Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

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80
good
941 Ratings
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Belgo Anise Imperial Russian StoutBelgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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
Ratings:
941
Reviews:
447
Avg:
3.51
pDev:
21.65%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
159
For Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 941 |  Reviews: 447
Photo of jlindros
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice large fluffy thick 1 finger darker head that fades at a medium pace with some thick lacing, over pitch black beer, no light coming through there.

Nose is kinda weird, plenty of anise in there, but not spicy anise. It has some sweet sugars and a light cinnamon, kinda like those Italian anise flavored snowflake shaped cookies. Some light chocolate, hint of cocoa, a bit of roast, some vanilla and a light toasty oak.

taste brings plenty more anise, again not spicy or crazy, but a light but definite anise, but not really licorice either, its weird. Again some sweet malts and hint of cinnamon as well as other nutty spices bring a anise cookie flavor. Some creamy chocolate, hints of roast and cocoa, some caramel and darker malt flavors. A slight darker fruit and Belgian stout like roundness (if you know what I mean). The sweetness comes lighter but there, and brings some warming and slightly tingly booze. Some vanilla and hints of toasted oak round off the flavors. Some bitterness comes through partly from roasted malts and partly from a bit of earthy hops, which seem to pop up at the finish but are quickly pushed back down by the spicy booze and anise flavors that linger for a while.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, creamy, decent carbonation for the style, and warming and spicy booze.

Overall not bad but not great either. The anise is at least not overpowering, but not quite what I was hoping. Interesting but weird flavors, the darker malts are there but not as big as it should have been, and the anise cookie flavor and aroma was interesting but not quite right for this beer IMO.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Kegatron
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

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

Truly one of the most memorable beers of the last couple of years. Very dark but more dark golden brown than black. A nice spritziness with a decent beige head. Thick bodied, though not as syrupy as a Barleywine.

Sweet with a candy and fruity flavor. The anise taste is like a liqueur. I don't even like licorice but I find this very drinkable in a totally off-beat way. Loads of dark malt, a touch of burnt sugar, caramel. But also sharp and tart in a fruity way.

I am not a big fan of Stone brews, but this one is audacious enough-- but well made-- to be likeable.

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Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of mendvicdog
2/5  rDev -43%

Photo of billab914
2.62/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into y CBS snifter. It poured black in color with a frothy tan head barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma has a strong anise presence. It has more of a bubble gum, fruity, licorice flavor that I don't think works for it at all. I get a little dark, roasted malts to it, but the anise is overwhelming in it.

The taste also unfortunately is dominated by the anise. I get a some vanilla to it up front and some roasty, bitter malts in the finish. The anise is too much for me though.

The mouthfeel is heavy and somewhat creamy. Carbonation is moderate for the style. Overall I just didn't find to be a very good beer. The anise was just too dominating and covered up too much of the IRS flavors. It just didn't work for me.

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Photo of russpowell
3.67/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahogany/black with a pinky of brown colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, cocoa, a little anise

T: Molasses, plums, carob& dryness up front, some cherry boozeyness & leafy hops. Molasses, stone fruit & ainise as this warms with a touch of oakyness. Finishes with cherry, oaky notes, booze warmth & a bit more molasses & carob, plus just a bit caramel, chicory & oddly; cayenne pepper

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, somewhat slick

This is a quirky kind of RIS, but I do think that Stone's claims of historical accuracy are valid. Many years ago I tried courage RIS in England, this reminds me of that beer in many ways. I prefer the "Americanized versions, but this is interesting & good enough I would buy again

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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 smcolw
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown where light only passes through the glass edge. Tan head that settles to a single layer of bubbles. Leaves ring lace after each sip.

Dark malt aroma with a light tinge of licorice. No coffee or dark chocolate smells.

Imagine Good-n-Plenty dissolved in a dry porter. It doesn't have any of the burnt elements of a Stout. I'm fascinated by the taste--this unlike any beer I've ever had. So, I have to give it points for originality. The main taste and the aftertaste is mostly licorice (anise). Thinner than most stouts.

Worthy of a try because it is a very different beer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

A: Pours a deep black color, very dark with no color tinges at all. A very small tan head formed on top with a little bit of retention, but eventually there was nothing on top. Left behind wisps of thin lacing.

S: A surprising amount of cocoa on the nose with some roast and a little bit of licorice. There is a touch of molasses and a hint of dark fruit.

T: Again, quite chocolaty - surprisingly so. There is some coffee and more licorice and the anise comes through a little bit. Slight hop presence on the back end. Really, much better than expected.

M: Full bodied with medium carbonation. It is rather oily and slick with a dry finish.

O: Compared to what I had heard about this beer, I liked it a good bit. For being rather fresh, the usual harshness was gone and was replaced with lots of chocolate. Prefer the regular RIS to this for sure, but not bad at all.

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Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of millerbuffoon
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

dark brown color and a light bit of foam coming up and over the top of the glass. Settling down quickly it left a little lace along the sides and a touch of light shining through on the bottom keeping it from being completely black. Aroma of deep, sweet chocolate dominates here, rich with overtones of coffee and rich malted goodness. Interesting mix of aromas here, full with warming bringing out a touch of brown sugar. Smooth, easy sipper. Rich warming chocolate covers the palate and a nice back splash of hops dries you out and leaves you looking for the next sip. Complex, smooth and light enough to be enjoyed thoroughly. Not the best I have had but it certainly held its own.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I appreciate Stone's willingness to go against the trends with a spice that is not used as frequently which is my disclaimer...however I guess it has to be a spice you are very fond of.

A dark black looking stout with thick cream of light brown -looks good with tight bead and opaque clarity, lace sticks okay. The smell is where I don't really enjoy the beer as much -the first sense of it going awry anyway. I am not much of a fan of black licorice which is exactly what this smells like-black twizzlers ugh. The feel is okay but a bit clean with the spice erasing the sense of malt and leaving the palate a little too cool for the style I am supposed to be enjoying it is like a medicinal almost minty quality which seems like a natural mouthwash or witchhazel maybe.

The flavor is good but the anise comes into the flavor of the stout midway and just overtakes any flavor of coffee or oak or vanilla or caramel that you wish you would be tasting or might get in the original. The taste is almost like rootbeer it is so herbal and earthy as one of my compatriots mentioned during our tasting. I suppose if I were a huge fan on Anise I would be in love with the taste. I am not so pissed that I would dump this or stop drinking it but feel like the original beer has suffered by the heavy handed anise addition. I guess the review already gives you an idea why I gave the overall score of 3 -it is flavor I personally find to detract from the overall enjoyment of the stout so buyer beware.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.19/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had a bottle of this in my fridge for a few months, finally decided to crack it on this cool fall night. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my DFH tulip.

a - Pours a near black color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident.. Head lasts for several minutes with an inch lasting throughout drinking, and a little bit of lacing left on the glass. Looks amazing, and just like the normal Imperial Russian Stone.

s - Smells strongly of anise and black licorice, as expected. Also smells of roasted malts, light chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits. The anise dominates the nose.

t - Tastes of black licorice and anise again, followed by alcohol, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and bitter coffee. Again, the anise dominates, and the alcohol comes through more than the normal IRS.

m - Full bodied stout and moderate carbonation evident. Thick and creamy, with a little alcohol heat, but good for a big stout.

o - Overall not a porrly made stout, but not for me. I must admit I am not the biggest anise fan, but Stone's IRS is one of my favorite RIS' I've ever had, so I had to try this one. The anise is just so powerful, even after several months, that I couldn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked. Wouldn't buy it again but if you like anise, this would probably be worth picking up.

 1,313 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.06/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Provisions

A: The beer pours essentially black with a finger of off-white head.

S: Huge licorice aroma is there, but I expected as much. Lots of roasted malts as well. A little bit of vanilla and graham cracker sweetness, but they're shortly overwhelmed by the anise.

T: Like with the nose, big time roast and anise character. A mild vanilla note and some definite booze. Lightly bitter with a touch of molasses, dark chocolate, and coffee. The licorice flavor is just invasive.

M: Medium to full in body with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: Just way too much anise flavor. Almost like drinking Jagermeister.

 624 characters

Photo of orangesol
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.89/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Inky black with a khaki collar and a few islands of foam.

Smell - Black licorice. Sweet. Faint chocolate. Train wreck of a smell. I keep going back for more whiffs even though it's terrible.

Taste - Fruity. Anise is strong, amplifying the fruity flavors. Chocolate and bitter aftertaste. Not anywhere near as bad as the taste.

Mouthfeel - Lots of fruit without being overly sweet though. A lingering anise flavor. Not too boozy.

Overall - It's not awful, but the anise is a huge detractor. I expected something unpalatable from the reviews.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to Florida9 for sharing this bottle!

It's not like Kirk was reticent to relieve himself of the bottle, either, so I was all set to see how this fared against his negative comments. It pours a deep black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises black licorice, roasted malts, blackened pretzels, and light chocolate. So far, not too bad, but also not as good as the normal RIS either. The taste brings in more of the same, with the roast and anise characters amped up a bit. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda chewy feel. Overall, this stuff ain't so bad, bud it just doesn't stack up to the normal RIS. It's thinner than it ought to be, and while the anise character isn't offensive, it doesn't quite jive all that well with everything else (like I've seen elsewhere).

 879 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Zaphog
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

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.

 699 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of dfhhead25
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
3.51 out of 5 based on 941 ratings.
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