shigadeyo (3635) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 2, 2013
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2011 "Odd Year Release"
7/16/2011: Stone Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout (Ale brewed with anise, oak chips & Belgian yeast)... Aroma: Definitely black licorice/anise strangely paired kind of a strange blend of semi-sweet chocolate, yeast, and dark fruits/plum. Appearance: Pours out in a very dark ruby-brown, nearly black stream thatís thick and opaque; large brown-colored head settles on top and doesnít really go anywhere until the last bubble is slide out of the glass and down the throat! Flavor: Roasty and heavy on the caramel maltiness right up front followed by anise and an out of place spiciness (from the Belgian yeast); slight woody char and misplaced citrus+fruit+spice+herb+earthy concotion of flavor characteristics; an oily, candy-sweet black licorice taste runs throughout underneath everything else right through into the roasty, coffee-like, slightly bitter and alcoholic finish. Palate: Medium-full body, slightly sticky on the lips with a slick, syrupy feel in the mouth; decent carbonation and fairly smooth. Overall: Major letdown and an insult to the Stone IRS name! I donít really understand why Stone is messing around with two world-class beers, Old Guardian and IRS. Even if they use those beers as the base, go ahead and use the Belgian yeast, throw in whatever, but just NAME IT SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Tha way expectations arenít set that can never be meant (resulting in disappointment and a decreasing opinion of Stone). In my opinion, the "Odd Year Releases" are just ruining the reputation of the regular versions of the beers that are both highly respected and always fantastic. Stone Belgo Old Guardian *might* have been acceptable, but the Stone Belgo Anise IRS is just barely palatable and is definitely a waste of perfectly good brewing capacity to make the regular Stone IRS!
1 pt 6 fl. oz. bottle (10.5% alc/vol) shared by . Thanks ! Rating #521 for this beer.
SDalkoholic (2339) - Linda Vista, California, USA - JUL 27, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Henryís: Poured a jet black liquid and formed a thick layer of foamed head which eventually retreated. As for the aroma, my nose is greeted with the strong scent of anise seed as well as an upfront smell of black licorice. The flavor is rich base of roasted malts that come across smoked while a heavy taste of anise seeds dominate the drink. I also get hints of black licorice, powdered chocolate milk, and a faint background of mint or peppermint candy/breath mint. In the end, I just donít feel this came together all to well, although, it did make for an interesting recipe.
boozedude (2228) - Des Moines, Iowa, USA - JUL 25, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Black pour with light briwn head.. thick surypy chocolate raisen goodness..strong taste ..incredibly smooth..love it
JefVerstraete (2883) - Oosterzele, BELGIUM - JUL 15, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown, low carbonation. Sweet/bitter and a sour hint. Aroma of dark chocolate, hops and coffee. Lots of anise and liquorice. Strange but not bad.
kramer (5827) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 23, 2013
2.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 6/20
Bottle. Pours a pitch black body with a one inch frothy tight bubbled brown head that slowly faded, leaving some sticky lacing. The nose is quite interesting, there is certainly a good deal of anise in here, as well as a heavy roastiness, slight alcohol, and a bit of yeastiness. It really reminds me of those licorice pipes that I used to get as a kid. The flavor is a huge turn-off and is surprisingly awful. The anise is so intense and overpowering that it dwarfs even the most intense licorice candy that Iíve ever had. The intense roasty and burnt malt notes donít exactly help soften the anise notes either. Thereís not a whole lot of íBelgianí qualities to this that make it past the anise. Full bodied and chewy with a sticky clinginess on the back end. Moderate soft fizzy carbonation. Gotta say, this one is a total miss for my tastes. I canít even finish the bottle of this one.
jookos (5507) - FINLAND - MAY 9, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 12/20
(1/2012) bottle. Dry chocolate, like dark chocolate gone old. Anis, licorice. Thickish body, bitter. A bit of alc, but surprisingky easy to drink.
charule (2160) - New York, New York, USA - APR 27, 2013
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
2011 bottle opened in 2013. Poured black with light creamy head. Aroma of strong anise. Strong chocolate anise flavor. Anise anise anise.
---Rated via Beer Buddy
DrnkMcDermott (3003) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - APR 14, 2013
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2011 bottle, of course, from Binnyís, $6.99, not that it matters now. Think Iíll pop this sooner than later, as anise is not one of my friends, just like pineapple and cilantro. Got a nice, small goblet for Kentucky BBA Ale, so that should be good glassware. Cap came off a bit too easily, with a slight psst. Doesnít seem to be oxidation in the headspace, though. Pours a brownish-black, with fizzy brown foam. Smell, at least, is not overpowering as other reviewers have said. Kind of a sweet nose, with licorice candy to it, and a bit of stout roastiness. Taste does have a bit of oxidation, giving a sherry note. Nice mellow malt taste, fizzy as a coffee soda. Licorice taste remains in support. Alcohol does not seem too strong, I just know Iíll feel it much later. So it doesnít have the coffee, roast and alcohol blast of a Dark Lord, perhaps I should try to say what the Belgian yeast adds to the mix, but it just seems like its own little beer, to be enjoyed now and then nevermore.
tom10101 (5272) - Quebec, CANADA - MAR 8, 2013
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle (22 oz) 2011. From dresden, thanks! Black with a medium creamy brown head, good retention, some lacing. Aroma is liquorice/anise, roasted malt and slight smokey notes. Taste is sweet with cloying liquorice/anise and not much else except slight roasted malt notes. Medium body. Alcohol is present and warming. No balance. I prefer not to thing how much anise was present when fresh. Low drinkability. Miles away from the regular Stone RIS.
maekchu (3460) - Hirakata, JAPAN - MAR 7, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber. Stored for a couple of years. Spicy nose, with the anise, dark chocolate, some esters, and yeast. Pitch black, filmy tan head. Anise and buttery notes in the initial / sweet choco and hard candy in the mid, and some other spices are either there or are emulated / finishes with a rush of spice. Medium-heavy body. Good, but the spices begin to taste a bit chemical after several sips. Still, itís flavorful, interesting, and unusual.