Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 6,669 | Reviews: 2,569 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JohnL9013:
4.6/5 rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4
This is a Stout to be reckoned with!
A: This stuff pours black and is literally viscous, like half-and-half. The head develops slowly since it's so viscous, and when it does form, it's the darkest brown I've seen. Oh, and the beer itself is jet black with zero transparency.
S: A complex nose dominated by coffee, molasses, and caramel. There's bittering hops in the background as well.
T: This is the best stout I've ever tasted. I remember trying Guinness Extra Stout last year and thinking what a nice, bitter stout it was, but that stuff is water compared to this. This fills in all the gaps Guinness is missing. There's a huge body to this beer, there's no other way to describe it. Big coffee flavor, very sweet, molasses, chocolate, and perfect bittering hops to balance...delicious! And really, really intense. Certainly, I had never had any beer like this before trying this stuff.
M: Ridiculously smooth. Surprisingly not dry for a stout, but very sweet and silky, creamily smooth. Ultra-low carbonation... just like drinking a good coffee or hot chocolate or something heavenly, but in beer form.
D: 10.5%? You can't even tell. Still very sweet and not the kind of thing you have more than one of.
My bottle was dated spring 2009 of this year. It mentions on the bottle that it's best left to "cellar" for a while. Well, I just drank this in November here and I'd say it was perfect.
EDIT: I am re-reviewing a second bottle of this beer. It's been almost three months since I reviewed the last one. Cellaring has changed this beer, believe it or not, and the most noticeable change was in its alcohol content, which seems to be quite high now.
A: Just as last time, this beer has the most epic appearance of any stout I've ever seen. Extremely viscous with a tall, thick head. The way this beer develops is amazing.
S: The smell is definitely better this time around...the beer is physically putting out more aromas than last time. There's a heavy roasted malt and chocolate nose.
T: The taste is in some ways an improvement but the alcohol content of this bottle seems to be higher than my last, whether due to the cellaring process or variations in the bottles. The flavors have smoothed out as I expected but the higher alcohol content almost masks some of the subtleties. Make no mistake, this is still phenomenal, and you can expect tons of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate, all of the highest caliber.
M: The mouthfeel has decreased in quality due to the increased alcohol content (this one burns going down, folks) but this is still one heck of a smooth stout, especially considering the ridiculously strong flavor profile.
D: This beer's drinkability is limited by its alcohol content. I love the taste of beer but I don't particularly like the feeling of getting drunk and make no mistake, after only a single bottle of this definitely-more-than-10.5%-beer, I was basking almost a little too much in beer nirvana. It goes down smooth but after you finish your bottle, I seriously doubt you will want anything else the rest of the night.
Serving type: bottle
01-26-2010 04:21:21 | More by JohnL9013
More User Reviews:
3.64/5 rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
This review is for the 2014 release. Dark black pour. I chilled this one a bit (though I usually don't do this with Imperial Stouts), and got almost no head. Very light tan remnants floating on top of the glass.
On the nose, fudge chocolate dominates. This is mixed with an underlying herbal aroma, almost like basil. Also getting some root vegetable tones - carrots - demonstrating complexity.
Palate reveals complexity as well. Light roastiness. Light chocolate. Cherry. Blueberry jam. French roasted coffee.
Mouthfeel has decent carbonation, acceptable amount for the style.
Finish is medium light.
I had Stone's Woot stout earlier this week which in comparison is an outstanding brew.
Serving type: bottle
07-30-2014 03:40:39 | More by artdob
Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 6,669 ratings.