Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Raspberry Russian Imperial StoutRaspberry Russian Imperial Stout
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American Imperial Stout
3.61 | pDev: 13.85%
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Raspberry Russian Imperial StoutRaspberry Russian Imperial Stout
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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 393 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Pencible:
Photo of Pencible
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque black with moderate thick tan head.
S: It smelled like bitter dark chocolate, with some burnt coffee and licorice and alcohol, and a bit of raspberry.
T: It tasted like bitter dark chocolate, with some burnt coffee and cocoa powder, and a bit of raspberry. It had a bitter and mostly clean aftertaste, with a little lingering sweet raspberry.
M: It was fairly thick with a little carbonation. Oily body.
D: This was a decent imperial stout with good scent and taste and body. It was a little harsh with a bit of alcohol in the finish, so better to sip. Age may help mellow, but the raspberry was already faint to start, so it would probably disappear entirely. Enjoyable beer, but not as great as it should be.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, still not clear whether or not this is retired, as we're getting the 2012 version just now up here in Alberta.

This beer pours a solid black hole (purplish tinge? hah!), with subtle basal cola highlights, and three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and caked beige head, which leaves some sudsy chainlink lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of my mom's raspberry pie puree (fresh fruit, cream, and raspberry Jello), bready, slightly roasted caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, weak latte coffee, and leafy, earthy, and mildly perfumed hops. The taste is bready, grainy caramel malt, a more subdued, but still duly fruity raspberry character (it's very much like this was 'dry-raspberried', which of course seems like an altogether different thing, but I digress), roasted coffee, a bit of isolated wet char, stale cocoa powder, a weak earthy anise note, and tame leafy, weedy hops, all informed by a surprisingly cutesy cold booziness.

The carbonation is fairly understated in its subjugated, barely tangible frothiness, the body an adequate medium weight, and pretty smooth, though any nascent creaminess is kiboshed by the lurking big-assed ABV. It finishes off-dry, the obvious fruity and malty essences not quite being allowed to run the table, as the metallic alcohol and earthy hops testily await their turn to deal.

A pleasant enough raspberry-tainted big stout, with a varying amount of fruitiness, depending on the particular sip, sniff, or swallow, but that's ok, it all turns out fine on that front. Otherwise, not the most complex imperialized version of the style that I've yet to come across, being the slavish base that it is, but again, worthy of tolerating if you're any sort of fan of the guest ingredient.

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Photo of CHickman
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 12/13/2012: Pours pitch black color with a creamy 1-2 finger tan head that was full of bubbles and faded quicker than I expected, leaving decent spotty lacing and a tan layer on top eventually fading to an oil slick looking trail of tan head.

Smells like raspberry up front with an initial sweetness that moves aside for the coffee, cocoa, roasted malt, charred wood, a hint of vanilla and some more fruity sweetness that is a cross between fruit, floral hops and dark chocolate. I'm very glad the nose was not dominated by raspberry with the fruit playing a nice part in the overall experience and helping to hide the ABV with the roasted and chocolate notes.

Tastes like it smells but the cocoa powder, chocolate, roasted malt and vanilla strike first before the raspberry hits the tastebuds. More coffee and burnt notes in the flavor, with other berry flavors, ashy notes, candied sugar, floral hops and orange peel that blend together for a slightly bitter finish that is dry with a tartness from the raspberry. The sweetness is kept at a moderate level by the charred grains and coffee/cocoa, and the alcohol is there only if you search for it. Aftertaste is actually like a blueberry but has the tart feel of the raspberry.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery for an imperial stout, with a medium body that has mild carbonation and as much charred grainy bitterness as it had fruity tart sweetness. I wish it was a bit thicker and more like a meal, but it was quite easy to drink.

I'm happy that this was as good as I hoped for when I purchased it in early 2013, especially after just suffering through the Founders Big Letdown (Big Lushious), which was the same style of stout but 100 times sweeter. It was an effort to get the wax and cap off, but this beer delivered what I expected and was a very tasty winter treat. Not the boldest RIS, but a nice hybrid with the rasberries added that went down smooth and easy.

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Photo of russpowell
3.37/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours an effervescent black with 3 fingers of mocha colored head. Nice vicscious look to this, above average head retention & lacing

S: Raspberry juice, faint roasty notes

T: Raspberry, a little cola, roastyness & Baker's chocolate, plus faint smokeyness & a little boozeyness. Boozeyness, dryness, raspberry, roastyness & a little more carob. Finishes dry, a little roasty & with woody hop notes

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, thins out a bit once warm

Okay, not one I would buy again. I doubt aging this longer is really going to improve this much. Widmer used to make some beers I really liked, not sure about that any more

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Photo of GFG
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of JMBSH
2.75/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of YourOnlyMan
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%

Photo of goochpunch
2.65/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1

Bottled in March 2012

Pours out black with ruby highlights. Head is khaki with a pink tinge. Smells of roasted malts, raspberries and ethanol. Taste is so strong with raspberries. Lots of roast and ashy burnt taste. Kind of works but kind of clashes. Lots of burnt in the aftertaste with a sickly sweet fruitiness. The mouthfeel is nice. Kind of full with creaminess. This is kind of hard to drink.

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Photo of jklecko2
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of akttr
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of krl2112
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%

Photo of bluejacket74
3.11/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle, bottled on date of March 12, 2012. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch frothy tan head that stayed around for a while. There's also a decent amount of lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is a bit weak, it smells like raspberries, roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate. I would say the strongest flavor in this brew is a medicinal raspberry one, with there also being some roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and some coffee noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and coating with a moderate amount of carbonation. At $12.99 a bottle, I wouldn't buy it again. It was nice to try and it's not a bad beer, but I don't think it's worth the price. But if you're going to split a bottle with someone, then why not?

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Photo of SBoyar1
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of nlmartin
1.76/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The beer was chilled and served in a pint glass. The beer was allowed to warm up to a proper drinking temperature.

A- The beer looks nice. The body of the beer is black with minimal opaqueness to light. Thick tan head rides the darkness. The lacing is thick and looks like pancake batter.

S- The aroma has darkly roasted, toasted and charred malty. Sure it has a whiff of cocoa and a light roasted coffee aroma. Sadly try as I might, no signs of raspberry or any other fruit can I find. Vague medicinal and or metalic aroma plays around as the beer warms up.

T- This beer falls into the trap of a straight forward dark roasted maltyness with no real layers. Very little in the way of cocoa or coffee flavors. Cant really find raspberry in this beers flavors. The finish on the flavor is like drinking cough syrup.

M- The body is full but the carbonation could stand to be lowered. Alcohol makes no appearance in the mouth.

O- Frankly this beer has bored the shit out of me. I will hang onto it in the glass and let it hit room temperature before finale drain pour but I dont see this getting any better. This was like drinking roasted cough syrup.

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Photo of jplopez21
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of thufflife
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Lanstrum
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of jak
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Braz
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Parkway Tavern. Reddish brown in color with a thin head that fades to a ring around edge of glass. Aromatics of raspberry like fruit and some dark chocolate. Tastes a bit fruity with dark chocolate undertones. Bitter aftertaste. Body is thin for an Imperial Stout. Sounded interesting but didn't really work for me.

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Photo of marct
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of levylaw
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of macrosmatic
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of ChalupaBatman
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of ccrida
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is black with a thick tan head leaving chunky, foamy lace.

Smell is dark malts, some chocolate, very faint raspberry, from cellar temp to warmer.

Taste is malty, again heavy chocolate, not much roast. The berry remains subtle. A sweet, strong, clean alcoholic flavor lingers on the dry finish. I expected more complexity here, maybe it just needs time to come together as this is a new bottling. A little tight now perhaps, but generally any fruit component is most pronounced when fresh.

Mouthfeel is creamy, medium +, and very dry from the alcohol.

Drinkability is pretty good, but I was looking for a lot more out of the berry, from my memory of having it at previous winter ale fests.

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Photo of Obsidian
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 393 ratings