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Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Belgo Anise Imperial Russian StoutBelgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

443 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 443
Hads: 931
Avg: 3.51
pDev: 31.34%
Wants: 17
Gots: 161 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: EgadBananas on 05-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 443 | Hads: 931
Photo of vfgccp
4.43/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Nice dark khaki head with low retention and lace. Dark brown body with cola highlights.

S – Liquorish, vanilla, root beer, burnt marshmallow, chocolate nougat, gingerbread, and a light coffee note.

T – Dark liquorish with a creamy, delicious, 70% cocoa. Root beer and vanilla center. The root beer transitions into a ginger-like spiciness as oak builds through the backend.

M – Medium body with a spicy sweet finish.

O – Fantastic complexity. The flavors are potent, but if you’re a fan of them you’ll love this beer.

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Photo of shigg85
4.42/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in a wide-mouth snifter at Popeye in Ryogoku, Tokyo. Pitch black with a thin murky head. Immediate smell of licorice anise is suprising in its accuracy. Roasted hops flavor present as well accompanied by raspberry perhaps. Very drinkable as the anise flavor is not as strong as the smell. Very little head even when I spin it. Overall, an amazingly interesting, delicious beer.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.41/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown, almost black with a tight, mocha head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of big anise notes and some underlying oak as well.

Tastes of all of the prescribed ingredients, along with a little something extra. Anise definitely leads, but as I finish my snifter full, I notice the other flavors taking charge. A moderate oak woodiness and vanilla add some complements to anise which lends to way some roasted malt characteristics. Typical roasted malts come in and make this beer recognizable with notes of espresso, semi-sweet chocolate, and brown sugar. On the end there is some nice fruitiness with notes of raisins and black currants.

Mouthfeel is full and has a creamy amount of carbonation.

Overall, this seems like Stone set out to make not necessarily a better RIS, but to make a different one than what they have. I think they succeeded fully in doing this. However, there are some pretty big anise notes that some might feel are overdone, but I don't hence my score. Other than that, this is a fantastic brew and still has some interesting ideas worth tasting for yourself.

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Photo of SteveStein
4.4/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottom line - tastes like black licorice dissolved in a good milk stout. If you like black licorice and stout, you might like this beer a lot. I do.

22 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass. Inky dark, good head if you let it develop. Licorice dominates the aroma and the aftertaste, but taste is of a robust but not bitter stout. Roasted but not smoky, great full mouthfeel. Then after a while the licorice reasserts itself.

I normally don't like non-beer tastes in beer (fruits, bourbon, caramel, maple), but I find the anise to be an exception, at least for me.

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Photo of NefariousR
4.39/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. glass bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Same familiar, blacker-than-Hades appearance I'd expect from a typical Stone RIS. However, the head's a bit thinner and dissipates more quickly as well.

S - Dark coffee, chocolates, vanilla, a bit of licorice, and a lot of dark fruits, the aroma is extremely floral and complex.

T - A primary assault of dark coffee is quickly overtaken by a strong anise flavor and a slightly Belgian-flavored malt body. Tastes vaguely of gin in the aftertaste.

M - Somewhat lighter than expected, but still fairly thick. Medium-carbonation.

O - This is one of the most interesting beers I've had in a long time. I wouldn't say it's better than the standard Stone RIS, but the two are really incomparable. Get a bottle.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.38/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into a snifter glass. 2011 bottle.

Appearance: Oily pitch black with no signs of color. Has a small two finger deep tan head that quickly fades into a small patch. Lacing is fairly light.

Smell: Aroma is strong up front with black licorice anise and mint. Also some dark roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee. Some light hints of dark fruit, yeast, and alcohol. Anise smell really stands out.

Taste: Anise is strong but blends in pretty well with the dark chocolate, coffee, and dark malts. Mint flavor is pretty strong. Belgian yeast is also stronger than the smell leads on. Light hints of dark fruit, vanilla, and oak. Overall a pretty spicy stout but fairly well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and chewy. Moderate level of carbonation. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

Overall: Far from a typical RIS but pretty good. The anise and mint are strong but not completely overwhelming. I happen to like black licorice so that probably is a factor.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.38/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber- multiple slow pours into a snifter.

A- Pitch black oil colored liquid- toffee/cream colored head. The half inch thick head stuck around for the WHOLE entire time that I consumed the beer. Carbonation bubbles floating through the entire pour.
S- Smell was sweet cream, chocolate ice cream, anise, and espresso.
T- Initially extremely fruity with hints of bananas followed by bitter dark chocolate and rounded out by the faintest yet wonderful flavor of anise.
M- Thick and sticky. Mouth puckering.
O- I really liked this one. The quality is what stuck out to me. Quality ingredients in this beautiful well crafted beer.

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.38/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a creamy tan head that quickly becomes a thin ring, leaving some nice sticky lacing.

Aroma is dominated by smokey dark grain and anise. Underneath, there is some dark fruit and prevalent alcohol.

Taste is more of the dark grain and massive anise flavor from the nose along with rich molasses, and chocolate notes. plenty of sweet dark fruit - notably plum and date. Then a charred dark grain bitterness takes over; along with a very peppery yeast character. Alcohol warmth comes on strong and has a presence throughout. Finishes very dry and woody, along with a welcome touch of aromatic spice and vanilla from the oak aging.

Mouthfeel is thick and viscous.

This is a beer with bold rich flavor. I love the intensity, and the alcohol warmth. One of my favorite RIS.

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Photo of McNealc31
4.36/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big, bold, black, and very aggressive. You'll need a few pours to fit all this in one glass. The smell is nearly all anise, with some wood. It's quite creamy with a lot of that black licorice flavor, dry wood, roasted malt, spicy hops. Outstanding lacing lures you in to try to find more flavors, the ones more common in a Russian Imperial Stout. If you hunt, you will pick up some of the currants, chocolate, coffee, but the anise is the real star here. I could see where some say it's overpowering, but I love the flavor, so it's working for me. The 10.5% ABV warms through the finish, along with a fun bitter bite.

Another unique, tasty brew from Stone. But you have to love anise to love this. If you don't, you will hate it.

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Photo of avalon07
4.36/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a big, creamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing. An great-looking beer.

S: Not surprisingly, the anise was front and center in the smell, along with some chocolate, malt, and coffee.

T: Like the smell, the anise was a dominant force, though this wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Also had traces of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and a little hops in the finish. Not your typical stout flavor, but very tasty.

M: A lot of carbonation and a typically slick finish. Full-bodied.

O: Because this beer doesn't conform to typical stout norms, some people won't like it. I think the anise is an interesting and creative addition to the style.

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Photo of ChanChan
4.35/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout 2011 odd year release!
Poured into a palm sized snifter.
Appearance: Dark, almost impenetrable by light. Like the classic Stone IRS the head is kaki colored, soapy, thin, and dissipates rather quickly.

Aroma: Burnt malt, dark fruits, coffee, and a good amount of Anise. I get a pleasant bready note as well I am not sure if that is because of the anise, the Belgian Yeast, or a combination of the two.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied to full. This beer feels a lot like a milk stout its quite velvety but not thick.

Taste: Obviously this is very reminiscent of the original Stone IRS. This beer is also similar to the Old Rasputin. This odd year release, however, is unique because of its significant anise flavor. Some will find the first impression to be unpleasant or weird. I think it’s great. The finish is long and bitter much more so than the original IRS. It almost feels like eating a black licorice stick, it’s a bit minty but pleasant!

Overall: This beer gets a lot of bad rep due to the anise notes. It is not nearly as strong as some have made it seem. Sure the anise is present but it is not cloying. Give this beer one or a few years and the anise will serve as complementary note!

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Photo of bradleyp
4.33/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you again for Market of Choice for stocking this beer.

A: Blacker than black. You are not going to see anything through this glass. It was blacker than most coffee I drink. Very exceptional in color and a nice tan/khaki head.

S: I'm not very experienced with Anise. Strangely enough, my roommate had just gotten some Anise at a spice store. I exchanged whiffs of the Anise and this beer, and they smelled extremely close. The beer had strong licorice and chocolate overtones.

T: Once I got what the Anise flavor smelled like, I got the taste of that as well. Some coffee and chocolate taboot. Almost like a Hershey bar.

M: Very smooth, and creamy. It tasted so good in my mouth, I almsot didn't want to swallow.

O: Luckily, I bought 3 bottles, I'll try another one in a month, and then I'll save the last one for about 6 months. Great beer that everyone should try.

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Photo of cookedw
4.33/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: To me, this is as sexy as a stout gets in look - pitch black pour with a good 3/4" dark tan head. There was a good amount of lacing, and the head did not subside quickly. Appearance isn't that important to me, but this beer lets you know to buckle up.

S: The anise awakens your nose immediately, front and center. Behind that is a deep dark fruit note, predominantly currants, maybe a little bit of raisin...something along those lines. There is also a coffee bitterness that plays well with the anise. I could not help but be reminded of a birch beer while drinking this.

T: The bitterness is pretty punch-you-in-the-mouth strong on this, which was kind of surprising and very assertive, even though that's kind of a theme with Stone's stouts. Coffee notes were more like a burnt roast with some slight thinness reminiscent of chicory. As this subsides, it yields to the dark fruits again. As I got used to the bitterness, I also noticed some vanilla up front. The oak certainly feeds into the bitterness, but this plays well with the high carbonation to detract from the fact that you're drinking a 10+% ABV beer. But the anise in the taste is a little clashing, here combining with the oak to give a very woody flavor not unlike peanut shells. On the back of the tongue in the finish, however, the anise shines. I found myself tasting licorice and fig long after.

M: I really enjoyed the carbonation on this. The beer itself was thick and coating, but the bitterness combined with the high carbonation kept it bubbly, enough to make the beer dance on the palate.

D: You won't notice you're drinking a 10.5% ABV beer at all. The mouthfeel coats, but the complexity of the aroma and long-lingering taste will keep you coming back for more. This one really surprised me just how delightful it was to drink.

O: A delicious, earthy beer. I'd say that it's so earthy, it's almost like topsoil...very deep, rich, moist flavors that coat and compel the tongue. I could not get over how enjoyable the beer was to drink - I'm glad I've got another bottle!

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Photo of MCorrea
4.33/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours pitch black with with an off white head. The head quickly fades, leaving a tan collar.

S- Lots of licorice and Dark chocolate. As the beer warms up, the anise really comes to the forefront.

T- A wallop of licorice, chocolate, slight oak.The anise rises to the forefront on the finish. I'm surprised that I don't taste as much of the belgo yeast influence as I was expecting. Especially since it was so apparent in the Belgo Old Guardian (and not really in a good way).

M- Probably my favorite part of this beer. Nice, chewy, creamy, smooth. Wonderful.

O- A cool interpretation of an already solid beer. Stone IRS ages with the best of 'em, so I'm going to stash one away and revisit in a few years.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.33/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous jet black color with a nice tight, somewhat fluffy tan head going on. Very nice aroma-the anise really comes thru and is well balanced against a nice, roasted, sort of dark chocolate theme. Very solid roasted flavor. The anise is definately there but once again well blended with the roasted grain and deep, dark flavors. Long lingering sweetness-almost too much for a RIS but I like it. Anise is still there in the finish that's for sure. Very nice mouthfeel-actually quite smooth and silky. I simply love this beer. I could see a night of this. The flavors and mouthfeel combine to really make a complete package. I will be getting more for now, and later.

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Photo of Manoftyr
4.33/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Pours black, not 'quite' motor-oil slick though, a sizable medium-tan head rises and bubbles its way back down to a film. Good lacing and legs.

Aroma-Huge notes of star anise and black licorice are immediately apparent, they weren't kidding when they said this beer screams it. I also pick up aromas of molasses, cocoa and coffee but its buried under there.

Taste-While the anise is still a star player it isn't nearly as huge as it is in the aroma, a good thing in my book. The first flavors are that of rich dark cocoa and black coffee which are cut almost immediately by the anise right before mid palette, plenty of licorice in there. The finish is the most 'blackly bitter' finish I've ever tasted on a beer; this is a pretty unique creation.

Mouthfeel-The mouthfeel is full, but not lusciously so; the carbonation is between reserved and assertive, kind of neutral.

Overall/Drinkability-Well, if the goal was to make a beer that screams anise then Stone certainly accomplished what they set out to do. The anise character is a bit harsh, even if tasty and refreshing, so that makes this a slow sipper.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
4.32/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours an opaque inky black with a finger and a half of tan crema colored head. Retention is not that great but what do you expect at 10.5% ABV. Head recedes intoba thin halo of tight bubbles.

S- let me start by saying that I am a sucker for anise/licorice aromas and flavor. Starts out like a good and plenty. Anise black licorice fills the nostrils with a note of candy sweetness. A hint of oak cuts the sweetness beautifully but doesn't overpower. I'm having a hard time picking out the Belgian yeast but there is a softer nose to this then the classic IRS. Finishs with a smooth roast and subtle chocolate.

T- Tastes like a chocolate covered licorice stick. Dark chocolate and anise flavors run rampent on the palate. Dark bakers chocolate mingles in with a dusty char roasted note that I have found in a lot of belgian style stouts. Finishs with a slightly rough oak and a choolate aftertaste.

MF- smooth thick chewy mouthfeel with a full body and average carbonation.

D- this is a big boy with lots of complexity. Drinkability is ok however. Time, I think, would work out some of the kinks and meld the flavors a bit better. Overall great beer and love the anise!

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Photo of dbossman
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black hue with a thin film of a head; nice lacing especially for the style; this looks thick, viscous, and awesome

S: Wow, that has licorice like over-the top black jelly beans, jagermeister, some subtle oak androasty malts but mostly sweet licorice awesomeness

T: So much salty licorice--like real Scandinavian licorice candy; some oaky roasted malts but man is this an anise bomb and I love it

F: Viscous body; thick and sticky and fantastic

O: Such an interesting, weird, awesome, LICORICE, stout--I love real, black, salty licorice and I love big stouts and I also love this beer

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Photo of TCgoalie
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imperial stouts are typically boring in terms of appearance when tasting from the bottle. This one is decent I can tell from the ring like mocha head. Any presence of head in an imperial stout is typically a plus.

The scent is really heavy on the mint, anise, and funky Belgian yeasts. Some chocolate and coffee linger in the background. I would be interested to smell this with some age under its belt.

There is more dark chocolate in the taste when compared to the smell. Mint, anise, and some understated Belgian yeasts round out the flavor.

Medium to medium full in the mouth but the best is how smooth it is.

This is a very tasty brew. I'm really glad I tried it and wish I could try it 1 year down the road. I think the ratings on this are a bit low to this point. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.27/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the beer that started it all for me. That first beer that I reviewed: Stone Imperial Russian Stout. It was so good that it literally compelled me to write something about it. How does it get any better than that? How about…anise oak chips and Belgian yeast? Yep, that’ll do it. It’s really hard to not over-hype this in my mind’s eye, with the nostalgia and all, but I’m trying my hardest. So, like always, here’s an objective review for a beer that may or may not rock my world. Cheers!

A: Black as night, though not as thick around the top – there’s some light shining through in places. It’s done well; it doesn’t look too syrupy. The head is bold and crisp, receding to leave random hints of dark brown around the edge of the glass in a slight ring. Lacing is thin but creamy, adding a pronounced sheet of film as I twirl the glass. Wonderfully dark with some light, lively tendencies to balance.

S: Wow; I was definitely not expecting a nose this oaky. The woodiness is so strong that it reminds me of a nice leather jacket or a brand new cigar humidor – very, very pleasant. Coffee is next, providing a nice bitter change of pace, followed soon by familiar chocolate and heavily-kilned malts. There’s just that slightest hint of the alcohol and Belgian yeast at the finish, combining for earthy, estery, and peppery aromas. A very well-rounded, delectable nose, with some of those promised sprinkles of anise in the background. I especially love the spirit that wood aging brings.

T: Big peppery booze out the gates – it rouses the taste buds and warms all the way down. The anise is huge, too - almost too overpowering at times. The aged wood/leathery tastes are there for the entire ride, no doubt about that, but they are most prevalent right after this spicy start. A savory transition, indeed. The palate expands to fit in roasted coffee beans and some incredibly tart hops, seeming to appear in just the right place. The bitters overwhelm the biggest part of the oak aging just as it’s about to show signs of syrupy over-saturation. Perfect execution. Some sweet chocolate and toffee tastes are prevalent in a mixed sort of way, but they make their counterpoints nonetheless. As for the special Belgian yeast strain: well, it’s mild. It doesn’t pack the punch that the yeasts of the classic Belgian ales do, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t deliver at all. The medicinal, estery aspects of Belgian yeast make a slight appearance near the finish, providing a light pick-me-up in a mostly acidic manner. Sweeter hints like rose, clove, banana, and bubblegum arrive sporadically throughout. Just because it isn’t perfect, though, doesn’t mean that it isn’t great. I’m still glad they decided to make this a Belgo-Anise stout instead of just an Anise one; it certainly adds depth, even if it is only slight.

M: Light on the tongue, especially when considering its 10.5% ABV. Like most high alcohol Stone Brews, though, it kicks back as easy as soda. Very drinkable, though it sacrifices a certain fullness for being so easy. I love smooth-drinking beers, but sometimes thickness is the more appropriate feel.

O: This is an incredible beer. I love it in so many ways. The nose, the boozy warmth, the deep taste profiles – it’s all good. Plus, it was nice to see a brewer tackle a special edition stout other than vanilla or just barrel-aged. High standards and forward thinking are the things that make me most proud to be a Stone lover. But for this beer in particular: am I in love the way I was with their original Imperial Russian Stout? No. To be honest, I’ll take an original IRS over this in a majority of situations. But I will say this: if the plan was to revolutionize one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts out there, I think Stone has the right idea.

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
4.27/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 "Odd-Year" Release

Pours pitch black with a 2 finger tan head. Moderate retention and sticky lace. Very similar to the 2011 RIS.

Once this nose opens up, and it takes a good 10-15 minutes for it to harmonize, it attacks with the purest and most intense black licorice character you'll ever smell- with intense earthy and medicinal undertones of dark forest fruits, oaky mushroom and dark german bread. The immensely spicy, herbal character of the anise combined with the Belgian yeast makes this very reminiscent of absinthe and/or a 19th century-recipe root beer.

The palate is full-bodied, rich and slightly thicker than the RIS- moderate bitterness, a chewy malt and a slightly stewed fruitiness- more flavors of black licorice, cassis, absinthe, bran flakes, coffee, cacao and that intense spice. Finish is long, starts roasty sweet, and ends intensely bitter and herbal with mate and mocha flavors.

This thing is so freakin wild. Flavors such as black licorice, mushrooms, absinthe, root beer and mate, are all sort of love or hate kinda flavors, and they're all here. I love how Stone can make a beer that challenges even the most adventurous of palates. This will certainly not appeal to everyone, but that's the point. If all the breweries of the world went to a rock concert, Stone is definitely the ass-hole in the mosh pit.

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Photo of twelvelookslikex
4.26/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. This is all I have

Looks black not much all I can say Its a IRS

The smell is very sweet burnt malts. Your can smell the Anise

I dont know why people are giving this beer such a bad rep. I mean If you dont like Anise your not going to like Licorice. And if you dont like Licorice than your going to think this beer tastes like ass! anyways...

The taste of Licorice comes on strong which I like. Fading away to a roasty coffee taste. Very thick! The Licorice gives of a strong burnt wood sweetness.

Pretty smooth mouthfeel

I would love to age this beer for a long time to see what it produces!

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Photo of neenerzig
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally picked up a bomber of this to try. Poured into my snifter. Pours a solid medium black color. Tan head is about 2/3 inch thick when poured, eventually settles to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass with some nice lacing. Aromas of dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, followed by anise and liquorice, rounded out by some dark fruit. The taste pretty much wollows suit, dark chocolate, coffee, and vanilla notes up front, followed by some liquorice and dark fruit such as plum and raisin, rounded out with a slight floral hop flavor. The alcohol is certainly noticeable too. Has a nice thick, smooth, full bodied mouthfeel that really coats the palate with a nice aftertaste that lingers for awhile. Moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in the way good beer should be. I also picked up a bottle for my aging cellar, can't wait to see what a few years does to this beer.


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Photo of Dunkelhund
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is Beer with an intimidating nose that is deceptively aggressive and may scare some from braving the inky depths of the glass.

This is a Black. Beer. with a rich head of mocha colored foam on top and an aroma of, what might that be... Black Licorice, maybe? Damn right. My other half looked at me with wide eyes after the first whiff, but it was a look of pleasant surprise because she likes that kind of thing.

Oak and Hops Burst through the door as you tip back the glass and drench your tongue with its contents, though, so the Anise didn't come to this party alone. The mouthfeel is thick and heavy and the rich, roasted malts are coffee-like and give this Beer a sturdy backbone. Don't worry, you forget about the Anise... it's there the whole time, though it's not so strong that you can't enjoy the other flavors. This one has a nice, lingering finish also.

I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of this brew and comparatively priced I think it's a bargain offering for its caliber.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.24/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Stone Belgo Anise RIS 2011
Slick black pour, rich cappuccino head of two finger widths. Body near solid black. Now when I hold my pint to some light i see on the edge of the inside of the glass some tan floating objects, and even more sitting on the bottom as I lift up the glass and look underneath, these objects look like large sawdust chunks. Interesting. No cork involved here. Part of Stone's craft I suppose.
Smells nice with slight anise and powdery milk chocolate. Muted scent, but nice what's there.
This tastes a little nicer than I remember the first and only other time I tried it, and it just must be the age i put on this one (2 yrs.). Milk chocolate smoothness, and the anise seems more tame and lends a creamy note somehow, with the anise more resembling now a syrupy bite reminding me of Bosco syrup as if I'm tasting it in an egg cream. I didnt expect to like it this much now, given my prior mediocre thoughts on the initial taste of once having it fresh years past. As it warms i pick up more licorice, and I'm one who does like licorice. Maybe that factor is the dividing line between promoters & detractors of Stone's BARIS, who knows. More warming and here comes the Sambuca sensation, but althewhile this feels creamy and smooth. There is a lingering burning sensation in my mouth after the taste, somewhat odd and numbing, but I'll chalk it up to the anise. I'm sure not for everyone, but yes for me and only with some age.

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Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 443 ratings.