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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 ricke49
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

First and foremost is to note the bargain this beer presents. When converted to 22 oz bomber equivalent, a 6-pack figures out to about $2.45 per bomber.

I've 'aged' a 6-pack of this now for about 6 months...and with some will-power, portions of the 6-er may last well over 1 year.

It is a decent RIS with robust head and lacing; strong coffee/roasted taste including an alcohol warmth. A bit thin for the style; and with moderate complexity.

That said, it offers a great introduction, at a popular price and wide availablity, to the world of the big stout. It is not as smooth or deep as Abyss (understatement) but Widmer has filled a niche here with their 2011 offering. Hopefully its availability and price will lead consumers to explore other Russian Inmperial Stouts.

 777 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$7.99 for a six of Imperial Stout? Sign me up. Picked up while browsing liquor stores & popped one open hours later.

Pours black while watching my resurgent Twins pummel the Giants. Smells of huge roasted malts & a dropcloth of chocoalte. Nice start.

W'll KGB (I like the reference to the Cold War, it tickles the History Minor in me) is bully on the roast; big roast notes come out of the woodwork. Bitter, jilted chocolate stands opposed & isn't far behind the roast. Earthy hops round out the play bill. Chocolate lends a lovely, creamy, full mouthfeel to the brew, & there's no hint of alcohol at all.

Good brew, which is a good thing, since I have five more staring at me with big round eyes from the cellar. Might be drinking a few & laying a few aside for a few months to see what happens to them.

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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 vader
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a medium size head. Smell is quite roasty and dry, with coffee beans and chocolate. A lot of roasted malt and bitter chocolate in the mouth. No off flavors on the finish ends like it starts in your face. I liked this brew because of the price but I would have liked the taste to balance out the alcohol.

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Photo of Zorro
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear deeply brown colored beer with a small brown head.

Smells strongly of burned malt with a smoke and medicine scent. Frankly this smells more like a Rauchbier than a RIS. Smell a little bit of carrot but mostly this is smoke.

Starts out bittersweet and smoky. Mildly sweet and smoky, the Patent Malts really take over in this brew. Not much more than that going on here, basic flavor with no surprises.

Mouthfeel is good.

An OK beer, but with so many great RIS available now this just is an also ran.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

547th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12 oz

App-  Almost black with a two and a half finger head.  Lots of cling, lots od retention.

Smell-  Lots of coffee with faint roasted malts.  Its pretty fresh as well, no trace of ABV.

Taste- Similar to the black IPA's of late.  Malty, roasty and a touch hoppy.  I wouldnt call this an Imperial more American Stout

Mouth-  Medium and medium. A lot of coffee more so than anything.

Drink-  For a 12 oz stout its okay.  Widmer should've gone different style.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle pours a pretty dark shade of black with a squat, brown head. Some spotty lacing and retention is decent.

Nose is roasty chocolate, little bit of sweetness. Some fruit pops through, but overall is a pretty clean smelling stout.

Roasty malt on the taste, followed by some alcohol astringency. The malt depth just isnt there, not overly smooth to say the least. Plenty of bittering hops, but not much in the way of flavoring. Pretty sub-standard Imperial Stout in a well-stocked style category. That said though, it is not all bad, there is value to be had here for a 6-pack under 8 dollars.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.1/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled Jan 27 - consumed 5/31

I'm seeing a lot of Sub-Par reviews and I'm disagreeing with them to a point. For a $8.99 six-pack RIS at 9.3% it's a solid brew and value...not to mention ageable!

A - Black - teetering on dark brown root beer cola. So-so.

S - Dark Fruits, vanilla, coffee and dark chocolate

T - Well...the dark fruits are there, almost a Belgian quad characteristic followed by vanilla, coffee, and chocolate. You'd guess by everything I mention, it has everything solid that a good RIS should. There's a smokey, almost ashy component that compliments all the above mentioned. Not quite offensive, but not happy it's there either. Will it mellow with age....I hope so. Don't mistake this with roasty...because it's ashy. As it warms, it gets more ashy...the price is keeping me from a 3 score.

M - No complaints at all. Oily, velvety slick. It paired extremely well with some moist brownies...my father in law who HATES stouts loved it along with that desert and said he finally found a stout's place in the world. (For him at least)

O - at $8.99 why not pick one up? Good, but nothing to call home about. Mouthfeel was the best aspect of this brew...which is very important when it comes to RIS's.

*EDIT* I've now finished the 6er. Thin, ashy and subpar. Go with Green Flash Double Stout or Old raspy for the 4-pack over this 6er... best advise I could ever give.

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Photo of smm
2.95/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Fitting for the style, pours pitch black with a dark brown head ~1/4 in thick.

S- Big coffee and chocolate notes. Sweet and roasty.

T- Bitter and bitter. Not really getting anything beside bitter coffee. I was hoping for something with more of a chocolate boost, but there is only a slight twist mid sip. Aftertaste is abrasive, like biting a chunk of coal.

M- Medium body, which I kind of like for a RIS, not so syrupy like some of the big-boys.

O- I was hoping to enjoy this more than I did. Nice price point but thats about it. The aroma leaves much to be desired, taste doesn't follow the nose.

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Photo of vkv822
3.16/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours black with a milk chocolate head that leaves decent lacing.

The aroma is quite roasty, with some cocoa, and a light hop backing.

The taste is again of strong roasted malts, with bitter coffee and cocoa backing. There is a slight unpleasant finish, that I want to describe as "ashy".

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied.

This was a decent beer, but the roasted/bitterness it a bit more than I would like, combined with the "ashy" finish I was getting make this something I probably won't get again.

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Photo of ddahlen
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out with little to no carbonation and a thin off-white head. Not as tan of a head as I would expect from an Imperial Stout. The nose comes off with a bit of raisin, chocolate, and I almost get some herbs on the nose, I can't really pinpoint one single herb. The taste hits me with with a load of malty chocolate and coffee, definitely what you'd expect from an Imperial Stout. The mouthfeel is smooth with a great finish. Nice and slightly dry which keeps you coming back for more. Overall, this brew doesn't quite make it into the upper echelon of Russian Imperial Stouts, but for the price, it is one amazing brew.

 622 characters

Photo of JAXSON
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a medium size mocha head. Nose is quite roasty and dry, with coffee beans and dark chocolate, perhaps some rich cream. A lot of roasted malt and bitter chocolate in the mouth. Quite a long, bitter finish. No real off flavors going on, just a bit heavy on the roasted, coffee bean quality I think.

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Photo of claytong
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

so i must say for the price i love it, but for the style its probably been one of the worse ive had (but the style is a big one to be in considering a normal 12 oz ris is gonna cast you bought 5 times more at least)
i have the feeling i wouldnt have given such a nice review if it wasnt for the price which made it seem to taste better.
roasted chocolate, minor hops, molasses, and a little grit.
all in all my mouth enjoyed and its something id enjoy keeping in the fridge and not have to worry about drinking it right away.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look Very dark almost black with 1/4 head and decent retention

Smell Hints of chocolate prunes and figs are all present

Taste Similar to the smell as it has chocolate notes and dark fruit notes but also found a hint of expresso on the back end

Mouthfeel Medium body with low carbonation

Overall Good flavor to this beer with a tangy after taste from the high alcohol. As far as imperial stouts go this is probably middle of the pack due to the fact that it lacks so stronger flavors associated with a good imperial. A beer I can enjoy daily especially for the price. Overall tasteful, satisfying, and relaxing beer

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Photo of NickRivers
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A&S - Pours a pitch black with a two-finger stick chocolate head. Smells of sweet malt and molasses, as well as some bittering hops with notes of coffee and chocolate.

T&M - Sweet and bitter on the front with some huge roasted malt, then turns to a thick coffee flavor with hints of molasses and tons of burnt grains. Very well carbonated medium/heavy body, pretty light and easy drinkin' considering the style.

O - A decent stout.

A very lovely beer, nice use of all the ingredients, excellent use of hops, but just lacked that wow factor. Not that its a bland, simple beer, but just doesn't have the "One for the books" characteristic. When I think of beers to recommend, to tell my friends about, I think of a beer that might not always blow their socks off, but will be pretty damn close. Just tried Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout, which is a lovely light stout with tons of sweet and toasty malt, thats a beer I will definitely try to get my hands on more often, but until Widmer starts putting more character in their beers they'll always be mediocre brews. All and all I consider this a hit on the Widmer variety pack, which ended up being 3:1. Not a bad record for a brewery I without hesitation refer to as mediocre. Gonna let one sit in the cellar for a while with hopes to bring out a sweeter flavor which would do this one well. If your interested in any Widmer beers, I suggest the variety pack. Nuff' said, Stay thirsty my friends!!!

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Photo of flexabull
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a faint white head.

Aromas are of bakers chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits. The aromas are a bit faint, but pleasant.

Taste is toasty, dark toast, light coffee, and bitter chocolate up front. Creamy smooth, with light sweetness, an a hint of earthy hops and alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but a bit light in body for the style.

Overall, a pretty nice imperial stout. Not a powerhouse of flavors, but it's tasty, really easy to drink, and a worthy beer, especially for the very fair price I paid for this. $8 a sixer.

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Photo of fourplayed
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark blackish hue with a thin cocoa brown head.

Smells of Roasted, burnt malts, bitter unsweetened chocolates and coffer with some sweet molasses.

Taste is Bitter dark chocolates and roasted/burnt malts. Some coffer notes with mild background of sweet molasses. Bitter hops also present.

Full body with nice medium carbonation sits well.

A pretty good brew. A sipper that is a tad too bitter for my taste, but still finishes well.

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Photo of 100floods
2.17/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle date of 1/27/2011

very deep, murky cola brown, almost copper in the more clear spots, with a bubbly bronze head. Roasted, brown sugar aromas. Kind of sweet. Nice roasted punch, but a gentle punch, a kick. Small hints of milk chocolate There are some hops trying to come through the malty wall, but throw the flavor off. Kind of a hoppy brow sugar finish that is pretty awful. The roasted and sweet flavors are totally off balanced with whatever else I am tasting, I'm assuming the hops. Definitely some charred or burnt flavors, but not a good smoked or roasty flavor in the batch that I can hang on to The only thing really enjoyable about this is the texture. It's pretty smooth with a little carbonation to help the finish. I feel bad for tossing this beer. I'm glad it's only a 12oz.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle labeled as W '11 KGB.

A: The pour is just about black with a finger of tan head that leaves spiderweb type lacing on the glass.

S: Quite heavy on the roasted malt with a bit of ash/char aroma to it as well. A little bit of dark chocolate, coffee, and some hints of dark fruit. Very mild sweetness, perhaps some licorice.

T: Roasted malt dominates the flavor. A bit of a burnt sugar flavor, molasses, and licorice. There is a moderate bitterness on the back end and a slight ash flavor. Overly roasted coffee is also present.

M: Medium to full in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: There just isn't much to this other than the roast, which I don't find all that appealing.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to schmittymack for grabbing me a 12 pack of this one last Sunday. Poured a nice jet black color with a light brown head. Aromas of roasted malt, dark chocolate and roasted malt. On the palate, full bodied and smooth, with roased malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit and coffee.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with an off-white head. The aroma is heavy on the coffee and chocolate with some roasted malt mixed in. The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of bitter chocolate as well as some charred and heavily roasted malt. The alcohol is very well hidden and is not noticeable at all. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice imperial stout.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.66/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well now, this is a nice looking beer. Black and rich. Bright brown head, thick. Chocolate malt-shake looking...and it just keeps coming. Frothy. Damn, son

Sharp chocolate aroma, a bit faded on the end. Roasted malt and burnt caramel. Black coffee end notes.

This beer is thicker than I had imagined. At 9.3 abv, though, it's kinda smooth. Coffee notes dominate the flavors. Dark chocolate and anise come through as well. Dark fruit, plum.

Easy drinking, this thing is. A bit surprised. At %5.50 a glass downtown Denver, it's a good choice

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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 Fenris244
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Widmer KGB

On tap at Opal Devine's 

Black in color thin tan head minimal retention.

Coffee and roasty aromas, licorice and some chocolate

Coffee comes through really well for me, bits of caramel and a good bit of more roasted flavors.

Heavier in body, keeps from being overly thick though, smooth, alcohol doesn't kick in till I have a hot stomach.

Overall not bad, I know there are better stouts around but for the price this one ain't bad

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours jet black into my snifter, big tan head with nice retention and pretty sticky lacing down the glass.

S - Roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, mild bitter hops, and some dark fruit.

T - Much like the nose, lots of roasted malts and coffee flavors, a bit of smoke, dark chocolate, piny hops, with faint notes of dark fruits.

M - Somewhat thin and dry for the style.

O - Not the best RIP, but definitely a good one! If it was regularly available in my area I would purchase it regularly for the value.

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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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