Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

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Belgo Anise Imperial Russian StoutBelgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States | website

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
446
Ratings:
939
Avg:
3.51
pDev:
31.34%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
159
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
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Reviews: 446 | Ratings: 939
Photo of johnnnniee
3.61/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid black with a giant tan head that sticks around forever and all over the glass. Smells of chocolate and anise right up front. Dark caramel, roasted grains and spicy Belgian yeast esters in there as well. The licorice/anise aroma is quite strong in this one. Taste is licorice/anise and milk chocolate initially. Roasted grains and dark caramel are in there as well. A hint of alcohol midway through then a long lingering dark chocolate and anise in the finish. Creamy and bubbly mouthfeel, spirited level of carbonation with a thick body. I didn't really find any of the oak but then again I was assaulted by black licorice. I thought this was only ok as is, I wonder how this will age.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.3/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter. 2011 odd year release.

A very large cocoa brown head off the pour is made somewhat uniform bubbles, good together swirling lacing.

Faint anisette qualities on the nose. Candy, and mild malt feel with lots of sweet Belgian style sense (yeast). Roast character lacking, but definitely a nice bouquet, not an overpowering sugar bomb, I enjoy it.

Taste is all black licorice/fennel/anise. Nothing else comes through, no malty backbone, no roast character, fruit... nothing, just lots of sweetness and exacerbating the sticky sweet quality. After some time the tongue and palate gets really dried out.

Well, pretty disappointed with this Russian Imperial from Stone as well. Drinkable yes but I would rather have Labyrinth from Uinta than this which is sort of similar in style but better tasting.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really playing with the IRS recipes this year, we had a bourbon one, now one with a different yeast, and now you added anise to it. I liked it but not as much as I hoped for. Served on draft at Churchkey in a snifter.

Beer is black with no head low carbonation, no lacing, looks like a stout.

Beer smells roasty, mildly malty and at the end some licorice / anise, smells nice actually.

Beer is thin to medium in body and a little sweet, the anise comes up in the mid to back half of the palate. It is present but almost gives the beer a candy like flavor to it. Not my favorite but I still love Stone. Keep it up Greg and company.

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Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone bomber, 2011 "odd year" offering. Typical IRS presentation, thick mocha head stays for a good long while. Tiny bubble sheen, scattered lacing.

Complex nose, chocolate, smokey burnt malts, licorish, dark fruits.

Flavorful, complex, well crafted, alot going on here. Follows the theme started by the nose, more smoke, chocolate, licorish, figs, a late minty note, dry and clean in the finish. Delicious stout, Belgian twist adds to the complexity and interest. Smooth and tasty on the tongue. Go get some of this interesting brew, would love to try it with a charred steak or with a fruity chocolate dessert....c'mon people..the numbers for the reviews of this one are way out of whack

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Photo of vfgccp
4.43/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Nice dark khaki head with low retention and lace. Dark brown body with cola highlights.

S – Liquorish, vanilla, root beer, burnt marshmallow, chocolate nougat, gingerbread, and a light coffee note.

T – Dark liquorish with a creamy, delicious, 70% cocoa. Root beer and vanilla center. The root beer transitions into a ginger-like spiciness as oak builds through the backend.

M – Medium body with a spicy sweet finish.

O – Fantastic complexity. The flavors are potent, but if you’re a fan of them you’ll love this beer.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.81/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Stone Bistro on 6/30/11.

A - Poured dark black with a small amount of brown head

S - Intense licorice domonates the nose with some faint roasted malts in the background.

T/O - Heavy licorice with roasted malts and coffee. The anise/licorice really dominates this beer and I think it would be much more balances and better overall if they toned down the anise. That said, I normally HATE the taste of licorce yet I somehow really enjoyed this beer, which scores some points with me.

M - Medium to full body. Chewy. Lightly carbonated.

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Photo of Gavage
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color with a 1/4" tan head. No lacing develops.

Smell: anise is up front with some roasted tones in the background.

Taste: big roasted malt flavors with copious amounts of anise, dark bitter chocolate, prunes, and some moderate earthy tones. Decent bitterness levels. Alcohol is definitely warming here.

Mouthfeel:medium-heavy in body. Crisp at the start, smoother at the finish. Definite dryness arrives late.

Overall. Very slow drinking beer. Anise is unique but becomes a bit overwhelming as the glass empties.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.11/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is straight black licorice with a little bit of roasted malt and chocolate mixed in. The flavor is even more one dimensional than the aroma. Other than the black licorice, I don't get anything, which is very disappointing. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. The anise/licorice really took over this beer, resulting in a beer I did not care for.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 6/2011 notes. Poured into a Caracole small snifter. Pours a dark brown, near black. Thin tan head and slight lacing. Aroma of roasted malt and a hint of anise and Belgian spice. A spicy, estery flavor up front followed by roast malt. chocolate and light caramel. Finish is anise with a light hop kick. Nice light creamy body. Side by side tasting with the regular Stone RIS, which had a more standard smokey and dark malt and dark fruit flavor up front, but still had a somewhat estery finish with a strong alcohol component. The Belgo has a nicer finish than the standard, but a more unusual overall taste progression. It is unusual and interesting.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout

Pours a midnight black into the snifter, off white/brown head forms and leaves little lacing. Looks appealing and dark. Aroma full of anise, with some oaky suggestions as well. In the flavor, big roasted malt, big anise, some well defined oak/vanilla/wood notes pairing well and even cutting some of the anise flavors. A small piney hop is noticed cold, but upon warming is lost. Mouthfeel is full bodied but ultra smooth. Overall, not an every day drinker, but a nice brewing experiment.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a medium off-white head, good retention and lace.

S: Black licorice and anise city. This is the defining smell, with a light amount of dark chocolate.

T: Very good mix of heavy cacao count chocolate and the prerequisite anise character. A very good mix that works well. The complexity allows this version of the Stone IRS to be much more appealing young than the regular. I'm really enjoying the Stone Belgian creations.

M: Full-bodied, very smooth, soft carbonation.

O: This is a very good imperial stout. I'm very partial to anise, and maybe that's why I like it so much, nevertheless, this is something to try for sure even with my bias.

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Photo of Zorro
3.31/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Lightproof black colored beer with a small brown head.

Smell is strongly of smoke and licorice. There is a little chocolate cake scent here but licorice real obscures any other scents.

Starts out sweet and thick with a sharp metallic hit of something on the tongue. Chocolate and patent malt with the taste of green Anise bulb. Tastes different from anise the spice. This tastes like Anise the Italian vegetable. There is a green vegetable taste here that is a bit of a twang on the taste-buds. Tastes frankly a bit weird and I LOVE black Jellybeans.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Drinkability is a miss here. The green anise just clashes with the rest of the beer.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black as night with a tan head that fades pretty quickly. I wasn't sure what to expect with this beer- specifically, how intense the anise was, how sweet the beer was, and how many other flavors were brought to the party to balance things. The answer is that the anise is very dominant in the beer. It starts off very dry and reminds me strikingly of Swedish licorice candies, which are not very sweet, but display a burst of dry licorice flavor. As the beer warms and opens up, it becomes sweeter and more like a pastis. Either way, the dominant flavor is by far anise with its strong licorice notes. You get this in both the nose and taste. I happen to like licorice flavors, so I enjoyed the beer fairly well. My wife, who loves RISs, but isn't a huge fan of licorice, couldn't drink this beer at all- total drain pour for her. I could certainly understand how you could go either way here. I do think the beer is a tad too sweet, regardless, and is fairly one note- the other stout flavors are buried by the anise. It is nice and creamy, and if you love anise you'll probably love the beer. I think it's drinkable, but not great.

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Photo of John_M
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at Matt's (slatetank) birthday stout tasting.

The Belgo Anise pours a blackish brown color with fairly good head retention and minimal lacing. On the nose.... good grief!!! The licorice aroma in this beer is completely overpowering, making it impossible to detect anything else. Also, while I think a hint of licorice is fine in the aroma profile of an IRS, this is just completely over the top. The flavorful profile is nearly as bad, though as the beer warmed up a bit, I started to get detect a hint of chocolate and coffee. However, the anise flavor continues to completely dominate the flavor profile, which adds an extra added degree of sweetness that I really don't care for. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, smooth, licorice finish. Also, I should add that this beer is pretty boozy, which coupled with the licorice and sweetness, really hurts this beer's drinkability. I cannot imagine trying to drink a bottle of this stuff.

Uggghhh.... You have to give Stone credit for experimenting and trying new things, but this is one experiment that didn't pan out (IMHO).

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours motor-oil-black with a large tan head that sinks into decent lacings.

S: Lots of liqourice up front - kind of sweet (probably from the Anise - duh). Hard roasted malts but also some coffee, and dark chocolate. Faint notes of vanilla.

T: More balanced than the smell; the liqourice is held back just a tad and the roasted malt and the vanilla comes out. Coffee and chocolate in the back to help balance the Anise. Some very faint notes of dark dried fruits.

M: Aftertaste lingers with a modest bitterness and shy sweetness. Body is full while carbonation is held back.

O: Quite nice with the Anise - I can't help but wonder - how would this beer had tasted without the Anise...

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Photo of HopHead84
2.14/5  rDev -39%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12/11/2011

On tap at URGE.

A: Black, very black, with a thick frothy light brown head.

S: Dark chocolate meets black licorice and anise. It isn't terrible but they have taken the base beer and made it much worse.

T: Ash and wretched black licorice with even more wretched and powerful anise presence. A little chocolate, but it can't possibly redeem this flavor. Harsh alcoholic anise finish.

M: Full body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is astringent and dry.

Overall: A bastardization of a good beer. Avoid.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.11/5  rDev +17.1%
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 barleywinefiend
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Poured jet black, brown head, plenty of bubbles and lacing. A very good pour leaving one sexy looking beer

S: Dark, bitter chocolate, roastiness, coffee, booze, liquorice, wood

T: To much anise for me is the first thing I noticed. Very in your face. Roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, booze and roasted notes, wood, Belgian yeast leaves some warming spice and even an underlying bubblegum pop to it.

M: Big and full, hearty. No issues.

O: I made it through half the bottle before the overbearing anise just did me in. I did not want anymore. I applaud anyone who stomachs a bomber of this

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Photo of rudzud
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up from Julio's. One bottle for now, one bottle for a few years from now.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a rich, oily black with an almost two finger mocha head that receeded to leave a mocha halo with minimal side lacing.

S - Cool, you can get some nice roasty malts and some slight chocolate along with light anise. As it warms though everythign is overpowered by the anise, theres some alcohol notes as well.

T - Very much like the nose. It starts with some nice roastd malts and chocolate, but all that is quickly overwhelmed by the anise. That being said I really dig the anise potentcy. Looking forward to see how this ages.

M - Low carbonation which is to be expected with this style. Its a touch syrupy, but I can accept that. Slightly creamy but the alcohol definately present.

O - Overall, I like this beer, but I feel its too rough around the edges. With time this could mellow out into something really, really nice.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.31/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a jet black inky body with a thick creamy and bubbly tan head that last a long bit. There are sticky sheets of foam that hold to the glass after each sip leaving register marks. The beer is a bit to dense to see any carbonation.

S- The woody root beer and anise aroma is full and doesn't allow for any roasted malt character to come through. It is not really offensive just 1-dimentional

T- The inky black roasted malt has a dubble bubble bubble gum hint and a dark nougat note underneath. There is a mellow but full anise flavor that fades into a inky bitter bite that lingers after each sip. As the beer opens there is more of a root beer quality to the anise flavor.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a touch of fizz in the finish and the alcohol is well hided with only a soft warmth coming through as the beer warms.

O- The anise flavor dominates and the clash is similar to brushing your teeth and drinking a Russian Imperial Stout. I get very little roasted malt flavor and don't notice any of the yeast character or barrel character coming through at all.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a brownish, almost blackish body with decent head and lace patches. Hate to say it but the "jager" comparisons hold some validity as it has that overpowering licorice/anise type aroma and is dominant in the taste. That being said, I didn't find that to be the only aromatic or taste sensation and I wouldn't call this beer a disaster (just not a fave of mine). There are also touches of dark chocolate and some other sticky, almost syrupy sugary malt goodness in the aroma and taste. Smooth beer, lighter body for a stout, actually easy to drink and overall isn't bad but sometimes the sweetness, especially that "jager" aspect, become to much at times. Worth trying but not something I will try to find again (which won't be hard).

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Photo of VelvetExtract
2.34/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A-Pours obsidian black. No highlights, no light, nothing enters. The coffee colored head forms impressively but dies down quite quickly. There is not much lacing here. Pours a bit less sludgy than other big stouts.

S-The black licorice aroma from the anise is present to a near sickening amount. The anise is almost blocking some of those great roasty and chocolatey scents that make the original Stone IRS so awesome. There is some smoky aroma there as well. All in all, this one is perplexing. I don't love black licorice so I may not be very excited about the impending flavor.

T-The anise sets in quickly. I was expecting it to be more potent, but happily its less serious on the palate than in the nose. Actually, after the second sip...yeah the anise is in full throttle. Once again, the anise is killing the rest of the flavors. This is one of those beers that should have just stayed away from all the gadgets (oaking, anise etc.). Not in the same league as the original Stone IRS.

M-Pretty thick, slick. Low carbonation. The feel is good but the flavor is off. I don;t really want this beer to sit on my tongue.

O/D-Not for me. Didn't know what anise was before this so my own fault here. Just not as good as the original. Not a drain pour, only because I am too stubborn to pour most anything out. Just not for me. This one's going to take a while to finish... Belgo Anise; more like Belgo Anus.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, I let the bottle sit for a half hour after taking it out of the fridge before opening it. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is anise, roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and some root beer. Taste is similar to the aroma. I think the anise flavor is the strongest in this brew, but it doesn't quite overpower the roasted malt, chocolate, molasses and coffee flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and slick with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew. But if you don't like anise or licorice, then this beer probably isn't for you.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.17/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I avoided this one for a while but tried it at a beer festival and liked it. When I saw it for $6.99 at a local Giant Eagle I grabbed a bottle.

A - Pitch black of course with tons of carbonation bubbles and an inch of dark mocha head. Lacing is somewhat sticky.

S - Smells of the traditional of the style with a bit of fruity hints from the yeast. Nice roast and chocolate with a mild hop presence.

T - Taste starts off kind of bitter with the hops then quickly the roast hits with a nice coffee taste. Second sip delivers more of the Belgium yeast with a bit of fruity sweetness. Overall the finish is creamy with hints of hops and roast but only mild and balanced.

M - This is drinking pretty great, almost as good as the original. A medium to heavy body but not cloying.

Overall I like this version but will always prefer the regular version for the style since they are the same price.
As a hater of black licorice and Ouzo (anise liquor) I found that those flavors in this stout are now very balanced.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.04/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into an Evolution Brewing pint glass. Can't find a freshness date.

A- Pours a deep black color with zero light showing through. Has nearly a two-finger head that reduces slowly to an 1/8 inch head with a generous amount of foam and bubbles floating on top. Great lacing that has webs of bubbles sticking to the glass.

S- Heavy, spicy licorice comes through in the aroma. Sweet and herbal smells combined with a pungent funkiness that almost seems like infection but not really. What is this going to taste like?

T- Woah. Again, intense licorice obviously brought on by the anise. Can't get that funky Belgian flavor because of the spices and herbs being so overpowering. Eesh. The aroma doesn't meld together well with the taste, leaving the overall experience confusing and disorienting. Kind of a sweet, marshmallowy vibe going on that doesn't compliment the intense malt profile at all. Struggling to find some merit or concept in this combination of flavors.

M- Creamy and smooth unlike the taste. High alcohol and heavy carbonation leaves a burn in my stomach and throat though.

O- I've been waiting to try this for a while since I've seen so many people slam it claiming it's a drainpour. I love just about everything Stone does and wanted to see for myself. Well, they were about right. Just too many off flavors that don't work well together. Pretty unpleasant to drink. Smells good and looks good but, after that, it pretty much strikes out. I'm finding it hard to get down even one glass of it. A classic example of a beer that's just too damn extreme in all the wrong ways.

Update: Drank it again and have decided there's just way too much anise. Made it through most of the bomber but, sadly, had to drainpour the rest.

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Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
3.51 out of 5 based on 939 ratings.
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