Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 6,528 | Reviews: 2,564 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jdhowe:
4.31/5 rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
22oz bottle of 2013 vintage, poured into snifter.
A: opaque black, minimal light through the edges revealing a deep brown color. A mocha-colored head (deep mocha at times) pours about 1 finger thick and stabilizes as a thin, lightly foamy film.
S: Smell is strongly of milk chocolate and caramel, neither of which the bottle warns me of. Upon warming, dark fruit and coffee become evident, as does the alcohol. Despite its best warnings, I cannot detect anise in the nose. Not an unpleasant smell, but almost a little cloying. I am glad the beer tastes a little less sweet than it smells.
T: Full-on coffee, cocoa, alcohol hit hard right up front. Dark fruit, and a bit of hop bitterness show through later. Upon warming, anise is very faintly detectable, but I've had never picked it up if I'd not been trying. Overall pretty damned delicious, though... certainly great for its price point.
M: Full, coating, and thick. Plenty of carbonation... almost too much at first. This is great, though... almost exactly how I want a stout to feel when I drink it.
O: Really a solid beer. For its price, it's definitely very good in its style. Not sure if I could recommend it over Old Rasputin, which is comparably affordable (even cheaper) and has the advantage of coming in 12oz bottles. The flavors are different between the two beers, for sure, but I'm not sure one is necessarily better than the other. Stone's IRS is certainly more complex. Very impressed with this... I'll be excited to see how it is doing in a year or two.
Serving type: bottle
05-31-2013 08:05:19 | More by jdhowe
More User Reviews:
4.63/5 rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
2014 version (Bottled on 02/21/14) into a Belgian balloon/snifter glass
A- Pours an absolutely viscous motor-oil black with a 1-finger creamy, khaki colored head. Considering the ABV, the head retention is strong. Perfectly executed for the style. (5.0)
S- Upon the initial pour, I find Stone's IRS a bit conservative. Only after repeated pulls, I can pick out coffee, chocolate and some berry-like esters (strawberry jam?). As it warms (to basically room temperature), however, the complexity grows to include notes of nuts, vanilla and a hint of grapefruit citrus...pretty intense. (4.75)
T- Chocolate strikes first followed by that berry jam quality I find in the nose. The roastiness hits next and then a mild pop of licorice/anise. Its finish is a long, lingering bitterness which possesses that hint of grapefruit rind citrus. The complex flavor profile more than makes up for the muted aromatics. The 11% ABV is completely masked (4.75)
M- Although far from being cloying, this is a wonderfully decadent beer. The rather conservative carbonation gives Stone's IRS a creamy and velvety texture that coats the palate. Despite being full bodied and 11% ABV, this beer drinks very easily. (4.5)
O- A simple, yet well stated beer, I am confident the czar's from Russia would most have certainly approved of Stone's efforts. It is always nice to see Stone's IRS hit the shelves, yet the (odd year) varieties and W00tstout seem to eclipse the standard version. I've had this beer both fresh and aged (~2 years) and prefer it fresh since the fruity aromatics, subdued licorice/anise flavor and well-defined bitterness are more apparent when young. (4.75)
Serving type: bottle
07-07-2014 17:57:23 | More by threeviews
Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 6,528 ratings.