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Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout | Moylan's Brewery

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Ryan Sullivan's Imperial StoutRyan Sullivan's Imperial Stout
Very Good
458 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 458 |  Reviews: 332
Photo of macster
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a moderately thick, viscous black color with an amber-brown hue along the edges. Initially produces a tight thick tan head, but that disappointingly receeds quite quickly. No lacing noted. Fairly aggressive, rich aromas of charred malts, espresso beans, dark chocolate, candied prunes, figs and molasses along with a bit of nostril dialating alcohol. Thought the mouthfeel could have been just a tad fuller and thicker for a RIS of this strength. Seemed just slightly thin and spritzy. Flavor was big and muscular like the nose. Lots of complex notes of roasted malt, espresso, semi-sweet chocolate, dried dark fruits, currant and a touch of smoke and molasses. If there is such a thing as a West Coast Style RIS, this could be the prototype since the hops make their presence well known with the crisp and bitter long finish. Definitely one to seek out.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - spent motor oil black with a chocolate milk colored head, obviously too dark to note any carbonation or sediment

S - damn this smells like chocolate, i could smell the cocoa before i even got close to the glass, slight coffee and alcohol hints as well, smells pretty damn good

T - the chocolate coffee scale is more balanced in the taste than in the nose, rich and thick chocolate and coffee tastes, very good, also a strong alcohol twinge which is the only drawback, otherwise great flavors

M&D - great balance and drinkiability, a high quality stout, the only drawback is the alcohol is not well hidden, though the flavors are powerful

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Photo of GClarkage
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

07/07/06- Purchased at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, no freshness dating, but I do know it's a 2004 release. I've had it in the cellar since I purchased it in early 2005. Poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

Appearance- Very dark balck pour, lovely dirty brown head fills to the top of the rim. Very creamy and tight looking. Lacing is well above average while clinging eveywhere.

Smell- Quite the deep roasted malt scent with a heavy dose of dark chocolate and a side of espresso bean. Wonderful scent.

Taste- Taste pretty much mirrors the scent, but not quite the taste explosion I though I was going to receive. Nice well rounded dark malt, dark chocolate, mild coffee accents and a really nice alcohol soaked cherry flavor. Hops are there, but the aging has really squashed most of them. Would have liked a bit more of a rich flavor. Still very flavorful as is though.

Mouthfeel- Somewhat creamy, a bit chewy with a mild carbonation level.

Drinkability- Overall better than I was expecting. The scent put some higher expectations on it though. Very tasty brew that I would buy again if found. Good aging brew if you don't mind a lack of hops in your RIS.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole double deuce bottle coughs up a used motor oil hued buh-lack offering that prevents even the most stubborn light splinters from penetrating through the brew. This beauty is black hearted to the core! Topping of dark tan pillowy cap is dark enough to make a 5/5 but too quick to deflate, ergo 4.5.

Plenty of roasted scents to qualify as a stout but a shyness that prevents true status into the RIS Hall of Fame.

First swigs: Toasted and roasted malts fronts this assertive stout. Somewhere the Russian aspect becomes muted by the smooth almost lactose aspects. A stout, yes but RIS? Hmmm...not too sure.

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Photo of Ego
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

obtained from liquidsolutions.com

some reverse cascading on the pour.. nice! the head boils up to 3 full fngers and begins to retreat in a simmering manner slowign down as it gets closer to the beer. as expected this is nearly jet black.. or squid ink black... or grace jones black.. pick whichever one works for you. some ruby highlights are noted. the head dissipates into a craggy/clingy o ring like that stupid island in that stupid movie waterworld. it's good looking but not a world beater.

burnt... love it. burnt bitter chococalte and burnt starbucks coffee, the burnt aroma is intense on this one.. and this has been sitting out for 10 minutes already...damn! this is almost bordering on a smoke aroma.. and it smells "dry" like it can suck the life out of you... like my ex...
hard to detect but in there are dark fruits and a little sweetness... man this smell is right up my alley.

taste etc...
sweeter right off the bat than you might think it would be... and that burnt flavor takes over and krazy glues itself to your tongue, at first the sweetness bothered me but the aftertaste is so lovely and disgustingly burnt.. I don't seem to mind. Some warming from the alcohol is apparent (this is 10%). The body is just about right.. it is heavier than stone's RIS but not quite as heavy as Rogue's offering (which I think is DEAD on). This reminds me most of Dragonslayer by Middle Ages.. but that didn't have as nice a malt balance as this. Carbonation is perfect, just enough to keep this from being flat and adding just enough to fill the mouth. great!

I wish this was available in jersey... damn it's good...

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Photo of nlmartin
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was purchased at the Dilly Deli for $4.99. The beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a nearly black coloration. The beer has minimal ruby opaqueness to light. The head was a creamed coffee coloration. The head retention was short lived. The beer left concentric rings around my glass as it disappeared.

Smell: The beer has a dark roasted coffee smell supported by bitter sweet chocolate. The beer has a slightly acrid smell. I am not sure if this is hops, alcohol or over roasted coffee. The beer has a fruity undertone that I almost missed but came out as the beer warmed.

Taste: The beer has a very dark burnt roasted coffee taste. The beer has a good supporting bitter sweet chocolate taste. The hops provide a brief bittering twang against the sweetness. The fruityness shows up as a melange of dark cherries and prunes.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: I think the beer has a medium body. I would have enjoyed this more if it was chewy. This is in no way a bad beer. I enjoyed drinking this beer and will not hesitate to repeat this beer; however, there remains many other Russian Imperial Stouts I would seek out first.

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Photo of MattBrooks
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours as a combination of brown and black with a nice foamy head. Aromas of chocolate and coffee-toffee dominate this luxurious brew. The flavors are strong but not too pungent and there seems to be a little extra carbonation on the finish which makes it a very refreshing beer. The mouthfeel was a little light, all things considered; but all in all a damn fine Russian Imperial Stout.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a a jet black with two fingers of dark tan foam head.

Huge roasted chocolate malt aroma, with hints of black coffee. Caramel and toffee.

Dark chocolate bittersweetness, flavor full of roasty toasty goodness. Caramel and toffee. Nice dry smokey, black coffee bitter finish with an acidic bite. The ABV comes through in the end and can be felt pretty quick.

Smooth, chocolatey, big ABV, very nice RIS


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Photo of beersarang
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Let me just say that this is a more accesible Imperial Stout. If you have tried stone's imperial russian, then this is about half the intensity.

Pours a black, with decent head retention.

Sweet coffee aromas and heavily roasted grain. Alcohol and some fruit.

Malt sweetness is fairly one dimensional, as is the roasted character. Fruit interplays with a moderate bitterness. Finishes slightly alcoholic.

Not as full bodied as I would have wished for the style.

A well made beer overall but nothing magical. Goes down pretty easily, compared to other Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of jonnylieberman
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from a bomber into a pint glass. Should have poured it into a snifter. Black + black with a tiny amount of Ruby shining through if you hold it up to the light. Light brown head is full and fades slowly.

Smells like: Malt with coffee. Great chocolate notes. Pretty impressive. Slight about of alcohol, which at 10% is well masked.

Taste: Got enough Roasted Barley in there? Yikes! I'm getting cold coffee grounds as the dominant flavor. A little caramel as well. Diacetyl is present, but somehow it works to offset the shock of the bitter roast. The beer is also bitter from hops. A complex, BIG taste, but not really elegant or refined in any way. This also tastes like a low alcohol sweet stout. I find it very difficult to believe that this beer is 10%. Despite the fireworks in my mouth, this stuff goes down easy.

Mouthfeel: Thick and brite -- lots of minerals are present. Not bad. Good carbonation.

Overall: I'd like to age this one for a year and then try it. Remarkably easy to drink, but just not joyful like an Imperial Stout should be. Fine, but don't go out of your way for it.

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Photo of OldSock
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – 22 oz bottle given to me as a bonus in a trade from Gueuzedude. Beautiful creamy, mocha, reverse-cascading head that lasts for a long time. The beer itself is completely black. This is what a stout should look like.

Smell – Rich chocolate and coffee smell with some toasted grain and mild alcohol. There is also some sweetness in the nose, maybe lactose…

Taste – Bitter dark chocolate is the first thing that comes to mind. There is a hint of dark fruit. This is actually pretty laid back for a big stout. Not much hop presence, a bit odd for a RIS.

Mouthfeel – Full mouthfeel with medium low carbonation, smooth.

Drinkability and Notes – This is pretty drinkable for a big stout, but it has a pretty lackluster one-dimensional flavor. This is sort of a junior Imperial Stout, much higher in alcohol than a standard stout, but not in the league of the hugely alcoholic and complex American versions that are available. Still an enjoyable beer that you don’t have to fight with.

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

Rich, deep mahogany color with a big fluffy tan head that sticks around.

Very aromatic. Smells of roasted malt, coffee, and raisen or plum.

This hits me right in the kisser. Sweetness from the dark fruit flavors and a deep roasty sourness combines with a rich dark coffee flavor. Even more pronounced sourness as it warms. Dry bitter finish. Very good.

Smooth to a point, then a bit biting. Full but not as round as other Russian imperial stouts. Low carbonation.

Very nice beer. I could drink this stuff every day, but it really hits the spot on a cool fall day. I'll get more of this. Try some.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Busy label but no freshness date found.

Dark brown in color, ruby on the edges. Coffee colored head.

Sheets of lace and alcohol coat the glass.

Aroma is sweet, dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malt.

Flavor is sweet, lactose, sugar, with some chocolate and bitter coffee. alcohol afterburn. High abv is not hidden well

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pour is by far the weakest part of this impressive brew; it's a deep brown just shy of black with a thin cocoa colored head. The foam dies off very quickly (no real surprise with a 10% ABV beer) and leaves very little lacing on the glass.

The nose is just shy of French roast coffee with cream and two sugars. There's a hint of alcohol sweetness and a touch of chocolate but it's primarily dark roasted malts.

The taste is a good mix of coffee and chocolate with coffee winning out. There are hints of molasses and only suggestions of dark dried fruits but the primary tastes are coffee, sweet malt and a very pleasant finish of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is incredible - this is a medium bodied brew but it's got all the roundness and softness of a heavier stout. I see no mention of Oatmeal anywhere but it's got that velvety, creamy feel going down. Only moderate bitterness and no oily residue on the palate.

I'm really liking this beer - the flavors aren't overdone, the high alcohol content isn't overpowering and the mouthfeel is incredible. This is a perfect desert drink.

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Photo of grindcore666
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with no sign of any other color, except for maybe deep deep brown. Creamy mocha foam. I couldn't get a big head out of this one, but it's forgivable since it was dense and nicely colored.

I smell deep mocha foremost, then some alcohol and some slight chocolate. Smells like an Irish carbomb, which is fantastic.

A generous hit of espresso in a THICK reservoir of rich chocolate and black coffee. Honestly, it's like a premade Irish carbomb, only with a nasally strong finish (an escape route for the overload of espresso, perhaps).

The ABV is apparent, but very tastefully embraced. I can only say good things about this one.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

the appearance was decent ....I'm maybe a bit picky since I have stone imperial stout at my fingertips but without being a big hack fest I'd have to say this beer is average looking. Decent lacing and a rather dark head.

I just found the burnt taste to be dictated rather than crafted...almost like extracts were used (just tasted that way i'm don't in any way think its true)...there is even a citrus/cleansing taste in the middle of this BIG beer. Melted root beer popscicle in the backdrop. This leans on the burnt malts and leaves the hops behind, not much in the way of bitterness but somehow it avoids being too sweet.

Imperial stouts are really hard to mess up completely. Ranking it within the style its just OK. Its BIG its BOLD but comparitively its middle of the road. For the price? it gets better when compared price wise thats for sure as this is in the $4 dollar range. Nice.

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Photo of baiser
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany body with ruby highlights. A dense, dark head. Not much retention. Aroma is full of roasted chocolate, coffee, plums and other dark fruits. Body is thick and smooth, mouthfeel is very slick. Heavy warming alcohol. Much sweetness in each sip and also some molasses. Needs a bit more hop character IMO. Very drinkable despite the ABV.

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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 mattcrill
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear cola pour with some veins of carbonation clinging to the side of the snifter. Puffy cloud of a tan head forms.

Smell: Licorice, some vinous ester notes, dry bittering chocolate, and a nice whiff of some french roast coffee invade the nasal passages. A good aroma for the soul...

Taste: French roast coffee with cream, walnuts, bitter cocoa powder, and hints of anise all bounce off the palate. Hints of alcohol pop up here and there but quickly get beat down by the roasty goodness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy. Coats the palate and leaves the slightest hint of alcohol behind.

Drinkability: This one was a hit with me. The ABV would inhibit the drinkability some but this is a nice gem. Strongly recommended.

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Photo of clvand0
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is part of a Moylan's tasting that I'm working on. Pours a dark brown color with a tall and fluffy head that has nice retention and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of malty goodness - chocolate, roasted malts, fruit. The flavor was much the same. Lots of thick, malty goodness. The chocolate really comes through on the finish. Well balanced and easy to drink. Definately doesn't seem like a 10% beer. Big body, good beer.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep deep brown color with just the slightest of ruby hues that come through. The head is 2 fingers and falls to a finger. The nose is chocolate, alcohol and a bit of dark fruit. The flavor is nice and roasty. The finish is chocolatey. I'd like to see a touch of coffee and a more bitter finish. The feel is thick...big and full. I find this to be a good beer. The flavors are not quite what I want, but they are not bad...just lacking. A nice show here.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark mohagany. The head is dark tan. It is thick and creamy. It fades somewhat slowly leaving thick laces. It smells quite malty. Also, it smells of roasted malts and coffee. It tastes very malts and chocolate like. There is a strong coffee flavor as well. It also has a slight molasses taste to it. The alcohol is apparent in the flavor. It is a very creamy and smooth beer. It is carbonated just right. It sits well on the palate. This beer is not a good session beer due to the high alcohol content. It is a very good beer, and definately worth a try, but not all night long. For the record, the laces are still sticking strong on the glass.

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Photo of Crosling
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark Brown. A pleasant aroma of mainly malt (caramel, chocolate and coffee), subtle aromatic hops, and a hint of fruit, mainly raisins. Tastes like an Imperia Stout ought to taste. Big, rich, full malts take over providing notes of roasted and burnt grain, chocolate, coffee, caramel and burnt fruits. A note of sherry is noticable on the finish. Quite flavorful, but lacking a full body and texture.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a dense rich frothy brown head when sufficiently roused. The prodigious head sits atop a beer that is black as a moonless midnight. The aroma is rich and inviting with rich notes of coffee, roasted malt, grain husks, port, roasted raisins and figs.

The taste is quite rich as well, I get notes of chocolate, espresso, roasted raisins, and a hint of sherry. It is not as sweet tasting as some examples, though in its hearty thick-bodied palate it does have some sweetness. The preponderance of dark malt serves as a nice foil to the malty sweetness such that it does not dominated this beer. This really has such a smooth creamy mouth feel to it. The finish of this beer is at first sweet, perhaps from some hop flavor, but then moves to a dry subtle astringency that is made up of hop bitterness and dark malt character.

This is a well crafted Imperial Stout, it really strikes a nice balance of malt flavors and bitterness. It definitely leans toward dark malt flavors but it is not so much that there is a lot of overwhelming burnt flavors and astringency. Like the Double IPA it seems to be lacking just a little something and it seems to fade a bit too much over time, but again I am really going to enjoy finishing this bottle off.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured midnight black and thick with a slowly developing brown head that rose up and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was deep roastiness and coffee. There was a definite dark fruit presence and chocolate.

The flavor was chocolate and coffee with roastiness and that same dark fruitiness. Smooth and rich with a slight alcohol warming.

The finish was dry with coffee and dark fruit flavors lasting pleasantly long into the aftertaste. The body was full and creamy. A slight alcohol warming was present.

22 ounce bottle.

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Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout from Moylan's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 458 ratings
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