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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
85
very good

286 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 286
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: 286 | Reviews: 181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SykDoc
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. It pours a moderately dark brown that looks almost black and is opaque when held to the light. A short-lived 1/8 inch dark tan head forms and reduces to a mild lacing, primarily around the edge.

The aroma is good with components of chocolate, red currants, and roasted malts, as well as some toffee notes.

The taste is good as well, with an initial malty sweetness, followed by a bready component, and then a coffee-like bitterness at the finish. There is definitely dark chocolate and dark fruit flavors. Alcohol is modestly noticeable.

The mouthfeel was a bit off. It is light/medium bodied and is too thin in the intensity. A sugary sweetness is left over with some dryness on the tongue at the end. Carbonation is fairly good.

This beer is easy to drink primarily due to the smell and taste. It has a healthy ABV but doesn't show it too intensely. Drinkable and worth having with some possible sites that might improve the overall style points.

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Fairly dark brow, not much head, but a thin tan strip. Very little lacing, does not look special.

S: A lot of dark chocolate and booze. Some dark fruit in there as well.

T: Just like the nose, chocolate up front, but too much boozy flavor. A backing of tart dark fruit. Dark malts are very much prevalent.

M: Decent amount of carbonation that makes this smooth.

D: Can finish a bomber, slowly, but watch out for the ABV near 10%.

Photo of Theortiz01
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of chugamugofsud
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of MrJolly
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of lehueve
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Thanx4AllDaFish
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of SalMineo
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of Reappropriated
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of fisherbray
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of dbalsock
2.05/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

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.

Photo of JLeege
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a snifter.

Appearance- pours a very deep brown with a one finger khaki head. Quickly fades to a slight ring around the glass.

Smell- very nutty and toffee. Caramel and sweet. Trying to put my finger on the aroma, after a few minutes I realize it is those "Bullseye" chewy candies that I am smelling.

Taste- Follows the smell, but is very very light for an imperial stout. Some bitter coffee notes on the finish. Not to bad, but this should be stronger. This is more like a strong brown ale than an impy stout.

Mouthfeel- this is one of the lightest feeling imperials I have tasted. Fairly low carbonation, good, but not thick and chewy, not so good.

Overall- nothing about this says imperial stout, including the 9.5%, so that is both good and bad. They did a great job hiding the abv's, but the flavor and body is not quite there. With all that said, I do like the flavor of this a lot, but nothing about this even whispers Imperial Stout.

Photo of Liondiscs
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of KevdoggNasty
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of ryanonline
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.

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
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.

Photo of NorCalYeti
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

Photo of CWiggins
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!

Photo of LumpyGuitar
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.

Photo of crewfan1952
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Richardberg
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.

Photo of RootedFool
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!

Photo of sweetbrew82
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

Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
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.

Photo of HowlingTurkey
4/5  rDev +7%

Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.