Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 6,542 | Reviews: 2,565 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
5/5 rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Late Spring 2003 release. Glossy sable. No highlights, no edges, no nothing. It isn't possible for a beer to be more light nullifying than this one is. The head is one of the darkest that I've ever seen. It's a menacing shade of cocoa brown, the perfect color compliment to the beer on which it rests. It also puts the lie to the notion that high-ABV beer tends not to have large, persistent heads. Even though there isn't a glass smothering amount of lace, there's more than enough not to spoil a world-class appearance.
The nose is outstanding. It practically oozes heavily roasted black malt with all of the aromas that go along with it. Bittersweet chocolate fudge swirls around chunks of crushed coffee bean with generous lashings of molasses. The faintest hint of alcohol is more than welcome since it gives the aroma a seriousness that all good RISs possess. Perhaps nearly three years in the bottle is a bit too long to expect hops to persevere. However, I still have hope that they'll make a cameo on the palate.
Stone RIS is phenomenal! It's everything that I had hoped for and so much more. I have never experienced a more mind-blowing, darkly delicious, megaton malt bomb in my life. First and foremost, it possesses a monolithic malt backbone that gives granite an inferiority complex. Rivulets of melted chocolate, espresso, blackstrap molasses and the finest ouzo combine to create a raging river of mouthfilling (and belly warming) bliss.
The hops haven't completely faded, although I'm sure they're a shadow of their former 2003 selves. As is usually the case, they make an appearance on the finish when the malt deluge has finally begun to abate. I'd love to taste this beer fresh, but I have to say that it's an ass kicker of the highest order when aged. It's amazing how long the flavor lingers. The licorice/anise/ouzo hangs on seemingly forever.
This particular vintage clocks in at 9.47% and it feels every bit of that (even if it doesn't taste like it). This is a beer that is brewed to be sipped. It's doing an admirable job of warming me up, which I needed since I just came in from snowblowing half a foot of snow off my driveway. Each mouthful leads me to thank the boys at Stone for such an incredible beer. Although I don't usually buy in cases, this is a 'case beer' if there ever was one.
The mouthfeel is, in a word, perfection. It's as if the brewers read my mind and designed it especially for me. I've had thicker Imperial Stouts, but none that possessed this degree of heavy silkiness. Try as I might, I cannot find a flaw. Perfect mouth presence, perfect coating finish, just... plain... perfect.
SIRS is Stone's finest creation and is infinitely deserving of a place in the pantheon of the greatest beers ever created. I've run out of adjectives for 'great', but I haven't quite run out of beer. So if you'll excuse me, it's time to savor the final few swallows. Stone Russian Imperial Stout is a tour de force and is the finest stout in existence, bar none.
Serving type: bottle
12-03-2005 23:17:04 | More by BuckeyeNation
More User Reviews:
4.21/5 rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
This is the third time I've had this beer. However, I only gave it a month to condition before I drank it so the taste was less mellow than usual. However, it's still worthy of a review in my opinion. Here goes:
A: Deep, dark black. Completely opaque. Appears very thick, too. This beer, unfortunately, has no head and very little lacing (I guess it's because of the density). Also very little carbonation. Kind of disappointing.
S: Not disappointing at all. Very robust chocolate imparted from the heavily-kilned malts. Some dark fruit and licorice, but these smells are rather muted. No detectable hops or yeast. I love chocolatey RIS beers, so the smell made me smile.
T: Very good, but not perfect. Again, maybe it's because I didn't wait long enough for it to condition. Initial taste is one of dark chocolate followed by plum, raisins, dates, licorice and jam. The latter tastes linger on the palate a little too long after consumption, but maybe this is owing to the beer's thickness. Very complex flavor profile that combines chocolate with dark fruit. Good.
M: Excellent. Thick and creamy. The only thing keeping it from being perfect is the lack of carbonation.
O: A very good beer from Stone. While not perfect, it's most certainly a beer that I will be getting again and again.
Serving type: bottle
07-12-2014 07:31:14 | More by leantom
Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 6,542 ratings.