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 jampics2
3.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a snifter. 

Whole hog is a dark black color in the glass with touches of brown.  Some tan head recedes to a ring.  Nice looking beer, but a bit lighter color than expected and just not top of the heap.     

The smell catches me off guard - notes of dark fruit are prominent and unexpected. There is some chocolate and molasses. Roasted malt with a touch of caramel sweetness and little hops.  Not a typical Russian Imperial Stout.     

The taste is also a bit off for the style.  Moderately bitter dark chocolate and some coffee acidity are present but also are sweet malt, a touch of dark fruit and raisin.  This is almost more of a quad-like stout or a dopplebock. Weird.     

Overall, the beer is creamy with nice carb but the body could be better. Don't get me wrong, this is a really flavorful beer and is above average drinkability.  But it seems like Stevens Point went for a RIS and only brought half the hog.  Not a premier example of the style, and not a beer I will be revisiting soon.  

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with cola highlights and a very slight head that quickly becomes a thin sheen.

Aroma is sweeter than expected. Malty with brown sugar accents and a dark fruit sweetness you would expect in a good dopplebock.

Taste is also very 'dopple' like. Rich dark fruit, molasses, roasted malt, and brown sugar sweetness meet an earthy, dry woody quality that brings a nice balance. Alcohol warmth is present throughout.

Mouthfeel is thick and sticky.

This is a really good American version of a dopplebock, but is not a RIS. Very tasty, but lacks the charred dark grain bitterness of a stout. Unfortunately I'll have to score this one as a RIS... as a dopplebock the scores would be much higher.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint...

A: a dark murky brown, nearly black and pretty much opaque except for around the edges, with a big and rocky hot cocoa colored head of foam. which doesn't seem to disappear.

S: a dark cocoa and raspberry, raisn, and prune aroma, with a hint of anise, and orangey-lemony hop aromas noticeable.

T: a charred malt and cocoa flavor with sweet raisin and a bitter and boozy finish of apple skin, char, lemon peppery, and resinous hop flavors.

M: a full body beer excentuated with a very low carbonation. finishes very dry and warm. would be better if there was a higher carbonation

Overall, I was very impressed with this beer. It's not the best RIS imo due to the lack of hops that I love in a great RIS, and seemed as if it had a cabernet characteristic. Leans more toward an attempt to interpret RISs of the old school England days.

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Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drinking this at a cooler cellar temp, around 52º.

A slim one finger cap of brown foam after the pour, leaves minimal lace, and doesn't really stick around all that long. Deep black color with a woody edge of mahogany.

Maple and brown sugar, fried plantain, tobacco and milk chocolate. A whiff of alcohol too, but not overly distracting.

Flavor has a bit of dark fruit and molasses, mellow roast and very little bitterness. The body has an odd slickness to it that seems to detract a little bit. Flavors are more vivid as it warms. The flavor is a bit muted, though there are traces of coffee, roast malt, and the usual suspects. Carbonation is mellow, and it's fairly drinkable.

Considering this brewery's output, a decent RIS is the last thing you'd expect from them, but this is it. Here's to Point, in hopes of continued "experimental" offerings in the Whole Hog series.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.58/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid near-black with a thick, frothy, rather persistent light tan head. Aroma is smoky with tones of toffee, molasses and coffee. Thick, rich flavor has unsweet chocolate, toffee and nutty components as well as hints of quality coffee and molasses with just a whisper of sweetness. Edgy, fizzy texture leaves behind a nice strong and rather persistent tingle.

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Photo of harpus
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark Brown with a tan head
Smell - Roasted Malts and Dark Chocolate
Taste - Roasted Malt, Dark Fruits, Drak Chocolate
Mouthfeel - creamy but a little thin for a Russian Imperial Stout
Overall opinion - This is an OK version of a Russian Imperial Stout. have had worse, one of the better choices that we have for Alabama.

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Photo of riversider76
3.36/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown with a one finger tan head. Excellent retention and very nice laceing.Aroma is of roasted malts and dark chocolate. Nice but weak. Body is on the thin side for a RIS with a good amount of carbonation. Taste is if roasted chocolate malts with some dark fruit in the finish.Alchol is all there. Not a strong version of this style,but drinkable.

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Photo of NewGeneric
2.71/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Once again, thanks to dansteino for always having a great selection.
Poured into my Delerium tremens tulip.

A: Pours a deep, dark brown with about a finger and a half of milk chocolate head that fades relatively quickly.

S: Not a whole lot going on here. Some chocolate, with hints of roasted coffee and dark fruit. That's about it.

T: Similar to smell, though the fruit is more present than the chocolate. Roast, coffee are almost absent actually.

M: Bit of a bite up front, followed by some noticeable alcohol.

D: Could have more, but would prefer other options.

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Photo of jera1350
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a four pack of this for $4.99 at Blue Max. For the price, I thought it was worth a shot.

Black in color, bordering on dark brown. Not very viscous at all, but has a thin layer of tan suds on top.

Whoa, this is a RIS? As someone before mentioned, this seems to be more of a doppelbock. It smells very bock-like to me as well. Smells like sticky caramel goodness, but no roasty malts to be had anywhere.

Again has some bock tendencies, but now I am picking up some of the roasted and toasty malts. Some burnt vanilla sugar and lightly toasted malts are pretty much the makeup of the taste. Not bad at all, good roast, pretty tasty.

Has a bit of creaminess to it, but just not full bodied like a RIS should be. Dry finish, but needs some beef.

A fine beer, not too bad at all. It drinks nicely, but doesn't represent the style very well. For what I paid, well worth it.

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Photo of gonger
3.61/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Deep coffee black. What little light that shows through shows red. Nice lacing down the glass as I drink.

S-Ethyl alcohol comes through first, followed by bananna-coffee-yeast, some chocolate, and earth tones like wet wood or dark fruit. Not unpleasant. Not exceptional.

T-A little watery. Disappointing at lower temperatures, but not bad at 55-60F. Moldy dark fruit (currant/raisin) and malt flavors that aren't present at colder temperatures assert themselves at higher serving temps.

M-Satisfactory. Better at higher temperatures.

D-This is a pretty good brew, served at proper temps. Not the best Imperial Stout, but maybe the best Wisconsin Imperial Stoutl

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Photo of DarrinRasberry
4.1/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A: Dark with a head that sticks around for just a bit. Looks like an inviting stout.

S: Perhaps the nuttiest/roastiest stout I've sniffed so far, followed by hints of dark chocolate.

T: As the nose advertises, albeit a little sweet for a stout. Chocolatey, roasty, malty. A pretty good brew, especially for the price.

M: A bit thin for a stout, but the taste sticks around long after your last sip.

D: A wonderful example of how to mask a higher alcohol content (this sits strongly at 8%+). I could session this beer, especially for the cost, were it not for the high ABV.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: From the bottle displayed mahogany highlights from the light, while in the glass a dark heresy chocolate with a quickly diminishing hazelnut head that left no lacing and appeared pretty standard appearance wise.

S: Nice touches of freshly roasted grains that was followed by some warm milky chocolate and marshmellow hints. The cluster hops provide a touch of spiciness behind the warm chocolate malting.

T: Sweet chocolate and some sweetly roasted grains appear first flavor wise. Theres a bit of spiciness delivered by the cluster hops which actually worked much better then anticipated. Warm milky chocolate is the base here with sweet cappuccino notes chime in, but it is the spicy hops that lighten the mood of this drink making it come off more as a desert beer rather a dark intimidating Russian imperial, not that theres anything wrong with that. Provides a change of pace, sweet with some chocolate sweetness while the bitterness becomes more evident upon further warming along with some licorice and vanilla notes rounding things out.

M: There is quite a bit of effervesce detected particularly at the tip and edges of the tongue. Bubbly with a good deal of creaminess upon the hold with a medium body and a light coffee and licorice fade gracing the tongue on the swallow.

D: A decent drinking RIS, nothing over the top complexity wise nor arrogance wise, but a sweet interpretation that drinks perhaps more like a milk stout then anything other. Manageable 8.5%abv hardly comes across the senses when drinking. A four pack probably wouldn't go to waste here, I could go for a couple.

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Photo of daledeee
3.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I usually buy a single bottle of something new I am not sure of. This is a 12 ounce bottle.

Poured it into a tulip glass and got a nice light tan head with a very dark brown body and a residual that was nice.

Nose is not strong enough for a stout in my book. Some malt and sweetness. Not much to say.

Taste is sweet with malt, roasted malt and caramel. Finishes a little bitter.

Mouth feel is moderately carbonated but not as "thick" as many stouts. Overall, this is not a bad beer to drink. It almost tasted more like a doppelbock. Sweet, malty and caramel. It would have scored higher in the doppel bock category.

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

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a dark amber, brown to almost black in color. Light mocha colored head. Breaks down quickly to a film. Little hazing detected.

S - Chocolate malts dominate, but the nose is light overall. Fairly sweet, with some caramel malts. Backed up with just a light amount of yeast spice. Malty, but not roasted.

T - Starts off with some chocolate notes. Lightly malty, very lightly burnt. Mid stream gets more yeasty, spicy, earthy. Finishes with a more spicy note, not much for malt or yeast. Alcohol is about non-present.

M - Moderate beer body - carbonation is the strongest attribute, pulling through the more watery beer character. Finishes mostly clean, only a hair of film.

D - Moderate to low drinkability. Flavors are easy drinking, but it hides a unremarkable flavor. Slightly strong abv. Somewhat filling.

Nothing offensive or remarkable about this beer. I would find this as a suitable second fiddle to something like Old Rasputin.

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Photo of homebrew311
2.09/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Saw this new RIS at the store at a reasonable price, had to try it.

A: Pours an extremely dark brown with a little bit of light passage when the glass is held to a lamp. There is about a 1 finger creamy looking head with decent retention and some lacing.

S: I am not picking up a whole lot on the nose... some deep roasted grains and some ethyl alcohol. Also picking up some spicy hops in the background. Again, everything is pretty subdued.

T: the front starts out with nice sweet notes of molasses and dark chocolate, but that is where it all goes down hill. This flavor fades quickly and turns into a solvent like alcohol presence along with some metallic notes. The finish is unpleasant and it leaves a less than desirable flavor in the mouth.

MF: thin body,medium to high carbonation, a bit of a creamy texture as it warms

D: this beer started out promising but ended up being a bit of a mess. The alcohol is way too prevalent and does not balance with the malt profile at all. Something about this brew lacks robustness and just ultimately falls short. I couldn't finish this as the after taste left and unpleasant burn on the palate.

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

Traded a local for this at DLD.

Reviewed from notes - 4/30/10.

Poured from the bottle into a chalice.

A: Pours a dark chocolate black with 1 finger of beige head. A little on the thin side for a RIS.

S: Roasted barley and malts. Hints of vanilla.

T: Same as the smell. Also some notes of coffee.

D: For the ABV and the style, a surprisingly drinkable RIS. Went down fairly quickly and easily.

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Photo of drizzam
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled with my good BA friend cdkrenz, thanks for sharing CK!

A - Poured a clear dark brown in color with ruby highlights when held to a bright light source. Foamy tan head with good retention...the head left a nice smattering of lacing down the inside of the glass.

S - Smells a bit on the boozy side with aromas of dark roasted malt and dark bitter chocolate. Smells like this is going to be a big beer.

T & M - The raosted malt comes through in the taste, followed by the dark bitter chocolate I smelled in the aroma. Very little to no hop character to note. The booziness becomes more and more prevalent as it warms. Medium bodied, and it finishes with some muted booze after the swallow.

D - This is a big beer, especially for a brewery that hasn't brewed much in the way of big beers in the past. Not especially sessionable, but this is certainly a solid offering from the Stevens Point Brewing Company. I'm glad to see them going back to the way of real craft brewing.

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

A - Nice stamina in a medium tan head. The body is very dark brown and inviting.

S - Chocolate, caramel and maybe a hint of coffee with a tiny edge of anise.

T - Dark, dark cocoa flavor with bitterness in the finish. This malt was roasted a long time which is evident in te strong roasted malt flavor.

M - Slightly coarse with an overall smoothness that's rather enjoyable.

~ This is a good beer that in my opinion meets my expectations well. If you're looking for a tasty, rich and strong Imperial Stout, I suggest you give this one a try.

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Photo of WJVII
3.26/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass this brew was really inviting with an oil black color, a 1 finger chocolate head that left really nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is a little faint with some molasses, chocolate, and some slight burnt malt. The taste fails to go with the appearance of this brew. There is almost a sourness to the burnt caramel taste. The body is a little thin and a little more carbonation might help the flavor pop a little more. I have been happy with the recently new offerings from the SP brewery but this one misses the mark.

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Photo of russpowell
2.63/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent mahogany with a finger of mocha colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit & weird juicy fruit scents

T: Carob, dark fruittyness, a touch of iron, oaky dryness, leafy hops & booze up front. Dryness, a somewhat annoying chocolate covered cherry taste as this warms, along with faint figgyness & more leafy hops as this warms, along with a faint hint of juicy fruit. Finishes dry with more carob & weird juicy fruit taste, verging on the edge of drain pour, maybe I should've had this cold???

MF: Slick, kind of watery fairly noticable/ prickly carbonation

Drinks okay, a half hearted attempt at the style IMO. My first IMP stout homebrew was so much better, even weaker than the imp pilsner & IPA. So many good/great RISs out there, sorry I wasted my time on this one

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Photo of gobeer
4.5/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. Wow!

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Photo of cokes
2.96/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark magenta brown. Very much on the lighter side of the color spectrum. The head is a tall puff of mocha, gradually fading to reveal patches of lace.
Big time bubblegum nose, with additional notes of canned fruit cocktail in heavy syrup. This overly fruity nose seems a trademark of Point's Whole Hogs (and some of their regular offerings as well). Way in the background, there is a tiny whisper of cocoa. Some flare of Brandy-esque boozy heat as well, especially as it nears room temperature.
It carries more malt weight in the mouth, beginning with fudgey chocolate cake tones, and a small amount of roastedness, hinting at weak coffee. The fruit picks up midway, with pineapple, concord grapes, bananas, and dates. A small trickle of vanilla-tinged booziness creeps in. As does the bubblegum, shattering what was a perfectly quaint moment. The buublegum joins the lolling booziness to ride long into the finish. Hops offer little in the way of resistance.
It's moderate-full mouthfeel and low-mid carbonation are appropriate. If some of the overtly fruity characteristics were quelled, this would be respectable.

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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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