Tsarina Katarina | Scotch Irish Brewing Company

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Tsarina KatarinaTsarina Katarina
43 Ratings
Tsarina KatarinaTsarina Katarina

Brewed by:
Scotch Irish Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sammy on 10-23-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 42
Reviews by Quej:
Photo of Quej
3.49/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Pitch black, with dark head which quickly disappears.
S - Smells are quite roasty and burnt, lots of coffee tastes coming from the malts accompanied by a strange sour note.
T - Starts quite sour and quickly becomes dark and burnt and leads to an espresso-like finish. It tastes quite boozy and lingers rather bitterly.
M - Rough and drying, really quite thick and coating. Very heavy body.
D - Could barely finish the bottle with a friend. This isn't the best imperial stout I've had. It was oddly sour and quite harsh.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my most excellent Secret Santa biegaman for this brew. Cheers!

2005 vintage. Pours as black as scrooge's heart. Slight head. Nice lacing on the glass. Smells mostly of coffee and malt. Huge taste of malt, choclate, and coffee. I would swear this was a Breakfast Stout clone if I did not know better. The 9.0 ABV is very hard to detect and this is extremely drinkable. This is truly a fantastic RIS & I am thankful for the chance to try it.


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Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 vintage, bottle at Volo.

This beer pours a complete black, no light at the edges, with practically nil for head, even after a vigorous pour, and no resultant lace. It smells of fleshy, meaty malt, tangy caramel, and somewhat astringent booze. The taste is bitter caramel malt, a bit hot, and earthy hops. The carbonation is on the low side, the body smooth, silky, but kind of thin overall, with a sweet, herbal finish.

Kind of a disappointment after having its little brother, the John By, which had a heftier body and none of the off-flavours, however small they are here.

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Photo of Sammy
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chocolate, chocolate. Chocolate liquor appearance, chocolate aroma, thick but not very thick chocolate taste, with carbonation behind it. I had it a couple of weeks later, at the launch at Volo and now suitable carbonation, very good mouthfeel. A bottle a year and a half later and it is ageing very well. A soapy rich head and thick choclate with some sourness and some coffee, a bit of astringency, finishing iwth the great chocolate.

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Photo of BeerZack
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted back in December, thanks to HardTarget.

Dark brown, appearing black. Small fine head.

Smells sweet and pruney, also some sour cherries and coffee.

Very tart impression, bitter chocolate, sour fruit (cherries) and a cidery, yeasty citrus thing. odd.

Mouthfeel here may help reveal the problem here, which just might be too much age on this sample (2005), very little carbonation left- almost a still wine feel, watery yet some viscosity.

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

A 341 mL bottle of the 2005 vintage courtesy of biegaman.

A: The stout has the typical black depth, dark as night and letting nothing escape. A cordoban leather-colored head sits atop the beer and clings to the glass.

S: The nose is unusual, not bad or stale, but strong on vegetal notes. Chocolate and coffee do manage to make themselves known. As the stout warms, the roasted grains make themselves more known, saving the aroma from a dull existence.

T: The stout is showing a touch of its age, a few stray grays, not full hair loss. Chocolate and burnt toast dominate the taste, but they have ceded to a flavor that is almost lactic in its tart sweetness. Black cherries add a fruity sweetness that nicely mixes with the chocolate. The beer seems to have stood the test of time.

M: The mouthfeel has a relaxed imperial stout flavor, some chocolate and coffee, but a surprising tartness mixed with black cherries emerges. The finish is a nice baker's chocolate.

D: The 9% alcohol is nicely hidden and the ale has mellowed out. A real treat.

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

Aroma is rich dark malts, toasted pumpernickel, coffee, dark chocolate and cocoa. Pour from the 12 oz bottle is stygian black and oily looking. Head is thumb thick and mocha in color and fairly receding. Fore is coffee flavored and bitter with hints of cocoa and flaked dark chocolate. Burnt pumpernickle flavors. Toasted chocolate malts with milder creamy/milky notes. But behind all of this the beer gets a little thin in the finish. It doesn’t detract from the flavor, but it does detract from the feel of the beer. Also, the intensity isn’t what you’d expect out of most of the big boy Imperials, but there is a nice flavor profile here that makes it quite a fun drink. A winner.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a thick black color stout with a medium creamy dark brown head with good retention. Aroma has lots of rich sweet chocolate with hints of alcohol and coffee. Taste is a well balance mix between medium sweet dark chocolate with subtle coffee note in the background with some figs/dry raisins also noticeable. Bitter hops are discernable at the end but they are well balance and not overpowering which made me enjoy this beer even more. Body has a creamy texture and is quite full and alcohol is well hidden. Wow! I knew this was a good brewer but to be honest I never expected something so good.

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3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Only an inch of peppery carmel colored head is achieved even with a strong pour. Quickly fades leaving no lace. Body is like used motor oil thick and black. Nose has tones of bourbon, coco, soured dark fruit and raw minerals. Enters the mouth quickly letting you know that this beer may be past its prime. Soured malts are followed by tart dark fruit skins. You then get some mineraly run off and a bit of a burnt malt that adds some balance. There is a lingering dry powdery feel that reminds me a lot of bitter chocolate. Mouthfeel stays along these same lines. Drinkability of this one is just about average for me.

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Photo of weeare138
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to DrJay for this...
Appears a midnight black with brown edges and a tan head that fades into a foamy collar and cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted nuts, cocoa, milk chocolate, ripe fruit, brown sugar, and French roasted coffee.
Taste is of fresh fudge, roasted grains, molasses, toasted nuts, and milk chocolate.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with raisin-like tannins and a touch of anise coming through. The finish is moderately thin but overall enjoyable.

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Photo of baiser
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on cask at C'est What after their festival of small breweries. Poured a dark brown, without much head. Aromas of espresso, dark fruit, chocolate and caramel. Body was a bit thin for me. Taste of dark, roasted coffee, with a bit too much sweetness. Roasty, burnt bitterness provided a nice touch. Maybe I'm just used to imp stouts from west coast USA, because this didn't quite do it for me, but it's a very nice beer from scotch irish.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled and shared twice at Volo's. The best Canadian beer sampled during the trip and one that seemed almost impossible to locate at the LCBO.
Poured opaque black with a head that had longer retention and better lacing than I expected from an Imperial. Espresso and coffee mixed with scotch aromas.
Roast toasty goodness that was complex in the manner that the flavor modified during warming/drinking. All the roasted malts one would expect with a hint of bitterness. Very well balanced between the two (many RIS just go overboard on the bitterness).
Is there rye in this? Had a dry finish. In between some sips, I did get the pumpernickel that someone else mentioned.
Mouthfeel was just right, not too thick, not too thin. Drinkable as all get out. If it wasn't so rare, high test and expensive, one could pound this one all night.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Edition 2005, got this from northyorksammy, thanks again!

The beer pours a viscous inky black color. The head is settling into a thin glass-sticking brown cream. Beautiful picture this is.

Smell of roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate. The smell makes me suspect the use of a large amount of unmalted grain like oats or rye. There is a nice fruity yeast flavor present, which adds just that little extra in complexity.

Taste is wow!! full and roasted and has a nice warming alcohol burn going on. Roasted notes remind of coffee and dark, unsweetened chocolate. The alcohol is not sharp, but it is warming. Bitterness is high, given the age of the beer it must have been higher when fresh. Bitterness is a combination of hops and maltbitterness. The English yeast gives a nice fruity taste. Body is full and the carbonation is fine bubbling, which makes the beer really smooth on the tongue.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 release, acquired from DrJay courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of rich chocolate and dark roasted malts with touches of dark fruit and alcohol.

T: The taste is very malty as you would expect with strong flavors of chocolate and dark fruit, but overly sweet. There's a mild alcohol sting and a very mild hops presence. The positive effects of age seem very apparent to me even though I've never had the beer fresh. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent beer to sip on for a while if you've still got some left after 3 years, but it would be interesting to see how well the beer holds up for an even longer period of time.

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Photo of Voonder
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Viggo for this!
Pours very dark brown whith coffee color thin head. Smell - coffee mostly, some plums on the back. Taste - wow! Somple, but great! Plum-like frutinnes hits at first, then some toasted sugar, coffee and caramel. Alcohol is very vell hidden. Beer is very well balanced and very drinkable! WoW!
Thanks again Eric for this great extra!

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i would like to thank grub for this wonderful sample of of a hard to get beer.

tsarina katarina pours thick as motor oil with a color to match the brown head is very thin and composed of small bubbles.
the aroma is very malty and rich with a chocolate aroma dark rummed fruit and a hint of alcohol.
the flavor is malty with a firm roastiness, and a good bitterness, there is a hint of a sour twang, there is a lingering coffee flavor as an aftertaste.
over all a good imperial but starting to show its age, screw off caps maybe?

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Photo of nflmvp
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to biegaman for this sample, via proxy DLD trade with Grub. 2005 Vintage labeled on the bottle neck.

Poured aggressively into a 24 ounce snifter building a small pebbly head of mocha and tan. The head disappated relatively quickly, leaving a light foamy ring with very little lacing on the glass. The beer is a very dark, almost impenatrable and thick.

Smell is chocolately and biscuity with coffee and alcohol.

Taste is chocolately like the smell but with more roastiness and coffee. There's a caramel sweetness along with dark fruit as well.

Mouthfeel is very full and coating, to the point that it stays with you for a little bit....in a good way. A thick and viscous drink.

Drinkability is good enough that I feel like another one would be good. I think I'll wait though. I don't want to drink the last of them so soon after I got them.

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Photo of grub
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, 2005 vintage.

pours inky black, opaque, with a thin dense dark brown head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass. a bit of spotty lace.

aroma is great. roast. touch of alcohol. dark chocolate. espresso. hint of smoke. caramel. rich bread and biscuit malt.

taste is nice. lots of roast. medium bitterness. bittersweet chocolate. espresso. cherry and date. caramel. big bread and biscuit malts. hint of alcohol.

mouthfeel is good. nice big body. moderate well integrated carbonation. light astringency.

drinkability is great. this is really well balanced and has mellowed a little with age. great fresh, i think it's even better now.

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Photo of JanM
3.39/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tar brown, thick and with very little foam. A very distinct smell of oranges with notes of chocolate. Almost the viscosity of syrup and tasting of organges, chocolate, some espresso and ashes. It's a heavy and full-bodied beer but the strong organge taste threw me off. It makes it a bit sickly. Improves after it has calmed down a bit.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - opaque black, a thin cover of mocha provides a little color contrast. It fades quickly, leaving just some stray wisps on top and a streak or two on the glass.

Aroma - dark roast, sweet with raisin and fig, some chocolate syrup and soy as well.

Taste - nicely roasted malts, dark but with some papery oxidation flavor. Not totally unexpected from an '05 bottle. Decent notes of coffee beans and bittersweet cocoa. A touch of char on the swallow, finishes dry and with some lingering roasted malt. Dried cherries edge through as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation is light to medium, which I tend to prefer in the impy stouts. Still enough to prickle the tongue but nothing that fills the mouth. The body is thin for the style, the flavors would come across bigger if the feel was more sturdy.

Drinkability - thanks to Viggo for bringing me this at DLD09. It may be ideal around 24 to 30 months, but it's pretty tasty as is, too. Thanks Eric!

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Photo of Mindsquall
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at the Beer Bistro, otherwise an impossible find around here.

This poured a perfect beautiful black leaving a nice thick tan head that lingered for a while. Smell was quite fragrant, mocha, strong roasted malt. This is also carried into the flavor, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, lots of coffee. This is quite complex. The roasted malts carried into the aftertaste leaving a profound bitterness in the finish.

Overall a thick heavy brew that I enjoyed, but would only consume in moderation.

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Photo of Derek
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a thick, syrupy, dark, DARK, black. Tan head, not much retention, but some nice lace.

S: Dark chocolaty maltyness, espresso & a slightly boozy aroma.

T: Remarkably smooth, with a pleasant bitter roastyness. Espresso, dark cocoa powder, black-strap molases, pleasant hop bitterness. The flavour intensity and depth isn't extensive, but it's REALLY good. The alcohol is apparant, but not the least bit assertive. There's some underlying fruity esters from the ale yeast... but I'd prefer a little more.

M: Thick, full body is slightly acidic and chalky. Moderate carbonation is pleasant and slightly prickly.

D: Exceptional for its strength and style!

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Photo of Noxious26
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured in a pint glass. This 2005 rendition found it's way into my hands thanks to Viggo.

Opaque and ebony in colour. Dark black, like it's sucking the light out of the room like a black hole. Dark brown head is 1/8 inch on the pour and reduces to a thin ring that sticks around to the very end. Looks like thick motor oil when pouring. Big clumps of lace stick to the sides here and there.

Aroma of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, burnt malt, roasted malt, dried fruit (specifically plums) and vinous (particularly red wine). Aroma is deep and complex and seemingly unveils different scents with each sniff. A scent in the first smell might not reappear for a few sips.

Taste follows the aroma closely. Burnt malt, vinous, plumy, prunes, dark chocolate and a little bit of burnt biscuits. Aftertaste is burnt and vinous.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, thick and chewy with minimal carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

The best Imperial Stout that I've had the pleasure of tasting. This is basically what I think of when I think of an Imperial Stout, only this has a nicer mouthfeel and tastes better. My previous forays into the dark, black, impy stout world have not always met with the best success, but this is one that I would love to revisit again and again. Bravo Scotch Irish.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mad beer karma to both viggo and grub for sending this beer my way as part of BC-2! The beer was lightly chilled and served in a snifter.

Appearance: The beer poured a solid blackness with no ruby opaqueness to light. The head was about one finger high and colored a burnt tan coloration. Splashes of lacing remain behind on my glass.

Smell: The beer is loaded with the smell of dark roasted espresso. It doesnt rise to the level of peche mortel espresso but it is a peg or two down from that. The beer has a nice supporting chocolate. Bourbonesque alcohol whafts across the smell.

Taste: The beer delivers on a roasty toasty chared coffee and chocolate maltyness, dark fruit raisins and plums, I would swear this beer was charcoal filtered. The alcohol is present but it gives a spicy kick to the beer.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is full bodied and has low carbonation. The roasted flavors linger. The alcohol is a bit prickly but in a good way. This was hard to put down. Sadly for me my wife has already placed dibs on the remaining bottle of this beer.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz bottle vintage dated 2005 received from Viggo last year at DLD and the Heavy Metal BIF. Thanks, Eric, you're too kind!

A: Jet black with a dark brown head. Retention is OK, receding to a disk rather quick. Attractive foam on the side of the glass

S: Unsweetened bakers chocolate and fruit character with raisins and plums. Mild burnt malt bitterness is present on the nose, and that works very well with the chocolate, creating a creamy nose. Licorice and a little anise are present as well. The oxidation has added plenty to this beer.

T: Strange. It opens up with a mild sourness seems quite terribly out of place. It's not an infection, it just seems like sour grape and cherry skins, with a pretty big fruity sourness. I wonder if my nose is way off. Along with the cherry, there is some unsweetened chocolate as well. The sourness segues into a dry, moderately ashy finish. The malt seems to have been completely washed out, as I don't get much flavor, really.

M: Pretty full in body with soft carbonation. Apart from the sourness, this is pretty good on the finish

D: I'm really not in the mood for this, unfortunately.

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Tsarina Katarina from Scotch Irish Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 43 ratings