Siberian Night Imperial Stout | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Siberian Night Imperial StoutSiberian Night Imperial Stout
1,924 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Dogbrick on 01-13-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,924 |  Reviews: 871
Photo of Morey
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured pitch black in color, and I do mean PITCH black. Half inch light brown head that leaves behind some decent lace. Head quickly settled to basically just some bubbles around the inside of the glass.

Smells of roasted malts with a slight hop aroma in there as well. Nothing in your face, it actually smells rather clean.

Good mix of roasted barley and dark chocolate flavors in the taste. A pleasant amount of bitterness from the hops as well. Finishes extremely clean.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side for the style. Medium bodied, but I prefer a full body when it comes to imperial stouts.

Drinkability is pretty high considering the thinner body and an ABV that is very well hidden.

Morey's Bottom Line: The best beer that I've had from Thirsty Dog without a doubt. I've had better within the style, but this is definitely above average.

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Photo of biglite351
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark as oil. Tall creamy tan head.

S - strong roasted malts, mild smoke, chocolate and raisin.

T - roasted smokey malts. Mild chocolate finish, but dome bitterness in the after taste.

M - good coating with a tingle that moves around the mouth.

D - two or so, but the bitter hit would get old.

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Photo of kjyost
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade, IIRC it was Viggo... Thanks! 12 oz undated pry-off, poured into a Duvel Tulip.

A: Inky dark with a nice head that descends too quickly, but leaves nice lacing...

S: Not too sure here what was going on, Initial hit was fruity and a little vinous which was off-putting. There is a nice balance between roasted notes, licorice and coffee when you don't get the odd (and hard to place) fruity notes.

T: None of that odd fruit going on here thankfully. A thick beer that is well balanced with a bit of bitterness balancing a fairly sweet body which has strong licorice flavours, coupled with light coffee and molasses.... Very enjoyable.

M: Lower on the carbonation, leaving the sweetness on the tongue. Enjoyable.

D: Almost didn't want to sip this RIS initially due to the odd aroma. Turned out well, but every now and again got hit by the off putting aroma.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured into a tulip glass a nice dark brown/black color with a big 2 finger tan head that laces as it settles. I grabbed this just from my cellar and opened it 51.4 degrees, man is it cool down there!
The nose is a nice mix of dark chocolate, roast, and a slight hint of leather. Medium mouthfeel. Sweet start gives way to a smooth transition to a roasted coffee and dark chocolate flavor. Some lingering bitterness at the end. The 9.7% really doens't show all that much in the nose or the taste. Could use a slightly heavier mouthfeel is my only gripe.

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

12oz Singleton poured into a Snifter

Got this as an extra, and happy I did. Been looking forward to trying this one for a while.

L: 1-finger quickly dissipating head, lacing is a bit thin, but passable. Jet black and appropriately shiny for the genre.

S: Mealy, malt-bomb with a fair amount of sweet booziness behind. Middle is a touch high in the nose, which is indicative of a thinness typically.

T: malt into a raw meat front, dropping into a fat-roasty middle, dropping into a roasted boozitude and lingering wonderfully like perfect espresso.

F: Sufficiently thick and perfectly carbonated.

D: Damn good RIS, especially at the price-point. Not quite old raspy, but not that far off, all-in-all.

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Photo of GilmooDaddy
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle. Purchased from Grape & Gourmet in Virginia Beach, VA.

(Appearance): Pours a very opaque black that suits the "Siberian Night" name well. There is an initial nonexistent head until a slight amount of carbonation surfaces after a moments waiting that forms a tiny dark lacing.

(Smell): A very sweet aroma of what I sensed to be chocolate and cherries.

(Taste): The alcohol is easily distinguished, but between it all, I tasted a little bit of chocolate and maybe some raisin. It is followed by a slight caramel flavoring as it exits the mouth and passes down the back of the throat.

(Mouthfeel): I expected this Russian Imperial Stout to be a bit more creamy and heavy, but found it surprisingly watery. It has a slight cream feel on the middle of the tongue, but everywhere else it is lacking viscosity. A lack of carbonation definitely doesn't do it favor either.

(Drinkability): For a 9.70% ABV, this beer is surprisingly easy to take in. If it's one you enjoy exponentially, 2 or 3 down the hatch would make a decent drink session. I would prefer a Storm King over this, but it is a pretty good RIS regardless.

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Photo of FRivard
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured form a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet.

Appearance is opaque poured a cinnamon brown one finger head with minimal lacing.

smells of alchohol chocolate and coffee

taste of roasted caramel and chocolate oats with some raisins and coffee. alchol lingers on the back end.

mouthfeel is very creamy and definitely full bodied.

drinkability a well rounded and full flavored imperial stout that can be enjoyed anywhere any time.

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Photo of DannyDan
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark blackish-brown hue with a brown head in my beer mug. It has a nice 2 finger foamy head with decent retention and good thin lacing. Doesn't seem to be a lot of carbonation to this beer. It has a nice chocolate, sweet malts and coffee aroma that is pleasing to the nose. The taste is dark chocolate with some sweet malts, caramel, raisins, alcohol and a slight coffee flavor. It also has a hint of hops in the middle that the malts cover the taste of. It is a nicely balanced taste that is bitter, but not too bitter. It has a pleasant creamy crisp clean mouthfeel. I can imagine the chocolate and caramel melting in my mouth. Kind of like having liquid chocolate covered raisins, very yummy and very drinkable. A must have for all the stout drinkers out there.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured pitch black with a minimal tan head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, chocolate, caramel, and very slight alcohol. The flavor was of Sweet malt, chocolate, caramel, and alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a very nice brew. Had a good aroma and flavor going on here. The mouthfeel on it was pretty nice too. The alcohol actually helps enhance this brew as it is not overpowering and seems to bring some of the other flavors forward. This is a must try without doubt.

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Photo of scottakelly
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a viscous black with no head, just a thin tan lace. This beer is almost flat, there is just a hint of carbonation. The aroma is of chocolate and coffee, with a tinge of sweet malt. The flavor is well balanced. Coffee and chocolate malt dominate. The beer is balanced well between sweetness and bitterness. There is no perceptible hop flavor. The alcohol is well hidden. A very good RIS, but needs a tad bit more carbonation.

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Photo of aleckpa
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed from a pint glass.

A- Dark dark brown color. Can't see through when held up to light. A little bit of foam when poured, then a lacing throughout the drink. The foam is a coffee, caramel color.

S- Roasted malts, chocolate smell.

T- Coffee, chocolate, and a hint of alcohol. A little sweet to mask the alcohol.

M- Thick mouthfeel, but not syrup thick.

D- Drinkable, so many flavors hit you at once.

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Photo of OnThenIn
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%
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 phiberoptik
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured in a pint glass. Bought from Hyde Park Wine & Spirits in Cincinnati, OH.

I really enjoy this stout. Black as night with a caramel colored head. Its a nice sipping stout which is what I like. Full of caramel, roast coffee, and bitter chocolate notes. I get some molasses also I think. Smells of roasted malts and a tinge of alcohol on the nose.

The flavors in this beer are very profound and really enjoyable. Espresso, dark cocoa, and a hint of sweetness on the tongue.

Finishes really enjoyably. I could keep this next to me all day. Very smooth mouth feel.

I really wish I had more of this, but I bought it in a mix-your-own-6'er.

Great big beer for $9.99 a 6-pack.

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Photo of Kendo
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a couple bottles at Christmas, picked up by my father at Halftime in Poughkeepsie. Consumed on 1/6/11.

A: Poured from the bottle into my Piraat tulip/snifter. Body is thick and black. A small tan head settles on top but disappears quickly. No real lace to speak of, but a touch of "legs" running down the glass after each sip.

S: Very nice - roasty like a good RIS (coffee and barley) and some sweetness - think fruit or molasses - underneath.

T: Solid. Good roasty flavors - roasted barley with a touch of coffee-like roast as well. Roasted, or even burnt, coffee bean-like-bitterness on the finish and lingering into the aftertaste. Some dark chocolate/bakers' chocolate as it warms. Nice balance between the sweeter malt and bitterness. If anything, for my preference, this could be a touch more malty in that balance. But now I'm nitpicking.

Heat from the nearly-10% ABV is felt at the back of the mouth and down the gulley.

M: Thick -- definitely a heavyweight. Carbonation is low, but this is not syrupy or slick.

D: Very good for a beer of this strength.

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Photo of velosuds
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 12/26/10. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. Thanks to my sister-in-law from Ohio for bringing out on her trip to CA for Christmas.

A-Pours a deep, dark brown almost black hue with a scant one finger, creamy tan head with good retention and adequate lacing.

S-Deep, dark chocolate and toasted malts and dark dried fruits. Aroma is a bit subdued for style.

T-Above expectations from appearance and aroma. Quite as expected for style with dark chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla, and alcohol, but licorice and coffee are also noted. Better than I expected.

M-Robust, smooth, and a full body.

D-Very good for a RIS, but not great. I like this and wish it were available in the PNW since offered as a single 12 oz. bottle. Wish more West Coast brewers would bottle RIS in 12 oz. vs. 22 oz.

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Photo of ksimons
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark brown black with just a thin layer of brown head on top

S-rich roasted malts with a hint of bitter hops and chocolate

T-taste is similar to the smell, rich roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee bitterness

M-medium body, very light carbonation, very smooth

D-very easy to drink, not as complex or rich as other RIS, but a good one nonetheless

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: pitch black and lacking in head retention.

smell: loads of chicolate coffee aromas

taste: not very bold. coffee flavor is more dominate than chocolate. slight off finish. could be oxidation, but no date on the bottle. so who knows. solid flavor

mouthfeel: medium bodied to full bodied

drinkability: Well its not an A stout but a solid offering. I'll seek a fresh one in the future to test. This was a gift.

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Photo of seeswo
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, opaque black color with a small tan head. Smells of chocolate roasty goodness. Yum. Taste is more of the smell, with a strong flavor of roasted malts and a secondary flavor of chocolate. The flavor is of moderate intensity, which is a bit reserved relative to some RIS's. Mouthfeel is medium with low to medium carbonation. I would say this is quite drinkable as it doesn't overdo anything and achieves a pretty reasonable balance of flavor. This is a good example of a no-bells-and-whistles RIS.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black, fairly thick body with a finger-thick brown head that quickly dissipates to a slight surface layer and a bit of stickiness on the glass.

Aroma gives a heavy dose of chocolate syrup along with a slight fruit (raisins or prunes) also. Maybe a slight bit of roast coffee beans come through along with some alcohol. However, this is mostly chocolate-y goodness!

Taking a sip reveals a medium-to-full body brew with less chocolate sweetness than expected. It's more bakers' chocolate and bittering. Alcohol comes through a bit toward the swallow, and the finish is very yummy; it's a big robust taste of roasty coffee with toffee. Wow! Impressive. The alcohol sticks around a bit after as well, and is warming.

Medium-to-full body with a bit of hotness to it, but a nice roasty finish and some alcohol that lingers.

Overall, I am pleasantly surprised by this one. I've had Thirsty Dog brews before, but this is by far the best I've had from them. Well done. I got to enjoy some of their brew at a brewfest in the summer, and I was quite excited to try more of their offerings. Definite win!

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Photo of movingtrain
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle sampled from a 12 ounce snifter. Sampling at cellar temperature.

Pours a jet black with a slim tan head lingering around the edges of the glass.

In the aroma are hints of cherry, wood, tobacco, dark dried fruit, espresso, caramelized sugar, cocoa nibs, and vanilla.

The flavor of this is quite nice. Bitter chocolate, coffee, and molasses linger a long time on the palate. There are also hints of dark cherries, vanilla, brown sugar, olives, and burnt wood.

This is a mighty fine ale, and from Ohio! I don't give Thirsty Dog enough credit. They produce some really good beers, and this one is a stand out. Incredibly palatable, though more than one may be asking for trouble, this imperial stout stands among some of the best I've tried. It is rich, full-bodied, and well-balanced.

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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 TheSupremeAJ
3.35/5  rDev -18.9%
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 stearns16
2.86/5  rDev -30.8%
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 Erish
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Nonic pint glass.

A: opaque blackish-brown, a rocky one-finger head quickly falls into a very nice cap with very good lacing.

S: coffee, chocolate, caramel, some milk sugar, burnt sugar, molasses, candied plum. Very nice.

T: brown sugar, dark fruit, and caramel up front, the milk sugar, chocolate and burnt sugar in the middle, and coffee, roasted malt, molasses, smoke, and a grassy hop note on the finish line. Very nice, but not spectacular. There is some depth missing here. It isn't much, but I find myself missing it just the same.

M: medium-bodied (I expected more body), adequate carbonation for the style, and just a bit creamy on the tongue. Just average.

D: an enjoyable enough stout, but lacks the je na se quoi of a great stout.

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

This is definitely a pretty decent stout here coming from Thirsty Dog. Opaque black with smallish head, nose is roasty, a bit smokey, some chocolate there too. Taste follows with a nice RIS, set apart from some others by a oak-y flavor to it. Not bad at all. MF is a bit thin (that might be because we had tasted BCBVS, BCBS, KBS, and some other big guys that night). Decent drink, overall a pretty good beer that's worth checking out.

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Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 1,924 ratings
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