Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 5,954 | Reviews: 2,528 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by BrownNut:
4.01/5 rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I'm appending a second review of this beer after aging it for a little over a year since I had the other one of these I bought at the same time. Interestingly, some of my scoring is different than before but the descriptions aren't very different. So I suppose it's evidence of the greater amount of comparative context I've cultivated over the past year, having tried many others in that time and having gotten a better idea of what's at the very top of the scale and reckoning the others against that.
Overall, I don't know that this one changed much over the course of a year. In retrospect, I should have scored it a bit better last time. But here are both reviews, the newer not influenced by the older, which I didn't look at again until pasting this new one. I'd say there's no problem with aging this one, but there really isn't a need. Not for 1 year anyway.
I've left the original scores as the official ones. If I used the more recent ones it would be a 4.28 instead of a 4.01
OCT 30 2013 REVIEW
18.5 months old, 13 months since the original review below. Bottle to tulip, served a bit cooler than room temp and warming to room temp over the course of a long sampling.
A - 4.25 - Black with a nice thick, creamy, fluffy, tan head that makes for a quick few fingers with a moderately aggressive pour and settles down to a film within two to three minutes. Lacing that sticks right where it is.
S - 4.5 - While the head is fresh it puts off the loveliest mix of malty (think Whoppers) and chocolatey smells. As the head fades, the malty smell fades with it. Once it settles, the chocolate is almost a chocolate liqueur smell. There's a note of booze, but not in a bad way - in a slightly fruity, slightly floral way that works with the rest of it, overlapping and blending into the sweetness of the chocolate. It really is a lovely aroma overall. Not intense, but very nice.
T - 4.25 - Cocoa initially, and later in the glass more like a nice bittersweet dark chocolate, something north of milk chocolate but south of 70% cacao. Mild black malt char. The two of those are nicely balanced against each other. Milder than some imperial stouts. Pleasant booze warmth wafting up the throat on the exhale. The booze elevates it if you're me and your reviews never talk about a beer being "too hot". Warms the belly a bit after a while. Somehow gives me coffee breath without a noticeable coffee flavor note.
M - 4.0 - Medium-heavy body, somewhat viscous, and tongue-coating. The alcohol wreaks a mild sensation on the tongue. Despite the tongue coating, there is also the barest bit of dry underneath that, like the very beginnings of hop abrasion.
O - 4.25 - This is a top quality imperial stout. Very well done. There are others that are more complex, but this is still very well composed and executed overall. This one is friendly. If you wanted to introduce somebody to imperial stouts without scaring them off, this would be a good one to choose.
OCT 2, 2012 REVIEW
Bottle to tulip. 5.5 months old. Served cellar temp and got to room temp by halfway.
A - 4.25 - Inky black and viscous looking. Somewhat fizzy dark khaki head that settles down to a cap within a couple minutes. Second pour produces a head more like I like them, thick and textured like a landscape, with peaks and valleys. Settles down to a film.
S - 4.0 - Can't put my finger on this smell, though I know it. Something fruity? It reminds me of something in the bouquet of a Borderies cognac, almost a pastry note, maybe with marzipan, maybe with fruit. Aside from that, a bit of that Sugar Smacks malty-grainy-sweet-honey-molasses smell, bleeding over into chocolate, bleeding over into a bit of coffee.
T - 4.0 -While there's chocolate, cocoa-esque, it's dialed back. There's mild char and coffee but not until the exhale, which comes with some warm booze fumes, all three appreciated. I'd welcome the char and coffee up front. Hint of chocolate in the burp. Definitely gained character as it warmed.
M - 4.0 - Very smooth and soft. Barely medium bodied. Looked thicker when pouring.
O - 4.0 - After a previous really big stout, I was expecting the same from this based on what I'd heard, but this one is milder. Still it's really good. The balance is such that nothing sticks out. That makes it more subtle than blasty. Often I want something more robust, something harsher, but it's good to know this milder one is there too.
Serving type: bottle
10-31-2013 01:05:03 | More by BrownNut
More User Reviews:
4.14/5 rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2014 release with an 11.0% ABV.
Pitch black body with a thick, creamy, tan head. Rather sweet smell; vanilla; anise; cocoa; cherries. Chocolate-mint flavor with a nice undertone of booze and mellow hop bitterness; brownies. Heavy body; some velvety smoothness; semi-dry finish with a noticeable boozy bite.
A very good RIS full of flavor and depth. The smell was complex yet rather subdued and was the only weakness overall. Hop bitterness builds up nicely and lingers through the end. But it's the bold roasted grain flavors that tell the real story: big toasted malt flavors with a mild sugary sweetness and bitter chocolate tones. The ABV makes its presence known, too, but is well-blended with the malt and hop elements to make an overall harmonious marriage of taste and feel. Complexity and depth with a fairly easy drinking quality for such a heavy and high ABV ale make this stout a winner.
Serving type: bottle
04-16-2014 01:03:51 | More by beergoot
4.18/5 rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Big, dark brown head with excellent retention and quickly-sliding lacing. Brew is very dark.
Massive roasted barley aroma, with some chocolate malt, cream, and a little booze. Intended direction for this imperial stout is immediately evident.
Flavor follows the nose strongly. Tons and tons of roasted barley, with just a hint of very dark cacao. Cream and wheat, and a tiny bit of banana (likely from yeast). There is a slightly metallic off-taste, but I think it's likely from the barley. Extremely strong and assertive.
Remarkably balanced mouthfeel, given the strength and aroma. Thick, creamy, and smooth, a hair lighter than chewy. Some noticeable heat at the end.
Excellent, but mostly one-dimensional, imperial stout. It smacks you in the face with gobs of roasted barley, never hides its allegiance, and pulls it off in a very tasty package.
Serving type: bottle
04-16-2014 00:53:27 | More by Roguer
Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 5,954 ratings.