Stone Brewing

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Stone Brewing
California, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #64
Ranked #965
4.35 | pDev: 6.44%
Jan 08, 2022
Mar 04, 2017
Notes: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout with Espresso.
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Rated: 5 by Resistance88 from California

Jan 08, 2022
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Reviewed by Radcpa from Washington

4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Dark appearance with slight tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is a nice barrel aged coffee. Taste is a smooth barrel aged coffee with a touch of chocolate.
Dec 23, 2021
Rated: 5 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Aug 19, 2021
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Reviewed by backblast from Alaska

4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2017 Batch 03 - enjoyed on 3-20-2021

Pours jet black with no head and low carbonation.

Tastes of dark fruit and coffee right off with a nice booze balance. Along with that, the barrel, char and dark chocolate all work together wonderfully.
Mar 21, 2021
Rated: 4 by Gemini6 from Michigan

Aug 14, 2020
Rated: 4.38 by lebrisa from Connecticut

Jun 04, 2020
Rated: 4.63 by ummswimmin from New Jersey

Apr 19, 2020
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Reviewed by emyers from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Bottle poured into a snifter.

Near black with a one inch creamy off-white head.

Nose: All espresso with a slight hint of bourbon/vanilla.

Taste: Espresso again up front but with a bit more chocolate backing it up and a dose of herbal hops on the finish. Minimal barrel presence.

Feel: Medium body, smooth with medium carbonation.
Apr 06, 2020
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Reviewed by Wolvmar from Michigan

4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
March 2020 Review
500ml bottle, 2017 Series, Batch No.03, bottled in October 2017. Poured into a tulip glass.

Pour: black with a minimal brown head that dissipated quickly and left little to no lacing. 3.5

Nose: Coffee, chocolate, oak, dark stone fruit, vanilla. Very good. 4.25

Taste: Pretty much follows the nose with sweet malt, coffee upfront and bitter chocolate on the back end. Really good. 4.5

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, smooth, creamy. Very good. 4.25

Overall: a really good, maybe great coffee stout. Easy drinking despite the ABV. Absolutely worth trying, will pick up another to cellar. 4.25
Mar 22, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by TheCakePounder from Pennsylvania

Mar 01, 2020
Rated: 4.19 by Buck_Jones from Michigan

Feb 29, 2020
Rated: 4 by dsshuck from Delaware

Jan 31, 2020
Rated: 4.35 by EMV from Pennsylvania

Jan 20, 2020
Rated: 4.74 by DruC4 from Michigan

Jan 14, 2020
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Reviewed by Jeffo from Netherlands

3.32/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5
Got this from rutger this past summer

From a 500ml corked and caged bottle into a snifter
IBU: 43
2018 series batch #2
Bottled October 2018
Aged 8 months in Kentucky bourbon barrels
Imperial Russian stout aged in bourbon barrels with espresso beans

APPEARANCE: Clear black pour yields a 2+ finger, medium looking, slightly creamy tan head with good retention. Black body with medium levels of carbonation evident for the style. Head slowly recedes to a thin wisp and clings to the glass. Splotchy wisp remains leaving decent lacing down the glass as it empties.

SMELL: Roasted and burnt espresso beans on this one. Charred. Some dark chocolate, oak and bourbon aromas, vanilla cream and butterscotch as well. Well put together.

TASTE: Roasted coffee flavors up front, with bourbon, oak and some vanilla cream as well, then some wood and alcohol at the swallow. Flavorful finish of wood, bourbon, vanilla and butterscotch sweetness, as well as some bitter dark chocolate and bitter, roasted espresso beans as well. Charred espresso and somewhat boozy.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. A touch foamy perhaps, goes down a bit prickly with a bit of a scratch and finishes somewhat mouth-coating. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: This is alright. The coffee is a little overly roasted or burnt and it’s a touch boozier than it needs to be, but it’s certainly enjoyable, especially for those who like coffee-forward stout beer. I’m a fan, though I do with it was a little creamier as opposed to charred. I’d also like a bit of a silkier mouthfeel as well. Nevertheless, Stone makes good stuff and this one falls into that category. Thanks again, rutger!
Dec 23, 2019
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Reviewed by kitch from Hong Kong

4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
A 500ml corked and caged bottle, 2017 Series, Batch No.03, bottled in October 2017. Poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: It was black in colour with a half finger brown head that dissipated quickly and left only sparse to no lacing.

Aroma: Light roast, milk chocolate, damp coffee grounds, espresso, oak and vanilla.

Taste: Moderate roastiness, milk chocolate, coffee, espresso, oak, bourbon, vanilla and a lightly herbal bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, full bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall: Really enjoyable drinking, as its rich and smooth with velvety chocolate, and nice barrel notes expressing bourbon and vanilla.
Dec 13, 2019
Rated: 4.38 by AMCPhD from Virginia

Nov 30, 2019
Rated: 4.26 by GregSemenza from Connecticut

Nov 27, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by jwat from Pennsylvania

Nov 09, 2019
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Reviewed by bobhits from Kentucky

4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Nose - coffee, burnt malt, dark bakers chocolate, vanilla, oak.

Taste - Mikhail is a coffee bomb bringing with it the citrus, the dark burn beans, and the lingering ground espresso beans out in their fullest. I've had coffee that tasted less like coffee. The back is a rich and heavy stout providing chocolate, vanilla, light hops, and intense sugary sweetness.

Simply one of the best dessert beers or maybe a saturday wake me up?
Nov 08, 2019
Rated: 4.32 by reebtaerG from Maryland

Oct 12, 2019
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Rated by Sandis from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2018 bottle poured into a snifter. The espresso is well integrated without being overpowering. Nice low carbonation with moderate thickness.
Sep 17, 2019
Rated: 4.53 by travolta from California

Sep 09, 2019
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Reviewed by DIM from Pennsylvania

4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5
I can't believe how potent the espresso notes are considering this was brewed 20 months ago and bottled 10 months ago. Up front I tasted robust barrel notes of vanilla, boozy sugar, and a woody char that lingered a bit into the finish that was otherwise straight up deeply roasted, wonderfully flavorful espresso. Some of the strongest coffee notes I have ever found in a beer.

Very satisfying overall and worth a try for sure.
Aug 25, 2019
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Reviewed by EMH73 from New York

4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Pours black with a quarter inch dark tan head that leaves a couple wisps of lacing. Smells of bourbon, espresso, dark chocolate and barrel. Tastes of espresso, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, almond, bourbon, char, dark roasted malts and dark fruits. On the light side of full bodied, light carbonation, dry and lightly butter fisish, creamy mouth feel.
Aug 16, 2019
Rated: 4.45 by josephwa from Minnesota

Aug 05, 2019
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Rated by BEERMILER12 from Maine

4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
On tap at McGillicuddy's
May 07, 2019
Rated: 4.12 by Nunya from Ohio

Apr 28, 2019
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Reviewed by Sludgeman from District of Columbia

3.38/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
A 2017 Series Batch 03. Purchased at the Stone Brewery in Richmond, VA. A 500ml bottle, corked and caged. Poured into a small stemmed tulip. I had a difficult time removing the cork.

Over barreled. More whiskey than expresso stout. Way too thin for the taste profile. Did I hold onto this beer too long (unintentionally)? 3.25

A – Pours an opaque black. Very effervescent with the pour. A short-lived brown head. No lacing. Minor alcohol legs. 3.75

S – Aromas of whiskey, coffee, vanilla, even some cherry. 3.75

T – Roasty malts, coffee, solventy. Too hot. 3.25

MF – Medium bodied but thin, warming. 3.0
Apr 28, 2019
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Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
500ml bottle. Caged and corked. Bottled in October 2017.
Black colored body, with a thin edge of dark brown back lit highlights. One finger of tan, fizzy head quickly goes away, leaving a very active top surface. I see one small of lacing after the first sip.
Aroma is rich with coffee/espresso and notes from the oak barrel (bourbon, vanilla and caramel). Quite impressive for the age in the bottle.
Taste introduces the fudge chocolate to the mix of coffee, dark fruits, oak/bourbon, vanilla and caramel. The aftertaste is very mellow with coffee and vanilla, with a touch of fudge.
Thicker mouth feel, with a mouth coating texture. Good carbonation.
The entry of the fudge chocolate in the mid portion of the taste profile really adds to the depth and richness of the beer's taste. Otherwise the coffee/espresso would dominate and make this a barrel aged coffee beer. Really has a swirl of flavors that blend and balance very well. Higher ABV% is well hidden. This beer is remarkably easy to drink.
Apr 24, 2019
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Reviewed by LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
2017 Bottle - aged 2 years:
L - Deep, opaque black with a medium tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly
S - Tons of bitter, roasted notes up front along with notes of bitter dark chocolate and dark fruits
T - Fudgey bitter dark chocolate and bitter roasted espresso up front along with notes of oak, vanilla, dark fruits (raisins and figs) - slight alcohol warmth
F - medium to full bodied with a light amount of carbonation - smooth, rich, and velvety
O - A really solid imperial Russian stout from stone.
Apr 13, 2019
Rated: 3.25 by nrbw23 from Ohio

Apr 06, 2019
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Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured jet black from the bottle, with light brown lacing. Smell is powerful espresso with dark chocolate, a wonderful pairing together, plus complementary salt, caramel, bourbon, almond and marshmallow. Taste is fudgey, with robust coffee pervasively throughout. Nice waves of bourbon, charred wood, dark fruit, caramel, almond, vanilla, with then a finish of hot booze with espresso. Not very balanced but intense, yet highly textured from the espresso. It's no fyodor, but it is pretty, pretty good
Mar 21, 2019
Rated: 4.31 by Biggiekrock627 from Maryland

Mar 09, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by paulish from New York

Mar 09, 2019
Rated: 3.87 by Wontonst from California

Mar 06, 2019
Rated: 4.36 by TheGent from New Jersey

Feb 19, 2019
Rated: 4.27 by Gkruszewski from New York

Feb 14, 2019
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Reviewed by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Для моего второго пива, Happy New Russian Stone Beer Sunday (Неделя 729), я обратился к (For my second beer of … , I turned to … Ah, this day is shaping up nicely, comrades! Life is good in Woodyvlostok. Pierogies are simmering, my babushka is coming over, my AK-47 has been cleaned & ready to discharge at the range & I am nearly finished reading my collection of Russian Crime & Suspense stories.

From the Bottle: "Small Batch Escondido"; "2018 Series Batch No. 2"; "Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels w/Espresso Beans"; "Ages Well Store at Cellar Temp (55 F/13 C) or Below"; "Brewed January 25, 2018"; "Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout is a thick, rich and sinful beer that’s heavy on the palate and massively aromatic with notes of anise, black currants, coffee and roastiness."; "In the Mash [-] Roasted Barley, Unmalted Oats and Pale, Amber & Black Malts"; "In the Boil [-] Warrior Hops"; "Whirlpool [-] Belma Hops"; "Unfiltered and Aged 8 months in American Oak Kentucky Bourbon Barrels"; "IBUs 43"; "Bottled [-] October 2018"; "Release Date [-] November 5, 2018"; "Cellar Notes [-] Intense coffee characteristics abound from both the dark malts and the espresso, while rich caramel-like and vanilla notes from the bourbon barrel aging adds layers of complexity, a touch of sweetness and a vibrant dark fruit finish. Since this is an unusual take on our traditional imperial Russian stout, 'Mikhail' pays homage to Mikhail Bulgakov, whose novel The Master and Margarita is considered the foremost of Soviet satires.

Okay, these f**king corks are a real Russian bear to get out of the neck! They are quite long & since I do not have a nice corkscrew with lever arms, I was forced to simply pull it straight up. I cannot tell you of the cold flop sweat that emanated from my body as I held a $17 irreplaceable bottle between my thighs while I tugged on the embedded corkscrew with both hands! I have a third bottled beer, but since it is a) not Russian-style & b) another corked masterpiece, I am holding it in abeyance until I can either procure or borrow a better corkscrew.

F**ksake, this is more work than I envisioned! I gotta talk to Greg about this on our next meeting. Once the pesky Gorky cork was out, the real fun began. I was now anxious to try Fyodor's goofy cousin. I am our family's black sheep goofy cousin, so this beer & I should mesh beautifully. In pouring it, the first thing that I noticed was that the two-plus fingers of head were not as dark as on Fyodor. Instead, it was more Deep-Tan/Light-Brown than simply Dark Brown. Rocky, dense, foamy with good retention & light lacing. This seemed to be more my speed (or perhaps I was slowing down after Fyodor). Color was also lighter, Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44), allowing cola highlights to peek in at the edges. Nose was rich & redolent with coffee, but not simply coffee. Espresso! I remember my first trip to Rome. We flew in from La Maddalena, Sardinia & while awaiting FFT, we went to the airport cafe. Signora, caffè per favore. I was already starting a career-long habit of speaking the native lingo. She presented us with these wee tiny cups that put me in mind of a children's tea party with one of my female neighbors & her stuffed toy animals! 8=O Caffè? Si, caffè! One sip & I felt like my heart was going to pound its way through my breastbone & out of my chest & go running up one of the seven hills! OMFG! This beer = that! You may have heard of alcohol & beer as a depressant, but this was amping me up to the point that I was going to plug myself into my circuit breaker & power the house on my own for the afternoon. Bump PPL! Mouthfeel was less impressive than in Fyodor, but that is a minor point. I really could not taste or perceive much more than espresso in/from this one, but it was enough! It was the combination of caffeine & alcohol that got FourLoko initially banned & then retooled to disinclude caffeine. I now understand why. I should be drunk & ready for a nap, but I am wide awake. This is potent & potentially deadly! Whoo. Sadly, the espresso flavors were SO overwhelming that everything else, including the Bourbon Bbl.-aging, was getting lost in the mix. How do you rate something like this?!? As an RIS, it was kind of unbalanced in favor of its espresso flavors, at least in its youth. With aging, who knows? My health has me living for the here & now so you may have to report back, even/especially if I am gone. Finish was dry & bitter, in the way that espresso is dry & bitter. Is that your bag? It certainly is mine, but YMMV! The other consideration was the price point. Did I get my $'s worth? I would say so, but then the Q arises as to whether I would drink it again. Perhaps, but next time for sharesies, including the buy.
Feb 10, 2019
Rated: 4.04 by BeersIsTheName from Tennessee

Feb 06, 2019
Mikhail from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 186 ratings