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Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

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1,218 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,218
Reviews: 811
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 86
Gots: 74 | 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.

88 IBU
73 AA
256º Lovibond

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,218 | Reviews: 811 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mynie
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 vintage.

Poured very dark with a brown, sticky head.

Smells great. Burnt brown sugar and sour malts.

Tastes surprisingly weak, even at room temp. Toffe and coffe upfront going into a tart malt in the back and the aftertaste of tobacco. Sweet, but not as sweet as some double stouts.

Smooth and a good body. This is a very, very good beer, but it doesn't reach the perfectly-balanced level of excellence of a great stout.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poors completely black with a thin brown head that quickly dissipates. The smell is minimal, but it is delicious. Aromas of coffee and chocolate reveal themselves only to a deep inhale.

The taste is really quite surprising considering the thick dark pour. It is much sweeter than I would have expected out of a beer with 87.5 IBU's. The aftertaste really lets you know that the alcohol is there, but it is balanced out by the hops and coffee/chocolate flavors. Drinkability does not suffer too greatly from the bitterness or alcohol content. Very well crafted.

This is my favorite Russian Imperial Stout ever, though I am not really a huge fan of the style. I actually quite enjoy this offering by Rogue, however. They never cease to amaze me.

Photo of Starchild
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage.

Pours jet black with a toffee head (the darkest I've seen in some time). After three years of aging, this tastes so smooth. Flavors of dark chocolate, expresso, and grapefruit with only hints of alcohol. To my suprise, Impy smells like Burbon but doesn't taste like it. The best part of this beer is the mouthfeel. Its bold, chewy, and complex without the thickness of the beer masking any flavor...perfect.

I paired with beer with Rogue Crater Lake Blue cheese which was amazing. I'm going to be buying more of this and less double ipas in the future.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is everything an Imperial Stout should be, way better than Storm King IMO.

It pours pure black with a viscous motor oil consistency. This stuff is so thick its almost not a liquid. The head is a dark tan wisp that leaves patchy lace. The aroma is of figs, stewed prunes and some chocolate and roast malt notes. Theres a spicy alcohol note in the nose as well.

The taste is surprisingly dry and roasty with none of the dark fruit detectable on the nose. The first thing that hits my palate is immense amounts of bitter black malt and roasted barley. These then diffuse into a wonderful blend of chocolate, coffee and hop flavors. Even though I was expecting lots of hops from rogue this one surprised me. A plethora of American hop flavors are detected with an excellent bitterness in the finish An alcohol kick is present but complimentary throughout. The mouthfeel is SO thick and mouthcoating, oil like.

Wow. What a kick ass stout. There are so many intense flavors and such a complex bitterness. It also lacks the vinous quality sherry like quality that I find in many stouts. Incredible stuff.

Photo of Kookiekwan
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 2003

This beer poured pitch black(so dark that when I held it up to a light it was like an eclipse) had a 1/2 finger head with good retention and little lacing. The aroma is a chocolate explosion with some grassy/floral hops thrown in. The taste is bitter chocolate and licorice, The finish had some oakflavor and was very piney and bitter, YUM! The beer is full bodied to say the least and it's quite drinkable even though you can feel the alcohol make it's way down to your stomach.

Reflection: This is one of my favorites, if you love stouts and haven't tried this one your missing out!

Photo of AlexJ
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 vintage. Pours insanely dark black with a meek head that subsides into a veil that remains throughout the duration of the beer. Ridiculous lacing from this thick, oily brew. Mouthwatering aromas of dark Belgian chocolate, espresso, charred oak, juniper, and a piney blast of hops that reminds me of some dank bud. Everything is here in the tasting along with dark pit fruits, especially plum/prune, intense espresso, gobs of gooey pine, licorice, and earth. Intensely hoppy from beginning to end. Three years in the bottle has done virtually nothing to the integrity of the hops. Smooth and light carbonation, very thick, oily, coating mouths feel. You need a knife and fork for this one. World-class!!!

Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 vintage.
Poured a black brew with a brown head that stuck aaound for awhile.
The aroma was pretty clean consisting of mostly alcohol and black malt.
The flavor began with a rich malt presence that is sweet ayet complex which segues quickly into a whirlpool of alcohol, roasted malts, and high alpha hops. The lingering taste of hops lets you know the 87.5 IBUs are real and it is an excellent example of a nice, hoppy double stout.
The moderate carbonation level and smooth body make this stout very drinkable though the fact that it is 26 degrees plato means that it has a high level of alcohol and should be respected.

Photo of walleye
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from the bottle. bottled in 2001. poured black with a brown med sized head. aroma, alcohol. chocolate, roasted malts, prunes, toffee, cherries. flavor, roated malts, chocolate covered raisins, hops, coffee, a nice bitterness, dry chalky. alcohol, licorice, semi sweet red wine. this was vert enjoyable to drink

Photo of SBPCGuru
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a dark brown, like motor oil. Sweet malt start followed by a average hop bitterness, but the sweetness stays around during the bitterness. Low carbonation. Drinkability average since it is so high in alcohol. Definate malty smell. Bottled in 2003. Says "Best When Aged 1 Year." Cannot wait to try past/future years of this brew.

Photo of tatterdash
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this in a small sniffer, which I found was absolutely perfect for the style... Thanks for the tip Rob from Smokeless! Pours a sinister black with a dark brown head that vanishes rather quickly but leaves a black ale with red edges in the light. Aroma was roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, rather earthy like most Rogues I have tried. Taste was a dry bitterness, coffee, dark chocolate, ridiculously long finish, fantastic. Very rish mouthfeel, syrupy and smooth. Dangerously drinkable, and very potent. Good show Rogue as always! :)

Photo of shirfan
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with an exceptionally large, frothy tan head. Sticky lace clings at every opportunity.

Aroma of chocolate, dark malts, leather, cookies. And I have to be honest, a big whiff yields....dog food. Odd.

Taste starts sweet, syrupy, almost cola like... moves on to a melding of sweet dark malt and moderately present citrusy hops. More dark chocolate. Oats are here, imparting a rolls-around-on-your-tongue smoothness.

Finishes with a delayed burnt-malt bitterness, citrus, very little indication of the alcohol present, unlike some "rougher" peers.
Highly drinkable for its size.

Photo of WesWes
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thin brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a warm and rich malty scent that boasts of many crystal, chocolate, and black malts. It also has a nice hop aroma to balance. The taste is good. It has a nice malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes warm with an earthy aftertaste. It's sweet, yet dry and full of black malts. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a full bodied beer with a little less than adequate carbonation. This is a good Imperial Stout. It lacks a little mouthfeel and head retention, but other than that it really is quite drinkable and enjoyable.

Photo of chunkylover53
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow. This beer is really, really involved.

It poured black as black can be, with no head whatsoever.

On first smelling, all I could detect was alcohol with a little bit of liquorice. After a time, some chocolate began to emerge.

Tast: Extremely flavourful and very dry, with a huge mouthfeel and an aftertaste that just hangs around. If you plan on waiting around for the aftertaste to leave, I'd suggest packing a lunch and bringing a good book. Something by Michener, perhaps. Or, I suppose, Tolstoy to go with the Russian theme.

If it exists, you can taste it in this beer. It's everything an Imperial Stout should be. But maybe a little too much so. While I was blown away by it's complexity at first, I soon found it to be overwhelming. Half a bottle would have been plenty.

Photo of EPseja
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared this limited-edition 22oz. slip-cast ceramic bottle of Rogue Imperial Stout over a good game of Scrabble with my friend... it was fantastic! Here are the details...

Black - not a trace of light shows through this beer when help up to the light. The head is like dark chocolate milk - a full inch thick - then settling down to about 1/2" and remaining there for the duration. Doesn't leave Belgian lace, rather it leaves the whole Belgian dress!

Incredibly fragrant for this style of beer. Dark molasses, espresso coffee, dark fruit, roasted nuts, toasted grains. Also imparts a slight milky smell.

In order, (1) Smoke, burnt chocolate. (2) Sweet molasses. (3) Bitter 80% cocoa chocolate. (4) Thick fudge and alcohol. Big and involving. Not for the faint hearted! Leaves an everlasting smoky, warming finish that lasts easily past the 10 minute mark making it very easy to go in for a followup sip.

Round but not thick. Light carbonation with small bubbles. Almost deceivingly smooth. I expected a much more viscous feel but was pleased to find how light it was in the mouth.

Easy drinking despite the hefty aroma and explosion of flavor.

For my tastes, this is an exceptional one-pint beer however I'm sure that many religious stout drinkers would opt for more. I don't believe that a second pint of this could achieve the same sensory results as the first one not only due to the alcohol content, but due to the beer's grand stature.

Photo of markman
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Rogue Imperial Stout, 2001:

Motor oil big-n-black. Large, viscous, vinous chocolate palate with minimal carbonation. Wow…big burnt finish. An oily, big ballsy stout. God-awful good and everything an Imperial Stout should be, and what all the others wish they were…quite possibly my favorite.


Photo of skybluewater
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2003 bottling. Glugs out a black that's as dark as night. Very nice chocolate colored head. Man, I love the smell of these stouts. This one smells of chocolate and prunes (good, even though I hate prunes). Taste is pretty much the same, very thick with a chocolate, coffee, fruity flavor. The only problem I have with this beer is the excessively bitter aftertaste. I don't mind bitterness in the flavor, but this lasts way too long. The taste is great, the aftertaste leaves much to be desired.

Overall, a fair impy. Pretty warming on a cool fall night. But that aftertaste is a killer...

Photo of gbontrag
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

started at 44F. Oh, so stout. I used a spatula to scrape the bottle into the pint. Oww, stained my sinuses with winey, burnt hops. Dried fruit compote spilled on a leather jerkin. Imagine a multi-grain pilaf with Hunza raisins, a pour of cream sherry, a little honey, chili powder....BURN IT!! Ferment it with Italian plums and a barrel of hops. Serve with toasty smores around a campfire.

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2001... a 3-year old vintage. Well aged.

This was an incredibly dark brown beer with almost no head to speak of. What little there was was a medium-dark brown at first, but faded to tan lacing.

The aroma was very complex. It was slightly sweet, with apples in the fore but with a slight acidity. Very dark malt scents were underlying it all... a very layered sensation.

The taste was VERY complex as well. It was quite bitter, with a slight fruitiness. Very dark malts came to the fore, and it transitioned to a roasted malt finish that lasted for quite a long time. I did not taste the alcohol at all. Neither did I notice any chocolate notes as others have... the roasted flavor was just too strong.

A good full mouthfeel, but I couldn't drink more than maybe two of these at a sitting. DAMN it was potent!

Photo of Denali
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Package: 12 ounce bottle. 2002 vintage.

Appearance: Black black black. Thick head dark brown around edges and lighter brown in the middle. Laces well.

Smell: Very malty with strong alcohol and chocolate.

Taste: Very complex. Different flavors poke their way throughout the flavor timeline. Lots of chocolate, very strong alcohol, bitter hops, and dark roasted malts. Different sips alternate between bitter and sweet. I also detect a fruity flavor coming through as well, almost like black cherry. Slightly peppery also. Sweetens as it warms up. Aftertaste is also just as complex, with the same flavors present.

Mouthfeel: Outrageously thick and chewy. Very very slight carbonation.

Drinkability: Too thick and chewy for me to drink a lot of these. Very noticable alcohol presence also detracts from the drinkability.

Comments: Enjoyable, although there are other imperial stouts that I like more.

Photo of RoyalT
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Straight black in color with a dark brown head like the crème you find on top of an espresso shot. The head literally did not go away. It was the last of the tasters and, although they were all poured at the same time, the head was the same when I got to it as it was when the waitress brought it over to my table 20 minutes earlier.

Smell – The dark, roasty malts had some good alcohol notes. This is a big nose. The coffee and stale espresso were bitter and inviting.

Taste – The alcohol was indeed big at the taste. The dark, roasty malts were incredibly smooth. What a terrific flavor! The raw espresso beans puckered my cheeks. The hops were present as well but lighter than what I remember from drinking the bottle.

Mouthfeel – This one is not quite full in the body but it’s big. The flavors certainly are full. The alcohol sting is hard but makes you want to say “thank you, sir, may I have another.”

Drinkability – This is a must try for any serious Imp Stout fan.

Photo of pootz
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of Brooklynboy...thanks Edward we made it through the maple curtain. Served slightly chilled in a Petrus snifter. Pour was very viscous and oily color was a light defying black...no head...clinging ring on the glass. Aromas of spice/coffee/cocoa/figs sweet in tone. Mouth feel is significant in body...very oily and viscous....complex tastes...dates,licorice, columbian coffee, all with an over riding dollup of boiled hop oils that shadows this with a driving astringency that at times makes the whole mouthful taste salty when the alcohol tastes are added...long finish where these multitude of tastes play out against the alcohol. I can see how this would mature with cellering...a very good attempt at the Imp-stout genre but falls far short because of the salty finish created by the ABV...needs work. Sorry Edward Wellington Imp-stout wins this duel.

Photo of altctrlsdelete
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2001.

Poured jet black with a very thin tan head that retreated to just the sides of the glass very quickly. Didn't expect a whole lot of head retention out of a beer this age.

The smell is an interesting mix of roasted malts (chocolate, coffee, the usual stout aromas) and a very floral hop undertone, much more floral than I was expecting, and pleasantly so.

The malts control the taste, with just a hint of the floral hops that are present in the nose. Alcohol is distinctly present and leaves behind a tingle on my tongue. Much harsher than I thought it would be after ~3 years of aging, but still well within the realm of acceptability.

Feels nice and chewy in the mouth and is quite drinkable despite the ever present tinge of alcohol. I would drink another if (a) I had one and (b) it wasn't quite so high octane.

The layer of sediment in the bottom of the bottle is quite impressive. I decanted almost all of the beer, but I'm not sure I would in the future. I don't note any off flavors as a result, but I'm sure it has modified the flavor somewhat. Still, a very, very good brew that should be sought out by anyone who appreciates imperial stouts. Very high quality, as I've come to expect from Rogue.

Photo of edchicma
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful black,,,good lacing..head dissipated a bit quickly. Smell is deep malt with a hint of pine. Taste is coffee. burnt malt, alcohol combination...very nice. Mouthfeel is a bit dry with a nicely bitter hop presence. For the high abv, not bad on the drinkability scale. A strong, but flavorful brew.

Photo of BadBadger
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This fine stout pours a very nice dark color, bordering on pitch black. A minimal head forms. The smell is malty. The taste is complex but delightful, no hint of the high ABV (10.5%) contained within. The mouth feel is pleasing to the palate: nice and full bodied. This is a very enjoyable Stout. Definitely worth searching out and giving a try.

Photo of NEhophead
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2002.

An espresso-chocolate colored head that is very creamy looking. Fades after a few moments to a thin sheet. Great thin and patterned lacing with a a lot of strength. Opaque, pitch black in color.

Hazlenut, roasted dark chocolate, dark cherry, plum, black raspberry aromas. Chewy malt sweetness that is perfectly balanced with the array of aromas.

Dark chocolate and toffee flavors along with some dark fruit. A great chewy maltiness combatted by a huge hop bitterness (87.5 IBUs). Warming alcohol presence in the aftertaste.

Syrup-like on the palate. Low carbonation allowing this stout's natural flavors to surface. A full bodied beer.

For the style, this beer is very hard to be beaten (might be trumped by Stone's Russian Imperial IMO). Here's my advice: buy a case of this and cellar it. Truly a priceless beer!

Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
91 out of 100 based on 1,218 ratings.