Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout - Moylan's Brewery

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

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BA SCORE
88
very good

329 Reviews
THE BROS
67
poor

(Read More)
Reviews: 329
Hads: 447
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.49%
Wants: 17
Gots: 17 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 329 | Hads: 447
Photo of Hoagie1973
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque dark brown (black in glass) with a small brown head. Decent strings of lacing.
All the smells of a good RIS. Coffee, baker's chocolate, toffee and molasses and a bit of spicy hops.
Flavor is considerably less complex than expected. Starts a little bland actually, but all of the flavors slowly show up one by one in the finish. Bitterness increases long after the sip with the main players being roasted black coffee and hops. Ass-kicking ABV is well blended.
Mouthfeel is full and smooth.
Overall very enjoyable, if a bit unique in how the flavors play out. (571 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin tan head that died down, leaving some delicate patterns of lacing on the surface along with a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with some hints of molasses and sweetness.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of burnt and roasted malts and some hints of sweetness. It has a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is a good sipper but seems to be lighter bodied compared to others in this style. (647 characters)

Photo of alk3kenny
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this out of a 22oz bomber got this for 6 bucks so pretty good deal at 10% abv... Pours a dark black color with a nice creamy brown/tan head... Smell is pleasant but not strong... taste is slightly roast, slightly bitter, alcohol presence is barely tasted which makes this easy to drink... Nice mouthfeel easy to drink could def drink more of these for the price but not my fav Imperial Stout ever... (406 characters)

Photo of eric5bellies
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Pours a deep oily Ebony colour, with a tanned head that retains well until reducing to a film that laces.

S - Sweet roasted malts and some caramel.

T - Up front delicate vanilla flavours before some expresso coffe flavours come through. A little sweet on the finish.

M - Medium to full body with low carbonation. Very smooth

O - (363 characters)

Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes: The last bottle in the bottle shop...

A - Pours a pitch black colour, solid thumb of mocha head with some nice sticky lacing and solid retention.

S - Rich dark cocoa with sweet toffee and black licorice on the finish.

T - Dark cocoa dominates and lingers, a strong bitternness with some leafy hops and an oily citrus hop on the finish. A touch of ABV heat comes through, but is well managed given the boldness of the flavours.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - I quite enjoyed this imperial stout and wish I could've scored another bottle. These guys have this brew wired. (616 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark kola hue with nice carbonation that leaves behind a two finger head that stays and clingy lacing everywhere,the smell is dark cocoa,milky coffee,blackcurrants and burnt toffee,the mouthfeel is only just above light bodied and way too light for the style and has tastes of black cherries,blackcurrants,cocoa,milky coffee,burnt toffee and finished with a bittersweet mix of dark chocolate and piney hops and overall it looks nice but the mouthfeel lacks the fullness it should have and was expecting more cheers. (523 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch dark khaki head that settles to a thin cap. Thick foamy rings of lace stick to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt and chocolate chip cookie dough. Taste is of dark roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, and some cocoa bean flavors. There is also an off metallic taste on this one that I don't dig. There is a mild roasty bitterness that sticks around. Both the smell and taste of this beer are pretty subdued. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average stout. Not too bad for what it is but I wouldn't get this one again. (646 characters)

Photo of dgilks
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark black with a creamy, dense tan head. Good head retention.

Roasty malt with a touch of chocolate. Bitter aroma on the whole.

Big chocolate flavour with a touch of sweetness. Lots of hop bitterness. Well balanced but lacking some X factor.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. A little overcarbonated for me.

This is a solid RIS with good flavour and balance. (373 characters)

Photo of CHADMC3
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a jet-black body with almost no head to speak of just a thin layer of lacing around the glass.

The aromas are immediately charred and sweet which after reading the bottle I realized was from the burnt currants. There are also notes of sweet chocolate and more roasted malt.

The palate offers sweet chocolate malt flavors up front with the burnt currant flavors towards the finish. There are also hints of wood from the charred flavors as well as coffee.

A bit too thin in body for what I consider a traditional RIS with very little carbonation. I am wondering that between this and the lack of head perhaps this lost carbonation along the way.

I am grading on a curve here because I believe I lost the carbonation in this beer at some point. Many nice flavor and aroma characteristics exist but the body and appearance lack the carbonation I would expect to see. (874 characters)

Photo of thain709
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured with a pitch black body...the head was big, two fingers tall and dark brown in color...good retention in the form of a cap...nice lacing as well

S - Full on roast...charcoal, smoke, coffee, chocolate...the nose is dark and ominous

T - Just as the nose suggested, this one is all about the roast...the roasted malts present themselves big and dominating...there are points where they come across as a little burnt but there are brief notes of caramel, not many though...the smokey charcoal is a flavor that is present throughout the body...the coffee beans are dark and roasted as well as the chocolate...they provide a bitterness through the beer...not much of a hop presence at the end

M - Medium bodied...the carbonation was okay but took away from the fullness of the body...roasted flavors stick to the palate

O - I wasn't impressed with this beer...the 10% really stands out and makes this one a sipper...the charcoal and roast flavors really dominate throughout the entire beer (998 characters)

Photo of YouSkeete
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown, but a pitch black appearance in a glass. Very short tan head with decent lacing.

S: Bittersweet chocolates, roasted coffee, malts, and wood. Hints of sugary fruits and molasses are present as well.

T/M: Big bittersweet chocolate and roasted malty coffee on the initial sip. Oakey/wet wood flavors emerge through the body along with some earthy notes. Milky, creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol bite is not very strong at all for a 10%. Higher carbonation than i would have expected from an imperial stout. Medium sized body.

D: Pretty good, nothing special. (565 characters)

Photo of rapidsequence
2.29/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle.

Appearance: Black, opaque, light brown head and lots of lacing.

Smell: Roast, char, and the unpleasant, sour, vegetal graininess I get from all Moylans beers.

Taste: As with the smell, lots of char and bitter coffee grounds. More of that vegetal grain taste. Its bad.

Mouthfeel: Thinish, not impressive.

Overall: Gross, I'm dumping it out. I hate Moylans and will not buy their beer again. All their beer tastes like this. (441 characters)

Photo of avaldivia
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Moylans

A: Very dark as would be expected. Head disappeared rather quickly but very nice lacing was left.

S: Dark chocolate and a roasted smell. Not much else.

T: Roasted malt and dark chocolate followed by a dark fruit flavor. I think the alcohol is well hidden, but I know others disagree.

M: Very light bodied. Kind of threw me off. Not what I expected from an Imperial Stout. Good carbonation.

O: Good stout. Lighter bodied than I would have expected, but the flavor makes up for it. Will order again when at the brewpub. (544 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter, no visible dates on bottle.

A good solid example in appearance of a stout. Dark chestnut pour out of the bottle hits the glass making a dark walnut brown almost black body. Head is a solid simple chocolate light brown, disappears a little. Some minimal lacing faint and spotty.

Bouquet is alright. Small roast character, giving to sweet dark malty tones. Hints of light chocolate. Something is kind of fruity mushy on the end hard to pinpoint, makes me want to say banana. Some sense of yeast and powdery-ness. Still ok

Taste is weird and unexpectedly very bitter. A strange what seems like hop forward palate, but doesn't get over roast malt character and just comes off as just plain old bitter in taste. Wet bodied. Mild roast and coffee but lacking boldness even for this high abv. A minor licorice sense mixes in with the bitterness also which is kind of off putting. Texture is wet, weak, extremely light as well. Finish is not lasting except for already perceived bitters.

Overall this is not doing it for me. I'll pass on this one, so much better out there. (1,114 characters)

Photo of depechemode1983
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, bording black in color. Head has nice retention and is a bit foamy. Good amount of lacing to boot.

S - Chocolate and coffee take the stage although not without a dark fruit sweetness. Plums, grapes and dark berries give it a sweet middle wich then leads to a bitter dark chocolate finish.

T - Very coffee foward. There are undertones of sweet bitter chocolate and a bit of creaminess.

M - Lighter bodied than anticipated. Carbonation is ok and the mouthfeel is smooth. Not bad.

O - Not a bad RIS overall. I really liked this one. 6 dollars a bomber is a bit much though. I doubt I would buy this again considering the other options I have for around the same price of less. Worth a try for sure though. (722 characters)

Photo of diamondc
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful. Three fingers worth of foamy mocha colored head. The color is bordering on dirty motor oil black. Lots of lacing here. Classic RIS apperance.

S: Chocolate, cookie dough, Snickers, faint smoke in there after a few heavy whiffs.

T: Roasted to the extreme, bordering on almost burnt toast-like malts. Charcoal, black coffee, and unsweetened chocolate dominate. I would have preferred more sweetness or hints of fruit.

M: Definitely a sipper here. I didn't find much hotness despite the high ABV.

O: This would be the perfect cold weather beer. I'll buy another to cellar 'til winter time. (605 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.12/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Opaque black with a mocha colored head. Poured a dark, viscous brown like the oil from Fern Gully. Not much in the way of lace or retention.

Aroma is chocolate truffle, currant and molasses cookie. Tastes thin, messy and hot. Roasty, dark gooey licorice and chocolate syrup. Some ash in back.

The flavors are there, just too thin and too hot. Even my stout chugging girlfriend thought so. (391 characters)

Photo of danieelol
4.46/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: ok we're off to a good start. Supremely dark brown head, like the froth on a coffee. Good lacing. 4.5

S: Roast, bit of milkiness. Sweet bubblegum. Peanut butter. 3.5

T: Really really roasty. Not sweet at all. Nice and bitter. Chocolate, coffee, tropical fruits. This has more "real" coffee flavour than a lot of coffee stouts. Really good. Lovely lingering bitterness on the palate. 5

M: Kind of well balanced between thickness in the mouth and thinness going down, providing excellent balance between sensation and drinkability. 4.5

O: I really dig this. Roasty, dry and bitter. Particularly impressive for the ABV as I don't pick up any alcohol (or ridiculous sweetness), and very drinkable for the ABV in general. Reminiscent of an imperialised version of Matilda Bay's Long Shot. Seems to be really underrated here, and seems like it would be perfectly suited to cigars as stated on the bottle. (905 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Year old bottle poured in to Founder's Tulip glass.

A - Black with one finger of medium brown head that very quickly disappeared.

S - Rich dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, some bitterness. A very robust nose.

T - Roasted malts, sweet milk chocolate, licorice. Not as complex as the nose indicated but still a very good and very drinkable imperial stout.

M - Medium body; somewhat watery/light at times. Light carbonation.

O - A very good example of the style. (470 characters)

Photo of silentjay
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a viscous black with a nicely sized mocha colored head that sticks around a while and clings to the glass.

roasted and burnt malts in the aroma with a good amount of dark chocolate and mocha coffe.

flavor is of burnt malts that border on acrid with some bitter chocolate and burnt coffee followed up by some woody and piney hops and some decent fruity hops as well that keep this one in check. it finishes burnt with tobacco, a bit of cacao, and bitter.

heavier than medium bodied with ample carbonation that fills the mouth.

its good, alcohol is well integrated and its decently full of flavor. Pretty pleasantly hoppy, but perhaps a bit too burnt/acrid. (667 characters)

Photo of perrymarcus
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours that customary imperial stout used-motor oil black - totally opaque - while yielding a solid 1" mocha-toned head; surprisingly great retention and lots of lacing. wow, what an appearance - even in a style where it can be tough to stand out.

nose is good. i get roasted malt, chocolate, maybe a touch of coffee - all pretty typical for the style. not getting much else.

taste improves a bit on the nose. the roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee are all there, but i also get a few secondary notes of dark fruits. well-hidden 10% ABV. very tasty.

creamy, medium-full mouthfeel with average carbonation. funny, though, at the same time it also has a watery feel to it. sort of conflicting.

overall this is a very nice RIS. i wouldn't put it up there with the best of the best, but it's more than worth a try. (848 characters)

Photo of beerman21
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer at my local liquor store, pour from a 22oz bomber. Huh..There not very modest with all the award emblems lol. Its all good I am a fan of the brewery but come on just a little bit tacky.. Anyways on to more important things what’s inside this bottle...

A-Pours a classic opaque black with a light in color cinnamon brown head... Looks like a decent RIS.. The thing about this style of beer. If its called a RIS, it better be dark as night. I dont understand pouring this styling and seeing what looks like a American brown ale.. Anyways things check out with this one.

S-Hmmmm.. Roasted malt.. yes that comes through. but... kind of a fruity fig soaked in alcohol with roasted raisins and prunes come through. You do have the chocolate malts, roasted barley sent. For sure complex...

T-Butterscotch fired oak barrel flavor, raisins, prunes, Smokey upfront almost a hint of cigar smoke. Bittersweet concacsioun. Almost buttery, rich is the word im looking for. Three words that sums up the taste..Fruity,smokey and chocolaty. Flavor is a bit all over the place...maybe that’s why i like it..

Overall- It always surprising me to find a fruity undertone flavor RIS, but maybe this is becoming more common who know.? Anyway good RIS, not the best I've had. Better beer to me then a better style if that makes any sense... Maybe its my tendency to compare North Coast Old Rasputin.. I don’t know. Buy this beer try it for yourself its worth it. (1,464 characters)

Photo of mulder1010
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a tulip.

A-- Poured black. Pretty inky looking really. Maybe 1/4 inch head that is dark mocha colored. Faded pretty fast to film and only a few bubbles in the head. Swirling got at best a 1 finger head that also died quick. A few bits of lacing but nothing special.

S-- Roasted malts and chocolate. A little bit of baking chocolate bitterness but in a way sort of thin and one dimensional smell. ABV is very well hidden in the nose.

T-- Death by chocolate. A whole lot of chocolate. Coco powder, baking chocolate, milk chocolate. Throw in some walnuts or pecans and bake it and you get a brownie.

M-- If you like chocolate this is for you. Big chocolate and coffee at first an in the middle it smooths out to milk chocolate. Does have some thin gaps though. Get a little bit of hop bite in the middle and in the back as well as some coffee acidity. Goldings hops maybe?? Very one dimensional but if you like chocolate and coffee it is up your alley.

O-- Not bad but as said one dimensional. More like some of the Scandi RIS I have had. A lot of coffee and chocolate and nothing to back it up. Just a little bit of the ABV halfway through but decent. (1,178 characters)

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep dark brown to black hues with a nice head, chocolate milk colored foam and inky chocolate hues. Not the darkest like the Abyss or Mephistopheles

S: smells of boozy warm notes, clear coffee and chocolate notes, some faint clove or black and mild smoke

T: there is a huge first taste of chocolate notes, and a bitter smoky middle to it reminiscient of clove notes and extinguished cigars, there's electric sweet notes at the end that are fleeting and mostly accompanied by the bitter dark chocolate middle

M: Very malty with intense coating that you would expect from any Imperial stout, the swirl of the glass isn't quite coffee robitussin, but well above most other stouts, imperials excepted. The taste lingers for a solid amount of time after each sip, making one hesitant to drink it too quickly or jump readily into the next drink. not exceptionally filling, but nothing you could quickly enjoy.

D: This is far from a session beer for me. It seems nearly a chore to power through the modest 22oz serving, and I certainly wouldn't be able to tackle another. However, perhaps it is merely the style that needs to grow upon me, but I cannot find much utility in this within my drinking catalogue. This bruiser in the lineup would take the place of sessions around the hearth, telling ghost stories, or after a cold day of coal mining.

Narrative: The bubbles danced menacingly in front of your face as you watched the others propel themselves effortlessly through the water. Your cephalopoda eyes glow red with rage at the sight of their white, thin streamlined bodies. you were born this way, to harbor the maddening palour of a quadruple sized ink pouch. It is your scarlet, jet black A in your inner bladder. The most irksome, blackest squid in the sea, reviled by your contemporaries you lazily chug through the molasses emitting from your pores. Your beak grits haughtily i ntheir wake, knowing their fortune, a grim death in indonesian nets. Your wring your tentacles, obsidian in pigment, thinking of their light flesh reflecting the rays of angled sunlight from above. You could follow them in their trivial, fleeting existence, but you weren't suited for that life. you were suited for the depths, the cold darkness, colder than your metabolic slowdown, colder than the oppressive atmospheric pressure. In a blast of thick enveloping ink you become one with the darkness and embrace your pure nature, a creature of the depths, all 8 legs propelling towards your destiny. (2,493 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ryan Sullivan's, bomber bought at Wegman's Princeton for a very reasonable $5.99. Likely the cheapest Imperial Stout I've ever purchased.

Appearance: Served in a Sierra snifter, Mr. Sullivan comes out creamy and foamy. My hasty pour produces a huge coffee-colored head with bubbles as sizable as rain puddles. Head doesn't last long but the lacing left behind is quite fantastic. Out of the bottle, it smells like sweet chocolate. Very enticing!

Smell: Weird how the stunning sweet-chocolate aroma that comes out of the bottle is not present when poured on a glass. Still nice, though, with some sugar, smoke and even barbecue sauce. Very roasty and a tad of high-quality, cold-brewed coffee (no starbucks here!)

Taste: Nice roastiness, a tad of smokiness (that country-ham touch) and fire pit. Chocolate fondue, some coffee notes (very subtle) and a dry finish. A tad of wood at the end as well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and thick like chocolate milk, and yet a little thin for what it is. Well balanced, though, with medium-to-full flavor, body and carbonation. Smooth and rich, with a tingly dry finish that lingers. Not a hint of alcohol.

Overall: In the old drinkability, Mr. Sullivan would get a "5", or more. This is outrageously chuggable and never boozy. Sure, it is not as full-bodied and exciting as many other Imperial Stouts, but it works. More so at this price! At affordability, drinkability and balance, Ryan Sullivan sure does excel. (1,449 characters)

Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout from Moylan's Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.