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: 1,272
Photo of VncentLIFE
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Kyel Scobie!

Pour is pitch black, but the head is non-existent. Small caramel ring clings to the glass.

The smell is more spicy than anything. Hop bitterness, bitter coffee, and thats about it. smooth, dry grains try to balance it out, but cant compete.

Taste is a simple IS. Dry caramel, grains, and powdered chocolate. All of those are in balance. Its a bitter RIS at heart. I think the 7oz pour is perfect. The small 7oz bottle is perfect; anything more, and i wouldnt be able to finish it. This thing must be super fresh, because i feel the hops.

I debated between each sip how to rate this thing. Im still at a loss. Very hoppy stout.

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Photo of Merkur
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at 12 South Tap Room in Nashvill.

Beer was poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a nice dark brown with a large 2 finger brown head.

Beer smells very earthy and roasty.

Beer starts off tasting slightly sweet and roasted. Hints of chocolate, before giving way to a bitter finish. A bit too strong of a booze and bitter taste at the end.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick.

Overall too bitter and boozy for my tastes.

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

This is an '09 vintage in mini 7oz bottle thanks to oregone.

Nice creamy darker colored 1/4 finger head that sticks around for a while, with a nice lacing and a bit of legs on the glass, with pretty much pitch black beer inside, and tons of yeast chunks.

Nose has plenty of chocolate, mostly baker's bitter chocolate and some dark, but a bit of cocoa. there is also a light roasted malt with hint of coffee, then some caramel, and slightest licorice. It also seems to bring a bit of an earthy hop presence, but not sure. Touch of booze tingles the nose.

Taste is a bit sweet at first, but turns to bitter dark chocolate, and earthy flavors. Chocolate is there, dark, baker's, and light cocoa with a hint of creamy milk chocolate. Then roast, the roasted malts kick in so much that it gets bitter and burnt, a light acrid burnt coffee and licorice flavor. It def has some booze, plenty warming and tingly and almost gets fusel but not quite, which I imagine is more so fresh. Earthy hops add more bitterness to the already bitter earthy burnt malts. Also a light black patent malt flavor, and a light fluffy nougat in there. As it finishes the bitterness really takes over, with an earthy, spicy, astringent bitterness, more from hops in this case I think, which is interested for an 2+ year old beer, although the bitterness from the burnt malts also accentuates it. Sticky and a little sweet still, as well as a slight dark chocolate and burnt coffee lingering.

Mouth is quite rich and full, almost creamy but not quite, decent carb overall.

Overall not bad, but a bit over the top. Not very drinkable, a bit boozy, burnt roast, a little acrid, and astringent finish. I'm usually an imperial stout fan but this seems to go a bit over the top in the wrong places, as most Rogue beers seem to do for me.

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

I'm usually not a fan of Imperial stouts at all, but I thought this tasted more like a black IPA than a stout, enjoyed this out of my Rogue XS chalet

A - Pitch black with little to almost no head at all.

S - Hints of coffee, maybe some chocolate as well? You can smell the alcohol in this one.

T - Very full flavored, lots of malt, can taste some bitter hopiness to it. Was good cold, but as it warmed in the glass it got much beter, the flavor was exploding after about a half hour.

M - Was like drinking thin syrup, little to no carbonation.

O - I enjoyed this beer but will probably not buy it again, $5 for a 6oz bottle? It's not that good.

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Photo of SykDoc
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter It pours a thick dark black and forms a 2 inch mocha head that slowly reduces to a nice over the top lacing.

The aroma has a nice roasted note with a definitely hoppy presence with dark fruit and chocolate. There is a reasonable alcohol component.

The taste seems to fall a bit for me compared to the nose, with a bakers chocolate punch and a hoppy finish with some licorice sweetness in the middle. Nice amount of booziness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an appropriate level of carbonation. A light dryness lingers at the finish with a velvety texture.

Overall, this is a solid beer. It competes with some of the better imperial stouts but could be a little more stiff with flavor and feel.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Bottle.

A: Pours a deep brown, almost black color with a very small mocha head that forms upon pouring, but dissipates quickly. Very little bits of lacing.

S: Roasted malt, a good bit of dark fruit, some chocolate and a little alcohol. There is a little bit of cigar smoke as well.

T: On the burnt side, not quite charred-burnt, but a little over roasted IMO. There is some bitter chocolate and a bit of smoke too.

M: Medium to heavy bodied, low to medium carbonation. Slightly dry finish, hint of alcohol.

O: Glad it was only a 7oz bottle, not sure I would have wanted much more. Just a bit too roasty for my liking.

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

Shared the 2009 and 2010 with jwilliams7272

2009 XS Imperial Stout, 7 oz bottle from CBX. Split with jwilliams7272.

A: Poured a thick black with a generous cocoa head that left spotty lacing. 4/5

S: Hot alcohol, cocoa and slight caramel. 4/5

T: Baker's chocolate, bitter and warming alcohol. Slight smoked meat (Jamie says ham, I say boston butt) after a swallow or two.

M: Medium body with nice carbonation. 4/5

2010 XS Imperial Stout, 7 oz bottle from CBX. Also split with aforementioned jwilliams7272

A: Dark back, not as thick as the 2009 with a light cocoa head that left a nice spider lacing. 4/5

S: Some alcohol, rich chocolate 3.5/5

T: Lighter and less bitter than the 2009, lots of roasted malt with a bitter finish. 3.5/5

M: Thin and highly carbonated for its style. 3/5

We both liked the 2009 better because of its body and taste.

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Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage.

Pours a viscous dark black color with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic streaks and spots of lacing left behind.

Shockingly hop forward aroma with lots of earthy pine and dank floral notes that are countered by deeply roasted dark malts. Hints of dark chocolate, burnt toast, coffee bean and oatmeal along with some licorice and booze.

Medium bodied and again, surprisingly hop forward for the style. Resinous, dry and bitter with a dank, earthy pine flavor that lingers over the roasted dark malt and sweet booze into a dry finish. Slightly smokey with deeply roasted dark malt notes giving off hints of burnt toast, coffee bean, bitter dark chocolate and oatmeal. Subtle alcohol sweetness toward the end of the palate but at this point the beer has mellowed out incredibly well with only faint heat. I never would have guessed that this is 11%.

Overall this beer was very enjoyable. After two years it has retained some really nice hop flavor while the alcohol presence has cooled down. Complex, tasty and deceptively drinkable.

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Photo of madeofsteel
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I saw a 7 oz. bottle of this a few months back, and I thought it was the most adorable thing ever. Bottled in 2009, suggested aging of one year. Poured into a snifter, drank New Year's Eve.

A - Pours a nice thick black, pretty heavy. Not a whole lotta head, some lacing and nice legs.

S - Pretty strong nose, molasses, licorice, and crisp alcohol.

T - Normally, I don't like brewer's licorice, but this one seems to have mellowed out a bit. Bittersweet molasses, and the malts seem to come in waves, trying to edge out the bitterness.

M - Starts out creamy, with mellow carbonation, but gets pretty messy near the end. Warming booze.

O - This is certainly a sipping drink. It is both delicious and intimidating, but certainly worth checking out.

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

On-tap at the Rogue Brewery in Newport. Poured into a goblet. Vintage 2010. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours a deep black with a one-finger creamy, tan head. Head retention is pretty solid. Head dissipates to leave a nice cap with clusters of medium-sized bubbles. Very good lacing.

S - Roasted barley, dark chocolate, dark fruits (similar to a quad), licorice and molasses with a stinging feel from the alcohol.

T - Chocolatey malts hit the palate first but are quickly subdued by the sweetness from the dark fruits and warming alcohol. Bitter coffee notes finish it out.

M - Thick and chewy. Full-bodied with light-medium carbonation. The alcohol gives this beer a warming feeling. A sipper for sure. Finishes with a lingering bitterness.

O - This beer would work more for me if the sweetness was toned down a bit. Otherwise, a pretty decent imperial stout. I find Rogue's beers to be good but not great. This beer is no exception.

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Photo of kjlued
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, not real great at giving good descriptions, but I know good beer from bad and this is a pretty good beer.

Usually not a big rogue fan. I find most of their beers good but not good for the price. This one is no different however, I find it to be one of their best beers I have tried.

Although the beer is delicious, I find that at almost the same price for something like a bottle of KBS, it is not quite as good and only came in a 7oz bottle (almost half the amount of beer).

Worth tasting if you you can find it but not worth buying a case at this price.
I would buy it again if it came in 12oz bottles for the same price but not at the current size/price combo.

Although this is a really good beer, you can find equally as good beers for less or much better beers for the same price to a little less.

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Photo of codsmith
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2009 - 7oz bottle (Shows "Russian Imperial Stout" on bottle)

A: Pours jet black with a only the very slightest caramel head covering. Laces the glass nicely.

S: A dark chocolate, fruit and anise aroma. There is a hot alcohol aroma as well.

T: Rich chocolate at first, but then has a roasted and hop bitterness that really dominates and finishes off the beer. Something didn't seem to age right. I was looking for a smoother and more well balanced finish seeing as how it has aged for 2+ years.

M: Full bodied and fairly chewy. Leaves a creamy mouth-feel.

O: Was really expecting more out of this as far as taste. The smell was fairly right on and the mouthfeel was really there.


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Photo of beagle75
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a re-closeable ceramic bottle into a tulip glass.
2006 vintage

A: Opaque black color with no head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Fermented malt is equally fruity and roasty, with dark qualities featured prominently. A volatile wintergreen quality is unexpected in such a vintage bottle.

T: Begins off-dry, with early chocolate malt soon followed by aggressive acidity. Flavors are intensely earthy in the middle with a charcoal influence. Mild dark fruit is followed by strong bitterness in the spirituous finish.

M: Medium viscosity, astringent and warming on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This is a strong and straight-forward stout, simplistic in the qualities it presents and not particularly enjoyable. Style-appropriate flavors are in ready supply, yet their combined mass oppresses the palate, inducing fatigue. Some evidence that well-aged beers don't always get easier to drink.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured 7 oz bottle into a 13 oz tulip, very aggressive pour. Pours a opaque black, with a fluffy mocha head, that hangs out a while. Very solid lacing. Smell is a very strong burnt expresso with some hints of dark fruits and some alcohol. Taste is similar, but a very pungent dark chocolate steps out, maybe a little more booze then the nose lets on. This is a very roasty and assertive stout, that is on the large size body and flavor. Nice carbonation considering its ABV and fairly easy drinking for its large size.

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Photo of liamt07
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Pino (peesteen), 7oz nip into a snifter, sipping on this for Hallowe'en and some football. 2009 bottling ("Rogue XS RIS), at least 2/3 of an inch of yeast caked onto the base of a bottle even this small.

Pours pitch black with a voluminous light brown head, quite creamy and dense. Excellent lacing and moderate retention. Nose of deep dark fruits, black cherries, currants, some raisin, plum. Touch of chocolate, and no alcohol surprisingly. Nice. Taste turns the tables, super bitter and roasty coffee. Deep dark chocolate, and a dry finish. Lengthy roastiness, and some sweet molasses near the end of the sip as well. Slightly sticky, but still quite dry. Pretty heavy body, and low carbonation. Absolutely no alcohol here, which is a feat for the ABV. Quite a nice roasty and bitter stout, that has stood up for at least 2 years, and could go longer I'd bet. 7oz is a perfect serving size.

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Photo of boralyl
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 vintage. 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a dark black with a smidgen of light coming through the deep brown at the top of the glass. It produces a small mocha head that fades leaving a small ring.

S - The nose consists of chocolate, plum and light coffee as well as a little booze.

M - Full in body with a nice creamy feel. Carbonation is light, not sure if this is because of the age or how it is normally done. I need to try a fresh one.

T - Chocolate up front followed by the plum and dark fruit from the nose. A little bit of booze peaks towards the middle and it finishes with a coffee like bitterness along with some sweetness.

I'm going to have compare this to a fresh one, but this vintages is pretty tasty. I'm glad one of my trading buddies hooked me up with this brew.

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Photo of portia99
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

7oz bottle (bottled in 2009) poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a deep brown color that is nearly opaque even when held up to the light. Only a low collar of tan bubbles develops around the edge of the glass and no lacing left on the glass.

S - Very, very boozy on the nose up front. Caramel, heavy licorice, dark fruit, earthy/dirtlike aromas, hints of milk chocolate. Too heavy on the alcohol component for me.

T - Very bitter with burnt and smokey acrid flavors, coffee, burnt toast, charcoal. Booziness in the nose disappears almost entirely in the flavor. Hints of vanilla, chocolate and caramel smooth things out a bit, but the smoke is a touch overpowering.

M - Probably the best aspect of this beer. Thick, creamy, velvety in feel. Carbonation gives the faintest tingle on the tongue, otherwise remaining largely unobtrusive.

O - Just average for me. The smell and taste are mostly balanced expect for one element (different in each case) that seems to overwhelm just about everything else that is there, killing the subtle nuances that exist in the background. Glad to try it, but not something I will likely be seeking out in the future.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
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 mrfrancis
3.26/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque black with a thick, compact tan head that laces deep into the glass. Very dense and imposing in the glass.

S: A combination of roasted malts and astringent, citrusy hops immediately make their presence known on the nose. Eventually notes of dark fruits, molasses, coffee, and dark chocolate are detectable.

T: Opens bitter and roasty with notes of burnt toast, coffee, molasses, and bitter chocolate, but is soon dominated by tart, citrusy hops and a cedary, almost aniseed-like flavor. The finish is explosive with flavors of roasted malt, citrusy hops, and astringent alcohol battling for dominance. The flavor profile is interesting, but nothing is integrated all that well.

M: Very robust and full-bodied. Starts out creamy and smooth, but quickly becomes sticky, oily, almosy inky in the mouth. This is one big, chewy beer that immediately imposes itself on the reviewer.

O: One thing that bothers me about many American microbreweries is their tendency to exaggerate certain characteristics of a particular style, or in this case, to bring in elements from other styles that have no place in the style they're trying to replicate. Stouts are not supposed to be this hoppy regardless of strength. While this is an interesting effort that is bound to delight extreme beer enthusiasts, the traditional qualities of an imperial stout come off as being rather muted. I see this as a missed opportunity.

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Photo of Holland
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 oz ceramic bottle marked 2009. 2 years old, I guess.

A: deep dark black like it should be. The part I don't care for here is the lack of head, but I served it cold. Lacing stayed with me, so I appreciated that.

S: pretty average for a RIS. Malt bomb smells abound, and there is the standard coffee like smell a bit and some alcohol.

T: again, standard for a russian imperial. Taste is dominated by malts, some bitter hops (nice touch), and the coffee and roasted malt flavor. Just a hint of balsalmic is nice.

M: decent carbonation, medium bodied, this is solid.

O: never been impressed with a Rogue beer. This one is the same. Good beer, but for the price - I think it was $12 for a 22 oz - there are hundreds of amazing beers. Founders Imperial Stout blows this away, and that's the last one I had. So...

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

A dark and deep hued chocolate milk coloured head dissipates little by little despite that the hockey-puck black body beneath it stays completely opaque throughout (even despite being tested directly against the light). Whereas large clumps of yeast used to be spotted in the old 750ml ceramic bottles, this tiny 7 ounce serving seems clean as a whistle.

Rogue Imperial Stout smells an unusual combination of barbecued teriyaki, chocolate brownie and black coffee. The typical element of roasted malts smells as if it were marinated in soy sauce and finished with anise and black pepper before being put on the grill. It is rich, of course, and smoky, but also quite seductive. This isn't your usual imperial stout, I'm guessing...

The teriyaki-like semblance notwithstanding, this does have the customary imperial stout elements: flavours of chocolate and coffee do grace the tongue, along with a black licorice-like bitterness. I can't say that much alcohol is tasted, although some sips can be a little harsh, with a fireplace like sootiness and a lingering, overtly plant-like bitterness.

That assertive bitterness, however, which is Rogue's specialty after all, accompanies an already viscous mouthfeel; my previous notes (from a 2006 vintage) remark this as very viscous and indeed this 2009 bottle (at age 2) is no different. It feels motor oil thick on the palate and the hops, though not overwhelming, are damp and heavily ingrained into the taste.

A blend of teriyaki, baker's chocolate and cold espresso, the beer is rich and also forcefully strong, likely too much for most palates. Indeed, Rogue's Imperial Stout has every bit as much character as the brewery publicizes; small bottles can still pack plenty of strength and flavour and make an ideal serving size for a beer of this scope and stature.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one last summer on our trip to Chicago. I remember paying a ridiculous amount for this little 7oz bottle. Let's hope it was worth the ticket.

From a 7oz nip into a snifter
Bottled in 2009

APPEARANCE: A black pour yields a small, medium looking, light mocha colored head with decent retention, eventually fading to a light wisp and ring. Jet black body with no carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp remains and leaves some dots of lacing down the sides of the glass.

SMELL: A milder nose of roasted malts and some hints of oak actually. Notes of coffee, chocolate and earthy hops as well. The oak notes were unexpected, but certainly a nice touch. Unfortunately this one is just a little too mild in the aroma department to be special.

TASTE: Roasted malts, chocolate, and a good dose of bitter, black coffee at the finish. Big and persistent aftertaste of burnt or charred malts, bitter espresso and dark, pure chocolate. Pretty big flavors and definitely more impressive than the nose. Fits the bill.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation, though slightly too light on the palate perhaps. Could use some more weight for the style. Nicely creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth with a slightly mouth-coating finish. Nice and creamy for sure, with a good finish, but could use some more weight for top marks here.

OVERALL: This is a good imperial stout, and though I've never had it fresh, it seems to be aging just fine. While the nose could be a little more forthcoming and the palate a bit bigger, the flavor is definitely a good example of the style. It’s too bad this one is so expensive for such a little bottle, as there are plenty of other great imperial stouts at a better price point. It’s one and done for this one, but it was worth checking out.

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Photo of warnerry
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Normally I’d be pretty pissed that I paid $6.00+ for a bottle that isn’t even as tall as my tulip. This, however, is a highly-acclaimed Russian Imperial Stout – one of my absolute favorite styles. Thus, my negativity is at the very least subdued. At almost a dollar an ounce, though, it will be tough to justify the cost of this one. Let’s hope it’s just really, really good.

Brewed about two years before the date of this tasting (“Bottled in 2009”).

A: A black, oily body flows slowly from the bottle as I pour into my tulip. It’s pitch black, save for the small area directly beneath the head where light shines through to show a deep brown color. The head’s a dark, mocha beauty, so rich and creamy you could eat it with a spoon. Dreamy lacing clings to every single open area around the glass. It’s the perfect RIS look.

S: Very mild, very warm. Bready malts, with molasses, chocolate, and vanilla aromas form a bakery-fresh richness. Apart from that, there’s not a whole lot else besides some woody, caramel booze and some unfortunate buttery notes. Small but mighty is the name of the game in this nose, I guess.

T: Warm, malty goodness. There's a welcome bit of complexity, though, in that you can clearly distinguish between the syrupy and grainy textures. The syrups are dark and chocolaty, laced with sweetened coffee; the grains show themselves slightly after, and they're mostly roasted, with a chewy note throughout. The most impressive part of this beer, however, is the hop presence. For such an old brew, this certainly has a great piney bitterness; the resins of meaty Willamette hops take charge of the palate to the very end. The aftertaste is whatever's left of the coffee (not much), and the healthy sting of peppery hops. For this RIS, it’s nothing but savory satisfaction.

M: Smooth, all the way down. There’s a thickness that goes perfectly with the grain texture of the malts, and enough carb to keep attention on the hops. I can’t believe something with 11% alcohol is so drinkable.

O: Well, it’s great. Damn! I was secretly hoping this one would have something strikingly bad about it, so the decision to spend over $6.00 on another 7 oz. bottle would be easy. It turns out that it’ll probably call to me again, despite its hefty price. Oh well, it'll be money well spent. Even after a couple years of age, Rogue’s RIS is as hoppy and rewarding as ever.

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Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,272 ratings.
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