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Raven's Eye Imperial Stout | Eel River Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
85
very good
188 Reviews
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Raven's Eye Imperial StoutRaven's Eye Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co.
California, United States
eelriverbrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 08-12-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
188
Ratings:
322
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
16.53%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
30
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 188 | Ratings: 322
Photo of cherche
4.19/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle served into a stemless wineglass

A: dark, dark brown, black in the center of the glass, brown on the edges. big mocha colored cotton head. slight retention.

S: coffee, cacao/chocolate, earthy, sweet booze smell, slight smokiness

T: very similar to smell, smokiness comes out more on back end of taste than in the smell

M: medium mouth feel, nothing out of the ordinary but where i expect a good imperial stout to be

O: very good beer overall - first eel river i have ever tried and i look forward to trying more of their beers...

 548 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown with little light getting in. Fizzy sounding head has little retention or lace.
Smell fresh from the icebox is mostly wet cardboard. Some very light notes of malt, roast and hop.
Taste is more involving with notes of roasted malt, dark fruits, smoke, coffee, molasses and whiskey.
Flavor is rich but body is just medium, somewhat watery, with a fairly high amount of carbonation. Dry finish and slightly warming. A decen beer but there are many better imperial stouts. Is it just me or are the certified organic beers just not hitting the marks the non-certified beers are hitting?

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.62/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew is from jgaston as part of the BIF race 2008. Thanks man!
I am pouring at cellar temp into a snifter. the beer pours a deep espresso brown with fizzy tan head of 1 cm foaming up and fading to a thin edge layer very rapidly.
Aroma is drak fruit, molasses, burnt malt, and hints of baker's chocolate. Nice appealing nose, with no hint of hops of booze to be found.
First sip reveals a fairly thick body with fine tingly carbonation and soft silky texture. Nice so far.
Flavor starts off with some sweet chocolate and brown sugar, then rolls to burnt roasty malt with bits of molasses again and finishes with some dry baker's chocolate, or very dark high % cacao. Slightly bitter, but not from hops. No real ABV presence and I find the beer to probably be dangerously drinkable.
A very nice Imp Stout that is even cooler since it is organic. I would gladly consume this beer again.

 888 characters

Photo of Vancer
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pure oily black, thick and gooey rich - topped with a tan head that leaves the sticky lace ring around the ol' Corsendonk tulip.

Big whiff of chocolate milkshake greets the nose, subtle hints of anise just add to the urge to quaff. But the quaff is a bit of a letdown - brew is thinner than expected and missing a real RIS quality. Lacks any standout flavor. No hint of the strong booze, but seems closer to a dry stout than a big hitting Impy.

Decent, but not one I would seek out again.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pint, 6 fl oz bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Pours a deep, jet-black, ebony appearance with a small foamy head that left a minimal amount of lacing...
Faint aroma dominated with roasted malts, scotch, caramel, vanilla, and honey...
Taste strongly complements the smell, with a powerful rich malt essence balanced out by a tinge of vanilla, toffee, figs, prunes, and dates...
Slick, oily, slightly watered-down mouthfeel with not too much going on in this department...
Easy level of drinkabilty especially due to the fact that the hefty 9.5% ABV was hardly detectable behind a rich conglomertion of chocolate, espresso, and cocoa nuances...
Not the best RIS I've ever sampled, but definitely not bad at all...

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Photo of flexabull
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this bottle from brentk56, thanks again!

Pours a flat black color with a nice large tan head. Very nice looking beer!

Aromas are subtle, smells like cereal grains, malts, and a bit of cocoa.

Tastes of espresso beans and roasted dark malts. Finish is of bitter cocoa and a bit of a kick from the alcohol. Overall it's a pretty smooth, well balanced, and kind of mellow tasting.

Nice full supple and smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability is good, this is a nice RIS. A bit on the subtle side, but it still tasty and it's a easy beer to sip.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Eel River- Raven's Eye

A- Deep murcky brown almost black with a thick creamy head.
S- Light chocolate dusted sweet coffee beans.
T- A big scoop of sweet vanilla bean ice cream and smooth milk chocolate dropped into a medium roast cup of light and sweet coffee.
M- Creamy and sweet, big flavors and a smooth finish.

Overall- A mighty tasty beverage! 9.5% abv but hidden well. A solid bomber that I'm glad made its way to the East Coast!

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Photo of beerguy101
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color, creamy head. A full-bodied nitrogen-conditioned Russian Imperial Stout. Deeply roasted malts. Nice hop balance. Chocolate and coffee flavor. Very smooth taste, Nice flavor. Big and expansive. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and very smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. No alcohol bite despite a 9.5%. Excellent stout.

 351 characters

Photo of Overlord
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Corsendonk 0.33L tulip.

Great looking pour on this RIS, as it fills the glass with a thick, motor-oil viscosity, building a well-retained, molasses-colored head. Great-smelling aroma too: powdered cocoa, cookie dough, roasted coffee beans, vanilla-infused espresso, and a kiss of liqour.

Bitter, roasted coffee-malts hit the tastebuds first, followed by notes of dark chocolate and a warming, boozy finish. Mouthfeel is creamy & thick up front, but turns quickly to a sharp bitter/ascerbic aftertaste that is both enjoyable and memorable. All in all, I was quite impressed with this, my first Eel River brew. Russian Imperials, especially from lesser-known breweries, do not always perform up to par, but this beer easily makes eagle (or would it be "Raven"?). Corniness aside, this is an extremely well-crafted brew and I look forward to my bottle of ER Triple Exultation.

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Photo of charlzm
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed at Lucky Baldwin's, 07/02/08.

Extremely dark clear brown, bordering on black. Ruby highlights around the edges. A one finger tan foam head reduced to a thin circle of foam with almost no lacing fairly quickly.

Aroma is reminiscent of red wine.

A little sticky as it glides into the mouth, this beer can best be described as a mild cherry cordial. Smooth and a little chocolaty with a subtle sweet cherry flavor in the aftertaste. Restrained flavor.

Drinkability suffers somewhat due to a one-note flavor and (in this case), overcarbonation. However, the relatively high alcohol content is utterly masked; I would have guessed this as a 5% ABV.

I might try it again, but it won't be a first choice.

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Photo of Crosling
2.88/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Liquid Solutions. Pours brown out of the bottle but appears dark in the glass. Fairly nice light brown head. Very miniscule nose. I’m comparing this next to Bristol XXX Warlock and the Warlock is powerfully aromatic. This has hardly any aroma at all. Flavor isn’t much better. A light hint of malt-o-meal, dried chocolate. Not very complex, not hoppy and not nearly roasty enough. Meh, very mediocre.

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Photo of atsprings
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of jampics2
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Looks nice, black body with tan head. Minimum head but it sticks.

Smell is chocolate malt, roast, molasses, and a slight metallic tinge either from the yeast or the minimally present aroma hops.

Taste is really quite nice. Kinda in the same vein as all the other big American RIS with sweet residual sugars, but this has a wonderful balance between the roasty dark flavors and the sweetness. Some chocolate and coffee, roasted burnt malt, and molasses. Really nice but alcohol becomes more apparent as it warms.

Mouthfeel is good but could be better. Not thick and viscous enough but not horrible, I've had much worse. Carb is spot-on, there to break things up but not distracting at all.

Drinkability is good. Didn't know what to expect from this one, but it's a great RIS. Good balance of flavors without going for the extreme, overshadowing approach. Good beer, glad to try it!

 923 characters

Photo of rastaman
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

[email protected] River. Rich and sweet, with some welcomed acidity and bitterness, oily, licoricy, roasted, long finish, good stuff. Not a style i generally mark low anyway, so most of the time its gonna get an OK score, but this was a middle of the road imperial stout, tasty stuff.

 274 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep black in color. Smallish tan head. Mellow aroma-nice deep roasted mocha type smell. Killer roasted and somewhat coffeeish flavor. Silky smooth maltiness against the roasted flavor. Somewhat grainy taste. Nice level of hop bite to it. Lingering dark chocolate taste. Very full and smooth mouthfeel. Just a great RIS all around. Really a nice beer. I love the mellow coffe/mocha thing going on. Thank you sir can I have another?

 431 characters

Photo of HardTarget
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

USDA Organic on the cap

Appearance: Black glass shows some light brown edging when back lit. Holds a full finger of tan head.

Smell: Light earthy, leafy hop note, mild milk/lactic acid smell as well. Not a lot here, most of it seems hop driven.

Taste: Slightly sour twang of a stout is on target, lots of roasted barley supported by a sugary malt base that ends up somewhere near balanced. A light rain water taste that I associate with Organic beers, but it melds nicely with what is going on.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body, slightly astringent, dry finish encourages the next sip. Almost chalky.

Overall: A nice beer. No major flaws, a bit dry but nice flavor and obviously made with sufficient malt and hops to be Imperial. A good slow sipper, glad to try it.

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.36/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A creamy three finger rich milk chocolate colored head quickly shows scattered lace and a rocky landscape. Body is a pitch black brooding host to darkness. Nose is a nice mix of smokey rich maltiness and sweet coco tones. Enters the mouth sweet and smokey with attractive layers of carmalized malt, burnt toffee and even a bit of coffee on the back of the tongue. The coffee feel is a slight bitter laced with a even sour feel. There is a solid balance between the sweet, rich, bitter and sour throughout this beer. The alchol is elegantly well hidden as it only shows in the form of a warm tummy. Mouthfeel is similar to dark chocolate. Super drinkable brew I would like to have again.

 686 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
2.85/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured into pint glasses and split with a friend.

A: Very, very dark brown. Impenetrable when held up to the light.

S: Coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits.

T: Dark chocolate dominates with the coffee and dark fruit lagging behind. Malts pick up a bit later. A little booze warmth.

M: Just the right amount of carbonation and complexity, but it's boozy.

D: Slight difficulty downing it toward the end; it was almost a little TOO much, even split. Perhaps I drank it too fast. I'd certainly be willing to buy it again to see.

Highly recommended. What a damn good stout.

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Photo of babaracas
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber, brown-black w/ reddish brown edges. Tan head which fades to thin layer, fairly thick lacing. Smell: chocolate, roasted, black malt, a whiff of hops, raisin, and alcohol. Smell: sweet, dark fruit upfront, chocolate and alcohol and slight toffee. Good amount of citric and spicy hops blended in as well. The alcohol is fairly upfront, but at 9.5 it's not overly boozy. Mouthfeel: almost nitro smooth but maybe a bit thin, medium bodied and not so syrupy. Good RIS and inexpensive to boot.

 506 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, not much highlighting in the dark bar. Fluffy head is espresso-foam-tinted with good stick in the goblet. Nose is very darkly roasted with notes of dark fruit alongside the molasses.

Herbal and somewhat pungent, there are notes of pine, citric zest, and anise along with the coffee. Dark, ripe fruit notes emanate all over this one, though, stealing the show with rotting apple, plum, and fig.

The body is smooth and creamy, but not great. Very good. With warming, I liked it a little more, but still a little thin for such a bombastic style, and for the amount of flavor packed into it.

Bottom line: worthy RIS and the best Eel River beer I'm aware of.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was the last bottle from a birthday gift my (now-ex) girlfriend gave me in August of 2008. It wasn't the best bottle from that gift, but it meant the most to me when I finally drank it in March of 2009. Wherever you are Sarah, I love you, I miss you and thank you. Out of the bomber the brew was a dark brownish-black color with a tan head. The retention was decent as a thin skim and the lacing spotty but consistent. The aroma was full of chocolate with some dry cocoa, roasted malt, light coffee, alcohol heat and caramel malt. The flavors were again full of chocolate malt along with alcohol heat, raisins, dark fruit, molasses, roasted malt and a little coffee on the finish. The mouthfeel was a little oily but slightly above-average, the body full and the carbonation medium. Yum. And thank you again. For everything.

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Photo of far333
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with purple highlights and a head of light brown foam that rises to a full inch and slowly recedes down to a fine cap.

Aroma of raisin and port, some molasses.

Vinous flavor, some cherry tang, molasses and brown sugar. Moves to coffee and cocoa. Subtle notes of alcohol. Seems to be missing a roasty character.

Thin mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Average drinkability, needs some complexity and backbone.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole double duecer 9.5% ABV. Label states "nitrogen conditioned." Huh?

Pours with an intense buh-lack as ink hue topped with a spumescent khaki dense cap leaving plenty of residual lace in the glass.

Earthy nose of mineral and espresso. Bold nose of wet creek rocks and a handful of dirt. Molasses and burnt toast.

First swigs: Dense layers of bakers chocolate, roasted barley, espresso bean, and vanilla hints. This one is nice. There is a chocolate aspect that really holds firm through the taste. No signs of 9.5 ABV in sight.

Feel is full bodied and rich with a dry finish.

Last swigs: A R.I.S. worthy of trying. Bakers chocolate and burnt malt goodness. Yum!

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of stephens101
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always appreciated organic breweries, but sometimes the brews don't seem to hit me just right. That being said, I'm opening up to the idea more, and am trying to support more organic breweries. Eel River is new in these parts, so I'm looking forward to trying all their beers. Let's see how this one stacks up.

A one finger quickly fading tan head completes a jet black pour. Diminutive sheets of lacing rise above the brew when all settles down. A deep whiff brings to the noses attention some roasted malts and nuts, dark chocolate and dark fruits (figs, raisins, grapes). Aroma isn't overly complex, but the ingredients are quite evident without too much effort being made. Tastes malty, spicy and sweet up front. More grain and pine exist in the middle with some medicinal notes, bitterness and a good alcohol heat bringing up the end. The taste of this full-bodied brew is more complex than the smell, and yet it goes down quite fluidly. There's not a ton of carbonation, but just enough to keep things floating on the palate.

This is one of the best organic brews I've tried, and proves to me that taste doesn't have to suffer just because it's organic. Kudos Eel River!

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Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewing Co.
3.75 out of 5 based on 322 ratings.
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