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

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

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BA SCORE
84
good

287 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 287
Reviews: 181
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 12
Gots: 18 | 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: 287 | Reviews: 181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black with big bubbly white head. alty aroma. A bit prickly carbonation. Nitro,and very drinkable is the interesting highlight. Baker's chocolate, chocolate malt, some burnt caramel. Did not get significant coffee.Alcohol, and roast is there but not overt.

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and char aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet cocoa, char, and dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a great smell and tasty flavors that make this one easy to drink.

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin creamy tan head that quickly dissipated and left a thin ring of bubbles on the surface around the edges of the glass.
S: There are aromas of chocolate and dark fruits in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell except that the dark fruits are more prominently featured in the flavors, which also have notes of coffee and hints of roasted malts. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied but a bit thin on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. The finish has some notes of warming from the alcohol.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and any traces of alcohol are well hidden from the taste; however the beer lacks the full-bodied nature and bold flavors of roasted malts commonly exhibited by other beers in the style.

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a raven black color with a huge tan head that has a degree of permanence to it; sheets of lacing line the chalice

Smell: Cocoa and hazelnut with a touch of citrus sneaking through

Taste: Starts out with a roasty cocoa and hazelnut flavor that builds in bitterness, particularly after the swallow; long finish with a bit of fusel alcohol

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; considerable astringency felt on the back of the tongue; some warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Not quite there as an RIS, this beer is more like an Imperial Porter; love the cocoa flavors and the well-balanced bitterness, but this doesn't have the complex dark fruit flavors I expect in an RIS

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkest mahogany with a sliver of dark gold along the bottom edge of the glass. I planned to use the word 'raven' in the description, but the beer isn't black so much as extremely dark brown. The good-sized crown is the color of golden brown sugar and is lightly creamy. By the way, how the hell can a bottled beer (without a widget) be 'nitrogen conditioned'?

Eel River has flat-out nailed the nose, just like they've nailed the appearance. Raven's Eye is hugely roasted, with all the olfactory goodies that implies. Melted bittersweet chocolate and blackstrap molasses are slightly more prominent than black coffee. This sucker is going to be delicious, there's no doubt about it.

It may not be as big, as burly or as darkly pungent as the best American-brewed RISs, but this is unquestionably a wonderful version. One mouthful is all it takes to tell me that these guys have talent, so it's all the more surprising that the rest of their lineup (those that I've had) is... uh... less than stellar.

The flavor profile mirrors the nose, with a few additions. I'm now enjoying black licorice and a surprisingly amount of citric and pine-soaked hoppiness. I guess it shouldn't be so surprising that a California brewery has a thing for the little green cones. There are no flaws in terms of the amount and the quality of the well-roasted flavor.

Even though it's coming together more as it warms, the mouthfeel isn't quite plushcious enough to earn the big score. It's supremely smooth, however, and is a joy to drink. I'll use the drinkability score to reflect the fact that the previous two attributes are a fraction more impressive than their scores would indicate. Nitrogen conditioning? I'm still not buying it.

Having had four Eel River offerings prior to today, it's hard to believe that Raven's Eye Imperial Stout hails from the same brewery. It's an excellent RIS that impresses in any number of ways. I think I'll finish the bomber and then find a soft place to land.

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours close to an opaque black except for just ahint of ruby at the bottem of the impy pint glass,a thinner mocha colored head atop.Deep raisin and espresso roast coffee in the nose with some molasses in there as well.Full on dark fruit and alcohol sweetness hits the taste buds up front the sweet alcohol is tasty but dangerous,dark roast coffee has a hefty presence as well with a light drying earthiness in the finish.A very nice impy stout and I think Eal River is organic right?

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a pretty large imperial stout. pours nearly black with a frothy off white head. smells like espresso and burnt sugary malt. flavor is big coffee up front with a slow wave of roasty bready grain and booze washing over the palate. mouthfeel is fair, plenty of bubbles and a medium body, it could stand to be a little fuller, might balance out the intense flavors a little better. overal a good imperial stout, one bomber is enough for a hefty buzz!

Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. Okay retention and some sticky lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate and roasted malt. There was a mild floral and grassy aroma.

T - It tasted of chocolate, caramel, toffee and good roasted malt. There was a subtle coffee flavor, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and fairly smooth. A medium bodied ale.

D - This is a solid imperial stout. Another solid brew from Eel River.

Photo of nickfl
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A small, medium brown head with little lace. The body is opaque black.

S - Dark chocolate with some nutty malt and spicy hops. Some slightly solventy alcohol in the background.

T - Chocolate and roasted malt dominate. Some mild hops in the middle and the finish is all coffee and chocolate.

M - Somewhat thick body, medium carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - This is a nice, solid imperial stout. It is not complex enough to compete with the really great big stouts, but it has a nice dark malt and it gets the job done.

Photo of Kegatron
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recently split a bottle of this with a buddy at the Grapevine in Fort Mill, SC.

Pours a dense black with a 1/2 finger of burnt mocha colored head. Retains very well, leaving rich looking lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is Wow! Thick chocolate and caramel notes that remind me of sticking a Tootsie Roll up my nose. Underneath, I also pick up some roasted malts, coffee, and smidge of heat.

The notes from the aroma carry over to the taste with thick chocolate and caramel dominating and some coffee and dark fruit character mixed in for good measure. There is also a nice amount of roasted and hop bitterness that really helps balance all of that sticky sweetness out. Mouthfeel seems just a tad light with a medium to full feel. Carbonation is creamy and feels right on and there is a bit of heat presence but it helps add some much needed beefiness to the body.

This guy really took me by surprise, as this was my first beer from Eel River. Lots of rich, RIS flavor packaged up in a fairly easy drinking body. And it's organic too. I'm sold! I definitley would not hesitate to dive into another bottle of this again.

Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black as motor oil that hasn't been changed in 3 years, with a pinky of mocha head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Some chocolate & iron & roasted malt

T: Baker's chocolate, coffee grounds, iron & husky grains up front. Dryness, roasted malt, a touch of vanilla & dark fruit as this warms. Finishes dry with much coffee grinds, a touch of vanilla & oaky dryness

MF: Pretty smooth, low carbonation, Slight chewyness a bit of booze

Drinks pretty easy for the style, the ABV slows you down a bit. A solid RIS

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, with plenty of reddishness bleeding through...clean, cocoa tan head standihng tall above.

Roasted bittersweet nose...dry and toasty...nice...

Taste: more of the same,plus some cocoa rising up ...roastytoasty chocolatey. But rather tame for the style.
Body's a bit too passive for my taste. Way too thin to be considered a good RIS, but not bad for an average stout.
It's nearly 10% abv, but it's nowhere as thick, chewy, and full bodied as the style demands.

Should we have lower expectations when it comes to the taste of organic beers? I hope not.
This just doesn't get me what I expect/and/or/desire from an Imperial Stout.

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of WesWes
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a 1/2" tan head that fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm chocolate and black malt scent that also has some burnt toffee overtones. The taste is decent. It has a thin black malt and burnt toffee taste that goes down very well and finishes warm and bitter. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium/full bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. This is a pretty drinkiable RIS. It's quite thin for the style and the carbonation needs some adjustment.

Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter:

Pours opaque black with a thin tan head that slowly becomes a patch. Some dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of roasted coffee, chocolate, some toast.

The taste is of roasted coffee, chocolate and a hint of anise. Balancing dark fruits mixes with the maltiness in the sweetish finish. Mild, but nice.

A bit thin for the style, but it holds up. Alcohol is well-masked, making this one deceptively drinkable.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a hard plastic cup in me friends gaff in Palo Alto, California. Acquired at a local BevMo. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a two finger head of tan colour, great thickness, great cream, and good retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Nuts, chocolate, cream, milk, and caramel. A moderate strength aroma. A simple aroma for the style.

T: Chocolate, nuts, caramel, milk, roasted barley, and maybe toffee. Enjoyable and pretty complex. I quite like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream. A bit off for a stout, but nice nonetheless.

Dr: Drinkable for the ABV. I'd like to try it on draught or nitro. A nice little imperial stout.

B-

Photo of GClarkage
4.78/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

04/23/07- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. $5.99 at Ledger's.
Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep black in color. Maybe a reddish hue when tilted towards the side on top. 1/2 inch brown semi-creamy head. Leaves behinds some streaks and trails of lacing.

Smell- Fairly heavy and rich mildly burnt malt with notes of chocolate, coffee, maybe some dark fruits and dirt (earthy).

Taste- WOW! This is one incredible tasting stout. Huge chocolate and esresso flavors meld wonerfully together. Maybe some chocolate covered dark berries play and frolic in your mouth as well. A tad smoky, but not a real burnt taste. A lovely sweet texture as well.

Mouthfeel- Truly creamy due to the fact that it was nitrogenated according to the bottle. Rich, velvety and lighter carbonated. Sweet, but not too sticky. About perfect.

Drinkability- You can feel the hefty alcohol hit a bit more than I'd like, but otherwise it's damn top notch. By FAR the best beer from Eel River I have ever had and maybe a top 10 all time of any beer for me. Have to track down a bunch more of these. Look out Stone RIS and Speedway...you've got company.

Photo of Gavage
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: black in color with a 2" tan fluffy head. Thick lacing develops during the session.

Smell: roasted malts and hints of coffee.

Taste: roasted malts, bitter chocolate, mild coffee flavors, prunes, some mild alcohol tones and a nice bitterness. A light burnt flavor is a bit of a turnoff but not offensive.

Mouthfeel: smooth and dry from start to finish. Medium-heavy in body. Aftertaste is filled with light burnt tones and alcohol warming.

Drinkability: this was a bit thinner than expected for the style. One bomber bottle was enough in a session. Worth a try.

Photo of yourefragile
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jasonmech77 for sharing this...
Appears black with dark brown edges when held to the light. A small tan head slowly fades with streaky lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of coca, fruity, figs, cream, and roastiness.
Taste is the mentioned aromas highlighted by caramel in a delicious, mildly fruity stout.
Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied, fizzy up front, creamy at some points with roasty notes with mild thinness that doesn't outweigh the decent parts of this beer.

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Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 287 ratings.