1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

7,043 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,043
Reviews: 2,590
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.45%
Wants: 538
Gots: 1,556 | FT: 87
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Imperial Russian Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,043 | Reviews: 2,590 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barbellsNbeers
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

barbellsNbeers, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of Ted
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Ted, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of Etan
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 2012 bottle at my local. Poured from a 22oz into a tall tulip.

A: Pours a deep black with a lightly-colored chocolate head. Head is thick and sticky, leaving all kinds of nice lacing and very good retention.

S: Big nose of roasted barley, chocolate, sweet milky coffee, soapy yeast. Very slight solvent alcohol behind.

T: Big quaff of sweet, alcohol-laced chocolate with a bit of roastiness. Alcohol brings in some subtle dark fruits (raisins, prune). A bit of a metallic note and hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Thick-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: This is a bang-on recipe - quintessential RIS. Incredibly solid.

Etan, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of mschind
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from the 2012 batch

A- Gave it a vigorous pour into a chalice yielding a huge rocky looking mocha colored head that dissipated quickly and coated the glass nicely with good lacing. It’s dark brown bordering on black, almost opaque. Lots of carbonation strings are visible along the sides of the glass.

S- Nose is mild spice, roasted malt and alcohol sweetness. I’m looking for the chocolate and coffee but I’m just not getting it.

T- The nose let me down but the taste is huge. Sweet licorice up front with mild roasted bitterness in the middle, some dark chocolate and a slightly dry finish. Nice complexity across the entire palate. The alcohol warmth comes through later.

M- This is full bodied brew, maybe even a bit syrupy which is a good thing here. Silky smooth with subtle carbonation.

O- This is my new favorite stout and a fantastic value at $5.99. Don’t serve this too cold. I had to let the second pour warm up a bit to get the best head and flavor profile. Definitely one to savor and pair with food. The brewer says that it cellars well so I plan to put this in the collection.

mschind, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of StealieClimber
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

StealieClimber, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of cardern
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

cardern, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of Listers
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Listers, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of equincel
4/5  rDev -7.8%

equincel, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of laxer8811
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

laxer8811, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of flayedandskinned
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 3/15/2013
Poured in a Duvel tulip glass

Appearance: Pours an impenetrable obsidian with a menacing 3 finger tall light cocoa head that sticks around for quite some time and leaves a nice, thick coat of sticky lacing on the glass. Gorgeous Imperial stout.

Aroma: Roasted malts just leap out of the glass with underlaying notes of dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee. There is a mild alcohol presence that blends well with the light herbal hops.

Taste: A subtle herbal hoppiness greats your palate right away before you're pummeled by heavy notes of roasted malt, creamy baker's chocolate, vanilla and a mocha esque coffee presence. Finishes dry, smooth, and a tad warming with a slightly spicy hop bitterness. The alcohol is extremely well hidden. The finish leaves lingering notes of even more chocolate, coffee and a distinct nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: Very silky and very full bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

Overall: Wow, this stout is incredible. I haven't had this beer for about 2-3 years and this beer is absolutely great for a non barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. Extremely smooth, and rich with layered depth that is almost perfectly balanced. Stone needs to start releasing this year round. It is amazing.

flayedandskinned, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 just released.

served ice cold unfortunately, which majorly stunts the beer's aroma. It appears jet black and oily with tight tan bubbles that hold the glass tightly. The taste is a bold rich coffee roastiness and chocolate sweetness. It's definitely a potent stout with an extra chewy mouthfeel. Overall this stout is quite the bang for your buck and worth trying once.

ThePorterSorter, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of mscudder
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I reviewed the bottle a few days back and now I am back with a growler fill from HopCity in Atlanta.

A - Same as from a bottle: jet black with a nice thick tan head. Quality lacing.

S - Again very similar to the bottled version. Perhaps a tad less dense aroma. chocolates, coffee and roasted malts.

T - Absolutely fantastic. Deep flavors which begin with roasted malts, and follow with a creamy smooth chocolate infused sweetness. ABV is just as well masked as in a bottle. Beautiful RIS.

M - I have to say I find the beer superior in this catagory relative to its bottled counterpart. The carbonation is optimal and is truly everything I want in a big stout. Silky smooth, creamy and irresistible.

O - Overall this is the same top tier stout I have grown to love in a bottle. A bit better overall on draft, but nothing too substantial. Grab it if you get the chance!

mscudder, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of jhb138
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

jhb138, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this one is a keeper for sure, especially at less than 8 bucks a bomber. pours a gorgeous and enticing coffee black color, heavy and rich, with a 1 inch light brown head that has the consistency of cool whip, thick and light. it just floats on top of the beer without ever getting smaller. smells quite spicy for the style, espresso beans radiate as well. there are also notes of milk chocolate, vanilla beans, and charred english malts. flavor is similarly complex, with the roasty coffee and chocolate flavors being most prominent. there is that spice character again, maybe peppercorns or anise or clove... great alcoholic sweetness in the finish. the feel is quite thick, almost motor oil thick. mellow carbonation lets the complexities linger, and the aftertaste is awesome. this is a bigtime beer, a good one to share with a lover. well worth its excellent reviews.

StonedTrippin, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of BeRanger
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

BeRanger, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of natemort13
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012

Pours jet black with a significant dark mocha head.

Nose is char, dark chocolate, smoke, lots of leather, some tobacco.

Taste is deep milk and slightly dark chocolate, espresso, slightly tingly ethanol, more char, more leather. Anise is present as it warms to room temp. Wet finish with lingering chocolate covered espresso beans and tannic leather.

Mouthfeel is superb. Slick and full bodied with just enough carbonation to balance it out.

A fine beer, better than a lot of the stuff people are throwing in barrels and expecting to sell for 15 a bomber. I think I need a case.

natemort13, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of sukwonee
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage (I have also had older vintages before - never got around to reviewing this)

A: One finger head, black as black, good amount of lacing

S: Chocolate, coffee, malt, it's not as powerful as I remember in older vintages

T: Coffee, roasted malt, dark fruits, some hoppy bitterness in the middle, chocolate, I like the fact that it's not overly sweet, but it's sweet enough to mask Alcohol fairly well.

M: Relatively higher carbonation, Medium to thick body,

For some reason, I thought this beer was a lot better than what I just had. You can't beat the value of this bottle (@ $6.99 per bottle), I am surprised a little bit that it's listed in the top 100 beers. I bought a few more bottles to age - maybe my opinion will change after a few years.

sukwonee, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of ixodus
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

ixodus, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of gleemonger
5/5  rDev +15.2%

gleemonger, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of MYJELLOMISFIT
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

MYJELLOMISFIT, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of BarryInMN
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

BarryInMN, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a corsendonk chalice- pours pretty thick black with one finger of bubbly mocha head, dissipated relatively quickly, slight surface retention, minimal spots of lacing.

Smells of dark roasted malts, a little licorice, and booze.

Taste is much richer- lots of dark roasted malts up front, followed by sweet chocolate and a little coffee, a little warming alcohol, chocolate lingers on the finish and is overtaken by roasted malts again.

Mouthfeel is excellent- very full bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Not too syrupy/thick- very drinkable but in a sipping kind of way. Get it!

Hopdaemon39, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of DelicateDelirium
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

DelicateDelirium, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of SirHefeweizen
4/5  rDev -7.8%

SirHefeweizen, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of jayp82
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

jayp82, Apr 23, 2012
Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 7,043 ratings.