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Imperial Stout - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,186 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,186
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 77
Gots: 69 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
12 Ingredients:
Malts: Great Western, Harrington & Klages, Hugh Baird XLT-80, Black, Munich, Chocolate and rolled oats.
Hops: Willamette, Cascade and Chinook. Specialty: Two Secret ingredients.
Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

88 IBU
73 AA
256º Lovibond

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,186 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RedHaze
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%

Bottled 2001

Wow, this is one pours very black with a 1 inch very dark brown head.

Smells of chocolate, coffeee, currant, roasted malts, and some alcohol

Mild chocolate and coffee, currant, and bitter hops in the flavor. Very full and smooth mouthfeel.

I enjoyed this beer, but it's big beer that would be hard to have more than one, especially at 10.5% ABV. But that one beer is worth it. This beer only gets better as you drink it..

RedHaze, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of kegerator
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%

bottled in 2003.
poured out black, black and more black. i nice 1 inch head appears and sticks around leaving decent lacing.
smell is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Hints of caramel and coffee were in the background just slightly.
Taste was, you guessed it, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. It was sweet but no where near cloying and had a great mouthfeel and it coated the tongue very well. One of the better stouts i have had.

kegerator, Jul 27, 2005
Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev 0%

This beer pours a jet black. The head is dark brown. It fades quickly, leaving thick laces. This beer smells very strongly of alcohol. Hidden behind the alcohol, I detect some coffee. The roasted malt smell is also slightly noticable, but mostly alcohol. The taste is quite similar to the aroma. Alcohol warms my throat. It has a coffee taste also. Chocolate flavors mix in as well. It is sweet also. This beer is quite thick. It coats my throat and stomach as it goes down. Due to the high alcohol content of this beer, it might not make a good session beer. Also, the flavor is very aggressive. I like it, but some might not. It is definately worth a try, but if you are unfamiliar with the style, you might want to try something else first.

OStrungT, Jul 25, 2005
Photo of cubedbee
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%

12 oz bottle bottle in 2003 poured into a pint glass. Deep black with no light visible, a finger of brown head fades quickly to a ring. Smell is very nice--roasted malt, black licorice, dark chocolate, cofee, dark fruits--very appealing. Taste is an excellent roasty dark malt with strong chocolate and expresso flavors, a nice smooth alchohol warmth, and a slightly hoppy burnt finish. Very thick and fullbodied for a rich creamy feel. Only the price and the high ABV keep it from being an everyday beer. This is an oustanding tasting stout.

cubedbee, Jul 21, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%

06/25/05- Purchased at Osco Drugs in Billings, MT. $9.99 a bottle...what a bargain!

Presentation- 750ml beautiful black ceramic bottle with swingtop. No dates, lots of info given on bottle including all natural ingredients. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Dark brown almost black pour. Thick and viscous. Very large chocolate power colored head. Average lacing left.

Smell- Ultra dark roasted malt as well as a nice nutty scent. Lots of dark chocolate and dark coffee scents as well. Lots of good stuff going on here.

Taste- Dark, darker and darkest. Almost like eating a burnt mud pie. First the dark chocolate sweetness kicks in. Followed by a nice dark espesso flavor. Lastly the dark heavily roasted malt kicks in with a nice mellow bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel- Creamy and thick. Almost sryupy mouthfeel. Lower to medium carbonation.

Drinkability- Right up there with Stone and Old Rasputin IMO. Hard to find a flaw with any of these. ABV kicks in fairly hard towards the middle. One of these is plenty. Worth a $13 investment of whatever you can get it for in your area.

GClarkage, Jun 26, 2005
Photo of pentathlete
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%

Black elixir with a neat cocoa powder head and cascading carbonation. She's gorgeous. Smell is alcohol, hops, burnt sugars, coffee...there is a lot happening here. Taste follows the same pattern of alcohol burn, hop bite, roasty malts, some chocolate and anise. Mouthfeel is slick and full early, the sweetness helps out in the middle, but the hops taint the finish for me. They have an ashen quality after following the big flavors. Maybe it's my palate (I have been under the weather the past few days.) Drinkability is tainted by two things: big ABV and big price tag. This beer set me back at least $14. Steep when compared to other quality brews in the same style. Hey, my son gets a ceramic flip top bottle so not all is lost.

pentathlete, Jun 26, 2005
Photo of Viggo
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Pours a deep black, no light visible with a tan head and plenty of lacing. Smell is grassy and floral hops, with some roasty malt. Taste is amazing, malty, roasted grains, chocolate roast finish and a coffee aftertaste with grassy hops up the ass. Full mouth, very thick and chewy, creamy, amazing beer. Thanks DrJay.

Viggo, Jun 25, 2005
Photo of DrJay
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

2003: Completely opaque black, no sign of highlights. Rich, dark brown head, good retention and lacing. Aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, earthy hops, ripe fruits. Sweet and malty flavour with a (relatively) mild bitterness, roasted and chocolate still there, a slight hop character and a bit of yeastiness. Medium dry finish with a slight alcohol warming. Thick, full body. Very nice. Surprisingly easy to drink considering the body and abv. Definitely a fine imperial stout.

DrJay, Jun 23, 2005
Photo of nrrd
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%

1997 vintage in a 7oz bottle.

Pours dark black with no head or carbonation. Aroma is perfect. Sweet and syrupy, and strongly malty.

Taste is dark chocolate, black coffee, malty and fruity with a good amount of sweetness that gives way to a slightly bitter burnt finish. Taste continues to improve as beer warms up.

The 1997 may be a little past its prime-- the taste balance is a little off, and the finish is a tad abrasive, but this is still a very good beer. That being said, I don’t know if I could have drank more than 7 oz. At once.

nrrd, Jun 21, 2005
Photo of mdagnew
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%

330ml Bottle bought in Sainsburys.

Extremely black body – even holding glass up to the light I can’t see through this !! Never seen a beer this dark before. Pours like a chocolate sauce - head is a dirty brown/yellow colour which lasts throughout…

Aroma of chocolate, roasted bitter malt and some raisin…

Quite dry bitter flavour – can taste strong coffee and chocolate…Quite a thick syrupy mouthfeel...

Really like this beer, one of my favourite imperial stouts. Couldn’t drink too many in one sitting though (or with a lot of food) as it’s a very heavy brew…

mdagnew, Jun 20, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%

12oz, bottled in '03 and cellared for the past year in my basement, poured into a pint.

Black with a small light brown head that falls to a thin veil with a fat ring that leaves some sheeting on the glass.

Roasted malts, figs, raisin, doughy yeast, and a slight nuance of alcohol make up the nose. Slightly spicey. Smells delicious.

The roasted notes are there, but not as pronounced. Some milk chocolate, almonds and a gentle warmth from the alcohol flow into a slightly bitter hop finish. I wish I could describe it better, but I will say this is fantastic!

Creamy in the mouth and doesn't suffer from carbonation or alcohol burn. I've had fresher bottles, but after this sample I'll say that two years or so perfects this brew. Too much abv to be a session brew, but its so damn tasty it deserves at least a 4.

Buy a few bottles and stash them for a couple years.

ypsifly, Jun 19, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%

Presentation: 750ml [1 Pint, 10 fl.oz.] black straight-sided black colored pseudo-Earthenware bottle. Supplied with a brass colored crown cap and a reusable black plastic flip top with a red washer, it has an imposing appearance. The word ‘ROGUE’ runs top to bottom in a dark gunmetal gray with the letters ‘XS’ above in a lighter silver color. Imperial India Pale Ale is written in small red text.

One interesting point to note is that the reverse of the bottle has the following specs. 26° Plato, 87.5 IBU, 77AA and 258° Lovibond, listed on the Website as 10.5% in the 750ml Silkscreened Ceramic Bottle, nice to see it available in more than the old “wimpy” 7oz glass bottles at last.

Appearance: Jet black body, utterly repugnant and rudely offensive to cascading light it absorbs all but the most pertinent tangible incandescent light forms. Dark espresso frothy brown head rapidly forms into a thick collar. Color reminds me of the middle of Coffee flavored Walnut Whips® I had back in England. Frothy, densely foamy and lively, as time goes by the head breaks down to leave some lacing and a broken surface. Fine carbonation with a brisk conditioning.

Nose: Dark passé scurrilous aromas. Port like the fig infested entrance has a crushed raisin like nose. Simplistic dark smells with the mildest of alcoholic overtones.

Taste: Thick mucky roasted malt bill dominates this brew; the alcohol is cloaked in dark malts, smooth yet powder like coffee middle slides into the equation with a spicy raisin ending and some sultana juices in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Roasty, Raisins, Bold, Big and brash. Smooth alcoholic traits with a warming swallow.

Drinkability: Not bad, I managed the entire 750ml even though I intended to manage this one over two days thanks to the swing top stoppered bottle. Even so, it took some time to work my way through this one.

Overall: Made with 2-row Great Western Harrington & Klages, Hugh Baird XLT-80, Black, Munich and Chocolate Malts; Willamette, Cascade and Chinook hops; rolled oats; and two secret ingredients. Unfiltered and Unfined – this is one big ass bad boy and a lovely jubbly brew. But honestly, past the hype and “Rogue” attraction it lacks complexity to be anything more than a big ass Stout. Imperial in name only, for me, it lacks a real depth of character and complexity to be a true Imperial Stout. Tasty though.

>>>…..but wait…..before I get too carried away here, I have to recall that I paid $14.99 for the 750ml…….thing is, I can get a Bomber of Stone Imperial Russian Stout for maybe $6, or $7 at worst…..dollar for dollar…..the Rogue is **way** too expensive to invest in on a permanent basis, it is almost TWICE the cost of the dark love juice from San Marcos. Rogue Imperial Stout is undoubtedly a great brew, but it is a “Champagne Socialist” of the Imperial Stout world. I’ll stick to the Real Working Man’s version from Stone and I won’t be buying this one again.

Good, but it lacks complexity and is far too Expensive!

Music: Mind yer own fucking business…….like you care!!

TheLongBeachBum, Jun 18, 2005
Photo of watermelonman
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%

This arrived as complete blackness, sporting a tiny ring of head and minimal specks of lace.

The smell is of dark malts with hints of dark fruits and chocolate. The taste is very good, with malt and chocolate taking over in the middle while hops dominate the finish. The mouthfeel is very full while drinkability is good for the contents.

watermelonman, Jun 17, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

2001 vintage.

It pours a deep deep black color with a very small tan to brownish head that falls to form sporadic rafts over the liquid. Very nice. The nose is nice, with some big figgy and chocolate aromas, along with puffs of alcohol. The flavor is initially big and sweet, almost like raw molasses, but that moves very quickly to a raw roasted coffee bitter, finishing with just a hint of chocolate sweetness. I relaly like the transitions with the flavors. Very nice. The feel is thick, with a slight slick, syrupyness to it. The carbonation is light. I just had to check the alcohol on this, and its hard to believe it is so big. I like the brew a lot.

kmpitz2, Jun 17, 2005
Photo of Sigmund
2.6/5  rDev -35.5%

12 fl. oz. bottle, UK import. Bottled in 2003. Trade with maeib. Opaque pitch black, moderate brown head. Pleasant roasty aroma, hints of dark fruits, chocolate and liquorice. Flavour, on the other hand, is not particularly pleasant. From start to finish it is dominated by a one-dimensional intense bitterness of extremely strong and poorly made coffee, masks any other flavour (including the alcohol) which otherwise might be present. Want a definition of "over-kill"? Here it is! As Queen Victoria would have said: "We are not amused!" Apart from the looks and the aroma: Very disappointing.

Sigmund, Jun 13, 2005
Photo of cypressbob
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%

355ml bottle, silk screen, 11% abv

Pours with a dark tan head, deep dark black body with some brown hints, zero light penetration. Thick and syrupy, some sticky residual lacing on the glass

Smell, estery, sweet phenols, smoke, peat, thick roasted malt and dark coffee. Strong alcohol whiff, heady aroma. Whiff of american hops

Taste, sweet, strong coffee bitterness, espresso. Shit on a stick, like liquid 70% cocoa dark chocolate, sweet fragrant hops, dark roasted malt, some boozy lingering alcohol on the finish

A superb strong american stout, so much depth and flavour, this is one i'm going to have to re review because i know i probably missed some flavours and aromas along the line

Paired bottle four with really rich chocolate fudge cake, great pairing although it really brings out the alcohol

cypressbob, Jun 12, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%

The beer poured into the glass clear, not murky, but black as night and with a brown low head that was persistent and lasted to coat the glass.

The aroma was roasty and fruity, almost vinous. As the head fell the aromas intensified to become chocolate and coffee with a dark fruit presence and a grassy aroma.

The flavor was malty with a nutty chocolate flavor leading the charge which quickly changed to a more dark chocolate bittering. The hops were well done and the bittering was both citrusy and grassy and prominent. The bottle lists 87.5 IBU which is totally believeable. As the malt diminishes a strong coffee flavor emerges.

The finish was dry with lasting grassy and citrusy bittering, dark chocolate and strong expresso coffee into the final aftertaste. The body was full and very creamy for a low carbonated imperial stout. The aftertaste was the best part of the experience with this beer. Dark chocolate with coffee and grassy/citrusy hop presence to coat the tongue and tell you that you need to take another sip. The alcohol was only slightly present in the flavor and with just barely a warming post consumption this one has a great drinkability.

750 ml ceramic, capped and with flip top bottle. The first year these bottles were released.

GCBrewingCo, Jun 08, 2005
Photo of packetknife
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%

The big difference this time (as in the last few bottles over the last few months) is that there has not been a holding or discernable head. I don't know what can cause that type of change in a beer consistenly but it's been that way. That detracts from the appearance a bit. The taste is a bit fuller with more sensations coming out each time... a very light hint of lemongrass right at the beginning of the finish. Some milk-like tones across the tongue. A bit more bitterness at the beginning but still quite good. The thickness is still pretty darn good although I think it got a bit thinner recently.

packetknife, Jun 04, 2005
Photo of baiser
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours opaque black, with a tan brown head. Swirling aroma of coffee, prunes, chocolate and caramel. Some dark fruits also present. I love a strong stout, and this certainly hit the spot. Espresso, chocolate, hops and an insane amount of roastiness. Definitely an after dinner drink for me, with some sweet cheesecake. Amazing.

baiser, May 29, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%

2003 bottling tested out in May 2005 from a 12 oz. bottle.

Pours out an inky black with an almost-nonexistent brown head. It seems that other reviewers had a big one, but even with an aggressive pour into a snifter, I couldn't coax much out.

The smell is pretty thick with chocolate and roasted malt. There's a bit of a coffee scent, but it's not overpowering. The hoppiness is noteworthy and rounds things out pretty nicely even after a couple of years.

Taste is strong of burnt malts and chocolate. The hops were nice and assertively bitter and coupled pretty well with the high alcohol. There's some coffee, but again, I don't feel that it's that present. The flavor is relatively bitter and might even approach the realm of being slightly salty, but it's still pretty tasty with a very thick, slick mouthfeel. Dark chocolate comes through very clearly in the aftertaste.

Overall: This is a pretty good one, but maybe not in the same league as some of the other top American stouts. I was glad I could find this in the aged 12 oz. bottle, but I don't think I'd shell out the exorbitant swing-top price when I could pick up lots of Storm King or Founder's Breakfast Stout, both of which are better beers to me, for the same money.

whartontallboy, May 13, 2005
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.88/5  rDev +21.1%

From the 12oz bottle. Bottled 2002.

Pours like motor oil with a thin creamy brown head. No lacing. Smells of mocha and chocolate shake. Creamy, milky yet bitter coffee aromas as well.

Taste is a creamy biting bitter chocolate ..Rich bitter chocolate and more and more coffee flavor as it warms. Roasted nuttiness. Big and rich and malty. Big beer with a long dry bitter aftertaste to offset the sweetness nicely. Pretty damned tasty. A classic at 3 years. Get some of this. By any means necessary.

ViveLaChouffe, May 04, 2005
Photo of foamer
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%

2005 bottling. Bottle says best served after cellaring for one year.

Pours black. Blacker than black really. I think there is dark matter in my glass rather than beer. Topped off by a rather substantial bubbly head for an 11% abv beer which diminishes to bubbles on the surface. The head is the colour of chocolate milk. I've never seen a head quite so dark before. This is a formidable looking brew. I like it. Putting the nose up the glass, an aroma of dark fruits, unsweetened chocolate, and some roasted malt comes through along with some alcohol. Quite nice. At first sip the chocolate dominates, followed by plums and raisins, then some roasted malts, then by some alcohol warmth, but the unsweetened chocolate notes continue right through. The flavours are bold and in your face. No holding back, or pussy-footing around here. This is a big, bold, and complex beer. Mouthfeel is nice a thick and almost like syrup. Quite lovely. This is an exceedingly drinkable imperial stout. It is dangerously drinkable, I find. The bottle says 11% but I couldn't tell that in a blind taste test. It drinks well below its weight. I'm going to cellar this one, and give some of the harsh edges some time to smooth out. Not that I mind the harshness, in fact I quite enjoy it. I'm curious to see what it does after cellaring for I would imagine that it become absolutely sublime. Thank you Sainsbury's for importing this one into Britain.

foamer, May 04, 2005
Photo of alexgash
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

2002 bottle.

Wow! Pours a solid coffee black that light cannot penetrate. Topped by a thick, dense cushion of cocoa brown head that completely covers the sides with lace. Outstanding!

Nose is rich, roasty malt, with overtones of chocolate, peat, burned fruit, brown sugar, liquer-like alcohol, and of course big hops.

Sweet roasted barley up front. Kind of sweet, with some dark fruit and chocolate notes. Sweetness doesn't last long as a tidal wave of hop and roasted bitterness combine and take over. There must be a shitload of hops in here. Very bitter, yet tongue-numbingly tasty. Two years ago I would not have been able to finish this beer, but now I think I could handle a 750! Bitterness carries into the finish, where it is joined by warming alcohol, peat, faint smoke, and a bit of oak. Very nice. Full-bodied, with a thick (but not cloying), mouth coating feel. A big, in your face stout that's not for the faint of heart, but I love it!

alexgash, Apr 29, 2005
Photo of acrawf6
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%

Bottled in 2003. opened 04/05

Poured out a ink black and looked syrupy. good brown head. this is a very dark stout, i can just see the smallest hint of ruby in this beer when put up to the light.

smell was hard for me because, admittingly, i have a stuffy nose and cant smell too well (i know, i know, it messes up the taste too, but i just had to try it tonight). What i smell isnt all that amazing so i didnt grade it so well, but i did give it the benefit of the doubt and graded it higher than i would have if this smelled that same as if i did not have a stuffy nose.

the taste came through very well despite my stuffy nose. Has a creamy taste and feel to it. Also has a lot of bitter chocolate taste to it. Some roasted malts come through and has a whole lot of coffee flavor to it, especially in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is nice. It is creamy and full. like other stouts, no carbonation is visible except for the very top, but there is quite a bit of carbonation in it.

overall a great one to try and enjoy numerous times. i got the XS bottle and could go for another.

acrawf6, Apr 26, 2005
Photo of BeerFink
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%

12oz bottle that states "Bottled in 2004"....

Decants pure opaque black, with just the very slightest hint of red near the bottom of the glass. Tall brown head composed of tightly knit bubbles crops up high and proud. Good head retention compliments sticky rings of lacing. Strong coffee aroma with some roasted barley mixed with some dark fruit and a bit of alcohol. Some citric hops are also present in the nose, interesting for this style. Taste is bitter coffee and some chocolate with some black malt, yet balanced by sweet malt. Alcohol is present and a little warming, but stays in the background. Citrous hops are more apparent that I would have imagined, definitely an interesting take on the style. I have often wondered what hopped up stouts would be like, and Rogue has answered that question for me. Cheers for that! Mouthfeel is chewy and viscous, not quite oily, but definitely nice and heavy. Finish is roasted grain and hoppy dry, with some alcohol. I need to grab a few more for the cellar.

BeerFink, Apr 22, 2005
Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,186 ratings.