Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout | Moylan's Brewery

very good
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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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Reviews: 332 | Ratings: 457
Photo of BeerSox
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into 25oz snifter.

Pitch black with no light getting through. A two finger light brown head slowly settles to a thick bubbly cap, leaving behind a webbed wall of lacing behind.

The roasted malts have a smooth characteristic, providing a base for some light sweet chocolate, some roasty coffee, and a little bit of dark fruit.

The flavor is a little less complex than the aroma. Sharp and roasty malts, highlighted with a little dark fruit. The coffee and chocolate that usually appears isn't there. Alcohol comes out as it warms.

Somewhat of a smooth RIS, some also less complex in the flavor. Decent, middle of the road, not my favorite, but worth a try.

 674 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark clear black brew with ruby color when held up to a strong light.

Smell is sweet with a fruit and chocolate scent.

Taste is sweet and fruity and lighter than expected. Fruit flavors are coffee and chocolate are the dominant tastes. Flavor is a bit HOT from the alcohol content.

Mouthfeel is light.

A drinkable brew, but I like other versions better.

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Photo of dickieb
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours Black, with a bit of light coming through. The head starts of nice and big and works down to 1/4" with some pretty good lacing. The Smell is of toasty and grainy malts and some bakers chocolate. The flavor mimicks the smell with some medium malts and a slightly bitter chocolate. The mouthfeel is rather light for 10% and the drinkability is good for the style. Not particularly impressive for the style, The RIS gives a lot to hide behind though.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Moylan's Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout

Pours black as night, with a brown, mocha cream head. In the aroma, fairly boozy with some malty aromas as well. In the taste, big time roasted malt character, alcohol, vanilla and hops. The well rounded hop bitterness comes off alittle earthy and slight notes of pine. Mostly about the roasted malts, which have a charred character. Mouthfeel is full bodied, smooth, and loving it. Overall, a nice big stout that gets the job done.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bottle; served in a snifter.

Russet brown/coal with ruby highlights in the pour. Densely creamy, coffee-colored head with sponge-like impressions. Spotted lacing around most of the snifter with good strength.

Sweet cream and milky aromas; milk chocolate, oatmeal, and vanilla. Overly-sweet caramel with notes of mellow, rounded espresso.

Rich, burnt-roasted malts that impart milk chocolate, rough espresso, and licorice flavors. There is an overriding sweetness of caramel which is slightly annoying, prior to an aggressive floral hop bitterness. The aftertaste is dark fruit and full espresso.

Full bodied; slick sweetness met by an overly-aggressive hop roughness.

Too sweet and too aggressively bitter at times, but there are some pleasant, rich flavors as well.

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Photo of Sweasty
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sitting down to another imperial stout. This one comes care of Moylan's. Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout pours a near pitch black. Its a shade above black hole. Not the darkest stout I have had to date. Things are topped off by a fingers worth of dark khaki head. Head settles to a ring. Plenty of lace is left in its wake.

The aroma is nice. Roasted coffee hits first. Some bitter sweet chocolate hits next. Beneath the dark roasty malt notes, hops come into play. Some citrusy hop, grapefruit mostly, notes shine. Beneath the citrus, some earthy/herbal notes round things out.

The hops in the nose are much stronger on the palate. Bitter grapefruit dominates upfront. Some herbal notes hit next. Beneath the hops, coffee notes strike first. Dark french roast coffee stands out. Some bittersweet chocolate present as well. A light caramel quality hits beneath the roast. The finish is wet with lingering grapefruit notes.

Ryan Sullivan's is medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel.

Moylan's has created a nice imperial stout. It definitely leans toward the hoppy side of the style. It's not the most complex stout in its category, and it drinks a bit boozy. Regardless its a tasty enough cold weather brew.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
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 jwinship83
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- black body with a small brown head that quickly becomes no more than a crown.

S- dark roasted malt, sweet chocolate, and a hint of booze.

T- roasted malts, lots of coffee, not as much chocolate as i smelled and way more alcohol. very dry bitter aftertaste. a mix of coffee and hops.

M- a little thin for the style.

D- its hard to get over the taste it leaves in my mouth after every sip. combine that with the potency and the availability of other more interesting RIS and you get something i probably wont have again. finished the bottle though.

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Photo of KCHopHead
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into glass.

A - Thin head with no lacing. Head was dark brown. Very opaque and black.

S - Not very complex for an Imperial Stout. Chocolate and some coffee. Thin smell.

T - Chocolate and roasted malts up front. Hardly any alcohol taste for a 10% beer.

M - Thick mouthfeel. Could use a touch more carbonation to hint at other flavors (like Dark Lord)

D - Average for style. Not to thin so share a bomber with a friend. Me, I'm going to drink a whole one.

 468 characters

Photo of grub
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

biegaman shared this one that he picked up on a recent trip to california. thanks jan!

22oz bottle.

pours opaque black with a big fluffy light brown head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves lots of lace behind.

aroma is nice. tons of hops. grapefruit. bit of pine. light alcohol. bit of roast, but hidden behind all the hops.

taste is nice. medium high bitterness level. grapefruit and pine. light orange and tangerine. bready malt. alcohol. more dipa than stout.

mouthfeel is ok. clingy bitterness. medium-low carbonation level. medium-large body.

drinkability is good. blindfolded i'd swear this was a dipa and not a stout. not quite balanced, but still good.

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Photo of jonnylieberman
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
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 maximum12
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Enjoyed with the wife & friends after a drive up to the cabin on a cool Friday night.

Black, little to no head. Smells great, chocolatey, rich, & I start to wonder, with this so readily available, why haven't I tried it before?

Ryan Sullivan's strength is the smell. The taste is good but not great. Coffee & chocolate predominate, with the obligatory malts. Straightforward RIS, no fancy footwork here, which isn't a bad thing!

Smooth & creamy in the mouth. My least favorite kind of RIS, though, this one is like a heavy balloon in the stomach, reducing drinkability. Way too filling to have much of.

A good, solid RIS.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, obtained during the secret santa season methinks

appearance: pours into a snifter, dark coffee roast body, huge chocolate foam head that requires manual removal...once the head subsides a nice and creamy stout remains

smell: faint aromas - nothing too grabbing, bitter chocolate, espresso, cream

taste: high bitterness level, cocoa powder, licorice, light alcohol, plum and pruins...not really an upper echelon RIS

mouthfeel: creamy but a heavy bitter aftertaste is distracting

drinkability: ok

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Photo of BierReise
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Typical looking Imperial with small but lingering head which remimded me of the head on a Guiness. Aroma of strong espresso and roasted malts with a hint of oreo cookie. Really smooth and alcohol is well hidden. Flavor is bitter chocolate, coffee, raisins and strong malts. Holds up well with a slightly dry finish at the end. Not as good as the Stone Imperial in my opinion which I had recently but hid the alcohol better than the Alesmith. Nice version of an Imperial and maybe worth aging a bit to smooth out the rough spots. Time will only tell.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a small, beige head.

Smell: The aroma is a mixture of dark malts, licorice, baker's chocolate, confectioner's sugar, and a dash of alcohol.

Taste: Dark maltiness with flavors of bitter dark chocolate and a heavy-handed dose of licorice. A few cigar ashes flicked in. Mild sweetness. Hops, with just a faint touch of citrus, and a burst of medium bitterness follow. Finishes with a touch of alcohol and a lingering roastiness.

Mouthfeel: Just a bit above medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: For me, it's not quite on par with some of the more illustrious members of the style, but it's still a decent imperial stout.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

2.75 A: Black color. Not much of a head formed - just about half a finger, which then fell quickly. Strangely enough, a short ring of lacing was left behind.

3.75 S: This is easily one of the fruitiest imperial stouts I've smelled. Big black cherry influence with a secondary nondescript dark fruitiness. Dry roastiness with medium roast coffee, caramel, molasses, and milk chocolate.

3.75 T: Tastes like it smells. Lots of cherry and dark fruits with roasted barley and coffee. Semi-sweet with chocolate, caramel, and molasses in descending strength.

3.25 M: Medium body. Carbonation on the lower end of normal. Light on the tongue, but lacking creaminess.

3.5 D: Pretty solid beer with a strong fruitiness.

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Photo of optiontwo
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. poured into broad mouth glass

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate brown but sits black in the glass. It looked like some head wanted to form for a second but then it died.

Smell: Lots of chocolate right away and actually some hoppiness, believe it or not. Some coffee, roasted malt, hazelnut, and oak but mostly dark chocolate, smells like my kind of imperial stout.

Taste: Bitter dark chocolate and coffee right away, but there's a lot more of the nut flavor in the taste than I was expecting from the smell. Not a bad thing though. Melding together the taste comes off as a kind of nutty mocha. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Personally I like my imperial stouts as big and bold as they get but I also understand the appeal of having a very flavorful stout without the overbearing body. This is medium to light bodied for an imperial stout but still coats the mouth so I can't hate too much.

Drinkability: Impossible to tell that it's 10%ABV. Goes down easy.

Overall: This is a pretty solid imperial stout from Moylan's but not necessarily one I would always reach for. I'd love to try it on tap and I'd especially love to try it after aging it a year or so.

 1,162 characters

Photo of meathookjones
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber. The poured a very dark brown to black color with a thin brown head with minimal retention. Aroma is mainly of a roasted coffee and chocolate malt scent with not much else going on. Typical imperial stout taste here with dark chocolate flavors and roasted coffee and hops bringing up the rear. There is a nice bitter aftertaste but no alcohol to be found anywhere in the smell or taste. Pretty good mouthfeel but this one is a little thin. Overall a decent imperial stout that is worth a try if you come across it.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Source/Serving: On tap at brewery, cask conditioned. 12oz. Served quite warm, cellar if not room temperature.

Smell: The wood from the cask conditioning is very prominent and melds well with the pronounced coffee and more mild dark chocolate notes. A little molasses and no hop aroma at all.

Taste: very bitter, burnt coffee.... Almost leathery like a whisky. Smooth thick body with a looong, dry finish that's got significant alcohol characteristics. The wood flavor is throughout and gives an almost merlot-like oakiness. No carbonation. Towards the end of the beer the alcohol characteristics increased.

Notes: I am a big fan of beer aged in whisky barrels or even adding a little whisky directly to a dark beer. While there was no whisky involved in this tasting, the burnt coffee and oakiness combined to form a pleasant leatheriness that was reminiscent of beer mixed with whisky. I think that without conditioning the beer would have been a little bland, but when cask conditioned it was delicious.

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Photo of Rizalini
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Writing this review from notes taken on a bar napkin at Aces & Ales in Las Vegas for Moylan's Tap blowout.

A - Pours blacks with a very minimal chocolate brown head, leaving average lacing.

S - Smells of dark chocolate and burnt caramel.

T - This one has some nice roasty malt flavor, slightly smokey with some milk chocolate notes.

M - Has a smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel.

D - As far as Russian Imperial Stouts go, this one is very average.

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Photo of beernut7
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a style I have yet to really enjoy in more than small quantities. This brew pours a heavy deep dark blackness with an initial foamy head quickly dissipating into a tan lace. The alcohol content is apparent in the aroma melded with a heavy roasted malt. Initial bitterness and fruity yeast flavors greet the palate followed quickly by a quick roasted malty bite. The alcohol is as apparent in the flavor as it is in the aroma and thins out the body significantly. The finish is bold and chocolate infused.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into an Imperial pint glass.
Acquired in a beer trade.
Served somewhat chilled.

Pours like slick, black motor oil, very dark black in color. A full one inch thick, dark mocha head forms. Decent head retention and a good amount of carbonation. Some clingy lacing is left behind.
Mainly smells like smoke, and burnt coffee, with hints of dark chocolate and a faint smell of dark fruits. The tastes mimics the smell, dark bitter chocolate, burnt coffee, smokey, exspresso. To me the smokey aroma stands out the most, which I don't care for too much. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and slick, smooth and slightly chewy. I thought this would be a little heavier, for the style. The 10% abv is hidden extremely well. Overall a decent brew, which is worth trying.

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Photo of barknee
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a solid dark espresso color with a light head that dissipates quickly. Surprisingly and somewhat disappointing is that a brew with such saturation of color has a nose that is underdeveloped and lacks the aromatics that can be found in some of the finest imperials. Nevertheless, this beer delivers the goods and general nuances of a fine imperial in a de-accentuated and attenuated fashion. Omnipresent and over assertive acids combined with tannic notes play of the dark chocolate, carob, and roasted chicory flavors. An acceptable beer with a lean mouthfeel, too lean for an imperial, just barely satisfies the imperial stout aficionado in you.

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Photo of dbossman
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a touch of ruddiness; dark tan head with good retention; lacing is great for the style

S: Fairly muted with a bit of chocolate roasted malts; a touch of mustiness...bourbon too perhaps?

T: Grainy, earthy, vanilla, chocolate, and coffee--a touch woody--actually a bit funky and something that tastes a bit musty

F: Creamy; great mouth feel

D: A decent beer that unfortunately looks better than it is--but it isn't too bad all in all

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Photo of Mark
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I guess Imperial Stouts are not my preference. This is obviously a well made beer from a leader in the local brewing industry. Color was black as night, head sunk to a thin layer that stayed all the way down. lace was surprisingly sparse. A good roasty smell wafted up but taste was mostly alcohol, at least to me. Imperial Stout lovers will like this, but 10% brews are really not for me. Still I did enjoy it for what it was.

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Ryan Sullivan's Imperial Stout from Moylan's Brewery
3.87 out of 5 based on 457 ratings.
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