The Brew Site

W’11 KGB Russian Imperial Stout

Each 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.