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KGB Imperial Stout | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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167 Reviews
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KGB Imperial StoutKGB Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly a rotating release, "KGB" is being re-released as "W'11" in late 2010 - with seasonal winter/spring availability.

Added by Mitchster on 06-21-2003

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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 293
Photo of Diesel76
4.53/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

By far my favorite bre to come out from the Kurt and Rob's mega micro brewery in some time. I have been a huge fan of Widmer for many many years... (some of their beers I wish they would bring back)... it saddends to think this will be gone next year... so I did stock up on some...

This is a fantastic version of a Russian Imperial Stout. Widmer really has a winner with this one, hopefully they will relize it is a quality beer and keep brewing it rather than worry about making the sales numbers their Hefeweizen pulls in.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Bailey's Taproom in Portland, OR.

Pours a solid black-brown, with a fine and full, but relatively bubbly head of caramel brown. Great lacing as it subsides. Solid body to it with a firm bead. Looks great.

Robust nose with big, smooth roasted characters coming through, giving caramel and a touch of light coffee. Creamy chocolate noticeable too. It's so smooth. Wonderful stuff.

Taste is smooth and clean, but with lingering complexities on the back. More sweet caramel, dark more brusque roasted coffee beans, and chocolate in a silky high-cacao way. All is layered with the smoothness of character which seems to epitomise it. Awesome.

Lovely drop. It's smooth, round, clean and complex. Everythign you want in an imperial stout. Love it.

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Photo of BigB415
4.46/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a pitch black with a dark brown head. Light lacing.
S: Chocolate and Alcohol.
T: More chocolate and alcohol.
M: very subtle. Not one to stick around and hang on you're tongue.
D: this is a nice stout because it's not too complex with flavors. It's simple.

I really enjoyed this and I'm glad I found a new stout to try. I recommend it to anyone looking for something new to try.

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Photo of wstuart
4.42/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bitter as hell, and for a good price. if you want to get a nice buzz for a good price, kick back a six and get ready to hit the floor! a very nice dark brown, with a medium brown top. most definetly a winter beer, best enjoyed outside and in the cold. when i camp in the cascades or at shasta, this is what i bring.

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Photo of industrialswill
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this while on a midnight run at the local Safeway supermarket for $6.99 / six pack.
Very dark brown, almost black color with a light brown head.
The smell is that of roasted malt.
I'm in love with the flavor. The malt predominates with it's chocolatey goodness, but there is adequate hop balance.
This beer is somewhat thick and warm, but the 9.3% ABV is very well hidden.
I'm very pleased with this "little discovery" of mine. I can't believe that any beer of this weight can be sold for what I paid for it, but I will not argue.
Very good beer.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big rich light brown head slowly dies leaving a pretty decent lacing atop a clear dark brown or black colored stout.

Roasted malts with a dark fruit backbone aroma, almost like roasted cherries or apricots.

Taste warm and roasted malts with dark chocolate hints and a light dark fruitiness in the background, rather enjoyable.

A light dark chocolate roasted lightly dry aftertaste.

I rather enjoyed this imperial stout, when I poured it I could smell the alcohol but that seems to disappear as I drank it.

Not the heaviest stout I've tried but a pretty darn good one.

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Photo of drpimento
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Da, this is a beer for the proletariat, not the court. lenin would make it so. Poured with a medium sized tan head and some lace. Color is an almost opaque brown black. Aroma is malt, roast, toffee, cocoa, leather, earth, a little dark ripe fruit and coffee. Flavor is similar and balanced. Body is full round and has excellent carbonation. Finish is like flavor and ends with a smooth bitterness. Session beer even with the strength.

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Photo of scotorum
4.24/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dec. 18 '12 on the label so this has aged a year.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip glass.

a: Opaque black with the barest glint of clear ruby at the bottom. A two inch tall brown head receded slowly to thick surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

s: Dark chocolate malt.

t: Wonderfully silky smooth dark chocolate and coffee malt followed by a hop bite towards the back of the mouth, which gradually becomes more noticable. The high ABV, however, does not appear prominent. AS it warms, the chocolate/coffee flavor becomes more ashen.

m: The silky viscous sensation is the first noticed on sipping this. Medium to heavy otherwise.

o: An excellent RIS, one of the best I have had. Considering the lower marks many others have given, perhaps this improves signitifantly with age.

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Photo of echoes
4.23/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass.

A: Medium tan/sand-colored, fizzy head. Color is like liquid chocolate (black/dark brown). Head is medium and dissipates slowly leaving a very noticeable lacing.

S: Roasted barley & wheat, chocolate, and perhaps a bit of coffee.

T: Sweet chocolate, a bit of bitterness (but not too much), roasted barely and wheat. Dark all around and has a nice warming effect.

M: Thick, full-bodied and a bit sticky perhaps.

D: Good drinkability. Tastes good enough to have more than one.

Great RIS. Really like this one. Everything about this beer is likable, in my opinion. Will recommend this to others, such as you: give this a try. This is quite comparable to my favorite beer: Quilter's Irish Death.

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Photo of zdk9
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours dead black with a finger of head that's cream colored with a tint of brown. Looks like the possibility of some strong lacing with this one.

S- Smells like a delicious stout. There's coffee, bittersweet chocolate, burnt molasses, smoke. Definitely some bourbon going on as it warms up.

T- Tastes like a delicious stout. More mineral characteristic than I'd like but if you take out that it's fantastic. Very bittersweet chocolate, used coffee grounds, bourbon, vanilla, wood, ash (that's part of the mineralness that isn't so good). There some pine and grapefruit pith on the back corners of my mouth- it's like the hops have scurried to the sides of the stage, even though they're pretty powerful themselves.

M- Bitter- roast, ash, and hop bitterness. Though there's some sweetness it's not really a stick to your mouth syruppy beer.

O- I'm really enjoying this, a great delicous RIS, just as advertised.

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Photo of BillHilly
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Nice dark obisidian stout pour...head dissipates to the outer rim and holds.

S: Nice roasted malt sweetness

T: Roasted malts, light coffee flavor

M: Excellent balance on the carbonation for a beer from Widmer

D: Gave this RIS a 5 on the drinkability due to the price value it has. Locally on sale for $7.99 a sixer...great price for an RIS of this quality. Not a ground pounder, but doesnt suck either...good daily drinker!

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bitter dark chocolate monster! Wow this is one of the better dark/bitter chocolatey beers I've sampled. Pours near black, tan head, and a modest nose of roasty aromas. Palate is unambiguous with bitter chocolate and roasty flavors. Such a full flavored beer. Same flavors extend into the long finish.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I gotta say, I really enjoyed this 2013 version.
In a tulip glass the beer was near black in color with a small tan head and a little bit of lace.

Roasted malt aroma. Coffee and chocolate; strong coffee and dark chocolate.

Taste of espresso and dark chocolate. Some tobacco.

Dry, appropriately bitter.

Nice beer.

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Photo of Docer
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just grabbed a bottle to try. The 6-pack price was amazing for the beer. Best price I have ever seen for an RIS.

- Nice rich solid black with some slight ruby glow around the bottom of my pint glass. Finger and a half of light mocha head quickly down to a thin spotting of foam.. large lace ring..

- Hides its aroma a bit.. hot medicinal alcohol is present. Deep dark grain and oats lye in the background.. bitter grass present.

- Grainy oats and smooth sailing malts. Chocolate, oatmeal, bitter hop.. extremely smooth and hides any sort of alcohol extremely well. Nice hop in the belch.. citrus and floral way in the back. Not super sweet which I like... more drying bitter.

- Medium bodied, slightly creamy, and chalky drying... not bad at all.

- Extremely good drinkable brew... alcohol is dangerously hidden and this is far more balanced than most RIS brews I have had. Smooth as can be. Price doesn't affect my score here... but this was extremely cheap too! Good job Widmer for this bottle release of an old favorite!

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Photo of exonthebottle
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great stout dark black nice head never fades
solid nutty coffee, chocolate malty smell
taste smooth this beer is really well hidden alcohol wise maybe not as complex as other stouts but this does what is needed even a bit of hops
Nice carbonation nice coating easy to chug hard to sip stout

I think this one of most drinkable RIS I have had ever. so nice I might have two

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Photo of mjryan
4.16/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice stout. Jet black, no water in sight. Smells like coffee. Coffee and barley malt and hops. Tastes good. Lots of cocoa. Big hop bitterness. Well attenuated. Not cloying. Less of a desert stout than many of the more coveted brands. Like it.

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Photo of beertaster13
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark coal black with an inviting mocha/tan head. The smell is of roasted barley and a slight marshmellow character. A subtle hint of chocolate in the nose. The taste was very light for an imperial stout. Not as strong as most imperials i've had. I liked it, went well with dessert. The taste was managable despite the alcohol content, usually when the alcohol content is high the alcohol is almost unbearable for me. Slight burnt aftertaste, but went great with vanilla ice cream. Feels heavy in the mouth but like I said lighter than most imperials. Very drinkable in my opinion, this could sneak up on you fast. Very good and very well priced at $5.99 for a 6 pack.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.13/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - opaque brownblack with small tan head that leaves nice lacing.
S - chocolate and vanilla, cream, dark malts, simple.
T - chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, cream.
M- thick, medium-heavy mouthfeel, alc covered aftertaste is roasted coffee and chocolate/cocoa.
O - good beer/good deal, its a good ris, similar to gf double stout

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Photo of freed
4.13/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was there for the Muscat, but the bartender insisted that I try this. I think it was the bourbon barrel version of this beer, but can't remember for sure. Anyway, thanks.

The body was such a deep brown that it appeared black, its feathery head also such a deep brown that it looked like a desert. After sipping, beer would work slowly through the foam - a cascade in reverse.

The aroma was of smoke, char, and cherries, and it was evident that bourbon played some part in the life of this beer. There was also the slight aroma of coffee, but the char took the front.

The taste had distinct parts - there was a smooth sip followed by a tart, cherry sourness, and finally a rich coffee and chocolate stout. It was a surprising series of events, but I'm quite fond of the additional burnt oak and bourbon flavors in the middle - almost like a different drink with an imperial stout chaser.

The combination of dark malts were quite tasty as well, but the 4 oz sample I had seemed to be enough for me - at least during the summer.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Black body. Can't even see light through it when held up to the sun. Dark brown head.

Smell - Strong dark fruit and coffee bean.

Taste - Strong coffee with lots of alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Lots of bite. Not much carb.

Overall Drinkability - Good beer. Strong as all hell. Would have again.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the W Series 650 ml. bottle stamped: 11:37-WA-DEC1012. Sampled on November 30, 2013 less than two weeks from its expiration date.

The pour is black as a starless night with a moderate pillowy mocha head that eventually settles down and leaves lacing in its wake.

The aroma has dark malts, rye, and the slightest touch of cherry. A little booze too.

The body is medium to full.

The taste begins with dark malts and rye like the aroma suggests but there is a boozy character that filters its way in at the end and that's what lingers on the palate. If the boozy quality could have been more muted I expect this would have been a dynamite beer. That's not to say it is a bad one.

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Photo of Bockrules
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a motor-oil black with a 2-finger, chocolaty head. Head stays intact all the way down the glass, leaves behind a few large splotches of lacing.

S - Big and roasted. Picking up hints of chocolate malt, Molasses and wheat.

T - Chocolaty upfront. Molasses and chocolate notes dominate the body, while a bit of wheat flavor and hop bitterness linger in the background. Finnish is dry and leaves a bit of dark chocolate and plume aftertaste.

M - Heavy body, moderately carbonated and exceptionally creamy. The beer seems to expand to fill the entire mouth with chocolate goodness.

This beer goes big, and reminds me of a bolder Black Butte Porter in many respects. I've had Imperial Stouts that boost more complex and bolder flavors and smells, but not at this price. For around $8.50 a six at the local grocery, this beer is a steal. Must pick up another six or two...

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Photo of jkdrummer
4.06/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's alive and frothy! Wonderful head, beautiful jet black color. Taste is smokey, coffee overtones, current berry like sweetness that's not too sweet. Heavy mouth-feel but also a little bitter on the back of the tongue. Some alcohol overtones as well, you treat this as a dessert very filling ale. Kinda tame for an Imperial, but still a good brew.

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Photo of lonestar4lunch
4.06/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours the expected deep, inpenetrable black with a large black head that slowly fades. The aroma is great. Roasted malts, light cocoa with slight grains and a hop finish. The taste is of toasted malt, oatmeal, choc, some coffee and has a nice hop bite that was not truly expected. I love the drying bitterness of this brew and really appreciate the low sweetness level and truly amazing drinkability.
For many reasons this is a sixer you need to pick up. They could've easily charged $2 or $3 more and it still would've been a good deal. It is a very well done, large scale approach to the style and for my taste they nailed it.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This isn't the greatest RIS on the market, but it's hard to beat a beer this good for the price.
Nice malty aroma with mild to moderate roast, a little coffee, some chocolate and sweet caramel/toffee. I've been sitting on this for a bit, so maybe there was more hops when fresh, but not too much now.
Very dark black with little hints of light on the edges. Smallish dark head that leaves some lacing and doesn't know when to leave.
Nicely balanced flavors for style. The hops are here pretty big and bold and preventing any excess on the sweetness. More roast here and the dryness bitterness from that with the bitterness from the hops make quite a finish. I like the hop flavors along with the bitterness.
Very nicely carbonated beer with soft, yet full bubbles that soften the moderately heavy drink very nicely.
This beer drinks dangerously easily. I repeat the sentiment of my first line.

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KGB Imperial Stout from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 293 ratings.
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