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Imperial Stout | Rogue Ales

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Imperial StoutImperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
1,276 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:
#3,146
Reviews:
821
Ratings:
1,276
pDev:
12.41%
Bros Score:
3.09
 
 
Wants:
106
Gots:
94
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,276 |  Reviews: 821
Photo of joekfsu
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ceramic 750, 2007. Pours pitch black with a nice 2 cm dark tan head that is slowly diminishing. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, and a hint of cherries. Flavor is uniform throughout, coffee and bitter chocolate, alcohol is hidden until tomorrow morning. Nice lacing, nearly zero carbonation, well hidden alcohol, heavy body. Drinkable minus the uber EtOH, but I loved it.

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Photo of ShrLSU
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the black ceramic bottle into a goblet...

Appearance - Dark black with about an inch of tan head.

Smell - First smell that hit me was espresso then a baking chocolate smell. At the end sweet malts were prevelant.

Taste & Mouthfeel - When I first tasted it I found it very bitter. However, as I got further into the glass, I was experiencing much more of the sweet malt. It was a very pleasing feel. It became sweeter and creamier as the beer went on, but not in an overpowering way. It had a nice bitterness in the end, like baker's chocolate.

Drinkability - A great stout for those that love them, and a definite try for those looking to get into them. I was quite pleased with this, as I am with almost all Rogue's beers. Be warned, this beer will put a nap on you!

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a rogue flip top gray ceramic bottle 2007 vintage into a snifter

Appearance - Pours an opaque black with a 2 1/2 finger chocolate looking head. I was a little agressive with the pour, but I was pleased with the result. Head lasted for a good while after pour.

Smell - Espresso and bakers chocolate were the first scent that passed through the nose. Sweet malt smell and a bit of a hoppy bite.

Taste & Mouthfeel - At first taste it was bitter with an overpowering espresso touch, flowing into a sweet smooth middle, with a bitter finish on the back of the tongue. After it warmed the early bitterness died out, and it led to a smooth creamy sweet taste with the same bitter finish. A misty white carbonation swirled on the top of the brew, while an intense lacing hung to the sides of the glass. I loved the beer as it warmed, except for the overly bitter bite on the back end. At 11% abv this beer throws a gruesome haymaker.

Drinkability - A treat to be sure, and glad to see i'll be able to get it regularly in Louisiana. I'll be sure to stock up on this one, and let em sleep in the cellar for a few and see what happens. Great imperial stout! I prefer mine to be a little smoother in the finish, but thats just me. Good show Rogue!

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Photo of baggio
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Ceramic bottle, 2007 vintage.

A: Pitch black with almost no lace. Looks very thick.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee.

T: Tar, Salmiak, Liqorice, Chocolate, Coffee, herbs.

M: Really think and smooth with a brutal bitterness at the end.

A very impressive imperial stout that takes it's time to consume. I shared this bottle with my father and it took us atleast 30-40 minutes to slowly sip through our glasses. Not for everyone i'd say but i sure did enjoy it. Got 3 more bottles in my pantry and i think i'm gonna let them sit for a couple of years to see if the bitterness goes away...atleast a little bit :)

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

Came in a black ceramic bottle. This beer poured a dark black with a foamy tan head. Aroma was dominated by chocolate and coffee. The taste was the same: Chocolate and coffee. The mouthfeel was heavy and creamy with medium carbonation. Overall a great beer but the price just doesn't make it worth it. Price is between $15-$18 dollars.

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Photo of smc143
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was so looking forward to cracking open that Imperial Stout. Seemed like a wonderful thing to do on a cold and lonely Wednesday night. I poured. I drooled. I plugged in my laptop power cord, set my beer on a side table, settled in for a loser's night of excel, powerpoint and tasty beer. But then. THEN. I watched one hyper dog get tangled in said cord and knock over previously mentioned side table, sharing my precious stout with the not-so-appreciative carpet. Nooo! This was tragic. I almost cried. But I was too busy cleaning up the floor before my dog got tipsy.

I had about 2/3 of another pint left. I drank it like it was the last water available on earth. Slowly. Carefully. While glaring at the dog. Poor little dude.

I poured this from the ceramic 0.75 litre bottle (2007 Edition) into a pint glass to produce a thick tan head of about 1-1/2". The beer is DARK. And sticky. And has an incredible aroma of chocolate and coffee and caramel. The head had incredible retention. The taste is not as sweet as some of the beers I have been drinking lately, but has a caramel sweetness contrasted with an espresso bite. I wish I had more. But I managed to restrain myself from doing anything disgusting to the carpet. That's the amount of self control I have. Impressed?

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Photo of NCBeernut
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is seriously an impressive beer. The bottle is very telling of its contents. Just reading the list of ingredients almost made my head spin. This stuff is like liquid mocha chocolate. Huge amounts of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted/burn malts, anise, and a little bit fruity. The fruitiness is hard to accurately characterize under all the other rich flavors. They put a flip top on this for a reason. There is no way you will be drinking all this at once. Mine lasted two nights, and I shared a little with a friend. Great stuff, but very rich.

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Photo of Vancer
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OK - here we go with an 11 year old brew, courtesy of Himerman from the No BS BIF Ultra - Thanks again!! Cute li'l seven ounce sample bottle.

Classic - coal black with no head at all, which is expected. It leaves a sheet of motor oil film on the Corsendork tulip after swirling.

Still loads of plum, cherry, molassis and sweet malt in the aroma. Quaff has all these bad boys, plus a touch of burnt toast with the infamous anise. Dry and crisp finish.

No carbonation left after all these years, it's drinking like a sweet port wine. What a freakin' treat!

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Photo of theopholis
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 1997 (11 years old).

In the tiny little 7 ounce bottle.

Appearance- Jet black No dark amber on the edges when held up to the light. Jet black. This is the darkest beer I've ever seen. Head? None. This stuff is old.

Smell-Whoa!!! A strong bittering hops. Very malty. some, dark chocolate, roastiness. Quite strong. Smells very oily. Almost reminds you of spent engine oil.

Taste- Whoa!!! This stuff made me shake my head! Very old, suble yet strong malt sweetness. Almost like a port. I love holding this stuff in my mouth for a full minute or 2. Fairly strong malt. Strong malt sweetness. Kots of bittering hops. Leaves you thinking of spent motor oil.

Mouthfeel- This shiite is thick. Of course, it's 11 years old. Very velvety. Very smooth. The CO2 has long since escaped. It's syrupy, but not in a disgusting sort of way, like SA triple-bock. Very elegent.

Drinkability- Not for the faint of heart. If you can find some, buy it.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with small brownish head that laced for a while. Has a little bit if red around the edges in the light. Smell is roasted malt coffee chocolate. Smell is very nice. First taste was of the roasted malts and a bitter chocoloate. Not very sweet. Swallowed kind of bitter with an espresso taste on the back end(dowgraded the taste because of this flavor). This was a rogue beer and in typical fashion there were plenty of hops to balnce out the malt, but hard for me to pinpoint their flavor. Into the glass as it warmed, a few esthers vecame more apparent. A little thinner in the mouth than typical for the style-the alcohol however was nowhere to be seen. Overall pretty good-want to see how one tastes after a year laying down.

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Photo of hops4life
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The mocha colored head sets up in a thin layer and leaves a nice lace. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate aroma and the fruit background is more of a generic berry fruit than a specific fruit. On the palate it is very fruit-forward and pleasantly bitter at the back. As opposed to some of the higher gravity stoute, this really is like an "imperial" stout. Everything from the roasted flavors to the abv is amped up. I could see this pairing with some bbq or some island jerk style food. All in all, very drinkable big style at a very drinkable price in its class.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an opaque, dark grey ceramic 750 ml. bottle, of the 2006 vintage. Leaves a two finger espresso-foam colored head that has excellent retention, and it leaves excellent lacing. Body is black. Beautiful to behold.Smell - the nose is filled with chocolate, richly roasted espresso, burnt crust maltbread, deeply roasted barley malt, smoky roasted coffee beans, plums, dates, and raisins. Well hidden alcohol. Mouthwatering!Taste - as promised by the smell. A flood of chocolate, espresso, and dark crusted malt bread wash over the tongue. As this ale gets warmer, much more of the dark fruit such as raisins, dates, and plums assert themselves into the mix. And still, very well hidden alcohol. This is simply delicious and hearty!Mouthfeel - full bodied, and very dry.Drinkability - this is excellent ale, and having had it after it aged for one year, I can't wait to get this year's (2007) release, and try it fresher. Only the very high abv limits this ale's sessionability.

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Photo of chadspivey
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to miguel mandingo for letting me try this one. This is from '06

A: Jet black w/ brown head.

S: cocoa powdery dark chocolotate kinnd of thing going on, roastiness, and vanilla hints.

T: virtually identical to the smell. Actually, some nutty characters come out.

M: Not as thick as most others in this style, slightly dry, like eating dark chocolate. Quite warming.

D: For 11%, this one goes down fast. Very good beer, Keeps getting better as I drink it.

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Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I picked this one up at Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits in DC. This is the only bottle I have ever come across - it is a damn shame that they don't sell this in Texas - I would buy it all the time. I shared this bottle with chadspivey and JDV.

2006 Vintage

Poured part of a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - It produced a one finger brown latte foam head which dissipated to a thin crown. This, like other great RISs, is opaque black and brown. Lacing is present, but minimal.

Smell - The smell is really good on this one. I can detect a licorice-like anise scent, as well as cocoa powder, booze and maybe a little bit of vanilla. Smells slightly sweet. There were dark fruits that were present, but they were in the distant background of the scent. There was a certain roastiness in the scent, but it was very subdued.

Taste - Damn, this tastes good. I get a lot of cocoa powder in the flavor, as well as a roasty char character which also plays a dominant role. It also has some vanilla notes. This is a pretty well hopped RIS. It has a pretty significant hop backend for an RIS, and the bitterness ties in closely with the bittersweet chocolate flavor. It is less sweet than the scent would lead you to believe.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. It is a bit thin for style, IMO. It has a nice carbonation to cut through the relatively thin mouthfeel. However, I think that the thinness of the body makes it a much more drinkable brew.

Drinkability - The drinkability is awesome. It has everything I want in an RIS. The flavor and scent are awesome, and the thinner body makes it really easy to drink. One of the better RISs I have sampled in quite some time. If they sold this here in Texas and it wasn't so expensive to begin with, it would be a regular in my beer rotation.

JDV, chadspivey and I then followed this up with an '06 and '07 Abyss, which really stole the show...those will be my next reviews.

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Photo of franksnbeans
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at Rogue's Alehouse in Downtown Portland. Looks completely opaque deep black with a chocolate milk head that clings to the glass. Smells big and sweet, some coffee, a little dark fruit, very toasty. Tastes as it smells and finishes with a bitterness from hops and dry. Full in the mouth and this hearty beer makes me feel like I just ate a loaf of bread. A wonderful treat.

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Photo of TheBierBand
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured this from the ceramic 0.75 litre bottle (2007 Edition) into a pint glass to produce a thick tan head of about 1-1/2". The beer is the darkest of ebonies and let no light shine through even when held to a bright light source. The head had incredible retention and left big sticky rings of lace as I drank.

The nose is rather subtle.... but you can pick up the roasted malt and a caramel sweet smell.

Taste: WOW! Let me see if I can break this down for you... this is one of the most complex RIS's I've had yet! Caramel sweetness tempered by a cafe expresso bitterness. Ripe fruits, plumbs, dates, nuts etc... all mingling around. Fantastic!

MF: Everything that you could want in an RIS! Thick, rich, creamy, robust, adequate carbonation. Awesome mouthcoating and aftertaste. RIGHT ON.... gotta give it a "5"!

Drinkability: What do you expect for a RIS with 11% abv.... sure, it's a sipper.... but it's WONDERFUL for an RIS.... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black with light brown head that dissipates to tan layer with foamy islands, tons of lacing. Aroma is chocolate malt with dark fruit. Taste is dark roasted grain and sweet prunes and raisins with a dark bitter coffee/chocolate finish. Taste gets better as the beer warms to almost room temperature. Feels very oily in the mouth with plenty of carbonation. This is a very large stout and fans of stouts will like it a lot. Those seeking subtlety will need to look elsewhere.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rogue- Imperial Stout 2003

A- Thick black with a reddish tint. Small creamy head.
S- Dark chocolate, cherries, and coffee beans.
T- Sugar free dark chocolate with a touch of black coffee. A hint of dried cherries and a dose of alc. in the end.
M- Dry and bitter at first but becoming smooth and warming with a creamy and sweet finish.

Overall- Definitely improves as it warms up. Was a little skeptical about this aging for 4+ years but it held up nicely.

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Photo of ccrida
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at the Portland Public House, served in their XS goblet, their RIS is pitch black with no head, the slightest tan collar leaving very light lace.

Smell is soft, roasted malt and espresso.

Taste is super rich and malty, dark unsweetened cocoa, touch of coffee and decent roast, with a very bitter backbone, this one is super fierce but equally satisfying. Lots of depth that is better left open to the interpretation of the drinker.

Mouthfeel is really thick, like motor oil.

Drinkablity is good because this is so unabashed and tasty. Not for the faint of heart, it goes down way to easily for me, and will warm you up in a hurry.

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Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage in the ceramic bottle with the swing cap.

Pours black, supremely opaque. Topped with a two finger head of dense light brown bubbles. Leaves an oily slick of lace with each sip, and a brownish red tint on your glass. Impressive looking to say the least.

Plenty of molasses in the nose. Toffee, cocoa and almonds as well.

Molasses and burnt sugar up front faintly sweet and quite bitter. Followed by dark baking cocoa with a burnt espresso finish. Sweet malts like dark fruits and a slight citric hop twang on the back end.

Each sip is smooth and velvety. It leaves an oily film in your mouth, further enhancing the velvety feel. Goes down very smoothly for it's big abv. Nicely done, and worth the price of admission for those who wonder.

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Photo of Squaretooth
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rouge Imperial Stout

750 ml specialty bottle with wired cork retainer similar to a Grolsch set up. Poured into a Westmalle goblet this has an extremely dark opaque color with a nice dark caramel head that quickly dissipated leaving a fine oily film one comes to expect with a decent imperial stout.

Smell hints of chocolate, oak, coffee. Taste is a typical coffee flavor heavy on the malt side. Not up to a Samuel Smith’s standard but a fair Imperial Stout nonetheless. This actually tastes fairly light for an Imperial Stout and that was a bit disappointing, but this isn’t an overpowering affair and actually quite pleasing. One barely notices the 11% ABV that this lists at.

Mouthfeel slightly tingly and it coats the back of your throat all the way down. All in all a fair offering but not close to the best Imperial Stout I’ve had, but definitely far from the worse.

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Photo of number1bum
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, ceramic swing top bottle. Pours a jet black, very thick looking brew with about an inch of creamy coffee colored head on top. Head recedes slowly and ultimately leaves just a rimjob of lace and a not a whole lot of stick.

Smells strongly of chocolate malt and other sweets, like brown sugar maybe. also some coffee and roasted malt aromas.

Whereas this smelled of sweeter malts, the taste is much more bitter and heavy on the roasted/burnt malt. There is some chocolate flavor, but its more bittersweet than sweet, and the roastiness/bitterness overwhelms it. Noticeable alcohol and a bit of a burn from it at the finish, as well. Good flavor, but the bitterness is a bit much for my preference.

This baby is incredibly thick and full bodied, definitely chewy.

This brew was a Christmas gift, although I have seen it on the shelves so I know it's pricey. It's a good beer but it's definitely not my favorite imperial stout, so I don't know that I'd spend the money on this one again.

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Photo of joe1510
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 Bottling
12oz Bottle
Received from mcallister

4.5/4.0/4.0/5.0/4.5

The '04 poured midnight black not allowing any light to escape. There is still a healthy amount of carbonation as the pour yields a two finger khaki head that stuck around for a few minutes before falling to a swirling with a couple thick islands and a thick ring around the glass.

The aroma on this older vintage is vinous and showing much more dark fruit than a more recent bottling. Roasted barley and mild coffee grounds are there but take backstage to the dark fruits. Fig, blackberry, and possibly even some prune. There are small wafts of alcohol drifting up to my nose as well. The '04 is much subdued compared to the '07.

The flavor is pretty much spot on with the aroma. The only noticeable difference is a splash of dark cocoa from mid-palate through to the finish. This dark cocoa goes really well with the dark fruitiness that's developed overtime. The flavor is much different from the newer release. I'm surprised at the huge difference three years made.

The mouthfeel on this beer is as luxurious as you could ask for; thick, coating and incredibly velvety. There's just enough alcohol noticeable to warm me up.

A stout this big and rich is a sipper and a satisfying one at that. This is a perfect for a cold winter day like this.

---

2007 Bottling
750ml Ceramic Bottle
$14.99
Sam's Marcey

4.5/4.0/4.5/4.0/4.0

The 2007 bottling poured very similar to the '04. The body is black as night with a two finger brown head that had a purplish hue. The head on this bottling seemed to be creamier and leave slightly better lacing, not enough to warrant a perfect score but damn close.

The aroma is much more robust than on the older version, which is to be expected. Roasted barley, molasses, and licorice are the most common occurrences. The alcohol present on the backend creates some fruity esters. As a matter of fact smells like a pretty well rounded RIS.

The roastiness is big, bold and upfront. There are mild coffee grounds and even milder dark fruits. There's some cocoa on the backend but not nearly as pronounced as the '04. There is much more bold roastiness throughout especially when compared to the older version. Some spicy alcohol finishes things off nicely.

The mouthfeel on the '07 doesn't live up to the mouthfeel '04. Although this bottle is rich and chewy the mouthfeel just isn't as thick and velvety as the older bottle.

The bigger flavor (including alcohol) on this bottle hampers the drinkability slightly. This is one you couldn't drink too many.

After sampling a '04 and '07 side by side each one had qualities I enjoyed more than the other. The mouthfeel on the '04 was perfect and the drinkability was higher. The appearance, flavor and aroma were slightly better on the '07. The better flavor was a tough call because it's dependent on which flavors you're looking for on a particular night. Tonight, for me, it was the bigger roastiness compared to the dark fruitiness. The roastiness won out this evening.

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Photo of orford
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from one of the cool ceramic swing top bottles. 2007 Imp. Served at cellar temp (~50-55 degrees F).

A. Holy head!! 3 fingers of dark, milk chocolate colored head. Very stable head, what little disipation was followed by good lacing. Slightly rocky head. Pitch black in color, with the slightest bit or red around the edges. Absolutely beautiful.

S. Malty sweet with prunes and raisins and other dried fruits. Almost port-like nose to it. Also chocolate and roasted malt. Some alcohol as it warms.

T. Malty sweet. Once again dried fruits including raisins and prunes. Lots of chocolate and roasted grains up front. The back-end includes some grain bitterness but is mostly characterized by hop-bitterness which blends well with the malty sweetnes in the aftertaste. Slight alcohol at the tail end but very subtle and appropriate.

M. Very fulll bodied, rich and luxurious. Low carbonation makes this very silky and the alcohol warms as it goes down.

D. I am a bit of a lush but I could not finish this bottle in one sitting (thank you for the swing top bottle). Incredible beer but it is more of a sipping beer than anything else. Very drinkable as a after-dinner drink.

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Photo of sweetkness
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this in the awesome ceramic 750 mL bottle, one of the coolest available bottles out there in my opinion. Served it in wine glasses. The appearence was exceptional, a thick black color with a red hue along the rim of the beer, similar to a cherry stouts appearence. It had a wonderful black/red head, and left nice lacing when swirled in the glass. Strong vanilla aroma at first, leading to a sherry/alcohol smell. The taste was very good. There was a strong malt flavor, similar to a Barleywine, which gave way to the roasted malts. Comes off as barrel aged, not sure if thats the case though. The sherry/alcohol aroma carries through to the aftertaste, with some burnt/dried fruit flavor also. Good thick mouthfeel that this style should have. As usual with this style, while it begins quite drinkable, it will fill you up quickly. Overall a VERY GOOD beer, wonderful drinking experience!

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Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 1,276 ratings
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