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Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,668 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,668
Hads: 7,867
Avg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 714
Gots: 2,053 | FT: 114
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Imperial Russian Stout Alström Bros
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Reviews: 2,668 | Hads: 7,867
Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Yum! Stone did it again with their 2014 RIS. Deep, dark brown, almost black and completely opaque with a creamy, tan head a finger high. Roasted malt and molasses fill the nose while molasses, licorice and malt bathe the tongue in velvety viscous flood of alcoholic warmth. Wonderfully rich and reasonably priced for a brew of this quality.

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 2/21/2014. Darker than average, mahogany pour. Absolutely opaque in the glass with a dark cocoa colored head and streams of carbonation rising up all over the place. Aroma seems pretty muted for some reason, but I get strong notes of roasted malt, char, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, and oak. Medium-full mouth feel with good carbonation, very well balanced and easy to drink. On the taste, I get lots of dark malts, bitter, unsweetened coffee, slight licorice, vanilla, bakers chocolate, and raisins.

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Photo of Cross_Product
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2014 edition, 8oz draught at Tap 'n' Handle. Pitch black with a nice thick head which was quite a dark brown. Didn't get much smell out of it, some roasty chocolate. I think it was served a little too cold. Let it warm up a bit before drinking, and it was well worth waiting a few minutes. Big dried fruit (prunes, raisins) and stone fruit (plums), mixed with some spice notes (vanilla, cinnamon) and the expected chocolate/coffee vibe. Pretty rich mouthfeel, matching the flavors nicely. Excellent RIS. Now I need to try this year's...

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Photo of SaulFox
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Deep black with 1 inch khaki head
Minimal chocolate/roasty espresso
Slight chocolaty taste along with roasted malt and slight coffee
On the thinner side in mouth
One of the best basic RIS...makes me look forward to the Bourbon aged fyodors I have in the cellar

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Photo of govlady
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery in Escondido
pours pitch black with a lacing of tan head
Smell didn't really do it for me. hint of chocolate, but not much there.
Taste - chocolate, coco, malt, maybe a hint of coffee in there
great mouthful on this one, could be a little thicker
A good non BA stout. a solid 10% abv beer, not too hot, goes down fairly smooth.

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Photo of Sunsetlane_guy
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Classic Release

Wonderful flavour. Thick on the tongue. Very nice. Every sip reminds me this is the appropriate rating. I would recommend this to stout lovers. Very nice. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at Champagne's outside Detroit MI for $7.99 for a 22oz bottle. Served at 6deg C in a tulip. 2015 edition

A- Opens well and pours a 2" high thick looking brown head that films out within 4mins. Pretty much black

S- Light for the style. Coco. Nutmeg

T- A touch light on the coffee and chocolate. It's there but mild compared to you big ones like Ten Fidy. Don't get me wrong this one is nice but not stellar. A bit spicier than most RIS's which I like.

M- A touch thin for an RIS. Would like to see some thickening up to get this rating up a bit

O- Very good RIS. I like it but when I go 4-5hrs to a different country to get only 24 beer I got to make them good selections and this one falls outside that level. It's good and if available in Canada for under $9.00 I would by it again.

Food Pairing

This nice brew went very well with....... A nice selection of cheese I found at the grocery store. Some Havarti for a creamy one, blue with a TON of blue in it as another, oka with mushrooms as a third and emmenthal from over the pond as a forth. This RIS pounded through all of these cheeses and the crackers and honey cleansed the pallet well.


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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had the 2014 vintage on tap at the tap n handle in Fort Collins. Once this beer warmed up, the chocolate and roast flavors really grew on me nd melded together well. Some barrel taste, maybe whiskey if I can remember, which I didn't expect. A bit boozy still after a year, but some good stuff none the less.

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Photo of mlockman
3.61/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very good standard, no-frills imperial stout. Not phenomenal by any means, as the neither the flavor, aroma, nor mouthfeel really blew me out of the water, but a very good standard rendition of te style.

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Photo of Atatum
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

P: pours a deep black with a thick tab head. The head sticks at a half finger for the majority of the brew. N: coffee, burnt sugars, toffee, Carame. T: taste is heavy on the coffee. Like chewing beans, the thick coffee taste sticks around. Lots of molasses and sugar to keep with the dry finish. Minor taste of plum and a few spices. O: this beer is great for a lot of reasons. Dynamic flavor profile and each bottle has its own differences. The longer it sits, the less alcohol burn. A must try for all beer lovers.

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Photo of West08
3.62/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Where's the nose on this beer? Really can't smell much on this one. Poor was nice almost 2 figures of head. Nice thick creamy feel on the mouth. Taste has good amount of chocolate and malt with no burn at all. Overall a solid beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Espresso nose, creamy, some chocolate balanced by light espresso flavors, surprisingly not a lot of hop or roast bitterness. Warming, medium full body, more chocolate than espresso, full body, nice RIS, creamy, medium low carbonation, had with chocolate, what head there is dissipates quickly.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2015 Vintage: App: Deep brown, almost black pour with 2fb tan head. Smells of cocoa, leather, roasted malts, earthy smoky, prune, vanilla. Tastes with a first note of unsweetened cocoa, mid note it’s the sweet malts, molasses, brown sugar, coffee and pleasant balancing piney bitterness at end note with a fairly clean finish despite the sweet thickness of this brew. Mouthfeel is medium to full, thin for a stout – almost akin to a porter – very good.
Overall, this is an incredible RIS – I will seek this out and if I can develop the self-control – allow it to age - excellent.

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Photo of FBGordon
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from nitro tap into a cool pub glass.

A: Pours like Black Blood of the Earth with a rich, creamy khaki head that maintains well and laces throughout.

S: I was surprised at the lack of initial smell. Once I got down into the beer, I got stronger notes of toffee and chocolate with only slight hints of toast.

T: Drinks easily for an RIS, a mouthful of well-balanced flavors try to cover the huge alcohol presence in this beer and almost pull it off.

M: Full, rich and velvety but lacking the weight that screams "big beer", this is an easy-drinking Imperial Stout.

O: This beer is wonderfully dangerous. At 10.6% but lacking the big alcohol flavor, I can see myself cruising on the great flavor and not worry about the consequences. This is a fantastic stout.

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Photo of Wolvesinthetaproom
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a 2013 Bottle.

Pours a very dark thick black with a lighter brown mousse head. Bottle mentions notes of roast, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee reminiscent of the style, however the 2 years age on this vintage has made that very hard to detect on the nose. Taste is definitely there, but lacking in the coffee entirely by this point. Overall a very promising stout, and though not the best I've had, one that I don't mind having again.

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Photo of rorykanderson
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a khaki head that lingers. Aroma of toffee, cicada, coffee, oats and dried fruit. Taste follows suit with a bit of coconut and dried cherries thrown into the mix. I would've liked a little more sweet to balance out the bitter and malt.

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Photo of pnelting
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours thick and dark almost like used motor oil. Slight booze on the nose but mostly a sweet and roasted aroma. Bitterness up front and balanced by the sweetness and malts. Thick mouth feel. Overall a really rich stout.

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Photo of cck5
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Stone imperial Russian stout

220'oz bottle poured in torts glass

Color: black as night. It doesn't get much darker than this,

Smell: dark fruit, molasses, brown sugar, roasty.

Taste: amazing this thing packs a punch super roasty sweet and well balanced goodness.

Overall would happily drink this all winter long. A great showing by stone. World class

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Photo of -Rick
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a dark/black color. The smell and taste are of coffee, dark chocolate, and maybe a tad bit of licorice. Very creamy mouthfeel, this is a solid cold day sipper!

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Photo of Monkeefartz
3.82/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice imperial stout. Had this in a growler, and it was very smooth and with a good flavor of dark chocolate and a slight sweetness. From the bomber the flavor was not quite as complex.

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Photo of sporklift87
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 bomber bottled 3-5-15 into snifter. Over two fingers dark brown sticky head. Excellent retention and some spotty lacing. Dark as the moonless night. Roasted malt, toffee, dark cocoa and anise. Tastes almost vinous for a stout. Potent, like aromatics. Currant and hint of vanilla on finish. Feels very syrupy and thick. Moderate carbonation and high heat. Very enjoyable. Found the clone recipe, but this can't quite be beat. Will look forward to more.

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Photo of Colorado_Stout
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I will admit to having gone to the "packy" to get a few bombers of this nasty brew. But, the best, the VERY best way to experience this brew, is to brew it yourself. Get one of those "Clone Brew" magazines and brew this up yourself. The difference is amazing. It is SO FRESH that this will not only be the best brew you ever made, it will be the Best Brew you EVER TASTED. Try it. And, the 10% ABV will only add to the mysterious, coffee, chocolate, currant deep rich taste on your palate. This is what God thought of when he thought up beer. Aloha.

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Photo of do_ob
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bomber shared between two snifters. Pours pitch black in appearance with a 1 finger head of medium-brown colored foam. Sweet, bitter chocolate, roasted malt, and strong coffee-bean flavors on the nose. Light notes of vanilla and toffee accompany. Medium-heavy weight, and very dense and creamy. Loads of bitter chocolate and expresso up front with a mild sweetness setting in middleways. An awesome blance of roasted malt sees this one through to the end. The aftertaste is composed of strong, toasty malt, bittered chocolate, and intense coffee.

Overall, an excellent example of the style with a little added sweetness. Sickeningly sweet, and euphorically roasty, this beer is world-class in all aspects.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Looks like a good RIS.

S: Mostly heavily roasted malt with a tiny touch of hops in the background.

T: I'm surprised this doesn't have any mentioned additives besides necessary been ingredients; the flavors are very pronounced and realistic. Coffee is primary with mild acidity and all, with chocolatey roasted malt right behind it, and some lactose-like sweetness to finish it off. Some alcohol comes through late-palate.

F: Not as thick as was promised on the bottle, but full bodied. Thick and a little fatty, like a heavy cream. I still want thicker ( ;) ), but nice job.

O: I'm surprised Stone, for all their independence and devil-may-care attitude and adrenaline-seeking extremism, would make their representation of a Russian Imperial Stout, the heaviest, manliest, most goddamn off-putting black sludge a brewmaster could summon from the bowels of Satan Himself (All Praise and Worship to He the Unholy), kinda sweet, but I jived with it, yo.

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Photo of wguy14
3.69/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer was good in the every category but great in none. I enjoy a stout that has strong coffee and chocolate flavored. This beer does not provide that. Just strong bitterness from beginning to end.

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Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 2,668 ratings.