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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

275 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 275
Reviews: 181
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 10
Gots: 16 | 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: 275 | Reviews: 181 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

3.05/5  rDev -18.4%

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).

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

California

4/5  rDev +7%

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.

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

California

4.18/5  rDev +11.8%

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.

12-19-2007 04:39:57 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of CWiggins
CWiggins

North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -16.3%

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!

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

New York

4.28/5  rDev +14.4%

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.

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

Oregon

3.63/5  rDev -2.9%

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.

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

California

4.18/5  rDev +11.8%

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.

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

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

09-24-2007 15:18:03 | More by ncvbc
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.2/5  rDev +12.3%

Darkest mahogany with a sliver of dark gold along the bottom edge of the glass. I planned to use the word 'raven' in the description, but the beer isn't black so much as extremely dark brown. The good-sized crown is the color of golden brown sugar and is lightly creamy. By the way, how the hell can a bottled beer (without a widget) be 'nitrogen conditioned'?

Eel River has flat-out nailed the nose, just like they've nailed the appearance. Raven's Eye is hugely roasted, with all the olfactory goodies that implies. Melted bittersweet chocolate and blackstrap molasses are slightly more prominent than black coffee. This sucker is going to be delicious, there's no doubt about it.

It may not be as big, as burly or as darkly pungent as the best American-brewed RISs, but this is unquestionably a wonderful version. One mouthful is all it takes to tell me that these guys have talent, so it's all the more surprising that the rest of their lineup (those that I've had) is... uh... less than stellar.

The flavor profile mirrors the nose, with a few additions. I'm now enjoying black licorice and a surprisingly amount of citric and pine-soaked hoppiness. I guess it shouldn't be so surprising that a California brewery has a thing for the little green cones. There are no flaws in terms of the amount and the quality of the well-roasted flavor.

Even though it's coming together more as it warms, the mouthfeel isn't quite plushcious enough to earn the big score. It's supremely smooth, however, and is a joy to drink. I'll use the drinkability score to reflect the fact that the previous two attributes are a fraction more impressive than their scores would indicate. Nitrogen conditioning? I'm still not buying it.

Having had four Eel River offerings prior to today, it's hard to believe that Raven's Eye Imperial Stout hails from the same brewery. It's an excellent RIS that impresses in any number of ways. I think I'll finish the bomber and then find a soft place to land.

09-11-2007 15:46:42 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of acrawf6
acrawf6

Louisiana

4.2/5  rDev +12.3%

Pours out black with just a little light coming out in the edges of the glass with a tan head and nice lacing.

Smell. IT is a subtle aroma that is not potent. Coffee is a dominant characteristic with some dark and bitter chocolate. Under that is just a touch of licorice.

Taste. There is a heavy roasted malt flavor to this, and a touch of burnt to it as well. Quick tastes of black coffee come, but diminish quickly, as well as the dark chocolate flavor. I think the beer sweetens as it warms in my mouth. Aftertaste is when i get a small kick of the alcohol, and a touch of the licorice kicks up, but not too much.

Mouthfeel. Body is full, but i cant decide if it is on the creamy side or slick side. I guess it is creamy b/c it is an imp stout, but slick for being one. Carbonation is at a proper level. Balance seems nice with the malts and hops coming through nicely.

Overall, I like this stout. Not my favorite, but is not one of two that i can get on a somewhat normal basis (old rasputin is the other). I like the subtleness of this beer- flavor is potent, but still mild and very drinkable. I will happily get this again, though i dont think it competes with the top ones in the style.

07-28-2007 03:12:52 | More by acrawf6
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.08/5  rDev +9.1%

Received this bottle from brentk56, thanks again!

Pours a flat black color with a nice large tan head. Very nice looking beer!

Aromas are subtle, smells like cereal grains, malts, and a bit of cocoa.

Tastes of espresso beans and roasted dark malts. Finish is of bitter cocoa and a bit of a kick from the alcohol. Overall it's a pretty smooth, well balanced, and kind of mellow tasting.

Nice full supple and smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability is good, this is a nice RIS. A bit on the subtle side, but it still tasty and it's a easy beer to sip.

07-15-2007 20:30:52 | More by flexabull
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.78/5  rDev +27.8%

04/23/07- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. $5.99 at Ledger's.
Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep black in color. Maybe a reddish hue when tilted towards the side on top. 1/2 inch brown semi-creamy head. Leaves behinds some streaks and trails of lacing.

Smell- Fairly heavy and rich mildly burnt malt with notes of chocolate, coffee, maybe some dark fruits and dirt (earthy).

Taste- WOW! This is one incredible tasting stout. Huge chocolate and esresso flavors meld wonerfully together. Maybe some chocolate covered dark berries play and frolic in your mouth as well. A tad smoky, but not a real burnt taste. A lovely sweet texture as well.

Mouthfeel- Truly creamy due to the fact that it was nitrogenated according to the bottle. Rich, velvety and lighter carbonated. Sweet, but not too sticky. About perfect.

Drinkability- You can feel the hefty alcohol hit a bit more than I'd like, but otherwise it's damn top notch. By FAR the best beer from Eel River I have ever had and maybe a top 10 all time of any beer for me. Have to track down a bunch more of these. Look out Stone RIS and Speedway...you've got company.

04-24-2007 22:30:40 | More by GClarkage
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

4.43/5  rDev +18.4%

Pours a typical pitch black with a half finger dark tan head that melts very quickly to a ring of sticky tan lacing.
Aroma is a mild coffee and chocolate mix.
Mouthfeel is creamy, thick and rich.
Taste is again a typical IS espresso and dark bitter chocolate with a nice malt sweetness balancing the bitterness of espresso coffee and bittersweet chocolate.
Aftertaste is mostly the bittersweet chocolate with a nice alcohol warming.
Not a spectacular Imperial Stout, but not bad by any means.
This one is very balanced with no surprises and no disappointments.
An excellent 'go to' Imperial Stout if it is available to you.
Thanks to beautiful kolohoe for this bottle (and another to cellar..woo hoo!)

04-15-2007 04:55:32 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

2.9/5  rDev -22.5%

Bottle from Liquid Solutions. Pours brown out of the bottle but appears dark in the glass. Fairly nice light brown head. Very miniscule nose. I’m comparing this next to Bristol XXX Warlock and the Warlock is powerfully aromatic. This has hardly any aroma at all. Flavor isn’t much better. A light hint of malt-o-meal, dried chocolate. Not very complex, not hoppy and not nearly roasty enough. Meh, very mediocre.

04-13-2007 00:53:08 | More by Crosling
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +7%

Thanks to jasonmech77 for sharing this...
Appears black with dark brown edges when held to the light. A small tan head slowly fades with streaky lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of coca, fruity, figs, cream, and roastiness.
Taste is the mentioned aromas highlighted by caramel in a delicious, mildly fruity stout.
Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied, fizzy up front, creamy at some points with roasty notes with mild thinness that doesn't outweigh the decent parts of this beer.

04-06-2007 20:15:00 | More by weeare138
Photo of rkuhnel
rkuhnel

California

4.75/5  rDev +27%

This rating is from a 22 oz bottle purchased directly from the brewpub. Poured in Duvel glass at 55 degrees it was jet black with a huge tan head that left heavy lacing. Nose is very powerful, and is of chocolate and coffee with a llittle vanilla. Mouthfeel very rich and creamy. In fact almost oily. Rich flavor of dark malts, chocolate, coffee, and fruits. Finish is nicely bitter. Hides the alcohol very well. This is an outstanding Imperial Stout. What is interesting is that the bottle was better than the draft. Two reasons. First they serve their draft too cold for this type of beer. Second, it seems brewpubs always try to give you your money's worth and so fill the glass to the brim leaving little head, and that diminishes the appearance.

03-02-2007 20:06:02 | More by rkuhnel
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +12.3%

The beer poured an opaque black with a thin head that diminished and left very spotty lacing on the glass. The aroma was of weak cocoa and roasted malt. The taste was a good blend of roasted barley, dark chocolate and mild espresso, very well balanced and makes quite a tasty stout. The mouthfeel is very smooth for a beer of this taste. There is some heaviness, but it's easy for the palate to handle. This is a very drinkable Imperial Stout, it almost begs to be chugged.

02-25-2007 03:47:43 | More by atsprings
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +8.3%

Appearance: Pours a raven black color with a huge tan head that has a degree of permanence to it; sheets of lacing line the chalice

Smell: Cocoa and hazelnut with a touch of citrus sneaking through

Taste: Starts out with a roasty cocoa and hazelnut flavor that builds in bitterness, particularly after the swallow; long finish with a bit of fusel alcohol

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; considerable astringency felt on the back of the tongue; some warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Not quite there as an RIS, this beer is more like an Imperial Porter; love the cocoa flavors and the well-balanced bitterness, but this doesn't have the complex dark fruit flavors I expect in an RIS

02-18-2007 00:36:29 | More by brentk56
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%

Pours a two finger light head that fades to a ring leaving no lace. Black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Slight bitter chocolate nose. Starts almost sweet nice balance with the hops gives it a bitter chocolate flavor. Smooth, easy to drink, the high ABV is hidden. $4.50 for a 22oz bottle from Liquid Solutions Tigard, Or.

08-26-2006 23:32:10 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Reidrover
Reidrover

Oregon

4.05/5  rDev +8.3%

22 Oz Bomber, red eyed raven on the label "product of Northern California" Fantastic looking beer as it sits in my Imperial pint glass. Mostly black with hints of mahogany..great huge light brown frothy head. Aroma is somewhat subdued for style but its all there and fresh too Great complex whirl of flavours here: coffee,blackberries,esspresso, dark cocoa laden chocolate, dark brown sugar, some hop in the after taste, good stuff. Very nice on the palate , great mouthfee, A very very good Strong stout from Eel River. I really did not think they had it in em to produce this beauty

07-27-2006 20:00:39 | More by Reidrover
Photo of rastaman
rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Tap@Eel River. Rich and sweet, with some welcomed acidity and bitterness, oily, licoricy, roasted, long finish, good stuff. Not a style i generally mark low anyway, so most of the time its gonna get an OK score, but this was a middle of the road imperial stout, tasty stuff.

02-22-2005 19:27:35 | More by rastaman
Photo of RootedFool
RootedFool

California

4.33/5  rDev +15.8%

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!

02-01-2004 02:35:27 | More by RootedFool
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101

California

4.2/5  rDev +12.3%

Dark brown color, creamy head. A full-bodied nitrogen-conditioned Russian Imperial Stout. Deeply roasted malts. Nice hop balance. Chocolate and coffee flavor. Very smooth taste, Nice flavor. Big and expansive. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and very smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. No alcohol bite despite a 9.5%. Excellent stout.

08-12-2003 02:06:40 | More by beerguy101
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Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 275 ratings.