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Stone Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

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Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout
8,399 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
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Ratings: 8,399 |  Reviews: 2,764
Photo of Stumpy29er
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of brentusaurus
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Dools9
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stella Chalice. 2012 bottle

A: Pitch black in color, poured with two fingers of light brown head that faded to a thin skim. Some minor lacing, nice filmy alcohol legs.

S: Dark roastiness, some burnt cocoa and light espresso, light smokiness.

T: Lots of dark chocolate and roasted malts, some smoke and a decent hop bitterness in the finish, dark fruits round out the flavor. Alcohol is there but nicely hidden, some warmth on the throat.

M: Smooth and full bodied, very oily, soft carbonation.

O: Very impressive and certaintly worthy of the hype. However, I still think I prefer Old Raspy and Ten Fidy to this.

 630 characters

Photo of meanmutt
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Gatch
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Taste of Tops in Tempe, AZ.

A: Pitch, tar black but blood red up to light. Good looking legs.

S: Molasses, dark raisins, heavily roasted malt and coffee, and dark cocoa. Smoked meats. Beef jerky. Caramelized brown sugar. Obviously a very complex nose.

T: Wow, I forgot how good this is. Huge roasted malt, dark bittersweet chocolate, espresso beans. Smoky, peaty, just delicious. Some booze at the end but it's welcomed.

M: Massive flavor profile. Palate becomes saturated with sweet, deeply roasted malt and coffee. Way too easy to drink for what this beer is. Nothing becomes cloying or overwhelming.

O: How can this so cheap relative to all other beers of its ilk? It's a benchmark for the style. Such a great beer.

 733 characters

Photo of jrarthur
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Deivos
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of strongaf
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of dcook11
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to a shifter, pitch black with a small mocha head. Lacing is descent. Alcohol on the nose, coffee, milk chocolate, tobacco, small hop punch. Taste is rich and full bodied, again, chocolate and coffee dominant with hints of tobacco. Even fresh, this is a complex brew, with some age on it it will be excellent.

 319 characters

Photo of LotsofLupulin
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle, served in small Stone goblet. Year: 2012

A- Toasty head, pitch black color with little light diffraction. Only slight shines of ruby.

S- Very subtle smell: tobacco and licorice

T- Chocolate, coffee, anise, and alcohol. Hops balance the malty sweetness well.

M- Extremely viscous, almost creamy

O- A great beer, the nose just doesn't really punctuate until you have a sip, which isn't really a bad thing. Very thick and pronounced. Could mellow out some of the alcohol nicely with with age, overall a wonderful beer as is.

 542 characters

Photo of thecheapies
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Pouring this in a cognac snifter. The body is mega-dark. Practically black with warm tone to it. Finger and a half of cafe con leche head. Ok retention. Fell after a minute or so. 4.0

Peaty and heavily roasted. Dark berries in the nose and a hint of lactose sweetness. Fusel alcohol rides alongside herbal hops. Malty aromas of bitter cocoa and earthy coffee grounds, as well. 4.0

Smoky and strong. Hop presence, typical of a Stone brew, adds to the bitterness. Cocoa, licorice, blackberry, scorched earth, and milk sugars. Alcohol is definitely one of the flavor components, as well, but it's not over-the-top. It shows up again late in the finish with a spicy bite. 4.0

Smooth, creamy, hefty, and packing heat proper. Meant to be a sipper, and it's an enjoyable one. 4.5

I look forward to trying aged IRSs. I have another in the cellar. 4.0

 861 characters

Photo of PerHops
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Jet black. Syrupy on the pour. Head is kind of bubbly and soapy looking at first, but settles down into a thing layer that looks pretty great.

S- Chocolate, roasty, bananas and a lot of earthiness. Almost off putting, but it's interesting.

T- Chocolate, tobacco, toasty malts. Very nice balance.

M- Great mouthfeel, but a tad too much carbonation.

O- I really like this beer and would love to try it bb aged.

 416 characters

Photo of MichPaul
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

 378 characters

Photo of BilbosNuts
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 996 characters

Photo of PluckyDucky
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of edwardprung
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of C2H5
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
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!

 751 characters

Photo of datphoo
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of herman77
3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

 718 characters

Photo of WJGreene
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Momar42
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of hoody711
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
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 -1.8%

Photo of SHCC
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of blackfoot86
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 8,399 ratings
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