Stone Imperial Russian Stout

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by SummitSeries72, Jun 7, 2013.

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  1. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    For a week now, I have had, in my possession, a large bottle of Stone Imperial Russian Stout. I'm pretty excited about having it and am just waiting for the right moment and opportunity. For starters, I've never tried a RIS till now. I don't know what to expect other than knowing that it is rated superlatively here at BeerAdvocate.com. I also know that it is 10.4% ABV, probably higher than most beers I drink. I've also read some of the reviews which say that Russian Imperial Stouts tend to be very viscous to the point of even being "muddy." (Don't know how reliable that description is. I guess I'll just have to try it.) I have two questions though.

    1. On the bottle, Stone recommends that you cellar the bottle at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. I do not have a cellar, nor a room that anywhere faintly comes close to being 55 degrees (Not in June, that's for sure!). Is it okay to keep the beer in the fridge? (I don't know the typical refrigerator temperature.) I assume keeping it in the fridge till I drink it won't adversely affect my enjoyment of the beer?

    2. I know this question is going to sound a bit whacky, but here goes. I tend to have a swallowing disorder. (The doctors are puzzled by it.) Liquids that are very thick and muddy and sticky (and such) tend to be difficult for me to swallow. Is there anything about a RIS that might make for difficulty swallowing?

    Grateful for the feedback.
     
    Claytonbrewsby likes this.
  2. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Illinois

    Yes, you can refrigerate it. No it won't hurt it.

    Name a thick and sticky liquid that you have trouble swallowing.
     
  3. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    Some medications that I have had to ingest orally were difficult to swallow because they were very thick and sometimes chalky. I can't think of any popular beverage right now, but maybe a little time will jog my memory.
     
  4. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (6,522) Nov 16, 2012 Oregon
    Society Trader

    We talk on BeerAdvocate all the time about big stouts being "as thick as motor oil" but it's not exactly honey or maple syrup that we're talking about.. it's still free-flowing liquid and not a whole lot thicker than most other beers that you're probably used to drinking. I wouldn't worry about it, but as always I will advise you to talk to your physician first about your swallowing disorder and imperial stouts.
     
  5. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    Thanks, Stevedore, for the helpful post. I think I, in fact, have seen descriptions like "thick as motor oil" and that always gets me a little nervous. But honey and maple syrup would definitely be difficult for me to swallow were I to attempt to guzzle them. My favorite beer style happens to be stouts and I have never had a swallowing problem with any stout I have heretofore tried. So would RISs be comparable to most (non-imperial) stouts in terms of viscosity?
     
  6. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    By the way, do you recommend letting it warm to room temperature after taking it out of the fridge? Or at least not drinking it right away after taking it out of the fridge?
     
  7. mtalley999

    mtalley999 Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2011 Maryland

    Thicker than something like Guinness or even Brooklyn BCS, but not by much. Probably similar to milk in viscosity if I were to guess. Hope that helps.

    The first time I had IRS was on tap. It wasn't the mouthfeel that i noticed but the intense roasted favor. Let us know what you think when you try it?
     
  8. ironchefmiyagi13

    ironchefmiyagi13 Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2013 Tennessee

    Yeah, Russian Imperial Stouts in general tend, for some reason in my experience, to not be as chewy and thick as American stouts. Stouts like Narwhal, Rasputin, Founders RIS, Yeti all are a little on the thin side compared to creamier American stouts. And most certainly let it warm up before you drink it. Definitely give it 20-30 minute to warm up, cuz once its poured those flavors will open up a lot more.

    Hope that helps!
     
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  9. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Illinois


    Sure, let it warm up to 50F.
     
  10. ehsteve

    ehsteve Initiate (137) Jan 13, 2009 Texas

    Imperial stouts are not noticeably more difficult to pour down your throat than any other beer. You'll pick up on the difference in body from the way it feels in your mouth, but it still flows very easily. It's not even close to being, say, cough-syrup thick.
     
  11. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (6,522) Nov 16, 2012 Oregon
    Society Trader

    It would compare reasonably well to regular stouts, may be a little thicker & might feel a little more "chewy" in the mouthfeel department but I'd say it would probably still qualify as a "thin liquid" as opposed to honey or maple syrup. I'm not a qualified SLP (just a measly medical student on the verge of graduating) but if I'm wrong, I won't be too far off. Again, boilerplate warning about consulting your doctor before consuming an imperial stout! :sunglasses:
     
  12. Kerrie

    Kerrie Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2012 Michigan

    You should be fine with this one then, I'd think. I personally can't recall much of a difference. I hope you end up enjoying it. I loved it and its espresso counterpart.

    As for the temp issue, I'd say that's been covered. Personally, I put everything in the fridge and it's all been fine.
     
  13. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    Very helpful, thanks! Milk I can handle. (By the way, I know this whole swallowing thing sounds whacky. I thought twice about even posting it.) I will post back when I try it. I am really looking forward to trying this beer. I love stouts period! The most flavorful beers.
     
    Kerrie likes this.
  14. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    Very much so (it helps)! Thanks too for the quantified warm up time. So would you let it warm up in the glass or in the bottle?
     
  15. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    Thanks.
     
  16. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    Thanks, I'm sure I will enjoy it. I'm really looking forward to having it. Tomorrow maybe. Sunday more likely.
     
  17. ironchefmiyagi13

    ironchefmiyagi13 Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2013 Tennessee

    I'd let it sit for like 10 minutes, crack it open, pour a third of the bottle into the glass, taste it, then just enjoy that until you run out and by the time you pour another serving it will have opened up. It's very much like a bottle of wine...oh damn...I mentioned the dreaded 'W' word!
     
  18. VTMoondog

    VTMoondog Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Vermont

    I'm about to have my 1st Stone Russian Imperial Stout. Let's party!!!
     
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  19. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    There was some children's fable where a king once said "Beer is the wine of my country."
     
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  20. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    Nice. Let me know how you like it. I'm probably not going to get to mine till Sunday.
     
  21. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Defender (619) May 11, 2012 Missouri
    Trader

    TMI Bro
     
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  22. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Defender (619) May 11, 2012 Missouri
    Trader

    Seriously though, its a good beer. Hope you enjoy and if you do, you should seek out the Espresso version, almost as good as Belgo (let the flames begin)
     
  23. VTMoondog

    VTMoondog Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Vermont

    So, I just opened the bottle and found it to be (after a Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale, and a Sixpoint Apollo) a tad..."sharp" on the tongue to start. Nice nose, nice thick yummy mouthfeel, coffee notes. It's a biting stout for sure.
     
  24. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    Sharp on the tongue? I don't think I've ever thought that about a beer. How so sharp on the tongue?
     
  25. mjtiernan

    mjtiernan Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2008 New York

    This is a great RIS to start with. One of the best values on the market. Enjoy!
     
    VTMoondog likes this.
  26. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (3,079) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Society

    Have you opened this beer yet? Seriously, just drink it. You might be overthinking things a little bit. Just drink it.
     
  27. VTMoondog

    VTMoondog Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Vermont

    Summit....open it, drink it...lets continue this conversation
     
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  28. VTMoondog

    VTMoondog Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Vermont

    So.....wtf?
     
  29. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (6,522) Nov 16, 2012 Oregon
    Society Trader

    I'm hoping he didn't aspirate any of the beer...
     
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  30. gillagorilla

    gillagorilla Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2013 Maryland

    We should turn this into a thickest stout you've ever had thread. My thickest would probably be Goose Island's Night Stalker.
     
  31. mjtiernan

    mjtiernan Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2008 New York

    Probably Ten Fidy for me...although the can may have an influence.
     
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  32. gillagorilla

    gillagorilla Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2013 Maryland


    I have my first can waiting for me, can't wait to try it.
     
  33. ohiobeer29

    ohiobeer29 Defender (649) Feb 2, 2013 Ohio

    great.beer keep it in the fridge till ya ready to drink take it out let it sit 5 to 10 mins then pour it into a snifter and enjoy
     
    VTMoondog likes this.
  34. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    That is funny, Stevedore. I'm probably going to open it on Sunday.
     
  35. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    Will do, but Sunday will be my first opportunity. (with a small chance that it could be later today)
     
  36. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    Will do VTMoondog, but Sunday is the most likely bet.
     
  37. LeeMarvin

    LeeMarvin Initiate (194) Jan 15, 2005 Massachusetts

    Stone RIS was one of the first beers that I lost my mind over once I pulled myself out of the Harpoon rut I'd been in since the demise of the First Wave of Craft Beer. I bought it by the case and cellared half and drank half routinely. It ages wonderfully yet drinks just as well fresh off the shelf. The longest I've aged it for is 5 years, and if you can wait that long, it's really worth it. But again, it's a fantastic beer straight out of the bottle, and the consistency from year to year has been stellar. One of the best values in the craft beer world.

    Definitely let it warm up a bit before you drink it. You miss a lot of this beer's character if it's cold.
     
    bozodogbreath likes this.
  38. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    Well, just opened it. Great nose. Creamy, but not muddy. I expected thicker, to be sure. Overall, I really enjoy it. Love the roasted grain. Not boozy at all. In fact, taste-wise, I don't detect the alcohol at all. Though there's a nice warming feeling after it goes down. I wish there were a little more carbonation. But a truly enjoyable stout. Not sure where it rates on my top stouts list. But my swallowing fears were definitely unwarranted.
     
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  39. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Open the bottle and drink the beer. Stone RIS is easy to find in NJ so there is no point in not drinking it.
     
  40. SummitSeries72

    SummitSeries72 Initiate (128) Mar 17, 2011 New Jersey

    Read the above post. I just opened it, finished it, loved it.
     
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