Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales
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Ratings: 1,183 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
4.13/5 rDev +2.5%
From a Growler into a snifter. 2006 vintage.
Pours an opaque black with a large brown head that quickly drops to a slight ring. Some lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of chocolate mostly with a hint of licorice and alcohol.
Taste is dominated by chocolate at first then is followed by a bit of coffee and a serious alcohol finish. Lots of heat on this one!
Drinkability is lower because of the high abv. and potent alcohol flavors.
Overall a fine RIS. Will probably pick this one up again.
07-04-2007 01:01:35 | More by bluegrassbrew
4.65/5 rDev +15.4%
7oz bottle received in the No BS BIF Beta from HimerMan. Bottled in 1997.
Poured in a Rapscallion glass, with some light bubbling around the rim, over the opaque dark brown/black brew. No lacing here, but this one has some legs when swirled. Aroma is heavy dark sweetness with figs and alcohol. Taste begins the same dark roasty maltiness, hits some dark fruits quick, and then more or less evaporates off the tongue and is almost gone before you can swallow. Or so it would seem, making an incredible mouthfeel, and drinkability is insane as well. Not that I'll get the chance again, but if I did, I would choose this one again in a moment.
06-27-2007 01:26:31 | More by ppoitras
3.9/5 rDev -3.2%
When poured down the inside edge of the glass this brew looks dark brown and settles into a black looking body. Frothy 1 1/2 finger head is brown and not very sturdy. Quick swirls don't bring it back. Alcohol is one of the first aromas detected, but is quickly overrun by chocolate, rum, and coffee. Caramel and burnt vanilla also come to mind.
Taste is mainly baked chocolate and weak coffee. Toffee, molasses, rum and alcohol lay just beneath the surface. While not rich or over indulged with alcohol, this brew is not as enjoyable to drink as it might seem (to me). However, it is still a solid beer and I'm glad I do have another bottle.
06-14-2007 19:54:31 | More by Mebuzzard
4.43/5 rDev +9.9%
Bottled in 2003; tasted 6/11/07
Appearance: Pours a murky dark brown color with a modest tan head that drops to a ringlet rather quickly (to be expected from an Impy Stout this old)
Smell: Rich aroma of bittersweet chocolate and chicory as well as rum-soaked dark fruit
Taste: Starts with a fruity flavor of chocolate covered prunes and figs that, by mid-palate, displays a peppery bitterness; after the swallow, the chocolate flavors overwhelm and provide a rich fudgy finish
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with modest carbonation
Drinkability: Four years later and this is still going strong; excellent brew
06-12-2007 00:37:17 | More by brentk56
2.7/5 rDev -33%
OK, so the guys at Rogue have made their point with this one. Pours very dark (like no light can escape from the inky blackness) with one of the darkest heads I have ever seen. Bitter coffee stout warmth on the front. Then... wait for it... wait a little longer... THERE, a long and bitter finish that lingers.
To my taste, this beast is a little over the top, the other thing Rogue gets into sometimes. A little flat/simple in terms of flavor. Also a just plain flat
06-09-2007 03:32:02 | More by kozmo
2.83/5 rDev -29.8%
Sampled at the 2007 Mondiale de la Bière.
Pitch black brew with a slim but tight tan head.
Not much of an aroma here, faintly hoppy with a bit of coffee.
Flavour is sugary with caramel notes and dark chocolate. Dominating hop bitterness reminds me mostly of strong black tea with a slight citric bite. A bit of burnt toast lingers with the hop bitterness. Definitely some hot alcohol notes as well.
Very full-bodied with fairly low carbonation.
I was expecting more from this beer. There was too much going on in the hops department to really be able to enjoy the complex roasted flavours that I'm looking for in an imperial stout. Too harsh to be very drinkable.
06-01-2007 17:51:05 | More by Tim2000
4/5 rDev -0.7%
Cool looking ceramic bottle (circa 2006) holds an impressive looking beer. Pours a straight black head with a nice chocolate mousse head that recedes to just cover the surface of the beer.
Smell is of chocolate chip cookies, brownies, heavy roasted malts with a tinge of alcohol and hops. Taste is straight dark chocolate, like a dark, bitter chocolate bar from somewhere abroad, a nice, but noticeable alcohol warmness hits the back of your throat as it goes down showing you the 11 percent it has inside.
This beer didn't impress me at first, but after it warmed a little, the flavor really popped out. Good stuff, but not quite the most drinkable beer (to be expected) because of its potency.
05-28-2007 06:32:21 | More by saintwarrick
2.08/5 rDev -48.4%
Think I might have gotten a bad bottle, I hesitated to add this review at all. A 2006 bottle purchased in Gatlinburg in May 2007.
Poured a really good looking beer, typical jet black, little to no head. Smell of soy sauce, alcohol, and coffee.
Taste: Pure alcohol, this stuff was harsh. I'm a bourbon fan which I like to sip straight on the rocks and this stuff seemed to have more alcohol burn than cheap bourbon. I couldn't taste anything else due to the eye watering sear.
Mouthfeel: Don't know, didn't leave it in my mouth long enough to find out.
Drinkability: How drinkable do you think I thought it was?
05-25-2007 13:53:27 | More by sammy44
3.28/5 rDev -18.6%
I purchased a 750mL ceramic bottle from John's Grocery in Iowa City as a graduation present to myself. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to enjoy this until today as a birthday gift for myself.
A: It poured a nice opaque black and very thick. The head was a dark tan, about 1/2" in height that quickly diminished. It did not leave clean lace rings as I enjoyed it, but rather small amounts of lace (1" in length) along the sides of the glass.
S: I detected a nice dual nose to this beer. After pouring and upon agitation, the nose is full of alcohol with hardly anything else. After standing for a short time, the nose is noticeably more complex, with roasted malt, oak, some caramel and some alcohol.
T: I was imagining a strong Shakespeare Stout when I purchased this bottle, but that is not what I got. I did get a very nice palate of roasted malt and slight coffee taste of the Shakespeare, but also a mouthful of alcohol taste. While many people may rate this beer lower on taste due to this, I was pleasantly surprised that for a beer with an alcohol content of 11%, the alcohol taste was not as overpowering as I had expected.
M: The mouthfeel was of a good thick stout. I felt like I was drinking a nice, heavy stout.
D: The drinkability of this beer is quite simple- One and Done. This is not a beer you can drink all night long, or even finish the full 750mL bottle in a single session. I was very happy the guys at Rogue included a swing-top cap for this bottle so you can save it for a later time.
This was a terrific beer, but I am unsure if it was worth the $15 I spent on a bottle.
05-24-2007 21:08:31 | More by BaronVonHawkeye
4.83/5 rDev +19.9%
This is my review of the 1997 7oz bottle, poured into a Stone Imperial Russian Stout glass.
First off, these bottles are really awesome, and I am considering using 187ml bottles for my next homebrew.
Anyway - pours with literally a penny's head sitting flat on a desk absolutely black and medium-thickness.
Huge chocolate smell that has a nice roasted/smoked coffee notes that are really easy to pick up.
This is a benchmark in imperial stouts, one of the best on the market. Huge flavor, nice bitterness that is balanced with the chocolate and light coffee-ish flavor that blends nicely on each aftertaste.
Incredibly easy beer to drink - especially after this beer was aged for 10 years. Clearly, it is holding up exceptionally well and after my other review of the 2001 (sampled in the end of 2006), there is no reason to think they will go bad any time soon. After I had the 2001, I was hoping to try something older and after trying the 1997 and 1996, I am not nervous at all about any bottles from after 2001 they will age perfectly.
I would highly recommend anyone trying this beer, truly outstanding, and a great collectors piece since the 7oz bottles havent been used since 2000.
05-24-2007 13:32:10 | More by HimerMan
4/5 rDev -0.7%
Ceramic swingtop bomber (which I HAD to stuff into my girlfriend's jacket and take home) at the Map Room. Last beer of the night, and it was a good one.
Pours black and opaque, with a finger and a half of lingering, lacing tan head.
The aroma is chocolate, coffee, and both sweetness and astringency from dark-roasted malts. It smells rich and heavy.
And it tastes rich and heavy. Opens up with malty sweetness, with chocolate and coffee notes appearing mid-palate. Finishes with light black malt bitterness. Unlike the other two Rogue stouts I've tasted (especially Shakespeare), it doesn't taste like they stuffed every plug of Cascade in Oregon into the pot, and the beer is much better for it. If hops are present at all, they are very light and blend indistinguishably with the black malts. Alcohol is present, but this beer really doesn't taste all that hot for 11% ABV.
Mouthfeel is thick, heavy, and chewy; exactly what I wanted when I ordered it.
The beer is too heavy and too high in alcohol to be drinkable, but that's expected.
NOTE: The ceramic swingtop bottle design is much cooler than the bottle pictured, but I'd imagine in a store it's a typical Rogue ripoff.
05-20-2007 19:36:36 | More by kajerm
3.58/5 rDev -11.2%
A- Black with beautiful light brown head... perfect appearance.
S- Equally malty and hoppy, both very strong, and a little alcohol in the back. A very sweet and very bitter nose... both well done.
T- Initially roasty with burnt malt, but immediately afterwards, tons of hops... tons of hops. But it's good. the roastiness and burnt malt flavor slightly override the sweetness and the alcohol, but all are evident.
M- Thick and smooth, with medium carbonation and a lingering dry astringency from the extreme bitterness in the finish.
D- Not overly drinkable, because of the crazy strong flavor of it. Especially because it's out of a 22 oz bottle. But still good.
05-19-2007 03:37:22 | More by khiasmus
4.4/5 rDev +9.2%
Via trade with HimerMan. 2001 vintage, 12 oz bottle. Big brown head that falls in a short time, huge viscous black body. The last once ploops out of the bottle like sludge. Mercaptan and some diacetyl, with huge black malt notes like scortched blackstrap molasses. Great beer aged, as the harsh bitterness has sucumb to the sweet roasted malts. Almost like taking a stout and melting dark chocolate into it. Stainingly, black hole black body, and would stain worse than red wine. Excellent beer, and a perfect example of it's style. Begging to be cellared, I enjoy this beer much more now than when fresh. Chewy, dehydrating, challanging, darn near perfect for a nightcap. Excellent. Cheers!
PS Rogue, stop bottling this beer in a HUGE ASS 750 crock and go back to the 6oz nips. What are you trying to do to us?
04-29-2007 06:25:16 | More by rayjay
4.4/5 rDev +9.2%
This one pours from 750ml ceramic bottle(no date on bottle) an almost pitch black as I can see some slight reddish hues. The tannish head of foam is quite small and there's very little lacing.
The smell has a lot going on. I get a lot of chocolate, toffee, sweet caramel, coffee, and a pretty strong nose of the more than ample alcohol.
The taste is huge. Lots of chocolate and cofee with big notes of caramel hit my taste buds on my first sip. As I take further sips, I'm getting some dark fruit, plum and maybe some semi sweet cherry, but the complexity is really very tasty. The finish on it is a mix of bitterness from the coffee and a slight tartness from the dark fruit. Alcohol wise, I'm not getting a burn from it that I imagined I would judging from the smell but once it goes down, there *is* a slight warming in the stomach for me and man, is this one a thick rich brew when it comes to the body! But it's nice. Yep, this is very nice. I think I'll get another couple of bottles(here in Casper, US$11.99 each) and do a bit of aging to see how things go.
Well, I've finished the 1/2 a glass I had in my New Belgium Goblet and I'm going to put this baby away until tomorrow. "Resealing" the bottle was a bit of a chore but I'm happy that it was as it should keep the beer fine carbonation wise...heck, it's lightly carbonated to begin with, eh? ;^)
Bottom line: It's been a few years since I last had this Imperial Stout...I'm glad it showed up in town again as I think it is one fine sipping example of the style. Highly recommended!
PS: I see a few people reviewed the 750s and mentioned seeing a vintage year. It's not on mine.
04-26-2007 00:05:10 | More by Bitterbill
District of Columbia
3.93/5 rDev -2.5%
i have reviewed this beer, but not this vintage. it's a 2002. ooohhhh
not much chance of a head on this guy. a collar clings to the glass and wisps of tiny bubbles flow through the currents in the black sea
it's somewhat oxidized (what did i expect?) but it isn't enough to fight off roasty notes. moments of coffee-like malt bitterness
it's certainly thinner than the young bottles. heat is only a suggestion at the end of each sip, while blackness dances over the tastebuds. hop bitterness is altered, as it only operates covertly, slyly creaaping from the darkness to be noticed only at the last moment. it's deep and mature, though not as smooth as i had imagined
is it a better beer than when it was young? different
it's interesting to compare to my other review
04-23-2007 04:10:47 | More by bruachan
2.53/5 rDev -37.2%
I have to say, I honestly don't see what everyone likes about this beer. I love the majority of Rogue beers, but this one was a huge disapointment...
A: Looks awesome, thick and black with a think dark tan head.
S: This was the first sign that this may be a disapointment. smell was faint, burnt toast and hops and that was about it. Nothing really grabbed my attention.
T: All I could taste was bitterness, like I just drank a shot of strait espresso. Any other flavors were completly overpowered by bitterness.
M: Not as think as it looked, but very smooth none the less. Medium carbonation.
D: For 11bucks I don't think I'll be giving this another try.
04-13-2007 05:18:24 | More by MLegendre
4/5 rDev -0.7%
A: Dark Dark Dark...need I say more? Poured into a Russian River fluted pint glass. Head rose and fell quickly.
S: Malty roasty grainy goodness with a tinge of alcohol pleasentness
T: At first its alcoholic smoked grains then a velvety smoothness in the platue, leaving the alcholic dryness in the end. I ate a few bits of fine chocolate from the local chocolatier and the taste was enhanced and the smokey grain flavors mellowed down and the entire taste was smoother.
M: Easier to drink than most 11% stouts. Some what smooth considering its category.
D: Overall the taste is pleasant and easy to drink, however at 11%, I doubt you could us this as a session beer.
04-13-2007 02:48:11 | More by Solomon420
District of Columbia
4.03/5 rDev 0%
Got this one hand-pumped at Ashley's in Ann Arbor, MI. Pours a deep brown-black color, with a delicious looking tan head on top. Solid lacing throughout. Looks how an RIS should. Nose is interesting; lots of malt, some alcohol hints, molasses, raisins and a hint of lemon as well. Taste was good, although not quite as outstanding as I had hoped. I guess people are saying that this one has slipped recently. Strong caramel malt, some chocolate, a lot of dried fruit. Hops show up there as well, with some breadiness, and lots of coffee both at the start and end. Good, but not great. Feel was as expected: very full-bodied, almost syrupy, with medium carbonation. Overall, a solid beer, but not quite up to what I had hoped from both Rogue and an RIS. Not quite up to the (admittedly very different) Bell's Third Coast Old Ale I had in the same sitting. A little disappointing.
04-04-2007 19:02:32 | More by soupyman10
4.18/5 rDev +3.7%
2001 bottle drank. Pours dark, viscous and huge! This is everything a imperial stout should be. Thick as hell, with plenty of sludge oozing in the bottom of the bottle. Smell is boozy roasted malt. Taste is incredible. Very roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and still some alcohol. Its amazing how time has improved this beer. Only if Rogue still made this beer to this caliber. This is a very good RIS and one that I look forward to drinking again.
04-03-2007 23:39:09 | More by FtownThrowDown
2.78/5 rDev -31%
Poured into a glass a thick black opaque color, with a slight coffee colored head that forms, but soon dissolves away. The scent of dries fruit, currant and raisons are very strong in the fragrance. That is followed by a the sweet smell of malt, a slight twinge of alchol is present as well. The malt is very prevalent in the taste, plus coffee flavors. Then a mild bit of hop bitterness comes foward, it ends with a harsh flavor of alchol. A thick, rich, heavy feel, very syrup like going down, the alchol does leave a warming presence on the throat. This was rather disappointing, Rogue makes excllent brews and I was expecting a very good imperial stout, the taste was a let down and the scent was nothing truely impressive.
03-24-2007 15:22:29 | More by cameraman
4.38/5 rDev +8.7%
Presentation: c.2003 bottle dated 11oz, cellared in my possession for the last 18 months, in a classic conical pint glass.
This will be the oldest beer I have tried & reviewed to date since joining BA.
Pouted thick, oily yet rather silently from the bottle. Nose is very nice. 1st thing I notice are nice fruit qualities - raisin, sour cherry, fig. Even after 3+ years alcohol is up front, but not sharp. The crema off a smooth black coffee is a welcome scent, soft blackstrap molasses, malts, nicely bittersweet aroma. As it warms the nose sweetens with burnt caramels.
Head was a pencil's worth of loose mocha stained foam that was nicely, yet hushed, agitated and faded rather quickly to a thin floater and a glass ring, and does not lace in the least. An occassion bubble "bloops" to the top of the almost black abyss of the body, definitely a no light thru beer.
Mmm...wow. More highs & lows, dips & dives, peaks & valleys in the overall taste than any beer in recent memory. The inital taste is a dichotomy of balance. There is an unmistakable velvety, smooth, silky creaminess, very rich malts and oh, so thick. Some very subtle fruit sweetness is there as well, yet playing opposite to this is a sharp one-two combo of hop bitters and alcohol sharpness. Amazing that after this long both are that noticable up front, but its a wonderful ying & yang. This is a complex beer with a lot going on, between the tastes and the high ABV I am really savoring each sip, but in that it waited this long to come out & play who am I to rush it now?
The ying & yang continue to the palate as the malts take on some creamier qualities, a little sweeter with caramel, warm morning black coffee, but also more even & balanced overall, yet the alcohol roars over the hop bitterness, standing up and slapping my mouth like somebody's Grandma with a sharp "icy hot" bite that I feel in my teeth & gums. Again, this balancing act is very enjoyable. There is a lot going on here.
At the finish the two become one, joining together in a nicely bittersweet swallow, wet, not dry, which is a nice compliment. The aroma is now earthy, muddy, some leather tannins even. I'm definitely feeling the alcohol. I have no idea what it is now if it was 11% ABV in 2003. The aftertaste, no surprise, is very warm, comfy, despite the alcoholic echo that resonates thru my cranium with each swallow. Its surprisingly clean for how viscous the body was and how strong the hops & alcohol were. Its an odd bitter "cleaness", admittedly dry & sticky on the palate & tongue, chewy, yet it swallows quite wet. Once again a ying & yang as it leaves.
Damn, that was good. This is what an Imperial Stout should be. Its rich yet bitter, smooth yet abrassive, sharp yet silky, and so on. Definitely one of the most complicated beers as far as structure I've had in quite a while, and many kudos to Rogue for an Imperial Stout that walks the line between ying & yang and never wavers. Highly enjoyable, a great experience. I would highly recommend this beer for cellaring, and would certainly try to acquire some for that purpose. To those sitting on 2+ years of cellaring, your patience will be rewarded if you go 3+.
03-24-2007 02:46:44 | More by BuckSpin
4.15/5 rDev +3%
Bought the 750ml gray bottle for 14.99. The year 2006 is printed on the bottle belows the Rogue Imperial Stout label and advertises a 11% ABV.
A: Pours like motor oil and leaves a creamy brown head. Beautiful looking beer, but aren't all stouts?
S: I smell mostly chocolate, but there are faint notes of coffee.
T: Delicious. Chocolate rushes over the tongue, then the slightest hop bitterness, followed by a somewhat strong alcohol finish. Very smooth beer, tastes like a meal.
M: Absolutely wonderful... Smooth & Creamy. Very heavy beer, literally feels like great tasting used motor oil. Alcohol makes its way to the forefront during the swallow, but that's to be expected with this brew.
D: Of course, the 11% ABV kills the drinkability. The heaviness of the beer itself also makes it tough to make room for more.
03-23-2007 04:55:38 | More by barrettds
British Columbia (Canada)
3.65/5 rDev -9.4%
Decent Imperial stout, but I've had better.
Nice, black body with a brown, foamy head. Impenetrable darkness with this one.
Decent malty, vinous scent with a bit of hop bitterness.
The taste is slightly overdone. Roasted malts to the max, but almost too much. Any sweetness is lost, and I'm left with a slightly sour taste and bitter, woody tones that aren't quite apt for an imperial stout.
A little too much carbonation for me. I've had worse beers, but as far as imperial stouts go, I've had better. I might buy this again as its not something that I can get regularly, but it isn't something I will hunt down.
03-17-2007 07:15:18 | More by BDTyre
4.38/5 rDev +8.7%
I love stouts. I acquired this in a temp-control bottle in Monterey, CA and didn't drink it until I reached Eugene, OR, so that may have affected it's flavor. I'll have to try it on tap sometime. It was one of three stouts in my "I'm Bored Tonight Stout-Off" (the other two were Deschutes Obsidian and Bell's Expedition - I know - it should be The Abyss, but it's hard to come by, so Obsidian had to do.)
This poured a deep dark black-brown color with a thick brownish bubbly head. It has a great complex aroma of chocolate and coffee and caramel tones. Taste was a bit bitter compared to the aroma and you can tell it's a higher ABV Imperial - there's a bit of a pungent alcohol kick on the front of it. But the lingering tastes and aftertastes of this complex, full bodied stout are sweet and delicious, keeping you coming back for more of it. A great stout.
03-13-2007 01:52:22 | More by kdoc8
3.58/5 rDev -11.2%
Poured a dark black with some dark brown highlights, had just a ring of dark brown head.
Smell was a strange mixture of musty yeast, Burnt Malt, Smoke, Cocoa, Coffee, and old socks.
Taste is completely dominated by burnt and bitter smokey dark malts. Hints of dark coffee and cocoa are coming through.
Mouthfeel is thick and warm with a very dry finish. The flavor seems to linger on the tongue forever.
I enjoyed drinking this as it was very different from most imperial stouts out there, but wouldn't make a habit of it either.
03-11-2007 19:06:05 | More by bashiba
Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,183 ratings.