Ernest (6031) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUN 16, 2011
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Head is initially average sized, frothy, brown, mostly diminishing.
Body is opaque black (flashlight tested).
Aroma is moderately malty (roasted grain, chocolate, husks), with notes of fennel/anise, alcohol, vanilla, plastic.
Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter, slightly husky.
Medium to full body, syrupy/velvety texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic.
Somewhat rough and simple. Prominent anise note. Boozy and syrupy sweet. Only marginally better than the regular Impy Stout.
PorterPounder (5192) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - JUN 16, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tallahassee, Fl - Proof Bar - on tap. Dark black motor oil pour, thick khaki head, excellent thick lacing. Aroma has a hint of pepper, some licorice, very green and organic. Flavor is a big departure from typical Imperial Stouts. Pick up some peppers, licorice, Carbona furniture cleaner, anise seed. Finish of peppermint and chocolate. Thick, sticky mouthfeel. Overall, odd, but enjoyable.
southamptonsam (114) - New York, USA - JUN 15, 2011
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Just donít know what Stone is thinking about. I donít understand why they would bother to bottle this stuff. The nose is actually quite pleasant and the appearance is misleadingly good. But the taste doesnít work for me and Iím pouring it out and opening a Stone Russian Imperial Stout to wash away the memory.
beerbastard (639) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - JUN 14, 2011
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
This one didnít work for me. The licorice and malt aromas were a strange combination. The anise taste overtakes the rest of the flavors. I was looking forward to what the Belgian yeast would do, but I may never know. A noticeable astringent dryness in the finish, maybe due from the oak chips. I love experiments, but I love Stone Imp Russ stout just the way it is.
robertjm (736) - Albany, California, USA - JUN 13, 2011
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Has this thick look to it as itís pouring into the glass. Somewhat rocky head the color of light brown sugar. Dark body. While not overpowering, thereís definitely an aroma of black licorice (from the anise) there. Flavors of roasted malts and anise. The anise definitely gives it a unique flavor. Thick syrupy thickness in the mouthfeel. Roastiness in the aftertaste. Definitely like this one!
trevor211 (1298) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 13, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours black, with a dark tan head. Anise, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate on the nose -- the anise really stands out in here. Flavor is the same good old Stone IRS, but overpowered by the anise. They really put too much of the stuff in here, and itís seriously to the beerís detriment. Too bad -- the Belgo line is 0-for-2 in my book.
wnoble (1214) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JUN 12, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours black as hell. Has a nice brown head that quickly fades to a nice collar. Aroma has notes of belgian spices and roast malts but a blend of oak and heavy anise/licorice dominate to my nose with a touch of alcohol. Taste is again heavy with anise, some oak, lightly warm alcohol and then just touches of fruits, belgain spice notes, roast and some chocolate with a solid bitter finish. Mouthfeel is spot on with a long finish. I prefer the regular version over this but itís an interesting twist. I would like to see how it ages out.
yackery (151) - California, USA - JUN 11, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draught at Beachwood BBQ for $6.50 and a 12 oz glass. A shade shy of opaque with a persistent thin layer of head and lots of lacing, the aroma is stout and anise. Very nice if you like it - and I like it. Taste carries the anise. Palate is full and creamy. Nice.
brikelly (39) - New Hampshire, USA - JUN 11, 2011
2.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Wow, talk about a swing-and-a-miss! The normal IRS is one of my favorite beers, but this anise-laden monstrosity just begs the question, "WHY?". Far too much licorice and anise flavor intensity ruin the taste and the finish. Hey Stone: donít be Dogfish Head. Wacko ingredient levels are risky business, so stick with the other incredible beer styles that you have already perfected.
My sink is going to finish this beer. Sigh.
BOLTZ7555 (2701) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JUN 11, 2011
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Wow...just not a fan of this at all. Dark brown bordering black pour with a latte colored head. Aroma of prune juice, Welches grape, licorice, and cocoa. Flavor is similar with a strange dark fruit addition. Imbalanced and odd. Too much on the anise which distracts from the dark chocolate, roasted coffee bean, and molasses that one would expect from the style. Medium to creamy mouthfeel. Meh.