1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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
80
good

886 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 886
Reviews: 439
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 22%


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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 886 | Reviews: 439 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Glad to have found this, the first year the Stone IRS have been available in the Twin Cities, & they vanished fast in most places. Luckily, the holes in the walls hang on to them a mite longer. Split with my wife, who is watching Heidi Klum, which always seems like a smart thing to do.

Pours is black, about tells that story. Smell is rich as trump, decadent chocolate, more chocolate, a weird/pleasing edge that must be star anise, cocoa chocolate, samuel jackson chocolate. Damn man, that's one good smell.

Stone Belgo Anise IRS smells great, is very filling, & doesn't taste as good as the nose promises. The Belgian yeast is overdone & distracting, being the first thing that leaps out of the morass of soulless black. The great chocolate nose goes MIA with only patterings of powdered cocoa showing. Malts are tangled up in the sweetness of the anus, I mean anise, & taste like sweet black licorice. Nice & creamy, but this would be tough slogging through more than 11 oz.

It's finally come to me: this tastes like Jaegermeister's lightweight little brother. Does that bring back a few bad memories or what? Glad I got to try it, but this is one & done for me, a good beer that stretches the boundaries. Always glad to see that.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 02:30:56 | More by maximum12
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up from Julio's. One bottle for now, one bottle for a few years from now.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a rich, oily black with an almost two finger mocha head that receeded to leave a mocha halo with minimal side lacing.

S - Cool, you can get some nice roasty malts and some slight chocolate along with light anise. As it warms though everythign is overpowered by the anise, theres some alcohol notes as well.

T - Very much like the nose. It starts with some nice roastd malts and chocolate, but all that is quickly overwhelmed by the anise. That being said I really dig the anise potentcy. Looking forward to see how this ages.

M - Low carbonation which is to be expected with this style. Its a touch syrupy, but I can accept that. Slightly creamy but the alcohol definately present.

O - Overall, I like this beer, but I feel its too rough around the edges. With time this could mellow out into something really, really nice.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 21:29:57 | More by rudzud
Photo of mynie
mynie

Indiana

4.03/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, whatever...

It's Stone's RIS. It's smooth, it's got a nice body, and it's easy to drink. Not as rough or variegated as your superfancy top tier RIS', but pretty dang good.

Only in the very back you get a weird/neat bit of rockiness that tastes like smoke and beer jerky. After a few sips I realized it was the anise, but I don't think i would have known it was anise had the bottle not specifically prompted me to look for it.

So, overall pretty good. The anise probably detracts more than it adds, but it was neat to try and I enjoyed the whole bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 02:05:30 | More by mynie
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a tulip glass this beer was black in color with a small orange/tan head that dissipated quickly.

Coffee/roasted malt aroma. Definitely anise. Some dark fruit. And alcohol, don't forget that.

Lots going on in the taste. Coffee and a bit of chocolate. Raisins. Anise, which really lingered. Boozy.

A heavy hitter. Boozy, but in a good way. The alcohol added to, rather than subtracted from,the taste.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 19:28:22 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

3.81/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a brownish, almost blackish body with decent head and lace patches. Hate to say it but the "jager" comparisons hold some validity as it has that overpowering licorice/anise type aroma and is dominant in the taste. That being said, I didn't find that to be the only aromatic or taste sensation and I wouldn't call this beer a disaster (just not a fave of mine). There are also touches of dark chocolate and some other sticky, almost syrupy sugary malt goodness in the aroma and taste. Smooth beer, lighter body for a stout, actually easy to drink and overall isn't bad but sometimes the sweetness, especially that "jager" aspect, become to much at times. Worth trying but not something I will try to find again (which won't be hard).

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2014 16:12:56 | More by clayrock81
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 01:30:16 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

2.17/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter. I hate the word "Belgo" but that's a personal thing. Let's see if the beer is better than the name.

3.5 A: Black color. Almost three fingers of frothy/creamy light brown head. Retention is good and moderate amounts of nonuniform lacing are left.

2.5 S: The anise is sure there. There's tons of it. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing in itself. Rather, this barely smells like a stout. It smells more like a generic strong ale. Light roast with very little of the aromas that are common in stouts (chocolate, coffee, etc...). The Belgian yeast also doesn't work in this. Instead of giving me the standard spiciness, it simply comes off as muddled. The oak smells good though.

2.0 T: The Belgian component is much more apparent in the taste. Peppery spiciness with a fruity zing. Anise is abundant again as is the oak. The stout, however, is lacking again. Light roast and not much else. Like the nose, this seems more like a Belgian take on Arrogant Bastard than the RIS. In any case, it doesn't work.

2.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Seems light on the tongue, but not in a normal spritzy Belgian way. Also lacking creaminess. Not a fan of this either.

2.0 D: Really disappointing beer. I've had a number of American "Belgo" stouts this year and this is by far the worst.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 01:20:02 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Nearly black throughout, though the edges appear to be a touch of ruby and dark brown. Thin khaki colored head and plenty of lacing. Looks a touch thin and lifeless.

As a fan of black licorice, and knowing this beer was brewed with plenty of anise, this beer is fine by me! As the beer warms, the strong aroma of anise (black licorice) becomes more and more powerful, though there's plenty of roasted malts, and a touch of chocolate as well. The Belgian yeast strain isn't too dominant or overpowering, though it does add a touch of twang.

More black licorice in the flavor and roasted malt. Even though I am a fan of black licorice, its flavor is particularly big here and covers up what I know very well to be a world-class stout. I'm a fan, but a little less anise would probably have been a better move.

The most disappointing aspect of this beer is the mouthfeel. It seemed significantly thinner than the standard IRS and also a bit metallic.

This is a black licorice stout, and knowing that, this beer really succeeds. Not everyone is going to like it, but as a fan of said flavor, I didn't mind it one bit--and am looking forward to having another.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 22:58:46 | More by ehammond1
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Stone Bistro on 6/30/11.

A - Poured dark black with a small amount of brown head

S - Intense licorice domonates the nose with some faint roasted malts in the background.

T/O - Heavy licorice with roasted malts and coffee. The anise/licorice really dominates this beer and I think it would be much more balances and better overall if they toned down the anise. That said, I normally HATE the taste of licorce yet I somehow really enjoyed this beer, which scores some points with me.

M - Medium to full body. Chewy. Lightly carbonated.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2011 13:53:41 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark jet black color with a finger of frothy tan-brown head. The head hangs around for quite a while leaving behind some thick lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate malts and potent anise. There is also some oak and Belgian yeast in the background as well.

T - Starts off with a mix of anise and roasted chocolate malts. The anise is pretty potent. Through the middle, a mix of some oak and vanilla as well as a bit of the Belgian yeast flavor. The finish is a mix of all of the mentioned flavors with the addition of a bit of booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and fairly creamy. The oak and the booze in the finish warm the mouth alongside anise flavor lingering.

D - Pretty drinkable. The balance is not quite perfect here. The anise feels a bit too strong and the oak a bit too weak, and the Belgian yeast does not seem to make all that much of a difference.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 06:38:35 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep deep black color with a creamy, toasty tan-colored head that, while not huge, sticks around a remarkably long while. Dots of lace are left on the glass.

Definite anise spiciness right up front in the aroma, with a woody character underneath that, and something so toasty it borders on burnt-smelling without actually being as off-putting as that usually is in beer. Since anise is so similar to black licorice, I can also say it's got a ton of that too, or instead.

You really have to love anise and/or black licorice to get into this. If you're not, why are you buying/reviewing it? Seriously, it's a love or hate flavor. In the skilled hands of Stone, they take their wonderful Imperial Russian Stout and simply make it a more eccentric, exotic experience. Bold, very natural anise/black licorice spiciness right up front, but kept in check by other characteristics such as oak, quality medium-roast coffee, sea salt, and gooey dark chocolate brownies. Alcohol heat just barely checks in, helping to lift all of this up another sensual level.

The extremely impressive mouthfeel totally does it for me, and does very well by the beer itself, delivering these balanced, exotic flavors through a texture that is round, creamy, gooey, thick but not heavy, and wonderfully silky.

I love anise, both as an ingredient, and also as a sensory impression when it's not even an actual ingredient. The only problem with using it, especially in such a strong beer, is it's one of those flavorings that props up the alcohol and makes a beer smell/taste even stronger than it is. Does for me anyway. But Stone, as they will, have managed to use it wisely, making it a spotlight but not drowning the beer in it. Very well done, totally delightful, and one to drink slowly with hardly any chill on it...

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 23:58:43 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours very black, not much head, ring and some spot lace.

S - Black licorice first, malt second.

T - Matches smell completely.

M - Medium body, good carb, cleans up pretty well by end of sip.

D - Was afraid from the review to try. Anise is not my favorite spice, but I find it works with this brew. Different and fun. Wouldn't want it all night and probably would never try it again, but definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2011 06:37:11 | More by srandycarter
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date but reads "2011 Odd Year Release" on silk-screened front label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.79.

A: Typically stellar appearance from a Stone Imperial Stout with black hue and 1-2 fingers of chocolate brown, foamy head with good retention but with spare lacing.

S: The imperial stout components of coffee, dark chocolate,a nd dark fruit/maltiness are there. The anise is very sneaky and provides a licorice aroma that only grows in strength through the beer.

T: I was preparing for the worst considering some of the reviews on here. I was pleasantly surprised for the most part, although 12 ox of this would have been MORE than enough. THe dark chocolate and espresso flavors couple with fig and currant flavors just as in garden-variety IRS. I honestly didn't get much of the Belgo yeast that was so clearly present in the regular Belgo-IRS. The anise-black licorice flavor is pretty mellow at the start but gains steam steadily through the bomber and really kills the drinkability of this brew. THis is defintely one to be shared with a licorice-loving, BA bud because I definitely was fighting my way through this one. I enjoyed the early parts of the bottle, but the latter portions were a slugfest to get through.

M: THe feel is thankfully lighter than expected -- I can only imagine the drinkability of this beer had the body been more full. Carbonation is also low which helps the drinkability.

O: Some experiments work, and others don't. This is unfortunately one that doesn't work very well, which seems to be the norm for the Stone Belgo series.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 03:26:50 | More by argock
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque black, with moderate dark tan head.
S: It smelled like black licorice and bitter dark chocolate, with roasted coffee and a bit of copper hops.
T: It tasted like black licorice and roasted coffee, with bitter dark chocolate and a bit of molasses. It had a bitter but clean aftertaste, with a bit of alcohol warming.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation. Nice and fully body.
D: This was a very nice and unique stout. The anise was nicely incorporated and balanced with the typical stout flavors, I thought. Almost like a shot of Jaeger in a standard Stone IRS. The body was great, and it wasn't too hot, so it was easy enough to drink. I'm curious how age may change/improve this brew. But it's nice fresh, and worth trying at least once.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 03:32:13 | More by Pencible
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2012 02:30:49 | More by billab914
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber of this one about a week or so back at Argonaut, curious to see how this one differed from the original. Poured a deep oily black color with a thin brown head. Aromas of black licorice, chocolate and vanilla. On the palate, this one was medium bodied, with flavors of oak, anise and black licorice.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 22:36:40 | More by emmasdad
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

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

$6.99 for a 22oz bottle @ BevCo. No stats on the website other than 52 IBU and 10.5% ABV.
Pours out to a thick opaque black, forming a nice whipped dark espresso crema head with amazing retention and one sticky sheet of lace. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is pungent with anise...I've never smelled this much anise in a beer before, sitting on top of some burnt bananas, burnt chocolate frosting and black walnut with a whiff of alcohol. Very unique nose. The mouthfeel is rich, sticky, and thick. The taste is a recap of the aroma...lots of anise up front, which turns into an interesting and potent black licorice aftertaste, herbal bitterness which barely restrains the overabundance of blackstrap molasses and burnt malts...lots of black patent, maybe even some roasted barley burnt astringency.

This is one hell of a beer. Very potent and rich,which makes it very hard to drink even 10oz of the stuff. Burnt black oily bitter licorice is the best way to describe this one. Certainly an interesting and unique brew, but I don't know that I will buy it again as it's so overwhelming.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 01:36:46 | More by Mitchster
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

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

Pours a deep dark black color with a dark tan head, that turned cream colored, but stayed strong.

Aromas are of light anise, cream, minerals, and light cocoa. Aromas are nice, but kind of weird for a stout, almost smells more like a porter.

Taste is very full flavored. Lots of dark heavily roasted malts up front. Some minerals, anise, dark chocolate, and subtle hints of Belgian Yeast. Finish is warm, but not overly boozy.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth, with nice carbonation.

Overall this is a flavorful and interesting beer, but it's quite a few notches below the normal Imperial Stout from Stone, while this isn't bad, they could retire it and it wouldn't hurt my feelings...

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 17:39:55 | More by flexabull
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours black with a thick dark brown head that faded into a thin wispy film that left behind a great network of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Black licorice, anise, rich fudge brownies and a bit of roast fill my nose. The anise really stands out and dominates just about all other scents.
T: Rich and chocolaty flavor with the anise coming through near the finish. I get a hint of vanilla mixed with sweet roasted malts as well. The anise wasn’t as strong as the nose, but there is still a pretty good amount of it.
M: Medium-thick body with a clean and chewy mouthfeel. Carbonation is even and smooth.
O: Definitely a love it or hate it beer. This was too much anise for me to ever want to drink it again, but I didn’t think it was so awful that it could not be consumed. I’ll stick to the regular version from now on.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 01:16:45 | More by scottfrie
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

2.3/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A-Pours obsidian black. No highlights, no light, nothing enters. The coffee colored head forms impressively but dies down quite quickly. There is not much lacing here. Pours a bit less sludgy than other big stouts.

S-The black licorice aroma from the anise is present to a near sickening amount. The anise is almost blocking some of those great roasty and chocolatey scents that make the original Stone IRS so awesome. There is some smoky aroma there as well. All in all, this one is perplexing. I don't love black licorice so I may not be very excited about the impending flavor.

T-The anise sets in quickly. I was expecting it to be more potent, but happily its less serious on the palate than in the nose. Actually, after the second sip...yeah the anise is in full throttle. Once again, the anise is killing the rest of the flavors. This is one of those beers that should have just stayed away from all the gadgets (oaking, anise etc.). Not in the same league as the original Stone IRS.

M-Pretty thick, slick. Low carbonation. The feel is good but the flavor is off. I don;t really want this beer to sit on my tongue.

O/D-Not for me. Didn't know what anise was before this so my own fault here. Just not as good as the original. Not a drain pour, only because I am too stubborn to pour most anything out. Just not for me. This one's going to take a while to finish... Belgo Anise; more like Belgo Anus.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2011 03:43:36 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

1.95/5  rDev -44.3%
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 mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 20:52:09 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Belgo Anise IRS pours a very dark chocolate fudge color. It’s onyx. No light cuts through at all. A very dark, mocha tan head covers it. It’s somewhat modest, standing about a finger tall. It recedes to a surface covering quickly. Lacing was a little sticky, but definitely light. Not bad.

The nose is above average. The presence of anise is very strong and unquestionable. If you’re completely averse to black licorice, this beer is not for you. There is a fairly strong scent of dark chocolate and (lighter) roasted malts. Roasted coffee is a little noticeable, but is definitely a secondary component. Molasses and Belgian yeast are very subtle and subdued. Alcohol is there, but doesn’t seem too strong. Smells pretty good.

The flavor is okay. It’s pretty consistent with the nose. The malt base features a nice mix of chocolate and roasted malts. The chocolate variety tastes mostly like bittersweet dark chocolate. It’s not very sweet. Anise is very, very strong in flavor. It definitely imparts a prominent black licorice taste throughout. If that’s not your thing, this won’t be your beer. Lighter flavors include roasted coffee, molasses, and Belgian yeast. Frankly, I’m not getting much Belgian yeast at all. Alcohol is a little noticeable, but isn’t overly strong. It’s not warm or hot.

The body is on the lighter side of full. Carbonation is light and restrained. It actually feels nice and smooth. Goes down alright. It’s definitely big, but it hides it pretty well.

I had pretty low expectations for Belgo Anise IRS. I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s alright. The anise-black licorice flavor is definitely strong. I’m not in love with it, but I don’t hate it. If it were a little less prominent, I’d probably like this better. More Belgian yeast would be a good thing too. It’s really not as bad as I’d heard though. Worth checking out if you ask me.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 04:18:02 | More by prototypic
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

1.63/5  rDev -53.4%
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 sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks Chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours a pitch black color. Some tan froth and lace.

(S)- Straight up licorice and lots of it! Pretty much all there is. VERY subtle bits of molasses and raisin.

(T)- Again, mountains of licorice like the smell was. Not much else to it besides licorice really. SOME roasted qualities, but subtle.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. The balance is ok, but you really really gotta love black licorice.

(D)- Again, if you do not like black licorice, stay far away from this one. It was still enjoyable, but I am also not a big black licorice fan.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 22:12:44 | More by sweemzander
Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 886 ratings.