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Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,212 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,212
Reviews: 811
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 84
Gots: 75 | 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: 1,212 | Reviews: 811 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1997 vintage. Not a real looker going into the snifter. No head whatsoever, just a viscous thin dusting of bubbles; there is a slight liqueurish "cling" to the liquid. Almost totally black, with purplish highlights. Aroma is a bit better. A melding of dry sweetnesses: prunes, port wine, currants, and a brace of alcohol; a hint of cakey yeast. Dense. Flavors (in order of appearance): strong coffee grounds, dried fruit (prune, raisin), dark chocolate. Weaving through all these roasty, toasty flavors is the sweetness of port. Alcoholic yeast licks at the roof of the mouth. Oak tones emerge by the time the beer gets to room temperature. Mouthfeel is winey and mellow, extremely light for the style. Balance, balance, balance. Drinkability brings with it a nice alcohol warmth. The bottle reads "best when consumed after 1 year." This being the first and only bottle I've ever had, I wouldn't know if it was past its prime. I'd imagine that younger bottles might fare better in some departments, but six years on the shelf did things to the flavors that I found nothing short of extraordinary.

NearerMyBeerToMe, Jan 02, 2004
Photo of Foxman
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a dark, dark rich brown, building to an even inkier darkness, devoid of light's passage. There's a quick, light brown head, which at that point provides the only color in the glass, which fades quickly to sparse swirly bubbles. There's spotty but lasting oily lacing on the glass.

The aroma brings substantial hops, citrusly and densely fruity, which are quickly overwhelmed by the air of deep roasted malt. Resplendent in the aroma as well are notes of cherry, espresso, and alcohol.

The palate quickly notes a stark, bitter hops kick drying out the tongue, followed by a dark, chewy roasted malt wash that comes in just short of burnt. The interplay between malt and hops here builds on both elements, creating quite a sum of the parts. The alcohol is notable, especially during the intake of air on a sip. There's a strong espresso-bitter malt finish as well as one final dry hops assault.

It's thick and heavy bodied, with 20w50 viscosity and genuine texture. Tendrils ooze about the palate, depositing serious flavor density. The finishing hops aura lingers long and happily.

This a lotta beer! There's nothing mild or subtle...it's an in-your-face stout that makes you sit up and take notice. You experience it as much as drink it. The high ABV is not at all shy in making itself known, but the big-league, high octane flavor tempts you to have more, despite that alcohol. And yes, I'll brave that demon to have myself more.

Foxman, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of aaronh
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours with a decent head that shows dense carbonation and a velvety milk-chocolate color. The body is pitch black. The aromas are very heavy on the roasted notes, leaning toward burnt, with a touch of alcohol sweetness. The first sip reveals an almost burining, smoky bitterness from the heavily roasted malts. A touch of sweet smokiness makes you think your eating a severly burnt marshmallow from the campfire. The charred flavors continue to dominate even as the beer approaches room temp. Some more balancing sweetness appears, and actually helps reveal the hop flavors a little better. Mouthfeel is solid, but with a rather dry finish. Burnt flavors linger uncomfortably. Drinkability is acceptable, but there seems to be a bit too much black malt in this one. Give me a little more chocolate/roasted flavor without the acrid bitterness, and this would be outstanding. As it is, it's a one-timer.

aaronh, Dec 31, 2003
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.13/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a pitch black with almost no head, just a charred tan ring that didn't even consist of bubbles. Smell was strongly reminiscent of worcestire, meat, damp dog and thick malts, all of which were infused with a off smelling hop juice. Taste was bitter grains, raw chocolate sans any type of sweetening and tons of brutal over the top Rogue hops.I am a minimalist when it comes to carbonation, but this was overdoing it as there was no carbonation whatsoever. The beer was completely muddied by the fact that the hops and the malts did not acompany each other in the slightest. I will certainly not pay Rogue XS prices for this again. Stick to the I2PA.

GreatPondBrewer, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nearly Le Coq in style, this is a true Russian Imperial style stout. The thick, oily body is inky black and has moderate carbonation. There is a lovely chocolate malt looking head and incredible full lace along with a thick, rich body.

The nose shouts out, and supplies ample substance of roasted barley malts and subtle whiffs of the balancing hops. Bitter flavors cover all but the alcohol level, which keeps the taste quite dry. The taste also has an earthy, ash-like quality to it that is more pleasant than it sounds. Full mouthfeel is joined by a pleasant and lingering aftertaste. This is not lightweight stout, but rather a heavyweight slugging its way into the battle with full roasted delights and heavy-handed body punches.

AtLagerHeads, Dec 27, 2003
Photo of taez555
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a pitch-black body with a thick but small dark brown, /tan, almost red in the right light, head.

The nose was a nice mix of very fresh barely. Like that smell when you’re walking around a brewery. That mixed with chocolate, sweet chocolate, nuts, and walnut shells. Really an amazing smelling nose. Very inviting.

The taste was big and full-bodied. Dark rich malts with a burnt, almost smokey taste. Roasted coffee beans or chocolate. Very evenly bitter for such a big beer. It starts big and malty and ends with a nice hop bitterness with a slight campfire taste as it fades off.

Overall just a great imperial stout. It gets a little more bitter and metallic, but still, a very tasty stout.

taez555, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of Winter
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2001 edition. Pours a thick black with an equally impressive brown head. Aroma is heavily vinous with a hint of cherry and alcoholic vapors. Almost reminds me of drunken chocolate covered cherries. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with a sharp carbonation. Initial flavors consist of dark fruits and bitter chocolate. Hops swarm in quickly to balance the malt flavors and take center stage midway through. Finishes with cherry and a smokey lingering dryness. Highly alcoholic, which detracts a bit from the overall drinkability. Wonder if it's past its approximate "3 year prime", which others may have referred to? To me this beer seems to have peaked. Why this happened, I'm not quite sure for a beer of this abv. A powerful Imperial Stout which can provide quite a KO punch for the unprepared.

Winter, Dec 20, 2003
Photo of johnrobe
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2001 edition.
This is a ridiculously good beer! Compared with other Imp. Stouts I've tried this seems noticeably more bitter, but that plays into a lingering, memorable finish... I'll get to that later. Motor oil black and opaque, like you're way beyond your 3,000 mile oil and filter change. A dense light brown head reduces to a cap but leaves sticky remnants down the sides of the glass. Decadently rich aroma....dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, a rich full city roast coffee, and sweet, sweet malt, but with a slightly citric note that makes it all seem, for lack of a better word, fresh. Bitter chocolate, caramel, espresso, and a slight smokiness are elegantly intertwined in the flavor. More bitterness in the form of citric hops and roasted barley come on strong in the finish and the smokiness develops a bit more as well, lending a somewhat dark, earthy tone reminiscent of a fine maduro cigar. Outstanding!! The alcohol presence is felt but does not interfere with the flavor.

johnrobe, Dec 13, 2003
Photo of granger10
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a tar black color and was very thick in body. For some reason this lacked a head when poured into the glass and had little carbonation. That might have hurt the beer but it was still very imperial in smell and taste. The alcohol was noticed and the body was very chewy. This one was extremely balanced, maybe a little too balanced for my liking. Bittersweet malts up front followed by a molasses flavor sweetness. The hops come in a play a prevalent part in this beer. It finishes roasty. Well done, I only wish that it would've been more carbonated.

granger10, Dec 06, 2003
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've got four Russians in front of me... ahhh!

Harvey & Son A.Le Coq Tribute 2001
North Coast Old Rasputin
Rogue XS Imperial Stout
Weyerbacher Old Heathen

Rogue XS Imperial Stout

Poured thick black opaque culminating in a tan-brown dense foam head layer chocked with random sized bubbles the largest of which creating "eyes" beckoning me to take a sip.

Nice lacing and coating of the glass' walls. Layered lacing as I drank down the beer. This Imperial Stout coated the glass as if it was a viscous layer reminding me of a light oil.

Little if any nose. Perhaps a touch of malt and a hint of alcohol dryness.

The flavor is up front and robust-- opening with bitter hops, hops and more hops. I detected hints of licorice and a tart overall character that segued into a long lingering finish with the beer's alcohol content cleansing my palate.

Overall mouthfeel was that of a thick congenial libation, yet the flavor seemed to be overwhelmed by the hops bitter signature , drowning malt, and other complexities ... leaving my taste buds with little else to grasp.

Nevertheless, an enjoyable beer and certainly conforms to the profile of a hearty robust Imperial Stout.

Of the four Imperials in front of me, I slide the Rogue to second place- behind the A.Le Coq. Not only did the A.Le Coq have a fruitier nose, but it also produced a far more complex flavor and a thicker heavier mouthfeel and flavor body.

gueuzeonhigh, Dec 05, 2003
Photo of rkhaze
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a dense creamy, slowly dissapating dark tan head. Darker tan greebles come out of the bottom of bottle to rest on top of the head, marbelizing it a bit. Major roasted malts, sweet chocolate, coffee, alcohol and red fruit on the nose.
Nice sweet bitter taste. Smoky roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, caramel, plums and a hint of licorice. Finishes long and dry with a spicy hop bitterness and an alcohol presence. Beautiful complex flavor! Absolutely let it warm a bit.
Good rich, viscous, creamy mouthfeel and carbonation. Excellent drinkability for a 10.5% beer. Top notch drop, give it a try.

rkhaze, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of WetCoaster
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

They've just opened a Rogue brewpub around the corner in North Beach. This could be a PROBLEM. And this beer is one of the main reasons why.

Appearance: A deep, dense opaque black/brown, sort of like Hershey's Special Dark chocolate. The head is a marvel, a huge, thick, billowy mocha cloud that lasts forever. Seriously, I have no idea how long this head would last if left alone; I had to drink it before the bar closed.

Smell: All things good and stouty, sweet malt, smoke, chocolate, figs--it's all there.

Taste/Mouthfeel: It doesn't get much better than this. Thick, creamy, rich, fine, mild carbonation; coats the mouth like a milkshake. You could spend a lifetime describing this flavor. Smoky malt, swirls of chocolate and coffee, finishes with a sweet, dried fig fruitiness, a hoppy bite and bit of alcohol heat--it's just massive. Wow.

Drinkability: This is a LOT of beer. While I loved every sip of this bad boy, it's just so big I doubt if I could drink more than a pint or two.

This is without question the finest stout I've ever had. I'm sure that even a bottled version of this brew would please almost any beer lover. A must-drink.

WetCoaster, Dec 01, 2003
Photo of ElGuapo
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2001
Pitch black with a nice coating of frothy brown foam that stays sitting on top in a cloudy pillow for a long time. The glass is coated in lace as I drink. The aroma has a lot of chocolate as well as a nice roasty coffee smell. Molasses is in there as well with maybe just a touch of caramel. Hops are present in a big way.

Rich full bodied brew with very minimal, but noticable carbonation. I would definitely say that this one is thick, and much thicker than I had expected. A big blast of chocolate and molasses leads the way with a roasty hit of coffee coming in next. Alcohol is also noticable at the start. Hop bitterness is next on the list as this brew starts to show off some more complexity. Some dark malts come in next leaving you with a hoppy dry finish with a lot of roastiness. The aftertaste is loaded with chocolate malt. The silky smooth mouthfeel is just right, and it only seems to get smoother as it warms, not to mention the increase in flavor. The drinkability is excellent for such a heavy beer.
I have searched far too long to find this beer, and it looks like I will have to search again. This is my favorite Rogue to date, and that says a lot, since they are an incredible brewery.

ElGuapo, Dec 01, 2003
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
Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
91 out of 100 based on 1,212 ratings.