Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

Belgo Anise Imperial Russian StoutBelgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout
Liked This Beer
3.5 w/ 941 ratings
Belgo Anise Imperial Russian StoutBelgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout

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: 941 |  Reviews: 447
Photo of kirok1999
1.58/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Unusual black color in the pour. A nice black with wispy white head.
Rich and dense look as it coats the glass.
Intriguing black legs left on the side of the glass.
Nose is of strong anise and fennel.
Aroma is strong and permeates the palate/
Lush and creamy

Creamy and dense in the mouth
A nice beer but the nose is way too strong of what...?
Keep wanting to sip this to nail down the exact overall taste.
Extremely difficult to stomach much more due to the smell.

Well, that was thoroughly unpleasant. The anise didn't come off well at all and gave the beer an overall funky, restroom kind of note.

 602 characters

Photo of wolf_switzer
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of vandemonian
3.26/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stone Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout is a great imperial stout that is ruined by crappy spices.

A: Black colour and 5 mm head that is maintained by decent carbonation. 4

S: Yeast and anise and tobacco. 3

T: Malty with slight roastiness and strong, strong tobacco flavour. 3

M: Foamy. 4

O: 3.5

 301 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
3.86/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an oil slick black body with a very dark brown, mocha colored head that is thick & creamy and really takes its time to give way to the dense, sticky lacing.

Big roasted malt aromas leap from the glass, followed by mocha, and the anise oak chips, which add a touch of spice.

The oak and anise flavors are much more prominent in the flavor making the beer a touch woody and a touch spicy with just a bit of sweetness to offset this. The roasted malt is still present as well and as the beer warms, the finish becomes sweeter.

Medium to full in body with medium carbonation and a thicker, syrupy finish.

It is tough to evaluate this beer in the traditional RIS category, however given what I believe Stone to be aiming for, I think it was a success. The anise oak wood chips certainly show through the traditional Stone RIS. A nice twist that was certainly worth a try.

 878 characters

Photo of ajs4bd
2/5  rDev -42.9%

Photo of projectflam86
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep black color with a large pillowy brown head that leaves great lacing. Nearly perfect for a big RIS.

S- Dark roasted malt aroma with some coffee and a fair amount of black licorice which I guess can be attributed to the anise.

T- Roasted and slightly smoky upfront with a very pronounced flavor of anise. The finish is boozy and charred with a lingering black licorice flavor. Some oak and coffee can be detected as well.

M- Full bodied with decent carbonation. A bit cloying.

O- I view the regular Stone IRS as the model for big imperial stouts and I'm not sure I loved the way they tweaked this. The anise addition is interesting but I think it deters from what is already a great beer.

 714 characters

Photo of GoGators
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of BKBassist
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of JizackFH
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer pours a very dark brown color, almost black. It has a nice 2-finger chocolate milk head on it. The head has good retention and leaves behind some nice lace on the glass.

S - It smells of anise up front. There is also dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, molasses, wood, and some dark fruits. There's quite a bit of booziness here as well.

T - Big anise flavor right off the bat. There are nice flavors of roasted malt, coffee, some chocolate, dark fruit, and some earthiness. The finish has some lingering roasted bitterness and some booziness.

M - This has a medium to full body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a slick feel to it. There is some bitterness and alcohol warmth in the finish.

D - This has good drinkability. It is a bit of a sipper, but I could have a few glasses. Overall, I thought this was a nice RIS. I tasted a lot of the anise, but I didn't really get much from the belgian yeast. That said, I enjoyed this beer, and I don't know why so many people thought it was horrible. To each their own I guess. I would buy it again.

 1,078 characters

Photo of Rothobinide
4.5/5  rDev +28.6%

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.16/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a 2.5" deep mocha colored head. Body is black as coffee. Smell is coffee and anise. Taste is more of the same, especially the anise. In fact that's my biggest complaint with this beer. The anise is so overwhelming pretty much any other aspects of the Imperial Stout are masked or overwhelmed. Where's the chocolate, or the roasted malt? You give it all up just to boost the licorice aspects.

 398 characters

Photo of AlexChillton
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of drgonzo2k2
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of marct
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an oversizes snifter. Pours very dark, with a creamy tan foam head that leaves soapy lacing along the sides as I swirl the beer. The head dissipates quickly enough, leaving a ring of small bubbles with wisps of tan smoke slowly swirling.

Has a bready, almost doughy aroma, with a ton of alcohol slamming the nose. The anise is rather prominent, such that is smells like a sambuca pastry. Hints of vanilla and cocoa are underneath.

Starts sweet, almost syrupy, with black licorice, bready malt, and boozy hops. Think of it like drinking essence of good'n'plenty, with a bitter finish.

This has a heavy, thick mouthfeel, owing to both the adundant malt, high alcohol, and sweet anise. Has a dry, slightly tacky finish.

Without a doubt, this is the least hoppy brew I've ever has from Stone. It is a decent enough stout, and this is the second time I'm enjoying this ale, so it was good enough the first time to warrant a second look. I also appreciate Stone trying a different take on a well-tread style of beer. Still, it tastes like the experiment that it clearly was.

 1,104 characters

Photo of TCgoalie
4.3/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imperial stouts are typically boring in terms of appearance when tasting from the bottle. This one is decent I can tell from the ring like mocha head. Any presence of head in an imperial stout is typically a plus.

The scent is really heavy on the mint, anise, and funky Belgian yeasts. Some chocolate and coffee linger in the background. I would be interested to smell this with some age under its belt.

There is more dark chocolate in the taste when compared to the smell. Mint, anise, and some understated Belgian yeasts round out the flavor.

Medium to medium full in the mouth but the best is how smooth it is.

This is a very tasty brew. I'm really glad I tried it and wish I could try it 1 year down the road. I think the ratings on this are a bit low to this point. You won't be disappointed.

 802 characters

Photo of huysmans
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of MrVonzipper
2.71/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Pitch black with a bubbly khaki head. Seemingly less head and retention than the IRS. Low retention and light lacing. Oily and viscous.

Black licorice and and dark rootbeer just dominate the nose. Oak and chocolate are hiding in there trying to show themselves as well.

At first I thought the anise flavor has started to mellow a little bit after trying it when it was released til now. After I kept drinking I realized it's not the case. The anise just really masks all the amazing flavors of the IRS.

Full bodied creamy and viscous mouth with medium creamy carbonation.

Overall this beer is just such a disappointment from a brewery I love. It was just such a bad idea and so heavy handed on the anise. This ended up being a drain pour for me because it was almost like drinking straight Jaeger and was starting to make me feel sick. It sucks that they wasted all these ingredients and didn't just make more IRS which in my opinion is just a perfect Russian Imperial.

 977 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Deep dark brown/mahogany body, big light brown head with ok retention. Decent look.

S - smoked meat, tanned leather, chocolate. Some licorice. Not sure about belgo.

T - Smoked meats again, some chocolate. Definitely kind of hot. Licorice is again an after thought. I'm not picking up anything too off-putting.

M - this is a bit thin.

O (D) - I think it's pretty good. It's interesting, but not offensive, and a fine all-around beer.

 440 characters

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

22 oz bottle.

Pours an almost-black brown with a milky, tan, top layer that washes the glass. Smells very "dark" - I pick up the anise, as well as tobacco and coffee beans. Taste is a unique offering of chocolate-covered anise. Sort of sweet. The spiciness of the yeast gives it a warm feeling. I can't really tell too much of the oak chips but for the finish, which is *dry* to say the least. Interesting brew, maybe not as crazy as I'd hoped for tho..

 454 characters

Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +42.9%

Photo of Theniz
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of mattparsons
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of TechBrew
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of JimmytheSaintPSU
1.5/5  rDev -57.1%

Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 44.8% out of 100 with 941 ratings
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