Raven's Eye Imperial Stout
Eel River Brewing Co.

Raven's Eye Imperial StoutRaven's Eye Imperial Stout
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Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #838
ABV:
9.5%
Score:
86
Ranked #30,575
Avg:
3.79 | pDev: 12.14%
Reviews:
193
Ratings:
339
From:
Eel River Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  14
Gots
  35
SCORE
86
Very Good
Raven's Eye Imperial StoutRaven's Eye Imperial Stout
Notes:
Reviews: 193 | Ratings: 339 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by mikechance:
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mikechance from California

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting from a 22 oz bottle on 11/30/12

A ---- deep mahogany black, little to no head, and thick

S --- black licorice, malt, vanilla, sweetness

T --- chocolate, brown sugar, cherry, vanilla, and woodiness

M --- full bodied, nice carbonation, creamy

O --- I like it a lot!

Dec 01, 2012
More User Reviews:
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kevgod from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Jan 07, 2012
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atsprings from North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured an opaque black with a thin head that diminished and left very spotty lacing on the glass. The aroma was of weak cocoa and roasted malt. The taste was a good blend of roasted barley, dark chocolate and mild espresso, very well balanced and makes quite a tasty stout. The mouthfeel is very smooth for a beer of this taste. There is some heaviness, but it's easy for the palate to handle. This is a very drinkable Imperial Stout, it almost begs to be chugged.

Feb 25, 2007
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metter98 from New York

3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin creamy tan head that quickly dissipated and left a thin ring of bubbles on the surface around the edges of the glass.
S: There are aromas of chocolate and dark fruits in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell except that the dark fruits are more prominently featured in the flavors, which also have notes of coffee and hints of roasted malts. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied but a bit thin on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. The finish has some notes of warming from the alcohol.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and any traces of alcohol are well hidden from the taste; however the beer lacks the full-bodied nature and bold flavors of roasted malts commonly exhibited by other beers in the style.

Mar 23, 2011
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jletts from Washington

3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eel River Raven's Eye Imperial Stout

Purchased a 22 at Billy Goat's Tavern in Mt. Shasta, California. Served at approximately cellar temperature in a standard red wine glass. Appeared black with a nice, slowly fading head and some scattered uneven lacing. Smelled of double chocolate brownies with weak notes of vanilla and hazelnuts. The taste centered on baker's chocolate, coffee, and oak, with a sour bitterness emerging at the end. This Imperial Stout seemed a little uncomplicated compared to many of the Imperial Stouts coming out of the US lately. Perhaps some cellar time would add more depth.

Feb 16, 2008
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shadow1961 from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Eel River's Raven's Eye Imperial Stout pours a thin head over an opaque black brew. The steady stream of bubbles making a ring around the edge of the glass speaks to an active and steady carbonation. The nose is dark fruit, plums perhaps, and mocha. The flavor is slightly sweet roasty dark malts, with notes of dark fruit, bitter chocolate, and rum, balanced with a bit of herbal hops and a bright flash of alcohol. Mouthfeel is round and full- though the alcohol by volume comes in at 9.5%, at no time is it out of control- so take care- this one is a sipper! Pretty remarkable too, is that this brew, like everything out of Eel River, is certified 100% Organic- sourcing all the materials and maintaining quality must be a constant challenge. In the end it's worth it because this is a very nice stout!

Mar 19, 2009
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rkuhnel from California

4.73/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This rating is from a 22 oz bottle purchased directly from the brewpub. Poured in Duvel glass at 55 degrees it was jet black with a huge tan head that left heavy lacing. Nose is very powerful, and is of chocolate and coffee with a llittle vanilla. Mouthfeel very rich and creamy. In fact almost oily. Rich flavor of dark malts, chocolate, coffee, and fruits. Finish is nicely bitter. Hides the alcohol very well. This is an outstanding Imperial Stout. What is interesting is that the bottle was better than the draft. Two reasons. First they serve their draft too cold for this type of beer. Second, it seems brewpubs always try to give you your money's worth and so fill the glass to the brim leaving little head, and that diminishes the appearance.

Mar 02, 2007
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yourefragile from District of Columbia

3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle purchased from Sam's in Durham for 2.99. Low expectations for this, but for the price worth a shot. Served in a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown, red tinged color that settles in a very still black. Finger thick tan head, moderate retention and sticky thick coating on lacing.
S: Overall mild, slightly too sweet in a cough syrup way. Dark fruit, roasted flavors, malt all present. Not bad, but not very interesting or bold.
T: Slightly thin mouthfeel for this style, but still syrup like and smooth, very light carbonation. Most of the flavor is dark fruit (but not overly sweet) with a thin malt presence. Surprising hop presence. Roasted and chocolate like flavors are very subdued. Alcohol isn't that strong in taste but finish has a strong burn really hurting the drinkability of this.

Overall, not a terrible RIS, I'd call it average, but the alcohol presence is unpleasant and what's keeping me from having this again even at this price.

Mar 27, 2008
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Kegatron from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recently split a bottle of this with a buddy at the Grapevine in Fort Mill, SC.

Pours a dense black with a 1/2 finger of burnt mocha colored head. Retains very well, leaving rich looking lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is Wow! Thick chocolate and caramel notes that remind me of sticking a Tootsie Roll up my nose. Underneath, I also pick up some roasted malts, coffee, and smidge of heat.

The notes from the aroma carry over to the taste with thick chocolate and caramel dominating and some coffee and dark fruit character mixed in for good measure. There is also a nice amount of roasted and hop bitterness that really helps balance all of that sticky sweetness out. Mouthfeel seems just a tad light with a medium to full feel. Carbonation is creamy and feels right on and there is a bit of heat presence but it helps add some much needed beefiness to the body.

This guy really took me by surprise, as this was my first beer from Eel River. Lots of rich, RIS flavor packaged up in a fairly easy drinking body. And it's organic too. I'm sold! I definitley would not hesitate to dive into another bottle of this again.

Jul 11, 2008
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t0rin0 from California

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Nov 19, 2012
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WYVYRN527 from Minnesota

3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure I can consider this an Imperial stout. The beer pours a very dark mahogany with some light shining through. The head is vigorous and thick, and lacing is minimal. The smell is decent. Dried fruits, some caramel and chocolate, and very malty. Taste is more that of an old ale than an imperial stout. Sweet, with hints of fig and rasin, with a bit of caramel and spice. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but still enough to coat the palate. Drinkability is there, but I am dissappointed in the brewery for calling this beer an imperial stout. It doesn't even come close to being a stout, in my opinion. I would have classified this an old ale, while Triple Exultation would have been considered an American Barleywine. It's a decent beer, but wrongly named.

Nov 12, 2009
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dnichols from Washington

3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was served this beer at the Portland, Oregon Spring Beer Festival on March 21, 2008.

A: It poured a dark black body with a robust and sticky caramel head. The head retained well and supported a dense curtain of lacing.

S: It gave off a strong aroma of charred coffee laced with baker's chocolate.

T: It began with the flavor of baker's chocolate (sweet and biting) followed by strong campfire coffee flavored by dark ripe fruits. There were hints of alcohol and a touch of sour-bitter aftertaste.

M: It was a medium to full bodied beer with a sharp biting body and reasonably clean finish. There was a swarm and bitter aftertaste.

D: One bottle would be enough for an evening. Best consumed in the winter and when other better stouts are available.

Mar 26, 2008
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guzzleacoldone from Ohio

3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Oct 28, 2018
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ncvbc from North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour was nearly pitch black and a beautiful tan head that started small and rose greatly. Only drawback being a little much carbonation.

Smell was roasted malts, cocoa, and a little hop bitterness.

Nice taste. Dark coffee with bittersweet chocolate. A nice caramel flavor also comes through and wasn't so up front in the nose. Again a decent hop presence which is pretty grassy.

Mouthfeel is nice and medium and the carbonation seen in the pour has settled some. A bitterness followed by a slight alcohol burn.

Drinkability is also good. My only complaint being a little too much alcohol coming through with this beer compared to others in its class.

It kind of reminds me of a Sam Smith Imp. Stout that has been beefed up a bit. Not bad at all but not at the top of the list for me either.

Sep 24, 2007
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this bottle for a year or two, tonight she beckoned to me.
This one pours a solid black with a smallish tan head that dissipates quickly. Chocolate syrup, candied caramel, and a touch of alcohol dominate the aroma. Some rosted malts come through as she warms, but it is faint. Luscious and creamy mouthfeel bring out the milk chocolate very well in this one. It's almost like sipping on a thick chocolate milk. Slight alcohol midstream with a slightly roasty, dark dried fruit finish. Carbonation is low but ample, body is thick. I really enjoyed this one, its very tasty. I thought it lacked some roasted flavors that I usually associate with an Imp Stout, but I could enjoy this beer often if given the chance.

Jun 26, 2009
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thryn from Florida

3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark reddish brown into the goblet but looks fairly black once it gets there. No head but a nice espresso-crema effect.

A lot of coffee in the nose. A bit of bitter chocolate. Some bourbony booze.

This is pretty damn tasty, but it's a bit hot. Starts out bitter and boozy. Prominent coffee flavor follows. A really nice chocolate aftertaste. If it was a little more balanced, it would get a 4. I wonder if it would smooth out bit with age. Still very tasty.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin. It's nicely sticky but needs a bit more heft.

Overall not bad at all, and I'll happily finish the bomber, but there are better RIS options out there.

Apr 16, 2009
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gford217 from Georgia

4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of deepsouth poured into a snifter.

A: Pours black with hints of ruby around the edges. The head is thin and bubbly and recedes quickly to a minimal swirl on top with a little lacing.

S: Smell is very sweet for an RIS - big on sweet roasted malts with dark chocolate and dark fruits very evident as well. Maybe a hint of smoked wood in the nose as well.

T: Taste is also very sweet and dominated by the sweetness of dark fruits, vanilla, and roasted malts up front. There is a bit of dark chocolate and coffee as well and a faint hint of hops in the finish, but not much.

M: Mouthfeel is sticky sweet and very creamy with decent carbonation.

D: This isn't the most complex of RIS's but it's very drinkable if you're OK with sweeter stouts. Enjoyable and recommended.

Jun 16, 2008
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micahgoldfus from New Jersey

3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured a black/dark-brown color, a slight, tanned-color head bubbled up and fizzled away quickly. The smell was a little sweet and chocolately, a little bit of the savory, roasted malt smell, and a little touch of hops. Taste was good, and similarly balanced as the smell. There was some sweetness up front, like milk chocolate and molassass. Therethere was the gritty ground coffee flavor, mixed with smokey, roasted malts. Finally, in the end, there was a light, bitter kick of hops (and maybe some of the alcohol, although overall is was well hidden). Mouthfeel was a bit of a dissapointment, there was a bit too much carbonation, and the beer was a bit runnier than I was hoping for. A good beer, I enjoyed it, taste was solid, but I think this was a one-and-done for me, probably because of the mouthfeel.

May 07, 2008
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biggmike from Mississippi

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an extreme dark brown color that appears almost black with decent tan head that stayed for a while. The aroma is fruit, roasted malt, and chocolate. The flavor is basically the same. I found the body to be a bit thin for the style. Carbonation seemed about right. This is a nice Imperial Stout that could be improved a bit of tweaking.

Jan 12, 2009
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WJVII from Wisconsin

3.21/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1 1/2 pint bottle this brew has a dark molasses color with a overly thick head that settled from the bottom up. There is no lacing to speak of despite the high ABV. The nose is light and has some hints of chocolate and coffee. A mild nuttiness is present as well. The taste is a little thin for the style. There is noticeable alcohol in the taste. Coffee and roasted malt are in the finish of this brew. Not too impressed with this. I enjoy the style however this brew is not as complex as similar imperials I have tried. Not sure if the "organic" nature takes anything away. For the cost not worth it (at $6.99 a bottle).

Nov 14, 2009
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mrsimm from Florida

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Jun 14, 2012
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OKCNittany from Oklahoma

3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nov 28, 2015
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Overlord from California

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, thin tan head. Smells ... like molasses.

Taste has a bunch of molasses, burnt sugar, some roasted malt and a bit of chocolate ... pretty overwhelmed by the sugariness. Almost no aroma.

Fairly thin mouthfeel, but creamy. Decent, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get.

Jan 14, 2009
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cswhitehorse from California

3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Raven's Eye comes in an Ed Allen Poe's ominous label with no freshness date. It pours an opal darkness that looks delicious with a small foam head. It has the smell of toasted malts and dark chocolate. The flavor is nice and smooth and chewy taste. It is a good Russian Imperial.

Sep 30, 2007
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kornkid8600 from California

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Dec 17, 2011
Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 339 ratings