Imperial Stout
Rogue Ales

Imperial StoutImperial Stout
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #309
Ranked #4,020
4.07 | pDev: 12.29%
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States
Imperial StoutImperial Stout
Notes: 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
Reviews: 822 | Ratings: 1,287 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by strangefate:
Photo of strangefate
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 vintage.

Pours pitch black with very little head and quickly dissipating lacing. The scent gives off hints of chocolate and something else I just can't put pinpoint, though I enjoy the scent very much. Taste is of coffee, chocolate, some malt. Thick full bodied, creamy, and slightly carbonated mouthfeel (still after 6 years). 2004 version or not, this has always tasted like a unique RIS to me, which I enjoy. Very tasty. This aged well.

 445 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
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 RenoZymurgist
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 vintage.
Poured a black brew with a brown head that stuck aaound for awhile.
The aroma was pretty clean consisting of mostly alcohol and black malt.
The flavor began with a rich malt presence that is sweet ayet complex which segues quickly into a whirlpool of alcohol, roasted malts, and high alpha hops. The lingering taste of hops lets you know the 87.5 IBUs are real and it is an excellent example of a nice, hoppy double stout.
The moderate carbonation level and smooth body make this stout very drinkable though the fact that it is 26 degrees plato means that it has a high level of alcohol and should be respected.

 630 characters

Photo of kkipple
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

*2003 vintage from an old-school 12oz bottle, drunk 5 years later in the summer of 2008. Thanks Jamie!

A. Pitch black with a low, dingy tan head. No lace and almost no noticeable carbonation, even though the beer still has life.

S. Still quite intense. Deep coffee notes, cocoa, dark roasted, bitter and scorched grain, boozy and singly sweet with a burnt sugar nose.

T. Wow, this is tasty stuff. Very "blended", and slick, with big coffee and roast flavors at the front, then falling into an oily, dense cocoa heap with coffee around the edges. The alcohol is there but is restrained, maybe it's the age. The sweetness is like a low 60 cycle hum in the background - you know it's there but it's never in your face till the finish where it emerges nicely. This is a dense, old, yet still intense Imperial stout. Well done.

M. Slick, heavy and dense with some legs. Low carbonation, but what do you expect 1,800 days later? Heavy burnt roast finish with brown sugar round the edges. Delightful as a nightcap.

D. Well, no. 5 ounces was enough. But it's very good after 5 years. Wish I had more, this is better aged then fresh in my experience.

 1,148 characters

Photo of lonewolfcry
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of CGMLS3
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of fishmich
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of whynot44
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black brew with a short coffee colored head that, nevertheless, hangs on as a thin layer and manages to leave a trail of lace down the glass.

The aroma is coffee, dark roasted malt, licorice and plums with a hint of dark chocolate and alcohol.

The taste is similar, lots of rich dark coffee notes, dark chocolate, raisins, figs, plums, with a citric hops bite. The alcohol does not really intrude as taste but you know it's there.

This is definitely "Big Beer", full bodied, creamy, almost oily mouthfeel, great for a cold fall or winter day.

And the 750 ml matte black ceramic bottle with a toggle cap is impressive.

This stuff could seriously hurt coronaholics.

 690 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2002 Vintage
Pours used motor oil black with a half finger dark tan head that melts to almost a nitro sticky lace ring and suface blanket.
Aroma...hmmm....dark fruits, raisins, a little coffee, a little dark chocolate, and alcohol.
Taste hits you as very creamy at first and then an incredible dark, rich chocolate. Swallowing it becomes slightly bitter from hops but seems to be more of the chocolate turning into unsweetened chocolate. Swallow completely and feel the warmth of alcohol spreading throughout your body as the aftertaste of chocolate covered raisins fills your mouth.
This may be a miracle of Imperial Stouts.
It has aged incredibly. I have a new bottle recently received but am now thinking I should lock it up for 4 years to open when miracles might happen again.

 786 characters

Photo of JTSbeerislife
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Fridge, Lancaster PA

Poured into a 12 oz brandy snifter. An acceptable glass. Thanks Kevin!

Pours a thin 1/8” head typical of the style with a very tan/brown colored head. Rapidly diminishing in length but easily revived with a swirl of the glass. A live ale.
The color is typical RIS, opaque and black as space.

The nose is a somewhat on the light side but that being said there is medium distinct, rich, malt with hints of biscuit and unsweetened chocolate. Some ale yeast like smells keep trying to come out from the background but really can’t quite make it.

Medium crisp, bitter entry on the palate of distinct malt, yeasty dark bread, dark unsweetened chocolate, cocoa, and espresso. Refined, aggressive and somewhat complex.
Bitter flavors of Espresso are thru out the flavor profile.
There is a nice balanced acidity with full bodied, viscous, creamy, balanced mouth feel, very fine balanced carbonation and is lightly sweet to off dry. Very refreshing and easy to drink.

Exceptionally long finish of very bitter Espresso which lasts forever and I mean forever. I may need to have a palate transplant.

Overall an exceptionally enjoyable RIS, perhaps not reaching the heights of Stone or Founders, but still delicious and holds it’s own in the craft RIS segment.
Nowhere is the 11% ABV noticeable.
Could use a little more intensity in the nose but this is really the only fault of this brew.
The Espresso flavor and finish is extraordinary and balanced perfectly.
Highly recommended!

 1,519 characters

Photo of Skunkdrool
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of KJ2013
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Edwin
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Black. Very Black. Beautiful dark color with a bit of a brownish head. Looks good enough to eat!

Smell - Carries a nutty, chocolaty scent. A roasty smell in there as well. Very nice.

Taste - Simply put - Awesome. Taste that goes with all of the smells above...chocolate, rasted malts, some hoppiness, and maybe some of that espresso-like flavor in there as well.

Mouthfeel - Smooth as a chocolate milk from a diner. A small bitterness on the end, but nothing to cringe at.

Drinkability - Try one and you will most assuredly try another. An excellent all-around stout. Watch the high ABV.

 612 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rogue Public House in Portland, OR ($3.75/glass):

A: Jet-black with a clinging tan lace - no light penetrates. A slight tan film of lingering head.

S: Heavy on the roasted coffee and chocolate. A bit of nuttiness and some alcohol present.

T: Wonderful, heavy, bittersweet chocolate, lots of bittering hops. Peaty. Roasted coffee. Not quite as sweet a finish as I like, but a terrific example of the style overall.

M: Very creamy with a full body. Moderate carbonation. A strong lingering bitterness that clings to all parts of my mouth. Slight alcohol finish.

D: A dark, rich decadent beer. Easy to finish. Quite good and one I'd recommend to anyone as a fine version of an Imperial/Double Stout.

 721 characters

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 vintage bottle. HUGE thanks go out to khiasmus on this one. HUGE!

12oz bottle pours into my duchesse glass pitch black with a big mocha colored head that retains quite well and leaves good hard tan lacing.

Nose is fatass roasted malt and dark fruits. Some slight bean bitterness, but not anything obvious.

Taste is very complex. Deep roasted malt. Caramel, chocolate, coffee bean, dark fruit, toffee. Wow. I am suprised at this judging as the nose was not all that promising. This baby is complex as hell. Starts out slim with roasted malt, but quickly picks up huge bitter bean flavors, some chocolate and coffee. Bitterness rides out on the finish hard. Alcohol is there most certainly.

Mouthfeel is nice and viscous, a bit too slick, good carbonation.

Drinkability is good, but this is defenitely a sipper. Still has a good bit of heat for a bottle this old. Defenitely drinkable for 11% tho.

Overall an interesting experience to try this one at 4 years old. Very different than i would have thought. Still suprisingly bitter. A very pleasant beverage, especially in these days of snow, wind, and warm fires. thanks again to khiasmus.

 1,148 characters

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Bikeboy1
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of joebeerdude
4.88/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best Imperial Stout I've had and for now the best beer I've ever had. I've tried Bell's Expedition Stout, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Arcadia's Imperial Stout, Victory's Storm King, Samuel Smith's Imperial and Avery's "The Czar". My explanation of this stuff may not be as eloquent as a some of you other seasoned beer pros out there but to me it's just plain smooth. Samuel Smith might be smoother but it has too much other fruity stuff going on it which makes it a little confusing as to what it really is. The Rogue has a simple and not overly complicated taste. The alcohol taste jumped out at me with Arcadia and Storm king but not with Rogue. There is some kind of "edge" to it which I can't explain too well but I like it . Of course it is super thick -- almost liquor like. It pours with a head as good as any of the other Imperial's I've tried. I also liked the bottle design (12 oz.) . It gave the ingredients -- 14 of them ! How many beers do you know of that are made with "Free Range Coastal Water" ?? Maybe that is the secret to it's smoothness. Bottled in 2002.

 1,092 characters

Photo of waldowin
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a ceramic bottle labeled "2006", opened the night before, and resealed with included stopper.

Pours a roasted black, totally opaque at any thickness. Head is a dark tan, about a finger thick. Fades to a ring which lasts for ages. Heavy lacing which fades quickly.

Smells heavily of and coffee, with hints of roast, cherries, and a bit of vanilla.

Definitely let this warm up a bit! Straight from the fridge it was strongly coffee flavored with a hint of cherries. As it warmed up a bit, in step the heavy dark chocolate, roasted grains, some bourbon, vanilla, oak, and HOPS. This is an intense beer. Black, bitter, angry, and superb. I think maybe two other beers, if that, have matched the intensity and craft in this flavor. This is a beer for the coffee and hops lover, absolutely.

Mouthfeel is *HUGE*. Thick, syrupy, almost no carbonation, heavy, sweet, bitter, not at all astringent. I look forward to each and every sip as much as the first time I had this beer.

High ABV, intsense flavor, bitterness, acidity, all make this beer less drinkable. But believe me, I would drink this stuff every morning with bacon and eggs given the chance. It's absolutely superb!

 1,195 characters

Photo of dannykugler
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of BeavNH
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Morakaton
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Stingray5
4.49/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a small tan head. One of the nicest looking heads I've seen. I'm not finding much in the way of aroma here save for a little frutiness, but that's about to be a moot point. A rich, thick, full, bold, massive, (fill in the appropriate adjective for big here) mouthful is followed by a biting, in-your-face bitter flavor. Espresso, dark chocolate, port wine, and prune-like fruit flavors only begin to describe this brew. I have to slow down, as after a few swigs I learn this is a sipping beer, courtesy of the strong bitter and alcohol finish. Oh yeah, and then there's the hops, pulling at my heartstrings courtesy of a few well placed burps.

Currently available to me only as a 12oz, here's hoping a bomber of this finds its way out of the brewery and into my stocking this Christmas. Santa, are you listening?

 837 characters

Photo of evoljetta
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber
I gave it a 4.5 on appearance because Im not sure what would be a 5?(3F DarkLord comes to mind)
Smell- Coffee/vanilla?/malt..overall a good aroma
Taste- Very Nice/Coffee/vanilla/malt(as with the aroma)..some hint of the alchohol at the end
Mouthfeel-Nice and smooth, somewhat thick and chunky
Drinkability-A good imperial stout, not something that I could drink alot of, or drink every day, but drinkable none the less

 436 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 7 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick texture. There was a small amount of foamy, tan-colored head that quickly dissipated. Good lacing.

S: A good aroma of coffee, roasted malt, chocolate and perhaps some fruit.

T: A big flavor of malt, coffee, chocolate and a bit of dark fruit. Well-balanced, though the alcohol is pretty noticable.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Full-bodied.

D: A drinkable beer - one of Rogue's better efforts - though the mini serving size is a little irritating.

 542 characters

Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1287 ratings