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Imperial Stout | Mendocino Brewing Company

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Imperial StoutImperial Stout
Very Good
185 Ratings
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by allboutbierge on 09-04-2010

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Ratings: 185 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of SpAiReArGsEonNE
2.75/5  rDev -29.3%

Photo of mrfrancis
2.75/5  rDev -29.3%

Photo of beagle75
2.88/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque black color with less than one finger of diminishing beige foam head. Light lacing remains and bubbles are seen to rise through the column right against the glass.

S: Roast is intense in the nose, with dark fruit and lesser charcoal also detectable. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins dry, with urgent carbonic acidity followed by thin dark fruit. Roasted malt emerges into the middle, very husky and dry. The finish is moderately bitter, not really standing out among others of the style, with dark chocolate adding interest. No alcohol is detected.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, acidic on the palate to the point of discomfort, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This beer is mostly unremarkable for the style, harboring an unappealing level of acidity that ought to be avoided at all costs in the crafting of one of such a dark and decadent style. Its lack of alcohol qualities is a high point, making it more drinkable. If it wasn't for the acidity, it could have been a genuinely good imperial stout.

 1,063 characters

Photo of Dizbro21
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of mjgrady
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.14/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

My first Mendocino Imperial anything. Probably the first of a few... It pours a straight obsidian topped by a finger of light-ish brown foam. The nose comprises buttery biscuits, light char, rubber, black coffee, roasted malts, and I think there's some molasses way in the back there. Things are dominated by the biscuits, though, which comes off as rather strange to me. The taste holds notes of roasted malts, light coffee, charcoal, light bitter dark chocolate, and a touch of buttery toffee. The body is a soft medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, an okay impy stout at best, one that smells off, tastes decent, and feels too light and fluffy. I'd pass on this one, given a second chance.

 767 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears pitch black large tan head fine even lacing. Aroma has some dark hoppy contents pine citrus dark chocolate moccha notes. Flavor is a bit harsh dark acrid black roasted malts. Harsh bitterness dark fruits hints of butterscotch that don't meld very well. Finish is rediculous with a harsh unbalanced bitterness, some hops come through pine/citrus/herbal that don't work well with the whole experience. Mouthfeel is cloying from front to back, I'm not really feelin this dark beer. Carbonation is unrelenting, on the high end fo the style becomes a bit cloying especially as this warms up a bit. Drinkability, after a second bottle I had on hand I revisited not as horrible as my first gut reaction was, a decent impy stout that just wasn't meshing for me on mouthfeel and flavor the clashing of the sweet sided traditional dark fruits more of a west coast hop profile coming through for me.

 896 characters

Photo of Grinky
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of AlexFields
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of l1fted
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle at 48 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours pitch black with an inch of khaki head that has average retention but excellent lacing.

S: Burnt malts, smoke, and charred oak all over with a little nuttiness mixed in.

T: Charcoal pit, some dark chocolate, strong coffee, and roasted nuts.

M: The body is medium-thick with below average carbonation.

D: It is like an Imperial Stout mixed with a Rauchbier.

 424 characters

Photo of mdvatab
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter.

Aroma: Dark espresso, red grape juice, and powdered cocoa. Very fruity with a slight mineral note.

Appearance: Pitch black. Pours like motor oil. Thick 1 finger tan head collapses to creamy layer.

Flavor: Mineral, slight metallic note, red grape juice, and a hint of phenolic band-aid. Espresso bitterness quickly appears, and lingers long through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Med-full mouthfeel and medium-low carbonation.

Overall: Definitely not my favorite Imperial stout... Mouthfeel was there, but the aroma was intriguing at best. Meanwhile, the flavor was a bit harsh, and the brew had some flaws. I'd give it another chance down the road, but for now, this is not something that I'm going to seek out.

 746 characters

Photo of bramsdell
3.34/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to imp pint glass.

A: ~1 inch, dark tan head. Foamy and rich, looks like expresso. Body is pretty much black and doesn't really change color when held up to light. Not much in the way of lacing.

S: Two flavors immediately spring out: burnt expresso and sweet grape-like aromas. Suffers from some of the problems of many imperial stouts in that the alcohol starts to come out at the same time as a sweetness that has clearly been placed there to hide the booze.

T: Burnt and sweet. The immediate flavor, just like the smell, is a charred coffee taste. Very much like a cafe Americano in its burnt, almost over powering flavor. Just as the burnt flavor begins to recede, there comes a malty sweetness that I simply can't get behind. I love a rich malt flavor, but this is not a rich flavor; it is simply a super sweetness to counteract the booze and charred flavors. The two flavors seem to stand quite separate from one another and never really mesh the way that they should.

M: Feels fine. It's as thick as it is dark with very low carbonation. There isn't much to complain or rave about here.

O: It's an average imperial stout. If every company didn't make an imperial stout, it might be something to talk about, but I've had a dozen stouts of this abv and darkness that I have preferred. Not a bad beer, just not a great beer of a style that demands greatness.

 1,386 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Super used motor oil black, thick, viscous, definitely an imperial stout. Over an inch of head on it, tan. Aroma was dry, astringent, bitter and roasty.

Thick roast taste, mouthfeel is slick, alcohol is noticeable, but not pressing itself too hard. This is real straightforward, no real dark fruit edge, its just a big imperial stout with no adjuncts, no sweetness, no barrels. A good price on it doesn't hurt.

 418 characters

Photo of swierczt
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into goblet, jet black, outside light does not permeate this offering. A little head, one finger thick, coffee colored. Short retention and only a light lacing left behind on the glass.

S - Roasted malts, a hint coffee, dark fruits are most apparent.

T - A ton of roasted, almost burnt, bitter malts. A touch of smokiness, dark chocolate and coffee. I do not get as much of the dark sweet fruits as detected in the nose. A bit of hops comes through at the end, which was a bit of a surprise.

M - Relatively full bodied, a bit more carbonation than I personally like in the style.

D - Did not notice the 10% ABV in the taste. Was drinkable in the sense that you do not get the warm boozy burn that you would find in other imperial stouts. Overall, a nice imperial stout with a slight hops twist.

 811 characters

Photo of boudreaux
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a dark mahogany/black ink; 1.5 finger rocky dark brown/mocha head; reduced to little/no lacing

S: slightly hoppy with salt, plum, toffee, coffee, chocolate, licorice and anise, anise strong ashy roast.

T: strongly bitter and dry, tar and ash and tobacco; nice roast from the slight/weak malt.

M: Medium body a little thin. dry, dusty, roasty, lightly ashen aftertaste is excellent and long; inky with noticeable rounding from the Goldings. Alcohol well hidden, silky slick and oily mouthfeel

D: on the whole, a very enjoyable stout, but lacks that transcendent oomph to set it apart from hundreds of others.

 622 characters

Photo of KajII
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Snifter]

The pour was a muddy ebony black with a slight ruby hue and a medium cocoa brown head that bordered between average and large, which did recede down to a nice thick film creating some fair runny lacing.

The aroma was of roasted dark bread malts, light floral hops and a meaty leathery yeast with notes of toffee, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit (raisons and prunes) and just a hint of licorice.

The taste was a roasty bitter sweet with hints of chocolate and toffee early on, progressing with a mild hoppy bitterness, a touch of fruit, a bold coffee presence, a bit of licorice and a noticeable alcohol tinge right at the end. The flavor lasted a very long time following the swallow with a bitter roasty alcohol taste left lingering for quite a while longer.

Mouthfeel was full in body and dry in texture with a good strong carbonation, which is kind of unusual in a stout.

Overall this was a unique Imperial Stout with a bitter sweet fruitiness and a bold roastiness, which worked very well together along with the smooth alcohol flavor making this an enjoyable brew to sip on....


 1,159 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of bostonryan
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of ales4baldo
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Hellpop65
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of dwesh
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of irongator
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of rheimbro
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.5/5  rDev -10%

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Imperial Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 185 ratings
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