Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,243 Ratings
THE BROS
71
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,243
Reviews: 816
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 94
Gots: 86 | FT: 7
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.

26º PLATO
88 IBU
73 AA
256º Lovibond
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,243 | Reviews: 816
Photo of Running4beer
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 date

This was an incredible deep black color, as black as black top just being put down on a driveway. This had a thick creamy dark brown head, never seen anything like that before. Taste of dark chocolate and double espresso just popped out. Smell was of roasted malt and coffee were signaficantly strong. Mouthfeel was thick and syrupy. Just an overall great tasting beer.

Photo of MrNuggets
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A 7oz Bottle dated 1996. Sampled in October of 2004.
This is the stuff dreams are made of.
Strong nose full of sweetness.
Fig taste is prominate. Sweet malts really show through in this one. A fresh bottle is full of harsh flavors that tear the taste buds.
This holds the same flavors folded neatly into each other.
Ultra heavy on the palate.
Could never drink more than one 12oz bottle of this, but I bet I pull two of these nippers!

Photo of Jarod
4.61/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer came to me a black as black can be color, if any light tried to get through, the beer just ate it up like a black hole in space. The head never ended, it was thick, rich, full and medium to dark brown in color. The lace that it left behind was not lace but a bed sheet draped over the side of the glass and was very sticky and dried fast to the inside. It would take a hammer, a chisel, hot water and an hour for one to get this beer off the sides of the glass. The aromas that came off of this were roasted malts, sweet dark berry fruit, espresso, cocoa, and light hops. The tastes were more prevalent then the aroma. I tasted dark fruits, big malts (roasted), chocolate, floral hops, creamy espresso, brown sugar, black coffee, and some alcohol. It left me with a slight hoppy aftertaste but nice. This is a big, full, thick creamy rich beer. One of those that left you with a memory of it that if someone asked what it was like you could just spit out the info like you just drank it.

Photo of philipt
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The more quality imperial stouts that I drink, the more this style gains gound against Belgian strong dark ales as my favorite style.

I must confess, I wasted a couple oz.s of this brew due to an unexpected carbonation. As I watched the beer swell, and pour over the side of the glass and onto the counter, I could feel the curse words emerging....then I remembered a little saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff."

Pours incredibly black in color with a caramel colored head that really explodes as it is poured (leading to my little accident mentioned above). Smells of roasted malt. Tastes of roasted malt, currant, coffee, and slightly nutty. Leaves a sweetness on the lips that just invites the next sip. For a beer with such a high IBU rating, the bitterness is very well disguised, or balanced is a better term. There is a noticeable alcohol presence, but not anything get worked up over. A very drinkable beer.

While not quite as impressive as Stone's Imperial Stout (well, that's not a very fair comparison), Rogue has definitely created a masterpiece of an ale.

Photo of nixhecks
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a thick black, and wow, what a unique head - I have never seen any head that dark before. Smelled of sweet raisons and alcohol. Smoke, dark fruit, cocoa, coffee, liquorice, molasses, as well as other notes i can't quite identify make their appearance on the first tastes. Mouthfeel is creamy and very viscous, exactly what I was looking for. The multiple flavors blended and balanced out as the beer warmed. Like always with any Rogues I ever find, I had to pay an arm and a leg ($2.99 for a 12 oz.), but i can't say I have ever been let down. Definetely deserving of its high ranking.

Here's my edit after finishing - Definite hickory, bacon-ish flavors for the back half of this brew, my favorite - changing taste from 4.5 to 5.0

Photo of paceyourself
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2001 edition. So black in color that nothing came thru when i held next to the light. Aromas of toffee and roasted malt seemed a little to sweet. Chocolate and coffee flavors are dry and overall unimpressive. I can think of many other 12oz. brews i would rather spend two dollars on. I'm kind of suprised of the high ranking of this beer.

Photo of Jason
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with a 2001 bottled vintage date.

Appearance: A think vicious brown head forms three fingers deep, awesome slow-motion cascading effect. Retention is superb. Jet black colour shows no trace of light.

Smell: Soft espresso, ghost smoke, sharp unsweetened chocolate and light burnt malt come from the blend of roasted malts. Ripe black currants, molasses and a rough smell from the hops as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Almost syrupy in the mouth with a heavenly creamy smoothness. This brew is just bursting with roasted malt flavours. Fresh espresso, bakers chocolate and light charcoal. Hops bitterness is not to be ignored, bitter oil resins all over. Alcohol is there but does not see to flare out too much, more warmth in the back end. Some sweetness does make it threw with complex tones of dark sugars. Bitterness from the hops and roasted malts drives a day and a life into the after taste.

Drinkability & Notes: No holding back, big time flexing and just so outrageously good. To sum it up this brew as far as Imp Stouts go is one to be reckoned with. Some chocolate covered hazelnuts went very well with this one.


Tasted on 12-30-99. 7oz 1996 vintage bottle. As black as black could be ... with a wispy brown yet sticky lace.

Smell: A touch of sweetness that has hints of over caramelized fruit and a mild acidic twang from the roasted malts ... some hops are there but underlying. There is also the smallest hint of wet paper which shows a bit of aging.

Taste: Oh so smooth with a massive chewy malt mouth feel in this more than full bodied brew. Catastrophic flavours erupt from this thick black liquid ... rich dark chocolate and espresso, sweet and bitter hop flavours ... this is a war upon the taste buds. A faded papery taste is there yet is cast aside as the finish come forth. The finish is a devastation of roasted malt flavours and well as residual sweetness.

Notes: Yes this brew seems like it is peaking in its 3rd year ... a god like brew, this stout is only for those who are worthy of drinking the best. The weak will surely perish upon the mere touch of this brew to their lips. As close to perfection as you can get.

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a 12 oz. bottle of this at the Flat Rock Saloon...and despite the fact that they had Shakespeare Stout on draught, I had to have this one because I was yet to ever sample it.

This is one seriously thick beer. In appearance, it is no different than motor oil with a thick tan head on top. I was a tad disappointed in the aroma. It was not very strong in many typical stout scents, but it did have a nice portion of hop aroma, which was nice.

My mouth was coated upon taking my first sip of this, and that way it would remain. Nicely complex in flavor...very bitter roasted malts give way to dark chocolate, coffee, licorice, finishing with a generous portion of hops. This is right there with the best Imperial Stouts, but does not quite stand up to Storm King.

Photo of JISurfer
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not the best Imperial Ale, but then again, I'm sure it's not the worst. I just thought I would try it, because Rogue constantly pumps out good solid brews. Although the look was spectacular, the taste wasn't the same. I might be crazy and you might think that I have no taste, but I really didn't like it too much. It was a little too bitter for me. Sure, I like a bitter beer everynow and then, but this was just a little too bitter. It also had a heavy smell of alcohol. The mouthfeel was good though. It left a good coating of "Imperialism" in my mouth, long after it was down the hatch. Not my fav, so I think I would rather have a Storm King or a Stone Imperial.

Photo of francisweizen
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh, Rogue Imperial Stout 2001. This beer was quite amazing and quite the treat as well. This beer poured into my Orval Chalice with a quick burst of carbonation. A nice thick 1/2" dark tan/brown-ish head formed on top of the liquid, which for some un-known to me reason was quite cloudy. This elixer was VERY pitch black in colour, but it did have some tan/brown 'floaties' in it, that scared me quite a bit as I am not used to seeing this in an Imperial Stout! Anyway, I let this 'settle' for a few minutes and by the time I came back to it the head had decreased to a small sheet of lace on the top and sides of the liquid. The 'floaties', or chocolate swirl as it looked like, had also settled into the dregs of my chalice. The *smell* of this beer was downright incredible. This gave off many excellent and complex aromas of belgian, bitter-sweet or extra dark chocolates, roasted malts, fresh grains, bitter hops, wine-like odors, and blackened goodness!! This tasted like more of the same. Very alcoholic, boozy, chocolaty and roasted. Some flavors of alcohol soaked fruits, and chocolate covered rum-soaked raisins were evoked as well...This had an incredibly full, rich and creamy mouthfeel to it. The word 'chewy' comes to mind, as many others have stated. Overall this was an excellent beer that I will definately drink again. For some reason the appearance of this sample was sub-par, but who cares what the beer looks like when it tastes this good! The drinkability has been knocked a bit just because it is sooooo damn boozy!
cheers to Kleing for the sample!,
F.

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

My notes were very brief after consuming this significant brew, that I hope to enjoy again and again, if fortune provides...
I piece them together as best I can...
Color: black as black can be, head is short and tan and does the trick. Aroma? WHOA, NELLIE!!! Just the sniff of it is viscous, an adjective we usually employ for taste and mouthfeel, but it's right there in the aroma, wafting strongly and boldly into the nostrils of the hardy few! (I had this for the first time at a Rogue Pub in Portland, where some brave friends tried this or the barleywine, but others wondered if they had anything "real" like a Bud Light?)
Aroma brings us the usual suspects and then some, of this style: anise, espresso, chocolate, cocoa powder, hints of brandy, dark rum.
Ultimately, the feel is full, rich, lush, plentiful, rewarding, utterly delicious, and perfect. It's the real deal.

Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2001-Rogue Imperial Stout pours a dark black color with a wispy & creamy cardboard colored head that lasts till the very end. On the nose the aromas the aroma of chocolate, black malts, oats, and caramelized fruits. On the palate the flavors of rich dark chocolate erupt, oats, roasted grains, burnt toast, and bittersweet hop flavors. On the tongue, mouthfeel is thick, chewy, and smooth. In the end a huge roasty, sweet, and alcohol kick in the finish. A monster of a brew.

Photo of Bierman9
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh... it has been a while, no? I haven't had this bier since my first, and only, in '03. I spotted the 750ml ceramic version of this last week, 2007 vintage, at a fair price of $11.99. So, today (17JAN09) it gets another shot...

Still black-hole dark, with an ever so wispy trail of tan bubbles topping the liquid, with a touch of lacing. Aroma is not as powerful as before, though still with ample cocoa, bitter choco and some Cascades. Still smooth and silky on the tongue, a smidge of the chewiness is missing, though it still nears full-bodied-ness.

Flavor has more roasty malt flavor this time, with powdered cocoa, espresso, and bitter choco. Dark fruits are relegated to the dark recesses of the taste profile now. Hoppiness is most evident in a huge, rindy, resiny whack on the palate, which lingers long and hard.

Still quite a good bier! But as the years go by, perhaps the bier itself has changed. Or is it my palate and opinions on biers? Storm King long ago receded from the upper echelons of my rankings. And like the King (once a 4.90, now a 4.50), Rogue Imperial Stout is not, at this point in time, a 4.90 bier either, for me anyhow. This re-review will leave only three 4.90 biers on my list (my top rating, at the moment): Andechser Doppelbock, Kate the Great and Dark Lord. Will they stay there? Only time and palate will tell.

Prosit!!

4.4
L: 4.5 | S: 4 | T: 4.5 | F: 4.5 | D: 4.5

*** *** ***

I finally get to sample this sucka; thanks greatly to Jackson for sending it my way! Received it about 10 days ago, and planned to save it awhile.... but this voice from the fridge kept calling "Bierman....Bierman!!!" So, today (19JAN03) I let 'er rip...

This baby, a 12oz-er bottled in 2001, pours thick, inky-black and smoothly, like crude-oil. No light penetration through it whatsoever. Head initially was a tan 1/4" layer, but rapidly thinned to a nice circumfrential ring. Lacing was still decent; lack of an extended head keeps it from the hallowed "5" rating. The aroma just wafts it's way to my nose, even from a couple of feet away near my keyboard! A mix of coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, and the like combine for an olfactory feast. On the tongue? Whoa! Talk about thick and chewy! How silky smooth and full-bodied can you get? This is top-shelf!!

Fantastic flavors abound, too! Rich coffee notes, figs, black currants, and a nice whack of hops at the end! Oh baby! And it sends a nice warming through the belly, too! The aftertaste just stays put on your palate for what seems like eons! This ranks right up there with Storm King on my Imperial (and all-bier) list! With a bit more of a lasting head, and more lacing, it may usurp the King. Jackson, big-time thanks once more! I owe ya!! Zum Wohl!!!

Original rating of 19JAN03:

overall: 4.9
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | mouthfeel: 5 | drinkability: 5

460

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

Wow, what a wonderful Stout. Pours a jet black with a big, fluffy dark brown head that just won't quit. Stays all the way down, with excellent lacing. Big first aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee. The first sip confirms those aromas, as well as something I can't put my finger on. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel, nice carbonation, and a great chocolate, coffee aftertaste that finishes with just the right amount of hops. Crisp, clean, excellent finish. Another winner from Rogue. Had two within the 1/2 hour.

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this after an Old Rasputin, and I must say I preferred that over the Rogue. Poured like motor oil, nice smell and appearance. Has a very good, chocolaty flavor, but is overwhelmed by the hops. I enjoyed drinking this beer (and I felt great afterwards!), but ultimately it is just to dry and bitter. I much prefer the Shakespeare stout (and for this style, the aforementioned Old Rasputin and Samuel Smith's).
(as has often been the case for me, I've come to appreciate this more as my palate has adjusted. Not the best I've had for the style, but an excellent brew nonetheless).

Photo of mophie
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome, awesome beer. Black as hell, with a beautiful brown, cafe au lait-colored head. Gorgeous. Intoxicating aromas of chocolate, caramelized plums, currants. The smell alone can induce a buzz. Taste is a combination of chocolate, espresso, dark fruits (again, currants), and burnt toast. And oh yeah, there's alcohol in there. And its taste seems to be intensified by a hop bitterness that pushes oh-so-close to the edge of being out of whack. Thankfully there's enough lingering sweetness and toasted maltiness to balance the taste in the finish. Nice!

Photo of marc77
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black and opaque. Dark brown, thin, but persistent head leaves sparse lace. Citrusy hop nose w/ hints of pine combined with chocolate, deeply roasted black patent and dark, slightly raisiny caramel malt. Mild butterscotch emerges as the beer breathes. Assertive hop bitterness hits the palate, and remains dominant to the malt profile. Chocolate malt melds with residual sugars to lend a briefly sweet, milk chocolate impression which is immediately offset by both sharp, slightly smokey black patent and the lingering hop bitterness. Overshadowed undertone of carob and buttery oak. Piney Chinook hop flavor remains strong, and couples with malt sweetness to lend a subtle, sweet spruce like note mid palate. Moderate in body, with a firm mouthfeel that is not quite as viscous as other imperials. Finishes bittersweet, with lingering roasted grain and hop bitterness. This is the 2001 release. Delicious in its current state, but further cellaring may tame the hop bitterness and allow more malt character to provide contrast. Easily the most bitter stout around. Akin to Willy Shakes on crack.

Photo of MJR
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1996 Vintage. 7oz nip bottle.

Appearance: Pours blacker than the ninth ring of Dante's Inferno into my brandy snifter. Being that it's a 1996 bottle, there's no carbonation left...no head or bubbles whatsoever. It moves like diluted motor oil in my glass...

Smell: Wow...what's in there? Sweet malt, roasted coffee, molasses, raisons, rum, black currants, chocolate, toffee, burnt fruit, etc.... What a magnificent aroma!

Taste: For a quick list of the flavors, see my list in 'smell.' It's all in there, along with an amazing bitterness from start to finish. Finishes with a strong roasted flavor along with an interesting chocolate note. Absolutely incredible.

(Edit: As I finish this bottle, the flavor that asserted itself the most was bitter chocolate.)

Mouthfeel: Have you ever swished diluted motor oil in your mouth? Me neither...I imagine it would feel like this... It actually leaves an oily residue on my glass!

Drinkability: I'm going to be honest here: if you have the sack to try this beer, you won't be scared by it. This beer is amazing...I need to get a few more bottles of this for the cellar along with some recent bottles to compare to.

One of the best Imperial Stouts out there. One of the best beers out there...period.

Photo of inebrius
4.95/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled 2001

I'm trying to gather my thoughts, goddam. Pours a muddied 90 weight with a surprisingly thick, sticky malted milk ball head. Nose of fine dark Belgian chocolate, black currants, hazelnut gelato, black forest cake, a freaking French dessert cart of aroma. Intoxicating! In many ways intoxicating, cozy, a blanket of warmth and flavor, roasty and hop bitter and joy to the buds. This beer is huge, round, silky and a thousand other favorable adjectives. Like a session with the all-time great Russian novelists, transcendent.

Cheers to Billy Stout for the sample! My god man, you could sell this stuff on a street corner.

Photo of mzwolinski
4.88/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. This beer pours like used motor oil, completely opaque, with one of the darkest heads I've ever seen -- dark brown, a good half-finger thick, and creamy in consistency. Just looking at it you know it's going to leave a good lace. The aroma is intoxicating in itself, chocolatey and alcoholic, with hints of black cherries. Things only get better in the mouth. Creamy and mousse-like in flavor and texture, this beer is dominated by deep malts, while the alcohol lends a nice spiciness mid-palate to compliment its dark fruit and chocolate notes. A very strong hop bitterness (87 IBUs!) gives a nice finish to the drink, and keeps it well in balance. Aftertaste is sweet and with a taste of burnt malts and currants. More full bodied than a pregnant Rosie O'Donnell. Good God this is good.

Photo of doho95fu
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another solid Rogue Brew. This beer is basically black and the head is thick and the color of a normal stout. The smell is coffee and cocoa. The Taste has those same characters, but there is something with a hint of fruit although I cannot place the flavor. Good mouthfeel and drinkable for an Imperial Stout. I also love these Rogue bottles.

Photo of mjohn27603
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2001 - 12 oz bottle. I can't recall anything that poured any darker than this beer. A black hole in a bottle. I get the aroma of raisins. It's a very inviting aroma. The taste is very complex. Bitter but not overly so. There is a mix of dark fruit and some chocolate. This is very close with Bell's Expedition Stout for my favorite Imperial Stout. I think the bitterness is much better balanced than Old Rasputin. I'm going to try an experiment based on Putnam's adivce. I'll leave out half a open bottle overnight and try again tomorrow night. More notes later....

After sitting out for a day: A smoother taste. Obviously less carbonation. Less bitter. A bit more mellowed in flavors. A bit more warming and more coating on the tongue. Tastes a bit more like a quality bitter chocolate. A creamier and smoother taste than yesterday.

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

1997 7oz. bottle, Dark black color,, thick full body, not much of a head. Sweet fruity-bready aroma. Taste like black licorice and raisins. Smooth, no bitterness in the finish, may be a bit past its prime or bad storage.

Photo of yen157
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Alcohol is never a problem for me. I enjoy distilled spirits, wine, and of course beer. This beer, however, was almost too much for me.

Let me quickly say that it was a gorgeous beer. The head was cocoa brown and resembled a thick layer of a chocolate whipped topping on my black beer. It smelled very nice. Generous hopping gave this a substantial hop aroma that complimented nicely with the toasted grains, deep, rich malt, and alcohol in the nose. The first sip was brutal. It was like somebody had slippped a shot of nail polish remover into my beer. Alcohol fumes went right into my nose through the back of my throat. I have never experienced anything like that. As the beer sat for a while and warmed up some of the alcohol evaporated from it and the beer became more drinkable. Rogue's version of one of my favorites was unusually well balanced from the hopping, and was a tasty beer overall. It was even a tiny bit mushroomy. That was a nifty flavor to encounter in a beer, especially an imperial stout.

As you can see, my only peoplem was with the alcohol. I don't even think that it was that high, just not very well masked IMO.

Photo of OatmattStout
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ding ding, the first round of two heavy weigth flavors in a super heavy weight Stout. This one is like a a good ass-woopin in a bottle. It looked exceptional in the glass and I don't believe i have ever seen such a dark color head in my life. Then the first sip- like playing you radio at a hearty volume with the treble and the bass both turned up to max. The battle was on between the full ainse, toasted espresso malt side and the Hops, hops, hops on the other. Big flavors in both corners and chewy from begining to end with mouth feel. In the end the hop's win and for me a oatmeal and sweet stout fan to much hops on the finish. But all in all for this style of beer one serious beer and a good one. Maybee I am not man enough and when I take off my training wheels I will be able to really enjoy this one with out a pre pouring pep talk from a highschool football coach [actually I was on the swim team and there are no really manly pep talks to a bunch of guy's standing around in speedos, footbal made for better imagry.]

Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,243 ratings.