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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

445 Ratings

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

Solid black color with a swiftly setting capping of tanned foam. Some lacing in thinly placed patchy strings.

Aroma is sweet and creamy with a wholesome tone of milky chocolate and dark cherry fruityness. A slight twingyness to some burnt cream and roast takes some noting as does some soft bakers chocolate.

Taste is more sweet than roasty with a good load of creamy milken chocolate and soft puffy bakers chocolate. Engaging subltities to dark cherry surface form inside the middle areas as does a smidgeon of raisin and currants. Only wiffs of some roasty things appear in some of its taste in the middling and finishing areas that tends to give a small sense to some fresh creamed coffee. The dryness in the finish is nice and chocolatey witn a soothing texture thats fairly complex and soft.

Body is smooth, soothingly creamy, semi tangy, carrying a soft boldness of fluffy textures in steady chocolate tones as it goes. The creamy chocolate and dark cherryness mix very well together and create a bold sense of simple creamy tang and fluff. Not really all that heavy/hefty/or thick as some RIS's I tend to favor, but its character in tone melds well with what flavors it creates and its finish is fairly complex undertneath in its sweet tangy, creamy dryness of fluff.

Moylan's has a pretty solid effort here. More sweet and creamy then roasty and heavy. But it holds its own for what it delivers, which is very solid with its creamy sense of tangy soft chocolate and dark cherry.

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 gregy55902
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into an XL snifter. Reviewed live.

A – pours a deep, solid black with a nice tan head that recedes fairly slowly leaving a ton of bubbles and lacing. I am in for quite a treat!

S – Huge chocolate malt nose with notes of anise and dark fruits (figs and currants)

T – Follows the nose, with the additions of rye malt, sourdough bread, espresso and hops.

M – Carbonation is perfect, and this hides the 10% abv almost too well.

O – A great choice for imperial stout fanatics. Not the best stout ever but it's very good and reasonably priced.

Photo of Fatehunter
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Pitch black with a half finger of tan head.

Rich smelling. Roasted and burnt malt, chocolate and licorice.

Starts like a milk stout, a little sweet, then quickly turns to burnt, super burnt malt overpowering everything in sight, slight bittering at the end.

Smooth texture, a fair level of carbonation, kind of crisp.

The taste is really bold and in your face burnt malt. That may not be enjoyable to some, but I liked it. This is not a shy beer.

Photo of aforbes10
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Davis Graduate. Pours a very dark brown to black with pretty much no head, just a ring of brown bubbles. Looks like its barely carbonated, even maybe a bit flat. Smells of dark fruits, chocolate, brandy...quite the attractive nose. Dark chocolate and dark roasted malt with port and prune flavors. Slight hop bitterness mixes well with charred malt flavor. Some alcohol on the finish. Full bodied, not syrupy. Drinks fine. Just above middle of the road for me...I'm impressed that its got a bit of the dark fruit that i like in an imperial stout, but its also still touting a lot of coffee and burnt malt nots that overwhelm the beer somewhat.

Photo of beckje01
4.09/5  rDev +6%
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 ChillMike
4.09/5  rDev +6%
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 theopholis
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Wow. This stuff is opaque black. No burgundy highlights around the edges, no ruby glimpses, just black. Glorious. The head is fairly big, creamy and brown head. Pretty good head retention. Some lacing. Just about right for a RIP.

Smell- Lots of roasted barley and dark malt. Just enough bittering hops. Again....smells very inviting.

Taste- Good blend of malty sweetness with chocolate malt and coffee flavors. A very nice blend between the malt sweetness and the roasted grains. The high alcohol content is very well hidden. Don't think just because you can't taste any alcohol means it's safe to drive home!!!! Doesn't quite punch you in the face as much as an RIP should though.

Mouthfeel- Body is just about perfect. Heavy, but not so heavy you feel the need to take a sip of water between every swig. The CO2 level is spot on to.

Drinkability- Overall the maltiness and bitterness are underdone, Not a great RIP, but a great generic stout.

Photo of rayjay
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One serious looking stout. This one practically stains the glass; deep oily mucky black beer with a brown head. Small head throughout the beer, but it was easy to stir back up. Deep booze nose, with lots of roasted malts, alcohol, dirty bong water, a bit of isopropyl alcohol. Deep roasted flavors bite at your tongue, like black coffee, dark chocolate, sweet and bitter roasted malts, high alpha hops, toffee, and dark toast. Mouthfeel is a bit on the dull side; it has the right amount of carbonation but not enough personality. Reminds me of a really good stab at a homebrewed RIS. That brought the drinkability down a bit; that and the fact that this is a 10% beer in a 22 oz serving...really got to me towards the end! My vote would have been for a 12 oz or even a 6 oz bottle. Note to all brewers: I would drink beers like this more often if I didn't have to commit to 22 oz of it at a time. This beer is a close contemporary to Storm King in many respects.

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 Pencible
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
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 mikesgroove
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
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 BeerZack
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
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 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 TheManiacalOne
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
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
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
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
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
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 RblWthACoz
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
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
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
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
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
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 sinstaineddemon
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - spent motor oil black with a chocolate milk colored head, obviously too dark to note any carbonation or sediment

S - damn this smells like chocolate, i could smell the cocoa before i even got close to the glass, slight coffee and alcohol hints as well, smells pretty damn good

T - the chocolate coffee scale is more balanced in the taste than in the nose, rich and thick chocolate and coffee tastes, very good, also a strong alcohol twinge which is the only drawback, otherwise great flavors

M&D - great balance and drinkiability, a high quality stout, the only drawback is the alcohol is not well hidden, though the flavors are powerful

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 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.

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