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Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout - Stevens Point Brewery

Not Rated.
Whole Hog Russian Imperial StoutWhole Hog Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

71 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 71
Hads: 154
Avg: 3.42
pDev: 21.64%
Wants: 0
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stevens Point Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cokes on 02-19-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (48) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
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Reviews: 71 | Hads: 154
Photo of metter98
3.41/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high dense and creamy tan head that gradually died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts in the nose. As the beer begins to warm up, these begin to get a bit stronger and hints of chocolate also become perceptible.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and isn’t that complex but has some flavors of roasted malts and notes of chocolate.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of warmth from the alcohol in the finish, but no dryness is evident.
O: This beer doesn’t have a very interesting taste, but could be classified as an “entry level” Russian Imperial Stout for craft beer novices as it’s not too difficult to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
3.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with an inch of rocky, beige foam; while it fades rather quickly, it does leave a few dots and squiggles of lace behind

Smell: Chocolate and licorice

Taste: Chocolate, up front, with tart bitterness developing by mid-palate; not much flavor remains after the swallow other than a tart metallic character with a hint of chocolate underneath

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; somewhat aqueous

Overall: Rather unusual for the style as it doesn't have the fruity bold flavors or the full body that one would expect

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Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drinking this at a cooler cellar temp, around 52º.

A slim one finger cap of brown foam after the pour, leaves minimal lace, and doesn't really stick around all that long. Deep black color with a woody edge of mahogany.

Maple and brown sugar, fried plantain, tobacco and milk chocolate. A whiff of alcohol too, but not overly distracting.

Flavor has a bit of dark fruit and molasses, mellow roast and very little bitterness. The body has an odd slickness to it that seems to detract a little bit. Flavors are more vivid as it warms. The flavor is a bit muted, though there are traces of coffee, roast malt, and the usual suspects. Carbonation is mellow, and it's fairly drinkable.

Considering this brewery's output, a decent RIS is the last thing you'd expect from them, but this is it. Here's to Point, in hopes of continued "experimental" offerings in the Whole Hog series.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Another random Whole Hog single found at a local store. Right on. This one pours a very dark black-brown (just south of a soft onyx) topped by a finger of dusty tan foam. The nose comprises light roasted malts, dark toffee, mild cocoa, very light coffee, and a twinge of roasted oats. The taste brings in more of the same, everything coming through softly, mildly, smoothly. It's as though they were trying to make a very n00b-friendly impy stout or something, afraid the bold flavors would be considered offensive. Instead, it results in an overly soft, almost muted stout. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, what could have been a generally nice stout suffers from too much restraint (such is my theory, anyway), leading to a mediocre one. Shame, really.

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Photo of russpowell
2.63/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent mahogany with a finger of mocha colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit & weird juicy fruit scents

T: Carob, dark fruittyness, a touch of iron, oaky dryness, leafy hops & booze up front. Dryness, a somewhat annoying chocolate covered cherry taste as this warms, along with faint figgyness & more leafy hops as this warms, along with a faint hint of juicy fruit. Finishes dry with more carob & weird juicy fruit taste, verging on the edge of drain pour, maybe I should've had this cold???

MF: Slick, kind of watery fairly noticable/ prickly carbonation

Drinks okay, a half hearted attempt at the style IMO. My first IMP stout homebrew was so much better, even weaker than the imp pilsner & IPA. So many good/great RISs out there, sorry I wasted my time on this one

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Photo of Mora2000
3.21/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a black color with a brown head. The aroma has a lot of roasted malt in it, as well as some chocolate. The flavor is very similar. There are huge chocolate and roasted malt notes coming through, with some bitterness from the hops and a hint of grass coming through as well. I also get a little bit of pine from the hops. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Gavage
3.4/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1/2" head that lasts a while.

Smell: roasted malts, alcohol, and earthy tones are most prevelent.

Taste: roasted malts, prunes, brown sugar sweetness, a moderate bitterness, and a general earthy tone lingers throughout.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth at the finish. Long aftertaste with this beer.

Drinkabililty: definite slow sipping beer. Alcohol level stuck out a bit too much and the sweetness was also a bit to strong.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.98/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a bowtie glass)
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a thin cinnamon head that is soon gone before the first sip. There are big bubbles the pop up the side of the glass.

S- The deep toffee takes on some soy sauce qualities with a slight sweetness in the finish with a gentle graham hint coming through as it warm. There is a shampoo quality to the whole aroma that is a bit off.

T- The deep toffee flavor is mellow and a bit lagered clean with an artificial caramel flavor in the finish and some dark nougat flavors lingering.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer is light and smooth with a few qualities of a stout but then it has lots of odd and artificial flavors that are really off putting.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: From the bottle displayed mahogany highlights from the light, while in the glass a dark heresy chocolate with a quickly diminishing hazelnut head that left no lacing and appeared pretty standard appearance wise.

S: Nice touches of freshly roasted grains that was followed by some warm milky chocolate and marshmellow hints. The cluster hops provide a touch of spiciness behind the warm chocolate malting.

T: Sweet chocolate and some sweetly roasted grains appear first flavor wise. Theres a bit of spiciness delivered by the cluster hops which actually worked much better then anticipated. Warm milky chocolate is the base here with sweet cappuccino notes chime in, but it is the spicy hops that lighten the mood of this drink making it come off more as a desert beer rather a dark intimidating Russian imperial, not that theres anything wrong with that. Provides a change of pace, sweet with some chocolate sweetness while the bitterness becomes more evident upon further warming along with some licorice and vanilla notes rounding things out.

M: There is quite a bit of effervesce detected particularly at the tip and edges of the tongue. Bubbly with a good deal of creaminess upon the hold with a medium body and a light coffee and licorice fade gracing the tongue on the swallow.

D: A decent drinking RIS, nothing over the top complexity wise nor arrogance wise, but a sweet interpretation that drinks perhaps more like a milk stout then anything other. Manageable 8.5%abv hardly comes across the senses when drinking. A four pack probably wouldn't go to waste here, I could go for a couple.

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Photo of harpus
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark Brown with a tan head
Smell - Roasted Malts and Dark Chocolate
Taste - Roasted Malt, Dark Fruits, Drak Chocolate
Mouthfeel - creamy but a little thin for a Russian Imperial Stout
Overall opinion - This is an OK version of a Russian Imperial Stout. have had worse, one of the better choices that we have for Alabama.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Looks like your standard RIS maybe a touch lighter since I see a bit of hazy red at the base of all this darkness. Head is fairly sticky so it looks nice.

S - Mild roast, some chocolate, molasses, a touch of anise.

T - Kind of bland and lacking any complexity of the RIS style. Old coffee mild roasts, some chalky chocolate, and a touch of aged hops. Even the finish isn't sweet if it was I would give it some forgiveness. Reminds me of watery Guinness only double and not even close to the Foreign export stout.

M - Worst part its watery and thin which is not what I want in this style.

Overall I should have listened to the reviews it's a very average (at best) RIS.

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Photo of barczar
3.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque deep brown/black with a frothy half inch light mocha head that dissipates fairly slowly, leaving spotty lacing.

Chocolate leaps from the bottle, reminiscent of brownies. There's a bit of a smoky phenolic note and booze. Nutty toasted malt and hints of bruised dark cherries and figs add complexity. Decidedly sweet. Tar and tobacco emerge late.

Dark fruit dominates the initial sip, with raisins, prunes, and dark cherries giving way to dry, almost burnt roast malt at the finish. Further investigation reveals a bit of acrid character, booze, and substantial chocolatey sweetness that eventually dries out.

Body is fairly watery and smooth, with more carbonation than anticipated, and substantial alcohol warmth.

The phenolic aroma, coupled with the burnt malt character detract from the experience, and the malt could be richer, but it's a fairly interesting beer to drink. If alcohol were tamed a bit, would help. I enjoy drinking it, though.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.58/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid near-black with a thick, frothy, rather persistent light tan head. Aroma is smoky with tones of toffee, molasses and coffee. Thick, rich flavor has unsweet chocolate, toffee and nutty components as well as hints of quality coffee and molasses with just a whisper of sweetness. Edgy, fizzy texture leaves behind a nice strong and rather persistent tingle.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours jet black with a light chocolate brown. In the aroma, a sweet oatmeal and cocoa. In the taste, a sweet chocolate roast, a nice sweetness and roast. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a sweet and small chocolate like aftertaste. Not so much an imperial stout, more a chocolate stout.

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Photo of Stevedore
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

On tap. Served in a goblet 3/8/2015.

A- Dark black body, two finger brown head that retains quite nicely, leaving a thick collar that sticks around a while. No lacing.

S- A bit of bitter dark chocolate, cocoa, a little bit of malt sweetness, earthy bitterness. Not much else.

F- Mildly bitter charred malt, cocoa, milk chocolate sweetness, a bit of coffee, some dark chocolate. Altogether this is a very boring profile that doesn't seem to come together quite right here.

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation, decent bitterness, but I didn't find the flavour or depth to be interesting enough to finish the whole glass.

O- Meh.

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Photo of jera1350
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a four pack of this for $4.99 at Blue Max. For the price, I thought it was worth a shot.

Black in color, bordering on dark brown. Not very viscous at all, but has a thin layer of tan suds on top.

Whoa, this is a RIS? As someone before mentioned, this seems to be more of a doppelbock. It smells very bock-like to me as well. Smells like sticky caramel goodness, but no roasty malts to be had anywhere.

Again has some bock tendencies, but now I am picking up some of the roasted and toasty malts. Some burnt vanilla sugar and lightly toasted malts are pretty much the makeup of the taste. Not bad at all, good roast, pretty tasty.

Has a bit of creaminess to it, but just not full bodied like a RIS should be. Dry finish, but needs some beef.

A fine beer, not too bad at all. It drinks nicely, but doesn't represent the style very well. For what I paid, well worth it.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #38 (Mar 2010):

Two fingers is the least the head could do for us; good head retention as well. Dark, dark, dark ... what is expected. Sweet mocha, malty aroma, with some blackberries and nougat. Smooth, creamy, mild crispness all within a full-ish body. Very sweet palate, maltiness covers brown sugar, cookie dough, caramel and a tame roasted grain. The hops are lazily draped on the malt sweetness, and they soon disappear. Alcohol is there, just warming. Roasted flavors never peak, let alone try to throw down. Hints of butter, fruit and more caramel in the sweet finish.

A very mild and sweet version that's worth trying for a different perspective on the style, as most Imperial Stouts tend to be very roasty or hoppy, or both.

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Photo of cokes
2.96/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark magenta brown. Very much on the lighter side of the color spectrum. The head is a tall puff of mocha, gradually fading to reveal patches of lace.
Big time bubblegum nose, with additional notes of canned fruit cocktail in heavy syrup. This overly fruity nose seems a trademark of Point's Whole Hogs (and some of their regular offerings as well). Way in the background, there is a tiny whisper of cocoa. Some flare of Brandy-esque boozy heat as well, especially as it nears room temperature.
It carries more malt weight in the mouth, beginning with fudgey chocolate cake tones, and a small amount of roastedness, hinting at weak coffee. The fruit picks up midway, with pineapple, concord grapes, bananas, and dates. A small trickle of vanilla-tinged booziness creeps in. As does the bubblegum, shattering what was a perfectly quaint moment. The buublegum joins the lolling booziness to ride long into the finish. Hops offer little in the way of resistance.
It's moderate-full mouthfeel and low-mid carbonation are appropriate. If some of the overtly fruity characteristics were quelled, this would be respectable.

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Photo of Brent
3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shooting for this as a Russian Imperial Stout falls well short of the mark, unfortunately. Moderate roasted malt character, with some brown sugar and unsweetened cocoa in the background. A bit sweet-ish, and far too timid to rub elbows with other beers in this category. An average stout, somewhere between the English and American interpretations.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.44/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

This isn't a great beer, but it also isn't a terrible one either. Looks good, except upon pouring it is clear that this isn't rich heavy beer. Pours as thin as it then feels - all 8.6% of it.
The aroma is thin too and resembles style with a mild hoppy character with a mild roast, some sweetness with a fruit quality.
The taste resembles what is should be with a decent roast character, some mild dark fruit and a blended hop taste. Seems like some licorice in there too.
The thinness and size take away. This if more of a RIS light, which maybe there is a time and place. Who knows.
Thanks John.

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Photo of homebrew311
2.09/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Saw this new RIS at the store at a reasonable price, had to try it.

A: Pours an extremely dark brown with a little bit of light passage when the glass is held to a lamp. There is about a 1 finger creamy looking head with decent retention and some lacing.

S: I am not picking up a whole lot on the nose... some deep roasted grains and some ethyl alcohol. Also picking up some spicy hops in the background. Again, everything is pretty subdued.

T: the front starts out with nice sweet notes of molasses and dark chocolate, but that is where it all goes down hill. This flavor fades quickly and turns into a solvent like alcohol presence along with some metallic notes. The finish is unpleasant and it leaves a less than desirable flavor in the mouth.

MF: thin body,medium to high carbonation, a bit of a creamy texture as it warms

D: this beer started out promising but ended up being a bit of a mess. The alcohol is way too prevalent and does not balance with the malt profile at all. Something about this brew lacks robustness and just ultimately falls short. I couldn't finish this as the after taste left and unpleasant burn on the palate.

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Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ox brown longneck with no freshness dating, but maybe you don't need that for an Imperial Stout.... Pored into a pint glass, the beer is black with Ruby highlights. Not a huge head but great lacing.

You can really smell this beer from two feet away. There are raisins, dark malts and a hint of rum.

The taste leads with dark fruits (dried plums and raisins). The malts add a roasted quality with minor coffee and chocolate notes. The alcohol really only pushes through for a brief appearance in the aftertaste. Seems pretty well integrated to me, may lack a bit of the real dark roast taste that this style often offers.

The mouth is silky with low carbonation. This is a nice sipper.

This is the first time I have been able to sample on of their Whole Hog specialties. I think this a pretty good stab at a RIS.

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Photo of jampics2
3.18/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a snifter. 

Whole hog is a dark black color in the glass with touches of brown.  Some tan head recedes to a ring.  Nice looking beer, but a bit lighter color than expected and just not top of the heap.     

The smell catches me off guard - notes of dark fruit are prominent and unexpected. There is some chocolate and molasses. Roasted malt with a touch of caramel sweetness and little hops.  Not a typical Russian Imperial Stout.     

The taste is also a bit off for the style.  Moderately bitter dark chocolate and some coffee acidity are present but also are sweet malt, a touch of dark fruit and raisin.  This is almost more of a quad-like stout or a dopplebock. Weird.     

Overall, the beer is creamy with nice carb but the body could be better. Don't get me wrong, this is a really flavorful beer and is above average drinkability.  But it seems like Stevens Point went for a RIS and only brought half the hog.  Not a premier example of the style, and not a beer I will be revisiting soon.  

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Photo of hosehead83
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Deep, dark, pitch-black pour, with a nice, two-inch head of tan foam.
Aroma-Big whiff of chocolate, some roasted malt
Taste-Dark roasted malt, chocolate malt.
Overall, a bit of a "lighter weight" Russian Imperial without all the big hard hitting flavors that some hit you over the head with. A nice "first time" RIS.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 4/11/12

Pours a medium-dark brown and settles pretty close to black. Sandy brown foam rises to just over two fingers before slowly dissipating. thin wisp of retention. A few globs of lace dot the glass.

Prune is heavy in the aroma, mixing with notes of molasses, burnt sugars and scorched chocolate. Perhaps a touch of tobacco and earth. While the aroma left me a bit apprehensive (I'm not a fan of sugar bombs) the flavor is more forgiving. Sure, there is some sweetness a la roasted chocolate, but there is also a pleasant coffee bitterness and earthen hop notion to keep the sugars in check. Heck, the finish is actually pretty dry. The body hovers around medium territory for a RIS, with a subtle, viscous feel underpinned by a granular notion. Carbonation is moderate and appropriately suited for the overall feel of the beer. Mild alcohol heat builds on the finish

Whole Hog isn't the most outstanding or memorable RIS. Regardless, it's not too shabby, especially considering it's rockin' an 8.6% abv.

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Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout from Stevens Point Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.