John By Imperial Stout
Scotch Irish Brewing Company

John By Imperial StoutJohn By Imperial Stout
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Scotch Irish Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada
Russian Imperial Stout
3.86 | pDev: 10.36%
Jan 20, 2012
Dec 18, 2007
Notes: None
View: More Beers
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of hopsolutely
Reviewed by hopsolutely from Canada (ON)

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Unfortunately I do not remember when this bottle was put in the cellar - it may have been a couple of years ago, but the brew date tag does not show a year (starting in '10 - and I don't think it was an '09?!). Very different - and I don't know whether it's age-related or intended. Clearly need to buy another one to determine that, but will leave this as a place marker until later...

Pours an oily black with a dense, cascading, large bubbled head. Aroma of spoiled milk and/or wet, rotting whisky barrels - not unpleasant, but very different. Taste is high in molasses and oak tannins, with a bracing finish bitterness, again very distinct. Very strong flavour and not a taste profile I'd choose.
Jan 20, 2012
Rated: 4 by FirstBrewsoon from Ohio

Jan 15, 2012
Photo of Kartoffeln
Reviewed by Kartoffeln from Canada (ON)

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Reviewing a bottle aged a little over a year (bottled 18 Dec. 2010).

A: Pours a seriously opaque dark mahogany, practically black, with a massive, pillowy head of dense tan foam. Excellent retention, slowly dissipating to a heavy, frothy cap and leaving lots of lacing.

S: Roasted barley and chocolate and black malts with notes of blackstrap molasses, cinder toffee, and charcoal. Bursting with dark fruits, loads of black plums, sultana raisins, black and red cherries, candied figs, and a hint of cooked peaches. Faint bubblegum esters and ever fainter grassy hops. Undertones of butteriness, icing sugar, and booziness lurk throughout.

T: Strangely, there isn't much besides chocolate malts and roasted barley with black coffee, molasses, and charcoal notes until the finish. There's a burst of dark fruits followed by nutty yeast and a slight sour note, leading into a lactic tang, black coffee, and charcoal in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied but aging it resulted in unexpectedly high carbonation with a pinprick bite that survives even a slow, hard pour. The ABV is well-hidden and it's relatively easy-drinking, but the long-lasting and bitter finish throws the balance.

D: I'm not sure what to make of this, as I think aging was detrimental besides making it smell fantastic. I didn't take detailed notes on the fresh bottle, but it definitely had lower carbonation and a somewhat rounder palate. I hope to find a fresh bottle to compare to this review ASAP, even if it'll be from Heritage instead of Scotch-Irish.
Jan 12, 2012
Rated: 4 by EskimoDave from Canada (BC)

Nov 28, 2011
Photo of Columbanus
Reviewed by Columbanus from Canada (ON)

3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottling date is Oct 19, 2010, so this beer is a nice 4 months old.

A - black with a thick, brown head, some lacing, reduces to a ring one third way through the beer.

S - aroma is a pungent, slightly sour, almost like red wine. Not sure what is causing that, but it is not very pleasant.

T - A dominant malt flavour, mild at first, then hits with powerful roasted, chocolate richness, with a nice bitter, dry finish. Not much hop character there, it's all about the malt.

M - Smooth, silky, rich creamy texture. Very satisfying.

O - Goes down easy, maybe not as bold and big as the Imperial label might imply. It's at the low end of the alcohol range for imperial. Still a great stout, should be proud to be Ontario brewed.
Feb 21, 2011
Photo of paxkey
Reviewed by paxkey from Canada (ON)

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Love the stubby. Love that it comes from Ottawa where I spent 3 years at Carleton University.

This beer smacks you in the face as soon as the cap is pried. Thick complex malt aroma. It's well below freezing outside so this should do the trick.

After the pour the aroma remarkbly changes to brown apples , a bit sickly sweet, it wafts up from the head.

This stuff sure looks interesting ni the glass. It is very dark brown, close to black as described on bottle. The head is 3 or 4 fingers poured in a chalice. fluffy mocha head. lots of sticky lacing.

I'm past the rotting apples smell and again its pure malt coming through. whiskey, lots of bakers chocolate coming through. and roasty coffee smells.

The booze is present in the sip but it is mostly masked with very burnt tasting malts. tastes like coffee grounds. There is some hops spice and floweriness.

creamy mouthfeel with a long long finish. the beer stays in your mouth for awhile.

a nice imperial stout.
Jan 15, 2011
Photo of bylerteck
Reviewed by bylerteck from Canada (ON)

2.87/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2
It's been slightly over a year since I've purchased anything by these guys and slightly more since I tried the Johny By. I remember hating it the first time but we'll see how it goes this time.

A - Pours pitch black with very minimal carbonation that I can see streaming up the side of the glass. Originally with a one finger head that seemd mocha or brown in colour but it's faded to a few small islands now with some big bubbles. Alcohol clings to the side of the glass tightly when tilted and as I drink it.

S - A good combo of coffee and chocolate. Licorice is very present with some mild roastiness too.

T - Sort of sour. Coffee and chocolate are almost non-existent, just this sort of soury/malty/sugary sort of flavour comes through sadly. Lacks bitterness to balance.

M - Light to medium bodied. Slight carbonation works.

D - At least it smells good. Sadly this is considered one of the best beers in Canada according to BA. Maybe I got a bad bottle but this still needs work. I wouldn't be able to finish one, let alone a few because of the sheer lack of balance and flavours to match the style.
Dec 21, 2010
Photo of spinrsx
Reviewed by spinrsx from Canada (ON)

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a brown/black colour with an average size frothy/fizzy brown head. I can't see much carbonation due to the darkness of the beer and there is just a little bit of lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - malts, roasted nuts, coffee, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it feels very creamy yet light on the tongue. The alcohol is extremely well hidden and the most noticeable flavours are malts, coffee, chocolate and a touch of vanilla. There is also a roasted/toasted taste. The beer finishes with a bitter coffee aftertaste.

Drink - An average stout that I'm happy I tried but would not seek out again.
Dec 13, 2010
Photo of liamt07
Reviewed by liamt07 from Canada (ON)

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Bottle from the LCBO, into a snifter. Bottled on November 3, 2010.

Pours a very dark brown, with a finger or so of reddish mocha head. Fades quickly and tiny collar is left. Nose aint too exciting, mild coffee and vanilla. Some milk chocolate and roasted notes are here slightly. Taste is quite similar, coffee is at the forefront, yet muted overall. No real outstanding flavours here, but some bitter chocolate is balanced with a touch of vanilla sweetness. Mouthfeel could be thicker, and finishes dry and bitter. Good drinkability for the ABV.
Dec 10, 2010
Photo of mrnobody
Reviewed by mrnobody from Canada (ON)

3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
341 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours black with a finger and a half of coffee coloured head which dissipates quickly but leaves some lacing.

S: Smells of roasted malt, chocolate and a metallic sourness.

T: Tastes of bitter coffee with a little sweetness. As it warms, the alcohol becomes more noticeable.

M: Seems a bit watery, suitably lightly carbonated.

D: Drinkability is only okay, the alcohol is masked fairly well but the flavour is lacking.
Nov 30, 2010
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
Reviewed by TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Poured in to Duvel tulip glass.

A - Dark black, thick; small amount of medium brown coloured head.

S - Dark roasted malts, bitter roasted coffee and a slight licorice nose.

T - Bitter dark roasted coffee dominated the palate. Some hints of chocolate and a faint licorice taste round out this one. Overall, the palate is good but not very complex for a RIS and somewhat one-dimensional with the coffee taste.

M - Medium body, smooth. Very lightly carbonated.

D - Surprised that this one is not a coffee stout as the bitter coffee completely dominates the palate. As I continued to drink this one it tasted more and more like a robust coffee porter than a RIS. Still an enjoyable beer, just didn't seem to fit the style as well as I would have liked.
Nov 20, 2010
Photo of divineaudio
Reviewed by divineaudio from Michigan

3.19/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5
341ml dated bottle into a snifter.

pours the color of used motor oil, a thick, greasy, dark brown. a hard pour gives me only a thin film of head that disappears quickly. lacing is almost non existent.

smell is slightly sour and roasty with some dark chocolate. also notes of molasses and tobacco.

taste is mostly burnt malts with notes of smoke. has a sharp bitterness to it and an almost soapy taste in the finish. hop/alcohol content is barely detectable.

feel is fuller with light carbonation.

drinkable, but not sessionable. not a bad beer, but not one i would recommend.
May 31, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
Reviewed by augustgarage from California

3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Courtesy of northyorksammy (thanks!). Poured from a 341mL stubbie into my Portsmouth tulip.

Brunneous opaque body with a beige head which recedes to a tall curling collar and a thin cloud-shaped slick. Multitudinous yet fine sandy lacing coats the sides outlined by a shimmering polish.

Quite malty and a bit grainy nose, with suggestions of ovaltine and chocolate malt balls. Light brown sugar and an undertone of roast as well. Perhaps a tiny note of fruit.

Sharp roast flavors at first along with a bit of hops - scalded coffee, white-chocolate covered grapefruit, and a mix of raw and over-toasted nuts (pecans?). Some brown sugar and black bread crusts in the finish. Oddly both rough and refreshing.

Medium-heavy bodied, creamy but not oily, with decent carbonation. Surprisingly astringent.

An OK stout, but not exactly a triumph of engineering, so to speak.
May 12, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
Reviewed by wordemupg from Canada (AB)

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
341ml stubby bottle poured into pint glass april22 2010

A near black with thick mocha head that has good retention and leaves several partial rings of lace

S some bakers chocolate and faint coffee and the booze is very well concealed

T the coffee is even more faint and the bakers chocolate is not as bitter as it smells, no booze and perhaps some very faint licorice

M quite thin and not enough carbonation to bail it out, a low point for this beer

D for 8.5% it went down like a cold glass of chocolate milk, points lost for weak a feel and one dimensional smell but still pretty good overall

thanks ritzkiss for this one, a good beer but I'm surprised this was on the Canadian top 25 for as long as it was, please don't get me wrong I enjoyed this beer and odds are you will too.
Apr 23, 2010
Photo of Bestuurder
Reviewed by Bestuurder from Canada (ON)

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Poured very dark, hard black colour from a stubby brown bottle. No head and very little lacing.

Aroma is pleasant with oak, chocolate and strong coffee. The chocolate malt scent and flavour are very apparent.

Taste is balanced, a bit strong of coffee, but not overpowering. Light, cask-like, carbonation. Full-bodied and robust.

Definitely a strong beer, yet does not entirely drink like one. One can easily drink another without issue. Slightly chewy and mildly thick is texture.

An excellent brew that certainly goes well with strong cheeses and spicy white and red meats or by itself.

Mar 09, 2010
Photo of kwjd
Reviewed by kwjd from Canada (ON)

3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours an opaque black with some bubbly head that quickly dissipates. Small amount of lacing. Not a huge smell, some roasted malt and faint coffee. The taste is fairly average for a RIS, with some bitterness and coffee. Not too much carbonation for a smooth mouthfeel. It is pretty thin for the style, I wish it was a bit creamier. Still a tasty enough beer though.

Edit: a month and a half later I tried this again and I love it. There may be a consistency problem. This time it is a creamy tan head and proper carbonation. The flavours are coming through a bit more. I bumped my score up to average between both times because the beer I'm having is much better than the C+ I had before.
Feb 28, 2010
Photo of MattyV
Reviewed by MattyV from Canada (ON)

3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
Pours a totally opaque black into a shaker pint glass. Maybe half a finger of dark beige head that recedes quickly leaving quite a bit of lacing and settles into a ring around the glass' edge.

Smells of stale coffee, some mocha notes, pinch of caramel sweetness, but dominated by more of a roasted aroma. Pleasant, but subdued

The chocolate and coffee flavours are evident right away upon tasting, as is the bitterness from the hops. There's also a burnt smokiness that lingers throughout, alcohol content is only slightly evident

Very low carbonation, medium-bodied

Didn't blow me away at all, but a decent, pretty flavourful stout, probably one of my favourite Scotch Irish offerings alongside Sgt Majors IPA.
Feb 26, 2010
Photo of bartle
Reviewed by bartle from Canada (ON)

3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5
Pours an opaque black with tanned brownish head with very big bubbles that dissipate quickly leaving residual sugar lacing around the side.

The aroma is full of chocolate, light wood smoke, plums, currants, molasses and a hint of vanilla. There is a subtle hint of bitter cocoa lingering in and out of the alcohol warmth. Not much hop presence, but that's not a bad thing.

The taste is of bitter cocoa, slightly sweetened, molasses from the nose, some chocolate, hints of stewed dark fruits but not as present as it is in the nose. There are some bready notes from the yeast and a little dry hay like snap on the front of the tongue from the hops. Still, it's chocolate and roast forward, not a lot alcohol fruit flavours or esters. Truly rich in flavour.

The body is a little thin, lower carbonation, oily, a nice dry finish considering the amount of sugar show sticking to the glass.

This is one of the better bottles that I have had.
Feb 21, 2010
Photo of tuvok
Reviewed by tuvok from Canada (ON)

3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Have to qualify this review by saying that I am not experienced with the Russian Imperial Stout style and was trying this one as a follow-up to a sample I had at the brewery. Also, I'm not that big on high-ABV beers and at 8.5% this one was a bit more potent than I normally consume.

Inky black, opaque and mysterious. Very little head was evident, what little I did manage to coax out was a dark reddish brown.

No highlights here, just mainly a faint coffee smell.

A slight sweetness hits at first, followed by a strong coffee taste and a long-lasting and rather bitter finish. Also noticed a faint citrusy/grapefruit flavour in the mix. Despite high ABV, alcohol was not present in the taste.

Smooth with very little carbonation.

Compared with non-Imperial stouts this one finishes more bitter than I would prefer. With that said, the initial sweetness helps to balance things out. Not sure I would buy again but I would not refuse it if offered. WARNING: The alcohol was well masked when going down; however, I did feel it a while after I finished. For a high-ABV beer this one was easy to finish off.
Feb 07, 2010
Photo of uno99
Reviewed by uno99 from Canada (ON)

3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
My first time drinking this, apparently prior batches were better - but here goes:

A: poured into a pint glass. love the huge mocha head and sticky laceing. stubby bottle has alot of sediment left in the bottom.

S: Not huge. smells almost like a mild pub ale. ala boddingtons or somthing. quite roastly. pleasent.

T: bittneress upfront. roasted chocolte and some coffee finish. pretty smooth. nothing offensive.

M: a little low carbontation. feels sticky and full bodied.

D: Would be a nice choice to have a few at a pub or house party - just keep in mind its high alchohol - take smaller sips!
Jan 30, 2010
John By Imperial Stout from Scotch Irish Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 84 ratings