Espresso Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,126 | Reviews: 338 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by jondeelee:
4.5/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
Serving type: bottle
05-06-2013 15:55:31 | More by jondeelee
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 2,126 ratings.