Winter Stout (Russian Imperial Stout) | The St. George Brewing Company

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Winter Stout (Russian Imperial Stout)Winter Stout (Russian Imperial Stout)
Very Good
68 Ratings
Winter Stout (Russian Imperial Stout)Winter Stout (Russian Imperial Stout)

Brewed by:
The St. George Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mmmbeer on 01-14-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 58
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of asabreed
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A thick and bubble head with hardly any air between it. This looks like ice cream, though doesn't bubble up like a Belgian. Some thin but very spotty lacing down the glass. And the body is as dark if not darker than Storm King.

Smell: A good amount of sweet malt, bitter chocolate, and some oatmeal sweetness also. Slight coffee, molasses, maple, and vanilla come through also. Didn't expect it to be this sweet in the nose, though it's pretty nice.

Taste: Initial sweetness, and lots of it. Almost pungent malts, with some hoppy bitterness also. I wish some more dark fruit was there, as there's just a tinge of it. Is the sweetness coming from the molasses? Not really sure. Again, a very oatmeal-like sweetness, is there oatmeal in here too? Hmmm. There's also a surprising bitterness from the hops at the end, and it really seems to work in the finish's favor. Some more roastiness could kick this up a notch, but as is it's pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, full, and unyielding. Carbonation's not too much and not too little, and fits the body well. Nicely done.

Drinkability: Though I used to be a huge RIS drinker, I usually stick to them now as desert brews or winter brews. Regardless, this is pretty tasty and isn't your same old version of the style. St. George does a great job with this, and though I've only seen it in the Dragon Pack, it's worth a shot if you see it. St. George has continued to impress me, and I hope they make many more and branch out a bit.

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Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, gifted by blackie, consumed during the madness of march

appearance: poured into a snifter, dark mahogany body with a creamy milk chocolate head and some frosty lacing

smell: roasty and rich, espresso, dark chocolate, a touch of cream, toasted oats, licorice

taste: nice RIS - nothing we havent seen before but some solid flavors throughout. this beer is quite rich and features a creamy dark chocolate core with hints of vanilla, licorice, booze, espresso and dark fruit

mouthfeel: creamy, perhaps a tad light, moderate bitterness

drinkability: good

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Photo of avisong
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of cliff1066
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of ebby82
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Upon first pour, there is an obvious coffee smell. However, the coffee flavor is not overwhelming; Pours a medium black into a tulip glass. Head is minimal. The taste has coffee notes without being overwhelming. Additionally, there is a minimal smokiness to the aftertaste which adds rather than detracts from the overall flavors.

The alcohol is barely noted in the taste, although it is evident upon the effect's of a bomber's worth of beer. Although its a Russian IPA, it manages to have a light to middle bodied mouth feel; it does not have the oil like consistency of some other Russian IPA's, and it is very drinkable, although certainly not a session beer.

Eminently enjoyable and extremely affordable, this is an excellent beer.

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Photo of nickd717
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Pours just about black with a one finger tan head and decent lacing.

The aroma is roast, chocolate, dark fruits, anise, and a little sweet caramel.

The flavor is sweet caramel and chocolatey malts, molasses, anise, black cherries, and metallic notes.

Medium full bodied and smooth with soft carbonation.

A solid but not great imperial stout. Hard to be too impressed after having almost 200 in the style I guess.

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Photo of russpowell
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clearly this was the clear winner in this mixed 6 of this brewery (based on notes from late March)

Pours midnight black wit 1" of tan head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Chocolate & then some fruitty notes

T: Choclate & boozey warmth followed by iron. Finishes dry, a little oily &sweet

MF: Oily, chewy & near perfect carbonation

Drinks a little slow, but what do you expect for the style. Nice/great offering!

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Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on cask at the Capital Ale House (Richmond, VA)

Pours a very dark brown/black with a finger width of creamy tan head. It maintains a creamy retention with nice dark sticky cask lacing all down the sides of the glass. The aroma is deep with roasted and chocolate malts, coffee, and some dark fruit elements.

The taste is a mellow chocolate sweetness, roasted malts, a tangy dark fruit tartness, and a nice tingling hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamy feel and the 10% ABV being very well hidden.

This was another very well done and extremely drinkable brew from St. George. The rich flavors and creamy body real really stood out with this cask version.

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Photo of Riverwarrior
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S = The chocolate malt aroma is incredible in this brew. It jumps out and hits you like a medieval hammer (hence the label art).

T = The taste was phenomenal. The dark chocolate flavors came through strong and the hop bitterness was very tame which made it well balanced.

MF = Very creamy and smooth with low carbonation.

The finish was great. Even after the beer warmed, there was no harsh burnt coffee taste or bitterness which made this brew so enjoyable. I definitely recommend trying this offering. It has become one of my favorites.

 542 characters

Photo of austinhensley
3.29/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured basicly dark brown with orange hue at bottom of the mug. Creamy inch thick head. Did not ecspecially enjoy the mouthfeel or the after taste, but the flavor was exceptional. Did not feel very heavy, but definitely warmed me up. Great lacing that stayed on the glass almost all the way until I was finshed with the 3 pint mug.

 331 characters

Photo of Jredner
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glop, glop, glop. Pours stygian black with a quarter coin thickness mocha head. Aroma is strong with dark chocolate and dried cherries. Head quickly fades leaving it looking like an oil spill in some ocean in hell. Very nice lacing. Flavor is huge burnt and roasted malt followed by dark baker’s chocolate, blackstrap molasses, espresso and some lightly sweet cream and dark fruit notes. It’s pretty still with a tiny level of carbonation. It has the feel of much higher ABV Imperials and if I lived close I’d buy cases of it to imbibe when I wanted an Impy, but not a raging buzz. A very nice brew from Virginia.

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Photo of pchalk
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

as if nearly a week of liver punishment in Madison weren't enough...picked up a six on one of many work related forays to Langley, probably around two months in the bottle, consumed near room temperature

a: into my young but experienced Piraat snifter, the pour produces a brief pillow of mocha colored head that quickly recedes to only thin wisps on the surface, with subsequent tips of the glass again rousing the head, the beer itself nearly black in color

s: smoky roast, vivid molten dark chocolate, light roasted coffee bean, chocolate cake caramel coated dark fruits, moderate booze, earthy hops with a hint of dark evergreen, extremely solid aroma but lacking that little edge to set it apart

m: delicate traces of carbonation on the tongue, full body, smooth

t: liquid dark chocolate with waves of booze, turns from chocolaty towards dark roasted barley after the swallow, pine bark hop flavor, moderate bitterness

d: 10 percent? a superbly drinkable ris

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Photo of auxiliary
4.77/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance - Pours a black color and had a somewhat fluffy-bubbly head, tannish color. Then the head decended to a ring, with a small pond like head.

smell - Dark chocolate, malts, coffee, java beeans.

taste - Lots of dark chocolate/java up front with some bitterness at the end.

mouthfeel - Thick, chewy and tingley.

drinkability - Wow. This is one of best RIS I have had to date. Was amazed. I have to take it slow on this one because I only have one. mmmm taste so good.

 480 characters

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's on Broadway...
Appears pitch black with a 2 finger head of fluff that slowly fades out. Lots of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted grains, cracked peanut shells, cocoa, mocha, mild fruitiness, and a hint of vanilla.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a nice, rich, dark fruit flavor standing out amongst the intense flavors.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, roasty along the palate, and slightly bitter with notes of freshly ground coffee.
Served a bit too cold at Max's but it gets much better as it warms, so be patient.

 567 characters

Photo of arguemaniac
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a viscous, oily black with a creamy but brief brown head. Intense dark fruits in the nose along with some obvious toasted notes. While the palate does offer nice variety and complexity, the intense brunt grain astringency overshadows everything else just a bit. Nonetheless, plenty other rich flavors shine through nicely: sweet caramel, bitter chocolate, dark fruit, molasses, and definite coffee bitterness. Coffee and burnt notes in the bitter finish.

Sweeter that most Impy stouts, but the burnt bitterness is really pretty dominant, though I can’t say it takes anything away from this rich, delicious brew. Recommended.

 634 characters

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a dense black color with a mild cocoa head that recedes. Mild spotty lacing on the glass.

Aroma is a sweet, roasted maltiness with big dark fruity tones. Faint chocolate smell and smokiness.

Sweet and malty roasted taste upfront dropping off into a light hop flavor, some cocoa, and a mild smokiness. The rich fruitiness in the smell has almost no presence in the taste. Finishes with a lingering sweetness.

Full body, light carbonation.

A quality RIS, just falls short of greatness. Would enjoy this again, but probably not more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Brickskeller during an event.

Pours a deep, dark color bordering on black. Thin tan head eventually fades into a few bubbles atop the beer. The nose brings some roasted character as well as a bit of chocolate and coffee. Everything gels pretty well.

The flavor isn't quite as complex and integrated as the nose, falling just a bit flat. There are some coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt notes, though they never seem to find that cohesion point and really mesh. The mouthfeel is somewhat full but a bit thin for the style, though it works with the flavors and makes it quite drinkable. A 7.6% RIS is something I could definitely handle more often than the typical booze bomb.

 692 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of AleWatcher
2.62/5  rDev -33%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into snifter.

This is pretty dark. Bubbles up a dark tan, cocoa-powder head of 3 fingers. Retention holds for a sip or two before all that remains is a lazy and loose collar around the ring of the glass. No lacing at all.

Smell has an astringent alcohol-- certainly a bit of a flaw. Especially for only being 7%! Roasted chocolate, black, and crystal malts show up... A bit underdressed for the occasion. This beer needed a higher OG.
The beer is overly carbonated and a bit thin. If I didn't KNOW this was an RIS, I would certainly not guess it.

The beer has some sweetness up front, but dries out through the middle--- and finishes dry. A slight note of black licorice seems to creep in. Very roasty malts. The anise finish hurts the overall mark for the taste. The astringent booze doesn't help either.

Overall... This is not a good RIS. This would be a solid American Stout... Sadly, the label says RIS! It makes an attempt to hit the right notes, but much like my tone-deaf wife, we suffer for it. Is this awful? No. Undrinkable? No. But is it anywhere near where I'd like to see it.

 1,099 characters

Photo of PhageLab
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery. Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pitch black brew of course, low bit of froth, decent retention, nice lacing. Looks a tad intimidating, but I'm ready for it.

S - Abv is quite obvious here, but under that there are hints of plum and bitter chocolate, and perhaps a bit of spice as well.

T - Wow, very delicious. Very bitter body with a boozy backing and sweet dark fruits in the aftertaste. Very dry, but well balanced. More complex than I had anticipated.

M - Full bodied, low carbonation level, dries the palate.

D - Amazing, I could drink several of these and be more than content. Of course it may have some disastrous side effects with the high alcohol content, but I think I'd be willing to trade sobriety for a few more pints of this. A must try if you're in the area.

 799 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a thick, opaque black with about a half-finger of bubbly ecru head that dissipates rather quickly. No real lacing is produced. The nose is dark malts, figs, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, and a tiny, tiny hint of smoke. The tongue differs a bit from the nose, in that the malts become wheatier, the figs, molasses, and brown sugar almost completely drop out, and the toffe combines with a very light vanilla, some bourbon, and a good deal of (unfortunately) leather. The body is a hefty medium, with low carbonation and a nicely smooth feel. Overall, though, the strange leathery flavor weighs down an already weak taste profile and, hence, the overall drinkability. Still, the latter weathers the storm relatively well.

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Photo of VBWharfRat
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of John_M
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap during X-mas in July at Max's.

The beer pours an impressive dark black color with a very creamy and dense looking head. The beer has very good lacing, though the head dissipates a bit more quickly then I would have expected. Not a lot on the nose here, just some cola, vanilla and coffee. On the palate this stout is just divine. It has a soft creamy mouthfeel that just caresses the palate. This beer is very, very plush and smooth, and is sweet with flavors of cherry, coffee and vanilla. The beer has a long, lingering finish, and is just a joy to drink. No sharp edges on this one. As the beer sits in the glass I start to pick up smoe more chocolate. The abv. is noticeable in this stout, but is still surprisingly drinkable for such a big beer. The beer is quite warming and tends to sneak up on.

An excellent beer from this brewery. I'm thinking that a bit of age has helped this one out quite a bit.

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Winter Stout (Russian Imperial Stout) from The St. George Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 68 ratings