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Imperial Stout - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

175 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 175
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.25%
Wants: 9
Gots: 14 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: allboutbierge on 09-04-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 175 | Reviews: 78
Reviews by JWearda:
Photo of JWearda
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S - pint glass poured from the bar tap

A - Jet black with a decent 1 finger brown head

S - Dark roasted malt. A bit of dark bitter chocolate and roasted coffee. Really deep roasted notes on this one.

T - Very roasty. Tons of dark, rich malts. Some coffee and dark bittersweet chocolate. A hint of toffee, molasses sweetness and some hops lurking around. Finishes pretty dry with a long bitter roasted malt and a bit of hops aftertaste.

M - Full bodied; thick and smooth. Mild carbonation.

O - Good drinkability for being 10% -- not boozy. Rich, thick, contemplating. An all around no thrills, but excellent imperial stout.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured jet black,even when held to the light nothing came thru,a thinner tannish colored head atop that held pretty well.Deep char and coffee roast in the nose,a mix of dark fruit and a tinge of vanilla provided sweetness along with light sweet alcohol as it warmed.A tad thin but quite smooth in the feel,heavy roast flavors with dark fruit flavors,the roasted coffee flavors are the dominant flavor trait.A solid RIS,not as sweet as many,but not as complex as many either.

Photo of dogfishandi
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pulled from my cellar poured into a bulb style glass.

pours out opaque black with a one finger of super creamy mocha colored head with big bubbles in the middle. very nice retention. bits of sticky lace, but leaves some nice lace when you swirl the glass.

foremost in the aroma is a lot of heavily roasted/ burnt malts. also lots of dark dried fruits, a touch of smoke, dark chocolate and just a small hint of citris.

again lots of heavily roasted/ burnt malts that provide for a lot of bitterness in the finish. also dark dried fruits, bakers chocolate, dark chocolate, hints of coffee, subtle hints of smoke, and a bit of a citric acidic twang. not a stitch of alcohol noticable.

heavy bodied, carb is pretty good feeling for the style. a bit chalky. lots of lingering bitterness most likely from a combination of the roasted malt and hops. the overall feel of this beer is very similar to the mendocino oatmeal stout.

drinks about as good as any 10% RIS, one bottle is enough in a session. weighs a bit heavy on the stomach after awhile.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jet black and a thick, cough syrup-cherry cola head on it 1.5" in depth, dense bubble structure, was so close to getting a perfect 5, it only needed a kickass lace job, instead, it was merely good. Aroma was roasty, a tad astringent. Was kinda expecting some dark fruit, chocolate or sweet aromas, but they weren't really there.

Taste, a substantial beer, the alcohol is there but isn't confrontational or oppressive, you can get through it pretty well. Really would think this could have a little more sugar or something sweet to help it along. I guess if you're looking for a 10% imperial stout for less than 10$ a 4pack, this is a good choice, and isn't going to have all kinds of confusing nuances for people. I mean, this is a way better deal than Darkness, it just doesn't have all the bells and whistles.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears pitch black large tan head fine even lacing. Aroma has some dark hoppy contents pine citrus dark chocolate moccha notes. Flavor is a bit harsh dark acrid black roasted malts. Harsh bitterness dark fruits hints of butterscotch that don't meld very well. Finish is rediculous with a harsh unbalanced bitterness, some hops come through pine/citrus/herbal that don't work well with the whole experience. Mouthfeel is cloying from front to back, I'm not really feelin this dark beer. Carbonation is unrelenting, on the high end fo the style becomes a bit cloying especially as this warms up a bit. Drinkability, after a second bottle I had on hand I revisited not as horrible as my first gut reaction was, a decent impy stout that just wasn't meshing for me on mouthfeel and flavor the clashing of the sweet sided traditional dark fruits more of a west coast hop profile coming through for me.

Photo of chinchill
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours brown tinged black; opaque with a thin tan head (despite a rather vigorous pour) that has moderate retention but leaves little lacing.

S - Dark roasted malts, of course; hints of coffee and chocolate, not unexpected; but a surprise: dark fruits, mainly figs, are quite pronounced. High ABV rather hidden, at least before warming.

T (3.8) - Strong dark roasted malt flavor, with some burnt tinge and a touch of smokiness; spicy hops are also obvious here; more than expected. Hints of dark fruits (although less obvious than in the nose), dark chocolate and coffee, with the coffee coming clearly in the finish and aftertaste. A trace of dryness and hops in the finish. High ABV is well hidden.

M - Full bodied; with suitable carbonation.

O - Almost too rich, but a good sipper with well-hidden alcohol.

(light revision with new bottle in July 2013).

Photo of LXIXME
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from about an inch above the glass gives this stout a big light brown head that settles into a pretty nice lacing above a clear dark brown to black colored imperial.

Aroma consists of that dark black licorice, that I used to love as a kid, blended very well with dark hardy fruits such as prunes and/or apricots with some dark roasted malts sneaking there way in there.

Dark roasted malts, light alcohol, dark fruits, Hershey's special dark chocolate combine to make a pretty good imperial stout taste.

A full bodied beer with a dry aftertaste with some of the lingering rich dark malts staying around to entice you to take another drink.

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a black with subtle brown hue. The mocha colored head thickens to a finger or two, and hangs around for a bit. The lacing is impressively thick and sticky.

Smell - Classic Imperial stout smells here. Alcohol and chocolate, overpowering a faint coffee aroma. Sweet caramel cuts through. Nice smelling beer.

Taste - Aggressive flavor, as is common with an imperial. A lot of chocolate and coffee dark roasted malt, brought in balance by sweet caramel notes.

Moutfeel - Thick, almost syrup-like body, with a good amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is certainly on point for an imperial.

Overall - This is a solid Imperial Stout. Thick and aggressive. Mendocino should be proud.

Photo of BeersIsTheName
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- Midnight dark with a dark tan head about 2 fingers in height. Head lingers for half the glass.

S- Definitely a stout. Coffee with a charred malty smell. Hints of chocolate.

T- Wow. This is an amazing stout. Burnt with a smoothness that is matchless from all the stouts I have had. Hints of chocolate but with a strong coffee flavor. Outstanding.

M- Carbonation is as to be expected. Smooth and finished crisp.

O- By far the best stout that I have ever had. It has a strong burnt flavor at the beginning but finishes smooth and the burntness is not accompanied by an excessive bitterness. If you have a chance to experience this stout and do not, you have done yourself a severe disservice.

Photo of Fatehunter
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Pours a thin tan head on a black body.
The aroma is loaded with roasted malt, coffee and chocolate.
The taste builds from chocolate sweet, to bitter chocolate and coffee and finishes dry roasted malt with a touch of bitter.
The texture is silky smooth.
An outstanding stout.

Photo of mdvatab
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter.

Aroma: Dark espresso, red grape juice, and powdered cocoa. Very fruity with a slight mineral note.

Appearance: Pitch black. Pours like motor oil. Thick 1 finger tan head collapses to creamy layer.

Flavor: Mineral, slight metallic note, red grape juice, and a hint of phenolic band-aid. Espresso bitterness quickly appears, and lingers long through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Med-full mouthfeel and medium-low carbonation.

Overall: Definitely not my favorite Imperial stout... Mouthfeel was there, but the aroma was intriguing at best. Meanwhile, the flavor was a bit harsh, and the brew had some flaws. I'd give it another chance down the road, but for now, this is not something that I'm going to seek out.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an impenetrable black with a thick and frothy tan head. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, molasses, burnt bread, dark fruits, alcohol and floral hops. The flavors are similar with arabica coffee and dark chocolate upfront, along with dark fruits and burnt bread, molasses, floral hops and some alcohol. The mouthfeel is smooth and rich and drinkability is excellent for the style. Very good attempt at the style, complex and drinkable.

Photo of bashiba
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured deep dark black with a nice dark brown head, mild lacing and light retention.

The smell is very fruity with hints of chocolate and alcohol.

The flavor is big, very roasty and smokey with subtle hints of toffee and chocolate. The finish has a nice bit of hop bitterness to round this out nicely.

The mouthfeel is thick and oily and leaves a nice warm coating.

Drinkable and good, very balanced big stout. Nicely done by one of the more underrated craft breweries.

Photo of IKR
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very dark brown with a modest-sized medium beige head that faded fairly quickly.

Smell: Predominately coffee/roast malt notes. maybe a touch of brown sugar notes.

Taste: Primarily roasted malt notes for the most part, with maybe a hint of brown sugar from the nose. The beer finishes dry with some slight astringency. The alcohol presence is subtle for the ABV.

Mouth-feel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation for the style.

Overall: Not bad, especially considering the price but not a mind blower.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle at 48 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours pitch black with an inch of khaki head that has average retention but excellent lacing.

S: Burnt malts, smoke, and charred oak all over with a little nuttiness mixed in.

T: Charcoal pit, some dark chocolate, strong coffee, and roasted nuts.

M: The body is medium-thick with below average carbonation.

D: It is like an Imperial Stout mixed with a Rauchbier.

Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Dark brown/black pour, ample light tan head.

Malty aroma, light roast, good caramel with some chocolates.

Very malty, roast, caramel, molasses, dark chocolate. Finishes with some cocoa and roast coffee, very pleasant.

Nearly full bodied and near creamy. Alcohol well hidden. A great winter warmer and head and heals above the others I've had from them.

Reminded me a bit of Plead the 5th from Dark Horse. Far and away the best I've had from Mendocino.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours jet black, dark brown head of two fingers. Leaves some nice lacing. Aroma is roasty, hints of raisin, chocolate and light coffee. Taste starts of with a bit of chocolate raisins, cocoa powder, and roast, and char. Feels full bodied, chewy, rich and thick. Pleasantly drinkable, and all in all, I'm pleasantly surprised by how nice, tasty, and rich this is given my usual average opinion of Mendocino.

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown, essentially black with a big full three finger high head of tan colored foamy lace on top.

chocolate, deep dark chocolate with lots of hints of sweetness, lactose sugar perhaps, maybe a touch of vanilla.
nice deep chocolate notes with hints of vanilla and coffee beans laced in throughout. Most of the alcohol has long mellowed out by now and really all that remains of it was some tiny traces down through the middle. Very nice earthy roasted malts swirling around in the back giving it much depth and a great profile.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: Black. Shows a little crimson with a direct light behind. Reasonable tan head for an Imp Stout.
smell: Floral and cola with some spice. Interesting.
taste: a little bittersweet chocolate. A slightly hoppy bitter finish to a fairly mellow entrance. A little cola in the background.
overall: not a real stand out IMO but an interesting try.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mendocino Imperial Stout has a thin, tan head, a very dark, chocolate-brown appearance, and thin lacing left behind. The aroma is rich- deep, dark-roasted malt, a touch of anise, possible coffee, milk?, and some black cherry. The flavors are the same, with bitterness that is coming from the charred malt, rather than from hops. Mouthfeel is heavy and velvety, and Mendocino Imperial Stout finishes dessert like and sipable. Overall, this is the best beer I’ve had from Mendocino so far.

RJT

Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
4.73/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A black as the night, nice choclatey lace
S sweet, rich aroma, no alcohol detected
T same as smell only this time, the wonders are done on my tongue. This time we detect that alcohol, though it is well integrated into the aftertaste
M full, I am fulfilled, thick lush brew makes itself at home in there
O as close to a 5 as you can get but I cannot legally give it that ranking :)

my favorite imperial stout

Photo of BeerDocT
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

-Appearance 4.0: Poured out jet black. Completely opaque. Nice, half-inch khaki head. Looks like an Imperial Stout should.

-Smell 4.5: Wow, definite "tripel" smell. Lots of barley and malt and...raisins! Absolutely no "adjunct" smells such as coffee or chocolate. Very, very promising.

-Taste 4.5: Initial taste is actually salty on the tongue, but this is followed quickly by a subdued sweetness. Middle is all barley and hops and caramel sweetness, but again, not too sweet at all. Finish is long with roasted grains, hops, dried fruits, a slight dark chocolate taste and a definite (pleasant) bitterness. Wow, this is 10% ABV? No alcohol taste at all. Big, bold and delicious.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: Perfect amount of carbonation, but salty taste and slight burning sensation may turn off some sensitive folks (not me!).

-Overall 4.5: This brew is amazing. Not the best beer I have ever had, but it is still outstanding. If you were somehow able to take everything great about a stout and concentrate it times three, you'd have this beer. If you are a fan of Imperial Stouts and you can find this beer, BUY IT! You will not be disappointed!

Photo of DrDemento456
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle somewhere between 3-4 dollars at D's

A - Not really as dark or thick as I was expecting for a massive stout but the lacing and half inch of tan head was inviting.

S - Smells more hop forward than I was expecting but I did get some cocoa nibs and a nice roast throughout.

T - Angry and abrasive this hits you with dry cocoa nibs, roasted coffee grains, and to top it off a bit of dry hopping which I didn't expect. The whole thing was done in a rather "creamy" way which made me think this isn't the "best" imperial but a rather good one.

M - The ABV made me do a double take. Was like "wha? 10%?" I expected somewhere in between 9 and 10 but never such a high ABV for something very drinkable.

Overall I am now thinking of getting a case of this since age would reduce the hop bitterness and maybe improve on the chocolate and roast notes. At 52 bucks (a case) it might be the single cheapest imperial I can get my hands on (with the highest gravity). Glad I tried this since I couldn't pronounce the name but I am a sucker for a good imperial!

Photo of troysoy2
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. A small-bubbled brown head gives way to decent lacing and a nearly pitch black body. Retention is okay.

The smell is of dark stone fruits and smoky, roasted malt. A slight sweetness comes through.

A nice, full bodied taste. Progresses from stone fruit and bitter chocolate on the front to mild smokiness, then dry roasted malt on the finish. The roast almost has a tanginess to it. This might go well with some barbecue. Hmm. The mouthfeel is a little on the light, effervescent side as far as stouts go, but it works for this beer.

Very nice job by Mendocino, and something I might look into getting again.

Photo of daliandragon
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sometimes its cool to pick up something you had no idea even existed until you walked into the store. I am familiar with all the Mendo bird beers but this is a completely unknown quantity to me. Plus it's an Impy stout on a cold winter's night. Back to the salt mines...

Strong pour with two fingers of dark cocoa head on top of an almost jet black body that has a tiny sliver of rusty brown at the base. Nose is heavy on the chocolate and coffee but it's the dark fruit thats most pungent, particularly raisins and figs. A little boozy, but it's well blended.

Taste is real heavy on the roasted (almost burnt, really) flavors and baker's chocolate. Quite bitter overall, but I'm not sure if it's hops or just the malt and alcohol. Coffee is obviously in the house as well. At 10%, you can't argue that the booze is overdone but it does make its presence felt. Mouthfeel is thick but not bulletproof. Definitely worth a try, this one has octane to spare.

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Imperial Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.