5 Barrel ‘Hero Of The People’ R.I.S – Chocolate and Chilli edition


“The Russian Imperial Stout is the king of stout styles and is a favourite with craft brewers around the world. They’re dark, high in alcohol, generally hoppy and are full of rich flavors like dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and molasses. These stouts age well and can be cellared – if you can stop yourself from drinking them fresh!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a short tan overlay. Steady reduction but minimal lace is left on the glass as we hook in.

Aroma: Similar to the chocolate and peanut butter version as in this also seems to have a sturdy R.I.S base but the adjuncts – chocolate and chilli – appear to be MIA. More so the chilli component as the rich roasted malts do offer a robust chocolate profile. We’re also picking up subtle vanilla, five spice, licorice and a somewhat nutty quality in support.

Flavour: If we were blindfolded and had to guess the adjuncts we’d be saying dark chocolate and sea salt. At least the chocolate is present, as for the chilli… completely MIA. Maybe just the slightest hint of heat but that could be emphasized by the 10% ABV. Thankfully, the classic R.I.S characters of coffee, burnt chocolate, licorice and ash saves the day and finishes off in style.

Mouthfeel: Big and brawny, medium-full body with mild-moderate Co2. The 10% ABV is pretty well behaved for its size.

Overall: It’s really surprising to see such mediocre dark beer from these guys. We’ve had some top notch stouts from them before so we can’t understand how an ingredient like chilli can’t be brought through at all?! Heres hoping the coffee & vanilla version blows us out of the water.