaves plenty of lace trails on the glass. Prunes, figs, fresh ground coffee, rum booziness in the nose. The taste is dominated by a big roastyness, with chocolate, caramel, prunes, tobacco and leather in toe. Alchohol is present throughout, but warming and pleasant, never distracting. Very thick mouthfeel with light carbonation. Medium bitterness, smokiness and christmas pudding in the long finish.

A fantastic example of a British RIS. Not very dry and full of fruit flavor to balance out the roastyness. Worth seeking out for stout fans.

Feb 16, 2017
4.28 by Jerk_Store from Canada (QC) on Feb 08, 2017
4.14 by samEBC from Belgium on Feb 01, 2017
4.25 by paulish from New York on Jan 15, 2017
Photo of ludachris
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by ludachris from Canada (ON)

The inch of creamy tan head that caps the top could be placed on any type of stout. Its pitch black body, however, gives it an imperial look.

The nose starts tame and really benefits from warming up. Raisins, plums, and booze soaked cherries gradually seep out of the glass. Dark, unsweetened chocolate adds to its base. The Turkish Delight descriptor on the back label proves to be a good one. Whiffs of straight ethanol peak through as well. It's far from the big, bold, in your face aromas that define so many imperial stouts but it is rich and complex in its own right.

Layers of chocolate saturate the palate. Dark chocolate, cocoa powder, fudge; the works. Raisins and dates make for a sticky center with cherries on top. Dry, decadent milk chocolate comes through on the finish with a thin streak of alcohol accompanying it. Sticky toffee shows up as it nears room temperature.

The body is creamy and rich with a silky texture. The addition of oats works wonders for its feel. Its 10.7% ABV elevates its richness and flavors without showing itself.

I would serve this at 12C-15C next time to drink it at its best. It really opens up as it warms, both in aroma and taste. I did enjoy how it unfolded. Its silky, creamy, and rounded feel is what I enjoyed most.

Jan 07, 2017
4.43 by kelvarnsen from Canada (ON) on Jan 04, 2017
4.5 by DaPan from Canada (ON) on Nov 30, 2016
5 by BeiZero from Russian Federation on Nov 27, 2016
Photo of dipso123
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by dipso123 from Oregon

On cask this is a 90++ beer, not sure about bottles

Nov 27, 2016
3.91 by WeissBoy from Canada (ON) on Nov 24, 2016
3.65 by AreSoms from Sweden on Oct 30, 2016
4 by andrenaline from Canada (ON) on Oct 30, 2016
4.49 by Kanutasan from Sweden on Oct 10, 2016
Photo of taxandbeerguy
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

500 ml bottle served cold into a tulip. Purchased this special edition for $7.95 CDN from the LCBO. Best before the end of 2024.

Appearance - Pours an ominous near black and a gentle pour yields a thin layer of tan foam with good staying power but burns off within a couple of minutes. Not much in the way of lacing either. Menacing beer at its finest.

Smell - A little dark chocolate and booze soaked cherries initially, the nose isn't terribly bold when the beer is cold. Molasses and a hint of licorice for added malt presence. The 10.7% ABV isn't hidden on the nose either. Coffee is increasingly part of the mix as the beer warms

Taste - Big and bold, again the dark chocolate and cherries come through. More molasses here than on the nose, with a heavy dose of alcohol. Not as bitter as I'd expected, this is on the sweet (and boozy) side for a RIS. Surprisingly subtle for such a big beer. Coffee shows up as the beer warms and the nose becomes significantly more aromatic.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and slick with a chewy body, exactly what you'd love to see out of a malt bomb like this. Turns to velvet with just a little prickly carbonation to keep you on your toes. Near perfection.

Overall - Fuller's Imperial Stout is a bad ass big-bodied stout that leans heavily towards the malt flavors and isn't terribly bitter despite it's presence. A fine beer and a different take on a classic style.

Oct 01, 2016
4.24 by Iaido from Russian Federation on Aug 12, 2016
4.25 by AlexAfonin from Russian Federation on Jun 29, 2016
3.76 by BAsbill from California on Apr 01, 2016
4 by aztraz from Sweden on Feb 06, 2016
4.5 by Gakusei from Russian Federation on Jan 07, 2016
Photo of drmeto
4.94/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by drmeto from Germany

-pours the darkest of brown with no light coming through and a medium to big,frothy,khaki head
-coffee,molasses,cappucino,sweet chocolate,nutty,bready,tobacco,vanilla,nougat,toasty finish
-Full body
-low to medium carbonation
-alcohol noticeable
Rich and perfect

Dec 28, 2015
Imperial Stout from Fuller's
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 102 ratings