Stone Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

8,368 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,368 |  Reviews: 2,755
Photo of psuKinger
3.8/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber, 2012 release, poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

A: Pours pitch black and thick, like motor oil. Thin, light brown head on top that dissipated quickly, and only a thin lining rimmed the glass within a minute.

S: Roastiness. Black licorice. A touch of something that reminds me of seared, charred meat. A whiff of coffee as well.

T: The black licorice is definitely there. Big and bold, arriving early. And I'm standing behind my assertion that something here tastes like that delicious "crust" you find on the edge of a good seared steak. A little oak barrel as well. I'm not sure if this is barrel-aged or not, but I'm tasting a little charred wood.

Piney hop bitterness on the back end, and maybe a touch of grapefruit as well. No alcohol "burn" the way some Imperial Russian Stouts do, but it's certainly not "hidden" either.

M: Thick. Hefty. The carbonation level is low but appropriate for this style. The finish is dry, with big roasty charred notes and a touch of pine bitterness left behind at the finish.

D/O: I enjoyed my first 14-ounce-pour of this beer. It's big, bold, and flavorful. But, ultimately, I'm just not sure that "Russian Imperial Stout" is a style I really enjoy. This might be my favorite example of the style, but it's still not particularly drinkable for me, and wore as me as I worked through the bomber.

 1,353 characters

Photo of RicoFalcon
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of M27
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of mfgreene
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of LarryMyers
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of tylermains
3.25/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of BeerBucks
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of jjauga
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of ctrevino
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of throwback
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of tdm168
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1000th review!!

Bomber poured into a snifter.

A - pours like slick oil; pitch black in color with a soft, brown head that is short-lived

S - chocolate, black licorice, alcohol, anise, roasted malts

T - rich chocolate, a hint of vanilla, roasted malts, black licorice, alcohol

M - full bodied, big alcohol warmth, smooth, good carbonation

This is a pretty amazing Russian Imperial Stout even if it is a bit boozy. The alcohol is prevalent, but the chocolate notes are creamy and rich. It's a pretty solid offering that's worth checking out.

 545 characters

Photo of trevorpost
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of dasmusik
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of cletusdog
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black in color, with a bubbly brown head about one finger high. Dissipates fast leaving little lacing.
The smell is dark chocolate, coffee and dark fruits.
The taste is phenomenal! Great balance from the beginning. Delicate dark fruit flavors incorporated in coffee and dark chocolate. Not to bitter, not to sweet, just right. Good carbonation, great mouthfeel.
What a wonderful Stout!

 392 characters

Photo of mattsander
3.92/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deepest jet black with nice brown head that slowly creeps down the glass.

S: Roasted malts, booze, coffee, a bit of dark fruit. The booze is more prevalent than I expected, still nice though.

T: Licorice, coffee and honey with a bittersweet chocolate finish. Feels a bit simple to me, but there's nothing wrong with it.

M: Thick body with just enough carbonation to keep it interesting.

This is a good RIS, but it never blew me away. A bit one dimensional.

 464 characters

Photo of pandajuice22
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of davidIPA
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of KevieJames
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of jlove5
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of caverog
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Yallnumbskulls
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage.

Appearance: Black. Head is a minimal dark fan. Pours heavy. Tiny collar.

Smell: Roasted malts for days. Some char, burnt malts and a backing caramel sweetness. Loads of roasted flavor. Some wine. Big sweetness. Mild hints of citrus from the hops. Some baker's chocolate and bitter cocoa. Booze coasts through the back. Nice burnt compliment.

Taste: Mega roasty. Char and burnt malts. Big sweetness comes through and helps temper the burnt. Some vinous hints. Maybe a touch of oak. Runs some molasses and dark overcooked sugars. Great depth of flavor with enough complexity to carry it through.

Mouthfeel: Just crosses in to full body. Carbonation is minimal. Smooth with a slightly dry edge.

Overall: This is the baseline by which all other Imprrial Stouts are judged. It's got great flavor and ease of access makes it even better. I've had this beer every year since 2008. It ages with the best of them and drinks well fresh. It just is that good.

 972 characters

Photo of Cowcakes
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Axnjxn
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 release. Bottled on 3/15/13 poured into a goblet.

Pours a pitch black color with a half inch thick beige head. Nice looking pour. Smell is amazing. Dark chocolate and cocoa, not too overpowering, just right. One of the best smelling RIS's ive had the pleasure of enjoying. Taste lives up to the smell as well. Great balance of chocolate and malts. Not too thick or thin. Not creamy nor syrupy. Wonderfully balanced. The chocolate is the main flavor but again, it's not overpowering. Just right. Heavy body with low carbonation, but quite easy to drink for the style.

Overall this was the first RIS i ever had and going back to the 2013 version a few years later and I remember why i fell in love with this beer and style. While i have had a few that I've prefered since then (old rasputin, batch 9000) this one is truly top of the line. And being so readily available and cheap is a huge plus as well.

 910 characters

Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
4.34 out of 5 based on 8,368 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.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

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

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More