Empress Catherine | Short's Brewing Company

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Empress CatherineEmpress Catherine
Very Good
122 Ratings
Empress CatherineEmpress Catherine

Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Empress Catherine is a dark, opaque stout with sweet aromas of molasses and black currants. Rich flavors of dark chocolate and heavy roast provide a malty balance to the pronounced bitterness in the finish.

Added by CMUbrew on 11-13-2013

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 122 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of MichPaul
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of jlmathis
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of BuckeyeFaninMI
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 1/27/2014. Pours pitch black color with brown edges with a 1-2 finger fairly dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, char, toast, pine, floral, grass, light citrus, light smoke, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of deep roasted malt and a good amount of pine/floral hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, char, toast, light smoke, floral, grass, pine, and floral/roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, coffee, cocoa, roast, char, toast, floral, grass, pine, light smoke, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and balance of deep roasted malt floral/piney hops flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and lightly chalky/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial stout. All around good complexity and balance of deep roasted malt and floral/pine hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of EB1
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of ralerwen
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Syracuse12
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of BMart
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of azdback
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of tommy5
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Zach136
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of atone315
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of rkf1976
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of BEERschlitz
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Stinger80OH
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Sirvis
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Knutron
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of BrewtalHonesty
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of PaulyB83
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Bottling date has rubbed off.

A- Pours black with a slight amount of light coming through on the edges. Has a medium sized light brown head.

S- Some dark roasted malts, slight black currant, and a hop presence that is definitely out of style.

T- Similar to aroma, coffee, dark chocolate, some black currant, finishes with lots of hops.

M- Light for an RIS.

O- You really could label this an Imperial Black IPA if you wanted to, I think it might get better scores as well. Not a bad beer but just less than what I'm expecting for a RIS, especially one from Short's all of their stouts that I've had to this point have exceeded my expectations.

 677 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of adamant1912
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Morakaton
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Served from refrigeration, sipped as it warmed from cool to room temperature. Bottle dating - unknown, but the beer just came out in early February

Well, this beer marks the second of the 4 beers Short's had lined up near the beginning of the year that I've been wanting to try (the first being Publican Porter, my all time favorite Porter, the third Goodnight Bodacious, and finally Freedom of '78). Upon reading some of the other reviews, I was a bit worried this beer wouldn't impress me, but I think some of the negativity comes the idea that this beer is a big thick and chewy imperial stout in the likes of Ten Fidy and FIS, when it's actually it's own unique thing.

Appearance and aroma - The beer poured a nice dark brown, not quite the darkest of any imperial stout, but dark enough. There was quite a bit of character in the foam, with a nice amount of lacing. The nose led to impressions of char and smoke, roasted malt, and a rather boisterous amount of hops for an imperial stout!

Mouthfeel and taste - Like I said before, this stout does not have the same extremely thick body of other imperial stouts, and is slightly watery, docking it some points. With that said, it was still rather consistent feeling, lacking a bit in carbonation but not disappointing overall. The beer tasted roasty with a hint of char, and a bit of nuts came through too. The hops were very prominent when it was cold, but as it warmed the hop balance became very nice. Booziness was mostly prominent at cooler temperatures as well, but faded as it warmed. I would think the dislike here is that the beer wasn't as chocolatey and malty as other staples in the imperial stout category, and the nuttiness may confuse people as well. However, I found the beer unique in that regard. Just because a beer is titled imperial stout does not necessarily mean it has to be a clone of the big guns, right?

Overall - It's definitely worth a purchase if you can find it at a reasonable price. It's not nearly as strong as Publican Porter or Goodnight Bodacious, and definitely not the norm in it's category of beer (but anything from Short's hardly ever is), but it's still a great beer from Short's.

 2,216 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, dated 1/27/2014 on the neck. Extra'd to me by Nesto114. Thanks a lot David! Poured into a Bell's snifter today, 3/2/2014.

Review #465.

App- Pours just like a RIS should, though looks a bit watery as it pours. Dark black body, one finger tan head, fair retention that dissipates into a thin collar, plenty of lacing.

Smell- First descriptor that comes to mind is nutty. Faint dark fruits, dark chocolate, charred malts.

Flavour- Tastes even more nutty than it smells though nowhere near peanut butter nutty. Charred malts, dark chocolate, bitter black coffee with an strong herbal, earthy finish. Solid flavour profile, clearly a hopped up RIS.

Mouthfeel- Thinner bodied for a RIS; chalky but not very thick and even a bit watery. Drinkable, aftertaste is charred malts and a bitter earthiness that leaves a fairly dry finish. Not difficult to drink, no heat.

Overall- Solid, hoppy RIS that suffers from a thin mouthfeel compared to others of the same style. It's also quite nutty, which is not something I associate with Russian Imperial Stouts.

 1,064 characters

Photo of Cotton_27
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Mitchster
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$2.19 for a 12oz bottle @ BevCo. 8% ABV and 55 IBU's per the website. Imperial stout?

Pours out to a very dark brown, not quite black, forming a small head with poor retention and no lacing. Thin layer of sediment in the bottle. Mild carbonation, ~2.0 carbs or so. The nose immediately reminds me of Founders Porter or the Old version of Kalmazoo stout when it was brewed in Kzoo way back when. Plenty of roast, burnt marshmallows, lots of black walnut, a hint of dark chocolate, and I'm guessing Willamette hops. Very nice nose. Mouthfeel is full, a little chalky and charred, moderately strong hop and roast malt acidity. The taste is a recap of the nose...lots of black walnut. The acidity of the hops and roast interferes with it's potential smoothness. Moderate hop flavor in addition to it's moderate bitterness. Green leafy hop in the finish. Moderately astringent as well.

As other reviewers here have noted, this is an aggressively hopped (slightly bigger, but not Imperial) stout. It doesn't have many of the characteristics of other quality Imperial stouts in that it's not as full bodied, is a bit lighter in color, is more burnt/charred, is lower in ABV and OG, more aggressively hopped, and has no dark fruit character. Still, it's a decent refrain from other stouts if you're in the mood for something like this, but I think it's a misnomer.

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Empress Catherine from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 122 ratings