Siberian Night Imperial Stout | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

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Siberian Night Imperial StoutSiberian Night Imperial Stout
1,961 Ratings
Siberian Night Imperial StoutSiberian Night Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,961 |  Reviews: 887
Reviews by Lauthaha:
Photo of Lauthaha
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a 12 ounce beer mug.

Appearance: Very syrupy pour, characteristic of the Russian Imperial Stouts. Rich brown head which dissipates quickly leaving traces of foam drifting on the surface of the beer. Near-black color to the beer itself, no stray particles with this one. A great start.

Smell: Simply marvelous. Closing my eyes and taking a deep breath, I sense licorice, coffee, hazelnut. Toasty notes within the bouquet of flavors as well. Smells like a dream.

Taste: As far as these kind of beers go, it does the trick! The toastiness I sensed in the smell is much stronger in the taste. All other flavors are slightly less noticeable, but still there. A touch of dark chocolate in the bitterness of the aftertaste. I thought I detected a sour note at first, but after a few sips am convinced that it must have been the Hawaiian chicken I ate for dinner just minutes ago. This beer probably shouldn't have been paired with chicken, hahaha...dark chocolate or an anise-flavored dessert perhaps.

Mouthfeel: Much less syrupy than it looks. Goes down smooth. Not bad by any means, but not really that outstanding either. I'm going to have to give it a "just-above-average" rating.

Drinkability: It's very tasty, but the high ABV makes it a beer for a rare occasion. One or two would probably do me for a night. Tastes great, but not a great amount of drinkability.

This is a great beer, but I'm partial to RIS's. Not the best ever, but this one definitely holds its own, something I did not expect from a brewery I've never heard of until tonight.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of silverking
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Let me start by saying, wow, this beer looks wonderful. Syrupy/black motor oil appearance with a creamy khaki head. An abundance of lacing clings to the glass with every sip in a uniform sheet.
Big bold aroma with rich dark fruit and cocoa. The aroma translates well to the palate with a hint of warming alcohol. The finish shows intense bitter cocoa.
Wow, just wow. I really wasn't expecting much from this one, but it is fantastic! I will be buying this again. If you see this on the shelf, buy it. Did I mention that it's fantastic?

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, 055378 on the neck, 770328W2120808 near the bottom. CBF Tulip pint.

A: pours a completely opaque black with 1/4 finger dark tan head that recedes to a thick ring with skim on top. Some visible carb on the sides. Killer lacing as I drink it down.

S: immediate dark, sweet mark, with a slightly burnt (in a good way), roasted edge. Perhaps a little dark roast coffee lurking back there.

T: Sweet, coffee, roast, malt, molasses, very light herbal hop note. Definitely a sweet beer, but compared to the RIS I had last night it seems more balanced. Perhaps more sugary, but more bitterness from the roast. Hop bitterness is really subdued - really any hop expression is faint. After the swallow a little hoppy medicinal note lingers, very faint. More noticeable is the lingering smoky character. Sip after sip that herbaceous hoppy quality grows.

M: full bodied and super slick. Pleasantly high carbonation (for the style, low in absolute terms).

O: this is the first RIS I ever had (apparently the year it won bronze at the GABF!) and I haven't had it in years. It remains a definitive example, and is completely worthy of annual 6-pack purchases and cellaring. Sweet (but not too sweet), roasty and warming, with beautiful lacing and enough carbonation to hold back the heavy texture. A true class act.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from Total Wine and More in Florida.

Dark brown to black beer with a mocha head that fast disappears (almost).

Dark coffee, roasted malt, grain, dark chocolate, tobbaco, brown sugar and vanilla.
Full body. Smooth carbonation. Dry ending.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this base beer is bomb, and although its the bourbon barrel aged one that gets all the credit, this thing really doesnt need a barrel. a delightfully complex example of the style, loaded with layers of dark grain and a smooth thick dry feel. impenetrable to light, it looks awesome in the glass, matte finish, no shine to it at all, and a short but stout tan head. the dryness amazes me, usually these can get pretty sweet with the crystal malt in the middle and the high mash bill to spike the abv, but this is somehow super dry, almost chalky dusty in the finish, ashy might be more accurate, its cool in the context of the barrel aged edition too, because that one gets very very sweet. neat to see thats all from the barrel. plunging right in, i get char and ash and raisin in the flavor, hints of dark cocoa and spent coffee grounds, but more grain than anything else. theyve built a nice roasty bitter base to this, and have left out (or fermented out) everything that makes these sweet, and so its smooth and big while being insanely quick finishing at the same time. the bourbon barrel one is amazing, but in many ways i prefer this version. warming but not boozy. really textbook example of the style!

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Photo of oberon
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I have sampled this beer a few times in the past now on tap at Cole's in Buffalo,came to the table a jet black with a rich mocha colored head atop.Black licorice and burnt notes are big with underlying biter chocolate coffee as well,that licorice is even bigger on the palate I am not a huge fan of black licorice so I didnt care for that but it also has some deeply roasted and chocolate qualities wich are nice full and creamy mouthfeel.A little different flavor wise than alot of the style if you like the licorice than you'll like this alot.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I drank a six pack of this fine brew in Cleveland earlier this month. What a beer.

Appearance: Dark as the name implies. Body is black plum. Head is thick, lasting, and beautifully brown. When it eventually settles it creates the most magnificent lacing.

Aroma: Caramel, chocolate, burnt toast, strongly roasted espresso beans, smoke, tobacco leaves, sweet fruit.

Taste: Bitter bakers chocolate and coffee blended perfectly with sweet dark fruits (black or mulberries mainly). On top of that a strong roasted malt, almost smoked quality comes through. Also a leafy presence.

Mouthfeel: Great. Perfectly balanced coffee/chocolate bitterness with fruit/oatmeal like sweetness. Thick body. Smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Flawless.

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Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of ExtraStout
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black from a 12 oz. bottle. Pitch black. No light gets through this sucker. Probably the blackest brew I've ever seen.

Smell of heavilly roasted malt. Some fruitiness--a twang that's almost vinuous. Caught a whiff of over-ripe citrus from the hops on opening the second bottle.

Taste of bittersweet dark chocolate and well-roasted malt. Slightly smoky.

Rather thick mouthfeel with a slight tingle of carbonation. Nice warming in the throat, much appreciated with the wind howling outside. Smooth and creamy.

Very drinkable for the style, and for the 9.7% ABV. Compared to other Russian Imperial's it's almost a guzzler. Easy to get carried away.

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Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes scribed on 12/5/10.

Siberian Night pours close to black, but slightly see-through into a large snifter. When held to the light, there is a bit of a ruby and brown transparent tint. A one-finger head has a lighter hue than I expected; it is a medium to dark khaki. The lacing is good - splotchy and nicely sticky.

The overall aroma is quite sweet. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, milk chocolate, plum, cherry, and some evidence of roasty, toasty malts fill my nose. I think the aroma is just a little on the thin side.

Contrary to the smell, the roasted and toasted malts are quite present and they latch onto the sides of my mouth, along with a boozey heat. Sweet flavors of caramel, dark chocolate, brown sugar, and plum land squarely on the broad of my tongue. At the finish of each sip, a nice lasting, roasty bitterness spreads over the whole of my palate. One small critique I have is that the taste is just a bit watery. Overall, though, good.

At first, the mouthfeel seems a little light, but as the beer rolls over my palate, it becomes quite creamy with a medium to full-bodied texture. That creaminess smoothly rolls into a bit of a puckering bitterness at the end of the sip, which cleans my palate nicely.

Yeah, I will give this another try in the future. It is not as complex as other RIS's that I have tried, but it has a solid flavor and good overall quality.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle aquired in Virgin BIF.

A-Black with no night with small head on pour. Nice looking stout.
S-Roasty, Malty, but some vegetal smell that took away from aroma.
T-Roasty coffee flavor, dark cocoa, but had some plastic and vegetal flavors that really detracted. Hoppy finish with an astringent flavor. Didn't seem quite right in this beer.
M-Creamy and full in the mouth. Perfect carbonation with slightly dry finish. Very nice.
D-I could drink another, but wouldn't drink too much more.

Some good aspects to this beer but some off flavors took away from the overall beer.

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Photo of Spaten454
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of SanFranJake
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine April 2007.

Siberian Night has grabbed a few medals from the GABF--two bronzes in 2003 and 2006, plus a gold in 2005--and the attention of beer geeks over the years as well.

A solid two fingers of brown foam subside to a ring of lace; the color is so dark that absolutely no light shall pass through this beer. Commingled roasted grain and a soft blackberry fruitiness, with a touch of malt sweetness; very aromatic. Full, malty body with a mild crispness and a growing smoothness. Velvety malt sweetness is like a fine dark chocolate. Dark-berry fruitiness complements the creamy chocolate flavor, and the roasted finish has a coffee tone. Thin caramel in the middle. The hops stand small when put up against the malt.

Not bad at all. This one may be lacking in boldness, but without a doubt it's one of the most drinkable Imperial Stouts on the market right now. You're better off pairing to complement, take our word for it. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, the darker the better.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the green eyed bottle a deep dark black with a small semi bubbly tan head on top. A sliver of light is all that can escape this one. Aromas of dark, charred toasty malts, hunks of rich chocolate, cherry fruit tones and molasses. Quite a nice treat to just sit back and smell.

First sip brings a creamy, viscous dark charred malt body with a hefty dose of chocolate flavor. Hints of dark fruit (cherry again) pop out on the way down along with a slight smokiness. A hint of burnt coffee and just a hint of bitterness end this one. A nice, warming imperial stout.

Mouthfeel is creamy with a nice big body that shows its strength with each sip. Drinkability here is pretty good...only knocked down a bit by the abv. Otherwise, this is a rich, tasty imperial that would be quite enjoyable on a cold night ('s enjoyable on this hot summer night!) This one is worth a look into!

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Photo of nickadams2
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Black with reddish brown highlights.Thick khaki colored head that dissipate into a thin ring. Moderate lacing.

S_Roast,strong coffee, sweet.

T_Bitter coffee and chocolate upfront. Lots of roasted malt. Sweet after taste. Caramel/toffee.

M_Full bodied but a tiny bit on the thin side for the style.

D_Pretty damn drinkable .

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Motor oil." That's how I overheard this beer being described by the table behind me on the Frederick Brewing Co. brewery tour today. I was lucky enough to get this contract brew on tap for free during the tour, and I can imagine it is even more amazing on tap than bottled.

Yes, it is a thick, hearty, beer, but in a positive way, all around. The rich coffee color is matched with a beautiful burnt cocoa head that sticks around.

The smell is truly exceptional. The most delicious coffee and dark chocolate aromas explode out of this beer.

The taste - also truly exceptional. For an imperial stout, the alcohol is very well masked. Deep, dark, swirling and intricate, this beer is a joy to drink. Hearty and full, but not overly chewy or overpowering. Its like they took it right to the edge, figured out what it would take to send it over the edge, and then backed it off - just one inch. Awesomely impressive.

I would love to find a bar that served this on tap. I would make it my session beer (even though it is obviously not intended for sessions), 9% alcohol be damned. The best imperial stout I have ever had.

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Photo of markmo
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of alcooper
3/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer looked great, poured well, nice tan head and dark as night.

S - This is where things started to go a little south for me. It had a bit of an overpowering roast/burnt smell to me. As I drank more of the beer the smell never improved for me.

T - Taste was very strong and the roast flavor really came through but was a little overwheling.

M - The first sip was OK in the mouth but the mouthfeel improved as I continued to drink this beer.

I enjoy a good stout on occassion and have had some really great ones so I probably won't seek this out again. But if you like a very strong roasted smell and taste this might be for you.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The definite highlight of my foray into Thirsty Dog. This was a black, black beer with a medium head. A sweet, roasted malt aroma. Very nice chocolate/coffee taste, so smooth you almost forget you're drinking beer. No noticeable alcohol. I thought this was a fine example of an Imperial Stout.

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Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Jpinoniemi
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of marvin213
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A solid black beverage offers a thin, tan head. Particularly with what are supposed to be dark, black stouts (and aren't all Russian Imperials), I find myself judging appearance primarily by head. This one is thin, but nicely browned. It's a good-looking beer.

The smell is malty. There's a variety of malts in this one, and you can waft to the nasals each of them: toasted malts, caramel malts, and roasted malts. There is that RIS characteristic I always detect in this style, but I've yet to pinpoint the cause (I know I could read, but that's cheating). Nothing overly interesting, but solid.

The taste is very good. All those malts blend nicely, though the roasted ones subtlely dominate. Like the smell, there's little complexity. Though I taste the aformentioned RIS component, it's less apparent than in the nose. Honestly, I'd like more of it. As I continue to sip, I'm sorta dulled by the uniformity of the simple malt combo--every sip seems the same. A big stout will usually change as it warms, but this one remains a liquid malt trio. Though I initially embraced the malty flavor so easily detected, I yearn for more dynamic an experience. For whatever it's worth, it's a simply good stout.

Mouthfeel might most be where I need that RIS component to stand out. This is just a maltball. Without being chocolatey, it's still like candy. For an average stout, that's good. For a Russian Imperial Stout, it's a little less than that.

The candy-like maltness makes this a relatively tough beverage to rate highly on drinkability. Not that I expect to throw back a sixer of any RIS, but this one's almost forgettable. It's good, but it can't compete well with the best of its peers. Cool bottle, cool beer, but that just doesn't cut it anymore.

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Photo of barhoc11
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark as a Imperial Stout should be

S: Great deep smell, has a sweet aroma but nothing overwhelming

T: Dark and crisp, the taste improves with warmth

M: Just as a IS should be

O: I was actually pretty impressed with this because it was so readily available. Thirsty Dog seems almost comical but they actually have some decent beers. I would put this almost on par with other Imperial Stouts from more well-know breweries and something you should try.

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Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 1,961 ratings