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2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

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2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WillCarrera on 04-17-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 374 | Ratings: 2,725
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 5.9.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a light brown head with good retention.

S - Coffee, chocolate and some roasted malts.

T - Same as the nose, but lots more of the coffee dominates the palate.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Coffee heavy stout, and in a good way. Good balance and roast.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle poured into an Allagash chalice.

Appearance - Inky black. Nice mocha head. Surprising lacing and great retention. Leaves a thick mocha collar as it settles.

Smell - Coffee is surprisingly subdued. Rich chocolate. Nuts and caramel.

Taste - Chocolate is first, but coffee isn't far behind. It builds into the finish. Nutty malts. Caramel in the middle. Coffee builds into the finish, which has a nice coffee and malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Thick and chewy. Medium carbonation. Leaves me craving more with each sip.

Overall - This is quite good. I wish I had had a regular one in recent memory for comparison. The coffee is a subtle touch, not overpowering at all. The nuttiness is probably the strangest, but not necessarily unwelcome, component.

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Photo of PieOhMy
3.94/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into snifter.

A Black. No transparency. Thick dark brown head fades slowly. Nice lacing follows down the glass.

S Strong hit of roasted coffee beans. Mocha. Chocolate.

T Up front, the taste is very much like the smell. Burst of coffee and sweet espresso. Vanilla. Raisin and other dark fruit underlies the heavy coffee flavor. Quite rich.

M Full. Thick and foamy. Finishes like a swallow of chocolate milk.

O Very rich and sweet. Almost too much for this taster. Where the regular Stone RIS is very bitter this is very sweet. I love the forwardness of the coffee but the sweetness kills this. A good breakfast beer, alcohol is hidden well and there is some complexity. Still, this one is too much for me, couldn't have more than one.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into 18oz Funky Buddha snifter. Split three ways, reviewed right after drinking.

A- Pours a pitch black with about a half finger of mocha brown head that leaves some light spotty lacing and long alcohol legs. Head has decent retention and recedes at a moderate pace.

S- Rich espresso, creamy rich dark chocolate, some hidden booze in the background.

T- Rich espresso balanced with creamy rich dark chocolate, very sweet. Nice taste, good in small quantities but a bit rich for my taste.

M- Velvety, smooth for the abv, fairly thick and full bodied.

O- This was an extremely nice IRS and definitely one of the best stouts that is widely distributed. The beer was very rich but was good in small quantities. The coffee came out nicely, and it's hard deciding if this is better then the regular IRS. I definitely recommend checking this out if you like big, rich stouts.

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Photo of bsp77
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Near black with initial thick brown head, leaving some light lacing behind.

Smell: Espresso beans, char & smoke, bittersweet chocolate, salt and molasses. Very nice.

Taste: Espresso, char and smoke are prominent. Unsweetened cocoa, burnt molasses, and an underlying saltiness are also present. The finish has a strong roasted bite, some hoppy bitterness, and a slightly distracting chalkiness.

Feel: Massive, thick (but extremely smooth and creamy) body. Moderately low carbonation, dry finish and very warming. Overall, very dry for an Imperial Stout, but the chalkiness leaves a coating.

Overall: Comes across as a coffee-accented, very dry version of their standard Imperial Stout. Big surprise there. In some ways I like this better, but the chalkiness keeps them in similar territory. Both are excellent beers.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1 pint 6 oz. brown bomber with the usual IRS artwork along with EXPRESSO written in blue. I've always loved the Stone IRS labeling. This is excellent. Poured this into a 12 oz beer snifter at breakfast this morning.

A - deep black with a brown head that stays around quite awhile. Good stick to the walls of the small 12 oz snifter.

S - lots of roasted quality black coffee. More straight up coffee beans. Cocoa whiffs with lots of roasted dark malt make for a superb expresso like aroma. The usual IRS character is the backbone.

T - pure IRS style with the addition of black coffee bean, expresso. Dark cocoa bitter sweetness. Rich molasses notes creep from the depths reminding you this is indeed Stone's IRS. Rich and roasted flavor.

M - thick and luscious mouthfeel. Rich and complex coating the palate with a liquid so thick it's almost ridiculously sinful. A bit more booziness compared to their original IRS.
Very enjoyable and a good expression of a big expresso stout.

O - personally I enjoy the regular Stone IRS more than I did this. However this is still very good and worthy of a place amongst Stone's lineup. This made for a nice treat with a hearty breakfast earlier this morning, but I couldn't imagine doing this any other time of day. Maybe this would be better released in autumn/winter rather than late spring/early summer. Regardless this odd year release showed its class and its big bold flavors while keeping you gazing at the beauty of its thick black body.

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Photo of JRed
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in body with small cinnamon head that clings to the edges of the glass. Aroma of coffee beans, light chocolate, some earthy sour notes, cinnamon, roast, and booze. Tastes of chocolate, earth, roast, strong coffee, cinnamon, some hop bitterness and booze. Heavy bodied with medium carbonation. A dark, roasty potion that could be a hell of a pick me up in the morning.

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Photo of Brenden
4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours like a beauty. It's just a thick, rich, big-bodied black beer. A thick, creamy brown head grows to somewhere around two fingers and rests there for awhile. Thick, heavy lacing is left on the glass and spreads out pretty impressively.
So much rich coffee and malts come out on the nose. I could sit and smell this for a long time before I even take a sip. Naturally, a bit of bittersweet cocoa is present. There's so little harshness, which is a huge benefit.
Rich, deep, roasty, chocolatey, and deliciously..."espressoey," this one doesn't have the biting char that comes with the base beer and seems to smooth out quite a bit on the palate. The finish develops a little bitterness, but one that mingles well with the big, bold flavors is expresses. As in the aroma, there's not the harshness that an RIS can develop, just a nice roast with maybe a bit of char that just isn't too hard. There's such a nice balance to it, all said.
I'm not surprised by the rich, robust feel, the depth, or the huge body of this beer. It leans a little dry into the finish, developing a chalky edge, but not enough to do much to mar the lush way it sits on the tongue or flows in the mouth.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Stone Brewing Co. : Espresso Russian Imperial Stout

LOOK: Dark brown with an off white head.

SMELL: Premium roast coffee, woodsy, earthy notes. Smokey, coffee like, a bit of vanilla but more than likely due to malt sweetness.

TASTE: The flavor is reminiscent of a spiked vanilla coffee, but there are malty flavors that irk the imperial notion. In other words, this is a big bad roasted stout. Chocolate, coffee, booze, and some well hidden but present citrusy hop character. Coffee bean and big time malt.

FEEL: Medium to full bodied, smooth, well carbonated. In the finish it has coffee and sweetness, tempered by a solid bitterness.

OVERALL: Solid beer, good flavor, and a literal staggering strength. For the price it don't get much better. Great stuff.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pitch black with a short tan head that dissipates quickly.

Espresso, dark chocolate, caramel and milk.

Bitter espresso mixes with sweet caramel and milky tones. Loads of dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee and roasted barley.

Full bodied, creamy and smooth.

This beer is just loaded with espresso. Nicely balanced with the alcohol expertly hidden.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. Bottled on 03/28/13.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of deep tan head that settles into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A rich and very roasty aroma with lots of coffee bean scent and dark chocolate. Dark roasted malts with big hints of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. Also hints of burnt toast, grains, caramel, toffee, cream, biscuit, nuts, and smoked malt. Sweet hints of molasses and burnt sugars. Some noticeable hints of anise licorice spicing. Subtle hints of dark cherry, raisin, plum, prune, and fig. Also some earthy hop hints as well. A very roasty coffee and chocolate forward aroma that is very good.

Taste: Like the smell gives off, a big roasty and rich taste of coffee beans and dark malts. Dark roasted malts with a big rich taste of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate along with notes of grains, burnt toast, caramel, toffee, biscuit, cream, smoke, and nuts. Burnt sugar and notes of molasses sweetness. Good licorice taste from some anise spice. Subtle but noticeable dark fruit notes of cherry, prune, raisin, plum, and fig. Some earthy and grassy hop notes in the background. A very good roasty and coffee forward stout taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, rich, and fairly chewy. Pretty smooth considering its size with very little alcohol heat.

Overall: A very good twist on an already great imperial stout. The big roasty coffee flavor plays well with the other subtle notes.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, just release in April 2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a small dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge dark chocolate, roasted espresso, roasted malt, cocoa, toast, light char, floral, light vanilla, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt notes with the espresso; and some lightly noticeable hops. Taste of big dark chocolate, roasted espresso, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, toast, floral, light vanilla, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted espresso, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, toast, light vanilla, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance and complexity of roasted flavors with big espresso; with a good hop bitterness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic imperial coffee stout as expected. Big balance and complexity of roasted malt flavors with espresso; and quite smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jhamp9
4.04/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jet black pour with a mocha head that fades down to a film.

Aroma is dark chocolate, espresso, and wood. Some molasses in there as well.

Taste has a nice chocolaty sweetness up front that goes into coffee, char, and faint caramel. Finishes bitter with a coffee aftertaste.

Slick on the palate but dries out. Warms on the way down.

Really good beer. Coffee is there but more subtle than I expected. Alcohol is concealed.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce 2013

A: slight mocha head dissipates rather quickly. Very dark no light passes through this beer. Minimal lacing

N: very subtle coffee notes. Resembles black licorice.

T: bitter from the espresso transitions to sweet dark chocolate with a warm alcohol finish. Roasted malt flavor lingers pleastly

M: Thick, coats the mouth entirely

O: delicious. I Definitely am going to age a few to let the alcohol mellow and coffee/chocolate notes to thrive. At $6.99 a bomber I can't pass this up when I see it

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Photo of Sarlacc83
2.81/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle split with my wife.

A: Pours like oil and develops an almost gold mocha head. Nice legs.

N: Coffee, roasted malt, and hops. A lot of smoke and licorice. Has an off putting smell in here - kind of earthy vegetable. Fresh moss and baker’s chocolate.

T: Thick acrid smoke, hop bitterness and espresso. Very little sweetness to be found here and it’s very unbalanced. Alternates between stale coffee drinking and a decent beer.

M: Oily and thick. Booze is pronounced, and this is excessively drying to the point of being desiccating.

O: Husky graininess and an unworkable imbalance in between the decent drinking points make this a pass for me. It gets worse as I drink it, to the point where my wife won’t touch hers, and I either got a bad bottle or this needs to be drank really cold. (Mine was cellar temp.)

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Photo of rlee1390
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, two finger deep brown head.

S-Good deal of coffee, some roasted malt and more coffee. Chocolate as well.

T-Nice roasted coffee, great balance. Dark chocolate, mild bitterness, tad bit go roasted malt. Some spices.

M-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated and a tad creamy

O-It is difficult for Stone to miss. A well crafted beer the balance is great. What a coffee stout should aspire to be.

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Photo of arfenhouse
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with light brown head. Decent retention.

S: Roasted coffee bean and charred grain. Sweet vanilla. Small bit of chocolate and some alcohol heat.

T: A shot of espresso with unsweetened chocolate upfront. A decent amount of sweet vanilla and chocolate come in. A bit of bitter cocoa, toasted grain, and black coffee twang in the end and into the aftertaste.

M: Medium-full body with medium carbonation. Wet and sticky.

O: Tasty, big, roasty, sweet, and bitter IRS. Espresso is a nice addition to the blend.

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Photo of tubeyes
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Thick and black as night, min brown head, some nice lace.
S cherry like espresso coffee cocoa goodness.
T coffee espresso chocolate marshmellow, some estery hop dark chocolate bitterness on end
M pillowy almost chewy well carbonated mf, chocolate espresso aftertaste.
O very impressive beer, heavy, brutal, tasteful, very strong but not overly offensive well rounded beer. Had on tap in large snifter at OSDH Denton, happy American Craft Beer Week!

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at 2 Bros. in Salem, CT. Pours a pitch black color with a half inch of light brown head. Lots of lacing. The aroma is a big whiff of coffee and espresso with some dark chocolate and roasted malts. Flavors of espresso, dark chocolate, earth, roasted malts and hints of licorice. Super smooth and easy to drink. I'd say more drinkable than the regular IRS. Nice alcohol presence throughout. Medium bodied with a velvety mouthfeel. Overall, this odd beer for odd years is a hit and way better than the Oak Smoked Old Guardian. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep black with a medium sized, creamy, smooth, thick, cafe head. Really nice retention leaving a thick layer of lace.

S - Chocolate covered coffee beans is what first comes to mind. Plenty of espresso, dark and bittersweet chocolate, and roasted malt. Notes of vanilla and cream sweetness. Subtle anise aroma shows up now and then but not strong or consistent.

T - Similar to the nose. A lot of both espresson and dark/bittersweet chocolate. Some baker's chocolate and slightly sweet chocolate flavors in there. Subtle sweet vanilla and cream. Stronger roasted malt and coffee on the finish. No real anise flavors on the tongue. Subtle caramel background.

M - Medium to light body. Slightly above average carbonation for the style. Pretty creamy and smooth.

D - Easy drinking coffee stout. Everything is well integrated and balanced. Alcohol really well hidden. Overall, this beer works well and has me wanting more.

Notes: Really nice coffee stout. Big, bold flavors but everything melds together. Chocolate and coffee are huge here, but the mix together so well. Subtle sweetness, subtle bitterness, but not a subtle beer. Wonderful and definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

IRS is one of my favorite beers to begin with, so I was pretty excited to try this variation.

Dark black body with a mohagany hue around the edges. It has a nice short but dense coffee colored head.

The sweet black licorice still dominates the nose with berry and earthy hops. The espresso adds more depth. Notes of fudge, too.

Dessert in a glass. Fudge brownies with coffee. Currant and anise. Earthy hop long lasting finish.

Big and sticky sweet mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.

This is the best odd beer of the series so far. It makes perfect sense and was pulled off flawlessly.

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Photo of estlinska
4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a large tulip glass on 5/13/13. This beer pours perfectly black as tar with absolutely no light penetration. There is a touch or ruby color to the edges, but it's overall just a black hole. The head though, is big and frothy and very dark mocha colored. This thing looks great in the glass. On the nose, there is, of course, a beautiful dark roast espresso up front. This smell is a little overbearing on the remaining smells of the beer, but it's not a bad smell. It smells fantastic, but lacks some complexity present in the original concoction of the Imperial Russian Stout. There are some faint chocolates and some of the citrus smells there in the background, but espresso is big and it is very enticing. The taste is fantastic. The original IRS is a little harsh with the heavy hand of hops, but the espresso smooths this beer our amazingly. The coffee works well with some fruit and citrus notes. It produces a nice symbiosis. The mouthfeel is very big and full with some easy alcohol warming that does not overwhelm the beer. There is a slightly heavy sweetness at the bad end, but nonetheless takes very little from the beer. Overall, this beer is fantastic and is probably even a slight improvement to the original beer.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 03/28/13. Poured in to tulip.

A - Black with one finger of mocha colorued head.

S - A huge espresso aroma dominates with some roast. Fairly one dimensional nose.

T - A big espresso hit up front with a good hop presence to provide some bitterness. Some roast, smoke and a touch of licorice. The hop profile creates a perfect compliment for the bitter espresso flavours, preventing this from being one dimensional.

M - Medium body with a good chew. Light to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of richj1970
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bomber into tulip glass.

A: Pours pitch black with 1-2 finger tan creamy head. Nice lacing.

S: Lots of coffee mixed with some smoky and roasted malts. A bit of vanilla and chocolate.

T: Coffee flavors up front with lots of nice smoky and roasted flavors. The coffee is more up front as the beer warms.

M: Nice body that coats the tongue nicely.

O: Very nice brew. I really enjoy stouts with big chocolate and coffee flavors so this one feels right at home. I picked up 4 bottle to start and may have to go back for more before they run out of stock...

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Photo of portia99
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours with a bit of a thinnish body out of the bottle. In the glass this sits with seemingly excellent clarity judged only by what I can see thru the edges which consist of an almost cola-like appearance. Head is non-existent, even on a semi-aggressive pour with only the faintest of collars apparent. No lacing.

S - Certainly lives up to the name with lots of coffee aromas up front. Fair amount of creamy vanilla takes hold too. Burnt espresso roastiness, faint licorice. As it warms, coffee becomes more and more dominant...and more and more enticing. Complexity is lacking a bit, but hardly more than a minor concern.

T - Oh yeah...heavy handed coffee and espresso flavors, burnt and dark roasty with light acidity and some acrid charred flavors. Some licorice flavors come thru and a rather potent alcohol component as well. Pretty tasty overall.

M - Body is thicker than it appears in the pour but still only manages at best a medium level body...seems a bit on the thin side for the style. Coffee flavors dominate throughout with burnt, acrid and roasty aspects as one would expect. Carbonation is on the lower side and fits well with the character of the beer. Would like a bit more body in an imperial stout, but otherwise pretty darn good.

O - One of those beers where the appearance and the aroma set you up to expect a good beer, but then the flavor impresses even further. Typically I find the opposite with impressive look and aroma, then so-so flavor. This one "surprises" a bit in the positive direction. I really enjoy the standard Stone RIS so I expected/hoped this would even be a notch above...for flavor I think this accomplishes that feat. Glad I've been able to grab a few of these to put in the cellar to enjoy periodically in the future.

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2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
4.34 out of 5 based on 2,725 ratings.
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