Imperial Stout | Rogue Ales

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Imperial StoutImperial Stout
1,286 Ratings
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Also known as XS Imperial Stout

12 Ingredients:
Malts: Great Western, Harrington & Klages, Hugh Baird XLT-80, Black, Munich, Chocolate and rolled oats.
Hops: Willamette, Cascade and Chinook. Specialty: Two Secret ingredients.
Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

88 IBU
73 AA
256º Lovibond

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,286 |  Reviews: 822
Reviews by SleepyMonk:
Photo of SleepyMonk
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled 7 Fl. oz. bottle poured into a sniffer. Bottled in 2009 with a sly disclosure that brew is best after 1 year. Without knowing the exact month of bottling this is either a 13 or 24 months of age, either way it is consumed regardless.

Poured into a slight sniffer with very little activity (as one would expect from such a brew) it generated a fingers worth of pale brown head. The body is black a midnight and no there is no color change when he glass is held to the light.

Aroma is typical Russian Imp Stout, albeit a little more subdued than others that i've come across. Coffee notes are contrasted with raw and untreated dark chocolate. Roasted malt, cooked molasses and dark fruits produce a slight sweet and fruity underlying aroma.

Taste is dominated by a smokey to burnt malt but its the dead on accurate taste of raw dark chocolate that makes your taste buds stand up and take notice. Brown sugar is present and mixes well with the taste you get from a short mixed espresso or turkish coffee when you savour the coffee residue.

In the mouth this is very syrupy, ultra smooth and sweet. Not as heavy bodied as one may expect but the level of carbonation is on par with the majority of Imperial Stout i the craft market place today.

For those that love an Imperial Stout or a Stout in general, I say Yes and the same goes for those who have matured their palate towards this direction.

 1,404 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"A thread will tie an honest man better than a chain a rogue."

--Scottish proverb

2007 bottling. Pitch black with an outstandingly sticky crown of dark brown sugar colored foam that is filling well more than half the snifter due an inescapable chug-a-lug pour from the ceramic 750 ml bottle. This is unquestionably one of the best looking Russian Imperial stouts in the history of the style.

The nose is as roasted-black-chocolate malty as expected. The hops are probably long gone, but what's left smells like it will more than get the job done. Regarding the 'two secret ingredients'... let's go with molasses and brewer's licorice.

Any fears on my part that this now four year old bottle of Rogue Imperial Stout was past its prime were put to rest with the very first sip. It might have been even better (read: more hoppy) back in '07, but it's beautifully aged big beer right here and now. May not need that cork and swing-top after all.

Where to start? First of all, I'm sticking with the secret ingredient guesses from several paragraphs ago. Granted, many big stouts deliver those same flavors without having added those specific ingredients... but still. There must have been a few battleships worth of barley shoehorned into each bottle because this sucker is huger than huge. Several more years of aging would not be out of the question at all.

Each mouthful is an explosion of dark chocolate fudge brownie with chunks of Skor candy bar and roasted coffee beans, soaked in blackstrap molasses and Sambuca. Every one of my favorite RIS flavors are present and accounted for... in spades. Simply put, intensity *and* complexity to this degree is a rare combination that deserves the ultimate taste score.

Age cannot have taken much of a toll on the mouthfeel because it's all kinds of crushed velvet lush and heavy cream-like plush. Not quite thick and caramel chewy, but close. Either that or it was the biggest and baddest beast on the big beer block back in '07.

To be honest, my first thought (this morning, not at the time of purchase) on seeing the $16.49 price tag stuck to the side of the ceramic bottle was... 'no way it's worth that'. Well, boys and girls, it is. If limited to one hand to count the best RISs to have ever entered my glass, Rogue Imperial Stout is easily worth one finger.

 2,315 characters

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Jet black in color with a very slight very dark head,the aroma is sweet like molassis and a little nutty.The taste is very earthy and coffeish with a sweet backbone,the alchol is also prevalent in the finish.This is a mans beer for sure one will do me just fine.

 262 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Straight black in color with a dark brown head like the crème you find on top of an espresso shot. The head literally did not go away. It was the last of the tasters and, although they were all poured at the same time, the head was the same when I got to it as it was when the waitress brought it over to my table 20 minutes earlier.

Smell – The dark, roasty malts had some good alcohol notes. This is a big nose. The coffee and stale espresso were bitter and inviting.

Taste – The alcohol was indeed big at the taste. The dark, roasty malts were incredibly smooth. What a terrific flavor! The raw espresso beans puckered my cheeks. The hops were present as well but lighter than what I remember from drinking the bottle.

Mouthfeel – This one is not quite full in the body but it’s big. The flavors certainly are full. The alcohol sting is hard but makes you want to say “thank you, sir, may I have another.”

Drinkability – This is a must try for any serious Imp Stout fan.

 1,007 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Rogue Ale House in San Francisco.

Absolute crude oil black appearance with no hues whatsoever, even when held to direct sunlight. Just blackness! Head is thin and dark brown with lovely lacing. A superb looker. Hansom as Imp. Stouts come. Aroma is a bit lacking in comparison to some of the better thought of Imp. Stouts. Still, there is much to be said of it: Plenty of roastedness, black currants, espresso, anise, cocoa, and spiced rum. Flavor is magnificent. Alcohol content is well covered. Deeply grainy with strong coffee and cocoa flavors. Mild hop presence. Subtle vinous qualities. Mouthfeel is sublimely smooth. Wildly drinkable. Quite dangerous really. When I mentioned that the alcohol was well concealed I meant it. I can see myself drinking several pints of this and then collapsing from my bar stool when I stand up to use the men’s room. The booze in this can really creep up on you. Wonderful beer.

 931 characters

Photo of ricke
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, ceramic bottle. Serving date: 2009-08-07.

A: Pitch black with a small beige head. Some lacings.

S: Lots of hard roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Notes of licorice and dark fruits. Some alcohol.

T: Roasted malts, coffee and dark bitter chocolate in the mouth, with notes of dark fruits and licorice. Some wood. The flavor is rather sweet, but there are some salt notes as well. The finish has an almost ravaging bitterness to it that together with a surprisingly prominent taste of alcohol runs havoc in the mouth. Notes of soy sauce and tannins.

M: On the lighter side of full-bodied, smooth texture, gentle carbonation.

D: A very good and powerful imperial stout. There are some pretty bold flavors going on here. Unfortunately, I think the bitterness in the finish was a bit too much. Interesting to note that the alcohol is still this prominent after three years in the bottle.

 904 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of hopsleeroy
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with small brownish head that laced for a while. Has a little bit if red around the edges in the light. Smell is roasted malt coffee chocolate. Smell is very nice. First taste was of the roasted malts and a bitter chocoloate. Not very sweet. Swallowed kind of bitter with an espresso taste on the back end(dowgraded the taste because of this flavor). This was a rogue beer and in typical fashion there were plenty of hops to balnce out the malt, but hard for me to pinpoint their flavor. Into the glass as it warmed, a few esthers vecame more apparent. A little thinner in the mouth than typical for the style-the alcohol however was nowhere to be seen. Overall pretty good-want to see how one tastes after a year laying down.

 739 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
1.78/5  rDev -55.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

Here's an old-school 2000 Rogue XS bottle, a seven-ounce mini-bottle with a painted label which warrants props for listing all the ingredients, year bottled, plato (26), IBU (87.5), lovibond (258), apparent attenuation (77) and a recommendation that it's best served when aged for a year. Well, folks, how about over six years? Let's find out.

Popping the twist-off cap made little noise, so it's no surprise that the pour led to barely any head, but what's there is a thin topping of chocolate-colored bubbles. Beneath is an ominous, black-as-hell liquid, sitting heavily in the brandy snifter. Oxidized aroma of sherry, Port-like alcohol, wet paper, herbal, leaf, hint of smoke, and some peppery rubbing alcohol. Falls fl at on the palate. No carbonation. An even, somewhat thick, hard-water consistency; slightly chewy. The big malts that this beer was known for have been converted, dried up, and weakened greatly by time. It's become more vinous, sharp, with young Port-like flavors, and a dash of black pepper, but a powdery chocolate and smoke character is all that remains of its former malt presence. Hint of chocolate cake breadiness. Some semi-bitter, raw leafiness from the hops are still intact. An unpleasant smoky, dry and powdery fi nish, with a candied-fruit booziness that seeps out of the palate and lingers for a bit. Not overly fun to drink, but interesting.

If you're cellaring some of these at home, they've hit their peak and are probably good candidates for the kitchen. We'll be turning our remaining bottles into some tasty drizzle reductions for desserts.

 1,672 characters

Photo of skybluewater
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2003 bottling. Glugs out a black that's as dark as night. Very nice chocolate colored head. Man, I love the smell of these stouts. This one smells of chocolate and prunes (good, even though I hate prunes). Taste is pretty much the same, very thick with a chocolate, coffee, fruity flavor. The only problem I have with this beer is the excessively bitter aftertaste. I don't mind bitterness in the flavor, but this lasts way too long. The taste is great, the aftertaste leaves much to be desired.

Overall, a fair impy. Pretty warming on a cool fall night. But that aftertaste is a killer...

 592 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2001. 12oz XS series bottle. Pours into my SN tulip glass an extremely thick, viscous dark crude oil black with a rising extremely deep tan head that leaves spotty lacing everywhere. Like a black hole..this beer envelopes light. Simply fantastic. Aromas of deep, rich dark chocolate malts erupt with vinous sherry-like scents as well. Notes of bitter coffee, vanilla and burnt malts mix with a citrus hop background that is still noticeable after 4 years in the bottle. I'm not getting any off aromas at all. The anticipation builds...

First sip brings a slick dark roasted maltiness with a big blast of chocolate flavors. Light swirls of bitter coffee along with a vinous and sherry notes backed by mellow alcohol tones. The sweet toasted malts hit initially, followed by a nice bitterness comprised of mellow citrusy, herbal hops. Toasted marshmallow comes to mind on the way down. Big, bountiful and damn good. Quite the impressive Russian Imperial Stout.

Mouthfeel is big, thick and creamy with a smoothed out carbonation that allows it to flow down very easily. At 10.5% the abv is very well hidden and makes it easy for you to get ahead of yourself while drinking it. I would gladly drink another if given the opportunity..but at this abv it's really more of an occasional treat. Truly one of the best imperial stouts around. I'm glad I have a 2003 waiting patiently for me in the cellar. Rogue...please bring back the 12oz XS bottles, please??

 1,464 characters

Photo of bulldogg915
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of EastBay_Nick
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass from one of the XS bottles. It was an impenetrable black with a thick brown head. It had a coffee and roasted malt aroma, maybe a little chocolate too. Similar taste: espresso, roasted malt, a tiny hint of chocolate. The alcohol was hidden well, but I think it warmed things up a little. A little bitterness, but good mouthfeel. Good beer.

 363 characters

Photo of andyfrancis
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rogue XS Russian Imperial Stout. 7 oz bottle. Bottled 2009.

Poured into a small snifter. Black as you can get. nice thin cocoa head.

Smell is weaker than I expected. Definitely some alcohol on the nose. Hint of sweet dark chocolate cherry.

Wowza. It's got some heat to it. Sweet chocolate booze up front with a lingering bitter aftertaste.

The bartender warned me this was still a little young, and I'd have to agree. I drank several drafts of this in a session last year this time, but would not want anymore than the 7 oz i have in front of me right now. If you happen upon some, I'd get it and stash it away for a while. I'll probably pick up a couple more of these little guys and do the same.

 704 characters

Photo of warnerry
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 750ml swing-top ceramic bottle into a tulip

A - pours pitch black with two fingers of light brown head. Head fades pretty quickly and doesn't leave lacing.

S - massive amounts of bittersweet chocolate in the nose. Also hints of coffee, a bit of sugar and lots of roasted malts.

T - Similar to the smell there is a huge amount of chocolate in the taste, along with more roasted malt than I got in the smell. Some charred malt as well, maybe a bit too much. Very smooth with almost no noticeable alcohol. Nice.

M - Slightly syrupy full mouthfeel. The roasted malts give a very dry finish.

O - This is a very nice RIS, and the age has led to very smooth brew. One of the better Rogue offerings.

 701 characters

Photo of shapudding
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rogue XS, 2002. Beautifully dark and thick chocolately brown. Scant amount of head, but what there is a nice creamy beige with dark brown climbing up on the tops for a bit... tiny ring on the edge and slight pretty clouding swirl across the top. Great scent of port wine, cream sherry, warm alcohol scents, chocolate and coffee. Dark and burnt flavors, great taste. Earthy, very dark good chocolate, dark black coffee, burnt toast, toffee, bit of oakyness, hoppy and roasted malt flavors allll mingling... So good! I keep just wanting to describe it as "dark", that is a good thing to me. Not to heavy at all, good body/mouthfeel, just enough carb and not too much. I could easily kick back alot of these. I can hear some of my friends saying it is too bitey for easy drinkability though. Leaves tons and tons of flavor sitting in your mouth.
Taste makes me think of the aftertaste from when you have dark chocolate covered espresso beans...
Very good Rogue offering!

 970 characters

Photo of bishopdc0
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Novare Res tap take over.

The beer is black with a big frothy tan head. The head remains to the end.

The aroma is fantastic and creamy. Hints of raisin and a light roasted coffee and chocolate.

The taste is nice easy chocolate and roasted coffee as well as hints of leather at the end. very nice I would love to try this with some age on it.

 362 characters

Photo of TimoP
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of JakerLou
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Jason
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with a 2001 bottled vintage date.

Appearance: A think vicious brown head forms three fingers deep, awesome slow-motion cascading effect. Retention is superb. Jet black colour shows no trace of light.

Smell: Soft espresso, ghost smoke, sharp unsweetened chocolate and light burnt malt come from the blend of roasted malts. Ripe black currants, molasses and a rough smell from the hops as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Almost syrupy in the mouth with a heavenly creamy smoothness. This brew is just bursting with roasted malt flavours. Fresh espresso, bakers chocolate and light charcoal. Hops bitterness is not to be ignored, bitter oil resins all over. Alcohol is there but does not see to flare out too much, more warmth in the back end. Some sweetness does make it threw with complex tones of dark sugars. Bitterness from the hops and roasted malts drives a day and a life into the after taste.

Drinkability & Notes: No holding back, big time flexing and just so outrageously good. To sum it up this brew as far as Imp Stouts go is one to be reckoned with. Some chocolate covered hazelnuts went very well with this one.

Tasted on 12-30-99. 7oz 1996 vintage bottle. As black as black could be ... with a wispy brown yet sticky lace.

Smell: A touch of sweetness that has hints of over caramelized fruit and a mild acidic twang from the roasted malts ... some hops are there but underlying. There is also the smallest hint of wet paper which shows a bit of aging.

Taste: Oh so smooth with a massive chewy malt mouth feel in this more than full bodied brew. Catastrophic flavours erupt from this thick black liquid ... rich dark chocolate and espresso, sweet and bitter hop flavours ... this is a war upon the taste buds. A faded papery taste is there yet is cast aside as the finish come forth. The finish is a devastation of roasted malt flavours and well as residual sweetness.

Notes: Yes this brew seems like it is peaking in its 3rd year ... a god like brew, this stout is only for those who are worthy of drinking the best. The weak will surely perish upon the mere touch of this brew to their lips. As close to perfection as you can get.

 2,184 characters

Photo of tjthresh
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2002 bottle found at City Wide Liquors in South Bend, IN. Opaque oily black with a smallish, fading rich brown head. It is leaving some rather nice lacing though. A swirl of my glass stirs up pungant hops that fade to rich dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee beans. The flavor works just the opposite. Upfront you get a short charge of creamy milk chocolate and a nice cup of joe. That is short lived because the hop flavor and bitterness are WAY over the top. So much so that it is a big turn off. The palate is rich and creamy. Crank back the hops a bit and we have a real winner.

 585 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, 2001 vintage. Pours a dark and thick opaque black body with an elegant and creamy light brown head. Good retention and lots of lacing on the glass. Lots of good stout aromas, with bitter burnt coffee and unsweetened chocolate. Very roasty and smoky dark malts run rampant in the nose. Mouthfeel is creamy and full bodied, with low medium carbonation. Taste is dominated by the toasty, roasted dark malts. Burnt coffee bitterness, some chocolate cake, and a note of black cherries. Just a hint of the big alcohol. Bitter roasted malt finish with a hint of raisins in the aftertaste. Hops presence seems muted with age, and no hops notes were picked up. This one seems unlikely to benefit much from further aging. Very nice American double stout, but I wish I had sampled it when younger for sake of comparison.

 823 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled in2003 etched in bottle. Pours black with minimal head, very fine bubbles and lace. Super Rich and thick, this is strong stuff! Alcohol obvious in nose, taste, mouthfeel and in head (IE: it goes there quickly). Heavy body, use a knife and a fork! Strong roasted malt, expresso coffee, dark chocolate,and molassas, notes. Dry in the mouth, chalky, bitter, hops a blazing. A fine after dinner sipper. Balance and craftsmanship on full display.

 463 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 1,286 ratings