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Siberian Night Imperial Stout | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

857 Reviews
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Siberian Night Imperial StoutSiberian Night Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Dogbrick on 01-13-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 857 | Ratings: 1,847
Photo of AlexJ
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nightmare black pour with scarlet edges and a dense peak of mocha froth. Excellent retention and absolute sheets of thick, brown lace.

Aroma is powerful and intense, brimming with tons of dark, toasty malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and a touch of citrus and pine hops.

Flavor just explodes across your palate, painting it with layers of black espresso, dark chocolate, rich malts, molasses, butterscotsh, and enough pine drenched hop flavor to leave a long, bittersweet finish.

Body is big, chewy, smooth as silk, and has a texture of creamy, liquid chocloate. Sheer perfection, seek one out today.

muchas gracias to BeerBeing for the samples!

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Photo of kirok1999
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours black with a decent tan head, sticky lacing is left on the glass.

Smell- Sweet maltiness with chocolate and caramel overtones.

Taste- Very smooth, rich malt with slight caramel and sweet roasted chocolate. This is so smooth it's almost too easy to drink, and at 9% it quickly creeps up on you.

Mouthfeel- Again, smooth is the word. Not too sticky but very satisfactory.

Drinkability- This is a fantastic stout. Not quite as good as Storm King, it lacks the complexity. Not quite as good as Old Rasputin, it lacks the strength. Just a simple all around drinkable and way enjoyable beer.

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Photo of mobyfann
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Paid $1.70 for a single from Jungle Jim's Int'l Market

The beer pours a pitch black “nights out” black with a dark chocolate colored head, medium sized, the beer retains quite nicely and random specks of lacing made this beer look impressive. The aroma just screams at your nose with this beer, strong tones of roasted malt and chocolate, of the strongest ever.

The taste is unbelievably smooth after the powerful whiff, smooth tones of roasted coffee, malt and a little chocolate, slight noticeable alcohol taste, but very minor. The mouthfeel is a carryover from the head retention, and a nice creamy like sensation to compliment the roasted combination. Very drinkable, I can't believe this is a 9.0%abv beer but it is and be that a warning (not to over-do it), most drinkable imperial stout out there.

Final Thought: I think of this as a Great Lakes Blackout Stout done extremely better, and GLBC is a personal favorite.

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Photo of klewis
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nearly pitch black with a decent tan head. Leaves tons of lacing.

S: Strong aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, and toffee

A: Quite a lot of hops bitterness hits the tongue instantly, followed by big flavors of black coffee. Some chocolate notes in the finish.

M: This one is a little lighter than I would like, and it's got a little more carbonation than I like, but I'm just being picky here. A nice stickyness that coats the mouth will make up for it.

D: Not quite as good as the Stone RIS or Victory Storm King, but this is still an excellent stout and an excellent price. I will definitely drink this one again.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pitch black with an inch high cap of brown foam. Webbings of lace were left around the glass as this was consumed. Aroma is a mix of big roasted malts with a backing of dark rip fruit sweetness. Some mild dark chocolate was there as well. Rich sweet dark fruits are up front on the flavor with a lightly bitter dark chocolate A good amount of roasty malts as well. Finishes a bit dry with a bitter roasty coffee. Silky smooth mouthfeel that could use a touch more body but other was is perfect. Easy enough going down I could go through a few of these. Pretty damn good RIS but not quite at the top of the heap.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black, with three fingers of dense head the color of brown sugar. Outstanding retention will keep a cap of foam to the last sip and lots of sticky lacing. Strong roasted chocolate and caramel aromas, some dark fruits, and a pinch of american hops. The taste is very sweet upfront with roasted chocolate, dates and plums. The american hops turn over the flavor to bitter in the aftertaste, creating a good balance before fading away leaving a very mildly residual finish. Alcohol is percieved eventually, but never becomes astringent. The low carbonation and syrupy body form a velvet smooth mouthfeel that is as easy to drink as it is satisfying.

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Photo of far333
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark opaque brown with a low light brown head that doesn't rise up much and sits down quickly. Aroma of raisin, bitter espresso and dark chocolate. Rich flavor right upfront, with chalky chocolate, prune and plum, bitter coffee, molasses and brown sugar. There's an oaky smokey finish, and a fruity alchohol lingering tang. Mouthfeel is full and viscous, not overly carbonated, somewhat tannic in the finish. Very drinkable, full of flavor, but I'll move through it slowly. Thanks to Brent for sending me not one, but two of these.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Motor oil." That's how I overheard this beer being described by the table behind me on the Frederick Brewing Co. brewery tour today. I was lucky enough to get this contract brew on tap for free during the tour, and I can imagine it is even more amazing on tap than bottled.

Yes, it is a thick, hearty, beer, but in a positive way, all around. The rich coffee color is matched with a beautiful burnt cocoa head that sticks around.

The smell is truly exceptional. The most delicious coffee and dark chocolate aromas explode out of this beer.

The taste - also truly exceptional. For an imperial stout, the alcohol is very well masked. Deep, dark, swirling and intricate, this beer is a joy to drink. Hearty and full, but not overly chewy or overpowering. Its like they took it right to the edge, figured out what it would take to send it over the edge, and then backed it off - just one inch. Awesomely impressive.

I would love to find a bar that served this on tap. I would make it my session beer (even though it is obviously not intended for sessions), 9% alcohol be damned. The best imperial stout I have ever had.

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Photo of maddamish
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured out a thick and creamy black oil. A nice brown head appeared when poured but quickly disappeared with minimal lacing.

Smell: Wow. The strong chocolate/coffee smell hits you right away.

Taste: The alcohol is barely noticeable if at all. More of a coffee taste than chocolate but it is definitely there.

Mouthfeel: I wouldn't call it watery but it isn't as thick as I like my stouts to be.

Drinkability: Yes.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out inky jet black with a couple of inches of dark brown head that fades slowly and leaves a generous lace.

Smell is pretty big, with chocolate, molasses, burnt sugars, espresso, and some roasted malt scents. I'm not picking up any hoppiness in it, but it's a pretty rich stout aroma.

Flavor isn't as big as the smell, I think. There's certainly a very nice roastiness about it that lets little hints of chocolate, coffee, and vanilla come in. Just short of creamy in the mouth, with an earthy, burnt character sneaking in on the back end.

Overall: A very nice stout, but one that doesn't really define itself that strongly. It doesn't hang up there with the very top-tier stuff for me, but it's still good.

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Photo of beerinator
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks kmpitz2!

Appearance: Dark thick one man. The head is retentive and dark tan. Tan lacing left the glass missing the beer.

Aroma: The roasty caramel flavors are very desertish. If this one was caked I would definitely be ordeirng it. Mostly desert-like but there are pieces of hop flavors pushing through.

Taste: Upfront I get roasty flavors with a bit of chocolate. The flavors are a bit desertish, but there are some hoppy bitterness present that push through the sweet. The body is a bit thinner than I expected. The finish is slightly bitter, mostly from the burnt or dark chocolate type of bitterness. The finish ends fairly quickly leaving the tongue pleased with the flavors it is the ownership of.

Notes: Good beer. The flavors are a deep. But I expected a bit more body. If you're just looking for a good drink, you can't go wrong.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black with some red highlights around the edges when held up to a bright light. There’s a quarter inch head that recedes leaving a thin ring. Only minimal lacing.

Smells; dark chocolate, bitter coffee, roasted malts and dark fruits.

Taste; initially a litlle sweet, with chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and there’s a bit of plum in there. There’s only a little bit of hop bitterness in the finish, and only a hint of alcohol. It has a thick and chewy mouthfeel, really nice. Although this is an imperial stout, it tastes so good I could drink more than one a night.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours carefully with only a wisp of a brown head, when roused a rich chocolate brown head foams up and then slowly settles back down again. The color is opaquely black, yet showed a clear deep brown color as it was poured into my glass. The aroma is thick and fragrant with notes of burnt coffee, concentrated malt, sweet dark chocolate, and a dry slightly acidic finish of espresso roast. The beer is smooth and creamy on the palate up front, but then as it crosses the palate a hint of liveliness is picked up from the subtle carbonation and it melds with the bitterness in the finish that is a mix of hops and concentrated burnt roast notes. The beer has a concentrated malty sweetness to it that is cut by the darkly roasted coffee notes, notes of dark chocolate and the bitterness in the finish. This beer is quite rich and flavorful, yet not cloying and too rich like some Imperial stouts. Don’t get me wrong this is a sipping brew, but I don’t get the sensation of getting full while trying to work my way through this beer. There is a nice hop character here as well, it is second fiddle to the concentrated malt notes, but it adds a nice backdrop, and a nice foil to the other flavors that are here. This is definitely a solid example of and Imperial Stout, one I would be happy to try again.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, label says brewed by Frederick Brewing for Thirsty Dog.

Pours out creamy black with a cocoa head. Head thins, but never fades. Thick lacing on the glass.

Smells heavenly. Rich roasted grains with chocolate and coffee dancing about. The smell makes my mouth water as if a big, juicy steak was just put in front of me.

Taste is phenominal - just like it smells. Dark & roasty with plenty of chocolate and coffee. A hint of smokiness in the aftertaste. The alcohol is an afterthought, which is surprising for a 9% ABV. Extremely smooth.

Full bodied and quite creamy. Not quite a syrupy as some imperials can get.

For an imperial stout, this guy goes down way too easy. You would never know it's 9% by the taste and body. I love this beer.

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Photo of sacfly
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like syrup. Motor oil. A small head of dark brown. Small bubbles fade quickly. Opaque… completely. When the glass is tilted, only a hint of brown is visible around the edge.
Smell is a contrast between sweetness and roasted barley. Full, thick mouth feel. Not as syrupy as the pour lead me to believe. Dark caramel sweetness upfront that fades into a burnt grain/toasted bread/coffee flavor. Finishes bitter, but more from the roasted grain than the hops I think…
Alcohol is well hidden in this 9% monster. A world class beer.

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Photo of lostbearbrew
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like all good imperial stouts, this beer pours an opaque black, with a density to it's pour that suggests day old coffee or perhaps motor oil.

Didn't seem to be that much of an aroma to this but what was there was nice - malty roasted grains, with some fruit coming through - plum or fig? Seemed a little low in the nose for an imperial stout, but nothing offsetting, either.

Sweet, mellow taste begins to flow back over my tongue and work it's way to my throat. Coffee sensors go off as the dark liquid reaches midway. As the velvety nectar reached the waterfall point, heading down the throat to Lake Stomach, this one erupts in hops and toffee on the back of the tongue and then throughout the mouth. Quick, please, another sip. WOW!

I'd place this on a select pedestal with Storm King, and Speedway and a few others that would always be welcome in my home. Superb beer

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i got this beer from someone out in the midwest.. thanks for it. cant really remember who.

cool label.

this beer pours a familiar oily black with brownish tan ends. some light gets through around the edges here, and it sits in the glass like a big whiskey. vanilla nose with fudge swirl.. roasted malt nuttiness in a desserty fashion. marzipan and brandied, candied plums. holy hell this smells delicious.. taste holds up to my expectations.. starts sweet with dark fruits and heads directly for the creamy coffee stoutiness. slight bite of alcohol in my sinuses, but overall a tasty and smooth beer. once you think you've had a sip of a fine, flavorful velvet sipper, the hops and bitters in this beer explode in your mouth to remind you of how evil this particular dog actually is. even some notes of a salted sourdough hard pretzel emerge here.. boy this is a complex beer- considering my expectations were so low. loved this beer and now i see that most people agree with me.

i would love more bottles of this.. despite its intense deep flavor, i could surely drink one or two more of these. beyond excellent.

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Photo of burnstar
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a nice brown head that dissipates leaving some good lacing and froth around the edge- pretty good for this style. There is a lot of chocolate in the nose also some carmel and roasted malt. Tastes wonderful- sweet and chocolate malt is balanced just about perfectly with bitterness from the roasted malt. There's also some great hop flavor in the finish that rounds out this beer beautifully. My only complaint is that the chocolate flavor is maybe a little too dominating. Still this is very delicious. Nice full bodied brew has some good carbonation and feels great in the mouth. I could definitely drink more than one.. wish I had more.

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Photo of deejaydan
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Holy cats! I think I see this beer absorbing light. That's how dark it is. Some lacing is present, head retention isn't great though. Aroma is upfront chocolate malt, perhaps some milk chocolate as well. Taste has a touch of the sharp burnt flavors of black malt. So smooth and easy to drink for a beer of this gravity. A fine example of the style.

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Photo of rabidawg
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an inky, opaque black. Small head coaxed from an aggressive pour. Specks and spots of lacing. Very lightly carbonated.

Smell: Initially sweet with vanilla notes. Sweet chocolate aromas. Reminds me of chocolate shake. Some charred and caramelized confectionery notes.

Taste: More reminiscent of a Baltic porter than an imperial stout, with its smooth vinous booziness. Slightly thin in the mouth, with a very smooth chocolate character. Not extremely roasty, but occasionally a dry carbon bite comes through. Rather acidic, with alcohol apparent after the swallow. Nicely hopped but not overly leafy, a good contrast with the overarching malty sweetness.

Thanks to cmaruschak for sending me this interesting Ohio beauty!

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Photo of egajdzis
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GABF2004... Poured an opaque black color with a medium sized tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of roast, chocolate, dark fruits, smoke and toffee. Taste was nice roasty and toasty chocolate, anise, and light figs. Full and round mouthfeel. I used my 6 oz pour on this one.

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Photo of mentor
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this bottle in the fridge for a long time, waiting to share...but I finally couldn't resist anymore. Bottle obtained from the Iowa Beer Cache sometime earlier this year (April 2005?). Thanks to HopHeadKen for starting the cache!

Pours, oh my. This is a very thick and dark beer. Pours more like motor oil than beer. Really amazing. A hard pour created only a thin ring of tiny bubbles around the inside of the glass, no head to speak of. Appears, uhm, pitch black, you idiot. No edging, even when held to a bright light. I'm bracing myself for a really roasty and/or really sour dry stout.

Smells black patent sour (many call it cherry sour), some coffee roast, and an underlying sweet caramel and chocolate. Plums and oak tannins as the beer warms. Tastes amazing. Yes, it's got some black patent sour and roasted grain coffee and bitter, but the supporting caramel and chocolate flavors really balance this beer. It comes across as a rich coffee mixed 50/50 with a hot cocoa made from fine chocolate. I almost want to say molasses, but that's not quite it. Maybe some raisins and plums, but these esters are a *very* short moment between the sweet start and a strong finish. The finish is oaky, like this beer was aged in barrels a very short time or was mixed with an oaky red wine. This oaky is tamed by sweet toffee and a moderately dry cocoa chocolate.

I'm a homebrewer and this is the beer I picture making when I think about wanting to make a Russian Imperial Stout. Chocolate pudding with a some coffee and burnt raisins. Any sweeter and the beer would not come off as well. As it stands, the strong sweet is saved by the dry cocoa finish in the back of the throat. Meanwhile my tongue is still coated with a wet chocolate that stings ever so slightly because of acrid carbonation (or maybe it's alcohol?). My palette is obliterated and coated in goo. That's it for tonight.

Heavy in the mouth and thick creamy mouthfeel. Hints of carbonation on the back flat of my tongue and back roof of my mouth. Ken, I can't thank you enough for sharing this divine beer. I hope the beer cache continues to benefit many others the way it has for me tonight.

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Photo of karst
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a pint glass creating a Black Monolith reminesent of 2001 A Space Odyssey (I can practically HEAR Ligeti's music -

In the artificial light the black mirror surface eventually reappears as the 20-25 mm covering of chocolate brown dense bubbles give way to the well hidden 9% abv. surface tension destructive forces. With such a dark head it doesn't seem logical to hold it to the bright light of the closest star - nothing will penetrate the monolithic darkness. The darkness of the head was evidence enough.

The Odyssey begins as you feel the accelleration of aromatic coffees, you continue to accellerate through flavors of dark candied fruits. Dates.
Brown sugars evolving into heavy molasses - always tempered by the strong nearly burnt malts.

Siberian Night reveals its secrets as it warms and looses carbonation - along with a lot of its mouthfeel. Strong super roasted malts (barely balanced by the 58 IBU hops) continue to support the higher alcoholic taste that slowly pull the memory modules from your brain. . .

"I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave.
Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it.
I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it.
I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid.

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Photo of weeare138
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to sckressler for this one.
Appears blacker than crude oil. Pours with a decent 1 finger tan head that fades after a moment. Some scattered lacing is left within the goblet.
Smell...can we say chocolate? Along with roasted nuts and ripe dark fruit.
Taste is of blended chocolate, cream, rich dark fruit, and bitter hops.
Mouthfeel is smooth, rich, bitter, and slightly oily on the tongue. A full bodied, rich, and roasted brew.
Drinkability is nice for an Imperial Stout and very well blended.

Finger licking good.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ebony espresso. Frothy and loosely bubbled medium sized hot chocolate head. Oily residue coats the glass with some dots and blotchy stringy lace strewn about. Keeps some bubbly stuff once it melts.

Aroma is nice and chocolatey; quite fresh like being in a chocolate candy store with some fine tuned almond, cashew, maple, milk, and vanilla. Softly roasted underneath with mocha java and a stretched out milky, vanilla sweetness.

Wow, this stuff just glides down, nothing very big here, but does transend a chocolatey smooth, silky, and meanderingly soft disposition. Mainstay of fresh chocolate, touches of espresso, caramel, and nuttyness. More of an oatmeal stout-like sweetness keeps creeping in sip after sip, which is intriguing in and amoung itself as the chocolate just slides off with ease revealing a slight burntness of hop bitterness and espresso deepness. I find as it warms it has a smores-like effect of graham crackers, burnt marshmellows, and chocolate. Pretty good stuff.

Feel is remarkably soft, subtle, silky, and velvety slick. Not all that full or robust really, but damn fine to comprehend as this stuff goes down way too easy. And I mean, way too easy. Wow, I could drink this for days, or at least until the 9% catches up with me. Probably, and most definately, the best part of this drinker of a stout is just that, it's a dozey of a drinker! Oh, and the chocolate is pretty damn nice too.

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Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 857 ratings.