Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Ironman Imperial Stout - Free State Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ironman Imperial StoutIronman Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

37 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 37
Hads: 108
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.32%
Wants: 7
Gots: 21 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 37 | Hads: 108
Photo of mlockman
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Many thanks to @treebute for this beer! Slick mouthfeel that becomes creamy when agitated, this beer has some serious legs. Slight dankness to the aroma, moderately hop-forward on the palate. A mild dark-chocolate sweetness at first sip transitions to delicious roastiness and finishes clean. (292 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (376 characters)

Photo of 10Crumra
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Jet black with an uninspiring, thin head. Moderate lacing.
Smells nice. Roasted malt, dark fruit, and chocolate.
Caramel and chocolate flavors. Sweet fruitiness.. A bit thin for the style but a pleasant sticky afterfeel.
Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. I would definitely drink this again. I wish the taste was as rich as the aroma. (346 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (517 characters)

Photo of --Dom--
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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. (532 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (345 characters)

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling right now on 6/12/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a "Free State Beer' pilsner glass which I actually bought at their brewery/restaurant just 2 weekends back. Just something about drinking a brew from a brewery from one of their glasses. :)

Pours a pitch black in color with a good 3-finger foamy beige head that leaves a TON of lacing with each sip! Surprised for the amount of lacing actually! The aroma is of roasted malts, coffee with a hint of dark fruit like raisins. The taste has even more going on with the aroma as it has a ton of flavors which besides mentioned above with some semi-sweet chocolate with a slight bitter finish that doesn't last at all. Overall, a great Imperial Stout with perfect carbonation. (772 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (758 characters)

Photo of Sludgeman
2.89/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Bottle at Old chicago old town Wichita.

A - It pours black, minimal head that dissipates quickly.

S - Dark fruit dominates, maybe due to the hops, but results in a muted raisin aroma.

T - Dark malts, raisin, some roastiness, NO coffee, hides ABV (but still at only 6.1).

MF - Thin, medium bodied, slightly sweet finish.

O - Can't call this an "imperial" at only 6.1 ABV! Is it the malts or the hops? Disappointing. Unbalanced. (431 characters)

Photo of JesseHoward
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (1,077 characters)

Photo of CowsandBeer
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

4 pack purchased from Devlin's in Topeka, KS. Best by date of 06/12. Kept this one in the cellar to see what would happen. Poured into a snifter at fridge temp.

Appearance: Pours about a half finger of sand colored head. Some bubbles. Quickly recedes to a thin ring with a "film" in the center. Decent legs. Black as my culo. With a full snifter it looks like some kind of glass ink pot. Looks good for a stout.

Smell: First off, a very nice and mellow roastyness. Like a medium roast coffee. Also a nice sticky sweetness. Almost like a honey mead. A bar of dark chocolate and some stone fruits. Just the slightest hint of booze. What an inviting nose!

Taste: Roasted chocolate malts. A dark roast of coffee with some half and half and a kind of sweet, oxidized stone fruit. Ends on a bitter note. Good overall.

Mouthfeel: A dry and sticky mouthfeel. More heft in the body would surely be a plus. Low carbonation which I think works great with the beer. Warming in the throat but not hot at all.

Overall: At about a year and a half this beer has progressed nicely. I honestly thought I would be making a mistake for holding onto it for so long. The high point here is in the nose. Very mellow and sweet. The taste itself is just fine except for that lingering bitter hop note at the end. As has been mentioned, a heavier body would only make this beer even better. Overall, a sweet, low carbonation RIS. One to sip on in the the coming winter days. (1,458 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
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. (458 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
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. (817 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.94/5  rDev -22.2%
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. (832 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a black pour with 2 fingers of brown fluffy head which dissipated slowly and left some great lacing on the glass. smells of toasted grains, chocolate, oats, slight hint of grassy hops. a delicious blend of coffee, chocolate, toasted grains, dirt-like bitterness yet still a very sweet beer. creamy silky smooth medium body with moderate amount of carbonation.

a really nice heavy stout. not very comparable to other RIS due to its low alcohol content, but still a great beer! (476 characters)

Photo of sprucetip
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (1,151 characters)

Photo of mdcrouser
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
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. (864 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
2.74/5  rDev -27.5%
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. (380 characters)

Photo of acelin
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (767 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
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... (529 characters)

Photo of UnkleFester
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle bottle poured into a Boulevard tulip

A: Pours a deep black no light getting through on this one. Has just under a fingers worth of a light brown head that fades. Has a great lacing on it.

S: Right upfront there is dark chocolate, and coffee also detected some pine as well.

T: Dark chocolate, molasses, coffee and roasted malt that finishes out with a hop note.

M: It has a medium to heavy body that is quite smooth. Has a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: An outstanding stout with a very nice hop balance. I like the beers that Free State puts out and this one is no exception. (597 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (725 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
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. (603 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -4%
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. (547 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +5%
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. (453 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ironman Imperial Stout from Free State Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.