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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

267 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 267
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: 267 | Reviews: 180 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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 ThirdLap
ThirdLap

California

4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I remember being quite impressed by Raven's Eye the first time I tried it, so I figured I should do a proper review of it.

It pours like a baltic porter, dark, but more translucent than most imperial stouts. The head is medium tan in color, chunky, and short-lived. Little to no lacing remains.

On the nose is roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, alcohol, and hints of anise.

This is a tasty beer. Chocolate and licorice dominate, with a perfect compliment of hops. Alcohol is reasonably well-hidden considering the near 10% abv.

For the style mouthfeel might be described as lacking, as this is a relatively thin-bodied beer. It doesn't linger on the tongue like a proper imperial stout, but Raven's Eye makes up for this by being one of the most drinkable examples of the style I've ever tasted. Carbonation is right where it should be, and the finish is one that sticks around.

While it likely won't score that way over the long run, the drinkability of Raven's Eye makes this one of my favorite imperial stouts. Keep an 'eye' out for this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 07:48:05 | More by ThirdLap
Photo of HiAIPA
HiAIPA

Maine

4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ratnig this based on the beer, not the style, as some say this is not an IS. I would tend to agree this tastes more like a big stout, but not an imperial stout. Pours very black with a thin head that lingers. Nice aromas of melted licorice, tar, burnt grains, chocolate and nuts. Good flavor profile of roasty toasty and broasted (broiled/roasted) grains. Almost like this was stored in bourbon or other toasted barrels. Somewhat thick tasting, without the insane alcohol level to smack your ass. Very good flavors. I would get this again.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 23:52:39 | More by HiAIPA
Photo of caminiti
caminiti

New York

3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

If I didnt know it was an Imperial Stout, I wouldnt have known it was an Imperial Stout, if that makes sense. From the pour if appeared more like a porter, translucent. The taste had what I expected, just not as much of it (coffee, roasted malts, but light) and mouthfeel was too carbonated for my tastes. Not to make light of other reviews, since I try to not read them before I review a beer, but this seems to have a much higher grade than I would have thought. Perhaps the significance of organic brings down the bar a bit. I love nature, etc. but Ill gladly slap on the bug spray with DDT if it makes my life a bit better now, and likewise, Ive never found an organic brew that has knocked my socks off....

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 02:11:13 | More by caminiti
Photo of farrago
farrago

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Good aggression in the head, pours up above two fingers and slows drops off from that, nice brownish hue with thick lacing. Very deep brown but not quite black in color, touch of burnt orange around the rims. Solidly built nose of coffee bean, dry dark chocolate, hard caramel candy with no lack of plum, cherry, fig fruit and dried oats in reserve, flutter of black licorice. Full-bodied, heavy enough that the weight fends off the carbonation and forces things down into the tongue. Here, the licorice is clearer although not appreciably larger than the base of coffee, mocha and cocoa. Nothing truly comes across as "sweet," more so concentrated. As it moves forward traces of orange peel, cherry and plum fruit, corn husk, almonds and mesquite grill smoke drift through. That said, as it nears the finish line seems to draw back into itself rather than expand. If someone handed me a bottle I wouldn't hit them over the head with it.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2009 03:38:26 | More by farrago
Photo of macktbone
macktbone

California

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

This is my second time drinking this beer. Found it the first time by chance while looking for anything respectable in a small hick town in No Cal. This time it was completely intentional.

A- obsidion in color, like if you get too close it may suck you in and transport you to another demention. Not so much of a head but carbonation pills up on the surface similar to a beer of much lighter persuation.

S- lots of earthen tones, slightly dirty, anise, chocolate, reminds me of Black Albert.

T- Pure LICORICE...Anise in my opinion is a greener, crisper flavor. This slides down like a licorice rope. Back end follows up with a hoppy alcoholic edge but fades too quickly. The sweetness could be a little less but awsome for a relatively unknown brewery. Good for a 9.5% ABV.

M- 100%, this is my standart for Imperial stouts. This beer will appeal to those who want a good beer without chewing it.

D- The sweetness keeps it from being a 4.5 but for the licorice lover its a 5.1 for sure.

I'm glad I sat down to review. I just wish it had a slightly thicker lace and head. The dissapearance of the head lends itself well to the full bodied nature but would help complicate the aroma a bit. Try This Beer!! Good 9.5 Imperial Stout.

Bravo to Eel River for putting Scotia California on the map.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 06:04:09 | More by macktbone
Photo of CHSLBrew
CHSLBrew

Minnesota

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

Bomber poured into a stemless red wine glass.

A-Lighter-brown head, thick and big with a nice retention. Even at the last sip, a consistent bubble layer remained. The beer was black and relatively opaque.

S-Roasty malts, prunes and other dried fruits. A slight alcohol makes an appearance.

T-Initially chocolate with roasted malts, perhaps with a almond-like nut character. Minimal nuances of dark dried fruits. There's a detectable hop presence, both in flavor and bitterness. The alcohol stands out as a bit too rough. Finshes witha dry, dirty coffee.

M-Low carbonation with a lighter-side-of-full body. A very definite warmth emerges alongside the smooth, satiny feel.

D-This is a good one. Not great, in terms of its competition, but it's also a little bit cheaper than some more-hyped RISes. Quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 21:48:07 | More by CHSLBrew
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. brown bomber with no freshness date or bottling code visible. The label does seem to emphasize the fact that this beer is certified organic. I don't know why, but the sound of a beer being organic just seems to me that the flavor somehow will be lacking. Let' proceed.

The pour is ok with a dark chestnut brown ale, beneath a thin tan foamy head of 1/4". Carbonation looks a bit mild, the head resides to a ring and not much else. Resembles a porter more than a stout, looks wise.

The smell is fairly sweet and roasty, mostly like coffee, chocolate, caramel and grassy hops.

The taste is very much the same with little standing out. Kind of sweet and watery with just enough hops to help balance the finish. The alcohol does nothing smell or taste wise...hard to believe that it's 9.5% ABV. No warming...nothing.

Watery in the mouth with not much help from the low carbonation. You can drink it quite easily, but I fail to see anything "Imperial" about this stout. American Organic Stout, this brew would fit a style so-named.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 05:19:54 | More by scottoale
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

2.73/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2009 19:13:26 | More by magictrokini
Photo of SaCkErZ9
SaCkErZ9

Florida

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very roasty aroma with some chocolate and a touch of citrus hops. Really a ton of coffee and roastiness which suits my taste buds just fine.

Quite roasty with little sweetness and a good dose of roasty bitterness. Chocolate and loads of coffee make this one a tasty brew.

Medium bodied with a slightly oily finish with some bitterness and some fruitiness as well.

I really liked this one. I have really been in a stout mood lately and this one certainly fit the bill.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 02:32:21 | More by SaCkErZ9
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 Overlord
Overlord

California

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

Pours black, thin tan head. Smells ... like molasses.

Taste has a bunch of molasses, burnt sugar, some roasted malt and a bit of chocolate ... pretty overwhelmed by the sugariness. Almost no aroma.

Fairly thin mouthfeel, but creamy. Decent, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2009 11:17:24 | More by Overlord
Photo of biggmike
biggmike

Mississippi

3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an extreme dark brown color that appears almost black with decent tan head that stayed for a while. The aroma is fruit, roasted malt, and chocolate. The flavor is basically the same. I found the body to be a bit thin for the style. Carbonation seemed about right. This is a nice Imperial Stout that could be improved a bit of tweaking.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 15:42:51 | More by biggmike
Photo of Murchmac
Murchmac

California

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

Notes say:

Dark with ruby highlights

alcohol espresso nose,

big alcohol carmelized sugars

medium mouthfeel.

But after drinking a pigash valdez, troegs scratch, yuengling porter, geary london porter, Lenny's RIPA, old rasputin on nitro, and rogue red ale. I dont remember drinking this.

I also do not remember Getting from berkeley to san francisco that evening. Wow, doesn't happen often....

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2009 22:11:02 | More by Murchmac
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours big and black, approaching opaque. Short ring of a head around the outside of the glass. Wet, quick lacing. Smells good, of dark fruits, chocolate, all that good stuff. Flavor is similar to the aroma, though with more of a bitter coffee grounds taste, thats a bit distracting. Still, the fruits come through, as well as a strong alcohol punch that dominates the back end. Full bodied, as appropriate. Drinks fine, but not among the best of the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 02:35:03 | More by aforbes10
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

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

Pours a dark root beer color and settles nearly black with a slight cast of very deep mahogany to it. Fluffy tan cap of foam sits about a finger high and swiftly resides to a partial skim and a slim collar. Lacing in some huge sheets and a few spots trying to connect across.

Aroma is hardly evident of anything Imperial as it comes across mostly dry and bittersweet with mild raisin. Smells quite light overall with milk chocolate and graham cracker notes, and there's some slightly roasted heat that shows its 9.5%.

Taste is slender and rounded with a fair amount of chocolate covered raisins soaked in rum. Roasty, toasty, firm, heated, dryish, cherry hints and more soft, airy, boozy chocolate to loft into the finish as it cinders in a warm coating across the throat and gullet.

Feel is about medium with a large warming heart of smooth, soft, airy chocolate and booze.

Its not all that big, but it'll do. Its well made, wholesome, warm, and the whole organic thing is unique to it. Perhaps a punch more of length, body, and complexity this would be more of what I come to like out of an RIS.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 01:31:52 | More by tavernjef
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 21:45:11 | More by nickfl
Photo of stephens101
stephens101

Oklahoma

3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always appreciated organic breweries, but sometimes the brews don't seem to hit me just right. That being said, I'm opening up to the idea more, and am trying to support more organic breweries. Eel River is new in these parts, so I'm looking forward to trying all their beers. Let's see how this one stacks up.

A one finger quickly fading tan head completes a jet black pour. Diminutive sheets of lacing rise above the brew when all settles down. A deep whiff brings to the noses attention some roasted malts and nuts, dark chocolate and dark fruits (figs, raisins, grapes). Aroma isn't overly complex, but the ingredients are quite evident without too much effort being made. Tastes malty, spicy and sweet up front. More grain and pine exist in the middle with some medicinal notes, bitterness and a good alcohol heat bringing up the end. The taste of this full-bodied brew is more complex than the smell, and yet it goes down quite fluidly. There's not a ton of carbonation, but just enough to keep things floating on the palate.

This is one of the best organic brews I've tried, and proves to me that taste doesn't have to suffer just because it's organic. Kudos Eel River!

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2008 23:03:33 | More by stephens101
Photo of kkipple
kkipple

South Carolina

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

From notes:

A. A thin, clear brown brew with a small, dense tiny head. A bit light for the style.

S. Rather boozy, fruity, some roast grains and chocolate... needs more chararacter to be memorable. Requisite coffee and cocoa are there, nice sweet smell, still bit messy.

T. Hmm... thin, tastes somewhat like wort. Unfermented grain sugars. Alcohol forward and still sweet. Unrefined, needs tightening up. Brown sugar, coffee, dark fruit, something here reminds me of a brown ale. Hmm.

M. Thin, wet, sweet finish. Adequate carbonation.

D. Eh... yeah, I mean, you can... but there are so many better brews out there. Hard to recommend.

Rather unimpressive. Too much alcohol and fruitiness make for a rather vague brew that runs against the style. Not bad, just not worth buying again. Pity.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 21:46:43 | More by kkipple
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2008 10:56:18 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

2.85/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber -> american pint
no date ( 2008 )

Pours pitch black with a small cocoa colored head. Thick lace sticks to the glass in sheets.

Nose: Dark malts, deep dark fruit flavors, currants, licorice and a little booze.

Slick thick juicy mouthfeel. Dark malts, chocolate bit of coffee. Finishes with a chalky cocoa like bitterness. A huge flavor profile here pholks, kudos.

An imperial in every sense of the word. Booze warms a bit but never dominates. Organic ta bute. Thanks to Alushia for the bombers!

Enjoyed, thanksgiving 2008.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2008 22:31:08 | More by beerphan
Photo of babaracas
babaracas

Florida

4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber, brown-black w/ reddish brown edges. Tan head which fades to thin layer, fairly thick lacing. Smell: chocolate, roasted, black malt, a whiff of hops, raisin, and alcohol. Smell: sweet, dark fruit upfront, chocolate and alcohol and slight toffee. Good amount of citric and spicy hops blended in as well. The alcohol is fairly upfront, but at 9.5 it's not overly boozy. Mouthfeel: almost nitro smooth but maybe a bit thin, medium bodied and not so syrupy. Good RIS and inexpensive to boot.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 02:02:49 | More by babaracas
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

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

22 ouncer, w/o vintage/freshness/bottling data, c'mon guys doesn't this style deserve some sort of consumer info? Anyway, this one pours dark dark mahogany, very dark tan head, tightly knit showing better then average retention, and moderate scattered lace. Rich burnt malty, chocolaty, raisin nose. Full flavor RIS, lots of chocolate, black coffee, figs, raisins, gooey brownies. Yummy stuff, nice cold weather sipper, or would be great with a rich dessert or perhaps with some robust BBQ. Perhaps a bit thin in the mouth feel to qualify as a world class offering, but this one did not disappoint. Stout lovers, go get some and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2008 15:23:42 | More by Billolick
Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 267 ratings.