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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

7,517 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,517
Reviews: 2,639
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 662
Gots: 1,827 | FT: 109
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: 7,517 | Reviews: 2,639
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.

Photo of Oldlogin
3.92/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The after taste is harsh, though not totally unpleasant ..There are other higher end stouts that I would recommend . Completely a matter of subjective taste.

Photo of FaradayUncaged
3.71/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an amazing black with brown head but quickly downhill from there. Smells of burnt malts and boozy alcohol that carries through the taste and finish. Mouthful is a plus but overall seems like maybe some age is a good idea. The burnt flavor and smell is all too powerful and dampers what seems like an otherwise pleasurable experience.

Photo of Safa1
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This motherfucker is fantastic. Dare I say easy to drink? I'm gonna get a case and see what happens in a few years.

Photo of secondtooth
3.79/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one's a whopper!

Opaque, deep black, and strong as an ox.

As with the best of the Imperial Russian Stouts, this one's got a burnt taste, less coffee or chocolate here, which gives way to a jagged alcoholic aftertaste/followthrough (it is 10.8%, after all).

Not one for the timid (or light beer fans), this is definitely one to sip slowly and savor.

Photo of Gregaroo
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Southern Railway Taphouse in Richmond, VA. Served in a tulip glass. Nice dark head to complement the stout. Great 2014 RIS.

Photo of Dnayew
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours like motor oil. This is your prototypical RIS. Nothing extraordinary, but excellent beer.

Photo of mchegash
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tried a 4oz sample at Pasadena (Liberty Station) store

Appearance - 4.5/5
Very dark, probably black, 2 fingers of delicious medium brown head.

Smell - 5/5
Sweet, dark delicious brown sugar malts with hints of alcohol. Smell is mellow rather than sharp.

Taste - 4.5/5
Delicious, dark slightly-fruity malts. Tastes like it smells. Sweet, honey-like.

Mouthfeel - 4.25/5
Smooth, medium-full body.

Overall - 4.25/5
I only sampled 4oz of this when I was in CA, but I absolutely loved it. It might be my favorite Russian Imperial. I've been trying to get my hands on a full bomber of this so I can give in a review with a proper amount of beer, but I haven't been able to find one in MI.

Photo of funjack5150
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Just picked up three bottles today of the 2014 release, super surprised to find it at the beer store. I hear the 2015 release comes out tomorrow. Went home chilled two bottles and put one in the cellar. I get a lot of chocolate its kind of nice. Sipping on a glass of it right now, well watching March Madness, what could be better?

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.78/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

A - 4.75 - Poured jet black in color. Formed about a finger of medium/dark tan colored head. Head subsides down to a film. Impressive head potential and retention for the ABV and the viscosity. Spotty, almost nonexistent lacing.
S - 4.75 - Bitter chocolate, sweet chocolate, light touches of vanilla and coffee. The nose to me is dominated by licorice, anise and a medicinal, herbal aroma. This is what I've found to be traditional of the style and as such, it smells amazing.
T - 5 - I can't believe how well balanced this is for how potent it is. The malty sweetness, and the bitterness at the end are balanced perfectly. Has lots of malt, chocolate, some raisin, licorice and that slight medicinal herbal twang all good Russian's have. Surprisingly, the alcohol in this is WELL hidden.
F - 4.25 - Definitely a decent, thicker creamy mouthfeel, but not the viscosity of crude oil that was promised on the bottle. Have definitely had thicker before.
O - 4.75 - This is a damned fine imperial Russian stout. Probably the most balanced I've ever had and one of the best in general. Reminds me A LOT of Oskar Blue's Ten Fidy. Is it the best ever? No. Is it worth buying, stocking up on and cellaring? Hell yes. This is a stout lover's dream beer and I HIGHLY recommend it to fans of the style.

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

2014 vintage. This brew is money with a year on it

Photo of infinitebruner
3.83/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

March 5, 2015

22 oz bomber, snifter

A – Jet black and fairly viscous/oily, very dark brown lacing on top, just a thin layer that disappears quickly.

S – Very high roasted component with some vanilla and alcohol warmth on the nose. Hops seem to be earthy, and somewhat piney. A good dose of bitterness at the end.

T – High vanilla component, with only moderate roast flavors, and some bittersweet chocolate. Hops provide bitterness mostly, with a piney, woodsy flavor underneath.

M – Moderately low carbonation and medium-bodied, a moderate amount of residual sweetness but balanced hard towards bitterness, both from roasted malt and from hops. Mild alcohol warmth, very subdued.

O – Not as heavy as I expected, and a nice combination of roasty and sweet components. Solid.

Photo of marieli
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Draft. A very pretty beer, close to black with a nice tan head. Dark chocolate ruled smell and taste with underlying coffee and roasted malts. Not much fruit. Slight bitterness. At 11% the alcohol makes itself known, but okay. Not as thick or creamy as expected or hoping. A good beer but some creaminess and smoothing out would definitely kick it up a notch for my taste.

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

Awesome beer. Has a thinner body than I expected for an imperial stout. Smells of molasses, balsamic vinegar, caramel, coffee and dark chocolate. Taste tones same as smell, sweet start with acidic middle and bitter roasted malt coffee flavor finish. Would definitely try again. Alcohol warmth is low for an 11% beer. Very drinkable.

Photo of jhartley
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Deep pitch black body and a dark tan head. Leaving quite a bit of lacing in the glass.
Big aromas of licorice, espresso, char and dark roasted malts.
Tastes of espresso, bittersweet chocolate, anise (not as much as that Belgo Anise release from 2011 thank God!)
Easy drinking IRS and a big winner from Stone!

Photo of ptykozoon
3.51/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2009
Pours pretty close to jet black, no head left and the thinnest frothy circle around the glass.

A lot of dark fruit - raisins, plum. Cinnamon, dark chocolate, brown sugar.

Taste is bitter coffee and dark chocolate. Smoky cinnamon. Abrasive.

Mouthfeel is crisper than I'd prefer for a beer of this type, very light and airy. ABV tastes around 10%.

I am not sure if the years have really added to the taste. Still a good beer but a bit rough around the edges. It could use more fruit or delicacy to balance out the heat and harshness.

Photo of NateF90
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 release poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass. Espresso crema-colored head suck around for the entire session. Alcohol and malt on the nose. Taste again is booze forward, but quickly yields to macerated fruits, mild tobacco, and chocolate chip cookie. Mouthfeel wasn't as heavy or viscous as expected... Undecided as to whether that's a good thing or not. Excellent stout but not as 'turned up' as I had hoped. Maybe some extended aging would change the profile? Will try again.

Photo of Gpartnoff
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Stone russian imperial stout 2014 release. Consumed 1-22-15. Look is black with a dark tan head. First taste comes black licorice, anise and a little chocolate. After 3-4 sips the palate is coated with fuzz, tends to hide the first taste flavors. All in all a good brew. Sweet tasting after the first sips and the alcohol burn isn't there. Great stout by a great brewery. Stone should do a collaboration with valiant or black market. Or do a triple collaboration with those two. Amazing what collaborations do to an already fantastic stout. Two thumbs up.

Photo of CJNAPS
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Loved everything about this beer, the roasted malts were perfect for me, the hint of chocolate was great.

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Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 7,517 ratings.