Stone Brewing

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Stone Brewing
California, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #343
Ranked #6,688
4.09 | pDev: 7.33%
Jul 16, 2021
Mar 10, 2018
Notes: Built from the backbone of Stone's classic Imperial Russian Stout, Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout certainly celebrates the hallmarks of the style - it pours jet-black with a fluffy chocolate head and tastes of deeply dark fruit flavors with rich chocolate and coffee overtones. Yet, however old world in nature, this particular rendition of an IRS is flavored with new world hops, intensifying its berry flavors and aroma while subtly introducing a juicy melon undertone. The result is a spectacularly sinful delight. Don't say we didn't warn you, comrade.
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Rated: 4 by NickMunford from Wyoming

Jul 16, 2021
Rated: 4 by tdm168 from Pennsylvania

May 29, 2021
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Reviewed by BennyPhD from Texas

4.83/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
One of the best Russian Imperial Stouts (RSI) ever. Stone just seems to keep hitting home runs for this beer drinker. I have only found it on draft at a bar in a Charlottesville Virginia shopping center and in Charlottesville's only pay by the ounce bar. Both while on vacation in Charlottesville. Needless to say, I would only visit these bars if I was walking to/from the bar. But it was worth it. If you have half a mind to try a Totalitarian....well, that's all it takes.
Feb 02, 2021
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Reviewed by qrazvan from Romania

4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
An well made RIS, with dark chocolate, expresso and bit of hazelnut notes, dry and bitter, with a creamy body. Very pleasant and appealing smell.
No unnecessary add-on's. Great.
Dec 01, 2020
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Reviewed by NCSapiens from Indiana

3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured out of a can at a cold temperature this wasn’t anything special. A dry coffee bitterness predominates. Definitely not an “undertone of coffee” with “rich chocolate” and “dark fruit flavors”, as billed by the brewer. But as it warmed more subtle hints of fig, prune, raisin, and perhaps a bit of chocolate poked through and toned down the coffee. On the other hand, the alcohol became more noticeable as well. Maybe this is better on draft? My main advice is to let this sucker warm up and also ignore the tasting notes. Overall it isn’t bad, but it is schizophrenic and less than the sum of its parts. The base imperial stout is decent, then the dark fruits kick in and ultimately submit to a dry bitter coffee. Really weird.
Nov 25, 2020
Rated: 4 by RMW66 from Australia

Jun 06, 2020
Rated: 4 by csfcmitchell from Texas

Jun 01, 2020
Rated: 4.02 by prototypic from Ohio

Apr 26, 2020
Rated: 4 by eldoctorador from Chile

Feb 25, 2020
Rated: 4 by jmbeerdude91 from Arizona

Feb 06, 2020
Rated: 3.88 by Scotty_Karate from Michigan

Nov 16, 2019
Rated: 4.27 by GracelandII from Virginia

Nov 02, 2019
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Reviewed by JayQue from Virginia

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a dense black color with no light coming through. Medium size foamy light brown head. Head retention is pretty good for a high octane beer. Aroma was not that robust. Roasted malt and some coffee. Flavor was more pronounced. Malt dominates, not all that sweet with a mild coffee bitterness and flavor. Good rich mouthfeel and a little alcohol bite even though it was aged for @ a year or more. This is a good RIS but a fairly simple one. No complex chocolate/dark fruit presence that I could detect. One of several good strong malty stouts I have had the pleasure to try. Doesn't stand out as exceptional among these.
Oct 27, 2019
Rated: 4.12 by lastmango from Pennsylvania

Oct 21, 2019
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Reviewed by dbl_delta from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Growler into pint glass. Pours an opaque black with a substantial dark tan head. Initial impression is bitter dark chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. Mouthfeel is smooth and fairly thick. Alcohol is incredibly well hidden. Finish is slightly astringent and leaves a lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue. Everything improves as it warms, so I'd suggest letting it sit a bit. This might be a great candidate for cellaring too.
Sep 06, 2019
Rated: 3.75 by dsshuck from Delaware

Aug 12, 2019
Rated: 4.18 by firkingroovin from Illinois

Aug 04, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by jkermitj from Mississippi

Jun 28, 2019
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Reviewed by jdurey from Korea (South)

4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Aggressively poured from the bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours black with a two finger mocha head that recedes very quickly. Smells delicious with heavy chocolate, slight toffee, coffee, and hints of alcohol. Taste follows the nose to the T on the front end, though the alcohol and coffee creep up in the aftertaste which is fairly dry. Feel is a bit syrupy and heavy. Alcohol becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. That said this stout is 10.6% abv and the alcohol is supremely understated for such a strong beer. Be careful! This is one expensive brew here in South Korea, and is overall a fantastic choice for a one-off. Not one I’ll have often due to the price and high abv. A session beer it is not, but have one after a good meal and it hits the spot.
Jun 24, 2019
Rated: 4.15 by Scottsbeer from Florida

Jun 10, 2019
Rated: 4.2 by LXIXME from New Mexico

May 31, 2019
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Reviewed by KTCamm from New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
12/12/18...pitch black, light tan ring of foam. Nay, Almost no foam. Hearty coffee nose, some plum raisins embed in the aroma. Espresso, Heavy booze and thick astringent flavors. Cough syrup was never this good. Hidden cherries.
Apr 29, 2019
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Reviewed by WoodBrew from Ohio

4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
I tried this at the Daily Growler in Powell, OH. It poured an opaque dark with tan head that did not leave much lace. The scent had bold chocolate notes with roast highlights. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with chocolate cake foundation. The mouthfeel was fuller in body with good carbonation. Overall it was a solid beer.
Apr 26, 2019
Rated: 4 by Kolb from Montana

Apr 25, 2019
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Reviewed by rajendra82 from Georgia

4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
Classic RIS look, with an opaque black body, brown head, and low carbonation. The aroma was that of chocolate, dark skinned fruit, coffee, and caramel. The taste packed an intense coffee flavor backed by bitter chocolate and toasted grain. The body was dense, but not sticky. The alcohol hit hard, but didn't burn much. Powerful but approachable, this totalitarian was a benevolent dictator.
Apr 21, 2019
Rated: 4 by Justinprintz from New Jersey

Apr 13, 2019
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Reviewed by Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
This is a pretty nice and complex Russian Imperial Stout

Look: black with a thin mocca colored head

Aroma: coffee, chocolate,

Taste: chocolate, coffee, vanilla, maybe fruit and berries, pretty tasty

Feel: full creamy body
Apr 01, 2019
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Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12 oz bottle
This is a rich, bold, fairly traditional RIS. The flavor has hints of vanilla, chocolate and coffee, but not as much coffee as the aroma suggests.
Mouthfeel: smooth and very full bodied, but a bit too much alcohol heat.
Mar 08, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by psmith161 from Indiana

Feb 25, 2019
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Rated by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Maybe I had a bad bottle or wrong day to drink it. But i didn't like this at all.
Feb 25, 2019
Rated: 4.02 by sweetbrew82 from California

Feb 25, 2019
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Reviewed by Dinglehacker from Wisconsin

4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured into imperial pint glass. Beige ring and a long patch of lace. Solid black.

Sweet coffee nose, taste follows with bitterness and roast. A bit of dried fruit bitter like a doppelbock.

Mouth is heavy but smooth. Medium dry.

A good imperial offering from Stone.
Feb 16, 2019
Rated: 4 by Fettpopps from Massachusetts

Feb 06, 2019
Rated: 4.27 by Unclevince from West Virginia

Feb 01, 2019
Rated: 3.75 by COBEERHUNTER from Colorado

Jan 30, 2019
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Rated by jmichaelcfc from Virginia

5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Good, having trouble finding bottles though
Jan 30, 2019
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Reviewed by PatrickCT from Connecticut

3.67/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Black body. Nice beige head. Dies down to a broken ring and some sticky lace.
Not much in the aroma. A hint of weak coffee and some roasted malts. Kind of musty.
A taste of roasted malts, bakers chocolate and some raisin with some dark stone fruit skin bitterness.
Nice smooth body, dry finish, espresso bitterness and some peppery heat. The carbonation has held up.
Jan 20, 2019
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Reviewed by HattedClassic from Virginia

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
The beer pours a nice looking creamy light brown head that dissipates fairly quickly. The beer itself is a dark chocolate black that looks nice. It isn't something crazy but just solidly made.

The smell is a bit odd. It has a strong berry note that seems to not have aged well after being aged for almost a year. The other stout notes are still fairly solid with a good roasted note to them and a sweet chocolate.

The taste is still fairly good. The berry notes are still dominant but less so with the roasted malt and chocolate notes coming out more in the finish.

The body is heavy and fairly with smooth was a slightly dry finish to it.

Overall, this is a pretty solid IRS and worth getting.
Jan 13, 2019
Rated: 4 by golf4collet from West Virginia

Jan 12, 2019
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Rated by spinrsx from Canada (ON)

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
From Vegas for $3
Jan 03, 2019
Totalitarian from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 372 ratings