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Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
82
good
92 Reviews
THE BROS
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Raspberry Russian Imperial StoutRaspberry Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by smulkowski on 03-25-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
92
Ratings:
386
Avg:
3.6
pDev:
28.61%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
70
For Trade:
6
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 386
Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - It looked black enough to be a Russian Imperial Stout. Let's allow the comparison to end there.

Smell - This Russian Imperial Stout smelled like a raspberry candle or air freshener. The smell certainly did not make me want to drink the beer.

Taste - At the front, I detected burnt chocolate malt. The raspberry notes very faint and seemed very artificial. It tasted more like raspberry flavoring than raspberries. If there was an intention to make an imperial stout with a sweet fruitiness, this beer has a serious lack of sweetness.

Mouthfeel - There was a degree of thickness, but I would certainly not qualify it as motor oil thickness.

Overall - I told my brother not to buy this one. He did not listen. Now you can listen to me: You need not buy this one.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer looks a bit more like an imperial porter than a stout, a somewhat opaque dark brown with a reddish golden edge when held to the light. The head—once it warms a bit—is pretty good, a manila-colored, frothy, sticky inch or so with good retention.

S: I loved the smell of this beer. The initial wave is a burst of tart raspberry, fresh, real, and juicy—delicious. It's followed by a chocolate and burnt coffee dark malt, some brown sugar, and a bit of bitter smoke. It all mixed together beautifully, in my book.

T: A bit of a mixed bag here. The raspberry flavor was outstanding, again real, fresh and wonderfully tangy. The stout was, IMO, a bit underpowered. The chocolate and roasty dark malt was there, but it just didn't quite have enough heft to really balance out the berries, and the bitter coffee-like finish seemed to fight the raspberry rather than complement it.

M: This is where the beer didn't quite get it right. Again, it really need a bit more weight and body. The carbonation was mild and fine, but it really lacked the heavy, creamy, dense smoothness of some of the better imperial stouts.

O: Overall, I'm still a big fan of this beer—the berry flavor is fantastic and really works well with a stout flavor profile. If it were paired to a fuller, richer stout, it would really be a top-tier beer.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Gator Beverage. Pours dark brown to black with one finger kahki head. Looks thin for the style, but maybe just me eyes playing tricks. Aroma is roasted grains, bit of chocolate, and what smells like rotted fruit. I got a similar aroma from Dark Horse Tres. Pretty thick mouthfeel. Roasted chocolate up front, followed by some radpberry, then finishes with lots of bittersweet chocolate. This is not nearly as offensive as Tres and the raspberry provides a subtle flavor that doesn’t linger too much. Medium carbonation and a pretty good beer. Expected this to be very sweet, but it is more bitter than sweet. Maybe feuit is better for a sweet stout. I still don’t think the fruit helps anything. This seems like an excellent base stout with no need for it.

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Photo of goochpunch
2.65/5  rDev -26.4%
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 FrankShirley
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of the 2012 edition of this beer today- bottle says "MAR 12 12" on it. Only had it in the fridge for a few hours before I opened it up, seemed like it was just about the perfect temperature, not too cold.

A: Pours very dark, with an inch of foam on top. About 1/8" of foam lasted throughout.

S: Aroma is strong with raspberry puree or jam

T: Notes of bittersweet chocolate and hops are in each sip. Strong, artificial tasting raspberry flavor is also impossible to miss

M: A mix of hoppy carbonation hits me and dries my mouth out a little

O: I had much higher hopes for this beer. I think I got it confused with another Widmer Bros beer I was looking for when I picked this up. Overall, this reminds me of one of those truffles that comes in the Whitman Samplers chocolates- dark chocolate w/ raspberry filling.

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Photo of Daktyls
4.21/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours the usual imperial stout coloration and appearance, pitch black with a tinge of brown, a nice tan mocha head about 1 finger in height that dissipates to a fine lacing around the outside of the glass.

S: The beer gives off a faint raspberry smell that is present from about a foot and a half away, upon closer smell, the usual imperial stout flavors dominate, putting the raspberry notes on the back burner. Present is coffee, cocoa, roasted malts, and a bit of sweetness, likely the raspberry.

T: Again, cocoa, coffee, and dark roasted malt tones mostly dominate the taste, with a faint hint of raspberry in the mix, giving a sweet, light fruit flavoring to a style that usually has dark fruit notes. Some sweet notes are present along with a little bit of what tastes like blackberry.

M: Nice, slick, and oily on the tongue with a mild amount of carbonation well suited for the style. A nice taste remains after the finish.

O: Overall, quite tasty, this would definitely be a buy again, a worthwhile choice from the style, exhibiting a slightly sweeter quality than most imperial stouts have.

 1,106 characters

Photo of BKBassist
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 Batch.

A - Poured into a tulip. Initially poured a great two finger mocha brown head, stuck around for a bit. Otherwise, this looks like a stout. Deep dark brown, bordering on black.

S - Roasted cocoa and bittersweet chocolate, tiny hint of sweetness.

T - Milk chocolate, finishes with the sweet raspberry. There is a tart and acrid character here as well. Still, roast and chocolate dominate.

M - Silky smooth, nice amount of carb.

O - One of the better offerings I've had from Widmer. A very enjoyable, highly drinkable take on a slightly sweet RIS, if not overly complex or really showcasing the raspberry.

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Photo of Gavage
3.06/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1/2" tan colored head that falls quickly to a thick surface foam. Some lace paints the glass.

Smell: overtly sweet raspberry flavor hits you first, follow by a roasted malt aroma.

Taste: big roasted malt here, leaning a bit towards a burnt flavor. The raspberry flavor is like a sweet syrup, and doesn't seem to mesh here at all. Dark coffee, prunes, molasses, and a strong bitterness are the other flavors. There is a chaulkiness here too. Alcohol is definitely noticeable and warming.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Light crispness to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste here.

Overall: this is a very slow sipping beer that seems to have flavors that don't marry at all - the fruitiness stands apart from the roasted malt and coffee tones. Tough to finish a glass, let alone the larger bottle.

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Photo of jlindros
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Shitty plastic wax was very hard to get off even with the pull tab, and fractured and went flying across the room.

Pours a decent fizzy slightly fluffy dark colored head that fades semi quickly then slows to a med pace with nice lacing, over a pitch black beer, no light coming through.

Nose brings dark roasty malts, pretty much all roast and char, burnt characters, like the malt was burnt to oblivion, a bit of cocoa too which I was hoping there at least was some, slight acrid burnt coffee, very burnt coffee, and faint raspberry fruity aroma, touch of a booze aroma.

Taste starts with a raspberry actually, more like bitter tannic raspberry seed though with a bit of juice, then into the dark malts quickly. A decent dark chocolate and cocoa do come out a little which blends well with the raspberry. Then a bit more roast and char, a bit of burnt coffee but not much, powdered cocoa comes through, and a bit of roasty char. Just a touch acrid, and some warming booze also in there. Finish is drier but a bit sticky sweet still, lingering burnt coffee and dark roast, as well as some powdered cocoa and hint of raspberry seed.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, some warming booze, fairly thick almost creamy, decent carb.

Overall not bad, but not nearly as good as I hoped it would be. Very dark malt characters, with too much burnt roast and burnt coffee esp on the nose, chocolate is there but more mild than I hoped, raspberry brings more seed than juice and is barely there on the nose. Booze is about on par, but just doesn't quite hit where the beer should be.

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Photo of BilbosNuts
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Very dark brown in color, but some light comes through along the edges. A one-finger, mocha colored, creamy head sits on top and leaves behind cobwebs of lacing. Appears very still.

S: Typical roasted malts upfront, followed by a subdued fruitiness of raspberries and a mild coffee finish. Overall, a bit toned down.

T: Similar to the aroma with roasted malts and a finish of sweet and lightly tart raspberries. I'm able to experience the raspberries in the taste more so than the aroma, which give it a slight puckering effect while adding a touch of sweetness.

M: Medium bodied, with a slick finish. A carbonation level that is enough to allow the flavors to wander without being intrusive.

O: Not a bad offering overall. The addition of raspberries was a welcomed one which added a unique element to one of my favorite styles.

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Photo of yamar68
4.16/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage - poured into a tiny ass glass:

The chocolate and raspberry control the schnoz... smells like the Northern Lites mocha that I used to make at Caribou Coffee.

Chalky milk chocolate, dry vanilla and raspberry extract. I think it's actually pretty tasty, I'm a total sucker for raspberry though... Raspberry puree with hot chocolate and caramel.

 357 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Congregation Ale House in Azusa, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a thick cap on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and slight berry aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and berry flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but the raspberry aspect is pretty subdued.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours nearly black into my chalice, with a cola-tinged opacity near the rim when held to light. Head is very short-lived, trickles to nearly no foam.
I smell the raspberries, along with bitter cocoa/ roasted coffee, booze.
Starts off with coffee grinds, then comes the creamy raspberries, and with a strong bitter, boozy finish. Not complex and could use more balance.
Feels slick and creamy. Sticky, smooth but with a strong medicinal feel to the aftertaste. .
Worth a shot if you like trying different imperial stout flavor experiments. Otherwise for me, I wont be revisiting this one shortly, especially at around $12.00 a bottle.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.09/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for fruit-infused stouts, so this tickled me anyway. 650ml bomber purchased from Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Pours a deep black-brown, with good clarity at the edges, and with a certain sheen of red-pink in the hue. Head forms with frothy ebullience and settles down to a fine ring. Lacing is minor and patchy, but present, at least. Body is surprisingly light, but the carbonation is fine. Overall, it looks pretty good: at least as good as it should look.

Nose is musty and dark, with a mild roasted character than nonetheless remains rather smooth and clean. Some leafy freshness comes through as well: perhaps a slight lift from being truly a straight, dark RIS, but no real raspberry character on the nose at least.

The flavour is where this beer starts to shine: here the raspberry is pronounced, providing a bright, fruity counterpoint to the roast and dry darkness. This is certainly based on a Russian Imperial Stout, which is often darker, roastier and drier than the American style. But the raspberry provides that lightness, the sweetness and the character that stops it from being too intense. On the back, there's a lovely mingling of the charred roastiness and the fragrant berry.

Feel is quite light: the dryness on the palate translates into quite a light, dry feel as well. However, given this is 9.3%, it's quite impressive how clean and light this feels. The booze is extremely well hidden.

Overall, yeah, I'm a sucker. This is a decent (if dry) RIS, made interesting with raspberries and gaining balance and structure in the process. I think that the fruit addition to big stouts is always interesting, and in this case I think it helps a lot. I'm a fan.

 1,714 characters

Photo of LittleDon
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a bottle aged approximately 6 months.

Visually appealing with a good amount of lacing a jet black appearance. Faint amount of raspberry and roasted malt aroma, albeit a bit light for the style. Same goes for the flavor. Hints of raspberry and a mild burnt sugar finish. A bit on the dry side. Solid but not great. Medium heavy body and average carbonation.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance- Pours a nearly pitch black color with a one finger tan colored head. The head fades over about a one minute time frame to leave a fantastic level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is heavy of a roasted malt smell with some stronger smells of chocolate and coffee as well as a nice bit of a caramel sweetness. Mixed with these smells are some lighter aromas of raspberry as the name would suggest giving a sweeter chocolate and raspberry flavored coffee smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a big roasted malt flavor with a decent chocolate and coffee flavor up front. It begins slightly sweeter with some almost milky and caramel flavors. As the flavor advances the chocolate gets stronger while the coffee remains relatively constant. During this time a vanilla and raspberry flavor come to the tongue. The raspberry gets stronger to the end of the taste, but never makes the brew too sweet as toward the end the milky, chocolate and caramel flavors dwindle a bit and the coffee flavors get even stronger. These drier and roastier coffee and raspberry flavors mix with a little bit of a boozy flavor to leave a warming dark flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The mouthfeel is on the average to slightly lower side for a stout of nearly 10% abv with a carbonation level that is a bit on the higher side. More creaminess and less carbonation would likely have suited the drier fruit and roasted cocoa and coffee flavors a bit better, but overall not bad.

Overall – A pretty nice imperial with a moderate and not to overpowering raspberry flavor. A nice one to give a try if you are looking for a brew to just sit back and sip slowly.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.01/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle - $11.98 at Sherlock's in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a black body topped off with a sizable (though, it settles fast), foamy, beige head.

Smell: Heavily roasted malts, giving a noticeable creosote aroma, along with acrid coffee, bitter chocolate, boozy wafts, and raspberries, natch.

Taste: Again, there's the astringent, blackened maltiness. A lightly sweet touch of dark chocolate helps, but it's in far too short of supply. Then, there's the raspberries. Sometimes, you're treating to a really great raspberry taste. Other times, it's a slightly medicinal, off-putting Smarties flavor. It certainly leans towards the latter here. Burnt, berryesque, warm finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's definitely not Olde Hickory Lindley Park, that's for damn sure.

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Photo of yankeepride
2.78/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Based upon my enjoyment of other Widmer beers, I was really looking forward to this one. After getting through the purple wax, it had a fruity aroma, but not quite as sweet/tart as I was expecting. Had a good dark pour, with a really deep head. Took a taste, and ... raspberry? Just didn't get those here. It had a roasted malt taste, with just a bit of a tang, and then a slight bit of berry on the aftertaste. However, it wasn't a good flavor throughout like I was planning to enjoy. Wouldn't buy this one again.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.46/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, a little lighter than most black ass double stouts, but sometimes when you have bright colored fruit additions, that will dilute the blackness.

Aroma was burnt malt and sweet berries. Don't get your bramble hopes up, not anywhere near that good. Milk chocolate is a nice contribution to the aroma.

Taste delivers some tartness from the raspberries, some alcohol from well, it being a beer, some bitterness, probably from both hops and acrid burnts malt. Slight coffee-esque existence in the mouthfeel as it warms. Wish it had more 2 row. A tad too thin for my tastes. Could do without the small anise aspect, even if small, its distracting and doesn't help the beer here. Tastes like the KGB RIS from '11, but with some berries thrown in.

Ultimately, while I might have spent $10 for a 6 pack of this beer, that amount of money for this bomber assures that this will not be a repeat purchase. Decent, but would not purchase again at such a high price point.

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2012 offering poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown/black with a lovely 2 finger brown khaki colored head. Some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Roasty malts, some smoke, and raspberry. Very little if any chocolate or coffee in the aroma.

T: Getting a nice smokey-ness, roasted malt, toffee. Getting some dark fruits in there as well, raspberry is coming through but not over poweringly so.

M: Medium bodied, not overly thin but on the thin side of full bodied. Would prefer it to be fuller. Slight bitter finish, almost no residue sweetness/creamy feel which I crave in Imperial Stout. About the perfect amount of carbonation and hides the alcohol well.

O: A very solid offering, though I would like more coffee/chocolate and a thicker body. Outside of those minor complaints its a pretty good beer. One that I would buy again next year.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark. Near black. Beige head with excellent retention.

Bitter cocoa and vinous notes, interpreting that as the raspberries. Roasted grain and spent coffee grounds. Creamy aroma.

Chocolate, rugged roastiness, char, whiff of smoke, light licorice, and nuances of berry. As it warms more, a perfumey raspberry skin and floral note comes through.

Smooth enough. Somewhat chewy. Good balance with a medium carbonation.

A fun try, but not the moneymaker.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout pours a black color, with a nice lasting brown head. There is a diaper like aroma with hints of berries and coffee. The taste lucky has a nice blend of roasted malts, coffee, and hints of raspberries. Great blending of all the flavors, nothing is overpowering, and good full flavor, and also the alcohol is subtle. Overall a nicely put together beer, very enjoyable.

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Photo of Rutager
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance. Pours a very deep brown, but not as dark as most in the style. A finger of tan head caps this glass and leaves behind some decent lacing.

Smell. Sweet chocolate and dark roasted malts with some red berry and a little bit of citrus.

Taste dark and very roasty, slightly bitter malts along with some dark chocolate, red berries and a bit of fresh dark fruits. There are some bitter, lightly piney hops in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel. On the low side of full bodied with below medium carbonation.

Overall. A decent RIS with the nice (albeit slight) addition of raspberries.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a pretty big head for an imp stout. Tan, sticky, about 4 fingers high. Smells like chocolate covered cordial candies. You do get a nice raspberry scent from it. Like a chocolate covered raspberry jam.

Whoa, very big, very wow, lot going on here. Tart raspberry with big chocolate flavor. Massive viscous body. Sour tartness big roasted flavor on the mid-palate. Big underlying bitterness. Not a sweet beer in anyway, very bitter black chocolate with dark fruit pure. I like it.

You can really taste the raspberries and they go well with the rich roasted chocolate dark character of this brew.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Final Gravity in Roseville, CA

Appearance - A deep, dark ruby brown with served to me with a thin, light tan head. Fair retention. A lining of everpresent bubbles cling to the surface around the glass.

Smell - Strongly boozy on the nose. Faint raspberry and chocolate character struggle to pop through behind this boozy oppressor.

Taste - Thankfully, the brew is tamer on the tongue than on the nose. Big raspberry sweetness upfront, quickly anchored down by a massive bitter chocolate character that hits mid-taste, then gives way to a mildly roasty finish. Raspberry is there too, though severely diminished by the gauntlet of roasty malt depth.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied. Sticky. Low to moderate carbonation. Smooth drinker.

Overall - Well, I'm sold. At $12 for a bomber? Not so much. On tap for $6? Yes please. Fine dessert beer here. Does well to balance out the raspberry sweetness, which a few of the raspberry based brews fail to do.

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Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.
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