1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  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.

6,921 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,921
Reviews: 2,582
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.45%
Wants: 519
Gots: 1,505 | FT: 85
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: 6,921 | Reviews: 2,582 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Boto
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz Bomber: The beer has a "thick" consistency when it is poured. It is almost a little syrupy. Dark oily brown color. Small cocoa colored head. The aroma is multi-faceted. Molasses, coffee, chocolate, some fruits too? Taste starts out a bit sweet. Malts and chocolate are the first hits. The flavor gives way to some chocolate, coffee and a bit of bitterness. Very rich, full and complex. Wow, this is good!

Boto, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of HardTarget
4.78/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz Bomber, Limited late Spring 2003 (tasted March 9, 2004)
Aroma: Started cold, which only gave a mild cotton candy scent. Once it warmed, all I could really note was the alcohol, maybe with a hint of rum soaked raisins.
Appearance: The beer is ink black, with only the slightest line of deep brown at the edge when seriously backlit. The smallest of heads with a stiff pour quickly formed an odd web-shaped coat in the middle of my Chimay goblet. Carbonation trickles fed a tiny ring at the edge for the first pour, but gone by the second.
Flavor: Komplicated is right. Coffee, raisin, cherry, maple syrup, caramel, alcohol, chocolate and toasted malt… maybe I should start listing things I don’t taste. Balance is toward the malt, but very evenhanded. Hops didn’t show up until the beer warmed a bit, and only deep in the aftertaste. This baby aged for a year, which I think explains the mellowed hops, and I’m happy for the effect. While this is komplicated, it is like pieces of a puzzle that just fit together. The komplete taste is whole, and serene. No harsh bite, no hop slap, no sweet rush, no sour pucker, just a smooth complete taste.
Mouthfeel: So smooth…. Medium body that grew a bit as it warmed. No oils, but a gentle mouth coating quality that let the gentle hops and rich flavors slowly seep into your chops.
Overall Impression: I was scared to try this, it being ranked so high (currently ranked #3). My expectations were high. God bless you BA! I don’t know how Bayesian estimates work, and I don’t care; this is one of the best beers I have ever tasted. Rich, complex, mellow like a good cigar. The alcohol is felt and tasted, but it fits. I’m awed by Stone’s abilities. While this is a massive beer, it’s easy to drink. If the alcohol content wouldn’t make me drool, I’d drink 3 more. Many thanks to weefishheads for the bottle.

HardTarget, Mar 10, 2004
Photo of ManekiNeko
4.97/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber served at cellar temperature in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Jet black topped by a small dark brown head that evaporates to a ring of foam faster than a businessman with political aspirations in Putin's Russia. Little fingers of lace were left on the glass, which I promptly licked clean so as not to let any of this go to waste.

Smell: Intensely dark aromas of coffee, alcohol, dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, and burnt roasted malts. Light notes of prune. I want this as a cologne.

Taste: Bliss. Sheer, un-a-friggin-dulterated bliss in a glass. A bittersweet symphony of espresso, dark chocolate, blackened malts, and magic. Yes magic. The alcohol can definitely be tasted, but it joyously melds into the whole gestalt. It just feels right that you can taste it, dig?

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous with aftertastes longer than Ron Jeremy. I wish they stuck around longer, unlike the person I compared them to. And, oh yes, alcohol burps!!

Drinkability: No other Stone beer has made me wish to buy it by the case. The 2004 release cannot come soon enough. Bring it on, Stone, and screw the credit limit!

Marginalia: I had the good fortune of having the same vintage back in August and it was much more brash with hops and alcohol. Time tames this ferocious beast into a glorious creature of beauty.

I described this to a friend of mine in a state of euphoria. She respond with a message containing three emoticons of smiling hearts, and then proclaimed to all and sundry:

"All I want is a Stone Imperial Stout and a pet meerkat"

ManekiNeko, Mar 10, 2004
Photo of lou91
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Believe the hype. Rich, chocolatety initial flavors - thick with an alcohol punch to remind you who are playing with. The burnt coffee initial taste gives way to a bitter chocolate aftertaste in a way that is predictable but so well done that it doesn’t really matter – much like watching the godfather for the 17th time. A world class stout at a reasonable price. Life is good.

lou91, Mar 06, 2004
Photo of BeefyMee
3.63/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Appearance: I'd say it's the blackest beer I've ever seen. It has the darkest brown head too. As a genius once said, "None more black."

Smell: An interesting chocolate aroma here, as it's not the usual for an imperial stout. It has more of a milk chocolate smell instead of dark chocolate. Alcohol comes through in good portions as well.

Taste: Smooth chocolatey taste accompanied by a healthy dose of alcohol. The chocolate is different from the smell and leans more towards the dark side. Point loss due to the alcohol being overpowering at times.

Mouthfeel: So creamy smooth. Feels like you can almost hold it in your hand. This one is right up there with Rogue Chocolate Stout in terms of superb mouthfeel, although I would have to give the edge to Rogue.

Drinkability: Okay, but I wouldn't go beyond one bomber. The strength of the alcohol hurt the beer in this department. The disagreeable alcoholic quality just started to get on my nerves after a while.

Beef Notes: I can think of at least three imperial stouts I'd rather have, but this is still a good beer. I did expect a little more character from Stone. C'mon guys, you gotta live up to your own hype.

BeefyMee, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This big brew pours a roofing tar black with a thin, fast-fading tan head and very little lace.
I was expecting a big wallop in the aroma department, but was surprised to find the need to search and concentrate for the answers. Sweet bready malt, faint hop and just a hint of the advertised 9.47 % abv are noticed upon close inspection.
Sweet, biscuity malt, toffee, sweet creamy coffee and some candy sugars blend well with sharp-edged white grapefruit, lemony sourness, orange zest and vodka-soaked pears.
Brown sugar, maple, milk chocolate and rummy flavors rise up.
The body becomes overly syrupy, and as far as "drinkability" goes, it's a bit thick.
While it is quite tasty, this is one-at-a-one-time sort of brew.
The advertised abv begins to make advances as it warms.

BeerResearcher, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of babyhobbes
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh man is this a fantastic beer. It pours a deep dark brown and has a reddish tone in direct light. It smells like coffee and chocolate and the taste is so full and think. This is smooth and creamy in the mouth and just awesome. The alcohol arrives as a kick in the throat after you've had a few sips. You'll want to drink more and more.

babyhobbes, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of Gritsak
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is my first time tasting this..and all i can say is WOW. went to a local store that carries alot of micro brew and over in the corner away from the chilled bottles, there lay a few bottles of 2003 stone imperial stout. i was like "hell yeah!"
appearence is black as night with a tan head that laces sticks like a champ

the smell is amazing..the first thing that comes to mind is beef jerky..i dont know if its the seasonings or what. also roasted coffee smell.

taste is really malty, thick, like coffee beans. the alcohol is hidden very well...theres a faint and i mean very faint aftertaste but nothing like the SN bigfoot barleywine ale i had the other night:)

so far this is one of my favorites. it goes down so smooth and the taste is incredible. find some and taste it for yourself and you will see!

Gritsak, Feb 08, 2004
Photo of nomad
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark, you expect anything else? Has tiny wispy stain from nice head that fights to stay but, alas, can not.

Smells of chocolate surrounded by slight smoke, molasses, and a fruitiness closest to black currants. Nutty presence through out. Flavored by sweet-ish complex fruit and dark chocolate, melding into an amazing play of black currants and mocha weaving in and out of each other. Also tasted a calmed espresso flavor. A smooth profile, complex but so well blended its tough to pick it apart. Ends on a roasty finish with small cream licks and a tiny spice of alcohol. Extremely drinkable, it went down very easy.

I think I let it sit for too long, as I aged my bomber bottle at about 60F for 6 months; it thereby lost some of its punch, especially around the olfactory. I did like how the hops had calmed down so much, and how complex the taste had become - thus, next time I'll age it for 3 months. In personal taste, I'd take a Dragonslayer or Czar instead.

nomad, Jan 24, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This is another monster-sized stout, but what else could expect from Stone? Anything else would be blasphemy. 22 oz, $4.99.

This mega-stout pours out impenetrably black with a measly dark brown head. On the nose I catch roastiness, then coffee, chocolate, and even fudge. I get some of this crazy-juice on my finger and fear that it is soiled forever.

This stout is so full of ingredients that the alcohol odor is swallowed whole - quite a feat at above 9% ABV. My mouthfeel is chewy and cocoa-rich. You can tell how much power this beer wields when the intricate lacing starts to look like cloud patterns. As you progress down the glass, you will find the hop fangs slowly sinking into you.

This beer avoids being sickly sweet, but is still not hugely drinkable. I would never consider drinking more than one bomber on even a special occasion. Still, I never had any trouble downing it.

Watch your breath after this one, though! People will think you've been lapping up motor oil from the parking lot. God only knows how many calories are in this bomber, but i'd guess enough to feed a small country. All in all a good stout, but not one i'd want as often as say a Shakespeare stout. But blows away Bell's 6000 - like it without the mega-hopping and wretch-inducing aftertaste.

GreenWBush, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of budsboy
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Silkscreened bottle has trademark gargoyle -- and that's all they need to mark their territory. Limited late spring 2003 release.

Ah, now THIS is what an imperial stout should look like. Dark and slick as used motor oil. Surprisingly small head from fairly aggressive pour, but what's there is creamy.

Whoa, Nelly, I can smell this brew at arm's length. Roasty, toasty and alcohol. Hints of sweetness -- fig or raisin.

Smooth, warm and wonderful on the tounge. You can actually taste the barley, hops and yeast independently. Ok, almost. Alcohol would be overbearing for my tastes, but it melds so well with the roasted malt taste that it's most enjoyable. That taste hangs in there, pitches a tent, sticks around.

Full bodied? Sh-he-heeee, this bubba is sumo-bodied. Slick, smooth and most deffinately heavy. With a half-empty glass, I'm getting full. Wow.

I can't drink more than a two of these a day. I just can't.

Give this to a Ulta-light drinker and they will actually die. This is full flavour. Not for the faint of tongue.

budsboy, Jan 16, 2004
Photo of Admiraldinty
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Crazy. This stuff is absolutely crazy. Pours deep, black, and oily with virtually no head (a little puzzling). Aroma is of dark coffee, very sweet malts, brown sugar some dark, ripe fruits. Alcohol. Mouthfeel is extremely heavy (syruppy) and very creamy. Very light crispness at the beginning, but doesn't last long. Very sweet and malty. A very slight amount of hop bitterness, but it's hard to detect. Ends with fairly alcoholic, almost like a cough syrup. This one is almost a little too much. A very well-crafted beer, but needs to be given the proper respect.

Admiraldinty, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of Gavage
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a strong black color with a thin dark brown head. The nose was dominated by alcohol more so than other imperial stouts, but coffee, roasted malt, and licorice were noticeable. The flavor kicks butt. Roasted malt, coffee,chocolate, caramel, licorice, plums, and alcohol were flavors I could pull out during the drink.

Very thick bodied. Smooth on the tongue. I noticed a chocolate and mellow coffee aftertaste. Very creamy finish.

This one turned me off slightly at the start on the aroma due to the very dominant alcohol smell, but the flavor turned the tables. The alcohol level was much more tolerable by the tongue and was balanced in the other flavors. I will need to try this one again soon.

Gavage, Jan 09, 2004
Photo of bewley
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber "Limited Late Spring Release"

"Bogartski while you can" instructions that are printed on the lable and can be translated into: Quickly horde against all others. And horde you should as this is one special brew. Smells like a wholeshot (burnt rubber tires of a late 60's/early 70's muscle-car) laced with simple syrup and toffee and tastes like, well, it tastes dambed good! My fiancee says that "It's different and very heavy." I say that I like it, I like it a lot.

bewley, Jan 08, 2004
Photo of mschofield
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Spring '03 release
Pours a deep ruby-black with lots of carbonation bubbles sticking to the bottom of the glass. A very syrupy pour, practically as viscous as maple syrup. Thin ring of film around the top.
Coffee and chocolate aroma, dark fruit - currant, plums.
Strong syrupy coffee taste, anise/licorice over chocolate and coffee.
Full feel and very warming, improves as it warms, probably want to drink this just a little under room temperature. A great strong beer, but that ABV keeps the drinkability under a 5, a dessert or nightcap beer.

mschofield, Jan 05, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As everyone has indicated pours like Castrol GT. Aroma is drak tropical fruits, chocolcate and coffee. Taste was somewhat syrupy dark malt up front but as it opened hte malt falvors smmothed and the complexity shown through. Very fine balance was struck between malty tastes and the somehwat bitter coffe tastes. The malt won but was balanced nicely by the mildy roasted flavor. Fell in the mouth wa smmoth but not quite aggressive enough for me as to the style.

CRJMellor, Jan 02, 2004
Photo of jtfest
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I almost feel unworthy to review this beer (almost). Late spring 2003 release, I shared a bomber with a friend last night. This beer is so good, I immediately regretted sharing! Pouring it reminded me of changing the oil in my car -- but if my oil tasted like this stuff I'd be a dedicated motorhead. It had a hint of prune that reminded me somewhat of my '94 Sam Adams Triple Bock, but was far more drinkable. Between the appearance, smell, mouthfeel, and taste, I felt like I had increased my station in life simply by consuming it. In case I'm being too vague, I liked this beer a LOT!

jtfest, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Late Spring 2002 release. "Komrad: This beer is bottle-kinditioned."

Presentation: Screened 22oz. bomber with typical very witty Stone description of the beer on the back ("pours like used motor oil and tastes even heavier").

Appearance: Yup. It's like used motor oil. Pours like an Exxon Valdez accident...thick, black, and devastating. Wispy thin layer of dark brown lace swirls atop this "crude" beer.

Smell: Lots of dark fruit running with wild abandon, chased by a chocolate bar holding a steaming cup of coffee. Medicinal alcohol aromas abound. An avalanche of smells ravage the palate. Fantastic.

Taste: Initally, this beer had a bit of an over-ripe fruit flavor to it. However, as it warmed up more, it got *much* better. The dark druit flavors become much more balanced by the cocoa powder/coffee bean flavors. Some smoky flavor also noted near the end. Finishes with a slightly sour aftertaste, mixed in with some bitterness. Not very long-lasting, either. Some tongue-numbing effects from the alcohol as I neared the end of the bottle. Very flavorful, but just a wee bit behind Storm King IMHBAO.

Mouthfeel: Massive mouthfeel. Thick and creamy...where's my knife and fork. Medium-bodied and virtual lack of carbonation make for an almost cotton-like mouthfeel. Sticks to the palate like velcro.

Drinkability: One to sit back and savor. Many flavors come and go as it travels the lengths of the palate. Much better as it warmed to room temperature. More of a one-an-evening beer as this one lasted quite a long time.

Notes: I'm curious as to whether or not this may have been past its best point for consumption. I purchased it very late in 2002 and it has been in my closet since then. The bit of sour flavor was only a tiny cause for concern as the overall experience was excellent. I prefer just a bit more chocolate flavor and that's why it ranks a little behind Storm King for me. I am curious as to how my '03 bottle tastes...

OldFrothingSlosh, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
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!!!

feloniousmonk, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Latest Review: 3.5 years aged bottle.
2001 Stone Imperial Russian Stout was served from a 22 oz. bottle, labeled "Russian", unlike 2002 and 2003. In a pint glass, the beer was black with ruby edge accents, and was topped by a brown ring form tan head. The nose was loaded with ultra roasty-oaky raw cocoa malt, with accents of dark esters (currant), vinous sharpness,creamy coffee and powdery nutmeg-like spice. On the palate, a roasty super-dark (85% cocoa solids content) malt profile exploded, and was soon joined by a big dark cherry-blackberry component, which formed the transition to the excellent milk chocholaty sharp finish, which left lingering anise and currant notes. No signs of alcohol were detected. This flavor is unequaled in the imperial stout world. The body was rich and thick, feeling just right for the flavors and character of the beer. The carbonation was appropriate. Even though this stout was huge, the generous esters and superb balance made this imperial drink extremely drinkable.

First Review. Bottle reads..."Limited Late Spring release 2003 Release. Bogartski while you can..."
Pours with no head (Duvel Tulip), color is nearly black, with dark cherry color at the edges of the glass. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, caramel, powerful malts. Tastes delicious, smokey malts, warmness, and twinge of dark cherry flavor perhaps. Its hoppiness balances everything perfectly! Mouthfeel is full and enveloping. You are left with a lasting hop/malt essence long after the last sip. This is a mighty pleasurable stout, one of my favorites!

HiroProtagonist, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of Realale
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black, with just a touch of ruby. Fine ring of brown foam.

Simply great nose. Lots of different malt aromas. Chocolate leads, with a touch of good coffee, and just a bit of caramel/toffee.

Very full in the mouth. Plenty of delicious malt flavors that imitate the nose. Great bitterness kicks in on the long finish. Some dried cherry-like fruitiness develops as it warms. Extremely well-balanced.

Excellent mouthfeel for an Imperial - just enough carbonation to keep the flavors moving across the palate, while allowing the richness to linger. A top-notch Imperial. Seamless, and perilously easy to drink.

Tasted blind at the 12/14/03 St. Louis BA tasting. The best beer I've had from Stone. This is the late Spring 2003 release. I still marginially prefer Expedition, but this is a great example of the style too.

Realale, Dec 16, 2003
Photo of woemad
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $5.65. Reads the label:"Limited late spring 2003 release. Bogartski while you can..."
I've come to anticipate anything from Stone that I happen across, and this didn't disapoint me. Poured a black that was as dark as Gray Davis's current political prospects. The head was small and brown, and didn't hang around too long. The nose was primarily of premium French roast coffee, sweet dark chocolate, molasses, and a tiny bit of smokiness. The taste begins with coffee and chocolate notes, with a thin cloak of smokiness wrapped around it. Then a sweetness akin to mollases and caramel slips in for a brief appearance, and walks off with a slight hoppy dryness at the end.
The high alcohol content creeps in slightly with a warming sensation after the swallow.The mouthfeel of this beer is thick and viscous, which is just fine for an imperial stout. I had to grade down a little for drinkability in the sense that this would NOT make a good session beer. The combination of rich flavors and the 9.47%abv would probably be a bit much for that. However, this would be great to have at the end of a satisfying meal, perhaps with a nice cigar.

woemad, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark as night, solid black! Very small white head even with a solid pour. Smell was sweet chocolate and coffee, but on the mild side. Some nice smokey notes were the first taste that hit me. Alcohol was more present in the end as it led to that warming feeling.

This beer has been in my cellar for over eight months and it could stay in there much longer. Smooth overall but could still use more time. I still rate Storm King above this.

CharlesRiver, Nov 26, 2003
Photo of OatmattStout
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

REAL TIME REVIEW: Pours coal black with a coffe ice cream color fluffy head. The nose has roasted and malted mik balls aromas. Holy cow! The first thing I notice before I even swallow and exhale to taste flavors is the sheer thickness of this brew. Sweet tobacco and chared grain/oat flavors to start and a nice licorice hop juice biterness. It reminded me of some of the flavors from a big dip of sweet leafy chewing tobacco after a big meal, if you chew you will know what I mean. So many flavor so few fluid ounces... flavors of bittersweet chocolate, prunes and malted grains. Probably the biggest Imperial Stout I've ever tasted. So thick, velvety and good.

OatmattStout, Nov 19, 2003
Photo of frank4sail
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Roasty, bitter, coco and coffee smell with sweetness and clean hops. Dark black opeque look with a thick rich sticky tan head. Superior lace on the glass. WOW is there a hell of alot going on on the tongue when you taste. Initial abv presence introduces roasty malt and and expresso.. this then mellows to some dark chocolate, plum, gin, and some bitter hops. The mouth is quite thick and coating. As it warms the flavors smooth and the edgyness gets mellowed. It will however get better with even more time in the bottle as this is a 2003 release. A sit back and relax kind of brew. It's blowing 30-55 mph outside my fence just broke, a boat blew off a trailer in my back yard and I have no worries... beer is the solution.. SIS.. not SOS.

frank4sail, Nov 14, 2003
Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 6,921 ratings.