Road Rash Imperial Stout
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Road Rash Imperial StoutRoad Rash Imperial Stout
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #278
Ranked #5,333
4.13 | pDev: 11.86%
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Road Rash Imperial StoutRoad Rash Imperial Stout
Notes: This Russian Imperial Stout was made by our very own Jessica Weiman. It is black in color with dark fruit aromas and roasted grains and alcohol are present on the nose. Rich and complex, this intense stout has medium hop bitterness and rich burnt malts. It is a full bodied, velvety beer.
Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 87 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of warnerry
warnerry from Michigan

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes from May 2012; on tap at the brewpub

A - Pours pitch black with two fingers of brown head. Head has good retention and leaves some pretty nice lacing.

S - Roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, a bit of burnt malt and a sweet aroma. Some noticeable alcohol as well.

T - Taste is like the smell, but brings on some dark dried fruits that I didn't get from the nose. Has a marshmellow like taste as well. Quite good. The finish is very roasty and bitter.

M - Full mouthfeel that coats the palate nicely. Starts sticky sweet and end s dry and bitter.

O - On the roasty end of what i like in a big stout, but this works well. A bit of sweetness, but focused on the chocolate and roasted malt.

Oct 16, 2013
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up for me by Mikolaj. Served in a Kuhnhenn tulip and shared with DeaconBluez way back in late September. Somehow skipped entering this one when I transferred my notes.

A - A very thin foam quick dissipates almost immediately. Black body, that leaves behind a glass-coating oily film. Very ominous, and does the name justice.

S - Big notes of anise, heavily roasted malts, tobacco, dark chocolate, leather, and alcohol. Very low sweetness here, with only a hint of dark fruits. Somewhat hot, but not unreasonably so for 12%.

T - There's a tad more sweetness in the taste, with light fruity berries and molasses notes amid the intense roasted and charred malts, bitter anise, dark chocolate, and leather.

M - Low carbonation, thick and sludgy, chewy, full body, with plenty of sticky residuals. Some alcohol burn too. Pretty much what you'd expect from a 12% RIS.

D - First, let this one warm up so that the sweeter notes become a little more apparent. When served too cold it's unbalanced toward the burnt side of things. Enjoyable in small doses, although I probably could have used another person (or two) to help Chip and I with the 12oz bottle. It's an extremely 'classic' RIS and a beast of a beer. The 2011 vintage should probably age well for many years to come.

Nov 25, 2012
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium from North Dakota

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thrown in as an extra in a trade with Matt (mgp2675). Thanks!

Poured a dark opaque black with a foamy mocha head that retained well and left a few streaks of lacing on the glass. Aroma is driven by roastiness, dark malts, dark sugars, a bit of ash and licorice. More of the same in the taste, dark roasty malts with a bitter edge, dark fruits--plums, cherries--maybe a twist of citrus zest in there? brown sugar, and lesser notes of ash and licorice with some hints of booze-soaked wood. Mouthfeel is about medium, maybe on the heavier side, pretty smooth, lower carbonation, mildly hot from the alcohol. Overall a good drinker.

Oct 10, 2012
Photo of Gushue3
Gushue3 from Massachusetts

4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big want poured into a Kate bulb. 2011 Vintage

A Pours very dark brown and can barely be seen through while pouring, sits an inky black in the glass. Smaller mocha head that's pretty nice in color forms and goes away rather quickly leaving no lacing. Some lively carbonation as well.

S Big time roast and chocolate. A decent whiff of alcohol in the nose along with molasses and slight tobacco .

T Big time roast and bitter chocolate from front to back. Dark fruits like fig are in there along with tobacco and a touch of alcohol. Really nice tastes all over . The finish is very sweet, almost a sweet berry flavor. Very interesting. I might be shooting a little high but this is really really good. A ton of depth.

M pretty full mouthfeel, slick and oily with little carbonation. Nice cold weather sipping beer.

O I'm blown away by this beer! really hit everything I wanted in a stout. Flavor was fantastic and it frank unbelievably. I really wish I had more of this stuff, I am currently ISO. I loved the 4D's and Barleywines from Kuhnhenn, they are winning me over big time.

Sep 15, 2012
Photo of SupaCelt
SupaCelt from Michigan

4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the pour is rich and dark. despite a less than delicate pour, only a wee little head develops. there is no lacing left behind in the wake of the flood.

the nose is full of dark fruit notes. black cherry and alcohol with some toasted cocoa and chocolate syrup describes the scene that takes place in the nose.

the taste is beautifully complex. the dark fruit character is amazing mixed with the chocolate backbone. the black cherry aspect is again reckognized and their is even a bit of sourness that seems like milk sugar or could be imagined to be cherry juice. there is a noticeable bitterness and definitely some alcohol.

the mouthfeel is full bodied. it has a good thickness to carry the flavor profile.

overall, despite the lackluster looks off the pour, the important things are all in this beer. great nose and even better flavor are delivered to the drinker in a nice little twelve ounce package. just a solid imperial stout from these guys and gals. this is a 2011 bottling and a 2012 bottle is certainly on my list of beers to obtain. another solid sample from the Kuhnhenn camp.

Jun 23, 2012
Photo of ryantho00
ryantho00 from Michigan

4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap poured into a tulip.

This has an NO2-like quality to the creaminess and beautiful tan foamy head that laces the glass nicely in an espresso hue. I get a wonderful marshmallow and cream nose, some coffee and mocha tones, some dark fruits, subtle hops in the background.

This is so superbly smooth, I can't believe it! This has a wonderful creamy marshmallow and cocoa malt medium body to start that leads way into a dark dried fruit and hop balancing act with an abundance of sweet creamy malt flavors laced throughout. Really a magnificently balanced brew that is a very unique take on Russian imperial stouts. I enjoyed this immensely.

Wonderful brew! Well done by a fantastic brewery.


May 12, 2012
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill from Kentucky

4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Big thanks to Knifestyles for sharing.

A: Opaque black body with a clumpy dark tan head. Spotty lace. Ok.

S: Very sweet, with gigantic marshmallow on top of chocolate, dark fruit, and light booze. Very nice.

T: A little roastier than the nose, with dark chocolate, coffee, marshmallow, and prominent booze. Not quite as nice as the aroma, but still tasty.

M: Very thick, viscous, sticky, and full of fine, creamy carbonation. Intense.

O: This was a huge RIS, and a very good one. It didn't have any particular Kuhnhenn craziness, but was actually straightforward and to style (albeit ramped up a bit in terms of ABV). Good stuff, and something I'd love to see on the other side of a bourbon barrel...


Apr 05, 2012
Photo of bobv
bobv from Vermont

4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, dark, dark. Very slight head, little lacing, here and gone.

S: Roasty coffee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, even a little anise and leather. As it warmed I even get a little root beer!

T: Coffee, dark chocolate, ah, there's the booze, with slight espresso towards the finish.

M: Although the head only comes back after a swirl or two the mouth feel has enough carbonation to make this rather tasty, indeed.

O: Very nice after all. Would like to have another, but, alas, received this as an extra! Thank you travMI13!

Apr 05, 2012
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan from New York

4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to bierenutz. enjoyed from a kuhnhenn tulip.

a - poured a pewter black with a full finger of creamy tan head. the head slowly dissipated, but left a thin skin of stouty cream head. black as black gets.

s - WOW. stout witha kick or twist. almost like a peanut butter glazing. somewhat earthy and grassy with some hints of belgian yeast with an almost plum or nutmeg kind of vibe. this all on top of a nice roasty stout. smells distinctly kuhnhenn...some familiar spicing, has that uniqueness.

t - very nice chocolate and roastiness...finishes with the interesting spiciness that lead in the nose. almost belgian. really nice. if blind, i'd guess this was de struise. really top notch.

m - smooth and silky, full bodied without being thick. finishes a little dry and bready.

o - overall, another winner from kuhnhenn. truly unique. huge beer, but it doesn't feel like it. a masterpiece. as a big fan of big stouts, i love this one. it is different, but tasty as can be.

Mar 30, 2012
Photo of BeRanger
BeRanger from Michigan

4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Kuhnhenns tulip.

Poured jet black with a rim of brown head. Smells of heavy licorice, chocolate, roasted malts, still comes off pretty hot. Nice taste to it, very rich in flavor. All the smells come through - pretty well balanced. It's a full bodied RIS with low carbonation. The flavors are coming out a little more when it warms. Not as hot as I had expected, so that was a plus as I'm drinking it rather fresh.

Mar 17, 2012
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner from Massachusetts

3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lazy Saturday beer #2. My lady friend got this sent to her from a friend...I don't ask, I just drink and appreciate.

Opaque black with a dark clay colored head. Thick legs leave foam painted on the glass. Good retention. Dark fruity esters leap from the glass and up my schnoz. Raspberries and chocolate with a roast backdrop.

Vinous dark fruit, burnt caramelized sugar and a few light roast notes. This must have been aged awhile as you can tell there's a boozy ghost floating within, yet I can't detect any heat at all. Mouthfeel is too thin.

One of those dark fruit centric RIS. I prefer'em much roastier but if that's you're thing (Otter Creek RIS comes to mind) you may be a fan of this lil' lady.

Apr 19, 2010
Photo of pwoods
pwoods from Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter. Notes.

A: Pours completely pitch black and thick as motor oil. Good sized dark mocha head forms and holds for a bit. Decent lacing.

S: Lots of deep roast, bitter malts with some chocolate in the back. Definitely some tobacco in the back with a bit of astringency. Dry and smoky. Plenty of alcohol as it warms.

T/M: More of the big deep bitter roasted malts. Pretty dry and bitter, not a lot of rich sweetness or dark fruits. Definitely more of that tabacco flavor, especially as it warms. Big alcohol all over the place. Kuhnhenn's signature I'd say, but not really a bad thing when in the mood. Body is full and smooth.

D: A big Kuhnhenn beer that needs time to get through.

Oct 28, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown from Ohio

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Pwoods with RoyMunson and myself.
Pours a very dark brown, near black in color. There's just a bit of frothy head that forms on the pour. With the abv, I'm even surprised that that happened. Smell is huge roasted malts, some dark fruits and some slight tobacco. Just subtle hints of tobacco. This beer isn't trying to hide anything. It's full frontal assault on your tastebuds and your sobriety. I don't know why we continue to pull out these high abv bottles near the end of the night. Don't you remember how the 3 Guys off the Scale went?! After it gets a chance to warm up more, there's even more of that tobacco, leather flavor coming in. It's really starting to come into it's own. It's a very nice, different stout that I've not had too many like. Good beer.

May 18, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch from Colorado

4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to SaucyA for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice black color, not much carbonation, but still a very nice looking one-finger plus foamy tan head, some oil slicks and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, big chocolate/toffee notes, some licorice, vanilla, and caramel. The taste is malty, choco/toffee notes, licorice, some vanilla sweetness, and caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very nice brew, thanks Adam.

May 03, 2009
Photo of mbrasi
mbrasi from Ohio

4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Growler from brewery, pours black with a rich brown head. Aroma is mostly roast, coffee, and molases. I made the 2 hour drive out there to get a few bottles of KRE (they were sold out but sweet on draft) I ended up landing a growler of this and a good buzz. Flavor is coffee and roasted malt. 12.5% is non-existant, amazing and dangerous. The only fault is that its a little thin bodied but that's what makes this brew dangerous. It's about as thick as an 8.5% but packs 12+. Good Stuff.

Apr 05, 2009
Photo of joe1510
joe1510 from Illinois

4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64oz Growler

I received this growler today from one of the greatest traders out there, thanks Derek! Road Rash glug glugs from the growler and is black as Lucifer's soul. This sucker actually devours the light in the room. A rich chocolate brown head rose easily on the pour but fizzled to a thin skimming fairly quickly. There is a nice collar left behind that leaves part of itself on the wall of the glass after each drink. This is the picture that pops into my head when I think of a huge boozy stout.

The nose on this beast is impressive to say the least. Dark berries burst from the snifter up front along with a sweet milk chocolate and an underlying booziness. A deep pull allows the milk chocolate to morph into cocoa and finally rich dark chocolate. The nose has everything from toasty to lightly roasty grains, vanilla, and coffee grounds. The booziness tickles the nose a bit but doesn't get in the way at all. I find it difficult to pull my nose from the glass.

The graininess is more toasty than roasty which is a bit of a surprise to me and very well received. The fruitiness isn't as vivid as the nose led on but still gets things started. All sorts of chocolates wash over the tongue from the milk variety to heavily dark to baker's. Don't let me forget cocoa, but that doesn't join until the swallow. Coffee grounds join the mix along with the faint vanilla. I was warned this one may be a bit warm but the alcohol seems extremely well integrated. When this beer was out of the fridge it was a little on the hot side but as it nears room temp the boozy factor really calms down to an enjoyable level. The overall flavors aren't as intense as they showed in the nose but they are flawlessly combined.

The mouthfeel is damn fine and if I only had one complaint it's that it could use a touch more body, even though it's already on the lighter side of heavy. The carbonation is soft and keeps the beer rolling slowly over the tongue. All that alcohol heat is extremely well hidden besides the warming sensation in the cheeks after each swallow.

Drinkability? Well, it's about as good as you could expect from a monster such as this. Road Rash is a sipper for sure, don't forget that or you'll be hurting yourself. With that said, two snifters are going down awfully easy.

It's nice to be able to enjoy something from Kuhnhenn without it being gone after a mere 12ozs. All of their beers are enjoyable to the point 12oz just isn't enough and Road Rash falls right in line. Thanks again to a trader among traders! Cheers bud!

Mar 26, 2009
Photo of webmanspidey
webmanspidey from Michigan

4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in the brewpub in an oversized wine glass. Decent chocolate smell with nice roasted malt character. Similar taste.. lots of chocolate and coffee. Slight alcoholic twinge at the end, but in general a very smooth and drinkable imperial stout. Lots of character and creamy texture.

Mar 21, 2009
SPLITGRIN from Kentucky

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Used motor oil blackness crawls out of the battle and settle into the glass like a tar pool. Head is milk chocolate brown and beautiful with big rocky bubbles that leave scattered dots of lace. My mouth starts to water as I take first whiff of the nose and am greeted by huge doses of chocolate, toasted malts, burnt toffee, black licorice and some rich coffee. Amazing aroma. So far its perfect. As you take first sip you are surprised by a sharp balance of bready richness to balance this but not what I was hoping for, based on the nose. A cold coffee like bitter feel hangs on to the back of the tongue along with a slight sour feel. Alcohol is completely hidden except for the fact that it warms the belly well. This is very unique for the style but still very good. Very nicely drinkable.

Mar 19, 2009
Photo of shivtim
shivtim from Georgia

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle via aforbes10 and kkulacki. Huge thanks!
Not sure how I feel about the "Road Rash" combined with the picture of the motorcycle... seems painful! However, I do love Kuhnhenn's labels, as they look like they were printed in someone's basement, giving a special "small batch" feel.

The pour is beautiful. Intense rich brown/black, with a two finger dark brown head. Head slowly subsides into a thin sheen with good legs.

Nose is extremely sweet malts, lots of dark fruit, and a strong roasty backbone. Mild hints of sugary ethanol and the faintest bready smell.

Taste is a wallop of malts right off the bat. Lots of sweetness runs alongside a bitter carob taste. Some alcohol comes in on the end and then a lingering ashy burnt malt flavor. More pronounced layers of toasted malts become apparent upon some warming. Quite nice.

Mouthfeel is syrupy, but with good carbonation.

Feb 05, 2009
Photo of joepais
joepais from Maine

4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been sitting on this one for a while so a need to thank goryshkewych for this one.
A 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter produced a two finger coco colored head that trailed of to a thick lace on top of a black bodied brew.

Aromas of Molasses come right to the front some dark fruit and roasted grains. The flavors are Interesting for a Imperial Stout. Licorice and molasses (sweetness) are up front then followed by some light bitter roastiness. At almost 13% I can't taste any alcohol at all that is incredible. This brew is nice and thick in the mouth making this a great sipper.

Now this is interesting to me it is very drinkable but the ABV on this is far from sessionable it is an interesting Imperial Stout but to me on the edge of the style guidelines for sure. I am sad to see Kuhnhenn jump there prices so much, because this will probably be one of the last I seek out. It was a great stout I can't take that away from them

Feb 01, 2009
Photo of badbeer
badbeer from Iowa

3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black, brown around the edges with a tan head the recedes to a ring around the glass. Boozy smell, chocolate, roasty, caramel, and some cardboard. Roasty, some hops, chocolate, and espresso. Full body and medium carbonation. Pretty decent Imperial Stout that I'd drink again, given the chance.

Dec 28, 2008
Photo of Lothore
Lothore from California

4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours almost pitch black with a thick, chunky dark brown head which sits magnificently atop this menacing brew.

S- Lots of grain, slightly faint for the style, a little bit of milk chocolate.

T- Very Rich, sweet chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, lots of roasted malt at the end.

M- Very thick with perfect carbonation in my mind (some may say it is a little overcarbonated)

D- This is definitely one to sip on. On this cold winter night it is just about perfect. Too rich to have all the time but im enjoying it right now.

Dec 04, 2008
Photo of goethean
goethean from Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Recieved through generous trade with hopsleeroy.

Way overcarbonated. Grainy, sweet, strongly roasted malty aroma.

Amazing complex, tangy, vinous flavor. Really has the flavors of a barleywine of noble vintage...more so than most barleywines. Wonderful complex sweetness. The aftertaste (really more of an after-aroma) is of roasted malt. Mild hops bite toward the end. Fabulous!

Nov 12, 2008
Photo of hopdog
hopdog from Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle acquired in a couple of trades.

Poured a dark black color with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, earthy, and coffee. Tastes of dark fruits (raisins and plums), roast, coffee, and chocolate. Alcohol content well hidden.

Notes from 2/27/08

Nov 10, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pennzoil black with a similar opacity. The brown sugar hued lid that is currently snuggled into the upper half of the glass doesn't look as though it will melt any time soon. In spite of a sky-high ABV, a few scraplets of sea foam lace manage to stick.

The sloping sides of the snifter help to concentrate what is already a potent and roasted malty nose. Aromas include dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses and black licorice. This is shaping up to be a doozy of an RIS.

While Jessie's Road Rash isn't the world-beater that I was expecting, it's still good beer. The biggest negative is a tart-n-tangy fruitiness reminiscent of unripe plums (and maybe even lemons). Hopefully, that characteristic will fade as the beer continues to warm and as malt sweetness plays a larger role.

Too bad that Kuhnhenn doesn't publish ingredients because it tastes like American hops such as Cascade and/or Centennial are in the house. The beer has a citrus quality that would be more enjoyable if it was bitter rather than tart. The aromas described above find their way onto the palate, providing almost as much enjoyment. Molasses is front and center. Alcohol, amazingly enough, isn't.

Do other brewers use tapioca and rice in their big stouts? The goal must have been a full, creamy, silky mouthfeel. Mission... partially accomplished. Given the ABV and the flavor profile, however, it needs to be meatier. Carbonation? Appropriately subdued.

Even though the label looks like it was done on someone's laptop computer, who doesn't love hot chicks on motorcycles? I'm torn between being slightly disappointed in what was expected to be an outstanding Imperial stout and being thankful for a good sipping beer that should gently ease me into my midday nap like a velvet hammer upside the head. Let's go with the latter. Thanks to bakerslp for the bottle.

Nov 01, 2008
Road Rash Imperial Stout from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 87 ratings