Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

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Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout
8,418 Ratings
Imperial Russian StoutImperial 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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,418 |  Reviews: 2,771
Photo of TheBierBoutique
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of dwduncan2
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of piconaut
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of PoppaK
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of ambruns1979
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of GreatPumpkin
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Aexoonge
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Boitnott
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, appearing black. One finger tan head and light lacing. Aroma of smokey and dark malts, dark fruit, light alcohol. Taste is lighter than other top RIS, with dark and smokey malts, dark fruit. Finish has light hops and very distinct alcohol, which detracts from the flavor and flavor progression. Medium bodied.

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Photo of DaveONan
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of ScottyC54
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of hansgruber
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of robieobie1
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. I have been sitting on 4 bottles of this for 9-10 months and finally decided to crack one open. Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Brooklyn tulip. Pours nearly black with a nice, tight 2-finger tan head. Nose is subdued with earthy, roasty notes, chocolate, and molasses.

Bittersweet roasted malt flavor up front along with some char notes characteristic of the style. Everything is very smooth and well-tempered (not sure if it's like that fresh or if the cellar time has smoothed it out). Right on the finish, I get a hit of rummy, figgy flavor and a slight warming alcohol taste (nice!). Mouthfeel is firm and tends toward slightly creamy as the beer warms a bit past 50 degrees.

Overall, this is an excellent beer. It's not my all-time favorite RIS, but it is definitely world class. I try to buy this every year.

2 years later...

5/9/13 update - The char notes have toned down, as has the booziness. There seems to be more of a (sweet) milk chocolate character with just a hint of dark fruit.

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Photo of BillH200174
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark body with a medium frothy light brown head. Rich chocolate, roast, some caramel and rum-soaked fruit. Sweet chocolate, faint coffee, some rum-soaked fruit and a big bitter finish. Medium full body with moderate carbonation. Good drinkability.

 252 characters

Photo of SIEVS
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Goldfishman
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of UltimateLivewire
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of JedSeed
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of SawDog505
3.56/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 20 oz Duvel Giant tulip. Vintage 2011. Pours a pitch black, with a gorgeous 3 inch mocha head, plenty of lacing. Smell is chocolate, roasted coffee, smoke, and a hint of licorice. Taste is all of that, but less roasty than I would like. Body is thinner than I like, plenty of carbonation, not overly dry, and drinkable for the size. This is one of the beers I am always shocked it gets the recognition it does, a nice stout, but a top 100 beer?

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Photo of AndrewRoecker
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of sludgegnome
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of neckbracesub
3.98/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

You can hardly ever go wrong with a Russian Imperial Stout, in my opinion, and Stone does a good job with their take on the classic brew.

A superbly dark pour and lively licorice aroma give an outline for what's expected from this beer, and the potency of its following taste confirm that it continues the reliable quality of the Stone name. The double-digit alcohol volume % is certainly apparent in the boozy finish, but it is the offsetting mouthfeel that keeps this RSI from entering the ranks of some of the finest.

Still, overall this is a solid beer and at an extremely good price for a bomber.

 647 characters

Photo of 2beerdogs
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of OldTime
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 8,418 ratings