Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

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Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout
BA SCORE
4.33/5
Outstanding
8,420 Ratings
Imperial Russian StoutImperial 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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
2,771
Ratings:
8,420
pDev:
9.24%
Bros Score:
4.17
 
 
Wants:
838
Gots:
2,334
Trade:
91
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,420 |  Reviews: 2,771
Photo of Kurzman
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CNoj012
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled On 03/13/16

This beer pours a completely opaque pitch black color with a half finger, foamy light brown head. The head eventually settles to an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass that lasts the duration and leaves a bit of spotted lacing in it's wake.

Smell is subtle yet complex. It is made up of rich roasted malts, milk chocolate, caramel, bitter black coffee, dark fruits and black licorice

Taste is very similar, but with the addition of a big dose of smokey char that adds a bit more depth.

Feel is full bodied and viscous bordering on chewy. Light carbonation.

Overall this is a great beer. I was not sold on the smell, but as soon as that char hit my palate I changed my tune. I'm a sucker for smokiness as Even More Jesus is my favorite non BA stout, and although I would not put this beer on that level, it is still quite nice.

 859 characters

Photo of sdm9465
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cinderblocks
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Franziskaner
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep, dark, forbiddingly black with a fingernail of beige around most of the rim and about a size of a quarter in the middle. There's a plethora of dark roasted barley, black licorice, and plums. I'm tasting an aggressive presence of dark roasted barley along with black licorice and coffee. The mouth is thick, chewy, and sticky.

 333 characters

Photo of Shantto
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Shaneb818
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dcmchew
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of irongator
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rex_4539
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L: Jet black color, half finger brown head, superb lacing, nice carbonation.

S: Sweet, chocolate, alcohol, coffee. Smells wonderful.

T: Sweet, chocolate, alcohol, coffee. Fantastic.

F: Thick, dense, full flavored.

O: A great Russian imperial stout from Stone.

 263 characters

Photo of Missygurl3133
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GreenBayBA
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Mtn
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with tan head. Dark fruit sweetness on nose. FIG AND prunes on flavor. Like DL without coffee.
Nice thickness, could be more

133 characters

Photo of wjbent
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dzu
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap into pint glass.
L: pitch black with a tan foam glass.
S: butter, coffee, cream.
T: chocolate, sweety,
F: tight body and soft carbonation.
O: awesome one. Recommended!!

 189 characters

Photo of robebo44
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of andrewh995
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark black with a thin brown head. Smells of rich chocolate, caramel, and some coffee. Tastes of sweet chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, coffee, and a slight orange zest. Not much alcohol at all. Medium-heavy body and light carbonation. Overall a very delicious RIS. I found the 2010 version on draft somewhere so this is very aged.

 341 characters

Photo of JustCamIt
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Samact
3.79/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Vidblain
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had several bottles of Stone's Imperial Russian Stout over the years, but those generally pre-date my "serious" days of beer criticism and enjoyment. So I opened a 2015 to see how my impressions were holding up.

Imperial Russian Stout has been widely venerated for quite some time now - with good reason. It ages well. It has a recipe that has been consistent and well balanced for quite some time. Like many other Russian Imperial Stouts, it is quite heavily hopped - so it has potential to mature over long periods of time, only gaining complexity as the hops become more subdued.

I wish that I had had the forethought to open a comparable Russian Imp alongside Stone's, but here were my impressions: the beer pours quite dark, with a nice head of very light brown foam. It smells quite hoppy still, but also warm and chocolatey. The taste is quite accurate to the smell - the hops are pungent and hit the back of my tongue quite powerfully. Much like Surly Darkness, I found myself wishing that I had aged this for much longer. Those hops hang on forever! Still, the beer has admirable complexity and flavor. The hops are strong and pronounced, but there is still a very pleasant sweetness to it.

I like this beer a lot. I have a 2011 and a 2013 that I have yet to open. My follow-up on those in the future.

 1,318 characters

Photo of FirstInLine
3.59/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Hybridlion
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of briandschorr
4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing. I am a big fan of Stouts and Porters and this is one of the best Stouts out there. Moderate dark fruit ester and a wonderful opaque color. I agree with the comments about a significant herbal hop character. The nose is a complex blend of chocolate and caramel with coffee coming through in a subtle way. A wonderful thick foam that breaks down at just the right speed and leaves not much lacing. This is a beer to be enjoyed slowly. For me, it's a step away from a masterpiece.

 486 characters

Photo of RDW
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 8,420 ratings