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Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

901 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 901
Reviews: 440
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 22%
Wants: 20
Gots: 162 | FT: 6
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: 901 | Reviews: 440 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DavidST
DavidST

Texas

3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've looked for the Stone RIS since I got into craft brews five(ish) years ago (which started due to Old Rasputin), I've not had any luck until this year where I've been lucky enough to get both the Belgo Anise and regular RIS. I decided to start with this one.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a goblet.

This pours a pitch black color which stops light from getting through even the edges. There was a small mocha head which very quickly dissipated. The smell is mostly of anise and licorice, there are also roasted malts, coffee and an alcohol smell. The mouth feel is thick and creamy very nice. The taste is of roasted malts, espresso coffee, licorice / anise, maybe a hint of sweetness, it ends big with a good hop bite a slight alcohol burn (surprisingly well hidden though considering how fresh this is) and you get some anise lingering after flavor. Overall this is a nice taste brew, love it, can't wait to try the regular soon.

I have 5 more of these so I might make additional notes when I try them every 6-12 months or so.

--- EDIT ---
One major negative for me is after drinking this beer perhaps from the loads of anise I had one of the worst stomach aches ever, I'm scared to tr another bottle. Hopefully it was something else.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 23:58:55 | More by DavidST
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

4.05/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a snifter at Papago.

Inky, creamy black, absorbing like the ocean at night. A tight, one-finger head of khaki slowly becomes a medium ring.

The original IRS is definitely in the nose, though it’s behind a buttload of anise. Milk chocolate, peanuts and toast combine with the spice to smell like root beer.

A similar takeover occurs in the flavor — I get lots and lots of black licorice, ginger and acrid toast. Behind those are sweeter nutty notes and some cocoa. It becomes drying and licorice bitter after the swallow, with lots of anise lingering on the sides of the tongue.

The feel exhibits the same awesomeness as the standard version. Super soft and creamy, with a medium-full body, moderate massaging carbonation and very soft fizziness that combine to feel like liquid velvet

Well, it sure is different. I was afraid the additional ingredients would take over the base RIS, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I dig the blend.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2011 23:26:32 | More by Phelps
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

2.25/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance -- Pours an impossibly dark brown with a slim creamy tan head. Handsome.

Smell -- Anise, anise, burnt malt, more anise, earthy yeast, cocoa, and anise.

Taste -- Whoa, LOTS of anise! Some well-roasted malt and cocoa eek out, as well as what seems to be the Belgian yeast flavors, but anise is really drowning everything out. Bleh.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Could be fuller, but not bad.

Overall -- Not a fan. Instead of giving the phenolic Belgian yeast character a 'boost' with the anise, it drowned everything out. For all I know, this could well be regular IRS with heaps of anise. Not good for drinking, but I bet this would make some mean gingerbread.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 02:18:33 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of Dunkelhund
Dunkelhund

Oregon

4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 20:33:37 | More by Dunkelhund
Photo of whatthehull
whatthehull

California

4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted June 2nd 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a la Chouffe tulip

A - deep thick oil black, super dark tan half finger head and a little lacing

S - anise up front, molasses, toffee, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, slight hops, very pungently sweet yeast, oak, toasted goodness, dark fruits and very earthy. Slight vanilla and leather notes

T - anise, chocolate, coffee, very sweet (definitely the belgian yeast), alcohol, herbal outside of anise, slight hops. Oak, dry sherry, toasted everything, deep dark fruits, molasses and slight toffee

M - thick, chewy, low acidity, long finish and well balanced

D - very smooth, well balanced, robust, full bodied awesomeness. Wish this beer came out in the fall and winter. This thing is a huge but awesome stout

Final thought - great beer, 10.5% and only $5, this beer is awesome. Thank you stone!

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 17:10:07 | More by whatthehull
Photo of ferrari29
ferrari29

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into a snifter shaped glass

A - Beer poured with a latte/espresso colored half finger sized head, which dissipated rather quickly; body had a dark brown almost black colored body; nice layer of lacing formed around the glass, but wasn't very sticky

S - Roasted malt; lemon; anise and dark fruit; oak; clean airy smell; celery; some smokiness; coffee; notes of dark chocolate; burnt toast

T - Anise; Sambuca and Ouzo flavor, licorice really overwhelms the flavor profile in this beer; raisin; some chocolate; dark fruit flavor of raisin and figs hit the tongue; espresso; roasted malt backbone; celery

M - Slightly effervescent; bitter lingering coffee aftertaste; this is a high quality mouthfeel beer; small amount of licorice flavor lingers for a while; nice smooth full body but thinner than the IRS

D - Great flavor and body profile; really nice combination of flavors and I give many props to the Stone team for thinking of using Anise for this recipe, good choice; this is a easily drinkable beer and should be enjoyed by all RIS lovers; smooth

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 04:08:28 | More by ferrari29
Photo of asabreed
asabreed

New York

3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a 12 oz. Samuel Smith nonic.

Appearance: Like a Stone RIS is and most likely always will be. Opaque with a good amount of bubbles, sans ring of retention, and some dripping raindrops slowly descending their way to the bottom.

Smell: Stone's RIS with not a lot of anise, or not as much as I'd hoped and / or anticipated on. Star anise seems like something that's only fit for a certain amount of brews, and I'm not sure an RIS is one of them.

Taste: Again, an RIS, with maybe a hint of anise in it, as far as I'm concerned. Belgian yeast? What's the point? Is it adding anything? I really don't think so. That said: I like what's happening.

Mouthfeel: As big as always, with a nice creaminess to the carbonation.

Drinkability: For around $6 or $7, it's worth a shot if you're a Stone RIS fan. Just don't think you're getting something that'll blow you away. A novelty beer that makes its case to be more than that, but not MUCH more than that.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 03:30:53 | More by asabreed
Photo of SkipWeathers
SkipWeathers

Texas

3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep inky black, dark brown fizz, no head

S - licorice (anise), menthol

T - licorice mainly; some coffee tones, mint; the anise taste reminds me of when I'd sample those star-shaped anise plants in my parents' herb garden

M - cooling quality, little carbonation, thick & rich, deep ink-like quality; slight sourness; definitely the last beer or only beer you drink in a night

O - wish I could say I liked it more; I think I prefer my specialty stouts barrel-aged with bourbon; this leaves you with a very minty taste in your mouth; kind of refreshing

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 02:58:30 | More by SkipWeathers
Photo of SkeeterHawk
SkeeterHawk

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am not sure what to think about this beer, so I picked one up anyway. I like black jelly beans and Pernod in moderation, so hopefully I will like this beer. I am not sure if Anise belongs in a beer, but in an Imperial Stout is definitely the best candidate, IMO. Let's see what we have here:

Appearance: Pours dark as could be with a solid 2" of milk-chocolate colored head on top that is maintained by lots of bubbles rising and butting up against the glass, so you can see them. The head appeared motionless for well over a minute.

Aroma: The liquorice was already apparent through the foam, and it is so strong that I really can't get much else. I feet the "prickle" from the alcohol, and there may be a bit of chocolate and roast in there, but the Anise is a very big player.

Taste: The flavor also favors the Anise, but it doesn't completely overpower the cold beer, but I am not sure how much of this I will be able to take as it warms. The second and subsequent sips seem to get used to the Anise pretty quickly so that the acidity of the roast malts are starting to be apparent. The balance is tipped slightly toward the malt with balance provided by dark-malt acidity as much as by the alcohol. There are some hops in here that are especially apparent in the first part of the flavor, but they don't dominate the finish. The carbonation is absolutely required for this beer, and is sufficient to make it drinkable.

Opinion: This is an OK beer, but a little much for my taste. I like Black Liquorice and all that, but it was a bit out of balance in this example. I would prefer that it be more of an accent, so maybe they would have to sell it as an "Anise accentuated" beer rather than so boldly "Belgo Anise". This describes what it is, their IRS, with Belgian yeast and Anise, but I would prefer that it be more complimentary, than unmistakable. As it is, if you are a BIG fan of Anise, definitely give this a shot before it goes away. I am not sure if I will be able to finish this beer once it get's much warmer.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 05:19:05 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of McNealc31
McNealc31

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +25.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 01:36:32 | More by McNealc31
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color with a 1/4" tan head. No lacing develops.

Smell: anise is up front with some roasted tones in the background.

Taste: big roasted malt flavors with copious amounts of anise, dark bitter chocolate, prunes, and some moderate earthy tones. Decent bitterness levels. Alcohol is definitely warming here.

Mouthfeel:medium-heavy in body. Crisp at the start, smoother at the finish. Definite dryness arrives late.

Overall. Very slow drinking beer. Anise is unique but becomes a bit overwhelming as the glass empties.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 20:59:42 | More by Gavage
Photo of bradleyp
bradleyp

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +22.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 06:15:01 | More by bradleyp
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

4.35/5  rDev +24.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 02:49:45 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of psuKinger
psuKinger

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Stone Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout

"2011 Odd Year Release", Bomber poured into my Stone Imperial Russian Stout Tulip.

A: Dark dark black with a frothy lively light brown head on top that dissipated quickly but clung nicely to the glass. 5.0

S: Deep dark roasted malts and I pick up some Oak as well. Im picking up on some coffee and coacoa, and there's also something in this that I can't describe... Perhaps the "anise" that I am unfamiliar with? 4.0

T: wow. This beer is an amalgam of "Bold" and "Delicate". The big roasty flavors of Stone RIS are present, but the oak is present yet gentle and softening. The beer starts big and roasty, with hints of coffee as well. before the hops step in at the middle, bringing some floral and bittering qualities. Then the oak comes through on the finish, and blends nicely with the hops. Flavors of vanilla and coacoa shine through on the finish, as well. The oak really smoothes this guy out; no alcohol burn is detectable.

While the oak is "mellowing" and the vanilla and cocoa notes intriguing, I like a little more hop "punch" to my imperial stouts... 4.0

M: heavy and viscous, carbonation is present but difficult to detect behind the heft of this brew. 4.0

D/O: a unique brew, definitely worth a try. But it "wore" on me as I worked my way through the bomber. Not terribly drinkable; it didn't leave me wanting more. In fact, I was ready to move on well before my 22-ounce bomber was emptied. 2.0

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 22:00:51 | More by psuKinger
Photo of begforme4484
begforme4484

Connecticut

2.5/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'll start this off by saying, if they had only used anise and left out the Belgian yeast, I think this beer would have been excellent.

Props to Stone for trying with this beer, but unfortunately it fell flat for me. The appearance was great, looked like a healthy and thick stout. It smell was odd, you could really smell the anise, but not so much the Belgian tones. Interesting, at least. The taste was what put me off to this beer. I think the anise would pair in VERY well with the RIS recipe, but the Belgian Yeast added a sour that did not mix at all. When it hit and melded with the other flavors, I had trouble getting the beer down. The mouthfeel was normal as RIS goes with Stone, but I didn't find myself wanted to keep it in my mouth long enough to really compare it.

I would only recommend trying this beer once, just for the experience.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 20:57:26 | More by begforme4484
Photo of neenerzig
neenerzig

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +22.3%
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.

Eric

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 04:05:09 | More by neenerzig
Photo of challenja
challenja

Virginia

4.6/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having this beer on tap at Church Key in DC. A bit frothy with a nice 70 percent dark chocolate cocoa nib. You can smell a wiff of slight costa rican coffee with a turkish mint backbone. It pours well and settles like most imperial stouts. I really like the mellowness of this beer. The anise is noticed and appreciated. This is remarkably smooth with little alcohol bite. A great everyday stout that can really bring more people into the fold of what a great stout can taste like. Highly recommended for its drinkability and smooth mouthful feeling. Bravo Stone. Bravo

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2011 03:58:06 | More by challenja
Photo of JRed
JRed

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black in body with coffee head that retreats to the edges of my glass. A light mist remains in the center. Aroma of anise (licorice feel), dark cocoa, cinnamon, and booze. I'm intrigued but not delighted, I know that this is gonna take me on a trip. A boxer's left hook even though I saw it coming: licorice, chocolate, cinnamon, prunes, syrup, roast, vaguely sour booze and hop bitterness mingle in the finish. Heavy in body with light carbonation. A powerful, rich assault on the palate. Not as bad as I'd expected but not as good either. A slow sipper that conjures up longings for the winter.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 02:53:37 | More by JRed
Photo of malvado78
malvado78

New York

3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark opaque black. No light through this baby. Decent maybe 1/2 inch head quickly dissipates. No lacing. Not suprising at 10.5%.

S - Coffee, Hazelnut, Anise, not much else.

T - Little coffee in the front. Finishes with nice strong anise. And some bitterness. I like it.

M - Not too dry not too heavy. Doesnt feel like 10%. Tingled a little bit.

O - Overall pretty good. Not stellar but pretty good. Do not try if you do not like anise. I love anise (aisse not anus). I was easily able to finish the 22 oz myself.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 02:50:10 | More by malvado78
Photo of smulkowski
smulkowski

Idaho

3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Looks like the Stone IRS - black, with a thick brown head, nice lacing and legs.

S: Overpowering anise. Tends towards a vegetal/herbal flavor more than anything. I smell not much other than anise at first, aftter a few tastes, it starts opening up and rounding out a bit.

T: Anise on the first few sips, this is smoother and softer than the Stone IRS - maybe because of the oak, maybe because of the Belgian yeast characters. Comes across much differently, would love to try without the anise. Somewhat vinuous, higher esters than the IRS.

M: Somewhat light for the style, thin.

O: Smoother than the IRS, meaning it is somewhat too soft for the style, but easier to get through. Uber-anus impressions from smell are not representative of this beer, but still...I think this would be a very compelling beer without the anise.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 02:06:46 | More by smulkowski
Photo of MbpBugeye
MbpBugeye

Ohio

1.3/5  rDev -62.9%
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 aficionado
aficionado

New Jersey

2.93/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not as good as Stone's original Imperial Russian Stout.

The oak treatment makes this particular version drier. It smells like I'm inhaling treated wood with a mild smoked quality to it. The Belgian yeast is not an improvement to the original yeast, it is a detraction.

In addition to the flavors in the original, the anise really comes through and there is a strange, burnt black licorice flavor with a weird, thin mouthfeel. This beer needs more chocolate, less bitterness, and more of a robust Russian IS feel. It's just too perfumey to be an enjoyable drinking experience.

End result: Anise + Belgian yeast + RIS = not too good. It's overkill... like slathering truffle sauce atop prime aged rib eye beef. There's absolutely no reason to do this.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 22:07:52 | More by aficionado
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really playing with the IRS recipes this year, we had a bourbon one, now one with a different yeast, and now you added anise to it. I liked it but not as much as I hoped for. Served on draft at Churchkey in a snifter.

Beer is black with no head low carbonation, no lacing, looks like a stout.

Beer smells roasty, mildly malty and at the end some licorice / anise, smells nice actually.

Beer is thin to medium in body and a little sweet, the anise comes up in the mid to back half of the palate. It is present but almost gives the beer a candy like flavor to it. Not my favorite but I still love Stone. Keep it up Greg and company.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2011 17:00:08 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I appreciate Stone's willingness to go against the trends with a spice that is not used as frequently which is my disclaimer...however I guess it has to be a spice you are very fond of.

A dark black looking stout with thick cream of light brown -looks good with tight bead and opaque clarity, lace sticks okay. The smell is where I don't really enjoy the beer as much -the first sense of it going awry anyway. I am not much of a fan of black licorice which is exactly what this smells like-black twizzlers ugh. The feel is okay but a bit clean with the spice erasing the sense of malt and leaving the palate a little too cool for the style I am supposed to be enjoying it is like a medicinal almost minty quality which seems like a natural mouthwash or witchhazel maybe.

The flavor is good but the anise comes into the flavor of the stout midway and just overtakes any flavor of coffee or oak or vanilla or caramel that you wish you would be tasting or might get in the original. The taste is almost like rootbeer it is so herbal and earthy as one of my compatriots mentioned during our tasting. I suppose if I were a huge fan on Anise I would be in love with the taste. I am not so pissed that I would dump this or stop drinking it but feel like the original beer has suffered by the heavy handed anise addition. I guess the review already gives you an idea why I gave the overall score of 3 -it is flavor I personally find to detract from the overall enjoyment of the stout so buyer beware.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 16:15:24 | More by Slatetank
Photo of LordAdmNelson
LordAdmNelson

Ohio

3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have mixed feelings about this one, which is kind of a bummer considering that I really liked the Belgo Old Guardian. Pours jet black with a nice cap of creamy cocoa-colored foam. Stone IRS is a damn fine looking stout, and this one is no exception. Nose is big on the anise at first... black licorice is not my favorite thing, but underneath there is a good deal of smokiness, roasted malts, and some woodiness. Flavor follows with a brash anise assault, which I find to be rather unpleasant. To their credit, however, Stone notes that there is a lot of anise in this beer on the back of the bottle. So not my favorite, but as I adjust to the anise, the beer really grows on me as a dark roasty complex stout. Smoke, wood, leather notes all emerge. Not bad, just a bit tough for me with the overwhelming anise. Feel is good, thick, smooth, moderate carbonation. Overall, I'd say the beer was at least interesting, a little too much anise, little or no influence from the Belgian yeast, but overall decently good. I still like the regular IRS better.

Also, I woke up this morning with the same taste in my mouth that I get when I smoke a cigar the night before, despite having brushed my teeth. That is kind of gross.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 15:04:33 | More by LordAdmNelson
Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 901 ratings.