Imperial Stout
Left Hand Brewing Company

Imperial StoutImperial Stout
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Stout - Russian Imperial
3.85 | pDev: 11.95%
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Imperial StoutImperial Stout
Reviews: 433 | Ratings: 524 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by tripelhops:
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tripelhops from Missouri

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Jan 08, 2012
More User Reviews:
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stakem from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottled 9/19/07 poured into a tulip. The brew appears black in color with a khaki head that fades leaving patchy lace.

Smells delicious like decadent milk chocolate, coffee and slight rootbeer/anise spiciness.

Tastes sweet and boozy with licorice, chocolate, roast, leather, earth. Like the nose, there is a bit of a cola/root beer/birch beer spiciness to the finish that is peculiar but interesting and enjoyable.

Medium to full bodied, modestly carbonated and quite enjoyable.Talk about a sleeper of a beer. This was not tasting its age and I feel like it aged quite gracefully with some unique nuance.

Feb 03, 2016
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber with no freshness date.

A- Dense foam yields a very sticky tan head with web-like lace all the way down the glass. The brown color is very dark, two shades away from complete black.

S- Big roasted coffee aroma, faint smokiness with a soft malt sweetness and leafy hop in the back.

T&M- Very creamy with a light and smooth carbonation ... heavy body. Layers of roasted grain unfold showing suggestions of French Roasted coffee, dark bakers chocolate and black strap molasses. Nice chewy thickness of malt in the middle with ample sweetness that mixes well with the estery dark berry fruitiness. Sufficient handful of hops helps to balance, finishes a little sweet with a long lingering roasted character and a warming alcohol.

D- Easy to sip on a miserable sleet riddled Boston night. A good pairing with some candied pecans.

Jan 03, 2006
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sponberg from New York

4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle, poured into my nonic. Dark brown but not opaque, rather light colored head for an Impy. Aroma of brown bread, roastiness, and a smooth malt-alcohol mixture.

This is an Impy? So freaking smooth - yeah, there's alcohol subdued in the finish, but on the way there it's a milk chocolate and espresso kind of sweetness alongside dark sugared figs with a faint roastiness in the background. Ever have a Murphy's? Crank up that amp to about 9.5. Exceedingly drinkable and impeccably smooth - the 10+% ABV remains well hidden throughout. Nothing really grabs you with this beer - yet I wonder if that's by design? Hops? What are hops? The beer equivalent of a bigass chocolate malted.

I could have three of these. But then I'd fall down and have to be escorted from the premises. Don't do that.

Apr 30, 2006
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tonistruth from Nevada

3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- deep brown with mahogany hues, 1/4" tan head with little retention and films of lacing

S- coffee, roasted malts, rich, alcohol, strong scents

T- sweet caramel and buttery malts flavor but balanced by strong burnt astringencies, alcohol evident throughout, strong at finish, some chocolate

M- somewhat creamy, stiff carbonation with ho alcohol at finish and in after

D- complex malt flavor but alcohol is to strong and carbonation comes off as awkward. I wouldn't come back to this

Aug 05, 2008
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kylehay2004 from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black with no light getting through. Very nice lace but only a quarter finger or so head.

S: licorice and coffee mixing together to form a bittersweet medley

T: very complex taste. No dominating flavor. Raisin, coffee, licorice and chocolate all combining to create a conglomerate of those flavors without one standing out.

M: moderate carbonation and full bodied.

Overall: The taste is right on. One of the better russian stouts out there for sure.

Sep 29, 2011
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

bottled on 6/13/07

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a one-finger, off-white head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and caramel.

T - It tasted bittersweet like a bar of dark chocolate. A nice roasted malt flavor, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp, with a warm alcohol presence. A heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good RIS. Nice roasted matl flavor and a bittersweet chocolatiness.

Nov 24, 2007
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jgagne from Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Opaque black body with medium to small head retention.

S-Nice sweet chocolate notes. Hints of molasses and coffee

T-At first taste a nice smooth,sweet blend of syrupy chocolate flows through your palate. Than a very nice bitter black malt bite. Very good and balanced

M-Very drinkable. They have seem to take heavy ingredients and yet made it extremely drinkable. Medium carbonation

O-Very impressed,nice balance and feel. Nothing to special just really well made.

Sep 11, 2011
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dogfooddog from Panama

3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle dated 08.10.04 0 this beer is a year and a half old. served room temperature. pours 25% light tan head in pint glass.

nose is very active, hoppy and organic.

taste is strongly sour on the front end, fading to a mildly bitter finish. in background is the dark roast heavy element. I never guessed this was 10%, though some alcohol is present it felt much lighter.

With some time in glass nose becomes more malty and roasted, and taste mellows some to a very hoppy start with more roast in the finish.

Mar 14, 2006
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pge17 from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle in a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass

Appearance: Very dark brown, almost black. Able to see through it though. A medium tan head. Lacing isn't great but it does leave streaks on the side of the glass.

Smell: A pretty nice sweet malt with an alcohol touch. A bit of coffee if you search for it

Taste: Starts with a roasted malt sweetness and alcohol up front (although the booze is covered up pretty well for a 10.4% brew. Some nice bitter balance to follow. It ends with some nice coffee notes, maybe a hint of roasted cocoa beans.

Mouthfeel: Typical stout thickness, but still very smooth and drinkable, not as syrupy as other imperial stouts.

Notes: A very solid imperial stout, pretty enjoyable

Apr 29, 2011
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BAbaracus from Texas

3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy chocolate black with noteable mahogany highlights and minimal one finger caramel head. Not bad, but pretty standard for this style.

Smells of milky chocolate/molasses tag team. Yeah, that's definitely a milky yeast aroma there. Fairly watery on the tongue but stickiness and bitterness readily apparent.

Nice sharp chocolate notes contrasting well with the subdued, musty character of the nose. Complimented well with a melange of toffee, molasses even traces of black coffee.

Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a bit (seems like I paid a reasonable price which should always play a factor in "drinkability") even if the
re are superior representatives of this style. Nonetheless, I had this on tap quite a number of times before I bought a bottle and I have much fonder memories of it on draft

Sep 03, 2006
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alexsergio from New York

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Feb 24, 2013
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JohnnyM2002 from Maryland

4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a bottle (2005) on a rainy, humid day.

Poured a dark brownish with a light head and a very pleasant aroma of chocolate and caramel. Didn't taste as heavy as I expected - in a good way. No hoppy-kick but you could definitely tell the actually went down like a double-shot cold espresso drink (I know it sounds lame, but it's the best example).

I really enjoyed this brew - even on a humid day.

Jul 19, 2006
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jonandhisflask from Kentucky

4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle 04/05/06 vintage

A:pours a brown, almost flat cola like color.a white that head didn't last more than a few seconds.

S:smells immediately of vanilla, dark and milk chocolates, faint coffees, grassy hops.

T:silky chocolates, vanillas, hints of the roasted and coffee malts.
some oxidation(it being a 6 year old bottle) held up very well. alcohol in no where near present....until the last bit fades and you can get some faint roasted malt notes with booze.

M:body was light for a 10% imperial stout, light carb, although the taste lingered for a little bit.

O: great beer, wish i had a case or more. also wish i had it fresh. very smooth, ive had some 15%+ beers that didn't hold up as well as this.

May 10, 2012
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joerodiii from New York

4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a hint of red when held up to the light. Aroma is slightly chocolate, slightly toffee, slightly sweet. The beer itself is very well balanced, appropriately sweet with just enough bitterness for balance. It's not overly hoppy like the bulk of IPA's out there. Good mouthfeel, although it seems to be a little too carbonated for a RIS.

This beer is way too drinkable for 10.5% ABV. Proceed with caution, and enjoy.

Feb 12, 2009
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scoobybrew from Indiana

2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - dark brown with ruby highlights, thick head that is well retained, leaves a nice lacing

S - slight roasted grain, alcohol noted

T - sweet malt that leads to an astringent alcohol and roasted grain finish, hops are hiding here

M - medium-full body, moderate carbonation

D - This is a very one-dimensional imperial stout. There's some roast and a lot of alcohol, but the malt lacks depth and there's virtually no hop flavor whatsoever. I would say it's disappointing, but Left Hand tends to excel in some styles and falls behind in others - so I should have known. I won't be seeking this out, but I'm not pouring it down the drain, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Aug 12, 2010
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Coplains from Colorado

3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a twenty two ounce bomber into a pint glass. Very dark brown, not fully black on edges, minimal head that dissipates with very little lacing on glass. Rich dark almost chocolate flavor with good mouthfeel. Pretty well balanced considering the 10 plus ABV. Overall a very good, but not great imperial stout. Would buy again.

Jul 05, 2011
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jaxon53 from Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Jun 24, 2013
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fergster75 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Dec 07, 2011
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Fuller from Tennessee

2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very dark opaque brown with a small tan head that had little retention and left very little lacing. Seemed thinner than other imp. stouts while pouring, it didn't make me think of the motor oil that others do. Aroma is of roasted coffee, toasted malts and some caramel. As the beer warms, the alcohol becomes quite noticeable and takes over as the dominant smell. Taste is sweet at first with some chocolate and coffee flavors that leads to a bitter finish. The problem is that the alcohol is harsh and overpowering and hurts the drinkability. Maybe it's just the time of year and temps., I'll give it another shot in the winter and maybe then it'll be a better fit.

Sep 04, 2006
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pathman from Ohio

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Jul 10, 2013
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nickfl from Florida

4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with half a finger of light tan foam on top of a black body with some brown highlights showing through. The head settles out pretty quickly and leaves light lace.

S - Dark, malty aromas of molasses, licorice, caramel, and red apple. Not much in the way of roasted character, almost more like a barleywine than a stout.

T - Dark, sugary malt with notes of caramel, molasses, and dark chocolate. More chocolate in the middle, accompanied by licorice and dark bread notes. Things finish up with smoky, spicy chocolate and caramel with a bit of earthy Turkish coffee that lingers in the finish.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately low carbonation, and a fairly sweet finish.

D - Very nicely done, this beer is complex and interesting with a nice balance that keeps it drinkable. The aroma is not as dark as I would have expected in that it focuses mostly on dark sugary notes of caramel and molasses with very little roast to mark it as a stout. The roast character does manage to make a more significant impact in the flavor profile where some earthy coffee flavors show up in the finish and a dark chocolate character that plays a strong role throughout. It becomes particularly complex in the finish with notes of licorice and smoke as well as complex spices notes that linger on the palate. A very enjoyable and well made beer; all the more so since it is reasonably priced and comes in a reasonable, 12oz serving size.

Jun 01, 2011
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jmbraxton from Alabama

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Apr 03, 2012
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flexabull from California

4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark flat black color, with a decent white head.

Aromas are of chocolate, cherries, and black liquorice.

Taste follows the nose quite a bit. Really pronounced chocolate flavors, very dark, with a creamy malty sweetness. A bit lean on the finish, but it does provide a liquorice like bite, and some mineral hops flavors.

Mouthfeel is good, nice full flavor, maybe a touch lean feeling in the finish, but still pretty good.

Drinkability is good. All in all, just a tasty well made Russian Imperial Stout that is surprisingly easy to drink. Reminds me of Old Rasputin's little brother. Good stuff.

Apr 16, 2008
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closisinthehouse from Florida

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Jan 07, 2013
Imperial Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 524 ratings