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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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1,618 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,618
Reviews: 822
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 142
Gots: 195 | 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: 1,618 | Reviews: 822 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dogfishandi
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, a little above fridge temp poured into a snifter. no freshness dating.

pours out a deep opaque black, not a bit of light gettin through anywhere. nice 1-2 fingers of light brown/ mocha colored head that faded to a very retentive, thin creamy layer. some nice webby lace. wasnt expecting as much sediment as there was in the bottle so some of that is visible despite the opaque black color.

at first the aroma was a bit metallic and underwhelming, but as the head died down and the beer started to warm, lots of bitter roasted malt and expresso like roasted coffee came out. a hint of almost an oatmeal like creaminess.

follows the aroma pretty dead on. deep burnt/ roasted malt rules the taste. bitter black roasted coffee, bitter dark dark chocolate. not a whole lot else going on, maybe a creamy oatmeal like taste in the background. bitter roast lingers in the finish.

thick, chewy, creamy. carbonation is minimal. but again, a strange oatmeal like creaminess thats not really good nor bad. not a bit of alcohol noticable.

overall, a great range of roasted malt flavor, but not a whole lot else. a solid imperial stout, but not something i would go after again, too many greats in this style already.

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

Found this on a value rack ($7.99/4-pack) which in retrospect, is an unbelievable steal of amazing value.

The pour is black as black can be, no light escaping around even the edges. Dark tan head during initial pour, dissipates quickly and leaves little trace.

The aroma is a bit weak for the style. Relies on molasses and licorice but is so slight and underwhelming. Has enough floral quality to it to warn you of the impending bitterness underneath.

The flavor is powerful, balanced, and stunning. A sweet burnt malt assaults you right away and you think it's from the black and chocolate malts...but no, it is because of the incredible hop presence. Just a lasting bitterness to accompany the licorice and molasses picked up in the nose.

Slick and coarse mouthfeel if that's possible. Low carbonation but such a substantial drink.

Very good. Even and balanced.

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

Received in trade from Barfwin.
Bottle mentions GABF medals in '03, '05, & '06!
Poured from 12oz bottle (no bottled-on date) into snifter.

Aroma: Fruity and floral up front. Cabernet sauvignon and lavender. Cocoa and coffee beans follow. A nice, complex combo, highlighting a job well-done by the yeast, as well as a nice blend of malt.

Appearance: 1 finger, fine, creamy, light tan head, which dissipates slowly. Dark black body with only minimal hints of brown around the edge.

Flavor: Dark chocolate and espresso-like dark malty sweetness. A hint of coconut, some black licorice, and a prominent bitter finish. Great flavors here, but not quite balanced enough to give it a 5. I'm splitting hairs here, because, the flavors are very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation, and a medium-full, silky body. The alcohol is warming, but not hot.

Overall: I was really glad to have had the chance to try this one. (Thanks Barfwin!) Aroma was fantastic, and the other characteristics were excellent as well. No real flaws. Yet another great imperial stout to keep my eyes out for!

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours a very dark brown into a solid black with a small amount of tan colored head and a reasonably thick consistency. I know I always hit on the appearance before getting into the aroma, but just for the record, I can literally smell this thing before I could see it.

S: Although while I'm at it, the aroma is heavy with dark chocolate and coffee, licorice, a hint of nuttiness and a tiny bit of lingering astringent bitterness.

T/M: It has a low amount of carbonation and potent licorice flavors on the front, later joining with an inherent nuttiness that dominates the remaining experience. A touch of coffee and roasted malts round out the profile.

I like the way this feels on the tongue and the potency of the flavors, but that damn licorice can ruin everything. It doesn't ruin this one, but only barely. I'd definitely try it again.

Photo of Tone
3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 1/2 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, oatmeal, hint of alcohol, hint of hops, and a hint of pale malt. Fits the style of a Russian Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, hint of coffee, hint of sweet malt, hint of hops, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance, aroma, and blend. The body was a little weak though, for an Imperial Stout.

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

Review from notes. Thanks to Ethan for this bottle!

A: Pours a deep black color with very little head at all. A little bit of foam forms upon pouring, but it is gone very quickly. Very little lacing as well.

S: Not extremely strong, but there is a nice combination of vanilla and chocolate along with some roasted malt and hints of dark fruit. Slight tinge of alcohol.

T: Lots of chocolate in this one with a little bit of roast and a hint of coffee. There is a little bit of dark fruit and a slight smoky flavor. Finishes bittersweet.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with medium carbonation. Finishes slightly dry.

O: Very drinkable for a RIS, not the heaviest, but has a good flavor profile. Could be a go-to RIS, if there ever was such a thing. A nice sipper.

Photo of THECPJ
3.62/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with minimal head

smell: roast, chocolate, malts

taste: chocolate, roast, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium to full body, thick

overall: not a bad RIS but I've had much better. Glad I got to try something from these guys.


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

A: Motor oil black, and I rarely use that as a descriptor; burnt brown head, milkshke thickness to it, amzing lacing.

S: Smells like roasted malted milk balls, ton of barley, a lot of sweetness.

T: I can't believe I'm giving a Thirsty Dog beer a 4.5, but this beer has an intense, rich malt flavor; smokey, caramel, vanilla, loads of coffee and chocolate. Molasses sweetness is in there.

M: Full bodied, medium carbonation, great smoothness.

O/D: Little to no alcohol burn, incredibly smooth, easy drinker. Decent offering from a bottle, incredibly good on tap. Don't know how old it was, or any details, but I was shocked at how good it was.

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
2.63/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Molasses,unsweetened cocoa, burnt coffee, some charred wood,an enormous hop bitter aftertaste. Horrid! In its favor,(there is always SOMETHING in a beers favor!) It lives up to its' name, being black as night in color and a decent alcholic buzz. I won't be trying it again

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

poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: pitch black bodied beer with a medium brown colored head. 1 finger of head from an aggressive pour and head is composed of tiny bubbles.

Smell: Roasty, roasty malts. Milk chocolate, hints of fresh coffee, maybe even some vanilla sweetness in the background. This nose is surprisingly sweet.

Taste: Roasted coffee and huge malt profile. Mild to moderate biterness complimenting the malts. Charred wood, molasses, and tobacco. Lingering bitterness int the aftertaste. Sweetens a bit as it warms and it is little boozy.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with a moderate amount of carbonation. This beer is fairly chewy and viscous.

Overall: Really nice RIS. my first beer from Thirsty dog brewing company, I am impressed.

Photo of PDXHops
3.4/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle courtesy of Ryan011235 before distribution hit this area, poured into an oversized snifter. A few notches shy of black, but appropriately dark. A finger of tan head and decent retention, not too shabby considering the width of the glass. Scattered light streaks and patches of lacing.

Burnt and roasted malts with moderate sweetness via bittersweet chocolate, light caramel and the outside part of Oreos. Tangy berry and raisin notes develop midswallow. Not a lot in the way of hop flavor, but there’s a modest undercurrent of bitterness. Some warming alcohol in the finish. Body’s a bit on the lightish side, but the balance of flavors is rock solid. Since it’s available in my neck of the woods now (not to mention the reasonable price point), I should really pick up a few to see how they age. Easy recommendation.

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

Custom six pack from Oade’s Big Ten in Lansing.

A & S: robust smoky, coffee, bready, caramel, powdered chocolate for chocolate milk. Dark, black motor oil color. Decent tan colored head, that pours about a fourth of a finger and fades slowly till not much is left around the top of the beer. Decent lacing.

T & M: similar to the nose, ABV not very well masked. A bit more smoky than the nose. Bits of hops. Not super drinkable. Very thick. High bodied, low to no carbonation.

O: pretty good overall. Not great maybe not worth 3.39 a bottle.

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

Bottle shared by Jason.

A - Black-brown beer with a small mocha head that didn't leave much stick on the sies.

S - Decent amount of roast with a touch of alcohol. Some dark fruits, bitter chocolate, bit of molasses. This one has a really nice smell.

T - Taste is solid and good. Not too roasty, but with a nice amount which is complimenting the slight sweetness of the chocolate. Some bitterness from the coffee, really solid beer that is apparently readily available (although not in Chicago).

M - Full bodied, smooth, lower carbonation.

O - Nice RIS, really solid flavors and pretty satisfying overall brew. Would drink regularly.

Photo of silentjay
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a 5W-30 pour produces a generous head that dissipates averagely, but leaves a ton of mocha lacing all over the glass.

molasses, brown sugar, cocoa, burnt coffee, some charred wood, a generous hop presence. not bad.

very woody throughout... not oaky like a barrel-aged stout, but earthy and charred firewood. bitter chocolate and burnt coffee bring a heavily roasted flavor and a touch of campfire.

a bit thin for the flavor with a subtle carbonation and a lingering roast flavor.

pretty nice! alcohol is barely noticeable, its just full of flavor. I would drink this regularly despite its slight lack of body if available here.

Photo of scottfrie
3.57/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into 25oz snifter.

A: Pours an extremely dark brown with a thin dark woody brown colored head that was very short lived and fizzed away into a thin scum.
S: Rich notes of dark chocolate and sweet alcohol soaked raisins.
T: Follows the nose with a big chocolate taste that lingers after I swallow. I also get notes of raisins, coffee beans and a touch of tobacco smoke. The finish is a bit fruity and has a molasses sweetness. Not very complex but pretty darn good.
M: The carbonation is too tingly and bubbly and it takes away from the drinkability. I would have liked this beer a lot more if it were creamier. The body is also fairly thick but far too thin compared to the greats of the style.
O: Really good flavor, just ok mouthfeel. This is a good stout that is a little rough around the edges. Still, I would have this again if it were available to me.

Photo of PhageLab
3.03/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip.

A - Opaque brown-black brew. Thin head settled to a ring around the outer edge. Looks like oil.

S - Faint yet sweet aroma of chocolate.

T - Alcohol, dark chocolate bitterness, and more alcohol. It mellows a bit after your taste buds become accustomed to it, but never enough to hide the overpowering boozy sweetness.

M - Thick, dry body. Burning aftertaste.

D - Surprised to see the incredibly high scores on here, I found it lacking in flavor and complexity. I may give it another shot, but it isn't my top priority.

Photo of smakawhat
2.98/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter. No dating visible or found.

A real nice thick cocoa foamy head off the pour but seems to settle and fall at a good clip. Body is a classic dark walnut brown bordering on black

Barleywine fruit like sweet grape on the nose. Very sweet grape smelling with no hints of malt or roast at all. Enjoyable but I would say missing a lot for this style that I am use to having and wanting. A small chocolate and very small chewing tobacco becomes present after some investigating.

For a Russian Imperial this is even for 9.7 incredibly weak and watery it's the first thing I notice. The mouthfeel on this is not good, it's even weaker than most American Stouts I've had. Not boozy, and fruity sweet flavor doesn't even come through that's expected on the nose. Even those little hints of tobacco and milk chocolate aren't here either.

Overall this is pretty disappointing starting with a solid nose but unexpected and then really not delivering on the palate and taste. But it is drinkable but it is quite weak and extremely underwhelming.

Photo of lurpy1
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a vastly inappropriate hotel room glass. Have I mentioned that seeing as these guys are from Akron, I'm afraid this will taste like tire or burnt rubber? No matter, this is my favorite style. Come to poppa.

File under No-Shit-Sherlock, but Siberian Night pours dark. Not Spinal Tap's Black Album-dark, but dark nonetheless. Nice thick head

Pleased to report the road salt and radial tire undertones I was fearing are nowhere to be found. Molasses, chocolate, and coffee carry the day,although taste is not quite as pronounced as some RISes. Mouthfeel is beyond awesome. Thick, velvety, viscous. It's like drinking melted tire!

Su-perb. Perhaps not up there with the elite RIS stouts, but it's really, really close if not.

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

This pours black black with a nice, tightly laced, two finger dark khaki head that sticks around for as long as I've seen leaving spotty lace. On the nose there are notes of chocolate, roasted espresso, and especially molasses that in my mind is the differential between Russian and American big stouts. That said, it's a bit on the subtle to a fault side of the spectrum. In the mouth, the molasses really seems to dominate the more subtle coffee and especially the chocolate. It's not an ultra-complex stout, but the flavors present are exceedingly pleasing and well-blended. The body is pretty viscous, full, with a long finish of molasses and a very slight alcohol warming effect.

Overall, this is a pretty great Russian Imperial. It might not be my favorite in the category, but it's one definitely worth seeking out. I was pretty happy to find it on the shelves in my hometown in MI. I even gave the last one to a non-beer person when she asked for a sip of mine and seemed to like it pretty well.

Photo of MadTown1000
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black. Jet black. Absolutely opaque. Little bit of brown-red foam on top. Perfect for the style, except for one thing - I can see just far enough into it to see that there's a *lot* of sediment in there. Nothing on the bottle mentioned having to pour slowly. Got to dock points for that.

S - Caramel and molasses. Smells as dark as it looks. Can't smell it from across the room, but at least can smell it from a few inches away.

T - There's that molasses again - a lot of it. Some hop bitterness is there in the taste that isn't there in the smell. And yeah, that 9.7% ABV makes itself known. Long lingering toasted malt finish. Good stuff, although not as complex as some others.

M - Well, at least I can't *taste* all that sediment I saw. Rich and creamy, just like you'd hope for. Not quite as heavy as some others in the style - but for a Russian Imperial, I want it heavy.

Overall, well, that's 4s down the line. A good choice in the category, although not a world-beater.

Photo of damndirtyape
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (no date) poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with tan head - thin ring at the edge, very little across the top. No light getting through when held up to the light. Lacing minimal.

Smell: Toasted/roasted malts, some alcohol notes. It was sweeter upon first pouring with some chocolate notes, but those are gone as it warmed up.

Taste: Tasty beer this one. Dark chocolate and coffee flavors up front, a sweet middle, and then a lingering bitter coffee-like finish. By the end of the glass that bitterness is more muted a bit - it's actually sharper and more noticable when the beer is warm.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy with a nice thickness. Just right carbonation.

Overall / Drinkability: A solid Russian imperial stout. Good by itself and I think it would pair well with a lot of things with the stronger coffee-like flavors in this beer. Alcohol very well hidden except in the smell, and by the end of the glass I'm thinking another one would be a good idea making this a very dangerous brew. Not the best RIS I've ever had, but yet, it has really grown on me and I find it's quite drinkable. Normally one RIS a night is more than enough, but here I'm wishing I had another bottle. Good beer.

Photo of samie85
3.03/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes; originally 4/30/11.

A-Pours a midnight black color with two fingers of dark brown head.

S-Big chocolate and mocha notes with earthy hops with some plum.

T-Roasted and alcohol notes upfront with some chocolate.

M-A little hot and thin with low carbonation although a somewhat slick feel.

D-This is honestly really hot and not very complex; really not a fan of this, as much as it pains me to say so being an OH native.

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

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a thick, motor oil black and grows a 2-fingered, light tan, creamy head that lasts a very long time considering the style and ABV on this puppy. Craters of bubbles make up the landscape of the head, which lends to an interesting mouthfeel. Lacing is great as well, with wide-sweeping blankets of lace covering the glass. Great looking beer here.

S - The smell here is very roasty, with lots of bitter chocolate and acrid coffee rounding out the aroma. Heavily focused on malts, this beer gives the impression that it could warm you up in even the most biting of Russian winters. There is also some black licorice here as well.

T - As the nose would have me suggest, this beer is seriously roasty and malt-heavy. The coffee is a bit bitter and gives the impression of it being a day or so old, but the chocolate goes a long way in covering this up. The anise plays a bigger role in the taste than it did in the nose, coming in about midway through and lasting well into the finish. If you like your stouts bitter and roasty, this will be right up your alley. The alcohol does come through a bit strongly in the finish though, however.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy, but still a bit more light-bodied than the appearance would have me believe. It goes down very smoothly despite the bitterness due to ample carbonation and a silky head. Lots of lingering roast in the palate.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. This is a great RIS for the price and availability, and in my opinion gives Old Rasputin a run for it's money for its bang for buck. This is much more roasty and bitter than Old Rasputin, but if you are looking to change it up, look no further.

Photo of gopens44
4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Super black with a giant mocha colored foam head.

S - Mostly coffee in the nose with a faint chocolate presence.

T - Mostly coffee up front with an immediate following of nice roasted malts of significant strength, wrapped up nicely by bitter chocolate.

M- Dry with very decent carbonation. Lingering bitter aftertaste that holds the bitter chocolate on the tongue in a most wonderful way.

O - One word - Giggiddy! Goodness gracious, I had no idea how good this bastard was until just a few nights ago. I'm stocking up on this thing for sure!

Photo of zrab11
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark black color with small off white head

S- Has the smell of chocolate, burnt coffee and sme dried fruit and vanilla

T- Has a ok burnt coffee taste followed by the vanilla and finish's with a sweet chocolate flavor

M-Medium bodied with ok carbonation

D-Overall this was decent. Alittle too much burnt taste and prob. alittle thin but over all this was a decent beer.

Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,618 ratings.