Imperial Stout | Rogue Ales

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Imperial StoutImperial Stout
1,280 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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,280 |  Reviews: 821
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle from Olivers near NYC. Dark black colour, wide-waffing aroma. Taste is like many other imperial stouts, imperial porters I have had. Maybe a notch below because of sour finish. Very coconut and bitter baker's chocolate presence. Very high alcohol kick.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this one!

Small 7 oz. nip bottle. Bottled in 2009.

Pours a thick opaque black with a small dense 1/2 inch dark khaki head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Random small spots of lace slowly drip back into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and a sharp alcohol aroma. I am also getting some molasses and graham cracker aromas as the beer warms. Taste is of bitter roasted malt, roasted coffee grounds, bitter cocoa powder, and some bitter hops on the finish. The bitterness is pretty assertive and sticks around on the palate after each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a thick and somewhat flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is simply a pretty good RIS with a pronounced bitterness on the tongue. Not bad per se but I probably wouldn't go for one of these again.

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Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bottled in 2004, that's right, 11 years ago! unearthed from a friends cellar, what a cool treat to dip into around holiday time. age has done nothing but good for this thing too, not hardly any oxidation in it, and a richness not at all decayed. jet black, the beer looks almost reduced and concentrated, crazy how dark it is, intense, midnight. very little head on it, some patchy tan bits on the surface, but no cover at all. smells great, specialty dark malts, bitter raw cocoa, and some stale coffee. I get some fruitiness too though, some definite raisin in there, and a rum sort of booziness, pretty darn appetizing. the flavor is even better than the nose, its everything I smelled but all so well integrated. hints of unlit cigar, vanilla, and cake batter, its just delicious. the alcohol is still strong, but it has to have mellowed right? would this have been a whole lot hotter fresh? if so, I am glad its been aged. one of the oldest beers I have ever had, and I see no ill effects from this extended time in the cellar. one of the top beers in the XS series in my opinion, what a treat!

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Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of GRG1313
2.16/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours black with a thick light brown/brown head and looks very inviting.

Nose is chocolate plums; chocolate covered fruit character (oranges/cherries)and again is inviting;

Mouthfeel is medium bodied to lightly creamy but it's hard to judge or appreciate any mouthfeel because the flavors and general character of this beer are so off-putting.

All character is just forgotten because of the extremely burnt, charred, grain, burnt day old coffee flavors. The flavors are gigantic and aggressive but with little appeal. Front palate is decent with hints of chocolate but quickly goes to burnt tar; charred meat flavors that then go to a burnt charcoal bitter finish.

Little appealing about this one; no finese whatsoever. True to form, Rogue does great bottles and average or worse beer.

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Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out from a mini bottle which I wasn't much of a fan of. The beer poured out jet black with a nice brown head on top. The lacing was decent on this beer. The smell was boozy and very roasted. The taste had some rich dark chocolate with coffee in there. It's also got some nice toasted boozy flavors going on in there. The mouthfeel was pretty thick which I liked a lot. Overall this beer is one of the better Rogue brews out there. I'd like to get it in 12oz. bottles though.

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Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with just a thin ring of tan bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of soy sauce are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of soy sauce, dark malts and licorice. The soy sauce lingers into the finish.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer does an excellent job at masking its strength as any traces of alcohol are well hidden from the taste. I've rated a fresh version of this beer and reviewed an aged version of the beer—the fresh version is better as it doesn't have any flavors of soy sauce in the smell or taste.

Note: 2009 vintage (for review, not rating)

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml, black-painted ceramic bottle, 2008 XS edition. I've been calling these XS bottles 'Darth Vader black', and I think I'm going to have to continue doing that.

This beer pours a perfect black - no light at the edges when held to the overhead halogens, no refraction at all, baby. The only colour reflected in the glass is actually coming from that Christmas tree that I should really be getting around to dicing up for the recycling bin. Anyways, there are also three or four fingers of puffy, thickly foamy, and rocky brown head, which takes its sweet, sweet time to dissipate, leaving some well-spaced, interlocked and webbed lace patterns around the glass.

It smells of lightly roasted caramel malt, dark chocolate, beginner's espresso, tanned leather, musty, somewhat fermented dark fruits, stale black licorice, herbal, dead leafy hops, and a whiff of soft warming alcohol. The taste is sharply bitter chocolate and caramel malt, curdled cream, cherry liqueur, smoky leather, edgy, almost salty Scandinavian anise, wet ash, astringent coffee beans, and some competitively astringent earthy, musty, and weirdly fruity hops.

The carbonation is quite timid, manifesting in a mere low-key frothiness, the body large and in charge - due in no small part to its medium-heavy weight - thick, unctuous, and duly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel malt still tough to beat, though the testy hops, seemingly ubiquitous coffee, and seedy alcohol adding up to one bad-ass offset.

A veritable beer-tinged echo of all those Christmas box candies of lore, the big booze coming off as more or less well-integrated, the overall effect rendered as a smooth, sneak-up-on-you kind of chocolate malty hop-thronged alcohol sort of thing. Yum, even if that description doesn't exactly convey it as such.

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

Quite similar to Goose Island's Bourbon Co. Stout, despite the lack of bourbon barrel aging. The thickness, darkness, and aggression is all there. Looks as black as you could ever expect a stout to look. Brown head retention the is unwaivering. Aromas are deep, malty, roasty, expresso, nuts, raisons, prunes...the list goes on. Flavors: see aroma. Overwhelming in the first sips. Becomes more fruity as the beer goes down. Dark dried fruits compound the chocolate and coffee flavors. Hop bittering and flavor add much more than just balance, it adds complexity, bite, and intimidation. Close to being a perfect stout. Only the harsh coffee and chocolate (chalk like) compounded with hop bite and alcoholic heat makes this beer less drinkable than a few others out there. Nevertheless, it's one to keep in the fridge.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.71/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Mine is labelled "Rogue XS Russian Imperial Stout". Acquired at Wades Wines in Westlake Village, California for $4.79 plus tax.

7 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into me Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average. I appreciate the bottle size; beers of this high an ABV should always come in smaller bottles so a typical beer drinker can enjoy it without having to commit to a massive quantity. I don't understand some of these thick strong stouts that come in 750 ml bottles; it doesn't make sense.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of dark khaki colour, great cream, good thickness, and rather impressive retention (4+ minutes) for the 11% ABV. Colour is a solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Lacing is nice.

Sm: Rich chocolate, coffee, dark malts, roast, cocoa bean, and toffee. A moderately strong inviting aroma. No yeast comes through.

T: Dark malts comprise the foundation. Cream and chocolate are present but restrained. The malts are poorly handled, with some buried astringency. Too malty all around. The notes don't work well together, but rather compete and ring distinct. Poorly balanced all around. No alcohol or yeast comes through. Badly built for the style. Not complex or subtle.

Mf: Smooth and creamy. Too thick. Wet where it should be dry, though the roast does lend it some degree of dryness.

Dr: A poorly conceived imperial stout. Hard to drink on account of its low quality. It does hide its ABV quite well, to its credit. I wouldn't get it again. A disappointment from Rogue.


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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of superspak
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, 2012 vintage bottling. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger fairly dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, molasses, light char, pine, herbal, floral, and roasted earthiness; with a bit of booze. Nice aromas with solid balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and earthy/pine hop notes; with good strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, char, molasses, light toffee, pine, floral, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, char, molasses, light toffee, pine, floral, herbal, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Outstanding complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and moderate earthy/pine hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy, slick and moderately chalky/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Russian imperial stout! All around great complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/roasted malt and earthy/pine hops; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of zeff80
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml ceramic bottle

A - Poured out a jet black color with a reddish brown, bubbly, two-finger head. It left thick, sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate (bittersweet or dark chocolate). There was also a ton of caramel aromas. A sweet malty smell was also present.

T - It tasted of bittersweet chocolate and tons of sweet malt. There caramel taste was a little understated compared to its aroma.

M - It was soft, creamy and smooth. A heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is an outstanding RIS, a little overpriced but after a long day it was almost worth the steep price tag.

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Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2003; tasted 6/11/07

Appearance: Pours a murky dark brown color with a modest tan head that drops to a ringlet rather quickly (to be expected from an Impy Stout this old)

Smell: Rich aroma of bittersweet chocolate and chicory as well as rum-soaked dark fruit

Taste: Starts with a fruity flavor of chocolate covered prunes and figs that, by mid-palate, displays a peppery bitterness; after the swallow, the chocolate flavors overwhelm and provide a rich fudgy finish

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with modest carbonation

Drinkability: Four years later and this is still going strong; excellent brew

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2004 drank in 2005): Poured a pitch-black color stout with a huge foamy dark brown head with average retention. Aroma of chocolate and toffee is dominant and quite enjoyable. The roasted malt with a good chocolate undertone also dominates taste. I can’t say I really did notice a high hops profile but was not too bothered by that. Body is above average and alcohol is very well hidden which is a feat. Overall, very nice example which is well balance but would have preferred a bit more complexity.

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Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 1,280 ratings