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Imperial Stout | Sacramento Brewing Co.

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Imperial StoutImperial Stout
27 Ratings
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Brewed by:
Sacramento Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-15-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 27 |  Reviews: 26
Reviews by jdklks:
Photo of jdklks
2.15/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A- Pours a deep, impenatrable black with a dark brown head that laces the cup.

S- chocolate. sweet chocolate. also coffee grinds and a roasted malt smell.

T- Disappointing. weaker than expected from the smell and the style. alcohol is over-pronounced. the burnt chocolate flavor is underwhelming.

M- somewhere between medium and full-bodied? just like the flavor, it is light for its style. not so smooth at all.

D- none... wouldn't particularly care for one if it was given to me, and definitely would never again buy one. dont know if ill even get to the bottom of this one.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of rastaman
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pretty tasty stuff. Bitter, roasted, tarry, nutty, good length and bitterness. Decent Imperial stout. Not the most interesting in its style, but pretty nice solid stuff, pretty good balance, and went down well while camping in the californian wilderness, tasty, enjoyable.

 280 characters

Photo of watermelonman
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This arrived looking very dark and appealing. The requisite head sat on top and the beer left a great lace as I drank it.

The smell and taste may be a touch less potent than the average imperial stout, but this is still a good beer. Roasted malts dominate, with hops peeking through the finish. The mouthfeel was a bit light, while the drinkability was fairly good.

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Photo of freetake2
5/5  rDev +40.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have to say, this is a group tasting between 2 friends and myself. Because I only had one Boper bottle, and took one taste, I had to share. This was an absolute treat. Where I am located this stout can not be purchased. I was fortunate enough to get one bottle...Let me tell you it was hard to share. This wasen't your average stout where you say, "Not bad". This left me with the thought, "I NEED MORE"....The bad part is, I didn't have any and new I needed to savor every last taste. The strong roasted flavors of chocolate left a lingering desire for more. I have to be honest I am not what you would say a stout drinker..But after this tasting this Brewery and it's owner I would like to visit and meet...

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Photo of StevieW
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark rich black color, fluffy bubbly beige head. A beauty in the glass. Noticable spicy smell with roasted fruit of plums, figs and sweet spicy presence as well. Taste was everything to be expected, serious roasted plums, candied fruits, and strong bitter chocolate finish. Very complex but flavorful beer. Higher abv made it a bit thinner than other stouts. Very good example of the style. They offer this one a the IPA in bottles to go. I lugged one of these back from my vacation.

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Photo of BradBLR
3.01/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark rootbeer brown that you could not see through. The head was a carmel color that last about a quarter of the beer, with a light amount of lacing. The smell was a strong malt smell with a hint of hops and a big lemon smell.

The taste was a malty flavor, like burnt sugar and chocolate. Some coffee and a hint of hops. There was also a strong lemon taste.... not too good. The mouthfeel was ok, with it being very thick and the CO2 being a little strong.

Overall just an average beer, and not the best imperial stout I have ever had.

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Photo of germaniac
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Recently, I had a chance to try this beer on tap, and it turned out to be the only bright spot in my trip to the Sacramento Brewing Co. I figured this brew would be enjoyable in the bottle, so here we are.

Pours black and impenetrable, like any good RIS should. The head starts out looking like it might stick around, then abruptly shifts into lace halo mode.

The smell of dark chocolate is most noticeable, with roasted malt and a barely there hoppy bitterness. Not exactly the intense nose candy I would expect in a high caliber RIS, but good just the same.

Taste is pretty much roasted malt backed up by the bittersweet combo of hops and chocolate. Warmth from the alcohol content comes after a few sips. As is, this just a decent stout, nothing fancy. But also, this is pretty much the poster child for a young RIS. With some time in a cool dark place, it has interesting potential.

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Photo of rayjay
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery. The draft version is much deeper and richer than the bottled version comes across as. Thick and menacing looking. There is a strong roasted malt presence, faint sweetness, and luxury notes of chocolate cherries, prunes, milk chocolate reduction, roasted nuts. Faint tones of alcohol, and the faint bite of yogurt. Very fresh, and obvious signs of TLC. This beer packs a ton of flavor. Highly recommended.

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Photo of warmstorage
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, no dating, states 8.1% ABV. (I've also had this beer on tap numerous times, but this review is from the bottle sitting in front of me.)

Appearance: poured into bell pint glass. Medium to dark black. Huge dense rocky tan head, leaves significant lacing, maintains a decent medium dense head.

Aroma: roasty, sweet, warm alcohol.

Taste: sweet fruit, figs, roasty sweet malt, creosote, burnt. Tasty and good for style. Hops noticeable but not pronounced.

Mouthfeel: it's medium on the thin-thick scale. Low to moderate carbonation.

I've had this beer probably 50 times, maybe more, both on tap (at both Sac Brewing locations) and in the bottle. It doesn't blow me away, but I appreciate it for a few reasons: they consistently bottle, year-around, an 8.1% imperial stout, which few other breweries do. It's very affordable (usually $3 to $3.29 for a 22 ounce bomber) for a beer with such a significant grain bill. It's not a beer designed for the masses, and they don't seem to care. It's full and flavorful, and provides a great choice when the other options are between decent, safe, and bland. Finally, when I stop in to Sac Brewing at Town & Country, and it's 106 outside, I often still want a serious, dark, strong, heavy beer to counteract the air conditioning set at 63 inside.

Is it the best RIS out there? No. I think Great Divide Old Yeti and Rogue XS Imperial Stout are unquestionably better, and North Coast Old Rasputin and Avery The Czar are pretty surely better. I think it stacks up very well to many years of Stone RIS, and I think it kicks the crap out of Samuel Smith Imperial Stout.

So... is it absolutely adequate as an RIS, and a very solid beer besides? Definitely.

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Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, dark brown color with hints of ruby at the edges. It had a small, tan, bubbly head that left sheets of soapy residue.

S - It smelled strongly of roasted malt, chocolate, caramel and some toffee. Slight floral notes.

T - It taste of sweet chocolate, caramel and a burnt toast maltiness. It had some subtle hoppy characteristics.

M - It was soft, smooth and somewhat dry. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - Not a bad RIS, but not as complex as I hope for in the style.

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Photo of MisterClean
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz purchased from Total Wine, Roseville

A - Pours a dark black, with 2 fingered dark chocolate head. Dissipates slow and leaves a nice trail. Perfect.

S - Dark chocolate, plums, and light alcohol.

T - Dark chocolate, plums, and light alcohol.

M - Very rich and smooth highlighted with light alcohol. Could have more hop balance.

D - Good. Much better to age this for a year or two and let the alcohol subside. Not much taste on hops.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

02/25/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in Sacramento, CA

Presentation- 22oz bomber with no dates. Split with my wife into Duvel glasses.

Appearance- Deep brown color, nice 1/2 inch head that slowly eroded leaving the small circle of foam in the middle. Above average lacing.

Smell- Deep dark roasted malt and dark chocolate.

Taste- I would equate the taste exactly with the smell. Dark chocolate, maybe some coffee mixed in. Dark burnt malt prevails over all though. Quite tasty. Feel like a 10% rather than 8%.

Mouthfeel- Thick and creamy with a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability- One of the better Russian stouts I have had. Went well with my BBQ salmon and pastries filled with pastrami, saurkraut and cheese. Should have purchased a few more of these. Nice brew.

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Photo of putnam
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Blackish brown liquid. Thin cap of creamed coffee color. Roasted coffee, cocoa and roasted lemon aromas are joined by traces of herb and twig. On the lighter bodied side for its style. Sweet, cough syrup flavors duel with tangy, leafy tannins: think Jaegermeister with a shot of espresso, green tea and a twist of lemon ... diluted with melted ice. Lackluster, sheepish beer.

 375 characters

Photo of clickpush
3.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pour: 22oz bomber to tulip. The beer is jet black and lets no light through. A few bubbles are visible along outside of the glass, but can see no further. Comes out with a two finger thick brown head that looks fluffy us a feather pillow and clings to the sides of the glass as it descends to good lacings.

Nose: Very fragrant - smoke, chocolate, charcoal, caramel, grapes, more chocolate, alcohol as if it were a liqueur, marshmallows.

Mouth: first impression = boring; after taste = unbelievable delicious; as it warms up = undrinkable. Immediately upon entering the mouth you know that this beer was better left in the glass. It's got a very thin mouthfeel and the first thing you notice is how flavorless the beer is up front. The back is hardly any different, until you swallow. The swallow and aftertaste are magnificent, like burnt toast (doesn't sound appealing, but I really liked it). If the whole beer tasted like the after taste this would be one hell of a find. Touches of chocolate accompany the taste of charred bread, but the rest of the experience remains pitiful.

 1,087 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark black color. Medium tan head. Aroma is chocolate. A medium to full bodied Imperial Stout. Malts are roasted, very choclately with a touch of vanilla and coffee. Hops are slightly spicy. Smooth and fairly creamy texture. Hint of alcohol bite. Touch of dark fruits, plum and cherry. A nice imperial stout. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of troobie
4.29/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The only other Russian Imperial Stout that I have had (and had and had) is Old Rasputin.

I'm pouring this Russian Imperial Stout from a 22 ounce bottle. Looks thick as it is poured. Color is black. No light shines through, but looking sideways at the top of the head you can see it is a brownish ruby red beer. Smell is amazing. Sweet, fruity, hickory smoke, milk chocolate, and strong on the charcoal. Extremely smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation is low but I think that it is adequate for the style. Taste starts off sweet, goes to dark fruits, then all of the sudden turns to charcoal and leaves you with a bitter charcoal taste in your mouth. Extremely drinkable.

I still prefer Old Rasputin, but will definitely buy this Sac Brewing Co. beer again. I was really surprised and how good this is.

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Photo of harpus
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of rkhaze
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with dark brown edges. Lots of big bubbles that immediatly fall to a tan collar.
Aromas of roasted malt and dark chocolate. Coffee and a hint of red fruit as well. Weak hop presence at the end.
Tastes of grainy roasted sweet malt, chocolate, coffee and a semi earthy hop finish. Dark chocolate made another appearance and lingered on the tongue. Alcohol was well hidden.
Seemed light bodied for the style and didn't have the viscosity and creaminess off most Imperials.
Good drinkability but lacked the intensity of smell, flavor and body of most Imperials. A good beer, an OK Imperial.

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Photo of donnebaby
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fat and thick dark brown cream interlaced with big bubbles, very nice, piling up and lasting for the duration of the session. Nose is complex. Smokey wheat and graham flour, toasty and dry. Almost no sweetness or fruit.

Taste is smooth and mild, totally covering the alcohol. Notes of vanilla, charred grain, going bad black coffee. Toasty notes and leaving a very dry cereal wheat aftertaste. Nice bitter hop feel in there, too, getting towards mineral-like carbon. Carbonation is almost absent.

Liked this Imperial Stout, very well-done.

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Photo of gford217
3.27/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber courtesy of jh1982.

Pours dark, dark brown with some light shining through the edges. An aggressive pours yields only a few big bubbles around the sides which dissipate immediately.

The aroma is sweet with some chocolate and vanilla. It's got a bit of roasted character and a slight tart sourness in the nose. Maybe getting a little oxidized.

The taste is more of the same with some bakers chocolate and dark roasted malts. It's pretty light on flavor overall though and finish is slightly bitter.

The mouthfeel is where this one falls short for me as it has no carbonation at all and is extremly slick and oily. The body is very thin overall and need a bit more body.

This is a pretty disappointing RIS as it needs a good bit more carbonation and more flavor and complexity to be considered solid. As it is, pretty underwhelming.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
2.41/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Served cool in a dimpled mug from a 22 oz brown bottle.

Pours nicely with good body. Nice dark brown color, crystal clarity with a big fluffy and rocky tan head.

Aroma is boozy and slightly chocolatey.

Flavor is just crap. Fruity, chocolatey, boozy.

Mouthfeel was balanced, but the poor flavor made it hard to concentrate.

Drinkability was rotten. I haven't had to pour many out this year, but this one was straight down the drain. Given my luck lately with trying new stouts, I should just slap myself every time I reach for one and buy another can of Ten Fidy instead.

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Photo of Vancer
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A quiet pour, but what a massive foamy head on top of this near black brew. Complete circle of lace in the ol’Corsendonk tulip.

Chalky whiffs of chocolate coffee are stimulating; I’m ready for the quaff. Yep, powdery notes of the previous, raisons and dark fruits are popping in and making a presence. Just a tad raspy and sour, porter-like - but still a tasty and enjoyable brew.

Thick and rich, no trace of the 8% alcohol. A nice brew matched with some string cheese and Sunday football.

Thanks for the brew, received courtesy of my Secret Bunny the rayjay.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 22 oz. bottle poured to a pint glass, acquired in trade from rayjay. Vintage uncertain. Bottle label reads "Russian Imperial Stout" vs. "Russian Style Imperial Stout" as in photo. Beautifully designed label, by the way...

A: Pours (with a trailing amber film) as almost black and still. Minimal tan head which virtually vanishes within seconds; only faint traces remain. Lace is sparse, too.

S: Malty and sweet, leaning toward a more butterscotch/caramel syrupy sweetness than a robust chocolate/coffee.

T: Interesting...not the RIS I was expecting. Quite bitter, with lots of coffee bean intensity and sourness. Any malty sweetness is overwhelmed by a biting, almost stinging, tannic/resinous quality. Slight smoke, definite piney/citrus hoppiness. A rich flavor, though lacking the sweetness and fruitiness I'd look for in a Russian Imperial Stout.

M: Medium-heavy mouthfeel with a long-lasting bitterness down the tongue. Crisp,, bitingly spicy hops. Sneaky alcohol warmth (8.1%)

D: Not bad, though not what I'd hoped for either. A very hoppy and exceedingly bitter RIS. I'd like to try this again on draught; however, this one in its bottled-version is one I'm glad to have tried but probably is not one I'd return to.

 1,240 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
2.91/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Vintage 2005

Pours cola-like with it's fizzy carbonation release and no retention.
Opaque and blackish with burnt hues. Zero lacework or head.
Aromatics are roasty, chocolatey, and fruity. Cherries under coffee grounds and bakers chocolate. Promising enough except for a hint of lactic acid.
Mouthfeel is flatish and tart. Thick and a bit syrupy.
Pallet is lactic and fruity. Any redeemable Imperial stout character is taken aback from the flaw.
Roasted malt and chocolate bits with espresso hints, pummeled by sourness.
Finishes tart and roasty with a hint of smoke.
This is the second bottle from this batch that was bad.

 633 characters

Photo of aforbes10
3.91/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the Arden Way BevMo! Pours very black, almost opaque, with a half inch brown head that falls off within a few minutes. Laces regally.

Smells of chocolate malt, vague prunes, sweet coffee. Alcohol apparent but not overwhelming.

Flavor is quite good. A nice big roasted to burnt malt, with only a touch of unpleasant metallic bitterness. Definite prunes/raisins/plum undertones. Little kick of ethanol. A bit dry on the finish and the flavor doesnt linger as i'd like, but not bad.

Full bodied, right on the for the style in mouthfeel.

Drinks well, I'm happy to say. Pretty good deal for the price, too ($3.99). I'll probably have another if i see it again.

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Imperial Stout from Sacramento Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 27 ratings
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