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Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

7,579 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,579
Reviews: 2,657
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 662
Gots: 1,864 | FT: 112
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Spring

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,579 | Reviews: 2,657
Photo of dmgeng
4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've had this in 2013 but didn't get a bottle last year and with so many beer since then I knew this was good but could exactly pin down where this ranked until I'm reviewing and drinking a 2015 (2 months in bottle.)

A - Deep dark brown that settles into a dark black. It pours thick with a medium brown rocky head and good lacing.

S - Tons of of sweet malt smell with roast, chocolate, caramel, some smoke, and some coffee notes radiating out. There is not a single aroma that is overpowering but blends nicely. Not the strongest smelling RIS but has everything it should.

T - This beer evolves in the mouth with a rich malt character that is sweet and chocolaty on the front then quickly goes into more caramel, coffee, and light smoke. Towards the end there is the bitterness you would expect and desire with roast, bitter coffee, bitter chocolate, and some herbal bitterness. Again nothing is over the top and is quite balanced for the depth of flavor. This beer rolls across the palate and you can discern it all, which to me is the hallmark of a great beer.

M - High mouth-feel with perfect carbonation. Good balance between sweet and bitter and overall mouth-feel which again makes this beer a terrific representation of the style.

Overall, this is one of the best examples of a Russian Imperial Stout you can find. Great breadth of flavor, great balance, and low cost make this one a seasonal that you should get at least once a year. I know that there are more unique, richer, and overall tastier version of the style but yet again Stone was one of the forefathers of the craft beer movement and for years this was the best representation of great beer that could be found coast-to-coast.

Glass- Snifter

Photo of Dynobolt
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks tommy for sharing this beer! I enjoyed very much,!

Photo of dutesanch
3.52/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured a 2015 from the bottle into my 16oz Stone logo snifter. Not for me I guess. A little watery and lacked the taste I expected considering how highly regarded it was. Maybe age helps. Smells great though.

Photo of hail_seitan
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 22 oz. bottle of 2014 vintage into brandy snifter

A - Pours viscous and oily. The body is a virtually opaque dark, dark brown. The only real head to speak of is a thin rim of frothy cappuccino-colored foam along the sides of the glass. Tiny bubbles form an oil slick across the top of the beer. Scattered speckles of lacing with accompanying legs.

S - The odor is strongly reminiscent of dark dried fruits - a menagerie of figs, prunes, and raisins. These fruity esters are supplemented with a hearty dose of caramel and cold-brew coffee. A touch of grain alcohol sweetness, too.

A - A specter of smokey coffee teases the tongue before dissolving into a full blown manifestation of caramel and fig sweetness. The sweetness borders on cloying, but is delightfully balanced by tobacco, dark chocolate, and vanilla notes. The sweetness slow burns to the finish along with a mild burn from the alcohol.

M - Sticky, chewy, and oily with minimal carbonation. Nearly perfect.

O - A great Russian Imperial Stout. I honestly think I preferred it without a year of aging - the raw intensity of the sweetness is offset by more coffee and chocolate notes in a fresh version of this beer. Nonetheless, a real treat!

Photo of ruzzal
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great, but for money better off with Narwhal. Founders RIS, or Old Rasputin 4 packs. Same great quality slightly different RISs.

Photo of mschrei
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Got a 2008 vintage in a trade. Faded a little, but still damn good.

Photo of CTbrew32
3.7/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 2014

Appearance- Black with a slight brown color as well. Pours a very thin mocha colored head.

Aroma- Roasted malts and sweet dark chocolate

Taste- Bitter roasted malts are big at first. The bitterness subsides a little as chocolate takes over the flavor in the finish. As it warms up a citrus hop flavor is noticeable in the middle.

Feel- Full bodied, low carbonation, and a creamy texture.

Overall- Pretty straightforward beer with roasted malt and dark chocolate dominating the flavor. Overall, its a solid IRS but nothing spectacular. Maybe a year isn't doing this any favors.

Photo of teromous
3.78/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Oil black body with a thin khaki head that fades quickly to a ring and a few rafts of bubbles. Some minor spots but no real lacing.

Aroma: There isn't much aroma here. I am picking up a light charred scent like the inside of a coffee pot that has been left on the burner. I also pick up a strong alcohol aroma, which isn't a surprise given the 10.6% ABV.

Taste: I want to point out first that this beer doesn't have any overwhelmingly strong flavors, which really is its strong point. It is very enjoyable to drink because of this. I pick up some faint sweet caramel and roasted coffee, then there is a bit of pine and a woody character like a strong tea. I do get an alcohol flavor in this beer but it marries well with the flavor. Everything is mellowed out without feeling washed out.

Mouthfeel: It has a really good mouthfeel. It's thick when I start drinking the beer, but it doesn't feel sticky or linger on the palate too long. It does a good job of delivering flavor on a nice thick tide that ebbs away leaving pure aftertaste.

Overall: It is a very good Russian Imperial Stout, especially if you're not looking for something over the top. It delivers a wealth of flavors without crushing your palate to the point that you get tired of the beer. It is definitely a beer that you can sit back and enjoy an entire bomber of. I do wish it had more aroma, but there's no doubt that I enjoyed this beer.

Photo of TBonez477
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Nearly black with two fingers of beautiful mocha head.

S: Molasses and fig, slight booze.

T: Drinks similar to aroma, more chocolate and coffee on the finish.

M: Smooth and creamy.

O: Delicious and worth the acclaim.

Photo of Gear54
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber into a snifter

Pitch black with 1/2 finger of thick kaki head. Foam fades quick and notice lace left on the glass.

Smell is the best part of this beer in my opinion. Initial aroma is dark roast coffee and hazelnut. Also coco and toasted malts to give some grain aroma to the scent.

Taste is very rich coffee and dark chocolate. Really no bitterness at all with this beer. Malts add a nice grain flavor. I'm also getting a nice sweetness like raspberry and mango. The sweetness gives it really good balance.

Feel is string as well. Flavors coat the mouth and stick to the palate for several min. Each sip is smooth and full flavor. No boozy flavor or scent makes it easy to enjoy which is nice considering the high ABV

Photo of Trentt2
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent stout. Pours almost black Good tan head. Tastes thick and rich with a great malt taste

Photo of Apellonious
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber bottled 3/5/15, poured into a tulip.

A - Jet black with tan half finger head that moves quickly to a thin lace.

S - Chocolate, cocoa, coffee, and some faint raspberry. Not picking up much heat.

T- Roasted grains, cocoa and chocolate, mild bitterness and some alcohol heat on the finish.

M - Medium mouthfeel, carbonation low, slightly creamy and sticky when it warms up.

O - A solid RIS, one of the better ones I have tried.

Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

-thick black with thick brown foam
- mellow dark grain scent very mellow
- thick big alcohol warm but almost burnt grains very big flavor
-thick and chew able
- top notch take on a Russian imperial stout

Photo of ZinFanDave
4.78/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2011 aged from Beverage World, Ft Oglethorpe, GA. Smooth. Rich. Nice balance. Very nice.

Photo of burns3y
4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great Beer! Girlfriend's dad loves putting this in a glass with some Vanilla Bean Ice cream... phenomenal.

Photo of oldn00b
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great look, flavor, nose - just felt a little lighter than I'd like or expect. Still a really great and enjoyable beer.

Photo of kborning
3.21/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2015. Needs to age. Has a bitter flavor.

Photo of GsxrChic
4.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

As awesome as I had hoped!!!

Photo of Bone53
3.92/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 3/26/15

Appearance: Completely black in the glass with zero light shining through. Aggressive pour results in an enormous brown head

Smell: Heavily roasted malt, bakers chocolate, caramel, slight smoke. I dont pick up any of the alcohol

Taste: I get that roasted malt and bakers chocolate upfront with a smoky finish. Undertone of hops as well

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy medium body; Goes down amazing considering the abv. I dont get the alcohol at all. However, it is a bit more bitter than i prefer in the style

Overall: This is a good but not great RIS. Whatever lacks in flavor and robustness is made up in drinkability. This is one of the easiest drinking imperial stouts iv had fresh, or any beer iv had over 10% for that matter. This really reminds me of GL Blackout Stout in that regard. A little too hoppy and smoky for me, but that would mellow with age. All in all worth picking up and cellaring, but i once again find Stone very overrated

Photo of Dadhack
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at armsby' abbey

Photo of SlatheredMuffin
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best stouts I've had. Smooth as hell, deep flavors.

Photo of InkedinRi
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Alcohol well hidden, mouth feel is super thick! Smell was ok.. Taste was very good. Overall a gray stout

Photo of Jshrum78
1.76/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Looks better than it tastes, but I'm not very fond of the hops.

Photo of dabear85
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

W/Chai spices...very interesting in a good way

Photo of timontheroad
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured very dark black, with a two finger bubbly brown head that receded to a quarter inch thick foam, great lacing. Aroma was coffee, dark roast malt and booze. The dark roast malts really stood forward in the flavor, with some coffee, dark fruits, and of course the alcohol. The mouthfeel was thick and creamy smooth - very nice. Overall, Stone hardly ever disappoints, and this beer is no exception.

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Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 7,579 ratings.