Stone Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

8,362 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: 8,362 |  Reviews: 2,750
Photo of MichPaul
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was waiting in anticipation this year to find this beer in Michigan. Having never tried it before, and the hype that seems to be following it now days, I was anxious. It didn't disappoint!
This beer poured nice and think and dark, with a VERY thin head.
This is a nice complex tasting stout. I am going to savor this one, and as soon as I get a chance, I'm getting some more!

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Photo of BilbosNuts
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle (2012 Release) into a goblet.

A: Color is black as night and pours very thick. It had a small mocha colored head, but it faded quickly to a creamy ring across the top.

S: Huge roasted and chocolate malt aromas are the main players here. Hints of hops can be noticed towards the finish as well, but it it well balanced to not overpower the malt character. There is also a sort of burnt/smokey aspect that comes out more as it warms.

T: Like the aroma, the taste has a big malt character (roasted and chocolate again). The burnt characteristic is more noticeable in the taste than in the aroma.

M: It has a heavy feel to it and has a sort of dry finish. The carbonation level is on the lower side, as an RIS should be. The alcohol isn't noticeable at all. Dangerous, but I like it.

O: This was my first time trying this one and I can say that this is definitely one of the better RIS's out there. Glad I picked a few up to enjoy. We'll see how the do with some age.

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Photo of PluckyDucky
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of edwardprung
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of C2H5
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. This is moderately thick very dark brown, a tan head rises and falls leaving only a small "islands" in the center and a ring around the glass.
The smell of this beer is exceptional, chocolate and brown sugar roasty malts and just enough booze to let you know its a beer.
This is a sweet beer, but the sweetness is balanced with bitter chocolate and molasses, the alcohol is warming and welcomed.
Mouthfeel is nice, moderately heavy for a imperial stout, very smooth, not a "frothing" effect like some RIS's (founders RIS) but the carbonation is good.
I love this beer, I love imperial stouts and this one is in my TOP 5 "non-barrel aged" stouts. AND it's 7 bucks a bomber!! This beer is amazing!

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Photo of datphoo
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of herman77
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a light brown head with decent retention. A bit of spotty lacing trying to be left behind.

S: Mainly smoky malts. Of course you got your roasted malt, bits of dark chocolate and a bit of coffee. A tiny bit of dark fruits and hops lurking in the way background. Way more smoky than I thought it would smell.

T: Lots of roasted malt and lightly smoked malts up front. Then some dark-bittersweet chocolate comes through with a bit of dark fruits. Some hops throughout. Again, more smoked malts than I imagine it would have.

M: Medium to full body. Lower, soft carbonation. Really smooth and creamy feel.

O: Very drinkable. ABV is really well hidden. Solid, but honestly I thought it was gonna be better.

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Photo of WJGreene
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Momar42
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of hoody711
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not my favorite style of beer, but when you put a sign on the beer that says "Limit 1 per customer," I'm going to buy it. And only $6.99 for a world-class rating? Please.

A - poured semi-vigorously into my not-adequate FFF pint glass. Seems a huge disservice to the guys in San Diego to not have the right glassware for this beer, and I feel worse about myself already. Very dark brown, opaque, with 2 fingers of light tan head (expected a darker head, still nice) that laces very nicely.

S - sweet, roasty malts, hint of coffee at the end, maybe a little biscuity? I might be completely missing the point, but I rather like it.

T - not quite as complex as I was expecting, but definitely still very good. I don't think I'm sophisticated enough to weed out the evolving tastes of these heavy hitters anyways, so it works out well for me. Burnt malt, bitter chocolate, maybe some toffee at the end.

M - medium to heavy, light carbonation, and smooth - quite nice actually. Leaves a medium alcohol burn on the way out that lasts for a while.

O - again, will never order a stout/porter over a pale or IPA, but will definitely buy this again. It is excellent, and the price can't be beat. Can't wait to open my 2nd bottle in a year or so and see how it compares. Pick it up, now, in large quantities.

 1,302 characters

Photo of Jose2412
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of SHCC
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of blackfoot86
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of leprakhan
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of SFC21
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of millelacsmark
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of SiflandOlly
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of HopFace
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of pirmannt1
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Pitch black, with a light cocoa colored thick creamy head. Good lacing.

Smell – Roasted malts, licorice, vanilla, brown sugar, and a touch of cinnamon.

Taste – Burnt malt, dark chocolate, and vanilla. To me, it’s relatively simple, but good.

Mouthfeel – Thick, creamy, light-medium carbonation, and smooth.

Drinkability – Super easy drinking stout, especially at 10.5% abv.

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Photo of jdougherty
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of TonyT013
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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

I sat for a while with only the word "AMAZING" typed into the review box as I continued to sip away on my first ever Stone IRS.


The look of this beer is amazing. Pours viscous and deliciously dark. Firm pour entices a few fingers of mocha colored head. Dark as sin and just as inviting.

I can smell this beer as it pours, and it's amazing. Typical coffee and chocolate mixed with roasted malts. Smells a little boozy, but there seems to be something unexplainably fruity in this.

Taste is...amazing. One sip and I'm smiling at how I feel that I'm robbing Stone Brewing company. How can they sell this beer at $6.99 per 22oz? This beer is sweeter than most I've tried, and it's out of this world. The creamy molasses and coffee flavors hit and linger. Caramel and malt come though as this warms, and finishes with a slight boozy character. I've read about how well this ages and I can only imagine that the flavor deepens as the alcohol taste disappears. I'm putting one in my cellar.

Stone IRS might have the most amazing mouthfeel of any beer I've tried. It is lusciously creamy with flavors that coat the tongue and don't leave until you are ready for you next sip.

Overall, amazing. This beer is (and defines) what a world class RIS should be. I cannot wait until this beer ages and I get to experience a whole new level of Stone IRS.

 1,348 characters

Photo of dlello2
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of bigaltemple
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. 2012 Release

A - Motor oil black. Thick, creamy, mocha-colored head builds quickly. Shows some good retention. Sticky patches of lacing get left behind.

S - Got a good whiff before the cap was completely off. Lots of chocolate coming through. Toasted malts with some caramel hanging around.

T/M - Again, chocolate really comes through in the taste. Layers of it as well. I get a hint of milk chocolate before it turns a more bitter dark chocolate. Really nice roastiness with a little bit of burnt toffee. Creamy, full-bodied, with low carbonation.

O - Awesome! Hard to deny how good this one is at such a reasonable price and availability.

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Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
4.34 out of 5 based on 8,362 ratings.
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