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Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,199 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,199
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 77
Gots: 72 | FT: 3
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: 1,199 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Edwin
4.88/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Black. Very Black. Beautiful dark color with a bit of a brownish head. Looks good enough to eat!

Smell - Carries a nutty, chocolaty scent. A roasty smell in there as well. Very nice.

Taste - Simply put - Awesome. Taste that goes with all of the smells above...chocolate, rasted malts, some hoppiness, and maybe some of that espresso-like flavor in there as well.

Mouthfeel - Smooth as a chocolate milk from a diner. A small bitterness on the end, but nothing to cringe at.

Drinkability - Try one and you will most assuredly try another. An excellent all-around stout. Watch the high ABV.

Edwin, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of byrd
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours with no head, only a small lace that quickly dissipates leaving a few bubbles. Solid black in color. Loads of aroma hits you in the face. Sweet aroma is of alcohol, spicy vinous notes, dark fruit, and a slight bit of chocolate. Despite the lace of any head, carbonation is definitely present towards the end. The start has some slightly sweet molasses notes up front. Chocolate is noticeable towards the middle, but only in very small amounts. Somewhere in the middle, there is also a slight burst of vinous notes. Big harsh heavily roasted coffee and hops notes finish and last into the aftertaste which lingers for a long time. I’d like to age this one for a while and see how it mellows. At this point it’s a bit too harsh for my palate, and I couldn’t drink more then one. However, it does become more enjoyable as it warms, growing a bit sweeter and less harsh.

byrd, Nov 25, 2003
Photo of mydeadguy
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Darker than a black steer's tuckus on a moonless prairie at night.
(deep dark, oily lookin' black, light on the coppery chocolate head, but plenty of sticky bubbles, and a beautiful ring )
Smells as old as the earth,
(both sweet and strong malts, ripe dark fruitiness, alcoholic essence, deep dark earth)
Tastes like some nectar of the gods, nestled safely for years in a cave on mt. olympus.
(smokey malts, roasted, chocolate, coffee, the hops still assert themselves with fruity/bitter hints, the barest hint of the alcohol until the point about halfway through when it start to warm the belly)
Smooth operator indeed.
(slick on the palate, slightly oily and strong and rich, a big, round mouthfeel, a great sippin' in a snifter brew)
The trick is in allowing oneself to rest, allow oneself to detatch from the regular and everyday.
(if I could I'd drink this every morning, just to remind myself that life is to be enjoyed.)

notes: truly a well crafted an immensely satisfying beer to drink. Vintage 2002, just a baby, gotta get more of these to hold onto. This is my 50th review, and I dedicate it to all the BAs I've met and all those I'll meet before my 100th review.. Hell yeah.

mydeadguy, Nov 23, 2003
Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage, Sampled November 17, 2003
A deep dark brown head tops this beer, the head is very dense and creamy. A pitch black beer. The aroma is of condensed malt, alcohol, and a light roasted smell. The roast aroma is not as strong as I was expecting it to be. This is a very thick bodied brew. It ends in a burnt coffee note. There is a definite sweetness but it is countered by the roast character so that the sweetness is in no way cloying. It has a thick oily feel on my tongue. A fairly mellow beer, for sure a deep contemplative brew for sipping and enjoying slowly. Overall this is a very refined Imperial Stout that is not too over the top.

Gueuzedude, Nov 18, 2003
Photo of beergeek279
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color was oil-brown, with some head...quite a bit for a 10.5% beer. The smell was of chocolate and hops. The taste was very coffee/hop bitter (at 87 IBUs) and had very nice hints of chocolate. Mouthfeel was quite thick. Drinkability-wise, could have these till I hit the floor.

Mmmm...a delicious imperial stout. Nice bitterness that's complimented by a chocolate sweetness. Hopefully, I'll have this one again.

beergeek279, Nov 16, 2003
Photo of dpend
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

YEEEEHAHHHH! This stuff is blacker than a cat's a$$!

Seriously though, what an incredible concoction.I first had this on Halloween 2002 and don't remember much after that. What I do remember is the milkshake lacing around the glass and the way the aroma and flavor intensify as the brew warms toward room temp.Drinking this cold spoils the experience.Take your time and appreciate this beer and it won't let you down.

dpend, Nov 11, 2003
Photo of DagFishHead
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
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.

DagFishHead, Nov 10, 2003
Photo of NickLovesBeer
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Rogue Imperial Stout pours black as night with dark tan head with great retention. It smells of bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee/espresso beans. The taste is creamy yet bitter from the hops and roasted malts and the chocolate is very prevalent and masks the alcohol well. A truely intense brew, Rogue's Imperial Stout is not for the faint of heart.

NickLovesBeer, Nov 09, 2003
Photo of smitty1080
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure if i need a spoon for this one. Pours thick as anything I have ever seen. The thick head just doesn't want to away. Lots of burnt malt on the tongue. After that fades a slight sweet chocolate flavor hits for half a second. It then returns back a dry toasty finish. 10.5, what?

smitty1080, Nov 09, 2003
Photo of winomark
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a deep black with a thin chocolate head that doesn't stick around long.

Aroma: Sweet alcohol along with coffee and chocolate tones. Roasted malt makes an appearance.

Taste: Strong bitter roasted malt drys the palate and gives off coffee and chocolate notes.

Mouthfeel: Coating and slightly sweet up front, but quite drying and smoky on the finish.

Drinkability: Good stout; not as sweet as Old Rasputin. Good for a cool evening.

Thanks to MJR for the bottle.

winomark, Nov 04, 2003
Photo of HardTarget
2.42/5  rDev -40%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottled in 2002.
Aroma: Smells like Soy Sauce. Has a dark malt odor with hints of dark fruit and wine
Appearance: Solid black, not a ray of light makes it through. Showed the thinnest collar of brown head.
Flavor: Astringent, harsh, and rough edged. The deep malt is over balanced with a sharp, harsh hop bitter. Unpleasant and I had to work to finish it.
Mouthfeel: Deep chew with a harsh bitter twang
Overall Impression: Forgive me, oh rebellious brothers and sisters, this is a Rogue that needs to be brought to justice. I’ve loved just about every other Rogue I’ve tried, and Imperial Stout is one of my favorite beer styles, but this was just too harsh. A real disappointment. Maybe my bottle was bad (I fear not) or maybe this just needed a decade or so to age (it did have a good year) but something just wasn’t right. My only suggestion for possible improvement would be to back off the hops (sacrilege) and find some way to mellow this fellow. Unless I hear of major changes, I won’t be revisiting this any time soon.

HardTarget, Nov 04, 2003
Photo of Darkale
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Incredibly black and thick -- it hardly even splashes when poured into the glass. At first, you will be tempted to believe that it is flat, for only a skim of head appears. And then, true to form, the real head arrives, swirling in the body like sand in a midnight sandstorm, and then pushing up thick and creamy as whipped cocoa. The most beautiful imperial stout that I have ever seen.

Aroma is plummy chocolate, with a thin and wicked streak of sugar in the middle, bounded by slightly sour hops.

Foamy, rich, and chewy in the mouth. One of the creamiest and foamiest mouthfeels I have ever experienced.

Taste is cocoa, powdery cocoa, with bitterness tumbling after the sweetness, and a raspy, sour aftertaste pulling up the rear.

The first Rogue beer that I can say I truly and deeply loved. A bit too rich and sour (what a mix!) to give it more than a "good" rating for drinkability (but at the price -- about $3.50 per bottle -- how many can you have, anyway?).

Darkale, Nov 03, 2003
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
Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,199 ratings.