Russian Imperial Stout | Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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Russian Imperial StoutRussian Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.19/5
Exceptional
264 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#1,674
Reviews:
113
Ratings:
264
pDev:
7.88%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
54
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 264 |  Reviews: 113
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
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 +1.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

 550 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
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

 362 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Knapp85
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

 514 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oline73
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 955 characters

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of vfgccp
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of billab914
3.42/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Rifugium
3.41/5  rDev -18.6%
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 ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

 1,547 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ZEB89
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of woodychandler
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 2,696 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
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 mdaschaf
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 677 characters

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

Photo of mdfb79
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Iron Hill in Ardmore, PA.

Pours a very dark brown color with almost one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Lots of chocolate, cream, vanilla, roasted malts, light coffee, milk chocolate, and light dark fruits. Medium body and low carbonation, super smooth and creamy.

Overall a very good RIS; the best beer I've had from them so far. Not very strong, worth checking out if you go for sure.

 427 characters

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Russian Imperial Stout from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 264 ratings
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