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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.

1,542 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,542
Reviews: 814
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 133
Gots: 152 | FT: 9
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: 1,542 | Reviews: 814 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of deathdealer666
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet.

Lights out! super gassy head that is a dark brown with a lot of fight and wants to stick around for a while.

If there was a point system for "FUCKING AWESOME!" I would put the smell of this beer in it. It's like Rockyroad icecream is a real person and he lit himself on fire smoking bongs.

Sweet and dry with a good amount of chocolate and a bit of citrus even though it's only 58 IBUS. Almost like one of those chocolate oranges you get for christmas.

It is however a little thin for all that taste.
But that just means you can have another.

This beer is great. My wife is jealous of this beer because I like it so much. Buy it. Drink it.

deathdealer666, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of noslenwerd
4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Dark beer, typical look of a stout.

S: Very crisp, unheavy type of smell for a stout, but still sweet.

T: Wow, a super smooth stout for sure. I expected the mild alcohol taste that you usually get with a russian imperial stout but no dice (good and bad thing). Lighter mouthfeel than your typical stout also.

Summary: Very smooth. Lacks a little bit of alcohol bite in the aftertaste, but overall a very drinkable beer. Much less "in your face" than other stouts. Good for someone who is just trying a dark beer for the first time.

noslenwerd, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of malty
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Plucked from the back corner of my 50F cellar from a purchase I made earlier this spring. Poured into my Whitbread Extra Stout stemmed tulip chalice a jet black with no light penetration. The losse and creamy khaki head stood a healthy 2". Thin smatterings of ringed lace all the way down. Looks like a RIS should.

Smells like watered down chocolate milk with a splash of vanilla and malt powder. Sweet roasted malts hover delicately over this black beauty. Creamed coffee mixes-in nicelt with the aforementioned scents.

The initial revealing flavor is that of leather. Like the leather from your dress shoes that you wore on fancy occassions. Even though I couldn't discern leather in the nose, it's really here in full effect on the flavor front. Rich and roasty malts give way to the chocolatey/coffee flavors that I did discern in the aroma. A prickly hit of hops mingle elegantly with the charred wood notes also. A hint of alcohol is detected, but not at all offputting.

Mouthfeel is between med. & full with a silky/oily texture. Carbonation is on the low side, making this stout very English-like. Long, flavorful semi-chalky and bittersweet finish.

Drinkability is very nice. Flavors are well balanced with nothing going against the grain.

Overall a quiet and content RIS that makes itself very welcoming to experienced and new craft beer drinkers. Elegant and mild mannered, but still has everything an Imperial Stout should. Tasty and welcomed at my house anytime.

malty, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of MbpBugeye
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours really really black and thick. Little tiny brown head that fades quickly. Little polka dotted spots of lacing. This stuff is really dark.

S- Cocoa, coffee, roasted smokiness, and whiskey like booze.

T- Strong, bitter coffee some dark chocolate and a piny hop bitterness. The alcohol is big here too.

M- Full bodied, fluffy carbonation, slightly drying.

D- This is a stiff one. It feels like a higher ABV. My bottle claims 9.7%

In all this is a really solid stout. I love to represent the Ohio beers, this is a good way to do so.

MbpBugeye, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of Jayli
3.55/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 10/30

A: This beer pours a deep dark brown, almost black, with a one finger of light brown head. Head recedes to 1/4 inch of film that retains the length of the beer, and has spots of sticky lacing.

S: Nose is of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts and a touch of wet dog..

T: Taste is of sweet malts upfront, and milk chocolate. Strong coffee and burnt malts in the middle. There is a touch of booze and slight metallic taste.

M: Medium to full bodied, low to medium carbonation, creamy mouth feel with a slightly dry finish.

D: Save for the nose, this was a nice beer, a touch boozy, but overall a beer that I would have again.

Jayli, Nov 05, 2009
Photo of taylorhamrick
3.33/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours very dark, very dark. Looks black, even in the light. The head is small and thin. Dark browen, loose bubbles, gone in a flash. The smell is nice. Clean, with a touch of burnt sugar sweetness. Chocolate really comes through in this one, with a kind of weak, burnt coffee note. Pretty interesting, with just a note of yeast in the end. The taste is pretty interesting. Kind of simple, but nice. A chocolatey sweet coffee, kind of thin, with a bit of an alcohol burn in the finish. I wouldn't call this pedestrian - pretty well-made, maybe a bit predictable though. The coffee hits again in the finish. The bubbles don't burn, the alcohol does a bit though. A decent roastiness keeps me going, but the alcohol will keep me from ever reaching for more than one.

taylorhamrick, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of TheViolator666
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 fl. oz. bottle poured into snifter.

A: A nice deep opaque black with a nice and soft tan head that leaves some great lacing.

S: Smells of sweet dark fruits and roasted malts. No sign of hops and a bit of alcohol. Hint of smoke.

T: Tastes of dark roasted malts and bitter chocolate. A lingering fig-like sweetness in the aftertaste. A bit of heat from the alcohol, but it's not too bad.

M/D: Medium-full body, a bit less than what I expected/remembered. Aggressive amount of carbonation, too high for the style, really attacks the tongue.

I remember this one being better last year. For some reason, this 2009 bottle seems overly carbonated and a bit thin. 2008 was much more creamier.

TheViolator666, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of mbudner
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a stemless Riedell glass.

A- Pours pitch black with a 1-finger dark tan head.

S- Lots of bitterness on the nose with a slight amount of heat from the booze.

T- Bitter, roasted malts dominate the flavor. Tastes almost like baking chocolate in its complete lack of sweetness. Though I normally appreciate bitterness in a RIS, I can't say I enjoy it as much here due to the lack of other flavors coming through on the palate. It is not the most bitter by any means, but rather lacks complexity to back up the bitterness. As it warms up, it sweetens up a little, which improves the overall flavor.

M- Slightly too carbonated for an RIS, but the thickness is on point and there is a nice creaminess to the body.

D- I didn't love drinking a full 12 ounces of this beer. It's definitely not a bad beer by any means, but I felt that it did not live up to the expectations I had based on reviews and word of mouth. I could see this brew mellowing and coming together with a year or so on it, but I have not had the chance to cellar any yet.

mbudner, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of TravelinJones
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Incredible Russian Imperial Stout.
Very smooth and drinkable for a 9%+ abv stout.
Pours opaque black with a firm 1/2" head in a snifter.
Aromas of roasted malt, barley and caramels.
Goes down easy for a RIS; very drinkable.
Nice malt profile balance with the right amount of hops; not too bitter.
Great beer.

TravelinJones, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of BB1313
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This truly is a great RIS and used to be a bargain, still is I guess. Pours traditional black w/ decent head and nice lacing. It smells amazing, chocolate in the mix. Chocolate all in the flavors as well. Maybe some raisin and licorice. The alcohol is present and doesn't make a bad sipper. Not the creamiest, slightly thin, but goes down well. I would never turn this beer down. BOLD!

Easily one of the better Russian Imperial Stouts out there.. it's year-round as well.

BB1313, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of katan
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 14, 2009
Photo of fishbrew
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

~ 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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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
Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,542 ratings.