Russian Imperial Stout | Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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Russian Imperial StoutRussian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States
ironhillbrewery.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Full-bodied stout that starts with a complex, malty sweet and high-roasted character that is wonderfully balanced with the use of citrusy American hops.

75 IBU

Added by mophie on 12-13-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
262
Reviews:
112
Avg:
4.17
pDev:
7.91%
 
 
Wants:
61
Gots:
51
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 262 |  Reviews: 112
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with only minimla head. Last year vintage purchased at the brewpub, and Expensive. Roasty malty aroma. First sip is good balance of roast and malt, but a few more gulps finds it satisfying though not complex. More medium mouthfeel, than the thickness expected. Above average carbonation.A good drink but only an average candidate in this style.

 356 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MrVonzipper for sharing this one during his tasting!

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, slight dark fruits, and alcohol. Taste is of dark roasted malt and cocoa powder. There is a nice roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good RIS with some solid aromas and flavors.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

real sturdy russian imperial. pours jet black with an awesome creamy nitro head. smells bittersweet like hops and dark chocolate. taste is chocolate malts and coffee notes, with a pronounced hop finish true to the style. alcohol is well concealed and the mouthfeel is butter. so smooth and creamy perfect on the nitro tap. my favorite beer ive had from iron hill

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Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a very deep brown color. The head was tan and left behind a light amount of lacing. The smell of the beer has a little bit of a spiciness to it. The nose also has a burnt chocolate aroma. The taste of the beer has a heavy roasted malt taste. There is also plenty of chocolate and some hoppy bitterness in there too. The mouthfeel of the beer has a good thickness to it. Decent oily feel to it. Overall this beer is pretty good for sure. Not my favorite RIS. But not bad, definitely worth trying.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.87/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oline73
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Once I decided to bring home a growler of the Chokolad, I had to get this one to compare it as well. Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours black with a layer of tan head. The head takes a while to get to the top of the pour because the body is thick and it wants to keep the bubbles in. The head then fades to a ring around the edge of the glass and leaves some lacing.

Smell: Lots of roasted malt here. Some sweetness from the grain. Also picking up some dark chocolate and alcohol warmth.

Taste: This beer is extremely smooth and incredibly well balanced. Roast with dark chocolate, alcohol, and some hop bitterness. Everything works together so amazingly well. I'd love to have another.

Mouthfeel: Thick body with some of the smoothest carbonation I have ever had. Tingly carbonation with a slight dryness.

Overall: Everything about this beer works. Nothing is over the top, but there is so much going on. I would have this again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of dmorgan310
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On nitro-tap @ Iron Hill Phoenixville on 9/4/10. Served in an oversized mug. ABV was listed as 8.0%, which according to our bartender, came in a bit under what they were shooting for.

Pours black, with a deep brown, almost milk chocolate colored head. This retains with a smooth creaminess from the nitro-pour, leaving back a rich cascade of lacing. The aroma is very smoky smelling (and even a little acrid), with a big backing tang of sweet cocoa and toffee tones. Some floral and herbal hop character mixes in as well, as I'm also getting a little bit of a mineral feel in the back of the nostrils. Not quite off-putting but you can definitely pick it up.

The taste starts with a thick base of bitter chocolate and some sweeter toffee flavors, before a big blast of dark roast, coffee, and hop bitterness (a good bit of citric and herbal textures are present here). The smoke really kicks it into high gear in the back end, spreading a good bit of acrid bitterness out into the mouth. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a mouth filling creaminess to it. That 8% is mostly felt as some thick chewiness underneath and light warmth that aids in brining out those deep roasty flavors. It's mostly well hid though and is helped along by the smoothness of the nitro-pour.

Good depth of character here, even if that roasted nature was a bit overdone, and I thought that the 8% ABV actually felt about spot on for the flavors that were present. This was one of the better takes on the RIS style that I've had at the different Iron Hill locations.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Rifugium
3.41/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Iron Hill, Media, PA

Pours like a typical stout: dark black color, toasty dark brown perhaps around the edges, with a small, patchy, tan head. Not overly aromatic, with scents of roasted malts and coffee coming through. Big roast in the taste, but not overly flavorful or smooth, dark malts, coffee, and grains. Decent. Alcohol is felt before it is tasted. Heavier-medium mouthfeel, dry, and drinkable. Good, but not the most memorable of stouts.

 457 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of billab914
3.42/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a black body topped by a full, bubbly, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Subtle aroma of roasty dark malts with notes of baker's chocolate, stale licorice, burnt breadcrusts, and booze.

Taste: Frothy, melted milk chocolate followed by a zip of caramel sweetness. Hints of breadcrusts, roast, and licorice. Mild, roasty, earthy bitterness. Finishes with a taste of chilled hot chocolate made with at least twice the recommended amount of cocoa powder.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Very tasty RIS. Oh, I was crazy about it.

 563 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mdaschaf
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Shane for popping this bottle open.

A: Pours a dark brown color, practically black, with a small tan head on top. The small head lasted a good while and reduced to a thin layer on top. Minimal lacing.

S: Rather sweet with some chocolate, dark roasted malt, some dark fruit, and a surprising amount of hops by the way of light citrus and pine.

T: A good bit of roasted malt, coffee, and some chocolate. On the sweet side, with some cream, and more milk chocolate.

M: Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Drinks a little thick, but smooth.

O: Very easy drinking with a nice flavor profile. Not overly complex, but I have no problem with that at all.

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Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this one in a BIF late last year and had been holding onto it for a special occasion. I have given up holding onto things like this, and I should just go ahead and drink em. Therefore, I decided to open this one, letting it warm up to about 50 degrees I proceeded to pour it into an Imperial pint glass.

Appearance - This poured a wonderful jet black, no light at all was getting through this one, and it had the look of a thick viscous pour. Rich tan colored head of about three inches in height then rose up off of it and took what seemed like forever for it to settle down into a subtle tan pillow that lay across the top to a height of around a half an inch throughout the entire session. Deep thick web like lace was dripping across the sides throughout. A very nice looking stout, and up there with the better looking ones I have seen.

Smell - The aroma was very rich and sweet. The first notes I could detect coming off of it were rich aromas of chocolate. Nice milk chocolate with hints of vanilla. Some dark fruit located in here as well, with maybe some berries, something dark, fig maybe coming through; not very strong but never the less it was there. Lots of lactose and a touch of caramel as well. As it warmed some more coffee like notes came off of it, but it maintained its sweet profile.

Taste - The flavor followed suit perfectly. First hints of rich chocolate were coming across now, very sweet milk chocolate notes mixed in with lots of coffee. Tremendously good profile here. I let it warm up with hops of really bringing the big guns out to play with respect to the flavor. What happened next floored me. The flavor really started to pop with lots of sweet chocolate, and hints of vanilla. Very good now, as it gets up near room temperature. This was one of the best flavors I have ever tasted. The finish was strong, with a deep rich coffee flavor that I honestly thought was going to last forever. Just brilliant, I cannot believe more people are not aware of this one!

Mouthfeel - Very nice creamy Mouthfeel on this one. More then adequate carbonation with a smooth silky feel, this one was very nice indeed. Velvet like at times, the carbonation was spot on. Towards the end, it trailed off a little, but still was more then excellent.

Drinkability - An outstanding big stout here. There was literally no hint of the alcohol in here at all. Everything was so well covered, with a rich and sweet profile that seemed to drag on for days. There was no issue in finishing the bottle myself; hell, I did not want to share.

Overall, I thought this was outstanding and easily one of the best RIS's I have ever had in my life. It was loaded down with coffee and sweet chocolate with all hints of the alcohol well out of reach. I would have loved to have had another of this, but alas, I do not. Either way, it was excellent and you should seek this one out.

 2,893 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

original review Feb 22, 2008
Look -4 Smell 3.5 Taste 3.5 Feel 4 Overall3.5-Served cold in a pilsner glass at the Brewpub in Lancaster allowed to warm slightly.

A - Deep brown w/ medium or cola highlights w/ very thin light tan head w/ light lace. The stickage is moderate unsure of glass selection, but I guess it is to limit the quantity.

S - Deeply roasted barley odor is dominant. Nice coffee aromas but not very attractive to my sniffer, I just expected more complextity from an Imperial stout. There are notes of berry when it becomes warm.

M - Nice roasted malt, molasses and slight charred malt notes w/ light sweetness. Slightly fruity w/ minimal carbonation and a somewhat viscious thickness on the tongue.

T - Very molasses and toffee at first w/ gentle berry and hoppy pine flavors that play a submissive role to the roasted barley and french roast coffee burned flavors. he yeast is generic yet adds a lot to the flavor making it like a stout w/ a malt problem, not a full-on Imperial stout the whole way through. I like it's nutty and black malt flavor but it drops out too soon. Slight raspberry essence and subtle citrus w/ anise boozy warmth that plays possum w/ the tongue. Roasted barley and bready notes overpower the rest w/ a singular flavor as the glass nears empty. Slight chalkiness w/ char adding to the malty roasted qualities. Fine caramel sweetness underlies the roasted taste and makes this easier to drink as it get spicy late in the taste.

D - A bit better than your ordinary strong stout w/ fine malt and fruit hints, toasted w/ nutty flavors that do not succumb until late in the taste. Above average drinkability, but I would probably not revisit this. Not to be overly critical, but there are just too many great Imperial stouts made in PA - Fat Dog, Storm King etc. etc. that leave this in the dust.
Re-review 1/12/15
On tap at the lancaster location, served chilled in a pilsner type glass
The color is black as your soul with a thin ring of tan beads. The smell has a full roasted coffee odor with light sweet malt and dried fruit ester from yeast with no alcohol in aroma. The feel is rich, roasted and semi-sweet with a low alcohol influence with concentrated sugar texture which adds to drying and medium high carbonation with light alcohol in the semi-sweet finish

The taste is a mix of coffee - roasted barley with dried fruit not quite raisiny though with a mild molasses type dark sugar mid palate with subtle spice as it warms and finish is strong with semi-dry quality. Overall a lot better than I remember -great stout, one of Iron Hill's most awarded: dark formidible with appropriately rich body and warming beer

 2,669 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Iron Hill has begun CANning some of their beers and this was among them. I purchased mine at their local location in Lancaster.

From the CAN: "Full-bodied Stout that starts with a complex, malty-sweet and high-roasted character that is wonderfully balanced with the use of citrusy AmeriCAN hops. 2011, 2013 GABF Silver Medal; 2003, 2006, 2010 GABF Gold Medal; 2012 GABF Bronze Medal; 2006 World Beer Cup Bronze Medal; 2010, 2012, 2014 World Beer Cup Gold Medal."

It might have been a tallboy pint CAN, but I had no fear, having recently bought some glassware at the church rummage sale across thee street, including a brandy snifter. I Crack!ed it open and commenced an inverted Glug into said snifter, creating two fingers of dense, deep-tan head with good retention. Color was Black/Opaque, allowing zero light penetration and while I would have marked SRM as 44, the CAN measured it as Lovibond = 50. Nose had wafts of smoke, dark chocolate, lemon zest and a marshmallow-like sweetness. Mouthfeel was full and creamy, like a dollop of ice cream or a spoonful of chocolate pudding. Whee! I CAN appreciate why this is such a popular style, but it just seemed a bit overwhelming to me. The finish was semi-sweet with a dominant dark chocolate flavor lingering well past my swallow. I was reminded of the birthday cakes that my paternal grandmother used to make. She never gave up her secret(s), but it may well have included lemon zest in the recipe. Would you fill a cooler with this and Ten Fidy? You are more daring than I am if you answered in the affirmative!

Transcribed from notes dtd Sa, 04 Dec 2010. This was IHNWales' RIS available at IHLNC.

The deep-brown head evidenced some real staying power in awaiting me to get around to it. Color was inky black with deep-brown highlights at the edges. Nose had a powerful French Roast coffee scent along with a citrusiness, like lemon zest. I began to muse as to whether I could grate some lemon or orange peel into my coffee grounds with any success. Mouthfeel was big and chewy. It had a wonderful chocolate taste, like a fresh oven-baked brownie.

Speaking of which, was anybody else diggin' the eastern-European chick on FX's Fully Baked commercials? I'd eat her brownie. Hers might be a blondie. Either way ... Damn, where is my Russian mail-order bride? She shoulda been here by now. That whole thing with Kvass has skewed my worldview. I was inculcated from Boot Camp to hate the pinko Russkies and now I can't get enough of them or their language.

Back to the beer. Finish had a definite chocolatiness to it that made me think that this would be an excellent dessert beer. I would not need a whole bunch of it on its own, however.

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Russian Imperial Stout from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
4.17 out of 5 based on 262 ratings.
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