Stone Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout
Liked This Beer
4.33 w/ 8,381 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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Ratings: 8,381 |  Reviews: 2,760
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look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Imperial Russian Stout opens with a lovely cream-and-malt aroma that bears, on the one hand, notes of heavy cream, brown sugar, vanilla, and caramel, and on the other, a far darker set of aromas including ash, tobacco, and chocolate and black malt. A good set of fruit esters, including fig, date, and plum, bring out more variety, as does a good undertone of milk chocolate. The nose does bear a strong touch of alcohol, but this blends nicely with the aromas, and in fact gives the beer a slight oak/carbon scent (though it has not been barrel aged). As a whole, the nose is quite nice, the aromas exactly what are to be expected of a beer of this style, being a good mélange of cream and ash. I can’t say there’s anything necessarily revelatory about the aromas, but they are still very enticing.

On the tongue, the beer opens up with a huge smack of ash, tobacco, and espresso that is far darker and stronger than the nose let on. These dark notes are quickly joined by dark sugars--molasses, brown sugar, and fig, date, and plum fruit esters--as well as touches of heavy cream, vanilla, and anise. But the ashy notes nicely dominate the brew, giving it a solid earthy feel. There is a strong alcohol presence (10.5% ABV) throughout the mouthful, adding a vodka-like tinge to the edges, as well as touches of carbon, marking one of the beer’s few weaknesses. The aftertaste is mainly ash and tobacco, with remnants of cream and sugar, and lasts for a decent time. Mouthfeel is medium to medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good fare, though I did find myself somehow wanting a bit more. Not from the ashy notes, but perhaps a few more sugars, or an additional layer of flavor to help bring out what is already there. This beer seems, in other words, to cry out for a bit of barrel aging, as a bourbon undertone would nicely complement the alcoholic, ashy tones. Still, even without this, it’s still a very nice stout, and worth trying.

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Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 95.2% out of 100 with 8,381 ratings
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