Stone Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
96
world-class
2,742 Reviews
Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,742
Ratings:
8,338
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
9.22%
 
 
Wants:
811
Gots:
2,336
For Trade:
100
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,742 | Ratings: 8,338
Photo of CoreyC
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 so maybe close to 4 years old
Really good. I see why this is so highly rated and regarded for aging. Very, very smooth. No bite whatsoever. Chocolate forward flavor with the roasted malts.
Highly recommend, specifically if you like to age RISs.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
3/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not sold on this. Kind of watery despite the booziness and much too sweet and syrupy for the style. Not that I like stouts much mind you, except a select few. I received two as gifts, I will finish and forget them.
The highlight here is the nose. All else is forgettable.

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Photo of trygelski1
4.73/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber poured into an East End Brewing snifter:

Look: Pours an amazing jet black color with a nice dark tan head of about an inch. Not much lacing present which is the only thing keeping this from a 5 rating for look. Love the jet black color of this beer.

Smell: Heavy aroma of dark fruits on the nose along with some chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts.

Taste: Notes of licorice, dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, and maybe a hint of alcohol burn but this is smooth for the ABV.

Feel: Medium to heavy bodied.

Overall: This is one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts that I have had. Disappointed this beer is not being brewed for a 2017 release as I would have definitely picked up a case again. Hopefully this one makes an appearance in 2018 as I would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 Bottle. Bitter dark chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla and roasted malts. Medium bodied. Holding up extremely well. This is a superb regular stout. Shorter, dry finish. Delicious.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Viscous jet with tan ring. 4
Ash, honey, and black currant. 4
Anise candies, black strap molasses, chocolate liqueur, camp coffee, truffley end and clean green finish. 4.5
Chewy, smooth, almost heavy. 4.25

Dense flavours! Big, chewy, no heat, not overly ashy… how’s it’s done. “All the evil in this world concentrated in one bottle,” says Steph. The prototype. 4.5

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Photo of buschbeer
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1 PT. 6 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter
2012

This beer pours black and is topped with an inch of dark mocha head that leaves a little lacing.

I smell chocolate as soon as I pour it. I also get some cocoa and a little coffee.

The taste begins with milk chocolate. It begins to bitter through the middle and finish with bitter chocolate and coffee.

Full mouthfeel

This is a great example of a RIS. The flavors have held up well over four plus years.

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Photo of AustinWadkins
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours thick like sludge with a 1/2 in tan head that quickly collars around the glass

Smells include smoke, roasted coffee, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, alcohol

Taste is oak, smoke, dark fruits, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, molasses, and a bit of bourbon

Overall a fantastic brew! Very drinkable and smooth given the abv!

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Photo of gatornation
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pulled a 2010 from the cellar. Poured a thick dark black color with a tan head that stayed fresh but this thru out. Smell of roasted malts and coffee with some tobacco and hops . Roast and creamy with chocolate and mocha espresso, very good. this vintage is six years old and im very impressed with how it has held up. Mouth feel was creamy with some hops very smooth on the finish, with ABV well hidden. A weel made stout at a great price that ages very well.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 1 Pint 6 oz bottle (2015 vintage) with bottle date of March 5th 2015 into stein glass.

L: Pitch black, head forms slowly as if the bubbles struggle to get to freedom. Thin layer of head, tan color.

S: Coffee, anise, alcohol, molasses, wood smoke.

T: Coffee again, chocolate, licorice, fruity esters, smoke. Wonderfully complex, you go through a train ride of flavors where the alcohol isn't too overpowering even at 10.6% which is insane. Some bitterness from the dark roasted malt and some hops, this is unrealistically smooth.

F: Wonderfully smooth and crisp from medium carbonation. Medium body.

O: Wow, this really blew me away, Stone has just done an outstanding job with this. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber dated 3/03/16 (9 1/2 months aged), into a Cigar City snifter.

Thin brown head that dissolved quickly.Jet black in color,no light through the glass,with light carbonation.

On the nose I get coffee,espresso,caramel,and a little bit of earthy hops,and sweet malts.A little hint of alcohol.

On the palate I get coffee,hops, caramel,and some booze.

The body is full,with a boozy warming finish that is dry and chalky.Even at almost 10 months aging,I still get the hoppy fizzle in my mouth.

As far as RUSSIAN imperials go, this is one of my favorites,right up there with Marshal Zhukov's.

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into a sniffer. This one is 2016 release.

Very deep brown to almost black with some reddish tinge as a showcase, the pour forms up thick creamy tan head that stands proud against the time with good retention before slowly subsiding to some long-lasting bubble sheet on the surface. It doesn’t go anywhere until the last sip. There are plenty of sticky lacing patches and spots left on the glass-side.

Wide varieties in a nose comprising of dark chocolate, crème brûlée, espresso coffee, cocoa, caramel, dark bread, molasses, vanilla, some oaky bourbon, a little bit smoky, and deep roasted with some astringency. There is also subtle ester reminding of black currant and a bit berries tart as a compliment to add some complexity. The aroma is very aromatic especially when it started to warm and opened.

Bittersweet dark chocolate is the most prominent and conquered the taste buds at first, then followed and mingled by crème brûlée, espresso coffee, cocoa, caramel, dark bread, molasses, vanilla, some oaky bourbon, a little bit smoky, and strong roasted with much astringency comparing to the aroma. Hop tries to intervene in the middle with some fruity notes of sour berries and slight black currant. Alcohol heat is there a bit subtlety at the almost end while the end is mixed up by its big sweetness, roasted bitterness and astringency that also leave a long tail in the aftertaste.

The body is full yet rather syrupy with medium carbonation that is considered as crisp enough and suitable to carry all the things well under the smooth palate, very dry finish.

This one is very direct and solid without doubt. Do not underestimate its strength even the booziness is not fully pronounced being tastefully balanced by its rich roasted malty goodness, great sipping brew and perfect to enjoy as the last glass or as the dessert of the session.

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Photo of weareallfalafel
4.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bought this at work on a whim, and boy, am I glad I did! Not too pricey, either at 10 bucks for the bomber. So, poured from the bomber into an 11oz snifter. Pours thick and opaque with just under an inche of khaki colored head, tight and small bubbles and some lacing. Looks exactly how you'd expect a good Russian Imperial Stout to look in the glass. Smell is huge on roasted character, dark chocolate, coffee, and caramel and brown sugar. Knocked it out of the park on that! Taste follows suit, with bold, aggressive, yet loving layers of burnt sugars, dark, dark malts, some toffee, a very slight hop bite, and the tiniest touch of booze in the finish. Fantastic, and once again, exactly what you'd expect from an awesome Russian Imperial Stout. Feel is full bodied, chewy AF, smooth and luxurious, coating the palate in all of the many layers of flavors this baby brings to the party. Overall, I'm impressed all around. Not just with the beer itself, but also with the fact that it was affordable, found at a place that does not usually stock stuff this good, and that Stone, a brewery I know mostly for their hop-forward IPAs, could nail the style so well. Layers and layers of flavor, found at a pretty basic grocery store and for a good price? Sign me the hell up! A rare 5/5, for me!

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Photo of Boccu
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours nice and dark. Nice head that fades quickly. No lacing. Aroma is dark chocolate, espresso and malt. Taste dark chocolate, espresso grinds, light alcohol finish. Very nice stout.

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Photo of fireazzi
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the 2012 vintage of this beer. Very nice standard beer. Great chocolate notes. Has a really boozy taste and not too thick. Pours a very dark brown almost black in color.

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Photo of BergBeer
3.92/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a viscous opaque black with a moderate mocha head. Slight activity.

Smell: Bitter espresso, light anise, rich dark chocolate, brownie batter, and roasted malt. Noticeable alcohol.

Taste: Dates, bitter roasted espresso, dark chocolate syrup, chocolate cake, light anise throughout, finish is boozy with more dark fruit notes.

Feel: Thick and boozy. Drink heavy while coating the palate. Moderately bitter. Alcohol is warming not harsh.

Overall: A solid Russian Imperial Stout. It's big, heavy, and complex. I particularly enjoyed the espresso richness that the body brings. This will certainly help we weather this upcoming winter

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Photo of headbangingteacher
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite all around beers. The pricing is great, it holds up incredibly well, and it is one of Stone's best made beers. Fresh,this beer is great,but a year+ and it becomes excellent. The chocolate comes a little more forward and the classic roast Fla or from the style settles nicely in balance with it.

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Photo of Nightmare1972
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong beer on the nose, not because the 10% but because the roastiness coffee and some chocolate notes. Pours basically a bitch black decent head from the bourbon style snifter glass. Not hard to find and also enjoyable to drink

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Photo of ragnar3
4.04/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage - poured from the bottle into a tulip. Rich chocolate with a well balanced roastiness. Solid mouthfeel, minimal apparent alcohol at 10+%.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 vintage. Pours a viscous opaque black, reminiscent of motor oil, with a two finger fluffy mocha color head. Aroma is dark fruit, black currant, dark and bittersweet chocolate, a roasted malts. Taste follows with big dark fruits, definite black currant, big notes of dark and bittersweet chocolate especially as it warms, roasted malts, and slight alcohol. Mouthfeel is great with a smooth body, slight prickle from the carbonation, and a warming effect from the alcohol. Overall, this is a wonderful RIS that is a terrific sipper and would go well with dessert or after dinner as its own stand alone.

 610 characters

Photo of TheDoctor
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Service: Bottle
Bottled: Mar-23-2016


A:
Pours a thickish jet black with two+ fingers mocha head that slowly settles to a full, but skimpy film. Okay retention; some specks of lacing. (4)

S:
Rich bitter chocolate/coffee melange. Cacao nibs, Mexican coffee, molasses, hard water, coffee. (4.25)

T:
Mmmmmm. Thick, smooth roasty caramelization, coffee, baker's chocolate, molasses, cream. (4.5)

M:
Silky, full bodied, slight roasty astringency, lingering warming finish. (4.25)

O:
This was a really enjoyable stout.
Solid and tasty, big but not unfinishable. It looks lovely in the glass. Fluffy brown head, opaque squid ink liquid. The aroma is rich and melded together into a single roasty aroma. Lots of coffee and bitter chocolate. The first drink surprises me at how smooth and soft and incredibly rich it can be. Layers of caramelized roast, brown sugar, cocoa powder, coffee grounds. It is almost fluffy in the mouth with medium carbonation. Verges on sticky-sweet but never crosses the line on either account.
Would have again. (4.25)

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I have versions of this from 2011-2016, hopefully its enjoyable! dark in color with a brown hue and nice brown head with good retention. On the nose is dark fruit, booze, tobacco, leather, burnt malts, very roasty and some spice present. similar note on the palate, plus some slightly bitter chocolate notes. mouthfeel is about right for the style.

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Photo of Reema
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: 22 oz bottle into a snifter glass, 2016 version bottled on 032316.

Pours a deep mahogany brown color when light is held up to a thinner part of the glass, though it is essentially black. Looks decadent. Aroma of roast, slight coffee, tiny amounts of anise spice, slight hoppiness, and plenty of dark chocolate. Taste reflects the smell. Initial sips reveal coffee and malt roastiness, dark chocolate, and a not over the top hoppiness. Retro-nasal reveals more of the anise and dark fruit (plum) characteristics of the beer. Feel is thick, with moderate carbonation as to not be flat, which fits the heavier notes on this beer. Overall, this is an amazing beer. Definitely buy this one as taste, aroma, and especially the price cannot be beat.

If this was ever in a 4 pack or 6 pack format, this would be my go-to RIS.

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Photo of gandres
4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 ounce bottle poured to wine glass
Sight: Black, big brown foam that dissipates slowly
Smell: pleasant, hint of toasted grains, nuts, coffee
Taste: very good, low bitterness
Feel: long finish, lively carbonation, creamy, some alcohol, good follow through and lingering aftertaste
Overall:excellent beer, repeat: yes, look for: yes
Drank: 9/27/2016 9:00 PM

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Well here is the standard appearance wise. Jet black, thick, oily. Did they come up with the oft used terminology "used motor oil"? Possibly. Aroma hits hard in the alcohol, roast and chocolate malt category.

Taste makes me think it is more on par with an American Imperial Stout moreso than Russian, the dark fruit notes just aren't there, the hopping is pretty damn big, so you get more of a hop based bitterness opposed to the yeast in a Russian version. This stuff is so chewy and covers the alcohol so nicely.

I realize that adjuncts and barrels are all the rage these days, but this is a remarkably consistent old school straight up no frills stout that is affordable and widely distributed.

Excellent.

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured from a 22 fl. oz. brown bottle - bottled on 3/5/15

Stone Imperial Russian Stout filled my snifter with a color that is black as coal. The head produced was generous, dark tan and foamy with good retention. The nose first picked up a nice aroma of roasted coffee and toffee with dark fruit also noted. The taste is a lot like the nose and is very well balanced. Rich flavors of chocolate, coffee, burnt toast, and a touch of hops are present. Mouth feel is full, smooth and creamy. Carbonation is medium.

Stone R.I.S. is a very flavorful and quite an easy drinker. An enjoyable R.I.S.

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Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
4.34 out of 5 based on 8,338 ratings.
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