Imperial Russian Stout
Ridgeway Brewing

Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #597
Ranked #15,623
3.99 | pDev: 6.77%
Ridgeway Brewing
England, United Kingdom
Imperial Russian StoutImperial Russian Stout
Notes: Ridgeway Imperial Russian Stout is a wonderfully powerful beer that famously keeps for many years and changes with age. Our bitterness starts at a mighty 99BU in fermenter and mellows with age. There is no recommended best before. Coffee and burnt toast notes fight with wine-like aromas and a cleansing edge that comes from extended cellaring. Complex stuff that is a long, long way from mainstream beer.
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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 32 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by user785335:
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user785335 from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oct 21, 2015
More User Reviews:
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AlarmClock314 from Wisconsin

4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, 2014 vintage, lot F16 15. Pours somewhat opaque brownish/black with a medium-sized light tan head. Smells of roasted malt and coffee, with some earthy hops and yeast. The taste follows exactly. Not as much roasted malt as other RIS's, but it's still got the bitterness. Medium carbonation and below average body; could be a little thicker. Overall, really like the smell and flavor; could be bolder though and have more roasted malt and body. A non-stout drinking might really fancy this.

Sep 14, 2015
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JonnoWillsteed from England

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L- Black with a ruby fleck through it when held to the light. Clear, + no sludge visibly left in bottle. 1mm tan head.
S- A bright fruit note (reminds me of stewed blackberry) together with toastiness.
T- Some coffee, a liquorish sherry/port pungency then off into the smokey/charred wood depths.
F- Deep pungent, one for slow sipping, ideal for winter.
O- Quite a beast of a beer, but how refined. Zero to note as out of place or balance. Wow, I'd very happily buy this again, it's a class brew.
330ml bottle. '2018 vintage, bottle 04322'. Bought from BeerOfEurope/UK for home delivery.

Jun 10, 2020
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Suds from Missouri

3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This brew is from a bottle. very black...completely solid...with a thick and tight head, this is a beautiful beer. The aroma has chocolate....dark bitter chocolate...dark malt...wet wood, and more. Wow. Complex and interesting. Full and luscious in body. Wonderful.

Mar 11, 2019
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a syrupy, black color with ruby highlights. It had a small, foamy, off-white head. It smelled of molasses, rich toffee and sweet chocolate. It tasted fairly sweet with chocolate, toffee and molasses flavors. Very mild bitterness. Mouthfeel was soft and smooth.

Jul 16, 2015
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vinicole from England

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle. Black. Gently receding frothy tan head.
Big aroma of rum and raisin fudge. Alcohol present. Sweet roasted malt and caramel.
Demi-sec. Distant wood otherwise it reflects the smell. Some liquorice there as well.
Gentle carbonation. Not as smooth as I'd hoped.
An IRS that distinguishes itself from American versions.

Jul 21, 2018
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metter98 from New York

3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short dense tan head that died down, leaving some small patches of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark malts and black licorice are present in the nose.
T: The taste has lots of flavors of dark roasted and burnt malts along with notes of black licorice and slight hints of dark fruits. As the beer warms up, the roasted flavors subsides and flavors of coffee begin to become noticeable.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The roasted malt flavors also lend some dryness to the finish.
O: This beer is a very good example of the style and also hides its alcohol very well.

Note: 2015 vintage

Serving type: bottle

Jul 21, 2017
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I tried this 2014 bottle from the fridge in a goblet

The color is dark coffee with translucent clarity and thick tan head with fine bead after settling retention is very good. The aroma is a mix of malt with roast and some gentle yeast fruit scents which bring to mind currant and some spice like anise. The feel is very good with a moderately full body

The flavor is very good with some mild cocoa-like malt with roasted character up front which leads to a subtle stone fruit and mild spice with anise flavor in the middle with slight coffee-like woody taste which could be hops in the back with mild alcohol in the finish with a slight hint of vanilla. This is a very good Imperial Stout -exceeded my expectations and recommend it for fans of the style

Jun 20, 2016
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Tone from Missouri

4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color. 2/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong alcohol, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, liquor, wood, hint of syrup, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Russian Imperia Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, hint of liquor, wood, hint of syrup, and slight hop. Overall, great appearance, complex aroma and body, good blend.

Aug 16, 2015
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2016 vintage, so 2-3 years of age.
330 ml bottle

Pours black, with tan colored head. Fairly good head retention. Very roasty aroma - espresso, bitter cacao. Taste is similar, but not as dry as expected. A touch of dark fruit flavors in there. Thicker bodied, lower carbonation.

Jul 07, 2019
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 1/22/18

A: Deep, dark brown, black at its core - some clarity around the edges - pours with a small, light tan head, fades to a small cap, retains a small collar, leaves a few spots of lacing

S: Malty and nicely roasty - not as burnt as some examples of the style, but some notes of burnt grain and char - nicely roasty with some roasted grain and coffee-like aromas - some dark caramel, molasses, heavily toasted biscuits, toasted grain - some dark fruit, including raisins and figs - vaguely red-wine like aroma thanks to the dark fruitiness - dark and semisweet chocolate - chocolate cherries - some light caramel sweetness, notes of alcohol

T: Big notes of roast, toast, chocolate, and dark fruit - nothing really dominates - roasted and lightly burnt malts, grain - some dark toast and hints of char - medium and dark roast coffee - dark chocolate, with some sweeter chocolate, somewhere between semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate - dark fruit with some raisins, grapes, figs, and dark cherries - some red wine - some notes of vanilla - alcohol is very well-hidden

M: On the heavy side of medium, smooth, a touch oily

O: Oh yeah, this style

I haven't had a traditional (i.e., not American interpretation) Russian Imperial in a long while. And Ridgeway's is really nice. It's pleasantly complex without being super-burnt, super-chocolaty, or super boozy. This is seriously worth a try, and I may grab another one of these and see how it ages.

Jan 23, 2018
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Kahlerbock from Kansas

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 08, 2015
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown cola body with a quarter inch of beige head. Roast, chocolate, hints of coffee. A blend of milk and bitter chocolates. Light to medium in body with only mild alcohol heat. An interesting stout. Lighter with less roasty character than is typical. Pretty good.

Jun 04, 2015
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bigred89 from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sep 14, 2016
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DinoBlueShoes from Maine

4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 22, 2015
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage.

It pours slightly lighter than the typical coffee-chocolate-and-six-billion-different-additions American stout at a very dark ruby color. Perhaps not surprisingly, the dark ruby tones lead to an aroma chock full of luscious dark fruits. Plums, cherries, and raisins dominate. The malt backbone lacks the intense roast of an aforementioned American stout, instead choosing to focus on notes like molasses, treacle, brown sugar, caramel, and licorice. Flourishes of tobacco help to keep the intense, malty sweetness. This nose offers the appropriate level of nuance expected from a classic RIS. The flavor delivers on said promises, albeit not as vividly. It opens up with the one-two punch of dark fruits and licorice - anyone familiar with Courage (or hell, Stone's IRS) will feel at home drinking this. The malts aren't quite as well showcased as I'd like, instead allowing itself to play second fiddle to the pleasant dark fruit qualities. Still, undercurrents of brown sugar, toasted bread, molasses, and caramel are offered. It finishes with some tobacco and a touch of pine. Though some of its complexity is a bit muddled, it's wonderfully smooth and sharply balanced. It seems very well attenuated on the palate, giving it a deft crispness at the cost of having a slightly thin body. Carbonation (appropriately) is very low. I really enjoy this - it's a textbook example of an old-school RIS. I don't know how good this would be fresh, but it's drinking great with about three years on it. And I imagine it'll drink great with ten or fifteen years of age, too.

3.81/5: A big stout that's deceptively easygoing

Mar 24, 2018
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Hoppsbabo from England

4.2/5  rDev +5.3%

A: Pitch black with a small off-white head.
S: Chocolate and fudge.
T: Fairly bitter with an ashtray-like smokiness. Roasty and earthy, and it very much repreats the nose with the big fudge and chocolate. As it warms it gets sweeter, ie. medium sweet and just right.
O: At 10% it's pretty strong but flavourwise it's nothing out of the ordinary, just a great example of imperial stout. Definitely one to drink closer to room temperature.

Nov 25, 2014
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LJWalker from Indiana

3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jul 12, 2016
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Lare453 from Florida

3.47/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Oct 19, 2015
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jzlyo from Iowa

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is dark malts, dark fruit/raisins and a hint of perfumed sweetness. The flavor is dark fruit, dry dark malts, chocolate/dark chocolate and a mix of acidity, mild sweetness and increasingly warming/alcohol in the finish.

Nov 25, 2016
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RochefortChris from North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 25, 2017
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mizx from England

4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

May 07, 2015
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NeoClassicist from Texas

3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dec 04, 2017
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22Blue from Kansas

4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 17, 2015
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stephenlee from England

4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apr 25, 2015
Imperial Russian Stout from Ridgeway Brewing
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 32 ratings