Siberian Night Imperial Stout | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Dogbrick on 01-13-2003

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Reviews: 867 | Ratings: 1,903
Photo of CoalCellar
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into my sifter...

A: Thick, used, dirty, motor oil, pure sludge.
S: Chocolate and molasses with some smoke
T: Absolutely exceptional, light smoke, lots of molasses and chocolate, coffee, roasted grains, absolutely everything a big stout should taste like.
M: Thick and syrupy, slides down your throat and fills you up.
D: This is easily, the most drinkable RIS I've ever had. It has all the complexity (and more), flavor, and character of bigger RIS, but lacks the alcohol burn. This is a truly exceptional stout, and you stout lovers owe it to yourselves to try one. I consider myself very fortunate to have access to this stuff by the case.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite and goto.

Pour is pitch black as you expect. Half inch head subsides into a thin off white ring. I couldn't see the carbonation level if I had to.

Smell is amazing. Nice balance of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts. A subtle sweetness lingers in.

The taste is perfect. I haven't had it in a few months, but I pick up a woody bitterness that just adds to the coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malt. Bitter, and loaded with coffee. I could go on for days, because each drink produces subtly different flavors and nuances.

Body is heavy and slick. Some hop bitterness just makes it more bitter.

God damn I love this beer.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.95/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great stout!

Appearance: Pours thick, like syrup and blacker than black. It is beautiful with a brown/ruby head. Just an impressive looking stout. I was a little bummed that the head didn't stick around longer, otherwise I would have given it a 5.0

Smell: It smells terrific! Smells of candied fruits, alcohol notes, and espresso dance out of the glass.

Taste: HUGE! It tastes big and chewy. Sweet at first, no hop bitterness, and a warm alcohol finish. I can definitely taste the alcohol but it's not overpowering like other less impressive examples in this style.

Drinkability: For some, it might not suit. But I could see myself throwing down a few more of these.

Overall: A damn tasty stout! I rank it up there with one of my all time favorites. A must-have for all stout lovers!

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, label says brewed by Frederick Brewing for Thirsty Dog.

Pours out creamy black with a cocoa head. Head thins, but never fades. Thick lacing on the glass.

Smells heavenly. Rich roasted grains with chocolate and coffee dancing about. The smell makes my mouth water as if a big, juicy steak was just put in front of me.

Taste is phenominal - just like it smells. Dark & roasty with plenty of chocolate and coffee. A hint of smokiness in the aftertaste. The alcohol is an afterthought, which is surprising for a 9% ABV. Extremely smooth.

Full bodied and quite creamy. Not quite a syrupy as some imperials can get.

For an imperial stout, this guy goes down way too easy. You would never know it's 9% by the taste and body. I love this beer.

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Photo of orcasteve
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

dark and robust and suprisingley smooth, delitefull hints of coffiee and toffie with a creamy smooth finish, the aftertaste is one of a strong alcohal presents. this is a top shelf imperial stout in every sense if the word. this is a beer that i will seek out agan in the future

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Photo of Morris729
4.87/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, very deep near-black color with some ruby highlights and almost no head at first. Once in the glass, the head builds up to about a quarter of an inch before then receding and soon vanishing completely. Nose is roasted barley and malt along with dark chocolate and fresh coffee beans. There is a bit of plumy fruit in the background as well. Taste begins with deeply roasted malts imparting both sweetness and an earthy smokiness. Unsweetened chocolate and espresso follow along with some warming alcohol in the finish. The chewy texture of the beer seems to linger on you tongue until the next sip. A thoroughly enjoyable imperial stout—highly recommended.

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Photo of asabreed
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Like GCBrewingCo before me, I also picked up a sixer at Once Upon a Vine. Been looking for this for a while so I was pretty psyched. 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. And the sixer was around $10.

Appearance: Insanely motor oil black, lots of lacing, and a dark, thick, mocha-colored head that slowly turns a bit lighter from my vigorous pour as I drink.

Smell: A nice balance between sweet malts and the roasted and toasted. A bit of mocha and a good amount bitter coffee left on the burner too long (but somehow this adds and doesn't detract). And lots of dark fruit or berries in the mix too. Not as much hops as I expected, but I think they're quelling the sweetness, which I'd rather have than an extremely hoppy aroma for the style.

Taste: Pretty much the perfect balance between all that I had hoped for. The perfect amount of hops--wowness--lends itself to combat the sweeter nature of the malts, also being appeased a bit by the burnt and toasted nature. In there also, though, is a hint of dark berries. And oddly enough, the finish ends in the fruit and hop nature, while the malt presence is more present and in-your-face at the beginning. An extremely complex, balanced, and tasty beer. No harshness at all, and the hints of alcohol are subdued to a point where I'm pretty much in awe.

Mouthfeel: Insanely full and creamy, with the perfect amount of carbonation to not make it feel too cloying or even close to spritzy in the least.

Drinkability: Where is the 9%? This is pretty astounding. A fantastic beer by all accounts. It has all the things I want in a Russian Imperial Stout, and I'd go as far as saying this can go neck and neck with its rivals. Thank God I have five more left, and probably more if I can still get it soon.

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Photo of hdofu
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Good beer with a dog motif = win. A suburb example of the style. Pours dark warm gray with a rust colored tan head that foams up to the top. Smells like a saw mill and cocoa. Taste is bitter sweet like toasted almonds dipped in dark chocolate. The beer feels thick and sudsy on the tongue. This beer is as drinkable as they come if you like the style.

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Photo of jcalabre
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Originally sampled 30 March 2003. simply beautiful. thanks to my friend hopsrus for this beauty. Pours like dark chocolate milk. Great dark chocolate nose w/ flavors of chocolate & dark cherries. it's sweet but beautifully balanced. If you have the opportunity, get some

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think after a few years of trying every different beer I can get my hands on that I have found the one I want to perpetually keep chilled in my fridge, space concerns be damned! Local bias? Maybe. One of my favorite Imperial Stouts ever? Definitely. This beer is almost black with a lovely brown head. Nice sticky lacing too. Aroma of toasted malt and coffee. The flavor is a lush blend of roasted coffee, alcohol, malt and chocolate. The finish is perfect as far as I am concerned, it is rich and progressively more warming as the alcohol kicks in. I thoroughly enjoy this one, and I am extrememly pleased that it is finally being bottled.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, opaque sable with a fairly thick, fine-bubbled light tan head. Rich aroma is smoky and oily with a firm undertone of fine roast coffee, promising an excellent stout. Flavor is strong, mainly of fine roast coffee, surprisingly but not unpleasantly bitter, with hints of chocolate, toffee and molasses. Texture is thick, smooth as glass, tingly and edgy. This lip-smacking stout is worth sniffing out.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.84/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a used motor oil black color. The head is half an inch in height, tan in color, and recedes slowly into a firm cap of lacing. The aroma is very bold for a RIS. It is full of chocolate, vanilla, graham cracker, and roasted malt. The taste is packed with malt. Chocolate is upfront, followed by graham cracker, vanilla, and finishing with some nice roasted malt bitterness. The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a very good RIS. I really like how it isn't overly hoppy the was a lot of American made RIS's tend to be these days. I will certainly search this one out again.

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Photo of irishmoss
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I’m sitting here thinking about how to describe this stout and it hits me… It’s like dumping two tablespoons of DME into a triple espresso, then dusting it off with some very dark chocolate shavings.
Very finely packed, dense, two-finger head with tiny bubbles everywhere, even with an aggressive pour. As the dark brown head recedes down to the jet black body it leaves large clings of lace on the sides of the glass. The smell is roasted malts, chocolate syrup, and dark roasted coffee beans. The taste is very similar to the smell, and as I described it at the top of the review, it’s like dropping Whoppers into espresso. The taste also has a smooth biscuit malt characteristic that makes this Imperial Stout down right righteous. Nice thick, full body that is chewy and perfect. The drinkability is also very high because throughout the different great tastes that are present here, alcohol isn’t one of them.
This has quickly become a staple of my beer cellar and will continue to impress me every time I enjoy it.

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Photo of Kempleton
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been religously drinking this beer since it went on tap at Theresa Next Door in Wayne.

Apearance: Wow, this is a dark beer. Pours blacker than coal from the tap into a sniffter, with a thick, dark brown, three finger head that takes a while to receed to a thin coating of foam that remains for the (short)life of this brew. I swirl this beer so there was not much in the way of lacing left for me.

Smell: Wonderful aromas fill the nose. Strong scents of bitersweet chocolate, and malt fill the nose first, followed by hints of coffee and others that I just can't place.

Taste: Awesome. enough said. If you like stouts you will love this one.

Mouthfeel: Not as heavy as one would think for a beer of this caliber, but defintly something there. No need to chew this beer. Alcohol does not come across to strongly and carbonation is not overbearing. Just the right amount of everything.

Drinkabilty: Goes down WAY to easy for a beer that contains 9.0% ABV. The only thing that keeps this beer from being a good session beer for me, besides the cost and availabilty, is the drunkeness I get after three or four of them, .

Overall, I was very impressed with this beer. It got me back into stouts in a big way,after not drinking any for a while, this beer makes me wonder why I haven't been. I miss it already. Thanks to Thirsty Dog for making my beer-life a little better.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into a nonic:

A: super pitch black colored body with a very nice foamy dark tan three finger head that had a very nice foamy spider web, ringy lacing. The head pretty much lasted until the whole beer is consumed. No carbonation was seen rising because the body is too dark.
S: roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, molassess and brown sugars up front and combined ever so nicely. A nice smoky yet slightly hoppy aroma was there.

T: pretty much the same thing, which is good to me.

M: heavy, thick, and strong. No alcohol was felt in the aftertaste, not sessionable

O: this was very well done, and would very much like to come back to this in a blind taste test with Old Rasputin (another RIS I absolutely love).

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Photo of Wackyfoot
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle picked up at a great beer store in PA on my last east coast visit. Pour is black as the night, with a thin head that fades away gradually leaving nothing but the darkness. One of the smoothest stouts I've ever had, dark and oily and if it weren't for the high alcohol content it would truly be smooth enough to session. Outstanding example of the genre.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
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 badbeer
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Midnight black with a dark tan head that leaves bits of lacing and stands strong around the edge of the glass. Sweet smells of molasses, currant, vanilla, bitter chocolate and plenty of roastiness. Roasty, sweet molasses and malt, vanilla, licorice, this beer just has it all. Higher in carbonation than medium; thick, full body. Excellent beer, I really wish I would have bought more, as I could drink this by the case.

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Photo of drperm
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It's black -- deep, impenetrable black. A nice foamy dark-tan head sits atop, but fades to a thin lace before long.

Aroma: Thick and rich -- chocolate, coffee, licorice, malt, dark hops, graham crackers, honey.

Taste: Damn good. Definite wow-factor with this one. Strong and rich, follows the nose closely, with a hint of a mineral edge. Tons of dark chocolate-malt abound, and tobacco as well.

Palate: Definitely strong and proud of it. A bit sweet on the finish -- I'd prefer it a bit drier, if I were being nit-picky.

Overall: Very rich -- its only fault is in being *too* rich for standard drinking. The 12 oz bottle is almost too much for one sitting. This would be superb with dessert: raspberry chocolate something, German chocolate cake, dark mousse, creme brulee....OR spicy rich (homemade) mole dishes.

I cellared the original 6-pack from which the above review was written.
Tonight (3/23/13), I drank the final bottle from that pack.
Here's the cellared-version review.

Appearance: 4.5
Thin, brown foam that disappears fairly quickly. The liquid in the glass is impenetrably black and thick.

Smell: 5.0
Thick, heady, molasses, tobacco, whisky barrel, vanilla, cocoa, and lots of coffee. I think I could get drunk off of this just from inhaling too deeply.

Taste: 5.0
It's even better now than it was 3 years ago. Still a sipping beer, but oh so rich -- lots of bourbon whiskey notes, would be great with a tobacco pipe but my Girl Scout Thin Mints do the trick, too!

Mouthfeel: 5.0
Drinks like a thick, rich cordial. Also reminiscent of the Ola Dubh series from Harviestoun.

Overall: 5.0
I'm going out next week to buy another 6-pack to cellar for 3 years! This is an incredible beer to age.

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Photo of orfeu
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Opaque midnight black. Large creamy toasted-tan head, blistering like hot pancake batter. Mineral-infused cognac-chocolate-cherry cake batter aroma with a real sweet baked-goods aspect. Great roasted quality in the finish, preceeded by chocolate milkshake, cherry preserves, cocoa-flavored treacle, and an anejo rum wash. But it's that black, earthy roasted flavor that really gets me hot. Alcohol is present, but only in the most genteel way. 9% abv? Pshaw. Silky smooth mouthfeel. Luxuriously so, in fact. Medium-thin body yet full and satisfying on the palate. An exceedingly drinkable and overall godly imperial stout. Infinite thanks must be extended to nriech, unclejedi, and Aprilluvsbeer for bottles they sent my way.

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Photo of noslenwerd
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Dark beer, typical look of a stout.

S: Very crisp, unheavy type of smell for a stout, but still sweet.

T: Wow, a super smooth stout for sure. I expected the mild alcohol taste that you usually get with a russian imperial stout but no dice (good and bad thing). Lighter mouthfeel than your typical stout also.

Summary: Very smooth. Lacks a little bit of alcohol bite in the aftertaste, but overall a very drinkable beer. Much less "in your face" than other stouts. Good for someone who is just trying a dark beer for the first time.

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Photo of Timmush
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very good Imperial Stout.
i would put this up there with Old Rasputin with more of a chocolate aftertaste. Chocolate and Coffee ...its what Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout wants to be.
The alcohol is well hidden, the taste is smooth, the color is jet black...try this.

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Photo of Ellbert
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This Imperial Stout was pitch black. When put up to the light I could not even see any red around the edge of my mug. The color of the head was a beautiful tan. It was a very large head with a vigirous pour. It faded fairly fast leaving a nice lace.

Smell: The smell was mostly sweet with a lot of roasted malt aroma. A lot of chocolate was in the aroma. I could detect a small amount of hops but little alcohol in the smell.

Taste: The taste was very roasty. This has to be the roastiest Imperial Stout I have ever tasted. It is almost overbearing but very enjoyable. It kind of taste like a smoked Imperial Stout. There are hops that come in at the end followed by alcohol spiciness.

Mouthfeel: This is very good. Just the right amount of carbonation and the perfect consitency for an Imperial Stout.

Drinkability is not very good for the ABV. Other than that a stand out IP that I would love to drink.

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Photo of boogles
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into goblet--very dark. Maybe the darkest beer ever. The head was a deep brown, perhaps darker than Stone's Russian Imperial Stout. And very opaque.

The nose was what one would expect from a Russian imperial--but with two exceptions: (1) gunpowder smoke, and (2) not much alcohol from a beer this big. The taste was not too strong, with no alcohol ruining the taste--hints of very dark chocolate and espresso, but especially very dark chocolate. No sweetness in this one.

A divine beer. I'm pleasantly surprised. Now I have two stops to make in Cleveland (Great Lakes being the other) ... looks like I'll need a designated driver.

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Photo of Zephenbrewid
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Easily the best stout I have ever had.

This beer pours dang-near opaque black (and it makes me think of a night in cold siberia). It also had a light milk chocolate head, which stuck around like an obnoxious in-law (in a good way). Upon smelling this beer my imagination took me to a forest of chocolatey sweetness, with the scent of lingering malt musk hanging on the air. The taste cannot be overexalted. I felt as though I was drinking a coffee-addict's icy heaven with rich roasted chocolate malt flavors pervading every sip. I would love to try this beer with any kind of rich dessert. Will definitely buy again.

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Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
4.15 out of 5 based on 1,903 ratings.
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