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: 376 | Ratings: 2,731
Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From tasting notes. Rich espresso and dark malt on the nose. Very rich espresso and malts with hints of sherry or port. Surprisingly not a hop bomb. Fruit, some chocolate. Very smooth, a very good Russian Imperial Stout. Very fine, soft carbonation. Creamy, chewy. This is stupendous.

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Photo of Topher78
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This poured inky black with about a finger and a half worth of a mocha colored head. The aroma was of chocolate, toffee, vanilla and of course...ESPRESSO. The flavor followed the nose almost exactly, with the espresso tying all the other flavors together nicely. This beer drank smooth as silk and I could hardly detect the alcohol...scary! What a truly magnificent beer!!!

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - dark brown black beer with a big mocha head that dissipates eventually but leaves some lacing, moderate alcohol legs present on the glass
S - big smooth coffee, milk chocolate, caramel, cream
T - smooth espresso/coffee, milk chocolate, caramel, cream, very slight oxidation (it is 3 y old at this point)
M- so smooth, but heavy mouthfeel, alcohol completely covered, aftertaste is coffee, espresso, milk chocolate
O- damn close to being a chocolate milk shake in beer form. Great beer.

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Photo of MaineBrewing
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - poured a pitch black oil color with dark tan 1.5 finger head. Absolutely no light showing through abyss. Sticky lacing and a smooth creamy cap.

S - up front is roasted malt dark roast coffee beans. Bakers chocolate and vanilla.

T - very complex deep malt forward character with coffee throughout finishes very bitter with loads of hops and coffee grind flavor. Very intense, and enjoyable.

M - Thick with medium carbonation, certainly a slow sipper.

O - overall this is just a big beer, maybe not truest to the RIS style, overly hoppy and bitter, coffee throughout. Very enjoyable. Probably not the most descriptive review I've ever written I am distracted by this delicious beer and am going to kill the other half of the bomber now, hope they make this again because it is just plain ridiculously good.

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Photo of MVotter
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - The Stone Espresso RIS pours into a chalice the color of coffee with a dark tan 1/2 inch head.

S - Chocolate, alcohol, brown sugar.

T - Oh yeah. Dark coffee roasts up front, followed by sweet chocolate malts, warming alcohol mocha...coffee finish.

M - Plenty effervescent; heavy, a little sticky/chewy. This is a big, bold brew.

O - Homerun. I may end up liking this one even more than the regular RIS, but that's because I favor a more bitter coffee type RIS than a mapley sweetish chocolate flavor. OUTSTANDING!

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Photo of JohnG190
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours inky black with thick mocha head that quickly dissipates into a thin collar. The aroma is of espresso and roasted barley. First notes of sweet chocolate and malt give way to bitter, almost burnt, roast coffee. Alcohol becomes noticeable as it warms. Oily mouthfeel with light carbonation help make this big stout a sipper. Truly a well crafted beer, Stone has produced one of the best coffee stouts I've ever had!

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Photo of wedge
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled On: 03/28/13

Opaque, pure blackness in a glass covered with a dense slab of tan creaminess that leaves some strings and spots of lacing behind. Extremely smooth deep malty aroma with surprisingly no big booze presence. The coffee is on the brighter, fruitier, oilier side rather than super dark and heavily roasted. Rich, dark chocolate cake, molasses, and some fruity esters. Huge, smooth, mocha flavor...again, more of a fruity coffee roast, which I love, tons of dark chocolate, some vanilla bean, and nuts. Heavy, creamy, and impeccably smooth. The alcohol is amazingly well-hidden too, though the sheer weight of the beer and a slight heat in the throat lets you know that this is a serious beer. Not much astringency at all, just beautifully blended coffee and chocolate notes - not too sweet, not too roasted - very, very nice.

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

The Espresso Imperial Russian Stout pours an opaque dark brown to black with little to no tan head. The aroma held coffee with the strong IRS notes of dark chocolate and even some dark fruits as well. The taste was perfect with just enough espresso to compliment the IRS while not overpowering it. The strong bitter espresso played off the Stone IRS flavors of chocolate, dark roasted bitterness and a hint of anise. It was a beautiful symphony of deep dark Russian Stout flavors that kept rolling through crescendo after crescendo with every sip. The flavors left a lingering bitterness on my palate along with a subtle dark fruit sweetness. Another excellent beer from Stone.

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

Rich and thick used motor oil pour with a skein of deep mocha foam. Smell is pervasively deep espresso roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate as if you're sitting right in the roasting house. Delicious and inviting. Taste is a blast of caffeinated coffeehouse and imperial stout delight, dark bitter espresso beans, dark chocolate, rich malt lightly sweet against the effusive coffee bean and hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is rich, thick, heavy and creamy. Bitterness is impressive, lingering, an interplay of hoppy citric pith, chewing on coffee bean hulls, and 75% dark chocolate. Excellent all the way. Oh my, the 11% ABV is well hidden.

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Photo of justinp444
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Vintage 2013. Poured into a tulip it has a inch thick head of light beige with a pitch black body.Smell of fresh roasted coffee, chocolate roasted malt, licorice, vanilla, and caramel. Taste is tons of espresso, slight chocolate, bitter roasted malt, a fresh coffee aftertaste, slight vanilla, and some caramel. Mouth feel is full and rich with a good amount of carbonation for a crisp taste and a full body. Aged to become a bit more bitter, but a whole lot more complex on the nose and a tad bit creamier to me.

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Photo of DmouthCaliBrewz
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

OOOH baby. Had some disappointing beers in the nights leading up to this one, and this is probably the last stress-free beer I will have before finals period. Lets do it.

2013 odd year release

A: Poured a rich jet black into a FFF teku, with a nice strong two finger mocha head that wasn't afraid to hang around, leaving some cement lacing.

S: Subtle, yet complex. Weirdly, the first thing I get isn't coffee, but is a gorgeous toasty malt scent, which then gives way to a sharp espresso scent that isn't overpowering. As I inhale more, the mix of the two comes together magically, with the coffee definitely dominating, but the whole beer having a surprisingly subtle aroma, that does not overpower. Mmmmm.

T: Again, to my surprise (expecting a coffee bomb), the first thing I get is an absolutely phenomenal malt character. Sharp and toasty roasted malts interplay with a subtle and almost sweet bready backbone. What an opening act! But just when you begin to wonder when the headliner is going to show up, the star appears on stage, ready to melt your face. Except this time, it is not a blatant coffee assault on the palate, but instead a beautifully crafted espresso ballad, which only further builds upon the experience of the opening act. The coffee character is strongly present, yet not overpowering, and somehow coexists with the other subtle grain notes while still remaining the primary focus of the show. This beer is fucking well executed. As it warms on the tongue, I start to pick up on some unidentifiable spices or maybe a subtle herbal characteristic, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. There may be a slight hint of dark fruits, but this is overall on the drier side for an impy. The finish is just a fade to black...leaving us with nothing but a crisp and roasty coffee bitterness and hints of that same unidentifiable herb....maybe ginger? There is a lingering malt sweetness that refuses to die amidst the strong coffee finish, and the two fade off as one....dancing slowly together with decaying intensity until a swell of alcohol warmth brings everything to the undeniable end. Wow.

M: Despite a slight prickle of carbonation on first taste, the body was velvety and smooth. Heavy on the tongue, but not viscous. Like a dense and smooth fabric.

O: Wow. Stone is just Wow. This one wasn't over the top, but it was just what I needed right now. Not extreme in any regard, other than extremely well executed. Coffee didn't overpower, and all aspects of the beer were given a chance to display their presence on the palate. Kudos Stone, you've done it again.

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Photo of BT_Bobandy
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Dark with 1 finger of chocolate head. Thin layer of chocolate foam algae sticks throughout the drinking process.

S - Chocolate and coffee. Pretty simple.

T - Strong chocolate and coffee presence. Some oats and sweetness. Slight roasty, toasty goodness, but the coff/choc flavor dominates.

M - Not overly thick. Surprisingly thin and drinkable. Carbonation seemed on point.

O - Excellent. I would recommend trying. This went right to the top 10 of my RIS list. Very well done.

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Photo of gr0g
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pretty much indistinguishable from the regular imperial stout. Pitch black with a small cap of khaki foam, some sparse lacing. Wonderfully coffee-forward aroma with lots of freshly brewed black espresso. Dark roast coffee beans and roasted malt. Smoke character from the regular IRS carries over, too, as does some fusel alcohol. Very complex and inviting.

Bittersweet and expertly balanced. Coffee flavor leads the way, then we segue to the familiar Stone IRS character. Haven't had the regular 2013 yet so I'm not sure how it compares to recent vintages, but there's a familiar flavor of dark chocolate brownie with some char. Some bitterness comes in on the finish with more of an espresso character as opposed to grassy, piney hops. Texture is rich and smooth with an appropriate thickness for the style. An even thicker mouthfeel wouldn't hurt. Carbonation is restrained but still has good longevity.

For me, this is a definite upgrade over the classic Stone IRS. Very attractively priced, so there's no excuse not to pick up several bottles.

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Photo of colts9016
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass at 52 degrees.
An inky dark black abyss resides in this glass with an equally ominous dark tan creamy one finger head. The head has good retention.

A rich roast coffee note, dark chocolate, grainy, toasty, nutty, caramel, floral, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla.

The beer explodes with coffee, and dark chocolate, grainy, yeasty, nutty, dark fruits, floral, molasses, vanilla, resin, and caramel.

The beer is creamy, chewy, smooth and slightly bitter with an alcohol warming note.

Amazing, is the best word I can use. Simply put this is an awesome beer Stone RIS itself is a great beer, and this one is too. I love coffee and RIS, it could not be better. A very balanced beer with bold yet refined subtle nuances.

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Photo of Roman5150
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

bottle into duvel glass, purchased from Stones River Total Beverages in Murfreesboro, TN

appearance: pitch black. one of the darkest beers i've seen, 1 finger off-white head

smell: coffee. espresso. caramel. chocolate. there may be beer hidden somewhere in this...

taste: this is an alcoholic coffee, not a "beer". with that said, this is a well crafted amazing beer. I would drink this on the regular if it was available. I love the espresso kick, and there's heavy notes of chocolate, caramel, and the slightest, if at all, taste of earthy hops. Very smooth, the espresso completely disguises the 11% abv.

mouthfeel: carbonated iced coffee is the only way to describe this...

overall: An amazing, unique beer that is more coffee than beer. Stone never dissapoints, i don't even like coffee that much but this is just very enjoyable, i honestly didn't think i'd like it but I bought 2 because of all the hype. I'm glad I did, so drinkable for an 11%, this could be dangerous...

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Photo of larryi86
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Black with a two finger tan head.

S- Espresso, roasted coffee, chocolate, some caramel malts.

T- Lot of coffee, espresso, bitter coffee finish, chocolate, touch of alcohol, caramel malts, great balance.

M- Really smooth, creamy, full body.

O- Stone did a great job with this one. I love this beer and will be pick more of this up over the next few months. I actually enjoy this more than fresh regular Stone IRS.

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Photo of EigenBeer
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nothing crazy here, just a small one finger bubbly tan head that went away quickly

S- Wonderful coffee smell that wasn't over powering

T-Rich coffee and chocolate with a dry bite to it

M-A little bit of alcohol on the mouth with a medium-heavy body and crisp carbonation

O-Better than the original, reminds me of a dryer Wake N Bake with a little more chocolate

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Photo of avalon07
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Had this beer on-tap at Closed For Business, poured into a tulip glass. Had an inky black color and a thick texture. There was an inch and a half of foamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A big, robust aroma of espresso, malt, and chocolate. Certainly not subtle, but it shouldn't be.

T: Like the aroma, the flavor is extremely forceful and dominant. Lots and lots of espresso is thrown in with chocolate, malt, and a little hops. Exactly what a Russian Imperial Stout should taste like: Big, complex, and flavorful.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Full-bodied in the extreme.

O: Another well made, likeable, and bullish beer. Very much drinkable.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Black glass with thick clear edges that show more brown then ruby. No head retention, so no lacing.

Smell: Rich malty goodness, almost to soy sauce. A mild chocolatey sweetness with a light hop leaf bitter.

Taste: Full bore flavor attack. Rich grainy malt provides loads of base sweetness that supports a bitter hop resin finish. The coffee is there but there is so much else going on it's a bit of an afterthought like, 'hey, all the bitter isn't just hop powered'. A note of complexity in a Godzilla class monster.

Mouthfeel: A full chew, heavy body shows there was no skimping on the malt bill. The fact that it doesn't go too far into candy land shows the generous use of coffee and hops. The fairly dry finish shows the hard work and skill of the brewers calculating just how much and how long on every variable. Strange that the beer really shows it's strength in the least considered category.

Overall: Tokyo: Destroyed. All the yummy flavors hide the crushing alcohol, making this a long slow sipping beer. One to be savored over the evening. I'll be grabbing some more.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This stout pours a pitch black color with a medium dark tan head. The smell is a potent mix of espresso and alcohol. I’ve tried the classic Stone Imperial Russian Stout and it is fabulous, so I was excited to try this. It has a really nice full, malty body as any good stout should have. The taste of espresso is strong, but unlike most flavor additives to beer I don’t necessarily mind that, though I would have perhaps made it very slightly more subtle. There is also a roasted malt, molasses, slightly chocolate aftertaste and a slight bitterness that is by no means overpowering. The taste of alcohol is present, which isn’t at all surprising considering this is 11%, however it is not at all overpowering or even as strong as the smell suggested. There is a creamy mouth-feel that lingers in your mouth even after a minute or so. This is really a great coffee stout. I don’t know if I necessarily like it better than the original, which is probably a top beer for me, but it is certainly complementary to it and undoubtedly worth trying in its own right.

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Photo of maxwelldeux
4.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bottle. Pours a fairly thick and near black color with a moderate light brown head on it. Nose has a decent amount of roasting to it with the espresso being quite forward in this. Taste is quite thick and somewhat bitter with the coffee dominating throughout. I like this a lot...

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Photo of hophugger
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amazing deep chocolate, almost black color with a couple fingers of tan head, fizzy and clinging to all sides of the visible glass. Aromas of heavily roasted coffee, espresso and sweet malts. Taste is amazing. This 2 year old beer has great flavors of espresso, roasted, quality coffee beans, sweet and slightly bitter maltiness and balances so well together. Aftertaste is so clean, with only a touch of bitterness and a nice lingering roast coffee flavor. Definitely, the most balanced and flavorful Coffee stout I have ever had. If you have the chance, do not miss it...2103 odd year release. Hope they make it again !!!!!!!!

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2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
4.34 out of 5 based on 2,731 ratings.
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