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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,381 |  Reviews: 2,760
Photo of hippityhophead24
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of mjmadsen21
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of furthurgone
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

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

We pour a beautiful and richly colored beer of deep blacks and browns. It holds a one and a half finger head of dark brown bubbles that is creamy and soft. This shows phenomenal retention, leaving sticky and thick lacing caked around the glass. No sediment is noted, and carbonation actively rises to the top in little streams of bubbles. The aroma showcases big and roasty malts, with all of the coffee, chocolate, and molasses one could hope for. There are hints of medicinal phenols, and a woody dryness. The roast is cut by pineapple and a syrupy sweetness. With warmth there is a hotness of chilies, and hop oils sit on the far back of the nose. As we sip, robust malts and a peppery booze hit first. Surprisingly, some pineapple sugars and light hops venture in to cut the bitterness. At the top of the swallow, a sharp profile of chocolate begins, holds, and retains to fortify the transition to and earthy and hoppy finish. At the end there are big grassy and earthy hop oils, mixing with a deeper char to the alts. There is dark spice and light booze, with cutting berry sweetness. All in all it is very smooth. The aftertaste breathes of that roasty malt profile, with a little more char and a little more booze. The body is full and the carbonation is medium. There is a slickness and oiliness to the mouth, but the liquid is sticky and partially drying. There is delicious froth, slurp, and smack to each sip, and the beer warms the drinker nicely. The abv is appropriate and the beer serves as a sipper.

Overall, what we liked best about the beer was the extensive flavor profile. This beer really reminds us of why we like Russian Imperials so much. The balance is amazing, especially with such strong flavors all around. Notably, the pineapple inclusions took us by surprise, but it made for a unique flare to a great representation of the style.

 1,862 characters

Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of lccrunchy
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of cirtap
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of erlenmeyer
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of jreamer
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of kiki3drt292
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of SeaOfShells
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Merkur
4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoy on tap in a stone tulip glass.

Beer pours an extremly pitch black with about a finger or so worth of creamy, khaki head.

The beer smells very roasty and a touch sweet.

Beer tastes initially of a bitter, roasty flavor. Almost coffee-like. Then, the flavor changes to an almost sweet finish. Even with the high alcohol, very little booze taste.

Very creamy and excellent mouthfeel. Extremely smooth.

Overall, excellent Imperial Russian Stout.

 452 characters

Photo of jtingue
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Batch. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance. Pitch black. Pours with a finger and a half of head, which quickly dissipates to a nice half a finger on top of the beer. Nice head retention for a beer this strong, really. Minimal lacing, but nice alcohol feet.

Smell. Dark fruit, specifically currant, dominates the smell. There is also a good dose of dark roasty malts and definitely creamy chocolate. Some alcohol is present as well.

Taste. Slightly bitter roasty malt to start. Quickly turns sweet, with a weird, but excellent, combination of chocolate dark grape and raisin. Some bitterness returns, but the raisin flavor persists also joined by some more roasted malts. The finish is dry and slightly bitter with lingering raisin.

Mouthfeel. Thick body, moderate to low carbonation.

What an amazing stout. Its even nicer that it is both cheap and available. Cant wait to age some of these.

 902 characters

Photo of PaulMc
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of seedsofchaos
4/5  rDev -7.6%

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

2009/2010/2011 vintage multi-review

Pours molasses black with adequate head. Light on lacing but good retention. Very similar appearance in each year with perhaps the 2009 looks best.

The aroma is a mixture of molasses and roastiness for the most part. Roastiness is heavier in fresher vintages while molasses comes out mostly in the 2009.

The taste is always great but I preferred the 2009 and the 2011. They were both great in different ways. The 2010 seemed to be in a transition and not as smooth. They all have a roasty, molasses focus. The 2009 had more of a coffee flavor and the 2010 had the most chocolate with the 2010 in the middle.

The body is thinner in the 2009 and 2010 vintages which is to be expected but the difference between the 2009 and 2011 was negligible. The finish is always slightly dry.

Overall, it's a solid stout at any age, but I think it improves with age. It's one of the best values out there for a RIS. I may grab a few and hopefully put away until they've hit their prime.

 1,012 characters

Photo of Egor1020
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of effixx
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Shakerman
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of IlPostino
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of Urprimeminister
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of qchic
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of jbuddle
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle

Man this has aged nicely!

A - looks like a good RIS should, inpenetrable black with a mocha head that sticks around
S - sweet dark fruits and chocolate malt, a bit of booze. No hops at all. The aroma is a bit worrisome because it's so sweet.
T - luckily a nice bitter roastiness balances the sweetness very well. Very complex flavor that is a bit hard to pick apart, some dark rummy fruits and burnt caramel meld into bitter roasty chocolate. That's the best I can do.
M - oily, slick, and a heavy body. A think this is actually a bit overcarbed for my liking but I still think its a 4.
O - age does wonders to an already awesome beer. Very complex and balanced.

 678 characters

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