Stone Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
2,715 Reviews
Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States | website

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:
2,715
Ratings:
8,244
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
15.9%
 
 
Wants:
794
Gots:
2,290
For Trade:
102
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,715 | Ratings: 8,244
Photo of mwilbur
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at the Escondido brewery into tulip.
A: Pours extremely dark brown-black with 1/4 inch dark mocha head with good retention.
S: Dry dark chocolate, cacao nibs, vanilla, whiskey, and a hint of molasses.
T: Dark bittersweet chocolate, cacao nibs, whiskey, leather, molasses,vanilla, and a hint of dark honey.
M: Heavy body, yet delicately sweet. Drinks a bit lighter than ABV. Decadent and deep. Lingers and matures nicely on the palate.
D: An outstanding brew! Hits all the right notes and is ten times more drinkable than most RISs. Well done, Stone!

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Photo of ebin6
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I feel I must demarcate this beer:

Fresh:
Kinda hot, but there's an underlying smoothness. The chocolaty flavors that shine with some age don't yet dominate. Fairly hoppy for an IRS/RIS.

Aged (~3 years):
The bite smooths out, the chocolate notes shine through, and a sublime beer for aging commences. While I consider Bell's Expedition the premier RIS for aging, Stone's in only a hair behind.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

**
10/11/2012
Chocolate, barley.Dark Black Pour. Small, but creamy head. Caramel, Dark Chocolate. Great Flavor. High Alcohol.A really nice beer
**

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Photo of XBeerBellyT
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had one aged for about 6 years. It was pretty amazing. All booze was settled. Had tons of chocolate and fudge flavors up front with little bitterness to finish. Mouth feel was rich and creamy, something I'd expect for something cellared that long. Great beer, will try one that is 'fresh'.

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Photo of floridadrift
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Black, dark brown head that dissipates
S: Smoke, roasted malt, raisins
T: Raisins, toffee, burnt sugars, roasted malt, dark fruits, smoke
F: Mildly thin
O: A classic example of a RIS

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Photo of Ksmoove27
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Vintage bottle (22oz) dates 11/2015

Look: deep black with a thin brown head. Great lacing

Nose: dark fruits: raisins, prunes, figs, cocoa, fruitcake, massive dried fruit, cherry

Taste: Smokey, roasted malt followed by the dark fruit flavors. Very nice. Alcohol is well masked

Feel - Medium to heavy dank goodness. A little bitterness to the tongue and medium carbonation.

Overall: Love the dank goodness here...The fruit makes it different than the Yeti, Old Rasputin, etc.

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Photo of gibgink
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sampling of 2009 vintage. Was amazed from all the roasted characteristics that were still coming from this bottle after so many years. A true classic that can withstand the test of time.

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Photo of Shippy
4.04/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 vintage poured from a bottle. Black with a tan head. Aromas of chocolate and dark fruits, with some brown sugar sweetness. Roasty flavor follows with more chocolate and dark fruits, raisins, dates. Feel, along with the flavors, is very rich and smooth. Full bodied. Overall, a tasty and rich imperial stout with a nice touch of heat. Very well crafted.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2015 Vintage bottle (22oz) dates 02/2015 from my cellar served at cellar temps in a snifter

Appearance: creamy black with a thin brown head. Tons of cling to the side of the glass.

Nose: this thing is just pouring off dark fruit notes from the moment I opened the bottle. Raising, prunes, figs, cocoa, fruitcake, massive dried fruit, cherry

Taste: hit of bitterness in the front leads to all of those dried fruits, cherry, raisins, prunes, figs, plums, spice cake, fruitcake, middle is chewy with more fruit, finish is a bit boozy with a lingering roasty and bakers chocolate bit. Very nice.

Overall: fruit bomb here. I can't believe all of the dried dark fruits in there. It reminds me of an aged Samuel Smith Imperial Stout with all the fruit but more intensified. That is high praise. I do feel like Samuel Smith's is more balanced but this is still an excellent beer.

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Photo of FFreak
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Bevie several months ago, can't remember the price. Bottling date is 2/2015. Pours the typical high ABV stout black, dark as night, with a nice coffee-with-cream colored head, about an inch high, that hangs on for a good while. The smell that first hit me was licorice, followed by dark chocolate, molasses, and dark roast malt. Taste drops the licorice, but is heavy with dark chocolate and sweet dark sugar. Not a lot of bitterness here, but still doesn't come off as cloying at all. Mouth is about perfect for a big ol' stout, viscous, silky, medium-full bodied, but goes down pretty easy. Overall, a great RIS (IRS?). Way to go Stone!

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Photo of Trevor11
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Like a fine dessert. Stone's Imperial Russian Stout stands up among the best of them. Although it is not as highly sought after as Bourbon County line, they are quite delicious. I have had a 2015 rather fresh, but I am also aging a 2014 to see what happens

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a tan brown head. Smells of dark fruit and abundant chocolate coffee roast. Taste is dark chocolatey with dark fruit and roasted coffee notes. Medium body with mild carbonation. It feels smooth and goes down easy for 10.6%. Overall a really good Russian Imperial Stout.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a nonic pint glass.
The appearance was a black color with a thick dark tan colored head. Dissipated slowly and evenly. A nice amount of lacing roamed the glass.
The smell had a faint coffee/chocolate over some black licorice.
The taste was sweet and roasty with nice bitter coffee beans delicately weaving into the aftertaste and coming across with a dry finish.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a good sipping quality and a low carbonation subjugating my tongue with roasty and bitter feels.
Overall, glad I have another in my cellar and am looking forward to next Spring's coming out.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours black with a thick dark-cream colored head. nice looking in the glass!

smell is faint but still exists. smells of coffee/chocolate. not a bad smell just not a strong scent.

tastes like coffee. nice roast to it. very smooth.

this goes down very easy and smooth which makes this dangerous at 10.6%!

overall this is a really good beer. one of my favorite RIS' instantly! Ten Fidy has more character and is better, IMO, this is a close 2nd. very smooth and easy to drink, i have one aging in my cellar as well. excited to see how easy that will be to drink.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours dark brown-black with a nice mocha head that dissipates pretty quickly. Smell is a nice coffee, chocolate, dark roasty malts but also a little hop character in there - pine/grapefruit. Taste follows the nose, with coffee, chocolate, dark roasty bitterness, but then also a bitter hop character in addition. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, alc is covered, aftertaste is roasty coffee, dark malts. Overall I think the extra hop character is detracting a little bit from this beer, if you put it next to other RIS's it almost tastes like a black IPA. Especially when this bottle has been sitting for 7 months - bottled 3/7/2015 drank 10/11/2015.

Update: now drinking a bottle bottled 3/7/2015 on 4/3/2016, and an extra 6 months makes this much smoother, the hop character is less present and the roastiness has smoothed out

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Photo of majorbase2
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a chocolatey medium sized brown foam head. Recedes quickly.

Roasted coffee and chocolate malts with some smoky, woody notes. Vanilla. Booze is fairly strong.

Taste is heavenly. Deep, dark chocolate malts, heavily roasted, with a gob of molasses on the finish.

Very easy drinking for a RIS. Could easily drink a few of these.

Overall, definitely worth the hype.

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Photo of Viaduck
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours almost black with a short lived brown head. Smells like yeast, bread, a little malt & chocolate. Tastes like a Starbucks mocha Java, a bit sweet, with a slight alcohol aftertaste. I like it. Very good.

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Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Yum! Stone did it again with their 2014 RIS. Deep, dark brown, almost black and completely opaque with a creamy, tan head a finger high. Roasted malt and molasses fill the nose while molasses, licorice and malt bathe the tongue in velvety viscous flood of alcoholic warmth. Wonderfully rich and reasonably priced for a brew of this quality.

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 2/21/2014. Darker than average, mahogany pour. Absolutely opaque in the glass with a dark cocoa colored head and streams of carbonation rising up all over the place. Aroma seems pretty muted for some reason, but I get strong notes of roasted malt, char, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, and oak. Medium-full mouth feel with good carbonation, very well balanced and easy to drink. On the taste, I get lots of dark malts, bitter, unsweetened coffee, slight licorice, vanilla, bakers chocolate, and raisins.

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Photo of Cross_Product
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2014 edition, 8oz draught at Tap 'n' Handle. Pitch black with a nice thick head which was quite a dark brown. Didn't get much smell out of it, some roasty chocolate. I think it was served a little too cold. Let it warm up a bit before drinking, and it was well worth waiting a few minutes. Big dried fruit (prunes, raisins) and stone fruit (plums), mixed with some spice notes (vanilla, cinnamon) and the expected chocolate/coffee vibe. Pretty rich mouthfeel, matching the flavors nicely. Excellent RIS. Now I need to try this year's...

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Photo of SaulFox
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Deep black with 1 inch khaki head
Minimal chocolate/roasty espresso
Slight chocolaty taste along with roasted malt and slight coffee
On the thinner side in mouth
One of the best basic RIS...makes me look forward to the Bourbon aged fyodors I have in the cellar

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Photo of govlady
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery in Escondido
pours pitch black with a lacing of tan head
Smell didn't really do it for me. hint of chocolate, but not much there.
Taste - chocolate, coco, malt, maybe a hint of coffee in there
great mouthful on this one, could be a little thicker
A good non BA stout. a solid 10% abv beer, not too hot, goes down fairly smooth.

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Photo of Sunsetlane_guy
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Classic Release

Wonderful flavour. Thick on the tongue. Very nice. Every sip reminds me this is the appropriate rating. I would recommend this to stout lovers. Very nice. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at Champagne's outside Detroit MI for $7.99 for a 22oz bottle. Served at 6deg C in a tulip. 2015 edition

A- Opens well and pours a 2" high thick looking brown head that films out within 4mins. Pretty much black

S- Light for the style. Coco. Nutmeg

T- A touch light on the coffee and chocolate. It's there but mild compared to you big ones like Ten Fidy. Don't get me wrong this one is nice but not stellar. A bit spicier than most RIS's which I like.

M- A touch thin for an RIS. Would like to see some thickening up to get this rating up a bit

O- Very good RIS. I like it but when I go 4-5hrs to a different country to get only 24 beer I got to make them good selections and this one falls outside that level. It's good and if available in Canada for under $9.00 I would by it again.

Food Pairing

This nice brew went very well with....... A nice selection of cheese I found at the grocery store. Some Havarti for a creamy one, blue with a TON of blue in it as another, oka with mushrooms as a third and emmenthal from over the pond as a forth. This RIS pounded through all of these cheeses and the crackers and honey cleansed the pallet well.

Enjoy

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had the 2014 vintage on tap at the tap n handle in Fort Collins. Once this beer warmed up, the chocolate and roast flavors really grew on me nd melded together well. Some barrel taste, maybe whiskey if I can remember, which I didn't expect. A bit boozy still after a year, but some good stuff none the less.

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Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 2,715 ratings.
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