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Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout - Moylan's Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

439 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 439
Reviews: 330
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 18
Gots: 14 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 05-16-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 439 | Reviews: 330 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beer2day
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Inky black pour with 1-finger dark chocolate head. Decent sheen still left at the bottom of the glass. Nice lace on the backside of the glass, too.

Deep, rich chocolate malt aroma. Light roasted coffee underneath. Faint whiff of cream.

Nice creamy hit. Chocolate and coffee come on strong, with nice bitters from pine hops, chocolate and dark roast coffee in the finish. Just a hint of alcohol leaves a tolerable burn in the back of the throat.

Feel is very nice for the style. Not overly heavy with just the right amount of cream.

Very easy drinking RIS. I would definitely have this one again.

Photo of beckje01
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black look can't see through it at all. With a thin tan head.

S- Nice maltyness really inviting.

T- Light malt taste which is surprising considering the nose, with some hopy bitterness to cut the malt sweet very nice.

M- Good thickness and nice activity.

D- Very drinkable and nice, overall a good beer but not perfect.

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

This poured pitch black with dark tan head. It smelled like milk chocolate and fresh coffee, with some roasted barley and copper hops. It tasted like milk chocolate and very bitter coffee, with rusted copper hops and a bit of alcohol. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a very bitter aftertaste. Overall this beer smelled fantastic, but didn't taste quite as good. It was still very clean and enjoyable, but the body was a bit light also. It hid the alcohol moderately, but could have been better there, as well. This beer had a lot of potential, but just quite didn't get there. If aging it helped bring out more malt sweetness and hid the alcohol better, that could elevate this from good to great.

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

A: Pours a really dark reddish brown that doesn't let much light through at all. A small tanish head accompanies the darkness that leaves a small amount of lacing around the glass.

S: Full of scents, I barely cracked the cap off and was greated with a wonderful smell. Chocolaty malts, with notes of coffee, some floral tones and even a bit of licorice. Smells wonderful.

T: A nice roasted malt flavor with a very nutty, coffee like flavor that ends in chocolaty goodness. Leaves a nice warming feeling in ya!

MF: Sort of an oily beer, with a bit of a bite. Doesn't live up to the smell and taste but it's still solid.

D: Good drinkable beer, heavy on the abv so you've gotta be careful but a nice bottle towards the end of an evening after a dinner and this beer is spot on.

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

Black with bubbly khaki head that sticks all around the glass.

Dark caramalts, cocoa, marshmallow, raisin and lightly spicy hops.

Bitter cocoa, caramel, roasted barley, dark fruit, raisins and a lingering hop bitterness throughout. Couldn't pick out much of the hop characteristics.

Full bodied and dry mouthfeel with medium-low carbonation. Pretty good.

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

So I was very familiar with the Moylan’s Double IPA’s, however until I had received this bottle I had not had even heard of th e Ryan O’Sullivans Stout. Needless to say, after looking at the bottle, I was very excited to try it. I mean if it is half as good as the IPA’s we are defiantly in business over here! So last night I decided, that I had ben staring at this bottle in the fridge just too long and that it was time for me to go for it and pop it open….

A – Poured a thick, black as night opaque liguid, pretty much oil like in thickness. A large, two inch plus head of tan quickly rose over the top of the glass. Lots of retention left this one hanging around for more then 5 minutes, before finally settling down to a nice quarter inch pillow atop the liquid. Lots of side glass lace, sticky and brown, almost obscured the glass. If there was carbonation, I could not see it. Very very thick appearing, no light visible through this what so ever.

S – Smell was strong, lots of dark chocolate hints were very noticeable from the very beginning. The raosted malts were huge, and the unmistakable aroma of coffee grinds were all to prevelant throughout. Had a very rich sugar aroma to it, almost a lacto sugar smell as it was very rich and creamy. A touch of hops on the back end, and the ever present ABV smell came through after it started to warm. It was becoming increasingly more evident that this was not a small brew by any means, and I was going to find out that it was something to be reconnended with. Final notes started to pull through of caramel sugar, really yummy aroma.

T – Wow, very full flavored and robust would be the best way to describe it. The first thing that hit was the overwhelming dark chocolate flavor, very pronounced and noticeable. As it mellowed lots of roasted coffee and some notes of cookie dough and even a touch of vanilla were becoming noticeable. Very sweet and sugary on the palate, with a very present abv warming thoughout. It was not a light brew by any means. A very full flavor and feeling coming off of this one. Reminded me of some of thee other breakfast stouts I have had in the past. Very full bodied and the more you sip the more flavors you start to notice. Damn fine crafting on this one.

M – Very very thick and creamy. At first, right after the pour it had the consistency and feel of a milk shake. The carbonation was fantastic, and it really gave it that silky feel. As it warmed up and the carbonation fizzled out, it took on more of a thick oil, syrup like consistency and became really thick. Either way to say full bodied feel would be an understatement, this was a big one for sure.

D – This was defiantly a sipper. There was just no chugging this one down. Perfect for its role as a late night sipper or night cap. I did manage to finish off the bottle, but it took a couple hours to get it all down. Pretty strong and you know it is, this is not a sitting outside in the sun situation at all, and I would have probably enjoyed this a lot more in the dead of winter.

Overall this was a really good double stout. Great feel and presentation, good strong robust aroma and full of flavor and feel. You could tell a lot was put into this. It had a lot of chocolate in it which is always a plus. So I would have to say very enjoyable and I will defiantly try to get ahold of another for this winter!

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. I’m pretty sure it’s at least 3 years old.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains rich chocolate, roasted malts, some dark fruit and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of dark chocolate and black coffee. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is very mild yet surprisingly still noticeable given the age of the beer. There’s a little bit of smokiness in the background and a good balance as this beer seems to have aged quite nicely. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this beer has aged well and is well-worth drinking for a long time.

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

A: Black with a light tan head, some retention, slight leg/lace.

S: Huge bakers chocolate aroma with some molasses, brown sugar, dark fruit & light alcohol.

T: Bakers chocolate, dark roasted coffee, burnt caramel, roasted nut, dark rye bread, big bitterness, slight roasted acidity.

M: Well-attenuated for its strength, fairly full body, a little chalky with an off-dry finish.

D: Quite quaffable for its strength.

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

biegaman brought this one straight from Cali.

Pours black, some red in the edges, very thick tan head forms, leaves behind some nice sheets of lace, great retention, head really sticks. Smell is nice, pine and floral, chocolate, roast, toffee, some alcohol, nice and malty, some figs and coffee. Taste is toffee, light chocolate, roast, pine, burnt currants, pretty decent flavour, alcohol sneaks in a bit at the end. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, pretty drinkable. Thanks Jan!

Photo of beerguy101
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark black color. Medium head. Aroma is chocolaty and fruity. Full-bodied Imperial Stout. Chocolaty and fruity. Very smooth taste. Complex flavors. Chocolate predominates but there are hints of cherries, plums and coffee. Hop bitterness is there in the background. A nice,very drinkable Imperial Stout. At 10% this beer hides the alcohol well. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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

Pours black with barely any tan head. Nose is great. So silky smooth with the chocolate tones. Like powdered cocoa and I like it. Flavor is slightly roasted with purely dark chocolates mixed in. A bit molasses like as well. Feel is slick on liquid. Low carbonation. Pretty easy to drink. No massive complexities, but it's a nice enough one.

Photo of cbl2
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2/23/2007 $4.99 22 oz. 10.00% No best by date.


Pours a sticky pitch black with half an inch of tight tan/brown head that is extremely slow to settle.


Chocolate, espresso and cream dominate along with a hint of cordial cherries.


Sticky mouthfeel leads off this burnt/roasted malt brew that kicks off with coffee & chocolate flavors. Notes of dark fruit (cherry, figs and dates) creep in towards the finsh. Alcohol notes rear their ugly head towards the end.

Warming finish to this hearty beverage. As the beer warms, and as it is aerated, cherry & coffee dominate even more so than when this beer is slightly chilled.

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

It's a dark brown bordering on black with a someone thin tan head. It has a really nice roasty smell. Roasted flavors also make their way through, but it's a bit sweeter than expected, with noticeable ripe fruit flavors. Overall, it's pretty good, but many imperials are better than this one.

Photo of RedDiamond
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
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 Stigs
4.13/5  rDev +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 ritzkiss
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle pours a jet black, hold it up to the light and nothing gets through. A finger of dark mocha head and bubbles on the side of the glass, making sure a nice film sits on the top of the glass throughout. Patchy lacing down the glass.

Nose is bitter chocolate, hints of cherry (I swear!), roasting malts, hints of brewed coffee, a faint trace of alcohol in the back.

A really solid Impy stout. Burnt malts mingle with dark fruits, bitter chocolate, a lively fruitiness at the beginning (almost citrusy), a nice hops bitterness in the finish. A slight smokiness almost mustiness, a nice blend of sweet, almost sugary, port quality. Bottle states that this is the ultimate "cigar stout" and I could easily see that.

A really solid, great stout out of Moylan's. Not trying to be an elite, overly complex brew - no blends, barrel againg or other tricks here. A straightforward, well made beer.

Photo of zoso1967
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to TCHopCraver for sharing this with me.

Ryan Sullivan pours a very dark brown with a medium tan head that has nice retention. This is not the blackest stout ever, but it is pretty impressive. The head is quite frothy and leaves pretty nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is a nice mix of sweetness and roasty character. I get notes of sweet toffee, caramel and chocolate fudge. As my fellow BA Matt said while enjoying this with me: "It smells sort of like Rolos." Mixed in with the Rolos are some roasty coffee notes and perhaps even a touch of smoke.

The flavor is a bit more roasty with some nice Burnt notes. The enjoyable caramel and chocolate sweetness from the aroma still linger and give this beer a very nice character. This is not a super fruity RIS, but it does have some black sweet cherry notes.

The mouthfeel is medium and super smooth up front with a nice lingering roasty astringency. It seems a tad thin for a beer like this, but I am so in love with the smoothness that I don't take too much issue with it. Carbonation is subtle and the finish is both roasty and sweet.

Overall I thought this was a pretty darn good RIS. It was not as ballsy as some, but the caramel and chocolate flavors were very rich and enjoyable. I know this has been in Matt's cellar for awhile so maybe a fresh one would be more intense. Whatever the case is, I enjoyed this one just as it was.

Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a 2" head that slowly fades to a thick surface foam. Streaks of lace paints the glass.

Smell: loads of roasted malts, chocolate, and some bitterness comes through to the nose.

Taste: roasted malts, bitter chocolate, prunes, and some mild warming alcohol are the primary flavors. Bitterness is pretty strong too.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Lightly crisp and prickly to start but finishes smooth and a bit dry. Aftertaste is long as the flavors linger.

Drinkability: slow sipping beer here but having more than a pint or two is possible if you want the style all night long. Worthy beer to pick up.

Photo of scifan
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 into my awaiting tulip. Looks jet black with a nice tan head that fades leaving some nice lacing along the way.
Getting your typical impy stout aromas goin on here. Right away I detect those dark roasty malts, giving off lovely coffee and espresso aromas. Also some hints of dark chocolates and just a tinge of alcohol. Also some dark fruit, cherries and maybe a hint of raisin.
Taste very similar to the smell. The first thing I get is those strong coffee flavors from those roasted malts, also some dark fruitness in there as well. There's also a nice hop bitterness to finish it out.
All in all its a good imperial stout but nothing really different or special about it.

Photo of Wildman
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured as black as sin and formed a huge foamy medium tan head that coated the glass with lace as it slowly, and I mean slowly, subsided. An aroma of malt, chocolate and coffee. A flavor of malt, chocolate, expresso and raisins. A slightly burnt aspect to the finish with a somewhat light finish. A very nice beer.

Photo of elgiacomo
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, unknown date, probably around 9 months old. Served at cellar temp.

Pours black with a large foamy brown head that leaves rings of drippy lacing and holds a small cap.

Aroma is strongest on bakers chocolate and cocoa along with coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits such as raisins, figs, currants, prunes, plums, dates, some toasted bread and smoke. Excellent strength.

Flavor is dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits, anise, some caramel, toffee, molasses. Bittersweet. Minimal alcohol. Very smooth and tasty.

Mouthfeel is high-medium to full for an Imperial Stout, soft, creamy, light carbonation.

Such a fantastic, if not overlooked Imperial Stout, particularly for the price. One of the best values in a large-format bottle IS on the market.

Photo of ccrida
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber cellered 2 years, poured into my Delirium snifter, Ryan O'Sullivan's is black with a very large, dark tan head, with nice last, leaving lots of chunks of foam.

Smell is toffee, some caramel, roast. A faint hint of fruitiness flirts with Belgian yeast notes.

Taste is very nice, loads of chocolate, very smooth, just enough bitterness, some acrid character, to provide balance with the moderate sweetness. Nice milky taste as well, yummy beer. Towards the second half of the bottle, I started to get a metallic note that was a turn-off, iron/blood, and I dropped it from 4.5->4.0.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, a nice viscosity but not too heavy.

Drinkability is very good, really hitting the spot on this dreary night. Can't believe I've never reviewed before, I've had it fresh several times, and this is probably the best I've had. I'm sure it can continue to age beyond 2 years, but I can't see it getting any better.

Photo of rye726
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This viscous black liquid pours with a siky dark tan head. Excellent looking stout indeed. The nose is equally impressive. Big roasted malt structure with a good dose of hops. Chocolate, cofee, molasses,anise, currant, cherries and plums. the taste starts a little bitter but melds to a sweat bready malts by the finish. Delicious. Thick body begs to be chewed. A fantastic RIS.

Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout from Moylan's Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 439 ratings.