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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

266 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 266
Reviews: 180
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 9
Gots: 12 | 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: 266 | Reviews: 180 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ryanonline
ryanonline

Florida

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

Dark brown color very cloudy with a thick tan head little lacing.

Sort of a fruity, maybe pineapple, undertones but otherwise typical coffee scent. Maybe some anise. This is somewhere between typical scent and unexpected for the style.

Taste is coffee and dark chocolate but still an odd sort of fruity citrus scent.

Thin mouthfeel with a light but prickly mouthfeel and a sweet finish.

Moderate drinkability but sort of odd.

Weird stout.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2010 05:10:29 | More by ryanonline
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
AdmiralDiaz

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown almost black. Small brown head with poor retention.

S: Roasted malts with chocolate and a lot of sweetness.

T: Very mellow (for the style) Roasted malts with an almost fruity sweetness ending with a nice chocolate. Good hop balance overall.

Overall: Good smooth and well carbonated mouthfeel. Pretty drinkable for the style, but the sweetness would get old after a bit. First from the brewer and I really enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2009 06:00:28 | More by AdmiralDiaz
Photo of CWiggins
CWiggins

North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one pours very dark--near black--into my pint glass. The two-finger, dark-tan head is thick and foamy, and is retained for a good while. Alcohol is certainly present in the aroma; dark malts, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate are there as well. Not knowing this was in the "Russian Imperial Stout" style category, I was expecting more of an American Stout, only with a little more body and alcohol. My initial impression was of a nice, dark stout with a slightly sweet front and an surprisingly bitter finish. What I realized upon a deeper taste was more interesting. There are characteristics of roasted malts, dark South American coffee, and dark cacao here. The front is certainly sweeter than the rest of the flavor and betrays flavors of dark, ripe fruits. This sweetness mellows very quickly, and the finish is quite hoppier than I expected. The texture changes over time as well: in the earliest stage, this one is thick and creamy, but it becomes lean at the finish.

It's not as "big" as many of the Russian Imperial Stouts I've tasted; it's simply not as sweet. So what?! It's a very good brew. This and Eel River's Triple Exultation would be enough to satisfy the most discerning beer drinker's palate for some time. Enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2007 04:08:20 | More by CWiggins
Photo of NorCalYeti
NorCalYeti

California

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

taste- chocolate malt, roasted coffee

color- deep, red-brown

clarity- opaque but pours clear

smell- chocolate malt

body- firm and lean

appearance- dark, clean, thin off-white head

overall impression- good, lean

notes- this is the first eel river beer i like. killer label, would have liked a creamier mouthfeel. would like more roast and heavier chocolate. this review is for a 2008 vintage tasted in 2008

glassware: pint

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2009 23:07:30 | More by NorCalYeti
Photo of MrJolly
MrJolly

Arizona

4/5  rDev +7%

01-14-2012 03:23:05 | More by MrJolly
Photo of LumpyGuitar
LumpyGuitar

New York

4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a recommended organic brew, well worth the money and one of the best stouts I've ever had.

Poured a dark black with about 2 fingers of rocky tan head.

Smells of dark chocolate, brown sugar, and malt. A faint scent of caramel is also present. Nice.

Taste is very nice, bitter and smooth, with flavors of dark chocolate, brown sugar, molasses. Very thick with roasted malt and bitter creaminess.

Mouthfeel is nice. Carbonation is superb, right where it should be for this, and the balance is outstanding.

Drinkability here is good. This and Stone's Russian Imperial are my go-to's for stouts and this one holds a special place in my heart. I would have never known that this was organic or not, but considering that its this good and it is..well..high praises.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 01:17:56 | More by LumpyGuitar
Photo of Liondiscs
Liondiscs

California

4/5  rDev +7%

09-03-2013 08:12:43 | More by Liondiscs
Photo of Richardberg
Richardberg

New York

3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Liquid is dark but not quite black; lets a little light thru and has a noticeably ruby border. No head at all.

S: deeply toasted malts, sweet caramel, licorice

T: crisp ale taste quickly blooms into a rather unexpected chocolate flavor. Finishes slightly bitter with ample hopping. Hard to believe it's the same beer as the smell description :) Thoroughly pleasant style-buster.

M: quite thin for a stout, little carbonation to speak of. Flavors are strong but don't linger (aside from the alcohol burn).

D: alky is pretty well hidden considering the 10% ABV. But you don't get the overall bold presentation that usually rewards your trip into big imperial brews.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 04:34:00 | More by Richardberg
Photo of RootedFool
RootedFool

California

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

Bought a pint of this at the brewery.

Pours an impervious black with a chocolate milk head.

Smell is of burnt chocolate, coffee, and subtle malts in the background.

Taste and mouthfeel:

hop bitterness leads the way, followed by burnt chocolate, coffee, and a very nice alcohol warmth throughout my throat and stomach; but not over-powering. Mouthfeel is creamy, as expected.

Loved it!

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2004 02:35:27 | More by RootedFool
Photo of sweetbrew82
sweetbrew82

California

3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle into a snifter/ no freshness date

P: Extremely dark rosy-brown in the glass with crimson edges where the light easily penetrates through the liquid. The tan crown is barely 1 inch tall, even after a vigorous pour and is much looser & soapier in its appearance than I would expect from a RIS. It showed only average retention before sinking to a paper-thin halo while leaving only specks of lacing that didn't hang around very long. Looks very underwhelming for a RIS.

A: Roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, caramel, dark fruits, citrusy notes, and some molasses. Smells much better than it looks, that's for sure.

T: Starts much more roasty upfront with flavors of bittersweet chocolate, black coffee, molasses, licorice, and some fig/plum type of dark fruit presence. Then, seems to become much more bitter on back end from slightly burnt malts, citric hop bitterness, a hint of charcoal, and a musty earthiness that leaves a nasty, astringent aftertaste. Upfront, the beer is okay. But the back half of the mouthful is too burnt, abrasive, and bitter for my personal preference. However, it does get better once it's warm. Still, not real impressed with this one.

M: Raven's Eye Imperial Stout features a mouthfeel that seems more fit for a porter than a Russian Imperial Stout. It's medium-full bodied and seems almost a tad watery in spots. Its got a moderate amount of carbonation that prickles the back of the tongue a bit with some slight creaminess that develops if you swirl it around in your mouth for long enough. But, it offers nothing in the way of silky smoothness or chewiness whatsoever.

Notes: Well, after being hesitant to try any of Eel River's offerings after being hugely disappointed with their Organic Porter, I was hoping that they could redeem themselves with this stab at a Russian Imperial Stout. Unfortunately, I was wrong. It's not horrible, but not great by any stretch of the imagination, either. Just like the Organic Porter, the flavor just isn't up to par and the mouthfeel is waaay off and needs to be beefed up considerably. Not recommended

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 10:34:08 | More by sweetbrew82
Photo of ewright
ewright

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a chalice, a generous finger of dark tan head forms on top of a completely opaque black beer.

S: Aromas of coffee, raisin, and a hint of toffee are evident. Tannins from the dark roasted grains lurk underneath.

T: The flavor is a bit raw, too much astringency up front and on the back of the tongue. A bit of cocoa comes through as the beer warms on the tongue. Hops are present, but not overwhelming. Thankfully, the astringency fades as the beer warms, but it is still noticable at 55F.

M: The astringency on the tongue really takes away from the mouthfeel. Carbonation is a bit high for an RIS, but not obnoxious.

D: Not the greatest RIS in the world, but at $2.99/22oz bomber, I'm not going to complain too much!

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2008 01:18:42 | More by ewright
Photo of erikm25
erikm25

Washington

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

A: Poured a rich blackened syrup. Tough to see any other tints or hues in this massive darkness. Looks like espresso. Still not quite as black as the heart, or the fur, of my little black doom cat. The head is a dense caramel pillow though not as fluffy as I was hoping for. Retention was fair. Some spotted lacing around the glass.

S: Subtle amount of malts and some slight dark candied fruits. There were hints of oak and maple with a dash of figs. Has a burnt and roasted quality with some mocha undertones. Aromas seemed generally tame despite a good variation.

T: The brewery website states that this is brewed with a combination of nine domestic and imported malts. Strong tastes of chocolate and coffee with some burnt cherries. Very rich with hints of buttery caramel and vanilla. Cocoa and brown sugar coated blackberries. Black licorice melted in a campfire pot of molasses and fresh pine thrown in for good measure. A woody aspect to this beer with a minimal hops finish. Alcohol is a little more present as this warms up.

M: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation. Could have been a little more thick (Michael Scott: "That's what she said").

D: I'm starting to enjoy this style of beer. Goes well with Kyuss (Blues for the Red Sun) and cooking. I found Raven's eye to be a very impressive beer. Not something that I could drink a lot of since 22oz carries its weight. After a little reading Eel River Brewing is the first certified organic brewery in America which is pretty cool. Very reasonably priced and highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 02:21:01 | More by erikm25
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
MrHassellYaHurd

Louisiana

3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Slightly murky deep maroon color with thick, but rapidly flattening khaki head.

The smell is of sweet candied fruits, and a quite appealing thick malty aroma. Not a terribly high amount of roasted barley smell here.

The taste is spearheaded by super-sweet malty goodness with a bitter roasted grain aftertaste. A slight alcoholic tinge peeks through between the candied fruit tastes from the nose.

Thick-bodied, viscous, syrupy, slick. Drinkability is better than average.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 04:03:42 | More by MrHassellYaHurd
Photo of crewfan1952
crewfan1952

Ohio

4/5  rDev +7%

05-17-2013 01:03:36 | More by crewfan1952
Photo of 100floods
100floods

California

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours pitch black and coffee stained white head. From a foot away I got a few sweet dark malt aromas. It smells considerably of chocolate. Tasted strongly of burnt/roasted malt and dark chocolate and remains to be very smooth, too. Lots of dark chocolate and hops towards the end to finish each sip. The malt and hops have a nice balance. It's like a bitter malt flavor that gently cuts through. This reminds me of a smooth, mild espresso or coffee. I'm not too particular about the carbonation in my stouts, but I find it in this beer to be fitting. It's noticeable but overstepping. For 9.5%, it does not show, a huge plus in my book. This beer is extremely enjoyable. High marks considering how many harsh, big stouts I've drank recently. Raven's Eye is indeed, not the most outstanding stout I've had (it's up there), but for it's size it's not hard to drink. Very much comparable to Marin's stout, just with more coffee flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 02:31:09 | More by 100floods
Photo of Strelnikov
Strelnikov

Texas

4/5  rDev +7%

12-14-2012 06:05:35 | More by Strelnikov
Photo of CityBoy1986
CityBoy1986

Mississippi

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

Poured into a pint glass from a 22 oz. bomber. I could not find a freshness date.

The pour is a deep, dark brown with ruddy undertones. Two fingers' tan head are gone quickly and leave little lacing.

The nose is roasted, chocolate, some dark fruits and a bit of alcohol. The taste is more of the same with some added grassy and earthy flavours. Overall, the taste reminds me of licorice. A mild bitterness is present throughout the sip.

The mouthfeel is a little thinner than I expected, but there is a nice amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good. The 9.5% alcohol is well hidden, but one can tell this is an alcoholic beverage.

Though there is room for improvement, this is a solid brew. However, I'd be more likely to buy this again if I found it in a four or six pack (which is a moot point in Miss. at the moment).

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2009 01:30:37 | More by CityBoy1986
Photo of DillanWeems
DillanWeems

Texas

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

10-22-2013 04:17:24 | More by DillanWeems
Photo of thryn
thryn

Florida

3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark reddish brown into the goblet but looks fairly black once it gets there. No head but a nice espresso-crema effect.

A lot of coffee in the nose. A bit of bitter chocolate. Some bourbony booze.

This is pretty damn tasty, but it's a bit hot. Starts out bitter and boozy. Prominent coffee flavor follows. A really nice chocolate aftertaste. If it was a little more balanced, it would get a 4. I wonder if it would smooth out bit with age. Still very tasty.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin. It's nicely sticky but needs a bit more heft.

Overall not bad at all, and I'll happily finish the bomber, but there are better RIS options out there.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2009 04:20:46 | More by thryn
Photo of HowlingTurkey
HowlingTurkey

Louisiana

4/5  rDev +7%

07-25-2013 19:42:08 | More by HowlingTurkey
Photo of Thanby
Thanby

Ohio

3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a finger of smooth brown head.

Nose is wonderfully smooth, lots of apricot and raisin, very sweet and full. A little hops and some notes of clove and nutmeg, overall very balanced.

The flavor is brighter than expected, a burst of lighter roasted malt and laced through with vanilla bean. Some toffee and caramel, and the dark fruits aren't as forward as expected. Rounded off by a bit of dry hops and a lingering sweetness.

Medium body, definitely like the nitrogen conditioning, very smooth and complex though a Tad on the sweet side and a little sticky at the end, this is still definitely wiry a try. My second Eel River, it continues to encourage me to sample more of their brews.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 23:28:32 | More by Thanby
Photo of BastardKing24
BastardKing24

Oregon

3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got to sample this at Homestead homebrewing in Winston OR so I bought a bottle. It tasted quite good. Served in my snifter.

Pours a dark brown, very dark, but still brown. HUGE billowing mocha head, 2 inches worth, that hangs around forever. This part of the beer they got down well. 4.5

Smell is chocolate and molasses, hint of coffee, and some bitter hop aromas.

Taste is above average with chocolate, coffee, molasses, raisin, and a very nice taste from the yeast they used. Well done solid 4.

Feel is lightly slick and oily, with a nice fine bubbly texture, medium to high carbonation.
Aftertastes of bitter cocoa and hops lasts for a while.

Overall a nice offering that has a nice molasses taste to it, which is unique.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 05:41:20 | More by BastardKing24
Photo of Vancoubeer
Vancoubeer

Washington

4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bottle tonight. I have been looking at this one for some time. I have no idea how old it is but at the near by beer cave these puppies have been sitting on a bottom shelf for over a year. Which is nice due to the 9.5% this should age well. Pouring out of the bottle the liquid is a dark brown and as it settles into the glass it becomes black as night with barely a hint of light causing a brownish ring around the top once the khaki thin head, about half a finger deep (I did not tip my glass) after a straight pour into the glass. The smell was expected. A deep roastyness mixed with what seemed to be almost like a sweet dark fruit mixed with dark chocolate. Very nice. At first sip it was stout bitterness mixed with the roasted malt and that dark bitter cooking chocolate like taste. Excellent. It appears to be very smooth. No alcohol whats so ever in the taste. This has aged well and its obvious that this is not fresh but in a good way. What a steal I got here. The mouthfeel is full bodied. Its thick yet dry to the finish. This has to be one of my top 10 stouts of all time from America. I was quite impressed with this and overall I have to say this is one I will buy again. Its really good and for my options in the Portland, Oregon beer scene that says a lot.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2012 06:02:22 | More by Vancoubeer
Photo of xnapshot
xnapshot

Mexico

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

02-19-2012 01:23:09 | More by xnapshot
Photo of JordonHoltzman
JordonHoltzman

New York

4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black rich body with a bubbly tan head that did not last long. Lacing is nice.
Rich dark malts roasted coffee and chocolate aromas.
Roasty taste of coffee and malt.
Mouthfeel is good, with nice carbonation.
Overall a good RIS that isn't over the top.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 20:26:54 | More by JordonHoltzman
Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 266 ratings.