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

I had this of the hand-pull at Ashley’s in Ann Arbor, MI.

Arrived with a dark brown-chocolate head over a midnight black body. Head receded leaving a mocha film. Big aroma of tart vinous fruit backed by roasted malt, floral hops, coffee and a touch of alcohol. Flavors of sweet and tart vinous fruit upfront soon joined by a substantial grapefruit like bitterness that lingers until the next sip. It has a low to moderate, almost citric, sweetness and a mild chocolate character too. Quite a bit of hop complexity, not to mention a warming alcohol presence. Full-bodied with low carbonation. Super smooth and creamy mouthfeel due to its origin from the beer-engine. Although the significant hop bitterness contributes a drying tart finish.

I haven’t had this out of the bottle, but off the beer-engine and served quite warm, it really let the flavors and mouthfeel shine. The hops are definitely a force to be reckoned with and teeter on overpowering the brew. Still, it’s very tasty.

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

2001 Version.

Pours almost black with a decent brown head that rings the glass until it's done. Smell is very chocolatey with some delicious coffee and a vinous hint.

The taste is much more complex, however. Roasted malts are here, but the coffee takes over midway through. A molasses like sweetness is also there until the finish, when bitter coffee and hop bitterness dominates, along with the dark bitter chocolate. I'm not finding much fruit here, but maybe it has faded with age. Alcohol is never a factor. The mouthfeel is pretty thick but not overbearing by today's standards. I could drink this all night!

Photo of danielharper
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My 100th beer review! Whoot!

Purchased from Strong Brothers Liquor Store, Fayetteville, TN.

Coloration on this beer is a pure-black body with a thick two-finger brown head. I tend to pour partial glasses of Big Beers, and this one definitely needed the space to let the head come to full flower -- over time, it barely dissipated at all.

Aroma is complex and interesting, malty with a hint of espresso and clear touches of an almost porter-like raisin scent. Aroma reminded me more of a porter than a stout, the only reason the rating is slightly lower here.

Intense alcoholic flavor up front, biter coffee and roasted espresso notes in finish and aftertaste. The beer really lices in its finish, moreso than in the beginning flavor profile. Holding it in the mouth and enjoying the flavor as it warms on the palate is heavenly. As the beer warms, the hops become more present in the flavor profile -- drink this at a wide range of temperatures for the proper effect.

A thick, viscous mouthfeel with moderaate, non-biting carbonation. Washes around the mouth in an invigorating, very enjoyable way -- the mouthfeel is really the highlight of this beer.

Overall impressions: this is a high-quality, very drinkable beer for the alcohol content. The highly intense flavor may put off some, but I find myself wanting another bottle fairly soon.

I paid $16.99 for this 750mL ceramic bottle, and I don't think I was cheated at all. A very good beer for a very good drinking experience. While the notes for this review were all written upon the initial impression of the beer, I drank about a third of the bottle on the first night, then stoppered it with the built-in cork and finished it off the next day. No appreciable deprecation in quality. I'll bet you could cellar this for years and still have a very drinkable beer.

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

Pours a thick black sludge, very dark beer, with a dark tan head building after full pour, fading to a thin film with residual bubbles. Love the look. Smells of heavily roasted malts primarily, with stong hint of an espresso coffee with dark chocolate hue underneath, and can easily detect the alcohol. As taste and mouth goes, this is what a stout is supposed to be. Thick, velvety, creamlike finish, it has heavily roasted malt presense with an alcohol presense that isn't oppressive, with a wonderful espresso aftertaste that just hangs there. Greatness in a glass. I've had quite a few offerings from Rogue, but never this beer, and it has just claimed favorite stout status. Don't know that I'd be able to drink more than a few of these, but thats like taking points off for not likeing the colors on the bottle label. Or in other words, this is a fantastic beer.

Photo of klewis
4.84/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2005 edition in the ceramic 750ml bottle

A: Poured a deep black with a frothy tan head. The head quickly dissipated and very fine lace.

S: Huge aromas of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, and a touch of coffee and hops.

T: Lots of hop flavor and bitterness up front followed by tons strong espresso in the finish. Very complex, it takes at least 5 seconds after the swallow to experience the whole flavor.

M: Full-bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation. Nice and smooth.

D: This one is a little pricey, but well worth it. I'm curious to see if the rubber stopper thingy on this bottle actually works, but I doubt that I'm going to have any of this left. Highly recommended.

Photo of Hibernator
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rogue Imperial Stout
12 oz brown bottle
Bottled in 2003
Served in an Allagash tulip glass

Pours a slick jet black that reminds me of ink. Tan colored head that fluffs and leaves incredible sticky lacing patterns.

Intense nose with whiffs of fine dark chocolate, roasted coffee and ripe funk.

Rich chocolate flavors with a wholesome backbone. One of the most complex beers I've had. Fresh Starbucks espresso quality with a sharp bite on the finish. Oak and dark fruit highlights with a very respectable hop presence. Tastebuds are working overtime.

This is truly an exceptional imperial stout. A highly recommended sipper. Exceeds any other stout in this style that I've had to date.

Photo of jamie2dope
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If there are any spelling errors in this review, forgive me, as I am approaching the end of a pint of this strong brew. It poured thick, viscous and velvety with a pefect looking dark brown head, with lace that stuck around every time I took a breather from sipping. Smelled like rich chocolate, sugar cane, rum, bourbon, light fruit...and im sure much more that I couldn't quite determine. Thre alcohol presence on this beer was definetly present, yet I could certainly put down another one without too much trouble. There also was a mild hop presence which I believe complimented the taste rather well. So often when I try a strong stout, I feel like theres a complete absense of hops that as a result makes the beer seem almost too milky and creamy, almost kahlua like. This beer on the other hand delivers on all fronts. In closing, I would suggest that you be careful with this beer...as tasty as it is, that alcohol can sneak right up on you as it is one big bastard of a beer. drink up

Photo of Hex92
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz stone bottle.

Poured black as used motor oil. Couldn't get much of a head on the beer even though I glugged the bottle. A very chocolatey smell and you can taste it too. Slight bitter aftertaste kinda spoils the taste. Overall a very good beer and definitely something I would pick up again.

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

black stone 22 oz. bomber poured into a pilsner.

glugs thick and pitch black into the glass. over an inch of medium brown head, foam capped off with bigger bubbles. leaves great lacing as it falls.

mainly sweet aroma, cocoa and sugar with a hint of sappy, piney hops and espresso.

taste is more bitter than expected; sweet, chocolately raisins in the mouth but washed over with bitter, resiny hops in the aftertaste. thick, syrupy mouthfeel with a touch of carbonation. assertive beer, but very drinkable (until the 10.5% kicks in).

Photo of ChiSox05
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ring of foam head around rim after pout, thin lacking. Black, even tilting the glass brings out only deep brown edge, black on black.

Nose had brown sugar, sweet black coffee, some hops behind a line of roasted and burnt malt. Alcohol is there.

Deliciously dry bitterness in the back, malty. Flavors of dark chocolate, espresso and fresh hops. Taste was dryer than the smell indicated, but still has plenty of malt coating. Alcohol hard to find.

Somewhat slick and oily, more medium than heavy but the malt and hops have their own kick. Lasting bitterness, never too far out there.

Strong stuff, burnt and bitter, a tough stout. Alcohol shows on the nose and in the stomach without disrupting the taste. on-tap @ Crane Alley, Champaign, IL. souped up, so damn tasty you want more

Photo of sinistrsam
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought this one on a whim, basiaclly to rate and see if I wanted to start cellaring a case. It was $22 for the bomber-style ceramic bottle(which confuses me....it is titled XS on the bottle, but I guess now comes in 12 oz. glas bottles) at a bar, so it as split between a few of us. I'll make the best judgement I can based on that, but honestly I feel that was enough for me to form an objective opinion.
It was an almost pitch black/purple body with a very small tan-purple head. It seemed relatively thick.
So much was going on with this beer, both small and taste wise, its hard to list everything. The smell was mostly roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit, while the taste had an incredible balance of caramel, roast malts, espresso and coffee, chocolate, sweet druits, dark fruits. Even though it was a pretty intense beer, I could drink several, if only to experience the blending of flavors almost perfectly. Hats off to Rogue, once agian.

Photo of wl0307
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Revisiting this 2005 vintage after six months of purchasing.
The same colour and appearance as in my previous review--jet black face with a thin layer of espresso crema head.
Rich nose of dark sweet chocolates, treacle, dried longan-fruit, caramel, plus boundless sweetish coffee aroma. Harmonious, settled nose overall, quiet but dangerous...
On the palate, 120% rich and thick textured espresso-coffeeish malts fall heavily on the tongue~~ lots of roastiness and dryish but fruity hops, and a semi-pungent, peppery kind of stimulating and bitter mouthfeel to follow, almost like that of real espresso, you know. The flavour turns very dry after mid-flavour but not so sharp as my last bottle, looking like it does soften in just six month's time!! Great lingering bitter aftertaste of charred wood and roasted barley, with a creamy-textured chocolate-milk flavour constantly in support underneath.
On balance, this beer has improved a big time since its comrade was sacrificed by me some six months ago. The texture softens and flavour thickens, while the most important coffeeish edge of Imperial Stout becomes much more enjoyable without compromising the intensity of the bitterness. Looking forward to trying it in another six month's time!

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

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a midnight black that is very opaque and a seconds after rigorous pour only a thin wisp of a head forms. The head is a dark tan color and no carbonation is visible not even on the sides.

S- The soft smell of coffee and cream with a slight sweet hint to it are balanced by a hint of toasted malt and green hop note in the finish.

T- The many layers of roasted and toasted malt come through with hints of graham cracker, coffee, black roasted malt and dried prunes in the finish. The finish has a nice green hop bitterness with an added spicy from the alcohol. A very slight sweetness in the finish balances with the alcohol and hops. The hops hand on the back of the throat at the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with some creamy texture and a very soft alcohol warmth but no real astringency.

D- This beer is a big stout but it has lots of complexity and the flavors compliment each other to create a good balance. The hops come through nicely and the alcohol helps add the perception of more hops.

Photo of nlmartin
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was the 2001vintage. This beer was served in a pub style glass.

Appearance: Poured near perfect blackness. The head was a foamy short lived dark brown mushroom cloud. No lacing was left behind on the glass.

Smell: The smell was incredible. The smell was predominated by roasted and toasted coffee and chocolate. There is some fruity smells flirting under the surface. Traces of spicyness drift about my nose.

Taste: This is really good. The taste is dominated by roasted/ burnt chocolate and coffee; however, that is not the end of the taste. There is a huge fruityness playing around in the mouth. Brief whispers of spicyness make there prescence known.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a hugely chewy maltyness. This is definately a full bodied beer. This beer is a hugely syrupy.

Drinkability: Wow! This is the first beer I have that was aged this long. Vintage date 2001 this is really good and I am going to buy a few more.

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

Quite similar to Goose Island's Bourbon Co. Stout, despite the lack of bourbon barrel aging. The thickness, darkness, and aggression is all there. Looks as black as you could ever expect a stout to look. Brown head retention the is unwaivering. Aromas are deep, malty, roasty, expresso, nuts, raisons, prunes...the list goes on. Flavors: see aroma. Overwhelming in the first sips. Becomes more fruity as the beer goes down. Dark dried fruits compound the chocolate and coffee flavors. Hop bittering and flavor add much more than just balance, it adds complexity, bite, and intimidation. Close to being a perfect stout. Only the harsh coffee and chocolate (chalk like) compounded with hop bite and alcoholic heat makes this beer less drinkable than a few others out there. Nevertheless, it's one to keep in the fridge.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2004 drank in 2005): Poured a pitch-black color stout with a huge foamy dark brown head with average retention. Aroma of chocolate and toffee is dominant and quite enjoyable. The roasted malt with a good chocolate undertone also dominates taste. I can’t say I really did notice a high hops profile but was not too bothered by that. Body is above average and alcohol is very well hidden which is a feat. Overall, very nice example which is well balance but would have preferred a bit more complexity.

Photo of DogFood11
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oh My! First impression is stupendousss. Huge tan head that forms late. No light is visable through this thick brew. The sample I'm reveiwing is from a ceramic bottle with a flip top. A large XS is written on the top of the bottle

Quite the smokey imperial. Its listed as an american double stout although rogue says its an imperial. This is a dry stout that relies on its burnt type flavor. As much as I wanted to love this beer it was so dry that it parched my palate. Chocolate was the dominant flavor along with a burnt / smoked aftertaste.

for the price, I'm out.

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

2001 bottle:

The beer pours deep black with a thin brown head that quickly receded to a spotty film. No lace is forming on the glass.

The beer smells a bit like chocolate syrup.

The flavor is very smooth and rich: lots of chocolate mixed with a lightly sweet fruitiness. The age on this has really taken away almost all hop bitterness. Tastes a bit like a mellowed out Thirsty Dog Siberian Night.

The mouthfeel is excellent: low carbonation and a thick body. It feels a bit slick in my mouth.

The drinkability is very good. Easy to drink, tasty and the alcohol is undetectable.

Photo of kingjames1
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled in 2002

Pours thick, murky and pitch black like motor oil, and just about the same amount of head - zilch. Despite that, this looks like it might well live up to the hype.

Smells of chocolate and coffee, and roasted barley. Taste is intense, and a wonderful example of a double stout - chocolate, bitter-sweet, dark roasted coffee, burnt malts, with an astringent citrusy wave rolling over, and hint of cough medicine (and rubber?). All in all, very well done - this is worthy of its fame.

Carbonation is excellent for the style, very creamy - velvety. Despite the high abv, this one goes done really smooth. Dangeoursly drinkable. Wonderful! Alas, it is far too expensive for my budget to enjoy more than a few times a year ($3.50 for a 12 oz).

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2001. 12oz XS series bottle. Pours into my SN tulip glass an extremely thick, viscous dark crude oil black with a rising extremely deep tan head that leaves spotty lacing everywhere. Like a black hole..this beer envelopes light. Simply fantastic. Aromas of deep, rich dark chocolate malts erupt with vinous sherry-like scents as well. Notes of bitter coffee, vanilla and burnt malts mix with a citrus hop background that is still noticeable after 4 years in the bottle. I'm not getting any off aromas at all. The anticipation builds...

First sip brings a slick dark roasted maltiness with a big blast of chocolate flavors. Light swirls of bitter coffee along with a vinous and sherry notes backed by mellow alcohol tones. The sweet toasted malts hit initially, followed by a nice bitterness comprised of mellow citrusy, herbal hops. Toasted marshmallow comes to mind on the way down. Big, bountiful and damn good. Quite the impressive Russian Imperial Stout.

Mouthfeel is big, thick and creamy with a smoothed out carbonation that allows it to flow down very easily. At 10.5% the abv is very well hidden and makes it easy for you to get ahead of yourself while drinking it. I would gladly drink another if given the opportunity..but at this abv it's really more of an occasional treat. Truly one of the best imperial stouts around. I'm glad I have a 2003 waiting patiently for me in the cellar. Rogue...please bring back the 12oz XS bottles, please??

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

Bottled in 2003. Drinking in Nov 2005. Nicely aged Imperial. Looking forward to this.

Color is pitch black. Even when held up to light. A little bit of yeast clings to the side of my glass. Smells chocolaty and sweet. Carbonation is fairly light, as to be expected, but I still got a quarter inch head. Taste.. mmmm. Very smooth, very rich, roasty, chocolaty. Full bodied. But totally smooth, like silk. Not at all cloying. Did I mention smooth? I would never guess this was 10.5% abv. I could finish it in 2 minutes, but I'm forcing myself to drink slow to savor it.

Now I have to go get one of these that is freshly bottled to compare with the 2 yr old version.

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one lives up to the hype... at least a good deal of it.
Rich big and tasty as double stouts often are and this one pulls it off quite well. Beers like this do make objectivity quite difficult.
Lots has been said of this guy already, so I will just say that it reminded me of Stone's Imperial Russian Stout... which is, still, so far my favorite stout.
This might be my second favorite.
More research is required.
This is one assignment I shan't procrastinate about.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours an opaque black color with a small tan head that recedes within seconds. Lacing is sparse. The aroma is of chocolate, roasted malt, and alcohol. The taste is like the aroma. Chocolate, roasted malt, and bitterness, fill the sip, while alcohol warms the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a good brew, but there are a number of better big stouts that I would rather drink.

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

2001 Vintage, pulled from cellar and consumed November 11th, 2005.

Evacuating from the bottle this beer is an oily, tarred onyx. A big billowing, pillowy 2 1/2" head eventually settles down to about a 1/2". Some of the best lace: dirty brown, with glue head-graffiti tacking itself everwhere on my crystal snifter. Quite the presentation, and shows that age has left no negative fingerprint unlike the completely flat, dead 2000 I sampled the night before.

The nose is full, strong, intense: chocolate, marshmellows, vanilla, vinous alcohol, molasses, intense raisins. Anise.

The flavor comes up on you smoothly, sweetly chocolate and velvety at first. A prickly bitterness chimes in highly above the slick, sweet chocolate motor-oil malt body. Diggingly bitter finish as the roast finally chimes in, synergizing with the astonishing bitterness. More molasses and suggestions of oak. A cacophany of colored flavors that I can still taste in my palate the morning after.

The mouthfeel is initially super slick and cushioned velvet, then finishes cuttingly bitter with roast invading the depths of your palate. Quite intense but lovely.

Faint hints of scotch whisky and just the faintest hint of age-related cardboard come up towards the end of the bottle. I think the 2001 Vintage has just crested...so if you've got 'em, drink and love them now instead of later.

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

Thanks to waldowin for the sample. Thick, viscuous appearance. Extremely black in color. Good sized roasted aroma. Has a slight mellow sweetness about it. Big roasted flavor upfront-hints of anise and HEAVILY roasted malt. The roasted flavor is quite big and has a very dry aftertase. Slight oak and sherry flavors. Nice full mouthfeel. Definately a sipper. Not too sure how much I like the dry finish. A great imperial stout but not one I could drink a lot of in one sitting.

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