Feb 20, 2013

Widmer Brothers Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout

A couple of weeks ago, I received a nice care package from Widmer Brothers. If you’ve been following the blog the past few days, you’ll no doubt have seen the reviews for the brews that it contained. Today marks the final beer in that package — a 9.3% ABV raspberry infused Russian Imperial Stout.

I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two stouts from the brewery (KGB and Chocolate RIS). This one didn’t quite live up to the same levels as those, but it came pretty damn close. Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout, much like the Chocolate, uses the KGB as it’s baseline, but also employs (you guessed it) raspberries as an additional ingredient. The end result is a beer that’s not quite as assertive as its siblings and is one with a bit of a fun side.


This big beer pours opaque black with a dark brown head that fell to a full ring around the surface.


There’s most definitely raspberries in the mix. In fact, it comes across a bit stronger than I expected, but not in a “fruit juicy” sort of way. The brew still has a strong dark coffee character, subtle roast and chocolate notes.


Again, much like the nose, the raspberry presence is stronger than expected — and depending on your mood at the time, coule either be a good or bad thing. The fruit presence isn’t overbearing, but definitely let’s you know it’s there amongst the espresso notes, chocolates and roastiness. If this beer were any sweeter than it currently is (and it’s not that sweet at all), it would be like drinking a chocolate drizzled, fruity dessert. It’s also not as bitter in the finish as the other two stouts, but still packs a solid warmth from the elevated alcohol content.


If the first two stouts were the more straight laced brothers, then this Raspberry version would be like a fun cousin. Sure, the genes are there, but it’s also got a lighter side. The raspberries aren’t overly fruity, but they do temper the assertiveness of the beer a good deal, making it, perhaps, more drinkable for those that don’t prefer a really earthy, roasty stout. It is still an enjoyable beverage, but I just liked the other two a little bit better.

Rating: 3.75/5

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

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