by Brouwerij Het Nest

I am a quiet fan of the Het Nest beers, and I’d been looking forward to tasting this beer for a few years but could never seem to source any. Finally we get to make that right.

As you might recall, Brouwerij Het Nest hails from the Belgian town of Turnhout which is also home to several different companies that produce playing cards and export them around the world.  Every beer label is designed to a playing card theme.

A ‘Dead Man’s Hand’ is a pair of black aces and eights.   It is said this was the hand held by Wild West Lawman (and gambler) ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok when he was shot in the back of the head by another poker player, so is considered an unlucky hand by poker players today.

Much luckier to be holding this Russian Imperial Stout.  It is a big, dark intimidating beer full of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and dark fruits in the aroma.  They all follow through in the flavour.  Chocolate and dark dried stone fruits like figs and raisins provide the sweetness, with the roasted malts and coffee cutting through.  There is a little smokiness to the beer, and a hint or licorice or star anise.

It finishes reasonably dry, with a good level of bitterness accentuated by an herbal spiciness in the finish.  Personally, I would have enjoyed a little fuller and softer mouthfeel, with a little less sharpness to the finish.  But that’s just my preference, it’s a good beer just as it is.


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More Russian Imperial Stouts

De Moersleutel Motorolie Wedzone Sliwki

by Brouwerij De Moersleutel

De Moersleutel's renowned Motorolie Russian Imperial Stout, with added smoked plums

Emelisse Barrel Finished #1

by Brouwerij Emelisse/Slot-Oostende

A big Russian imperial Stout aged in Bowmore Whiskey barrels

Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout

by Brouwerij Emelisse/Slot-Oostende

Like black engine oil, rich and complex. An interesting take on the style, aged 2 months on oak

Emelisse White Label IRS Old Smokey Bourbon

by Brouwerij Emelisse/Slot-Oostende

An Imperial Russian Stout aged in a single use Old Smokey Bourbon barrel

Emelisse White Label IRS Red Wine Blend BA

by Brouwerij Emelisse/Slot-Oostende

An Imperia Russian Stout aged in red wine barrels and then blended for packaging

Kees 1750 Export Porter

by Brouwerij Kees

A Russian Imperial Stout brewed to an original English recipe from 1750

Kees 1750 Export Porter (can)

by Brouwerij Kees

Kees' award-winning Russian Imperial Stout

Kees Zeeuwse Bolus Stout

by Brouwerij Kees

A rich Russian Imperial Stout with cinnamon and brown sugar, based on the traditional Dutch pastry dessert

Totem Speculoos Stout

by Totem

A big and rich Russian Imperial Stout with coffee and 'specula's' (a spiced Dutch shortbread biscuit)

White Pony The Crow

by White Pony Microbirrificio

A massive Russian Imperial Stout of 14%

Also from Brouwerij Het Nest


by Brouwerij Het Nest

A lovely blond bitter beer from one of Belgium's home-brewing success stories

Klevere Tien

by Brouwerij Het Nest

A perfect beer for the colder nights, dark roast malts, stone fruit and gentle spicing

Schuppenboer Tripel Grand Cru (Cognac BA)

by Brouwerij Het Nest

The Hobby Brewers have taken their successful Tripel recipe and upsized it for this Grand Cru...then left it lying about in some Cognac barrels for a while

SchuppenBoer Winter 2020 Rum Barrel Aged

by Brouwerij Het Nest

This is the annual winter (rum barrel aged for 2020) version of Het Nest's signature tripel