Espresso Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,132 | Reviews: 339 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Kuaff:
4.75/5 rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
I experienced a bomber of this last night. WHAT an experience! Into my snifter at cellar temperature, it went.
Espresso IRS LOOKS pretty much the same as the non-espresso version. A one-finger mocha head and a beautifully, banefully, balefully black body.
I give the aroma a five because I just really can't imagine it being much better. The standard IRS already has a fantastic scent, but THIS one's is both better AND stronger. Sweet, milky chocolate, raisins, prunes, vanilla extract, and bold, roasty espresso! And there's something else that keeps teasing and tantalizing my nostrils in tandem with all of this... something hiding in the vapors that emanate up from my snifter. Like a mysterious, leathery smokiness or something. That's how I'd describe it, but it's... kind of transient... like a ghost. An imperial stout with a haunted aroma! Mwahahahahaaaa...
All of the flavors of standard IRS return here in the same harmony they had already achieved in the original, but now the flavor profile has been injected with a noticeably higher dose of roasty, earthy espresso. The espresso wraps itself around and folds itself into the stock IRS flavors (see my review of that one for details) in an incredible way, somehow amplifying and enhancing the overall taste. It's kind of like how French cooks expertly fold layers of butter into dough when making croissants to create a delectable culinary masterpiece. Here, Brewers in San Diego have expertly folded espresso "into the fold" of what was already a near-flawless beer, creating an amazing alcoholic art piece.
Alcohol is just as well-masked in this one as in the original, and the ABV's been kicked UP from the original's 10.6% to 11% ta boot. Not bad. Nicely (and treacherously) concealed. The aftertaste leaves me feeling like I just ate a chocolate (rich, gourmet chocolate, mind you), and that's EXACTLY what I want my imperial stouts to do to me. I love an alcoholic beverage that appeases the chocoholic within me, hehe. As a final note on the taste, I also get some woodiness and maple syrup lingering along-side the expected roastiness in the fantastic finish. To sum up these last two paragraphs on the taste... devilishly DIVINE.
The feel is much like the standard IRS's, which didn't really need improving. It's got that "imperial," velvety viscosity. What's not to love?
It's so delicious that I wanna drink it faster! But I know I shouldn't. Yeah, it's one of THOSE kinds of beers... those darn deceptively alluring, potent brews that just have too much alcohol for their drinkability. And I don't mean it to sound like that's bad thing. It's an AWESOME thing. But the admonishment about how this stuff is almost "evil"in the customary Stone ale exposition on the back of the bottle... that warning is worth heeding. And hilariously fun to read.
Espresso Imperial Russian Stout might be my favorite of the whole style. And there are a LOT of contenders out there setting the bar high for Russian imperial stouts. Every once in a while I'm fortunate enough to taste something like this that rises sufficiently high enough above that bar for me to be able to say... it's out of this world!
Serving type: bottle
08-04-2013 01:23:16 | More by Kuaff
More User Reviews:
4.3/5 rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Poured into a snifter out of a 22oz bomber.
Pours a very dark brown, but not nearly pitch black with a half finger dark tan head. Head retention is surprisingly good considering the strength and lacing is excellent.
Aroma has lots of milk chocolate up front with some lightly roasted coffee. This has about a year of age on it so I'm not sure what effect this has had on the nose. Notes of dark caramel and roasted malt as well.
More coffee is present in the flavor along with lots more milk chocolate. Strands of cooked caramel and some toffee balanced out by a fairly stout bitterness. A little hint of alcohol becomes present towards the finish. Silky smooth mouthfeel and a pretty sticky finish.
Overall, a very impressive imperial stout and another home run from Stone. I would like to try this fresh sometime.
Serving type: bottle
03-10-2014 01:56:17 | More by rangerred
4.25/5 rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
A - Black as the darkest night. Thick on the pour. Thin khaki head settles and mostly disappears rather quickly. Some sticky malty based almost film like lace down the glass as you drink.
S - Big amazing aroma here. Sweet fruit, espresso, toasted malts, toffee, chocolate, black licorice and some smoke.
T - Not as coffee forward as I thought, and that's ok. The base beer gets a chance to shine. Roasted malt and licorice, espresso hits big and then some hop bite through the middle and some of that smoke from the nose, finishes slightly sweet with some fruitiness on the end and some alcohol heat.
M - Perfect carbonation, silky smooth at the same time with a stickiness and coating feeling on the pallet.
O - If you've had the regular IRS then you will be pleased to see that this beer showcases and then elevates it with some wonderful espresso flavor. Well done.
Serving type: bottle
03-10-2014 01:21:04 | More by HopBomb515
4.03/5 rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
an abbreviated review of a 22-bomber shared on 3-8-2014
opaque black appearance with 1/2-inch dark tan head, dissipating slowly and leaving a minimal collar
dark roast coffee and malts in the aroma, but there are more potent, more pleasant coffee beers
dark roast and chocolate gives way quickly to vegetal hop bitterness on the palate
i did not enjoy this beer as much as a year ago; would be inclined to blame the lapse the time and (perhaps) less than perfect cellar conditions, but the hops are not absent; on the contrary, they overpower the (albeit few) other elements of the beer. certainly, there are coffee beers (e.g., the Prairie Bomb I got to sample a day earlier) with more going on
Serving type: bottle
03-09-2014 18:46:42 | More by StoutItOutLoud
Espresso Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 2,132 ratings.