Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 6,003 | Reviews: 2,531 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by merlin48:
4.68/5 rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
22oz bottle says late spring limited release, so I guess this one has had time to adequately age. Okay, here we go! Geeez, what a black pouring brew! No head to speak of. Nose is complicated and powerful. Coffee, tobacco, and a smoky campfire come to mind. Smooth as satin in the mouth, but very rich.Taste is complicated, and no doubt will get more complex as it warms up in the glass. I can already say that this is my favorite Stone.
As others have said, there's a lot going on here. Malt and hops disguise the alcohol very well. This is a very big beer and it looks like I'm going to be spending the next hour enjoying it. This is a classical imperial stout, and definitely a top ten overall.
Stone has done an excellent job creating such a complex yet rewarding imperial stout. The flavors just keep improving as it warms in the glass. You might not taste the alcohol, but after several minutes your brain and tummy let you know it's in there in spades. "King of Spades" would be an appropriate name for this black beast of a brew.
"limited early summer 2004 release" is a bit different from the 2003 version. Herbal anise is first to the nose, quickly followed by floral hops suggestive of wild roses on the vine. Roasted coffee notes become pervasive, but there is a pleasant aroma of fresh, concord grapes here that grabbed my attention. Low carbonation in the mouthfeel, with a port wine, vinous presence.
Appearance of the 2004 version was slightly disappointing. Not much of a head, and no lacing, but the body was jet black and opaque.
Very complex taste, with concord grapes and black licorice playing a major role. Espresso provides a nice roastiness, with bittersweet chocolate sliding in underneath. Rosewater lends a solid, floral hops essence.
Thick, rich, big, and sinfully drinkable. Old baseball glove leather and pipe tobacco emerge at the finish to contribute to the immense complexity. I cellared a bottle of this, as I think a few months aging will improve the 2004 release considerably. Be careful with this gigantic imperial Russian stout. Sit down, relax, and sip. This is going to give you a buzz by the time you finish it. I was disappointed not to find any English walnut nuttiness here, which I prefer in any stout, but with all the other characteristics going on here, this is just a minor, personal issue. This one is going to be quite an experience to enjoy after a few months in the cellar.
Serving type: bottle
06-25-2004 10:38:10 | More by merlin48
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Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 6,003 ratings.