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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

273 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 273
Reviews: 181
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 10
Gots: 15 | 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: 273 | Reviews: 181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

3.4/5  rDev -9.1%

Consumed at Lucky Baldwin's, 07/02/08.

Extremely dark clear brown, bordering on black. Ruby highlights around the edges. A one finger tan foam head reduced to a thin circle of foam with almost no lacing fairly quickly.

Aroma is reminiscent of red wine.

A little sticky as it glides into the mouth, this beer can best be described as a mild cherry cordial. Smooth and a little chocolaty with a subtle sweet cherry flavor in the aftertaste. Restrained flavor.

Drinkability suffers somewhat due to a one-note flavor and (in this case), overcarbonation. However, the relatively high alcohol content is utterly masked; I would have guessed this as a 5% ABV.

I might try it again, but it won't be a first choice.

07-04-2008 00:33:35 | More by charlzm
Photo of vurt
vurt

Oregon

4/5  rDev +7%

A welcome surprise at Lucky Baldwin's this evening. Enjoyed on-tap in a pint glass.

Appearance:
Very dark brown, opaque at the top of the pint glass, but ruby highlights are visible at the bottom. This beer is not on a nitro-tap, but the creamy beige head on top of the beer is still nitro-dense and rich.

Smell:
Not much going on here, even after it warms up. Some dark-roasted malt, with notes of semi-sweet chocolate morsels and coffee with lots of cream. A slight buttery note which has me concerned about diacetyl.

Taste:
Oh this is tasty! Bittersweet from the start, and full of dark chocolate. The middle is filled with lush notes of caramel and raisins, with an ever-so-slightly salty edge. Coffee and roasted malts fill the finish, which lasts and lasts. As the beer warms I get hints of smoke, maple, walnuts, and dates.

Mouthfeel:
Rich, full-bodied, and sticky, with some viscosity. Chewy and satisfying. Good level of carbonation keeps the beer from getting syrupy.

Drinkability:
The tap handle just says "Ravens Eye Organic Stout." Halfway through my first pint, I'm thinking it might be a foreign export or a double stout. So much flavor, with such a rich mouthfeel. It's only after I get close to the bottom of my second pint that I start to realize how strong this beer really is. Good thing I'm using public transit tonight. This stout is wonderfully, effortlessly drinkable. More, please.

06-30-2008 05:21:39 | More by vurt
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +10.4%

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?

06-18-2008 21:55:13 | More by oberon
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%

Bottle courtesy of deepsouth poured into a snifter.

A: Pours black with hints of ruby around the edges. The head is thin and bubbly and recedes quickly to a minimal swirl on top with a little lacing.

S: Smell is very sweet for an RIS - big on sweet roasted malts with dark chocolate and dark fruits very evident as well. Maybe a hint of smoked wood in the nose as well.

T: Taste is also very sweet and dominated by the sweetness of dark fruits, vanilla, and roasted malts up front. There is a bit of dark chocolate and coffee as well and a faint hint of hops in the finish, but not much.

M: Mouthfeel is sticky sweet and very creamy with decent carbonation.

D: This isn't the most complex of RIS's but it's very drinkable if you're OK with sweeter stouts. Enjoyable and recommended.

06-16-2008 03:16:33 | More by gford217
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

4.63/5  rDev +23.8%

This brew is from jgaston as part of the BIF race 2008. Thanks man!
I am pouring at cellar temp into a snifter. the beer pours a deep espresso brown with fizzy tan head of 1 cm foaming up and fading to a thin edge layer very rapidly.
Aroma is drak fruit, molasses, burnt malt, and hints of baker's chocolate. Nice appealing nose, with no hint of hops of booze to be found.
First sip reveals a fairly thick body with fine tingly carbonation and soft silky texture. Nice so far.
Flavor starts off with some sweet chocolate and brown sugar, then rolls to burnt roasty malt with bits of molasses again and finishes with some dry baker's chocolate, or very dark high % cacao. Slightly bitter, but not from hops. No real ABV presence and I find the beer to probably be dangerously drinkable.
A very nice Imp Stout that is even cooler since it is organic. I would gladly consume this beer again.

06-11-2008 02:12:18 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +3.7%

Tar black pour with a moderate mocha head that quickly falls to a lasting ring leaving plenty of thick lace. Pours with the viscosity of used 10W40, massive legs.

Aroma is darkly roasted malt, scorched caramel, coffee, dark chocolate, and a hint of old dry leather.

Flavor is bittersweet black malts, crushed espresso beans, very dark unsweetened chocolate, a hint of vanilla, and some dry leather and faint minerality. In spite of the massive flavor profile, the alcohol heat takes over the finish. This sucker needs a year or so to chill out.

Body is as big as they come. Easily one of the thickest beers I've had. Almost gaggingly thick at times which really hinders the drinkability. I think this particular bottle must be from the very dregs of the tank it came from prior to bottling.

05-31-2008 14:47:32 | More by AlexJ
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +7%

Big ole double duecer 9.5% ABV. Label states "nitrogen conditioned." Huh?

Pours with an intense buh-lack as ink hue topped with a spumescent khaki dense cap leaving plenty of residual lace in the glass.

Earthy nose of mineral and espresso. Bold nose of wet creek rocks and a handful of dirt. Molasses and burnt toast.

First swigs: Dense layers of bakers chocolate, roasted barley, espresso bean, and vanilla hints. This one is nice. There is a chocolate aspect that really holds firm through the taste. No signs of 9.5 ABV in sight.

Feel is full bodied and rich with a dry finish.

Last swigs: A R.I.S. worthy of trying. Bakers chocolate and burnt malt goodness. Yum!

Beer is good. Happy beering.

05-10-2008 17:22:17 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of micahgoldfus
micahgoldfus

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%

Poured a black/dark-brown color, a slight, tanned-color head bubbled up and fizzled away quickly. The smell was a little sweet and chocolately, a little bit of the savory, roasted malt smell, and a little touch of hops. Taste was good, and similarly balanced as the smell. There was some sweetness up front, like milk chocolate and molassass. Therethere was the gritty ground coffee flavor, mixed with smokey, roasted malts. Finally, in the end, there was a light, bitter kick of hops (and maybe some of the alcohol, although overall is was well hidden). Mouthfeel was a bit of a dissapointment, there was a bit too much carbonation, and the beer was a bit runnier than I was hoping for. A good beer, I enjoyed it, taste was solid, but I think this was a one-and-done for me, probably because of the mouthfeel.

05-07-2008 17:13:07 | More by micahgoldfus
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +17.1%

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!

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

Connecticut

3.4/5  rDev -9.1%

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.

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

Louisiana

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

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

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

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

Texas

4.22/5  rDev +12.8%

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.

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

Kentucky

4.38/5  rDev +17.1%

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.

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

District of Columbia

3.05/5  rDev -18.4%

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.

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

Washington

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

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

Oklahoma

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%

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

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

Wisconsin

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

03-21-2008 16:17:15 | More by jwc215
Photo of ewright
ewright

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -2.4%

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!

03-21-2008 01:18:42 | More by ewright
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +11%

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...

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

Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -7%

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.

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

New York

3.55/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

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

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

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.

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

Washington

3.05/5  rDev -18.4%

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.

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

Vermont

2.05/5  rDev -45.2%

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.

01-28-2008 05:40:25 | More by dbalsock
Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 273 ratings.