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Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,167 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,167
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 76
Gots: 62 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,167 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of frank4sail

New Jersey

4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
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..

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2003 18:53:13 | More by frank4sail
Photo of BierReise


4/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2003 17:29:16 | More by BierReise
Photo of TheDM


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2003 08:47:44 | More by TheDM
Photo of GreenCard


3/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2003 16:07:01 | More by GreenCard
Photo of CharlesRiver


4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2003 13:24:43 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of jcalabre


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It is a muted black with a quickly disappearing brown head.
Aroma: The nose is both musty (cellar-like) and malty
Flavor: This Imperial Stout has a very full mouthfeel. It's sticky on the tongue w/ various nuances of chocolate, roasted grain, molasses. The alcohol, initially well hidden, shows up quickly.
This is simply a beautiful imerial stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2003 18:42:01 | More by jcalabre
Photo of tavernjef


4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a very unique purpley dark brown raisin hue, very thin lusterous thick head of spongy light brownness. Very thin web-like stitched stringy lace in minimal amounts.

Smells way complexing, I get a earthy dark mustyness, molasses, licorice, dark cough syrup, a bit medicine-like, slight coffee note, and whiskey-like alcohol. Its all great but it took lots of swirling and big whiffs to detect all its subtlities. Once you get in there its a whole lot of nose action.

Hefty flavors of very dark and rich roasted malts, black malts, and chocolate malts, thick, luscious, chewy, sticky complex layers of molasses, dark chocolate thats a deepening sweentess, some coffeeness, with nice bittering hops and a lingering dryness lightly dancing after each sip all the way into the finish.

Feel is full, firm, bold, creamy, and above all, quite easy and mellowing with a nice bittering bite near the finish and a great lingering hold and one hell of a warming quality. The warming is the only thing that keeps this from being completely drinkable, its a sipper for sure, and a good one at that. One hell of a excellent Imp. stout. Top notch all the way.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2003 20:02:38 | More by tavernjef
Photo of freed


4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer made the others around it appear darker. Its a very dark brown. Amazingly, it still appears as brown rather than black. Possibly due to the low evening sun, or because the scant bubbles forming the head look as if they are made with chocolate.

The smell is slightly alcoholic, slightly malty, and even a tiny hint of hops. The taste is big. It slips onto the palate smoothly, but there is enough flavor that you may need to swallow twice. Like the smell, there is a slight alcoholic taste though the immense coffee/chocolate taste all blend to create a surprisingly smooth drink. This is only served by the glass, and that's plenty.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2003 18:04:33 | More by freed
Photo of clvand0


3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2002 Edition. This beer poured a very dark color with a small head that settled toward the center of the glass. The aroma was very strong and sweet - chocolate malts, coffee, and alcohol. The flavor is much the same as the aroma. Some alcohol and a hint of chocolate and coffee on top of the malts. Very thick body. This is a good beer, but I don't think I could have more than one in a setting.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2003 18:44:21 | More by clvand0
Photo of cretemixer


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 1996 7oz bottle

Pours a viscous black with deep garnet hues around the edge of the glass. No head whatsoever.
Thick aroma of rich, dark chocolate cake soaked in whiskey. Smells much like an Irish cream liqour.
Bitter chocolate taste. The sweetness in the aroma is nowhere to be found. Roasted malts make themselves known as the beer warms a little more. Alcohol warms the body. It becomes dryer towards the beer's end and a little bit astringent.
Slick & thick full body with carbonation that checked out long ago on this bottle. An excellent Imperial to serve with desert or as a desert in itself.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2003 19:31:16 | More by cretemixer
Photo of WaltTrombone

New York

4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2001, served at 50-55F Cellar temp.

This beer poured a viscous black, coal mine at midnight black, collapsed star/absence of light black, motor oil left in for 12,000 miles black. BLACK! (Did I mention it was black?) It was a black and stormy night, with a dark brown head and lace.

The aroma was burnt malt and espresso. The taste was (also) burnt malt and espresso, with the addition of bitter hops, cherry, and prunes. It had a thick, syrupy, oily mouthfeel. The finish was bitter hops and charcoal, with an alcohol bite. If I didn't know it was 11%ABV, I would have guessed around 8%. The high ABV is hidden in the complex flavors and texture, and only pops out a little in the finish.

BLACK POWER, indeed!

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2003 12:20:57 | More by WaltTrombone
Photo of ADR


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 vintage...

Thick and black opaque pour, better "head" than I hoped for -- but that's just a skim of dark red. Straight string laces. Sweet licorice and berry aromas, a sense of lurking java oiliness. Huge mouthfeel, plenty of chocolate and espresso but with that licorice anise coming back very strongly on the tails of a considerable hop assertion. Finishes coffee-malty overall, but the aftertaste gradually establishes an enormous bitterness, almost ash-like. Meets qualifications for the style (great body and plenty of alcohol) but here's why its not at the top of my list -- not the fruitiness of Storm King nor the malty deliciousness of a Samuel Smith. Shakespeare still reigns as Rogue's finest "Stout", to me...

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2003 12:53:55 | More by ADR
Photo of PhantomVodoo


4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2001.
Opaque black in color. Head is quite possibly the darkest brown I've ever seen on a beer. Head is of good volume, retains well, and leaves lace. Lots of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.
Aroma of chocolate, molasses, and alcohol with a fruity tone to it.

Taste follows the aroma. Bitter chocolate, molasses, roasted malts, alcohol, dark fruit notes, and hop bitterness. One full- flavored beer to say the least.

Good mouthfeel. This one is thick and syrupy as you would expect.
Good drinkability if you can handle all that this one has to offer.

Overall, a good imperial stout, but I personally prefer North Coast Old Rasputin and Victory Storm King over the Rogue. They're not as heavy on the molasses as this one. I picked up my first Stone Imperial Stout today so it will be quite interesting to see how it compares to the above mentioned 3.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2003 21:51:38 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of joebeerdude


4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best Imperial Stout I've had and for now the best beer I've ever had. I've tried Bell's Expedition Stout, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Arcadia's Imperial Stout, Victory's Storm King, Samuel Smith's Imperial and Avery's "The Czar". My explanation of this stuff may not be as eloquent as a some of you other seasoned beer pros out there but to me it's just plain smooth. Samuel Smith might be smoother but it has too much other fruity stuff going on it which makes it a little confusing as to what it really is. The Rogue has a simple and not overly complicated taste. The alcohol taste jumped out at me with Arcadia and Storm king but not with Rogue. There is some kind of "edge" to it which I can't explain too well but I like it . Of course it is super thick -- almost liquor like. It pours with a head as good as any of the other Imperial's I've tried. I also liked the bottle design (12 oz.) . It gave the ingredients -- 14 of them ! How many beers do you know of that are made with "Free Range Coastal Water" ?? Maybe that is the secret to it's smoothness. Bottled in 2002.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2003 20:12:46 | More by joebeerdude
Photo of dmarch


4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours very thick and black with a nice tan head. Molassas and coffe are presant in the aroma. The taste is of molassas and some chocolate with the finish of cascade hops. This was bottled in 2001 so it is about 2 years old. I'd say it aged very well. It's an imperial stout that I'm surprised isn't talked about a bit more. This should be considered on the same level as stone imperial stout and storm king.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2003 16:57:01 | More by dmarch
Photo of pheurton


4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2001 vintage: pours pitch black with an awesomely dense dark brown foaming head. cool cascading effect i rarely see from bottled (non-nitro) beers. nose is full of dark roasty burnt fruit imperial aromas. mouthfeel is ultra smooth, dark, and creamy. the roasted burnt fruit flavors battle with a significant hop presence to create undescribeably complex yet completely well integrated taste. the finish lasts forever. this brew is at the top of the imperial heap for me. the sheer massiveness of this brew knocks it down a notch in it's drinkability, but hell, this is definitely some sippin' tea.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2003 18:04:55 | More by pheurton
Photo of RBorsato


4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours and looks like used motor oil ! Black as can be with a nice dark creamy brown head that leaves sheets of lace. Reeks of alcohol, chocolate, and roastiness. No hop aroma but tons of hops in taste (Cascade-like). Rich roasty burnt malt character with chocolate tones and a bittersweet dry roasty finish.

Drink Fresher ! Older version was pure alcohol and not as creamy for some reason...

Label states: "Unfiltered and unfined" & "Russian Style Imperial Stout", 26 Plato, 87.5 IBU, 77 AA, 26 L. 1997 version lists 258 L (?).

ABV: 11% (per book Best American Beers & Roger Protz's World Beer Guide)

Bottled in 1997 (7 oz / $3.49) &
Bottled in 2001 (12 oz / $3.99):
Tasted: 04/19/03

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2003 12:59:35 | More by RBorsato
Photo of Gusler


4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As dark as they get, head huge, chocolate brown, frothy in texture, lace is thick and clinging to the glass like a baby to its mother’s breast. Nose is big on the toasted grains, sweet milk chocolate, fresh and hints of strong coffee also noticed, start sweet, thick and the top full in its feel to the palate. Finish biting in its acidity, hops spiteful in their bite, quite dry and a bit alcohol bitter, a real treat for lovers of over the top beers, the rest should drink only after consulting a doctor.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2003 18:35:50 | More by Gusler
Photo of bditty187


4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black hue, opaque, russet head, a little less than a finger, very good retention, some intermittent lace. The hops leap out of the nose, quickly followed by chocolate and roasted malts, faint notes of raisin. Immensely flavorful, the hops are very aggressive; the thrust is remarkable… the aftermath is roasted malts (and lots of them). The bitterness is most impressive; any malt-induced sweetness seems completely absent. Only a few hints of caramel and fruit. Chewy, full-bodied, low carbonation. The alcohol only makes a cameo at the finish (aside from the affects on the brain of course). Awesome!

As the beer warms the hops grow like summertime weeds… oh, so complex. This beer is remarkable, World Class and highly recommended!

Bottled in 2001.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2003 16:11:20 | More by bditty187
Photo of UncleJimbo


3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at Redbones.

This stout poured black with tan (light brown) foam that left some lace on the glass. The smell was malty but weak. The taste was rather "barley wine like": sweet and malty (dark malt). There was also a distinct taste of alcohol and some candy sugar sweetness. The mouthfeel was full, rich, and creamy, but somewhat sweeter than any other imperial stout I have sampled. The drinkability was OK, but this was a bit overly sweet for my tastes.

I would still like to sample this from a bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2003 21:45:20 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of nomad


3.3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

My 12 ouncer said "Bottled in 2001," as well as “best when aged one year.” Well, its early 2003, so I gave it a whirl...

Poured a dark color with a very chocolatey color head. It started off creamy but the session head is pretty thin from tiny carbonation, though easy to kick up. Nice slow head though thin. A very tasty looking brew...

At first sniff the nose was of chocolate and cream, a deep roasty malt, and a dash of dark candied sugar. Then comes the very verdant and grassy hops. Almost fruity smells once it really warms. Has a very smooth nose in general that’s pleasantly soft; its complexity took awhile to reveal itself.

Taste starts off with a pretty good dark malt, a little dark chocolate, and a little candied sugar. But then - damn that some hops! Salty and bitter, a nasty form of bitter, and when combined with the malt, it became an almost an earthy soy flavor. Somewhere toward the end a pinch of fruit tried hard to somehow come up under the barrage of bitterness. Must say, though, this beer is surprisingly not that mouth drying considered the nasty bitter/salty finish. In fact a pretty thick mouthfeel, but a definitively very short finish, undesirable in my opinion of stouts.

The best looking of the big 5 american Imperial Stouts (that are highly rated on this site), but the hops overpower, besides tasting bad, what seems to be a great malt structure. Damn shame.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2003 08:20:43 | More by nomad
Photo of Wildman


4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2002 12 oz bottling: This beer poured as black as oil and similar consistency. If formed a hug dark brown foamy head that looked like a float and coated the sides of the glass with laticed lace while it slowly subsided. An aroma of malt, hops, chocolate and plums. A flavor of malt, chocolate, coffee and raisins. A slightly burnt chocolate finish to it with a warming feel of the alcohol present. A fine imperial to add to my cellar(okay, closet).

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2003 15:25:21 | More by Wildman
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh


4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(...cue "Imperial March" track on Star Wars CD...)

Appearance: 12oz. amber bottle. 2001 bottling date.

Appearance: "dark and opaque" do not do justice to the appearance of this beer following the pour. It seemed as though the act of the beer flowing from the bottle was a huge effort, almost as if the beer were reluctant to leave the bottle. Stunning caramel-colored head visible for but the briefest of moments before clinging just barely to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Lovely. Chocolate-covered coffee beans, caramel, fruits, and just the slighest hint of a dark, smoky aroma. A veritable massage of the olfactories.

Taste: Where to begin? The flavors are so very smooth and tasty. "Roasted everything" sums it up: chocolate, coffee, caramel, chocolate-covered cherries...amazing. For a beer with a listed IBU of 87.5, it is remarkably well-balanced. Truly an experience your taste buds won't soon forget.

Mouthfeel: Again, despite the high IBU, this is an extremely smooth and creamy beer. Lavishing your mouth like few others can, this silky smooth concotion flows so easily over the palate, coating the oral cavity in thick, rich goodness.

Drinkability: One of the most enjoyable beers I've ever had. It took quite a long time to drink this, mostly because I wanted it to last forever. Alcohol makes itself just slightly known near the end, but is not over-powering. The chocolaty-smooth aftertaste is perfect. Yet another beer to keep one of in the fridge, just to see how long I can go before tasting it again. Please do yourself a favor and try this incredible beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2003 16:40:22 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of marburg


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Blacker than the most evil of souls. Beautiful brown, fluffy head. Smells like dark chocolate -- real dark chocolate, that is -- and rubbing alcohol with hints of turpintine. Sounds worse than it is -- kind of pleasant, really.

Strong, strong taste. Deep bitter chocolate taste, like sticking your tongue into unsweetened cocoa powder. Almost too bitter for me at first, but I warmed up to it as I drank it. The sheer interest the taste generates is enough to give it a 3 or a 4 regardless of whether the taste is pleasant.

Difficult to drink en masse. Certainly not a beer to serve at your next kegger. *grin*

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2003 19:28:31 | More by marburg
Photo of StevieW


4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle. Rogue XS silkscreened label. "Bottled in 2001" and "best when aged for 1 year" also noted on the label. 87.5 ibu Wow.
Glug, glug, glug, a thick, loud, barely made it out the bottle pour. Thick, rich black liquid, almost the same thickness as paint. Dense no light making it though, blacker than the inside of a stovepipe. Dense foamy brown head, nothing beige about it. Full of tiny compacted bubbles and murky hop bubbles break the surface. The foamy head never wavered and covered the glass to the bottom, way beyond lacing. Visually this beer is perfect.
Rich smells of burnt fruit cake, plums, figs, cherries, and alcohol notes combine into a bitter full burnt fruit and alcohol smell.
Percieved high alcohol content in the first taste, there's some heat there. Then the subtle roasted figs, plums, and fruits, and bitterness take over. Definitly a sharp burnt and bitter richness, but not overlwhelming. Hop bitterness makes it's presence and both begs and teases you to take another taste. Chalky feeling slides by and bitterness lingers. Unbelievable smooth, powerful, and balanced beer. Resounding hop presence is unyeilding after sips. Belly warming alcohol presence washes over you.
Easily the best stout I have had and possibly the best beer I have had to date.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2003 19:03:41 | More by StevieW
Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,167 ratings.