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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

265 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 265
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: 265 | Reviews: 180 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Eel River- Raven's Eye

A- Deep murcky brown almost black with a thick creamy head.
S- Light chocolate dusted sweet coffee beans.
T- A big scoop of sweet vanilla bean ice cream and smooth milk chocolate dropped into a medium roast cup of light and sweet coffee.
M- Creamy and sweet, big flavors and a smooth finish.

Overall- A mighty tasty beverage! 9.5% abv but hidden well. A solid bomber that I'm glad made its way to the East Coast!

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2008 23:08:41 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of jaxon53
jaxon53

Connecticut

3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally some more West Coast breweries are starting to make their way to the East Coast. Served this at cellar temperature, in a pint glass, from a twenty two ounce brown bottle.

Appearance: Raven's Eye pours out a thin looking black color. When held up to the light the beer shows dark brown and ruby highlights. I was hoping for darker than that. A somewhat vigorous pour resulted in about two fingers of thin, light beige colored head. Head faded rather quickly into a thin frothy ring around the glass. Thin streaks of tan lace were left behind after each sip.

Smell: A bit of a dull nose on this one. Light chocolatey aromas were most detectable. A slight hoppiness and a bit of black coffee and some roasted malts. Almost a faint smokey smell with just a touch of alcohol finishes the nose.

Taste: Taste is a little on the weak side as well. Decent flavor, just needs more of it. Definite chocolate and coffee. Some sweet toffee notes. Plenty of sweet roasted/toasted malt and a bit of hops. The 9.5 percent ABV is barely noticeable. Taste seems a bit light for a beer listed as a Russian Imperial Stout.

Mouthfeel: A pleasant, yet thin, mouthfeel that seems quite fluffy and silky smooth. I usually look for a thicker, bigger body in an RIS, but this isn't too bad.

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable even with the high ABV. The lighter mouthfeel helps a bit too. Decent overall.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2008 20:38:03 | More by jaxon53
Photo of Ecliptica
Ecliptica

Louisiana

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

This seemed pretty exotic. An imperial stout I've never heard of from a brewery I've never heard of. Worth a shot, right?

Poured the beer from the 22 oz. bottle (pretty bottle, too; big picture of a raven on an orange background) into a pint glass. The brew poured an almost opaque black with ruby tints when held up to the light. Only a small head on the initial pour (though the refill gave me a nice, frothy tan head) with moderate lacing.

I guess I missed out on all the smelling fun because the only smell I could discern was tannin. It smelled heavily of alcohol - almost wine-like - with a faint, faint hint of roasted malts in the background. The alcohol smell was overpowering though; my buddy and I both had this at the same time and the smell just overtook the entire room.

It tasted how it smelled - the alcohol taste was more upfront than any other brew I've had in a while. Once it warmed, the flavors became more prevalent (and quite good!) and chocolate, roasted malt, and roasted coffee become discernible.

Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than expected considering the thick pour, but overall not bad. Though there was a prevalent alcohol smell and taste, there was little bitterness in the mouthfeel which made it nice and drinkable.

Thus the drinkability factor remains fairly high. I understand it's a 22 oz. bottle and it's 9.5% alcohol, but I could probably drink a couple of these in an evening (and wouldn't doubt I'd be drunk after three of them). It goes down super smooth and I think this is one of the few beers that, as it warms, it tastes 100x better than fresh out of the bottle cold. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2008 07:45:25 | More by Ecliptica
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

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

A: Poured a dark, cola-coffee color with a soft, creamy mocha colored head that was moderately lasting leaving a rim lacing behind.

S: fresh, espresso coffee beans, roasted grains with a light-medium aroma.

T: fresh black coffee beans with a light dairy cream sweetness. There were traces of dried fruit (dark cherries, prunes) as well. Rich, strong coffee dominates the palate with a creamy nature.

M: silky, with a light-medium viscosity and a good dark roasted coffee bitterness.

D: Overall, a very hearty, rich coffee stout with a good drinkability. Though the flavor was pretty basic, it was a solidly brewed beer by style and worthy of a recommend.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2008 01:10:47 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

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

Bomber into a Corsendonk 0.33L tulip.

Great looking pour on this RIS, as it fills the glass with a thick, motor-oil viscosity, building a well-retained, molasses-colored head. Great-smelling aroma too: powdered cocoa, cookie dough, roasted coffee beans, vanilla-infused espresso, and a kiss of liqour.

Bitter, roasted coffee-malts hit the tastebuds first, followed by notes of dark chocolate and a warming, boozy finish. Mouthfeel is creamy & thick up front, but turns quickly to a sharp bitter/ascerbic aftertaste that is both enjoyable and memorable. All in all, I was quite impressed with this, my first Eel River brew. Russian Imperials, especially from lesser-known breweries, do not always perform up to par, but this beer easily makes eagle (or would it be "Raven"?). Corniness aside, this is an extremely well-crafted brew and I look forward to my bottle of ER Triple Exultation.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2008 04:22:34 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A creamy three finger rich milk chocolate colored head quickly shows scattered lace and a rocky landscape. Body is a pitch black brooding host to darkness. Nose is a nice mix of smokey rich maltiness and sweet coco tones. Enters the mouth sweet and smokey with attractive layers of carmalized malt, burnt toffee and even a bit of coffee on the back of the tongue. The coffee feel is a slight bitter laced with a even sour feel. There is a solid balance between the sweet, rich, bitter and sour throughout this beer. The alchol is elegantly well hidden as it only shows in the form of a warm tummy. Mouthfeel is similar to dark chocolate. Super drinkable brew I would like to have again.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2008 21:13:58 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Washington

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

I was served this beer at the Portland, Oregon Spring Beer Festival on March 21, 2008.

A: It poured a dark black body with a robust and sticky caramel head. The head retained well and supported a dense curtain of lacing.

S: It gave off a strong aroma of charred coffee laced with baker's chocolate.

T: It began with the flavor of baker's chocolate (sweet and biting) followed by strong campfire coffee flavored by dark ripe fruits. There were hints of alcohol and a touch of sour-bitter aftertaste.

M: It was a medium to full bodied beer with a sharp biting body and reasonably clean finish. There was a swarm and bitter aftertaste.

D: One bottle would be enough for an evening. Best consumed in the winter and when other better stouts are available.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2008 22:07:05 | More by dnichols
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

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

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2008 07:16:20 | More by russpowell
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2008 16:17:15 | More by jwc215
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 dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

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

1 pint, 6 fl oz bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Pours a deep, jet-black, ebony appearance with a small foamy head that left a minimal amount of lacing...
Faint aroma dominated with roasted malts, scotch, caramel, vanilla, and honey...
Taste strongly complements the smell, with a powerful rich malt essence balanced out by a tinge of vanilla, toffee, figs, prunes, and dates...
Slick, oily, slightly watered-down mouthfeel with not too much going on in this department...
Easy level of drinkabilty especially due to the fact that the hefty 9.5% ABV was hardly detectable behind a rich conglomertion of chocolate, espresso, and cocoa nuances...
Not the best RIS I've ever sampled, but definitely not bad at all...

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 20:26:49 | More by dsa7783
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

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

This beer pours a dark black with bits of Hazel and strawberry around the edges. The head is a half inch of creamy tan with a sandy texture.

Smells of dark fruits, peanuts, coffee and cough syrup.

The flavor seems centered around a creamy milk with nuts on one side and coffee on the other. This is balanced out with a lactose and prune sweetness. There's a touch of astringent coffee in the finish.

Feels creamy and slick by texture alone, but there's a slightly raspy carbonation that livens things up.

A rather well done average beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2008 05:15:46 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of cbl2
cbl2

New York

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

3/9/2008 $6.95 22 oz. 9.50% No best by date.

Appearance:

Pours a dark brown bordering on black with a quarter inch of creamy brown head drifting atop for the moment it takes to settle.

Aroma:

Nice roasted malts and coffee aroma with sweet dark chocolate.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Thin mouthfeel for an RIS. Loads of coffee flavor and dark chocolate upon aeration. This gets better as it warms, though doesn't approach the flavor intensity of an RIS. Seems more like a porter than an RIS. Not as complex as it should be, though still enjoyable. Certified organic.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 17:40:22 | More by cbl2
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2008 19:42:12 | More by Gavage
Photo of jletts
jletts

Washington

3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Vermont

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Oregon

3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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).

Serving type: bottle

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

California

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

Obtained in trade from WeisGuy.

Lightproof black colored beer with a smallish brown head.

Lightly sweet with the usual chocolate and coffee aroma you would expect. Pretty good aroma and a trace of char and smoke in it. Detectable ethanol carries a bit of berry scent.

The taste starts out sweet with a definite mouth full of patent malt all roasted and charred, chocolate comes in as the aftertaste. Every sip begins with a bittersweet burned sugar flavor. This gets a bit sweeter as you sip it. Nothing extra here just a RIS that is a bit sweet and a little more bitter than most.

Mouthfeel is OK.

OK drinkability I just wish it had more subtleties to it. This is OK just not a Stone or Three Floyd's level RIS though.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2008 05:08:26 | More by Zorro
Photo of Westsidethreat
Westsidethreat

California

4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a thin looking deep dark brown color with a tremendous inch tall roasted marshmallow colored head. Its really too dark to see if there is any bubble movement going on inside.

S: Lot of hops roaming around in this beer. The sprucy hops mix in with powdered cocoa, peanuts, deep roasted barley and a heavy dose of alcohol if inhaled to heavily.

T: We start this one off with oily bittersweet chocolate and sappy hops. This holds for a few seconds before woody characteristics bridge the gap into an intense chocolate milkshake flavors. From here, the roasted barley takes front stage. The roasted traits offer some aspects of espresso, charred wood and burnt cookie dough. Finishes dry and satisfying with hops lingering across the palate.

M: Medium body with a thick mouthfeel when the carbonation hits.

D: Not bad beer. I like the complexity it offers as well as the balance that’s provided by the variation of flavors.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 04:39:57 | More by Westsidethreat
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 jjayjaye
jjayjaye

New York

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

Review # 300

Pours an opaque darkness with a full finger dark tan head that resists fading. Nice sheets of lacing in its wake. The smell is a combination of chocolate, roast malt and coffee over an element of liquor. Full bodied, the mouth feel is creamy and smooth with an expressive vanilla bourbon charm. The flavor is similar; a light roast malt and chocolate with a taste of warming bourbon. The apparent intoxicant permits a lingering spiciness. That means "I like this one...a lot". Join me. Thank you drunkmonk for the opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2007 00:12:48 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of cswhitehorse
cswhitehorse

Oregon

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

The Raven's Eye comes in an Ed Allen Poe's ominous label with no freshness date. It pours an opal darkness that looks delicious with a small foam head. It has the smell of toasted malts and dark chocolate. The flavor is nice and smooth and chewy taste. It is a good Russian Imperial.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2007 03:53:17 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of rallison
rallison

California

4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Arrived today from Liquid Solutions - always like to see an under $5 bomber of RIS. Pours the standard dark black, with a decent 1 finger tan head that does actually leaves a nice coating and lacing. Looking closer, I can actually see a touch of red - tis not a jet black RIS. Smell is of roasted coffee and molasses...looks like this one won't be quite as sweet.

Taste is of roasted coffee, molasses and a touch of prunes. Relatively sharp bite from some hops at the end as well. A bit of chocolate is in here as well, but the focus is on the roasted coffee and hops. Alcohol seems to be slightly present but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is rich enough, but doesn't satisfy me like a Bell's Expedition either. Drinkability is good enough.

Overall, recommended. A perfectly fine RIS at $4.50/bottle, but also somewhat forgettable. I'd say this falls in the second tier category - good, but without anything that truly stands out.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2007 04:55:30 | More by rallison
Photo of ncvbc
ncvbc

North Carolina

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

Pour was nearly pitch black and a beautiful tan head that started small and rose greatly. Only drawback being a little much carbonation.

Smell was roasted malts, cocoa, and a little hop bitterness.

Nice taste. Dark coffee with bittersweet chocolate. A nice caramel flavor also comes through and wasn't so up front in the nose. Again a decent hop presence which is pretty grassy.

Mouthfeel is nice and medium and the carbonation seen in the pour has settled some. A bitterness followed by a slight alcohol burn.

Drinkability is also good. My only complaint being a little too much alcohol coming through with this beer compared to others in its class.

It kind of reminds me of a Sam Smith Imp. Stout that has been beefed up a bit. Not bad at all but not at the top of the list for me either.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2007 15:18:03 | More by ncvbc
Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.