Stone Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout
8,385 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: 8,385 |  Reviews: 2,761
Photo of Etan
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 2012 bottle at my local. Poured from a 22oz into a tall tulip.

A: Pours a deep black with a lightly-colored chocolate head. Head is thick and sticky, leaving all kinds of nice lacing and very good retention.

S: Big nose of roasted barley, chocolate, sweet milky coffee, soapy yeast. Very slight solvent alcohol behind.

T: Big quaff of sweet, alcohol-laced chocolate with a bit of roastiness. Alcohol brings in some subtle dark fruits (raisins, prune). A bit of a metallic note and hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Thick-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: This is a bang-on recipe - quintessential RIS. Incredibly solid.

 638 characters

Photo of mschind
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from the 2012 batch

A- Gave it a vigorous pour into a chalice yielding a huge rocky looking mocha colored head that dissipated quickly and coated the glass nicely with good lacing. It’s dark brown bordering on black, almost opaque. Lots of carbonation strings are visible along the sides of the glass.

S- Nose is mild spice, roasted malt and alcohol sweetness. I’m looking for the chocolate and coffee but I’m just not getting it.

T- The nose let me down but the taste is huge. Sweet licorice up front with mild roasted bitterness in the middle, some dark chocolate and a slightly dry finish. Nice complexity across the entire palate. The alcohol warmth comes through later.

M- This is full bodied brew, maybe even a bit syrupy which is a good thing here. Silky smooth with subtle carbonation.

O- This is my new favorite stout and a fantastic value at $5.99. Don’t serve this too cold. I had to let the second pour warm up a bit to get the best head and flavor profile. Definitely one to savor and pair with food. The brewer says that it cellars well so I plan to put this in the collection.

 1,119 characters

Photo of StealieClimber
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of cardern
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of Listers
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of equincel
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of laxer8811
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 3/15/2013
Poured in a Duvel tulip glass

Appearance: Pours an impenetrable obsidian with a menacing 3 finger tall light cocoa head that sticks around for quite some time and leaves a nice, thick coat of sticky lacing on the glass. Gorgeous Imperial stout.

Aroma: Roasted malts just leap out of the glass with underlaying notes of dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee. There is a mild alcohol presence that blends well with the light herbal hops.

Taste: A subtle herbal hoppiness greats your palate right away before you're pummeled by heavy notes of roasted malt, creamy baker's chocolate, vanilla and a mocha esque coffee presence. Finishes dry, smooth, and a tad warming with a slightly spicy hop bitterness. The alcohol is extremely well hidden. The finish leaves lingering notes of even more chocolate, coffee and a distinct nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: Very silky and very full bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

Overall: Wow, this stout is incredible. I haven't had this beer for about 2-3 years and this beer is absolutely great for a non barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. Extremely smooth, and rich with layered depth that is almost perfectly balanced. Stone needs to start releasing this year round. It is amazing.

 1,240 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 just released.

served ice cold unfortunately, which majorly stunts the beer's aroma. It appears jet black and oily with tight tan bubbles that hold the glass tightly. The taste is a bold rich coffee roastiness and chocolate sweetness. It's definitely a potent stout with an extra chewy mouthfeel. Overall this stout is quite the bang for your buck and worth trying once.

 376 characters

Photo of mscudder
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I reviewed the bottle a few days back and now I am back with a growler fill from HopCity in Atlanta.

A - Same as from a bottle: jet black with a nice thick tan head. Quality lacing.

S - Again very similar to the bottled version. Perhaps a tad less dense aroma. chocolates, coffee and roasted malts.

T - Absolutely fantastic. Deep flavors which begin with roasted malts, and follow with a creamy smooth chocolate infused sweetness. ABV is just as well masked as in a bottle. Beautiful RIS.

M - I have to say I find the beer superior in this catagory relative to its bottled counterpart. The carbonation is optimal and is truly everything I want in a big stout. Silky smooth, creamy and irresistible.

O - Overall this is the same top tier stout I have grown to love in a bottle. A bit better overall on draft, but nothing too substantial. Grab it if you get the chance!

 872 characters

Photo of jhb138
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this one is a keeper for sure, especially at less than 8 bucks a bomber. pours a gorgeous and enticing coffee black color, heavy and rich, with a 1 inch light brown head that has the consistency of cool whip, thick and light. it just floats on top of the beer without ever getting smaller. smells quite spicy for the style, espresso beans radiate as well. there are also notes of milk chocolate, vanilla beans, and charred english malts. flavor is similarly complex, with the roasty coffee and chocolate flavors being most prominent. there is that spice character again, maybe peppercorns or anise or clove... great alcoholic sweetness in the finish. the feel is quite thick, almost motor oil thick. mellow carbonation lets the complexities linger, and the aftertaste is awesome. this is a bigtime beer, a good one to share with a lover. well worth its excellent reviews.

Edit: some age can really pop this off. Just enjoyed the chocolatey mellowness of a 2012 edition, and it was a sensation. Don't be afraid to cellar awhile!

 1,028 characters

Photo of BeRanger
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of natemort13
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Pours jet black with a significant dark mocha head.

Nose is char, dark chocolate, smoke, lots of leather, some tobacco.

Taste is deep milk and slightly dark chocolate, espresso, slightly tingly ethanol, more char, more leather. Anise is present as it warms to room temp. Wet finish with lingering chocolate covered espresso beans and tannic leather.

Mouthfeel is superb. Slick and full bodied with just enough carbonation to balance it out.

A fine beer, better than a lot of the stuff people are throwing in barrels and expecting to sell for 15 a bomber. I think I need a case.

 590 characters

Photo of sukwonee
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage (I have also had older vintages before - never got around to reviewing this)

A: One finger head, black as black, good amount of lacing

S: Chocolate, coffee, malt, it's not as powerful as I remember in older vintages

T: Coffee, roasted malt, dark fruits, some hoppy bitterness in the middle, chocolate, I like the fact that it's not overly sweet, but it's sweet enough to mask Alcohol fairly well.

M: Relatively higher carbonation, Medium to thick body,

For some reason, I thought this beer was a lot better than what I just had. You can't beat the value of this bottle (@ $6.99 per bottle), I am surprised a little bit that it's listed in the top 100 beers. I bought a few more bottles to age - maybe my opinion will change after a few years.

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Photo of ixodus
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of gleemonger
5/5  rDev +15.5%

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of BarryInMN
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a corsendonk chalice- pours pretty thick black with one finger of bubbly mocha head, dissipated relatively quickly, slight surface retention, minimal spots of lacing.

Smells of dark roasted malts, a little licorice, and booze.

Taste is much richer- lots of dark roasted malts up front, followed by sweet chocolate and a little coffee, a little warming alcohol, chocolate lingers on the finish and is overtaken by roasted malts again.

Mouthfeel is excellent- very full bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Not too syrupy/thick- very drinkable but in a sipping kind of way. Get it!

 622 characters

Photo of DelicateDelirium
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of SirHefeweizen
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of jayp82
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of punkhim
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: poured into my Ommegang glass (somewhere between a footed pilsener and a tasting glass): two finger light brown head; settles in a cap over the pitch black beer

S: roasted malt, black coffee/espresso, and vanilla notes

T: I have been blessed to have tasted some great RIS's and this one might just be the best tasting overall: sweet roasted malts with layers of mocha, cocoa, coffee, and vanilla; hidden dark fruit and a distant dry/bitter backbone; tidbits of anise

M: silky, creamy, rich; glides over the tongue and sings to the palate; just a little sticky; full-bodied and viscous

O: I give a lot of beers good reviews because I usually buy good beers, but I have never gone with 5's across the boards - it's just like saying the beer is perfect, and once you've had the "perfect" beer for a style, what's the point of having another? To be reminded of what less-than-perfect tastes like? Also, what is the perfect RIS? It's subjective, right? This was as close to perfection as they come in a RIS. Silky sweet, but with a drying balance; sublimely mellow, infinitely drinkable, and with a nice high abv.

 1,115 characters

Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 8,385 ratings
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