Impending Descent
Tröegs Brewing Company

Impending DescentImpending Descent
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #248
Ranked #4,697
4.15 | pDev: 9.4%
Apr 29, 2023
Nov 20, 2014
Impending DescentImpending Descent
Notes: This colossal, palate-numbing Imperial Stout is brewed with six different malt varieties to unleash a barrage of chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit and coffee on the tongue. Copious amounts of American hops impart a serious dose of grapefruit rind and pine resin, resulting in a labyrinth of complex flavors and aromas.

119 IBU
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of 57md
Reviewed by 57md from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Pours a dark brown color with ruby edges and over a finger of tan head. The nose has modest roast followed by a sweet note which is likely from the vanilla. The nose is pleasant but weak for a big 9+% stout.

The flavor profile has a bit more roast than the nose would indicate. Overall, this is a good, but not extraordinary effort from a great PA brewery.

This offering paired well with a home-made spicy pepper cheesesteak sandwich (and damn right, it's Philly style because there ain't no other kind of cheesesteak).
Apr 29, 2023
Photo of Bluerabbitbell
Reviewed by Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Brought this one home after our visit to the brewery, 12/28/22.

Gorgeous opaque blackness with a thick, warm-brown colored head.

The aroma is raisin, currant, and a warming bourbon.

The flavors, as we taste them, are a rich woodsy tannin, vanilla, bitter lemon rind, licorice, and dark chocolate. It has a very drying of the mouth quality.
Dec 28, 2022
Photo of Braunmeister_1943
Reviewed by Braunmeister_1943 from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Bottle date is 2018. Pours a pitch black. Definite BA bourbon smell with a less forward cocoa smell. Rather thin watery mouthfeel. Taste is very heavy cocoa. There’s a lingering bourbon aftertaste. Not getting much vanilla in the smell or flavor. I definitely was expecting more from this offering considering the source.
Jul 02, 2022
Rated: 4.12 by Boone757 from Virginia

May 06, 2022
Rated: 3.76 by Icemann383 from New York

Apr 21, 2022
Rated: 4 by bvargajr from Colorado

Feb 13, 2022
Photo of SLeffler27
Reviewed by SLeffler27 from New York

3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Very dark brown (SRM 29-32). A dark walnut head starts as one-half inch and rocky, falling to a fine, froth ring. Ample spotty lace is deposited on a Pretentious Beer Glass Company snifter.

The initial whiff is chocolate booze. This is similar, though far boozier, than Kahlua. The base is a pleasant, dark roast, with light, melted rubber. It is less layered with character than I had hoped to find.

Surprisingly, Rum is the first impression, followed by a strong, dark char of slightly burnt malt. Unfortunately, the rubber comes through, and it is lacking any Kahlua. Bakers' chocolate and day-old black coffee present high bitterness against light sweetness. The finish is long, with a burnt quality. Warmth reveals some pumpernickel rye.

The body is full with a scratchy wool texture. The alcohol is more present than expected, and almost hot, even though 10% is printed on the label. Carbonation is light and fine. The beer feels dry, even though residual sugar builds on the lips.

This Stout simultaneously met and confounded my expectations. It is a meal for the stomach and the brain. Disregarding the expectations and the alcohol, it definitely is worthy, and I enjoyed it during an early evening in the late Spring. I imagine it would be much better on a brisk Autumn evening around a campfire.
Dec 30, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by Peaches13 from Pennsylvania

Dec 21, 2021
Rated: 4.26 by PittBeerGirl from Ohio

Nov 13, 2021
Photo of Newbeergeek1
Reviewed by Newbeergeek1 from Maine

4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Had this side by side at the brewery and went with the bbl aged. This is nice but the bbl aging is just nicer. That is not to say that this isn’t darned good as well
Oct 20, 2021
Rated: 3.5 by njbusa from New Jersey

Oct 19, 2021
Rated: 4.75 by kkazemi from North Carolina

Jul 30, 2021
Photo of BruChef
Reviewed by BruChef from New York

1.69/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5
Bottled 2018
Pours thin but almost black with dark brown hues. Light does not penetrate.
Smells faintly of bourbon and vanilla, burnt raisins, scorched chocolate, tannic red wine.
Taste is ashy, dirt/earthy, roast/acrid coffee, over steeped black tea, bakers chocolate. Slight bourbon and burnt caramel. Outer layer of a Charred marshmallow. VERY astringent. Way too much dark specialty grains.

Medium thin body.

This beer is one of the worst BBA’d impy stouts I’ve ever had. Especially considering the price. Four months is just not enough time for a beer like this to spend in barrels but even then I’m not sure longer would’ve helped anyway. It’s entirely too bitter and astringent and it’s overall almost undrinkable.
Jan 30, 2021
Photo of MikeWard
Reviewed by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Growler picked up at the brewery this afternoon.

Initially a very lively pour. Jet black body, loose bubbly dark tan head. This dissipates to a ring and faint covering. Interesting lacing at the beginning.

Standard RIS aroma, molasses, dk fruit, a hint of soy.

On tasting, no soy, so that's a win. Licorice, bitter dark chocolate, roasty bitter hops, a little dark fruit, some molasses. For this palate, it's just a bit too bitter and aggressive. Some sweet for balance would have been nice.

Mouth full, finish bitter and roasty.

Overall, glad Troegs bought this one back, was an annoying gap in my Troegs beers. A little too bitter and roasty for me. Maybe Flying Mouflan next?
Nov 13, 2020
Rated: 4.1 by Taenim from New Jersey

Oct 17, 2020
Rated: 4 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Apr 06, 2020
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Small pour at Churhkey. Best beer of the trip so far. Dark, ruddy brown pour, scant beige head. Full, woody, boozy aroma. Taste brings in some chocolate and roast malts. Deceptively smooth and exceptionally tasty.
Feb 12, 2020
Rated: 4.54 by RichRubes610 from Pennsylvania

Jan 31, 2020
Rated: 4 by SiepJones from Pennsylvania

Jan 02, 2020
Rated: 4.25 by BuxMontBeerLover from Pennsylvania

Dec 28, 2019
Photo of EMV
Reviewed by EMV from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a cork'n'cage 12.7 oz bottle. 2017 vintage poured into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Nearly black pour with 1.5 fingers of off-white head. Nice ring of lacing.

S: Roast, coffee, and dark chocolate.

T.F: Just like it smells. Rich and roasty... espresso, cocoa, and char. Caramel and vanilla and molassas. Sweet mixed with bitter... medium bodied and warming.

O: An above average RIS... great for the cooling weather. A slow sipper.
Nov 09, 2019
Rated: 3.64 by Benish from Utah

Aug 27, 2019
Rated: 3.65 by buzzy from Pennsylvania

Mar 11, 2019
Photo of BBThunderbolt
Reviewed by BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Thanks to Mikexw for this one from a ninja box during the Rookies BIF #2. 12oz cork and caged bottle poured into 14 oz teku. Poured a solid black color with just a thin cap of light brown head that had low retention and lacing, but did have good legs.

The aroma had a solid malt base supporting some chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and alcohol. Pretty similar on the tongue, the beer was a touch hot, but was a solid sipper.

The body was pretty typical for the style, and a bit thinner than I prefer in the style. Drinkability was very good, I could easily knock off another bottle. Overall, a very nice take on the style. A must try if you see it.
Nov 11, 2018
Rated: 3.88 by mpolewan from Ohio

Oct 19, 2018
Photo of dafla67
Reviewed by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
The color is a dark black. The aroma is wonderfully sweet -- chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and malts. The taste is phenomenal and complex with all the smells plus brown sugar. Medium body with a touch too much carbonation for my tastes. I let it sit a while. Overall an incredible RIS.
Sep 24, 2018
Rated: 4 by parkwood from Pennsylvania

Sep 01, 2018
Rated: 4.09 by Wizzle32 from Pennsylvania

Jul 20, 2018
Rated: 4.16 by Wheels2532 from Pennsylvania

Jul 20, 2018
Rated: 4.18 by KAP1356 from Pennsylvania

Jul 10, 2018
Photo of Tony210
Reviewed by Tony210 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours pitch black with a finger of mocha head. Aromas of chocolate, anise, bourbon barrel, sweet vanilla. Dark bitter chocolate dominates the flavor, quite bitter. Vanilla and coffee intermingle, touch of brown sugar and caramel, ample blackstrap molasses. Pretty full bodied, rich and creamy. Overall I find this to be overly bitter. Not worth the $15 the bottle cost.

12.7 oz bottle, no date
4 rating
Jun 30, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by craftaholic from New York

Apr 27, 2018
Rated: 4.13 by Jbalintjr from Pennsylvania

Apr 23, 2018
Photo of q33jeff
Reviewed by q33jeff from New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottle(corked/caged) to snifter. Sampling side by side with Weyerbacher Finally Legal. The Troegs is the superior beer.

LOOK: Awesome looking beer. Thick dark black.
AROMA: Aroma is vanilla, brown sugar, bourbon.
TASTE: Taste is a nice blend of roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar; dark chocolate hits last, but it's bitterness mixes with the sweet sugar to really round this off nicely. Only small knock is a little tiny bit of a baking soda or aspartame kind of misdirection taste in the finish.
FEEL: full body. Carbonation is as lively as it can be for such a thick beer. Fudgy.


Mar 10, 2018
Rated: 4.82 by adamdanger from Pennsylvania

Feb 25, 2018
Rated: 4.1 by TheWolf from Delaware

Feb 04, 2018
Rated: 4.42 by al2913 from Delaware

Jan 25, 2018
Photo of MacMalt
Reviewed by MacMalt from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured from 12.7 oz. bottle into pint glass. It pours ink black with more than a finger of creamy head of a color between khaki and mocha, and silky lacing that lasted through the pour. The nose features roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, plum, nuts, and subtle but noticeable bourbon. You can really taste the vanilla bean and oak up front and the bourbon is much more forward than its smell. As the glass warms the plum and raisin really stand out and there is a touch of hoppy bitterness at the finish.. There are also chocolate and licorice notes throughout. All of the flavors work well together; this is one tasty RIS. It has a rich, creamy, silky mouth feel with moderate carbonation and while it appears to drink below its 12% ABV you notice the alcohol by the end of the pour. The bourbon is nicely warming. Overall, Impending Descent is a fine Russian Imperial Stout that makes a nice sipper or dessert beer. About my only constructive criticism is that the taste would benefit from a little more chocolate. I'm glad to have finally tried it and will buy it when available.
Jan 21, 2018
Photo of jdhilt
Reviewed by jdhilt from New Hampshire

4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a five+ finger brown head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Bourbon nose. Flavor is bourbon, roasted chocolate and vanilla, nicely balanced. High ABV (12%) is hidden. Expensive - $15.49 for a caged & corked 375ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.
Jan 21, 2018
Rated: 3.67 by Duncian from Pennsylvania

Jan 17, 2018
Impending Descent from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 194 ratings