1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Siberian Night Imperial Stout - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Siberian Night Imperial StoutSiberian Night Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,635 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,635
Reviews: 827
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 146
Gots: 200 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 1,635 | Reviews: 827
Photo of tpd975
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to lightindarkness for sending several of these.

A: Pours as dark as a "Siberian" night. The head is nice and bold two fingers in height. The retention is okay and some lace is noted.

S: Big bold aromas. Tons of nice charred malt with hints of hop infused dark chocolate. Touches of coffee, vanilla, and caramel. A touch of alcohol can be detected.

T: Nice flavor that is big on the char. The malts have alot of smoke in them no doubt. The chocolate can come thru along with the vanilla and dark fruit. Some bittered coffee grounds can be detected along with a nice blast of booze.

M: Medium in body, kind of prickly because of the booze.

D: Not too bad at all. It is a bit bolder and more smokey than many RIS' but it does not suffer because of this.

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

Got this one from prototypic, thanks man!

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Pours a midnight black with a fluffy two finger cocoa colored head which slowly dies down to a foamy layer of bubbles. Chunnky layers of webbing on left on the sides of the glass, nice lookin' brew. Rich and smokey malts up front on the nose with dark chocolate and coffee grinds as well. A good amount of dark fruits with a touch of alcohol as well. Definitely a monster in the smell department, I likey. Taste begins with charred barley and rich caramel malt with a touch of sweet vanilla. Raisins and dates midway with french roast coffee as well. A touch of gritty hops in the aftertaste with more smoked malts to balance it out. Very solid tasting brew. Thick and creamy in the mouth with a heavy feel. Carbonation is subtle but fits in well with the style. This is a big beer for sure, and one that seems to get overlooked. This is my first Thirsty Dog brew, I'm looking forward to trying more of their offerings.

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle aquired in Virgin BIF.

A-Black with no night with small head on pour. Nice looking stout.
S-Roasty, Malty, but some vegetal smell that took away from aroma.
T-Roasty coffee flavor, dark cocoa, but had some plastic and vegetal flavors that really detracted. Hoppy finish with an astringent flavor. Didn't seem quite right in this beer.
M-Creamy and full in the mouth. Perfect carbonation with slightly dry finish. Very nice.
D-I could drink another, but wouldn't drink too much more.

Some good aspects to this beer but some off flavors took away from the overall beer.

Photo of Proteus93
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Inky black, a creamy brown head. Not much left behind, but it retains well enough.

S: Anise, dark roasted malts, slightly burnt caramel or toffee scents. Some dark fruit and coffee aromas. Pretty big scent on this fella.

T: Full flavoured, without being an explosion on the palate. Again, hints of anise (though perhaps not as strong as on the nose), a bit of black currant, this time it's more the coffee that is burnt and the sweetness follows to round things out. Quite a tasty brew.

M: Nice, rich, and creamy. Flavour coats the mouth, and almost leaves even a bit of stickiness on the lips. Carbonation is nearly nonexistant, which suits the rest of the feel... having a bite of it would hurt here.

D: A big one, with some notable aftertastes make it a slower sipper. That leaves plenty of time to take in the flavours and lick it off the lips. Nicely done. I'll be going back for more.

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

Poured this fine stout into a chalice. Pours a black color with minimal head that leaves a bit of lace on the glass. Now the smell, oh my full nose here, roaste malt with hints of chocolate, figs and prunes impressive smell here. Taste is a mild with a strong alcohol taste to it also roasted malt in there with a strong hop presence. Overall this beer is pretty good and would highly recommend this just keep In mind not one of the tastiest stouts out there.

Photo of bbothen
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark coal black with a small head that does not linger.

S - Booze. Sweet fruit, plum. Roasted malt. Chocolate & coffee as well.

T - Roasted coffee bean & chocolate followed by toasted malt. The booze I smell isn't here. Taste lingers a bit. That's a good thing. I don't taste the 10% much.

M - Creamy and smooth. Very nice.

D - As far as 10% impy stouts go, the drinkability is great.

Very well balanced imperial stout. If you're looking to have more than a couple RIS in a sitting, this is the one. Seek it out.

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

Pours black with a creamy brown head that retains pretty well. Aromas of dark fruits, espresso, prunes, and a little earthy, roasted malts. A nice prune, raison, dark fruit sweetness to start and quickly to a big dark roasted coffee flavor. Middle to end is drier with notes of roasted espresso, toasted barley, charred malts, and cocoa powder that goes long in the finish. Semi-smooth and a nice thinness to the mouth, avoids being too viscous. Maybe a little hot in the middle but easily forgotten with such a terrific flavor and all around drinkability for a 9 abv.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.84/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a used motor oil black color. The head is half an inch in height, tan in color, and recedes slowly into a firm cap of lacing. The aroma is very bold for a RIS. It is full of chocolate, vanilla, graham cracker, and roasted malt. The taste is packed with malt. Chocolate is upfront, followed by graham cracker, vanilla, and finishing with some nice roasted malt bitterness. The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a very good RIS. I really like how it isn't overly hoppy the was a lot of American made RIS's tend to be these days. I will certainly search this one out again.

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

05/09/08- Received as a gift from BA member Talisker.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness dating. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Black in color with a full inch dirty white head which remains at a good 1/4 inch for almost the whole duration of the beer. Light spotty lace remains.

Smell- Rich chocolaty malted nose. No real deep smoky notes, but a few lingering hops. Mostly just a real nice rich chocolate nose.

Taste- Not as rich as I was expecting, but does have a soft chocolate backbone with lighter than expected hops. Really well balanced though. Abv is undetectable.

Mouthfeel- Soft and lightly carbonated with a very mild malty aftertaste.

Drinkability- This would be a good example of a session RIS if there was such a thing. Nothing really stands out about this brew, but it's just all around good and well balanced. Was expecting greatness and got goodness. Nothing wrong with that.

Photo of gford217
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of wolfsblood poured into a snifter.

A: Pours jet black with a minimal head which dissipates quickly leaving a little lacing.

S: Big roasted coffee and malt aroma up front with a hint of chocolate and alcohol. Sweet dark fruit smell made the nose a little sweeter than some RIS.

T: As with the smell, the roasted malt flavor is big up front with heavy coffee and chocolate. These give way to the sweetness of the fruits before fading into the malty roasted, slightly burnt aftertaste.

M: Mouthfeel is fairly thick and creamy with a heavy alcohol presence and little carbonation.

D: This is a very good impy stout that remains very drinkable despite the heavy roasted presence. A sipper, but drinkable.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black. Almost opaque. Thick brown head with excellent retention. Great lacing as well.

S - Alcohol and chocolate. Heavier on the alcohol than I like. Roasted malt aroma.

T - Toasted chocolate malts. Also some burnt caramel sweetness. Not as strong of alcohol taste as I expected after the aroma though. The alcohol did become stronger as the beer warmed but nothing overwhelming.

M/D - Creamy and smooth. Full bodied beer with light carbonation. Very drinkable by RIS standards but that ABV can get you.

Photo of Atron67
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to wolfsblood for this as an extra!

A- poured an opaque black with no light getting through even up to light. as i poured medium strength no foam could rise, but once i finished the bubbles finally could struggle through.

S- very strong chocolate notes on top, big maltiness and heavy roasted flavor. there are lots of chocolate, the bitterness with it gives it a unique character that i havent seen in other stouts. im giving a high rating here because its so unique and doesnt go too chocolatey like that of the rogue chocolate stout

T- heavy creamy maltiness at the beginning with a strong chocolate throughout. the hops are mild only balancing out the maltiness. a nice roasted charachter throughout underneath the maltiness.

M- creamy and delicious, light carbonation. smooth lingers lightly on the tongue

D- damn fine brew.

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

12 oz. bottle into a chalice. This one defines "used moor oil" in color. Awesome dark brown chocolaty head that is probably the darkest head I have ever seen on a beer. It does not last long or lace much, but it does leave a thin layer on top of the beer for quite a while.

Big roasted malt, chocolate and coffee bean nose. Some hints of fig and winter spice. Shows promise of great things to come. Taste is big with bitter-sweet creamy chocolate, swirling with a warm alcohol and coffee extract. Really I'm thinking coffe flavored ice cream with Bailey's Irish Cream on it. Finishes warm and with a mildly lingering bitterness that does not take long to fade.

This RIS is smooth and creamy but noticeably thick in the mouth. Amazingly viscous, and equally amazing in its rather quick finish. I will say, for an RIS I could drink a couple of these no problem. If you have some don't wait until next winter, pull one out now and enjoy!

Photo of jmacdaddy2008
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a single of this beer earlier tonight. I wanted to give it a second chance as it was not memorable last time around.

Color-dark brown almost opaque

Head-thin,carmel color

Aroma-sweet and malty with coffee characteristics

Taste-A little nutty but coffee is the prevailing taste. Slight bitterness in the end and alcohol is well hidden

Overall, this beer is a smooth drinkable stout. Not as complex as most imperial stout but worth the buy

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.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,635 ratings.