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Imperial Stout | Rogue Ales

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Imperial StoutImperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
1,278 Ratings
Imperial StoutImperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States
rogue.com

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.

26º PLATO
88 IBU
73 AA
256º Lovibond

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,175
Reviews:
821
Ratings:
1,278
pDev:
12.41%
Bros Score:
3.09
 
 
Wants:
106
Gots:
93
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,278 |  Reviews: 821
Photo of fisherman34
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 Vintage. Black in colour with low carbonation. Aromas of dark chocolate, dried fruits, alcohol, and a bit of hops. Heavy in the mouth with flavors of plum, dark chocolate, espresso, raisins, and a bit of caramel and tannic wood. Long finish, with a fair bit of bitterness. I would have liked to have seen a bit more caramel, chocolate, and coffee flavors, and a bit less fruit, but still a very nice impy.

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

Appearance: Pours a powerful black with some deep, deep ruby hues. Crowned with a light brown head that retains fairly well. The head is creeping and chunky.

Smell: Dark chocolate, piping hot bread, plum, and viney hop scents. Some earthiness, and mild alcohol aromas.

Taste: Intense dark chocolate flavors, a crispy, slightly burnt bread flavor. Pumpernickle-like. The maltiness packs a wallop, but the hops are mighty powerful too. Strongly bitter, with a lush vine-like taste. A touch of butterscotch, and some caramel. Grapey finish.

Mouthfeel: Voluptuous and smooth. Hearty body, and a faint tingliness.

Drinkability: Packed with flavor, sensually stimulating, and great all around. One of the most flavorful stouts I've yet had. Could drink them all night.

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Photo of phisig137
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Crock bottle, bought in 05, and cellared for one year. Pours an absolute ink black, letting no light through whatsoever. Two finger thick, rocky cream colored head falls into nothing. No ring around the glass, and no lacing.

Aroma is prevalent as soon as the cap comes off. Incredible amounts of chocolate, roasted malts, caramel, and just a hint of alcohol. Possibly one of the most open, giving aroma's that I've ever experianced.

Flavor is almost orgasmic. Molasses, chocolate, mocha, coffee, brown sugar, dark roasted malt, and a bit of bittering hops in the end. Each sip is a new fold in flavor, and makes you stop and think.

Mouthfeel is incredibly thick and silky. Flavor lingers for a loooong time, and is very enjoyable. Drinkability is a bit low, because alcohol warming kicks in after the first half glass, and you just don't want this to end. I think I'm going to cry when this bottle it gone.

Absolutely, positively worth every single penny of the $15 I paid for it. This bottle was only one year old, but I think it could have gone for at least another two. I think I'm going to have to buy a few of this years vintage and stash them away. Simply amazing.

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Photo of nflmvp
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle says 2002. I just got it last weekend.

Poured thick and black. The head barely materialized and when it was gone, it was gone.

Smell was SWEET and I couldn't get much more out of it than that. Taste was sweet as well...and a bit boozey. Mouthfeel was thick. Drinkability was less than I had hoped for considering the past reviews for this beer and the fact that I typically enjoy the hell out of Imperial Stouts.

I generally enjoyed this but a question kept coming to mind....Is it past its prime?

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Photo of evanackerman
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I was lucky enough to sample this on cask at a bar in Ann Arbor.

dark black with a big dark tan head that stuck around throughout consumption.

smell was coffee and chocolate with burnt malt.

taste was deep roasted barley with coffee and chocolate notes, very intense flavor.

mouthfeel was superb, i think being on cask helped a lot.

drinkability is average due to high ABV.

overall, one of the best stouts i've ever tasted, superb cask conditioned brew, i fell in love with this one and will definitely have again.

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Photo of Crosling
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 Edition. There was about a 1/4 inch of sludge on the bottom of the bottle. The color is black. The head is chocolate brown. Spotted lacing.

This smells like fresh fudge. Aromas are mainly melted chocolate, licorice and coffee but it also posseses notes of burnt fruits, roasted marshmellows and butter toffee. Wow.

This could be the best dessert beer I have ever had. Astounding flavor. Burnt marshmellow comes out first followed by melted chocolate, caramel corn, graham cracker and butter toffee. Chocolate covered honey roasted peanuts come next accompanied by brown sugar, cinnamon, mocha flavored coffee beans and white chocolate. The bitterness comes in on the finish. This beer is very creamy. No frruit flavors. Nothing but Imperial Stout flavors. I didn’t think I would find a better tasting Imperial Stout then Speedway but I think I just did.

This beer was everything I hoped it would become. It was divinely complex. It tasted incredible. The alcohol barely played a role. This tasted amazing.


Original Score: 4.6


Fresh bottle, 2004, ceramic 750 mL
Fresh bottles are a little too hoppy so I am lowering my score.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dispensed from a 26oz black, ceramic, Grolsch top bottle (2005 vintage) into an oversized red wine glass. Pours very thick and syrupy, like warm maple syrup on to the top of some flapjacks. Blindfold like black, with a cappucino colored head of minimal size, but lacing is generously left behind.

Aroma is extremely complex. Licorice, alcohol, chocolate, coffee, raisins. Wonderful. Smells fruity and citrusy and alcoholic. Very nice toffee and carmel malts as well. The hop aroma seems perfectly balanced with the malt aroma. This is one great smelling brew.

I wasnt quite as impressed with the taste of this badboy. Didnt seem quite as balanced as one would have hoped. Immediately burnt coffee and chocolate attack the taste buds. Though I can smell the acohol, the alcohol taste is more hidden than indicated by the aroma. Plums and raisins come with the next wave and then the alcohol. Bitterness is the name of the game here. Hop bitterness as well as burnt malts bitterness. My tongue is wrything in my mouth saying "Please no mas!". Sad to say, I continue the assault on the helpless and innocent entity known as the strongest muscle in the human body. A bit of astringency and metallic tastes as well, reminiscent of sucking on chalk or soap.

Aside from the bitterness, this is a very nice beer. I dont think the bitterness is balanced and may be due to some burning or tanins of some sort; I dont know. The body was a little thin for me, but still medium-full bodied. Some balance would do wonders here. I think one ceramic bomber of this baby is all I can handle at the moment. I wouldnt mind trying another in a year or two. Very good Imperial.

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Photo of jj21
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love the Ceramic bottle. Very cool look. Pours black with an awesome dark tan head that lasts forever. Great lacing throughout. Nutty, malty aromas. Some Coffee. Flavor explosion! Coffee, chocolate malty goodness. Very thick and syrupy mouthfell makes this an easier drink than a lot of Imp Stouts. Outstanding

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Photo of bennetj17
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2003. Pours dark black, nice dark tan film, subtle carbonation. Smell has notes of chocolate, licorice, and a hint of coffee. Taste starts out lightly sweet and chocolatey and then turns to a bitter, slightly sour, and immensely alcoholic finish. Mouthfeel is thick, with light bubbles. Overall the drinkablility is lowered due to the strong alcohol finish. It is not hidden well and tastes much stronger than other beers at this level. The malt flavor seems nice but I can barely experience much of it once the alcohol takes over. I was expecting much more...

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Photo of tattooedtolley
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Ceramic bottle, very awesome. I can't find a date on it, if someone knows where to look on it please let me know.

Appearance: The blackest it could be. Super dark brown foamy head, lots of retention and lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, slight expresso taste, dark chocolate, a slight smokiness.

Taste: Very nice roasted malt taste with with chocolate and expresso. I can taste the hops on the aftertaste which makes it very interesting. You can tell there was a lot of time and effort put into this beer, the taste is delicious. While I can taste the alcohol, its anything but overbearing.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and syrupy. Lots of body.

Drinkability: One was all I could take, one 750ml bottle that is. I have two more of these cermaic bottles and it took a lot of self control to not break into them.

Overall this has been one of my favorite stouts. While at first I though the price was rather pricey, looking back I don't think it was. I got three incredible beers out of that bottle and a great bottle that I will be reusing. This is now on my top 10 list of beers I love.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle vintage 2002 found in the cooler at City Wide in South Bend. Pours black with a brown tawny head, looks very thick. Odor is chocolatey with some odors of malt and unidentifiable dark fruits. kind of a weak overall smell though. taste was disappointing. bitter hoppiness, burnt-tasting. Roasted malt finish. none of the dark fruit taste i expected from the smell. not as tasty as it looked. think mouthfeel is about right. overall, the beer is ok, and you'd be hard pressed to find me a stout that i really hated, but im very surprized that it wasn't a lot better considering the pedigree and style. to quote a drinking buddy: "meh."

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a midnight shade of black. When originally poured, there was no head but quickly after finishing it gushed up to normal sized foam. A tan color foam that stayed through the whole tasting and left good lacing as well.

The smell was rich with malt. A complex smell with hints of roasted, burnt and chocolate undertones. Some fruity esters of sweet raisins. I also picked up some milky esters with coco hints in the air.

The taste had more of a distinct malt taste. The black burnt flavor was more dominate but other tones of roasted and remnants of chocolate were definitely noticed. I would have expected more of a dry feeling but instead there is a chocolate almost espresso flavor that brings the body up. Some spiciness from the bittering hops are detectable but still limited with the strong malt presence. The fruity esters are also limited, compared to the smell. But the alcohol flavor is limited and makes for a great tasting beer.

A slick taste and very easy to drink for a Imp Stout.

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Photo of Matthew
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is from a 2003 bottle. Pours to be as black as they come with a very dark brown head that settles quickly but leaves a thin remenesce of head.
Potent creamy chocolate, mollasses, hints of roasted malts and a sweetness that blends with the alcohol aroma.
Bitter sweet chocolate blended smoothly with roasted malts, slight alchohol warming. Sugary sweetness that reminds me of ginger bread leads to a nice hoppiness that balances the heavy sweet malt flavors very well.
The mouthfeel is heavy, sticky, and thick. This beer creeps over your tongue to find every taste bud.
I have not tried a more fresh bottle but I can say considering it being three years old this beer ages exquisitely.

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

Bottle from 2003.
Pours out espresso-black...no head at all....tiny tan collar.
Smells of malt , bread dough,anise , prunes and alcohol.
Taste of malt, unsweetened chocolate, toffee ..a hint of coffee and strong, dry, hop bitterness. Some alcohol ....but well hidden. Bitter aftertaste.
Heavy mouthfeel..low carbonation.
One might have to do it...very high ABV.

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Photo of Celt44
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased as a growler at a local distributor.
Appearance is dark black with a frothy brown head that doesn't last very long. Lacing, considering the taste, is suprisingly almost non-existant.
Aroma is that of a chocolately/black coffee bouquet. Alcohol is present.
Taste is superior - My mother's cholocate brownies come to mind first. Hints of black coffee present, along with bitter hops showing slightly. Considering the ABV - alcohol in taste is mild.
Mouthfeel is excellent for a stout - carbonation is present, which I find delightful compared to the flat mouthfeel of Guiness.
Overall a superior stout - along with Victory Storm King - one of my favorites. Highly recommended. IPAs are my favorite style, but these excellent stouts are beginning to change my mind.

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Photo of HugoGrim
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle, poured into a standard pint. Label states "bottled in 2003".

Body is jet black, with very little light coming through. Head is a dark mocha color, though it was gone almost immediately.

The scent was intense... coffee and alcohol up front, with some malts and chocolate backing it up. Very full bodied aroma.

Flavors were espresso and dark fruits, sweet malts and bakers chocolate. The hop profile was slight, but evident enough to make a nice addition to the overall flavor. The mouthfeel of this one had a syrupy quality. This was visually noticeable in the bottle, as strands of viscus liquid were slowly streaming down the neck of the bottle like black cough syrup.

I enjoyed some homemade oatmeal cookies with this beer, which paired quite well.

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

This beer poured out of the over priced ceramic bomber an inky black with a tall frothy tan head that fell to a ring around my glass. Smells of roasted barley, with notes of coffee and chocolate and a subtle sour dark fruit with a nip of grassy hops. Somehow, a prominent alcohol smell makes its way through all of this to my nose. Tastes of light roasted cappuccino with a creamy chocolate milk sweetness along with some ambiguous vegetable presence. Towards the end, the alcohol reappears. Finishes with a swift kick of woody hops and lingering chocolates. The mouth feel was medium to thick in body with a very light carbonation. The milky character of this beer really caught me by surprise. I enjoyed this beer immensely because of it. However, what I didn’t enjoy was the gigantic wad of doughy tar colored goo that plopped out of the bottle into my glass. This thing was huge! Being curious, I tasted it and it was a lot more hoppy that the beer itself. It came apart with a few swirls around the bottom of my glass, but it really surprised me as it was about the size of a super ball. Over all, the milkiness of this beer is a nice change of pace for an IS. I look forward to my next bottle.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I suppose this bottle would be a vintage version - bottled 2003.

This pours out an extremely imposing black. Blacker than black, more ebony than night itself - The stream of beer coming out of the bottle was damn near black and opaque, and what it converges into is burly. It forms a centimeter thick head that is absolutely the brownest head I've seen to date on any stout. Impressive enough that I don't mind the lack of lacing or head retention (things I don't usually expect from an Imperial Stout anyway).

Smells like a mocha, like dark Godiva chocolate and roasted espresso beans, with a tang as if someone grated a little dash of lemon peel on top. Vague alcohol fumes try to make themselves known, but don't quite make an impression - they're competing with a serious bang of roasty malt and tangy hop.

The taste echoes the scent, dark chocolate and espresso, a bit of sweet, sugary lemon, with a burly kick on the middle and back of the tongue that I can only think to attribute to hops - Actually, this is probably the hoppiest double stout I've tried so far, and it makes the beer a bit more interesting, if a bit less easy to quaff. Alcohol makes its presence known and is expected in a stout of this gravity.

The mouthfeel is.. well, intimidating, it's seriously, seriously thick. While I was drinking this I had the brief idea that I had an uncooked egg white in my mouth. It's not syrupy, rather chewy and robust.

This is quite a brew; It packs a serious punch. It's delicious, but go in expecting the high alcohol and you won't be dissappointed.

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Photo of Brewfan
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage Rogue XS ceremic bottle series.
Thanks to Cooperrip for sharing the bottle w/ me.

Poured just about the darkest chocolate brown I've ever seen. Boardering on black. Medium dark tan head that faded rather quickly, leaving a decent lacing of big bubbles adn an oil slick film that coated the top of the beer.
Holy cocoa batman!!! This smelled of imported Dutch chocolate, baking cocoa, deep-roasted malt, piney vanilla and a sharp alcoholic bite if you breathed deep enough.
Taste was, like the smell, heavenly deep, dark sweet chocolate, with a backbone of bitter baker's chocolate. Very sweet and malty, but still had a hoppy bite towards the back. Beautiful balance of flavors.
Mouthfeel and Drinkability: heavy, viscous, coates the tongue and roof of the mouth. Big creamy mouthfeel from a big stout. Very drinkable, even at 10.5%. For not a chocolate stout, this is better than most chocolate stouts I've had.
Gorgeous stout. One of the best I've had. A little pricey, but worth it a few times a year. Will definately be getting a few bombers to sit on and sample throughout the year.

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

Poured a 750ml into a pint glass.

Poured like motor oil. Not much head initially, but I gave the beer a robust swirl and was amazed at how the head started to grow and continued to grow into a half inch tall mass.

Smelled of chocolate, caramel, hops, alcohol.

Tasted with flavors of chocolate, malt, coffee, expresso. Bittersweet chocolate prevailed.

Very thick, almost chewy mouthfeel. Very hoppy, quite a dry finish.

Had this with a chocolate fondue. Matched very well. Very bitter finish, obviously a very high hop content, but worked well with the chocolate malts.

It would be hard to drink a lot of these in a row, but it was all that I was expecting. Kind of expensive, however. But not a bad choice if you are splurging.

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Photo of Sephiroth
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled in 2001: Six months after my first review of this vintage, I am drinkin another one. Pours with an enormous mound of foam, and leaves beautiful lace, just like I remember. The smell is awesome, burnt malt, dark chocolate, slight anise, and slight hops, amongst others.

Taste runs the gamut of stout flavors. Burnt and roasted flavors, dark chocolate, slight anise, slightly piney hops. Vinous notes are developing. Bitter finish. This could probably age two more years before declining. Mouthfeel is thick as hell, I feel as though I should be using a straw. Carbonation is impressive given the age and alcohol. Drinkability is perfect, as is everything about this beer.

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Photo of Shovelbum
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this of the hand-pull at Ashley’s in Ann Arbor, MI.

Arrived with a dark brown-chocolate head over a midnight black body. Head receded leaving a mocha film. Big aroma of tart vinous fruit backed by roasted malt, floral hops, coffee and a touch of alcohol. Flavors of sweet and tart vinous fruit upfront soon joined by a substantial grapefruit like bitterness that lingers until the next sip. It has a low to moderate, almost citric, sweetness and a mild chocolate character too. Quite a bit of hop complexity, not to mention a warming alcohol presence. Full-bodied with low carbonation. Super smooth and creamy mouthfeel due to its origin from the beer-engine. Although the significant hop bitterness contributes a drying tart finish.

I haven’t had this out of the bottle, but off the beer-engine and served quite warm, it really let the flavors and mouthfeel shine. The hops are definitely a force to be reckoned with and teeter on overpowering the brew. Still, it’s very tasty.

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

2001 Version.

Pours almost black with a decent brown head that rings the glass until it's done. Smell is very chocolatey with some delicious coffee and a vinous hint.

The taste is much more complex, however. Roasted malts are here, but the coffee takes over midway through. A molasses like sweetness is also there until the finish, when bitter coffee and hop bitterness dominates, along with the dark bitter chocolate. I'm not finding much fruit here, but maybe it has faded with age. Alcohol is never a factor. The mouthfeel is pretty thick but not overbearing by today's standards. I could drink this all night!

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Photo of danielharper
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My 100th beer review! Whoot!

Purchased from Strong Brothers Liquor Store, Fayetteville, TN.

Coloration on this beer is a pure-black body with a thick two-finger brown head. I tend to pour partial glasses of Big Beers, and this one definitely needed the space to let the head come to full flower -- over time, it barely dissipated at all.

Aroma is complex and interesting, malty with a hint of espresso and clear touches of an almost porter-like raisin scent. Aroma reminded me more of a porter than a stout, the only reason the rating is slightly lower here.

Intense alcoholic flavor up front, biter coffee and roasted espresso notes in finish and aftertaste. The beer really lices in its finish, moreso than in the beginning flavor profile. Holding it in the mouth and enjoying the flavor as it warms on the palate is heavenly. As the beer warms, the hops become more present in the flavor profile -- drink this at a wide range of temperatures for the proper effect.

A thick, viscous mouthfeel with moderaate, non-biting carbonation. Washes around the mouth in an invigorating, very enjoyable way -- the mouthfeel is really the highlight of this beer.

Overall impressions: this is a high-quality, very drinkable beer for the alcohol content. The highly intense flavor may put off some, but I find myself wanting another bottle fairly soon.

I paid $16.99 for this 750mL ceramic bottle, and I don't think I was cheated at all. A very good beer for a very good drinking experience. While the notes for this review were all written upon the initial impression of the beer, I drank about a third of the bottle on the first night, then stoppered it with the built-in cork and finished it off the next day. No appreciable deprecation in quality. I'll bet you could cellar this for years and still have a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick black sludge, very dark beer, with a dark tan head building after full pour, fading to a thin film with residual bubbles. Love the look. Smells of heavily roasted malts primarily, with stong hint of an espresso coffee with dark chocolate hue underneath, and can easily detect the alcohol. As taste and mouth goes, this is what a stout is supposed to be. Thick, velvety, creamlike finish, it has heavily roasted malt presense with an alcohol presense that isn't oppressive, with a wonderful espresso aftertaste that just hangs there. Greatness in a glass. I've had quite a few offerings from Rogue, but never this beer, and it has just claimed favorite stout status. Don't know that I'd be able to drink more than a few of these, but thats like taking points off for not likeing the colors on the bottle label. Or in other words, this is a fantastic beer.

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Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 1,278 ratings
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