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Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

5,992 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5992
Reviews: 2531
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.43%


Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,992 | Reviews: 2,531 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of PSUDREW
PSUDREW

Pennsylvania

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

Very, very impressed with this beer. Dunno what it is, but this imperial floats my boat.

It pours such a dark, imposing black. I mean black. No light can show throught this F$%&*!. I mean, it is quite impresive. Aside from the color, it has a thick rocky head, that doesn't disaptes and play so well into this beer.The alchohol is subtle, but present in every part of this beer, from it wild nose, to its sweet finish.
Mouth feel is very very rich, and almost can feel the punds being packe on. Still so satifiing.

Such a good good beer. I cannot say enough god things, go get some, whether by trade or whatever, go get some. Thanks nvsblman

thanks

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2004 03:05:13 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of Skidz
Skidz

Wisconsin

4.97/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Late Spring 2003 release. Bottle obtained from a trade with ppoitras. Part 2 of the 4 part Stone tasting with my bro.

Pours out a viscous jet black, like old motor oil and sits 100% opaque in the glass with a small dark tan head that sinks into the pit of darkness below, leaving no trace.

Aroma is super chocolately with mild coffee and a hint of raisins. Alcohol penetrates from beneath the sweet and malty build.

Tast is as rich as rich can be. Devilishly sweet with monster amounts of chocolate. Coffee-like bitterness moves in and ends with a mild pleasant bitterness. Some traces of raisins and a hint of smokiness. Alcohol gives a good showing. Some dark fruits also play their part in the delicious brew.

A million dollar smoothness...like butter made from a golden cow! Low in carbonation but adds to the creamy build.

A spectacular RIS, perfect for any occasion and makes a great night cap.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2004 01:57:27 | More by Skidz
Photo of IrishRedRock
IrishRedRock

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 edition, been sitting around my apartment for a few months but I think it's about that time. My most awaited of the 4 different Imperials I had here, and maybe my expectations were too high, but it's not the best of the ones I've had recently (Yeti was pretty kickass). Still, it's Stone, so it's still quite good. Here we go...

It's pitch black (duh). But the head hardly retains at all. As for the aroma, I feel like Kramer when he loses his taste buds and can't taste the Mackinaw peaches. "I'm gettin' nothin' here, nothin!!" Some mild traces of chocolate malt and alcohol...it is nearly 11% after all, but not much else. Flavor comes through a little better, with a surprising gush of juicy hops to start with, melding with the thicker, chocolate and dark fruit undertones which head into the *very* warming alcohol finish. The thickness of this brew does a little to hide the booze, but it's still pretty noticeable. Mouthfeel is rich, buttery, creamy, etc. You know what I'm talkin about here.

I'm a big fan of Imperials so of course I still like it, and it's still a good beer, but I am going to have to get a few more bottles for comparison. Maybe it's me, but I know Stone...they are an amazing brewery, which makes me think they can produce an amazing Imperial Stout. This is good, but it falls short of amazing.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2004 02:49:43 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of Shaw
Shaw

Florida

4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a bottle of the 2004 vintage while visiting San Diego and brought it back to Florida to share with my friends.

This is a very approachable Imperial Russian Stout, much more so than Rogue's, which I must admit I like a little better. Stone's take is a lot creamier and smoother. Stone keeps the roasted malt flavors on a tight leash while Rogue lets them run wild.

I find it interesting that Stone releases a beer I would think of as a winter warmer in early summer. And while this beer certainly can be laid down, I see no need to. It's ready to drink now!

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2004 04:26:33 | More by Shaw
Photo of thecoldesquire
thecoldesquire

West Virginia

4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow! This is an excellent beer. This is the 2004 edition of this lovely brew.

Appearance: Thick and black, like motor oil. Watching this thick beer pour into the glass was amazing. Black as midnight. I have to knock points for having little head, actually almost no head.

Taste: When cold, you really don't notice that it is such a strong beer. As it warmed, you get a nice alcohol flavor. Hints of chocolate and coffee. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Creamy

Drinkability: surprisingly good for such a strong beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2004 17:47:16 | More by thecoldesquire
Photo of BadBadger
BadBadger

New York

4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a mighty fine stout. It pours a deep black, with beautiful brown foamy head. The smell is of sweet roasted malts. The taste carries on the malty wonder of the smell, nice roasted malts. A warm full and smooth mouthfeel. This is a very tasty stout and there is really no hint of the high ABV in either the aroma or taste. Definitely a beer to be searched out and enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2004 14:48:31 | More by BadBadger
Photo of bigchris1313
bigchris1313

California

4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as night. Black like a black hole. Black. White to light beige head, perhaps 1" thick, but that could just be due to how I pour.

Smell: Mixture of chocolate, coffee, and a tiny hint of alcohol.

Taste: Chocolate. I've been a chocoholic all my life and this is simply the most choclatey brew I've ever had. It is like dark chocolate, bittersweet in nature. Some bitterness, but overpowered by some coffee and massive chocolate flavor. Perhaps I was (subconsciously?) only tasting what I wanted to taste, but this thing was amazingly chocolatey.

Mouthfeel: Something like whole milk, but without that mild oiliness to it. I like to joke with my less-enlightened buddies that they'd need a knife and fork to navigate the glass.

Drinkability: I don't really know how many of these things I could drink repeatedly, as this gem clocks in at 10.8% alcohol by volume. Although not the infinitely drinkable yet amazingly delicious perfection that defines Stone's IPA, this brew could be consumed for a good while.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2004 23:44:26 | More by bigchris1313
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

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

Thank you chilidog for the chance to try this exceptional beer.
Wow what can I say that already hasn't been said, but this beer is fantastic. From picking up the beautiful Gargoyle Bottle to the last drop a great experience.

Appearance - Pours a thick black color which no light penetrates with a small coffee tan colored head that continues to lace down the side of the glass until the very bottom.

The smell is not quite as strong as I would have guessed but there are hints of Blackened Malts, Espresso, Chocolate, Kurant, Anise. All fighting to escape. Great.

The taste is simply WOW - what an explosion of flavor. I am instantly hit by the power of the Sweet Black Malts and a fruity Kurant Flavor. It is quickly followed by a strong Anise and Coffee flavors. There is some nice hoppiness at the end along with the nice warming alcohol notes, but overall the flavor is dominated by the amazing complexities and not so much the hops or malts. Very Cool.

The Mouthfeel is a combination of a creamy fuzziness with a nice warming charachteristic. Great

The drinkability is fantastic, I got the bottom of the glance and imediatly wanted more. The only bad thing I can say about this beer is that I can't get it on a regular basis and now that makes me very sad because I want another.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2004 04:52:12 | More by bashiba
Photo of koolkat
koolkat

United Kingdom (England)

4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice thick syrupy black liquid that almost sticks to the glass as you pour it. I know Im in for a treat when I finally get to drink this. The flavor dosent dissappoint, it is very powerful wich much more of a malt tone than I expected from Stone given their other beers. The hops are well prononunced yet not overly powerful like in Arrogant bastard. All in all a very nice beer, but I doubt many people could handle this as a session beer it would just overwhelm you.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2004 02:04:09 | More by koolkat
Photo of Padron4KM
Padron4KM

Arizona

4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick black with a decent sized coffee brown head. minimal lacing. Veiwed from above it took on an almost port-like apperance (dark with a clear layer on top) Aroma was dark fruit(prune,plum) coffee, liquorice, alcohol. flavor was rich, thick coffee (espresso) unsweetend chocolate, with a touch of bitter/sweetness in the finish. I hope there is still a bottle left at the store, because this is one for the cellar

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2004 07:50:03 | More by Padron4KM
Photo of altctrlsdelete
altctrlsdelete

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light-destroying black with a chocolate milk colored, finger-and-a-half head. Roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee notes explode from the glass into my nostrils, held up by a stiff hop bitterness. Taste is perfect, with a wonderful burnt chocolate flavor taking center stage and supported subtly but expertly by roasted coffee goodness and balancing hop bitterness. A wonderfully viscous mouthfeel highlighted by the spicy alcohol notes.

The simplest description that comes to mind is a perfect cross between Victory's Storm King and Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout -- two personal favorites in the style. A nearly perfect imperial stout that leaves you in awe of what can be accomplished with malt, hops, yeast, water, and talent. Thanks yet again, Stone!

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2004 02:40:28 | More by altctrlsdelete
Photo of RenoZymurgist
RenoZymurgist

Nevada

3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Limited Edition 2004 Release, 22 oz. Bomber.
Poured a jet black brew with a moderate off white head that dissipated after about one minute. The aroma was clean without having any defects but it was hard to pick up much except a little roasted barley and alcohol. The taste was very nice as the rich malty sweetness was balanced very well with the sharp contrast of the roasted grains. The hops made a brief appearance right before being run over by a warm alcohol and then finishing clean with a touch of roasted flavor lingering. Very drinkable though not a session beer as one bomber is enough to get a nice buzz.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2004 16:42:56 | More by RenoZymurgist
Photo of henrysunset
henrysunset

Washington

4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

black as night, opaque as imaginable. Tan cremy head, but with short retention

smells godly, really rich and coffee-like. Tinge of bitterness makes it even better.

tastes strong and good. Malts are excellent and everywhere. tastes a bit "cooked" with a hint of charred flavor.

Coats the throat instantly. Smooth as can be, where did the 9.5% go??

thick but entirely drinkable. I better like it, because it comes in a big bottle! (and I do like it)

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2004 00:54:14 | More by henrysunset
Photo of beerceller99
beerceller99

Louisiana

4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. "spring 2002 release". Jet black color with a slight dark tan head. Has an incredible smell that is earthy, fruity, yeasty and nutty. Big bodied with a chewy mouthfeel. Huge flavors of plums, huckleberries, sweet bread, almonds, and semi-sweet chocolate.
This is the liquid version of Liberty Orchards fruit chocolates. Finishes with a strong alcohol taste on the breath.

Excellent, one of the best stouts around and aging quite nicely.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2004 22:58:54 | More by beerceller99
Photo of baugherlager
baugherlager

Indiana

4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh my god this beer is amazing! Felt like cossacks were dancing on my tongue! I just bought this and and wasn't disappointed at all. Very thick reminds me of crude oil like they say on the bottle.

I wish they made cologne that smelled like this stuff it smells amazing like chocolate, burnt coriander, and molasses. Very pleasant and thick smelling.

The taste of this beer just makes my mouth water. It tastes very complex of chocolate, soy sauce, coriander, and black patent malt, with alcohol on there to back it up and more malt also with a hop edge in the back with the after taste.

I can drink this beer even if it is warm although it would probably take me 2 hours to down it.

Overall it is a really good Russian imperial stout. Stone is once again amazing! This beer is really worth the price

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2004 07:30:51 | More by baugherlager
Photo of waughbrew
waughbrew

Massachusetts

4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black with brown head. Sprucy pine tree sap with molasses and dirty honey. Caramel nail-polish-remover and oreos. Cocoa crispies with rancid milk. Boom, thick and chewy. Roasty rust that I can imagine dripping out of an old pipe in a basement. Sweet and nasty. End is cleaned up but stings with alcohol-soaked-cashews.

Impressive and insanely drinkable. Where did those 22 ounces just go? I want more.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2004 23:57:11 | More by waughbrew
Photo of HappyHourHero
HappyHourHero

Indiana

4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spongy, dark brown colored head left strings of lace. Strong aroma consisting mostly of chocolate and raisins. Matte black looking beer. Flavors of bitter chocolate, coffee, a bit of marshmallow, creamy alcohol, and raisin. A thick chewy beer that's just right.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2004 02:09:41 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of odeed
odeed

California

3.4/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2004 bottle....damn this is black!!!not something to be messed with at all!(but really,what stone is right?)
pours almost no head,with VERY BLACK apperance.not much carbonation,and has a little syrupy taste to it.for serious imperial stout lovers only.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2004 00:26:57 | More by odeed
Photo of cerevisiaephilus
cerevisiaephilus

Michigan

4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to trying this one compliments of my roomate Logos.

Decent looking beer. Dark as all hell. No red around the edges when held up to the light. But the head is a bit skimpy even when roused.

Nose is quite nice. Definately get the roasty toasty scents and maybe a bit of hops, but I also get some nice dark chocolate dank cherry cake notes and some breadyness to boot.

Taste is a little disapointing. Definately the massive roasty toasty notes backed up by massive hop bitterness and flavor, some smooth caramel crystal malt flavors there as well and a touch of wineyness but finishes a bit chalky, like some of the second tier Imperial stouts I've tried like Great Lakes. Little disapointed.

Nice mouthfeel. Very appropriate, but not quite perfect.

Pretty drinkable for such a big beer, but awfully bitter after a couple sips. Woudl like something a little smoother.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2004 05:09:05 | More by cerevisiaephilus
Photo of daledeee
daledeee

Iowa

4.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's tough at the top. The differences are sometimes only slightly discernable. A recent trip to the Chicago area afforded me a chance to try the Stone Imperial.

A 22 oz bottle. It took me an hour to relish the rarified brew.

It poured a beautiful black, and I mean BLACK. The head was nice with a tawny color. At the end of the pour the last drops of the brew danced across the head defying gravity. I knew then this would be a magical experience.

The aroma is unbelievable. Coffee and chocolate with malt. This is the best smelling beer I have ever enjoyed.

The flavor of this drink is worth savoring for as much time as you have. It is so well balanced and tasty that you will want one every day. The flavors burst free when they hit the palate. A perfect balance of chocolate, malt, coffee and hops. The aftertaste is just as fulfilling. A little more bitter at the end.

I have only given a few 5's across the board. There are a few categories for this brew that deserve 5+. So enjoyable, so drinkable. And yes, a good buzz. Nice high alcohol content.

NOTE: A few years since the first review. I have since tried many imperial stouts. This one came across as a little dry and not as dynamic as I first thought.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2004 01:19:18 | More by daledeee
Photo of Ricochet
Ricochet

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Zorro, another BA, Provided this one for me. (I provided Ballantine by request and Thirsty Dog's Imperial)

This stuff was CHEWY. It was so damn good, I'd have to say it was the best stout I'd tasted thus far.

Dark as all get-out and thick. Rich smell , just made me smell a few times and enjoy just that. Mouthfeel was very thick and deep. Drinkability was really good. This was thick, not very strong and made me think I could have more than one despite what this beer can do to you.

Taste? Very very complex, typical like a stout but not with the heavy alcoholic taste like most imperials. This beer was warm , tasty, complex and will be a fave for wintery nights if I can find this in Cleveland.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2004 04:26:23 | More by Ricochet
Photo of kennyo
kennyo

New York

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

dark as night, pitch black with a deep dark tan, about 3/4", lasted about a minute and then it was gone.

Aroma - Malt, dried fruit, chocolate, alcohol

Taste - Malty, alcohol, bittersweet chocolate, roasty, DELICIOUS

Big beer, a sipper not a pounder, took me about an hour and a half to finish this. Wonderful

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2004 03:24:38 | More by kennyo
Photo of RocketWidget
RocketWidget

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, chocolate brown, with a frothy brown head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells of fruity currants and malty sweetness. Taste is unique for an imperial stout. Very fruity, with undertones of coffee, malt, and cinnamon. Alcohol has an impact on the aftertaste, and burns the throat slightly. A very unusual imperial stout because of the fruity, spicy elements.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2004 01:12:12 | More by RocketWidget
Photo of yankeeheel
yankeeheel

Maine

4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The early summer 04 edition. Black as night with a coffee colored head. Not a whole lot in the way of retention or lacing. Heavy hanging licorice and charcoal smell. Taste is huge gobs of fruity fig, choclate and ash. There is nothing you can do but submit. Epic is an understatement. Finishes with that ever so subtle astringet burn. I'm floored. If this can't fill your palate try lighter fluid. Suprisingly drinkable for a young, strong, beer with high ABV. My other bottle is going underground for a few years.They should rename this stuff Hammer because it's like drinking steel.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2004 00:08:41 | More by yankeeheel
Photo of soper2000
soper2000

Texas

4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First time sampling this stout and I got ahold of the 2004 edition at a local store. As I was pour this I was able to anticipate the creamy mouthfeel as it felt I was pouring oil into my pint. Appearance is black as night with a medium sized tan head. Nose has a bit of alcohol which was preceded by notes of chocolate and coffee... mmm... roasted malts. Taste is simply wonderful, lots of chocolate and slight bitterness. A slight sensation of alcohol follows but it is pleasant and warming, not strong at all. Mouthfeel is gloriously thick. Drinkability is decent for a brew of this strength. All and all I think i might have a new favorite Imperial Stout. I will definately try to stock up on this one for the comming winter.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2004 03:23:40 | More by soper2000
Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 5,992 ratings.