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Siberian Night Imperial Stout - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Siberian Night Imperial StoutSiberian Night Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,597 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,597
Reviews: 820
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 140
Gots: 185 | FT: 7
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:
Beer added by: Dogbrick on 01-13-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,597 | Reviews: 820 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GregSVT
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: This pours a deep black with a small tan head that quickly fades to a ring and leaves a tiny bit of lacing.

S: The nose is very rich and inticing. Loads of cocoa, dark fruits, and a bit of coffee. Exactly how a RIS should smell.

T: The taste is a roasty bitterness at first that changes to a coffee flavor and fades to a sweet cocoa flavor with a touch of vanilla on the finish. Most stouts start with a sweetness that fades to a bitterness...very interesting.

M: The feel is creamy but a bit thin for the style. Carbonation is nice though.

D: This is very tasty and I could see me buying this regularly if it was available in my area. I'm sure the ABV will catch up to you after a while though.

The taste is different and relatively complex. Glad I got to try this one and recommend it if you like a good RIS.

Photo of emmasdad
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle like used motor oil, thick and black, with merely a suggestion of thin tan foam. A good smokiness wafts up from the glass, along with some coffee, dark cherries and roasted malt. Not a lot of heat on the palate here, but some good roasted chocolate flavors and a little bit of syrupy sweetness. My first beer from this brewery and hopefully not my last.

Photo of ne0m00re
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma.
A: Black with brown hues, it poured with a medium chocolate head that died to a thin film and collar.
S: Espresso, chocolate, bourbon vanilla alcohol, and sweet malt balls.
T: Big roasted malts with a charred smokey lingering flavor. Espresso and chocolate come through, as well as a thin, almost barrel-aged aspect.
M: Not syrupy, but very creamy and frothy.
D: All right. I wouldn't want to have too many in a row.

Photo of jstilwell
4.72/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received this as an extra in a trade over a year ago, been aging it in my basement ever since. Its dark Black with no light passing through. There is a light brown/off white head which gets darker with swirling. This has solid lasting lacing. Very aromatic for a stout with sweet cream, mild earth and roasted nuts. The first taste is oh so smooth with mild sweetness, followed by a deep creamy nutty malt blast with a milder than expected hop fade. There is little to no bitterness and no cloying sweetness. The aftertaste is pleasant. To me, this one has it all, a full bodied thick velvety drinkable stout. It reminds me a bit of Stone RIS, but is more drinkable while being almost as bold. I'm astonished by this brew and I would Love to get some more. Fantastic!

Photo of WorldWideStout
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sam for the stellar extra!

A: Stream of beer between bottle and glass wasn't too dark, but the liquid becomes a very dark brown as it collects. Warm light brown head, and pretty good lacing.

S: Coffee and hops.

T: Follows the nose fairly well. Reminds me of an Old Rasputin, but without the sweeter chocolate notes to balance things out.

M: Lovely. There is ample carbonation, yet it is light, allowing for a creamy sensation.

D: A bit more balance would have helped this one, but it wasn't hard to get through by any means.

Not bad, though much hoppier than I remembered it being. Not something to trade or go ga-ga for, but give it a whirl if it presents itself to you.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine April 2007.

Siberian Night has grabbed a few medals from the GABF--two bronzes in 2003 and 2006, plus a gold in 2005--and the attention of beer geeks over the years as well.

A solid two fingers of brown foam subside to a ring of lace; the color is so dark that absolutely no light shall pass through this beer. Commingled roasted grain and a soft blackberry fruitiness, with a touch of malt sweetness; very aromatic. Full, malty body with a mild crispness and a growing smoothness. Velvety malt sweetness is like a fine dark chocolate. Dark-berry fruitiness complements the creamy chocolate flavor, and the roasted finish has a coffee tone. Thin caramel in the middle. The hops stand small when put up against the malt.

Not bad at all. This one may be lacking in boldness, but without a doubt it's one of the most drinkable Imperial Stouts on the market right now. You're better off pairing to complement, take our word for it. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, the darker the better.

Photo of thequeen711
3.52/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, deep chocolate pour, beige frothy head stays awhile, then shrinks to lacing. I am not impressed with the aroma, I can't detect any...the taste is more interesting than the nose...full-bodied taste of chocolate, toffee, and coffee! This is a great offering from Thirsty Dog. I will definitely search this out again.

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Siciliano's in Grand Rapids about a year ago. No obvious bottled dating. Served in my Half Acre pint glass.

A - Pours with a half-finer of tan foam that dissipates to some light haze and a thin ring. Maybe a few spots of lace. Body is nearly pitch black, with only the faintest glint of red at the bottom of the glass when held to the light. Pretty ominous and imposing, even at only 9%.

S - Charred multi-grain bread, caramel, dark fruits, roasted nuts, chocolate fudge. Reminds me a lot of Ten FIDY, but not as hoppy.

T - Toasted malts, some light dark chocolate, dark fruits, anise. Finishes with light bitterness. Alcohol is very well-hidden. Again, it's very similar to Ten FIDY, but not quite as rich.

M - Smooth, creamy, with light carbonation tingle. The body is medium-full that is appropriate for the 9% ABV. Not much obvious heat. Finishes very sticky and chewy.

D - One 12oz bottle went down quite easy, and I could probably do a second with the excellent feel and an ABV on the lower end of the RIS spectrum. Also, quite reasonably priced - wish this one was available in Illinois.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the 2010 Stout tasting in a Orval Chalice.

12oz bottle.

Pours a very black color with a nice rich and small dark brown head. Nose is sweet with light boozy, very rich.

Taste is very rich and sharp. Lots of chocolate and smoke. Taste is sweet and smooth with coffee on the finish.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes on 3/3/10. Thanks for this awesomeness BJ!

A - Very dark brown, nearly black with a dark mahogany hue in the edge. Short lived tan head served in a snifter. Small patches of lace here and there. 4.0

S - Rich in dark, ripe fruits. Raisiny with caramel and light cocoa too. Hint of plums and vanilla to round off the nose. 4.0

T - Lots of caramel and toffee sweetness in the beginning, followed by rich fruit flavors of figs, blackberries, and plums. Roasty finish with chocolate and a hint of charcoal. 4.5

M - Rich and full bodied. Smooth and creamy body with mild carbonation. 5.0

D - Fantastic, I wish they made 750's of this. 4.5

Photo of Magpie14
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: the pour brought forth a murky darkness. I did get time to gather the inner workings of a few hues during the pour, the most notable being a deeply scorched orange and chestnut with plenty of burnt browns to go around. This was capped off with a mellow coffee-colored foam. A nice looker. Points go out to the handful of interconnected streaks of lace that are hanging around

S: a large portion of the nose is a combination of chocolate, caramel, and coffee. Most of the smell is of heavily roasted malts with possible fudge whiffs wallowing. As smelling continued I found that heavy roasted malts eventually dominate the nostrils. Some grog is present as well

T: the taste has some favorable characters. Maltiness is large and in charge backed by a soft grainy character. In addition to this is a delectable dose of toasted toffee malts and caramel with a free floating coffee bean flavor. The java notes take on a dark roast with mild oiliness, maybe a touch on the stale side. All in all, this a bulky imperial stout with plenty of dark 'n' heavy maltiness with ample sweet notes to challenge the palate

I find it also rather well mannered in the ABV department. Warming enhances flavors (especially coffee) and leaves the moonshine rather hidden. Warming also helps leave a slight tanginess around and about

M: mouthfeel is smooth and mildly chewy. In all honesty I find that it might be a bit thin in comparison to some other imperial stouts. Carbonation is also jabbing at the overall smoothness, not that it is over the top, just that it is noticeable

D: another one in the books. I don't know if this is worthy of another buy? I find it sits in the upper middle section of my imperial stout list, nothing really stands out and nothing is unfriendly. Give it a try and see what happens

Photo of ThoughtPolice
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: Bottle (not really a growler)

This is my second review of this beer. (I shouldn't have to cheat the BA review system to do multiple reviews of a beer. I'm going to send you great folks an email.) My love for it has only grown.

App: Beautiful for the style. Super dark, great initial head of one-two fingers. Lingers a bit but subsides to a ring around the glass. Not a lot of lacing. Could improve in this regard, but who the fuck cares about appearances when a beer is this glorious?

Aroma: Smokey, deep, sweet, smells like it would go well with good food. Steak and this beer would make good friends. I will have to try that. A little caramel, bread crust.

Taste: Tastes like smoked out, somewhat bready, chocolate. Not a dominant, overbearing choco-coffee thing, but it's there and it is important. Bread/bread crust taste comes through, especially as you start finishing this beer off. My palette is not well-developed enough to fully understand this beer. I don't care to explain it anyway, though. It's just glorious.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Not a crushing alcohol MF considering its 9.7% heftiness. Alcohol is actually well incorporated into the flavor scheme, which is probably one of the hardest aspects to achieve in a beer. Usually breweries just try to balance it out with some other flavor to hide the alcohol, but I think it actually plays a part (and a good one) in the flavor profile of this particular brew. I think the 4-pack would be easy to finish off, but it might be a mistake to do if you have to drive home... Luckily, I am home now. Mouthfeel is halfway to a milkshake, if that makes any sense.

Overall: Fuckin'-A. This is in my top 15 beers of all time. I think I pay $2.50 a bottle in 2010 dollars (only the good invisible-impossible lord knows what it'll be with inflation next year), and I think this one is probably one of the best values for your loot in the fancy shmancy beer store (Peabody's in Boone, NC).

Just get some. I will continue to. Thank you Peabody's for keeping it in stock almost always. I'm going tomorrow to grab a 4 pack. 2 will get aged. I am excited.

Take care, beer fiends.

Photo of mdwalsh
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Possibly the blackest beer I've seen. Dark brown 1-2 finger head with big bubbles and some active carbonation.

S: Strong cooked caramel sweet smell. A good wholesome roast that's almost peanut buttery/

T: Good roasted flavor, like a well done steak, not burnt. Rich chocolate also comes to mind like a cake, and again, that slight nuttiness.

M: Medium-full bodied, light carbonation.

D: Very good, but filling.

Photo of sitarist
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, almost black color, one inch head falls to a ring. No lacing, just a few spots here and there.

Smells like bosco, chocolate, coffee with cream, rye toast, and a hint of alcohol.

Taste like a tootsie roll, with hints of coffee, and toast. There is some hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is a little thin, but pleasent. Warming.

I can pound theses till I pass out. Very warming and enjoyable.

Another local treat.

Photo of pattermj
4.73/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- dark dark black, pinch of head that disappears except around the rim. Nice

S- Malts, alcohol, chocolate, coffee

T- Malt on the first hit, then a strong nice chocolate finishing with the coffee. The alcohol is apparent on the end at the back of the mouth

M- Smooth, holds on tongue well, nothing wrong with it but not as thick as other ISs

D- Definitely an awesome IS, wish I could get more easily here in TX

Photo of nrbw23
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours pitch black and produces a small brown colored head. Head dissipates quickly to a thin film around the edges, and minimal lacing.

S- Nothing huge or over powering here. Roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee seem to be all that's jumping out at me.

T- A solid blend of chocolate, roasted malts and hop bitterness. A touch of alcohol comes in.

M- Lighter side of full. Not crazy thick like some stouts. Carbonation maybe on the higher side of medium.

D- This one goes down pretty easy. I wish they would of also stayed in sixers.

Photo of Durge
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle into the pint glass, slightly chilled, this dark beauty shows a dark black brown, solid color with a fair brown head and similar lacing. The aroma is a nice blend of raisin coffee and mango fruit. The flavor is much the same with a very smooth mouthful of coffee licorice. It's smooth and silky in feel, medium bodied and fair drinking for the style. Looking forward to another!

Photo of fastsrt
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured 12 ounce bottle in snifter

A: black, thin quickly dissipating light brown head.

S: roasty, dark chocolate mostly, there are hops

T: good, lots of chocolate, some lighter fruit flavors as well

M: full body, thick, balanced, not boozy

D: High, and could sip a four pack in a night. this one is right up there with old rasputin as a go to RIS that is available year round.

Photo of garbercury
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A---Bit of carbonation and lacing. Opaque black.

S---Nice mix of hops and dark roasted malt, good smelling beer.

T---Interesting mix of hoppiness and malts, the hops seem to stand out in this beer and I am not sure that makes this beer a favorite, but tasty.

M---Nice, smooth, silky mouthfeel.

D---This is a good beer, not great in my eyes. If you enjoy a higher IBU in your Imperials, this one might be a winner. The hops are a little too much of the flavor. I would be interested to see how this mellows after some time in the cellar. Recommended but not loved.

Photo of indiapaleale
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour - yep, its dark. Real dark. Inky and dangerous looking with an espresso colored head that fades to an "oil spill" of wispy foam on top. Looks impressive.

Aroma - big chocolate and coffee notes along with the expected roasty/toasty malt smells. There are also some molasses and licorice aromas coming out along with some vanilla and cream. A couple more whiffs and some of the alcohol comes out. This smells ridiculously good.

Taste - where do I begin. This tastes like a shot of espresso thrown into a strong stout. Its got such nice bitter sweet flavors along with great body and smoothness. Lots of roasted malt tastes combine with some vanilla and chocolate and a bitter cherry-like alcohol finish. This has to be tasted to truly be appreciated.

Overall - Definitely a Russian Imperial Stout that stands out amongst its many peers. Plenty of great flavors, nice strength and way to easy to drink. I wish I had more.

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. Next time I see some I'll be grabbing a few bottles as this was the only in my cellar.

Photo of BeerVikingSailor
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh bottle from 4 pack, poured into tulip....one of several "birthday beers" consumed as treat to myself!

Have really been getting into stouts more and more, esp. these RIS style; this local one is impressive, feel lucky to have a local beer of this quality 15 minutes away from home!

Nice appearance, jet black as is typical...minimal foaming / head, some small lacing on the glass...

Smell is pretty nice, chocolate / roasted mocha malts hit you first, some small hop bitterness in the background, balance is good for a 9% beer...got a little chocolate smell in there as well. Little boozy, but not overly so....

Taste on Siberian Night is great, mouthfeel is perfect for a Russian Imp stout, just the right mix of good maltiness with a touch of hops, and big easy drinkability....could consume several of these with nice chocolate birthday cake, as long as I was not driving anywhere soon, car or a sled being pulled by Balto or other huskies!

A really nice example of a RIS, feel fortunate to have Thirsty Dog brewing literally in my backyard; going to go get a growler full of this one very soon indeed!

Photo of Beertracker
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thirsty Dog's Siberian Night pours up with a light effervescence that creates a tight bubbled tannish brown head that dissipates rather quickly over the jet black body. The aroma is dominated by roasted barley, but has a noticeable caramel character supported by dark chocolate, mocha and toasted bread with hints of burnt molasses, charred wood, cocao nibs and layered with fruitiness i.e cherry preserves, fig bar, sugared dates,etc... The alcohol is noticeable, but well integrated. The heavily roasted flavor starts off a bit rough, but is quickly shapened by the supporting caramel & chocolate that's nicely balanced by a constant bitterness that reigns in this brash, full-bodied Russian Imperial Stout. Good layered complexity. Siberian Night keeps running, like a sled full of "thirsty dogs" at the Iditarod.

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of chipin4beer
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer lives up to its name it is pitch black, like used motor oil. It had a nice 1 1/2" of dark tan head when poured into a pint glass. Smooth and creamy in texture. Taste starts off with notes of chocolate, coffee and caramel flavor then moves to a slightly hoppy and for a brief second alcohol flavor then finishes with a coffee flavor and strong "roasted and toasted" malts flavor. It coats your mouth and stays with you for a while. A very complex flavor. Over all I would say it is a good stout. I noticed a bitter flavor near the end which wasn't my favorite and a brief alcohol burn. I got this six pack over two years ago and when I first had it I hated it (more novice user taste error than the beer's fault) and it has sat on my shelf and aged. Now that I have started to like heavier beers it now is quite enjoyable. I.E. A Bud light drinker probably won't like it.

Photo of rtratzlaff
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter in 3 oz. pours so as to stave inebriation this beer is black as they come. No light shines through on this dark and rainy day. A billowy tan head emits aromas or charred malts, sweet chocolate, and a slight hop character in the very background. No alcohol in the nose.
The taste is dark chocolate, bready, malty, and unabashedly flavorful in every department. Just enough bitterness from the hops to keep all that malt slightly somewhat in check. Mouthcoating is right up there with some of the best. Pairs very well with dark chocolate.
After checking my watch, these 3 oz. samples went way too fast. I am not a huge fan of RIS, but this would please anyone when paired with a nice desert. This Thirsty Dog will fill the belly and warm the soul on any cold Siberian Night.

Photo of hayesez
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Received in a package from cpetrone84. Poured into my new Dogfish Head signature glass.

Pours black and thick with a small dark brown head. Small amounts of dark copper light are let in near the surface, but other than that, this beer is as dark as one would expect from a beer called "Siberian Night." The head diminishes quickly leaving a ring of foam around the outside and an island inside. Impressive, spotty lacing surrounds the glass.

Pulled this one out of the fridge here in the office, so it is quite cold. Took a sniff here at the beginning and get a strong scent of roasted coffee. I'm gonna let this guy warm up for a bit before diving in...Still roasted coffee, although not as potent. A little chocolate in there as well. Very little alcohol is detected.

This is a very sweet tasting imperial stout- caramel, vanilla...very good. Not as full-bodied as I expected, based on the pour and the head. A little bit thin, but very creamy. Dark chocolate taste is very strong early. Aftertaste lingers of strong coffee.

Extremely drinkable - the alcohol content on this guy is nearly 10%, but it is masked very well. A very creamy and smooth beer that goes down dangerously easily.

Consumed: 2/8/2010

Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,597 ratings.