Empress Catherine | Short's Brewing Company

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Empress CatherineEmpress Catherine
Very Good
121 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: 121 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of jmbot4371
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Supergenious
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of JohnnieNepal
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Boverhof3
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of bigaltemple
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of DMarlinJ
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of VonZipper
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of StoutHunter
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Short's Empress Catherine last week for $2.29 at The Lager Mill. I had this beer a couple weeks ago at a local Short's tap takeover and I thought it was pretty nice stout that was a little similar to their Mystery Stout and I'm interested see how the bottles version is, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I know it's fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- the label looks ok, it's got an old Victorian portrait vibe to it, it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice dark black color that took on some ruby hues on the edges when held to the light with two fingers worth of darker tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice patchy rings of lacing behind. This is a very nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart some roasted, charred, and chocolate like aromas with some coffee showing up in the background. Up next comes the hops which impart some earthy, floral, and piney hop aromas with the earthy hops seeming to stick out the most. This beer had a pretty nice aroma, it was very hoppy for the style but the roasted malts seemed like they did a good job and keeping it fairly balanced.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart all the same aspects that they did in the aroma with the chocolate and charred malt flavors seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes the hops which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma with the earthy hops still sticking out the most with a slight bit of piney and floral hops in the background. On the finish there's lower amount of high bitterness followed by a roasty, chocolate, charred and earthy hops like aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting beer, it's very hoppy and it could almost pass for a Black IPA.

M- Fairly smooth, a little rich, fairly dry, a little creamy, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a slightly lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is very nice and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and a nice, but very hoppy version of the style, it was on verge of being a Black IPA and i don't know if I would be able to pick it out as an Imperial Stout, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. This beer had nice drinkability, it was fairly smooth, a little rich, fairly dry, a little creamy, a little filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I could drink a couple of these, I thought the hops would hurt the drinkability a little, but I find this to be pretty easy drinking for the style. What I like the most about this beer was how well well the malts worked with the hops, they didn't seem to clash at all. What I liked the least about this beer was the higher amount of bitterness, I think it could be toned down a little. I would buy this beer again, it was a very limited release so I don't think it's still around, but I would for sure buy it again if they release it next year and I'll be putting a couple in the cellar to see how it changes over time. I would recommend this beer to anyone who likes their Imperial Stouts on the hoppy side. All in all I enjoyed this beer, it wasn't really what I expect out of a standard Imperial Stout, but Knowing Short's I figured they would put a twist on this one to make it a little unique and that's exactly what they did. It isn't my favorite Imperial Stout or my favorite Short's beer, but it may be one of the better hoppy Imperial Stouts I've had and I like it more than Victory's Storm King. Nice job guys, this was a nice and unique Imperial Stout, keep up the good work.

 3,864 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Empress Catherine

$2 single poured into a shaker pint. No bottling date.

Appearance: Pours black with ruby on the sides of the glass. Looks to have good clarity. Half finger beige head. (4.25/5)

Smell: Smells like a black IPA. A lot of hops overlying the roasty base. Bold. Just a lot of earthy hops with coffee and roasted malts. I like it, but not so much in an Imperial Stout. (3.75/5)

Taste/feel: Super silky mouth feel is what I notice first. Moderate carbonation. A little thin, but nice. The taste is like the smell indicates. Loads of earthy hops, but plenty of coffee flavors to bring this beer back down to earth as an Imperial Stout, and not a Black IPA. The hops are mostly present before the swallow, as the aftertaste is bitter black coffee. (3.75/5, 3.75/5)

It's a tasty beer. Quite different, as I haven't had too many hoppy Imperial Stouts. This is a beer I'd return to if I wanted something like a Black IPA rather than an Imperial Stout, just because I'm generally not a HUGE fan of hoppy stouts.


 1,025 characters

Photo of krustster
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of TypsiYpsi
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of dfillius
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of jschott75
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Fargrow
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of breakingbland
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of Flopjack
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip

Appearance - Black with 1/2 finger off white head.

Smell - Hoppy floral notes and very roasty right away, nuts, chocolate, coffee.

Taste - Hop bitterness right at first that leads into a smoky wood like flavor as well as some nutty characteristics. Definitely has roasted flavors, and ends with a mild milk chocolate flavor. Alcohol is not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel - Medium/full bodied, medium carbonation, refreshing, and crisp.

Overall - Good beer. Defintely surprised by the hop presence, but I also got flavors in a different than usual way. Unique.

 577 characters

Photo of thickgirth
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of alelover
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of md655321
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of brycevolk
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of homebrew311
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with a thin collar of tan head. The nose is heavily roasted with dark fruits, earthy hops, and burnt malts. The hops come through quite strongly. The taste is very similar to the nose. Robust hops, heavy roasted character, a bit of earth and chocolate. Mouthfeel is where this beer take a hit. The body doesn't match the big flavors. A bit on the thin side with above average carbonation. Overall, nice flavors here, more body would elevate this beer significantly.

 482 characters

Photo of beergorrilla
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of marcb105
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of sblanton83
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of jmich24
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Empress Catherine from Short's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 121 ratings
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