Imperial Stout | Rogue Ales

1,275 Ratings
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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:
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

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Ratings: 1,275 |  Reviews: 821
Photo of UnionMade
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Little baby 8oz bottle from 1996. Given to me by my Chicago friend and fellow BA oldcrustacean. He said he bought it recently at a store. I don't know if Rogue aged a bunch of these and released them for retail, or if the dustributor had them. Either way, it's an old ass bottle and I'm very excited to crack it.

Opens with a slight hiss, and pours like a bottle of waterproof drawing ink, the kind that comes with a dropper and you dip a fountain pen into. Entirely opaque, the last couple sips revealing a thick layer of yeast on the bottom of the glass. I noticed the neck of the bottle, where only air occupied the space, had little yeasty particles clinging to it, as if the bottle had been sitting slightly sideways for a long, long time. When the cap was popped, the underside also had bits of sediment caked to it. Not even an attempt at a head. No bubbling on the pour. Inky black malt aroma, smoothened with time into a down blanket of char, toffee, chocolate and maroon colored fruit. Soft notes of resiny hops, woodsmoke, and currant. A mild undertone of alcohol, baring worn teeth like an old, faithful hunting dog. The first sip reveals that absolutely none of the fire in this beer's belly has been quenched with age. Maybe a little older, a little wiser, but still barrel chested and built like a bulldozer. Coffee laced black-roasted barley rumbles in, clearing it's throat after such a long silence. Strong as ever, but a bit more tactful in it's delivery than when it was young. Baker's chocolate bittersweetness, vinous red grape, heaps of pressed, blood colored fruit juice. Every so often a beer fills my glass that my palate isn't ready for. I know this is one of them. I'm sure I'm missing at least half the complexity in this brew, because my palate isn't refined enough. So deep, it's like a well of regular beer encapsuled in one tiny 8oz bottle. Amazingly, hops are still prominent in the finish, vaguely citric, more piney, resiny and earthy than when this brew is new. Still a good deal of bitterness, quite acidic, enough to retain balance, even robustness. Every sip wants to kick you right in the ass to pay full, honest attention. Really amazing. Strong bittersweet malt flavor in the finish, ending with a grace only acquired through time. Lingering roasty coffee and cocoa. A mouthfeel soft as cashmere, the carbonation like velvet, I couldn't ask for more. A masterpiece.

By no means am I an expert at cellaring. I'm guessing this one was stored very well, but man oh man, I bet this beer would survive a nuclear winter without an off note. Strong, surly and mean as hell at an age when most beers (even some breweries) would be nothing but a memory. It goes to show that american craft brewing ain't going nowhere. I'd guess this has another few years to go before it starts to slow down.
After almost 10 years, this beer, a monster when young, still remains a dragon of a brew in it's old age. Wizened and much more refined, this only grows in character after the time put into it. It goes to show that a little care and patience really do go a long way in aging a beer. I really need to cellar more.

As an afterthought, I'm debating giving this beer a perfect score. After so much time, I really don't expect any head, and the flavor really deserves a solid 6 on the BA scale. What the hell. I think it's earned it, and sure as hell proved it to me. My only complaint is this is the last sip. My first perfect score. Yeah, it's worth it.

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Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
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 paterlodie
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottled 2003. No head at all and a black as coffee colored beer. Nose is very agressive still even after 2 years giving lots of hops and even more roasty chocolate. Some cacaonote, caramel, malts but overal roasty. As is taste; woww this is mega bitter and burnt. Didn't know that many hop fit in one brew and wonder even more how this one could have come through the lautertun. Anyway good sweetness, alcohol, cacao but mostly just burnt and bitter. Thick mouthfeel with it making the mouthfeel edgy but IMO wonderfull. Hard to drink this much roast and hops in one but to me just great.

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Photo of whynot44
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of edmundfitzoil
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at the Brewer's on the Bay in Newport, Oregon. It was served in a 10 oz. glass.

The beer was served and was a pitch black color with a finger of thick, frothy, tan colored head. The head retained all the way through the beer and left lacing down the length of the entire glass. An absolutely breathtaking beer visually. A great pour.
It smelled of some coffee and chocolate with some malt and a hint of vanilla. Taking a taste the beer announced itself a big and full bodied with a heavy mouthfeel, something on the thick side. The beer is lightly carbonated and was served at a near perfect temperature. Words that came to mind when drinking it were chocolate, coffee and a great hoppiness to it. This is a big beer, with a heavy mouthfeel that doesn't hinder or drag down its drinkability. The hop edge lessened as the brew warmed.

The alcohol content is high, which has probably been discussed by others already, but the beer is well worth it. Rogue's Imperial Stout is a very, very good beer.

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Photo of germaniac
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black. No other adjectives are really needed. Just black, with little to no head after the 12oz bottle poured out into my goblet.
Smells of robust coffee, with a malty sweetness and slight hop tang.

Tastes of semi-sweet chocolate and expresso. The roasted malts work well with the hop bite. Maybe some black licorice flavor in there, too. Alcohol is not present in the mouthfeel, but it sure is in the gutfeel. Nice and warm down there. An awesome beer, too bad it's not more available for me. Sure would like to have a few of those 750ml ceramic bottles stashed away for a rainy day.

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Photo of evoljetta
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
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

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a completely opaque onyx color, like a black hole swallowing all light that dares enter, and a nice dark tan head that retains well for an 11% abv brew and provides incessant lacing. Aroma is an intense blend of chocolate, blackstrap molasses, floral hops, high quality coffee, vanilla, and some dark fruit perhaps plum or currant. The taste is intense and complex, flavors of unsweetened chocolate, coffee, currant, floral hops, toffee and vanilla as well as the alcohol which is present and noticeable but doesnt distract. There is a slight sweetness present in the background, like blackstrap molasses or burnt brown sugar. The mouthfeel is very creamy, with a huge body (bordering of gigantic) and a slightly astringent, bitter finish with notes of alcohol. A remarkably complex and intricate brew, could definately benefit from a few years of cellaring and would probably be perfect afterwards.

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Photo of LucaBrasi
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep, deep brown. With a thick dark tan head that will diminish to a topcoat and lace the glass thought the session. The smell is deep roasted malts and chocolate. The taste is robust strong and of roasted malts, chocolate, and perhaps coffee flavors with a slight bitter taste and a warmth of alcohol. The mouthfeel is thick and rich. Drinkability is good. It is strong and as others have mentioned I am also going to pick a few up and let them mellow out.

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Photo of blackie
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A careful pour from the 12 oz. bottle creates a low, medium brown head. The beer itself allows almost no light to pass through, save for a little dark amber hue on the edges.

Smells of rich, dark malt. Dark, bittersweet chocolate aromas abound on the nose. Hints of coffee and caramel are also present. The considerable sweetness lent by the copious amount of malt is well balanced by a nice hop acidity.

Carbonation is medium and the body medium heavy; somewhat slick on the tongue.

As on the nose, coffee and chocolate flavors make themselves well known. The dark, rich malts are the predominant flavors here. There is a sweetness here, but not cloyingly so. Plenty of hops were used to balance out the beer pretty well. After the initial rush of dark goodness, the hops come right out to play with the sweet malt flavors. The finish is a lingering, somewhat astringent coffee flavor with a large amount of hop bitterness. The initial stages of the aftertaste are the first time any EtOH is noticeable. Some of the flavors are a little harsh. The coffee and hops could afford to mellow out a bit.

I'm going to save the one down in the cellar for at least a couple of years and hopefully it will mellow out a bit.

6/22/09 - '97 Vintage nip from HimerMan in No BS 4 shared with sauce and chocolate malts, great balance with the hops well aged, but nothing I ever really seek out...still, interesting to sample a beer produced well before I'd even entered university

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Photo of fingolfin72
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is from a 750 ml stoneware bottle with a wire-clamp stopper, and the alcohol was stated as 11.0% by volume.

The color is that of the black part of a properly pulled shot of espresso, and the head was the color of oiled cherry wood.

Nose- Molasses, darkly roasted coffee, brown sugar, chocolate and smoke.

Palate- Enormous. It had the elements that I smelled in the aroma, but in huge fashion. I swished it around in my mouth, which develops a big, satisfying milk chocolate character. The finish lasts forever. This is a fascinating beer. Bitterness, sweetness, body and alcohol are in balance.

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Photo of tomParis
4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, brewed in 2002.

Appearance - Very black, even in front of a bright light. Small coffee-colored head, but dense and rich.

Smell - Strong and somewhat complex smell. The usual roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and hint of sweetness. For such an extraordinary beer, the smell is a little misleading.

Taste - Wow. Extemely complex. Coffe, chocolate, roasted malts, brown sugar, caramel, fruit, hops, everything. The taste is very aggressive and complex, but not overpowering at all. Took me a while to drink this beer because I kept swirling it around my mouth. Its so tasty that you dont' want to swallow it. Superb.

Mouthfeel - The alcohol is barely noticible. Its thick and chewy, but still smooth. It coats your mouth and leaves a great taste for a while after you've finished. The carbonation was low, but I think its perfect for this beer.

Drinkability - I give it a 5 because I think that drinkability is a relative term. Obviously its not as drinkable as a 5% abv pale ale, but its twice as strong. I could easily have 3 or 4 of these without feeling full or getting sick of it.

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Photo of sinistermadman
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from the 750 mL black ceramic XS bottle. This brew pours an opaque black with an iodine tint towards the edges, zero light transmittance. Small head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Yeah, smells nice. Good stout nose with coffee, toffee, oat and chocolate at the forefront.

Taste is delicious. Mouthfeel is very smooth on the palate, almost creamy but the hops and alcohol make their presence known towards the end. There is a myriad of flavors that come out with each successive drink. Bakers chocolate, oats and coffee come to mind. Very strong malty presence, although the hops do not slouch. A well crafted brew that is very aggressive and complex. Delicious.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2002. Poured jet black, opaque color with a small tan head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of sweet milk chocolate, roasted malt, and light hoppy notes. Creamy mouthfeel, taste of roasted malts, smoke, chocolate, and light alcohol in the finish.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2001

Wow, this is one pours very black with a 1 inch very dark brown head.

Smells of chocolate, coffeee, currant, roasted malts, and some alcohol

Mild chocolate and coffee, currant, and bitter hops in the flavor. Very full and smooth mouthfeel.

I enjoyed this beer, but it's big beer that would be hard to have more than one, especially at 10.5% ABV. But that one beer is worth it. This beer only gets better as you drink it..

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Photo of kegerator
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottled in 2003.
poured out black, black and more black. i nice 1 inch head appears and sticks around leaving decent lacing.
smell is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Hints of caramel and coffee were in the background just slightly.
Taste was, you guessed it, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. It was sweet but no where near cloying and had a great mouthfeel and it coated the tongue very well. One of the better stouts i have had.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a jet black. The head is dark brown. It fades quickly, leaving thick laces. This beer smells very strongly of alcohol. Hidden behind the alcohol, I detect some coffee. The roasted malt smell is also slightly noticable, but mostly alcohol. The taste is quite similar to the aroma. Alcohol warms my throat. It has a coffee taste also. Chocolate flavors mix in as well. It is sweet also. This beer is quite thick. It coats my throat and stomach as it goes down. Due to the high alcohol content of this beer, it might not make a good session beer. Also, the flavor is very aggressive. I like it, but some might not. It is definately worth a try, but if you are unfamiliar with the style, you might want to try something else first.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle bottle in 2003 poured into a pint glass. Deep black with no light visible, a finger of brown head fades quickly to a ring. Smell is very nice--roasted malt, black licorice, dark chocolate, cofee, dark fruits--very appealing. Taste is an excellent roasty dark malt with strong chocolate and expresso flavors, a nice smooth alchohol warmth, and a slightly hoppy burnt finish. Very thick and fullbodied for a rich creamy feel. Only the price and the high ABV keep it from being an everyday beer. This is an oustanding tasting stout.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06/25/05- Purchased at Osco Drugs in Billings, MT. $9.99 a bottle...what a bargain!

Presentation- 750ml beautiful black ceramic bottle with swingtop. No dates, lots of info given on bottle including all natural ingredients. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Dark brown almost black pour. Thick and viscous. Very large chocolate power colored head. Average lacing left.

Smell- Ultra dark roasted malt as well as a nice nutty scent. Lots of dark chocolate and dark coffee scents as well. Lots of good stuff going on here.

Taste- Dark, darker and darkest. Almost like eating a burnt mud pie. First the dark chocolate sweetness kicks in. Followed by a nice dark espesso flavor. Lastly the dark heavily roasted malt kicks in with a nice mellow bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel- Creamy and thick. Almost sryupy mouthfeel. Lower to medium carbonation.

Drinkability- Right up there with Stone and Old Rasputin IMO. Hard to find a flaw with any of these. ABV kicks in fairly hard towards the middle. One of these is plenty. Worth a $13 investment of whatever you can get it for in your area.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black elixir with a neat cocoa powder head and cascading carbonation. She's gorgeous. Smell is alcohol, hops, burnt sugars, coffee...there is a lot happening here. Taste follows the same pattern of alcohol burn, hop bite, roasty malts, some chocolate and anise. Mouthfeel is slick and full early, the sweetness helps out in the middle, but the hops taint the finish for me. They have an ashen quality after following the big flavors. Maybe it's my palate (I have been under the weather the past few days.) Drinkability is tainted by two things: big ABV and big price tag. This beer set me back at least $14. Steep when compared to other quality brews in the same style. Hey, my son gets a ceramic flip top bottle so not all is lost.

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Photo of Viggo
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black, no light visible with a tan head and plenty of lacing. Smell is grassy and floral hops, with some roasty malt. Taste is amazing, malty, roasted grains, chocolate roast finish and a coffee aftertaste with grassy hops up the ass. Full mouth, very thick and chewy, creamy, amazing beer. Thanks DrJay.

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Photo of DrJay
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003: Completely opaque black, no sign of highlights. Rich, dark brown head, good retention and lacing. Aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, earthy hops, ripe fruits. Sweet and malty flavour with a (relatively) mild bitterness, roasted and chocolate still there, a slight hop character and a bit of yeastiness. Medium dry finish with a slight alcohol warming. Thick, full body. Very nice. Surprisingly easy to drink considering the body and abv. Definitely a fine imperial stout.

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Photo of nrrd
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1997 vintage in a 7oz bottle.

Pours dark black with no head or carbonation. Aroma is perfect. Sweet and syrupy, and strongly malty.

Taste is dark chocolate, black coffee, malty and fruity with a good amount of sweetness that gives way to a slightly bitter burnt finish. Taste continues to improve as beer warms up.

The 1997 may be a little past its prime-- the taste balance is a little off, and the finish is a tad abrasive, but this is still a very good beer. That being said, I don’t know if I could have drank more than 7 oz. At once.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml Bottle bought in Sainsburys.

Extremely black body – even holding glass up to the light I can’t see through this !! Never seen a beer this dark before. Pours like a chocolate sauce - head is a dirty brown/yellow colour which lasts throughout…

Aroma of chocolate, roasted bitter malt and some raisin…

Quite dry bitter flavour – can taste strong coffee and chocolate…Quite a thick syrupy mouthfeel...

Really like this beer, one of my favourite imperial stouts. Couldn’t drink too many in one sitting though (or with a lot of food) as it’s a very heavy brew…

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Photo of ypsifly
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz, bottled in '03 and cellared for the past year in my basement, poured into a pint.

Black with a small light brown head that falls to a thin veil with a fat ring that leaves some sheeting on the glass.

Roasted malts, figs, raisin, doughy yeast, and a slight nuance of alcohol make up the nose. Slightly spicey. Smells delicious.

The roasted notes are there, but not as pronounced. Some milk chocolate, almonds and a gentle warmth from the alcohol flow into a slightly bitter hop finish. I wish I could describe it better, but I will say this is fantastic!

Creamy in the mouth and doesn't suffer from carbonation or alcohol burn. I've had fresher bottles, but after this sample I'll say that two years or so perfects this brew. Too much abv to be a session brew, but its so damn tasty it deserves at least a 4.

Buy a few bottles and stash them for a couple years.

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Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,275 ratings.
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