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Siberian Night Imperial Stout - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Siberian Night Imperial StoutSiberian Night Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,482 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,482
Reviews: 811
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 125
Gots: 137 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Dogbrick on 01-13-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,482 | Reviews: 811 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of katan
3.6/5  rDev -13%

12 oz into a goblet

A - Black as night - I guess that is why it is called siberian night. Head formation was pretty light, and gone in a flash. What was there was just a bit of mocha.

S - Light sweet malt scents - driven by some chocolate and caramel notes. Some phenolic notes, as well as just a very light ale yeast spice.

T - Comes off sweet with the malts right away, chocolate notes especially. It turns very very dry quickly, moving towards just a bit of bitterness. Malt forward. Some english hopping is present. Roasted barley makes an appearance. Leaves behind a fairly coffee like bitterness on the tongue. Many flavors here.

M - Thick body - clinging and cloying. Lots of sugars. Carbonation is very light, so there is no bite.

D - The strong roasted and coffee notes are just a bit wearing to me. ABV is high, but well hidden. Not filling. Just a bit too potent for the palette in a session.

katan, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

12oz received a long time ago from Tilley4 ... This has been eying me alot lately as I opened the door in the cellar... I am trying to clear out the cellar a bit.. Thanks Jason!!

Poured into MNFG... 2 finger head is about as dark as any RIS I've seen... good retention and great sheets of lacing.

Dark fruits and tons of cocoa dominate the nose.. dark cherries.. with lesser prune and waves of milk chocolate.. and of course some coffee.. very complex.

Flavor is rich and very melded.. thick traditional RIS flavors.. very little hoppiness ... if any.. not as much char as many big stouts and I appreciate that.. on the palate, the coffee takes second fiddle to the massive chocolate essence.. great body and carbonation.. and no alcohol to be found.

This is a freaking great RIS... I know I've had it before and that's why I decided to sit on this one... I still have one more bottle in the cellar (much older) and will most certainly be sharing it with the Boise peeps when we get around to this year's RIS tasting.

Thanks again Jason!!

JohnGalt1, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of corby112
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%

Pours a pitch black color that is completely opaque without even the slightest bit of lighter color edges when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger coffee colored head that slowly settles into a lasting ring, leaving sporadic chunks of lacing in it's path.

Very roasted malt aroma with hints of roasted coffee bean, chocolate, caramel, toffee, candy sugar and sweet alcohol.

Very roasty flavor with hints of bitter dark chocolate, rosted coffee bean, toffee, slight dark fruit, oatmeal and a slight alcohol warmth. Slightly hoppy in the finish, producing a bitter dry finish.

corby112, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of MrStark
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is opaque black with a one finger light brown head that dissipated quickly. Not any real lacing to be found.

Smell is is mostly roasted malts with some chocolate. A smokey aroma with a hint of coffee.

Taste begins as roasted coffee and malt. A slight dark chocolate bitterness. This seams almost mild compared to other russian imperials I've had. Pretty balanced.

Mouthfeel slightly creamy and medium bodied. Mild amount of carbonation.

Drinkability seams quite good to me. As I said this seams like a milder version of this style and I feel its pretty easy to drink. It may be a good one to try if you've never had this style. I would certainly have a few more.

MrStark, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of fishbrew
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%

Purchased a 4 pack, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Black as night with a thick and creamy mocha colored head. The head dissipated rather quickly and the beer left minimal lacing. However, appearance ranks pretty low in my book when it comes to the RIS style, given the inherent disadvantages the ingredients pose.

Smell: A nice balance between sweetness and roastiness in the nose. Very inviting.

Taste: Phenomenal. The 58 IBU's are perfectly balanced with dark malty sweetness, and complimented perfectly by the roasted bitterness. Just a hint of alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, the mouthfeel is perfect.

Drinkability: Dangerously drinkable given the ~10% ABV. This beer could get RIS lovers into a lot of trouble.

Overall a phenomenal beer.

fishbrew, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.43/5  rDev +7%

Got this in a trade with nflmvp. Thanks a ton Steve! I'm not sure about the age of this beer, but there is a little "06" engraved on the bottom of the bottle. So let's call it 2006.

Poured into a Rémy Martin snifter.

Appearance: Pours out thick, black and oily. Looked like there wasn't gonna be any head at first, but... wait for it... a dark brown foam crackles upward from the depths. Coool. Unfortunately, that head is really short-lived. For the most part, this beer is an opaque, black, heavy, gunk (the good kind of gunk) with a hair-thin halo sitting on top. Looks downright nasty! (<- That's, like, the good kind of nasty.)

Smell: Mocha, dark chocolate mousse, caramel, roasted malt, and a touch of alcohol. Smells cool, sweet, and balanced. The aroma isn't intense; it's more on the subtle side. As it warms the caramel, bourbon-like alcohol and to some extent the roasted malt pick up momentum. Still, this aroma seems more focused on balance and subtlety.

Taste: While swishing it about, I really don't get a whole lot: dairy creamer and caramel, finished with a touch of roasted malt and whiskey-like alcohol. As for the aftertaste, it might just be perfect. Seriously. This beer finishes so, so, so damn smooth! Roasted malt and dark chocolate meld together with a light caramel-bourbon kick in beautiful harmony. Mmmm! The bitterness is very mild (making me think that this really is an '06 bottle), but the balance is sublime. This is a near 5.0 based on the finish alone.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, thick, fairly heavy, and nearly un-carbonated. Totally coats the mouth with each sip. The carbonation is a bit of a problem (too low), but this really feels very rich and comforting - like an RIS should.

Drinkability: I've had a lot of intense, mouth-searing, head-knocking, ass-kicking RIS's; but this one went a different route: that of balance, beauty, and smoothness. This beer felt like a hug from an old friend. Seriously, fantastic!

ThreeWiseMen, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of marvin213
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

A solid black beverage offers a thin, tan head. Particularly with what are supposed to be dark, black stouts (and aren't all Russian Imperials), I find myself judging appearance primarily by head. This one is thin, but nicely browned. It's a good-looking beer.

The smell is malty. There's a variety of malts in this one, and you can waft to the nasals each of them: toasted malts, caramel malts, and roasted malts. There is that RIS characteristic I always detect in this style, but I've yet to pinpoint the cause (I know I could read, but that's cheating). Nothing overly interesting, but solid.

The taste is very good. All those malts blend nicely, though the roasted ones subtlely dominate. Like the smell, there's little complexity. Though I taste the aformentioned RIS component, it's less apparent than in the nose. Honestly, I'd like more of it. As I continue to sip, I'm sorta dulled by the uniformity of the simple malt combo--every sip seems the same. A big stout will usually change as it warms, but this one remains a liquid malt trio. Though I initially embraced the malty flavor so easily detected, I yearn for more dynamic an experience. For whatever it's worth, it's a simply good stout.

Mouthfeel might most be where I need that RIS component to stand out. This is just a maltball. Without being chocolatey, it's still like candy. For an average stout, that's good. For a Russian Imperial Stout, it's a little less than that.

The candy-like maltness makes this a relatively tough beverage to rate highly on drinkability. Not that I expect to throw back a sixer of any RIS, but this one's almost forgettable. It's good, but it can't compete well with the best of its peers. Cool bottle, cool beer, but that just doesn't cut it anymore.

marvin213, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of Goldfish19
4.47/5  rDev +8%

~ Purchased a 6-pack at Shoreline Beverage in Huntington, NY. This stout pours a deep rich black with a creamy brown head. The aroma of chocolate, coffee, and fruits are just sensational! The bitter coffee taste blends well with all the chocolate making this a well-balanced brew. Consume in moderation, because @ 9.7% ABV, this RIS is highly drinkable.

I knew after trying Old Leghumper (Thirsty Dog's American Porter), the Dog's would not let me down with this one - and they didn't. No ifs ands or buts about it, this beer deserves nothing less than a solid "A" rating. ~

Goldfish19, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of aubuc1
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

12 oz bottle poured in to a snifter.

Pours a midnight black with a thin tan head.

Smell is a roasty, smokey rich chocolate.

Taste is sweeter than expected. A dry slightly fruity yet roasty taste. Not as bitter as other big imperial stouts.

Very good creamy mouthfeel, and hardly any alcohol presence.

aubuc1, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of TCgoalie
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Appearance: Pours a black color with a small but sustaining brown head.

Smell: Aromas of dark nutty malts and milky caramel notes.

Taste: The taste starts with a burnt malt flavor and evolves into a chocolate alcohol aftertaste. (tastes like this bottle may be old)

Moutfeel: Not as heavy as I would have thought. Though the alcohol content is high, there is an essence of drinkability.

TCgoalie, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of Ryan011235
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

Poured into a snifter on 8/31/09

A - Nearly jet-black in color. 1/2 inch caramel colored head. Thin but decent retention. Solid lacing at the start. Clumpy yeast sediment settles on the bottom.

S - Robust nose that is driven by malts - big coffee notes with some caramel & hints of toffee. Bit of booziness, too.

T - Bitter roasted coffee predominates. Chocolate is present, as is a bit of caramel. The slight bite of hops present are a welcome addition.

M - Moderately low carbonation. Full-bodied - chewy & gritty. Nearly perfect for the weight & carbonation I like in a stout.

D - Very enjoyable, this is a choice stout indeed. The alcohol is well-hidden & this critter is blended incredibly well. I think this beer is phenomenal. All that & I'm not sure but what this particular bottle wasn't a bit roughed up. Highly recommended.

Ryan011235, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of Bubba83
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

Thanks go to Kegatron for passing me this bottle in a trade.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter at 50 degrees. Vigorous pour provided me with only about 1/4 inch of mocha colored crema on top, just like an espresso shot. The body is midnight black, just like it would be in Siberia. Very little lacing is left behind as I sip, and by about half way through there is no lingering rim of cream left either. I like the label and name of this beer.

I smell a lot going on, caramel at first, cocoa, alcohol sting and a roasty quality that kind of melds with black pepper. Coffee tones are buried underneath, and vanilla is under the covers with it.

The first thing I can taste is caramel and vanilla. These sweeter type flavors don't last long though, as they head towards chocolate and then on to coffee and roastyness. Roastyness takes over for a long period, and the beer finishes surprisingly a little earthy/spicy, which seems like it may be part of the hop profile combined with the rather apparent alcohol heat. I was trying for dark fruits, but never really got much besides some rum raisin at the very end due to the heat. Pretty well rounded and fairly different than most impy stouts.

Thirsty Dog nailed the mouthfeel. I couldn't ask for a better consistency. Despite the lack of head, it managed to stay lively enough on my tongue with some prickly bubbles, oilyness, and beef. It's sort of medium-chewy.

I have to admit, this was one of the beers I was a bit weary of due to its high rating. I actually expected it to be overrated, but I don't think it is at all. Drinkability is impacted by some heat, but all in all, a very solid offering.

Bubba83, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of Cylinsier
4.18/5  rDev +1%

From a 12 oz.

Pours licorice black with a brown sugar head that goes down to lacing pretty quick but never fully disappears. Light doesn't penetrate.

Smells like dark brown sugar and molasses with a hint of toasty malts.

The taste is very potent! Dark brown sugars, smokey and the slightest hint of alcohol at the end.

The mouthfeel is thick and rich, almost syrupy. The carbonation only hits the tip of the tongue and the back of the throat; otherwise its concealed in the thickness of the beer.

Delicious! This is quickly becoming my favorite style of beer and this is a fine representative of the style. Too strong to session but a good full bodied beer for cold months.

Cylinsier, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

'09 bottle poured into a Blue Point Snifter

A: Poured opaque with a dark 2 finger cream head with little little carbonation. Lacing left thick layers on the side of the glass... I love when it does that, almost like validation that its an RIS...

S: Roasted chocolate and coffee with a hint of vanilla creaminess. To top it off, an alcoholic twinge hits the nose at the end.

T: Wonderful... opens sweet and chocolatey with the roasted bitterness coming in towards the middle of the experience and lingering toward the end where the faint alcohol again gives this brew a smooth and sweet finish.

M: relatively smooth with a bit of bite at the end. As I swish this in my mouth it really coats the insides with a silky touch.

D: very tasty I'd most definitely have this again. Although not as complex as some others, this creation represents the RIS category well. A most worthy beer.

SpeedwayJim, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of edbeer
4.47/5  rDev +8%

A-Pitch black with toffee colored head. Medium lacing, head thins but still present halfway through glass.

S-Moderate roasted coffee aroma. No hops present.
Slight toffee notes.

T-Roasted coffee with strong malt presence. Without roassted barley bitterness. Smooth sweet finnish with some hop notes.

M-Smooth and silky with very mild alcohol heat.

D-Dispite the thickness of the beer it is very drinkable. It does not finnish heavy at all.

Exceptional beer, highly recommened.

edbeer, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Got this in trade from Masterski. Many thanks.. Alex is a great trader.

No light gets through this dark beer. Black as midnight. Creamy tan head that builds upon pouring then lingers. It does begin to fade and becomes a thin ¼ inch skiff of foam that remains. Sheets of sticky lacing remain.

Aroma is wonderful and like a dark chocolate milkshake. Some mocha tones.

Earthy flavor, prunes and other dark fruits. More fruity esters than I had expected. Some charcoal notes along with some unsweetened chocolate. The end of the flavor profile is a mixture of smoky, roasted malts with some hop bitterness. Really pretty complex. As it warms there is a bit more citrus hop notes at the end. The ABV is so well hidden it's scary.

Body is medium and the mouth feel is a touch lighter than I had expected. Still very smooth and almost like chocolate milk.

I find this very interesting and quite good. I enjoy drinking it as you explore the complexities. I like this and would like the opportunity to have one again.

Thanks Alex.

Reagan1984, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of illidurit
3.85/5  rDev -7%

Bottle courtesy of bret27. Pours black with reddish brown highlights and a thin cocoa-colored head. Aroma is huge dark chocolate with some graham sweetness and a significant boozy note. Flavor is big roasted malts with a light red fruitiness and a slightly boozy finish. The alcohol thins out the body just a little bit but this remains pretty drinkable.

illidurit, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of atsprings
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a tulip glass a nice opaque with a decent tan head that slowly diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is a decent amount of roasted malts and cocoa. The taste is loads of roasty cocoa and slight espresso. The beer is slightly heavy with warming alcohol, one I'd certainly love to have again.

atsprings, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%

Appearance - black opaque pour. Thin but persistent cap of mocha with a thick collar. Thin ropes and dots of lace.

Aroma - good roasty smell, a touch of licorice early. Slightly boozy with notes of dark chocolate and a mild fruitiness.

Taste - dark roast, just a bit of char but tons of rich malted grain flavor. Dark chocolate on top of that. The swallow has a surprising bite of bitterness to offset things a bit. Plus, it sets up a fine finish of roast/char/abv. The aftertaste is enduring with lengthy roasty flavor.

Mouthfeel - decent smoothnes. larger than average body. Carbonation is slightly muted. Overall, it doesn't feel as big as the flavor, but it is still good.

Drinkability - a potent brew, but I'd easily have another. Great one to cellar also.

brewdlyhooked13, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

Picked up a single at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC.

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of large amounts of roasted malts with hints of dark chocolate and molasses. As the beer warms very light hints of citrus hop aromas waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although the flavors are a bit stronger than the smell might indicate. Large amounts of roasted malts and dark chocolate flavors up front with a good hit of molasses midway through the sip. A light splotch of citrus hop flavors appear right before a mildly bitter ending, leaving a sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good. I wish it were just a bit thicker although the carbonation is just right.

Drinkability is good. I finished the bottle fairly quickly and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a solid RIS that didn't disappoint, but it didn't really blow me away either. That being said I had high expectations and this is definitely still worth a shot.

glid02, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of rapidsequence
3.35/5  rDev -19.1%

12 oz bottle. Poured into a perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Its pitch black of course. A little ruby light is visible at the bottom of the glass when held up. A thin light brown head leaves little lacing.

Smell: Some coffee and bittersweet chocolate is there, but not all that much of it, and not much else. Whats there smells good, I wish there was more.

Taste: Bitter coffee flavor and a little chocolate. There's some sweetness, but it finishes really bitter and slightly unpleasant. Yeah-- its overly bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Its smooth and creamy, but a little thin really. Pretty good I guess.

Drinkability: This is a beer that I enjoyed less and less as I drank it. At first smell and taste, I thought it would get a solid A. Now its much lower. The bitterness on the back is annoying, and the somewhat thin mouthfeel makes the beer a little weak for the style overall. ABV wise, its almost 10%, and I give it credit for being fairly well hidden.

rapidsequence, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.78/5  rDev +15.5%

Siberian Night is indeed starless. It is a tone of black graphite so obsidian, so tenebrous and pitch-dark that it may very well be the foremost embodiment of opacity. It has an unusually prominent head for a beer of its strength and style; this indefatigable mocha froth is so obstinate it even sticks to the sides of the glass. No swirling is required, it stays forever firm. Boy, this thing doesn't reject the light - it consumes it.

My fingers will smell from just holding the glass - this is one seriously ambrosial stout. Rich, highly potent notes of creme caramel, tiramisu, milk chocolate - probably any and every of the best desserts I've ever had in my life are captured in this bouquet. Really, this smell contains traces, even spitting images, of everything you could ask for in a dessert menu. If I didn't already know how good it tasted I'd be content just smelling it.

Some RIS spank the taste buds; this one soothes them. It is a robust yet creamy smooth beer that boasts flavours equally bitter and sweet. Strong coffee and heavy-roast espresso compliment the taste of creme brulee, vanilla custard and chocolate truffles. And if only the flavour were that straightforward - this is not bourbon-barrel aged but it shares those notes of cigar, toasted oak and vanilla bean that characterize such beers.

Not all the world's best RIS offer this much body to match their flavour; this is one big cookie. The mouthfeel is thick and spongy like a muffin but offers the bittersweet qualities of a truffle. It also projects the roast of an espresso, the bitterness of cocoa and the decadence of an entire dessert course rolled into one hearty, gratifying liquid. I almost wish there was some alcohol present to stop me from finishing this bottle so quickly.

The brewery is (rightfully) proud to list all this beer's many accolades on the label; I say it deserves more! I don't know what my opinion is worth but I'll go on record saying this is one of the best Imperial Stouts I've had the pleasure of trying. For a beer to contain the sensation of many decadent desserts combined - and leave you not feeling so indulgent that you couldn't have another bottle - is truly something that deserves recognition.

And I should give recognition to MasterSki for this bottle. Thanks Alex!

biegaman, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

poured into a snifter,this beer is pitch black with a nice tan head.nose is roasted coffee,dark chocolate,with a little bit of molasses. taste is dark chocolate,roasted coffee,carmelized sugar with bitter coffee acridity in the finish.pretty thick mouthfeel with a bit of carbonation,this is a highly drinkable russian imperial stout.this is my go to RIS,especially in term of cost at 10.59 for a six pack.love it.

wyattshotmaker, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of beerman207
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%

A - Poured a dark black body with nice tan head that didn't stay around long leaving some lacing in the glass

S - Cocoa, malt, smoke, caramel, and some alcohol coming through.

T - Very rich beer with chocolate, coffee, caramel, smoke.

M - Smooth, creamy, silky texture that just sits perfectly on the palate - excellent!

D - This is a fantastic RIS and can hold up to most of the big dogs out there. I am very pleased with this offering.

beerman207, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of BenSelf
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

The beer is solid black, opaque, with a creamy dark brown head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is all roasty, toasty malt and maybe some wine-like berry notes. The flavor is robust, with lots of the malt character from the aroma, big caramel, and a little espresso on the finish. Terrific evening beer, especially if it's cold outside. The first time I had this was at the Hop Cat in Grand Rapids, Michigan and it was one of my great beer experiences. Pick yourself up a six-pack.

BenSelf, Aug 01, 2009
Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,482 ratings.