Imperial Stout
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #680
not listed
Ranked #27,076
3.84 | pDev: 8.07%
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
United States
Very Good
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Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 16 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this at Rock Bottom in Cincinnati, served in a sifter. The waitress said that it was 12% ABV.

A- pitch black with a thin layer of tan head that leaves very little lacing on the side.

S- dark bitter chocolate, fresh coffee grounds and roasted malt.

T- semi-sweet chocolate complemented by a coffee presence and roasted malts. A bit of black liqorice lingers on the back end. Not much hops noticable. Does a good job of masking the 12%.

M- heavy body, almost syrupy, velvety finish.

O- taste was a little light for what I was expecting from an Imprial with such high ABV. It was however very drinkable and complementead the barbecue pizza at Rock Bottom quite well.

Jun 09, 2012
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morebeergood from Massachusetts

3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Rock Bottom, in Boston's Theater District. Served in a tall 12 oz stemmed glass. Dark brown color, with very little head. Not a lot of lacing either. Smell had some decent aromas of coffee and chocolate. I liked the flavors going on here. Lots of dark malt, and a nice cross-section of sweet and roasted tastes. But what I didn't like was the mouthfeel and the aftertaste. There wasn't much body at all, and I found it too bitter on the palate afterwards. Not my favorite RIS that I have had before, so I was surprised that this was the best RB had to offer, if they have all the RIS brewed at their locations to choose from.

Jan 23, 2012
Photo of JamesS
JamesS from Indiana

4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a midnight black with nice initial tan head and decent lacing throughout. Has a very deep and dark roasted malt aroma with a bit of earthy hops underneath. Deep and roasty flavor, huge depth of malt with some nice earthy hop finish. Goes down well, with the usual impy stout alcohol heat and a bit of hop roughness. Very nice cask ale, slightly creamy and wonderful.

Jan 07, 2011
Photo of biglite351
biglite351 from Pennsylvania

3.21/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - very dark with a nice tight brown head.

S - malts with chocolate but a touch of bitterness.

T - bitter malts with a strong chocolate finish. Bitterness fades quickly.

M - very thick with a lot of coating. Mild tingle in throat.

D - I could have a few but might prefer something else, something less bitter

Dec 17, 2010
Photo of bamadog
bamadog from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Once again I ventured to a Rock Bottom in Pittsburgh, PA and gave it another shot. This time, I was not disappointed. I went with the Imperial Stout and the only thing that I didn't really like about it was that it was served to me in a 10 oz. glass. I would have liked a full pint and I really didn't think the ABV (whatever it was) is that strong as I didn't really feel much of a buzz after drinking it.

Appearance: Black, not an ounce of light was slipping through this brew. A nice thick tan head formed that was about one finger thick and it lasted quite a while.

Smell: Light chocolate, malty. Not much jumped out at me here.

Taste: Taste was nice and bitter-sweet, like a semi-sweet chocolate chip with a little bit of a roastiness in the back. Strong presence of alcohol in it as well. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Had a little bit of a stick to it, but very smooth and creamy. Alcohol lingered quite a bit.

Drinkability. I enjoyed it and would definitely enjoy drinking it, but it was definitely a little heavy (perhaps this is more the reason it came in the 10 oz. glass -- because of the large food portions? I doubt it...). I would definitely drink it again, but would prefer to sit at the bar in the restaurant and drink it as opposed to having it with a meal.

Dec 31, 2008
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joeysmokedporter from Maryland

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a growler into a small tasting glass.

A: pours black, not quite opaque and no other hints of color; slight 1-finger tan head is noticeable although it dissipates fairly quickly.

S: chocolate, roast, caramel, coffee, cherry-like fruit aromas also present. bread pudding.

T: Many of the aromas also brought out in the flavors, particularly the chocolate and roasty flavors. Some honey-like malt underlies it. Roast flavors are somewhat muted but enough to add to complexity and provide an element of balance. A light alcohol flavor present but less than others in the style. More cherry notes as the beer warms, with other estery-fruit-like flavors also becoming prominent and mixing in with the other flavors. Hop character is also muted as this example focuses on the malt and yeast flavors.

M: thick, not quite chewy, light on carbonation, accenting the malt and chocolate flavors.

D: for an RIS a very drinkable example; not overpowering but interesting complexity nonetheless. Could have had a few glasses and would have paired with vanilla ice cream if it were on hand. Recommend this one if you are in Homestead as a finisher.

Dec 26, 2008
Photo of beerphan
beerphan from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nitro tap -> tulip

Arrived pitch black with a thick one inch tan head that didn't go anywhere. Sheets of solid tan lace.

Nose: Roasted malts, touches of dark fruit, some alcohol

Silky creamy mouthfeel. Roasted malts with chocolate and coffee touches. Some dark fruit in there as well. No real bitterness, and not overly sweet. Alcohol not as present as in the nose. A pretty mild imperial.

This is probably one of the easiest drinking imperials i've tried. Also, the only one I ever had on nitro.

Dec 29, 2007
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TheBierBand from Ohio

4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It looks like Rock Bottom is looking out for my well-being... all others at my table had some of their lighter offerings that came in 16 oz pint glasses.... but I chose the BLACK BULL Imperial Stout... it came in a 12 oz. (maybe... could have been 10 oz) tulip glass. They warned me about the 8% abv.

It arrived with about a 1/4" tan head over a totally black dark, dark, dark brown beer. The foam settled to a thin cap and left minimal lacing.

The smell was wonderful.... just what I like from this style. Lots of roasty malts and a bit of coffee and caramel.

The taste was pretty good.... not my favorite but good. It tasted of malt and a bit of an alcohol finish. Minimal coffee and almost no hops.

Mouthfeel, was good and suitably thick... perhaps a bit heavy on the carbonation,

Drinkability.... I put two down... but they were smallish.... like I said. I don't believe that too much caution is warranted... I will have this again.... but maybe ask for a big boy glass...

Apr 02, 2007
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13 from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - the third and final sampling from the Cincinnati Rock Bottom on Feb 5th prior to the Jonny Lang concert. This is the brewmaster's choice selection and whether it sells a lot or a little, the crew at RB is very proud and pleased with the results. Hats off to them for providing a beer with some kick ass character.

Aroma - very smoky and charcoal aroma. Liquid smoke.

Taste - dark, extremely roasted, almost burnt malts, very smoky. Maybe a slight bit of hops for balance, but don't quote me on that. Can't remember where I've had such a dark tasting imperial. It approaches rauchbier proportions, can be a bit much by itself, better to have this one with some food. Ends very nice - chocolaty but not sweet, roasted espresso, not too dry or bitter. I think it's a well-done representation of the style and man is it intense.

Mouthfeel - very heavy and thick. Super residue, prolongs the enjoyment quite a bit. Good carbonation adds a little extra something.

Drinkability - not really all that drinkable as something to have multiple pints of. Great after dinner selection, probably killer with dessert, most enjoyable. One will do, but I am looking forward to returning for another go.

Mar 05, 2007
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown from Ohio

3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at the Rock Bottom in Cincinnati.
Appears a very dark brown/black with a slight head the completely disappears before I can begin to drink it.
Smell is entirely roasted malts with a slight hint of alchol. This is your standard imperial stout. Nothing else added to spice it up. Not a lot of cocoa or anything else to experience. It is a really solid imperial stout that is true to the style. While I would appreciate it more with some coffee undertones or more of a hop profile, this isn't a bad offering and one of the better beers I've had at the Cincy Rock Bottom.
It's very smooth and drinkable, which at almost 8% is very dangerous. If you find yourself at Rock Bottom and this is offered, it's the best choice going.

Dec 16, 2006
Photo of cproioi
cproioi from Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is Rock Bottom's Winter Brew master choice. Came out with a nice black body and tan head which disipated rather quickly. Had a very nice roasted malt smell to it which grabbed my nose very nicely. The taste however, was an Imperial Stout with no real qualities to set it apart from another Imperial Stout. However, I'm not saying it wasn't good it was I happen to like this style of stouts a lot. The beer felt rather thick in my mouth and like many other Imperial Stouts is not a beer that can be easily drank one right after another. When next winter comes around and I'm at Rock Bottom I will get this one again with out a second thought.

Apr 10, 2006
Imperial Stout from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 16 ratings