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Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

817 Reviews
THE BROS
71
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 817
Hads: 1,249
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 95
Gots: 88 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2001

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 817 | Hads: 1,249
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
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. (265 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
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. (878 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
2.16/5  rDev -47.3%
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. (792 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (430 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
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 (616 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (481 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (817 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -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. (508 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (878 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml, black-painted ceramic bottle, 2008 XS edition. I've been calling these XS bottles 'Darth Vader black', and I think I'm going to have to continue doing that.

This beer pours a perfect black - no light at the edges when held to the overhead halogens, no refraction at all, baby. The only colour reflected in the glass is actually coming from that Christmas tree that I should really be getting around to dicing up for the recycling bin. Anyways, there are also three or four fingers of puffy, thickly foamy, and rocky brown head, which takes its sweet, sweet time to dissipate, leaving some well-spaced, interlocked and webbed lace patterns around the glass.

It smells of lightly roasted caramel malt, dark chocolate, beginner's espresso, tanned leather, musty, somewhat fermented dark fruits, stale black licorice, herbal, dead leafy hops, and a whiff of soft warming alcohol. The taste is sharply bitter chocolate and caramel malt, curdled cream, cherry liqueur, smoky leather, edgy, almost salty Scandinavian anise, wet ash, astringent coffee beans, and some competitively astringent earthy, musty, and weirdly fruity hops.

The carbonation is quite timid, manifesting in a mere low-key frothiness, the body large and in charge - due in no small part to its medium-heavy weight - thick, unctuous, and duly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel malt still tough to beat, though the testy hops, seemingly ubiquitous coffee, and seedy alcohol adding up to one bad-ass offset.

A veritable beer-tinged echo of all those Christmas box candies of lore, the big booze coming off as more or less well-integrated, the overall effect rendered as a smooth, sneak-up-on-you kind of chocolate malty hop-thronged alcohol sort of thing. Yum, even if that description doesn't exactly convey it as such. (1,833 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
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. (2,315 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml ceramic bottle

A - Poured out a jet black color with a reddish brown, bubbly, two-finger head. It left thick, sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate (bittersweet or dark chocolate). There was also a ton of caramel aromas. A sweet malty smell was also present.

T - It tasted of bittersweet chocolate and tons of sweet malt. There caramel taste was a little understated compared to its aroma.

M - It was soft, creamy and smooth. A heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is an outstanding RIS, a little overpriced but after a long day it was almost worth the steep price tag. (583 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
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. (2,385 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (262 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.2/5  rDev -22%
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. (615 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (1,013 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - An opaque, black body topped by a half a finger of orange-brown head. The foam settles rapidly and leaves minor lace.

S - A rich aroma of dark chocolate with notes of licorice, smoke, and light coffee. There are also aromas of resinous pine hops in the background with a bit of rosemary.

T - Strong, acrid malt up front with an turkish coffee character and a hint of chocolate. Some slightly sweet caramel notes in the middle with a bit of molasses. That sweetness quickly fades to bitter grain for the acrid, smoky finish. Smoke and char lingers on the tongue in the aftertaste with some bitter baker's chocolate.

M - A thick, oily body, moderately low carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - This beer is thick and complex with an intense bitterness that is hard to stomach at first. There is a good bit of chocolate in the aroma, but the flavor is dominated by coffee and black barley. Even the chocolate flavors are that of bitter baking chocolate rather than anything sweet. The bitter grain character seems a bit excessive at first, but it gives that beer a long, lingering aftertaste that unfolds into smoky, espresso complexity that must be given time to develop on the palate. This is not for everyone, and the drinkability is somewhat limited; a fact that Rogue seems to have recognized by bringing back the nip sized bottles. This is truly a sipping beer that is at its best during the long finish. (1,412 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml XS ceramic bottle into a snifter. 2006 release.

Pours as a black as an oil slick, with several towering fingers of mocha head, that's so deeply burnt, you might as well call it chocolate colored. This settles down into a solid quarter finger of creamy retention that flares up magnificantly when swirled, leaving a thick cascade of spotty lace and brown oily residues back. Just a text-book RIS look here. The aroma is sharp in the nose, with roasted malts and oats, coffee, a BIG TIME whiff of chocolate sweetness, with just a touch of dark fruits underneath. This is all encapsulated in a light fumey alcohol feel.

The taste is once again that huge chocolate sweetness which takes front and center, mixing with a sticky feeling dark fruit tang, before working itself into an intense blend of roasted oats, coffee, and hop bitterness in the back. Roast and char last well past the finish, just sticking in the mouth for a good long while. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a lower feeling carbonation to it (almost but not quite viscous) with just enough creaminess to keep things moving. There is still a hefty alcohol presence in this but it's still overall pretty smooth in the mouth. If anything, the light heat actually makes the bitterness pop more.

A couple of years on this bottle seemed to smoothe the profile out some but a good bit of that 11% is still out hanging right out there, which holds back the body and drinkibility back a touch for me. Still, the power and complexity of a great RIS are here. Maybe I'll cellar another one of these a little longer next time. (1,592 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2000: 9/10/02- 7 oz. XS bottle. Looks like oil as it pours. BLACK. No head, just a very limited collar. The aroma is initially of grassy, resiny, pine-like hops and dark fruit with chocolatey and roasty malts. As it warms, however, the hop aroma is eclipsed by the fruitiness and roast character. The mouthfeel is quite oily, and very silky. The flavor starts with a sharp "burnt currant" note, revealing some chocolatey notes as it warms in the mouth, then a solid hop flavor & bitterness, eventually followed by an intense burnt roastiness. The high level of alcohol is surprisingly hidden. A complex, and absolutely intense beer that's best served in a small glass. (But I was upset when the put the Old Crusty in the small XS bottle!) This does not seem to have aged any better than a recent 2001. In fact, I wonder if it will age well at all, as the hops that are present seem to help distinguish this beer and I don't see the flavors rounding for the better - that will just restrict the complexity! All that might happen is that the hop flavors will become muddled. Hmmm? Only time will tell. An excellent beer in its own right, but not my choice for a stylistically correct Imperial Stout. Still, INTENSE. Makes quite a nightcap. (1,237 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an '09 vintage in mini 7oz bottle thanks to oregone.

Nice creamy darker colored 1/4 finger head that sticks around for a while, with a nice lacing and a bit of legs on the glass, with pretty much pitch black beer inside, and tons of yeast chunks.

Nose has plenty of chocolate, mostly baker's bitter chocolate and some dark, but a bit of cocoa. there is also a light roasted malt with hint of coffee, then some caramel, and slightest licorice. It also seems to bring a bit of an earthy hop presence, but not sure. Touch of booze tingles the nose.

Taste is a bit sweet at first, but turns to bitter dark chocolate, and earthy flavors. Chocolate is there, dark, baker's, and light cocoa with a hint of creamy milk chocolate. Then roast, the roasted malts kick in so much that it gets bitter and burnt, a light acrid burnt coffee and licorice flavor. It def has some booze, plenty warming and tingly and almost gets fusel but not quite, which I imagine is more so fresh. Earthy hops add more bitterness to the already bitter earthy burnt malts. Also a light black patent malt flavor, and a light fluffy nougat in there. As it finishes the bitterness really takes over, with an earthy, spicy, astringent bitterness, more from hops in this case I think, which is interested for an 2+ year old beer, although the bitterness from the burnt malts also accentuates it. Sticky and a little sweet still, as well as a slight dark chocolate and burnt coffee lingering.

Mouth is quite rich and full, almost creamy but not quite, decent carb overall.

Overall not bad, but a bit over the top. Not very drinkable, a bit boozy, burnt roast, a little acrid, and astringent finish. I'm usually an imperial stout fan but this seems to go a bit over the top in the wrong places, as most Rogue beers seem to do for me. (1,808 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 XS release, poured from a 750ml ceramic swing-top bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, some dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is exactly what you want from a big stout, very malty with a strong dark chocolate flavor up front. There's a little bit of smokiness to it and a mild but complimentary hops presence. There's also a mild alcohol sting. The after-taste consists of bitter-sweet dark chocolate.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, very strong kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent high-powered big stout that is worth drinking for as long as the 11.00% ABV will allow you to. (917 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked a new release of the 7oz bottles at Thirsty's -there were two left on the shelf. Poured from the bottle into a tulip - it is nice to see they continue to give ingredient and recipe info on the bottle.

A - An opaque black that is ominous w/ a quick rising and well holding head of tan. The beading is fine w/ lace that collects in a film

S - The aroma is dark malt and coffee w/ a nose that has mild pepper and biscuit up front w/ subtle toffee and ginger odors. The spiciness of the hops is apparent w/ a dark cocoa note w/ mild molasses and graham cracker from the malt/yeast comb and notes of pine esters from the hops w/ a burnt caramel and slight smoke note

M - The feel is rich w/ a full body and plenty of hop/malt bitterness w/ slight caramel sweetness and ting of gentle toasted malt w/ a subtle heat of alcohol and an acidic tinge in the finish w/ lots of residual sugar

T - The flavor has cocoa notes w/ dark roasted astringency and mild nuts w/ black barley flavor and roasted malt cohesion. The taste has more than ample hop bitterness w/ mild pine and flavor of alcohol w/ slight coffee liquer taste and mild caramel notes w/ brown sugar, molasses and light vanilla spiciness as it finished

D - I really enjoyed this - a drinkable imperial stout w/ the abv not anywhere recognizable at the level it contains in the flavor. The beer hits the spot w/ lots of hop and malt contrast and yet is smooth for an 11% stout if that makes sense. It has a nice body and interesting cocoa bitterness (1,513 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with a 2001 bottled vintage date.

Appearance: A think vicious brown head forms three fingers deep, awesome slow-motion cascading effect. Retention is superb. Jet black colour shows no trace of light.

Smell: Soft espresso, ghost smoke, sharp unsweetened chocolate and light burnt malt come from the blend of roasted malts. Ripe black currants, molasses and a rough smell from the hops as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Almost syrupy in the mouth with a heavenly creamy smoothness. This brew is just bursting with roasted malt flavours. Fresh espresso, bakers chocolate and light charcoal. Hops bitterness is not to be ignored, bitter oil resins all over. Alcohol is there but does not see to flare out too much, more warmth in the back end. Some sweetness does make it threw with complex tones of dark sugars. Bitterness from the hops and roasted malts drives a day and a life into the after taste.

Drinkability & Notes: No holding back, big time flexing and just so outrageously good. To sum it up this brew as far as Imp Stouts go is one to be reckoned with. Some chocolate covered hazelnuts went very well with this one.


Tasted on 12-30-99. 7oz 1996 vintage bottle. As black as black could be ... with a wispy brown yet sticky lace.

Smell: A touch of sweetness that has hints of over caramelized fruit and a mild acidic twang from the roasted malts ... some hops are there but underlying. There is also the smallest hint of wet paper which shows a bit of aging.

Taste: Oh so smooth with a massive chewy malt mouth feel in this more than full bodied brew. Catastrophic flavours erupt from this thick black liquid ... rich dark chocolate and espresso, sweet and bitter hop flavours ... this is a war upon the taste buds. A faded papery taste is there yet is cast aside as the finish come forth. The finish is a devastation of roasted malt flavours and well as residual sweetness.

Notes: Yes this brew seems like it is peaking in its 3rd year ... a god like brew, this stout is only for those who are worthy of drinking the best. The weak will surely perish upon the mere touch of this brew to their lips. As close to perfection as you can get. (2,184 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 in a ceramic 750ml bottle. Sampled 10-26-2006

Holy. Pours thick like syrup and black as midnight with no moon. What very little head that forms is a dark tan. Smell is chocolate-y with a malt edge and a sweet tone. Taste is huge - and complex. Starts off with a strong sweet taste and then recedes slowly until an extremely roasted flavor comes out. It's like watching a roller coaster from a mile away. You can see every move it makes and watch it as it goes up, and then down to something else. Mouthfeel is thick but smooth. Highly drinkable, even at 11%. Unbelievable. (578 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ceramic bottle of of 06 vintage poured into an la chouffe snifter

Pours inky black with 3 fingers+ of rocky milk choclate colored head. Good lacing & a little film instead of a head at the end

S: Chocolate, iron & fruittyness

T: Bakers chocolate, iron, toasted grain, a little herbal hop & coffee up front. A subtle fruityness is there once this warms, a little raisin & baker's & dark chocolate. Finishes dey, sweet & warming

MF: Rich & chewy with minimal carbonation. As much a meal as a beer

A bit ponderous, a real fire-side sipper. But a beefy example of the style that satisfied the malt lover in me. A bit pricey, but a nice indulgence. Would go great with fine chocolate, a steak or game (710 characters)

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Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
92 out of 100 based on 817 ratings.