Espresso Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Espresso Imperial Russian StoutEspresso Imperial Russian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,684 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,684
Reviews: 362
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 208
Gots: 412 | FT: 41
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WillCarrera on 04-17-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,684 | Reviews: 362
Reviews by BuccoFan:
Photo of BuccoFan
3.86/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into 12 oz. snifter glass from 22 oz. bottle, aged for about five months. Pour is pretty pitch black and leaves a very thin head. Aroma is a very inviting mix of malt, coffee and chocolate. Mouthfeel is relatively solid, with a slight carbonation, and a little more thin than I expected. Taste is underwhelming, actually.

I guess tastes can vary on how much bean you want to be able to taste in the coffee family stouts. This one is very subtle in its expresso taste, and, thus, for me, a tad bit disappointing. Finish is also not as complete as I think I was expecting for an 11% Stone stout. A good stout, as it's a Stone, but just not what I was hoping for.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Stone's original IRS is a doozy, but one of my (only) complains about it is that it's got a bit too much anise and black licorice sweetness to it. I always thought a little more coffee would balance it perfectly, and viola - Stone Espresso IRS comes out the next year. Very excited to try this - it sounds delicious on paper. Bought a few bottles around town, but thanks to Chris for generously cracking one of his.

Espresso IRS pours a deep-ass, oily black - literally almost no traces of any color can be seen. It looks thick, heavy, and viscous as it plops into the glass as a small, tan, fine-bubbled head slowly rises from the bottom up. It quickly recedes to a mere skin atop the black hole, but a few spotty traces of lacing are still left on the glass. What would a Stone brew be without a little bit of lace?

Extremely deep roasted coffee beans fill the aroma - it's like the French roast that's over-roasted, charred, and burnt. Seriously, the aroma is ashy and roasty beyond belief. Some underlying cocoa notes spike about midway through after your nostrils get used to the coffee a bit, along with a faint sweetness - but make no mistake, the scorched coffee bean aroma is the king of this playground.

As expected, coffee hits first and foremost. Again, such a dark blend of beans it seems - triple shot, hold the cream. I'll say it again - roasted, bitter, ashy, and burnt like you wouldn't believe. Not only does this balance, but it nearly cancels out the abundant sweetness found in the original IRS. I'm not really getting any dark fruits or anise here - just coffee with the ever-so-slightest hint of dark chocolate. The palate after-coating actually contains a light nutty and woody flavor, but they still remain secondary to the coffee. Thick, chewy, and creamy on the palate with a huge body, ample carbonation.

Well this tasted at least as good as I thought it would be, and I thought it would be pretty damn good. It met my expectations of overriding the anise-like sweetness from the original IRS by not only balancing the sweetness with heavy, bitter roast, but nearly obliterating them completely. Needless to say, I'd choose this over the original IRS any day, so I'm sad that it will most likely be only a one-time release. Guess I need to stock up!

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2013 release
(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours an obsidian black body with a thick meniscus of cocoa tan foam that soon breaks up into a thick ring.

S- The inky black roasted barley has hints of cold espresso that grow with some dark graham malt sweetness in the finish. There is a vegetal, capsicum note and some iodine notes that grow in the finish aswell.

T- The inky black malt flavor has some green vegetal and capsicum quality without any heat to it and a dark chocolate malt finish. There is a cold espresso flavor in the finish that grows and compliments the other malt flavors. The black roasted bitterness lingers for a moment in the finish.

M- The full mouthfeel has a luscious thickness with a gentle alcohol warmth that finishes each sip nicely.

O- This beer has a nice rich depth to it with the espresso adding a nice quality to the beer without being over the top. It was delicious but the vegetal flavor was a bit odd and got in the way of the other flavors. I’m not sure if this would age out or get worse but it could really improve if the coffee flavor stayed and the vegetal note left.

Photo of jlindros
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been excited to try this for a while now, and finally got around to it.

Pours a nice dark creamy frothy thick 1 finger mocha colored head that fades semi slowly, a nice lacing, pitch black beer with not light coming through, kinda reminds me of the kaffee I got in Belgium.

Nose is great, just as expected, lots of dark malts, a little roast, with hints of dark chocolate and super dark intense cocoa. then loads of coffee and espresso, fresh roasted ground coffee beans, super pact espresso rich nutty like, a nice roast without being super acrid either. It also brings a light smoked malt character which is also interesting, and a light nutty caramel aroma somewhere under that, and even a faint vanilla character. So much fresh coffee and espresso roast!

Taste starts with loads of dark malts as expected, big creamy dark chocolate, so much chocolate, dark cocoa, a little thick milk chocolate, nice melting Belgian chocolate, a little vanilla and some nice caramel as well. Roasted malts are there but barely, but they lead teh way for the big coffee flavor, and fresh espresso beans, freshly ground and somewhat freshly roasted coffee, and a nice rich coffee flavor. It doesn't get acrid, at all, which is really interesting for how much fresh roasted espresso is in this, I can almost feel the caffeine seeping into my tongue. There is also a hint of warming booze, but not much, and with the mild sweetness and huge roasty coffee and dark chocolate, drinks like the abv is closer to 7%. Besides a mild bitterness from teh roasted coffee, there is also a light earthy hop presence, but barely. Finish is drier but a little sticky as it really coats the mouth, with more earthy bitterness, long fresh roasted espresso beans lingering for a long time, and a bit more dark chocolate.

Mouth is full bodied, nice and creamy, thick and somewhat lush, just a touch of booze.

Overall lives up to the hype, this beer is awesome! It's no Vietnamese Speedway, but it's not too far off. No flaws in this beer, everything in the right proportions, very tasty, and way too drinkable!

Photo of stakem
3.94/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber into a matching Stone standard pint glass. The brew pours black in color with a finger of khaki head that fades to a thin film leaving a wall of patchy lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma includes plenty of coffee character with a backing of roasted grain typical of the base brew. Notes of bitter baker's cocoa mingle with a hint of mineral character and earthen aspects. A tinge of alcohol and fruity hops wrap things up in the aroma department.

The flavor is bitter and roasted. Fresh coffee, mineral and earthen aspects give way to bitter chocolate just like the aroma suggested. The 11% abv is present with a fruity accent and a bit of solvent burn across the back of the throat. More sips reveal an increased bitterness not just from the coffee/roasted grain but also from the presence of some hops.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. I gotta admit that I am a big fan of the standard stone IRS and everything about this brew seemed like a win. I was surprised to see a slight bump in alcohol level over the base brew, I expected it to be lower with the coffee edition. I think the alcohol is a little too forward and some aging might do that aspect good but if I had more of this, I would not hesitate in drinking it for fear that the coffee would fade leaving you with just a lightly different standard Stone IRS. Regardless, this is good stuff, get it while you can.

Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A rather thin mocha head sits atop the pitch black liquid, even after a somewhat hard pour; not much staying power, though there a more than a few dots of lace left behind on the chalice

Smell: I was expecting more coffee but this is really fruity, with prunes and dates interspersed with chocolate and coffee tones

Taste: Fruitier, too, on the palate than what I was expecting, with prune and date flavors forward pushing into the bitterness brought from the hops (it is a Stone, of course) and coffee; underneath, chocolate and coffee underpin the flavor profile with a bit of lactose softening the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: Quite different from what I was expecting and the bitter hop flavors were a bit of a distraction for me; good, but there are other coffee stouts I prefer more

Photo of MasterSki
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Whole Foods. Shared this with the lovely ladies at Debonair Social Club. Served in a fine plastic cup.

A - Creamy mocha foam settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and splotchy lacework. Very dark brown with some mild transparency at the fringes.

S - Iced coffee dominates, with modest amounts of baker's chocolate, raisins, dark fruits, a dollop of caramel, and perhaps a hint of anise. Still, very much an espresso-forward beer.

T - The taste is similarly coffee-heavy; it's a bit rough and diner-esque. More roasty, dark, an licorice-heavy than the aroma, but still a sweeter American-style stout on the whole. More of the base beer comes out as this warms, with notes of biscuit and caramel and less coffee as this reaches room temperature.

M - Surprisingly zesty carbonation. Tannic and gritty texture, medium body that becomes a bit creamier as the beer warms up. Some mild warming alcohol.

D - I drank the majority of the bomber as the ladies just weren't feeling coffee beer. Got a bit fatiguing near the end, but still largely enjoyable. Much better than the 'Belgian Anus' version of the IRS.

Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with no light getting thru this puppy,a half finger beige colored head atop.I f you like roasted aromas than you'll love this,the espresso roast along with big earthy/roasted notes,mild molasses-like sweetness and bitter chocolate round out the nose.Big earthy and roasted coffee flavors really hit ya on the palae with only a meager amount of sweetness,even the alcohol sweetness for such a big beer is rather subdued.A little prickly in the feel,I gotta say I like just the "standard" Stone RIS better although this isn't bad or anything.

Photo of MadScientist
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: black beer with a creamy, long last head that is fittingly espresso colored

S: A medium-strong coffee \with dark stone fruit aromas, mostly of plum. A firm roast, some chocolate and a light malt sweetness. Moderate alcohol sweetness.

T: The flavor is of a medium-strong caramel malt sweetness braced against a firm hops bitterness rounded out by medium notes of coffee, chocolate and roast. Some light plum-like flavors show up as well as some light citrus hops. The balance is fairly sweet with a medium finish and a roasty, bitter aftertaste along with some coffee.

M: A full bodied beer with a medium level of carbonation and some alcohol warmth.

O: Like caramel and chocolate covered espresso beans followed with a short shot of alcohol. Safely negotiated the coffee addition without the wet coffee ground character found in some many failed attempts. A beer this good and only costing $6.69, it's a must buy.

Photo of SanDNigel
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 OZ Bottle into Stone IRS Squatty Tulip

A- The darkest of caramels. Not quite black, with a dark tan head that doesn't want to leave the inside walls of the glass
S- A chocolatey-carmel with coffee. A mocha if you will, but with a touch of the alcohol ester you know is there
T- Chocolatey-carmel just like it smells, with a soft backbone of coffee's roasted bitterness. Theres a lot going on here. You get the alcohol up front but it finishes so sweet and smooth it makes you rethink the ABV
M- Teeny-tiny bubbles coat your mouth, eventually dissipating into an almost creamy/fatty beer juice
Its a really good beer. Great even. If it is what you are looking for than you can find it in this bottle (or on tap if you're lucky)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Nocturnem Draft Haus.

In a snifter the beer was black with a small, cafe au lait- colored head.

Coffee aroma. Some roasted malt and chocolate.

Espresso coffee, slightly bitter. Chocolate.

Very flavorful. Easy to drink. Hard to guess it's 11% ABV.

Would drink this anytime.

Photo of Beaver13
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours dark brown black with a medium creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is lots of roasted coffee with some sweet vanilla.

The flavor is sweet malts, roasted coffee and some anise with a big roast bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low smooth carbonation.

Overall, very nice. The coffee is not overdone, and balances the bitterness.

Photo of ElSid
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Beers of California


2013 Odd Year Release

A: A light brown head of foam slowly builds after an aggressive pour. The beer sits pitch black in a tulip glass.

S: Sweet and earthy featuring strong cocoa and espresso notes along with marshmallows and raisins. Oat smoothness throughout.

T: Chocolate and marshmallow sweetness opens to a middle of espresso. raisins, and rum. Oat and toasted bread bring smoothness to the palate. Earthy bitterness and a moderate bouziness build to the finish.

M: Big, thick and smooth with some faint supporting carbonation.

O: The espresso gets muddled in the palate but overall it's a still a Stone Russian Imperial Stout. Still favor Speedway over this brew.

Photo of bsp77
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Near black with initial thick brown head, leaving some light lacing behind.

Smell: Espresso beans, char & smoke, bittersweet chocolate, salt and molasses. Very nice.

Taste: Espresso, char and smoke are prominent. Unsweetened cocoa, burnt molasses, and an underlying saltiness are also present. The finish has a strong roasted bite, some hoppy bitterness, and a slightly distracting chalkiness.

Feel: Massive, thick (but extremely smooth and creamy) body. Moderately low carbonation, dry finish and very warming. Overall, very dry for an Imperial Stout, but the chalkiness leaves a coating.

Overall: Comes across as a coffee-accented, very dry version of their standard Imperial Stout. Big surprise there. In some ways I like this better, but the chalkiness keeps them in similar territory. Both are excellent beers.

Photo of jondeelee
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Espresso Imperial Russian Stout opens to a heavenly chocolate-rich stout aroma, the most immediate aromas including thick caramels, heavy creams, milk chocolate, and bits of toffee. Add to these a delectable supporting cast of espresso beans, light ash and tobacco, vanilla beans, and an assortment of fig, prune, date, plum, and black cherry fruit esters, as well as touches of anise and pepper, and you have what, in another form, might be the best smelling five-star coffee ice cream topping ever made. In beer form, the result is excellent, the aromas superbly blended and balanced, offering a wide variety of aromas, each of which bears good potency and quality. In short, this sets a rather high standard for other Imperial Russian Stouts, and it’s very obvious that, even without the espresso addition, this would still be a fantastic beer; the espresso simply catalyzes the coffee and ash flavors, creating a very nice fusion that works almost perfectly, the only drawback being a slightly weak aroma.

On the tongue, the beer is immediately dark and black, the espresso beans front and center, bringing black ash and fresh-ground espresso beans to the blend. These mix almost immediately with heavy sugars, including whipping cream, caramel, toffee, and bits of milk chocolate. There are also a few dark fruit esters in here, including fig, date, raisin, and black cherry, which mingle with brown sugar and light molasses. The grains furthermore add huge chunks of thick brown bread, yeasty rising whole wheat dough, and even bits of peppery, chewy marble rye, the latter mixing nicely with a faint touch of anise. The high 11% ABV is obvious throughout the mouthful, but the sugars and breads are strong enough that this is not a detraction; instead, it comes across as a light bourbon and oak overtone, even though the beer has not been bourbon barrel aged. The aftertaste is a long-lingering continuation of the main mouthful, but with an even larger coffee and ash presence, as if a shot of strong espresso had been doctored with a few drops of heavy cream, brown sugar, and bourbon. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is easily among the best Imperial Stouts on the market, being full-bodied, very nicely balanced, and amazingly delicious. The coffee notes are perhaps a bit strong in the body, somewhat overwhelming the sugars, but are delicious enough that they mostly make up for this. Important to note here is that the coffee notes come across not as weeks-old-and-dried-up espresso beans, but as fresh-ground, oily, heavily aromatic beans; the kind of espresso you can only get from beans that were roasted less than an hour before they arrived on your table in liquid form. The attention to detail in this beer is, in other words, excellent, and fans of Imperial Stouts should place this beer high on their must-try list.

Photo of ehammond1
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (2013)

Oceanside, CA

Black throughout--no light penetrates. Smaller than anticipated head of small brown bubbles. Leaves a small ring of bubbles on the outside of the liquid throughout. Smearing, sticky lace left down the glass.

Very nice aroma of charred espresso, black, roasted malt notes, and some burnt brownie edges. Very nice.

The flavor is definitely coffee-forward; this is a more than successful attempt at one of my favorite styles. Freshly ground coffee, black malt, some chocolate character, and some definite bitterness combine nicely.

Bitter and lower-full in body. Moderate carbonation. No complaints, but this isn't, by any means, one of the thicker stouts on the market.

Fantastic "odd year" release. I like this quite a bit.

Photo of MattyG85
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. Bottled on 03/28/13.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of deep tan head that settles into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A rich and very roasty aroma with lots of coffee bean scent and dark chocolate. Dark roasted malts with big hints of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. Also hints of burnt toast, grains, caramel, toffee, cream, biscuit, nuts, and smoked malt. Sweet hints of molasses and burnt sugars. Some noticeable hints of anise licorice spicing. Subtle hints of dark cherry, raisin, plum, prune, and fig. Also some earthy hop hints as well. A very roasty coffee and chocolate forward aroma that is very good.

Taste: Like the smell gives off, a big roasty and rich taste of coffee beans and dark malts. Dark roasted malts with a big rich taste of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate along with notes of grains, burnt toast, caramel, toffee, biscuit, cream, smoke, and nuts. Burnt sugar and notes of molasses sweetness. Good licorice taste from some anise spice. Subtle but noticeable dark fruit notes of cherry, prune, raisin, plum, and fig. Some earthy and grassy hop notes in the background. A very good roasty and coffee forward stout taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, rich, and fairly chewy. Pretty smooth considering its size with very little alcohol heat.

Overall: A very good twist on an already great imperial stout. The big roasty coffee flavor plays well with the other subtle notes.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.99/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into snifter. Oily jet black with a medium thick dark brown head that sticks around. Smells of metallic roasted malts and black coffee/espresso, with some chocolate sweetness hiding behind it. Taste is mind-blowingly good; the first thing that hit me was the super thick mouthfeel, this beer needs a steak knife. Then espresso and bitter roasted malts play off each other before sweet caramel smooths things over, but bitter coffee and chocolate get the last word in. A sticky bittersweet aftertaste is left. Outstanding beer, this one.

Photo of Brenden
4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours like a beauty. It's just a thick, rich, big-bodied black beer. A thick, creamy brown head grows to somewhere around two fingers and rests there for awhile. Thick, heavy lacing is left on the glass and spreads out pretty impressively.
So much rich coffee and malts come out on the nose. I could sit and smell this for a long time before I even take a sip. Naturally, a bit of bittersweet cocoa is present. There's so little harshness, which is a huge benefit.
Rich, deep, roasty, chocolatey, and deliciously..."espressoey," this one doesn't have the biting char that comes with the base beer and seems to smooth out quite a bit on the palate. The finish develops a little bitterness, but one that mingles well with the big, bold flavors is expresses. As in the aroma, there's not the harshness that an RIS can develop, just a nice roast with maybe a bit of char that just isn't too hard. There's such a nice balance to it, all said.
I'm not surprised by the rich, robust feel, the depth, or the huge body of this beer. It leans a little dry into the finish, developing a chalky edge, but not enough to do much to mar the lush way it sits on the tongue or flows in the mouth.

Photo of CloudStrife
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split and poured into a snifter. 2013

A: Pours a darkish brown appearing black in the glass with a one finger khaki head. Leaves a full coverage of lacing before i take a sip, spots as I take sips. Light just barely gets through the edges.

S: Loads of coffee beans compliment roasted malt and dark fruit. Very enjoyable aroma. Hints of a milk stout sort of lactose as well as vanilla. Chocolate is in there as well.

T: As much coffee as I expected from the aroma which is a lot. Isnt as bitter as just a black coffee but has a nice touch of chocolaty sweetness. Nice aftertaste of roasted malt before the coffee takes over again.

M: Medium to full body with a creamy, velvety smooth body. Alcohol is lost in the mouthfeel and only appears as warmth in your stomach. Finish is a bit sticky but that can be expected with this flavor.

Overall real happy I got to try this, being a big coffee fan this is a great beer. Always a very tasty stout and the espresso kicks it up to the next level. Hope to see this again soon.

Photo of MeneerBeerSnob
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours midnight black with finger of mocha head, visible lacing.

S-Chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, raisin, smokey

T-Dark sweet malt, roasty espresso, chocolate, very subtle background of bitter hops

M-Smooth oil, full body, minimal carbonation.

O-I'm not the biggest fan of stouts but this could change my mind. It's got a lot of sweetness but its not overwhelming and balances the espresso roast and bitter hops.

Photo of timc100
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A: The pour is almost completely black - some dark brown showing through. Really nice foamy beige head, not very big. Great creamy lacing and leaves a cream film retention

S: This really does bring speedway to mind, or at least I am convincing myself it does. Really rich dark roasted coffee, rich chocolate both milk and dark. I am getting very subtle notes of anise and dark fruits, but not much. Not very complex, but smells great.

T: Huge tasting beer, and in the best way. More complexity than in the aroma. A large amount of bitterness from the dark roast coffee and dark chocolate. The coffee addition is very well blended in, does not dominate. There is a decent amount of ash and some anise that come through in the middle of the mouth - possibly some fruits as well. There is certainly a hop presence as this is very fresh - some nice grapefruit and pine come through. There is ash at the finish as well

P: Incredibly smooth, like silk. I wish my morning coffee felt like this. Rich full body and finishes strong.

O: Was really excited about this and was not let down! The espresso is truly an addition on an already stellar base beer. It does not dominate (maybe a bit on the nose) but enhances. Fantastic variant

Photo of Magbas
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

After letting this sit for six months, it turned out to be a sensational coffee beer. Much more interesting than the normal Russian Imperial.

Photo of tastybeer
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Extra opaque and really close to black. Head is two fingers of frothy coffee foam colored head. Lace is spotty.

S: Thick and potent aromas of bright roasted coffee beans, molasses, tobacco, purple meaty fruits, and a touch of vanilla. A nicely well rounded aroma. Light and heavy. Not overly roasty nor too fruity but right in the middle. The coffee isn't overwhelming or stale in any way.

T: Sweeter than expected but not overly so. Chocolate syrup, anise, fruity coffee, bitter and tingly... Caramelized roasted coffee beans. A deep array of flavors. Alcohol is present but not sharply.

M: Velvety smooth texture and blankety big body.

O: This beer does kick some ass. Not to be taken lightly.

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - A murky black brew with a deep tan 3 finger head, and a strong retention. Results in a thin layer of microbubbles, with a considerably thicker ring around the edge of the glass. A good amount of lacing sticks to the glass with vigor.

Smell - Strong, smooth, creamy coffee aroma. Espresso for sure.

Taste - Yep, it's there. Roasted coffee, with smooth creaminess. Touches of milk chocolate. Deep roast, but with impeccable cream and chocolate smoothness that punches through mid-taste and into the finish.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with a touch of syrupy character, but goes down with a creamy smoothness. Low carbonation. Goes down like "hershey's coffee milk chocolate syrup" if I had to describe it in laymen's terms.

Overall - I'm a stout man. I love this beer. For me, it brings to the table that special quality that the regular version of the Stone RIS just doesn't have. Reminds me a lot of the Lagunitas Cappuccino stout, only much more punchy. For that, it's nearly perfect.

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Espresso Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 2,684 ratings.