Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout | Moylan's Brewery

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Ryan Sullivan's Imperial StoutRyan Sullivan's Imperial Stout
Very Good
459 Ratings
Ryan Sullivan's Imperial StoutRyan Sullivan's Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Moylan's Brewery
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 05-16-2002

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Ratings: 459 |  Reviews: 333
Photo of ATXRyan
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Moylan's Ryan O'Sullivan's Imperial Stout pours a mainly black body beneath a creamy head of khaki colored foam that holds quite well and leaves solid sheets and rings of lace at the outset of the glass. Beneath the head, some mahogany highlights can be seen at the bottom of the glass; and tiny, natural (bottle conditioned) bubbles can be seen steadily rising.

The nose is bready; caramelish; nutty; roasty like dark and bittersweet chocolate; lightly fruity; and it has a delicate waft of alcohol as well.

In the mouth it's superbly creamy and smooth with a full body and very fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation.

The bready, caramelish, and nutty maltiness appears upfront; followed by a quick note of berry-like fruitiness; and then dark chocolate and spent espresso grounds as it crosses the middle. It's got a wide flavor, and it's rich, but it's not decadent. And there's a complexity to it, but all of the flavors are easily recognizable; and it never becomes muddled on the palate. Another splash of seared dark-skinned fruit appears just before the swallow, and chocolate and coffee appear in the finish along with some dull, leafy and floral hops and a spritz of alcohol. It lingers with a dull roastiness, some mild fruit, and even some dull, spruce-like hops.

This is a really well done and superbly malty (as all of the Moylan and Marin beers are) beer that has a lot of charm. It's unique in that it's supple and welcoming, with less aggressive character than most examples. All of the characteristics of the style are there, but it's just so much more accessible! It's one of my favorites with a brilliant drinkability!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 fl.oz brown glass bottle hides a beer from a new Brewery for me, Moylan’s. Another Californian Brewery – it’s tough living on the West Coast. Celtic lettering on the brown label pronounce Ryan O’Sullivan’s Imperial Stout. Labeled at 10% ABV. Oh, Oh.
Perhaps this is good beer to finish with tonight – perhaps I will be finished later tonight!

It pours with a deep, cold space blackness, it is not a color, it is too dark to be a color. At first there was no head, but then as the beer built up in the bottom of the glass as I poured, the head started to appear slowly at first then, like a recently activated foam fire extinguisher, with a huge rush the head builds up into a foaming nitrogenous mass, deep brown as the bubbles fight deep in the fluid, fading to a deep tan light brown head at the surface. The head was silky smooth and laced well.

Aromas are astounding. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Did I mention choco… yeah OK!! Overwhelming smell is of Cadburys Milk Chocolate from England. Some coffee roast malts are also evident.

Initial mouthful is incredibly smooth and very silky; a deep tasting rich coffee chocolate milkiness coats the mouth. A 10% ABV beer that drinks likes fresh Milk. A cracker of a beer. Like sucking on fresh coffee beans and eating roasted currants, port soaked sponge cake, barbequed raisins, deep soaked sherry figs fried in molasses all mixed in with dark chocolate covered roasted chestnuts. Finish is dry - but never goes away - ever, this clever beer connects to the taste control area of your brain. You *will* remember this beer.

Forget Chocolate Rice Crispies – buy the normal ones, save the extra money, and poor this beer all over them for a laugh at Breakfast – its just as good, if not better – I know I just tried it. You will really enjoy the rest of your day, believe me!

Holy Shit!!! – I like this beer.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.77/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a pitch black hue and a creamy tan head of 1 inch foams up with a fairly aggressive pour. The head fades slowly leaving some tight lattice and cratering a little in the middle.
The aroma is roasated malt and some baker's chocolate mixing with dark fruit like plums and hints of coffee bean. Smells a little boozy but not as much as expected from the 10% on the label.
The first sip reveals a rich fairly hearty body with slightly slick mouthfeel. Carbonation is mild, tingly, but spacious.
Flavor is sweet malt with chocolate bar and some plums and raisins mixing with just a bit of coffee bean on the finish. A little warming on the finish as the brew slides down my throat, coating as it goes. There is a sweet residue on my lips after every sip and this beer is dangerously drinkable.
I really enjoy this one and would pick it up if I see it again.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.77/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice, dark brown/black beer. Almost reddish. There are garnet highlights. The head is fizzy, tan and dies quickly. Strong chocolate toffee in the nose. I like this smell. Middle is thick, sweetish, tangy, chocolate toffee. Buttery. The finish is dark, roasty, bitter chocolate. There's a nice alcohol warming, but no alcohol taste. 10%abv? Amazing. Some peas in the aftertaste. Nice chocolate, roasty intensity, though not to the extent of a Stone or Expedition. A very tasty Imperialette.

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now this is a serious stout. Poured like used motor oil from a 72 Super Beetle. Big brown head that you could eat with a spoon. Nose of burnt malt, chocolate, coffee, and plums. Mouthfeel was thick and very nice. Flavor was simply outstanding. Very complex yet well balanced flavors. This is very good.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours inky and oily into a nonic glass. A beautiful sudsy head of mocha, nearly two fingers worth, sits atop. Sheeted sparkly lace appears as the head drifts down to a thick cover. Fully opaque, an ideal start.

Aroma - Hershey's syrup and a lighter but wonderfully complementary coffee co-host. Those two smells are straightforward but they are resilient and just great.

Taste - very roasted grain with a definite char element. The chocolate/coffee bit is a little more understated than I would have guessed. The sweetness helps draw much of that to the front after a few sips and becomes a more integral part of the flavor. The swallow brings on some dry, bitter hoppiness that wipes all that away momentarily with some brief grapefruit and a hint of pine. The alcohol is well-hidden but it's there on the swallow and finish, enhancing some real nice chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel - luxuriously smooth, takes some pressure off the high carbonation level. Makes for a residue that is tasty and long-lasting.

Drinkability - abv be damned, this is a great beer for now or for the cellar. An unbelievable bargain to boot at just $5 per.

 1,148 characters

Photo of tonistruth
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- deep dark brown to black in color, three finger fluffy tan head with excellent retent. thick tan lacing

S- burnt malts, currants, chocolate, sweet cream, roasted malts

T- coffee, burnt malts strong at finish, dark chocolate in after, alcohol presence, roasted malts, currant, sweet cream

M- full & creamy, smooth, heat at finish, though only mild even when warm

D- very drinkable RIS, excellent all around for me, wish i had bought more than one bottle

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Photo of Brad007
4.63/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color: Pours a motor-oil color with a thin, brown head.

Aroma: Hoppy with a whiff of chocolate on the nose. Smells like it could be creamy as well.

Taste: Creamy and roasty upfront with vinous fruit, chocolate and muted coffee flavors. Smooth.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and lightly roasty. Bitterness is just right. Not overwhelming.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable, especially due to the creaminess and the fact that it seems to have more character to it than I thought it might. I could see the flavors mellowing even more over time.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is pitch black. Very slight ruby edging on the glass. Thin film of a head diminishes to a nice brown edging. The aroma is exquisite. Back currants, charcoal, big time molasses and dark cherry all come to mind. The taste is very nice as well. The bitterness makes itself known, but isn't in the "Rogue" ballpark. Deep roasted tones and charcoal dominate. But there are layers of complexities in this brew. Alcoholic taste is squeezed in the middle. Darker fruits make an appearance. Burnt currants, molasses, bitersweet chocolate and some slight black coffee tones all pop up as well. What a beer. Body is full, but not "Expedition" full. Nice lingering bitter bite. Fot 10% a/v, this is a drinkable and highly enjoyable brew.

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Photo of corywalston
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of Trueant1
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours black black black. The head is light tan that is thick and frothy. The head sticks around for a long long time! Lacing is inviting.

Smells abound! Dark chocolates, alochol, espresso, then thin fluffy truffel chocolates take over the nose. This beer smells dry. Maybe some yeasty smell in there?

Taste of bitter espresso, very dark chocolates, very very sweet dark fruits.
Mouthfeel is sweet and chewey. Thick molassis. This beer hides the alcohol well for it's abv 10%. A long oily hop bitterness lingers on and on. ( a good thing)
For a ris, this is exceptional drinkability.

This stout is STONG and BOLD. Not for the weak.
This beer has many flavors and smells but something just does not balance well for me. It is original, yes.
Worth a try if you are an avid imperial stout drinker. If not, you may hate this beer.
I love it.

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Photo of udubdawg
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber

This beer pours what can only be called black, with only the tiniest amount of light evident at the edges of the beer when held to the light. The head is light brown, big and creamy-looking. It recedes quickly in the center of the beer, but it is very sticky and there is soon a hollow in the middle as the beer stubbornly sticks to the side - lacing was more of a thin sheet across the side I wasn't drinking out of. Damn near perfect appearance.

Nose is heavily roasted with quite a bit of char. Coffee is evident at first but fruit and chocolate quickly overtake it as the beer warms and the aroma rounds out. Carmelized sugar makes a cameo but is pretty light in the overall richness of the aroma. The chocolate is especially intoxicating and begs repeatedly for another whiff The alcohol is light by comparison, a spicy hint in the background. Excellent.

Taste is about the equal of the aroma. Bitterness is right up front with a dark roasty/charred coffee flavor, but as the palate gets used to it the chocolate again comes to the forefront. The fruit present is dark and goes well with the balancing carmelized sugar sweetness. Creamy and mouth-coating, with a drying and bitter finish. Carbonation is on the low side and I'm left with pleasant hop bitterness and some alcohol on my tongue. Body is ample, but a bit lighter than some of the huge imperial stouts, which only increases the already high drinkability.

Exceptional beer!

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Photo of MisterClean
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Rubicon, great guest beer!

A - Poured black in color, with a 1 fingered brown head. Dissipated moderately slow, and left little lacing.

S/T - Rich, roasted coffee, chocolate light smoke, grass, and light alcohol.

M - Full bodied, malt dominated, and smooth as hell. No alc feel either.

D - Great, would love another tulip.

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Photo of argock
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.49.

A: Black with undoubtedly ruby edges at the head interface. The head is khaki with medium-big bubbles and good retention. Lacing is spotty with some strands mixed in too.

S: The aroma is wonderful with fruity currant and cherry leading the way with deep chocolate and dark malts next and leafy, earthy hops as the finishing touch to a stellar nose. This nose give "the classic Cigar Stout" a ton of credibility.

T: The taste does not disappoint, although it is not as bold at 45-50 as it is at 55-60 degrees. A rounded dark maltiness with cherry, berry, and currant notes is met but not exceeded by a barrage of earthy, spicy hops. The chocolate and dark malts win out to give a delicious bittersweet/dark chocolate, espresso, and light cherry/berry melange of malt flavors with wholehearted hoppiness to deliver a sumptuous taste experience.

M: The mouthfeel is chewy but less viscous than expected per the flavor and aroma. It is medium-full bodied with a long, cherry and dark malt with earthy, leafy hops aftertaste.

D: I ranked this exceptional RIS huge in this category because of the value. Unbelievable at the price point and on par with Bell's Expedition Stout in both flavor and value. An excellent brew and on par with Moylan's DIPA and Hopsickle for quality construction. It gives me a good reason to check out their other, more tempered styles too. Great brew.

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Photo of letsgopens
4.51/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After experiencing the Hopsickle, I must say I had very high hopes for this selection and I was not disappointed.

Pours black with no real highlights or visible light penetration, certainly a good start in my estimation. The creamy mocha head refuses to recede and leaves some very good lace.

The aroma has a little sweetness but is mostly of roasted malt, hints of coffee, and a bit of nuttiness. Some mild hops and luscious dark fruit accentuate the nose.

The flavor is heavy and creamy with plenty of complexity to spare. Not as sweet and dessert like as I expected, some milk chocolate and a lot of dark roasted malt. A hint of nuttiness and spent coffee grounds. Toasty and warm. Much of the sweetness is derived from notes of molasses and some toffee. Comparable to Stone RIS, not necessarily in similarity of flavor, but in depth and complexity.

Very creamy, smooth mouthfeel. Velvety on the palate. A hint of alcoholic warm is present in the finish. Superbly done. One of the best Russian Imperials I've had in a long time.

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Photo of Rwalford74
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of bastu
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of those real man's imperial stouts. Not for the weak. The pour was interesting because it seemed as if there was going to be no head but then a large head evolved from the bottom up, like out of a nitro. Quite dark in appearance with slight caramel colored highlights. The smell was really sweet like candied currants and hints of alcohol. The taste was something else. The flavors were not too smooth, actually quite rough, and were at times overwhelming. But that's the way I like these imp. stouts to be. The strongest flavor by far was the roasted espresso hit. Maybe even mocha espresso. The middle showed some bittersweet chocolatiness to it and a slightly creamy element. Black licorice provides more sweetness to this beer. As it warmed the sweetness became more pronounced and an earthy flavor formed. Alcohol comes and goes as it pleases but always comes back in the end. Slightly dry and peppery in the finish, I think from the alcohol. Kind of rough but definitely well done. I felt like I could drink these all night long!

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Photo of bjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a thick jet black sludge like looking with a frothy one finger caramel colored head. Slight dissipation but retains nicely on the edges of the glass with a bit of film in the center. Good level of lacing.
S: Deep roasted coffee notes with a slight infusion of sweet chocolate. Hop profile gives this the smell of this brew a nice lift. Boozyness can be detected but only after a swirl of the glass.
T/M: Unsweetned chocolate dances with a bit of roasted coffee malt flavors. Milky in the beginning followed by some dark fruit that gets overwhelmed by a good level of hop bitterness. A bit sweeter than I expected it to be in the finish. Bold and heavy body with a silky smooth start and slightly dry finish with a smokeyness to it.
D: Pretty damn drinkable offering from Moylan's. Best to let this one warm up a bit as the flavors become more apparent. High abv isn't really noticeable whilst drinking, though the chest warms a bit once you're half way done with the bottle.

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Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of deNerval
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of DrJay
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from cburian as part of No BS BIF Ultra. Thanks Chris!
Very dark colour with a rich, tan cap. Great head retention, lots of sticky, chunky, longlasting lace. Very malty aroma, full of roast and coffee, milk and semisweet chocolate, mild hops, and hints of cherry and licorice. The flavour mirrored the aroma, with moderate bitterness, a little more hop and licorice flavour. There was a bit of alcohol towards the end and it finished with lingering roast, chocolate, and bitterness. As it warmed, chocolate became even more prominent. Full bodied, nearly heavy, with carbonation on the low side. A little creamy, with soft, medium sized bubbles and light, lingering warmth. Highly drinkable. It had a great balance of malts and nothing harsh about it at all. Delicious.

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Photo of horshack7
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A black opaque darkness with a light caramel colored head about two fingers thick. The head retention is decent.

Aroma: Dark fruits, alcohol, esters burnt hopiness. Sweet and dark roasted maltiness aroma. Faint bits of carob and semi sweet chocolate.

Taste: A mouthfeel that's smooth and silky. Burnt hops roasted malts with nice notes of espresso. Alcohol, esters with carob in the background rounding every thing out.

Notes: This is not a bad imperial stout nicely drinkable and very well rounded. Cheers.

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Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout from Moylan's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 459 ratings