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Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout - Moylan's Brewery

Not Rated.
Ryan Sullivan's Imperial StoutRyan Sullivan's Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

444 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 444
Reviews: 331
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 18
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Moylan's Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 05-16-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 444 | Reviews: 331 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Jeffo:
Photo of Jeffo
1.5/5  rDev -61.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Got this one at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam. What a huge mistake that was.

From a bomber into a snifter
2013 batch

APPEARANCE: Pours out clear black and yields a two finger, medium looking, creamy, tan head with great retention. Clear black body with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full cap and clings to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains until the end and leaves dots of lacing down the glass. Decent looking.

SMELL: Anise, lightly roasted notes and a touch of dark chocolate all trying desperately to compete with the dominating aroma of rotten vegetables and cabbage. Just nasty.

TASTE: Much the same here, though the competition has basically given up. Straight up rotten vegetables and cabbage. A hint of roasted flavors and anise try initially while a faint touch of stale coffee comes out after the swallow, but none of this can save this rotten cabbage bomb. Medium strength but lingering aftertaste is very off-putting. Chocked down about 3 oz of this before Drain was called into action.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a touch dry. Decent feel.

OVERALL: Awful. There's no other word to describe it. They seem to have engineered the look and feel just fine, but really, how the hell did this beer win all these awards that are proudly displayed on the label? A real winner doesn't need to brag, so I guess the label is their own way of convincing themselves that it doesn't suck. Shameful. Either this was simply a bad batch or the people involved in these competitions need to give their heads a shake. I am inclined to think it's perhaps the former, so if someone gives me a different batch for free, I'll gladly take a second stab at this.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have really liked the Moylan's brews I have had and this is near the top of my list for them.Poured a jet black with a creamy-like one finger mocha colored head that never leaves,intense roast and dark fruit in the nose,slight burnt notes come through as well.Flavors are highly roasted and earthy, dark fruit and molasses come through in the finish as well as alcohol sweetness,the big dry earthiness wins out though.Complex in its sweetish to dry flavors,a top notch Impy stout here.

Photo of RoyalT
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This was solid black with a modest head, warning of the impending altitude of ABV.

Smell – The roasted malts jumped out of the glass, giving way to big chocolate and fine South American coffee.

Taste – This is a strong Imperial Stout, full of fine chocolate and huge roasted malt flavors. The raw sugars brought up the rear.

Mouthfeel – This was close to full in the body and had a very playful mouthfeel.

Drinkability – This was a complicated but fine malty Imperial Stout.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted with zoso1967 on 2/16/11.

Ryan pours pretty dark brown, bordering on black. The head is a buoyant one and a half fingers, even though the bottle was split two ways. This head is a dark khaki color with large bubbles contained within. The lacing is very sticky on my snifter and full of curvy arches and dots.

The smell is very caramelly and chocolaty... much like a Rollo candy. A little roastiness is apparent in the bouquet, especially when I agitate the beer. I get just a small amount of coffee and a pretty decent amount of sherry in my olfactory. Overall, the smell is pretty sweet for an Imperial Stout.

The taste is pretty sweet and a little fruity, but in a good way. The caramel-chocolate vibe carries over from the smell and combines with a dark fruit taste at the outset of the sip. Starting at the swallow, the roast and coffee characteristics jump on my tongue and lend a nice dry, bittersweet flavor to the aftertaste.

This is a medium-bodied mouthfeel for the style, perhaps even a little on the light side. It is very smooth on my taste buds, though, with a roasty and drying finish.

R.S. is quite tasty and very drinkable for the style. It is smooth, sweet, roasty, and consistent. It is not as complex and multi-layered as other Imperial Stouts that I have had, but it is enjoyable and kind on my palate.

Photo of tbryan5
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of SanFranJake
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of nickadams2
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A_Dark brown with dark red edges. Thick mocha brown head. Nice lacing.

S_Roasted malt, dark fruits,alcohol.

T_Sour and chocolate upfront. Weird but works for me. Dark fruits and bitter/boozy taste follows up. Finishes dry.

M_Not as thick as you would expect from an impy stout but still full bodied.

D_Probably wouldnt want a whole night of this but overall a nice,strange brew.

Unlike any impy stout I,ve ever tried. That said . . . I like it. Reading over the reviews it seems like love or hate. Might be a risk but I would recommend giving it a try.

Photo of warnerry
2.75/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased about two years ago

A - Pours black with one finger of brown head. Head has pretty good retention and leaves some spotty lacing.

S - Lots of chocolate and roasted malt in the aroma, with a bit of char. Smell has a bit of sweet chocolate and mostly bittersweet chocolate.

T - The taste is a pretty big letdown after the aroma. Huge amount of char and some sourness, though it doesn't taste like infection sourness. Some dark fruits, milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate, but covered up by the intense char and sour character. Ashy finish.

M - Even on a warm summer night, this seemed quite thin. Dry, bitter, ashy feel.

O - Started strong enough, but the taste was pretty unpleasant and the mouthfeel quite disappointing. Won't be having this again.

Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Jason
2.85/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I’ll be blunt; this beer did nothing for me. I’ve had other Imperial Stouts and this one did not meet what I expected it to be. The head retention was decent at best; the aroma was a bit acrid with soured roasted grain. It had a good sweetness but it was lost in a downward spiral of estery alcohol and acidic roasted grain. No balance and even the dark fruitiness got lost in the mix.

Don’t get me wrong I love Imperial Stouts but this one just did not make the cut.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Barzigkin for sharing this bottle.

Pours dark brown to black with a tan head. The aroma is coffee with roasted malt. The flavor is raisins, roasted malt, coffee and some bitterness from either the hops or coffee. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. A solid imperial stout.

Photo of magictrokini
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent. Black pour with a dense tan head. Coffee, cocoa, and thick roasted malts just pound you in the face. Velvety smooth mouthfeel and taste. The coffee, chocolate, and cherries are prevalent throughout the taste, but not to the extent that it drowns out the subtle currants and alcohol. Let this one warm a little before drinking it, its well worth it.

Photo of ironlung
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark as midnite with no head(of course). Nice lace down the 10oz wine glass.

S: Chocolate, Liquorace, and wood with strong roasted malts coming through on the tail-end.

T: WOW!!! Casking steps this beer up a bunch of notches. It is so mellow, and all the booze is even better hidden.

M: Subdued. Not as thick/sticky as the non-cask. Some hot alcohol lingers as I exhale.

D: I perfer the non-cask, but this is a great change. The wood mellows out this monster well!

Photo of jondeelee
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout opens with a thick whiff of malts, which bring a tantalizing blend of dark and light aromas. Included in these are chocolate malts, heavy cream, coffee, light tobacco, caramel, and a touch of Grape Nuts cereal-like lighter grains. Brown sugar, toffee and vanilla linger around the edges, joined by a smidgen of old port and cognac. Hops add just a touch of citrus backing, bringing subtle hints of bitterness to counter the sugars. The overall effect is beautifully balanced and nuanced, hampered only by the aromas' slightly weakened state: the volume knob seems to have only been set at eight instead of ten.

On the tongue, the beer opens dark and rich, with an immediate shot of brown sugar, fig juice, vanilla, and chocolate malt. These are quickly joined by caramels and toffee, then heavier layers of ash and tobacco, with hints of black malt, providing a layering effect. The darker flavors come to dominate the flavor profile as the beer sits on the tongue, set off by a perfect balance of citrusy hops, which provide subtle pine resin and grapefruit rind bitterness. The aftertaste is more of the darker flavors, as well as a lingering hop bitterness and touches of ash, and lasts for a long time. Mouthfeel is an odd-feeling medium, given the flavors, and carbonation is medium-low.

Overall, this is excellent Imperial Stout, and it says much of the flavors that the 10% ABV is completely hidden beneath them. The mouthfeel is surprisingly watery for these flavors and for this style, which does offset some of the beer's better qualities, but even this does not fully detract from the excellent flavor profile. I do wish that the flavors were slightly stronger--again, the volume knob seemingly set at eight instead of ten--but the beer is still delicious, and worth trying.

Photo of buyyourfreedom
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jmbraxton
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of chinchill
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, aged for about 1 year, served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours basically black in the glass, covered by a dark tan head that has decent retention. very good lacing.

Aroma: inviting if a bit tame
Flavor: rich and complex, with a very solid base of dark roasted grains. Hints of black coffee, unsweetened chocolate, and dark fruits. Lasting and pleasant aftertaste. Mildly bitter.

Feel: the full body is exceptionaly smooth, with perfect, soft carbonation.

O: has all the traits of a fine RIS without any detectable flaws. Well done.

Photo of OStrungT
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark mohagany. The head is dark tan. It is thick and creamy. It fades somewhat slowly leaving thick laces. It smells quite malty. Also, it smells of roasted malts and coffee. It tastes very malts and chocolate like. There is a strong coffee flavor as well. It also has a slight molasses taste to it. The alcohol is apparent in the flavor. It is a very creamy and smooth beer. It is carbonated just right. It sits well on the palate. This beer is not a good session beer due to the high alcohol content. It is a very good beer, and definately worth a try, but not all night long. For the record, the laces are still sticking strong on the glass.

Photo of ByTor2112
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Snagged this at Binny's on Grand in Chicago.
Pours a motor oil black, not inky. A small head the color of cocoa powder hangs around for a bit.
Aromas of chocolate, a whiff of burnt malt and char, some dried fruit notes are buried in the nose as well.
Mouthfeel-Bold flavors of dark roasted malt, I taste licorice too. Bitter coffee flavors are present along with that charred flavor. This is only the second Imp Stout I have tasted with that char flavor, the other is Ten-Fidy, but I like it, very bold portion of the flavor profile.
The label speaks of this being the Cigar Stout and it would pair nicely with a robust smoke.
Not too sweet or boozy. A froth on the palate sweetens it just a touch and some alcohol warmth comes through. Finishes bitter with some tannin flavors. Moylan's has found its way to my cellar recently and I am pleased.

Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle picked up from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours black with a cascading two-finger dark brown head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet roasted malts with hints of molasses and dark chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet roasted malt flavors up front are joined by dark chocolate flavors midway through the sip. Dark fruit flavors come out as the beer warms but they take a backseat to roasted malts and chocolate. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I drank this beer entirely too fast and could have another bomber or two.

Overall this is a very good RIS that has a great price. Definitely worth a shot.

Photo of niz
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours jet black with light brown fluffy head, decent head retention.
smells of caramel dried fruit and toasted malt.
tastes of burnt caramel, roasted malt, dried fruit and a touch of black licorice, very nice,
mouthfeel is nice and oily, big, very good!
hard to tell its 10%, scary

overall i enjoyed this brew and other than the 10% alc for drinkability, its an ace

well done!

Photo of dhopkins82009
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of pwoods
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to PackForever(I think this was from him) for this great extra.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a tulip. No dating.

A: Pours a good black, nearly pitch. A good head forms dark khaki with nice staying power. Good lacing.

S: Deep roasted, almost burnt malts. Some bitter coffee. I've had the bottle for a little bit and the hop presence is still pretty potent. Alcohol pushed through.

T/M: Hops are still strong. Good bitterness with some overpowered citrus. More of the deeply roasted/burnt malts, a bit sweet yet really dry. A strong char taste comes through at the end, just before the very dry and bitter finish. Maybe too dry. Body is full and carbonation is kickin', as is the alcohol.

D: This is definitely a big stout and actually feels like more than 10%.

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Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout from Moylan's Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 444 ratings.