Feb 19, 2013

Widmer Brothers Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout

This is the second of three Russian Imperial Stouts that I received in a package from the kind folks at Widmer Brothers. The first was the great tasting, earthy and robust KGB Russian Imperial Stout. This brew utilizes the same base recipe of the KGB, but brings an additional component to the spy table — Ecuadorian cocoa nibs.

The result of this twist is a brew that is not only still robust, but also adds a touch of sweetness and dark, bittersweet chocolate. It’s just as earthy, if not more so, and drinks just as well. I think I still prefer the standard KGB as a “daily” stout, but for a special treat would gladly bust a bottle of this one open in a heartbeat.


The beer pours opaque black with a dense, dark brown cap. It appears to be a bit fuller and darker than the KGB.


Espresso, rosted malt, strong dark chocolate and a hint of sweetness fill the nose. It’s right in line with the KGB, but with a more pronounced chocolate character.


Darn tasty! It’s just as assertively robust and layered. Strong dark coffee, earthy roast and a more forward though appropriate amount of dark chocolate persists throughout. A similar hop bitterness is present in the finish, but is countered by a touch more sweetness. The brew still boasts a big warmth from the 9.3% ABV.


This beer has everything that the standard KGB has, but with a bit more richness from the cocoa nibs added to the brewing process. It’s not overly decadent like many chocolate infused brews I’ve had through the years, but instead still retains a robust and earthy character while enhancing the chocolate notes. Definitely a tasty beer.

Rating: 4/5

This is a review of a promotional sample from the brewery.

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