Imperial Stout
Nils Oscar

Imperial StoutImperial Stout
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #800
Ranked #18,854
3.89 | pDev: 8.74%
Nils Oscar
Very Good
Imperial StoutImperial Stout
Notes: Brewed with oarts, roasted barley and "lots of different malts". Hopped with many varieties, among them Magnum and East Kent Goldings.

Could be cellared at least 10 years.

17.3° Plato.
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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 158 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by lackenhauser:
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lackenhauser from Maryland

3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep, deep ruby color-bordering black. Sharp, metallic aroma. Low roasted malt and somewhat ink-like smell. Good roasted and mild espresso flavor. Bittersweet chocolate. I find the body a bit thin for my liking. Any stout could use a bit more umph then this has. Overall a damn good beer. Sure has the flavors and aroma of a decent RIS. I say yes.

Dec 16, 2007
More User Reviews:
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taez555 from Vermont

3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this might be my first Swedish beer. :-) As an Erik, well... it's about damn time.

This beer pours a black body with a very small off-white/tan head. You can see a lot of light around the edges. It's definitely not a pitch oil black Imp Stout like some.

Nose is a rich mix of milk and dark chocolate. Very rich and very inviting. Some mild coffee notes, fresh dark malts, just a touch of earth and some faint hints of smoke. It's a very well rounded nose and extremely inviting.

Taste is medium to full bodied with an immediate dark, almost burnt malt, flavor. You can really feel the 7% ABV in this beer right off the bat, as unlike a lot of American imperial stouts, this one is much more subdued and almost tastes, at first, more like a big oatmeal stout or something. Dark coffee, brown bread, dark chocolate, dark over toasted grain, lots of dry wood and some fireplace bricks and just a very very faint touch of smoke. Very mild hop taste with a firm bitterness, but just enough to give it some backbone without ever really coming forward and destroying your palate. Ends with a smooth dark malt bitterness in the finish.

This is a really well balanced Imperial Stout. It almost makes you wonder why American brewers don't aim one or two ABV lower in order to capture more taste. This is almost a session RIS. :-) Anyway, flavor wise it's a little over the top on some burnt touches, but beyond that, very drinkable and very yummy.

Jul 30, 2008
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Rocko from Sweden

2.84/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pitch black color with a small brownish head that doesn't leave any lacing. It smells sweet, together with alot of black olives, which feels a bit misplaced to me. Very bitter taste w/ coffee, and also here are there hints of black olives. I had high expectations on this stout and it was far away to fulfull them, it's certainly not a stout I will buy again. :(

Feb 09, 2003
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GreenCard from Maryland

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown, almost opaque, thinnish layer of light brown foam, good head retention

Aroma: molasses, coffee grinds, soy sauce, hazelnuts, acetone, vanilla

Flavor: full oaty, malty punch edged with roasty graininess, peppery alcohol, and a coffee bitterness; also dark brown sugar and leafy hops; finishes semisweet with a lingering burnt caramel aftertaste

Mouthfeel: full body, zippy carbonation, slick, warming

Other comments: A scrumptious Imperial Stout. The oats give it a slick sweetness to balance the roast and alcohol.

Dec 30, 2007
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tavernjef from Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany brown to settle inky black in the glass. Capped by a small foamy tanned head that lasts briefly then leaves a bubbly collar ring and some large spots and specks of lace coating the glass.

Juicy sweet, deep, and dark fruity aroma with a nice amount of dark bittered chocolate. Notes to burnt vanilla, spent coffee, and a bit of char add some nice dryness over its dark sweetness.

Taste is a bit low ended and short in tone with a semi souring deepenss that sinks in right off the bat of soured burnt cream and vanilla. Slipping into a more softer and smoother tone just past midway of bittering dark chocolate, dark cherry, light char, and a burntish roasty sweetness lifting into some earthy coffeeish dryness as it finishes. Nice balancing act in the finish, but would have liked more length to its overall tone in taste and palate impression.

Body is short of a medium body which carries its most activity within its deeper, darker sour/tartness of bittering chocolate and fruits. Feels a bit empty is all and could use alot more thickness, creamyness, and length to its taste and body.

This does get a bit better as it warms but still not enough to grab my full attention. Still for an RIS its done well but just needs a little more thick blooded Swedish breezyness to it.

Jul 22, 2009
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ElGordo from Oregon

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a snifter. Body is a deep rich black with chestnut highlights, topped by a good finger of creamy tan head. Rich aroma of roasted dark malt, coffee, dark chocolate, and a hint of dark fruit. Palate is primarily dark roasted malt up front, with notes of dark chocolate and coca-cola coming through before the swallow. An assertive hoppy bitterness emerges in the back of the mouth, and lingers through the nice warming finish. Body is a little thin for an imperial stout, although this beer is on the lighter end of the spectrum for the style. The lightness of body does contribute to the beer's high drinkability. A nice offering from a heretofore unknown brewery in my part of the world.

Nov 12, 2007
SPLITGRIN from Kentucky

3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An Imperaial at 7% seems a little weak. You see a little light through the blackness but as it settles into the glass yielding no light. Head is an inch and a half of dark tan head that fades in a couple of minutes leaving a quarter inch of lace. Nose is of big syrupy chocolate and cherry cough syrup and rubbing alchol. Enters the mouth a little scattered with some tart dark fruit, bitter bakers chocolate and cold black coffee. Malt is slightly toasty on the back of the tongue. Bitter feel hangs on the tongue dry and long. Mouthfeel is that same soft dryness with bitter laced in. This is solid but falls a little short for the style though.

Aug 13, 2008
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WesWes from New York

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dark and earthy scent that boasts of patent and roasted malts. The alcohol warmth is present as well as delicate chocolate malt aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth, roasted and chocolate malt flavor with some hop bitterness and a bit of dry, earthy black malt character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a well brewed IS. It's not top shelf material, but it's quite tasty and true to style.

Dec 30, 2009
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color color stout with a medium foamy head with good retention and very good lacing. Aroma of lightly sweet black chocolate with notes of dry roasted malt. Taste is a nice combination between some back chocolate with lightly sweet dry coffee notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done but creamier body would have improve enjoyment of this beer.

Feb 08, 2009
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A vigorous pour produces a fat-one-finger thick, frothy, lightly brown tinged, tan colored head. The beer is near black, but shows flashes of brilliantly clear, deep ruby notes around the edges if held up directly to the light. The aroma is somewhat rich with lots of dark malt character; aromas of chocolate, well toasted rich grain notes, a touch of dark roast coffee, a touch of charcoal, and some earthy, dusty burnt grain husk aromatics. Underneath the dark malt is a touch of burnt fruit character reminiscent of overly broiled raisins and prunes.

Somewhat light feeling for an Imperial Stout, but well within character for a stout of 7% abv. The beer is quite roast dominated with burnt malts providing both a touch of acidity and a palate coating, dry burnt character up front. This palate coating burnt note is counter balanced and somewhat washed away by a sweetness that takes hold towards the middle into the finish and which provides flavors of burnt, sweet plums and roast raisins. This has a fair amount of sweetness to it, especially as it warms up; the sweetness is perhaps not as rich and malty as I prefer in an Imperial Stout, but is instead more like a fruit-forward, clean sweetness. This has a fairly low carbonation (thus the minimal head despite a vigorous pour), this makes this a bit smoother drinking. The beer has a medium heft to it, enough to coat the palate just a bit, but not enough to keep this from being fairly drinkable.

As a contemporary Imperial Stout this seems quite week, but even ten years ago this was a decent strength version. A tasty brew that seems a bit more like a strong stout. I almost feel like I could quaff a couple pints of this brew, which says something both about the strength and the flavor of this brew. Tasty!

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Mar 29, 2008
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mentor from Colorado

3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark borwn with a small md brown head. Dark liquid in glass with dark brown edgings. Smells chocolate, milk-creamy, and oatmeal. Dark toffee with some sourish from black malt.

Tastes wet sweet with chocolate, wcorched toffee, dark fruit and some drying alcohol and roast. Chocolate hangs in the aftertaste, taking on numerous different dimensions. Some sour character mixes with the scorch to create a heated chocolate that mixes nicely with the clean alcohol sting. Really quite nice with balanced wet and dry qualities. Md body, but thin mouthfeel and modest carbonation.

Jun 25, 2008
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anders36 from Sweden

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It has a nice dark almost black colour. It has some roasted smell and smell from hops and tar. The taste is a little licorice/ coffee taste. The mouthfeel is a little weak for this strong beer though. But it is a beer i will drink on cold winter days, since it has a warming feeling.

Sep 06, 2003
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akorsak from Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 330 mL bottle.

A: This is a stout ale, pitch black with no secondary colors visible. Dark as night, the ale sits with a small head in my glass, no lacing or signs of carbonation, save for a small pool in the center of the snifter.

S: A thick malty nose leads things off with nuttiness and burnt toast. The bread is strong, a liquid dinner (or dessert).

T: The body is surprisingly thin for such a strong nose. Dark malts, indeed, dominate the landscape with a bit of a whimper. The body is much more of a plain ol' stout, no double, no imperial. Dark malts and a mild hop sensation are all that this one brings to the table, althoug some coffee lingers behind the thin malts.

M: A stout, one that offers up some roasted malts and some coffee but nothing too strong.

D: I'll finish the bottle but this one lacks the oomph that I'd like from a stout.

Aug 23, 2009
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Crosling from Colorado

4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, Stockholm. Pours brown but appears black in the glass. Full, light brown foam lasts well. Aroma hints of prunes and other dark fruits, along with notes of espresso roast and freshly baked brownie. Flavor is awfully complex, with notes of dark fruit, chocolate and coffee. Lots of taste for its size. Great malt expression. Really great beer.

Jun 09, 2008
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lou91 from California

3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Good looking and good smelling stout. Jet black with some interesting toffee, coffee and bitter chocolate on the nose. The taste was not what I expected. The initial taste was much more like a dopplebock – a pretty good one but nothing like a RIS. Solid malt and bitter hop and chocolate on the aftertaste. Warming helps the flavors come forward more fully. Pretty unique take on the style. Thanks to BA bark in Stockholm for recommending this brew.

Dec 09, 2005
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John_M from Oregon

3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pretty dark blackish brown color with minimal head retention, but pretty good lacinig. On the nose, I get the expected coffee, chocolate and vanilla, with possibly some light, underlying cherry cola. Flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, except there is a hint of licorice and hoppy bitterness on the finish. The beer is at most moderately sweet. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but a bit on the light side for a RIS. The beer finishes fairly well and drinkability is pretty good. There is a bit of noticeable alcohol, but as you might expect from the abv., it's not at all overwhelming.

A nice, competently made beer that I wouldn't hesitate to order again, if money were no object. However, given that the beer sells for around $5 or $6 for an 11.2. serving, for a buck more I think I'll go with a bomber of the Stone IRS. Unfortunately for Nils Oscar, the bar is set pretty high when it comes to RIS, and so there are many imperial stouts that are superior to it, selling for less money (at least here in the States - this beer might be a bargain in Sweden for all I know).

Apr 17, 2009
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Midfielder from Finland

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Almost black colour. A beautiful dark tan head leaves a solid lace. Aroma: roasted malt, dried fruits, smoke, espresso, dark chocolate, cigar box and some lactic tones.

Flavour: raisins, dark choco, bitter espresso and perhaps some licorice root. Beautiful bitter finish. One of the best beers brewed in Sweden.

Nov 20, 2005
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Rastacouere from Canada (QC)

3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown hue, light off-white ring. This impy comes out with a joyous fruit salad aroma to top the chocomalt with typical roasted coffee, well-hidden alcohol and more interesting oat chunks flavors, but it’s less salivating than a perfectly balanced slottskallans from my point of view. Truffles on the tongue, smooth and quite light for the style. Good roastiness. Interesting flour character, but less pleasant off-dryness, not chalky, but somehow ashes-like dusty. Medium body, low carbonation. Above average imperial stout. Cheers Per!

Nov 21, 2004
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Roasted black walnut brown that doesn't make it all the way to opacity (if bright sunshine is available for backlighting). That's pretty much what was expected for a moderate-ABV stout. The pale caramel colored crown looks stellar and is leaving scads of chunky lace all over the upper portion of the glass.

I'm still not sure about that whole RIS thing, but the nose is damn good if we're talking Danish stout. Which we are. It has plenty of roastiness, along with dark caramel, dark chocolate, coffee bean and possibly even a little vanilla. This should be good beer.

Like most all Nils Oscar offerings, Imperial Stout is dee-licious. Please forget about judging this black beauty as an RIS, because it isn't one. It tastes like a straightforward American stout that has a sneaky background hoppiness... which makes it even more drinkable.

Flavors mirror aromas for the most part. Coffee is a whisker more prominent than cocoa, with toasted pumpernickel bread, vanilla and a hint of anise in the mix as well. The hops taste either English or German, not American. That's fine. Every beer doesn't need to be bursting with grapefruit and orange juiciness. Cellarable for 10 years? Uh... no.

The body/mouthfeel falls a fraction short when ABV is taken into consideration. If judged as a true RIS, it would be no higher than 2.5. A bit more malt would help to fill it out and would also promote longer flavor linger. Soft carbonation works well.

Other than India Ale, Nils Oscar has been impressive. Kalasol, Coffee Stout, and now Imperial Stout are all well-crafted ales that I would love to drink again and again. If it wasn't for those pesky problems of limited availability and a high price tag.

Sep 07, 2009
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

If balance is your thing (why not?), then a candidate for the best RIS. Black with little head. A bit of chocolate and medium plus mouthfeel, smooth, lightly roasty and spicey. Minimal on the coffee part. Goes down beautifully. Satisfying aftertaste.

Dec 16, 2007
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bark from Sweden

3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The colour is opaque black, the medium-thick foam deep brown.

The smell is dominated by a dry, bitter flavour with lots of black coffee.

The taste is bittersweet with a burned tone; some coffee, some cocoa. The aftertaste is long and rich, full of fine bitter hops.

Oct 02, 2004
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ppoitras from Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle received via I Want That BIF 2 from lou91. Thanks for the opportunity. Label notched with best by 12 and Mar, so I would assume it's "good" for 5 years, and that this is a 2007 batch, but that is largely conjecture on my part.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, forming a 1/4" cocoa brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head fades to an uneven layer of bubbles quickly, with ample lace. Aroma is dark grains, leathery depth, and vinous. Taste is roasty maltiness upfront, goes a bit fruity tarty in the middle, and the close consists of some lasting bitterness. Mouthfeel is slickery smooth, perhaps a bit thin, and drinkability is reasonably nice. Not a bad brew, but seems to lack a bit of substance.

Aug 26, 2007
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.06/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Even with a vigorous pour, the head is modest. The lace slides down the glass leaving nothing lasting.

Coffee and cream aroma--mild. I note some blackberries and chocolate. I cannot find any hop

First impression is how thin the liquor is. The low carbonation matches this and also explains why there is little lasting head. The flavor is decent even though I detect slight "band-aid" (phenolic). The initial sip is quite muted, but the swallow brings out some mocha and sour cherry.

This is an easy-to-drink stout but it doesn't show any of the characteristics of the classic Imperials. Even as a lesser dry stout, it is watery and flat. A clear miss from a brewery that has brewed far better offerings.

Mar 02, 2008
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DrJay from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks nice, very dark brown with reddish chestnut highlights topped by a dark tan ring with a skim of fine bubbles. Good head retention and plenty of streaky lacing. Plenty of roast in the aroma, with notes of toffee, caramel, and bittersweet chocolate, plus a hint of charcoal and smoke. Bitterness was solid without being obtrusive and the flavour had plenty of caramel sweetness. It was a little fruity too, with some milk chocolate and roast filling things out, along with a hint of burnt/charcoal. The finish was a combination of citrusy hops and chocolate. It was between medium and full bodied and the carbonation was average, giving it a decent texture. Superb balance and plenty of flavour proves that you can make a great IS that's at the very low end of the abv range.

Jan 17, 2008
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drpimento from Wisconsin

4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this bottle a few months ago at Sam's in Chicago. I was worried that it might be turning as two other N O had. But, no problem here. Despite aggressive pouring only a small tan head that is mostly gone and no lace. Color is very close to opaque brown. Aroma is quite nice: malty, roasty, vanilla, cocoa, coffee, and leather. Flavor is about the same with a french roast finish and ultimately a hint of sweetness. Good body and carbonation. Tasty. A hint of alcohol after some swallows. Could be a session beers despite its richness.

Sep 06, 2009
Imperial Stout from Nils Oscar
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 158 ratings