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Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,219 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,219
Reviews: 811
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 86
Gots: 73 | FT: 4
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: 1,219 | Reviews: 811 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle from Olivers near NYC. Dark black colour, wide-waffing aroma. Taste is like many other imperial stouts, imperial porters I have had. Maybe a notch below because of sour finish. Very coconut and bitter baker's chocolate presence. Very high alcohol kick.

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this one!

Small 7 oz. nip bottle. Bottled in 2009.

Pours a thick opaque black with a small dense 1/2 inch dark khaki head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Random small spots of lace slowly drip back into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and a sharp alcohol aroma. I am also getting some molasses and graham cracker aromas as the beer warms. Taste is of bitter roasted malt, roasted coffee grounds, bitter cocoa powder, and some bitter hops on the finish. The bitterness is pretty assertive and sticks around on the palate after each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a thick and somewhat flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is simply a pretty good RIS with a pronounced bitterness on the tongue. Not bad per se but I probably wouldn't go for one of these again.

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice jet black color with a mocha head and a few legs as it goes down. The nose brings forward a good dose of chocolate and coffee as well as a bit of booze and some dark fruits. The taste is slightly sweet but also boozy. Nice balance between the two as it is neither hot nor cloying. Good chocolate character and a bit of roast. Drinks quite well and is one of the better Rogue beers that I've had.

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of GRG1313
2.08/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours black with a thick light brown/brown head and looks very inviting.

Nose is chocolate plums; chocolate covered fruit character (oranges/cherries)and again is inviting;

Mouthfeel is medium bodied to lightly creamy but it's hard to judge or appreciate any mouthfeel because the flavors and general character of this beer are so off-putting.

All character is just forgotten because of the extremely burnt, charred, grain, burnt day old coffee flavors. The flavors are gigantic and aggressive but with little appeal. Front palate is decent with hints of chocolate but quickly goes to burnt tar; charred meat flavors that then go to a burnt charcoal bitter finish.

Little appealing about this one; no finese whatsoever. True to form, Rogue does great bottles and average or worse beer.

Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of brentk56
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2003; tasted 6/11/07

Appearance: Pours a murky dark brown color with a modest tan head that drops to a ringlet rather quickly (to be expected from an Impy Stout this old)

Smell: Rich aroma of bittersweet chocolate and chicory as well as rum-soaked dark fruit

Taste: Starts with a fruity flavor of chocolate covered prunes and figs that, by mid-palate, displays a peppery bitterness; after the swallow, the chocolate flavors overwhelm and provide a rich fudgy finish

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with modest carbonation

Drinkability: Four years later and this is still going strong; excellent brew

Photo of BEERchitect
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite similar to Goose Island's Bourbon Co. Stout, despite the lack of bourbon barrel aging. The thickness, darkness, and aggression is all there. Looks as black as you could ever expect a stout to look. Brown head retention the is unwaivering. Aromas are deep, malty, roasty, expresso, nuts, raisons, prunes...the list goes on. Flavors: see aroma. Overwhelming in the first sips. Becomes more fruity as the beer goes down. Dark dried fruits compound the chocolate and coffee flavors. Hop bittering and flavor add much more than just balance, it adds complexity, bite, and intimidation. Close to being a perfect stout. Only the harsh coffee and chocolate (chalk like) compounded with hop bite and alcoholic heat makes this beer less drinkable than a few others out there. Nevertheless, it's one to keep in the fridge.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2004 drank in 2005): Poured a pitch-black color stout with a huge foamy dark brown head with average retention. Aroma of chocolate and toffee is dominant and quite enjoyable. The roasted malt with a good chocolate undertone also dominates taste. I can’t say I really did notice a high hops profile but was not too bothered by that. Body is above average and alcohol is very well hidden which is a feat. Overall, very nice example which is well balance but would have preferred a bit more complexity.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"A thread will tie an honest man better than a chain a rogue."

--Scottish proverb

2007 bottling. Pitch black with an outstandingly sticky crown of dark brown sugar colored foam that is filling well more than half the snifter due an inescapable chug-a-lug pour from the ceramic 750 ml bottle. This is unquestionably one of the best looking Russian Imperial stouts in the history of the style.

The nose is as roasted-black-chocolate malty as expected. The hops are probably long gone, but what's left smells like it will more than get the job done. Regarding the 'two secret ingredients'... let's go with molasses and brewer's licorice.

Any fears on my part that this now four year old bottle of Rogue Imperial Stout was past its prime were put to rest with the very first sip. It might have been even better (read: more hoppy) back in '07, but it's beautifully aged big beer right here and now. May not need that cork and swing-top after all.

Where to start? First of all, I'm sticking with the secret ingredient guesses from several paragraphs ago. Granted, many big stouts deliver those same flavors without having added those specific ingredients... but still. There must have been a few battleships worth of barley shoehorned into each bottle because this sucker is huger than huge. Several more years of aging would not be out of the question at all.

Each mouthful is an explosion of dark chocolate fudge brownie with chunks of Skor candy bar and roasted coffee beans, soaked in blackstrap molasses and Sambuca. Every one of my favorite RIS flavors are present and accounted for... in spades. Simply put, intensity *and* complexity to this degree is a rare combination that deserves the ultimate taste score.

Age cannot have taken much of a toll on the mouthfeel because it's all kinds of crushed velvet lush and heavy cream-like plush. Not quite thick and caramel chewy, but close. Either that or it was the biggest and baddest beast on the big beer block back in '07.

To be honest, my first thought (this morning, not at the time of purchase) on seeing the $16.49 price tag stuck to the side of the ceramic bottle was... 'no way it's worth that'. Well, boys and girls, it is. If limited to one hand to count the best RISs to have ever entered my glass, Rogue Imperial Stout is easily worth one finger.

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.78/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage 120z bottle poured into a Middle Ages Imperial Pint Glass and served at cellar temperature

A - Poured a very deep dark brown, essentially black with a big full three finger high head of tan colored foamy lace on top. Great retention eventually settled this down to about a one inch high layer of foam across the top. No real side glass lacing to speak of, which kind of suprised me to be honest.

S - The aroma was full of chocolate, deep dark chocolate with lots of hints of sweetness, lactose sugar perhaps, maybe a touch of vanilla. Laced in throughout were some small hints of alcohol which nicely thickenend up the aroma. Very full warming smell, full of roasted malts.

T - The flavor was outstanding. Exactly what I would like to see in an Impy stout. Age has defintly taken a liking to this one. First flavors to break through were nice deep chocolate notes with hints of vanilla and coffee beans laced in throughout. Most of the alcohol has long mellowed out by now and really all that remains of it was some tiny traces down through the middle. Very nice earthy roasted malts swirling around in the back giving it much depth and a great profile. The finish was strong with a nice dryness and a touch of some light grass like flavors which gave it that little bit extra of a kick.

M - This was a very full bodied ale, with a huge rich creamy texture. This was absolutly made to be a big dessert beer. The carbonation had held up very nice as well, giving it that silky smooth creamy feel you find in the best of Impy stouts. This was really killer and every sip felt better then the one before. Absolutly nothing light about this one at all, no hint of being watery or thin, perfect score here.

D - A fantastic sipper. I enjoyed this bottle over the course of about 90 mins and it was just getting better as I went on. The alcohol was so well hidden it was practically invisible and the flavors were so well pronounced and full that each sip was like a dessert in of itself. I could have gone on with this all night.

Overall this was fantastic. The three years have really done a job on this one in a great way. No hint of oxidation and such a smoothed out mellow profile, it was honestly almost perfect. This was truly a treat and I would be thrilled to try this again anyday. I am going to have to get a fresh one for comparison, this was just way too good.

Photo of womencantsail
3.13/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours thick and black with a small brown head.

S: Big time roast aroma with lots of coffee and dark chocolate. There's some burnt sugar notes to it as well as a nice licorice aroma. A bit of booze, but it's subtle, even as the beer warms up.

T: Horribly burnt and charred flavor. Over the top roasted malt character with burnt sugar and burnt wood flavors, sort of like charcoal. Some dark chocolate and coffee in the background, but not enough.

M: On the full end of medium with a low to medium carbonation.

O: The nose and mouthfeel were nice, but the flavor was fairly off-putting, unfortunately.

Photo of Knapp85
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out from a mini bottle which I wasn't much of a fan of. The beer poured out jet black with a nice brown head on top. The lacing was decent on this beer. The smell was boozy and very roasted. The taste had some rich dark chocolate with coffee in there. It's also got some nice toasted boozy flavors going on in there. The mouthfeel was pretty thick which I liked a lot. Overall this beer is one of the better Rogue brews out there. I'd like to get it in 12oz. bottles though.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage.

Appearance: Pours an opaque, black body crushed beneath the daunting weight of an impressively voluminous, tan-colored head.

Smell: Dense, malty aroma of roast, black licorice, high-percentage cocoa bars, and French Roast coffee. The aroma is impacted by a booziness that is masked by the depth of flavor in the taste.

Taste: A rich blend of flavors strike the tongue all at once. Dark, roasted malts with flavors of licorice, dark chocolate, coffee, earthy molasses, and scorched heavy cream. Lesser sweetish, bready hints under the roasty components. Spicy, lightly citrusy hops, when paired with all that roast, display a full bitterness that lasts well beyond the finish. Ends with a last punch of roast and bitterness along with a taste of used English tobacco and alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Though admittedly pricey, it is a very solid, enjoyable Imperial Stout. I wonder how that 2005 bottle is doing right about now.

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Jet black in color with a very slight very dark head,the aroma is sweet like molassis and a little nutty.The taste is very earthy and coffeish with a sweet backbone,the alchol is also prevalent in the finish.This is a mans beer for sure one will do me just fine.

Photo of largadeer
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the heaviest beers out there. It's black like tar; even the head is brown and dense.

The smell and taste are roasty and sweet, as you'd expect from a style like this, with undertones of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. The alcohol is faintly noticable, but not biting. It finishes with a huge hop bite; unexpected for the style and definitely sets it apart from any other RIS I've had. It's a great beer fresh from the tap, but I think that it would only improve with age.

The mouthfeel is enormous, almost overwhelming if you're not expecting something quite so heavy. Thankfully it's only moderately carbonated, which lends it a smooth texture.

All in all, another winner from Rogue, and a staple every time I go to one of their pubs. It's about as drinkable as any imperial stout, which is to say that a glass or two is all that most people will be able to handle.

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Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
91 out of 100 based on 1,219 ratings.