Imperial Stout | Dick's Brewing Company

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Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Brewed by:
Dick's Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by NeroFiddled on 08-27-2002

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 62
Photo of GregJ
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark brown black with almost no head. Smells of dark malts, a little chocolate. Overpowering taste of burnt malts, slight chocolate, licorice and an astringent flavor. Medium/light body with a burnt malts and some piney resin aftertaste.

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Photo of pschul4
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer set out at 10:07 CST review to come when tempered
Poured at 10:18

Big thanks to Libbey for this extra!

A- I like my RIS's pitch black and this is only black. Haha I know its a minute point but I have to set the gold standard somewhere. Some ruby hue around the edges and not much head/lacing to speak of.

Smell/taste at 10:25
S- Lots of roasty notes with a little bit of coffee and chocolate. Roastyness takes over completely though

T- As the nose indicated roasted malts is the main thing you get out of the taste. Chocolate and coffee in the background but mostly the roasted jimmies ;)

M- Little too thin for my RIS's but nothing too terrible.

O- I think I might have a yeti tonight now that this has got me in the mood for RISs haha thanks Libbey!

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Strong, smoky aroma has tones of chocolate and molasses with coffee, nutty and licorice hints. It pours a dark chocolate brown with a fairly thick and fine-bubbled light tan head. Semi-sweet chocolate dominates the smoky flavor, which includes molasses, caramel and nutty hints. Texture is quite smooth and pleasing, not very fizzy but still good. Look for this one!

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Photo of bbeane
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into my DFH laser etched chalice... starts with a finger thick light brown colored head that mostly disappears leaving behind spotted lacing. Beer is black in color, with just enough light showing through to give it a ruby hue when held up to the ceiling

S- First wiff is chocolatey... get more sweet malts and dark fruit aroma after some swirls of the glass

T- Coffee, chocolate, toasted malt. Not really very sweet despite the hints in the nose. Has a very nice flavor, which is nice coming from a lower abv RIS

M- Full bodied with light/medium carbonation

O- I received this in a trade as an extra, and all in all it was a really nice extra. Had really great flavor with a lower abv making it a 'closer to sessionable' RIS


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Photo of chumba526
1.72/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

It appears black with a small light brown head.

It smells very sweet. I get a big toffee and caramel smell. There is a faint roasted smell. I also get a faint sweet chocolate smell. This almost smells like a "roasty" barley wine.

It tastes of very sweet malt. I get a strong toffee flavor. There is a bit of a mild (non bitter) roasted malt flavor. There is not really any hoppy taste to the beer. I guess there is a hardly noticeable bitterness in the end but it is paired with an overbearing sweet flavor. It lacks balance. I think it is a bit too sweet for the imperial stout style.

There is a moderate high carbonation with a somewhat thick mouthfeel.

Overall this is pretty one dimensional. It is far too sweet in my opinion. Maybe they should have called this a black barleywine. I am not impressed. the warmer the beer gets the nastier it is. I gagged when drinking this.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: solid black with three-plus fingers of creamy tan head. It looks nice, but it really appears rather overcarbonated for an imperial stout. Still, head retention seems decent and it delivers the black like a stout should.

Smell: woody, slightly fruity aroma with chocolate undertones. Not a lot of deep dark depth, but there is a nice complexity among its brighter aromas. I rather like it.

Taste: a bit bright for an imperial stout. Again, fruity, woody and with a roasted quality that is quite good but sadly isn't the star of the show. As a beer, I like it, but its imperial-stoutness is questionable.

Mouthfeel: highly carbonated, which is something I usually like but which is not really appropriate here. Viscosity is somewhat thin for the style; this beer falls more on the "fizzy" than the "creamy" side of the scale.

Drinkability: this beer has a nice zing to it, which I like, but it doesn't really tick all the imperial stout boxes. I also notice that it has some hallmarks of bottle infection -- overattenuation, overcarbonation and a tangy acidity -- but these might just as well be typical features of this beer. However, unintentional though they may be, they serve to make the beer quite quaffable in my book.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First off it was $2 a bottle and that puts this in perspective as to its value. It is a decent strong American stout that has decent complexity and mouthfeel. Not as good value as Brooklyn or North Coast but a solid effort from a brewery that I have had mixed results from in past. Worth the money and maybe a year in the cellar

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Photo of corby112
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes:

Pours a very dark chestnut brown color that appears almost black in the glass with mahogany edges when held to a light source. Two finger frothy beige head with decent retention, fading into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic spots of lacing behind.

Roasted malt aroma with a surprising earthy hop presence. Hits of pine, roasted coffee, chocolate, burnt toast and oatmeal.

Surprisingly hop forward for the style. Too much so perhaps resulting in an overly bitter flavor that overpowers the roasted malt profile. Tight carbonation with slight oxidization up front with bitter, earthy pine flavor that dominates throughout into a bone dry finish. Underneath there are subtle hints of roasted coffee bean, chocolate, burnt toast and toffee.

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Photo of Swimsum
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Consumed on 10/6/09. Poured from bottle into pint

Pours out a nice black color that looks decently thick. Once liquid is settled into the glass, body is pitch black and no light is getting though this one. Dark mocha head that is about a finger and a half high sits atop the beer. Eventually settles to a thin layer which produces nice lacing all the way down the glass. Very nice looking RIS.

Dark chocolate, some coffee and lots of roasted malt great the nose. This is pretty sweet smelling with a good amount of the chocolate taking main stage for the smell.

Much like the smell, dark chocolate, coffee and roast. There is a slight bitterness in the finish that I believe could be the coffee but may be some of the hops coming through. At times I get a very distinct soy sauce taste, not sure it works in this. As this warmed up it started to go downhill for me. Most of the flavors fade and only bitterness is left. Maybe I took to long to finish this but by the end I was not liking it.

This was actually pretty thin RIS. While carbonation wasn't overly noticeable on the tongue, this still felt really thin while sitting in the mouth. Disappointing.

When this was slight chilled I was really enjoying this beer. As I let it sit and warm up it really became a struggle to finish. I might have to retry this one in the future but I really was letdown after the first 10 minutes of the beer.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle pours a black color with some light highlighting and bubbly head of a beige hue. Touch of lacing, not much retention.

Nose is fruity with a hefty dose of chocolaty malt. Little bit of rum-like sugar and a light yeast touch.

Lighter, British style imperial stout with lots of blackberry fruitiness, doughy yeast and even a bit chalky. Reminds me a bit of Sam Smith's IS. A lighter body than one would expect from an imperial stout and less roast. Interesting beer, but I did not find it all that pleasurable to drink.

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Photo of Briken
2.72/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Black with a thin unber head with virtually no retention or lacing. Light molasses and chocolate with a trace of floral character. Chocolate and aroasted malts with floral hop bittering and an alcohol finish. A slightly foamy but thin mouthfeel.

This had some potential it had a pretty good aroma and is about as black as possible. It has some good flavors, however, they seem slightly subdued and ultimately kind of run together and seem a bit muddled. Together with a slightly unpleasant bittering and an overwhelming alcohol flavor, it's just not a favorite of the imperial stouts.

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

Poured a jet black color with good carbonation and a tannish head. Looked good from the start. Nose is smoke, roasted malt, dry, booze and chcolate. Taste is full of bitter chcolate and burnt malt with lots of coffee. Some mild dark fruit raise its head. Mouthfeel is nice, balanced, well crafted, tasty. Very drinkable and big surprise.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

so, first off. this is a good beer. actually refraining on some recent reviews. however, its not got the jazz of something a little more magical. out of this beer, i can merely pry some roasted malt notes along with a little chocolate. cette belle fille, elle est 1 part blackness and a touch of sentimentaity. but it is not truly an imperial stout. when we warm up a bit, that roasted character really shines, cleverly masking the etOH, slyly lurking w/in. despite the overall ML(registered trademark) drinkabillity, the beer is a bit overcarbonated, spilling forth from the glass on the pour. a little less of that, and perhaps a bit more of something else, and centralia is about to put out something truly special. for now, this OlyZym, reporting live...

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Midnight black with generous highlights of burnt orange and bronze. The beer looks to be on that razor's edge between opacity and lucency. Once the sun peeks over the horizon, it's definitely opaque and develops beautiful black cherry accents. The good looking lid is pale caramel in color, melted marshmallow creamy as it deflates, and is leaving shredded sheets of lace all over the glass.

The nose is right on the money for a roasted malty American stout. Unless Imperial Stout really brings it on the palate, it's hard to believe that the brewery calls this 7.5% ale an RIS. Bittersweet chocolate and coffee beans dominate, with very little else contributing. Simple? Yes. Aromatic and enjoyable? Double yes.

As expected, this offering isn't in the same area (or zip) code as a Russian Imperial stout. That doesn't mean it isn't good beer. The question then becomes... how should flavor be scored? As an American stout, it's a 4.0. As the stated style, it's no better than 3.5 (and that's being kind).

Specifics include dark chocolate, dark caramel, black coffee, a hint of vanilla bean, and a background tangy fruitiness that is most reminiscent of raisins and plums. Willamette and Magnum hops deliver a surprising amount of spicy flavor and a modest amount of finishing bitterness. The latter is made more noticeable, perhaps, because of the relative shortage of malt sugars.

Mouthfeel is another difficult call. It's fine in a general sense, but it isn't RIS fine. Looks like it's compromise time where score is concerned. An ideal amount of bubbles helps the cause.

Not to pummel an already dead horse, but Dick's Imperial Stout should be renamed Dick's American Stout. It's a delicious, drinkable version of the latter and a grossly inadequate version of the former. My advice: don't look at the label and just enjoy the beer.

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

got this one a while back in a trade with westsidemiller. thanks!

12oz bottle. sampled sept 20/09.

pours deep brown, nearly black and opaque, with a dense brown head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves tons of lace.

aroma is good. anise. coffee. dark chocolate. earthy. hint of smoke. light alcohol. lightly toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. light cracker. touch of fruity character.

taste is good. dark and milk chocolate. coffee. anise. light earthy character. toasted whole wheat bread and biscuit. touch of smoke. bit of fruity character. medium-low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance, hiding the alcohol well. nice depth and complexity. good stuff.

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Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a dark and opaque brown, almost black, very thick tan head forms, very thick ring settles around the glass after a few minutes, some lace sticks to the glass. Smell is neat, dry and malty, caramel, dark fruit and raisin, brown sugar, chocolate milk, some roast, biscuit, grapes, pretty nice. Taste is similar, iron and chocolate milk, roast, biscuits, dark fruit, raisin, brown sugar, very dry and toasty middle, wafers, citrus in the finish, solid bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, very dry finish, pretty drinkable stuff if a little weak. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of blackc5
4.19/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass at around 53F.

A - Dark, deep, thick black with just a tinge of red when held to the light. Moderate head that subsides quickly but has a nice creamy look. Little lacing.

S - Aromas are quite powerful, with lots of nuttiness, chocolates and dark malts. Some fruitiness to it as well.

T - A great example of this style. Loads of flavors going on like milk and dark chocolate, almonds and hazelnut, a bit of blackberry, some dark roasted coffee and then, yet more chocolate. A slightly bitter finish that is nicely balanced with the sweet chocolate aftertaste. Perhaps more of a stout+ vs. an imperial in some ways, but it still works. Oh, and I thought this really improved in flavor as it warmed. I would serve this at least at 60F.

M - Quite smooth, yet nicely thick. Creamy but fairly well carbonated.

D - Well, as far is imperials go, it is quite high. But since the ABV is so low, it is almost more fair to compare this to a regular stout. ABV is 7.5% according to the bottle, vs the 7% listed here on BA. Still, definitely ABV is on the low end for an imperial.

Overall, a real nice effort from Dick's. Not the best on the planet, nor was it expected given its value price, and I would easily buy this again, especially as a sixer.

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Photo of brdc
2.53/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Small capped bottle poured into a snifter.

Very dark, nearly pitch black, very little of a light tan head, minimal retention and lacing.
Aroma is rather faint, milk chocolate and coffe.
Watery for a RIS, very thin indeed, with little depth of flavor. Whatever is there, mostly coffee and some oatmeal, minimal chocolate, disappears from your mouth in seconds.
Would be a somewhat below average stout; as a RIS, it is way below average.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle into a nonic pint glass. The stout appears a super dark brown color with an inch of fluffy ecru foam. Flavor and aroma are of milk chocolate, medium roasted coffee, mocha, vanilla, sweet malt, and a touch of earthy bitter hops. A notch or two more than medium in body an amply carbonated for an RIS. The lower alcohol level makes for good drinkability.

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Photo of ccrida
4.8/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into my Meantime snifter, Dick's Imperial Stout is a black with a big, rather dense tan head that leaves pretty heavy lace. Served around 60F, although it's been cellared at 50F since it first hit the shelves about 2 months ago.

Smell is really nice and pretty bold in spite of the colder serving temp. Dark malts, coffee, and a bright herbal noble hoppiness, yummy! Letting it warm some, it develops a slight nutty note.

Taste is awesome. A big blast of bakers chocolate dominates the tastes and lingers to the finish. Wow, I can't express impressed I am by this, the alcohol is totally hidden, and in spite of the full flavor, I have no problem gulping it down - in fact the problem is trying not to! Really not too complex but super tasty and so damn smooth, it makes a big argument for the fact that a 7.5% stout can outgun the big boys. I know BAs love their strong, rare, muddled stouts, but this one is better then most any of them IMHO! That's right, I said it, save your time and money on DL and grab a sixer of this.

Mouthfeel is very creamily carbonated, medium light bodied.

Drinkability is exceptional - this beer is super tasty, robust but not overwhelming in the flavor or strength department, readily available and value priced. I've just found my favorite RIS. Sure there's a huge gulf between the English and American interpretations of the style, but forget about all the sub-styles, this is the stout I want to drink.

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Photo of Spikester
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a good sized head, fair amount of lacings.
Another one of Dick's middle of the road beers. A good average example of this style.
Lots of coffee-cocoa-light vanilla flavors. Little head, no lacings. Alcohol fairly well
hidden. Minor soy sauce flavor. Decent average pour. Plenty of hop bitterness in the
finish. If this was the only Impy Stout available it would be O.K.
Drinkability is good for the style.

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Photo of Bung
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice deep black pour, not much head to speak of, but sticks to the glass very nicely. Nice roasty aromas, a little booze. Initially it seemed a little thin, but I'd say it's just solid medium bodied. Some milk/sweet stout qualities. Lots of roast malt and mocha with some coffee sprinkled in. Finishes with a rather clean bitterness. Not a top 5, but an intersting take on the style. If I were rating this against other sweet stouts, this probably would crack the top 5.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: lovely black pour, bubbly and creamy tan colored head, that sunk away. Various strings and clumps of lacing...overall a nice pour

S: deep dark malts and grains. A whiff of coffee sweetness, maybe picked-up on blueberries right after the pour

T: alternates between burly roasted and toasted malts. Nice light bitterness in the follow up and keeps the malts at bay from hogging all the limelight. From what I can gather, maybe a milk sugar lactose sweetness. As it warms I get some alcohol and cocoa notes

M: smooth to boot and rather pleasing. Some carbonation present but at soft levels

D: my first Dicks brew and not to shabby. Nothing to brag about, can be summed up as a well rounded stout.

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Photo of deereless
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Chunky brown head, deep black, lacing - 4.5, S: Espresso, syrupy, chocolate malt, maybe some green hops - 4.00, T: The hop bitterness comes through on the tongue, dry crisp malt, espresso with what seems like some lactose - 4.00, M: Smooth & creamy - 4.25, D: An enjoyable stout, somewhat extreme - 4.25

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The Imperial Stout from Dick's poured black as oil with a 1-2 finger foam head decent head retention and good lacing.

The aroma was pretty non-existent and I could pull out some faint roasted malts. The taste was much of the same with not much there at all. The feel of this one was one of the better qualities of this brew. It was comforting and had a good lingering of deep roasted malts. Overall a very pedestrian offering I wouldn't buy again.

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Imperial Stout from Dick's Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 62 ratings.
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