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Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

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1,220 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,220
Reviews: 811
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 86
Gots: 73 | 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: 1,220 | Reviews: 811 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mschofield
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the deepest black, opaque even when held to light.
A chocolate colored 3 finger head tops it off, the head is darker than the body of many stouts.
Strong coffee aroma, with alcohol detectable.
Taste notes of dark chocolate, coffee, burnt bread and plum, the alcohol doesn't come out in the taste, but plenty of other things show up in small amounts.
Syrupy, and full-bodied.

Photo of faernt
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This comes in a 12 oz bottle dated 2002. I don't miss the nips. It pours with a skim of a head moving to a ring of dark amber that dissapates completely as I drink. The beer is opaque and when I swirl the glass it changes the clear glass to amber. Even the foam residue on the side of the glass is amber.
The smell is funky then sweet. The taste is very complex moving from chocolate to esspresso and then sparkling on my tongue (without the carbonation) The hops appear sporadically; weaving in and out like a base in a good jazz quartet. This is the second time I've tasted this vintage. The last time was about a year ago and it wasn't anywhere near as good as it is now. I will now always wait for this one to develop. The mouthfeel is thick but not cloying due to the complexity of the flavors. I'll drink this as long as I can differentiate the details. It would also be fun to do a quartet tasting of Bell's Expediton, Victory Storm King, Stone Imperial, and this one. What are friends for?

Photo of ngandhi
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 Vintage tasted January 2004.

There's dark chocolate, then there's Rogue Imperial Stout. French dessert chefs would kill for this recipe. News from the brewery is that the "Two Secret Ingredients" are Jacques Torres and Juan Valdez. Light but biting with carbonation, this beer does well to accentuate the delicious and very forward Cascade hops (who knew they could be so smoky?!). There's no head, but it would've just gotten in the way. Rogue has taken every extreme and balanced them to a state of elegance. Slutty yet sophisticated.

The very long, developing finish shifts from green, leafy Cascades to chocolate to coffee to toast to charred caramel to, at last, a rich double maduro cigar. This is the classic stuff of Shakespeare Stout brought to arm's length of perfection -- as sinful, decadent, and debilitating as the world's finest pinot noir. If Satan had never fallen, this might have been the blood of Christ. But only Rogue could turn water into something this fine.

Relax, relax.

Photo of CBFanWish
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The thick dark concoction pours into the glass like death sneaking up on its next victem. Slow and silent. It climaxes with a thick frothy brown head that looks as if it were truely meant for an emporor, not for the likes of me. The smell is of fruits and roasted malts. Though I know I'm not worthy of such a beer, I taste it anyway. The roasted malts were the first thing that I tasted. They were strong with a smokey feel to them. There was also a bitterness that I knew to be dark chocolate. I also got a nice dose of fruits. What ones, I couldn't pinpoint. Good stuff.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

i was shocked that i fidn't enjoy this one more than i did. imperial stouts have been all over the place for me, lately. some are fantastiv, others are okay. being from rogue, this brew is a class act and finely made, just not completely my taste. first off, this is from a tasting of the 2002 version. it pours quite lovely, black as hell with a thim, dark tan head. nice, but not as impressive as i had imagined. the smell is predominantly of alcohol, malt, licorice and other sweetness. there are traces aof oat and coffee here as well. the faintness of the coffee smell appealed to me, but it was just too overpowering in the taste. the bitterness here was nice along with the hoppy but tart finish, but i just couldn't get past the abundance of coffee here. again, well made, not for me, though i can definitely say i'd try one again in the future...likes and dislikes always change, at least for me.

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

The pour is beautiful. Thick like motor oil and "black as midnight on a moonless night." A dark head on the beer which eventually disappears into a ring around the edge of the glass and eventually becomes headless. Nevertheless, this is one of the more beautiful beers I've seen. The smell is slightly alcoholic, and slightly burnt. Nothing too special, though.

From the first sip you know this beer is something special. The taste is of an overwhelming dry roast but mellows out into malty sweetness once your palate gets used to it. There are plenty of dark, dark roasts here. The beer covers your mouth like a thick syrup with dark bitter malt flavors which give way to the alcohol and sweetness that you expect from a good imperial stout. Missing, though, are caramel flavors, but then again, for this one, the roasts are the main attraction.

I know I wouldn't be able to drink this one all night, but it does warm the belly. Excellent for a cold winter's night like tonight.

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

Pours like motor oil with a little sediment and a nice thick brown head.

Smells of roasted malt, raisins, a little bready on the nose as well.

Has a nice dry roasty flavor, hops lend nice flavors, and the alcohol comes in somewhere in the middle but its hidden away. The finish is dry and somewhat sweet.

The drinkability is only hampered by the apparent alcohol, this is a sippin beer.

Photo of garymuchow
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from 2002.
Pours black and a little syrupy. Presents with the darkest head I've ever seen with strong black hues in a brown/very dark tan 1/2 inch head that actually stays for a little,but eventually has just a ring that leaves lacy remnants.
Aroma of dark roast and hints of a fruitiness presence. Others have picked up hops, but I have not.
A nice bite of sharp dark roast malt at the tip of the tongue. Covers the tongue like old oil as it smoothers the muscle from front to back then leaving an extremely long dry hoppy bitterness and burnt roast flavors in the whole mouth as a final reminder of what's been experienced. Sweetness is strong but doesn't move to excessive for my taste, yet still pushes limits (like trying to maintain control on an acid trip- begging the question how much can I stand and still be having fun?). Hops gradually take on stronger role as warms (like so many Rogue beers) lending an increasing presence in flavor and bitterness, but in an enjoyable manner on both accounts. Alcohol understated in flavor.
Very smooth in a very thick and heavy manner. The fineness of the carbonations offers pleasing qualities as swished around the mouth and enjoying the whole experience of each sup.
A very nice drink for a cold January night in Minnesota.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
91 out of 100 based on 1,220 ratings.