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Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

Belgo Anise Imperial Russian StoutBelgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

884 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 884
Reviews: 439
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 22.06%


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

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: EgadBananas on 05-23-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 884 | Reviews: 439 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of MbpBugeye
MbpBugeye

Ohio

1.3/5  rDev -62.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

After tasting the monstrosity that was Belgo Old Guardian I just had to have this beer. $7.99 poured into a Jackie O's snifter.

Appearance
It looks good. The head is slow to arrive, but slow to leave. The glass is quickly coated in spotty lacing. A minor pillow of spongy foam gravitates to one side.

Aroma
This beer slaps you with anise, HARD. The black licorice aroma is very intense and comes at you right out of the gate. Burnt sugar is really the only representation of roastiness that I can pick out; and it really just smells like someone tried to smoke a licorice rope. Black pepper is found in the middle, like a shot of Jagermeister with pepper in it. This aroma has me seriously reconsidering the idea of drinking this beer.

Taste
At first sip I thought this was going to be alright, but the awfulness was merely a delayed reaction. I can barely get through this part of the review. Good grief this is one of the very WORST tasting beers I've ever had, and I actively seek out terrible tasting beers. The flavor is metallic, burnt and plasticy. Burnt licorice and charcoal, melted cellophane, weird spices and alcohol booze. This stuff is so bad that it is literally not even funny. The flavors are just a team of pure evil. The flavors are menacing, spiteful and immoral.

Mouthfeel
The beer hasn't really lost much of it's body, but I think the carbonation is a bit high. The finish is kinda slick, but the worst part is that nasty burnt anise that lingers and lingers.

Overall
This beer is utterly contemptible. I imagine that various fluids that drip off of an old car to taste very similar to this.

Use this beer to kill weeds or to keep deer out of your yard.

This beer tastes so much like old, turn of the century medicine that I keep expecting Mary Poppins to swoop in with a spoonful of sugar and a jaunty tune to make me feel better.

I'd drain pour this, but I'm not certified in HAZMAT disposal.

The worst tasting beer ever. Period. And I thought Belgo Old G was bad...

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 00:55:20 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

1.33/5  rDev -61.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Brendan comes through with the tick!

Decent looking pour, I guess. But holy balls, I can smell this garbage from my chair. Mint, currants, dirty socks, and armpit hairs make up the aroma. More mint and mildew round it out.

Imagine having a mint porter that was poured through a pair of heavily used sweatpants. That's Belgo Anise. Am I really gonna give this a worse rating than the Peat Whiskey Black Hole? Maybe; goddamn this is awful.

So bad, not sure my drain will even accept it.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 02:41:53 | More by brystmar
Photo of Spider889
Spider889

Ohio

1.5/5  rDev -57%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Had this on draft at Bob's Bar at the tapping party for Shoot Your Rye Out.

Served in a pint glass. Seriously? This was not only a horrible way to serve a 10.5% stout, but also a horrid amount of this beer to throw at someone.

Looks decent enough. Black. Maybe a little less thick/heavy than the regular IRS.

Smells a little odd, but I have to give it props for doing what was claimed: a licorice beer. Black licorice was really strong on the aroma. It was sweet with maybe some slight vanilla notes. Little real stout was coming through. I love black licorice, but after tasting the beer the aroma started getting to me.

The flavor was just plain bad. I don't get how Stone manages to be so large and yet produce so much bad beer at huge quantity. Were test batches of this made? Did they survey their target audience at all before bottling this and distributing it nationwide? The Belgian yeast doesn't lend a ton of Belgian flavor, but I must assume that it does plenty to muck up the beer in all sorts of horrible and unintended ways. Anise IRS alone would have been off-putting to the average consumer, but Belgian yeast? Not needed. The yeast is about as superfluous as the coining of the term "Belgo."

Licorice immediately browbeats your palate into submission. If you didn't like licorice before, you're going to hate it now. Then all sorts of weird flavor combinations rise up and make you almost gag. The most predominant was the notion of fresh black enconomy trash bags. PLASTIC is a flavor second only to licorice.

Overall this beer was the worst thing I have ever had from Stone, and likely the worst I have ever had from the entire West Coast. In short, it never should have been brewed at quantity, or at the expense of the regular IRS. It never should have been bottled or sold to the public either. Hate DFH all you want, at least in DE they know how to dump bad beer when they see it.

I left 3/4 of the pint sitting on the bar when I left.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2011 06:12:42 | More by Spider889
Photo of CaptainTripps
CaptainTripps

Oregon

1.53/5  rDev -56.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

22oz bottle poured into a duvel tulip. Served slightly chilled.

A: This beer pours jet black with slight, and I mean slight dark brown hues on the edges in the light. The pour came with about 2-3 fingers worth of dark mocha brown head. Left some lacing on the side of the glass. A great looking beer.

S: Black licorice. Holy freaking CRAP. The anise quality of this beer is almost to much to handle. The smell is so intense its actually hard to make other aromas the beer is giving off. I smell very faint roasted malts and chocolate; also some oak and dark fruits.

**I don't mind licorice at all, but this is going over board. At first whif, i was actually thinking about not taking a sip at all but went with it for the hell of it.**

T: Following the nose perfectly, taking a sip of this beer is like geting slapped in the face with a anise plant. It is over powering and completely revolting. It is so strong, I have hard time trying to figure out the other flavors. After powering through a quarter of the beer it became a drain pour.

M: Besides the awful taste, the beers mouth feel wasn't to bad. Medium bodied and very smooth. It was slightly over carbonated but not to bad. Alcohol was well hiddin by the disgusting taste.

O: Just plain bad.

They tried to turn Jagermeister (which I love) into beer and it simply did not work. Will be avoiding this beer like the plague.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 12:39:48 | More by CaptainTripps
Photo of kirok1999
kirok1999

Ohio

1.55/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Unusual black color in the pour. A nice black with wispy white head.
Rich and dense look as it coats the glass.
Intriguing black legs left on the side of the glass.
Nose is of strong anise and fennel.
Aroma is strong and permeates the palate/
Lush and creamy

Creamy and dense in the mouth
A nice beer but the nose is way too strong of what...?
Keep wanting to sip this to nail down the exact overall taste.
Extremely difficult to stomach much more due to the smell.

Well, that was thoroughly unpleasant. The anise didn't come off well at all and gave the beer an overall funky, restroom kind of note.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 02:12:36 | More by kirok1999
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06

Colorado

1.6/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Below average head. Black body with no hues. not much to talk about with appearance. Very flat and boring.

S - Very licorice. BTW, i'm not a licorice fan... Chocolate behind the licorice.

T - Phew. Tastes like it smells. unique, but nowhere near awesome. Blah. I hate licorice paste.

M - Overly carbonated.. Medium bodied. Very bitter.

O - All over the board... Not my favorite. Glad I tried it, but won't be purchasing more. I'm almost done with Stone after this one... Drain pour.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 04:52:43 | More by chugalug06
Photo of buffs9
buffs9

Colorado

1.63/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Very dark w/ a one finger tan head, a little lacing.

Smell: What I pick up here seems to be a mix of anise and taint.

Taste: Matches the smell fairly well, which isn't good. Licorice, ass and a bit of char.

Mouthfeel: Doesn't feel bad, just tastes bad. Decent body and texture.

Overall: I bought this based on a recommendation from one of the beer guys at my favorite shop. We talked about our mutual love for Abyss, and he said this was a great substitute. Not sure I'll listen to him next time...

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 00:08:42 | More by buffs9
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

1.63/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bomber.

Black in color and fairly viscous with a well-formed tan head and good lacing.

Smells decent, with notes of anise, roast, and dark chocolate, but the anise is a bit strong.

On the flavor...oh man, this is terrible. Disgusting licorice flavor with booze and harsh Belgian notes. The base stout hides behind the craptastic modifications they made.

Fairly full-bodied with an astringency and booziness that is not pleasant.

Made it through a couple ounces and then duuuump. Stone really shouldn’t have messed with a good thing here. This is an abomination.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2011 18:12:52 | More by nickd717
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235

Ohio

1.63/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 12/2/11

2011 vintage (duh)

Pours a dark brown that results in a dulled black in the glass. Three fingers of sandy brown foam doesn't last long at all; very fizzy. Thin retention with some clumpy lace. Ah, the lace doesn't hold at all.

This smells terrible. Soap, perfume, anise, fruity bubble gum, dark fruit, dirt, oak, chocolate, molasses and roasted coffee. As you might guess, it's the first several contributors that are the troublesome lot. My second pour smells more like oak. Wisps of booze. Yay.

Hobo dick juice mixed with deer piss? That's the combined suggestion from my friend and his fiance. Shrug. I'm picking out belligerent ramblings of anise, dirt, stale swamp wood, ash, and earthy hop kick. There are a lot of burnt notes, too - molasses, coffee and scorched chocolate. Tangy fruit and spicy yeast tones. Yup, this is a mess.

The feel is an overall medium, but it's thin for the style. Carbonation is too high; it tames over time but it's not exactly comfortable. Alcohol heat builds over time and is quite warm. Finishes with a dry, vapid dirtiness. Coating.

Overall? This is really bad. Drinkability? No thanks. The three of us couldn't finish the bottle. The silver lining is that this and the Belgo Old Guardian are finally out of my fridge, never to return.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 07:36:32 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of dragonWhale
dragonWhale

New York

1.65/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Split a bottle of this up with some peoples to investigate just what the hell is going on in Escondido. Something in the water, surely.
The Belgo Old Guardian wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't an improvement. I suppose we will see what time will do to that beer. Well, not me, but someone surely bought a case or two and is praying like hell.
Pours dark and thick, a little ruby edge, low carbonation, but otherwise looks like that most reasonable of Stone IRS offerings. An evil twin, perhaps.
A little chocolate and roast, not much hop anywheres. But someone appears to have poured a shot of absynthe into my glass. Licorice as a mofo. This is not going to end well. Not really picking out any "Belgian yeast notes."
This is a pretty gross fennel bomb. How often can you say that a beer is a fennel bomb? I only got about halfway finished with mine before someone through my glass away. I wasn't even mad. Oh well.
Stone, I like a lot of what you do. So why did you do this? Will it age gracefully 5 years from now? Will the licorice blend in, the yeast bring out dark fruit notes that meld with the stout?
Tell me later, I'm not buying one.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 12:49:52 | More by dragonWhale
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

1.7/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

Dark deep brown with a decent head, looks more or less just like their regular stout only perhaps a touch less head.

I’d never heard of anise before having this, turns out it’s a spice that tastes much like black liquorish. Apparently, Stone really like this spice because it more or less dominates the aromas and everything else is left out.

The flavor is even worse with the anise just controlling everything. Yes, there is oak in the finish to mellow things out, sure chocolate is apparent, and it does have some roasted flavors. This isn’t anything like their traditional Russian Imperial. It is so odd and off that even calling it an Imperial Stout seems a touch out of line.

Thick and creamy in the mouth with virtually no alcohol to be noticed.

This beer is an amazing failure. Their attempt with the Old Guardian very well could age for a few years and become a decent beer and at least it came out as a crazy different version of the original. This is just awful beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 01:42:41 | More by bobhits
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

1.75/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Pours a pitch black with rubyesque edge translucence. Very short-lived light beige head with no lace.

S: Chocolate, coffee; when cold, I pick up clove or something that must be from the Belgian yeast. I didn't really pay attention to it, so when I revisited the aroma after the beer warmed, it was gone: replaced by strong fennel seed notes. I like anise, but WOW, that's overdone.

T: Clashing combinations of roast and fennel seed: not black licorice, but the after-dinner chew you get at Indian restaurants. Reminds me of Jagermeister, actually. I can't stand that stuff.

M: Thick, chewy body. I can't fault Stone here; the texture is spot on. The finish, however, lingers with an herbal anise flavor that becomes unbearable after less than half the bottle. It just isn't in balance with the low carbonation.

O: I like anise flavors in beer, but the strong, herbal bitterness this contributed made it profoundly unbearable to drink. For the last half of the bomber, I poured in a shot of Elijah Craig bourbon, managing to ruin the bourbon without salvaging the beer. What a waste. I guess I'm not worthy, or something. I wonder if I can return my second bottle. Don't get this.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 05:10:04 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

1.78/5  rDev -49%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bomber poured into a DFH snifter. As dark as you'd expect with a generous tan head and plenty of sticky lacing.

In fairness to this brew, the measuring stick is the excellent regular version of the IRS, a lofty standard indeed. Having said that, this is, well, a pretty odd beer. Aromas of licorice, bubblegum, fruitcake and, I dunno, flowery air freshener(?) completely drown out the goodness of the base beer.

Frankly, I'm not sure I'm really picking up on the 'Belgo' yeast. The licorice is pretty overpowering, but a charred, somewhat dirty presence demands attention as well. There's a burnt plastic element that reminds me of Sweetwater Happy Ending, another beer from another generally impressive brewery that disappointed. Kinda boozy, too. On the positve side, a nice bitterness, molasses and bittersweet chocolate loom underneath. They simply don't get a fair shake here. I'm a Stone fanboy, but this beer misses the mark by a wide margin.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 01:27:47 | More by PDXHops
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

1.8/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Vintage 2011, odd year version.

A: Black ale with cherry hedging and excellent clarity. Single finger of light mocha foam falls to a thin sheet of the same. No lacing.

S: ANISE SEED TAKES 90%+ OF THIS AREA. As I really dig deep, I can reach in for some roasted notes, but again, the anise seed is exactly what I'm getting. I expected some of the Belgo yeast to add character here, and maybe it does, but the anise seed is soooo powerful, I can't seem to really enjoy everything this beer could offer. Sometimes, just as I start to smell this, it reminds me of root beer, but then it just becomes overwhelming anise seed without any attempt at balance.

T: Soooo, this is like anise seed tea, carbonated. There are some burnt coffee flavors in here. I'm tasting some of the belgian yeast in the finish, but overall the Anise is just too powerful to really enjoy an entire bomber of this beer. It reminds me of Raki, a turkish liquor that is also really strong in the anise seed flavors, and to be sipped over the course of quite some time (this is also quite thin and refreshing and flat).

M: Thick and creamy feel with lower carbonation and a dry finish. Really a nice combination and the finish allows for resonance. Too bad the resonating flavors are offensive in intensity.

O: This is really disappointing. I think this idea could really be great, but the execution here is a bit monolithic in profile of the flavor. The look and feel are great, but my olfactory and gustatory sensations are offended, this was a drain pour for me.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 07:27:11 | More by harrymel
Photo of ChaseT
ChaseT

Oregon

1.83/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into a Spiegelau Stemmed Pilsner glass.

Appearance: Great. Almost black with a slight tinge of brown. Great mocha head that sticks around awhile and is easily restored with a few swirls.

Smell: Bad. Straight anise. Jagermeister has more complexity. This reminds me of a Southern Tier gimmick imperial stout.

Taste: Not much better than the smell. The base beer is so good and this is just not good at all.

Mouthfeel: I'd rate this higher, but it really is hard to appreciate the mouthfeel when it tastes so bad.

Overall: Really not good. Widmer's W'11 KGB Imperial Stout cost 1/3 as much and is way better. I can't believe that Stone was really going to brew this beer without the regular IRS version. That would have been a disaster. I foresee this version sitting on shelves for a long time to come.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 23:59:38 | More by ChaseT
Photo of t420o
t420o

California

1.83/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I bought this against my best instincts. I absolutely HATED the belgo OG barleywine. They ruined the OG barleywine (one of my favorite barleywines) by adding the belgo yeast in my opinion.

A- aggressive pour yields a 2 finger funky mocha colored head that almost looks slightly purple, strange. beer is very dark brown in color. nice lacing. 3

S- Toasted dark malts, toasted bread, strong black licorice, soy sauce, very funky and not in a way that I like. I'm a bit worried to taste this one

T- Toasted chocolate malts and black licorice. Slight hop taste. Really a dumb idea and not executed well. The black licorice just punches you in the face. It tastes like they put the menthol flavored Nyquil in here or something. Stone got me in to craft about 4 years ago and I highly respect them, but this is flat out disgusting. Im getting nasty flashbacks of drinking it as I type this. I drank about 2/3 of it before I was forced to drainpour the beer. First drainpour of the year.

M- good carbonation. A little watery for an imperial stout.

O- Not a good beer at all. I have no idea why they keep taking the base beer and fucking it up with stupid ideas. A huge mistake buying this one.

M-

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 16:26:32 | More by t420o
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

1.9/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I should've just stuck with the regular Stone IRS. That is all you really need to read.

A - It pours jet-black, with less head than the regular version. Average RIS.

S - The nose is just exactly like the Brach's root beer barrel candies. Exactly. The only other thing I could compare it to is a Key West Root Beer (1 part Jägermeister, 1 part root beer Schnapps, splash of Coke...) which is also a dead-ringer.

T - It tastes like 2 parts melted root beer barrel candy, 1 part Vodka with a float of black Sambuca and garnished with a black licorice stick. I like black licorice. I do not like this beer whatsoever.

M - Feels like a normal RIS. I cannot allow much of the repulsive fluid into my gullet, so I cannot dig for specifics.

O - Though I am not the boss at Stone, nor am I privy to any inside information... this one is a one-and-done. It has to be. MFs are losing their livelihood if this travesty is perpetrated again.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 18:19:20 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of Holland
Holland

Illinois

1.93/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: looks just like an imperial russian stout should - thick, heavy head, great lacing, very dark with brownish head.

S: black liquorice overpowers all of the other fantastic smells I know are hidden in the stout. Would be fine, but it's the only thing I can smell. I get a little bit of the yeast esters.

T: bitter black liquorice all over again. Terrible. Some earthy tones and sweet yeast esters.

M: standard for IRS. Rich, full feeling in the mouth that isn't matched by the beer.

O: this is the worst craft beer I have ever tried. Just aweful. Give me a macro brew over this. What a waste of great ingredients. Anise killed this beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 13:13:57 | More by Holland
Photo of alexhahn82
alexhahn82

California

1.95/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A - Pitch black, milky head. a hint of lace.

S - Smells like Anise, suprise! ... meh, beats the hell out of the average smell, but Its not my bag.

T/M - Blrrrrgh. I am sure this style, aka, anise, is a little over my head and or palette. But its mad funky and no bueno compared to the standard RIS they released this year. Anise, with a mouthfeel of Anise, and a finishing note of Anise.

O - Anise. Meh. In fairness its totally Anise. And that is about it, Anise, Anise, Anise. If this is a style peeps is trying to pull off, I will stick my head in the ground like an ostrich and bow out of this one. GREAT ANISE BEER!

PP (Price Point) - $6.00 for a huge 22oz Anise bottle of Anise, if you like Anise, this Anise is so worth it.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 03:06:30 | More by alexhahn82
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

1.95/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

I'm getting really tired of not having nice things to say about Stone experiments. This does not make me happy.

Pours a beautiful luscious black with a deep, light tan head that's long lasting. Looks fantastic. Mouthfeel is that familiar Stone IRS chewiness.

Smells faintly of charcoal and roasted malt, more strongly of vanilla and choco powder, and horribly of licorice. Egads. Anise/licorice overload (I cannot detect a difference between burnt/alcohol soaked licorice and anise, apparently).

The taste is just overrun with the awful sugary sweet yeast/licorice flavor. Just utterly ruins what I assume is the damn fine IRS base. Who thought that this experiment was worth putting into mass production?

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 10:47:09 | More by Overlord
Photo of n2185
n2185

North Carolina

1.98/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours black with two fingers of brown head that recedes into a thin layer with a little lacing.

S: Lots of black licorice on the nose. The roasted malts make a weak showing with some sweet chocolate aromas and some smoky aromas on the finish. The aromas just don't mesh well.

T: Holy Licorice Sticks, Batman! Black licorice dominates the flavor. There are some roasted malt flavors at first with a decent smoky kick towards the finish. A somewhat strong alcohol burn is present as well. The aromas didn't really mesh and the flavors don't either. This just tastes like a smoke-infused imperial stout with a shot of Jager in it.

M: Thick body with medium carbonation, the anise gives it a very floral, perfumey quality that makes the body seem a bit lighter.

O: I love Stone, but this beer is awful. I also love black licorice and can enjoy herbal liquors like Jager by themselves . . . but this just does not work. It tastes like licorice, smoke, and booze. I would have liked to tried just their regular IRS brewed with a Belgian yeast, but I can't detect any difference that the yeast makes thanks to the overwhelming anise.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 00:39:02 | More by n2185
Photo of Eldalonde
Eldalonde

Ohio

1.98/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Black pour with a full thick creamy tan head and sheets of lace clinging to the glass.

S - Smells of chocolate and loads of licorice, anise, coffee, and subtle hints of oak. The anise is really strong in the aroma and is really dominate.

T - Chocolate, loads of anise and licorice, coffee, belgian yeast, booze, and spices. The anise is so strong and overpowering that it turns this beer rather one dimensional. A bitter burnt roasted malt and spicy finish.

M - Somewhat oily and flat.

O - One needs to love licorice in order to really appreciate this. Just way too much licorice for me. Was not able to finish this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 13:33:05 | More by Eldalonde
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

2/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours pretty much opaque black. A two finger tan head rises with good retention. Light lace is left as the foam gently recedes after a few minutes.
S: Of coarse black liquorish/anise in the nose, and it is a little overwhelming at first. Big roasted a burnt coffee aromas come next. Charred and burnt wood with bitter dark chocolate. Some bitter and oily hops with plenty of alcohol in the nose.
T: Everything that is in the nose, and it all works at odds with each other. Black liquorish, burnt coffee, bitter chocolate. Burnt and charred wood with lots of burning alcohol. Oily hops that gives this another bitter bite on top of the chocolate. I am not a fan.
M/D: A full, syrupy, and oily body. Very thick, viscous, and like adhesive sticking to the roof of my mouth. Very hot alcohol and just all around unpleasant to drink. A chore to finish the bottle.

Another harsh, unbalanced, and crass beer from Stone. Nothing works right here. I will avoid from now on, and would not recommend this.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 19:56:44 | More by champ103
Photo of DovaliHops
DovaliHops

California

2.08/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a thick, fizzy black color with a small tan head that diminishes quickly. Scent is...HOLY SHIT! They weren't kidding with the anise... this thing is a black licorice bomb! And I hate black licorice! There are some chocolate and roasty notes as well, but the anise dominates. Taste is anise dominated as well. This awful flavor takes over throughout...with mellow roasted malt flavors and dark chocolate. A bit of coffee and oak as well. Mouthfeel is full bodied but not too sticky. Drinkability is low, as I HATE black licorice, and this beer just tastes like I'm eating a ton of it. That, or a handful of Good N' Plenty. Overall, this beer is AWFUL! I could see why people would like it, but I just can't stand black licorice. Give me the original IRS ANY DAY!

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 05:36:43 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

2.08/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12/11/2011

On tap at URGE.

A: Black, very black, with a thick frothy light brown head.

S: Dark chocolate meets black licorice and anise. It isn't terrible but they have taken the base beer and made it much worse.

T: Ash and wretched black licorice with even more wretched and powerful anise presence. A little chocolate, but it can't possibly redeem this flavor. Harsh alcoholic anise finish.

M: Full body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is astringent and dry.

Overall: A bastardization of a good beer. Avoid.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2011 04:17:11 | More by HopHead84
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Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
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