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:
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Reviews: 378 | Ratings: 2,733
Photo of roger617
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 'vintage' Bomber poured into snifter 8/8/14. I remember having go this when it first came out on tap and enjoying it quite a bit, excited to see what a year has done to it.

A: Pours black in color with half a finger of mocha head that reduces fairly quickly and leaves a thin collar around the edge. Viscosity appears thick and creamy.
S: Chocolate, roast, slight char, carmel, sugary sweetness. There's a nice balance, more so than I recall when it was fresh.
M: Chocolate, coffee, char, a little bit of heat. Very smooth for 11%, and a nice variant of an already nice stout.
M: Carbed well, leaves a slightly dry aftertaste, with a hint of bitterness.
O: I hope they do this one again, I really enjoy it all around. The espresso addition adds another level of flavor that compliments the base very nicely.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle dated 3/18/13 into a snifter at fridge temp; allowed to warm.

Look: pours with very little head that quickly fades to a cinnamon-colored ring. Very dark brown that has a distinct ruby tinge where the light shines through.

Smell: I love coffee and I love beer (bit of a snob with both), but I almost never really enjoy the smell of coffee stouts; I enjoy this more than most. Cinnamon, chocolate, stale coffee, and maraschino cherries all make an appearance.

Taste: after getting past a fairly strong alcohol burn, this is just overflowing with chocolate, coffee, roasted marshmallows, fig, smoke, cherry, and cinnamon. Starts off sweet, ends bitter, neither to an unpleasant extreme.

Feel: a bit thin, especially given the abv and style. Also maybe a touch over-carbonated.

Overall: this is close to greatness, which is saying a lot for a style I don't tend to love. The harsh notes in the taste and the somewhat thin body are the major aspects that keep it from climbing into the next tier.

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

I happened to find four of these a few days. I am very glad I did because it is very inexpensive and already has a year on it. The espresso is probably a bit muted because of the age but it blends very well together. Some vanilla flavors as well as chocolate mix very well with the obvious espresso. I enjoyed this more than the regular stone RIS and I can't wait to open another bottle in 6 months.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.76/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber 2013- poured into a snifter, inky black and a four finger frothy beige head. Nose- only faint coffee in the nose which is surprising, predominately sweet milk chocolate nose. Taste- much more espresso coming through in taste and actually has a fairly bitter finish between the coffee beans and the hopping. Not too sweet, has nice dark fudge quality with a slight acidity to it. Medium bodied, not cloying at all. very sold.

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap at Sabatini's in Exeter, PA. Quite frankly, this is my favorite non BA stout. It pours black as night, it smells of coffee, caramel, heady malt. The taste is incredible, liked being hugged by a cup of coffee, it's clean and crisp but maintains the characteristics you expect from a stout. I have two bottles of this sitting in my cellar, and I can't wait to open one. I wish Stone brewed this one every year.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.59/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into 25oz snifter. Bottled 3/28/2013.

A: Pours near black¬ with a finger of dense and fuzzy dark brown head that faded into a soft collar. Soapy patches of spotty lace was left down the glass.
S: Rich notes of smooth coffee and chocolate fudge dominate. I get deep notes of roast, slight caramel, faint licorice, booze and dark chocolate. Smells like the original, but with a touch more coffee.
T: Potent flavors of bitter dark chocolate, bitter black coffee, and a kiss of balance caramel and brown sugar sweetness. I get some slight peat, slight vanilla, and mild char. There is a sharp kick of anise in the finish, and the aftertaste is a touch boozy and rough.
M: Full body, thick and chewy mouthfeel, frothy but soft carbonation. Definitely bitter, and a bit rough around the edges.
O: A solid and potent stout but could use some polishing. Sips well, but I prefer other coffee stouts to this.

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Photo of Florida9
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: appear black in the glass though the edges show the beer to be a dark reddish brown. Forms a moderate sized mocha colored head though there is little staying power as it dissipates fairly quickly. Some light lacing.

S: full of dark malts, toasty malts, and darkly roasted coffee with strong alcoholic quality.

T: taste is quite pleasant. Mild sweetness. Dark malts. Dark coffee. Maybe a slight earthiness. But really there isn't a whole more going on other than dark roasted malts and deeply roasted coffee though that isn't a bad thing.

M: full bodied. Lower carbonation. Mild bitterness. Slight coffee acidity.

O: I found this one in the cellar and figured it was past it's prime. Pleasantly surprised it was still alive and well. Quite enjoyable and always impressed withStones ability to produce a well made RIS at a very affordable price.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Whole Foods in DC. From notes.

A - Poured black with a finger of beige head. Minimal spotty lace and not much in terms of retention.

S - Bold. Huge coffee and milk chocolate notes. Much stronger coffee notes in the glass as opposed to from the bottle. Lot's of roasted malt and chocolate.

T - Big milk chocolate and beastly coffee element. Finishes a bit sweet like iced coffee. Holy hell it's a solid take on the style. Layers of roast and chocolate with lot's of coffee.

M - Mild to medium carbonation, full creamy body, strong coffee bitterness.

O/D - Solid, strong coffee stout. Great base beer with a great added coffee element. Complex and tasty. Properly crafted.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice medium size dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of espresso notes with nice dry floral notes and no astringency. Taste is also dominated by espresso notes with no astringency and dry roasted malt notes also noticeable. Black chocolate notes are also very enjoyable. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Body is about average for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very enjoyable coffee stout from a brewer that rarely disappoint.

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Photo of philbe311
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A – A fairly active pour yields a full fingers worth of slightly late to develop light brown colored crisp frothiness with a bit of a rocky top… Decent retention… The color is a somewhat flat inky black that doesn’t allow any light to permeate… Largely still with a few streaks of carbonation seen towards the top of the glass…

S – A very nice nose… There is an undeniable coffee presence, but it isn’t nearly as potent as I would have expected… A strong vanilla presence… Caramel… Brown sugar… Molasses… A light bit of soy sauce… Raisins… A terrific Russian Imperial Stout aroma, but I wish the coffee were a bit more pronounced…

T – Starts with a tad of sweetness… Vanilla… Dark fruits… Caramel… Molasses… There’s a bit of roasted malts buried a bit beneath the surface… You have to wait quite a bit, but the espresso really emerges on the deep finish… It’s has a very deep dark roasted character…

M – On the lighter side of full bodied… Dense… Even and consistent… Limited carbonation… Starts lush… The middle is chewy and viscous… The finish is intensely dry…

D – There is no doubt this is an excellent brew, but I have some mixed feelings… This is a world class Russian Imperial Stout, but the espresso presence isn’t as in your face as I would have liked… Other than the name on the bottle and in the ferocious espresso on the finish of each sip, I would otherwise stuggle to identify this as a coffee beer… All that being said, I can’t knock it much because it’s still an outstanding brew…

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Photo of scotorum
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22 oz., bomber into a Samuel Smith English tulip pint.

a: Black with no clarity evident. Inch and a half tall dark tan head receded evenly to thick surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

s: Black coffee and dark chocolare

t: Sharp bite of strong black coffee and hops. Bitterness lingers at the sides of the tongue, and alcohol throat burn lets you know there is 11% alcohol in there.

m: Super smooth. Just great.

o: A stupendous coffee stout! A new favorite, although with such a high ABV the high-balancing effects of the caffeine are not enough to offset more than half of the alcohol content.
Dangerously tasty and sippable in the extreme.

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Photo of Tony49er
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type- Poured into a tulip glass

Appearance- Dark black ink color, typical Imperial Russian Stout color, thick mocha head

Smell- Classic Imperial Russian roasted notes, dark and milk chocolate notes, tons of espresso in the nose, some bitterness in the nose from the espresso and roasted malts

Taste- Tons of espresso but not too over powering in the front of the palate, roasted malts, coffee bitterness, dark and milk chocolate in the back end of the palate for great sweetness... Very well balanced and age had really mixed all of the complex flavors together to make this beer even better

Mouthfeel- Thick Imperial Russian Stout mouthfeel, smooth creamy dark and sweet chocolate in the mouth

Overall- I have had the regular Stone Brewing Co IRS but I must say I LOVE this one this is an A+ beer for sure...just wish they released this beer more then once but I am glad I ended up getting a few bottles of it...A classic IRS but just up a notch with great espresso added...If you are ever able to find this GET IT...CHEERS

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Photo of rangerred
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours a very dark brown, but not nearly pitch black with a half finger dark tan head. Head retention is surprisingly good considering the strength and lacing is excellent.

Aroma has lots of milk chocolate up front with some lightly roasted coffee. This has about a year of age on it so I'm not sure what effect this has had on the nose. Notes of dark caramel and roasted malt as well.

More coffee is present in the flavor along with lots more milk chocolate. Strands of cooked caramel and some toffee balanced out by a fairly stout bitterness. A little hint of alcohol becomes present towards the finish. Silky smooth mouthfeel and a pretty sticky finish.

Overall, a very impressive imperial stout and another home run from Stone. I would like to try this fresh sometime.

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Black as the darkest night. Thick on the pour. Thin khaki head settles and mostly disappears rather quickly. Some sticky malty based almost film like lace down the glass as you drink.

S - Big amazing aroma here. Sweet fruit, espresso, toasted malts, toffee, chocolate, black licorice and some smoke.

T - Not as coffee forward as I thought, and that's ok. The base beer gets a chance to shine. Roasted malt and licorice, espresso hits big and then some hop bite through the middle and some of that smoke from the nose, finishes slightly sweet with some fruitiness on the end and some alcohol heat.

M - Perfect carbonation, silky smooth at the same time with a stickiness and coating feeling on the pallet.

O - If you've had the regular IRS then you will be pleased to see that this beer showcases and then elevates it with some wonderful espresso flavor. Well done.

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Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

an abbreviated review of a 22-oz bomber shared on 3-8-2014

opaque black appearance with 1/2-inch dark tan head, dissipating slowly and leaving a minimal collar

dark roast coffee and malts in the aroma, but there are more potent, more pleasant coffee beers

dark roast and chocolate gives way quickly to vegetal hop bitterness on the palate

i did not enjoy this beer as much as a year ago; would be inclined to blame the lapse in time and (perhaps) less than perfect cellar conditions, but the hops are not absent; on the contrary, they overpower the (albeit few) other elements of the beer. certainly, there are coffee beers (e.g., the Prairie Bomb I got to sample a day earlier) with more going on

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Photo of Flounder57
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #800

22 oz bottle was poured into a large snifter. 2013 odd year release

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger mocha head that reduced to a thin layer . It is s pitch black color with no vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Super frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Roasted espresso, chocolate, caramel, toffee, toasted malts, and a little smoke.

Taste: espresso coffer, delicious milk chocolate, caramel, toffee, toasted malts, a little smoke, a little bitterness, and some warm booze.

Mouthfeel: Super creamy silky chocolately smooth, full bodied, low to medium carbonation, and a little booze

Overall: This is probably one of the best RIS I have ever tasted. It was solid, balanced, and tasty the whole through down to the last sip. I need to find more of these odd year release bottles.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from Systembolaget in Sweden.

A clear, dark brown, almoust black beer. One finger high head with a beigebrown colour.

Nose: Roasted malt, espresso coffee, cream, dark bread, vanilla icecream, dark chocolate, dried fruit and vanille.

Taste: Espresso, roasted malt, licorice, hops and oak. A creamy mouthfeel with a soft texture.
The alcohol is well hidden. A great sweetness from the malt that is balanced of the bitternes from the coffee.

GREAT imperial stout! - Go get it!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.02/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a very unique beverage, worthy of all the high praise for sure, but somewhat of a stranger for an imperial stout, and in many ways more of a quad than a stout. its dark a dreamy for sure, sudsy and fading tan head less than an inch on the top, but deep brown to black in color, with just the faintest red glow along the perimeter of my globe glass when i hold it to a florescent bulb. the nose is surprisingly yeasty, and yeah, this has a bit of age on it thanks to careful cellaring by drlovemd87, but it hasnt lost a step. almost belgian yeast, with all the incumbent fruit esters on the nose, a shot of lazily pulled, slightly bitter espresso, counteracted by sweet chocolate malt and an warming alcohol presence. the taste is similar, oddly quad-like, with more raisin and molasses character than dark bitter malt and coffee, although this is indeed coffee driven. no bitterness, no acid, just warming booze, interesting leftover candy style sugar, berry espresso, and a creaminess of the feel that is sensational. do i reckon this is one of the top 250 in the world? probably not to be honest, but its a well made beer that brings something a little different to the table for the style, and in a coffee stout polluter beer-scape, this leaves a notable impression. smooth and heavy in feel, it has just the right vibe. worth a try because its weird, aging like a quad and all. give it time, malt comes to play. well hidden 11% abv too...

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Photo of BSK_ONE
3.99/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Dark brown with lines of red around the rim. Almost no head dispute the aggressive pour. Nice lacing though.

S: Best quality of the beer. Espresso, coffee beans, and chocolate very prevalent and invite you to take that first sip.

T: 11% alcohol is well hidden. Coffee flavor a come to the forefront, then the chocolate appears, some licorice and roasted malts finish it off. Very nice!

M: Smooth, warming and non offensive.

O: I've always felt like an outsider for not liking Stone beers as much as the next guy. This was going to be my last chance beer. This one was very good! I enjoyed it a lot and felt that not only was it tasty, but Multi-tiered.

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Photo of 57md
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is dark brown to black with over a finger of tan head that lasted quite some time. Mild roast in the nose. The roasted malt, creaminess and residual sweetness found in the standard RIS can be found in this offering as well. In addition, notes of chocolate and coffee are apparent (surprisingly, more chocolate than coffee).

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Photo of brutusmuktuk
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing beer. Has a jet black color with a foamy brown head. Aroma is coffee and malts. The taste is espresso coffee with some malt and chocolate. The beer goes down smooth and has a nice full body feel. One of the best beers I have ever had - almost perfect in every category.

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Photo of tmm313
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled: 3/14/13
Enjoyed: 2/18/14

A- Pitch black. Poured very little head. Thick alcohol legs.

S- Coffee, dark fruits, and roasted malt up front. Caramel, booze, dark chocolate, and hop spice when you really dig in.

T- Wow. This one's a roller coaster. Espresso, dark fruits, and toffee hit you up front. Big roasted malt in the middle. Licorice appears and fades away as the lightly lingering initial flavors and roasted malts transition into earthy hop spice, a little char, and espresso in the finish. Super smooth, slight burn from the booze from the back of the tongue into your stomach. God, I love Stone.

M- Thicker side of medium body. Smooth and slick on the tongue. Drying with a light woodsy, charred aftertaste.

O- Why waste words? As always, Stone knows what the hell they're doing.

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Photo of BuccoFan
3.86/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into 12 oz. snifter glass from 22 oz. bottle, aged for about five months. Pour is pretty pitch black and leaves a very thin head. Aroma is a very inviting mix of malt, coffee and chocolate. Mouthfeel is relatively solid, with a slight carbonation, and a little more thin than I expected. Taste is underwhelming, actually.

I guess tastes can vary on how much bean you want to be able to taste in the coffee family stouts. This one is very subtle in its expresso taste, and, thus, for me, a tad bit disappointing. Finish is also not as complete as I think I was expecting for an 11% Stone stout. A good stout, as it's a Stone, but just not what I was hoping for.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.62/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour is black with dark caramel head. The nose has a strong roasted coffee up front, touch of anise, slight dark malt and caramel. Taste is even more roasted coffee, notes of dark chocolate, roasted brown sugar and caramel with some faint berry sweetness in back. Body is thick and viscous, strong carbonation to balance, sticky and chewy.

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Photo of kevanb
3.18/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

650ml bottle, 2013 Odd Year Vintage, poured into a Stone IRS Snifter.

The beer pours a deep jet black color, hues of cola brown, opaque and heavy with a thick, taut caramel head, about a finger high that has moderate retention and leaves a few big spots of lace behind. The aroma is heavy on the coffee, roasty but not over the top, lots of bittersweet chocolate, stone fruit and rich grain, touches of phenol alcohol at the end. It's a surprisingly simple aroma given the complexity of the base beer, but the coffee really takes over. The flavors mirror the nose, super intense coffee, ripe bean and cold brewed flavor with big chocolate flavor with rich grain, dark stone fruit and a bit of brown sugar. Again, the coffee really dominates and reduces this beer into it's simplest form. The mouthfeel is regrettably thin, carbonation is high and crisp, zips across the tongue, coats moderately well, but this isn't as rich or silky as the base beer can be. The finish is a bit weak and unremarkable, doesn't really do anything other to reinforce how simple and boring this beer became.

Verdict: I had high hopes for this beer and it really just fell short. The coffee was just too dominant, even after almost a year, which really put things out of whack. The balance is poor and the thin body didn't do this beer any justice. Perhaps the 2015 Odd Year Beer will be more interesting.

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2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
4.34 out of 5 based on 2,733 ratings.
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