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Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,187 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,187
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 77
Gots: 69 | 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.

88 IBU
73 AA
256º Lovibond

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,187 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HappyHourHero
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a small tan head. The color is pitch black. The smell is of burnt malt and hops. This one was bottled in 2002, I definitely think it could sit around for a couple more years. The taste is like strong coffee, with a hoppy bitterness rising up towards the end. This is a very tasty brew, but just a bit much.

HappyHourHero, Nov 01, 2003
Photo of Shaw
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 12-ounce bottle of the 2003 vintage at my local pub. I've got several of the 2001 vintage in my cellar but I couldn't bring myself to drink one yet.

This imperial stout pours super black (duh) with very little head. What foam there is is quite dark. Gives the aroma of roasted malt mixed with lots of dry-hopping.

The taste is wonderful. Very strong roasted flavors batter your taste buds in one direction while hop bitterness and aroma try and whip you in another. This is not a session beer.

If you think Rogue's "regular" brews are extreme, just try one of their XS line, which includes this stout along with Old Crustacean barleywine and I2PA imperial pale ale. Prepare yourself to be astounded.

As with their other brews, this Rogue is a world-class beer. I recommend it highly.

Shaw, Oct 31, 2003
Photo of HossMcGraw
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thickest...Beer...Ever. Aroma is just a little bit of heaven. Strong ass 2 week old coffee, chocolate, and a nice malt backbone. As for the taste, I'm a little at odds, It's good, there's no denying that, it's just unbalanced. Incredibly bitter with the malty chocolate playing second fiddle. Aftertaste is like a campfire that won't go out. Very strong and unpleasant. I do enjoy my Imp. Stouts hoppy, but balance is so crucial, and seems to be overlooked here. The alcohol however, is brilliantly hidden. Silky smooth in the mouth with just the right amount of carb. to keep things interesting. Drinkability is pretty good I guess. Not one I'll buy again. Drink their Shakespeare Stout instead.

HossMcGraw, Oct 31, 2003
Photo of Naerhu
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Purchased 12/2003 no bottled on date
Jet black body chocolate head.
Smores aroma with loads of fuit and jumping freshness.
Overwhelmingly charred and oily. Huge bitterness.
There is a freshness from the hops (anise-like) with contrasts with the sharp burnt dominating flavor.

Bottled March 1996
Drank October 2003
appearance 2.0
smell 4.0
taste 2.0
mouthfeel 1.5
drinkability 2.0

Alcohol states that it is 11.2%.
Japanese print on back of bottle.
Half bottle size.

Jet black body with no head.
Bitter chocolate aroma (amazing)
Heavy coarse bitterness followed by chocolate. Intense like antigravity in my mouth.
Slick syrup. Followed by chalk. No carbination.

As it warms, the taste turns to what fermented sweat may taste like.

This is a review of a vintage / over the hill beer. I ask the beer gods forgiveness for dragging down the average score of what must have once been a god among beers.

Naerhu, Oct 15, 2003
Photo of rastaman
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks really promising, menacing deep brown to black colour. Smell of chocolate, vanilla and then grapefruity piney hops, the hops take over in the aroma, and then again on the palate. I don't think the combo of chocolate, roast and vanilla, go too well with the huge grapfruity, piney, citric hops that Rogue uses in this beer. Still very tasty and thick, and bitter in the finish aswell. Not totally "all that", maybe i'm just being picky. Still, pretty f'n tasty (bottle GBBF 03')

rastaman, Oct 02, 2003
Photo of 86MonteSS
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When a beer's head is darker than most other beers' bodies, you know you've gotten yourself into some serious stuff. When I was done I had to rinse the bottle close to ten times before the water became clear. The first time I tried it, I thought I was sipping the motor oil out of an engine with horrible carbon deposits. This time I knew a little better, but I still think that this is one of the deepest, heaviest, most bitter brews on the planet. I've said it before and I'll say it again: This shit'll stain a black shirt.

...and it can stain mine any time!

86MonteSS, Sep 30, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first beer that I sampled that I can truly say pours like used motor oil, thin light brown head leaves some lacing. This one was bottled in 2002 and in the aroma I can pick out doughy chocolate tones, coffee deep espresso to be exact, anise and cascade hops seem to dominate in that department. There are alot of flavors going on in this beer very complex deeply woven with in an initial deep chocolate wave followed by a slew of hop bitterness the IBUs are kicking here with trickles of the doughiness and anise and hidden and blended overripened fruit tones soaked in a coffee bean roast. There is just an orgy of flavor and aroma in this brew the mouthfeel is incredibly full the beer itself is filling warming at the same time. Drinkability despite being as thick and full bodied as this it has a pretty easy sipping complex about it, not the everyday sipper but one to try and challenge the senses very good and very complex some may not be ready for this one.

WVbeergeek, Sep 16, 2003
Photo of cokes
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black under dark brown. If any beer is deserving of a perfect 5 score for looks, here it is.
Tarry aroma of burnt pine needles, port, molasses, and prunes.
Onrushing flavors from the get-go. A charred blacktop sensation gradually gives way to huge espresso. Bitter chocolate gradually unfolds and melts itself around currants, raspberries and plumes. Gentle, flowing caramel underneath. Slow moving molasses streams, sprinkled with toasted vanilla beans.
Now take a blowtorch to what I described. Roasty is a hideous understatement.
But it's not done yet. Oh no.
The scorched chocolate drippings bind with whole forests of Conifers. Ferns and Pine Trees. Sappy and sticking, clinging bitterness. Alcohol is port-like, and noticed in warmth and texture rather than strength.
Like a molten fluid in the mouth. Chewy? Uh, yeah.

I had considered this Imperial Stout a step down from the greats.
No longer.

2000: This bad boy is black. No ruby edges, no colors peaking out..just black. Head is next to nonexistant. What there is is solid brown.
Big aromas of chocolate, expresso, charcoal, piney hops and plums.

Taste contains all of the above. Starts off brashly roasted, then settles to a dark chocolate bitterness. Strong dark fruit sweetness seeps in, before being assaulted by the bitter hop onslaught. Some fruitiness does linger in the finish, along with some big expresso.
Alcohol is absent from the taste. Incredible for 11%.
Swirls around the glass like a solid mass, rather than a liquid. Silky and thick in the mouth.
This one is positively frightening in its drinkability. I had to pace myself in order to savor it. If I ever ended up with a large supply of this, I'd probably end up in the hospital. It just drinks so well, regardless of the ABV.

Thanks a million, Bighuge.

rating 4.55

cokes, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of DarrellK
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is in the top three of my favorite stouts. Black color and tawny full head with a nice aroma that is slightly chocolatey. I think what distinguished this Imperial is the full mouth and finish and you are not overpowered by the alcohol, although it's in there. 9.5 out of 10 in my database.

DarrellK, Aug 28, 2003
Photo of beerinator
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2001 version
Appearance: Black gold texas tea. Dark brown head, with great head retention. Nice rocky head, about as dark brown as a head could possibly be.

Aroma: Raspberry chocolate in the aroma. Obvious fruit in the nose. Excellent aroma.

Taste: Roasty dark bitter chocolate flavor. Bitterness long lasting and lingering. Coffee roastyness with spot on carbonation. Great mouthfeel. Slight sourness on tip of tongue.

Notes: Very good stout. Bitterness lasts across the whole tongue. Bitter chocolate fans should enjoy. Homemade rasperry ice cream has met it's ideal beer.

beerinator, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of Stingray5
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a small tan head. One of the nicest looking heads I've seen. I'm not finding much in the way of aroma here save for a little frutiness, but that's about to be a moot point. A rich, thick, full, bold, massive, (fill in the appropriate adjective for big here) mouthful is followed by a biting, in-your-face bitter flavor. Espresso, dark chocolate, port wine, and prune-like fruit flavors only begin to describe this brew. I have to slow down, as after a few swigs I learn this is a sipping beer, courtesy of the strong bitter and alcohol finish. Oh yeah, and then there's the hops, pulling at my heartstrings courtesy of a few well placed burps.

Currently available to me only as a 12oz, here's hoping a bomber of this finds its way out of the brewery and into my stocking this Christmas. Santa, are you listening?

Stingray5, Aug 22, 2003
Photo of euskera
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 Bottling..

Pours out jet black with a small firm head. Smell is roasted coffee with a hop overtone. Taste is enveloping, chocolate on the very nose, roasted espresso and hint of sweetness in the back with the trademark Rogue hop bite at the end, although the hops were surprisingly (and nicely for me) restrained. Overall an incredibly tasty, well balanced Imperial Stout.

euskera, Aug 20, 2003
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a brown head that diminishes quickly to a ring. The aroma is roasty, and coffee-like. It also has a earthy, almost oakiness to the aroma. The flavor is of deep roasted malts, with expresso-like qualities. It flows to a burnt roasty bitter finish. The bitterness lingers with you until the next sip. The mouthfeel is creamy from the rolled oats and it flows to a bitter finish. A very full-bodied brew. A nice warming, tasty beer.

BeerBuilder, Aug 15, 2003
Photo of Mitchster
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Made with 2-row Great Western Harrington, Klages, Hugh Baird Crystal XLT-80, Black, Munich and Chocolate Malts; Willamette, Cascade and Chinook hops; rolled oats; and two secret ingredients.

Bottled in 2001 (Oh so happy that it's 12oz now!). Unfiltered. Opaque, jet black in color forming a dark brown whipped head akin to dense espresso crema. There is a laughable 1/4" thick espresso puck of black yeast in the bottle:) Sheets of Belgian Lace coat the glass beautifully. Retention is excellent. This is a great looking brew. Aroma is intense with prunes, figs, dates, deeply roasted sticky sweet malts, cocoa, espresso, a hint of alcohol, roasted walnuts, and something I compare to amateur homebrew. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft with a pillowy like creaminess at the front. Dense and oily in body with an astringent, burnt finish. Taste is much like aroma with the addition of a sweet licorice sensation in the back of the throat, asphalt sealant, earthy french roast coffee, charcoal, notable peppery alcohol warming the belly, pine sap, and a woody burnt finish. The hop bitterness is pretty intense and seems to linger forever. The draught version is a completely different beast (see my other review). A very good imperial stout with balance thrown to the wind. One 12oz. bottle gives me a pleasant buzz. I have to give the 1st place to Expedition and 2nd to Rasputin for achieving the drinkability and balance that this brew lacks.

26 degrees Plato, IBU 87.5, Apparent Attenuation 77, Lovibond 258.

Mitchster, Aug 09, 2003
Photo of jeffboo
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An extremely impressive beer that earns it's right to use "Imperial" on it's label.

A rich, thick black pour with a smallish brown head. The aromas slipping out are coffee,roasted malt, charcoal, and smoke. The rich, full body contain heavanly flavors of espresso and chocolate, plent of fresh roast flavors intermingled with a solid bitterness built on the roast and hops. It's texture is oily thick but still very drinkable with a bitter/dry finish that keeps the glass close at hand.

jeffboo, Aug 01, 2003
Photo of BeerManDan
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First of all, if you don't like a really bitter stout, do not drink this stout.

On tap, it poured black with no head. The smell of hops and roasted malts along with a hint of coffee filled the nose. The taste of roasted malts along with the coffee and hops with a hint of chocolate was very tasteful. But, OH SO BITTER. I've never tasted a stout so bitter, but so tasteful!

BeerManDan, Aug 01, 2003
Photo of kevinl6
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rogue sure can brew a nice stout!! I like imperials, so I knew that I would like this one, but I think I liked it even more than I thought I would. As with most stouts, this one is black; however, this one is as black as they come! Also had a nice tan head, particularly for an imperial. Smell is very distinct... roasty, coffee, and a slight chocolate...alcohol warms the nose somewhat (I like that!) Taste is very strong, bitter, malty, and a little chocolate. Alcohol is definately noticeable and warms the throat. Mouthfeel is good and smooth, but not like their other stouts (for me anyway). Drinkability rated a little low for me due to the high alcohol and bitterness. Alcohol lingers on in your mouth after the strong finish. This brew is a very nice overall combination of high alcohol and good taste.....something I like in an imperial. I'm somewhat surprised it doesn't rate a little higher overall....

kevinl6, Aug 01, 2003
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.

oberon, Jul 30, 2003
Photo of Quaffer
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This was the black hole of beers. No light got past this thing at all. It had a dense, dark brown head that thinned out into a layer that persisted the entire drink. It left a respectable amount of lace behind.

Smell: At first, I didn't notice much smell to this beer. Then, some floral and perfume-like aromas showed themselves. Not a very good smelling beer at all. This aroma got worse as I continued drinking.

Mouthfeel: A big and creamy, full beer.

Taste: There was not much complexity to this beer at all. It had a big initial heavy roasted malt hit, followed by an HUGE bitterness that was harsh and lingered for a long, long itme. I like bitter beer, but this wasn't enjoyable for me. Maybe it was the type of hops used. This bitterness then gave way to a good old-fashioned nasty aftertaste.

I will steer clear of this beer from now on.

UPDATE 07-25-03

Well, I didn't steer clear of this beer. I just had to try it again. And I must say that for the last couple of months, I always pick a bottle up when I make a run to the store. I'm not sure what happened on that first sampling, but I really enjoy this brew now. Probably not quite as much as everyone else does, but it definitely did not deserve the 2.75 that I gave it the first time around.

Quaffer, Jul 26, 2003
Photo of daledeee
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gave this a 5 for appearance. The darkest head I have seen on a beer. This beer is so dark you can't see any light through the stream as you pour it!! Head disappates quickly but leaves nice lace. Nose is pretty strong. About the same as it tastes. Taste is strong coffee, malt, a hair sweet. Not quite as strong tasting as a couple other stouts I have had. The alchohol is a little noticable. Very clean tasting and well done. Top quality stout. I want to try the Chocolate one now. I already know the Shakespeare is good.

daledeee, Jul 15, 2003
Photo of frank4sail
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Dark black opeque look. Thick milk chocolate one inch dense head. Wonderful sticky mustache-on-the-lip style lace. Fresh grassy hop and sweet malt nose. Dense thick rich mouth. Upfront bitterness is mellowed by a rich dense sweet roasty malt base. It also has a big bitter expresso finish. The tongue is left dry with a hint of bitter dark chocolate. Complex, rich, and bold. Rogue to the core..

frank4sail, Jul 14, 2003
Photo of BierReise
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man is this a bitter Imperial. Black like used motor oil and nearly as thick. Active carbonation upon openeing the bottle and a thick dark head formed. Lacing is good. Kind of a bitter roasty aroma but nothing really comes to mind. A bit of coffee and hops. Alcohol is noticable. Super smooth palate and a nice warming bitter finish. Flavor is roasted malts, hops, alcohol and cocoa. A little more bitter than I like in this style.

BierReise, Jul 13, 2003
Photo of TheDM
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a small brown head of finely sized bubbles with a pitch black opaque body. As one drinks from their mug, the lasting head leaves behind a wonderful clinging vine lacing. It has a typical stout strong coffee aroma with a very smooth, for a stout, initial taste and a strong coffee finish. I really enjoyed drinking this brew. One of the better stouts I have tasted.

TheDM, Jul 13, 2003
Photo of GreenCard
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled at Rogue Brewery in Newport, OR.

Appearance: obsidian black, creamy dark tan-green head, lacing

Aroma: hops, molasses, soy sauce, smoke, hops, coffee

Flavor: dark raisiny sweetness, black coffee bitterness, salt, touch of almondy sherry oxidation, highly bitter finish, slight tang

Mouthfeel: full bidy, tannic astringency, slick feel, the fact that there was no alcohol burn despite the 11% abv is impressive

Overall Impression: I know it's probably blasphemous, but I'm not a huge fan of Rogue's beers. I've tried 9 or 10 of them and they were all pretty aggressively bitter, even their American Amber was assertive. Finely crafted beers and a brewery that deserves a lot of respect, but I find the high hop rate a bit boring. It's pretty easy to throw a ton of hops in a beer. I must admit, I'm not much of a hop-head, so take my Rogue reviews with a grain of salt. If there's a Rogue ale that is balanced, I'd like to try it.

GreenCard, Jul 07, 2003
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap today at Redbones. Poured pitch black in color, kind of like the background of this site. Good size copper head that left a beautiful lace as I drank. Malt, coffee, hops, tea, and chocolate are what I got from the smell. The tast was similar but but more coffee and malt notes coming through. The alcohol was present more in the aftertaste than anything. It wasn't overpowering but I knew it was there.

I guess that I have to compare this to Storm King which is one of my favorite Imp Stouts. The Storm King seemed to have more hops. I want to try the Rogue in a bottle and compare.

CharlesRiver, Jul 03, 2003
Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,187 ratings.