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Espresso Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Espresso Imperial Russian StoutEspresso Imperial Russian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,516 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,516
Reviews: 353
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 158
Gots: 403 | FT: 49
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: WillCarrera on 04-17-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,516 | Reviews: 353 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jondeelee:
Photo of jondeelee
jondeelee

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

05-06-2013 15:55:31 | More by jondeelee
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev -8.1%

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.

05-24-2013 00:44:35 | More by oberon
Photo of braugon
braugon

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -7.8%

07-16-2013 12:16:59 | More by braugon
Photo of DanGeo
DanGeo

Michigan

4/5  rDev -7.8%

09-05-2013 10:14:02 | More by DanGeo
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.24/5  rDev -2.3%

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!

05-10-2013 11:29:50 | More by tectactoe
Photo of MadScientist
MadScientist

New York

4.43/5  rDev +2.1%

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.

06-16-2013 01:14:29 | More by MadScientist
Photo of jono0101
jono0101

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

12-24-2013 17:33:14 | More by jono0101
Photo of brownbeer
brownbeer

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

02-14-2014 01:45:49 | More by brownbeer
Photo of abeerdude
abeerdude

California

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

05-17-2013 22:40:15 | More by abeerdude
Photo of Tiernan
Tiernan

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

05-21-2013 03:18:38 | More by Tiernan
Photo of Spaten454
Spaten454

Louisiana

4/5  rDev -7.8%

06-14-2014 21:03:49 | More by Spaten454
Photo of tbryan5
tbryan5

Louisiana

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

05-18-2013 11:35:29 | More by tbryan5
Photo of SanFranJake
SanFranJake

California

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

05-06-2013 02:41:34 | More by SanFranJake
Photo of SkiBum22
SkiBum22

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

05-04-2013 11:33:28 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of Anstuart5
Anstuart5


4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

08-09-2014 21:15:18 | More by Anstuart5
Photo of RebeccaMB
RebeccaMB

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

04-24-2014 04:05:47 | More by RebeccaMB
Photo of Ben7773
Ben7773

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

06-27-2014 00:30:01 | More by Ben7773
Photo of SanDNigel
SanDNigel

California

4.53/5  rDev +4.4%

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)

06-04-2013 21:23:40 | More by SanDNigel
Photo of sabitu
sabitu

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

05-12-2013 00:35:55 | More by sabitu
Photo of bulldogg915
bulldogg915

Wyoming

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

04-20-2013 15:11:45 | More by bulldogg915
Photo of Kjanisch7
Kjanisch7

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

07-15-2013 18:30:20 | More by Kjanisch7
Photo of EastBay_Nick
EastBay_Nick

California

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

07-13-2013 21:13:07 | More by EastBay_Nick
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.48/5  rDev +3.2%

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.

04-27-2013 22:00:55 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of thetommo
thetommo

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

04-27-2014 19:57:17 | More by thetommo
Photo of DaftPatrick
DaftPatrick

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

02-28-2014 20:33:34 | More by DaftPatrick
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Espresso Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 2,516 ratings.