Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout | Stevens Point Brewery

72 Reviews
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Whole Hog Russian Imperial StoutWhole Hog Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Stevens Point Brewery
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cokes on 02-19-2010

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 162
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.08/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours jet black with a light chocolate brown. In the aroma, a sweet oatmeal and cocoa. In the taste, a sweet chocolate roast, a nice sweetness and roast. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a sweet and small chocolate like aftertaste. Not so much an imperial stout, more a chocolate stout.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.49/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Impenetrably black in complexion, with a rich 2.5 finger head. Thin but attractive lacing.

Nose is roasty malts, but almost astringent somehow. Odd and a little off-putting.

Taste is bittersweet chocolate malts up front, with an earthy and dry finish. The 8.6% ABV is fairly well-masked.

Not a standout for the style, but certainly not bad, either.

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Photo of brentk56
3.22/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with an inch of rocky, beige foam; while it fades rather quickly, it does leave a few dots and squiggles of lace behind

Smell: Chocolate and licorice

Taste: Chocolate, up front, with tart bitterness developing by mid-palate; not much flavor remains after the swallow other than a tart metallic character with a hint of chocolate underneath

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; somewhat aqueous

Overall: Rather unusual for the style as it doesn't have the fruity bold flavors or the full body that one would expect

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.47/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Another random Whole Hog single found at a local store. Right on. This one pours a very dark black-brown (just south of a soft onyx) topped by a finger of dusty tan foam. The nose comprises light roasted malts, dark toffee, mild cocoa, very light coffee, and a twinge of roasted oats. The taste brings in more of the same, everything coming through softly, mildly, smoothly. It's as though they were trying to make a very n00b-friendly impy stout or something, afraid the bold flavors would be considered offensive. Instead, it results in an overly soft, almost muted stout. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, what could have been a generally nice stout suffers from too much restraint (such is my theory, anyway), leading to a mediocre one. Shame, really.

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Photo of cnally
3.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The appearance is very blackened--dark and deep. A nice tan head stays long, but is not as sticky as you would want.

The aroma is super sweet for the style, less influenced by the licorice and anise--those aromas are still there, but it's like licorice candy as opposed to the real thing.

The flavor stays on the sweet bend with mild burnt flavors--the malt is reliant on the chocolate as opposed to the black. The bitterness comes in toward the end, but the overriding quality is the raisin-chocolate sweetness.

The mouthfeel is massively disappointing for the syle, runny and such a low body it may as well be a mild ale.

Listen, it ain't great but it is a sweet excursion in the world of imperial stouts. You expect a massively flavored, aggressive beer when you sip on a RIS, and this is the opposite of that. It's sweet, low bitterness, and very thin. So, for RIS standards, not very good.

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Photo of beer2day
3.03/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark black pour with just a hint of red around the edges. 1-finger deep tan head. Faint lace.

Nose has a metallic twang to it. Getting light roast malt and weak sweet cherries. Needs more depth and strength.

Fairly light in body for an impy stout. More like a porter. Getting light chocolate, virtually no coffee, and a bit more of that metal that was in the nose. Light sweet finish, with a touch of roasted malts. Not very complex.

A bit disappointing for what looked like a nice glass of beer.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.42/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First thing I have to say is it's not quite a Russian Imperial, it needs more of a bite to it for that. It's got the rich dark color, but the head is almost not there and does not last long. I think it's too sweet and could use a bit more bittering from hops! Still, it's not the worst I've had!

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Photo of Brent
3.03/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shooting for this as a Russian Imperial Stout falls well short of the mark, unfortunately. Moderate roasted malt character, with some brown sugar and unsweetened cocoa in the background. A bit sweet-ish, and far too timid to rub elbows with other beers in this category. An average stout, somewhere between the English and American interpretations.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A) It's black, and it looks pretty thick. There was an inch of tan head to the top of the pint. It disappeared quickly with no lacing.

S) Dark roasted malt. There are hints of coffee, chocolate covered raisins and booze.

T) It is a pleasing combination of chocolate and coffee. There is a sweetness that is quite enjoyable, and a slight hop finish. The after taste is nice.

M) It's not as heavy as it looks. I'd say more of a medium body. The carbonation is right for me.

O) I haven't had anything by Point in quite a while, and I really enjoyed this offering. Well done...

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Photo of bnes09
3.39/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep black color. Pours a thin head. Weak retention and little lacing. Completely opaque.

Dark, roasted aromas. Almonds, prunes and coffee are the predominant scents. Dark, rich and inviting.

Dark flavors dominate the taste with prunes, roasted nuts, bold coffee and licorice. Hops are subtle adding just a hint of bitterness. Tasty, yet not quite on par with the style. It could use a more assertive hop presence.

Full-bodied. Well carbonated and a sticky texture.

As far as Russian imperials go, this is middle of the road. It won't win any awards yet it is still a flavorful beer that I can enjoy if I am in the mood for a stout.

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Photo of lonestar4lunch
3.98/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured the expected black with toasted brown head that quickly settles. The aroma is of roasted malts, light chocolate and a touch of sweetness. Taste is very nice with nothing that is very fierce. The sweet almost brown sugar/molases goes very well with the roasted malts. There is just a little bitterness that goes along way and just seems to fall into place. This isn't a very heavy version of the style and doesn't have a overly stong after taste but damn if it doesn't work well.

 485 characters

Photo of SisuPride
3.86/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surprised Steven's Point, Wisconsin is brewing this type of beer. For an imperial it was a decent beer. The head dissipated quickly - the taste was a little dry for me. It poured as near black as you can be with out being plain old black. It was also a little to carbonated for me in the mouth feel category.

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Photo of jwinship83
3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle picked up as a single because it was only $1.69. drank from my stone IRS snifter.

A- this one pours out a very dark brown colored body with a little bit of light passing through, there is a small khaki colored head on top. the head lasts for a few seconds before becoming no more than a crown. little to no lacing left behind.

S- the initial whiff brings forth mostly dark roasted malts. there is also a touch of chocolate and a little bit of alcohol. some earthy hops and coffee at the end.

T- the taste starts out with dark roasted malts. after that i get some sweet milk chocolate. a little bit of coffee and earthy hops at the end. definitely not the most complex of the style.

M- this is on the lighter side of full bodied with an acceptable level of carbonation. minor warming from the alcohol.

O- this is acceptably priced. not the greatest beer, but nothing offensive either. glad i tried it, i dont think ill be going back for more.

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Photo of BieresDesMoines
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours basically black with a big semi loose head that fades fairly quickly. The aroma is banana right out of the gate with some roastiness, some chocolate, some musty basement, and some cherry. The beer smells fine enough but all the aromas just sort of hit you at different times and lack a sort of cohesive whole. The flavor is nicer, it's a big fairly dry roasty Imperial Stout with a well concealed alcohol presence. In total it tastes nice, and the bitter roastiness while very present is actually balanced as opposed to brash (which is what I had expected, for whatever reason). Complimentary notes include some dark fruit and berries, a nice hop zing and fruitiness mid palate that lingers somewhat, a light touch of vanilla and malty sweetness. It's certainly one of the best "whole hog" offerings yet. I don't normally say stuff like this, but I have to think it's the brewery's reputation that's keeping the ratings down on this one. It's no top class Imperial Stout, but it's a very tasty one. If it had the label of a more en vogue brewery I have very little doubt that the average rating would be a bit higher.

 1,123 characters

Photo of OldIronLungs
3.22/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Into a Duvel tulip with about a finger of quickly dissipating head turning into medium bubbled light cream lacing on top of a dark rich brown.

Nose of roasty malts , light chocolate and cereal grains.

A sip is watery and mildly carbonated, lightly roasty, sweet and warm with alcohol finishing with light chocolate and some hop bitterness.

The overall taste isn't striking in any way and for a RIS I need a good viscous body. It's certainly a take on the style, but not the direction I prefer. Honestly tastes more like a porter.

 532 characters

Photo of iLovehops23
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After having RIS like Surly Darkness, this beer fall far behind such a great beer. On one hand this beer isnt quite the crafty,drinkable and very gorgeous in color.

Pours with a frothy creamy dense head. Very
viscous. Aroma is roasty with a slight hop note. Tastes rich and chocolatey with a hint of roast. Malt forward with a balance of citrus like hop. Goes down smooth and silky with a warming finish. Warming effect and richness grows with each sip and as the beer approches room temperature.

 499 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1/2" head that lasts a while.

Smell: roasted malts, alcohol, and earthy tones are most prevelent.

Taste: roasted malts, prunes, brown sugar sweetness, a moderate bitterness, and a general earthy tone lingers throughout.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth at the finish. Long aftertaste with this beer.

Drinkabililty: definite slow sipping beer. Alcohol level stuck out a bit too much and the sweetness was also a bit to strong.

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Photo of SuperNova777
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:Pours a non transparent black with a white/khaki color head that slowly falls, decent head retention

S:Nose is pretty muted for the most part. Cereal grain is the first thing that I pick up with slight roated malts in the background

T:Better than the intial smell, roastiness up front followed up by some chocolate notes in the middle and back.

M:Body was a little watered down and could lose some carbonation as well, the palate thou is left with a nice coating of chocolate and stickiness that makes up for the body

D:Really this was a easy drink for 8.5%, barely any hint of alcohol through the whole glass. Smell and body were a little off but made up for it the taste and mouthfeel areas. Not bad and worth a try.

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Photo of boudreaux
2.57/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: pours dark reddish-black; a lighter, off-white head

S: dark fruit and roasted malt hit the nose; alcoholic as well

T: plenty of estery fruit, but not enough thick, roasted malt; a hint of coffee and roast, but overall lacking

M: weak... very light and watery

D: shouldn't be this drinkable for the style; this beer is a work in progress, at best

As the color and aroma already indicate, this beer lacks the substance to be considered truly imperial in nature. There's plenty of estery fruit, but none of the big, thick flavors like coffee and chocolate so characteristic of Russian Imperial Stouts. The mouthfeel is weak and the whole thing goes down like a wet Fourth of July. This beer would be better off advertised as an imperial brown ale.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.92/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stevens Point Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout

Appearance: Dark brown, some good lacing, and a small head.

Smell: Rich coffee, brown sugar, faint hops, dark fruits, and cocoa.

Taste: Coffee, brown sugar, cocoa, and faint dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Medium and smooth.

I was initially very pleased with the aroma. The taste isn't nearly as strong or well defined as the aroma, but is still good. This is very smooth for a RIS and also much lighter in body than I was expecting. It is most definitely full flavored and easily drank.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #38 (Mar 2010):

Two fingers is the least the head could do for us; good head retention as well. Dark, dark, dark ... what is expected. Sweet mocha, malty aroma, with some blackberries and nougat. Smooth, creamy, mild crispness all within a full-ish body. Very sweet palate, maltiness covers brown sugar, cookie dough, caramel and a tame roasted grain. The hops are lazily draped on the malt sweetness, and they soon disappear. Alcohol is there, just warming. Roasted flavors never peak, let alone try to throw down. Hints of butter, fruit and more caramel in the sweet finish.

A very mild and sweet version that's worth trying for a different perspective on the style, as most Imperial Stouts tend to be very roasty or hoppy, or both.

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Photo of FernMaster
1.78/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint.

Lucky, this bottle was provided to me by a friend and I didn't pay for it. He laughed and told me it tasted like Band-aids, I found this crazy so I had to try Band-aid beer. He's not far off. Yuck. Here goes....

The color isn't that bad, but there's very minimal head and what's there resides very quickly. There's a decent lacing around the glass, but actually the word "decent" should have been "minute." The smell is very very strange. The nose is this offensive rubbery, dark fruit scent, like it's raisins, plums and too much toffee. My thoughts going into this was that hopefully the taste didn't follow the nose, it didn't, it was actually worse. He was freaking right, it tastes like band-aids. Yuck. There's way, way too much toffee and way, way too much raisins and plum flavor. Yuck. God I just drank it again to get a more accurate description, just don't drink it. That's the best I can get. Just don't.

If you're thinking of drinking this beer, stop it. Walk away and buy something good. This is not good.

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Photo of imagese
2.85/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Cork & Bottle in New Orleans to try since it isn't avail in CA

A- dark auburn with a slight opaque brown at the edges. Poured a nice one finger, but it quickly faded and left no lacing.

S- powerful dark chocolate with a nice roasted quality on the initial pour. Lost a lot of strength, but was a still a nice smelling beer thru out the whole glass

T- nicely balanced, but for an RIS, it's missing that back end kick. Although, I'm really digging the cocoa taste that hangs in my mouth.

M- falls short here. A bit on the watery side, and carbonation seems a bit too low

D- goes down smooth. Drinks more like a strong English brown

This could be a good stepping stone from stouts to imperial stouts, but as far as hanging with the staple RIS selections, this one falls short.

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Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ox brown longneck with no freshness dating, but maybe you don't need that for an Imperial Stout.... Pored into a pint glass, the beer is black with Ruby highlights. Not a huge head but great lacing.

You can really smell this beer from two feet away. There are raisins, dark malts and a hint of rum.

The taste leads with dark fruits (dried plums and raisins). The malts add a roasted quality with minor coffee and chocolate notes. The alcohol really only pushes through for a brief appearance in the aftertaste. Seems pretty well integrated to me, may lack a bit of the real dark roast taste that this style often offers.

The mouth is silky with low carbonation. This is a nice sipper.

This is the first time I have been able to sample on of their Whole Hog specialties. I think this a pretty good stab at a RIS.

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Photo of rrski198
3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Jet black, small off white head, disapates quickly.

S: Black liquorice, coffee, chocolate. Nothing amazing

T: Sweet molasses, brown sugar, liquorice.

M: Weak carbonation, taste simply disappears quckly.

O: A sugary mess, not balanced (no hop presence). For the amount of R.I.S. on the market, I wouldn't purchase again.

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Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout from Stevens Point Brewery
3.43 out of 5 based on 162 ratings.
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