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Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales

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Imperial StoutImperial Stout

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1,232 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,232
Reviews: 813
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 96
Gots: 79 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2001

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,232 | Reviews: 813
Photo of hopsleeroy
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with small brownish head that laced for a while. Has a little bit if red around the edges in the light. Smell is roasted malt coffee chocolate. Smell is very nice. First taste was of the roasted malts and a bitter chocoloate. Not very sweet. Swallowed kind of bitter with an espresso taste on the back end(dowgraded the taste because of this flavor). This was a rogue beer and in typical fashion there were plenty of hops to balnce out the malt, but hard for me to pinpoint their flavor. Into the glass as it warmed, a few esthers vecame more apparent. A little thinner in the mouth than typical for the style-the alcohol however was nowhere to be seen. Overall pretty good-want to see how one tastes after a year laying down.

Photo of hops4life
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The mocha colored head sets up in a thin layer and leaves a nice lace. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate aroma and the fruit background is more of a generic berry fruit than a specific fruit. On the palate it is very fruit-forward and pleasantly bitter at the back. As opposed to some of the higher gravity stoute, this really is like an "imperial" stout. Everything from the roasted flavors to the abv is amped up. I could see this pairing with some bbq or some island jerk style food. All in all, very drinkable big style at a very drinkable price in its class.

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an opaque, dark grey ceramic 750 ml. bottle, of the 2006 vintage. Leaves a two finger espresso-foam colored head that has excellent retention, and it leaves excellent lacing. Body is black. Beautiful to behold.Smell - the nose is filled with chocolate, richly roasted espresso, burnt crust maltbread, deeply roasted barley malt, smoky roasted coffee beans, plums, dates, and raisins. Well hidden alcohol. Mouthwatering!Taste - as promised by the smell. A flood of chocolate, espresso, and dark crusted malt bread wash over the tongue. As this ale gets warmer, much more of the dark fruit such as raisins, dates, and plums assert themselves into the mix. And still, very well hidden alcohol. This is simply delicious and hearty!Mouthfeel - full bodied, and very dry.Drinkability - this is excellent ale, and having had it after it aged for one year, I can't wait to get this year's (2007) release, and try it fresher. Only the very high abv limits this ale's sessionability.

Photo of chadspivey
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to miguel mandingo for letting me try this one. This is from '06

A: Jet black w/ brown head.

S: cocoa powdery dark chocolotate kinnd of thing going on, roastiness, and vanilla hints.

T: virtually identical to the smell. Actually, some nutty characters come out.

M: Not as thick as most others in this style, slightly dry, like eating dark chocolate. Quite warming.

D: For 11%, this one goes down fast. Very good beer, Keeps getting better as I drink it.

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I picked this one up at Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits in DC. This is the only bottle I have ever come across - it is a damn shame that they don't sell this in Texas - I would buy it all the time. I shared this bottle with chadspivey and JDV.

2006 Vintage

Poured part of a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - It produced a one finger brown latte foam head which dissipated to a thin crown. This, like other great RISs, is opaque black and brown. Lacing is present, but minimal.

Smell - The smell is really good on this one. I can detect a licorice-like anise scent, as well as cocoa powder, booze and maybe a little bit of vanilla. Smells slightly sweet. There were dark fruits that were present, but they were in the distant background of the scent. There was a certain roastiness in the scent, but it was very subdued.

Taste - Damn, this tastes good. I get a lot of cocoa powder in the flavor, as well as a roasty char character which also plays a dominant role. It also has some vanilla notes. This is a pretty well hopped RIS. It has a pretty significant hop backend for an RIS, and the bitterness ties in closely with the bittersweet chocolate flavor. It is less sweet than the scent would lead you to believe.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. It is a bit thin for style, IMO. It has a nice carbonation to cut through the relatively thin mouthfeel. However, I think that the thinness of the body makes it a much more drinkable brew.

Drinkability - The drinkability is awesome. It has everything I want in an RIS. The flavor and scent are awesome, and the thinner body makes it really easy to drink. One of the better RISs I have sampled in quite some time. If they sold this here in Texas and it wasn't so expensive to begin with, it would be a regular in my beer rotation.

JDV, chadspivey and I then followed this up with an '06 and '07 Abyss, which really stole the show...those will be my next reviews.

Photo of franksnbeans
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at Rogue's Alehouse in Downtown Portland. Looks completely opaque deep black with a chocolate milk head that clings to the glass. Smells big and sweet, some coffee, a little dark fruit, very toasty. Tastes as it smells and finishes with a bitterness from hops and dry. Full in the mouth and this hearty beer makes me feel like I just ate a loaf of bread. A wonderful treat.

Photo of TheBierBand
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured this from the ceramic 0.75 litre bottle (2007 Edition) into a pint glass to produce a thick tan head of about 1-1/2". The beer is the darkest of ebonies and let no light shine through even when held to a bright light source. The head had incredible retention and left big sticky rings of lace as I drank.

The nose is rather subtle.... but you can pick up the roasted malt and a caramel sweet smell.

Taste: WOW! Let me see if I can break this down for you... this is one of the most complex RIS's I've had yet! Caramel sweetness tempered by a cafe expresso bitterness. Ripe fruits, plumbs, dates, nuts etc... all mingling around. Fantastic!

MF: Everything that you could want in an RIS! Thick, rich, creamy, robust, adequate carbonation. Awesome mouthcoating and aftertaste. RIGHT ON.... gotta give it a "5"!

Drinkability: What do you expect for a RIS with 11% abv.... sure, it's a sipper.... but it's WONDERFUL for an RIS.... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black with light brown head that dissipates to tan layer with foamy islands, tons of lacing. Aroma is chocolate malt with dark fruit. Taste is dark roasted grain and sweet prunes and raisins with a dark bitter coffee/chocolate finish. Taste gets better as the beer warms to almost room temperature. Feels very oily in the mouth with plenty of carbonation. This is a very large stout and fans of stouts will like it a lot. Those seeking subtlety will need to look elsewhere.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rogue- Imperial Stout 2003

A- Thick black with a reddish tint. Small creamy head.
S- Dark chocolate, cherries, and coffee beans.
T- Sugar free dark chocolate with a touch of black coffee. A hint of dried cherries and a dose of alc. in the end.
M- Dry and bitter at first but becoming smooth and warming with a creamy and sweet finish.

Overall- Definitely improves as it warms up. Was a little skeptical about this aging for 4+ years but it held up nicely.

Photo of ccrida
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at the Portland Public House, served in their XS goblet, their RIS is pitch black with no head, the slightest tan collar leaving very light lace.

Smell is soft, roasted malt and espresso.

Taste is super rich and malty, dark unsweetened cocoa, touch of coffee and decent roast, with a very bitter backbone, this one is super fierce but equally satisfying. Lots of depth that is better left open to the interpretation of the drinker.

Mouthfeel is really thick, like motor oil.

Drinkablity is good because this is so unabashed and tasty. Not for the faint of heart, it goes down way to easily for me, and will warm you up in a hurry.

Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage in the ceramic bottle with the swing cap.

Pours black, supremely opaque. Topped with a two finger head of dense light brown bubbles. Leaves an oily slick of lace with each sip, and a brownish red tint on your glass. Impressive looking to say the least.

Plenty of molasses in the nose. Toffee, cocoa and almonds as well.

Molasses and burnt sugar up front faintly sweet and quite bitter. Followed by dark baking cocoa with a burnt espresso finish. Sweet malts like dark fruits and a slight citric hop twang on the back end.

Each sip is smooth and velvety. It leaves an oily film in your mouth, further enhancing the velvety feel. Goes down very smoothly for it's big abv. Nicely done, and worth the price of admission for those who wonder.

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

Rouge Imperial Stout

750 ml specialty bottle with wired cork retainer similar to a Grolsch set up. Poured into a Westmalle goblet this has an extremely dark opaque color with a nice dark caramel head that quickly dissipated leaving a fine oily film one comes to expect with a decent imperial stout.

Smell hints of chocolate, oak, coffee. Taste is a typical coffee flavor heavy on the malt side. Not up to a Samuel Smith’s standard but a fair Imperial Stout nonetheless. This actually tastes fairly light for an Imperial Stout and that was a bit disappointing, but this isn’t an overpowering affair and actually quite pleasing. One barely notices the 11% ABV that this lists at.

Mouthfeel slightly tingly and it coats the back of your throat all the way down. All in all a fair offering but not close to the best Imperial Stout I’ve had, but definitely far from the worse.

Photo of number1bum
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, ceramic swing top bottle. Pours a jet black, very thick looking brew with about an inch of creamy coffee colored head on top. Head recedes slowly and ultimately leaves just a rimjob of lace and a not a whole lot of stick.

Smells strongly of chocolate malt and other sweets, like brown sugar maybe. also some coffee and roasted malt aromas.

Whereas this smelled of sweeter malts, the taste is much more bitter and heavy on the roasted/burnt malt. There is some chocolate flavor, but its more bittersweet than sweet, and the roastiness/bitterness overwhelms it. Noticeable alcohol and a bit of a burn from it at the finish, as well. Good flavor, but the bitterness is a bit much for my preference.

This baby is incredibly thick and full bodied, definitely chewy.

This brew was a Christmas gift, although I have seen it on the shelves so I know it's pricey. It's a good beer but it's definitely not my favorite imperial stout, so I don't know that I'd spend the money on this one again.

Photo of joe1510
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 Bottling
12oz Bottle
Received from mcallister


The '04 poured midnight black not allowing any light to escape. There is still a healthy amount of carbonation as the pour yields a two finger khaki head that stuck around for a few minutes before falling to a swirling with a couple thick islands and a thick ring around the glass.

The aroma on this older vintage is vinous and showing much more dark fruit than a more recent bottling. Roasted barley and mild coffee grounds are there but take backstage to the dark fruits. Fig, blackberry, and possibly even some prune. There are small wafts of alcohol drifting up to my nose as well. The '04 is much subdued compared to the '07.

The flavor is pretty much spot on with the aroma. The only noticeable difference is a splash of dark cocoa from mid-palate through to the finish. This dark cocoa goes really well with the dark fruitiness that's developed overtime. The flavor is much different from the newer release. I'm surprised at the huge difference three years made.

The mouthfeel on this beer is as luxurious as you could ask for; thick, coating and incredibly velvety. There's just enough alcohol noticeable to warm me up.

A stout this big and rich is a sipper and a satisfying one at that. This is a perfect for a cold winter day like this.


2007 Bottling
750ml Ceramic Bottle
Sam's Marcey


The 2007 bottling poured very similar to the '04. The body is black as night with a two finger brown head that had a purplish hue. The head on this bottling seemed to be creamier and leave slightly better lacing, not enough to warrant a perfect score but damn close.

The aroma is much more robust than on the older version, which is to be expected. Roasted barley, molasses, and licorice are the most common occurrences. The alcohol present on the backend creates some fruity esters. As a matter of fact smells like a pretty well rounded RIS.

The roastiness is big, bold and upfront. There are mild coffee grounds and even milder dark fruits. There's some cocoa on the backend but not nearly as pronounced as the '04. There is much more bold roastiness throughout especially when compared to the older version. Some spicy alcohol finishes things off nicely.

The mouthfeel on the '07 doesn't live up to the mouthfeel '04. Although this bottle is rich and chewy the mouthfeel just isn't as thick and velvety as the older bottle.

The bigger flavor (including alcohol) on this bottle hampers the drinkability slightly. This is one you couldn't drink too many.

After sampling a '04 and '07 side by side each one had qualities I enjoyed more than the other. The mouthfeel on the '04 was perfect and the drinkability was higher. The appearance, flavor and aroma were slightly better on the '07. The better flavor was a tough call because it's dependent on which flavors you're looking for on a particular night. Tonight, for me, it was the bigger roastiness compared to the dark fruitiness. The roastiness won out this evening.

Photo of orford
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from one of the cool ceramic swing top bottles. 2007 Imp. Served at cellar temp (~50-55 degrees F).

A. Holy head!! 3 fingers of dark, milk chocolate colored head. Very stable head, what little disipation was followed by good lacing. Slightly rocky head. Pitch black in color, with the slightest bit or red around the edges. Absolutely beautiful.

S. Malty sweet with prunes and raisins and other dried fruits. Almost port-like nose to it. Also chocolate and roasted malt. Some alcohol as it warms.

T. Malty sweet. Once again dried fruits including raisins and prunes. Lots of chocolate and roasted grains up front. The back-end includes some grain bitterness but is mostly characterized by hop-bitterness which blends well with the malty sweetnes in the aftertaste. Slight alcohol at the tail end but very subtle and appropriate.

M. Very fulll bodied, rich and luxurious. Low carbonation makes this very silky and the alcohol warms as it goes down.

D. I am a bit of a lush but I could not finish this bottle in one sitting (thank you for the swing top bottle). Incredible beer but it is more of a sipping beer than anything else. Very drinkable as a after-dinner drink.

Photo of sweetkness
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this in the awesome ceramic 750 mL bottle, one of the coolest available bottles out there in my opinion. Served it in wine glasses. The appearence was exceptional, a thick black color with a red hue along the rim of the beer, similar to a cherry stouts appearence. It had a wonderful black/red head, and left nice lacing when swirled in the glass. Strong vanilla aroma at first, leading to a sherry/alcohol smell. The taste was very good. There was a strong malt flavor, similar to a Barleywine, which gave way to the roasted malts. Comes off as barrel aged, not sure if thats the case though. The sherry/alcohol aroma carries through to the aftertaste, with some burnt/dried fruit flavor also. Good thick mouthfeel that this style should have. As usual with this style, while it begins quite drinkable, it will fill you up quickly. Overall a VERY GOOD beer, wonderful drinking experience!

Photo of sabrills70
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml ceramic bottle I bought in August 2005. Pours a jet black with a huge 3 finger head, great longevity and verry pretty lace. Some nice roasted malt aromas mixed with some vanilla and sherry smells. Lots of rosted malt flavors mixed with a fairly big amount of chocolate. The finish has huge roasted bitterness in the aftertaste. Not as smooth as I had hoped after 2.5 years in my fridge. A nice beer with a cigar

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 in a ceramic 750ml bottle. Sampled 10-26-2006

Holy. Pours thick like syrup and black as midnight with no moon. What very little head that forms is a dark tan. Smell is chocolate-y with a malt edge and a sweet tone. Taste is huge - and complex. Starts off with a strong sweet taste and then recedes slowly until an extremely roasted flavor comes out. It's like watching a roller coaster from a mile away. You can see every move it makes and watch it as it goes up, and then down to something else. Mouthfeel is thick but smooth. Highly drinkable, even at 11%. Unbelievable.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage 120z bottle poured into a Middle Ages Imperial Pint Glass and served at cellar temperature

A - Poured a very deep dark brown, essentially black with a big full three finger high head of tan colored foamy lace on top. Great retention eventually settled this down to about a one inch high layer of foam across the top. No real side glass lacing to speak of, which kind of suprised me to be honest.

S - The aroma was full of chocolate, deep dark chocolate with lots of hints of sweetness, lactose sugar perhaps, maybe a touch of vanilla. Laced in throughout were some small hints of alcohol which nicely thickenend up the aroma. Very full warming smell, full of roasted malts.

T - The flavor was outstanding. Exactly what I would like to see in an Impy stout. Age has defintly taken a liking to this one. First flavors to break through were nice deep chocolate notes with hints of vanilla and coffee beans laced in throughout. Most of the alcohol has long mellowed out by now and really all that remains of it was some tiny traces down through the middle. Very nice earthy roasted malts swirling around in the back giving it much depth and a great profile. The finish was strong with a nice dryness and a touch of some light grass like flavors which gave it that little bit extra of a kick.

M - This was a very full bodied ale, with a huge rich creamy texture. This was absolutly made to be a big dessert beer. The carbonation had held up very nice as well, giving it that silky smooth creamy feel you find in the best of Impy stouts. This was really killer and every sip felt better then the one before. Absolutly nothing light about this one at all, no hint of being watery or thin, perfect score here.

D - A fantastic sipper. I enjoyed this bottle over the course of about 90 mins and it was just getting better as I went on. The alcohol was so well hidden it was practically invisible and the flavors were so well pronounced and full that each sip was like a dessert in of itself. I could have gone on with this all night.

Overall this was fantastic. The three years have really done a job on this one in a great way. No hint of oxidation and such a smoothed out mellow profile, it was honestly almost perfect. This was truly a treat and I would be thrilled to try this again anyday. I am going to have to get a fresh one for comparison, this was just way too good.

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

Poured into a snifter. Inky black with a large dense chocolate milk head. Nice retention.

Smell is very roasty. Dark, dry, bitter dark chocolate plays second fiddle to the huge coffee aroma.

This beer tastes more like coffee than half the coffee I've ever drank. Roasty and burnt, full of espresso and some baker's chocolate. A moderate amount of hop bitterness blends in with the burnt character. If you like coffee, this is the beer for you.

The carbonation is great and lasts forever. Body is thick and rich and the flavors blend together nicely. Smooth and very drinkable for 11% alcohol.

Photo of iowaherkeye
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided to pick up this 2006 Vintage 750mL ceramic bottle from <i>John's Grocery</i> since it was only $12.99. Pours a deep mahogany (black in the glass) with a 1/2 finger tan head that fades to a ring before long. Immediately I nosed some soy and roasted malts, but this was still a bit too cold so I let it breathe and warm up. There is plenty of molasses and raisins to go with the aforementioned aromas--the soy is a little lighter and less salty at warmer temps. Dark chocolate, espresso, a bit of campfire ash and even some vanilla finish it up. Flavor has a lot of roasted malt, coffee, and unsweetened chocolate--I knew this wouldn't be sweet, but this has very little sweetness at all. The only other thing I could pick out in addition to the aroma were some leafy hops. Bone dry ashy char finish with just a bit of booze. Bitterness in the finish lingered and peaked at a 5-6 on a 1-10 scale, surprisingly. Full thick body with very low carbonation. An excellent example of the American style that I probably shouldn't have waited 3 years to try.

Photo of bort11
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz ceramic bottle with a flip-top lid. Poured into Corsendonk Christmas Ale tulip. Solid whipped cream like head, the mocha colored. It has great stickage in the lacing. Color is a pure black with slight redding hues around the edges.

Smell is a deep dark fig aroma, mixed with a dark bitter chocolate. Taste is more of a rum-raisin. Hops make themselves known in the finish. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel has a fantastic thick body. Nice a chewy. This is one of the better RIS I've had lately

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, ebony black brew with a good viscosity to it. Head is full and thick, a quality inch of tight mocha colored bubbles. So far so good.

S: Smells super oily. Slick bitter bakers chocolate, coffee grounds, oyster crackers, little bit of spruce and perhaps some raspberry.

T: First sip starts out just like it smells. Really oily with streaks of super bitter dark chocolate and intense espresso grounds. More low level chocolate layers continue with aspects of dried cocoa lingering on the center of the tongue. Some alcoholic waves begin to move in at the tip of the tongue then up into the sinuses. Then the bitterness comes and ooooh my goodness is this beer bitter. Its starts at the back side of the palate then begins to overwhelm the entire tongue from the back forward. Finishes with flashes of sweetness among the charred wood flavor.

M: Full bodied and thick

D: Ooof. This is one brutally bitter and dry beer. Starts off really nice but goes a bit too far into the dry realm for me. But too unbalanced, but still quite nice.

Photo of PlaywrightSam
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml ceramic bottle. A: Oily, thick black with lots of brown head that retains very well. S: Chocolate, coffee, some hops. T: Bitter chocolate, lots of coffee, sweet up front with a very long, very bitter cocoa finish. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. M: Very thick, chewy, moderate carbonation. D: A bit more bitter than I had expected, but still very good. Nice and complex, continues to reveal itself as I continue through the bottle.

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

Jet black body with a good mocha head. The smell is surprisingly hoppy for a RIS, but expected for Rogue. There is a bunch of chocolate in there also. The flavor is really chocolaty but with a good hop flavor also. I was actually able to identify the hops by flavor. Good heavy body with great drinkability.

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Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,232 ratings.