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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

2,526 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,526
Reviews: 353
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 160
Gots: 404 | FT: 48
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Espresso Imperial Russian Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,526 | Reviews: 353 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Buschyfor3
Buschyfor3

Kentucky

4.4/5  rDev +1.4%

Serving: 22oz bomber poured into a snifter

A: Sluggish, inky black pour, completely opaque; what head that did percolate up on the pour quickly dissipated to nothing more than a mocha colored ring around the circumference of the glass; looks just as imposing like its namesake base stout.

S: The first inhale brings about prominent notes of dark-roasted coffee beans, burnt sugar and bittersweet chocolate; perhaps a hint of some dark fruits around the edges (like plum or prunes); some sweetness does break through the roasted overtones, coming across as a bit like caramel and lighter milk chocolate; alcohol does not seem as prominent on the nose as I remember from the original Stone IRS.

T: Following the nose, the initial wave of flavor brings a wealth of dark-roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate – think chocolate covered espresso beans; the bitter notes from the coffee/espresso is then cut through by some sugary tones akin to a lighter milk chocolate bar and some caramel or toffee; the malt presence rises mid-sip, with a dark, bready, molasses flavor punctuated with faint hints of dark fruits (reminiscent of fruitcake); finish sees the return of roasted coffee overtones with a pleasing bitterness that lingers until the next sip; alcohol does begin to creep up near the end of each sip with a bit of warming sting, particularly as the beer warms in the glass.

M: Thick, chewy, with a nice presence on the tongue; definitely full bodied; carbonation is soft.

O: At 11% ABV, the Espresso IRS is a heavy hitter, but the alcohol punch seems more tempered this time around. I cracked this bottle with the better part of 6 months age on it. I wouldn’t call it rough or “hot” (like I called a fresh ’09 IRS in a previous review), but another 6 months would suit this beer just fine from a drinkability standpoint. The alcohol is there, and it’s held in check until near the end of the bottle, but you get the sense that the hearty roastiness from the rich espresso and dark malts is there to take command of the palate from the first sip and try to overpower any suggestions of spicy, fusel alcohol, instead of smoothing out the alcohol burn from the get-go. But the reality of this type of beer is that it is a sipper, and once the beer reaches room temp, the alcohol begins to break through the palate with more and more prominence. Another 6 months would just give enough extra time to let the espresso notes mellow, accentuate more of the sweetness – chocolate, dark fruits, molasses, vanilla - that is present in the base stout, and simmer down a bit more of the alcohol sting. As part of Stone’s ongoing odd-year release series, 2013’s offering is miles better than 2011’s Belgo-Anise variant, and a nice new twist on one of the most popular Russian Imperial Stouts on the craft scene.

Final say: I'd rate this just a notch ahead of the original IRS simply due to slightly improved drinkability. For a direct comparison to another espresso-variant RIS, I'd say Great Divide's Espresso Oak Aged Yeti edges out Stone here, but not by a wide margin.

08-15-2014 00:18:06 | More by Buschyfor3
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DrewSp

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

08-14-2014 04:29:32 | More by DrewSp
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KevinMc

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

08-13-2014 18:36:33 | More by KevinMc
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sjrodriguez

California

2.5/5  rDev -42.4%

08-13-2014 00:38:13 | More by sjrodriguez
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Dmad34

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

08-13-2014 00:18:04 | More by Dmad34
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4nimal

California

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

08-12-2014 22:27:11 | More by 4nimal
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csrbv

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

08-12-2014 00:20:49 | More by csrbv
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zachattack555

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

08-11-2014 22:26:21 | More by zachattack555
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More_betterness

California

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

08-11-2014 03:04:36 | More by More_betterness
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Anstuart5


4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

08-09-2014 21:15:18 | More by Anstuart5
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bnelson997

California

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

08-09-2014 06:58:48 | More by bnelson997
Photo of roger617
roger617

Indiana

4.23/5  rDev -2.5%

2013 'vintage' Bomber poured into snifter 8/8/14. I remember having go this when it first came out on tap and enjoying it quite a bit, excited to see what a year has done to it.

A: Pours black in color with half a finger of mocha head that reduces fairly quickly and leaves a thin collar around the edge. Viscosity appears thick and creamy.
S: Chocolate, roast, slight char, carmel, sugary sweetness. There's a nice balance, more so than I recall when it was fresh.
M: Chocolate, coffee, char, a little bit of heat. Very smooth for 11%, and a nice variant of an already nice stout.
M: Carbed well, leaves a slightly dry aftertaste, with a hint of bitterness.
O: I hope they do this one again, I really enjoy it all around. The espresso addition adds another level of flavor that compliments the base very nicely.

08-08-2014 22:24:33 | More by roger617
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andrewsbeers

California

5/5  rDev +15.2%

08-08-2014 13:55:10 | More by andrewsbeers
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kidzord

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

08-07-2014 21:22:56 | More by kidzord
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Broden

California

4/5  rDev -7.8%

08-07-2014 21:03:48 | More by Broden
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Tafyob41

Missouri

4/5  rDev -7.8%

08-07-2014 05:06:48 | More by Tafyob41
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nkelley77

Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

08-07-2014 03:09:31 | More by nkelley77
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reefa

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

08-07-2014 00:37:52 | More by reefa
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AndrewKroll

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

08-07-2014 00:34:07 | More by AndrewKroll
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mxracercam

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

08-05-2014 15:24:12 | More by mxracercam
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jburns301

Georgia

4/5  rDev -7.8%

08-04-2014 02:51:18 | More by jburns301
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Barhoppin13

Florida

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

08-04-2014 01:41:33 | More by Barhoppin13
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JoelClark

Idaho

4/5  rDev -7.8%

08-03-2014 20:29:18 | More by JoelClark
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shagens

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -7.8%

08-02-2014 21:11:45 | More by shagens
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KCBeerNerd

Missouri

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

08-01-2014 20:55:25 | More by KCBeerNerd
Espresso Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 2,526 ratings.