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Espresso Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Espresso Imperial Russian StoutEspresso Imperial Russian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,664 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,664
Reviews: 361
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 205
Gots: 410 | FT: 46
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:
Beer added by: WillCarrera on 04-17-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,664 | Reviews: 361
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of szmnnl99
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of laxer8811
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of FlandersNed
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of firstlighthiker
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Dylanjf
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of lordofstarside
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber to snifter, it's been out of the fridge for a while

Pours a full opaque with a finger of mocha foam, which has receded pretty quickly. No visible carbonation, good lacing and legs, no transparency.

Smells of roasted coffee malts, chocolate, oak, molasses, smoke, tobacco, alcohol, vanilla, caramel, and a touch of hops. Lots of complexity, the espresso really dominates and drowns out a lot of the other aroma- should be taken care of with a year or two of aging

Tastes of upfront espresso, licorice, chocolate, toffee, vanilla, caramel, some dark fruit and alcohol. Everything comes together pretty well, even at only a month old. The coffee really compliments the stout in similar manner that bourbon does, emboldens and enhances. Bourbon aging these would be amazing

Feel is probably the weakest part, a little choppy going down. The alcohol is pretty well concealed but warms my throat on the way down, again something that should smooth out. Thick and creamy, really drinkable

Overall I'm not a fan of many of the 'odd year' releases, but this one is different. The idea works really well and if it's this good out the gate some age will really take it places. I've got three more in the cellar, and am hoping to pick up some more. I'll come back with a re-review in the future

Photo of pmarlowe
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tulip glass.

A: Pours a dense black with a ring of medium brown head. A few streaks of lace,

S: Aroma is rich espresso, coffee beans, a little licorice and cocoa.

T: Tasty, rich dark roast coffee through the entire sip and into a long finish, moderate roasted malt.

M: Full bodied, medium but soft carbonation. Smooth and moathcoating.

O: Great coffee beer. The coffee is firm but not overpowering. This is a little one note-y compare to the regular IRS, but delicious as a straight coffee beer.

Photo of johnnyboy76
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of joefc
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Maillard
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of artoolemomo
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- This is quite a beautiful beer which pours up a good amount of head. The head is a dark mocha/espresso color that is so brown that it has hints of purple. The body is a deep chocolate black that lets through no light and leaves no lacing. Minimal lacing

Nose- This soars with chocolate and roasted coffee. I can already tell that this beer is going to be delicious. There is some citrus and some caramel but this is brutally dominated by chocolate and coffee. This does not fade in the least such that if it weren't alcoholic, I could smell it all day long.

Taste- Coffee and chocolate and roasted notes rush right up to the forefront. Woody bitterness lingers in the finish but is overpowered by a more apparent expression of the espresso. This is not a beer to be taken lightly by any means. Caramel and even hints of coconut via oak start to reveal themselves. It is hard for me to account for all the notes in the flavor profile because everything is so staggeringly well integrated. The heat is quite noticeable but it fits in perfectly with the entire scheme of the beer. I will be grabbing more of these- to enjoy and to save for later. I don't know what I rated the basic Stone IRS but I feel that this is notch better. (That rating was a 4.5 and this was edging very close to a 4.75 even before I checked the score.) Not only that, this is excellent for a 7 dollar beer. Nuttiness comes in to play- think hazelnuts.

Mouthfeel- Between medium and heavy but seems a little light for a stout. Significant carbonation. Some grittiness. Some creaminess as well. One negative- perhaps a little over carbonated.

Drinkability- This shit is delicious. And it is dangerous. Did I mention this shit was delicious? And that it's dangerous. It's definitely sessionable but you might die.

Overall- At first, I was thinking maybe a 4.75 which would put it close to an A+ but it seems more like a solid A, 4.5. It's in the same league as its base and the espresso beans fit it perfectly.

Photo of mjweth2
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of gillagorilla
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into a Duvel tulip (I am putting this at the top so that you see it. You really need to take a decent sip and then keep it in your mouth for at least 30 seconds, as well as swirl it around. It completely changes the mouthfeel and profile with each second. It is a great feeling.)

A: In the glass it is pitch black, but on the pour it is actually a really nice extremely dark brown. It produces a half a finger mocha head that diminishes just as rapidly. There is even a slight bit of lacing.

S: I get a lot of chocolate hazelnut espresso notes, like freshly ground coffee beans, with a sweet malt backbone to complement.

T: This is a phenomenal stout that is a great companion piece to their standard IRS. The espresso really complements the stoutness, but the espresso notes are quite faint and mellow. They don't really come out and greet your palate. However, the espresso is quite prevalent in the aftertaste and really dominates it. The aftertaste might be the best part. It makes you want to sip slowly and enjoy the taste in your mouth. All the malt is very smooth and a bit sweet. It is all like a slightly sweetened alcoholic espresso. As it warms the espresso begins to come through a lot more, which melds perfectly well with the surrounding malt of the stout. Also, the espresso 'bitterness' comes out more in the aftertaste as well, but not in a bad way like other similar stouts I have had.

M: It has a nice body that isn't too thick, which is nice. There is an even crispness from the carbonation that is prevalent throughout. However, you don't get that sharp crescendo or bite that some carbonation lends towards the end of the swallow, which is a good thing.

O: Finally, a good Odd Year release (though I didn't get to try the Belgo Anise IRS). It has finally paid off. I wish I had their regular stout to compare this to right now. They make a great stout and this is a great coffee/espresso stout. I will say that I haven't really had a straight shot of espresso though. However, I can really appreciate this and it taste amazing. All of the aspects are standouts and great examples of the style. You taste none of the alcohol at all.

Photo of Izzybone
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Roman5150
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

bottle into duvel glass, purchased from Stones River Total Beverages in Murfreesboro, TN

appearance: pitch black. one of the darkest beers i've seen, 1 finger off-white head

smell: coffee. espresso. caramel. chocolate. there may be beer hidden somewhere in this...

taste: this is an alcoholic coffee, not a "beer". with that said, this is a well crafted amazing beer. I would drink this on the regular if it was available. I love the espresso kick, and there's heavy notes of chocolate, caramel, and the slightest, if at all, taste of earthy hops. Very smooth, the espresso completely disguises the 11% abv.

mouthfeel: carbonated iced coffee is the only way to describe this...

overall: An amazing, unique beer that is more coffee than beer. Stone never dissapoints, i don't even like coffee that much but this is just very enjoyable, i honestly didn't think i'd like it but I bought 2 because of all the hype. I'm glad I did, so drinkable for an 11%, this could be dangerous...

Photo of bmur112
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Michigan
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.59/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a two finger khaki shade. I'm quite impressed with how well the head retains itself given its gravity, though there isn't significant lacing left on the glass.

S: Well, it's certainly a coffee bomb, that's for sure. I notice a bit of licorice and chocolate in a (vain) attempt to balance the big coffee, as well. Meh, who cares - I love coffee, so I love the aroma.

T: Just like regular Stone IRS, there's a lot of licorice flavors to open this one up. The coffee explodes after the midtaste - and it's my favorite feature of the brew. It's not really balanced though, because of how the coffee and licorice notes dominate everything. Nor is any real complexity is to be found. Ah well, I enjoy the coffee character, at least.

M: I like that the finish is mildly dry, because I find the regular IRS too hard to drink (even compared with other big imperial stouts). Given the ABV, it's pretty easy to down, but I think there's too much generic licorice sweetness that gets in the way of things.

O: Looking back at my review archive, I can't believe I gave the regular IRS a 4. Because of that, I don't blame Stone for adding a shitload of coffee to a (in my opinion) blah RIS. As a coffee stout, though, it doesn't compare with FBS or Wake-N-Bake. However, it's still pretty good at the end of the day - but I'm not sure where all the high reviews are coming from. At least it's better than Oak-Smoked Old Guardian, right? ...right?

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter

A- Pours pitch black with a half finger of a dirty brown head. Nice alcohol legs on this beer.

S- Big espresso beans. This is a massive roasty beer. A very dry, smokey and charred smell. A bit of a sweetness and burnt sugar.

T- A big bitterness at first which balances out well with the dry roasty nature of this beer. Speaking of roasty, this beer is insanely roasty. Between the malt and the espresso beans, this beer leaves a smokey taste lingering on the tongue. There is a lot of coffee flavors and an underlying dark chocolate. Alcohol is well hidden. There is some hoppiness to this beer, especially in terms of bitterness but most of the hoppy flavor has been covered up.

M- Thick, warming, surprisingly well balanced. Dry, creamy and roasty. It is what it should be.

O- Awesome stuff. Personally I think its a notch above the already great base brew. Very espresso forward and balanced stout. Get it while you can.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of SeaOfShells
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. poured into Firestone Walker tulip

A: A gentle pour unleashed a modest finger of head that hung around for a few minutes before receding and leaving a ring of lace where it once sat. Mocha colored head rests on a jet black body

S: Like a coffee house. Dark roasted coffee on a bed of roasted malts. The pungent coffee really brings out the sweet chocolate in the natural beer. Deep and complex.

T: Woah. The espresso took this beer to the next level. What was already one of my all time favorite Imperial Stouts, is elevated to god-like levels by the simple addition of espresso. Up front is a bitterness explosion from the coffee followed by roasted malts and sweet chocolate.

M: Full, creamy, slick, oily, chewy, rich, decadent. What else can be said? It's outstanding.

O: After the ABYSMAL 2011 odd year release, this is a breath of fresh air. The addition of espresso really adds to the beer, yet it doesn't detract from the base elements. Cheers to Stone for nailing this one.

Photo of IpaSipa
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of cfinch2
5/5  rDev +15.2%

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Espresso Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 2,664 ratings.