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Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout - Moylan's Brewery

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Ryan Sullivan's Imperial StoutRyan Sullivan's Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
87
very good

445 Ratings
THE BROS
67
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 445
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: 445 | Reviews: 331
Reviews by radioscooter:
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 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 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 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 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%.

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

a-- dark lack thick head fades slowly leaving a fine caramel colored foam floating

s-- almost milky chocolate dark malt back bone hops stand up to be counted as well

t-- coco patent malt solid hop bitterness - creamy, big full flavors some coffee flavors

m -- big filling mouth feel good balance between hops and sweetness

d-- i love this beer, my wife does not, I will drink hers, it is very good I would drink more if I had some, goes down easy for a big beer

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

22oz bottle.

Color is opaque black. Big creamy brown head. When swirled in the glass leaves sticky looking caramel colored lace.

Aroma is of roasted barley, dark malt and caramel with some resin-like, some piney hop notes.

Malty sweet with chocolate malt and coffee flavors. The roasted flavors are somewhat chalky tasting as opposed to acidic. Hop bitternes balances the residual sweetness.

Overall the maltiness and bitterness is underdone - it is definatley a bigger beer than an Oatmeal or Export style stout, but on the low end for an Imperial Stout in terms of intense flavors. The ABV is elevated to proper range however so it does get the job done. No off-flavors, very low diacetyl and fusel alcohols, which is pretty good for a high gravity beer.

The mouthfeel is moderately full, but not thick and stickey like I expect from an Imperial Stout. I think it could used more acidity as well, either from more black malt or hops resins. As mentioned earlier there is a chalkiness to it.

The bottom line is that I enjoyed this beer even if didn't live up to my expectations for an Imperial Stout.

Photo of jmz62565
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rich mahogony/black with no light coming thru this. The head is large with a chocolate milk type of head that leaves good lacing. The smell is strong with dark fruit,chocolate,coffee,and alcohol. A very good smelling brew. The taste has alot of chocolate along with coffee,dark fruit, and alcohol. I like this because I prefer coffee/chocolate flavors to dominate over the dark fruit. The m/f is medium and just alittle thin compared to other Imperial Stouts,but the flavors mix very well. An easy drinking I/P that is very good and should not be overlooked.

Photo of Stigs
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz pur at Fat Heads, mini=snifter

A - pitch black, thin layer of tan foam (as expected from the abv). laced a bit here and there. not much to report.

S - had to let it warm before i noticed anything. then, fresh brewed coffee, toasty malts, bitter chocolate, vanilla sweetness. good but had to really seek it out.

T - woah, out of nowhere. i'm a huge coffee stout fan and this was just spot on with the fresh (but strong) coffee flavors. notes of chocolate, nuttyness, touch of dark fruits and molasses. would be a 5 but a touch hot on the alcohol, and could use a bit more sweetness character (oak barrels would make it phenomenal).

M - thick bodied and quite creamy. flavors come through clear and strong, carbonation present but not distracting.

D - big fan of this overall. wish it had some more in the nose, but the flavors were just delightful. spending some time in either an oak barrel or even the cellar a couple years would push this into the top notch of RIS for me as the alcohol is a bit wearing and hot. pleasantly surprised, and a nice cap to a great night of beers for myself.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got your typical moonless-midnight-in-Hell black color here, with a small tan head that reduces to a ring quickly. Leaves crazy-string lace as it lessens.

Doesn't give off a huge aroma, but there are plenty of quieter impressions: baking chocolate, chocolate milk, burnt coffee, toasted bread crust, steamed milk.

Flavor is very much on the burnt-chocolate tip, lots of coffee/roast bitterness too, especially that kind of nuttiness you'd equate with coffee--and it's quite dry. Not as rounded or gooey as my favorite RIS's, but with just a few sips it went from underwhelming to rather likable. The catch is that this is rather tart, especially in the finish (with lots of lingering coffee bitterness too). Knowing Moylan's love for huge hops, it certainly could be the hops shoving their way into this one. But I wonder: what place does citrus rind tartness (or gooseberries, which I'm tasting/feeling) have in a Russian Imperial Stout? Ultimately, not your traditional/typical RIS flavor, but quite good for what it is.

Primary impression on mouthfeel is, as said, a bit dry. Has a texture that's not coarse but does have some coffee-ish roughness.

The awards flaunted on the label take up half the label. Not sure I would pin a gold medal on this one, but it does scratch that general stout itch, especially if you've got a hankering for a stout that comes with a buzz (the 10% is, for sure, well-hidden). And it's unsubtle, which, knowing Moylan's' crazily-hopped other beers, is probably the only way this brewer rolls.

Photo of Magpie14
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: the pour pushed out murky brown notes with burnt sienna fusing with deep reds. In the glass it looks as black as parts of the label. As my eyes wandered up to the next item on the agenda, the brown sugared cap is bursting and lasting. It is of dense and sticky proportions leaving sheets of chunky goodness

S: wall to wall dark roasted malts 'n' grains, bitter java whiffs, and large globs of dark chocolate. I also smell a melding of fruity citric notes in the mix. The nose hit the nail on the head, how I like my stouts at least. Smells and looks burly

T: probably the biggest standout on the tongue is the dark fudge brownie notes that have toffee and roasted malts within. Things are definitely rich and roasted and what's even better is that it never goes into the "cloyingly" sweet zone. In any event, I like sweet stouts. I also like stouts chock full with coffee and this one has minimal coffee presence. The java flavors are washed out by bitter chocolate notes and the delicate finish of citrusy hops. For the richness within, the hops make a nice "cut-thru" showing. Things seem to intertwine together nicely.
The alcohol is even in order with the casual sip. However, if I really focus on pulling the ABV out you can gather it lingering and as it warms the "warmness" increases

M: silky smooth with chewy at the tip of my tongue. The bodies dimensions are heavy and very quaffable. Body is a match for the tastes, say no more

D: my first of Moylan's and a very good starter in my favorite class of beer. It says that this is a "classic cigar" beer and I would whole heartedly agree. Give this a drink and you'll be pleased

Photo of cokes
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Darkest of browns- edging with maroon and purple to simulate blackness. The head is close-cropped and beige and lasts only as an border between the beer and the glass. Lacing is patchy.
The nose is assaulted with fudge and coffee grounds and blackberry jam. While huge upfront, it sags quickly and brings paper bag notes (oxidized, really?), as it clears the way for wintergreen, buzzing hops and a good measure of port for warmth.
It brings the fudge and dark roast beans into the mouth, but they fail to grab as solid a foothold here. It's not that they're not here, but they pass through so much more quickly, as compared to the aroma. The middles sees dying coffee flourishes, more papery oxidization, and a general purple grapeyness. Hops are big, but only semi-coherant with their pinecones, resin, and mint. The finish is once again, port-like, and residual.
Beefy up front, but fading over time. This is a beer that flexes hard up front, then falls over.
The oxidized note make me question this, but it's new to the area, and shouldn't be old....and those same notes seem to be just be an offshoot of the acrid roastedness. That fades a bit as it warms. And, actually, it is fairly drinkable for a 10% stout.
I don't put this very high on my list of Imperial Stouts, but as the name might imply, it like an obese Irish Stout...roasty, dry, bready, bitter, uncomplicated and drinkable, considering. But that's far from what I was looking for here.

Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with beige head.Roast in aroma. Coffee but not only that, creamy mouthfeel, richness. Vanilla, cocoa. Even after warmed, not supper complex, but still nutty, boozy.Dry sweetish finish.Sweetness for drinkability, would lie the perfect to be bitter. Nice RIS.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Moylan's Ryan O'Sullivan's Imperial Stout pours a mainly black body beneath a creamy head of khaki colored foam that holds quite well and leaves solid sheets and rings of lace at the outset of the glass. Beneath the head, some mahogany highlights can be seen at the bottom of the glass; and tiny, natural (bottle conditioned) bubbles can be seen steadily rising.

The nose is bready; caramelish; nutty; roasty like dark and bittersweet chocolate; lightly fruity; and it has a delicate waft of alcohol as well.

In the mouth it's superbly creamy and smooth with a full body and very fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation.

The bready, caramelish, and nutty maltiness appears upfront; followed by a quick note of berry-like fruitiness; and then dark chocolate and spent espresso grounds as it crosses the middle. It's got a wide flavor, and it's rich, but it's not decadent. And there's a complexity to it, but all of the flavors are easily recognizable; and it never becomes muddled on the palate. Another splash of seared dark-skinned fruit appears just before the swallow, and chocolate and coffee appear in the finish along with some dull, leafy and floral hops and a spritz of alcohol. It lingers with a dull roastiness, some mild fruit, and even some dull, spruce-like hops.

This is a really well done and superbly malty (as all of the Moylan and Marin beers are) beer that has a lot of charm. It's unique in that it's supple and welcoming, with less aggressive character than most examples. All of the characteristics of the style are there, but it's just so much more accessible! It's one of my favorites with a brilliant drinkability!

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Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout from Moylan's Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 445 ratings.