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Siberian Night Imperial Stout - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Siberian Night Imperial StoutSiberian Night Imperial Stout

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1,621 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,621
Reviews: 823
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 143
Gots: 196 | 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:
Beer added by: Dogbrick on 01-13-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,621 | Reviews: 823 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beersabound
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mcallister for this one!

A motor oil consistency flows forth into a dark brown head that settles slowly. Wafts of roasted malts, sweet espresso, and 85% cacao chocolate smack the nostrils around while clean alcohol lingers beneath. The hop bitterness gives good balance to all the dark malt. This imperial stout is a great example of the style. It might even be a little too clean for me. I like some of the dark fruit characters that often lurk in the dark forest that is RIS. But this one is well attenuated, smooth on the palate and is quite drinkable for all of its flavor. This beer is ready to go now, no need to age. Aging beer is fun but having a RIS ready to go from the brewery is excellent too.

Photo of russpowell
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mad props to beeronthebrain for this one!

Pours a noisy & effervescent & ebony with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Much oilyness to the appearance; Nice sheets of lacing chase the beer down the glass. But about 2/3rd through, no lacing or head retention

S: Coffee & baker's chocolate

T: Rich chocolate, iron, & some coffe up front, Vanilla, molasses & dryness as this warms, along with Kona coffee & oakyness. fishes dry with much coffee & a smidge of vanilla. Almost pulled a 5.0

MF: Chewy, oily, & enough carbonation to make the flavor pop

Drinks great for the abv & style, but I'm sure 2 X 12ozs of this is conducive to an early night! Just a little more malt depth & I'd say this puppy is best of show!

Photo of BMoney575
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 4-6-08
2007 Vintage

Pours an opaque black, with a foamy tan head that settles to a thin layer. Quickly fading lacing leaves thin, tan rings behind.

Smell is nice and aged, with tons of chocolate and anise. Subtle oak near the end is very pleasant, with maybe just a hint of alcohol.

Taste is almost bland at first, but then the chocolate starts to peek through. There's a buttery vanilla character right in the middle that's hard to place, and the finish is surprisingly light.

Mouthfeel is good, a nice combination of thickness and carbonation.

Drinkability is very good, the flavors blend well and are very easy on the palate.

Overall, I liked it more with every sip. Not as intense as other Russian Imperials, and better for it.

Photo of rallison
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First, to note, I had this beer originally at GABF and was quite impressed by it. As such, I had to trade for a couple of bottles. The first one I opened at one of Dr. Bill's tastings, and I was not impressed. Oxidized and flat in flavor. This review is for the second bottle I opened - this one has some life in it.

Pours a very thick black with a 1/2 finger dark tan head. This is nice looking, but unfortunately leaves no lacing.

Smells of espresso and dark fruits with some nice touches of dark chocolate. So far, very nice.

What about the taste? Dark fruits, dark chocolate, notes of coffee. Slightly fruity. Some oxidation. Still quite tasty, but 2 out of 2 bottles with oxidation this early? I don't quite understand how.

Mouthfeel is nice - relatively rich, but has just a slight thin quality on swallow. Drinkability is good.

I still want to try a fresh bottle (fresh as in straight from the brewery) and put in another review, as this definitely still had some oxidation. A beer like this shouldn't at this point - but 2 out of 2 so far have had varying stages of oxidation. With that said, the oxidation is not overpowering, and this is still a fine beer. Seek out a well kept/fresh bottle and I think you will be impressed.

Edit: Actually, after looking a couple reviews down, I see notes of metallic qualities. This is actually mostly what I am tasting here I realize, not oxidation. This is extremely disappointing, and seems to be an obvious flaw in the beer itself (at least this batch). As such, I have to lower the flavor a notch since this was not an aging issue but a brewing issue. I don't remember this from my GABF sample, so I will have to seek out a new batch to see if this is just an unfortunate, one-off bad batch, or if this is normal.

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

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours black as midnight with a 1/2 finger of burnt mocha colored head that fizzles down into a thin retention around the edges with just the smallest wisps left in the middle. Not much lace is left behind but does coat the glass with a nice, brown oily residue. The aroma is thick with roasted barley, deep chocolate sweetness, light citric hoppiness, a dark fruit twang, and just a twinge of heat.

The taste is dark roasted malt, deep chocolate sweetness, notes of coffee and dark fruits, and nice combo of hop and roasted bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a warming alcohol sting that coats the mouth with a warm and sticky bitterness. They recently upped the ABV of this from a 9-9.7% and the added alcohol beef is definitely present, as the previous formulation of this was incredibly quaffable for a 9% beer.

This a definitley one of my underated beers out there and is a great value for the money (a six-pack can be found in the $11-12 range). Maybe not quite up there with the some other top tier RIS and the alcohol presence hinders the drinkibility some but make no mistake that this doggie still has some bite and is one of my fav commercially available Stouts.

Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours almost Black even under the florescent light, coffee head and persistent lace.

S - Espresso, mostly, some chocolate and malt.

T - Mocha all the way , baby.

M- Super creamy, good carb for product, great mouthfeel.

D - Too big for long hauls.

Photo of Tilley4
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the coolest looking labels that I've ever seen.

Wow. This thing certainly looks the part. It is blacker than charcoal and forms a great mocha colored head.

The aroma is not as strong as I was expecting. Definite chocolate notes but nothing overpowering at all. Its actually quite nice...

Well, this one is definitely a sipper.. Great taste of chocolate and dark roasted malts but also quite the alcohol presence which causes the drinkability to suffer somewhat. This is a serious brew.. Actually reminds me of Old Rasputin which aint a bad thing..

Overall a good stout but I don't know if its a top 10 brew or not. A little hot..

Photo of lightindarkness
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black. Very little head at first, but a harder pour brought on a big tan froth, very nice. Very lace-like lacing, if that means anything.

Nose is rich in coffee, dark toasted grains, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, spicy wood, with slight alcohol burn. Very nice.

Very generous nearly-burnt grains, smooth lightly sweet milky chocolate, coffee, and some bitter burnt wood at the finish. Brighter fruit flavors hover on top of the palate, not quite setting in but rounding out the fullness of the flavor.

Feel is really, really smooth. Plenty of body here, but also enough carbonation to fight through and give a light tingle. Chewy at the finish.

Flavor makes this pretty drinkable, but body and alcohol inhibit a high rating for consumption.

Photo of kkipple
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to CrazyMacHarris99 for the trade on this one.

Pours with virtually no head, this is a lowly carbonated, dark and thick looking stout. I can deal.

A fine aroma emanates from the glass - very smooth and roasty, with hints of oats and slick molasses, quite sweet and heavy with malt expressions, very little alcohol in the smell, odd for the style and the 9%.

Taste is a little more subdued than I'd like, but this is a very well balanced stout, not aggressive at all, but sweet, deep, slick and smooth. Hints of coffee and charred grain, and is it just me or am I tasting oats? Long, deep and roasty finish. Actually this tastes like it's been aged for a while, there is really no hot boozy "edge" or intense roast that many in the style boast.

Mouthfeel is slick and sweet, cocoa-bitter finish lingers.

A very drinkable, smooth RIS. Thirsty Dog is onto something here. I'm glad I have more to share.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black, no light being able to get through, small tan head from an aggressive pour with very little lacing.

Smell has a strong roasted malt presence, as well as strong coffee undertones and a subtle chocolate aroma.

Taste is quite creamy, starts off with roasted malt and follows with an aftertaste of coffee, chocolate notes are much more subtle than the coffee ones, warms the back of the mouth and sides a bit but is not overwhelmingly harsh with the alcohol sensations.

A solid RIS but not the best in the category or even for stouts, but a very solid beer nevertheless.

Photo of DIM
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This is a very dark brown, not quite black. It pours with a big foamy mocha colored head that has great lace and retention.

s: This has a surprisingly subdued nose. Mild aromas of cocoa and coffee, along with some very faint alcohol. Not at all offensive, I just wish it was more assertive.

t: Things start off with a nice hot chocolate flavor. Some charred roasty coffee tastes come next. The finish is dry, bitter, and has some sour cherry notes.

m: This has a very nice thick, chewy texture and excellent foamy carbonation.

d: This is a fantastic RIS, I'm not sure why it took me so long to try one of these.

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

Thanks to Miketd, I believe, for the bottle.
Big brown lasting head on a pitch black oily pour in a snifter. Smell is deliciously smooth, cream, chocolately roast, and an almost chocolate peanut butter cup creaminess about it. Hint of alcohol and smoke as it warms a bit. Taste is dense, creamy chocolate, with a perfect roastiness and no burnt smells or tastes. Perfect mouthfeel and light carbonation. Easily one of my new favorite beers. Awesome, and unbeatable for the price.

Photo of brdc
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks cookin420 for this one.
Small capped bottle poured into a pint.

Pitch black, with a nice dark tan head that retains quite well, and leaves thick, sticky lacing all the way down.
Aroma is your average stout, with the coffee and chocolate notes, but a bit sweeter and packed with a lot more dark fruits.
Medium to full, it lacks a little bit in the body, but the nice flavor makes up for it, with the same notes from the nose, fruity and loaded in chocolate and coffee, and perhaps some caramel.
It is very good, well balanced with little noticeable alcohol; it lacks a bit of body, power and complexity to make it great.
Still very worthwhile, goes down nicely with chocolate.

Photo of becktone
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Eye: Black in color, looks darker than molasses. Head is a small brown creature, looks to leave some pretty thick lacing. What is lacking in the head is made up for by the lacing, thick and creamy-a true thing of wonder.

Nose: Heavy aroma, dark malts, heavy roasted notes, burnt aromas, chocolate, a bit of alcohol in there as well. Expected RIS smell.Aroma is nice, and is easy to pick up.

Tongue: Tons of roasted and black malt flavors here. There's that nice roasted flavor followed by a black acrid malt taste, great, just great. Chocolate malt is also present. Some alcohol is evident at the swallow. Very nice RIS.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Thick and heavy on the palate, low levels of carbonation are appropriate to the style. This beer is also smooth as it goes down, like chocolate melting in the mouth(and not in the hand...ha). I really enjoy the fullness of this brew, the smoothness, the creaminess, to me it seems everything about the mouthfeel is right. This is one I will definitely come back to. Next time I am in the mood for a RIS and don't know where to turn it is definitely here.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black in color with a deep tan head. Sharp, metallic smell. Deep roasted aroma but the metal smell takes away from it. Heavy, chocolatey flavor. Dry cocoa flavor. I cant seem to overcome the metallic quality. Decent mouthfeel to it. Very enjoyable and drinkable. The somewhat off aroma really detracts from the whole picture for me. Still a decent RIS. I would buy this again.

Photo of philbe311
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A rich pitch black, poured with very little head, any lace was quickly gone...

S - Hints of licorice, caramel, dark chocolate, and roasted nuts...

T - Smooth at first with heavy rich caramel flavor with slight hints of licorice developing shortly after...

M - Full-bodied with a creamy texture and slight carbonation...

D - A little too harsh for my liking... A very solid taste, but tough to drink more than 1 or 2 in a sitting...

Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Black with a rich 1 and 1/2 inch coffee-colored head. Even as far as imperial stouts go this is pretty dark stuff.

Smell - Very bold and roasty. Aromas of chocolate and coffee are up-front with subtler notes of toffee and raisins.

Taste - Moderate sweetness is balanced by a bold roasted bitterness. Full-bodied and creamy. Pronounced flavors of dark chocolate, espresso and semi-burnt toast. Very little hop presence. The palate is consumed by mild roasty bitterness in the finish, long and coating.

Notes - Bold but never over the top, this is a highly drinkable imperial stout.

Photo of cookin420
3.28/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a chalice.

Black with a tinge of dark-caramel brown around the edge of the glass. The head is cocoa colored, and is the darkest foam I have ever seen. It leaves no lace and is gone without a trace in less than a minute.

Smell is of burnt chocolate, some kind of floral hop, some vegetable notes that don't necessarily detract from the overall smell, some acetone-like smell that does, and subtle dark roast coffee notes.

Coffee is more evident in the taste, good bittering right up front. Not a very malty RIS, any fruits are muted. Slightly astringent finish mingling with more burnt chocolate in the aftertaste. One dimensional.

Mouthfeel does not stand up to the flavor in this beer. Slightly low final gravity IMO.

The drinkability is better than many I think partly because T.D. does a great job hiding the alc. content. That said, I wish I could taste more alcohol when I drink this. I think it would mellow some of the other flavors that dominate.

Photo of liammaloney
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first thought on seeing this beer was how apt the name was. It is indeed an inky, dark, opaque night of a color, dark enough for me to check my reflection in the glass. It was topped with a creamy-foamy head, perfectly level with lots of tiny bubbles.

Unlike what I imagine a cold night in Siberia would smell like, it had a pronounced chocolate aroma, with a pleasantly bitersweet quality, like plum brandy.

My first sip was thick - mouth-coating. Full of rich chocolate and herb flavors, and finishing with chocolate covered cherries. The head showed some legs, as well, sliding down the glass in a sheet.

And the finish was just what I was hoping for. It had a medium depth with some heat, lots more of the chocolate-coffee bitterness I'd been tasting, and just a hint of citrus zest. A great brew for a cold February night.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thirsty Dog- Siberian Night

A- Dark murky black with a thick tan head. Thick lacing down the glass.
S- Dark strong roasted coffee bean and dark chocolate.
T- Thick rich dark chocolate with a touch of creamy deep roasted coffe bean.
M- Smooth and creamy. Dry finish.

Overall- An excellent Imp. Stout! The 9% alc is well hidden. A very tasty and sessionable stout!

Photo of psinderson
3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sample glass during a tasting at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse.

Appearance: Dark, almost black. Strong caramel colored head.

Smell: Smokey and roasty, some molasses-like sweetness.

Taste: Extreme roast flavor with sugary sweetness. Finishes somewhat bitter.

Mouthfeel: Seemed a bit thinner than the taste suggested.

Drinkability: The bitter finish slows you down a bit.

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

A - Pours almost black in color. Got a little more than a half inch of medium brown head. Retention was average. Lacing was good.

S - Nice prominant roasted aromas. Background has notes of coffee and bittersweet chocolate.

T - Taste follows smell closely. Very prominant roasted flavors followed by coffee and chocolate. Even the background flavors are strong in this one. Alcohol finishes off the flavor profile. The flavors smooth out once it warms.

M - Full bodied. Carbonation was on par with the style. There is also a slightly dry finish.

D - Goes down easy. The high abv puts the limit to one per sitting. Still a very enjoyable brew.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Sweet! I am the 300th reviewer of this beer. Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Served in a New Belgium snifter from the 12oz bottle. Pitch black with a tan head about one finger in size. Copious amounts of lacing and very nice retention.

Aroma is very chocolatey. Malty, dried figs and raisins. Earthy hops. Caramel backbone.

More coffee than chocolate in the flavor. Slightly fruity with just the right amount of sweetness. Long finish with a hop bite and more coffee bitterness.

This was a beauty. Mouthfeel was a little thin for me, but the overall taste more than made up for that. Alcohol is absolutely missing in this one. Pretty damn drinkable all things considered. I think I could have this anytime, anywhere. A great beer and I am glad to have it.

Photo of atrus138
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black with amber tinges where the light meets it. Dark khaki head that was about two fingers thick. Pretty good retention. A bit of lacing, though not much. Smells of dark coffee with notes of alcohol. There was also the sweetness of brown sugar present, with notes of dark fruit. Smell is a little on the weak side for a drink as robust as an imperial stout, though. Taste is a bit fruitier than I expected. Figs and raisins are most evident. The usual flavors also make their appearance. Coffee, chocolate, some caramel. Definitely malt-heavy. I can barely detect any hops here. Nice roasted finish. Medium-bodied, though a bit thin for the style. This is one of the lighter RISs I've had. This is still a pretty massive drink and the alcohol catches up to you after a while. Recommended.

Photo of Lothar666
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Creamy, two finger thick, dark tan head receeded rather slowly and remained a full finger thick for at least a minute after the initial pour. Body was opaque and almost black, the color of high quality dark chocolate. Attractive, sticky and muddy lacing was left on the sides of my glass as I sipped.

S- Dark roasted cofee, espresso, dark chocolate and strong alcohol are all present in the nose. The aroma is far more complex and pleasant than most that I have had in this style.

T- Complex, dark roasted malts, espresso and coffee notes with some dark chocolate are balanced out by just the right amount of hops and strong alcohol in the finish. The aftertaste is all dark malts. This is nearly a perfect example of what the flavor profile for this style should be.

M- Perhaps a tad thin compared to some other RIS' that I have enjoyed in the past, this one still manages to hold on to the oily mouth texture that I love and the delightful tongue coating that I feel makes or breaks a good Russian Imperial Stout. An excellent choice.

D- This is a beer to be sipped on and enjoyed. The strong alcohol is very noticeable and obvious, but not at all astringent or unwelcome and balanced out well by the complex flavors of the dark malt and coffee. One of my all time favorites and a very accessable example of the standard by which this style should be judged.

Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,621 ratings.