Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #2,101
Ranked #7,185
4.01 | pDev: 14.46%
Scotland, United Kingdom
Notes: The irony of existentialism, the parody of being and the inherent contradictions of post-modernism, all so delicately conveyed by the blocky, pixelated arcade action have all been painstakingly recreated in this bottles contents. This imperial stout is brewed with copious amounts of speciality malts, jasmine and cranberries. After fermentation we then dry-hop this killer stout with a bucketload of our favourite hops before carefully ageing the beer on French toasted oak chips. It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times.

90 IBU
Reviews: 291 | Ratings: 800 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stcules
stcules from Italy

4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

18.2 ABV.
Black, a veil of foam quickly disappearing.
In the smell a lot of toasted malt, fruit in alcohol. The alcohol is present, but less than you can expect froma 18 ABV beer.
Whisky notes, wood, light smoked notes.
Smooth, dry fruits, artichoke, soy sauce. Bitter herbs. Bourbon, Raisins.
Chiocolate, liquorous, dry figs, dark fruit, charred.
A great beer.

Apr 10, 2020
Photo of kitch
kitch from Hong Kong

3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 29th January 2026. Poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Black in colour with a thin brown head that dissipated fairly quickly and left only sparse lacing.

Aroma: Chocolate, coffee, licorice, dark malt, light char, oak, hints of dark fruit.

Taste: Sweet, caramel, syrupy, licorice, chocolate, dark fruit, raisin, prunes, cranberry and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, full bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall: As it warmed to a more Imperial Stout ‘ideal’ temperature, it actually became too sweet and syrupy for my liking. I actually enjoyed it more when the cold numbed and toned it down a bit. The combination of sweet and syrupy was just too much for me even just sipping, as there wasn’t enough roastiness to balance it.

Nov 27, 2019
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer which is topped by a half finger of dark tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of tart cranberries, oak, bitter dark chocolate, faded hops, and some roasted malts
T: Taste is slightly tart cranberries up front with some chocolate and oak, bitter roasted malts with some charred wood and burnt sugars. Tart cranberries are slightly forward but the other flavors are able to come through well. On the swallow there's more chocolate and oak, cranberries, warming alcohol, roasted malts, and dark roasted coffee.
M: This beer is fairly full in body with a slightly creamy body. Carbonation is low but adequate for the style while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this is a pretty interesting beer. It's pretty good, but it's definitely a monster of a beer. Huge flavors and a crazy amount of complexity make this one a very pleasant drink. Worth a try if you can find it and like big beers.

Oct 17, 2019
Photo of siskiyoucellar
siskiyoucellar from Oregon

4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An exceptional beer experience. This one is about eight years old, so the review reflects that serious level of aging. Dark garnet brown in the glass, very little head. Aroma is boozy craziness, honey, candied fruit and biscuity malts coming through at the edges. Taste explodes onto the tongue with blasts of raisins, brandied cherrys, brown sugar and espresso. Feel is really near perfect, viscous yet crisp, sliding over the tongue. A real classic from Brewdog, who have a deep understanding of extreme beers.

Mar 19, 2019
Photo of Radcpa
Radcpa from Washington

4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown appearance with slight head. Aroma is a dark fruit raisin. Taste is also a dark fruit raisin and perhaps cherry without any hint of alcohol aftertaste.

Feb 14, 2019
Photo of doktorhops
doktorhops from Australia

4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hello Tokyo*! This big boy from them-dogs-that-brew is a 16.5% ABV behemoth of an American Imperial Stout with some intriguing ingredients listed on the label: cranberry, jasmine, vanilla – are we really going to taste these components in a 16.5% Imp-Stout? Well, I’m game to give it a try – if only to tell you about it (see what I’m willing to do for my readers? Extra mile and all that). Well, let’s ‘ave at it!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: She looks pretty black, like the deepest darkest depths of the Mariana trench (which makes me feel like seafood pizza for some reason) and a ring of tan bubbles on the surface – murky and ominous AF. 8/10.

S: Fruity, funky and roasty with aromas of: roasted espresso coffee, red coffee cherries, raisin, cranberry, prune, woody tones and a touch of vanilla in the background – bit of a fruitcake-heavy aroma for an Imp-Stout (throw in a dash of ™mite for a bit of that yeast spread goodness). Heavy stuff, I’m steeling myself for that first sip – it’s been a while since I’ve touched a beer this strong. 8/10.

T: Pretty f__ken smooth given the ABV! Flavour profile begins soft and sweet with a jammy fruitcake (raisin, cranberry and prune), mid-palate roasted espresso coffee, light floral hint (jasmine you old dog), oak tones, vanilla, dash of ™mite and a nice even-keeled bittersweet finish. Right on the money with that bitter/sweet balance too. This is a real BrewDog corker – did not expect the ABV profile to be this smooth (that said I’ve had this beer in the stash for about a year – it’s hardly fresh and had plenty time to mellow out). 8/10.

M: No real surprises here – just a typically viscous-bodied Imp-Stout™, all heavy and oily-like, it’s good not great, maybe a teeny-tiny bit thin (just a touch!). 7/10.

D: By far the softest 16.5% brew I’ve encountered, props to BrewDog – they clearly know how to stash nana's booze in the fruitcake. I’m curious as to their bigger brews (oh I don’t know, just The End Of History! However I’m not keen on drinking beer from a taxidermied stoat, I’m weird like that – can watch people having heart surgery but I find animal cruelty unsettling). Dis good Tokyo*. 9/10.

Food match: It sips like a fine wine but handles like an Old Ale, game meats or cigars.

*Not sure why BrewDog added the asterisk next to Tokyo*, it’s grammatically confusing to say the least – let me apologise on behalf of those canny Scottish BrewDogz: soz peeps.

Jan 22, 2019
Photo of Avitra
Avitra from Switzerland

4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It's the finish that kills this beer, although not enough to make it not drinkable.
The first thing you notice is the milky smell. It's really nice and comforting, like a good Cafe au Lait in a Parisian corner.

Than the taste comes, which is nice, and milky and has a lot of coffee and vanilla and booze.
Speaking of booze, it's very evident in your head, but not as much in the flavor, the flavor is still rich and velvety and really nice. The main problem is with the finish which is just an unpleasant bitterness, although the more you drink, the more of the nice boozy sweetness comes in, which is actually nice.
Overall this is a very nicely balanced stout. Not too stouty, but really a lot more balanced than that, with a good vanilla, licorice mothfeel and a lot of depth.

Good beer.

Jul 29, 2018
Photo of joaopmgoncalves
joaopmgoncalves from Portugal

4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured to an Ora et Labora taster

A: Body is pitch black. Very licquour-y. Head is minimal and lives only to the side of the glass.
S: The aroma is not as strong of alcohol as expected. My previous experience with Mikkeller Black was tortuous and before getting here I was also afraid but Tokyo* shows nearly no alcohol in the nose. Mild coffee notes.
T: Taste starts off with a vanilla like, moving on to a dark chocolate finishing in a roasted bitterness and a big hint of alcohol.
M: Body is actually medium to low. Carbonation is spot on. Alcohol notes are very unnoticeable simply by stating that this beer has 16.5% ABV. It's not nail polish as Mikkeller Black but it's still not very an amazing brew.
O: It's drinkable and amusing to some point but it just has too much alcohol. Still, for that level of alcohol it's technically very interesting.

Apr 18, 2018
Photo of emincems
emincems from Turkey

3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Experimental and interesting beer with 16,5% Abv! It pours almost black color with small sized tan head. Average-lasting foam leaves moderate lacing. Smell is boozy, high abv and roastiness dominate the smell. Wood, coffee and chocolate are in background. Taste is overly strong and not easy to drink, but aftertaste is between espresso and bourbon. Extremely full bodied, chewy and heavy on the palate, but there is no harshness. Low carbonation. It's respectable experiment and very difficult to brew.

Mar 19, 2018
Photo of josanguapo
josanguapo from Spain

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From estucerveza. In Teku glass. Watching Steve Jobs film. At first i found it excessively sweet, but as warms up it improves, becomes more balanced and tasty, with molasses notes. The high abv is pretty well hidden, some warmth is noticeable but not as much as the abv could suggest and doesnt bother at all

Sep 24, 2017
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic from Virginia

4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours some very light head that dissipates very quickly but has a frothy brown appearance. The beer itself has a nice look to it in a dark chocolate black kind of way with a nice brownish hue. The texture is a little bit thin looking and fairly coffee like.

The smell is good and the taste is absolutely something else. There are definitely strong boozy notes in both but it mixes very well with the unusually strong (even after several years of aging) in both the smell and taste. There is a light sweet dark chocolate note underneath the strong booze and cranberry note. The cranberry note adds a nice and slight tart note to everything but is fairly light. The wood note is moderate and contrasts well with the booze to the point where it strongly resembles a sherry.

The feel is good. It's surprisingly thin and slick for a stout but the barrel aging must have really thinned it out. The carbonation is very light and tingling but finishes rather quickly. There is also a teeny tiny burn but not enough to really notice it.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is definitely worth aging for a good long while. I suspect as more fresh beer is a bit more intense though.

Aug 29, 2017
Photo of thommo_nk
thommo_nk from Scotland

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1/3 pint served on draft into wine glass at Brewdog, Cowgate, Edinburgh.

Almost black in colour with thin khaki brown head, Coates the glass as you swirl it. Looks nice.

Taste is bittersweet, treacle, dark chocolate, dried prunes also quite medicinal.

Nice beer, not my style but can imagine drinking this at the end of a nice meal as a liqueur.

Jul 17, 2017
Photo of Vader444
Vader444 from Scotland

4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into TeKu glass.

This version is 16.5% ABV. Opaque black. 1/4 inch head on first pouring but this soon vanishes. Full on rich nose. Insanely bittersweet, this immediately brought to mind a Turkish coffee, in fact I had to check that coffee wasn't listed in the ingredients. As this warmed the cranberry became more evident but at no point did I detect a hint of the jasmine that this beer is brewed with. Mouthfeel is oily with soft carbonation. Overall this is interesting stuff that I'll likely have again though probably in colder weather and would likely split the bottle with a friend. Cheers

Jun 28, 2017
Photo of Everydayoff
Everydayoff from Thailand

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a teku glass.

Very deep brown to crude black in color with a finger of short-lived foamy tan head as a showcase, it dissipates to some bubble along the rim and leaves some spotty lace on the glass-side. It is good appearance overall considering the ABV.

Quick touch of soy sauce flashes first and instantly vanishes. Roasted malt dominates thereafter together with notes of coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate, and dark bread. The level of complexity is increased upon unfolding the aroma of molasses, fudge, burnt sugar, licorice, smoky, flowery, berries, tart, grape, and some boozy spiciness.

Tokyo* introduces its richness with the multilayer of flavor with notes of roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate, and dark bread at first before letting the other tastes like molasses, fudge, burnt sugar, licorice, smoky, slight hint of soy sauce, flowery, berries, tart, grape, yet some alcohol warming and spice to nicely follow through. More alcohol touch and zesty fruitiness delicately open when it starts to warm as well as some mellowness. My recommendation is to sip it slowly and let it get settled in order to bring all the characters into the stage.

Full body with syrupy and sticky touch, the mouthfeel is quite smooth with low carbonation but it is good enough to carry all the things well. The overall feeling is not too hefty while the finish is very dry.

Rich and intense Imperial Stout with lots of thing going on to warmly welcome the palate and nose underneath its great strength, it doesn’t much too complex to understand if you could overcome such high alcohol content.

May 16, 2017
Photo of drmeto
drmeto from Germany

4.96/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle was well over 1 yr old

-pours the darkest of brown with no light coming through and a small,quickly dissipating,foamy,sand-coloured head
-cognac,oak,vanilla,toasty,molasses,chocolate,port wine,juniper berries,curry,caramel,slight coffee,cranberries
-roasty,coffee,bready,cognac,port wine,molasses,chocolate,raisins,cranberries,vanilla,toasty finish
-finishes dry
-medium bitterniss for the style
-low carbonation
-full body

Jan 02, 2016
Photo of Brutaltruth
Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the 12 o bottle (or is it 11.2) in a snifter. This decadent burner pours an oily black with light brown highlights, and a subtle head of tan foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin layer, and subtle lacing. Nose of strong booze, dark roasted sweet malts, and light oak. Flavors exceed the nose with aged barely wine style. Dark chocolates awash with anise on the front and middle of the tastes with deep dark brown sugar sweetness. Middle to back warms with a rocket of strong brandy like notes with a tart cranberry note that is fleeting against the onslaught of sweet malts. Slick and chewy mouth feel, almost oily, with light carbonation that only helps sear in the strong alcohol mingling with an herbal note likened unto ginger. Unique and dangerous.

Liquid sleep aid.

Meaty, beaty, big, and bouncy.

Named for a Space Invaders clone in Japan........Bring on the invaders!


Jan 01, 2016
Photo of DJ-Hophead
DJ-Hophead from England

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, Saveur Biere - Pours dark red with a very small tanned head which disipates quckly. Smell - heavy on cranberry, light roasted malts, boozy. Taste - Berry sweeteness with strong alcoholic after feel. Nice winter sipper that grew on me after every sip.

Dec 27, 2015
Photo of thierrynantes
thierrynantes from France

4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beer bottle (33 cl.), purchased from Super Market !
Appearance : dark black color with tan foam head.
Smell : malty, roasted, wood and alcohol aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : "old Porto" flavors, with alcoholic and warming finish.
Overall : a nice beer in the style "oak aged Imperial stout", the strongest beer I've tasted for a long time.

Dec 05, 2015
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Oily black body, dark head that dissipates completely, courtesy of the oak aging. Nose is heavy on the tart cranberry, subdued roasted malt. Shy for such a huge ABV. Taste is sweet chocolate with tart fruit, hint of licorice. No alcohol, for the positive. Finish has a lasting soy sauce tang yuck. Not much complexity, no hints of the jasmine, oak, or alcohol. Medium body, oily, could even be called light. Huh?
If there was ever a beer to make me question the listed ABV, this is it. No telling by the nose, taste, or my own intoxication. I swear, I got more sober while drinking this. As for the rest of it, it was tasty, but also a little weird. Roasty and tart is hard to pull off, and this didn't do it. No real depth- no oak, barely any stout notes, no jasmine. Interesting, especially how they hid the alcohol so well, but not anything beyond moderately enjoyable. No where near worth the price. >:(

Oct 29, 2015
Photo of ChrisMon02
ChrisMon02 from Ohio

3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle split with a good friend.

Unique smell of cranberry, molasses and licorice. Boozy but expected for the ABV. Taste is very sweet cranberry and booze. Odd for a jet black color of beer. Very sweet to start but my palate adjusted as the beer warmed. Glad I got to try but nothing I would seek out again especially with the hefty price tag.

Oct 22, 2015
Photo of pmangold
pmangold from Florida

4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

jet black, tons of sweet chocolate on the nose. the taste follows with it being very sweet and loads of chocolate flavor in there. it's not nearly as hot as I thought it would be, much easier sipping than I had assumed.

Sep 16, 2015
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle.
Dark red brown with a minimal head (but from a gentle pour).
Rich sweet, inviting aroma. Overly sweet flavor up front but good balance eventually appears, and the late aftertaste is mildly bitter.
Good complexity.

Sep 06, 2015
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate from New York

3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jet with no head - that’d be the high ABV. 3.75
Soy, must, cranberry, and bourbon on the nose. 4
Brown sugar, Coke, barrel, vanilla, raisin, char, cherry liqeuer - no jasmine or cranberry.
Finish is endless, cycling through cocoa nibs, vanilla-bourbon, fish sauce and a hit of IBUs. 4
Just past medium, hot, sharp. 3.75

2009, double barrel aged.

Umami! Lots of sugar, lots of sharp edges, too. Whiskey-saoked raisin brandy warming to lots of brown sugar. But just too hot to really get into the depth of flavor, even after a few years to settle. That’s a shame, because it has a lot to offer. At the same time, sad to see it go. Mighty. 4
“Everything that’s dark is in there.” - Carter.

Aug 28, 2015
Photo of Jnarowe
Jnarowe from Washington

4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Incredible rich malts, deep coffee, molasses, tart sweetness of the cranberries. Sticky. Definitely hot on the finish but not detracting. Much less heat than similar ABVs. Beautiful. Tasted at 69F.

Aug 19, 2015
Photo of cjgiant
cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (with name/spelling change to Tokio) - bought about 5 months ago:
Pours very dark, I'd say black, with visibility otherwise only at the very edges. The head builds up a nice tan before receding to the edges. No lacing, but definitely some legs on each sip.

Nose it think sweetness cut by a hint of tart. Molasses is the first thing I get, along with an overall impression of a port or other fortified wine. There is some very muted roast (maybe even a tiny bit of smoke) underneath dark brown sugar and alcohol, but in the beer world, this reminds me of some dark Belgian ales more than a stout.

Taste starts off less sweet and not as thick as I'd expect from the nose (can smell predict feel?). The molasses is still there, but it actually takes a back seat to what has to be the cranberries (that tastes like dark alcohol-soaked cherries to me). Knowing they are cranberries doesn't help change that impression (like knowing an ingredient sometimes does for me). Once the sweet, tart, alcohol moves on from attacking my tongue, I do get an herbal and berry fruit taste that is actually quite pleasant - especially after the bold opening. The end actually ends up bringing on a light lingering taste of a sweetened coffee to join the taste the cranberries continue to supply.

This beer is a little sticky and coating, with pretty heavy body. It is a sipper, and the alchol provides a touch of heat, but less than a 18% beer could.

Definitely should consider this as a dessert beer, but not as sweet in the mouth as in the nose. This beer had aspects I liked (the subdued berry and roasted notes mid taste), but also some things that seemed over the top. Overall, though I really enjoyed it.

Aug 03, 2015
Tokyo* from BrewDog
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 800 ratings