Stone Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

8,375 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,375 |  Reviews: 2,759
Photo of Grant35
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of FLBEERGUY25
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Joshpu
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of tuckerlikesbeer
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Bottle bought in Oct. About a month old.

A: Pours black. Little head, enough said for an RIS. Looks awesome.

S: Intoxicating. Deep chocolate and coffee aromas.

T: Smooth, chocolatey hints of coffe/toffee goodness. Havent tried it? You're doing yourself a disservice, ESP for the price. Strong Chocolate.

M: Thick and full bodied. Sticky chocolate and coffee on the palate.

O: Fantastic beer, ESP for the price (I paid less than $7 for this). Probably the best bargain in the industry. People would easily pay twice this for this quality of a beer.

 562 characters

Photo of closisinthehouse
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Spaceangler
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of server222
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review taken from notes- may 2012 **2012 IRS**

1 pint 6 oz brown bomber style bottle with awesome stone artwork with the usual gargoyle sitting upon the front of the bottle. Poured into an authentic Stone Imperial Russian Stout glass.

A - about as black as you'll find in a brew. I mean this is the blackest of black with touches of so dark brown it's ridiculous cutting through the edges in the light. Hell, it may even be black as well. A mean brown head sits on top with some good stick to the walls of the glass that bears it's name.

S - Roasted chocolate and black roasted malt up front. Some molasses and hints of sticky caramel down within the depths of this black pit of a liquid. Dark fruits with some tight spice of alcohol finish out a brilliant aroma.

T - A complexity of malt character. Black and chocolate Malts with roasted black coffee. Sweet molasses and caramel stay true to the style it represents. Roasted barley and a slight smokey character. Good portion of dark fruit. Bitter hops and alcohol spice round out the flavor very nicely.

M - Thick and chewy bottle completely coats the mouth leaving a massive stout that's hearty and very enjoyable. Thickness allows for a smooth experience. Some brewers miss the mark with the RIS simply because they make it too thin. Stone nails the thickness with this and allows us to enjoy this super stout.

O - This massive stout is top shelf. The class Stone puts in this bottle is 2nd to none and can be enjoyed when first released or after it sits in your personal cellar awhile. Most Russian Imperial Stouts call for some sitting to get the smooth easy drinking brew, but not this one. It's ready to go from its release. Sure it would sit well and age nicely, but the sheer complexity and masterly crafted balance allow we snobs to bust one open right away. This is an expertly crafted imperial stout from one of the best breweries in the world. A yearly favorite of mine and IMO you can't find many better stouts than this. A top 5 for me any day. Absolutely flawless.

 2,039 characters

Photo of Nutwood
2.5/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap in a shaker pint after work.

The appearance is striking and maybe a bit strange. Pours a drk, seemingly purplish black. The head came to one finger and was dense, with a bit of an odd buised purplish dark brown hue.

Aroma was agressively boozey, to the point of overpowering the faint roasted malt and a bit of vinous fruit note. I did not get much in the way of chocolate or coffee. There was a hint of hops present.

Flavor here was a bit off for me, more like a burnt barleywine with some molasses and caramel. I found the alcohol to be pushy and distracting, and I was put off by a presence of what seemed to be some fusel heat in there.

The mouthfeel was again all alcohol, along with some decent body and moderately low carbonation.

Overall I would not cite this as a good example of Russian Imperial Stout style. I get the impression that Stone was trying to push the envelope and sacrificed flavor for alcohol content. It's missing the roasty malt goodness and full flavor, balance, and body that smooths out the alcohol. If you want to try this beer, do it early in your session and consider making it a one beer session.

 1,150 characters

Photo of JPerruccio
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Squidly
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Proteusx
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Frankensteineken
3/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of JALIEN
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Powderhornphil
3.94/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Revisiting this beer. 2014 vintage.

Pours black with couple fingers of head. Nice retention. Not as menacing in appearence as some of the newer class of Imperials.

Aroma is hoppy bitterness. Milk chocolate and roast. Also a slight hint of harsh alcohol.

Taste follows the nose. big bitterness, hops and a roast. A bit of alcohol on the finish.

Medium mouthfeel.

Nice beer and great value, but not as good as a many of the more recent imperial stouts. The flavors are not as intense as I would prefer while the alcohol is a bit distracting.

 545 characters

Photo of Riggsy
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Brianito
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of BMMillsy
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with small mocha head. Notes of chocolate and sweet vanilla on the nose. A bit of candy, roasted grain, and maybe some hints of dark fruit. Smell is cloying sweet. Licorice comes out as it warms. Flavor is heavy black currant and chocolate. Some vanilla notes and slight hop bite. Lingering cocoa aftertaste on the back of the throat. Licorice flavor comes out with warming. Some comforting alcohol warmth on the way down. Sticky mouthfeel with the right carbonation. Good beer, but on the sweet fruit/sugared currant side for my liking. I like sweet chocolate coffee and hops a bit more. Flavor improved as it warmed, but not sure this belongs amongst the top on the leaderboard. But it seems I am in the minority there.

 737 characters

Photo of wde83
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of founder26
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 release poured into snifter served at around 45 degrees.

A: pours jet black, pretty thick. left a 2 finger light tan head, pretty carbonated with some lacing, looks like a good stout!

A: Smells of anise, coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, once warmed I get some of the burn from the high abv. lots of dark roast in here.

T: first sip I get a load of anise and chocolate. as it warms the coffee and chocolate dominate. get alot more of the abv when warm as well

M: Very creamy, decadent mouthfeel on this one, good carbonation, about as perfect as it gets for a RIS

O: I would have to give this one a A. I have had this aged 4 years and thought it lost alot of its prominate flavors which kinda bumbed me out. I would like to try this aged a year or 2 to see what happens.

 779 characters

Photo of BoUrBoNbArReL
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Hoptologist
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Samdon
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
4.34 out of 5 based on 8,375 ratings.
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