Sherbrooke KGB Russian Imperial Stout | Alley Kat Brewing Company

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Sherbrooke KGB Russian Imperial StoutSherbrooke KGB Russian Imperial Stout
Very Good
26 Ratings
Sherbrooke KGB Russian Imperial StoutSherbrooke KGB Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Alley Kat Brewing Company
Alberta, Canada

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by IronDjinn on 11-12-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 26 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by jrallen34:
Photo of jrallen34
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

650ml bottle provided by Alex for Canadian tasting...The best thing about this beer are its cool name and awesome label, the rest is downhill from there. Admire it from a distance or just leave on your shelf...A dark brown beer, very light for a stout, with hardly an carbonation...The aroma is super sweet dominated by fruits, chocolate covered cherries, dark fruits and molasses. The sweetness is good but one noted and boring after a bit...The taste is a complete 180, all the sweetness is gone. I was hoping it was a little less sweet but to lose it all is deceiving. What you do get is harsh metallic bitter coffee with alcohol on the back.

Just not very good, avoid.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle. "We have ways of making you drink, comrade." Truer words, likely, were never spoken (or written on a beer label) around these parts. Recollections of childhood communist red threats are re-awakened, if only for a moment, by the sombre styling of this bomber, the first, finally, for an Alley Kat offering, seasonal, anniversary, or otherwise (the braggot doesn't count, especially here). On the sparse label, faux Cyrillic, and a Clone Wars' CGI Kremlin guard play on these forgotten and now commercialized emotions.

This beer pours a dense, cola-highlighted blackness, with two fingers of wanly puffy, loosely foamy, and generally bubbly beige head, which leaves a few specks of ocean wave splash lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of lightly roasted, dry chocolate malt, caramel nougat, further milky cocoa nibs, a touch more of campfire smoke, watery black licorice, faint black fruit esters, and a wee twinge of metallic alcohol. The taste is softly boozy dry chocolate malt, somewhat acrid smoke, molasses, Scandinavian-esque black licorice, some pithy chalkiness, and surprisingly bitter earthy hops.

The carbonation is on the down low, mostly, the bubbles there, but not really, really caring, y'know? The body is slick, smooth, and a solid medium-heavy weight, with an attendant smoothness that borders on a restrained creaminess. It finishes mostly trending on dry, but with some mildly boozy chocolate notes happy to play us out via the encore.

I was expecting to have some Peche Mortel comparative talking points, but, in fact, there really are none, other than the common style and ABV. The absence of coffee had me at hello, and the exquisitely integrated big alcohol and smooth dry offset to the chocolate and caramel malt body made it intensely difficult to drink this all that slowly. In fact, my first bottle, a few days ago, went down so fast, I was unable, or unwilling, to create a proper evaluation - other than, holy tap-dancing Jebus, this is good stuff!

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For the second year in a row Alley Kat and Sherbrooke Liquor have collaborated in brewing a limited edition batch chosen from the portfolio of the winner of the annual Aurora Brewing Challenge. 2009's winner was Bruce Sample, and he chose this Russian Imperial Stout to step up to the plate for him, renamed KGB for this commercial incarnation after the old brewing group he had with Kevin Zaychuck and Glen Hannah (Bruce himself being the B in KGB, if you catch my drift).

It comes in a 650 ml brown bottle with a red label, on which a cartoony komrade stares eerily off the side of the label. Pours out an intense opaque pitch black hue, impervious to light. Starts out with a dark dense sandy head that settles out to a short tight creamy light beige that retains with no sign of disappearing.

Sweet, almost creamy treacle-like aroma at first, dark roasted grains appear shortly afterwards, licorice and light mocha notes round it out.

Molasses and treacle in the flavour up front, woody, roasted, lightly smoked malt surfaces near the middle, lightly smokey and roasted on the finish with a mild sticky sweetness lingering in the aftertaste juxtaposed with astringent roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, low carbonation and bit slick which is true to style, actually a bit fuller-bodied than a lot of RIS's which is a perk. Sticky on the finish and aftertaste, and it certainly coats the palate, though not dense.

So now Alberta can finally claim an RIS of our own, and a decent example of the style no less, Alley Kat shows off their versatility once again, especially by brewing a large batch of someone else's recipe and pulling it off with impressive results. This one is definitely worth revisiting.

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Photo of Shadman
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

LIke the name of this brew. Reminds me of that 80's movie 'Spies Like Us'.

Nothing wrong with the looks of the brew. Deep mahagany in colour. Nice tan head, lot's of lace webs on the glass.

I found it had a real black forest cake chocoalte charater to it with all that entails. Rich Dark chocolate, some slight fruitiness, and the booziness that comes from the Kirch.

All the above are present in the flavor as well, along with a hint of coffee. Quite nice.

Some have noted the body isn't quite up to snuff and I guess it could be a bit thicker/fuller, but overall I felt it wasn't that big a distraction from the overall experience.

A very nice Alberta take on the style. Would like to cellar one for a year and see what develops.

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Photo of alpineclimber
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tall 650ml brown bottle with a cool Soviet inspired label. A rigorous pour produced a good frothy tan head on a pitch black brew.

The smell is of sweet molasses and roast coffee, sure smells like an imperial stout.

Awesome taste of dark sweet molasses and roast coffee with a perfect bitter finish. Thick mouthfeel, slick and syrupy.

This is an excellent example of an imperial stout. Alley Kat impresses again.

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Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Sammy
3.16/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of phirleh
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes...
A - jet black with not much head to speak of, but what was there left some random lacing
S - sweet chocolate and cold pressed espresso, sugar, and a little boozy
T - similar to nose but more robust chocolate presence, burnt sugars and light licorice compliments the roasty coffee flavours well
M - the stout thickness is counteracted by the high ABV to give it somewhat of a porter like feel, dangerously smooth given the high octane
O - easy to see why this was an alley kat home brew contest winner, glad there was still a bottle left, hoping they make this a seasonal

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Photo of elricorico
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black and opaque in the glass. Thin layer of tan head and a ring of lacing when that fades.

Slightly sweetened dark chocolate and a certain burnt aroma. Boozy to the nose, but no more than expected for such a strong beer. Smell seems to be a little subdued considering the beer's strength.

A touch of milk chocolate right up front, then some bitter darker chocolate. The middle is carried by roasted malt and is finished with some licorice like booziness to the finish. Heat lingers in the back of the throat for the first few sips, then seems to settle down.

Really soft mouthfeel. Carbonation really subtle, leaving just a smooth, slick body. I like it, though some might feel it comes across a little flat.

The smooth mouthfeel and a taste that is far from over the top make this a very drinkable imperial stout. However, it isn't nearly as complex as it could be. Not bad, but I wouldn't be telling anyone that they "must" try this if they like the style.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Weebay. Poured in to CBS snifter.

A - Very dark brown with a small amount of light brown head that almost instantly disappeared.

S - Big hit of smoke up front. Roasted malts and licorice aromas round out the nose.

T - Big smoke and licorice flaovurs up front that are accompanied by a hop bitterness and warming alcohol. Some roasted malt sweetness is present in the background but the smoke and licorice really dominate and become distracting after a while.

M - Medium body with a nice chew. Light carbonation.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

650ml bomber thanks to the generous bobsy - thanks pal! Pours a dark brown brew with a finger of thick mocha head which has some staying power and lays down a few spots of lace.

This is certainly not an offensive brew but I struggle to call it well made. Coffee and baker's chocolate, light roasted malt, a weird sort of medicinal cherry flavor, molasses and caramel sweetness, thin body with a slightly herbal dryness in the finish. Drinks pleasantly enough, hides the ABV but the flavors never really gel and the odd notes seem to stick out and mar what could be a truly pleasurable experience.

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Photo of benbou17
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of BigBry
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of grub
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled nov 14/2010.

pours deep dark brown, neither black nor opaque, with a small cap of very fine light brown head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves a bit of spotty lace.

aroma is nice. caramel. dark chocolate. espresso. bit of milk chocolate and coffee. whole wheat bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. big fruity character, more dark stuff like raisin and date. light alcohol. woody and a bit earthy.

taste is ok. big roasty punch with a lot of fruity character and an alcoholic burn on the way down. espresso and bittersweet chocolate. biting bitterness, around or above medium-high level. grapefruit and orange peel. burnt whole wheat bread. cracker and biscuit to lesser degrees. burnt caramel.

mouthfeel is ok. astringent bite from the roast. resiny hop mouthfeel. big body. about medium carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. the alcohol is a bit warm, but not overly so. it fights hard to keep the bitter/roast character in check but doesn't really make it. the fruity character is far too prominent for the style and muddles things up a lot. a shame, because without that and if the bitterness were toned down just a bit i think this could be a fantastic stout.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex aka MasterSki for bringing this to our Canadian tasting.

A - Appearance got bumped up a half point just due to the kickass bottle, one of my favorite ever. Pours a stout black, not a ton of head on there, about 1 finger of mocha.

S - Chocolate, some mildly roasted malts, a lighter smelling stout than what I was expecting from a double.

T - Not bad, a bit of molasses and toffee, with some bittering coffe, but not tons. There is a decent roasty quality in this, but this is more sweet than roasted. It's solid.

M - Little bit thinner than I wanted, good carbonation.

D - Solidly drinkable for 10%, not a bad beer, but other than the bottle, won't seek it out again.

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Photo of Viggo
3.36/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, big thanks to my boy Sid for the hookup.

Pours a deep and opaque dark brownish black, no light gets through, pretty thick light tan head forms and slowly settles down to a thick layer around the glass, lots of chunky lace sticks to the glass, looks pretty good.

Smell is okay, a bit weird and muddled, a touch medicinal, some brown sugar sweetness and dark fruit, light roast, kind of raw and molasses like, some solventy alcohol, a bit of raisin, not a whole lot of character besides sweet and fruity.

Taste is interesting, again sweet and fruity, some caramel, a bit of biscuit, very light chocolate, a bit of booze, molasses, lightly herbal bitterness, a touch of roast in the finish, kind of harsh going down.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty smooth, low carbonation, alcohol is relatively well hidden. Still just seems a bit harsh and not very RISlike. Not very much roast or chocolate character. Thanks Sid!

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Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to joemcgrath27 for the hook up on this gem.

A - Pours pitch black, thin layer of head with decent retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Sweet cocoa, with espresso undertones and milk chocolate. Some leafy hops are detectable and some ABV sweetness is also noticeable.

T - Toasted espresso and cocoa malts, a bit of nuttiness, complemented by some leafy green hops and a touch of sweet cherries.

M - No complaints in this department, nicely carbonated, goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - I'm really glad I was able to try this offering before it ran out. The ABV goes relatively undetected, it offers some tasty flavours and is a solid offering for the style. If you can find a bottle, pick it up while it lasts because it's worthy!

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Photo of Howlader
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of wordemupg
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber poured into tulip aug5 2010

A pretty much jet black with a long lasting mocha head that just sits there for a while leaving plenty of lace as it slowly falls to a thin film, pretty good looking beer going on here

S chocolate a little coffee with some licorice and booze

T what I smell but the chocolate is much darker and I get some molasses and the flavors are just a little stronger then what I could smell, well concealed booze and perhaps just a tiny hint of smoke

M not as thick as I would guess but by no means thin, not to much carbonation but far from flat, and somehow slippery and sticky at the same time

D this is a solid RIS and I will drink this again soon and set aside a couple of bottles to age. for 10% it's pretty smooth and perhaps dangerous, I would drink a few of these in a sitting and deal with the consequences as they come

pretty pleased by this brew from my own backyard, this is the only RIS I can even think of from Alberta and it's one to be proud of. never one to judge a book by its cover (or beer by its label) I will admit I thought the sketchy dude biting his lip with the foggy Red Square in the background is a sweet label. pick this one up if you can find it, thanks to Alex at Kawa coffee bar for hooking me up

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Photo of Torontoblue
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Photo of npendres
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of whartontallboy
3/5  rDev -21.9%

4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hi I am Bruce Sample. I am the person who can up with the KGB (RIS).
This beer I had brew it at all the breweries i have work at in some form or another. It is one most talk about beers when i meet people at beer events. I had store a case of it from 2009 and slowly drank it over the years. I finished my last bottle this last summer. This aged very nice and i was happy with how it turn out. I the near future i will brew it again but with the original ingredients from when it won best in show at the EHG.
So in the near future look for the KGB

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Photo of MasterSki
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wordemupg for this extra. Served in a Duvel tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving light tan foam that settles to a thin ring, leaving a bit of film on top and no lace. Dark brown body that has some ruby transparency when held to the light. Awfully light for a 10% stout.

S - Big notes of waxy foil-wrapped chocolates, cherries, caramelized sugars, and a touch of anise. Not very roasty, and seems to bear more relation to a dark barleywine than a stout. Still the aroma is pleasant and enjoyable.

T - Yikes! Strange harsh anise bitterness mingles with roasty chocolate malts and a burnt char finish. This is as burnt and bitter as the aroma is sweet. Very odd disconnect between taste and smell.

M - A bit thin for 10%, but otherwise smooth and appropriately low carbonation. Finishes lightly sticky, with little trace of the alcohol.

D - This is odd, and not at all what I was expecting. The burnt espresso finish is off-putting and makes it tough to slug down, particularly with more enjoyable brews on the horizon.

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Sherbrooke KGB Russian Imperial Stout from Alley Kat Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 26 ratings