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Raven's Eye Imperial Stout - Eel River Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Raven's Eye Imperial StoutRaven's Eye Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

273 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 273
Reviews: 181
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 10
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: beerguy101 on 08-12-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 273 | Reviews: 181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FARGO619
FARGO619

California

1.85/5  rDev -50.5%

A: Dark, just how I like them, but man what an awful beer. Good head retention. I was hoping for more.

S: Flat, and sticky. Syrup from mugginess would describe it.

T: This was gross. It was stale and tart with a dark sugarish musk that would not go away. It just got worse with every sip. I felt bad pouring it down the drain. For an IMP STOUT this was disappointing.

O: I'm hoping it was a bad batch. The price was good, but this one I am going to pass on.

06-24-2011 19:08:28 | More by FARGO619
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
Goblinmunkey7

Massachusetts

1.98/5  rDev -47.1%

Appearance: Pours a dark rich brown that looks close to black in the glass. Head is dark tan and creamy. Drops to a small bubbly cap and collar. Moderate carbonation on the pour. Some hints of deep red at the edges when held to direct light.

Smell: Cocoa and a ton of dark fruit. Cherry, fig, plum, and dark berry. Some dark chocolate with a solid punch of roasted malt. Vague hint of herbal and citrus hopping, but it's big and malty. Sharp snap of licorice. Slightly oxidized with some backing alcohol. Relatively standard if a bit big on the dark fruit.

Taste: Mildly roasted with a hint of cocoa. Some dark chocolate buried in there as well. A hint of citrus and herbal hop notes. Pushes dark cherry and various dark berries along with fig and plum. Deeply fruity. A touch of licorice. Oxidation pushes sherry and some phenols. A touch of alcohol heat on the back. Some burnt my edges with a caramelized sweetness. A ton of raisin, a ton.

Mouthfeel: Mediumish body with a moderate carbonation. Clean.

Overall: At this rate, news of winter will never arrive.

A rather unexciting stout. It's a raisin bomb. Missing some darker roasted malts and depth.

11-05-2013 00:01:03 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of pixieskid
pixieskid

Germany

1.98/5  rDev -47.1%

Had this beer been labeled an imperial brown ale or export stout, I would be inclined to give it a fair rating, but for a RIS I found this beer to be particularly awful.

Pours a dark brown color; with no head, even with a fierce pour.

Upfront is a strong note of sugary and brown malt with an overtone of raisins.

Slight milk chocolate note throughout, finishing with a slight bitterness.

Overall it tasted like flat rootbeer, it was overly sweet, lacked the typical notes, body, and richness of an RIS.

Given a large amount of reviews, I suppose this could have been a bad bottle.

Regardless, this was my last attempt to like this brewery and unfortunately I am writing them off after numerous disappointments.

07-10-2010 17:44:35 | More by pixieskid
Photo of dbalsock
dbalsock

Vermont

2.05/5  rDev -45.2%

App: Tons of tan head sit upon this black as night brew. The head retention is great.

Smell: Very sweet aroma, with a hint of coffee , caramel and toffe. It's buttery for sure with no hop presence in the nose.

Taste: Fruity alcohol is the base for this beer, with too much coffee taking on the feel of an off-flavor. Tastes woody too, but not barrel aged.

Mouthfeel: Burnt bitter and acidic with a watery body. This beer definitely needs to mellow.

Drinkability: This needs to be creamier, and the off parts need to be taken away and replaced with more multi-dimensional characters.

01-28-2008 05:40:25 | More by dbalsock
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

2.4/5  rDev -35.8%

Poured in to brandy snifter.

A - Medium brown with a small amount of light brown head. Very light colour for a RIS.

S - Chocolate and coffee with some toasted nuts.

T - Some roasted malts, light notes of chocolate. Noticeable alcohol. Very light tasting compared to all other RIS I have had. Not very inviting. Tasted more like an imperial brown ale than an imperial stout.

M - Light to medium body. Moderately carbonated.

D - I drain poured most of this one. Gave it a chance and drank half of my glass but just couldn't get through this one.

01-31-2011 03:37:36 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of LJWalker
LJWalker

Alabama

2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

03-29-2013 05:08:42 | More by LJWalker
Photo of gafferjohn
gafferjohn

Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

01-17-2012 02:49:30 | More by gafferjohn
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe

New York

2.55/5  rDev -31.8%

Raven's Eye, bomber bought at Whole Foods Bowery for $6.99. Curious to try an "organic" Imperial Stout!

Appearance: Poured into my Sierra Anniversary snifter, the Raven appears customarily black with brown edges and a two-finger head that dies soon, leaving a chestnut-colored rim around the glass but barely any lacing.

Smell: The nose is bitter, raw, oxidized. Lots of barnyard and dirty farm. Milk shake left in the sun. Some cheap Ghirardelli chocolate crushed and thrown to a bunch of starving babies in Africa while you're vacationing and posing as a foreign-aid worker. Reminds me of an old, stale Stone 11th Anniversary Ale I had not too long ago.

Taste: Extreme coffee bitterness is all I get, plus some creamy milk and cheap chocolate. Like drinking cold burnt-ass Starbucks coffee and trying to wash it off with squares of Russell Stover. Booze and heat at the end. I wonder whether this bottle was wrong? Most reviewers didn't get any bitterness, and I do not get any dark-fruit aromas or vanilla. Curious...

Mouthfeel: The bitterness is overwhelming and unpleasant. It attacks and bites. Also, that expired-milk taste that comes after it doesn't help... This thing feel likes sucking the udder of an emaciated Ethiopian cow trying to get any of the spoiled, sour milk out of it just to survive. Not nice.

Overall: I can't get past the taste/smell/feel of rotten milk, dirty farm and saggy old cow tits. This ain't right, organic or not! Good thing is- I poured some Elijah Craig 12-year-old Kentucky Bourbon on this messy brew and it magically transformed itself into a respectable, woodsy barrel-aged Imperial Stout. Cheers!

05-10-2011 03:17:48 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of kjlued
kjlued

North Carolina

2.65/5  rDev -29.1%

This is the furthest thing from what I know a stout to be.
though it is not a bad beer, it not only looks like a cloudy pepsi when you pour it, the fizzing makes it sound like one too.

I told myself not to buy it, as I usually find organic beers to be less favorable but I wanted to keep an open mind.

Like I said, it is not a bad beer, just do not open it and expect a real stout. This beer probably would have gotten a better rating if it was not expecting an Imperial Stout.

Need to add an edit because this is a beer that gets worse with each sip. Not a sink dumper, but will never buy it again and most likely will never buy another beer from this brewery.

12-03-2011 12:48:10 | More by kjlued
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

2.73/5  rDev -27%

Infinitely dissatisfied with this one. Poured clear black with red edges. I say clear because you could see through it to some degree. Minimal lacing, short, bubbly tan head. Flat, musty caramel and malt aroma, some coffee, and thin cocoa powder. Taste was watery and weak. Some coffee and chocolate materialized as the beer got very warm, but before that, this was a grainy, soupy, earthy malt beverage. A bit astringent at the end. Imperial Stout? I think not.

01-28-2009 19:13:26 | More by magictrokini
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

2.8/5  rDev -25.1%

1 pint 6 oz bottle. Into the tulip.

A: Pours deep dark black with a little bit of crimson highlights. Dark tan head, not caramel colored like a typical good RIS... frowny face. Heads up nicely if its any consellation..

S: The smell is a little redeeming. It's got a nice creamy, smoky aroma. Hints of chocolate, very mild coffee or expresso notes, and roasted malts. Vague fruits if at all.

T: I don't find this to be a very good Imperial...it's more along the lines of an American Stout, a la Sierra Nevada Stout (though still not as good). Theres malts, a little chocolate. Very dissappointed in the lack of coffee notes upon taste. Smells smokier and more burnt than it tastes.

M: Probably the most dissapointing part of this beer is how thin it is. Though it is heavier than your average beer or even porter, this should be so much thicker and richer. Theres no chewyness at all really and the flavors don't burst out at you as you swill.

D: Some peaple might take the thinness of this and call it uber drinkable... it's just not the case. 1 of these is plenty, and only because of quality concerns.

Notes: Theres so many better offerings of this style. Obviously the "certified organic" tagging doesn't save this beer. And, being as most all good beer is made from natural, supposed not in-organic ingrediants, why isn't all beer organic? I think beer should be a given if you ask me, "certification" not required....

10-10-2009 01:09:17 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

2.85/5  rDev -23.8%

Bomber poured into pint glasses and split with a friend.

A: Very, very dark brown. Impenetrable when held up to the light.

S: Coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits.

T: Dark chocolate dominates with the coffee and dark fruit lagging behind. Malts pick up a bit later. A little booze warmth.

M: Just the right amount of carbonation and complexity, but it's boozy.

D: Slight difficulty downing it toward the end; it was almost a little TOO much, even split. Perhaps I drank it too fast. I'd certainly be willing to buy it again to see.

Highly recommended. What a damn good stout.

12-01-2008 05:23:43 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of DontTreadOnMike
DontTreadOnMike

California

2.88/5  rDev -23%

Appearance
Very dark, almost black, with reddish tones. Quite foamy if you’re not careful. Large cream colored head.

Aroma
Very sweet. Caramel and chocolate maltiness. Not very strong aroma but I can tell this is going to be big. Very malty, no hops detected at all.

Pallate
Velvet silkiness. Very smooth and thick but not sticky. No bite at all; I don’t know if that’s good or bad in most people’s eyes but for a thick Imperial Stout, that’s just the way I like it.

Taste
My first impressions went like this:
“Hmm. This is kind of boring. I’ll hold it in my mouth for a while to see what I can detect…….not a whole lot is changing.”

After I swallow….

“Wow! Excellent coffee after taste! Very good finish!”

After a few more sips my impressions mellowed out again. It’s not very complex. Apart from the surprise ending, there isn’t much to this brew at all. It’s very malty and that’s good but it didn’t change much. It’s not very strong, there’s almost no hint of alcohol or hop flavors; it’s just…sweet.

Overall
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a BAD beer. Not at all. In fact I’ll probably buy it again. It’s very drinkable, especially for an Imperial Stout. But that’s sort of the problem, I could gulp this thing down if I wanted to. When I buy an IMPERIAL Stout I want it to make me wince a little bit. I want to have to sip it slowly and think about the way the complex flavors are changing in my mouth. This beer looks, smells, and feels excellent. But the flavor is just a little boring for an Imperial Stout. Like I said, I’ll definitely buy this again but it’s not going in my list of favorites.

08-27-2009 13:15:47 | More by DontTreadOnMike
Photo of QuentinCompson
QuentinCompson

California

2.9/5  rDev -22.5%

22oz bottle into Duvel Green tulip

A - Nice 3.5 finger head, opaque brew, looks thick and chewy, though appearance is a bit deceiving

S - Slightly weird aroma, like Log Cabin poured over a bunch of old crushed up Peppermint Patties, oatmeal; the minty aroma smells slightly medicinal

T-M - Taste is a lot like the aroma, w/ some roasted barley, and the brew itself, mouthfeelwise shows itself to actually be quite thin; pepperminty, slightly aluminum hints at the edges

D - This wasnt terrible, but just wasnt that enjoyable. I love Imperial Stouts, but the weird minty, medicinal flavors just didnt do it for me here; also a bit thin for my taste.

02-26-2010 18:04:25 | More by QuentinCompson
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

2.9/5  rDev -22.5%

Bottle from Liquid Solutions. Pours brown out of the bottle but appears dark in the glass. Fairly nice light brown head. Very miniscule nose. I’m comparing this next to Bristol XXX Warlock and the Warlock is powerfully aromatic. This has hardly any aroma at all. Flavor isn’t much better. A light hint of malt-o-meal, dried chocolate. Not very complex, not hoppy and not nearly roasty enough. Meh, very mediocre.

04-13-2007 00:53:08 | More by Crosling
Photo of LovenHoppiness
LovenHoppiness

Indiana

3/5  rDev -19.8%

04-28-2014 00:15:47 | More by LovenHoppiness
Photo of spoonhawk
spoonhawk

Iowa

3/5  rDev -19.8%

08-19-2012 01:54:42 | More by spoonhawk
Photo of EB1
EB1

California

3/5  rDev -19.8%

09-28-2013 21:25:53 | More by EB1
Photo of RedHaze
RedHaze

Nebraska

3/5  rDev -19.8%

01-16-2012 01:02:01 | More by RedHaze
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -19.8%

12-01-2011 00:23:38 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of BMart
BMart

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -19.8%

12-27-2011 20:50:15 | More by BMart
Photo of jletts
jletts

Washington

3.05/5  rDev -18.4%

Eel River Raven's Eye Imperial Stout

Purchased a 22 at Billy Goat's Tavern in Mt. Shasta, California. Served at approximately cellar temperature in a standard red wine glass. Appeared black with a nice, slowly fading head and some scattered uneven lacing. Smelled of double chocolate brownies with weak notes of vanilla and hazelnuts. The taste centered on baker's chocolate, coffee, and oak, with a sour bitterness emerging at the end. This Imperial Stout seemed a little uncomplicated compared to many of the Imperial Stouts coming out of the US lately. Perhaps some cellar time would add more depth.

02-16-2008 05:30:30 | More by jletts
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

3.05/5  rDev -18.4%

Bomber poured into my Hommel snifter, Ravens Eye Imperial Stout is pitch black, with a large, dark tan head that's quickly halved, before slowing settles to a thick collar and moderate skim, leaving moderate lace.

Smell is pretty soft, some sweet caramel and grassy hops.

Taste is semi-sweet, a bit boozy, more burnt then roasty, and fairly bitter, but overall lacking depth and not too exciting. Perhaps some of the espresso mentioned on the label (which I don't drink, but love coffee, and didn't find), but I've gotta call BS on a bomber being "Nitrogen Conditioned" without a widget. Ehh - average.

Mouthfeel is, well, certainly not "Nitrogen Conditioned" (which I don't care for anyways), but somewhat slick and a bit watery.

Drinkability is ok, the bitterness slowed me down, and it's not too memorable at this point, but I've got another in the cellar, so lets see what a year or two does for it...
Served at cellar temp (55F).

01-14-2008 06:36:34 | More by ccrida
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.05/5  rDev -18.4%

22 oz bottle purchased from Sam's in Durham for 2.99. Low expectations for this, but for the price worth a shot. Served in a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown, red tinged color that settles in a very still black. Finger thick tan head, moderate retention and sticky thick coating on lacing.
S: Overall mild, slightly too sweet in a cough syrup way. Dark fruit, roasted flavors, malt all present. Not bad, but not very interesting or bold.
T: Slightly thin mouthfeel for this style, but still syrup like and smooth, very light carbonation. Most of the flavor is dark fruit (but not overly sweet) with a thin malt presence. Surprising hop presence. Roasted and chocolate like flavors are very subdued. Alcohol isn't that strong in taste but finish has a strong burn really hurting the drinkability of this.

Overall, not a terrible RIS, I'd call it average, but the alcohol presence is unpleasant and what's keeping me from having this again even at this price.

03-27-2008 02:27:45 | More by yourefragile
Photo of BabyRoh
BabyRoh

Massachusetts

3.08/5  rDev -17.6%

My first experience with Eel River. Not very impressed. This is the first RIS that I have ever been able to see through, and that's a full 16 oz. Tulip glass. The flavor is the best part of this beer, but there just isn't enough of it. The thin body makes me think that lack of adequate malt is the issue here. Either that or no flaked barley. My local beerstore has decided to carry numerous beers by Eel River, so I'm sure ill try another one, but I wouldn't buy this again.

11-18-2009 23:17:47 | More by BabyRoh
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Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 273 ratings.