Vlad Russian Imperial Stout
Hailstorm Brewing Co.

Vlad Russian Imperial StoutVlad Russian Imperial Stout
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #682
Ranked #12,211
3.98 | pDev: 7.54%
Hailstorm Brewing Co.
Illinois, United States
Vlad Russian Imperial StoutVlad Russian Imperial Stout
Notes: Brewed with 11 different malts and 6 different hop varieties, this huge Russian Imperial stout is as complex as they come. Big hop flavor and aroma that fades to clean malt with notes of chocolate, coffee, and roasty goodness. The massive amount of hops used in this beer help balance out all that malty sweetness.
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 93 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jzlyo
jzlyo from Iowa

4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is roasted/toasted dark malts, dark fruit and a hint of sweetness/alcohol. The flavor is dark fruit, dark/roasted malts, chocolate, mild sweetness in the middle and a big acidic/warming alcoholic finish.

Jan 05, 2021
Photo of darktronica
darktronica from Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I guess the brewer's notes are all about the huge numbers of hops and malts going into this, but my read is that it comes out being incoherent and messy rather than "complex." I felt the same way when I first stumbled into Hailstorm's tasting room a couple of years ago, and I feel that way when trying the newly-canned version of Vlad now. I don't know how they manage the hype-wagon surrounding the various barrel-aged Vlad variants, or maybe they have some magic barrels I haven't tried yet, but this is simply not a noteworthy base beer.

Apr 23, 2019
Photo of BlackBeerPirate
BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste: rich, black malt, fruit cake, coffee, cocoa, molasses, some dry hops. Same with the nose. Black, opaque, tan webbed lattice of lace. Full body. 62 IBUs

Mar 27, 2019
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78 from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz can, black bodied stout with a creamy khaki head. Aroma is rich and roasty with notes of dark chocolate, roasted barley, oats, grain, and earthy hops. Rich flavors meld well together with notes of roasted barley, char, dark bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit, oats, caramel, tobacco, and leafy earthy hops. Body seems a little light for the style, carbonation and balance is good and I appreciate the linger of chocolate and roast on the finish. Overall, it's good but lacks any sort of wow factor I've grown to expect from my favorite beer style.

Jan 29, 2019
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Received in trade from josh, thanks for the opportunity, Inky black without much of a head. Big roasty licorice and sweet caramel and brown sugar. Not the hop onslaught I was expecting but the can is more than a year old. Thick and sweet and barely carbonated. Nice sipper.

Dec 24, 2018
Photo of Lingenbrau
Lingenbrau from Oregon

3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vlad pours the same color as the soul of The Prince himself. Pitch black, heartless, and mirroring your darkest sins. Not even the thin tan head wants to stick around for what is assumed to be a gruesome end.

Soy sauce, black licorice, fig, and molasses reassure this will be one not for the faint of heart. It exemplifies intensity with deep rooted roastiness and a strong dark sweetness in both aroma and flavor. What, no blood? Well, it does in fact have an iron metallic note going on as well, so...

It's extremely rich, and the low carbonation doesn't do it any favors, so to speak. It works, but it is intense and oily, and actually leans more towards the sweet side of the spectrum.

Vlad, as with the man himself, is both evil and good. Not quite destroying my insides, but strong and impressionable nonetheless. A beer to share perhaps, or to enjoy alone, selfishly, in a courtyard full of your favorite, potentially disturbing decorations. Cheers.

Mar 13, 2018
Photo of ZebulonXZogg
ZebulonXZogg from Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First beer from Hailstorm for me, it won't be the last.
L: let's call it very dark brown with a nice beige head and some lacing.
A: Roasted malt, coffee hints of dark fruit.
T: Matches aroma, chocolate is more pronounced.
F: Not as thick as FIS or OB's Ten-Fidy
But better than most.
O: Very well done.

Mar 26, 2017
Photo of Qbdoo
Qbdoo from Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black with a thin tan head. The scent is surprisingly hoppy though of course there's the expected malt aromas. Taste is chocolate, dark fruit, roasty malt but also pretty hoppy, which I found to be a bit much. As the beer warmed though, the hops took a back seat and the flavors got more complex, with hints of toffee and maple syrup coming out. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for an imperial stout.

Feb 17, 2017
Photo of stortore
stortore from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled on 6/22/16.

Pours a very dark brown, opaque, with a one inch frothy head and a fair amount of loose lacing. Looks pretty good. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, some coffee, a little marshmallow. The taste also leads with the malts- a little more roasty than the aroma , chocolate, light vanilla, more coffee than the nose, some earthy hop bitterness midway through the finish. Smooth, creamy, full bodied, well carbonated.

A straightforward and solid Imperial, very enjoyable to drink. Well blended flavors, really good aroma. Also makes a great base for all their terrific barrel- aged stouts. Well worth a purchase.

Oct 03, 2016
Photo of GrumpyGas
GrumpyGas from Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


12 oz draft pour is thick black with a disappearing dark tan head with lacing.
Coconut aroma is strong and is backed by alcohol.
The taste matches the coconut aroma with various malt/smoke/cereal notes.
Thick mouthfeel with some bitter hops and coconut aftertaste.
A very good version of the standard.

Apr 17, 2016
Photo of c014572
c014572 from Illinois

3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured jet black with a two finger tan head that faded quickly. Very bready aroma, not very much burnt grain smell here. Almost smells more like a big scottish ale.

Taste, very big beer here, good body. For me, it's missing the burnt grain character and has way too much residual sweetness for what I've grown accustom to in this style.

Apr 02, 2016
Vlad Russian Imperial Stout from Hailstorm Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 93 ratings