Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 5,723 | Reviews: 2,505 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
5/5 rDev +14.7%
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:
4.19/5 rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
22oz bottle from the 2013 release. It's been in my fridge for about a year, decided to finally sit down and review a bottle.. have had this on two different occasions, but apparently just never got around to writing a review on it.
App- Dark black body, opaque with a nice one finger mocha head that retains fairly well, really nice thin lacing that sinks into the beer. Nice mocha collar and thin film. Looks the part.
Smell- Even at room temp, all I get is a bit of dark fruit and chocolate. No coffee, no roast, no brown sugar, nothing else to tell me this is a true RIS. I would like a lot more that I get here.
Flavour- What it doesn't deliver in the nose, it does deliver on the palate. Charred malts, dark fruit, dark chocolate, a bit of espresso and a slick syrupy sweet molasses finish. Robust, complex with a lot going on.
Mouthfeel- Full bodied, perfectly carbonated. Slick, coating my mouth in bitter chocolate with sweet molasses; it's definitely a sipper due to the intensity of the flavour and its slick nature; there isn't a ton of heat or anything like that.
Overall- Probably one of the best deals out there in terms of Russian Imperial Stouts in bombers at $6.99. Founders Imperial Stout is a better beer and a better value, but for our friends in California who don't get Founders or Dark Horse, this is an excellent and overlooked option.
Serving type: bottle
03-14-2014 03:25:55 | More by Stevedore
4.25/5 rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A- Pretty black, minimal coffee lacing. Must have some carb, because little fishes are biting insects at the surface.
S- charred dark fruits, molasses, toffee, burnt caramel
T- More dark fruit. This one is probably aged perfectly. No oxidation present. Some chocolate and molasses. Some biting black liquorice at the end
M- Pretty thick for a stout, nothing major. Some carb
O- A great stout. Very well done; simple and to the point
Serving type: bottle
03-09-2014 00:25:27 | More by gueuzedreg
Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 5,723 ratings.