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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 caminiti
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, good jub from Moylans, an outstanding beer, in an outstanding category, at an outstanding price, I think I paid about $5 for this at Halftime in Poughkeepsie. Poured with a surprising large head that immediately dissapered, except for the part my shirt caught. Dark and lightly carbonated, smelled of cocoa and a bit of coffee, and perhaps sweet? Tasted real good, went down real easy, due to the light carbonation. Worth picking up, drinking a few and cellaring a few as well.

 482 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with beige head.Roast in aroma. Coffee but not only that, creamy mouthfeel, richness. Vanilla, cocoa. Even after warmed, not supper complex, but still nutty, boozy.Dry sweetish finish.Sweetness for drinkability, would lie the perfect to be bitter. Nice RIS.

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

22oz bomber picked up for $7

A-Pours inky black with a mocha head. There was a decent half finger head that faded fairly quickly leaving a random film. Pretty standard RIS appearance with average head.

S-Nice blend of roasted barley, cocoa nibs, and coffee grounds. Nothing outshines and they work well together. Nice touch of raw residual sugar and honey.

T-Heavy notes of dark roasted malts up front with a touch of chared oak, espresso, and bittersweet cacao. There is a bit of booziness that would improve with some decent cellar time.

M-This beer may be a little too fresh as the flavors come off a bit hot. The body is nice and full, yet attenuated enough to thin the taste a bit.

D-Hey, how can you complain about a well crafted and flavorful west-coast RIS? This is very enjoyable and meets all standards of an RIS. It is doubtful to blow you away like some of the others out there, but there are very few flaws in it.

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Photo of ironlung
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark as midnite with no head(of course). Nice lace down the 10oz wine glass.

S: Chocolate, Liquorace, and wood with strong roasted malts coming through on the tail-end.

T: WOW!!! Casking steps this beer up a bunch of notches. It is so mellow, and all the booze is even better hidden.

M: Subdued. Not as thick/sticky as the non-cask. Some hot alcohol lingers as I exhale.

D: I perfer the non-cask, but this is a great change. The wood mellows out this monster well!

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Photo of weeare138
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears an opaque black with a small, tan head that slowly fades into a mild cap, and collar. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of dark chocolate, cream, vanilla, roasted coffee, grape juice, and brown sugar.
Taste is delicious...roasty caramel, cocoa, and java abound in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is chewy, sugary, roasty, with a smooth but slick finish.
Nice beer!

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Photo of beckje01
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black look can't see through it at all. With a thin tan head.

S- Nice maltyness really inviting.

T- Light malt taste which is surprising considering the nose, with some hopy bitterness to cut the malt sweet very nice.

M- Good thickness and nice activity.

D- Very drinkable and nice, overall a good beer but not perfect.

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

Pours black with barely any tan head. Nose is great. So silky smooth with the chocolate tones. Like powdered cocoa and I like it. Flavor is slightly roasted with purely dark chocolates mixed in. A bit molasses like as well. Feel is slick on liquid. Low carbonation. Pretty easy to drink. No massive complexities, but it's a nice enough one.

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Photo of mnstorm99
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent pour with a nice black color, and a nice tan head that goes away but leaves a nice ring and some decent lacing, but less than normal for the style. Aroma is nice and hoppy first with a touch of roasted malt. Taste is hops up front, more of the spicy herbal hop flavor with a very roasted malt flavor, maybe a little too dry for my liking within style, but different and good at the same time. Mouthfeel is thick like a stout, but not as creamy as a typical RIS. Drinkability is ok, as it is a little too dry for me to have more than one.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this imperial stout - it offers up a lot of flavors and seemed to reveal more and more with each sip and as it warmed up.

It pours black, with a pretty decently sized head for this style (their heads are usually pretty minimal). Aroma was not great...really just dry roastiness with some coffee notes. However, flavor revealed quite a bit more - coffee, a touch of sour sweetness, "burned pizza crust," and lots of chocolate notes. Mouthfeel was great - dry, smooth, but not overly sticky...still pretty clean.

A top notch beer. I bought this bottle at Discount Liquor.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
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 brentk56
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a tar black color with a frothy mocha head that retains itself firmly while webbing the pint glass with lace

Smell: Very roasty, with dark chocolate, hops and some coffee undertones

Taste: Opens a little burnt, with the dark chocolate taking over quickly thereafter; by mid-palate, the hops add a bitter, citrusy dimension; after the swallow, the chocolate serves to mellow out the bitter flavors and there is also a sweet toasted marshmallow aspect; there is some residual bitterness at the end, along with some tobacco and coffee

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: While not in the top tier in terms of really big flavor, this beer has no pretensions and is just a solid, drinkable example of the style

Thanks, Jeager, for the opportunity

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Photo of trpng0bily
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours virtually black, with an enduring half inch fluff of cake-y tan head and serious lacing. The nose is most prominantly of roasted barley, along with a slightly sour coffee smell and increasing chocolate as the beer warms. As to taste, burnt barley right up front, followed in short order by earthy coffee and sweet chocolate. The charring lends this beer some saerious staying power. The mouthfeel, with a creaminess perfectly suited for the flavor profile, is a particular bright spot. Finally, this brew is surprisingly drinkable for its ABV and charred flavors.

All in all, this is a good stout, and well worth trying (especially with its *relatively* cheap price tag), but not in the same league as the top line stouts, whose ranks seem to swell by the day.

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Photo of bbothen
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch ink black with a small less than 1 finger deep tan bubbly head.

Smells of charred malts, sweet malt, coffee, booze, chocolate, smokey. Yum.

Wow, flavorful. Chocolate, coffee, bready, HOPPY, roasted malts, toasted coffee beans. All meld very nicely.

Smooth, rich, silky, lingering hoppy finish.

No worries finishing a bottle. The 10% is nicely hidden.

An underrated impy stout, IMO. Not a thick & full as some of the other highly rated versions. But this one is quite delicious as is. Kudos.

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Photo of pwoods
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to PackForever(I think this was from him) for this great extra.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a tulip. No dating.

A: Pours a good black, nearly pitch. A good head forms dark khaki with nice staying power. Good lacing.

S: Deep roasted, almost burnt malts. Some bitter coffee. I've had the bottle for a little bit and the hop presence is still pretty potent. Alcohol pushed through.

T/M: Hops are still strong. Good bitterness with some overpowered citrus. More of the deeply roasted/burnt malts, a bit sweet yet really dry. A strong char taste comes through at the end, just before the very dry and bitter finish. Maybe too dry. Body is full and carbonation is kickin', as is the alcohol.

D: This is definitely a big stout and actually feels like more than 10%.

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Photo of dickieb
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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 donaldchapman
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark black, with tan head, good lacing and legs.
S - Roasty, Chocolate notes, mixed with alcohol aromas.
T - Slight pepper flavor, coffee, chocolate, with some alcohol warmth and a smooth finish.
M - Big body, with good pull, pleasant warmth.

This is a very good beer, the flavors keep you looking for more, and the warmth is right on, very smooth.

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

Pours thick and black with a nice 3/4" light brown head that dissipates a little fast and leaves only spotty lace. Roasted malt aroma with subtle chocolate and a little alcohol. Rich warm roasted malt IF with a roasted and burnt malt aftertaste that picks up some chocolate and coffee increasingly as the beer warms. Full bodied, viscous, and smooth. Overall, this is tasty and rich with a distinct chocolate and coffee flavor. This is a good big stout without being overblown.

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

Appearance: Screw Storm King! This one wins the RIS beauty pageant. Eight-ball black with a very impressive, thick, solid, stalwart brown sugar-colored head.

Smell: Lots of delicious coffee, lacto-like milky sweet notes, peanuts, chocolate, burnt toast, lush caramel, Nutella and s'mores. Hops lend a hint of bitter orange, and the faint alcohol aroma makes the whole thing smell a bit like Kahlua.

Taste: Rich, nutty, and sweet, full of chocolate-covered espresso beans and the bitter burn of Cointreau. Burnt sugar and Kirsch float by on a gust of fruity, boozy sweetness that compliments this beer's rich, bitter soul quite nicely.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and lush, with a surge of heat at the swallow. Dry, but far from too dry.

Drinkability: This was a very pleasant surprise, as I knew nothing about this beer when I bought it. A very good, if somewhat by-the-books RIS.

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Photo of bifrostguard
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Black with a one and a half finger tan head that deflated quickly to a thin film. Medium in consistency.

S-Chocolate was the first thing that came to mind followed by roasted grains and a little toffee.

T-The alcohol was surprisingly well hidden for being 10%, but nothing else remarkable past that. Mostly roasted grains, chocolate and a fair amount of hop bitterness.

M-Medium, but thin for what I like in an imperial stout.

D-Considering the alcohol is well masked and it goes down pretty smooth, if you didn't know any better, you could easily get into trouble with this stuff.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super close to completely opaque, really beautiful black in color. Dark brown head, looks like espresso. This is very sticky, with great retention and fun lacing.

The nose is powerful, so strong that I can catch whiffs of heavy roasted malt as soon as the cap pops. Definitely some bitter chocolate, dark coffee, and some citrics in there for balance and hopefully a good dose of bitter pungency in the flavor.

Perfect. This is magnificent. Really hoppy, but also delightfully balanced with the nearly out of control roast character. There's a compelling sweetness that balances any harshness that the hop and malt bitterness bill would otherwise be mainlining the palate.

Mouthfeel is nice and chewy, very smooth and very nicely attenuated to avoid cloying sweetness or overly harsh bitterness. Alcohol is remarkably well hidden for the size and presence of the ale.

Just a really nicely done stout. Get after it if you haven't had one. Good stuff.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours almost pitch black, with a very thin off-white head. The aroma consists of coffee and roast, with a slight chocolate backbone. The first thing I notice upon tasting is a strong coffee flavor with a very faint fruitiness. The finish is almost non-existent with a hint of chocolate and a mild hop bitterness. This imperial stout isn't as heavy as I had anticipated due to its 10% ABV. It's more medium-bodied and drinks more like a standard stout rather than an imperial. Overall, it was pretty decent. Being used to heavier beers of this style, I would reccommend this one for those who are just getting into imperial stouts.

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

Very dark...pretty damn black, beautiful, lush coffee-and-cream tanned, roasty head. Lovely.

Roast and cream in the nose. A little coffee and bit of cocoa, ...vanilla and cream.

Taste it and there it is again: vanilla and cocoa, a little charcoal, more bitterness rising over the malt. Interesting. A bit more burnt than I normally prefer. Body is fairly full, and flavor is abundant, but too charred, as I said. Could use sweeter malt or brighter hops.
Or something.
Creeps up into the back of the throat, sliding down chocolate and ash.
But then there's a trickle of cognac that kicks up, now and then. This delivers further surprises.
"This is the classic 'Cigar Stout'" says the label. I abstain from such things, but can see how well this would pair. Would go great with meals as well, and stand in for dessert.
Still, not as full and rich as I like my RIS's to be. There's room for differences, though, so I applaud new approaches.

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

1 Pint 6 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Pours a deep dark black color with a dark tan head that stays for a while.

S - Really sweet and malty. Some roasted grain.

T - Strong sweet flavor that finishes very bitter. Very rich flavor.

M - Full bodied with good carbonation.

D - Great beer. I love stout's and this is a great one.

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4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deathly black body slides out of the bottle quickly creating a three finger rocky rich carmel brown head. Nose is roasty rich with bready toffee tones and some smokey coco tones. Enters the mouth with some up front dark dry bitter and some burnt fruit, if that makes sense. Very rich and entirely mouthfilling and does show some chocolate creamyness as you continue to drink. Alchol is laced throughout the palate but only softly. I think this one would age well. Mouthfeel is dark bitter and rich. Nicely drinkable big stout.

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Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The name seems to have changed to "Ryan Sullivan's", at least according to my bottle. Not sure why this is.

Pours a solid black with just a hint of amber at the edges. Nice fluffy tan head and good lacing.

Great nose with chocolate, roasted coffee and toffee combining with some good hops in the background.

Taste is nicely complex with a roasted coffee, milk chocolate and mild dark fruit flavor and just a hint of alcohol. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy; nice medium carbonation.

A very drinkable stout. Not in the upper echelon of RIS I have had but a darn good one.


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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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