Stone Brewing

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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #12
Ranked #235
4.47 | pDev: 8.28%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Notes: Formerly Fyodor's Classic

Stone 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, cof fee and roastiness.

This profoundly complexed beer will overwhelm all but the most stalwart beer fanatics with its level of intensity. Rich coffee, bitter and milk chocolate characteristics abound, while dark charred oak, rich vanilla and caramel from the bourbon barrels synergistically elevate and further enhance the ultra-intense taste of the original beer. The name we chose for this heady creation, “Fyodor”, is a tip of the hat to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, one of the greatest, most influential novelists of Russia’s Golden Age.

43 IBU
Reviews: 236 | Ratings: 1,414 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JohnnyHopps
JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer poured a deep black color with a mocha colored head.

Smell - The beer smelled like a boozy chocolate stout. There was no overbearing sweetness here.

Taste - The first impression was the balance of the booze with the chocolate. There were notes of chocolate cookies, tobacco, and raisins. Yet, there were no adjuncts. There bourbon darkness lingered nicely.

Mouthfeel - Motor oil, this stout was not. Carbonation was fairly aggressive with a lighter body.

Mouthfeel - It is nice to have a straight forward barrel aged stout, that is well done.

Dec 26, 2020
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DanO1066 from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another day, another 50% off bomber (500ml "Brewed July 17, 2016) from The Brass Tap here in Baltimore: drinkable motor oil w/a mocha head that unsurprisingly (given the ABV) doesn't last; mostly vanilla on the nose, more chocolate on the tongue (where's the coffee?); smooth despite the carbonation; would I do this at full price? Hell NO!

May 18, 2020
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Wolvmar from Michigan

4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Apr 2020 Review
500ml bottle. 2017 Series Batch 2. Poured into a tulip glass.

Pour: deep brown, thin tan head that quickly ends in a thin ring. No lacing to speak of. 3.5

Nose: bourbon, vanilla, oak, sweet malt. 4.0

Taste: booze up front but not overwhelming. Chocolate, mix of milk and dark. Vanilla, charred oak, dark stone fruits. Hint of bitter coffee on the backend. Really balanced other than the initial booziness. Really complex. Really delicious. 4.5

Mouthfeel: low carbonation (2.5 years old). Not really thick but substantial enough. Super smooth. 4.0

Overall: this is a really good beer with the only drawback being that it looks good, not great. Would buy again. 4.25

Apr 19, 2020
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CTHomer from Connecticut

4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2017 on draft;

A: opaque; dark brown in color; less than a 1 finger medium brown head that receded quickly to a thin collar; no lacing;

S: boozy; bourbon, vanilla, and oak; milk chocolate in the background, but this is all about the bourbon barrel aging;

T: chocolate dominates from start to finish; vanilla, bourbon, and charred oak are in the background; boozy finish is mild to moderately bitter;

M: full bodied - sticky; low to moderate carbonation; alcohol is warming, but way understated for 13.5%;

O: dangerously easy to drink; really, really, good;

Apr 16, 2020
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titty_mcbitty from Tennessee

4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

(2017 bottle)

A: I'm doing fairly small pours into a tall wine glass, so there's no head whatsoever. Still a beautiful-looking beer: pitch black at the heart with burgundy edges.

S: Wow. Brownie, bourbon, and stone fruits. Beautiful aroma.

T: It follows the nose closely, but with more complexity. That brownie batter hits up front, and the bourbon appears in the background throughout; it's not subtle but not loud - just right. Lots of cocoa and vanilla. Coconut. Marshmallow. Long finish consisting of that brownie/vanilla/bourbon flavor. Insane.

M: Very smooth and silky going down. Has a thick almost syrupy consistency and is perfect for the flavors above.

O: This is world-class for me. It reminds me of Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout, which is my favorite BA stout, and it's on the same level in my opinion. I'm not sure what the other vintages bring, but 2017 is a true winner.

Feb 04, 2020
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CaptainHate from Ohio

4.29/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Brewed 1/25/2018. Had trouble removing the cork and had the resort to a corkscrew. Poured most of a 500 ml bottle into a DFH tulip. The body was as dark as Rasputin's soul with an ample tan head. Drinking in a 58 degree room everything got better as it reached room temperature. At first everything seemed thin with the char dominating but eventually the other flavors prevailed. Never specifically noticed the anise in smell or taste but lots of dark fruits and barrel were present. Mouthfeel was fine for a big stout.

Maybe I've been spoiled by BCBS and Jackie O's barrel aged stouts but this just didn't deliver what I was hoping it would. Maybe I'll try it again to see if this was just a subjective one time thing. It wasn't bad by any reasonable criteria but just wasn't the knock it out of the park experience I was hoping for.

Jan 05, 2020
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kitch from Hong Kong

3.69/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml corked and caged bottle, 2017 Series, Batch No.02, bottled in October 2017. Poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: It poured black in colour with a thin brown head that dissipated almost immediately and left only sparse to no lacing.

Aroma: Roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, prunes, raisins, molasses, oak, with touches of bourbon and vanilla.

Taste: Sweet, boozy, bourbon, light roast, chocolate, coffee, molasses, dark fruit, plum, prunes, raisins.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall: Sweet and boozy, which is not a preferable combination for me as I find it too rich, and not easy to drink, even if just sipping. I preferred Stone Mikhail a lot more as I felt that was much more balanced.

Dec 18, 2019
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ChrisMon02 from Ohio

4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Rich, dense, smooth and delicious. Tons of cocoa, caramel, vanilla, coffee with subtle waves of anise, bourbon and black currants. Very complex and tasty. I will definitely get this one again if I come across it.

Aug 26, 2019
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a finger of thin, large khaki bubbles. Aroma is toffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, and roasty and toasty malts. Bourbon adds a kiss of heat to the back, which is soothed out by oak. Flavor profile is really well developed, hitting notes of roasty, toasty and caramely malts with sugary notes of caramel, toffee, molasses and brown sugar. Bourbon is present, but not out of place, adding a subtle twinge of heat that works to establish a better balance. Oak and char add a little smooth bitterness at the finish. Mouth feel is still with very little nuance to the texture. It has a full and thick consistency. Overall, stout is solid with subtle and well maintained levels of flavor, heat and bourbon.

Served in a 15.5oz Spiegalau tulip from a 500mL bottle.

Aug 18, 2019
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Sandis from Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 2017 bottle into a snifter. Carbonation is moderate. I was hoping this would be a bit thicker. Nice barrel presence in both aroma and flavor.

Jul 29, 2019
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

L - Deep, opaque black with a dark tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind minimal lacing.
S - Tons of molasses on the nose along with roasted malts and oak with some warming bourbon on the nose.
T - Incredibly complex: Rich dark, bitter chocolate throughout as well as rich molasses along with caramel, vanilla, roasted malts and barely as well as burnt oak and sweet bourbon
F - Medium to full bodied with light carbonation - thick, soft, silky. Could be a little fuller in my opinion.
O - An incredibly complex, and incredibly good BBA stout. Well done.

Jul 27, 2019
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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

3.6/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Dark Black except where light fringes the glass for a chocolate brown, a third finger dark mocha head with little retention or lacing.

S: This is a boozy bourbon punch in the nose even after 9 months bottle aging. The smell is not a delectable bourbon, rather it smells like Everclear 190 proof with some vanilla for good measure. I definitely don't get anise haha or any finer thing like that.

T: Anyone who says anise in my view is copying the notes. This is booze and far from beer finery. I don't get bourbon heat, instead the taste of vodka, with the smallest amounts of oak, vanilla, and chocolate in descending measure.

F: The mouthfeel is light-medium and astringent, not thick as described, but decent enough to pass for a lighter BA stout.
Carbonation is medium low, but okay.

O: Overall I am saddened that Stone got my money on this one. Their description is bologna which is an Italian derivative I'd rather eat again than to consume this vodka-laden (Russian) beverage. It is not a mess in that it isn't all over the place, however it is off-balance towards a spirit rather than a beer, and I've had 19.9 percenters with far more finesse. Even if you are a bourbon lover, this bomb is not for you as the bourbon (or vodka) isn't all that good.

Jul 10, 2019
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rarigney from Washington

4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is very dark brown with a loosely formed tan head. Head has moderate retention, but minimal lacing. Aroma is dark roasted malt, raisins, and a hint of anise. Taste adds molasses, coffee, and vanilla to the mix. It’s still quite hot, but should mellow with age. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous.

Jul 04, 2019
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.19/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pitch black to dark brown with a slight hint of Ruby when held to the light. Topped with a half finger of rusty dark brown beige head.

It smells of umami so he sauce toasted notes, chocolate and hints of wine and oak barrels. I also get a black liquorice on the nose and some allspice. The taste is of chocolate, coffee, Coco dust a hint of scotch and bourbon oak. I got black liquorice again and some of the spice comes through and soy sauce. Slightly sweet very little char.

The thick and oily body is lightened with hints of barrel and oak. Its really smooth and certainly covers the Abv.

I got this in Redding California June 10, 2019 and I’m drinking it here at home. This was batch 01 from 2018.

Jun 10, 2019
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Strix from Wisconsin

4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Near black, brown edges, decent initial heads that fades to none with no lacing.

Delicious blend of bourbon, coffee, molasses, anise in the nose

Coffee, malt, bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate. Yes.

Mouthfeel smooth.

I'm a sucker for beers like this, but this was great.

Apr 19, 2019
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Beejay from Virginia

4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: dark black without much head.

S: oak, vanilla, and molasses come out right away. Bourbon follows up the aroma.

T: brown sugar, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and a long lingering caramel flavor.

M: medium thick, with moderate carbonation.

O: overall, just a real well done stout, with barrel character that isn't lacking or over done.

Apr 17, 2019
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WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter

Dark brown liquid, two finger brown foam cap , dense rich bubbles that form larger bubbles as the pour recedes, good lacings , good rentention, settles to a dense foam layer

Aroma of anise, bourbon, tobacco, milk chocolate, char, roasted malts

Taste is bourbon, char, roast malts, bitter chocolate,

A mild char bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue , low sudsing, good body

Good beer

Apr 08, 2019
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a cork'n'cage bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip. 2018 edition.

L: Dark, dark pour... nearly black with a bit of mahogany around the edges. 1 finger of tannish head leaves a nice thin ring of lacing.

S: Rich and roasty... bourbon and booze mixed with vanilla and cocoa.

T.F: Dark and charred... like the soul of your ex. Sweet-ish up front with espresso, vanilla, bourbon, and dark chocolate. Bitter roast balances things out nicely. Medium bodied... sticky on the tongue and more complex/delicious as it warms up to room temp.

O: An outstanding big barrel aged Russian Imperial. As arrogant as you'd expect from Stone. Fantastic, and glad I've got another bottle to cellar for a few.

Apr 06, 2019
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle. 2017 Series, Batch No 02. 13.5%ABV.
Black colored body. Just a thin fizzy head upon pouring but this does not stay around long. Has a thin ring. Lacing spots have a tendency of sliding back down into body.
Aroma of roasted malts, dark currant/cherry fruit, coffee, and spice.
Taste is dark roasted malts, faint coffee, dark chocolate, and a swirl of barrel notes (oak wood, smoke, and vanilla). Suggested is dark cherry fruit, black licorice, and other spices such as anise.
Fuller mouth feel. Lower carbonation.
A beer that is super dark in the glass, and expresses a complex profile of malts, fruit, chocolate, coffee, and spices , but is super smooth and has very little bitterness (it does has some sourness). Lack of carbonation allows the beer to sit in the mouth and express its full taste profile. Heavy on the palate. The alcohol is in the aroma (nostrils) but does not come through in the taste.

Mar 30, 2019
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Black, thick foamy head that settles into a fluffy cap. Aroma is fairly dark - lots of dark roast coffee, mild espresso, dark chocolate upfront. There is some bourbon caramel there but wanted a little more of that. A little fusel booze lingering.

I felt the palate to be pretty similar - heavy on those robust, dark notes with just not enough to smooth it out. Deep coffee, charred oak, a little ash / tobacco leaf, dark cacao etc. The bourbon notes are overwhelmed - you can find a little caramel / vanilla but it is drowned in those stout flavors. Some boozey heat on the backend which isn’t transitioned to nicely with a lingering sting of whiskey. Needs better harmony & balance.

Mar 27, 2019
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EMH73 from New York

4.36/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with an everlasting ring of tan head that leaves sparse dots of lacing. Smells of bourbon, oak, coffee and char. Tastes of bourbon, cold brew coffee, oak, dark chocolate, cocoa, dark roasted malts char, vanilla, caramel and a hint of tobacco. Full bodied, light carbonation, creamy and chewy mouth feel and a dry finish.

Mar 03, 2019
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$ 17.46 (Including shipping)/500 mL cork and cage bottle ($ 1.033/oz) from Tavour, Seattle, WA. Reviewed 2/23/19.
“BREWED JANUARY 25, 2018” at top of rear label. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 54 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 5.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque.
Head – Large (Maximum 6.3 cm, aggressive center pour), tan, medium density and rocky, average retention, diminishing to an irregular three to five mm ring and a rocky partial layer. Head retraction leaves behind thick, wide bands of lacing as well as isolated islands.
Lacing – Excellent. This produces marked three-dimensional bands of lacing, consisting almost exclusively of tiny bubbles. Rings are connected by thin columns.
First pour – Dark brown, clear.
Aroma – 4.25 - Initially sweet chocolate and roasted malt with some “dark fruit”, shifting to wood. Wood remains the predominant odor for the remainder of the serving, although some bourbon appears as it further warms.
Flavor – 4.25 - Begins with light chocolate flavor followed by a bit of caramel and some “dark fruit”. Allowing it to warm in my mouth allows the alcohol (13.5% ABV) flavor to stampede forth. No diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide, no hops.
Palate – 4 – Full, creamy, soft carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 4.25 – Overall, a very attractive and aromatic brew, with the appearance approaching perfection for a Russian Imperial Stout. The nose is complex and exciting while the taste also demonstrates more complexity than I can articulate – I will leave this to someone with better taste buds. Overall, just one damn good brew!

Feb 23, 2019
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von_kaiser from Connecticut

4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

after a stellar line up of beers....this was the last of em. kbbs, mornin delight, bg&e, ground state now this.... no viscosity to it when u pour (oil look lack)l, thin look finger head dissipated quick, toasty mild sweet char taste and coffee, medium feel.....she’s good though... I’d bang again

Feb 23, 2019
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Momma_Knapp from Connecticut

5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drinking this tonight at a share with my husband and his two friends. I told them that they had to get this for me a while back and they finally came through, bout time!

Feb 23, 2019
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JLK7299 from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drinking tonight at a share with a few buddies and we have been trying to get this for a long time. Boy oh boy was it worth the wait. Chocolate, coffee, caramel. Great!

Feb 23, 2019
Fyodor from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 1414 ratings