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

BA SCORE
85
very good
191 Reviews
THE BROS
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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:
191
Ratings:
326
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
12.53%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
32
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 326
Photo of ncvbc
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkest mahogany with a sliver of dark gold along the bottom edge of the glass. I planned to use the word 'raven' in the description, but the beer isn't black so much as extremely dark brown. The good-sized crown is the color of golden brown sugar and is lightly creamy. By the way, how the hell can a bottled beer (without a widget) be 'nitrogen conditioned'?

Eel River has flat-out nailed the nose, just like they've nailed the appearance. Raven's Eye is hugely roasted, with all the olfactory goodies that implies. Melted bittersweet chocolate and blackstrap molasses are slightly more prominent than black coffee. This sucker is going to be delicious, there's no doubt about it.

It may not be as big, as burly or as darkly pungent as the best American-brewed RISs, but this is unquestionably a wonderful version. One mouthful is all it takes to tell me that these guys have talent, so it's all the more surprising that the rest of their lineup (those that I've had) is... uh... less than stellar.

The flavor profile mirrors the nose, with a few additions. I'm now enjoying black licorice and a surprisingly amount of citric and pine-soaked hoppiness. I guess it shouldn't be so surprising that a California brewery has a thing for the little green cones. There are no flaws in terms of the amount and the quality of the well-roasted flavor.

Even though it's coming together more as it warms, the mouthfeel isn't quite plushcious enough to earn the big score. It's supremely smooth, however, and is a joy to drink. I'll use the drinkability score to reflect the fact that the previous two attributes are a fraction more impressive than their scores would indicate. Nitrogen conditioning? I'm still not buying it.

Having had four Eel River offerings prior to today, it's hard to believe that Raven's Eye Imperial Stout hails from the same brewery. It's an excellent RIS that impresses in any number of ways. I think I'll finish the bomber and then find a soft place to land.

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Photo of acrawf6
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out black with just a little light coming out in the edges of the glass with a tan head and nice lacing.

Smell. IT is a subtle aroma that is not potent. Coffee is a dominant characteristic with some dark and bitter chocolate. Under that is just a touch of licorice.

Taste. There is a heavy roasted malt flavor to this, and a touch of burnt to it as well. Quick tastes of black coffee come, but diminish quickly, as well as the dark chocolate flavor. I think the beer sweetens as it warms in my mouth. Aftertaste is when i get a small kick of the alcohol, and a touch of the licorice kicks up, but not too much.

Mouthfeel. Body is full, but i cant decide if it is on the creamy side or slick side. I guess it is creamy b/c it is an imp stout, but slick for being one. Carbonation is at a proper level. Balance seems nice with the malts and hops coming through nicely.

Overall, I like this stout. Not my favorite, but is not one of two that i can get on a somewhat normal basis (old rasputin is the other). I like the subtleness of this beer- flavor is potent, but still mild and very drinkable. I will happily get this again, though i dont think it competes with the top ones in the style.

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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 GClarkage
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

04/23/07- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. $5.99 at Ledger's.
Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep black in color. Maybe a reddish hue when tilted towards the side on top. 1/2 inch brown semi-creamy head. Leaves behinds some streaks and trails of lacing.

Smell- Fairly heavy and rich mildly burnt malt with notes of chocolate, coffee, maybe some dark fruits and dirt (earthy).

Taste- WOW! This is one incredible tasting stout. Huge chocolate and esresso flavors meld wonerfully together. Maybe some chocolate covered dark berries play and frolic in your mouth as well. A tad smoky, but not a real burnt taste. A lovely sweet texture as well.

Mouthfeel- Truly creamy due to the fact that it was nitrogenated according to the bottle. Rich, velvety and lighter carbonated. Sweet, but not too sticky. About perfect.

Drinkability- You can feel the hefty alcohol hit a bit more than I'd like, but otherwise it's damn top notch. By FAR the best beer from Eel River I have ever had and maybe a top 10 all time of any beer for me. Have to track down a bunch more of these. Look out Stone RIS and Speedway...you've got company.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a typical pitch black with a half finger dark tan head that melts very quickly to a ring of sticky tan lacing.
Aroma is a mild coffee and chocolate mix.
Mouthfeel is creamy, thick and rich.
Taste is again a typical IS espresso and dark bitter chocolate with a nice malt sweetness balancing the bitterness of espresso coffee and bittersweet chocolate.
Aftertaste is mostly the bittersweet chocolate with a nice alcohol warming.
Not a spectacular Imperial Stout, but not bad by any means.
This one is very balanced with no surprises and no disappointments.
An excellent 'go to' Imperial Stout if it is available to you.
Thanks to beautiful kolohoe for this bottle (and another to cellar..woo hoo!)

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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 weeare138
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jasonmech77 for sharing this...
Appears black with dark brown edges when held to the light. A small tan head slowly fades with streaky lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of coca, fruity, figs, cream, and roastiness.
Taste is the mentioned aromas highlighted by caramel in a delicious, mildly fruity stout.
Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied, fizzy up front, creamy at some points with roasty notes with mild thinness that doesn't outweigh the decent parts of this beer.

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.73/5  rDev +26.1%
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.

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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 brentk56
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a raven black color with a huge tan head that has a degree of permanence to it; sheets of lacing line the chalice

Smell: Cocoa and hazelnut with a touch of citrus sneaking through

Taste: Starts out with a roasty cocoa and hazelnut flavor that builds in bitterness, particularly after the swallow; long finish with a bit of fusel alcohol

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; considerable astringency felt on the back of the tongue; some warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Not quite there as an RIS, this beer is more like an Imperial Porter; love the cocoa flavors and the well-balanced bitterness, but this doesn't have the complex dark fruit flavors I expect in an RIS

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Photo of jdhilt
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two finger light head that fades to a ring leaving no lace. Black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Slight bitter chocolate nose. Starts almost sweet nice balance with the hops gives it a bitter chocolate flavor. Smooth, easy to drink, the high ABV is hidden. $4.50 for a 22oz bottle from Liquid Solutions Tigard, Or.

 334 characters

Photo of Reidrover
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 Oz Bomber, red eyed raven on the label "product of Northern California" Fantastic looking beer as it sits in my Imperial pint glass. Mostly black with hints of mahogany..great huge light brown frothy head. Aroma is somewhat subdued for style but its all there and fresh too Great complex whirl of flavours here: coffee,blackberries,esspresso, dark cocoa laden chocolate, dark brown sugar, some hop in the after taste, good stuff. Very nice on the palate , great mouthfee, A very very good Strong stout from Eel River. I really did not think they had it in em to produce this beauty

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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.

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Photo of RootedFool
4.31/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a pint of this at the brewery.

Pours an impervious black with a chocolate milk head.

Smell is of burnt chocolate, coffee, and subtle malts in the background.

Taste and mouthfeel:

hop bitterness leads the way, followed by burnt chocolate, coffee, and a very nice alcohol warmth throughout my throat and stomach; but not over-powering. Mouthfeel is creamy, as expected.

Loved it!

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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.

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Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewing Co.
3.75 out of 5 based on 326 ratings.
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