Stone Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

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Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout
BA SCORE
4.33/5
Outstanding
8,404 Ratings
Stone Imperial Russian StoutStone Imperial Russian Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#391
Reviews:
2,766
Ratings:
8,404
pDev:
9.24%
Bros Score:
4.17
 
 
Wants:
836
Gots:
2,336
Trade:
92
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,404 |  Reviews: 2,766
Photo of bump8628
3.78/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black with a mocha colored head.

I'm immediately greeted with some hot alcohol esters and some milder fruity esters. As I continue to delve into the beer a whole spectrum of roasted malt flavors reveals themselves. Lots of dark cocoa, hints of high-quality coffee, and even a little smoke. Hops are there, but aren't in the forefront. What they contribute is an earthy, balancing bitterness.

A nice Imperial Stout. Next time I'll go with a bottle and hold onto it for few years to mellow the heat.

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

Had this on tap at K&B wine cellar.

I haven't had this beer on draft or in a bottle for a while now. It was great to revisit an old favorite.

Poured into a snifter. Has a nice .5" head on it that is a creamy coffee brown.

The aroma is just amazing. (I can defenitly tell my palat has evolved a bit since the last time I have had this beer) So much coffee present in the nose with a slight malt back bown.

The mouthfeel is not to heavy and syrupy but just enough carb to help cut it a bit.

The taste is so great. Lots of strong coffee notes going around the mouth in the front of the mouth and followed with the malt starting to take over. a nice heavy malt follows then the alcohol warmth finishes the beer! A very drinkable IRS!

Living in san diego i sometimes don't take advantage of these amazing locals! got to remember these brews more often!

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an impenetrable black with a thick cola colored head that retains surprisingly well, this one is a real looker. The aroma is also impressive, with notes of dark chocolate, espresso, dark fruits, dirt, burnt bread, citrusy hops, molasses and a hint of alcohol. The flavor has some roastiness upfront, along with gourmet dark chocolate, black coffee, dark fruits (plum and date), burnt bread, piney hops, and a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is rich without being overbearing, and drinkability is excellent for the style. Overall an extremely good interpretation of the style, without going overboard on the hops or the roastiness.

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Photo of elvisnj
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber with classic Stone gargoyle etched on the bottle, into my Duvel tulip chalice.

Looks great coming out. Nice brown head and silky black brew. Takes a bit to calm down for drinking.

Mouth feel is great. Its rich and silky and syrupy.

Roasted dark chocolate malts work well with the mouth feel. Bitter hops at the front, with nutty coffee hint with smokey vanilla, chicory, and a smoothly and ultimately dry finish.

I could only taste a little bit of the 10.5% alcohol but after finishing the bottle, I am positive it was in there.

Awesome RIS. Stone is still spot on.

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Photo of voteforgoat
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 IRS drinking it in 2010, split.

A- dark dark, small tan head. mild carbonation

S - hops, malt, roast, coffeeish, some other stuff too!

T - oooh yeah! very nice. roast and coffee taste upfront. very hoppy. Smoother, less hot than the 2010 I recently had, and with a fuller body. Great sipping beer. Seems to reveal other dimensions as you imbibe the drink over time. As it warms up, it sweetens. Cannot taste the alcohol - it's very, very well hidden. Beware!

M- good, enjoyable, feels thicker than other stouts I've had.

D - very big, bold flavor. would not want to drink this all night. One or two small glasses would be fine. This also packs a wallop in terms of alcohol. Wow, after 8 oz of this beer, I'm feeling the buzz and have not detected any alcohol.

Stouts ( and their bigger imperial cousins) is one the styles I rarely pick up, but I might be more inclined now.
Imperial russian stouts and american barley wines seem to share some attributes: bold, strong hop flavors , big malts ( more so with stouts) and thick mouthfeel . this is from my overall still limited experience with stouts. Quite enjoyable, but the strong, roasty flavors probably hold me back from enjoying stouts as often as barley wines. I don't seek it out roasty flavors..but again, I think this might require some "studying".

I feel there's a difference between the 2010 and 2008 ( the older beer clearly winning out) though I am not drinking both side to side. Again, study is required.

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black like motor oil, with a nice caramel head about one inch thick with nice lacing and retention.
Smells of malts, nice chocolate malts, roasted to perfection.
Tastes malty and delicious with so much chocolaty goodness.
Mouthfeel is seriously creamy with a great heat going down.

Probably ranks in my top 5 beers at this point.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.65/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Brixies in Brookfield Il, served in a 12oz. snifter

It pours a pitch black with a dense light mocha head that lingered for a minute or two before disappearing. As the liquid level lowers medium lacing is stuck to the sides of the glass.

The nose is exploding with deep roasted coffee with a compliment of chocolate. It just borders between a deep roast and burnt for my taste. I'm also picking up a little pine type hop aroma at the end.

Coffee flavors dominate the flavor much like the nose. The flavor is just over the line in terms of having a distinct roasted grain flavor but isn't so burnt that it makes the beer unpalatable. Not much chocolate in the flavor but alcohol in the backend is a large component. This is my first time having this beer and I can see why people rave about aged versions.

The carbonation is much too high and distracting from a smooth mouthfeel. It finishes pretty dry which I much prefer over a sweet finish in RIS' Drinkability is ok but not great mostly due to the high carbonation. If I let this one sit for 30 minutes to an hour I bet it would improve.

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

Vintage 2007 presented in the form of a brown swing top 2 liter growler that was filled at the Warwick hotel during the Stone takes over the Warwick event. The event took place on 4/9 and this review is from notes taken the following weekend of 4/16 when the growler was shared with those who could not make the event.

The growler surprisingly enough opened with a very resouding thud. I was worried that the growler fill might have left this brew a little flat when compared to the draft version but to much excitement that wasn't the case.

Poured into a Stone pint glass, it appears a very dark brown to black color with a darkly tanned head that doesn't retain all too well. Nose is bitter smelling roasted malts with chocolate sweetness and a slight touch of soy sauce blended with coffee. Rounding out the aroma is some citrus hops and alcohol. Taste is a big malty sweet monster of a brew laden with alcohol and notes of bitterness from both hops and burnt grains (that also exhibit the flavors of coffee and bitter dark chocolate.) There is a residual sweetness that lingers tasting almost like dark fruits that blends with the alcohol laden dark chocolate and coffee that makes this dangerously drinkable and quite smooth. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated this vintage was a real sweet and alcohol burning treat. As it warms, there are notes of licorice coming through with the ever increasing alcohol presence that was previously hidden by the malt sweetness.

I've had this brew a number of times in varying years and serving types. They have always been an enjoyable experience with their own unique characteristics. While fresh this brew is quite bitter but time let's it smooth out and become a little more sweet (like this example.)

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

22 ounce bottle, 2009 vintage. Although I have had this beer a number of times fresh, in the past, I have heard it is supposed to be even better with age, so I'm giving it a try. Pours a deep, impenetrable black, topped off with a thick dark brown head which quickly recedes. Aromas of roasted malt, strong, bitter coffee and dark chocolate. Flavors of black licorice, roasted malt, dark chocolate and smoke. Silky smooth and very good.

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz 2008 bottle poured into my Stone IRS snifter. I've had this one before but this is my first time having it since I started to review.

A - Black as black can be with a small tan head resting on top. The head isn't all that big but what little is there won't go away.

S - Chocolate, vanilla, caramel with a hint of booze. Pretty standard aroma for a RIS.

T - Really smooth. The flavors follow the nose with a little bit more of a dark chocolate/vanilla flavor at the end. I wish it had a little bit more roastiness but this has a solid flavor profile.

M - Pretty thick body but not quite as thick as some other RIS's. Very little carbonation.

D - Really easy to drink especially for a 10.5% beer. I really enjoyed this one and I am sure this one will be in my cellar permanently and in my shopping cart quite frequently.

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Photo of detlefchef
4.97/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Medium espresso-like head that doesn't linger. Wine like nose (reminds me of a mouvedre or syrah) with some peety notes. Lush and round Mexican chocolate on the palette with apparent but not overwhelming alcohol and a lingering but not cloying finish. To be honest, that may be among the most appealing qualities of this beer, the degree to which the alcohol is integrated. Having tried a number of other recently released high-octane stouts (KBS, Rasputin Oak aged) this one is showing much better right now.

Really a remarkable beer. I only even gave it less than perfect marks on appearance because this was my first review and I wasn't exactly sure what made up an "exceptional appearance"

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Photo of GENNER
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure what took me so long to try this...but later is better that never.
Purchased a 22oz at Bevmo +/- $6
Brew date Spring 2010
Poured into a classic Guinney 20oz pint glass.
Produced a nice brown head about an inch and a half.
No light thru the glass, very black in color.
First inhale off the head was of sweet mocha coffee.
Taste was exactly what I smelled finishing with a light alcohol taste just enough to remind me that it's a beer and not a coffee drink.
Mouthfeel was very full not as heavy as expected by looking at it.
Very drinkable that's the scary part because of the ABV...10.5%
I loved it and have talked about it with everyone I talked to this weekend including my mom.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage. Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Bruery tulip.

Inky cavernous wall of liquid topped with a light frosting and slightly thicker collar of desert sand foam. Light lacing and thin oily legs.

Big aggressive aromatics - chicory, roast coffee, fennel, licorice or maybe light molasses, brown butter or possibly toasted brazil nuts, and a hint of dark fruit (figs, prunes?).

Quite roasty, and full of esters suggesting cocoa-dusted raisins. Lots of flavor, but primarily bready; I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop mid-palate, i.e. a heady dose of hops, but it never comes. Stone has stuck with a classic recipe here and resisted stamping it with their signature muscular over-dose of ingredients. Well done. There is a lingering sweetness, but the roast helps slowly dry out the finish. No diacetyl, and clean despite a hint of char.

Lush, rich, chewy, and full-bodied without being overly thick. Moderate carbonation with perhaps the faintest astringency. Alcohol is rather well concealed.

Powerful, yet compared to all the massive RIS out there, this is almost delicate.

While excellent on its own, this would be a superior addition to a BBQ marinade as well.

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Photo of TheJollyHop
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage 8oz pour at Stone's Vertical Tasting

On draft with no head. Deeply black with no noticeable hues, leaving me curious as to what flavors may be lurking in the viscous depths of the tulip glass.

Smoke on the first whiff couple with alcohol; oh yeah this is a monster. Dark chocolate and coffee follow up and some sweetness; possible molasses. Definitely one of the best noses on an IRS I have had the pleasure of smelling.

Chewy and completely palate enveloping. The syrupy goodness just grips your mouth and doesn't have any intention of letting go. My taste buds pick up some dried plums and cherries, and the alcohol warming is noticeable but the smokiness does a decent job of covering some of it up. Bitterness bursts early but is quickly replaced by a sweet malt backbone. Very well balanced with some age.

The balance and interplay of flavors; smoke, roasted barley, sweet dried fruit and pleasant bitterness make for a great drinking experience. A pleasure to the last drop.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is crazy excellent. Poured a 12oz. (2008 spring release) bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Completely opaque, black the whole way through. Has a dark foamy head, close to a coffee or chocolate milk color. The head actually has a couple levels of darkness to it. It's darker the closer it is to the liquid. Not quite, but almost has the nitro looking effect to it. The head sticks around for a little while than provides some lacing to it. It's truly a great looking beer.

The smell is equally excellent, it has a great aroma to it. Bittersweet chocolate and darker roasted coffees. I would say a bit more chocolate than coffee, but they complement each other extremely well. It's very malty and the hops are noticeable, but not overbearing by any means. I've found some RIS's to have just a burned malt smell and taste, but this almost has a toasted aroma and taste to it. If you're really looking for it you can smell a hint of alcohol, but it's gotta be at room temperature, can't really notice it otherwise. No complaints about the smell at all.

Wow does this beer taste great, completely on par with the smell. The sweet and bitter flavors complement each other absolutely perfectly. Starts off sweet and has a clean, smooth, slightly bitter finish. For such a high ABV, you don't really taste the alcohol, which seems like it could be a little dangerous. As mentioned with the smell, it has more of a toasted flavor from the malts than a burned taste. Light hop flavor at the end, burps up nice too. This beer is perfectly balanced with all flavors, as close to flawless as I've ever had.

It's full bodied but for the amount of flavors its not as thick as one would expect. Silky, smooth, with a clean bitter finish. By far the most drinkable RIS I've ever tasted.

Have two more 2008s about five 2009s and a 2010, so don't be surprised if I make some edits to this one. But just go out and get this beer, it's been a personal favorite for several years, I'm glad I finally took the time to review it!

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Photo of EnVinoVeritas
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Russian Imperial Stout - 2010 Spring - served from 22 oz. bottle into snifter.

A - Black as night, jet black, with half finger brown head and good lacing. Light-medium carbonation.

S - Heavy toasted malts and chocolate with definitive coffe/espresso notes.

T - Like 90% cacao dark chocolate. Bold toasted malt flavor with some light hoppiness on the initial taste. Malty sweetness holds throughout but finishes nice and dry. Lingering chocolatey aftertaste and slight alcoholic warmth. Well balanced, not cloying.

M - Amazingly smooth for a high gravity IRS. Definitely not a session beer, but highly viscous on the tongue but not syrupy.

D - Fits the style well - this would be a great after dinner/dessert brew that will function as coffee and rich chocolate all rolled into one. I haven't tasted any of the earlier vintages, but this is one I would be happy to revisit again given the opportunity. Stone, always a quality brewery, really hit the nail on the head with this one.

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Photo of Axic10
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. Poured from bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a half a finger of mocha colored foam that disappears quickly.

Smell: Got a huge whiff of this as I was pouring about two feet away from my nose. Bold coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, and a faint sting of alcohol.

Taste: Espresso, burnt malt, dark chocolate, slight alcohol burn on the swallow.

Mouthfeel: More medium bodied than heavy, very smooth.

Drinkability: Such a great beer that I've routinely overlooked year over year. Won't happen any more, as this is a world class home run by Stone.

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Photo of SanAnMan
4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 edition, on tap at the local Flying Saucer, served in a standard snifter glass.

A - can complete lack of color be described as a color? Pure jet black ebony, no light at all anywhere. Not even a laser pen could cut through this sucker. Exquisite onyx goodness.

S - burnt cocoa, wood, and deep malt notes combine for a sugary yet bitter nose. Reminds me of smelling the embers of a fireplace combined with carmelized candy sugar.

T - like a fine Swiss dark chocolate, mellow yet bold at the same time. Sweetness from the malts on the back of the tongue balances out an undertoned hoppiness up front. A bit dry, but makes you want to come back for more.

M - slick and smooth, the heat of the 10.5 ABV speaks volumes here. Meant to be slowly sipped and savored. The chocolate notes make this to be a great close to a session.

D - I'll admit to being a bit predisposed to Stone's IRS, as I still have two bottles of the 09 version cellaring in the fridge. But for fans of a great IRS, Stone really sets the bar high with their offering. This is an annual selection I really look forward to trying. Great beer from a fantastic brewer.

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Photo of phiberoptik
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to billinlafayette for this one as a bonus in a trade. Bottled in mid-2008 so it had a bit of age to it.

It pours night black with no light translucence. The head is a cocoa brown and maybe 1/2" thick in a pint glass. I purposely spread this tasting out over 2 hours to see how it developed as it warmed. Thank goodness because by room temp it was perfect!

I didnt catch much of an aroma from this beer from the pour other than some heavily roasted malts. Maybe because it has a couple years of age to it and was fridge cold, but nothing hit me in the nose like a fresh beer usually will. As it warmed I caught a lot of bitter chocolate, anise, and alcohol in the nose and it really started to open up.

Lots of dark chocolate and anise in the taste. Roasted malts of course and ALCOHOL. There is no hiding the 10.5 ABV in this one. It lets your throat in on the secret almost instantly. This beer is for sipping and enjoying. Its like a fine brandy or cognac... I had no issues taking 2 hours to drink it.

Mouthfeel is smooth, silky, with a hint of sting from the ABV. A little bitterness at the end with the anise.

Highly drinkable, but only one per sitting. I couldnt drink multiples but maybe others could. I just dont have any interest in drinking multiples unless over the course of an entire evening.

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Photo of therica
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2010 offering (also their 10th Anniversary of brewing this beer, says the bottle). Another fantastic offering from the always great Stone.

A= almost black with a slight reddish hue when held to the light; modest tan head dissipates quickly to modest rimming then little lacing.

S= hefty nose of smoke, well-toasted dark malts, some prune, lots of complexity, hops florals evident. Some dark dry chocolate evident after it warms a little.

T= very hefty stuff, toasted dark malts, slight sweetness but also dry from the malts, enough hops to carry it, hardly a trace of the 10.5% ABV which is great (tired of feeling like I'm drinking a high ABV beer that tastes like it was dosed with a shot). Some nice burnt chocolate which is more evident as the carbonation dissipates. Light green hops evident after it sets for a short while.

M= very nice mix of dry bitterness and light sweetness, hops, plentiful flavors to savor.

D= as much as one can tolerate until the ABV% catches up. And it's not cheap, about triple the price of a good craft per ounce. But well worth a few bottles!

Would make a great dessert beer, especially with chocolate mousse or Bavarian Chocolate cake.

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Photo of iD9
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in my awesome Cal Poly glass stein.

Appearance: Medium-dark tan head. From the appearance I would have thought it would diminish quickly but its sticking around incredibly well. Completely opaque in every dimension. Just the slightest sliver of reddish, chestnut brown dances around the bottom edge of the glass. Good stuff.

Smell: Deep roasted malts, dark coffees, chocolatey goodness (and maybe just a hint of boozey bourbon?). Although not unique from other RIS I've had it is exceptionally well balanced and smells excellent. Can't wait to get started.

Taste: "Yum" is really the only word I have for this brew. Very good in all measures and expertly balanced. My only qualm with this beer (and its almost not worth mentioning) is that it is nothing terribly unique. This beer is, in every way, a paragon of the RIS style. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: Deep, smooth and creamy yet not overly heavy. The only way I can describe this beer is that it is a textual pleasure to drink as well as a tasty one.

Drinkablity: In situations like this, I can only assume that (should the beer gods ever grace us with their penultimate brew) there is or will be a beer with better drinkability at some undetermined moment in the future. As such I would like to give this beer a 4.895 but I'll settle for the 4.5 since giving out 5.0s frightens me.

Overall, an exceptional brew. I have never been a big fan of Stone brewery. This Stone Imperial Russian Stout (not to be confused with a Russian Imperial Stout mind you) has changed the way I view their craft. Well played Stone... well played...

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Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was really a delightful beer, and I can see why it holds a spot on the top of the lists. I had both on tap and out of the bottle, and I was a little more impressed when sipping it out of the bottle.

The appearance is black as can be as you would expect with a deep colored brown head. The smell is sweet and full of alcohol. The drinkability of this one is out of this world, and the full body of the beer blends so well with the deep tastes of chocolate, molasses, and roasted barley. For 10.5% this one goes down smooth. This one has surely gone on the list of top RIS's.

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Photo of Foxtrot
4.87/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

5/11/2010

Alright. Its been more than 1 year since I've enjoyed Stone's IRS, and wanted to re-review it. My palate has changed a lot, and was just curious to see if the score change.

Bomber to snifter. Pours blackest obsidian with no brown/amber hues around the edges. Head was of dark brown sugar, with decent retention. The legs of this beer are also pretty wild to look at. Thick and viscous like a fine scotch or bourbon.

Now onto the aroma, and what a pleasant aroma at that. The aroma is incredibly multi-faceted with chocolate, caramel, and molasses being the most notable components while vanilla and espresso heightens the olfactory experience. Also detected a touch of alcohol, but its a 2010 bottle.

The ultimate test; taste. I hardly use any harsh language but F&*@! this beer is unbelievable! Flavors to note first off are chocolate, rich and dark, molasses, toffee, raisins, ripest cherries, and brown sugar. Mid palate is a real treat; currants, licorice, and some roasted char really linger and add to the sweetness at the front end. The contrast from sweetness to bitterness is phenomenal, and subtle. Finish is nice and long as to be expected of the style, but the aftertaste really makes it a pleasure to enjoy in between sips.

Mouthfeel is just about the silkiest and smoothest I've come across in my beer career. The carbonation levels are spot on for the style. Just enough to lift the flavors off your tongue, but not too much to hide it's subtleties. Big and bold and smooth are the three words that come to mind.

This is a hot beer, but being a 2010 bottle, it is still immensely drinkable. This beer is a sipper of the highest echelon, and should be enjoyed with a good snifter and chocolate to really make this beer pop.

P.S. I loved this beer the first time I reviewed it, but having it now feels like I'm doing this beer more justice. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will absolutely buy a case to cellar. Stone, this is a mighty good RIS.

---
2/14/2009

4.5/4.5/5/5/4.5

Breaking in the new snifter with this beer

Poured a absolutely jet black with no light discoloration around the edges. Nice foamy tan head dissipated after a few minutes from pour.

Lots of notes of chocolate and dark malts with some very very ripe cherry scents and of brown sugar.

Tastes of bitter chocolate are every present, with dark fruits taking a back seat. Mellows out with double doses of molasses and caramel to make this Russian Imperial Stout absolutely fantastic. Finishes very smooth with good carbonation throughout.

Mouthfeel was near syrup. Coats the entire mouth with a slick and smooth goodness that is very typical of the style.

A good drinkability factor, besides the liver loving 10.8% ABV it is one beer that I will be sure to keep an eye on.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque. Deep and ominous black. Nice tan head that sticks around for a few minutes and leaves a decent coating in it wake.

Toffee, cocoa, roasted malt, rich dark chocolate, alcohol.

Extremely rich. There are a lot of great complexities in this brew, as noted in the aroma. It's very rich and delicious, however it's also a bit hot. The alcohol, particularly in the finish, is a bit forward. This is a fresh bottle, brewed Spring 2010. I can definitely see how this beer would greatly benefit from a few years of proper cellaring.

Shockingly smooth (at first). Leaves a nice coating around the palate. Warming alcohol finish, which gets harsher as you progress through the bottle.

Alcohol becomes more and more evident as I continue to sip. This would be a good beer to split, perhaps several ways. I had trouble making it through the bomber by myself.

Notes: I understand that this beer improves with age, but so do a lot of beers. I just don't understand why this beer has such a high rating. There was never a moment when I was really moved by the taste of Stone IRS.

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Photo of alli4051
3.74/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured into a nonic.

Pours a deep, viscous black with a thick dark khaki head. Head recedes quickly leaving some lacing. Smells or rich, roasted malts along with some chocolate and espresso. As expected taste is roasty and chocolaty with some hints of espresso. Taste is surprisingly bitter, a little too bitter. As it warms things get a little smoother. Drinkability is surprisingly high with this one. I can't think of another stout this robust I could drink all day were it not for the 10.5% abv.

Picked up a few extras to cellar for a while, I fully expect to bump this review up a few points once it has some age on it.

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Stone Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 8,404 ratings
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