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Old 11-29-2008, 03:02 PM   #11
TerapinChef
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Default Not getting any other reviews, so....

Here's my judging from the brewbubba's big beer brew off.

Judge 1: 31/50

Aroma 8/10

Coffee, toffee and licorice. Very light esters (prunes) some alcohol aromas with warming

Appearance 3/3

black, practically opaque, small ring of dark brown head at edge of glass

Flavor 12/20

Licorice, expresso flavors up front. Light fruitiness, moderate bitterness
Finishes roasty, spicy, alcoholic. Little harsh on the palate

Mouthfeel 3/5

Medium high body, medium carbonation, aggressive alcohol warming, solventy

Overall Impression 5/10

Drinkable stout, a little thin for style, as well as could use more malt complexity. Licorice-like character dominates, alcohol seems a little harsh. Could benefit from more aging.

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Old 11-29-2008, 03:03 PM   #12
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And judge #2

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Old 12-08-2008, 02:35 AM   #13
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STILL waiting for my last review...

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Old 12-17-2008, 01:35 AM   #14
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So the original tasting notes from the first bottle got tossed when the wife cleaned out the office, and I just got into the second one last night. Good thing you're not pushy!

888 Russian Imperial Stout


Pour/Aesthetic:
Good hiss, normal at least; the head was maybe 1/4" with no lacing, and was a very dark bone color. The beer is really black/dark brown with slight reddish brown highlights if you tilt your glass just right.

Aroma: A bit of roast & toastiness, big burnt toast and dried fruit with some coffee and a ton of chocolate to round it all out. There's a hint of alcohol but it's not overwhelming. Above all, it has that awesome "dirty potato chip" (as in, the actual brand, not a dirty potato chip) aroma that I first picked up on my first bottle of Bell's Expedition, and loved, and now I look for it in every American imperial stout I try. There's really no hop aromas.

Palate/Mouthfeel: Mid-weight, not too thick. Again with the Dirty Potato Chip thing. Very balanced bitterness, with very faint hop flavor and well-defined malt character (culminating in a toasted raisin bread note). The dried fruit and big coffee/chocolate again come through here, but it doesn't last long, as the dirty chips thing rules the finish again. There's a good amount of roast, not a ton, not overwhelming. A touch of astingency is really the most noticeable flaw, but it's not a big one. The alcohol is well-hidden, and it's quaffable. Very impressed with the final sugar levels and the balance with the IBU's.

Proximity to Style:
Aside from not having a ton of roastiness (which I think is often overdone in many American RIS's), it's very close to what I consider to be one of the best American versions (but not necessarily a Russian Impy Stout), the Expedition.

Overall Impression: Very close to mine, I think, but the dirty potato chip thing put it over the top. Very nicely done, pretty much the best of the bunch (yes, I do remember that much from the original side-by-side tasting!) Well done!

Score: 38/50
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98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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