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Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,166 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,166
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 76
Gots: 62 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
12 Ingredients:
Malts: Great Western, Harrington & Klages, Hugh Baird XLT-80, Black, Munich, Chocolate and rolled oats.
Hops: Willamette, Cascade and Chinook. Specialty: Two Secret ingredients.
Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

26º PLATO
88 IBU
73 AA
256º Lovibond

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,166 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2002 Vintage
Pours used motor oil black with a half finger dark tan head that melts to almost a nitro sticky lace ring and suface blanket.
Aroma...hmmm....dark fruits, raisins, a little coffee, a little dark chocolate, and alcohol.
Taste hits you as very creamy at first and then an incredible dark, rich chocolate. Swallowing it becomes slightly bitter from hops but seems to be more of the chocolate turning into unsweetened chocolate. Swallow completely and feel the warmth of alcohol spreading throughout your body as the aftertaste of chocolate covered raisins fills your mouth.
This may be a miracle of Imperial Stouts.
It has aged incredibly. I have a new bottle recently received but am now thinking I should lock it up for 4 years to open when miracles might happen again.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2006 03:44:09 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of mhenson42
mhenson42

Texas

5/5  rDev +23.8%

12-03-2011 02:30:45 | More by mhenson42
Photo of spazx
spazx

New York

5/5  rDev +23.8%

04-09-2014 02:01:57 | More by spazx
Photo of TaylorK
TaylorK

Virginia

5/5  rDev +23.8%

10-14-2012 00:15:33 | More by TaylorK
Photo of ATXRyan
ATXRyan

Texas

5/5  rDev +23.8%

11-17-2011 19:14:10 | More by ATXRyan
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I found a 7-ouncer from 1996 at Party Source here in town. Here's hoping it's been well-cared for.

Appearance - poured into a champagne flute since it's such a small bottle, to help concentrate the aromas. Opens silently. Pours with no bubbles. The last few drops create a few oil-like bubbles that sit and skitter on the surface like water bugs. Heavy stuff, it doesn't even mix with itself well, lol.

Aroma - heavy charcoal, Liquid Smoke™ all the way. Some raisiny sweetness, dark roasted coffee.

Taste - very smoky malts, triple espresso. Some hops on the finish, but they are very subdued; not quite flat, just very mellowed after 8 years. The sweetness gives it a winy taste at the swallow. Very warming aftertaste, some really good coffee flavors coming out late as well.

Mouthfeel - no carbonation, thick and velvety, resilient in the mouth.

Drinkability - these 7-ouncers are perfect and this one has aged exceedingly well. I'll be heading back to PS to see if they have any more of these.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2004 02:43:41 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

5/5  rDev +23.8%

12-05-2011 18:50:16 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of HopStoopid120
HopStoopid120

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +23.8%

11-18-2011 18:25:42 | More by HopStoopid120
Photo of horshack7
horshack7

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It comes in the great ceramic bottle with the resealable rubber cork 1Pint 10 ounces.

Appearance: This is one of the darkest of the dark. With a mocha color rocky creamy head. The head lasts for a few minutes but then disipates to a thin foam.

Aromas: Tremendous chocolate malt scents. Light hints of burnt hops. The malts in this one are roasted to the the brink of burnt but not quite so dark so evil it's wonderful.

Taste: Dear god this one packs a sinister punch. The chocolate malts stand out rather well. The dark roasted hop character hits like a sack of bricks. Slight port wine notes that hide a little bit yet show themselves so incredibly. Dark roasted coffee notes fly around so freely yet savagely. The mouthfeel is quite smooth very much like dark chocolate milk so silky. I knew I had to be carefull tasting this beast of a Russian imperial stout it's so dam tasty.

Notes: It's cold hearted, evil, and down right sinister. Thank you very much Rogue brewing company for brewing this masterpiece. I am happy to have had the opportunity to have sampled this beast of a beer oh hell yeah. Prost

Notes:

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2007 01:01:12 | More by horshack7
Photo of UnionMade
UnionMade

Colorado

5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Little baby 8oz bottle from 1996. Given to me by my Chicago friend and fellow BA oldcrustacean. He said he bought it recently at a store. I don't know if Rogue aged a bunch of these and released them for retail, or if the dustributor had them. Either way, it's an old ass bottle and I'm very excited to crack it.

Opens with a slight hiss, and pours like a bottle of waterproof drawing ink, the kind that comes with a dropper and you dip a fountain pen into. Entirely opaque, the last couple sips revealing a thick layer of yeast on the bottom of the glass. I noticed the neck of the bottle, where only air occupied the space, had little yeasty particles clinging to it, as if the bottle had been sitting slightly sideways for a long, long time. When the cap was popped, the underside also had bits of sediment caked to it. Not even an attempt at a head. No bubbling on the pour. Inky black malt aroma, smoothened with time into a down blanket of char, toffee, chocolate and maroon colored fruit. Soft notes of resiny hops, woodsmoke, and currant. A mild undertone of alcohol, baring worn teeth like an old, faithful hunting dog. The first sip reveals that absolutely none of the fire in this beer's belly has been quenched with age. Maybe a little older, a little wiser, but still barrel chested and built like a bulldozer. Coffee laced black-roasted barley rumbles in, clearing it's throat after such a long silence. Strong as ever, but a bit more tactful in it's delivery than when it was young. Baker's chocolate bittersweetness, vinous red grape, heaps of pressed, blood colored fruit juice. Every so often a beer fills my glass that my palate isn't ready for. I know this is one of them. I'm sure I'm missing at least half the complexity in this brew, because my palate isn't refined enough. So deep, it's like a well of regular beer encapsuled in one tiny 8oz bottle. Amazingly, hops are still prominent in the finish, vaguely citric, more piney, resiny and earthy than when this brew is new. Still a good deal of bitterness, quite acidic, enough to retain balance, even robustness. Every sip wants to kick you right in the ass to pay full, honest attention. Really amazing. Strong bittersweet malt flavor in the finish, ending with a grace only acquired through time. Lingering roasty coffee and cocoa. A mouthfeel soft as cashmere, the carbonation like velvet, I couldn't ask for more. A masterpiece.

By no means am I an expert at cellaring. I'm guessing this one was stored very well, but man oh man, I bet this beer would survive a nuclear winter without an off note. Strong, surly and mean as hell at an age when most beers (even some breweries) would be nothing but a memory. It goes to show that american craft brewing ain't going nowhere. I'd guess this has another few years to go before it starts to slow down.
After almost 10 years, this beer, a monster when young, still remains a dragon of a brew in it's old age. Wizened and much more refined, this only grows in character after the time put into it. It goes to show that a little care and patience really do go a long way in aging a beer. I really need to cellar more.

As an afterthought, I'm debating giving this beer a perfect score. After so much time, I really don't expect any head, and the flavor really deserves a solid 6 on the BA scale. What the hell. I think it's earned it, and sure as hell proved it to me. My only complaint is this is the last sip. My first perfect score. Yeah, it's worth it.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2005 07:13:07 | More by UnionMade
Photo of goethean
goethean

Illinois

5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2001 vintage --- seven year old beer.

Served in the 50s in a scottish thistle glass. Strong roast caramel malty aroma. Great big huge mouth-filling profile. Big burnt malt flavor from tiny sips of liquid. Intense, potent burnt malt. I cant detect much fruit --- it is annihilated by the roastiness. Some hops flavor toward the end which blends with the roast nicely. Alcohol. Burnt malt aftertaste, bordering on astringency. A syrupy mouthfeel, but not insanely so.

A five --- cannot be improved upon. I actually like this better than Dark Lord, I think.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2008 01:39:16 | More by goethean
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edwardkersh

Oregon

5/5  rDev +23.8%

01-17-2012 16:41:50 | More by edwardkersh
Photo of KGarrett
KGarrett

New York

5/5  rDev +23.8%

11-19-2011 00:13:27 | More by KGarrett
Photo of Sephiroth
Sephiroth

Indiana

5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled in 2001: Six months after my first review of this vintage, I am drinkin another one. Pours with an enormous mound of foam, and leaves beautiful lace, just like I remember. The smell is awesome, burnt malt, dark chocolate, slight anise, and slight hops, amongst others.

Taste runs the gamut of stout flavors. Burnt and roasted flavors, dark chocolate, slight anise, slightly piney hops. Vinous notes are developing. Bitter finish. This could probably age two more years before declining. Mouthfeel is thick as hell, I feel as though I should be using a straw. Carbonation is impressive given the age and alcohol. Drinkability is perfect, as is everything about this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2006 07:55:03 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of jackndan
jackndan

Illinois

4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rogue Imperial Stout 1996: In a tiny 7-ounce bottle. Beer is thick and black. The blurb on the back says it’s made with free-range coastal water and “two secret ingredients.” Absolutely flat, no head whatsoever, but there are bubbles floating slowly toward the top. Aroma is very pleasant: strong scents of coffee, mixed with sweet/dried fruits, and burgundy/wine. Astonishingly thick body. Incredible tastes, it starts out very sweet, but then follows up hops, and lasts forever as it coats the tongue. Little alcohol taste, but very nice warmth. Think dark chocolate, strong coffee, Cabernet/port, and molasses. Truly wonderful, well-balanced, complex. Well worth the extra trip tonight. I take back the “tiny bottle.” This is the biggest 7-ounces of beer I’ve ever had, and I’ll be drinking it all night.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2002 19:33:09 | More by jackndan
Photo of inebrius
inebrius

Michigan

4.95/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled 2001

I'm trying to gather my thoughts, goddam. Pours a muddied 90 weight with a surprisingly thick, sticky malted milk ball head. Nose of fine dark Belgian chocolate, black currants, hazelnut gelato, black forest cake, a freaking French dessert cart of aroma. Intoxicating! In many ways intoxicating, cozy, a blanket of warmth and flavor, roasty and hop bitter and joy to the buds. This beer is huge, round, silky and a thousand other favorable adjectives. Like a session with the all-time great Russian novelists, transcendent.

Cheers to Billy Stout for the sample! My god man, you could sell this stuff on a street corner.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2002 08:06:29 | More by inebrius
Photo of joebeerdude
joebeerdude

Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best Imperial Stout I've had and for now the best beer I've ever had. I've tried Bell's Expedition Stout, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Arcadia's Imperial Stout, Victory's Storm King, Samuel Smith's Imperial and Avery's "The Czar". My explanation of this stuff may not be as eloquent as a some of you other seasoned beer pros out there but to me it's just plain smooth. Samuel Smith might be smoother but it has too much other fruity stuff going on it which makes it a little confusing as to what it really is. The Rogue has a simple and not overly complicated taste. The alcohol taste jumped out at me with Arcadia and Storm king but not with Rogue. There is some kind of "edge" to it which I can't explain too well but I like it . Of course it is super thick -- almost liquor like. It pours with a head as good as any of the other Imperial's I've tried. I also liked the bottle design (12 oz.) . It gave the ingredients -- 14 of them ! How many beers do you know of that are made with "Free Range Coastal Water" ?? Maybe that is the secret to it's smoothness. Bottled in 2002.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2003 20:12:46 | More by joebeerdude
Photo of DagFishHead
DagFishHead

New York

4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black as a shark's eye. Viscous, engine oil-like pour. Darkest espresso brown head I've ever seen on a beer. Tightly-bubbled, thin but frothy and tenacious head...ok for a beer this big.
Smell: Holy cow.. malt, malt, deep roasted malt everywhere! Bitter hops, espresso, bitter chocolate, licorace, alcohol tingle. Pint glass seems like it's holding a whole mash tun of gorgeous nose.
Taste: HOLY COW! Lush, creamy malt/ripe, dried-fruit sweetness so big you almost panic, but fear not, it's quickly cut by an oily, smokey, bitter hoppiness.. then finished of with a dry, semi-acidic flourish. A rollercoaster ride. Then, when you finally think you're safe...the alcohol warmth washes over you and all is right with the world.
Mouthfeel: Thick, viscous..can't imagine a fuller feeling. This is truly concentrated, liquid love. Light carbonation tingle.
Drinkability: This IS Imperial Stout! Only Rogue Shakespeare Stout rates higher (for me) because I could drink more of it in a sitting. The Rogue boys know their stouts.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2003 01:11:16 | More by DagFishHead
Photo of GreenWBush
GreenWBush

Oregon

4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2001 Vintage, pulled from cellar and consumed November 11th, 2005.

Evacuating from the bottle this beer is an oily, tarred onyx. A big billowing, pillowy 2 1/2" head eventually settles down to about a 1/2". Some of the best lace: dirty brown, with glue head-graffiti tacking itself everwhere on my crystal snifter. Quite the presentation, and shows that age has left no negative fingerprint unlike the completely flat, dead 2000 I sampled the night before.

The nose is full, strong, intense: chocolate, marshmellows, vanilla, vinous alcohol, molasses, intense raisins. Anise.

The flavor comes up on you smoothly, sweetly chocolate and velvety at first. A prickly bitterness chimes in highly above the slick, sweet chocolate motor-oil malt body. Diggingly bitter finish as the roast finally chimes in, synergizing with the astonishing bitterness. More molasses and suggestions of oak. A cacophany of colored flavors that I can still taste in my palate the morning after.

The mouthfeel is initially super slick and cushioned velvet, then finishes cuttingly bitter with roast invading the depths of your palate. Quite intense but lovely.

Faint hints of scotch whisky and just the faintest hint of age-related cardboard come up towards the end of the bottle. I think the 2001 Vintage has just crested...so if you've got 'em, drink and love them now instead of later.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2005 18:41:28 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of hustlesworth
hustlesworth

Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

from the awesome 750ml black ceramic swing-top bottle into my cleveland browns fat imperial pilsener glass.

A- pours like smooth black molasses with a sweet slo-mo cascading effect that forms 2in of thick chocolate milk colored creamy frothy head. head has the look and consistency of a chocolate mousse, i've never seen anything like it. brew is black with black highlights, haha there's the fainest hint of burgundy at the bottom of the glass. head has great retention, almost to the end, and leaves lots of sticky brown lace on the glass.

S- cocoa powder, toasted malt, and sticky icky flowers. faint mocha coffee and smoky charred wood like cognac barrels push through along with more dark nutty malt and toasted oats. sweet dark fruit like dates and figs come out mating with a soft resinous dark hop tar aroma.

T- i had some high quality belgian chocolates recently. one was 80% cocoa called "african ebony" this has that taste and i love it. rich mocha espresso as well, herbal hop resin, charred wood, earthy stone purity as well, dark burnt hazelnuts, toasted caramel, and fine cigar tobacco.

MF- thick and rich like drinking pudding, yet strangely refreshing. chewy almost melted ice cream texture and low carbonation is a perfect match with this one.

D- due to the fact that it seems to thin itself after the swallow, it could possibly be a thirst quencher like guinness if not for the high ABV. weeeird. undoubtedly the emperor of all stouts.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2007 17:24:48 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. This beer pours like used motor oil, completely opaque, with one of the darkest heads I've ever seen -- dark brown, a good half-finger thick, and creamy in consistency. Just looking at it you know it's going to leave a good lace. The aroma is intoxicating in itself, chocolatey and alcoholic, with hints of black cherries. Things only get better in the mouth. Creamy and mousse-like in flavor and texture, this beer is dominated by deep malts, while the alcohol lends a nice spiciness mid-palate to compliment its dark fruit and chocolate notes. A very strong hop bitterness (87 IBUs!) gives a nice finish to the drink, and keeps it well in balance. Aftertaste is sweet and with a taste of burnt malts and currants. More full bodied than a pregnant Rosie O'Donnell. Good God this is good.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2002 06:06:55 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of czechsaaz
czechsaaz

Washington

4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In honor of Michael Jackson. This was one of the first selections when the rare beer club started and the first of the XS 750ml line. Farewell! This is from late 2004.

The aroma is thick with chocolate and roast malt. Fruity yeast fermentation esters and just the slightest hint of hop oil. No oxidation that I can pick out which is outstanding for a 2.5 year-old bottle.

Black as can be. No light even when held up. Starts with a 1/2-3/4 inch thick tan head that fades to a 1/4 inch persistent layer of creamy goodness. Leaves good lacing too.

Rather hop bitter for the style. Lots of hop oil remains despite the age. But the follow through is a sweet malt flavor that is almost like black treacle. Very fruity with dark overripe pit fruit flavors and raisins. Add in substantial black and roast malt and it's pretty much everything I want in an impy stout flavor wise. Aftertaste is mostly roast character.

Big full bodied, almost thick. Not noticeable alcohol at all with this much age.

Really an excellent sipping/savoring beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2007 05:30:06 | More by czechsaaz
Photo of 99bottles
99bottles

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2001. I think it's about time to give this guy a shot. Pours a deep DEEP brown. Okay, lets call a spade a spade. I know that Black is really not a color, but rather the abscence of all color. This is about as close as you can get to BLACK. Really and truly looks like used motor oil. Maybe not as viscous, but close. The darkest tan head billows up and fades away minutes later. The smell is of rich espresso, dry wood, and there is a detectable bitter acid even in the smell. The first sip can't be prepared for. It spills slippery and thick into ones mouth. The espresso and chocolate taste serves as a base, while the most complex hop blend I've ever had bites and nips with bitterness at the back of the tounge and in the aftertaste. I agree that there is a very paper like taste to this beer after 3 years of age. I guess oxidation is bound to happen at some point. It's not bad though, and really makes for quite a good secondary compliment. The dryness and sweetness meld beautifully. Halfway through I notice a huge wispy tan sediment at the bottom of the glass. This is perfection for Imperial Stouts. I love Storm King, and maybe if I cellar it for a few years it would be even, but I must say this is the most refined stout I've ever had. I can't imagine anything better. Highest review I've ever given, and probably ever will.

Interesting note: Rogue, famous for listing all their ingredients on the side of the bottle, perhaps realizes the importance of this brewing achievement. Of 14 ingredients, # 9 and # 10 are listed as "Two Secret Ingredients". Nice.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2004 21:14:34 | More by 99bottles
Photo of orfeu
orfeu

New Mexico

4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 mL ceramic bottle, capped but with a swing-top cap for resealing. No date, but I'm sure this is no more than a year old. Enjoyed from a 17-ounce snifter. Pours like motor oil draining after 8000 miles: black tar with a dense cloud of espresso-colored froth on top. Aromas of thick brewed dark hot chocolate and pine sap along with a black roastiness. Flavors of malt scorched black by a cast-iron cauldron, baker's chocolate, spruce sap, a bitter alcohol-laced vinous quality, and a burnt, earthy, mineral twang at the finish. Just infinitely complex. The mouthfeel is incredibly dense and viscous. This is relatively fresh, so the alcohol is definitely noticeable and appropriately harsh. Without a doubt, a most drinkable Imperial Stout. Anyway, this is so good it *almost* justifies the exorbitant price tag for a 750 mL ceramic swingtop growler ($14.95 in my neck of the woods).

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2006 18:30:45 | More by orfeu
Photo of putnam
putnam

Michigan

4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2001: The color is of black paint. The charcoal-brown head disappears quickly. The smell is of bitterness. Deep, unabiding bitterness of tortured souls. Peets espresso... Burning pine forests...
Sticky, toung-lashing bitterness with a monster grip forces flavors of dried fig, cigar, hazelnut and bitter chocolate (i.e. Valrhona 70% "Guanaja"). This is a big, big beer. Not for the timid. Primordial, bowels-of-the-earth type energy is packed in to this now larger, 12 oz. bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2002 14:27:32 | More by putnam
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Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,166 ratings.