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 Byeast
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My bottle is a ceramic , black/dark grey 750ml , with a flip top and the brewery name running vertical on the front. Some info on the ingrediants on the back. : 26plato , 87.5 IBU ,77AA. Pacman Yeast
Malts: Great Western , Harrington , Klages , Hugh Baird , Crystal , Black , Munich , and Chocolate. Also some rolled oats.
Hops: Willamette , Cascade and Chinook.

Appearance: Poured a thick , coal black that allowed no light to pass through , with a dense , creamy tan/light brown head of an inch.

Smell: Aroma is roasty and intense blend of the 8 malts , coffee , chocolate , smoke , some sharp hop , and a definate presence of alcohol.

Taste: The taste of this Imperial Stout is exellent! Massivly flavorful and complex. Rich maltiness , roasted coffee , dark and slightly bitter chocolate , burnt flavors , and a definate hop in the end.

Mouthfeel : slick and viscous

Drinkability: A great brew , a special one to enjoy with friends who enjoy big beers.

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3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

tried this from the XS series ceramic 750ml

big bold full bodied stout, just as i suspected

full fat thick creamy head, dark cream colored with lots of staying power

absolute blackness, no light escaping through this pint glass

rich, coffee aromas and roasted malts dominated the nose
and the taste echoed the nose, lots of coffee, toffee, chocolate, and sweet roasted malts
a little heavy on the alcohol for me personally, so not as drinkable as i like, but great all the same

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Photo of Gavage
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color with a two finger tan colored head. Nice lacing develops.

Smell: huge roasted malts, chocolate, soft coffee, and alcohol.

Taste: the tastebuds enjoyed the same flavor components as the nose picked up. Dark chocolate, strong roasted malts, alcohol, coffee, molasses, and a strong bitterness makes a bold beer.

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied. The start has a bit of crispness but the finish is purely smooth. Aftertaste is long on the flavors.

Drinkability: this was a meal in disguise, but I found this to be quite quaffable minus the alcohol levels. An all-around great beer everyone should try.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Re-reviewed for the context of Imperial/Russion Stout Session...6th in line for myself, expatsteve, DaPeculierDane, and Golden2wenty1

from the ceramic bottle

appearance: pours a very dark mahogany color, chocolate tones, creamy chocolate head, light lacing

smell: I noted that the aromas were not as bountiful as the DragonSlayer that preceded it...roasted malt, dark chocolate, alcoholic dark fruit

taste: high booze level, alcohol covered plum/raisin, strong licorice, big roasty malt, oatmeal, kind of one dimentionally bitter which I think was my issue with this beer the first time around. I like it, but it didnt match up to some of the other stouts we had that night for me, and it certainly doesnt compete with the other rogue stouts in my opinion. Lofty expectations will do that.

mouthfeel: strong bitterness, medium-full body, hot alcohol presence

drinkability: one of the rougher ones for me

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

Appearance: Black, no visibility, with a 1/3 inch head. Light lacing on the sides of the glass and across the top of the beer. Medium viscosity.

Aroma: Booze, chocolate, molasses. Hints of plum and cane sugar, followed by chocolate and cane sugar developments.

Taste: Immediate maraschino burst followed by hard espresso notes. Aggressive, boozy, but really drinkable. Coffee acidity and licorice flavor across the whole mouth. Molasses, booze and chocolate developments. This is a monster of a beer.

Mouthfeel: Great for such a bitter beer - the bitterness in the finish is thick and dry without being parching. Yet again I'm impressed by Rogue's mastery of hops.

Drinkability: A remarkably drinkable beer considering the aggressive character. All the rich bitterness and malts a stout fan could ask for, while remaining a characteristically Rogue-ish offering. From the first pour to the last sip, this was great.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the beautiful new ceramic swing-tops - very classy. Thanks to expatsteve for the opportunity.

Pour: midnight black under a finger of coffee cream that fades to a skim.

Nose: a little understated with notes of grape/appleskins, espresso bean, vanilla and dark fruit.

Taste: comes off pretty boozy at 10.5% but shows a nice balance of chococoffee malt, vanilla extract (the boozy kind) and black licorice. At 87+ IBU, this one comes off pretty bitter, but retains some good complexity despite it.

Feel: creamy/full-bodied with smooth, fine carbonation and boozy vapors in the sinuses.

Drinkabilty/Overall: quite nice, plenty of complexity and balance, though it comes off a bit boozy, detracting from the drinkability a bit. Still a top notch ADS at the top of our Big Stout Session.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 bottling

a - pretty black, small tan head with little retention, not much lacing, about right for a stout

s - roasted malty goodness, dark chocolate, a few hops in there too, definite alcohol notes

t - as the aroma would suggest, roasted malt, chocolate and coffee up front with a very nice bitter finish, well-balanced

m - medium-to-full bodied, little carbonation, coats mouth very well, moderately dry finish

d - fairly drinkable for a Double Stout though I'd probably only be having one of these

Very solid example of an Double Stout from Rogue. Nothing spectacular, but an interesting brew.

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Photo of Phatz
4.78/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer blows my freaking mind. This is a piece of sin and everything terrific bottled up one amazingly tasty black syrup and bottled in big ceramic bottle that looks like nothing else I've ever seen. Then crowned with a rubber swing top as well, this beer stands out big before it even gets to the glass.

Appearance: Pours charcoal black with a huge brown head that is super thick, like a foam pillow.

Smell: The aroma is very rich; made up of thick cents of cherry, dark coco, coffee, and black licorice which fill the nose. There are also hints of toasted grains and a nice sized serving of hops squeaking through.

Taste: The flavor starts off big on dark malts and chocolate that is like the cooking chocolate. It is so thick and sticky in the mouth it plays a part of the flavor making the dark currants and rum flavors stick to the wall of your mouth. Then there is the bitter espresso and hop characters that are a notable force in the flavor as well. This is one of th most challenging beers I've had the pleasure to attempt to describe. You simply must try it yourself.

Mouthfeel: What the hell. This isn't even like beer. I love it. Literally the end of the bottle plopped! It was that thick. Amazing! Super sticky sand syrupy yet plenty creamy with an oily slick center.

Drinkability: What can I say other than drinking too much of this will surely kill you but what a pleasurable death it would be! I want as much as I can get my hands on!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of CH3CH2OH
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Exceptional appearance pouring from the 75 cl bottle (not the same as pictured, this one is ceramic with a swing top and it's dated 2006; also, it's listed at 11% ABV). Rich, thick, chocolate head.

Everytime I lift the glass, I get different smells - the first time, the hops, second time, coffee, third time, alcohol.

It tastes how it looks. The roasted malt hits first, followed by coffee, then a lingering alcohol.

Mouthfeel is chewey and satisfying, a bit like Founder's Breakfast Stout. You wouldn't do very much after breakfast if you started with this beer. The slick feel of the oats comes through.

Drinkability is good for this strong of a beer. I'll be back for more.

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Photo of orfeu
4.88/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 mL ceramic bottle, capped but with a swing-top cap for resealing. No date, but I'm sure this is no more than a year old. Enjoyed from a 17-ounce snifter. Pours like motor oil draining after 8000 miles: black tar with a dense cloud of espresso-colored froth on top. Aromas of thick brewed dark hot chocolate and pine sap along with a black roastiness. Flavors of malt scorched black by a cast-iron cauldron, baker's chocolate, spruce sap, a bitter alcohol-laced vinous quality, and a burnt, earthy, mineral twang at the finish. Just infinitely complex. The mouthfeel is incredibly dense and viscous. This is relatively fresh, so the alcohol is definitely noticeable and appropriately harsh. Without a doubt, a most drinkable Imperial Stout. Anyway, this is so good it *almost* justifies the exorbitant price tag for a 750 mL ceramic swingtop growler ($14.95 in my neck of the woods).

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Photo of tempest
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I don't know about this one. I'm usually a fan of big beers, but I had trouble splitting at 12 oz. bottle. It pours pitch black with a dark tan head. Smells of dark, very malty chocolate. My first thoughts on the flavor are that they remind me of both Bigfoot, Double Bastard and Brooklyn BCS. Heavy chocolate with a strong malty backbone and strong hop bitterness. Flavor expands when the beer is at room temp, but the alcohol also becomes more evidence. Plenty of black coffee and espresso with dark, dark fruity malt flavors. Good mouthfeel, but I just cant drink much of this.

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Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a 250 mL goblet, served at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD. The stout is cold.

Appearance: The stout is a deep, motor oil black. No light escapes through this baby. The head is a nice mocha color and retains itself well.

Smell: There are conflicting aromas here. First, roasted malts emerged, followed by coffee hints and finally the alcohol reminds us of its presence. Interesting, good, but not innovative.

Taste: The taste is a bit overpowering. While an American DS should be rich and tasty, too many flavors are trying to emerge here. In the end, a burnt, alcohol taste is all that is left.

Mouthfeel: The richness and occasional coffee hint may keep some drinkers coming back, but for me the mouthfeel was too much, too many flavors fighting for attention.

Drinkability: At 10.5%, the drinkability to tough to start with. Add to that the myriad of flavors that try to emerge and the whole thing seems overdone.

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

mmmm, vintage 2003. Seriously dark black with a thick head of choclate milk color. Smells of roastd grain with a sweetness of malt and alcohol. Nice big taste of heady roasty toasty malt with a smoothness and a slight bit of piney hops. Good to the last drop I will have to find some more. Drink it warm.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.77/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was tasted in a snifter from the 750mL ceramic bottle.

Wow was I in for a treat with this beer. It pours jet black with a slighly smaller than expected tan head. The little head creates some lace but evenutally dissipates. The smell has strong hints of sweet dark roasted malts. The taste for this beer is fantastic. It hits you at first with some sweet chocolate flavors and then follows with a nice roasted characteristic before finishing with a nicely balanced amount of bitterness. Some could argue that the bitterness is too much but I loved it. It is nice and creamy in your mouth with just enough carbonation which eventually dissipates but this beer is not any less enjoyable without the carbonation. Overall, highly drinkable possibly the best stout I have had to date.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Rogue Ale House in San Francisco.

Absolute crude oil black appearance with no hues whatsoever, even when held to direct sunlight. Just blackness! Head is thin and dark brown with lovely lacing. A superb looker. Hansom as Imp. Stouts come. Aroma is a bit lacking in comparison to some of the better thought of Imp. Stouts. Still, there is much to be said of it: Plenty of roastedness, black currants, espresso, anise, cocoa, and spiced rum. Flavor is magnificent. Alcohol content is well covered. Deeply grainy with strong coffee and cocoa flavors. Mild hop presence. Subtle vinous qualities. Mouthfeel is sublimely smooth. Wildly drinkable. Quite dangerous really. When I mentioned that the alcohol was well concealed I meant it. I can see myself drinking several pints of this and then collapsing from my bar stool when I stand up to use the men’s room. The booze in this can really creep up on you. Wonderful beer.

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Photo of BAbaracus
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Came in a 7 oz. bottle labelled Rogue XS Imperial Stout. Bottled 2000. Has a different picture than what is shown above, but otherwise is presumably the same beer. Pours a deep purplish wine color. At bottom it appears blackish but tapers off to a lovely purple near the rim. Nose is a fruity raisin blended with brown sugar and roasted malt, alcohol apparent but well blended. Mouthfeel is viscous, chewy, coats the tongue perceptibly. Taste is of aged prunes, raisins. A sour finish leading up to a lingering sugary malt taste. Alcohol is well balanced but readily apparent. In all the alcohol is fairly laid back but the taste still packs a wallop. Glad this came in a 7 oz bottle, and at only $3.99 a pop I couldn’t recommend this one more, although I can’t imagine drinking more than one of these at a sitting.

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Photo of bignick
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle dated 2001 courtesy of Sephiroth. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours near jet-black with a brownish head that remains as I drink it. It has a very nice smell that is balanced between chocolate malt and fruity sweetness. While the hops have pretty much been lost, a nice frutiy sweetness perfectly balances the bitterness of the coffee flavor. It is wonderfully creamy and smooth. The body is very full, and the alcohol warms quite a bit, but it is a very pleasnt beer to drink.

The sediment at the bottom of my glass looks like chocolate syrup at the bottom of a milkshake.

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

Coming out of the bottle this beer seems to fall just a little slower, giving the impression of thickness. In the glass it is black, with a thin yellowish-brown head that fades quickly to a ring.

The alcohol makes its presence known immediately in the smell, with a solvent type aroma. Add in rum soaked cherries, black licorice and brown sugar. Unfortunately the smell is not all that strong, and alcohol drowns some of the more pleasant parts.

This heavy brew does nothing to hide the alcohol. The back half of my mouth was filled with a solvent like liquor flavour that hinted slightly of vanilla. The finish is full of scorched coffee beans, ashen almost. It gets better as it warms, mellowing and sweetening ever so slightly.

The mouthfeel is smooth and filling. Carbonation is almost non-existant and that is fine by me for this beer.

Considering its strength, this beer is drinkable. The big alcohol flavours and smells become something of a turnoff at times though. I'd love to revisit this one after letting it mellow for an extended period of time.

Thanks to orrshow for splitting this bottle with me.

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Photo of jettjon
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

P: Engine oil black, the darkest I've ever seen, some yeast toward the bottom.

H: 1-finger brown, thick and craggy, slow fade to a thin sheet then just a bit of lace at the end, plenty of lacing on glass. 4.5

N: Not much here, smells curiously musty 3.0

T: Darkly bitter in the background, strong coffee, to bitter like a strong cup of coffee with malt... perhaps a hint of alcohol. Tends to mellow as you drink 4.0

M: Pleasant, thick, borderline creamy 4.5 +

F: coffee bitter -

D: OK, it's pretty heavy... I certainly wouldn't drink more than one. is this atypical of "imperial stouts"? 3.5

Overall: Good but oh so bitter. Puts hair on your chest, as they say. A real "man's beer."

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - black hole black, a thin short lived dark brown head, too dark to see carbonation or sediment

S - yup, its an impy stout, typical aromas, coffee bitterness and slight chocolate aromas, and a slight anise twang to the bouquet

T - too bitter and chalky to be fully enjoyed, nice balanced espresso aftertaste

D - moderate, bitter, but easy down, and a sweet aftertaste

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

Appearance – Pours the deepest black I’ve seen in a beer with some nice chocolate colored frothy head. It dissipates quickly as expected and leaves some lacing. After this beer was done the glass seemed to be almost stained brown…something I’ve never seen before.

Smell – Up front I can smell the fact that this beer has a high ABV. There are some strong roasted characteristics to the scent, some coffee, chocolate cocoa, toffee, brown sugar, and a slight fruitiness which seems to be cherry or currant. Very nice.

Taste – Up front this stout is very strong of alcohol. It hits hard... almost too hard. Along with it there is a sweet flavor resembling vanilla and a touch of sourness. I almost sense burnt wood after this followed by a massive kick of roasted malts, coffee beans and bitter chocolate. Every feeling left in my mouth afterwards is burnt and toasty. The aftertaste is very pleasant, but that alcohol bite of the bat is a little rough.

Mouthfeel – Can’t ask for much more here. The carbonation was a little tingly off the start but that went away. This beer is also very thick and almost chewy. Almost perfect…but not quite.

Drinkability – Quite easy to drink. I took into consideration that this one is meant to be sipped and not guzzled. The alcohol burn could be toned down to make this category go up though.

A very nice stout. I really enjoyed it and I think that if its ABV was lower it could be near the best stout I’ve had.

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Photo of frosty
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got one of these from the local CT Bev Mart for $9. Now I've heard so much about this beer I just had to get one. It would be the first Russian Imperial I've ever tried so I was excited. Poured from the bottle into a glass this beer is very dark. The smell of chocolate,coffee, and maltiness when I put it to my nose. As I taste it Wow a nice balance of coffee flavor and bitterness hit my mouth. Now at 10.5% you can taste the alcohol but its not bad. I sipped this one and enjoyed it. This is probably the best Rouge I've had yet.

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Photo of Derek
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2003, consumed in 2006.

Wow this is good!

A: Seriously dark black with a dark tan head. Not much retention and there's more of a leg than a lace. I think a stout really needs more head... but this may be a result of it's age.

S: Plenty of dark chocolate, malty goodness.

T: Dark bitter chocolate with a little espresso. It's more of a malt bomb than I had anticipated. Some dark fruity flavours (prune, raisin) and molases. I'd prefer some more fruity esters from a more British yeast (their chico is a little tame). It's balanced to the bitter side, but it's not crazy (like some Rogues or even other Imperials). There's certainly some nice hop bitterness here, but not a lot of hop flavour. Alcohol is prominent, but not overly assertive.

M: Full body is a little chalky and acidic. Low to moderate carbonation.

D: This one's a sipper... but damn it's good.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a really cool looking 750ml ceramic bottle with a stopper just in case I want to have some now and save the rest for later.

Appearance- Pours a head that starts to rise about five seconds after you finish pouring. Rises like bread dough...satans bread dough!!! Color is a highlightless black. With a brownie head. Nice.

Smell- An even balance of hops and smokey, roassty and toasty malts. I can't put my finger on which one it is. Lets not forgte the nutty mocha.

Taste- Starts out with a good chunk of Northwest hop bitterness. I should say the American hoppy bitterness that I'm most used too.This is then followed with a good balance od sweet brownie flavors. The kind of brownies that have nuts sprinkled on top.

Mouthfeel- Good n' thick. Like drinking a hoppy motor oil. Lets give this beer a viscocity rating instead of this Plato crap. Lots of dark flavors really impacty the middle and sides of the tongue. With a lot of the beers chocolatey flavors hitting the back of the tongue.

This beer would go well with some baker's chocolate.

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