Hargreaves Hill 2019 ‘R.I.S’ Russian Imperial Stout


“A black, velvety imperial stout with characters of licorice, coffee and molasses. Roasted malts and a rich alcohol presence drive the palate, with a lingering bitter finish.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with a thumb of brown foam resting atop. Good retention and excellent lacing down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Rich and hedonistic. Displaying those heady licorice, molasses and dark chocolate notes with a good helping of heavily roasted malts, raw coffee bean and subtle alcohols/acetone. Something a little fruity in here too – comes off as macerated cherry or figs. Delicate smoky notes opening up as it settles. Bang on!

Flavour: It hits the palate with complete disdain. And we love it. Big warming booze couples with charred malt, molasses, dark chocolate and the faintest touch of cherry. It intensifies midway and really doubles down on the bitter dark chocolate, espresso and licorice. Finishes big and robust with lengthy roast and mild smoke on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Dense, sticky and warming. Full bodied. Low-ish Co2. The 11.2% ABV is evident but can be forgiven considering its size.

Overall: Tidy stuff. 2020 has seen a massive influx of Russian Imperial Stouts but we must admit this one certainly stands out as one of the better non-barrel aged ones. Big ups to HH here this is decent.