W’11 KGB Russian Imperial Stout

Widmer W'11 KGB Russian Imperial StoutEach year Widmer releases a new, (possibly) experimental beer in their “W” Brewmasters Release series, and this year’s edition was based on a wildly popular beer that (until now) was only available on tap at their Gasthaus Pub: KGB Russian Imperial Stout.

I’d never had the KGB, but I’d been hearing good things about it so I was thrilled when I learned it was to be the W’11 beer. So I picked some up and was not disappointed—in fact, if you can still find this on the shelves, buy it up now because I think this was (is?) the best deal on a good Imperial Stout that I’ve seen: it was selling for only something like $8.99 for a six-pack.

An extraordinarily good deal for a 9.3% ABV beer, and I hope this comes back as a regular or seasonal like some of the previous “W” series beers have.

Appearance: Opaque and black (dark brown) with a big tan head; not as thick a pour as, say, The Abyss. Fantastic legs.

Smell: Roasted barley notes with nice coffee accents. A touch of chocolate and some nice sweet creamy notes.

Taste: Big, dry stout with coffee and chocolate in the background. Gets sweet in the middle, with a touch of molasses. There’s some hints of alcohol but it’s not hot or boozy like you’d expect. Easily drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied but a touch thin and not sticky like some. Finishes more dry.

Overall: Terrific beer and a fantastic deal.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of B. On RateBeer, it scores 3.65 out of 5 and is in their 97th percentile.


  1. If KGB was a short, limited run available only in bombers, BeerAdvocate would have given it an A or A-, even if it were the same exact beer.

  2. I was thinking along the same lines! 🙂

    Interesting to note that on RateBeer, even though it’s 97th percentile overall (across all styles), it’s only 53rd by the Imperial Stout style… in other words, even though it barely rates “average” for Imperial Stouts, it still ranks in the top 3% of all beers for RB…

  3. This sounds like an awesome beer. I love stouts the most out of all beers. I am especially found of Founders KBS whenever I can find it.

    Best regards,

    Dave (www.howmanybeerscandavedrink.com)

Comments are closed.