1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

898 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 898
Reviews: 648
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.51%

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
2007 - 10.0%
2009 - 8.9%
2010 - 9.8%
2014 - 9.4%

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 05-05-1998)
View: Beers (51) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 898 | Reviews: 648 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of beerbiatchMD


4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose imperial stout 09 on tap Novare 1/28/12.

A: dark, black, minimal brown head w good lacing.

N: sweet chocolate, plumb, caramel, syrupy.

T: lots of dark fruit and sweet chocolate, roasty malts as well.

M: good, smooth, good carbonation  a bit of alcohol.

O: a good stout for sure, a bit sweet but well balanced, would recommend.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2012 14:00:57 | More by beerbiatchMD
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Imperial Stout

Pours a blackish brown, off white head and lace. Aroma of roasted malts, coffee and licorice. In the taste, robust malts, smoke, cocoa, and some coffee presence. Standard imperial stout flavor, deeply roasted malts, more coffee and some alcohol. Mouthfeel is full bodied and smooth. Overall, a tasty Russian Imperial stout, worth revisiting.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2011 18:37:06 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of angelogarcia3

New York

4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This midnight colored beer is served in a snifter glass at Sapsuckers in Huntington, NY. The dark tan head hints at the slight carbonation this beer has. The nose on this beer hints at the high alcohol content (9.8%) in the beer. The taste is of bittersweet chocolate, thickness like molasses, and nice finish with no bitterness.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2011 23:13:02 | More by angelogarcia3
Photo of ggilman


4.9/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 Imperial Stout - On draft at Smuttfest 2011 in Portland, Maine at Novare Res. A 12 oz. pour looked beautiful in it's Smuttynose Big Beer tulip glass.

Solid midnight black with a three finger dense tan creamy head. The first smell is vanilla and espresso. Much lighter in smell than in taste. Rich vanilla extract with a hit of alcohol, bourbon, ripe fruit, chocolate milk, and dark roasted coffee beans. Deep long lingering flavors. Medium velvety body with a creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation, rich and slightly syrupy, but with a dry smokey finish. Buzz words apply. Intense and robust! This might be the best thing I have ever had to drink. Decadent.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2011 02:08:31 | More by ggilman
Photo of readbaron


4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black with a decent (for an impy stout) dollop of tan foam.

S - A complex aroma - lots of oak and smoke, some anise, malt, and chocolate sweetness. Not boozy at all.

T - Nice blend of the same flavors that are in the nose. Not as smokey as it smells, but the smoke is still there. Malt, anise, chocolate and dark fruit.

M - creamy, thick, full bodied.

O - It's odd to give all fours, but that's where I'm at. A solid beer from Smuttynose.

Serving type: on-tap

06-18-2011 15:29:16 | More by readbaron
Photo of 9InchNails

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A tan head that disapeared rather quickly. I would say the body color is pitch black but I'm in a bar, hard to tell. Creamy lacing on the glass from the head that disapated.

Big time chocalate, caramel and coffee aroma. That's really about it but smells nice.

Chocalate, coffee, caramel, alcohol but doesn't ruin the taste also a nutty taste as well. Very nice tasting!

Low carbonation what a stout should be, leaves the lips sticky, no alcohol burn although the high ABV. Medium to thick body but very smooth.

Another great beer by Smuttynose. High ABV. But not too noticeable. Feels and tastes great! If you can try this on tap it's a must try!

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2011 03:55:14 | More by 9InchNails
Photo of Prime16


4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep dark chocolate color with a chocolate milkshake-like head.

S: Hints of chocolate, roasted coffee, malt.

T: Roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, mild bitterness & alcohol with a slight herbal trace bringing up the rear.

M: Rich, smooth and buttery with low carbonation.

O: This is an excellent beer - one to really savor.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2011 20:48:57 | More by Prime16
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a deep reddish-brown with a minimal light tan head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, chocolate, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, chocolate, slight alcohol, caramel, and bitter hop on the followthrough. It had a heavy feel on the palate with low-mild carbonation. Overall this was not a bad brew. It just wasn't very awe-inspiring. Just seemed to be something missing on this one. Not sure what though... Nice aroma going on here though. The flavor was nicely balanced until you got to the followthrough where alcohol took over the show. This one is worth trying at least one to make a judgement for yourself, but I doubt I would have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2011 19:36:41 | More by thagr81us
Photo of taigor

New York

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 8oz glass.

A - Poured non-transparent jet black color with high head that dissipated very slowly (just like expected) leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Smell is mostly dark malts, coffee and chocolate.

T - Dark roast malts with coffee and dark chocolate bitterness. Coffee and chocolate aftertaste stay with you for a long time.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Very creamy and filling. Abv is well hidden. I highly recommend it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2010 18:14:02 | More by taigor
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I believe the bar (Busy Bee in Raleigh,NC) aged this one for roughly 6 months before tapping it. Pours a dark black color with a thin tan head that doesn't stick around long. The aroma has some piney hops upfront, along with dark chocolate and lactose, some dark fruits, espresso and alcohol. The flavor is similar with citrusy hops upfront, along with some dark chocolate and lactose, cherry and date, espresso, burnt bread, and some alcohol. The mouthfeel is on the heavy side, and drinkability is decent. This is a very tasty and unusually hoppy RIS, another winner from Smuttynose.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2010 01:19:24 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of Ryan011235


4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a pint glass at Bodega on 7/22/10

Very dark; looks black. No light penetration. One finger tan-brown head drops considerably, but leaves ok lace. Only a ring of retention; somewhat decent lace throughout.

Smells nice & smooth, if a bit subtle (blasted shaker pint). Semi-sweet chocolate & roasted coffee. Molasses & maybe brown sugar. Citric hop overtones - good deal.

On one hand, the taste has a similar smoothness, though rough around the edges. Citrus hoppiness upfront, lingers on the peripheries & on to the finish. Encased within said hoppiness are roasted malt notes, seemingly just shy of burnt. Baker's chocolate & coffee tones. Roasted dark malts add a touch of sweetness. Pretty good bitterness, though.

Full bodied with a good bit of grit; definitely lingers on the tongue. Carbonation is above moderate but not too prickly for the style. Finishes with ample dry, roasted notes; coffee, cocoa & bitterness.

Drinkability is very good. Solid balance between malts & hops in an Imperial Stout. I reckon this one ages quite well.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2010 03:41:31 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of FLBeerGuy


4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a dark tan head.

Nose is bitter chocolate, coffee and some hops.

Taste is bitter chocolate, coffee and some malts with a nice hop bitterness to finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with some alcohol warming.

This is a very good RIS, a big beer worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2010 18:57:12 | More by FLBeerGuy
Photo of ToasterChef


4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. Served in a tall flute. A few impressions I jotted down while enjoying this beer with a plate of fried calamari at Ebenezer's Pub. It's very dark brown with a tan foam head. Lot's of carbonation clings to the sides of my glass. Aromas of roasted malt and alcohol I can also detect some semi-sweet chocolate. It's complex and impressive. The taste is of sweet chocolate at first. The bitterness builds to a good finish. Right as I swallow there is a bit of alcohol. There is a sharp burn, kind of like a very mild chili beer. I'd like to try this one with some age on it. There is a lot of coating with each sip. It has a heavy body and medium carbonation. There is burning and a tingling sensation with each swallow. I find it to be somewhat drinkable. I wouldn't order more than one (and would want to split a 22oz bottle with someone). The burning would get old quickly. I'm going to drink my glass slowly (and I did, I think I spent an hour with it).

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2010 13:59:11 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of Durge


4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served cold in a big tumbler at Eli Canon's in Middletown, CT this one shows a deep dark black brown with a decent light chocolate colored cover and very nice lacing. The aroma is an unusually bright juniper hop and deep nutty liqueur. Intrguing. The flavor is a firm pronouncement of what I took from the aroma with a uniquely sharp juniper hop that has some grape-like suggestions and malty-hazelnut blendings that bring a near B&B sensation. It's a bit crisp with lively, fine carbonation but it's on it's way to approaching full bodied status. Drinkability is decent for a brew that features some alcohol. The juniper idea is fairly intense and works well for me. The malt is there for some balance and I suppose you could claim some vague charcoal in the mix but that gets off the real point. This might qualify as a swell holiday brew, served with a sprig of holly. But, regardless, I like it. It's a quality brew that's fairly different with bold flavor for those that can enjoy the theme.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2010 22:27:17 | More by Durge
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had at d.b.a. in Brooklyn. It's black, basically completely. It has a tan head and lacing. It has an oakish scent to it.

LIke you'd expect, chocolate malt taste. Bitter. Almost kind of like Cherry coke aftertaste. There are a lot of things going on. Sourness, now. Complex.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2010 23:19:09 | More by Amalak
Photo of jzeilinger


3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch opaque black with a toffee colored head lining the top of the snifter.

Smell is oak, slight charcoal presence, dark roasted malts, dark ripe fruit, some bitter chocolate. For a 10% brew, I didn't detect any alcohol in the nose, pretty impressive.

Taste is predominantly bitter chocolate and dark roasted malts. Also has some hints of caramel and there's a slight warming in the throat from the 10% ABV. Also present - a mild coffee flavor and a slight boozy characteristic.

Mouthfeel is mildly smooth, finishes mostly wet, not dry. Leaves an aftertaste of bitter chocolate and molasses. Is thick, sticky, and heavy bodied.

Drinkability is good, but not one of my favorites from Smuttynose.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2010 23:07:04 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of Deuane


4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep black/brown with a large dark tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left nice lace.

S-Spicy hop notes up front backed up by a healthy dose of roasted malt, chocolate and a hint of raisin.

T-Roasted malt up front with backing notes of coffee, chocolate and dark fruit. Touch of spicy/earthy hops. Most prevalent in the after taste is the subtle zing of sour cherry. Building dry finish.

M-Medium bodied with good lingering bitterness from the malt and hops. Not as big and robust as some RIS can be but it holds it's own.

D-Plenty of flavour and not too heavy. For a RIS a relatively easy drinker. A 10% session RIS....well...??

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2010 19:24:32 | More by Deuane
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just tapped this in my kegorator and poured it into a Duvel glass a nice opaque black with a light tan head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice blend of cocoa, dried fruits slight hops. The taste is nice complex bend of cocoa and hops with some dried fruits and espresso. The beer is slightly heavy with warming alcohol. This is a very tasty brew, one I'm glad to have a whole keg of.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2009 00:37:07 | More by atsprings
Photo of Keblar

New York

3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A very complex beer, but just too damn intense for its own good.

Served on tap in a 10 oz stem glass on my first visit to the blind tiger in West Village/Greenwich Village (too close to blind pig in name). I wound up drinking this imperial stout like a wine, but enjoyed it less than one. Looks great, smells suspicious. Spicy, hops and smoky coffee tones mask the alcohol intensity, but not by much.

I respect the love that went into this, but I just can't recommend it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2009 04:12:58 | More by Keblar
Photo of Lunch


2.03/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Served on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, Maryland (10/29/09). Served in a goblet at an appropriate temperature.

Appearance: Pours a standard near black shade of dark brown with just a hint of an espresso brown head that disappears very quickly.

Smell: The nose is completely and utterly dominated by wet tobacco. There is a flutter of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and a faint citrus hop scent. Not appealing.

Taste: Unfortunately the taste is similar to the smell in that tobacco overwhelms the palate and creates a less than appetizing taste. Again there are hints of roasted malt, bitter chocolate and citrus hops. Not a fan.

Mouthfeel: Seems rather mediocre with decent carbonation, but it is hard to gage as I find the tobacco flavor to be so intense that it is difficult to distinguish any other characteristics.

Drinkabilty: I guess if you are interested or enjoy the taste of wet tobacco than this beer may be for you, but I found it impossible to finish my 10oz. pour.

Overall this is the second time that I have had this beer in the past week (the first being a bomber split between friends)and I assumed that I got a bad bottle. I was excited to have it on-tap, but it turns out that both experiences mirrored each other seamlessly. Being a huge of fan of RISs, and Smuttynose for that matter, I am extremely disappointed by this beer. I will perhaps give it a try in several weeks or perhaps wait until next season, but I would certainly not seek this beer out again. Not recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2009 17:15:43 | More by Lunch
Photo of JoeMayo


4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So I've had this out of the bottle before with some age on it, but I was floored at how different it is fresh and on-tap. The first time I heard about this beer, my friend told me that it was "hot and overly hoppy, like carbonated gin". It was because of this that I aged my bottle, but it's equally delicious both fresh and aged.

A- Pours pitch black with a tan head

S- Hoppy hoppy hoppy. Very piney hop aroma with hints of orange and grapefruit. Somewhere in the background malts are trying to fight their way through. Caramel and a roasty smell make it through.

T- Very interesting. Carbonated gin is definately an over-statement, but it is very hoppy. A little hot, but not enough to keep me from drinking it. I feel like there's an epic battle of good v. evil going on inside my mouth. Pine, grapefruit, and resin are battling roasted malt, chocolate, and cream. Both are fighting for the attention, but actually go kinda well together.

M- Rich, almost syrupy, yet has a crisp, hoppy finish. Mildly hot with alcohol.

D- Definately a sipper. very heavy, a little hot, but overall a tasty and interesting brew.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2009 11:28:01 | More by JoeMayo
Photo of bjoyce12


4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice. Impressive. Excellent Imperial Stout. My first toughts upon tasting this issue from Smuttynose. Recommended by the bartender at Bukowski's in Boston, I was hesitant at first due to the 10% ABV. But NO burn! How Smutty did that is a credit to them. Very smooth for an imperial too. None of that dry rye bread taste. Highly recommend when you're looking for an Imperial.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2009 20:49:20 | More by bjoyce12
Photo of JohnQVegas


4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ Smuttynose brewery. 2008 vintage, about 4 months old.

Pours thick, viscous opaque black with a creamy, one finger head.

Nose is sweet and roasty, cocoa and a bit of citrus hops flavor poking through. Great nose.

Taste is big, rich cocoa and coffee, a bit sweet and very smooth. Round. Oily hops emerge towards the middle, green, but never dominating - nicely balancing the richness of the cocoa sweetness. Bit of citrus. Finish is lingering, palate-coating, dry.

Body is thick and heavy, smooth but with enough carbonation to keep the palate refreshed. Fanastic beer.

Defied my every expectation. Huge beer, insanely hoppy, and yet I couldn't stop drinking and drinking. Top notch.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2009 00:00:50 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's the other day.

The beer pours a dark black color with very good head retention and lacing. As I pretty much expected, the nose on this beer includes sweet aromas of coffee and chocolate. The beer smells impressive. The flavors generally replicate the nose, except there is some underlying hoppiness which adds structure to the beer. The beer still has a soft plush mouthfeel and the alcohol is fairly well disguised. You can tell it's up there, and I can't say I was surprised to learn it's 10%, but the beer is not heavy or tiring.

A very solid effort from Smuttynose. Given the quality of their beers generally, I can't say I'm surprised. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2008 13:30:10 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Sconnie


4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very nice imperial stout from Smuttynose. Had it on tap at the Brasserie V in Madison.
Poured pitch black with brown head. Smell was sweet with a strong presence of citrus hops, more than I would expect. Strong roasted malt flavor with a nice amount of hop flavor to balance it out, less sweet than some imperial stouts I've had, and a bit more hop flavor than some as well, both good things in this brew.
Overall it's not quite Old Rasputin, but what is? A very nice brew.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2008 21:06:15 | More by Sconnie
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 898 ratings.