Espresso Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,532 | Reviews: 353 | Display Reviews Only:
4.58/5 rDev +5.5%
On-tap at Lord Hobo in Cambridge.
Nearly perfect appearance. Thick black liquid with a frothy medium brown head. Leaves behind great lace and retention. Huge notes of char, roasted malt, super dark coffee, dark chocolate, and a bit of smoke. That's in both the nose and taste. Incredibly smooth, creamy deliciousness. Nicely balanced flavor with a great body and proper carbonation. Heavy on the roasted and charred flavors but that's just the high quality espresso coming through. One of the most espresso forward beers I've had which is very different from plain ole coffee. Stone incorporated it so well. A bit of sweet and warming booze in the finish that only complements this near masterpiece of a beer. If you've ever had dark chocolate covered espresso beans, that's what this beer is. Exceptional.
05-11-2013 00:01:22 | More by Gatch
4.8/5 rDev +10.6%
Sitiing outside by the smoker on a day off. Giving a 100% attention to this beer. Love the original Stone IRS, lets give this odd one a try.
Appearance: Perfect. Rough pour into my IRS tulp. Pitch black in the bottom. Dark brown at the top. Brownish 3/4 inch head forms at the top with the pour and over time drops down to a thin line. Beautifl lacing sticks to the glass and the lacing swirl effect is entrancing.
Smell: chocolate, molasses, some tobacco, mild anise, less coffee than expected but its there, and even a little vanilla. Reminds me a lot of the southern tier Mokah.
Taste: lot of chocolate up front and coffee is there and a great addition. Some hop bitterness, burnt bread and molasses sticks around til the end. Still getting some vanilla and even maybe caramel. Is this barrel aged at all? Sweeter than the original. Not sure if they changed anything else besides the coffee addition. Has an alcohol finish being fresh.
Mouthfeel: coats the mouth fantastically. As I take a sip and watch the lacing drop from the top back into the beer, i can feel it happening in my mouth. More carbed than i expected. I like how its not as thick as Mokah. I feel like i can finish this bomber without feeling way too full.
Overall: fantasic beer. Anise last time wasnt for me but this odd year edition is fantastic. Need to buy more to age, i think this will evolve incredibly. Might even be better than the original, but maybe the strength is just making me feel good. Hides the high abv well but its still there which some aging will take care of. Cant wait for the second half of this bottle. Thank you Stone for another gem!
05-10-2013 18:03:28 | More by jageraholic
4.68/5 rDev +7.8%
A - Dark with 1 finger of chocolate head. Thin layer of chocolate foam algae sticks throughout the drinking process.
S - Chocolate and coffee. Pretty simple.
T - Strong chocolate and coffee presence. Some oats and sweetness. Slight roasty, toasty goodness, but the coff/choc flavor dominates.
M - Not overly thick. Surprisingly thin and drinkable. Carbonation seemed on point.
O - Excellent. I would recommend trying. This went right to the top 10 of my RIS list. Very well done.
05-10-2013 15:12:53 | More by MikeCactusGordon
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
4.35/5 rDev +0.2%
Snagged a bottle at the house of 1,000 beers for 8 bucks.
A - Loving it so far if I had anything bad to say a light pour produced just a 1/4 inch of head that settles to practically nothing. Color is a deep dark black and it seems as Viscous as it always was.
S - Funny it smells of balanced coffee but not overly so like FBS. Cocoa nibs, bittersweet dark chocolates, and roasty notes are present.
T - Man this is one roasty coffee stout. The hops are also present clashing the tongue a bit with a touch of acidic coffee rinds, bakers chocolate, and a touch of molasses with classic RIS anise. Not too sweet so every sip is enjoyable.
M - Not as thick as I remember but a damn smooth medium bodied RIS. Dangerously drinkable.
Overall I do like this even though I am partial to the regular version if given the option I would get this everytime. Tasty stuff.
05-10-2013 03:31:16 | More by DrDemento456
4.38/5 rDev +0.9%
22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. 3/14/13 bottling date.
Pours a pitch black color with a moderate brown head. Perfect RIS pour in my eyes. Smell is rich and hearty, with chocolate being dominate but with just a touch of coffee there too. Taste is exceptional. Roasted malts and chocolate dominate, with the coffee lingering on your palate after swallowing. Drink-ability is top notch. a bit heavy but in no way syrupy. medium carbonation and alcohol is present but not overwhelming.
Overall one of the better RIS i've had; you should pick this up if you see it if youre a fan of RIS. Stone just continues to impress me.
05-09-2013 19:57:03 | More by Axnjxn
Espresso Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 2,532 ratings.