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Imperial Stout | Silver City Brewing Co.

very good
40 Reviews
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Brewed by:
Silver City Brewing Co.
Washington, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.25%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-31-2005

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 72
Photo of mabermud
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: Dark body. It's probably dark brown, but it's night time so I am not able to hold it up to the sun, and I am too lazy to get a flashlight to do an inspection. The head is a darker mocha color, creamy looking, and fine. Retention is nice and the curtains break up nicely into broken lace around the glass.
Smell: Sweet bread...some banana = banana bread plus some earthiness. A little bit of light-medium roasted grains, a chunk of chocolate, a lesser amount of vanilla, and a touch of coffee.
Taste: Well. This smells better than it tastes. A decent mix of medium roasted malts, earthy coffee, dark chocolate, with a supporting element of deep dark fruits. Nice smooth sweeter ending, but there is an aftertaste of some char.
Feel: It fits well.

Overall - There is a 50/50 chance I would have this again in the future if I saw it on the shelves. Their BBA imperial stout would definitely be a go.

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Photo of brentk56
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A hard pour fails to raise too much of a head so the tan foam settles down quickly into a film on top of the obsidian colored liquid; on the lacing front, however, it is a better story, with many squiggles lining the chalice

Smell: Roast, dark fruit, caramel, chocolate and a hint of coffee

Taste: Caramel and chocolate, up front, with a dark fruit element building in the middle; after the swallow, some coffee and an earthy hop element arrive to cut the sweetness; the finish has the dark fruit returning to lead the sweeter tones

Mouthfeel:: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This beer takes many of the expected elements of an American Double Stout and flips them on their head; enjoyable, once you figure out what is going on, but not the kind of creativity that gets me really excited

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Photo of Kuaff
4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Uber Tavern in Seattle.

A one finger light brown head and a black body. Nothing unexpected.

Smells like molasses, maple, and prunes. Vanilla too.

Tastes like dark chocolate, earthy coffee, and dark bread. Pretty much in that order.

It has kind of medium thickness for an imperial stout.

I ordered this because I love imperial stouts and I had never heard of this one, or the brewery behind it for that matter. No regrets.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Decent khaki head. Wispy.

Smell - Caramel and chocolate. Roasty malt. Some bright dark fruit, almost acidic.

Taste - Really chocolatey. Dries out quickly with a fair amount of caramel malt. Bitter in the back.

Mouthfeel - Thick. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Pretty good. Nothing spectacular.

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Photo of Braz
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at 99 Bottles.
Appearance: Beautiful almost black color with frothy tan head.
Smell: Sweet yet herby aromatics. Sounds strange but almost picked up a little bit of dryer sheet.
Taste: Good balance of bitter and sweet. Some dark chocolate and coffee notes followed up with some milk like sweetness. Roasted quality. Ever so slight metallic aftertaste, think it's hops.
Mouthfeel: Very velvetty. Smooth and creamy. Lightly carbonated.
Overall: Very decent. Solid choice. I like the slightly hoppy aftertaste, it grew on me after a while.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 11/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours black with no tint. Nice medium tan head leaves lacing. Light malt and roasty malt aroma. Roasted and dark malt, chocolate, somewhat full flavored, but subdued. Finishes mildly with a bit of hops and roasted malt. A somewhat different RIS, but perhaps a little too reserved. No off notes, but nothing outstanding either.

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

22oz (2011 I think) into a snifter. Pours a deep black w/ red edges and a thin tan head that dissipates quickly to a narrow ring.

Aroma is deep, rich & roasty. Chocolate, molasses, vanilla, dark fruit & nuts, a hint of booze.

Taste is more molasses & toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits. Falls on the sweeter, fruitier side of imperial stouts rather than bitter & roasty.

Mouthfeel is moderately chewy, coating w/ a lingering, sticky finish.

Overall a solid, traditional imperial stout. Not mind-blowing, but well-crafted and enjoyable.

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Photo of Thingus
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live tasting, bottle poured into Duvel tulip...

Appearance; pours onyx black with a foamy two finger mocha colored head... Retention is good, after a few minutes there is still half a finger of head hanging around... Lacing is moderate.

Smell; bakers chocolate jumps right out of the glass, also getting pretty solid aromas of coffee and smoke.

Taste; starts right in with chocolate, and that is definitely the primary flavor that I pick up in this brew... Hints of coffee sneak in towards the finish, as well as notes of vanilla...

Mouthfeel; This beer excels in this department, silky smooth and moderately viscous and medium full body...

Overall; just a great, solid brew if slightly one dimensional... Certainly wouldn't mind drinking this one again.

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Photo of loren01
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pitch black color, small tan head with not much lacing
S: Chocolate, coffee and slight coconut. Almost smells like German chocolate cake actually
T: Dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, slightly sweet up fron also slight coconut flavor.
M: Thick and chewy beer, ETOH is very well hidden
O: This is an awesome Imperial stout, I would buy this again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of Docer
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (3.5)
- Super dark and somewhat clear brown brew. Very robust looking brown at the edges of the liquid. A heavy pour really didn't yield very much head, but a finger of light tan foam which quickly dissipated to a small ring, and some scattered traces in the middle.

Smell: (3.5)
- A rather sweet stout with quite the caramel scent really. Light roasted coffee flare, a bit of oatmeal chocolate, and quite the caramel flare. Little alcohol and grassy hop touch.

Taste: (4.0)
- Grainy, some oats and barley flare, perhaps a little roasted bready character.. overall some nice coffee flavors, and chocolate. Bitter coffee and grass hop flare. Little tart, perhaps a slight aceto edge to it, but overall it has a great balanced flavor and unique coffee-like touch to it.

Mouth Feel: (3.0)
- This is where I think this stout falls a bit short. It is a rather thin and watery stout. I expected a heavier body and a bit more foamy carbonation. It's well carbonated, but has the body of a bubbly pale ale.

Overall: (3.5)
- This stout has a great flavor, and shows promise. I just feel it can be refined a little more, and perhaps use a little more grain and build up some body. I wonder if some heavy adjunct usage occurred to boost the alcohol in this one. Just a little too home-brewy to me. Like the coffee/carmel flare though.

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Photo of Spica66
3.51/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one as an extra from jerriko. Thank you, Evan!

Shared with gwuilliums on his deck after Divine Mercy ceremony. The day JPII was beatified. A really nice day!

A: Semi-viscous pour of jet-black leads to decent mocha-colored head with good retention.

S: A bit subdued, even though this is served at nearly room temp. Slight hints of dark fruits or dark chocolate, but nothing jumping out at you.

T: Tastes like a dark barleywine to me, more than a stout. Not enough dark fruit and definitely not enough bitter or dark roast flavor.

M: Extremely creamy with good carbonation. Well done, here. There is a good warming from the alcohol that is very pleasant.

O: This was tasty and we enjoyed it, but would not search it out.

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Photo of hopluva1
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

served in a snifter @ 45*

pours black only a little red orange at the edges, 1 finger tan head.
Aroma is intriguing, it has some roasted barley, some hops, and a hint of smoke (i am not used to smoke in a imperial stout).

The taste is roasted barley, definitely smokey(peated malt), a touch of malt sweetness, there is some hop bitterness. To be honest i am not sure if i like this or not. The smoke really throws a curve ball into this stout, it tastes like a really dark scotch ale.

I applaud the creativity.

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Photo of jdense
3.2/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle purchased at 99 Bottles, consumed with homeboy in The Big, poured into Kappitel chalice 4.6.11.

Minimal amount of light brown head, ultra quick dissipation resulting in broken thin ring of head, minimal lacing. Dark brown body, no visible carbonation. I'm not picking up much of anything in the nose other than alcohol, a bit of roasted malt and floral hops. Taste mirrors nose, not much going on here, a faint chocolate note but not much. Mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium, not sticky, minimal effervescence. To be honest, pretty pedestrian, by far the least interesting beer I've had from this rather good brewery.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

Massive billow of cascading brown bubbles. After the pitch-black liquid settles, the head left is a beaut to look at. Iced espresso and dark chocolate make for a mouthwatering, rich nose. Slightly viscous, slightly silky, but very creamy full body. Grain character is dominant, with softer charcoal but more aggressive dark chocolate flavors. Warming alcohol lends black currant fruitiness. Hop bitterness really helps to balance and leaves a lingering of herbal piney flavor. Sweet, mildly roasty finish. It's refreshing to run into an Impy Stout that doesn't rely on excessive amounts of hops and alcohol.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a giant tulippy glass

Pours basically black with a thick but small brownish head. Totally opaque. Smell is bitter and roasty, dark chocolatey. Dark, tart fruits.

Taste is surprisingly bright and sweet with that nice chocolate bitterness (maybe a little coffee...actually maybe a fair amount, as it comes out a bit in the aftertaste).

Mouthfeel is dry and light, very surprisingly drinkable for an imperial stout. Very nice!


Had it on tap at Brouwer's last night, and found it even sweeter and stronger tasting (maybe it wasn't as cold), even more pleasant.


Bottle again at home, this time poured into a tulip pint. I get less sweetness and more hoppy bitterness than I describe in my original review. It's also my fourth beer of the night (preceded by Ten Fidy), so take that for what it's worth. Still lots of chocolate and fruit. I might give it a higher score this time.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an oily black into a tulip with a finger of quick-fading mocha head. Pronounced roasty aroma of coffee, dark chocolate, and licorice with some caramel/boozy sweetness as well.

Moderate carbonation helps to balance a fairly full mouthfeel. Alcohol warmth up front followed by caramel, cocoa, coffee, and bready malt. Lingering bitterness on the finish shifted from an unpleasant metallic flavor towards hops and smoke as the beer warmed.

Decent brew with some very nice flavors going on.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.32/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured jet black woth good carbonation topped off with a nice khaki head, lots of,lacing with this too

S: Wow. Almost nothing besides some grains

T: Sordove a let down to be honest, not abd but I guess I was expecting mroe than some subtle smoke, booze, cocoa and roasted malt

M: Medium booze, mouthfeel is lightly warming, roasted and well carbonated, sordove thin and slick on the backside

D: Average to good

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.21/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I noted a smell of bitter chocolate and alcohol at first. Then the aroma advanced to a solvent-like measure of isopropyl. This grew increasingly troublesome over time, though it never went so far as to unreasonably trespass on the taste. The big chocolaty and roasted grain flavors concealed some - but not all - of the alcohol yielding a taste suggesting sherry.

This is a perfectly black ale with a thin sandy head and a glossy mouthfeel that rolled easily across the tongue. What's good here is good. What isn't good is distracting.

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Photo of ccrida
2.69/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured into my Delirium snifter, Silver City's Imperial Stout is a murky black with a dense, creamy, super dark tan head that leaves moderate, foamy lace.

Smell is very clean and neutral, served at cellar temp, some sweeter crystal mainly, perhaps some anise.

Solvents come out as it warms.

Taste is also on the bland side, really crystal and clean alcohol are the most distinguishing characteristics, not much roast, really more like a strong porter or something.

Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy but fairly smooth, medium bodied.

Drinkability is ok, nothing offensive or really wrong, it's just so neural it's basically an alcohol delivery system. Really no flaws but not much of a stout, just a slightly less then average strong dark ale.

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Photo of hopdog
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle share courtesy of dickinsonbeer (thanks for crossing one off my want list!).

Poured a dark black color with an averaged sized brownish head. Aromas of cocoa, lightly nutty, roast, and some dark fruits. Tastes of dark fruits, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and light coffee in the finish. Thinner body. Alcohol content completely hidden.

Notes from 11/29/07

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Photo of weeare138
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dickinsonbeer for sharing this...
Appears a dark brown, nearing black with chestnut edges when held to the light. A small, dark tan head fades into a mild film and collar. Speckles of lacing are left like holes in a target after buck-shot penetrates it from a short distance.
Smell is of roasted nuts, cocoa, brownies, vanilla, black grapes, and mild oxidation.
Taste is of the same aromas with a touch of roasted grains and mild tartness.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, chewy, roasty, and a bit thin on the finish.

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Photo of John_M
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Collin's pub a few months back. Left my notes from my tasting there in Seattle and just recently had a friend bring them out. This beer was left over (along with just about everything else from the dinner/tasting) from a Silver City dinner/tasting.

The beer pours a jet black color with decent head retention and lacing. The nose is quite complex, with some obvious dry hoppiness, hints of licorise and some subtle sweet malt. Not what I usually encounter in an Imperial Stout. On the palate one gets more licorise, along with espresso coffee. There is some underlying sweetness from the malt, but nothing comparable to what I normally find in an imperial stout. The beer is surprisingly hoppy, and as a result the finish is quite dry with some good bitterness. The abv. is noticeable, but not overly so. Hence, I would describe this beer as pretty drinkable for its abv.

This beer is quite impressive, if not exactly what I'm looking for in an imperial stout. On the the other hand, if you like this style (as I know Knuckles does), then I can now see where you would not be as excited about the Abyss. A very good beer from Silver City.

Edit from 6/13. Just cracked open a bottle that I'd cellared for a couple years. Frnakly, it tasted pretty much the same as the stuff I had at Collins back in 2007. There was a bit more dark chocolate, and the hoppy bitterness had subsided a bit, but it was still pretty dry on the finish, and was dominated by the licorice and espresso flavor and aroma (this beer smells quite a bit better than it tastes, IMHO). Anyway, I upgraded the aroma by a quarter point and down graded the appearance by a half point. A decent beer, but I don't think I need to go out of my way to buy any more of this in the forseeable future.

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Photo of mnapier
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying a fresh one from a month ago's purchase.
Judged in a 12oz German Balloon Glass. Service Temperature 45 degrees.

Pours dark and without light with an initial strong salt & pepper almost dark khaki head that dissipates leaving behind residual clumps of lace .
Swirling the glass around I smell what made this beer initially memorable, a nice roasted essence of espresso, with some molasses, cherries, and a nice overall oati-ness.
Sipping this I get some roasted character, along with bitter chocolate and slight ash in regards to the dry finish.
Carbonation is mild to a strong medium.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber poured into a small tulip it formed a meaty brown head. Black body that looks rich. Sticky lace.

The smell caught me off guard because I wanted to classify it right off the bat. In short, while it is definitely an Imperial stout it has some unique characteristecs that I haven't noticed in my limited experience. For instance, I pick up a light fruit profile and its rather prominent. It has a large nutty gimmick that adds a whole lot of character and depth. Finally, its very drinkable and "light" on the palate. This doesn't fill me up but it has all the other good stuff you'd expect like the charred malts, pretty good size hops about 3/4 of the way through and a good amount of warming. The one flaw in my eyes is a cola type aftertaste that was annoying. Excellent overall.

Notes: Loved it. 2 for 2 on the night from the great northwest. This has its own identity but still waves the imperial stout flag with pride. Silver City is a phenom.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2007
Many, many thanks to Skyhand for this offering.
Pours jet black with a half finger brown head that melts to a brownish tan ring of lacing.
Aromas are sweet toasted malts, dark candied fruits, dark brown sugar and a little alcohol.
Taste is dark, dark brown sugar, toasted malts, dark raisins and plums, a little touch of vanilla, and a bourbon kind of alcohol.
Aftertaste is sweet and warm with the alcohol burning slightly all the way down.
Mouthfeel finishes clean and not cloying.
This is an excellent Imperial Stout. I doubt I could ever get tired of it. There is a wonderful balance between the sweet start and drying finish.
Thanks Kim.

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Imperial Stout from Silver City Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.
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