Imperial Stout | Legend Brewing Co.

very good
47 Reviews
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Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Brewed by:
Legend Brewing Co.
Virginia, United States

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ppoitras on 12-10-2005

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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 54
Photo of rudolphjacksonm
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque black with a coffee colored head. Minimal lacing but great head retention. 4.5

S - Smokey malt and molasses, with a hint of fig or some other dark fruit. 4.0

T - Wow. Tastes absolutely wonderful. Starts off smooth and slightly sweet with a burst of malt, then follows up with a nice subtle bitterness and hefty smoke flavor. Dissolves into slight hop bitters with some residual smoked malt. It's hard to put this aspect into words as the transition from start to finish is almost seamless and incredibly well done. 4.5

M - Smooth and medium-bodied. Feels a little light on the back of the tongue for some reason, but otherwise everything seems to be as it should. 4.0

O - I think from now on I'll rate Legend beers based on whether they are light or dark. I find that their dark beers (Brown Ale, Porter, Imperial Stout) are outta the park, while their light beers (Lager, Pilsener, Golden IPA) are....not so much. Anyway this beer is awesome, you'd be a fool not to try it. 4.5

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Photo of Crazyale
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No bottling date is visible. I notice that the last review of this is over 2 years old, so this bottle is either really old or really new. I notice that it says 9.0% abv on the bottle, while this site lists it at 8.0%, so I'm guessing it's a newer batch.

A: Pours a thick, opaque black, and has great effervescence at the bottom of the glass. A light khaki three finger head is not dissipating at all after 5 minutes; if anything, the head has actually expanded. Great looking stout.

S: Roasted chocolatey malt, a bit of coffee, a slight tartness perhaps.

T: Dark chocolate on the front of the tongue, along with the roasted malt. I'm getting a good amount of smokiness. Some bitterness on the back of the tongue. I can taste some of the alcohol for sure, along with a bit of the tartness. In fact, I detect a bit of Legend's Brown Ale in here somewhere, perhaps they're using the same yeast. There's quite a lot going on here, but I'm not sure if it's all good; it's mostly good, but it's just not that well balanced.

M: This is on the light side for the style, medium bodied, with low carbonation.

Overall, this isn't a bad beer, and I only paid $5.99 for the bomber so it's a good value. However, I can't get past the lack of balance among the many flavors, so I don't think I"ll be buying it again.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz into a tulip glass. I believe that this was from the '09 release.

Pours black with 2 tight fingers of rich chocolate colored head. Extremely rich look to the retention and lacing here. The aroma is roast and coffee, with a silky sweet underpining of chocolate and toffee. There's a bit of a floral feel as well that adds some dank herbal fruitiness to the proceedings.

The taste is VERY burnt tasting with a dark mix of malts and roasted coffee. Tones of chocolate, molasses, and fruit gives this a dark sweetness that rolls across the tongue. Hops give this some extra sharpness, while the finish is very charred and burnt tasting, with a lingering feel that seems to go on and on. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a big prickly creaminess to it that really blows up in the mouth. Pretty good drinkibility to this as well for 8%, with not much alcohol showing itself at all.

Except for coming off as too burnt and bitter in parts, this was overall pretty solid stuff. Roasty and dark, with some deep balancing sweetness, and a good drinkibility for its' size. I would visit this again.

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Photo of joe1510
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

'08 Vintage

This RIS is another brew sent my way courtesy of Hoppymeal, thanks Derek! Legend's RIS has a thick dark chocolate body and a head that'd darker than any I've seen in a long time. The body of this brew actually swallows the light. The mocha head is tall, creamy, and super sticky leaving lace plastered all down the glass. This is what RIS's aspire to look like.

As soon as I popped the top I could smell the dark berries. Underripe, green blackberries and cooked down, softened blueberries make their roles known immediately. Powdery cocoa and rich dark chocolate come along next and bring rich notes. A rich roastiness lends a sturdy backbone with hints of hazelnut. A touch of booze comes forward with some warming. I could keep my nose in this snifter all night long.

This is a well put together stout if I do say so myself. The roastiness is perfectly integrated with the dark berriness. Cocoa and dark chocolate are incredibly rich and dominate this brew in the best way possible. Notes of hazelnut come through again with a hint of lactic sweetness on the back end. Each drink is dizzyingly complex and those complexities all mesh perfectly.

The body leans to the heavier side of the spectrum but the carbonation lends an excellent creaminess on the backend. The roast brings a touch of bitter on the tongue and a whisper of heat rises up through my nose with each drink.

This RIS is a sipper. One that should be sat with and enjoyed as it opens up. The flavors are so well melded that this one never gets too intense for long drinking.

I'm blown away at how good this RIS really is. As a matter of fact it is one of the best I've had in awhile and would pick up numerous bottles if it was available in this area. Thanks for the treat Derek!

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Photo of joepais
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Bboyshatter for sending this one along in the under 100 BIF. Bottle poured into a snifter produced a finger worth of tan colored head that trailed of to a respectable lace. The body of the brew was the obligatory black in color.

The aroma is that of roasted malts molasses' and coco.
The flavor is a little bitter and strong roasted malt, which is what I expect from and IMP Stout. I didn't notice the 8% alcohol at all. The feel in my mouth is medium to full with light carbonation.

A solid Imperial stout, nothing to spectacular; but represents the style well. I think the bomber was quite enough in one sitting. I would drink it again if I saw it

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into my standard shaker glass. The stout appears a dark chestnut color with about a finger of ecru foam. The head settles to a thin layer in less than a minute. Nose and flavor are of dark roasted grains, mocha, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, figs. A bit thin bodied with not much of an aftertaste. No lingering bitterness. Light carbonation. This was a gift from a friend of mine in VA. Glad it didn't cost me anything.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.49/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Acquired from dsigmon courtesy of the Ugly Duckling BIF, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color with a short dense light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted malts, dark chocolate, molasses, some dark fruit and a touch of hops, but there's an odd scent to it that's I find difficult to place and throws everything off.

T: The taste is malty up front with flavors of dark chocolate and dark fruit. Just like in the smell, there's an odd bite to the taste. The hops presence is mild but decent for the style and brings a little bit of balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Not very tasty, does not go down too well, slightly filling, good kick, decent representation of style, although I think I might have let this one sit for too long, it doesn't seem like there had been much there to being with. There are easily many other big stouts that I would pick before this one.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.91/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours from the 22oz bottle into a tulip glass a pitch black color with a cappucino colored head of decent size. About two fingers in size and a great deal of lacing.

Aroma was a bit weird. A touch nutty, acidic, some dms, slightly sweet and alcoholic.

Flavor was not very good. Kind of nutty and grainy and, I cant relate the actual taste (maybe unsweetened cocoa powder?), but it is different and not typical and not altogether pleasant.

I didnt like this one. It seems as though all of the Legend beers have the same sort of weird, nutty, grainy, musty flavors: perhaps its the yeast or the water or the brewer. Whatever it is, Im not convinced it is anything desirable. Ill pass on this one.

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Photo of lackenhauser
2.81/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Jet black color with a very dark, tan head on top. Sizeable head that seems to last. Inky and metallic like aroma. Somewhat sweet, anise like. Perfumey. Malty enough flavor-not a lot of roasted taste comes thru, nor does a significant amount of bitterness. Anise and perfumey flavored. Somewhat soy sauce tasting. A lot of residual sweetness-almost comes off as an under attenuated homebrew. Metallic and cloying. Decent enough mouthfeel-very creamy. Just not up to par as far as a double stout for me. Too many other flavors then "stout". I would pass if offered again.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black, viscous. Shimmering brown head. Awesome.

S: Roated malt, chocolate (light), anise,

T: Roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, a fair bitterness of hops, especially on the finish.

M + D: Not as creamy as hoped... decent, but not something I'd pick up anytime soon.

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Photo of chilly460
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A very inky black with a darker brown head, nice two finger pour that dissipated but hung on. Great lacing.

S - Lots of coffee and chocolate in this one.

T - Very surprised, got full roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and a bit of a licorice or heavy dark fruit.

M - Excellent, almost chewy to me. Felt thick like a chocolate milk.

D - Excellent for the type, just too heavy for more then one.

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Photo of argock
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date.

A: Rich black with 1-2 finger tan head with average retention and a few clumps of lace.

S: Strong on coffee, chocolate, and roasted dark malts with some licorice too

T: Initial coffee and chocolate are met by dry and acrid flavor toasted and burned black malt and some drying hops and a bit of black licorice

M: Creamy mouthfeel with a very long, acrid, bitter aftertaste

D: A solid RIS with plenty going for it with a variety of different flavors, but it's a bit too burnt-tasting for me

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Photo of badbeer
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black with a tan head. Buttered popcorn, roast, and lactose sweetness as well. Buttered popcorn shows up in the taste as well; roasty finish, lactose. There's a good beer in here, but the diacetyl is really distracting and takes a lot away from this beer. High carbonation and less than medium body. I'd like to try next years batch to see if there was just a problem with this bottling/bottle.

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Photo of dmamiano
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black as the starless night would describe the looks of this one. Huge tan head that wanted to stay forever.
Smells of deep, dark malts. Chocolate, roasted grains and an almost milky sweetness.
Taste was in a word, huge. Thick, creamy, viscous liquid that was milky, chocolatey and roasty. Bitter hops biting for balance and lingering through the sip.
Big on taste, and big on feel. Nice.

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Photo of avalon07
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick consistency. There was a huge, brown-colored, long-lasting head and excellent lacing.

S: Smelled of roasted malts and chocolate more than anything else.

T: A well done taste of roasted malt, dark chocolate and a bit of coffee. Complex and robust.

M: Well-carbonated with a dry finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is a drinkable version of an imperial stout. Not exactly what I expected, but I like surprises.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into 8oz snifter.

Pitch black with a two finger dense and fine-bubbled brown head that slowly settles to a thin smooth cap.

Large amounts of highly roasted malts along with a good amount of a grassy herbal hop aroma.

One immediately noticeable characteristic is a bit of a smokey flavor, which I don't find very often in this style of beer. More of the roasty malts that impart some of the bitterness, but overall this is a very smooth tasting Imperial Stout. Not much coming from the hops in the flavor. Full bodied.

A decent RIS, but it's a hard style to mess up. It certainly presents itself well, and has some good flavors. I just can't get too excited about this one though.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by PWoods.
Very dark brown, near black in color with a lively, bubbly tan head. Smell is heavily roasted malts, some "green" hops and some light cocoa.
Taste is where those hops really shine and come through. Very piney and grassy. Not near enough cocoa to help out.
Mouthfeel is very nice. Pillowy soft and velvety.
Very good beer, just a bit too much hops for me.

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

Bottle courtesy of and split w/ proteus93 - thanks! Poured my portion into a 10 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours out thick, oily, black, viscous, snot-like, with a clingy, foamy, cocoa, meringue-like head with good staying power. It leaves huge, thick clumps of lacing, sheet-like. Good start.

Aroma: The predominance of hops is the most striking feature of this aroma. Nondescript citrus and pine, a little solventy but still nice. The hop notes actually come across a little tart, almost like strawberries. Anise, as well. Chocolate covered berries in places?

Taste: Well-layered and fairly complex. Toasty malts, medium-roast coffee, faint chocolate, a good deal of spicy, citrusy hoppiness, lots of dirty earthiness, mineral notes. It's not too flavorful or intense in any one department, but it's a fairly balanced, pleasant stout across the board.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, with lots of milky creaminess. Largely even, but a little rocky and foamy in places.

Drinkability: This one's pretty good. I've tried a bottle before, but it was infected to high hell, and I'm glad I gave it a second chance. 8.00% isn't too high, and it's well hidden, and everything else here is in place. Not the most flavorful or complex beer, but this one's definitely worth a shot. One of Legend's better beers.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with as much dark tan head as you could want (I had 2 1/2 inches) and beautiful lacing.
Aroma is amazing. Coffee, chocolate, soy sauce. Reminds me of all the good parts of a sam adams triple bock. Just a hint more roastiness and chocolate.
Flavor is much the same as the nose... the soy sauce is there, along with the burnt grains and sweet malt, as well as a bit of alcohol in the finish.
The mouthfeel is a bit disappointing. A bit light, high carbonation, a bit thin, and dry in the finish. If this beer had the mouthfeel of Dark Lord and its own flavor profile... it would probably be just as sought after as Dark Lord is.
I could drink a ton of this. That's one thing the light mouthfeel gives it, but in so doing sacrifices an absolutely world class beer. You should certainly try this. I'll have it again, it's wonderful. But I just wish the flavor and mouthfeel were as good as the aroma and appearance... this beer would be unstoppable.

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Photo of blackie
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pretty dark mocha head, respectable retention, the beer is a deep black in color

s: Did Legend take a cue from Shenandoah's Chocolate Donut? They're not the same of course, but the donut aroma is strikingly similar though less cloying as there's more complexity here. Immediate aromas of dark chocolate cake donut and chunky brownies greet the nose. Further sniffing reveals dark coffee with sweet cream and dark chocolate candies with cherry and plum liquid centers. Piny hops add a sappy note, but leave the malty chocolates as the focus. Can't wait to taste...

m: carbonation on the low end of medium, body full...quite creamy overall

t: Delicious, with chocolate cake and espresso grounds as the dominant flavors. Plenty of dark chocolates, roasted malts, and cream. As in the aroma, hops are low. Finishes roasty and lingering with dusty cocoa and a mild bitterness. Good, just not quite as complex as the aroma.

d: a gem from a brewery I hear little about...worth seeking out

22 oz. from Sam's in Alexandria, VA

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Photo of PhageLab
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a tulip glass.

A - Deep, mysterious coffee coloration that produced a thin, light brown layer of froth. Laced fairly well.

S - Roasted malts, brown sugar, toffee, and a few other sweet notes.

T - Dark fruits and coffee flavors come out up front, backed by a nice smack of chocolate malts. Hops are present but take the back seat here, and that's not a bad thing.

M - Light to medium body, surprisingly, low carbonation level, nice oily feel.

D - Too drinkable, if that is possible. A well constructed and very tasty stout by any means, and certainly one worth seeking out.

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

Jet black body, little if any highlights, topped by a beautifully cascading dark tan head of immeasurable microbubbles. Very good lacing.

Aroma mixes deeply roasted coffee, chocolate, and a host of dark fruits, especially plum.

Taste begins with a mocha mix, which quickly veers to the coffee side, heavy on the roast. Undercurrent of dark fruits. No sensation of alcohol or heat.

Mouthfeel is smooth, slick, but not quite rich.

Actually goes down a little too easy for the style.

Not bad by any means, but lacks the depth and intensity of the great Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of jwc215
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this back for me from Virginia:
Poured into a snifter:

Pours black with a thin, light brown head that recedes to a bubbly patch, then a lovely, lasting swirl.

The smell is of molasses, citric fruitiness and some chocolate/coffee. The nose tells you that there's a good amount of hops here...

The taste is sweet - molasses-like with resiny and citric notes. The hoppy fruitiness seems to lend more sourness than bitterness. Some acidity comes through, especially in the finish, with a nod of alcohol. I like hoppy brews, and it works well enough here - but, I wonder if it masks the potential maltiness associated with, and desired for, the style. Well, in any case, it is certainly an American Imperial, and the hops show forth nicely.

It has a medium-body that reaches the threshold of full towards the end of the slowly sipped bottle. Just a bit fuller from the start and it would really bring it to a whole new level. As it is though, it is quite drinkable. And enjoyable. A nicely done, tasty, American Imp. Stout!

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber into glass

Average head - body opaque espresso in color.

Smell is a little off-putting - this may not be as fresh as we'd like. A little phenol overpowers typical roasted malt and slightly soapy/floral hop character.

Despite the off-scent and corresponding flavor, tastes otherwise decently made. Nice malt component, good hop bitterness on the floral side.

Feels a little clammier than it should - a little light on depth.

May want to try this on tap @ Legend but wouldn't seek out bottle in retail stores.

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Photo of asabreed
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Oh that Imperial Stout with it's deep an impenetrably opaque body. Nice mocha-colored head that dissipates slowly and leaves so chunky lacing.

Smell: A lot of burnt and roasted characteristics here, which leads to a tad bit of astringency or solvent aromas, though that dies down as it warms, letting the sweeter malt characteristics come through with some cream, dark bitter chocolate, molasses, and vanilla, and nice hints of dark berries.

Taste: There seems to be more hops in this for my taste usually with the style, but it seemed to be fairly balanced. I wonder what would happen with less, possibly too rich or too sweet. Hints of alcohol, dark cherries, tree bark, charcoal, woodiness, dark brown sugar, and dark chocolate. Pretty complex stuff, and again especially as it warms, so give it a bit of time.

Mouthfeel: A bit more watery than I'd like initially, as the carbonation could be thicker and richer and lend itself to the flavors coming out even better.

Drinkability: I'd like to snag a bottle or two if I can find it anywhere around here. A solid version of the style all around and one I'd like to try again in the future.

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Imperial Stout from Legend Brewing Co.
3.81 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
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