Belgo Anise | Stone Brewing

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Belgo AniseBelgo Anise
943 Ratings
Belgo AniseBelgo Anise

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by EgadBananas on 05-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 943 |  Reviews: 450
Photo of iguanodon
3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

[Original rating 2011-06-11] Pours opaque black with a thick tan head, good lacing. Aroma is coffee, chocolate, maybe some licorice. Taste is licorice, coffee, chocolate, in that order. Nice full body. Another interesting beer from Stone, but a bit too sweet for my taste.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.84/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottles in 2011. This was one of the first bottles to start my "cellar" back in the day. I was always leery to drink it because of the anise. Lucky for me, basically all of that particular flavor has vanished. Getting mostly tart fruit, think cherry with skins and dark chocolate. In all honesty, I thought this 7 year old banger would be absolutely awful, but it's surprisingly drinkable. Dare I say, enjoyable?

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Photo of cbenson
4.11/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: Pepper black with a thinner body than some stouts. Noticeable carbonation. No head whatsoever with just a dark beige rim.
Smell: Definitely malt forward with an intense odor. Sour raisin hop character with a nutty pecan aroma overall. Also a hint of lactose, like Greek yogurt.
Taste: Full, bitter, nutty, and lactose. Mirrors the smell with notes brown sugar, yogurt, pecans, oak, plums, and raisins.
Mouthfeel: Covers its relative thinness with carbonation which makes it closer to a porter than a stout. The aftertaste is sweet.
Overall: Strong aroma and complex taste with a lackluster mouthfeel.

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Photo of bigred89
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Dave2234
4.09/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 Bottle.

A: Upfront anise, light fruity esters, coupled with coffee-like deep grain roast and light oak.

A: Deep black color, opaque with a frothy head that still has solid retention.

T: Flavor is complex blend of coffee-like deep grain roast, anise, dark fruit, light bitterness, and oak.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderately light carbonation with a light gentle smooth alcoholic warmth.

O: Excellent; the beer has aged very well and the anise aroma and flavor that was overpowering when fresh is now super well balanced and provide a nice contrast to the beer’s deep roasted grains and oak character.

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Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of calcnerd
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ONovoMexicano
1.24/5  rDev -64.6%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bomber poured into an oversized tulip.

Looks beautiful. Such a frothy, rich and creamy cocoa-colored head. This is as good as this beer gets unfortunately.

Right from the aroma I detect a sharp tartness and acidity. It combines with a citrusy aroma to develop a funky fruitcake aroma. It's weird.

Flavors just as tart, just as weird and just as messy. It reminds me of an orange creme cordial gone bad.

I can't even finish an 8 ounce pour. Bummer.

I have had really poor results trying to age Stone's beers.

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Photo of Pierre_Pressure
2.51/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Pitch black color with a small head. Some lacing. All in all this is what I expect to see out of my stouts.
S: This is...different. As expected, anise is the most readily discernable scent. There is a definite sweetness here as well. I wish the anise was a bit stronger here; I love stouts and I love black licorice and this doesn't quite smell like either.
T: Licorice is at the forefront of the flavor to start off with hints of typical stout notes. Fresh from the fridge there is a good bit of sweetness, which combined with the odd flavor combination makes this a slow sipper. The problem is, the warmer this gets more the other flavors fade and you're left with what amounts to a glass of liquid licorice.
F: Some thickness, but not quite on par with other RIS I've had.
O: It pains me to say this as I am a huge fan of licorice and I love my absinthe served strong, but, well, lets just say this beer misses the mark. It's very difficult to get through an entire bottle alone.

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Photo of The_Chewlord
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BrewClint
4.75/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ClePaul
3.74/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mig100
4.05/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage cellared by Whip-In in Austin, TX and served on draft. The anise has pretty much fully integrated itself into the beer at this point and although it's a bit flat, the standard IRS flavors, oak and belgian yeast character have melded seamlessly. Very surprised by how good this is.

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Photo of JamFuel
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.11/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Pittsford Pub in Pittsford, NY. Cool to see this here, even though I've heard it was a disaster when released in '11. Hope time has tamed down some of the more unpleasant flavors that I've heard about.

This one pours a deep, dark, opaque black, like every Stone IRS variant. There's a small head, and a small amount of lacing.

This one smells like chocolate, dark roast, and just the slightest hint of dark licorice.

I've heard that when this beer was released, the anise flavor was just overpowering and unpleasant. 4 years later, the anise seems to be pretty mild, which is nice, because I don't love anise or licorice flavors. It's a nice earthy counterpoint to the bitter chocolate and bitter dark roast of the malt. There's some slight hop bitterness, but way less than fresh IRS, of course. This really is pretty solid- it seems time has been quite kind to this beer.

This is pretty thick in body and mouthfeel, creamy, and very drinkable. There's a moderate level of carbonation.

It was interesting to try this beer all these 4 years later. I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of GarrettB
3.91/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

April 9th, 2015 - A twist on the Imperial Russian Stout, the 2011 version of the Belgo Anise starts with a huge black licorice smell. It is by far the most licorice I have ever smelled on a brew, all the way down. This matches the appearance, with a deep, lacquerware black body and a cinnamon colored head. The flavor is also rich in licorice, but it's not like getting whipped with a licorice stick like in the nose. Sweet and sticky, it is quite strong, and maybe too burly, but at 4 oz., that strength is acceptable. It starts with licorice and ends with licorice, and I find that even at the end of the taster line-up for the day I get another. A good, deep, powerful beer from Stone, best served in small doses.

Here too, the date of my notes are unknown and unrecorded. But the color of the brew deeply impressed me, summoning Japanese vocabulary like "makkuro" - deep, deep black and abysmal. And the smell is a bouquet of black licorice, sweet vermouth, sweet raisins and tempura sauce - a frenzied blend of deep, roasted Japanese flavors and English candies. While cold, this brew supplies a mild carbonation and a timid flavor, like a bold Pepsi, but as it warms the flavor quickly begins to explode with flavor, especially on the back end. The front gets more of that tempura-laden umami, but the anise remains strong and on point. Whatever the temperature, the booziness never quits, and yet the sharp alcoholic nature of this brew plays well with the other flavors. This is a heavyweight, swinging it's limbs without a care for the damage it cause, but the taste is fine, and well worth the exploratory pour at Stone.

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Photo of LaneMeyer
1.49/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Anise swill water is basically what you're getting here.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Lucoli
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of dfhhead25
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jfstilling
3.12/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of paresis
3.74/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beerbuddy21
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had it on draft at Rock and Brews in El Segundo, they have apparently been aging it for 3 years. $7 for a tulip glass.

The name makes you think there is some promise here, but the flavor just doesn't live up to it. The great roasty malt flavor of the regular Stone RIS is almost non-existent, and is covered up by the belgian yeast and unusual anise flavor.

Glad to have tried it but wouldn't have it again, or recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of Goatdavemac
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Belgo Anise from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.5 out of 5 with 943 ratings