Imperial Stout | Rogue Ales

821 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 821 | Ratings: 1,273
Photo of Dope
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.

A: Pours pitch black with a dense, dark cocoa brown head. Fades at a moderate pace. Head awakens easily, great retention. Thick continuous patchwork of lacing everywhere

S: Lots of cocoa and char with some roasted coffee to boot. Quite a bit of anise. Kind of creamy, maybe some oatmeal?

T: Chocolate up front with some coffee and char mixed in. Sweet grainy taste in the middle, I assume oatmeal? Some anise in there too. Bitter coffee and sharp baker's chocolate in the finish. Resinous, oily hops add to the bitterness in the finish, surprising after a couple of years. Zero sign of the 11% ABV.

M: Heavy, thick, viscous and a bit creamy.

O: A really nice RIS. It's big, heavy and slick. Just the way I like an RIS, with pure heavy roasted malt character. Lots of black patent malt and chocolate for sure. A lot can have dark fruits in them but not this one. Only addition is a little bit of hops to break it up. Probably a lot hoppier when it's fresh, if I'm honest. Not sure if that would be an improvement or not - will have to seek one out someday. Very tasty overall, I found it very similar to brooklyn BCS but with a little less chocolate.

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Photo of JDerner88
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bought myself a Cask at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville with my lovely girlfriend!

A- This stout is dark as night and you need a dewalt flashlight to see through it

S- there seems to be a distinct roasted coffee aroma

T- A smooth roasted taste with a dark coffee backend

M- crisp and doesn't linger

O- a tasty Russian stout with a mean kick, Thank you comm-rad

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Photo of Braz
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Got a 7oz bottle of this from Tacoma Boys. It's called 'Russian Imperial Stout' on the label. Pours almost like motor oil. Incredible appearance. Very lively and inviting. Big light brown head that sustains for the entire beer, and leaves nice lacing down sides of glass. Dark brown color. Sweet earthy fragrance with an almost light fruitiness. THICK feel. Beer could be a meal I believe. Coffee and dark chocolate flavors. Little alcohol in the flavor as well but it's not overpowering. Pretty bitter aftertaste that lingers. Lightly carbonated. Great beer. Only flaws for me were it could be a little sweeter, and that its syrupy.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage in 750ml ceramic fliptop bottle. Into standard pint.

A: small mouth forced a fairly agressive pour. Came out SUPER thick and black. Got 2 fingers of frothy rich mocha head. Head is falling to a thick cap and leaving sheets of lace. May as well try to look through a wall, I bet more light gets through than this beer.

S: a tad fruity actually, odds are from the high alcohol. Dark fruits and rich roasty notes. Not much chocolate though. Some coffee notes in there too.

T: roasty toasty goodness. big coffee flavor, a little sweet, a little bit of that dark fruit (raison and currant). Finishes mighty bitter with a big hard hit of hops.

M: thick and rich but thinned down by the high alcohol. Just right on carbonation.

O: good stuff, glad its in a big bottle. Glad I got this. All around a good stout.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage.

Beer is black, perhaps a hint of dark brown. Small to moderately-sized tan head. OK retention.

Nose contains a lot of roasted malt, as well as a bunch of dark chocolate and coffee. Some vanilla and caramel as well.

Taste contains lots of roasted malt and caramel, as well as bitter chocolate. Coffee in the finish. Quite bitter for the style. Booze is noticeable but it is a strong beer.

Full bodied. Moderate to high carbonation, particularly for the style. Astringent.

Overall, a little on the bitter side for me, but certainly good.

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is an extremely dark black-ish coloring with a towering, foamy, dense, tan coloring that doesn't appear to be going anywhere. Clings all over the glass as you quaff. Aromas of molasses and old world fruit sweetness, brown sugar, coffee, oak and earth, and a hint of booze. Very rich, dynamic nose. Flavors are very rich, with a coffee and bourbon-like blending initially. Very sweet and roasted, with rich, darkly sweet undertones supporting a touch of bitterness from the coffee notes and a solid booze component. Smooth and heavy in mouth, with a rich, velvety feel. The aftertaste is a bit more boozey, with heavier presence from the wood and earth components to balance out all the sweet and rich. Avoids cloying throughout the entire palate. Very heavy, very big beer. Very good beer.

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Photo of ToddT
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L- Black topped with a thin tan head. Head faded quickly to a ring but left little lace on the glass.

S- Chocolate and coffee notes are the most prevalent ones, hints of floral hops and caramel come through as well.

T- Coffee and chocolate right away, a bit of roasted malt and pine hops cut through and make their presence known at the middle. The finish is a wash of alcohol heat, more coffee and semisweet chocolate.

M- Smooth and creamy, full bodied and low in carbonation, spot on for the style. Finish is dry with a lingering note of coffee and alcohol.

O- This started off as being a truly great beer, too bad the boozy characteristics hurt this at the end. It would have been a sipper anyway at 11.0% ABV, but the finish made me sip it extra slow.

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Photo of TheRealBigC
3.01/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a thick jet black with creamy dark brown head. Looks great, but then, what the hell is this? This is the hoppiest, most bitter imperial stout I have ever tried, by far. Everything I love about this style is hidden behind those hops. It probably has more in common with a strong black ale than a typical Imperial stout. The feel wasn't that smooth, even for a nitro, but that could be an effect of the bitter flavor. I don't know, some people will like it (apparently - it's got an outrageous score on BA) and maybe a bottle will age well, but I'm really disappointed with it and frustrated that it cost so much.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 ceramic bottle version, one of the few original ageing brews I bought. Pours black with a surprising cap of brown head. Awesome retention still.

Nose is peanut butter chocolate and roasty sweetness. Interesting smell and I am surprised by the lack of oxidation after 4+ years.

Tastes decent, this has aged nicely...loads of chocolate, plenty of roast and a leafy hop presence that is really nice, yet unexpected after 4 years. Interesting beer, glad to have it, but at $16 a bottle, dont think Id buy it again.

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Photo of ediaz
3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2010 into a glass

A: No head, little lacing that thins quickly. a dark muddy brown in the glass, think dark chocolate yoo-hoo.

S: sweet yeasty nose with anise, sweet chocolate, vanilla, and a touch of dark fruits.

T: I taste a lot of yeast, finishes with a sharp taste of dark chocolate.

M: smooth, carbonation has a sharp but light feel.

O: 4.0 Its a decent beer and purely bought it on its age but for the $4.75 for a 7oz i think i got caught up in the date and the style. I would seek it out again but its an interesting experience.

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Photo of MichaelinFishers
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage from ceramic flip-top bottle.

I found these on sale for $8 each a couple of years ago and bought four of them. This is the last one.

Poured into shaker pint glasses because that's all we have at the lake cottage. Pours thick and black. The narrow neck of the bottle causes some "glugging" as it pours. A decent head sticks to the glass quite well. Big chocolaty aroma entices. The taste very much follows the aroma. Chocolate malt flavors, roasted barley, and yes, even after four years, hops, dominate. This is very smooth. Drinks extremely well. I opened a bottle a year ago and it was not near this good. The extra year has been a good thing. If anyone has any more of these, they are drinking very well. If I had another, I would hold on, just to see what one more year does, but this is really good right now.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Broke down and bought one of the fancy XS 2011 bottles. Poured a completely opaque black color, with a generous 2 finger light brown creamy head. Smell was a bit of brown sugar sweet, with a hint of lactose. Flavor was a bit on the bitter side. Not overly so, but enough to have a bit of a bite. A bit of a smokey grain undertone as well. Felt great in the mouth. Coated extremely well, with just a hint of carbonation. Overall the price killed this. A good beer at maybe 5-7 for a bomber, not worth the price and markup for the ceramic bottle.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Black throughout with a small brown head that leaves the glass oily and spotted.

Rich, evolving aroma of roast, coffee, a touch of alcohol, and chocolate.

The flavor is nice too and incredibly well integrated. There's great chocolate character along with roast, mild coffee, and just a hint of booze. I like it a lot.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

This really was damn good. Bravo, Rogue! I didn't know you had it in you!

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 7 oz bottle into snifter

Appearance – Pours a deep black color with a large brown head. Tiny carbonating bubbles created a thick head overall that had wonderful retention with very slowly faded to leave a wonderful level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is actually kind of light. There is a dark bread and chocolate flavor that are the base. These are mixed with some vanilla sweetness as well as aromas of espresso, caramel and some bourbon aromas.

Taste – The taste is big and malty up front. A dark bread flavor meets the tongue. It is mixed with some roasty cocoa flavors and an ever so light caramel sweetness. The caramel sweetness fades and gives way to a light vanilla flavor. Soon after this a nice big roasted espresso flavor rolls into the taste. These tastes all last to the end where they mix with a lighter alcohol flavor that leaves a roasty warming flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the creamier side with a slightly lower level of carbonation. These are good for the more bitter-dry flavors of the brew and really complement the nice roasty and boozy flavors that linger on the tongue.

Overall – A nice drier imperial, although not the best out there. While it could use a touch more sweetness and the aroma is a little lacking is does have some nice flavors and is well worth a try.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.71/5  rDev -33.3%
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 facundoCNB
2.8/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 bottle poured into a tulip.

a flat dark pour with barely any head. aromas of bourbon, vanilla, coffee.. very boozy. tastes of coffee and booze.. not much else is present due to the overwhelming alcohol taste. medium bodied, minimal carbonation.. definitely a sipper, due to the booziness of it. i was honestly disappointed in this one. maybe it was aged for too long? barely any flavor aside from the booze, appearance was very blah. the only thing i think i like is the smell.. and the ceramic bottle it came in.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger brown head that fades quickly to ring leaving traces lace. Black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Chocolate and caramel nose, flavor is similar, chocolate, caramel and coffee. Burnt coffee finish. High ABV is hidden. $4.35 for a wussy 7oz bottle from Bert’s Better Beers Hooksett, NH.

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Photo of korguy123
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated ceramic 750ml bottle into snifter.

A- Totally opaque black pour with a finger width dark chocolate milk colored head. Lacing is spotty, alcohol won't let go.

S- Dark chocolate, molasses, licorice and a copious amount of coffee. There is a touch of vanilla with a bit of burnt toast. It almost has a barrel aged aroma to it.

T- Huge amounts of coffee and full on char. Sweetened by chocolate syrup and a good amount of licorice and molasses. The finish is just bitter astringent burnt toast or coffee. Burnt, burnt, burnt is the easiest way to describe it. It's not off putting just wasn't expecting that at all.

M- Full bodied, heavy and velvety.

O- I know a lot of people hate on Rogue, I tend to enjoy all their offerings. They are overpriced and this is no exception but this is a home run. My only beef is the super burnt taste, not really necessary.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. 2011 bottle release.

Appearance: Pitch black, dark as night with a tan head coming off roughly an inch plus off the body.

Smell: Smells damn good, wine meets chocolate.

Taste: Ok after finishing the first glass I see the complexity of it
But not impressed. I was expecting more a little more though full flavoured lacks punch.

Mouth: med-full a crispy texture.

Overall: I have had many imperial stouts and this beer barely made my too ten. If you have money to burn drink it, if you have you're favorites imperial drink that instead it would be hard for this to live to that standard.

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Photo of ckollias
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 750 bottle out of a large snifter glass. Bought it from Head Keepers in Greensberg PA.

A: Pours a pitch black hue with a thin dark brown lace which dissolves in to a wispy lace leaving a semi trail down the glass.

S: Strong roasted malt and chocolate aroma with hints of coffee and coca powder. Alcohol aroma present and finishes slightly hoppy.

T: Smooooth chocolate and roasted flavor. Well balanced with the hops. Alcohol definitely present and dominates the middle of this beer. Finished slightly dry side of sweet.

M: Very strong and boozy. Heavy body and minimal carbonation.

O: Awesome imperial stout. A nice sipping beer @ 11 % alcohol by volume. This might be my favorite beer my Rogue – but at $25 a bottle it more of a luxury than a regular beer I would drink.

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Photo of thetastywort
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this in the XS bottle in a Bruery tulip glass. The 2011 batch.

A: Pours almost black. Not too thick. Had a nice tan head with thick lacing.

S: Roasted malt with a bittersweet chocolate smell. I can slightly smell the booze.

T: Malt and bittersweet chocolate comes first. Ends on the back of my tongue with a coffee-bitterness finish.

M: Above average thick and chewy. Not quite as thick as a Speedway or Marshall Zhukov, but good. Average carbonation.

O: Not a bad RIS, but not my favorite. A nice opportunity to try this bottle on the West Coast. I haven't seen this around too much. If you are looking to drink an RIS, this would sit somewhere in the middle.

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Photo of JTSbeerislife
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
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!

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Photo of barczar
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque brown/black with a dense 2 finger milk chocolate head that lingers indefinitely.

Aroma is decidedly sweet molasses, chocolate, tobacco, roast malt. and a hint of coffee. There's a touch of phenol, and a bit of booze, as well as vanilla.

Roast malt and booze dominate the flavor throughout. Chocolate and vanilla add some complexity, as well as a bit of smoke/peat. There's a burnt flavor that surfaces late and overtakes the experience. It's likely attributable to the combination of roast malt and bitter hops, but it is perceived as char.

Body is thick, fairly syrupy, with minimal carbonation. The finish is a deep alcohol warmth.

Overall, a fairly complex beer that could benefit from some age to tame the alcohol a bit. The burnt character could use some mellowing, as well. Having that charred flavor at the finish kinda wrecks the beer.

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Photo of Kromes
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 7oz bottle, says bottled in 2009. Pitch black with a finger's width brown head that dies down to a thin line of bubbles.

S: Roasted smokey malt, chocolate and booze with a slight fruit aroma.

T: The roasted malt and chocolate flavors blend at first with the booze and a little bit of smoke and earthy peat. Then the chocolate flavors come through with a slightly bitter and acidic finish.

M: Heavy feel with low carbonation. A little dry and acidic in the finish.

O: A good RIS. I really like Rogue and this stout is quality stuff. Putting it up against other stouts though, it doesn't measure up....but still good and worth trying.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

XS bottle. Pours almost black with tan head in tulip. Lots of thick lacing.

Smell is dark chocolate, toasted malt, ripe fruit, coffee, and caramel.

Taste is dark chocolate, coffee with lots of bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Full bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall I think this is very nice. Good example of the style. Will buy again.

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Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,273 ratings.
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