Siberian Night Imperial Stout | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

867 Reviews
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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: 1,900
Photo of kscaldef
2.29/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours black with a dark-brown edge when held to the light. Thin mocha head dissipates to a ring.

S: Roasted coffee, prunes and dates. Slight sour-milk note.

T: Thin black coffee and burnt toast.

M: I'm first struck by how relatively thin this beer feels in my mouth. It's quite dry and finishes bitter and astringent.

O: Not one of the better examples of the style, much to thin and lacking in complexity. It's not drain-pour bad, but it was a bit of an effort to finish it.

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Photo of yinzer
2.43/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

appearance: Dark, dark, and a bit dark, dark head. getting spooky in here.

smell: God-awfull DMS, coco-vegi, maybe some smoked ham??

taste: chocolate, burnt coffee

mouthfeel: not too bad, a bit thin

drinkability: not much fun in this bottle, maybe a bad run. Not too bad if you hold your nose. Drink it out of the bottle or when you have a head cold.

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Photo of aaronh
2.55/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Essentially black brew topped by a rather long lasting brown head. Aroma has hints of dark fruit and burnt molasses, but nothing really jumps out. Flavor is also rather mellow, with alcohol sweetness followed bark dark chocolate then a bit of barnyard-laced bitterness. Mouthfeel is solid by slightly over carbonated. Drinkability is average at best. Not one of my best beers in recent months.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
2.63/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Molasses,unsweetened cocoa, burnt coffee, some charred wood,an enormous hop bitter aftertaste. Horrid! In its favor,(there is always SOMETHING in a beers favor!) It lives up to its' name, being black as night in color and a decent alcholic buzz. I won't be trying it again

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Photo of stearns16
2.86/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: black as can be - held it up to the light and couldn't see through it

S: coffee, chocolate.

T: I don't do coffee but reminded me of last trip to dunkin donuts

M: average, a bit creamy and heavy coffee after taste

D: Won't go out of my way to find it

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Photo of smakawhat
2.98/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter. No dating visible or found.

A real nice thick cocoa foamy head off the pour but seems to settle and fall at a good clip. Body is a classic dark walnut brown bordering on black

Barleywine fruit like sweet grape on the nose. Very sweet grape smelling with no hints of malt or roast at all. Enjoyable but I would say missing a lot for this style that I am use to having and wanting. A small chocolate and very small chewing tobacco becomes present after some investigating.

For a Russian Imperial this is even for 9.7 incredibly weak and watery it's the first thing I notice. The mouthfeel on this is not good, it's even weaker than most American Stouts I've had. Not boozy, and fruity sweet flavor doesn't even come through that's expected on the nose. Even those little hints of tobacco and milk chocolate aren't here either.

Overall this is pretty disappointing starting with a solid nose but unexpected and then really not delivering on the palate and taste. But it is drinkable but it is quite weak and extremely underwhelming.

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Photo of alcooper
3/5  rDev -27.7%
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 Grundle20
3.02/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Viscous and black as night pretty much sums up the look of this beer. There's a minimal tan head to the beer that has poor retention and lacing.

The scent is kind of flat and boring with a weak stale milk chocolate note to it. On the plus side the alcohol eludes the nose.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
It's a little plain and lacking in depth for an imperial stout in my opinion. Bittersweet chocolate malts build this beer up only to be tarnished by an overwhelming alcohol presence. The viscosity from the pour carries over in to the mouthfeel. The finish is surprisingly clean but it's what I would expect after having my palette bathed in an alcohol wash that carries far in to the aftertaste.

If it wasn't for the rubbing alcohol character this beer displays it would be just about as drinkable as your average stout. Sadly the alcohol isn't being hidden in any way, shape, or form and stouts aren't entirely refreshing to begin with.

Bottom Line:
If Hershey made rubbing alcohol this is what it would taste like. A certain alcohol bite is to be expected from an imperial stout but I found this to be a little too much.

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Photo of samie85
3.03/5  rDev -27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes; originally 4/30/11.

A-Pours a midnight black color with two fingers of dark brown head.

S-Big chocolate and mocha notes with earthy hops with some plum.

T-Roasted and alcohol notes upfront with some chocolate.

M-A little hot and thin with low carbonation although a somewhat slick feel.

D-This is honestly really hot and not very complex; really not a fan of this, as much as it pains me to say so being an OH native.

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Photo of PhageLab
3.03/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip.

A - Opaque brown-black brew. Thin head settled to a ring around the outer edge. Looks like oil.

S - Faint yet sweet aroma of chocolate.

T - Alcohol, dark chocolate bitterness, and more alcohol. It mellows a bit after your taste buds become accustomed to it, but never enough to hide the overpowering boozy sweetness.

M - Thick, dry body. Burning aftertaste.

D - Surprised to see the incredibly high scores on here, I found it lacking in flavor and complexity. I may give it another shot, but it isn't my top priority.

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Photo of righthereisay
3.12/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tervis tumbler. Extremely black, like dark coffee, with a very small dark tan head. A lot of lacing on this pour.

Smell was an intense smoked coffee and alcohol. Not impressed.

Strong, bitter coffee some chocolate / burnt coffee. A little alcohol taste, but not much consider the high content.

Really good body, nice carbonation.

Can't even think about drinking a lot of these. It would be a short night.

Overall, it was good, but not that great. Good for if you would like 1 beer and you are not driving.

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Photo of HiAIPA
3.17/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. I was anxious to try this as the label trumpets multiple GABF medals. Pours black and thick like Kurkusk crude. Minimal head and lacing, leaving a small ring around the glass. Smells of heavy and dense grain pudding. Swirls elicit some sweetness. Initially drank cooler than I would have liked, and there was a harsh boozy diecetyl component that detracted significantly from the beer. This disappated upon warming, leaving a bitter core of dark chocolate, molassses, caramel, pan deglazings and a chalky element with a harsh sweet tannic finish. Overall I was disappointed, as there are several RIS that have additional complex flavors that this lacked. This felt somewhat harsh and mild at the same time. I would have expected far more from a GABF gold medalist.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.19/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Re-review off a bottle shared by chswimmer. Thanks, Ted.

A: Pours a pitch black with no edge penetration. Has a finger of tan-colored head with decent retention, slowly dissipating into a thin film of bubbles on top of the brew. No lace.

S: Very pungent. Even the bottle still smelled after I rinsed it out. The dominant aromas are dark chocolate and coffee, with roasted malt and smoke lingering slightly behind. Very nice.

T: Much less impressive than the nose. It's kind of simplistic: dark chocolate, some coffee. A clean finish, maybe a touch of smoke. No lingering flavors.

M: It's full-bodied and silky, but the finish is clean instead of coating, and the flavor drops off fast. Pretty underwhelming, considering that it's a relatively thick stout. For something with this much residual sugar, I expect a lot more flavor.

D: This doesn't introduce any radical flavors into the mix, but it's just a good, solid RIS. It doesn't disappoint, but it doesn't impress, either.

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Photo of IIKaRuII
3.23/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured into a pint glass.
dark as night and not see through at all. coco color head that dissipates quickly. leaves tiny bubbles on the glass that form a nice lacing.
smells toasted. thick and oily. espresso and chocolate.
Bitter. Very bitter. over powers everything at first. warm alcohol present with a slightly creamy oiliness to it.
warm and fuzzy, and personally hard to drink. maybe bad bottle? look and smell is good, but taste is nothing to brag about.

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.24/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-very dark brown with less than a finger of head that faded quickly to a small ring

S-some coffee and dark chocolate, but I also get a somewhat mettalic smell that is the strongest smell of all

T-Luckly that metal smell doesn't come into the taste nearly as much. some coffee and chocolate follwed by some dark fruits with a slight metal finish

M-ok carbonation dry finish though maybe that is where I am getting the metal from in the tase

O-not bad and I will probably try again if I run across this in Iowa

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Photo of OnThenIn
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours with a barely existent darker brown head on top of a black body.

S: A bit of roasted malts and chocolate with a hint of alcohol. There is also some sweeter aroma.

T:The taste has a little bit of floral hop flavor and bitterness clashing with the chocolate and roasted malt notes. Slight hint of alcohol, especially towards the end, with a lingering sweetness that is present throughout.

M: Medium to full body with low carbonation. A little lighter than I expected with less carbonation than I would like.

D: The mouthfeel and clashing of hops with roasted flavors kills this beer for me. I really wanted to like this beer considering the brewery is kinda local.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.26/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's black.
The head is 1-1/2 fingers, and a dark tan color.
the aroma doesn't hit strongly in any dept, just has some chocolaty malts and vanilla with little else going on.
Such a smooth and balanced rich chocolate flavor going on, there is some roasted malts contributing to the action and molasses and almond undertones.

A solid RIS, if it was a local i'd pick it up regularly.

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Photo of cookin420
3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a chalice.

Black with a tinge of dark-caramel brown around the edge of the glass. The head is cocoa colored, and is the darkest foam I have ever seen. It leaves no lace and is gone without a trace in less than a minute.

Smell is of burnt chocolate, some kind of floral hop, some vegetable notes that don't necessarily detract from the overall smell, some acetone-like smell that does, and subtle dark roast coffee notes.

Coffee is more evident in the taste, good bittering right up front. Not a very malty RIS, any fruits are muted. Slightly astringent finish mingling with more burnt chocolate in the aftertaste. One dimensional.

Mouthfeel does not stand up to the flavor in this beer. Slightly low final gravity IMO.

The drinkability is better than many I think partly because T.D. does a great job hiding the alc. content. That said, I wish I could taste more alcohol when I drink this. I think it would mellow some of the other flavors that dominate.

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Photo of Tomdee74
3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is the 2nd time I'm trying this I picked it up near Hershey Park over the summer. I split it with smutty33 before and i probably would rate it better this time but still nothing special.

A - Not a big head here. It's dark but I poured aggressively and i didn't get much of a head.. what is there is thin and it dissipated quick. doesn't look horrible though.. it's dark and black of course..

S - I don't like i pick up too much alcohol in this smell. i'm not getting any chocolate or coffee here.. i know it's not that kind of stout but i'm not picking up much from the smell.

T - maybe sweet maybe sour.. i'm not sure.. it's not thin but it's not overly complex.. i don't want to destroy this beer by any means.. it's decent it's not the worst stout i've ever had.. but it's missing a kick here..

M & D - Both are okay and i'll take them if someone else had them at a party or something. but it's not something i would specifically go out and look for.

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Photo of KFaulkner
3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Whoa, this is quite a beer! This is my second Russian Imperial and I must say it seems that the reviews on these are a little overrated. That said, this beer is so unique and interesting, I would recommend it to anyone. Now, Thirsty Dog certainly may not make the best Russian Imperial out there, but I will be sure to continue seeking out the style.

The beer pours very dark, with a dark head and a toasty dark smell. Did I mention it's dark? This is clearly the king of stouts, but the overabundance of alcohol was almost a little too noticeable. But that is what these are all about and aside from my nitpicking, this is a great beer. If not just for its uniqueness, but also for its toasty, complex flavor.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.31/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Single, twelve-ounce bottle just copped from Nikki's Liquors in Providence for $1.99...
Side of the bottle clearly states "9.7% ABV"...
Appearance: Beautiful, pitch-black, opaque, ebondy hue with a slight tan head that quickly receded...
Smell: Alcohol-ridden aroma with a strong, roasted malt backbone... Dark liquer chocolate...
Taste: Alcohol-laden flavor... Way too much alcohol with not enought sweet creaminess usually found in classic RIS's... Bittersweet dark chocolate is detectable, yet the alcohol is way too overwhelming on this one...
Creamy, rich thick mouthfeel...
Drinkability obviously took a hit due to the large dose of alcohol evident in both the nose and on the tongue...

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Photo of taylorhamrick
3.32/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours very dark, very dark. Looks black, even in the light. The head is small and thin. Dark browen, loose bubbles, gone in a flash. The smell is nice. Clean, with a touch of burnt sugar sweetness. Chocolate really comes through in this one, with a kind of weak, burnt coffee note. Pretty interesting, with just a note of yeast in the end. The taste is pretty interesting. Kind of simple, but nice. A chocolatey sweet coffee, kind of thin, with a bit of an alcohol burn in the finish. I wouldn't call this pedestrian - pretty well-made, maybe a bit predictable though. The coffee hits again in the finish. The bubbles don't burn, the alcohol does a bit though. A decent roastiness keeps me going, but the alcohol will keep me from ever reaching for more than one.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.33/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very black with tinges of red, not much head but lacing is ok, little in the way of obvious carbonation or bubbles.

A bit funky smelling for a RIS. There's a slightly wet concrete aroma in there somewhere. Other aromas are roasted malts, coffee, toffee, chocolate and smoky smells.

Taste is not bad at all. Roasted malt character is deep, along with rich coffee flavors, some toffee and smoke, and a touch of underlying fruitiness.

Feel is pretty darn good. Smooth and slick, rich, with a lingering coffee/chocolate bitterness that's a credit to the style.

Drink is ok. It might make a better black and tan than a straight-up RIS.

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Photo of TheSupremeAJ
3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Abe's of Bethlehem, PA.

A- Poor thin tan head. Dissipated quickly. Nice thick dark color. Lots of yeast on the bottom of the bottle.

S- Coffee hits strong with some bitter cocoa on the finish. Noticeable alcohol tinge.

T- Strong very dark roasted flavor, almost burnt. Bitter aftertaste, not from the hops but from the over-roasting of the barley.

M- Medium body... OK carbonation for an RIS.

D- This is an OK stout. The alcohol is fairly masked.

This really doesn't play on level with the Russian Imperial Stouts. It just take like a burnt regular stout with a little extra alcohol. Nothing special, but not terrible. I would take this over a Coors or Miller and drink it at a bar where nothing else good was around.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.37/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

black as night. some effervescing brown head that disappears quickly and completely.

fresh coffee and burnt espresso beans in the aroma. the barest hints of some sugary chocolate and charred wood.

strong, tight carbonation and a lighter than expected mouthfeel. starts with some slight malty sweetness but overwhelmed by an intensely bitter coffee finish that lasts forever. not what i'd call extremely drinkable or very complex, but a well-crafted beer.

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Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
4.15 out of 5 based on 1,900 ratings.
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