Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Stone Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout
8,389 Ratings
Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,389 |  Reviews: 2,762
Photo of bnes09
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Completely jet black with no light getting through. Pours a relatively thick head for the style which a thin, silky blanket over the brew and creamy lace lines on the glass.

Aroma is dark, rich and robust. Full of coffee, tobacco, pine needles, oatmeal, oak chips, maple and gingerbread. Highly complex and well rounded. The bitter, sweet and spicy notes all seem to compliment eachother as I inhale the delicate aroma.

Tons of roastiness in the flavor which is hard to pinpoint due to the overwhelming complexity. Baking chocolate is probably the most prominent along with dark roast coffee, tobacco, smoked woods and charcoal-blackened chicken. Dry malt character overall. Hop notes are subtle at first teasing the tongue with earthy, pine-like qualities. Just a touch of licorice spice. Not a whole lot of sweetness to balance this one. Finishes with a tart and bitter hop character that combats the roasty baking chocolate flavor. Descent, not great, balance in this one. Almost acidic in the finish.

Full bodied and well textured. Loads of carbonation for such a strong beer.

Overall: very well done with a few minor complaints. Love the complexity in both aroma and flavor but could use some more balance. Also, seems to get more hoppy and bitter as it warms which opposed the expectation for the style. Still a well crafted and intriguing imperial stout.

 1,367 characters

Photo of Heavenisbeer
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of JMS1512
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of fullmoonbeer
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of majaqua
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of NastyNate11
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of deadliest
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of random846
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Topher78
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of alpineclimber
3.96/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A revisit on a 2009 bottle, May 6, 2013. Served up at cellar temp, into a chalice.

A smallish tan head on a deep mahogany brew.

Looks good enough, pretty standard really.

Not a big nose on this one either. The usual sweet dark malts. Just slightly alcoholic, not near as much alcohol as the 2011 which was drank fairly fresh.

Tast is quite good. Toffee, caramel, dark chocolate and a slight tinge of alcohol. The alcohol is very well hidden and probably tamed down with 3+ years in the cellar. Not a single note of oxidation, no dark fruit, cobwebs or cardboard. I believe this beer to age like a Boss!!!

Nice thick mouthfeel.

Overall this is a great RIS! It's a cellar champ. I had a 2008 a while back and it was awesome, so sad I did not review it.

Points go as follows:

A 4
S 3.75
T 4.5
M 4.5
O 4.25

Total: 4.2

A 2011 bottle at cellar temperature poured into a beer chalice.

A two finger mocha head on a deep black brew, looks enticing. A decent amount of lacing is left on the glass.

The nose is cold black coffee, burnt notes from the malted barley and a slight smell of alcohol. The nose is fairly subdued.

The taste is of black coffee, dark chocolate, a high level of bitterness most likely from the malt and a slight taste of alcohol. A good thick mouthfeel.

This is a fairly classic Russian Imperial Stout, not overly complex and definetly not lacking. I am glad I have a few more bottles of this in the cellar.

 1,435 characters

Photo of thampel09
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of BigTrubble
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Tom-Peters
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of diehl07
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of lonewolfcry
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.95/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2012 scores (4.5/3.5/4/4/4.5)

After having the 2013 vintage (and the Espresso version), I can now safely say this isn't quite for me. While it looks good and has a big feel, I just don't care for all the licorice in the flavor profile. And that's the problem here - it's too licorice dominant with no real complexity, depth, or even bold flavor. The thick, viscous mouthfeel means little if it doesn't have a great taste to prop it up.

I've got another bottle, and that one won't be cracked open until after tax season...in 2014. Right now, I can think of quite a few readily available imperial stouts that wipe the floor with this one.


Poured into a Williamsburg Winery wine glass.

A: Pours a damn near pitch black body with good thickness and viscosity. The head is a two finger light tan color with excellent texture, decent retention, and solid lacing.

S: All the usual RIS notes are here; slight soy, dry baker's chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, leather, and tobacco nicely mingle on the nose. While it's a nice melange, it's too subdued, much to its detriment.

T: The flavor starts off with some dark fruit notes (raisins, currants, plums) along side some leather and licorice. Afterward, it progresses toward dark chocolate and roast notes, and it finishes salty and slightly boozy. There are hints of tobacco and piny hops throughout the flavor progression. Balance is decent, but not impeccable, as it slightly leans towards fruitiness. On the plus side, it featured the kind of complexity I was expecting from a beer of this caliber.

M: Decently heavy with good viscosity and low carbonation, with a dry finish, almost to the point of causing the mouth to water. The aftertaste lingers nicely with dried dark fruits. Touches of alcohol can be felt on the tongue, throat, and stomach.

O: A tough beer to digest at first - but one that rewards its drinker with good complexity and a breadth of flavor storytelling. It isn't immensely drinkable, but then again, something like this should be savored slowly. Given its price point, it's one I can heartily recommend.

 2,085 characters

Photo of GoGata
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of hermit990
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle poured into a goblet. 2014 Vintage. Bottled on 03/05/2014. Reviewed on 06/24/2014.

Appearance: Pours a dark, opaque black. Viscous looking. Half a finger of tan head, recedes to a film. Slight alcohol leg presence. No visible carbonation.

Aroma: Dark, roasted malts. Chocolate/coffee notes. A bit of sweetness - dark fruit/alcohol. Some earthy/spice character on the finish.

Taste: Strong dark chocolate/coffee at the beginning. More of the sweetness comes out further down the tongue, raisin-like fruit character Aftertaste is bitter and earthy, finishing with a slight alcohol sweetness.

Mouthfeel: BIg, thick beer. Lots of body present as it coats the mouth. A bit of alcohol warmth present at the back of the tongue and throat.

Overall: Very good Russian Imperial Stout. A well executed example of the style. Fairly easy to find during its annual release if Stone beers are available in your area. At $8 per bomber (locally), it's definitely recommended to try.

 984 characters

Photo of barrelofbastard
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Asics
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of DruRho
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of ZombieJester
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of KWMiles
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of NSK79
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of oso
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 8,389 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.