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Russian Imperial Stout - Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Not Rated.
Russian Imperial StoutRussian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

189 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 189
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 51
Gots: 34 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mophie on 12-13-2002

Full-bodied stout that starts with a complex, malty sweet and high-roasted character that is wonderfully balanced with the use of citrusy American hops.

75 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 | Reviews: 100 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Transcribed from notes dtd Sa, 04 Dec 2010. This was IHNWales' RIS available at IHLNC.

The deep-brown head evidenced some real staying power in awaiting me to get around to it. Color was inky black with deep-brown highlights at the edges. Nose had a powerful French Roast coffee scent along with a citrusiness, like lemon zest. I began to muse as to whether I could grate some lemon or orange peel into my coffee grounds with any success. Mouthfeel was big and chewy. It had a wonderful chocolate taste, like a fresh oven-baked brownie.

Speaking of which, was anybody else diggin' the eastern-European chick on FX's Fully Baked commercials? I'd eat her brownie. Hers might be a blondie. Either way ... Damn, where is my Russian mail-order bride? She shoulda been here by now. That whole thing with Kvass has skewed my worldview. I was inculcated from Boot Camp to hate the pinko Russkies and now I can't get enough of them or their language.

Back to the beer. Finish had a definite chocolatiness to it that made me think that this would be an excellent dessert beer. I would not need a whole bunch of it on its own, however.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage (not noted but I knew when I bought it and it was fresh at that time). Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Darkness snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger fine light mocha head with good retention. Beer is an opaque black. Lacing is stringy and sparse with little cling, small legs too. The nice head and lack of lacing cancel each other out in scoring. Average.

S: Nose is moderately aromatic. Raisins, roasted malt, rich molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, liquorice, and prunes. Solid, but nothing really sets this apart.

T: Opens with some boozy spiciness. Notes of raisin, chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, and brownie along with a subtle hop bitterness that fades quickly. Sweet and robust. Middle is more liquified dark fruit and milk chocoalte. Finish is molasses sweetness with some coffee in the back. Aftertaste is molasses and liquorice. Complex and very balanced. Nice.

M: Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth. Warm and silky going down with the slightest bit of heat at the end. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that lingers. Pretty standard but the way the alcohol is hidden is nice.

O: This is solidly in the upper tier of Russian Imperial Stouts that I've tried. No overwhelming flavors are present. Instead, there's a real nice balance of dark fruit, hop bitterness, and Imperial Stout characteristics. Those GABF medals were well deserved.

Photo of colts9016
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Drank October 20 2010, I got this beer from a BIF. I poured the beer into a pint glass at 50 degrees.
Appearance: A nice medium tan head that is one finger thick; moreover, the head left a touch of lacing on the glass and it is creamy, frothy, and foamy. The color of the beer is dark brown, like used motor oil. The clarity of the beer is opaque; however there is some carbonation bubbles on the side of the glass.
Nose: The malt is rich dark, a burnt note, caramel, and a biscuit note. Other aromas are phenols, fruity esters, chocolate, coffee, solvent, yeast, and grassy.
Taste: A very rich dark malt with caramel, a hint of burnt malts, and a biscuit note. Other flavors are fruity esters, wood, solvent, coffee, chocolate, yeast, and a note of phenols.
Overall: The mouth feel of the beer is warming, coating, and chewy. The body of the beer is medium thick and the finish is medium. This beer is a good RIS; however, I feel that the beer lack a bit of balance. I enjoyed drinking this beer, would like to try more from this brewery.

Photo of stageseven
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Iron Hill Newark.

Ap - Deep dark brew, clear, with ruby highlights. Creamy 1/2 finger dense tan head.

Ar - Roasty and a little smoke. Chocolate, thick, a little meaty. Pretty intense smell.

T - Serious roast, bits of dark chocolate and coffee. Peat smoked malt in the aftertaste. A decent bitter backbone, but not overwhelming. A little bit of alcohol as it warmed up.

M - low level carbonation, as I tend to like it, but the growler was a few days old as well. Moderate body, not super thick but pleasantly substantial. A little warming.

O - Excelent RIS, but drinkable as well. Very roasty but not a thick, boozy representation. I guess how much you like this one really depends on what you want, but I found it easy to take care of the growler with the help of a few others.

Photo of Khazadum
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It looks like I'm down to two bottles left to review. Hopefully I'll find one more! The lady had hidden one away that I just found today. So psyched. Another easy choice of glassware. Pint or snifter. As if there was any doubts.

A- Fantastic retention on a creamy head. Coloration of marshmellow just beginning to brown over an open flame. Deep brown... murky brown fluid. Deceivingly inky darkness, but actually a dark brown liquid. Not too much carbonation in it at all. The stickiness of the froth could use some work. Has a nice lacing regardless. Just not the best.

S- Earthen brown sugar. Strong roasted coffee grounds with the bitterness of espresso to boot. Throw on top the classic toasted malt aroma. Is that burnt grains too? Something interesting as well. Cotton fibers or just plain cellulosic material.. paper... Hmm. Secondary notes are a dark fruit that is similar to dates on the back end. Mostly as it warmed.

T- Opens beautifully roasted. The coffee flavors are good, but its the mixture of this coffee ground flavor into the roasted grains that is frickin' amazing. Totally one of the best combinations I have ever encountered in all the fantastic beers I've run through. Following that is a bittered acrid burnt grain that was hidden behind the wall of roasted power. It starts to perk itself up and roll on into the finish. Minor alcoholic power, burnt and bitter grain that doesn't ruffle my feathers like most stouts, and some funk... its not brett funk, but more like gunk funk. Goofy, almost plant-like. Warming it a bit has the finish incorporating a dark chocolate characteristic. T-t-t-tasty!

M- Creamy, smooth, and full bodied. Very slick and velvet powered. Chewy. The carbonation is very low and minimal giving some hits in the center of the tongue that is all beneficial; no harm. Sticky flavors and minorly in terms of the fluid.

D- I really like this beer. It is one hell of a stout. Just a plain American Stout in my opinion. Nothing too overwhelming, too alcoholic, too roasted, too bitter. Just extremely well balanced and delicious. Hell I wouldn't put it past 6.5% from how I feel after what I've drank. I want more of this to share. Hell I want to bring this with me to DLD. I feel it would be a perfect beer around 9am that day.

Photo of Stigs
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, purchased from the Media brewpub last summer

served in a large snifter

A - pours with a bit over a finger of fizzy, khaki colored foam. the the beer goes down, so too does the foam, leaving some random wet spots behind. the beer is black, black, more black...no light geting through here.

S - very mineraly at first, though cut into off the front by some rich roasted malt, toasted nuts, ash, and bits of dark chocolate. gets slightly muddled from there, with some molasses and alcohol coming to life near the end. very nice.

T - right off the bat, a vicious attack of deep roasted malts meshes with ash and a hint of rum. then opens up a bit with an ample amount of sweetness, vanilla beans, molasses, and just a faint hint of dark fruit. a small amount of piney hops are still present as well, though a very minor bit of oxidation has already occurred. finishes on the sweet side, black licorice & dark chocolate before being cut into by some booze.

M - only complaint so far, body is a touch thin which is emphasized by the robust and complex flavors. carbonation is a quarter step above moderate, tingly though words well against the slightly watery body. sweetness is a touch oily, and not dry and sticky.

D - very well done, a bit better than i was expecting. this is solid all around: complex, rich, well integrated and not too fancy. who needs barrel-aged beers with regular RIS'es like this floating around. luckily i will be in the area shortly and will surely pickup another bottle.

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I don't know where Iron Hill got the tall, rounded-edged, inverted cone design for that glass they serve many of their stronger brews in, but I hate it! It's like an extraterrestrial frozen cocktail vessel. Serve this beer in anything other than that glass, please!

This stout is dark. Black even. With deep ruby highlights. Had the bartender poured this "properly", could've got some more head. Just saying. It looks like a stout. Points!

Smells desserty(?), like you could reduce this slightly and pour it over my sundae, drizzle my cheeselog. Light roast and chocolate, but an edge more black licorice, cookie malt, and some piney hop. Not bad, but not refined. Something's up here. Suspicious of the next step.

Sorry, but this tasted like it was brewed from a kit or it was rushed out of the fermenter. There seemed to be an off-balance between the sweetish fruit flavors and the roasted characters, with the sugar-sweet malt really outweighing the roast much more than in most RISs I've had. I almost want to declare the malts syrupy, or at least in a light-moderately-diluted molasses type of consistency and, well, I suppose flavor, too. Even at 9.?%, the alcohol, though nicely woven in (or muted out) should've/could've cut through the borderline viscous feel to help instill(?) some order.

Just a tad too much slickness. Couple tads more too much sugar concentration. Not enough burnt or roasty/toasty flavor. Little more burn would've been nice. This can be improved.

Photo of tigernipples
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Growler, Listening to Radiohead - King Of Limbs.

My brother stopped by Iron Hill and picked up a growler. This is the first time drinking Iron Hill. poured into a snifter. Pretty Black with decent size head and carbonation. I smell roasted malts and some dark fruits.
A nice bitter finish in the taste that dries up the mouth. Roasted malts are there. I'm not picking up alot of coffee notes. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, I'd say this is medium bodied. Overall I'm liking this alot. Recently I've had a few RIS that just didn't hit the spot, this has. Going down pretty smooth. i could easily drink another glass.

Photo of Phelps
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received from Hophead101 in the Blind Beers BIF, this big 750 was poured into my Bruery tulip and reviewed blind.

Pours a syrupy brown that coalesces in the glass to extreme ebony. This is dark magic. It's topped by a fuzzy one-finger head of oak that descends slowly, becoming a rather filmy top layer.

Smells green. Lots of pine, oak and a backbone of dark roast, with smoke, maple and molasses. It's pretty subdued.

The flavor: smoked cedar, powdery cocoa, some black molasses. In the back is a very subtle burnt flavor, with additional flavors of licorice and bubble gum.

Nice body. Pillow-soft medium, silky across the tongue. Very low, tickly carbonation, subtle fizziness. Some alcohol comes through the nose.

I downed the entire 750 in an hour, if that says anything about this beer's drinkability. Nice, though I could use a bit more roasty flavor.

Photo of prototypic
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to csmiley for sharing the growler!

This one pours a dark mahogany color. It's nowhere near opaque. It has burgundy highlights throughout. Unfortunately, there's not really any head. Just a few bubbles on the surface. They look to be tan in color. Lacing was very, very light. Not bad, but where's the head? C'mon now!

The nose is good. It kicks off with an excellent mix of chocolate and roasted malts. Roasted coffee is rather strong in the mix, and complements the malty notes very well. Secondary scents include molasses, caramel, and anise. Alcohol is a little more pronounced than I expected. It doesn't quite rise boozy, but it's not too far from that territory. Good smellin' stuff.

The flavor is very similar to the nose. The malt base is very flavorful and strong. Roasted and chocolate malts anchor things down very nicely. Roasted coffee is prominent and adds quite a bit to the overall flavorful. I'm a coffee fan, so that works perfectly for me. The secondary molasses and anise flavors add nice depth and complexity. Alcohol is a little better integrated here. Given its strength on the nose, I was anticipating some heat. It's not here though. Good stuff.

The body is best described as medium. Carbonation is very light, and it does feel smooth. Nonetheless, it could stand a little more body. Bottom line...big stouts need big bodies. This one isn't quite there. Drinkability is good. I like the flavor, and it's rather easy drinking for just under 10% abv.

Iron Hill did a nice job with Russian Imperial Stout. It includes all the bells and whistles of the style and doesn't make any huge missteps. It's not perfect. Its biggest needs are more body and maybe a little less alcohol. The alcohol isn't so apparent in flavor, but certainly is on the nose. Those are small gripes. It's pretty impressive overall. Easy recommendation.

Photo of JAXSON
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours black with a medium caramel head. Nose is heavy on the roast, fairly ashy, dry. More bitter roast in the mouth, some coffee sugars (heh), maybe a touch of bitter chocolate. A bit of charcoal. I've grown to appreciate these drier, more ashy imperial stouts lately, and this is a fine example. Feel is light despite the hefty body, which is a major plus. Without flaw really, but I think this is lacking complexity perhaps. Very enjoyable and well done. This has won several medals at GABF and I can see its merit for sure.

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap as part of the Winter Warmer tasting at IH Lancaster. From the North Wales location.

A: The imperial stout is a dark black color that absorbs the rest of the spectrum. Carboonation appears to be at a minimum, adding to the still beauty of the stout.

S: The nose is roasted, dark with burnt toast, chocolate and coffee. The nose seems muted, as compared to some of the bottles that I've had.

T: Warming, the stout is rich and malty. Layers of chocolate, nuts, coffee, burnt toast and char wash over the tastebuds. No one flavor is stronger than another, rather they all work in tandem to produce a full flavor. The hops are an afterthought, allowing the British side of the stout come through. A nice beer to finally have on tap.

M: Full and thick, this RIS isn't a pounder. The malt focus is a nice reminder of the stout's origin.

D: This version tips the scales at 9%, so it is not a pounding stout. The smaller pour that I had was a perfect size to reveal the intricate strength of the stout.

Photo of rudylaw
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to FooFaa for this bottle!

Pours a black, suffocating color with a prosperous dark tan head. It eventually yields to a thin rim.

Chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit, caramel, toffee and coffee and creme. Smells very sweet but almost too much. Hope it's not as jumbled in the taste.

It tastes more balanced than the nose. The same elements come together in concert. This is a pleasant surprise! I'm getting a nice roastiness as this warms. Terrific.

Extremely creamy with medium carbonation. This is what an RIS should feel like! Nailed it. Fairly drinkable for a big offering. This is my first experience with Iron Hill and I'm in no way disappointed. I look forward to trying the next batch of this!

Photo of Kendo
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip, the body is black with a 1-finger tan head.

S: Roasted barley malt, chocolate malt and chocolate in general, a hint of coffee and a touch of dark fruit.

T: Chocolate malt. Also some roasty characteristics as well, but chocolatey sweetness is dominant.

M: Good and creamy texture. Heft feels a little lighter than expected, but it's still medium-to-full-bodied (closer to full).

D: Very good. I like a nice chocolatey RIS, and this fit the bill. ABV is not really noted at all, as it's overwhelmed by chocolate and roasted barley.

Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On nitro-tap @ Iron Hill Phoenixville on 9/4/10. Served in an oversized mug. ABV was listed as 8.0%, which according to our bartender, came in a bit under what they were shooting for.

Pours black, with a deep brown, almost milk chocolate colored head. This retains with a smooth creaminess from the nitro-pour, leaving back a rich cascade of lacing. The aroma is very smoky smelling (and even a little acrid), with a big backing tang of sweet cocoa and toffee tones. Some floral and herbal hop character mixes in as well, as I'm also getting a little bit of a mineral feel in the back of the nostrils. Not quite off-putting but you can definitely pick it up.

The taste starts with a thick base of bitter chocolate and some sweeter toffee flavors, before a big blast of dark roast, coffee, and hop bitterness (a good bit of citric and herbal textures are present here). The smoke really kicks it into high gear in the back end, spreading a good bit of acrid bitterness out into the mouth. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a mouth filling creaminess to it. That 8% is mostly felt as some thick chewiness underneath and light warmth that aids in brining out those deep roasty flavors. It's mostly well hid though and is helped along by the smoothness of the nitro-pour.

Good depth of character here, even if that roasted nature was a bit overdone, and I thought that the 8% ABV actually felt about spot on for the flavors that were present. This was one of the better takes on the RIS style that I've had at the different Iron Hill locations.

Photo of dtivp
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown with a small mocha head that quickly dissipated into a ring with nice lacing.
Aroma of roasted malt, and chocolate.
Taste of roasted coffee, molassas, vanilla with a nice roasted malt finish.
Medium body with moderated carbonation , very smooth.
This is a very nice enjoyable RIS, at first I thought it might be a little on the sweet side, however, it finished with more roasted malt and coffee.

Photo of jmalex
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opening this during the first round of the Masters. No indication on the bottle of age or originating pub.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Duvel tulip deep black with a large, 2-finger, dark tan head. The bubbles are tight and have incredible holding power (though perhaps aided a bit by the glass).

SMELL: The aroma is full of astringent, bitter black malt but contains a strong undercurrent of dark chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. Hop aroma is low though not nonexistent.

TASTE: Much more well-rounded and smooth, and it just explodes from there. The richest, most luxurious flavor of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and toffee. Dark fruit is absent, but unnecessary. It finished strong with a big hit of black malt and espresso. What a beer.

MOUTHFEEL: Quite thick and full, though not at all slick. The carbonation is on the lower end and appropriate.

DRINKABILITY: Exceptional. The alcohol is fully hidden, and I'll be making quick work of this bottle.

Gosh it pains me that these Iron Hill bottles are so expensive. I can't recommend purchasing one, but you have an opportunity to win one in a contest, go for it!

Photo of beerthulhu
3.46/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flute style glass. On location 2/20/10.

A: Poured a flat black with a very thin dark khaki colored head that dissipated almost immediately after the pour. A slight ring lacing was all that remained. It is hard to judge this by style appearance wise, its black, dark, so pretty hard to go off key here. I'll be generous and give this good regards.

S: The nose was lighter then expected, a clean roasted nature that lacked intimidation. Was more in line with a Schwarz style then a Russian imperial.

T: The flavor was smooth with a freshly roasted nature of coffee that was eloquently done. Dark chocolate with a smooth earthy bitterness with a finish that was clean with a mixture of dark chocolate sweetness and creamer laced coffee. Fairly clean per style and easy to handle flavor wise. Sweet dark grains ensures on the finishing swallow.

M: The mouthful had a bit of creaminess, but otherwise was very smooth in character with very little carbonation detected. The alcohol is perhaps the only hindrance here,

D: The flavor is exceptionally smooth per style making you almost forget its 9.5 %abv nature. A very clean approach to the style and easy to consume interpretation.

Photo of WorldWideStout
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, oily and thick. A small mocha-colored head dissolved after about a minute.

S: Coffee, chocolate, and a bit of sourness at the end.

T: First I get chocolate, which is followed by espresso. The two tastes meld for a chocolate-covered espresso bean flavor at the end. I taste coffee with the espresso more and more as I become acclimated to the beer.

M: Oily and slick with minimal carbonation. I would've liked it to be a bit thicker.

D: Par for most bigger stouts. I wouldn't have more than one in a sitting.

A tasty stout, but not quite as good as Old Rasputin or Ten Fidy, and for the price ($15-20 for a 750), it's not worth it. I would like to try it on tap for a more reasonable price at some point.

Photo of gford217
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle courtesy of hopdog poured into a snifter.

Pours deep brown out of the bottle and is really close to black in the glass with a small but very thick tan head that recedes slowly to a small swirl along the top.

The aroma is excellent, not crazy complex or extremely creative but spot-on for the style. There is deeply roasted malts, chocolate, espresso and even some sweet licorice hints. There is also a bit of green hops in the nose I think, which I wasn't expecting.

Much like the aroma, it's not exceptionally powerful or complex but it really seems to have all the necessary ingredients with sweet chocolate mixed with bitter coffee and roasted malts. The finish has a fruity sweetness and bit of fresh hop bitterness that makes it a little more than run-of-the-mill.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied for an RIS, though it's not watery or thin. It's just not that heavy on the palate.

The lightish body makes it exceptionally drinkable even if it's not the most creative or massive RIS. It's still a top tier RIS in my book and a nice reminder that you don't have to throw the kitchen sink at a beer for it to be great.

Photo of fishtownhxc
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not really my favorite beer style, but this version surprised me.

the nose has a whole lot going on, not to mention the obvious smell of alcohol, but unlike other versions of this beer that i've had this beer doesn't smell or taste nearly as hot, especially for a 10% abv. lots of good esters and malt in the nose, maybe a slight hop nose as well.

dark brown in color with ample head retention and carbonation for the style.

huge malty flavor backed by a subtle hop bitterness that's matched by a slight astringency, yet finishes on the sweet side, not dry. roasted barley with hints of bitter sweet chocolate dominate.

not a session beer by any stretch (duh), but one of the few i've had in this style that i could drink more than one in a sitting. well deserving of the high praise it has received.

Photo of rhinos00
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Jettanbass9 for sending this beer to me! Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. Cannot tell the vintage, but this one has been laid down for quite some time now.

A- Pours a dark, charcoal black. Produced two fingers width of tan head. Dissipated pretty quickly into a thin ring.

S- There is a sweetness of what smells like dark melted chocolates. Also picking up on some buried notes of vanilla along with what seems like an ever so subtle tropical fruit aroma. The base has a roasted character with a bit or char.

T- Incredibly cohesive! I just want to state that I am not a big fan of incredibly roasted/charred beers. While this beer had some of these qualities, it was blended perfectly with other complex flavors so as not to be too overbearing. Upfront a rich chocolate flavor is quite evident. This is paired with what tastes like espresso. Midway through to the finish, the beer takes on a charred flavor that lasts all the way to the finish. What made this beer for me was that unlike many beers that let the charred flavor take over, this one countered the aggressive charred, bitter flavors with a sweet, prune-like flavor that matched it perfectly.

M- The texture was perfect, had a nice velvety touch to it. However, it was a little on the thin side for an RIS.

D- Very drinkable for an RIS with such bold charred flavors. Alcohol was not really detectable and this 750 mL bottle went by surprisingly quick.

Overall, this was quite a surprise. Didn't have very high expectations for this one, but it was extremely mellow and demonstrated perfect cohesion with its ingredients. I actually feel privileged to be drinking this one. Recommended!

Photo of TLove
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle bought at the Iron Hill Restaurant in Lancaster, PA a few weeks ago. Been dying to find an occasion to drink this and last night presented such an occasion.

Black, pourous substance, with a dark brown, thin and lightly carbonated head. Smells of vanilla bean, smoked berries, and dark chocolate. Really thick and strong body with minimal carbonation, though it does not appear so thick as it drinks. Begins to develop in the mouth as it warms, with a touch of toffee, dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, espresso, and condensed, sweetened rice milk to round out the back end. The smoky flavors of the chocolate and maple-laden malt produce a powerful profile. Hop structure is not particularly strong, primarily because of the presence of smoothening factors here such as the abovementioned rice milk and a bit of oatmeal. The minimal carbonation and maple/chocolate malt really follow through to the end.

This is truly one of the best of its style. I wish it was more affordable and more accessible. Either way, I'm really looking forward to Iron Hill's other offerings!

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked 750ml bottle poured into my basic snifter glass. The RIS appears just about black with an inch of dense dark tan foam. Aromas and flavors consist of rich, dark roasted grains, bitter baking chocolate, espresso, molasses, vanilla, cocoa powder, some milk chocolate as it warms as well as some alcohol heat, caramelized malt, prunes, mocha. Approaching full bodied with ample carbonation and a rather bitter, roasty aftertaste.

Photo of garymuchow
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought to me a couple of years ago by a buddy. Thanks JB. Cellared a couple of years.
Nicely done beer. Solid black color with slight tints of reddish. Late growing head that was fairly persistent.
Modest smell for style of roast and mild richness. Flavors matched aroma's well. Again, somewhat rich, but not cloy. Decently complex.
Moderate to slightly more on feel. Carbonated nicely and smooth.
Drinks well and makes for a well rounded beer overall.

Russian Imperial Stout from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
93 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.