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Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout - Stevens Point Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

132 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 132
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 0
Gots: 9 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cokes on 02-19-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 132 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of iLovehops23
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After having RIS like Surly Darkness, this beer fall far behind such a great beer. On one hand this beer isnt quite the crafty,drinkable and very gorgeous in color.

Pours with a frothy creamy dense head. Very
viscous. Aroma is roasty with a slight hop note. Tastes rich and chocolatey with a hint of roast. Malt forward with a balance of citrus like hop. Goes down smooth and silky with a warming finish. Warming effect and richness grows with each sip and as the beer approches room temperature.

iLovehops23, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of Gavage
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Gavage, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of SuperNova777
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:Pours a non transparent black with a white/khaki color head that slowly falls, decent head retention

S:Nose is pretty muted for the most part. Cereal grain is the first thing that I pick up with slight roated malts in the background

T:Better than the intial smell, roastiness up front followed up by some chocolate notes in the middle and back.

M:Body was a little watered down and could lose some carbonation as well, the palate thou is left with a nice coating of chocolate and stickiness that makes up for the body

D:Really this was a easy drink for 8.5%, barely any hint of alcohol through the whole glass. Smell and body were a little off but made up for it the taste and mouthfeel areas. Not bad and worth a try.

SuperNova777, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of boudreaux
2.55/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: pours dark reddish-black; a lighter, off-white head

S: dark fruit and roasted malt hit the nose; alcoholic as well

T: plenty of estery fruit, but not enough thick, roasted malt; a hint of coffee and roast, but overall lacking

M: weak... very light and watery

D: shouldn't be this drinkable for the style; this beer is a work in progress, at best

As the color and aroma already indicate, this beer lacks the substance to be considered truly imperial in nature. There's plenty of estery fruit, but none of the big, thick flavors like coffee and chocolate so characteristic of Russian Imperial Stouts. The mouthfeel is weak and the whole thing goes down like a wet Fourth of July. This beer would be better off advertised as an imperial brown ale.

boudreaux, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of megahurts4
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stevens Point Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout

Appearance: Dark brown, some good lacing, and a small head.

Smell: Rich coffee, brown sugar, faint hops, dark fruits, and cocoa.

Taste: Coffee, brown sugar, cocoa, and faint dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Medium and smooth.

Overall:
I was initially very pleased with the aroma. The taste isn't nearly as strong or well defined as the aroma, but is still good. This is very smooth for a RIS and also much lighter in body than I was expecting. It is most definitely full flavored and easily drank.

megahurts4, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

BeerAdvocate, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of FernMaster
1.7/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint.

Lucky, this bottle was provided to me by a friend and I didn't pay for it. He laughed and told me it tasted like Band-aids, I found this crazy so I had to try Band-aid beer. He's not far off. Yuck. Here goes....

The color isn't that bad, but there's very minimal head and what's there resides very quickly. There's a decent lacing around the glass, but actually the word "decent" should have been "minute." The smell is very very strange. The nose is this offensive rubbery, dark fruit scent, like it's raisins, plums and too much toffee. My thoughts going into this was that hopefully the taste didn't follow the nose, it didn't, it was actually worse. He was freaking right, it tastes like band-aids. Yuck. There's way, way too much toffee and way, way too much raisins and plum flavor. Yuck. God I just drank it again to get a more accurate description, just don't drink it. That's the best I can get. Just don't.

If you're thinking of drinking this beer, stop it. Walk away and buy something good. This is not good.

FernMaster, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of imagese
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Cork & Bottle in New Orleans to try since it isn't avail in CA

A- dark auburn with a slight opaque brown at the edges. Poured a nice one finger, but it quickly faded and left no lacing.

S- powerful dark chocolate with a nice roasted quality on the initial pour. Lost a lot of strength, but was a still a nice smelling beer thru out the whole glass

T- nicely balanced, but for an RIS, it's missing that back end kick. Although, I'm really digging the cocoa taste that hangs in my mouth.

M- falls short here. A bit on the watery side, and carbonation seems a bit too low

D- goes down smooth. Drinks more like a strong English brown

This could be a good stepping stone from stouts to imperial stouts, but as far as hanging with the staple RIS selections, this one falls short.

imagese, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Redrover, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of rrski198
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Jet black, small off white head, disapates quickly.

S: Black liquorice, coffee, chocolate. Nothing amazing

T: Sweet molasses, brown sugar, liquorice.

M: Weak carbonation, taste simply disappears quckly.

O: A sugary mess, not balanced (no hop presence). For the amount of R.I.S. on the market, I wouldn't purchase again.

rrski198, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of jampics2
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
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.  

jampics2, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with cola highlights and a very slight head that quickly becomes a thin sheen.

Aroma is sweeter than expected. Malty with brown sugar accents and a dark fruit sweetness you would expect in a good dopplebock.

Taste is also very 'dopple' like. Rich dark fruit, molasses, roasted malt, and brown sugar sweetness meet an earthy, dry woody quality that brings a nice balance. Alcohol warmth is present throughout.

Mouthfeel is thick and sticky.

This is a really good American version of a dopplebock, but is not a RIS. Very tasty, but lacks the charred dark grain bitterness of a stout. Unfortunately I'll have to score this one as a RIS... as a dopplebock the scores would be much higher.

Blakaeris, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of OlRasputin989
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint...

A: a dark murky brown, nearly black and pretty much opaque except for around the edges, with a big and rocky hot cocoa colored head of foam. which doesn't seem to disappear.

S: a dark cocoa and raspberry, raisn, and prune aroma, with a hint of anise, and orangey-lemony hop aromas noticeable.

T: a charred malt and cocoa flavor with sweet raisin and a bitter and boozy finish of apple skin, char, lemon peppery, and resinous hop flavors.

M: a full body beer excentuated with a very low carbonation. finishes very dry and warm. would be better if there was a higher carbonation

Overall, I was very impressed with this beer. It's not the best RIS imo due to the lack of hops that I love in a great RIS, and seemed as if it had a cabernet characteristic. Leans more toward an attempt to interpret RISs of the old school England days.

OlRasputin989, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

emerge077, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.58/5  rDev +32.8%
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.

Cyberkedi, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of harpus
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

harpus, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of riversider76
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown with a one finger tan head. Excellent retention and very nice laceing.Aroma is of roasted malts and dark chocolate. Nice but weak. Body is on the thin side for a RIS with a good amount of carbonation. Taste is if roasted chocolate malts with some dark fruit in the finish.Alchol is all there. Not a strong version of this style,but drinkable.

riversider76, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of NewGeneric
2.7/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Once again, thanks to dansteino for always having a great selection.
Poured into my Delerium tremens tulip.

A: Pours a deep, dark brown with about a finger and a half of milk chocolate head that fades relatively quickly.

S: Not a whole lot going on here. Some chocolate, with hints of roasted coffee and dark fruit. That's about it.

T: Similar to smell, though the fruit is more present than the chocolate. Roast, coffee are almost absent actually.

M: Bit of a bite up front, followed by some noticeable alcohol.

D: Could have more, but would prefer other options.

NewGeneric, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of jera1350
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

jera1350, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of gonger
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Deep coffee black. What little light that shows through shows red. Nice lacing down the glass as I drink.

S-Ethyl alcohol comes through first, followed by bananna-coffee-yeast, some chocolate, and earth tones like wet wood or dark fruit. Not unpleasant. Not exceptional.

T-A little watery. Disappointing at lower temperatures, but not bad at 55-60F. Moldy dark fruit (currant/raisin) and malt flavors that aren't present at colder temperatures assert themselves at higher serving temps.

M-Satisfactory. Better at higher temperatures.

D-This is a pretty good brew, served at proper temps. Not the best Imperial Stout, but maybe the best Wisconsin Imperial Stoutl

gonger, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of DarrinRasberry
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A: Dark with a head that sticks around for just a bit. Looks like an inviting stout.

S: Perhaps the nuttiest/roastiest stout I've sniffed so far, followed by hints of dark chocolate.

T: As the nose advertises, albeit a little sweet for a stout. Chocolatey, roasty, malty. A pretty good brew, especially for the price.

M: A bit thin for a stout, but the taste sticks around long after your last sip.

D: A wonderful example of how to mask a higher alcohol content (this sits strongly at 8%+). I could session this beer, especially for the cost, were it not for the high ABV.

DarrinRasberry, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

beerthulhu, May 31, 2010
Photo of daledeee
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I usually buy a single bottle of something new I am not sure of. This is a 12 ounce bottle.

Poured it into a tulip glass and got a nice light tan head with a very dark brown body and a residual that was nice.

Nose is not strong enough for a stout in my book. Some malt and sweetness. Not much to say.

Taste is sweet with malt, roasted malt and caramel. Finishes a little bitter.

Mouth feel is moderately carbonated but not as "thick" as many stouts. Overall, this is not a bad beer to drink. It almost tasted more like a doppelbock. Sweet, malty and caramel. It would have scored higher in the doppel bock category.

daledeee, May 22, 2010
Photo of katan
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a dark amber, brown to almost black in color. Light mocha colored head. Breaks down quickly to a film. Little hazing detected.

S - Chocolate malts dominate, but the nose is light overall. Fairly sweet, with some caramel malts. Backed up with just a light amount of yeast spice. Malty, but not roasted.

T - Starts off with some chocolate notes. Lightly malty, very lightly burnt. Mid stream gets more yeasty, spicy, earthy. Finishes with a more spicy note, not much for malt or yeast. Alcohol is about non-present.

M - Moderate beer body - carbonation is the strongest attribute, pulling through the more watery beer character. Finishes mostly clean, only a hair of film.

D - Moderate to low drinkability. Flavors are easy drinking, but it hides a unremarkable flavor. Slightly strong abv. Somewhat filling.

Nothing offensive or remarkable about this beer. I would find this as a suitable second fiddle to something like Old Rasputin.

katan, May 22, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
2.05/5  rDev -40.6%
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.

homebrew311, May 14, 2010
Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout from Stevens Point Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.