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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.

1,564 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,564
Reviews: 816
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 141
Gots: 163 | 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: 1,564 | Reviews: 816 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a deep dark color, almost black in appearance. Very little head that dissipated rather quickly; little lacing remained during the tasting. Mild mocha scent, with a hint of nut and malt. Velvety smooth in the mouth with a slight tingle across the tongue and palate. Very drinkable for an imperial; almost too drinkable in that it left me somewhat wanting at the end. Enjoyable, but there are definitely better out there, and missing the signature bite at the end. Would very much like to sample on tap to determine if there may have been an issue with the batch, or if the bottle simply sat on the shelf for a while.

Photo of Kempleton
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been religously drinking this beer since it went on tap at Theresa Next Door in Wayne.

Apearance: Wow, this is a dark beer. Pours blacker than coal from the tap into a sniffter, with a thick, dark brown, three finger head that takes a while to receed to a thin coating of foam that remains for the (short)life of this brew. I swirl this beer so there was not much in the way of lacing left for me.

Smell: Wonderful aromas fill the nose. Strong scents of bitersweet chocolate, and malt fill the nose first, followed by hints of coffee and others that I just can't place.

Taste: Awesome. enough said. If you like stouts you will love this one.

Mouthfeel: Not as heavy as one would think for a beer of this caliber, but defintly something there. No need to chew this beer. Alcohol does not come across to strongly and carbonation is not overbearing. Just the right amount of everything.

Drinkabilty: Goes down WAY to easy for a beer that contains 9.0% ABV. The only thing that keeps this beer from being a good session beer for me, besides the cost and availabilty, is the drunkeness I get after three or four of them, .

Overall, I was very impressed with this beer. It got me back into stouts in a big way,after not drinking any for a while, this beer makes me wonder why I haven't been. I miss it already. Thanks to Thirsty Dog for making my beer-life a little better.

Photo of seaoflament
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from BRoss242, thanks for this one! 2006 release?

Poured at around cellar temp. into my Stone 11th Anniversary pint glass. Color is as dark as the fur of a black bear. Huge, and I mean huge amount of toffee colored foam, about three fingers worth. Great lacing and retention.

Big aromas of chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, cocoa, vanilla, and a mellow aged beer aroma.

Taste is very pleasant. What a great Imperial Stout! Roasted malts, sweet malts, chocolate, and coffee. Hot damn! I am really enjoying this beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and smooth and just the right touch of carbonation. Alcohol is almost non-existent. Sweet, sticky lips after every sip and a nice dry finish in the palate.

This was a real treat. It felt more like drinking some liquid chocolate candy than a beer. I’m so glad I got two more of these, now I’m just waiting for a rainy day in San Diego…

Photo of John_M
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this excellent beer at Teresa's next door yesterday afternoon. Lucky timing on my part, they had just hooked it up (wasn't even listed on the draft list yet).

The beer pours a sensational dark as night color, with an incredible rich, chocolate/coffee head. The beer has excellent lacing and wonderful head retention. Visually, this beer just looks incredible. On the nose one gets the expected coffee and chocolate, but with some dark fruits seeping in as well. The beer is every bit as wonderful on the palate, with coffee (lots of coffee), chocolate, licorise and vanilla. The beer has a huge malt and hop presence, coming across as a VERY big beer. However, the beer is really pretty drinkable for its 9% abv., though I wouldn't want to drink more then one.

Very impressive stout from Thirsty Dog brewing.

Photo of perfectkaos
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown color with a small caramel head.

lots of roasted malts on the nose

taste is heavy. chocolate, coffee and general roasted malt tastes. aftertaste is solely dark chocolate.

this is a good chocolatey stout. bitter just as cocoa should be. not a super heavy drinker, but no session beer either.

Photo of alexgash
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown almost black oil into the Duvel tulip glass. Finger of dense, persistent cocoa brown head. Nose is loaded with chocolate milk, Whoppers, dark chocolate, toasted caramel, and roasted coffee. I haven't had a beer that smelled so much like chocolate milk before.

Cocoa powder and chocolate milk flavors up front. Moderately roasted malt and light coffee notes follow. Some lacto sweetness, milk chocolate, and dark fruits follow. The chocolate quality overshadows the dark fruits overall. Light peat notes followed by coffee bitterness in the finish. Mildly warming. Medium body is a little light for my taste. Still, a very nice RIS, and a chocolaty one at that!

Photo of cokes
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ink black donning a well-kept brown foam.
Espresso nose accented with fudge brownies, liquorice, pine tar, and just plain ol' tar.
Fully roasted from the get go. Big bold black coffee notes. It ebbs towards a raisin and prune fruitiness before it is cut off by bitter dark chocolate shavings, then sweetens again toward fudge and brownies. Liquorice oozes in and joins with molasses as the dominant traits. Smokiness belches up prior to the pine-leaning hop closure. There are traces of Pinot Noir like vinousness here, but the strength is generally masked.
Thick and gooey in feel, and yet still guzzle-able in palate-painting gulps.
This is an archetypal Imperial Stout. Not the boldest, or most bruising, but a tasty rendition that does what it needs to...and does it very well.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a chalice, pours an absolute, impenetrable obsidian black, a dark tan head of half inch, bubbly, settling to a thin film, also bubbly, sheets of lacing left behind upon a swirl, sticking for a second only to dissolve and disperse, leaving splotchy residual tracings behind.

The aroma is dark, rich, all kinds of chocolates, mocha and cocoa, sweet molasses, but striking in its refined and tempered approach. Not typical for RIS's, yet still lovely. The key word here is, rich... very rich. The taste is even more even keeled, still rich and delicious. Lots of chocolate and mocha, caramel, yet still roasted with trace coffees, a line of just distinguishable hops.

The body is somewhat full, but more importantly creamy smooth, the slight warmth the only trace of any alcohol. In all, it more subdued than I'd thought it'd be, but in its sublty is refinement, and I can appreciate that in this monster of styles.

Photo of genog
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a dark, opaque black oil like texture. A creamy bubbly tan head forms up at the top of the snifter then dies down to basically leave nothing. Smell on this one is hoppy, and smells like licorice. First taste is all black licorice. After some warming all I can taste is still licorice. Toward the end of the glass I taste hoppy, then dark cocoa, coffee, toffee. Moutfeel has no carbonation but it is sticky, and chewy. Not my favorite stout, but it is a very good offering.

Photo of franksnbeans
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks like I just struck oil as it pours out of the bottle. Completely opaque black with a dark chocolate 2 finger head. This looks like a badass stout. Lots of chocolate in the nose, roasted coffee beans, toffee, love the smell. Tastes of sweet malt, chocolate, expresso, toasty, oatmeal?. More flavors come out as it warms up and as it warms me up. Mouthfeel is full with perfect tickle of carbonation. Bitter hop finish is the icing on the cake. This has instantly become a favorite of mine. Delicious, well done and a must try for any stout lover.

Photo of Viggo
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sent my way by the excellent TheManiacalOne for BC2!

Pours a deep dark black, held it up to night and got nothing. Two finger thick brown head forms, refuses to leave, even though I asked it nicely. Lots of lacing, looks pretty amazing. Smell is great, dark fruits, roast, chocolate, coffee, toffee, floral, bread, more roast, kickass! Goddamn. Intense chocolate roast, coffee roast, toffee, more roast, bit of floral, bread, sweet in the finish, more roast, maple chocolate caramel finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, alcohol warmth in the finish, 9% ABV is hidden very gracefully. Fantastic, I would kill for a stockpile of this, perfect balance of roast and sweet toffee excellence. Thanks a ton Mark!!

Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I decided an Imperial stout in the Summer isn't such a bad idea.
A -4.5 S-5 M-4.5 T-4.5 O-4.5
Poured from a brown 12oz into a Corsendonk glass cold.
A - Dark mocha brown w/ a full 3 finger head. Spacious pockets of bubbles are evidence of a vigorous pour and smatterings of lace is the after-effect.

S - Full of aroma like a sweet welcoming finger motioning "come drink in this beauty". Smooth creamy chocolate w/ dark roast coffee or espresso and truffles - Superb.

M - Rich intense deep creamy supple feel. Malt forward and layers of rich grain textures. Hints of hoppy spices linger on into the finish.

T - Smooth, rich, velvety darkness in the flavor. Chocolate delights and dark cocoa tastes envelope my taste buds. Sweetness is balanced by the roast coffee and chocolate mix w/ a hint of caramel. A sweet delight of roasty malt that doesn't get chalky, just stays smooth until a dried fruity flavor comes in. Slightly fig-like in its rich complexity, the taste gets even more tannic and dry as it warms.

D - A wonderful Imperial Stout! Up there with the best of them for sure. A real pleasure to taste: So rich,yet easy to drink.

Edit -7/19/10 -bottle poured into a nonic
A-4 S - 4.5 M- 3.5 T -4 D -3.5

A - A black as night liquid with cola accents around the edges w/ 1/2 inch of light tan cap that settles to 1/4 inch and has a very fine bead. The lace holds well

S- A strong coffee-like scent with char notes like friench roast and a mild peppery accent w/ a mix of vanilla and cocoa along with a mild caramel malt note w/ hop and alcohol aromas mild overall

M - The feel has a relatively high amount of carbonation for the style and there is an almost too plentiful level of roast if there is such a thing alcohol is noticeable, w/ a moderately high astringency from the male w/ mild bitterness and an overall dry roasty finish w/ med full body

T - The flavor of the Stout is intensely roasted bordering on charred flavor w/ mild caramel undertone and slight spice flavors from the hops. The malt has a gentle cocoa and sweet malt synergy w/ dry nuttiness and spice taste accenting well the flavor of both full roasted and bitter hops carries into the finish

D - A pretty decent Imperial stout - I was able to drink this over the course of an hour and would say it is deserving of repeat tastes. The Imperial stout could be a bit fuller in body w/ a bit more complexity, but all in all a good tasting stout

Photo of JMac453
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a bottle of this at my usual spot to buy brews (Kenny Rd. Market...if any of you guys live in Columbus, OH check that place out). A friend of mine recommended that I try this brew.

A: Pretty much pitch black, with a nice tan head that's not too large, but not too small either.

S: Coffee and roasted malts hit the senses here. Chocolate as well. You can also smell the alcohol a little bit. (It is after all 9% ABV). I didn't detect a strong hop presence here.

T: This is in my opinion where this brew truly shines. The taste is amazing, A lot of coffee comes through, followed by the taste of rich dark chocolate and the roasted malts. A really nice coffee aftertaste with a hint of the chocolate comes in once the brew goes down into the belly, along with a nice warming sensation. Alcohol only becomes present when you take a nice huge drink, but that is not recommended because this is a brew to truly take your time with and enjoy.

M: Thick and chewy with little carbonation. I really like the full-bodied feel...it makes you feel almost like you're eating a food

D: Effortless. The taste is so good that I could probably drink these all night. I'd probably be too full though after a few ;-) I really, really wish I would've had another one to try. I can also see why this is a winter release...after a cold, blustery day this brew will cheer anyone up instantly.

Closing comments: This is probably my new favorite beer, very highly recommended to anyone and everyone. Enjoy!

Photo of udubdawg
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle

pours a nice nearly black color, though noticeably thinner than a few elite RISs I've had lately. Head rises to an inch of light brown foam before fading away almost as swiftly. Lacing is spotty at best.

Nose is better than decent - a lot of coffee here, chocolate, and a general suggestion of sweetness that I find I wish was a bit more complex. I should add that the coffee component of the aroma is especially impressive, seeming quite robust and roasty - I'm only an occasional java drinker but I think it'd become a habit if more midwest coffee smelled like this beer!

ah, more java as this hits the tongue...woah, hey, there's a bitter kick of surprising strength...and double woah, the finish really dries out my palate, begging another sip. OK...
after a few ounces my mouth no longer feels parched after a swallow, which is good as I'm pretty sure perpetually drinking more of this delicious beer to wet my palate is not a good idea. I thought I detected some fruit at first and actually briefly got a perception of the beer being vinous, but that disappeared within a few swallows as the coffee coated my tongue and the warming effect increased.
Though the beer doesn't appear particularly thick it is quite full in the mouth, and the low carbonation lets the coffee and bittering hops shine.
Alcohol isn't absent but is quite muted for the strength, or else I'm a lush who loves huge-flavored "hot" beers...that'll take more research to decide.

I'd love to have the original Ohio-brewed version of this beer, but I gotta say I have no problem with what those contract brewing guys in Maryland have created - they seem to know their stuff.

Too drinkable! Bad Dog! Bad!
(now go get me another...good boy!)

Photo of AdamB84
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got to try this beer thanks to a trade with Photekut.

A- Poured great, little to no head and was very thin.

S- Thank god it didn't taste like it smelled. Had a very sour yeasty smell to it.

T- Thought the beer itself was great. Good roasty malt notes and a good finish. If it had tasted like the smell, I don't think I would have enjoyed it.

M- Light on the mouthfeel but still had a body (it is a IS that is 9.0% watch out)

D- Very tasty and the only thing that I didn't enjoy was the smell. Overall a very good beer.

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours almost a midnight black, the bottle itself is somewhat intimidating with the wolf eyes, little foam, even the bubbles appear black!

Smell- Full bodied aroma, dark coffee roast and a hint of the deep woods in the nose, has a bit of bit, possibly from the alcohol but also from the unique combination of coffee smell and piney tones.

Taste- Coffee very evident, chocolate as well. Fairly smooth, never really blasts you but definitly washes over you with a powerful flavor that lingers for a long time. Smooth on the finish with flavors gradually receding.

Mouthfeel- Ridicously thick on the tongue, this beer might be closer to a solid then a liquid, full body fills every corner of your mouth.

Drinkability- Weighing at a muscular 9% ABV you wouldnt want to have too many of these but despite is muscle its flavors shine through quite well and are well received on the tongue. A few of these brews to sip on some cold night would be delightful.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am drinking a 2 year old bottle at cellar temp and poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a pitch black opaque color with fizzy beige head foaming up 1 cm and fading quickly to an edge layer. the aroma is nice roasted malt and brown sugar with some molasses notes as well. Not a bit of hops present on the nose.

First sip reveals a soft silky textured beer with very mild and spacious carbonation. Very easy drinking texture, simply caresses my tongue and gently slips down my throat to my waiting belly.
The flavor is deep and robust with chocolate, coffee grounds, roassted malt, molasses and brown sugar mixing in a whirlwind of flavor. Again no hops to be found. the coffee and roast linger after each sip.
There is a bit of warming booze on the finish that heats up my throat on the swallow. A bit of a sipper but quite nice flavor and texture make me wish I had another bottle.

Photo of ndekke39
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Bodega in Columbus, OH. Poured into a pint glass. Dark, black with ruby edges, tan head with little retention. Smells and tastes of caramel, molasses, raisins, alcohol, and coffee. Heavy mouthfeel, almost like a cake batter. Thick bubbles. Heavy on the alcohol, so sip slowly, but it's a delicious drink nonetheless.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with a half inch tan head. Head retention was low, but the lacing is good. It smells like roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, licorice and some grassy hops. Taste is mostly coffee and bittersweet chocolate along with some dark fruit, molasses and licorice. There's also a slight bitter hoppy finish/aftertaste. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, but not as rich and full as I expected. It also leaves a nice slick coating in my mouth. Drinkability is very good, it's easy to drink and the alcohol is well hidden. I think this is a pretty good, solid beer. I'd drink it again!

Photo of ski271
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Almost pitch black in color. The only color I saw was a very slight chestnut hue on a white piece of paper placed under the beer under a bright light. Head is dark tan, medium-sized, and frothy. Retention not that great, but good for the style. Attractive ring of lacing all the way down.
S- Roasted malts with hops note than I’m using to smelling in an Imp. Stout. Nice change of pace. But still the usual aromas are there and dominant. Chocolate, brown sugar, toffee, with some coffee, vanilla, wood, and some light floral notes.
T- Similar to the nose except more brown sugar and vanilla. Still malt-dominant of course, but with a pleasantly bittered hop finish to go with the lingering malts.
M- Full body, lightly dry texture, low carbonation
D- The write-up is good, but this beer didn’t wow me. I guess because I love this style and it takes something really special for me to rant and rave about, and while still very good, it isn’t good enough for me to do that.

Photo of Bleedingshrimp
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass. Come out a nice inky black with a 1/2 inch chocolate milk colored head. Aroma is chocolate cake with a touch of wine. Straight away the taste is bittersweet chocolate and black coffee. There are some good strong hop notes in this one...god I love big hop flavor in stouts. The finish is nice dark roasted malts and and a soft hop bite. Mouthfeel is silky and spot on for the style. It's got such a rich taste too it. At 9% alcohol you get a nice warm chest as an afterthought. I don't think the drinkability is hindered though by the ABV as it's just to rich and damn chocolatey to have just one.

Photo of TexIndy
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review on 2/4/09
Poured from a 12oz bottle that I brought back from Indy into my trusty pint glass. No dating info. Was a dark black color even against a strong light. It had a smallish dark brown head that quickly faded into a thin collar. Carb fount in center. No real lacing.

The aroma was heavy on coffee, roasted malts and a touch of sweet malt in the back - typical RIS minus the alcohol that I find in some. The taste was really incredible. Good balance between the coffee and roasted malts. Smooth from start to finish without a bitter finish. The mouthfeel was nice and creamy as well.

Overall this was an incredible brew and I can't wait to try it again. Very highly recommend. Would be a regular in the RIS/stout rotation if available here. Gonna be on my permanent Indy shopping list when I go home to visit.

****original 7/7/07 review***
4.5's across the board
Got as extra in trade with unclejedi - much thanks! Poured from a 12oz bottle with no dating info into my trusty pint glass. Was a dark black color even against a strong light. It had a smallish dark brown head that quickly faded into a thin collar. Since this is a winter beer and this is July, the head was probably impacted somewhat. The aroma was heavy on coffee, roasted malts and a touch of sweet malt in the back. I don't like coffee and stouts are not my favorite and this being a Imp Stout, I was expecting to not enjoy this one but wow was I wrong. This is incredible. It was really mellow from start to finish and didn't have that bitter end that I find in most stouts. The roasted malts really shine dominate the taste over the coffee. The mouthfeel was nice and creamy as well. Overall this was an incredible brew and I can't wait to try it again. Very highly recommend.

Photo of edchicma
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost black with a rich, thick head. Smell is a hearty waft of roasted malt..very inviting. Taste is strong roasted malt with a definite alcohol presence. Slight metallic note is only distraction. Mouthfeel is creamy, but finishes nice and dry. Drinkability is very good for such a high abv.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a dark tan head that fades somewhat quickly and leaves no lacing. The smell has licorice, roasted grain, and unsweetened chocolate- very dry. The taste is most notable for its creamy smoothness. Licorice and perhaps some chicory are present as is some delicious bittersweet chocolate. The mouthfeel as well is smooth and creamy and delicious.Not my absolute favorite RIS, but its creaminess, chocolate, and pronounced licorice makes it a delicious treat.

Photo of mdm46410
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. This imperial stout pours a solid opaque black with a half-inch thick tan head that quickly dissolves. Almost no lace to speak of. Aromas are hops, roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. A slight hint of alcohol in the nose. The flavor is heavy on the roasted malts and chocolate. The roastiness seems to take over and cover up some of the other flavors. Mouthfeel is a bit thin leaving with a slightly lasting bitter finish. This is a decent imperial stout. Not bad, but not one of my favorites. The one dimensional flavor almost could be passed off as a dry stout.

Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,564 ratings.