Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Question about Russian Imperial Stouts

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by igorquad, Apr 5, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. VladTepes

    VladTepes Initiate (156) Oct 18, 2012 Finland

    Also more rosty than sweet side IMO. Fantastic brew anyway, of course, but maybe not for OP.
  2. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, just know you are in the vast minority on this one.
    TravisR and udubdawg like this.
  3. igorquad

    igorquad Initiate (0) Mar 30, 2013 United Kingdom (England)

    Kabert and Thornbridge seem nice but hell, are they expensive!
  4. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,725) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Yep and I think I'm okay with that. I'm also in the minority on many issues, including that craft beer is nicer than mass produced beer.

    It is pretty crap though. Especially when compared with all the other incredible stouts you can get.
  5. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    The guy is starting out with the style, there are far superior stouts out there no doubt, I was giving him a starting point that won't assault his palate, baby steps. And saying you dislike a beer that the craft community predominantly enjoys is a little different than liking micro over macro and thinking that's going against the grain.
  6. Thehuntmaster

    Thehuntmaster Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2009 South Africa

    Hmmm they work when I click on them.
    They are:
    Thornbridge Hall Courage Russian Imperial Stout

  7. Thehuntmaster

    Thehuntmaster Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2009 South Africa

    Assuming you get a good bottle. The bottle I had was almost sour :confused:
  8. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,725) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Be careful though, Speedway is expensive even for a US import. It's gonna set you back £25-30, if you can find it that is!
  9. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    Depends where you are. In BD Camden I think it's £17 to drink in which isn't bad vfm tbh.
  10. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,725) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Woah okay cheaper than I thought. Not bad considering you get 2 decent servings from it.
  11. jtdolla911

    jtdolla911 Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Thats a Belgian version of Imperial stout but really good nonetheless. Off the top of my head i would suggest Hercule stout
  12. VladTepes

    VladTepes Initiate (156) Oct 18, 2012 Finland

    Yeah, really big Imperial Stouts, but defenetely on the sweet side.
  13. cyrushire

    cyrushire Crusader (728) May 25, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    If you get De Molen from the Netherlands, I'd suggest Hel & Verdoemenis.
    BKBassist likes this.
  14. fox227

    fox227 Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 California

  15. Thehuntmaster

    Thehuntmaster Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2009 South Africa

    I love H&V, but it is certainly NOT for the OP just yet. It is very roasted and pretty damn bitter.
  16. Smitty1988

    Smitty1988 Initiate (0) Oct 16, 2012 Arizona
    Beer Trader

  17. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,725) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Smitty1988 likes this.
  18. eric5bellies

    eric5bellies Meyvn (1,266) Jun 9, 2006 Australia

    Everyone will revert back to a certain beer style that suits them. For me that is Tripels, Quads and Lambics. I have never really liked IPA's, they just don't do anything for me. But i'm guessing some IPA lovers feel the same way about lambics. So each to there own !
  19. lic217

    lic217 Champion (846) Aug 10, 2010 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I agree. I was not a big fan of this beer as well (Samuel Smtih Imperial stout). It actually is one of my least favorite RIS. However, I love their oatmeal stout, taddy porter, and nut brown.
  20. cyrushire

    cyrushire Crusader (728) May 25, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I think it's actually really well rounded in its flavor profile. Sure it's roasty and with 99 ibus it's bitter as well but it doesn't have that rotten chicken soup quality that plagues so many RISs. Ever had Doggfather? That's a horrible example that I'd forewarn anyone from drinking. I personally think H&V is one of the best examples of the style.
  21. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,725) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Yeah the oatmeal stout and taddy porter are actually pretty good. Particularly the oatmeal stout, a style I never found many other attempts really get right.
  22. lic217

    lic217 Champion (846) Aug 10, 2010 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I love their oatmeal stout with desserts, pancakes, waffles, or french toast. It has a lot of flavor and is low ABV. Definitely one of the beers I always like to have in the fridge.
  23. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Finally got around to tasting Cocoa Psycho.

    Its safe to say this is a pretty atypical example of the style and to be honest not an especially good one. Its hard and angular instead of being rich and dense and there's so little going on until you hit the late middle palate that you can't help being slightly amazed that a beer of this thickness and alcohol can have a noticable fizziness at the start. But then the signs were there even before I opened the bottle. It was relatively inexpensive for an RIS and the short BBD tells you that this beer doesn't have the inner core and structure to develop over time unlike more classic example of the style.And the boozy hue it weighs to the drinker is concussionlike.

    If I was you I'd continue to look into trying other Russian Imperial Stouts. Harveys LeCoq Imperial Extra Double Stout , Thornbridge Hall Courage Russian Imperial Stout , Wells & Youngs Courage Russian Imperial Stout and Nogne Imperial Stout are all better, more palatable and typical of the style and they can be purchased in the UK relatively easily. They aren't cheap though.

    Chuck this one up to experience but bare in mind that though BrewDog can produce some tasty beers they often fall short of the mark. Its what happens when your company succumbs more to relentless marketing, expansion and media exposure at the expense of the consistent quality of what you are brewing.

    Hope this helps.
    igorquad likes this.
  24. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (193) Feb 25, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I don't know if this is a direct corellation, but when I started drinking wine, I like the light, sweet white stuff. I hated big reds. Of course now it's the exact opposite. It takes time to develop a palate for robust, intense (wines/beers). Don't force it and enjoy what you like but expand your horizons a little at a time.
  25. igorquad

    igorquad Initiate (0) Mar 30, 2013 United Kingdom (England)

    Thanks a lot everyone for their input. I think I have learned a lot and I have decided to not give up on this style yet. I will get a few others to try, especially the ones on the sweeter side, before dismissing the style altogether.

    I have two other questions though:

    Are there any significant differences between a Thornbridge St. Petersburg RIS, and Thornbridge Hall Courage RIS? I am asking that because the later is nearly 3x more expensive than the first one.

    Also, I have noticed that many beers are described as RIS and many as American Double/IS. Are they in theory the same thing? Cocoa Psycho for instance "calls itself" a RIS but is listed here on the website as an AD/IS. What's the deal?
  26. PangaeaBeerFood

    PangaeaBeerFood Initiate (0) Nov 30, 2008 New York

    Keep in mind that a lot of these things are an "acquired taste", and as far Russian Imperial Stouts go, they're by far the strongest, most bitter, most intense beers in that particular flavor profile.

    It'd be like someone who's never experienced spicy food before taking a bite of a habanero pepper and saying it's too spicy. It doesn't mean that they won't eventually come to appreciate the impactfulness of the chili, but it'll always behoove them to start smaller and work their way up.

    My suggestion, find a few American-style Porters or Stouts. They have the same flavor profile of an Imperial Stout, but much milder on that roast and bitterness. If you come to appreciate them, you might return to Imperial Stouts at a later day and find you're opinion to be much more favorable.
  27. jaxon53

    jaxon53 Meyvn (1,131) Mar 1, 2006 Connecticut
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I agree with Hanzo, the Sam Smith is a pretty good, straight forward RIS from across the pond. Probably even better closer to home...
  28. Uniobrew31

    Uniobrew31 Zealot (553) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    RIS is supposed to have a heavy char flavor but they all have a different balance and level of roasted notes. I dont like most IPA's but I have found some that I love. Try a few more before you give up on them all together.
  29. igorquad

    igorquad Initiate (0) Mar 30, 2013 United Kingdom (England)

    It seems I am not getting my order which included a couple of Black Alberts. :angry:

    I placed my order with Belgian Beer Shop and apparently they closed their doors. What a shame that they waited 3 weeks and kept my money for that long before telling me the truth. I don't know what happend but I am quite disappointed with their attitude. Thankfully I paid with Paypal so I should be getting my money back, either the easy way or the hard way...
  30. Treyliff

    Treyliff Poo-Bah (3,195) Aug 10, 2010 West Virginia
    Beer Trader

  31. Reneejane

    Reneejane Devotee (440) Jan 15, 2004 Illinois

    You asked how did we acquire the taste for it? Well, here's a good story.

    we had a recipe in our first homebrewing book (which was little more than a pamphlet) for a Russian Imperial Stout (there were I think 3 recipes in the booklet, actually), so we were going to do that one next. Except... I was oh 22 yrs old, and had only had a handful of real beers. So, I set about to develop a taste for Russian Imperial Stouts!

    I was not a huge fan of Guiness so this was a task.

    I started with Mackeson XXX Milk stout, and drank a lot of those. They're an easy starter beer, really, trust me. Then I worked my way up through various stouts and our Russian Imperial Stout that we brewed came out quite well, actually.

    And, in fact, RIS is one of my favorite styles to brew, and it is the one style we brew more than any other style.

    And, small brag, we got a 41 on a BJCP judged RIS brewed as a gruit. Crazy fun beer that one is.
    igorquad likes this.
  32. Kuaff

    Kuaff Initiate (0) Mar 31, 2013 Alaska

    Hmm. Seems like a lot of people have had to ease into liking Russian imperial stouts. That wasn't the case with me. The first one I ever tried was the fairly hefty Moscow RIS from Midnight Sun, and it was love at first sip. Before that the only stout of any kind I had ever tried was Guinness, which I was never crazy about.

    I feel that my long-held love of chocolate is very closely related to, and maybe the direct cause of, my immediate embrace of the RIS. Love that roasty, charred aftertaste too!
    stayclean likes this.
  33. Torontoblue

    Torontoblue Disciple (371) Jun 12, 2005 Alberta (Canada)

    True, and I never saw the stout on shelves in the UK (Merseyside). First time I tried a bottle was when I moved to Canada! It really is a good one to try with.
  34. MisSigsFan

    MisSigsFan Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Does the UK get Victory? If so their Storm King RIS is really good.
  35. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Having had Sam Smith's take again recently I can sadly confirm that it is not even the beer it was. Which is OK because there are many other good ones now being produced by other more happening English& Scottish breweries.
  36. Kahless

    Kahless Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2013 Kansas

    I've actually had the experience of like RIS less and less lately. When I first got into beer, I really focused on RIS because Old Rasputin was the first beer that made me go "Wow!" But lately the last few times I've had any imperial stouts I've just found them boozy and unpleasant. I think I'm going to sit on the rest of my stock for 18 months or so and see if maybe I'm just drinking them too fresh or something.
  37. semaj

    semaj Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2013 Florida

    Iv been getting into RIS lately and love them. The problem is they all taste pretty similar to me, and I have had Terrapin wake-n-bake, ten fidy, and yeti among a few others. Don't get me wrong, they are all great, but what is a "bad" RIS I could compare them to? Or what makes a bad one not taste as good?
  38. BlackDragon

    BlackDragon Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2013 Michigan

    And the sissification of beer continues:stuck_out_tongue: but seriously keep trying other imperial stouts dont judge the whole style on 2 beers I've never even heard of
  39. MisSigsFan

    MisSigsFan Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    You should check out Leinenkugel's Big Eddy RIS. It has a lot more fruit and chocolate in it than other RISs I've had.
    semaj likes this.
  40. RandyV

    RandyV Initiate (124) Aug 8, 2010 Arizona

    +1 on Old Rasputin; just got done having one. Having said that, tastes really evolve over time. Maybe five or six years ago, I wouldn't have enjoyed this style. Now, it's my favorite. Just enjoy what tastes good to you right now. Cheers.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.