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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

909 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 909
Reviews: 439
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 22%
Wants: 20
Gots: 163 | 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: 909 | Reviews: 439 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zorro
3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Lightproof black colored beer with a small brown head.

Smell is strongly of smoke and licorice. There is a little chocolate cake scent here but licorice real obscures any other scents.

Starts out sweet and thick with a sharp metallic hit of something on the tongue. Chocolate and patent malt with the taste of green Anise bulb. Tastes different from anise the spice. This tastes like Anise the Italian vegetable. There is a green vegetable taste here that is a bit of a twang on the taste-buds. Tastes frankly a bit weird and I LOVE black Jellybeans.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Drinkability is a miss here. The green anise just clashes with the rest of the beer.

Zorro, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of afsdan
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

afsdan, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout

Pours a midnight black into the snifter, off white/brown head forms and leaves little lacing. Looks appealing and dark. Aroma full of anise, with some oaky suggestions as well. In the flavor, big roasted malt, big anise, some well defined oak/vanilla/wood notes pairing well and even cutting some of the anise flavors. A small piney hop is noticed cold, but upon warming is lost. Mouthfeel is full bodied but ultra smooth. Overall, not an every day drinker, but a nice brewing experiment.

Stinkypuss, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

A: Pours a deep black color, very dark with no color tinges at all. A very small tan head formed on top with a little bit of retention, but eventually there was nothing on top. Left behind wisps of thin lacing.

S: A surprising amount of cocoa on the nose with some roast and a little bit of licorice. There is a touch of molasses and a hint of dark fruit.

T: Again, quite chocolaty - surprisingly so. There is some coffee and more licorice and the anise comes through a little bit. Slight hop presence on the back end. Really, much better than expected.

M: Full bodied with medium carbonation. It is rather oily and slick with a dry finish.

O: Compared to what I had heard about this beer, I liked it a good bit. For being rather fresh, the usual harshness was gone and was replaced with lots of chocolate. Prefer the regular RIS to this for sure, but not bad at all.

mdaschaf, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter. 2011 odd year release.

A very large cocoa brown head off the pour is made somewhat uniform bubbles, good together swirling lacing.

Faint anisette qualities on the nose. Candy, and mild malt feel with lots of sweet Belgian style sense (yeast). Roast character lacking, but definitely a nice bouquet, not an overpowering sugar bomb, I enjoy it.

Taste is all black licorice/fennel/anise. Nothing else comes through, no malty backbone, no roast character, fruit... nothing, just lots of sweetness and exacerbating the sticky sweet quality. After some time the tongue and palate gets really dried out.

Well, pretty disappointed with this Russian Imperial from Stone as well. Drinkable yes but I would rather have Labyrinth from Uinta than this which is sort of similar in style but better tasting.

smakawhat, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

brandoman63, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of John_M
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at Matt's (slatetank) birthday stout tasting.

The Belgo Anise pours a blackish brown color with fairly good head retention and minimal lacing. On the nose.... good grief!!! The licorice aroma in this beer is completely overpowering, making it impossible to detect anything else. Also, while I think a hint of licorice is fine in the aroma profile of an IRS, this is just completely over the top. The flavorful profile is nearly as bad, though as the beer warmed up a bit, I started to get detect a hint of chocolate and coffee. However, the anise flavor continues to completely dominate the flavor profile, which adds an extra added degree of sweetness that I really don't care for. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, smooth, licorice finish. Also, I should add that this beer is pretty boozy, which coupled with the licorice and sweetness, really hurts this beer's drinkability. I cannot imagine trying to drink a bottle of this stuff.

Uggghhh.... You have to give Stone credit for experimenting and trying new things, but this is one experiment that didn't pan out (IMHO).

John_M, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +14.3%

rab53, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of billab914
2.63/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into y CBS snifter. It poured black in color with a frothy tan head barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma has a strong anise presence. It has more of a bubble gum, fruity, licorice flavor that I don't think works for it at all. I get a little dark, roasted malts to it, but the anise is overwhelming in it.

The taste also unfortunately is dominated by the anise. I get a some vanilla to it up front and some roasty, bitter malts in the finish. The anise is too much for me though.

The mouthfeel is heavy and somewhat creamy. Carbonation is moderate for the style. Overall I just didn't find to be a very good beer. The anise was just too dominating and covered up too much of the IRS flavors. It just didn't work for me.

billab914, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of Kelp
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Kelp, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of chinchill
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22 oz 2011 bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours near black and sits black and opaque in the glass. Small bubbly head sonn retreats but some lacing is provided.

Aroma: sweet, woodsy with a hint of vanilla.

Flavor: robust and rich with a very obvious contribution from the anise, a more moderate impact of the oak, and some funky-fruity aspects from the Belgian yeast. Probably less sweet than the anise makes it seem, but seems a little too sweet.

Feel: full body with soft, medium-low carbonation.

O: interesting but the special treatmnet is heavy handed, making a big step in the wrong direction from the excellent, better balanced, 'regular' Stome RIS which I last had less than 48 hours ago.

chinchill, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of sendbeer
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%

sendbeer, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of Zaphog
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Zaphog, Sep 04, 2012
Photo of DrJay
3.03/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black with a deep brown cap that started out about an inch and a half high and settled to a lasting half inch. There was some clumpy lacing on the glass. The anise is front and center in the aroma, with bready and roasted notes around the edges. Hints of chocolate and raisins, malted milk. Sturdy bitterness, but this was overshadowed by the medicinal quality of the anise -- a fairly intense licorice flavour that seemed to drown out a lot of the malt presence as well. Malty sweetness, roast and chocolate were still present, but muted. Full bodied with fine, creamy carbonation and mild alcohol warmth, slight astringency, nice texture overall. I can't say that I'm a fan of anise, so this worked out better than expected for me. However, I vastly prefer the regular version and found that any Belgian character that might be present couldn't really stand out against the anise.

DrJay, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

iL0VEbeer, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of HopHead84
2.08/5  rDev -40.6%
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.

HopHead84, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of PEIhop
3.5/5  rDev 0%

PEIhop, May 26, 2013
Photo of rolltide8425
3.5/5  rDev 0%

rolltide8425, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a Bruery Tulip.

A - Pours a deep dark brown with a dark tan-brown head. Fades to the edges leaving some lacing on the glass.

S - Strong Licorice and some chocolate.

T - Similar to the scent, but more muted and balanced.

D - Good carbonation, heavier body.

O - If you like Good and Plentys, this one is for you. Better than expected.

HuskyinPDX, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of Alieniloquium
2.95/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Inky black with a khaki collar and a few islands of foam.

Smell - Black licorice. Sweet. Faint chocolate. Train wreck of a smell. I keep going back for more whiffs even though it's terrible.

Taste - Fruity. Anise is strong, amplifying the fruity flavors. Chocolate and bitter aftertaste. Not anywhere near as bad as the taste.

Mouthfeel - Lots of fruit without being overly sweet though. A lingering anise flavor. Not too boozy.

Overall - It's not awful, but the anise is a huge detractor. I expected something unpalatable from the reviews.

Alieniloquium, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of johnnnniee
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid black with a giant tan head that sticks around forever and all over the glass. Smells of chocolate and anise right up front. Dark caramel, roasted grains and spicy Belgian yeast esters in there as well. The licorice/anise aroma is quite strong in this one. Taste is licorice/anise and milk chocolate initially. Roasted grains and dark caramel are in there as well. A hint of alcohol midway through then a long lingering dark chocolate and anise in the finish. Creamy and bubbly mouthfeel, spirited level of carbonation with a thick body. I didn't really find any of the oak but then again I was assaulted by black licorice. I thought this was only ok as is, I wonder how this will age.

johnnnniee, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of Brad007
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours the universal hue for stouts (dark, dark black) with a one-finger brown head into my glass. If it looks like a stout, it must be a stout, right?

Creamy and spicy with only a mild amount of roasted malt in the nose. A bit of cocoa here and there. Very balanced for the style. I don't feel overwhelmed at all.

The anise is present upfront and it is actually kind of unpleasant. I don't know why but it detracts from the creaminess and the roasted malt. I'm just not feeling it.

Mouthfeel is a bit weird as well but somewhat more tolerable. Again, not my thing.

Pass, big time. I would rather have the original.

Brad007, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 6/2011 notes. Poured into a Caracole small snifter. Pours a dark brown, near black. Thin tan head and slight lacing. Aroma of roasted malt and a hint of anise and Belgian spice. A spicy, estery flavor up front followed by roast malt. chocolate and light caramel. Finish is anise with a light hop kick. Nice light creamy body. Side by side tasting with the regular Stone RIS, which had a more standard smokey and dark malt and dark fruit flavor up front, but still had a somewhat estery finish with a strong alcohol component. The Belgo has a nicer finish than the standard, but a more unusual overall taste progression. It is unusual and interesting.

LiquidAmber, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of THECPJ
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

THECPJ, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of drummermattie02
2/5  rDev -42.9%

drummermattie02, Dec 12, 2011
Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 909 ratings.