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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.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,660 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,660
Hads: 7,816
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 5.06%
Wants: 699
Gots: 2,022 | FT: 115
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
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Reviews: 2,660 | Hads: 7,816
Photo of Slatetank
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tasted this in Apr 2009, just gettin' around to the review-taken from notes. Poured chilled into an ale glass -2009 version.

A - Black thick appearance, great lacing the ale is opaque and has lasting head retention

S - The aroma is rich w/ malt, dark fruit, molasses, candy caramel and vanilla w/ citrus odors from hops

M - The malts have great texture that is rich w/ coffee's roastiness smooth sweetness and viscous without becoming overbearing. The texture is warm from alcohol, but within range

T - The flavor of seriously dark chocolate, roasted grain w/ sweetness of vanilla rum, flavors of currants, plum and dark brown sugar w/ toasted nuts, and cocoa powder. The flavor of hops and alcohol are noted in the tertiary flavors but the taste really lingers w/ malt intensity

D - The west coast has many RIS's that are good, but this is a standout - do not hesitate to try this like I did. I consider it a great example of the style.

Re-review 2008 version courtesy of John Michaelsen at our Stout Tasting part deux. Poured from the cool bomber into a taster and re-sampled again.
A-5 S 4.5 M 4.5 T 4.5 D 5

A - deep black, opaque ominous look with thick beige cap and lots of lace clings. The bead is tiny and retention is decent. The smell of strong roast and fruit with cocoa and a mellow spice element. The main fruit would be currant but other dark fruits come to mind w/ slight woody hop note and hints of toast. The feel is lovely, blended with spicy and roasted textures. The slight amount of alcohol in the feel adds complexity and the spice seems slightly strong with a mild bitter element in the finish.

The taste is great with chocolate bitterness and notes of pepper and currant with a light smoke and hint of toffee in the flavor. The mild cocoa and coffee is buoyed by the hop flavor which gives a slight sweet woodiness and then the toffee-molasses comes back with mild dark brown sugar taste in the finish. This is awesome aged - I think the 2008 is the best by Stone I have ever had, just ridiculously good drinkability and I want to go out and get some to age for three years now, what a treat! Thanks John! (2,142 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Simply said this is what I like about trying different beers, once in a while you get to drink a beer that states the style without having overbearing qualities. And having said that this beer does just that, it has all the qualities of a Imperial Russian Stout and yet I can not discern any particular aspect that carries the beer, nothing overdone or overbearing----just a gosh darn tasty stout. (397 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber, “Limited Spring 2002 Release” on the label gives you an idea of freshness … not that it matters being that this brew is a towering 9.47% abv.

Appearance: Big pillowing foamy tan head is slow to form as the bubbles of carbonation struggle to the top of this thick crude oil black brew. The head does dissipate but the there is a lace that sticks around for the show.

Smell: The aroma is full of highly roasted coffee (French Roast), fruity esters (dried black currants), slight molasses, mild char, and vague solvent alcohol and lost of roasted grain.

Taste: Nearly syrupy from a huge malty body, carbonation is at a medium crispness with an extremely viscous mouth feel. First the flavours go sweet with maltiness are fruity flavours of black currant and prune. Malt sweetness upfront is more of a mild molasses with a deep following of roasted grain and a chocolaty backing that sticks around until the finish. Hop are thrown in for good measure but don’t seem to get in the way too much. Alcohol flexes quick with a faint solvent flavour as well as the fruitiness providing some esters for more complexity. A smoothness creeps in out of nowhere and pulls the flavours in further which saturates the taste buds. Deep within, after the brew warms up a bit there is a dark caramel flavour that sits next to beer heaven. After the initial wave of flavour there seems to be a Zen of balance as all of the flavours meld together in perfect formation. The roasted grain lingers with an endless trail cleaning up all other flavours in its wake.

Notes: Devastatingly flavourful, highly drinkable and very deceiving for a brew at 9.47% abv. This beer shows-off Stone Brewing’s prowess to take a style a bring it to a greater level than others. (1,778 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black. Tan head slowly falls leaving a lot of lacing. Very slightly roasted earthy malts. Molasses tones. Flavor is just beautiful. And amazing. Thick malt tones. Just so robust and consistent. Alcohol doesn't seem to show up at all. Feel is amazing on the liquid. Extremely drinkable. A RIS that sits at 10.8& alcohol? Easily could be a recipe for disaster, but this just comes out magnificently. Easily one of the best beers ever created, IMO. If you haven't had a chance to try it yet, I really hope you get one. (527 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 version; slightly better than last years

Pours mahogany/jet black with 3 fingers of mocha head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Coccoa & toasted grains; fades as this warms

T: Chocoalte, troasted grain, & a wee bit of iron. Smokeyness follows as this warms along with baker's choclate, & little warming feel. Mocha milk shake, warming notes, roastyness, & dryness are all in the finish.


MF: Rich with great balance & minimal carbonation

Good drinker as long as you don't mind an early night! Great dessert beer & maybe one to session on your tolerance is built up; just kidding! (610 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's bottle shop, Media, PA

Poured into a Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. shaker. Thick, opaque black, reddish-brown around the edges, with a good three fingers of chocolaty brown head that receded to a mere ringlet about halfway through the session; soapy lacing throughout. Served at just about room temperature. Aroma rich with chocolate, roasted malts and coffee, with a touch of smoke. Luxurious taste of bittersweet chocolate balanced with a bit of bitter coffee, and subtle hints of smoke and and definite blast of alcohol warmth that perhaps is augmented when the beer is warmer. Thick and full-bodied, and very drinkable, if a bit on the strong side. (685 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a stem-goblet at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, California. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were above average; Stone is direly overrated but I heard good things about this brew in particular, and I like the style.

Paired with sweet potato fries.

A: Pours a half finger head of khaki colour, nice cream, okay thickness, and bad retention. Colour of the body is a nontransparent solid opaque black. I prefer the head colour of beers in this style to be more of a tan - the darker the better - but khaki does alright. I'm not anticipating a great beer, though. Due to the nontransparency, no yeast particles are visible (if they're there).

Sm: Vanilla, cream, chocolate, caramel, and hints of roast. A mild strength aroma. Roast should be more present given the style. I'm alerted.

T: Generic chocolate and tame cream over a dark malt (chocolate malt inclusive) foundation with underlying caramel. Some vanilla hints that don't amount to much. No real layering here. Not at all complex for the style. Stone played this beer surprisingly safe. Why is it they pick this style to do that on? They seem to force unwelcome flavours into most otherwise simple styles. Decently balanced but built without boldness, experimentation, or inspiration. As Imperial Stouts come, this is pretty generic.

Mf: Silky smooth and wet. Completely wrong for the style; a stout demands dryness and coarseness (from roast) overcome masterfully by cream. That isn't the case here. Too thin. Adequate carbonation.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. Russian Imperial stouts like this one are a dime a dozen nowadays. There are far better beers in the style, even at the same or lesser price. It's decent, and I might pick it up in bottled form at a good price, but don't expect masterful brewing. I wouldn't recommend it to friends. In fairness, it'd be a pretty good beginner's Russian Imperial Stout. My main problem with it surrounds its lack of inspiration or specialization; as a generic example of the style it'd be a good introduction for people new to the style.

A decent candidate for aging, but I wouldn't do it meself.

Would pair okay with chocolate. Not real suitable to barbecue.

B- (2,205 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Before I start my usual hyping up of the Stone Brewery, just stop me and leave the house and seek out this beer. This is not just any beer this is a beer to be experienced and relived annually like a tradition, only it saddens me to think about the batches from the last two years that have escaped me. This is the 2003 limited spring release, and I am in heaven simply heaven. Pours like crude oil (according to the bottle, but you must see it for yourself), honestly this beer is viscous and opaque it eats up the light that attempts to shine through it. Dark black body with the pleasant thin moccha toned head floating atop of this dark abyss. The aroma contains layers of light milk chocolate tones, dark roasted barley malt, hints of anise in the background, deep plum or any overly ripened fruit in a light brandy liquer all topped off with a light hopping of signature Stone hops to boast it's west coast roots along with an underlying nose of alcohol gracing my olfactory nerves. As the temperature rises so does the amount of alochol that shines through in the flavor of this classic Imperial Russian Stout. A creamy based chocolate/coffe presence along with sweet buttery notes that elegantly dance on my palate. An overall warming effect creates a sense of ecstasy, with notes of fruit tones and acohol notes that are in one word heavenly. Mouthfeel is full and heavy syrup esque, but goes down suprisingly very smoothly. Low carbonation that complements the overall quality of this beer, and definitely a one bottle at a time experience no session beer found here and none wanted from an Imperial Stout of any kind. (1,628 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderful beige head that leaves ring lace after each sip. Nearly black in color--no light shines through.

Burnt sugar smell. Also, interestingly, there's a sourness that I associate with older fruit.

Strong roasted barley flavor which defers from the typical coffee flavors. Lots of black patent malt. The aftertaste has some hop, but it's still a mostly dark malt. Appropriate body for the style.

I like this beer, but it isn't my favorite from Stone. That said, it is another great beer from them. (503 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Color is as black as sin, thoroughly opaque, utterly dark, and well-endowed with a full, thick, lush roasty-toasty tan head.

Aroma: Oh, goodness, gracious, golly! Sweetness, rich, lush, chocolatey, and burgeoning with a myriad of further flavors, dates, raisins, anise, molasses, maple syrup, dark, twisted, delicious...I've compared certain other Imperial Stouts to candy bars (Bell's Expedition, to name one, whose glass I drink this from), and this goes a touch beyond that, without testing the boundaries of sweetness. Magnificent.

Taste: No body could be fuller, no taste could be richer, the malt is thick and juicy, even, and the hops keep the tongue busy and happy. A complex melange, a viscous mouthfeel, constant tussel with the palate, insistent pleasure on the tongue.

Now, the thicker, slicker, motor-oliy feel kicks in, but by now, you love it, or you're out. Strength, too, sets it's feelers out and begins to trickle into the feeling and the brain, as well. Sticky and treacly, though dark, and thoroughly delicious, if your tastes run like mine.

It rolls around and around the mouth, washing all the senses with this rich, dark, utterly decadent flavor.

Oh, what dark malts can do, for this flavor is so rich, so thick, so fully flavorful, this is decadence, indeed.
Finish? There ain't none! It just keeps going in the mouth!
Mouthfeel? It is utterly dominant, thoroughly covers every inch of the senses...an amazing beer!

I'm going to close on the note that this is my second bottle of this incredible beer, and second review, for when I first cracked the cap on this monster over 15 months ago, I might not have been prepared for the totality of this experience, despite my past love and appreciation of Imperial Stouts.
Now, later, I acknowledge what an astounding bad boy this one is, and I LOVE IT!!! (1,847 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 10/04/10 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey for their Stone Total Tap Takeover event. 2004 vintage.

a - Pours a dark black color with one to two inches of off white head and light carbonation evident. Looks great.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and coffee. Light dark fruits as well. No alcohol in the smell, very balanced and smells great.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, and hint of alcohol.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation. Very easy to drink for 10.5% ABV.

d - This is a great RIS. I've had it several times and a few different vintages and have always enjoyed it. This one being a 2004 vintage, I didn't think the extra time did too much to improve the beer, but regardless, it is one of the best easily available RIS's out there. Interested to open my 08 bottle soon to compare to, will definitely have again. (883 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter; 2011 vintage, bottled in Spring 2011. Pours Dense pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, light char, molasses, raisin, light licorice, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malts with moderate earthy yeast ester notes; with good strength and some slight booziness. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, toast, dark bread, light char, molasses, raisin, light licorice, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Slight earthy herbal/roasted bitterness after the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roast, toast, dark bread, light char, molasses, light raisin, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of dark/bready/roasted malt flavors with light-moderate earthy yeast flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish, Overall this is outstanding imperial stout. All around awesome complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate earthy yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,559 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours jet black with a small half finger tall tan head, dissipating down to almost nothing, leaving very little lacing down the glass.

S - Lots of dark roast, bittersweet chocolate, dark roasted coffee, and some vanilla sweetness. Not as sweet and roasty as some of the others, more of a balanced nose.

T - Rich coffee, chocolate, and lots of dark roast mix well to form a well rounded stout. Finish is roasty, but not to the point of being overpowering, and it lingers for a good amount of time. Easily one of the best beers on the market today. I am glad I have a few of these in the cellar.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Thick viscous feel with a good amount of lingering roast in the finish.

D - Very high. I have always loved this beer and I would even say it is one of my all time favorites. You would be hard pressed to find a better beer for your money. (945 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz 2011 bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours clear, dark brown but sit near black and opaque in the glass. Little head or lacing;
Aroma:sweet and a bit boozy with a hint of molasses.

Flavor: robust, rich, refined and well-balanced. Leans slightly towards sweet. Very good mix of dark fruit and roasted grain flavors with a touch of coffee and earthy spices.

Feel: full body with excellent, soft, medium-low carbonation.

O: excellent (447 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured jet black with a fairly thin, but extremely well-retained tan head.
The smell was mainly of rich, roasted coffee with a touch of alcohol. It was slightly thin, but what was there was very inviting.
The taste was incredible...I drank it before reading the label -which describes it perfectly - It was a complex mixture of coffee, licorice (anise), chocolate-like berries (black currants)...and a slight charcoal-like smoke malt...but, as my roommate (who had the good fortune of sharing it with me) pointed out - each one was like a different level. It was like eating a rich layer cake. You could taste the different levels individually.
The mouthfeel was silky smooth. Perfect.
The drinkability...well, if it weren't for a budget and alcohol-content - I could drink it endlessly...
This is a beautiful beer...
I was prepared to be a bit disappointed because of the hype, which is sometimes overrated. But, in this case the hype was well-grounded! (960 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a scored tulip. Beer is BLACK as night, thick, forms a very thin head of brown tiny bubbles. The head falls away quickly leaving almost nothing behind in the way of the head but a lot of lacing, especially considering the tiny scale of the original head.

Smell is far weaker than I was expecting. There is some sweetness, some malt, not a lot of roast and I can detect some alcohol in there as well. No hop aroma.

Mouthfeel is good, not too thick not thin at all. The flavor is sweet, with a lot of roast in the back. I can taste some of the alcohol. High drinkability. The roast completely clears leaving no aftertaste. This is a superb RIS. (670 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Release

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with just the faintest hints of very dark brown near the surface when held up to the light and moderate amounts of visible carbonation near the surface as well. The beer has a quarter finger tall dark mocha head that reduces to a medium sized patch of extremely thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted malts with significant notes of coffee, anise/licorice, and bittersweet chocolate.

T: Very similar to the smell, the taste of this beer is dominated by the dark roasted malts, anise/licorice, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness that lingers lightly. Just a hint of alcohol as the beer warms up.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate to high amounts of carbonation. Smooth with some alcohol warming (which increases as the beer warms).

O: This beer has a great amount of complexity to both the smell and the taste of the beer. This beer is very enjoyable but not the easiest to drink, the high ABV (which is not all that well hidden) makes this one a real sipping beer. Good example of the style. (1,232 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Spring 2008 Release

Pours about 1/4 of a finger of dark tan head that fades to a thin ring around the glass. Not a lot of lace here. We will simply call the color black and leave it at that.

Aroma: Chocolate, coffee, toffee, roasted malts, dark fruits, earthy hops. The smell is very mouthwatering. I am enjoying it so far.

Wow, the taste is very rich and roasted. Lots of chocolate, toffee, caramel, some booze, dark fruits, and earthy hops. A big amount of roasted/burnt hops in this one. The dark fruit portion is pretty dominate in this RIS. I like it, but it is quite boozy.

Mouthfeel: Rich, smooth, hot, and a little bitter near the end. I can really tell there are a ton of hops in this beer from the mouthfeel. Full bodied with a lot of carbonation. Ends with a fairly clear burnt malt flavored aftertaste.

Overall, I am really enjoying this beer and I am glad the serving size is a 12 oz bottle. A bomber would be too much for me. I like, but it is nothing I am falling in love with. A great beer none the less! (1,026 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for sending me this bottle, 2008 vintage!

A: Poured into a DFH snifter. Pours very dark black, can see no light through it at all. Small mocha head forms and dissipates quickly leaving a ring of foam around the edge.

S: Tons of chocolate, I can smell it without even bringing the beer to my nose, it almost has a chocolate milk aroma, some lactose mixed in with the cocoa. A also get a little bit of mint at the end.

T: Wow. The flavor is amazing, I am kicking myself for not getting any of this beer sooner. Very similar to the aroma, the chocolate flavor is massive and extremely rich. There is a little bit of coffee and a touch of dark fruit, but the chocolate dominates..and that makes me happy.

M/D: Definitely fuller bodied, very creamy, and no trace of the alcohol after sitting for a couple of years. Overall, one of the best in the style I have had. Going to head and out and pick some up to age I think. (943 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy light brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich black malt and chocolate scent with a dry alcohol driven aroma! The taste is great. It has an intense black malt flavor with a dry warm finish. It goes down smooth and leaves a black malt aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine Russian Imperial Stout. It has good aroma and better flavor; a good drinker. (497 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007 presented in the form of a brown swing top 2 liter growler that was filled at the Warwick hotel during the Stone takes over the Warwick event. The event took place on 4/9 and this review is from notes taken the following weekend of 4/16 when the growler was shared with those who could not make the event.

The growler surprisingly enough opened with a very resouding thud. I was worried that the growler fill might have left this brew a little flat when compared to the draft version but to much excitement that wasn't the case.

Poured into a Stone pint glass, it appears a very dark brown to black color with a darkly tanned head that doesn't retain all too well. Nose is bitter smelling roasted malts with chocolate sweetness and a slight touch of soy sauce blended with coffee. Rounding out the aroma is some citrus hops and alcohol. Taste is a big malty sweet monster of a brew laden with alcohol and notes of bitterness from both hops and burnt grains (that also exhibit the flavors of coffee and bitter dark chocolate.) There is a residual sweetness that lingers tasting almost like dark fruits that blends with the alcohol laden dark chocolate and coffee that makes this dangerously drinkable and quite smooth. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated this vintage was a real sweet and alcohol burning treat. As it warms, there are notes of licorice coming through with the ever increasing alcohol presence that was previously hidden by the malt sweetness.

I've had this brew a number of times in varying years and serving types. They have always been an enjoyable experience with their own unique characteristics. While fresh this brew is quite bitter but time let's it smooth out and become a little more sweet (like this example.) (1,752 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage consumed 4/3/2010.

The beer pours dark brown to black with a khaki colored head. The aroma is chocolate and roasted malt with some piney hops. The flavor is lots of bitter chocolate, coffee and some piney hops as well as roasted malt. As the beer gets to room temperature you start to get some other flavors including semi-sweet chocolate, caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Medium bitterness overall, much less so than when the beer is fresh. The alcohol is not that present in the taste but it is warming. Thick, creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation. (564 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque. Deep and ominous black. Nice tan head that sticks around for a few minutes and leaves a decent coating in it wake.

Toffee, cocoa, roasted malt, rich dark chocolate, alcohol.

Extremely rich. There are a lot of great complexities in this brew, as noted in the aroma. It's very rich and delicious, however it's also a bit hot. The alcohol, particularly in the finish, is a bit forward. This is a fresh bottle, brewed Spring 2010. I can definitely see how this beer would greatly benefit from a few years of proper cellaring.

Shockingly smooth (at first). Leaves a nice coating around the palate. Warming alcohol finish, which gets harsher as you progress through the bottle.

Alcohol becomes more and more evident as I continue to sip. This would be a good beer to split, perhaps several ways. I had trouble making it through the bomber by myself.

Notes: I understand that this beer improves with age, but so do a lot of beers. I just don't understand why this beer has such a high rating. There was never a moment when I was really moved by the taste of Stone IRS. (1,082 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/26/04- Purchased at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA

Appearance- Pours a very black and thick used motor oil color. Head is brown and about 3/4 inch. Not very much lacing to be had though.

Smell- Mmmmm, chocolate and heavy burnt coffee malt.

Taste- Damn, this is the best stout I have ever tasted. I need to re-taste Rasputin on tap because it's been over a year since I have had it. But, I'm pretty sure this tops it. About the perfect combo of chocolate and coffee I have ever had. Nice hops finish in the background.

Mouthfeel- Perfect except it's a tad too carbonated to me which makes for a slightly less than smooth swallow.

Drinkability- Brutally drinkable! This may be my highest rating to date. From the first sip I didn't want it to end. Too bad I had to share a 22 oz bomber with two other people. Only 8 oz at the most for poor me :( The alcohol comes through pretty hard at the end. Already noticing a tinge of buzz after my 8oz. Fricking phenomanal beer. Like drinking a smores with a cup of coffee. But minus the marshmallow and plus the buzz. Sounds good to me. (1,085 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1000th review!!

Bomber poured into a snifter.

A - pours like slick oil; pitch black in color with a soft, brown head that is short-lived

S - chocolate, black licorice, alcohol, anise, roasted malts

T - rich chocolate, a hint of vanilla, roasted malts, black licorice, alcohol

M - full bodied, big alcohol warmth, smooth, good carbonation

This is a pretty amazing Russian Imperial Stout even if it is a bit boozy. The alcohol is prevalent, but the chocolate notes are creamy and rich. It's a pretty solid offering that's worth checking out. (545 characters)

Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 2,660 ratings.