Espresso Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

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Espresso Imperial Russian StoutEspresso Imperial Russian Stout
2,734 Ratings
Espresso Imperial Russian StoutEspresso 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,734 |  Reviews: 378
Photo of brother_kenneth
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of ElGallo
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of gcamparone
4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an oversize wine glass. Purchased in Wakefield ri

A- Pours an opaque jet black body with a 3 finger, thick, mocha colored head that reduces slowly and leaves thick leggy lacing.

S- freshly roasted coffee dominates the first whiff, like you're smelling a fresh pot of brewing coffee. Dark chocolate, cocoa power, tobacco and an almost grassy note take back stage.

T- Upfront it's pretty smokey, in more of a tobacco and deep roasted cappuccino kind of way rather than a smokey wood kind of flavor. Coffee and super bittersweet chocolate come in on the follow through. The finish is roasty and full of black coffee notes. A little boozy.

M- very nice in this category. Thick, rich, and heavy.

Overall a very solid offering. I have a feeling that age will do wonders for this one. My advice would be try one now, buy a couple extras, try them later. Once the heat and tobacco flavors are reduced it will be awesome.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another Odd Year release!!

Pours out completely pitch black with a finger of a deep roasted khaki/tan head.

The aroma has a decent amount of fresh roasted coffee right away and then there is a ton of roasted malt notes too. There is some dark chocolate in there too and a bit of vanilla sweetness.

The taste is also dominated mainly by the fresh roasted coffee taste which then fades into some nice roasty notes. There is a good deal of bittersweet dark chocolate along with a hint of vanilla and a touch of caramel. There is a little hop bitterness in there too.

The body is full and the mouthfeel is decently creamy and smooth. Can't really smell the alcohol, but there is a little in the taste and a bit of a warmth as it goes down.

This is a great release from Stone, but I prefer the classic IRS more because I feel it has a bit of added complexity where I find this to be a bit more one note. Still a great beer and definitely worth seeking out and trying!

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Photo of beertardis
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 3/15/13
Poured into a Duvel Tulip

Appearance: Pours an impenetrable obsidian with a 2 finger dark khaki head that leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Good head retention.

Aroma: Big notes of freshly pressed coffee beans burst from the glass with dark impressions of baker's chocolate, vanilla a whisp of herbal hops and a roasted, nutty malt presence. Absolutely no indication in the nose that this is 11% ABV. Impressive.

Taste: Straight away, huge very fresh, bright almost citric coffee notes to your palate, a soft herbal hoppiness follows before a very robust, roasted dark chocolate malt middle. The bittersweet chocolate malt absolutely coats your tongue but the beer finishes very dry with linger notes of bitter coffee, even more chocolate, malty nuttiness and a light, leafy hop bitterness. The beer has a warming effect as it goes down, but in taste, the alcohol is masked very well.

Mouthfeel: Very full bodied, viscous with moderate to high carbonation. Superbly drinkable, wow.

Overall: In a nutshell; Stone's IRS with espresso beans added. They didn't tweak the base beer recipe much at all for this, but it does feel a little thinner in bodied than the original. Stone, very surprisingly, didn't go overboard with coffee; The coffee is definitely there but it doesn't dominate the nose or the flavor of the base beer. The beans just further accentuate the already pretty coffee forward malt in the original. This is an amazing stout and I highly recommend it.

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Photo of GaryMarkle84
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of JandJMD
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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

A-almost black in color with a fingers worth of dark tan head

S-roasted malt, roasted coffee, light dark chocolate, and a bit of caramel and vanilla sweetness

T-starts out with roasted malt and sweet vanilla and then gives way to bitter espresso

M-medium body, smooth and creamy, light to medium carbonation, dry bitter finish

Overall another excellent beer from Stone, I love the original IRS and this is just as good

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Photo of mdfb79
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From 0427/13 notes. Big thanks to nmann08 for sharing a bottle of this guy; thanks Nate. I love the normal version so have really wanted to try this one. 22 oz. bottle, 2012 vintage.

a - Pours a dark black color with two inches of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks like a great stout, like the normal version.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, coffee and toasted malts. Some light dark fruits as well. Not a ton of coffee, and reminds me very closely of the original version, but that is a good thing. Well balanced.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, milk chocolate, vanilla, alcohol, toasted and burnt malts.

m - Medium to full body and low to moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink for 11% ABV. Awesome mouthfeel and body.

o - Overall this is a very good RIS, though not a big improvement on the normal version. A tiny bit more coffee but that is about it. Well worth seeking out if you are a fan of their normal IRS and/or coffee stouts (as I am for both), but not a mind blowing improvment.

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

The Beers of California


2013 Odd Year Release

A: A light brown head of foam slowly builds after an aggressive pour. The beer sits pitch black in a tulip glass.

S: Sweet and earthy featuring strong cocoa and espresso notes along with marshmallows and raisins. Oat smoothness throughout.

T: Chocolate and marshmallow sweetness opens to a middle of espresso. raisins, and rum. Oat and toasted bread bring smoothness to the palate. Earthy bitterness and a moderate bouziness build to the finish.

M: Big, thick and smooth with some faint supporting carbonation.

O: The espresso gets muddled in the palate but overall it's a still a Stone Russian Imperial Stout. Still favor Speedway over this brew.

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

Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. 2013 Odd Year Release on silk-screen label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.79.
A: Black with 1-finger dark beige head with decent retention and spotty lacing around the top of the liquid.

S: Strong coffee aroma, black coffee grounds with a healthy dose of dark chocolate and big roast. Alcohol singes the nostrils.

T: Big flavor with an alcohol wallop in the first sip which calms but pervades the aftertaste. Roast is king in the flavor profile but it never gets acrid. The coffee flavor is less strong in the flavor than in the aroma but is still pretty prominent. The coffee is also roasty with a slightly oily feel. The dark malts provide some background fruitiness, but there is a pretzel breadiness that comes through.

M: The carbonation is medium, maybe a touch too much, with medium-full body that grows with warming. Drinkable and moderately filling.

O: Espresso IRS is a great version of the classic IRS with bold coffee aroma and flavor. With a little less booze this would be fantastic.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 3/14/13. Purchased for $7.99. Poured into a chalice.

A nice rich tasting IRS. Better than the "regular" Stone IRS. Bottle suggests buying a case and drinking a bottle every 3 to 6 months. Is Stone correct that this beer might improve with some aging? With the sugar that is still present, will the ABV only move higher? Not sure it will get better than right now. Would have easily been a 4.5+ if not for the hotness.

A - Pours opaque, black/reddish, slightly viscous, reddish brown/tan with a rocky one-finger head, which quickly disipates. Good tan lacing.

S - Coffee, sweetness, slight dark fruit/raisins, very slight alcohol.

T - Coffee, medium hoppy bitterness, slightly sweet/carmel, a little alcohol hotness (-), nice roasted malt character.

MF - Smooth beer that finishes with some alcohol hotness at the roof of the mouth (-)

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of dsaudio
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the stenciled 22oz bottle into a La Fin Du Monde tulip glass. This one is a beauty! Pitch black with a super thick and creamy, three finger sized head. Lacing sticks to the glass like glue, creating a cool spider web on the glass.

The aroma is outstanding as well. As expected, espresso coffee leads the way, but there is a great deal of balance in the nose with dark fruits, alcohol, vanilla, oakiness, chocolate; really nice.

Great flavor. More fresh espresso followed by alcohol sweetness, fruity esters, chocolate, more coffee, hop bitterness. Again, very nice.

A full bodied beer that is chewy and silky and perfectly carbonated. Alcohol works very well and is quite warming.

If the espresso would have been turned up to 8 instead of 7, this one may be the best of the bunch. However, with espresso in the name, I was hoping for a little more coffee in the flavor. At this point, I am being nit-picky, but 5's shouldn't be easy to come by. A truly outstanding beer. Just behind FBS and Peche Mortel, but not behind much else.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle served in my FW snifter glass
*Notes taken on Sunday – 04/28

A: Pours virtually the same as the base beer sans a little head retention. Look is completely opaque and takes on a deep motor oil black body with just a slight crimsoned brown edge to it. Thin formation of dark khaki foam on top that swirls out to an everlasting halo. Not much lace noted down the glass except for a little dotting here and there.

S: Aromatic Espresso notes meld with the sweet chocolaty roasted malts making for a very enjoyable nose. The coffee is prevalent but not overbearingly so here. I get some earthy minerals mixed in with that charcoal roast character. Maintains a very clean profile with a nice balanced addition of the Espresso.

T: Tastes brings forth a rich combination of Espresso and chocolaty goodness. A real deep roast character accentuates the coffee notes quite well. There is a burnt caramel sugar sweetness to the brew with a dash of molasses in there. Develops into chocolate mousse cake flavors midway. I am quickly reminded of the IBU’s as the higher levels of bitterness hit the palate furnishing a bit of earthy mineral likeness. Some present and warming alcohol spice but incredibly disguised I would say. Slightly sweet and rather simplistic in the end. Really great balance with the Espresso however. Glad to see Stone bringing in their refined approach, practicing caution with the coffee so as not to overdo it.

M: Moderately heavy body but with a that great balance between thin and syrupy. Makes for a much more manageable Impy stout. Smooth and velvety consistency overall with a decent amount of drying crisp there. A touch of puckering bitterness and some alcohol warmth on the finish.

D: I definitely enjoyed this better than the base beer. Stone brings together a perfect marriage of the Espresso and their classic IRS which is bold with chocolate, roast, and hops. A little simplistic I do admit. Makes you wonder why they took so long to craft a coffee IRS. Really just so balanced though and harmonious in both flavors and texture.

Better than Speedway…well that is debatable but this is still a superb purchase for the price. Stock up!

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Photo of ahbithwabm
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Bilco
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Archeron666
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

An amazing Odd Year Release of this beer, roasty, with the obvious aforementioned great coffee added, deep, dark, but hiding the alcohol well, a great treat every couple years..The coffee adds a even more complex roast to the equation, definitely worth trying..over and over and over..

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Photo of ChumleyX
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Local Option cervoise.

Man, Mr. Koch sure knows how to get me to buy a bottle... Anyway, this stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises rich coffee, toasted pretzel, and a general sense of roastiness. The taste brings in more of the same, with the coffee a touch milder, allowing the roast to really shine through. Everybody plays nicely with everybody else. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a damn fine version of the already tasty IRS. I hope to see this often in the future...

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Photo of craigreno
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Picodegallo87
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of timontheroad
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Espresso Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.34 out of 5 with 2,734 ratings