1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

445 Ratings

(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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 445 | Reviews: 331
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pour is by far the weakest part of this impressive brew; it's a deep brown just shy of black with a thin cocoa colored head. The foam dies off very quickly (no real surprise with a 10% ABV beer) and leaves very little lacing on the glass.

The nose is just shy of French roast coffee with cream and two sugars. There's a hint of alcohol sweetness and a touch of chocolate but it's primarily dark roasted malts.

The taste is a good mix of coffee and chocolate with coffee winning out. There are hints of molasses and only suggestions of dark dried fruits but the primary tastes are coffee, sweet malt and a very pleasant finish of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is incredible - this is a medium bodied brew but it's got all the roundness and softness of a heavier stout. I see no mention of Oatmeal anywhere but it's got that velvety, creamy feel going down. Only moderate bitterness and no oily residue on the palate.

I'm really liking this beer - the flavors aren't overdone, the high alcohol content isn't overpowering and the mouthfeel is incredible. This is a perfect desert drink.

Photo of grindcore666
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with no sign of any other color, except for maybe deep deep brown. Creamy mocha foam. I couldn't get a big head out of this one, but it's forgivable since it was dense and nicely colored.

I smell deep mocha foremost, then some alcohol and some slight chocolate. Smells like an Irish carbomb, which is fantastic.

A generous hit of espresso in a THICK reservoir of rich chocolate and black coffee. Honestly, it's like a premade Irish carbomb, only with a nasally strong finish (an escape route for the overload of espresso, perhaps).

The ABV is apparent, but very tastefully embraced. I can only say good things about this one.

Photo of DogFood11
2.98/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

the appearance was decent ....I'm maybe a bit picky since I have stone imperial stout at my fingertips but without being a big hack fest I'd have to say this beer is average looking. Decent lacing and a rather dark head.

I just found the burnt taste to be dictated rather than crafted...almost like extracts were used (just tasted that way i'm don't in any way think its true)...there is even a citrus/cleansing taste in the middle of this BIG beer. Melted root beer popscicle in the backdrop. This leans on the burnt malts and leaves the hops behind, not much in the way of bitterness but somehow it avoids being too sweet.

Imperial stouts are really hard to mess up completely. Ranking it within the style its just OK. Its BIG its BOLD but comparitively its middle of the road. For the price? it gets better when compared price wise thats for sure as this is in the $4 dollar range. Nice.

Photo of baiser
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany body with ruby highlights. A dense, dark head. Not much retention. Aroma is full of roasted chocolate, coffee, plums and other dark fruits. Body is thick and smooth, mouthfeel is very slick. Heavy warming alcohol. Much sweetness in each sip and also some molasses. Needs a bit more hop character IMO. Very drinkable despite the ABV.

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!

Photo of mattcrill
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear cola pour with some veins of carbonation clinging to the side of the snifter. Puffy cloud of a tan head forms.

Smell: Licorice, some vinous ester notes, dry bittering chocolate, and a nice whiff of some french roast coffee invade the nasal passages. A good aroma for the soul...

Taste: French roast coffee with cream, walnuts, bitter cocoa powder, and hints of anise all bounce off the palate. Hints of alcohol pop up here and there but quickly get beat down by the roasty goodness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy. Coats the palate and leaves the slightest hint of alcohol behind.

Drinkability: This one was a hit with me. The ABV would inhibit the drinkability some but this is a nice gem. Strongly recommended.

Photo of clvand0
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is part of a Moylan's tasting that I'm working on. Pours a dark brown color with a tall and fluffy head that has nice retention and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of malty goodness - chocolate, roasted malts, fruit. The flavor was much the same. Lots of thick, malty goodness. The chocolate really comes through on the finish. Well balanced and easy to drink. Definately doesn't seem like a 10% beer. Big body, good beer.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep deep brown color with just the slightest of ruby hues that come through. The head is 2 fingers and falls to a finger. The nose is chocolate, alcohol and a bit of dark fruit. The flavor is nice and roasty. The finish is chocolatey. I'd like to see a touch of coffee and a more bitter finish. The feel is thick...big and full. I find this to be a good beer. The flavors are not quite what I want, but they are not bad...just lacking. A nice show here.

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 Crosling
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark Brown. A pleasant aroma of mainly malt (caramel, chocolate and coffee), subtle aromatic hops, and a hint of fruit, mainly raisins. Tastes like an Imperia Stout ought to taste. Big, rich, full malts take over providing notes of roasted and burnt grain, chocolate, coffee, caramel and burnt fruits. A note of sherry is noticable on the finish. Quite flavorful, but lacking a full body and texture.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a dense rich frothy brown head when sufficiently roused. The prodigious head sits atop a beer that is black as a moonless midnight. The aroma is rich and inviting with rich notes of coffee, roasted malt, grain husks, port, roasted raisins and figs.

The taste is quite rich as well, I get notes of chocolate, espresso, roasted raisins, and a hint of sherry. It is not as sweet tasting as some examples, though in its hearty thick-bodied palate it does have some sweetness. The preponderance of dark malt serves as a nice foil to the malty sweetness such that it does not dominated this beer. This really has such a smooth creamy mouth feel to it. The finish of this beer is at first sweet, perhaps from some hop flavor, but then moves to a dry subtle astringency that is made up of hop bitterness and dark malt character.

This is a well crafted Imperial Stout, it really strikes a nice balance of malt flavors and bitterness. It definitely leans toward dark malt flavors but it is not so much that there is a lot of overwhelming burnt flavors and astringency. Like the Double IPA it seems to be lacking just a little something and it seems to fade a bit too much over time, but again I am really going to enjoy finishing this bottle off.

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

The beer poured midnight black and thick with a slowly developing brown head that rose up and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was deep roastiness and coffee. There was a definite dark fruit presence and chocolate.

The flavor was chocolate and coffee with roastiness and that same dark fruitiness. Smooth and rich with a slight alcohol warming.

The finish was dry with coffee and dark fruit flavors lasting pleasantly long into the aftertaste. The body was full and creamy. A slight alcohol warming was present.

22 ounce bottle.

Photo of rkhaze
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours black with a small, dense and creamy tan head.
Deep earthy roasty aromas. Mainly malt and red fruit with some coffee and chocolate as well.
Taste is much more than the smell. Tangy sweet roasted/charred malt, dark coffee, rich chocolate and creamy raspberry. There was a citrusy hop presence that cut the rich flavors a bit. Finishes dry with hints of wood, smoke and licorice. Almost a bit too sweet.
Medium bodied with a rich, creamy and slightly oily mouthfeel.
The mouthfeel actually came across as a little light for the style, although that along with the nicely hidden alcohol, made for great drinkability.

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

Pours a deep brown, almost black with a small, lingering light brown head. Sweet cocoa and mild coffee tones. Some black fruits noticable. Thick and chocolatey palate. Reminds me of a chocolate covered dark cherry. Rich and coating, with a slight tartness on the finish. A good brew, great with dessert or just sipping on. Look for this one.

Photo of meathookjones
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber. The poured a very dark brown to black color with a thin brown head with minimal retention. Aroma is mainly of a roasted coffee and chocolate malt scent with not much else going on. Typical imperial stout taste here with dark chocolate flavors and roasted coffee and hops bringing up the rear. There is a nice bitter aftertaste but no alcohol to be found anywhere in the smell or taste. Pretty good mouthfeel but this one is a little thin. Overall a decent imperial stout that is worth a try if you come across it.

Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was only the second beer I've had from Moylan's (Kilt Lifter was the other.)

This one was the color of tar, with a thin film of brown fizz on the top. Smelled like a burnt maple tree. Taste was great, like roasted syrup that had been filtered through a smoker and then fermented, with a tiny bit of chocolate malt. Quite sweet and malty, but still a light mouthfeel. Very drinkable, though the alcohol content will probably put you off after a couple (or then again, maybe not.) Not my favorite imperial but still quite good, I'll pick one up again if I come across another bottle.

Photo of RedDiamond
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stout is black with a steady tan head and a strong nose that travels far afield. Smells rich and chocolaty and like toast at first, with notes of sherry as the beverage warms. Has a nice round mouthfeel and a deep stout body.

The taste of alcohol makes itself known in the palate, but moreso in the belly. The flavor is nicely roasted and delivers an all-around muscular profile. This is no Rasputin, but it’s a solid imperial to be certain.

This beer attracted fruit flies – always a hallmark of a credible brew.

Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark clear black brew with ruby color when held up to a strong light.

Smell is sweet with a fruit and chocolate scent.

Taste is sweet and fruity and lighter than expected. Fruit flavors are coffee and chocolate are the dominant tastes. Flavor is a bit HOT from the alcohol content.

Mouthfeel is light.

A drinkable brew, but I like other versions better.

Photo of aracauna
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours nicely, although it betrays its relatively light body (for an American-brewed Imperial Stout) with a relatively noisy pour. Nicely carbonated and it has a nice brown foam. The hoppy is a mixture of hoppy and burned malt. The flavor is heavily burned, slightly sweet on the end, but not a big range of flavor. The flavor is big, but a bit one-dimensional.

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 irishmoss
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As I pour this it has a very dark brown color, almost black, but not quite black. Thin brown head dissipates rather quickly to leave a thin film like head. The aroma is sweet malt with a dark plum. The taste is sweet with a little burnt dark chocolate bitterness/roasted chocolate malt, but not too much going on here as far as complexity and I like the simplicity. Great mouthfeel to this stout, which has good carbonation. Very smooth and drinkable, the alcohol content is hardly noticeable. This goes down very well and is very enjoyable.

Photo of kbub6f
4.77/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice, dark brown/black beer. Almost reddish. There are garnet highlights. The head is fizzy, tan and dies quickly. Strong chocolate toffee in the nose. I like this smell. Middle is thick, sweetish, tangy, chocolate toffee. Buttery. The finish is dark, roasty, bitter chocolate. There's a nice alcohol warming, but no alcohol taste. 10%abv? Amazing. Some peas in the aftertaste. Nice chocolate, roasty intensity, though not to the extent of a Stone or Expedition. A very tasty Imperialette.

Photo of Rastacouere
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Blind Tasting, Thanks Hopsrus It pours the darkest brown with the most sticky head of the night. Vinous aroma full of dark fruits and blackberries. Very complex and reminiscent of phenomenal Stoudts Anniversary doppelbock. Cherry and raspberries notes with light black chocolate. Not much hops noticeable, but so pleasant that you can accept that. Palate is very malty, a coffee in which you've put a few too many cream and vanilla. A good dark fruit plate and some wow factor. An earthy hoppy finish and a creamy mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. This is a very balanced imperial stout although perhaps on the sweet side. Still to me this is far ahead from many better rated beers of the style.

Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of those real man's imperial stouts. Not for the weak. The pour was interesting because it seemed as if there was going to be no head but then a large head evolved from the bottom up, like out of a nitro. Quite dark in appearance with slight caramel colored highlights. The smell was really sweet like candied currants and hints of alcohol. The taste was something else. The flavors were not too smooth, actually quite rough, and were at times overwhelming. But that's the way I like these imp. stouts to be. The strongest flavor by far was the roasted espresso hit. Maybe even mocha espresso. The middle showed some bittersweet chocolatiness to it and a slightly creamy element. Black licorice provides more sweetness to this beer. As it warmed the sweetness became more pronounced and an earthy flavor formed. Alcohol comes and goes as it pleases but always comes back in the end. Slightly dry and peppery in the finish, I think from the alcohol. Kind of rough but definitely well done. I felt like I could drink these all night long!

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A guinness like cascading head formation, without the benefit of nitro. A light brown head, tightly packed, it consistency reminds me of highly stirred chocolate milk, though the color is tanner. Good lacing. Body seems to be a perfect black hole. Aroma dominated by licorice, then chocolate emerges. Taste has a wonderful roastiness, bits of chocolate, hint of licorice, and a smidgen of alcohol, and a hop finish. Drinkability, in the sense of how fast this bottle is emptying is easier than many imperial stouts, even with a 10% ABV. Good oily mouthfeel.

A very good example of the style, and a beer which increases my interest in this brewery. Give it a try.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout from Moylan's Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 445 ratings.