Ironman Imperial Stout - Free State Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ironman Imperial StoutIronman Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
83
good

105 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 7
Gots: 19 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Free State Brewing Co. visit their website
Kansas, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.40% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: marc77 on 10-18-2003

Our Imperial Stout brewed to an Original gravity of 19.5 °P using 10 different types of malt, which combined, weigh 1,465 lbs. That works out to 3.4 lbs per gallon of finished beer or almost 4/10ths of a pound in every glass. The dark malts give a roasty flavor and dark color, caramel malts add sweetness and a full body. Three different hop varieties also add their own complexity (and about 78 IBUs). The bittering hop is Magnum. The early aromatic hops are Northern Brewer. The later aromatic Centennial. The final hop addition is a dry hop with a generous dose of Mt. Hood hops for a fine aroma The Ironman is named for one of our favorite regular customers, Walt Hull, who is a local blacksmith.

78 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 37
Reviews by mdcrouser:
Photo of mdcrouser
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sitting here on the last night of a week-long Christmas break (like high school all over again), watching Empire Strikes Back for the thousandth time, warming on this Impy Stout - that's a good way to spend an evening.

Deep, dark and nearly black - sandy head dies down from a finger to nearly nothing.

Big-time roasty - toasted char, black coffee, licorice. Nice and deep, but not a hint of hoppiness for balance.

Similar roastiness carries through to the nose, but also with some burnt matches, tobacco and hoppy vegetation, especially to close - it then lingers and even proliferates long afterwards. Nearly like noshing on dark tobacco leaves.

Was hoping for creaminess to help accentuate the depth. Instead, it's perky, carbonated, popping the vegetation on the tongue.

It's plenty tasty, but I was expecting something more well-developed, balanced.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours dark black brown with a big creamy tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is roasted chocolate malt, black licorice and a little fruit.

The flavor is roasted chocolate malts, black licorice and some dark fruit and an ashy bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice imperial stout.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jet black in color and impenetrable to light with a khaki colored head with moderate lacing. Aroma is subtle,but I detect bitter roasted barley and coffee notes. In the front of the palate there is sweet plum and raisin and the back is bitter roasted barley. It's back to sweet plum and raisin in the fade. The mouth is a tad oily and chewy.

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.94/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Dark, near black. No head as I pour it. Some bubbles well up after I finish pour into a very brief head. Some then cling to the inside of the glass, but everything else is gone.

Smell - Aggressive roast and a grassy hop aroma. Caramel and sugars behind.

Taste - I expect it to be much more flavorful. It comes off as kinda dull at first. Just some caramel and a bit of roastiness. The intense burnt malt flavor kicks in very quickly, though. Some sweetness remains behind it. Builds into a bitter and grassy hop finish.

Mouthfeel - Thin. Very bitter. Aggressive and a little difficult to drink.

Overall - It's a strange concoction of pleasant and unpleasant flavors. Seems like it would be pretty good from the nose, but nothing seems to come together coherently in the flavor.

Photo of russpowell
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the Joplin Macadoodles

Pours ink black with much effevescence & 3 fingers of mocha colored head. Fantastic lacing & good head retention

S: Roastyness, dark fruit, a bit of leafy hops

T: Roasty grains, hints of licorice, smoke & iron & a bit of carob up front. Roastyness, dryness & a bit of vanilla as this warms, boozeyness as well. more smokeyness too.

MF: Chewy , thick, dry, subdued carbonation

A nice RIS, I liked this more than SN Narwhal, more finess (sic) & drinkability, but only by a little...

Photo of bditty187
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Think of this beer as a baby Owd Mac; that is high praise... they do allow growlers of this beer. I should have purchased one.

Black in hue, slightly ruby around the edges, still the liquid is fairly dense. It was served in a standard pint glass; this proves that Free State has relegated this Imperial Stout to second-class citizenship. I personally don’t think a tumbler is fitting for the style, under any circumstance. The head was beige, soapy and about a finger in height. The foam faded to a bubbly cap, fairly quickly. There was spotty subsequent lacing. This beer is attractive but sold short, I never realize how much a glass can enhance the aura of a beer. The nose is roasty, espresso, black coffee with a hint of cream, dark fruits like cherries and chocolate dipped figs and raisins. There are some soft but noticeable piney/orange zest hops at the back. The alcohol is very restrained. Modest potency, I wish the aromas were stronger. Still, it is rich and rewarding. I found it to be inviting. Straightforward. I really like the palate, roasty with a rich and wide presentation of malt. I found the roast to be just sharp enough with just enough acidity. The hops come into play in the middle but this beer is really a showcase of malt. Chocolate powder, chocolate dipped dark fruits, cherries and raisins. This beer really isn’t that chocolaty because there is a significant blast of roasted coffee beans, a shot of iced espresso. Very tasty. The finish is kind of raw, bitter, roasty with a dash of chocolate. Warming. The alcohol heat is in play but it is very restrained. The long roasted aftertaste is begging to be enjoyed with cake donuts or cheesecake. Medium-full in body, low carbonation but just lively enough to cut up the mouthfeel, very pleasant on the tongue. A tad more bulk would be nice. This Imperial Stout is very drinkable, dangerously so! I wouldn’t call this offering world class or anything but it is a very fine brew. It has Rogue Shakespeare Stout’s maltiness (not the hops) crossed with Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. The end product is a very fine brew. Recommended, especially if you feel like “sessioning” with an Imperial Stout! Enjoyed at the brewpub in Lawrence, KS.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured a dark black color stout with a rather large brown foamy head with good retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma of dry coffee notes with roasted malt is dominant. Taste is also quite dry with some coffee notes with roasted malt with light bitter black chocolate notes. Body is a bit thin for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. This is a middle of the road offering with quite dry aftertaste that is veering into astringency.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.0 A: Black color. Only 1/3 of a finger of creamy light brown head formed.

3.5 S: Moderately high roastiness, molasses, caramel, and light coffee. Pronounced hoppiness featuring citrusy orange and flowery earthiness.

3.5 T: Moderately roasty. Molasses, caramel, and coffee in that order. Fairly dry overall. Higher potency bitterness coming mainly from the hops. Citrus and earthy hop flavor.

3.0 M: Medium body. Moderate, though bity, carbonation. Lacking creaminess.

3.0 D: I'm not a huge fan of hoppy stouts and this is one. The mouthfeel is also pretty mediocre.

Photo of marc77
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Virtually black, with clear garnet flashes when held to light. Thin, but persistent beige head leaves loose lace. Tepid tangerine citrus hop nose, along with dark hints of raisin and baker's chocolate in aroma. Understated, but clean aromawise. Dryish, cocoa dusted prune dominates in flavor, with mellow grapefruit hop flavor secondary. Buttery diacetyl undertone. Assertive hop bitterness quells residual sweetness, leaving it of a stately, date like nature. A touch lightly bodied overall, but with an agreeably soft, dextrin character. Finishes clean and lightly burnt, with hints of milk chocolate and delayed alcohol warmth as well. Ironman could a "session" imperial, due to its dangerous quaffability. Its roasted grain character is impressively smooth. Akin to a tamer Victory Storm King. OG: 1.077. 78 IBUs. They let me fill my growler with this for only a dollar extra! That'll be dinner.

Photo of JesseHoward
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I received this as an extra. The best by date is notched between September and October. This is my first review. My first craft beer I enjoyed was a malt heavy beer so I figured after years of reading reviews, I will review a style I love a lot: Imperial Stout.

A: Pours a very clean looking stout. Light tan head. Very dark body.

S: I keep smelling molasses cookies out of this beer. I love when a stout smells like this.

T: I like an imperial stout to be big a bold. This isn't watered down. I am getting tons of malt. As I start to finish the beer in roughly 10 minutes, I notice some oxidation possibly from the hops as it warms up. I could have an older bottle as stated and it is showing now. It is not distracting though.

M: I would call this a session Imperial stout. it has a body of a bigger/imperial stout. It coats my mouth like one. It is easily drinkable though.

O: I like this. It has a been a while where I drank an imperial stout relatively quick. It is a well balanced imperial stout. Nothing pops out though. It had a nice aroma and went down smooth.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is as black as an espresso bean with a mocha colored head that recedes at a decent pace. Chunks of film hang around before disappearing. Light lacing sticks to the glass until finally fading away.

The aroma is well-balanced between faint malt sweetness and a hop presence. Licorice is the main note with a strong smokey character.

The taste profile is extremely rich in the Bitterness Department: bitter roasted coffee beans, rich burnt malts, a bitter, hop tang in the finish. Very hoppy, this one.

The mouthfeel is actually quite silky and almost creamy considering the ABV.

Overall, for a beer brewed with 10 different kinds of malts, I get way too much hop presence in this.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.74/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of ygtbsm94. Served in a sampler glass. Pours near black with a short receding head. The nose has pretty heavy roast along with faint notes of chocolate. Flavor is also roasty and just a touch ashy. Fairly bitter as well, though in a way that doesn’t quite work with the stout. Medium body. Not a huge fan of this one; I’d much prefer Backus if I could get it.

Photo of hopdog
4.32/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample from Growler.

Poured a dark black color with an averaged sized light tan head. Aromas of roasted malts, chocolate, burnt malts, and I'm getting some pine in there. Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, some dark fruits, and light caramel. Tasty.

Notes from 12/37/06

Photo of --Dom--
4/5  rDev +9.6%

This is a very OK beer. It's a little on the underpowered side for me for an imperial stout. I like mine to clock in over 10%. Mouthfeel and carbonation are nice. It just feels like it's missing something in the flavor category. Overall I feel I'd be a lot more inclined to this beer if it were a 6 pack instead of a 4. There are better, bigger stouts available for the same price. (Narwhal, Old Ras) I appreciate what you do Free State, but I would love this beer if it were either cheaper or a little more bold. My humble opinion.

Photo of Tone
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, strong roasted malt, alcohol, strong hops, pine, hint of chocolate, and a hint of wheat. Fits the style of a Russian Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of chocolate, strong roasted malt, alcohol, hops, hint of pale malt, hint of pine, and a hint of toffee. Overall, good body, little sharp, good aroma, and good appearance.

Photo of DavidST
4.26/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter, best by May, week 4? This pours a pitch black color with a decent tan head which has good retention and leaves a lacing. The smells are of dark roasted malts, hops and a little dark chocolate. The feel is great thick and creamy. Taste is good also, dark roasted malts, lots of hop bitterness, low alcohol burn and all around greatness.

Photo of acelin
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This version is supposedly different than the tapped version, however, after reading my review from two almost three years ago, it's the same.

It is pitch black, with a small mocha head that doesn't fade too fast.

The nose detects very little. Hints of chocolate and molasses.

The flavor is largely chocolate, with mild roasted notes, including coffee and grain. A tangy hop bite hits right in the middle, serving as a great balance to this huge stout. A molasses aftertaste lingers on the tongue, along with the lighter touches of the hops.

The mouthfeel is creamy, thick, certainly as much as the on tap version.

I would suggest this beer, and although it's no Breakfast Stout a la Founder's, it's certainly better than competing Imp Stouts in the region.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle received in trade from RobertDale, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a solid black with a decent sized creamy tan head that displays moderate retention, and minimal lace. Aromas of earthy spicy minty hops atop a base of coffee, chocolate and caramel with a touch of ethanol to round things out. The taste is solid roasted coffee, caramel, and chocolate with a huge earthy minty herbal hop flavor. Moderate hop bitterness. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation, and a sweet somewhat sticky and oily mouthfeel. This is an interesting imperial stout for sure. The late hop choices are certainly unconventional, but I kind of enjoyed this beer. The body might be a tad thin for an imperial but it doesn't distract me too much.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet-black color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of chocolate and roasty notes. There is a touch of citrus and pine.

T - It tastes of dark chocolate, burnt molasses and strong roasted notes.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied stout with a dry finish.

O - This is yet another great beer from Free State. They are particularly good at "big" beers.

Photo of zeledonia
3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by around late July, if I'm reading the label right. Tasted 21 July 2013, reviewed from notes.

Pours black, thick and viscous. Half-finger of medium-tan head, okay retention, pretty good lacing. Not bad.

Smell is the highlight. Rich and chocolatey, malty-sweet and full of roasty fruity stuff, doused in chocolate. Very nice, with both shallow and deep elements that I'm digging.

Taste is kinda mediocre. Semi-sweet, but lacking in depth, and dominated by a charred bitterness that I'm not really liking.

Feel is the low point. Slick in an oily way, and rather flat. Brings the whole thing down.

Not bad, reasonably flavorful, and with quite a nice smell, but there are much better readily-available imperial stouts out there. Taste is simple, body is relatively flat, and it's just not all that impressive.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown, ruby, black pour. Dark tan head was full, but looked a bit soapy and thin.
Plum, anise, dried hops, chocolate and coffee round out the nose. Not as powerful as it's looks might portray.
Dry stout, light on the chocolate and coffee. More of a weak plum taste. Nice bite to it, but that doesn't help it's smoothness. This is a solid RIS, but not a great one. If you want to try a FreeState beer, go with Copperhead.

Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick black color with some brown on the edges. The head is short with a creamy cappuccino ice cream color that quickly settles into a thin ring around the edge of my snifter. The aroma of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee could be a little stronger.

The taste follows the aroma, roasted malts and coffee lead to a chocolaty sweetness in the middle. The finish is fairly smooth with a touch of bitterness from both the earthy hops and the roasted malts. The mouth feel is rich and creamy. The alcohol (which most be around 9% or higher) is not noticed. Drinkabilty is high, but beware of the alcohol. My favorite imperial stout to drink fresh, no aging required on this one.

Photo of sprucetip
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a "mystery case" from Goebel Liquor (Rob's world of beer) in Wichita. A good looker. It's black and has plenty of dense, tan foam, with good retention and thick lacing.

Smells of caramel and roast, with some modest boozy heat. It also emanates the essence of gooey green hops, even if I can't quite put a finger, or nostril, on anything more specifically hoppy

The same elements are present in the tastes as in the nose, which is good. But there is also some black patent, and more than there should be, for my taste buds. This detracts a bit. But the caramel and associated sweetness hold their own, and help achieve good balance and some modest complexity. The black patent leaves some bitterness on the back end.

Well carbonated, full body with somewhat creamy texture, gentle warming, but a somewhat harsh, bitter finish resulting from the black patent.

Pretty good, but certainly not elite. I'd back off the black patent, in case I had not made that clear. I learned that lesson with one of my early stouts. A little goes a long way. But I really like the use of caramel in the recipe, and it saves this beer from the black patent.

Photo of JEdmund
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An attractive looking stout with it’s creamy tan head. Leaves some nice lacing. Held up to the light, not seeing much ruby highlighting... Pretty dark stuff here.

Ten malts and four hops make up Ironman. The nose is relatively tame for an RIS. That’s not to say it’s not an inviting aroma--as it is--it’s just not a blast in the face like so many others are. Still, I like what I’m smelling: coffee, cocoa, char, booze.

Taste also comes in a little on the small side, but in no way does it feel thin. It’s just not a 10% RIS. Flavors harmonize as well as they can for a style that showcases strong roast qualities. Good mingling of roasty and sweet malts, followed by a tongue-drying hop bite in the finish. Body feels pretty light and airy and has a really nice texture to it.

I’ve had this a handful of times on tap and was never left wowed, so I didn’t buy this bottle expecting too much. I’m still not wowed, but I’m left with more appreciation. Free State can make a tasty beer in about any style they want, and that’s just what they’ve done with Ironman Imperial Stout. I’m glad they bottled it. Not sure I’d buy it again, but I’d definitely order it another time at the brewery, and I’d be really excited to see them bottle another RIS (Owd Mac’s maybe?).

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DrAwkward82 for sharing this one at Wowcoolman’s tasting.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, slight coffee, slight cocoa, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty and drinkable.

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Ironman Imperial Stout from Free State Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.