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RATINGS: 558   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.56   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
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Ale brewed with anise, oak chips and belgian yeast.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
mcnealc31 (255) - Elida, Ohio, USA - JUL 3, 2011
Big, bold, black, and very aggressive. Youíll need a few pours to fit all this in one glass. The smell is nearly all anise, with some wood. Itís quite creamy with a lot of that black licorice flavor, dry wood, roasted malt, spicy hops. Outstanding lacing lures you in to try to find more flavors, the ones more common in a Russian Imperial Stout. If you hunt, you will pick up some of the currants, chocolate, coffee, but the anise is the real star here. I could see where some say itís overpowering, but I love the flavor, so itís working for me. The 10.5% ABV warms through the finish, along with a fun bitter bite. Another unique, tasty brew from Stone. But you have to love anise to love this. If you donít, you will hate it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
dfhhead25 (251) - Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 10, 2011
Aroma- black licorice, oak, herbs, dark fruits Appearance- thick, black body with a khaki-colored head Taste- black licorice prominent, woodiness, bready malts, light hops, relatively complex, slightly disjointed Palate- surprisingly thicker than regular RIS, feels just about right Overall- A decent novelty brew IMO, but certainly not sessionable. On par with DFH Black and Red but not near as memorable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bittermestupid (247) - Canton, Ohio, USA - JUL 2, 2011
Pours black as ink with a nice 1/2" thick tan head. Smells of expresso, chocolate, licorice, leather and a slight dried dark fruit note. Taste of dark roasted coffee, licorice, chocolate, vanilla and a touch of tabacco and belgian spices. Rather thick on the palate and it finishs with a long roasted coffee bitterness and some strong licorice notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Roonai (245) - - SEP 4, 2011
bottle hared by deyholla, thanks derek! pours a deep ruby mahogony, rich and clean with an almost ruby-brown head that dissipated quickly. nose is rich nise (shocker), vanilla and caramel with a sturdy malt backing. taste has an equatable complexity with emphasis on the anise (licorice) and some added boozy heat. while i done love anise in general, i appreciate the complexity and balance of this brew. heavy for sure but enjoyable!

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 4/20
dukeredhair (242) - California, USA - OCT 2, 2011
Good lord this is a mess. The aroma is way too sweet for a RIS. The anise comes through and makes everything so sweet all that good roast and bitterness you want in a RIS is gone. Itís all anise and sweet malt. Appearance is nice b/c it is black w/ tan head. At least they got that part right. Taste is so cloyingly sweet I kinda donít want to drink anymore. Palate is thick and chewy but since itís so sweet it seems syrupy and nasty. Overall this is terrible it might have been a fun idea but the yeast and the roast and the bitterness and all of the things that I love about a stout are ruined here. AWFUL.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Hoptagon (239) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - JUN 24, 2011
22oz. Bomber. Definitely has the right look with a deep black body and strong collar of froth that laces nicely. The aromatic quality of the beer is intense, but I think they may have overshot the mark with the anise/licorice character. It pretty much overwhelms the nose. If you can get past the root beer aromas there is a little bit of oak and maybe some bitter chocolate. Tastes like an oak bomb with notes of black licorice, charcoal, peppers and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is creamy and the body has a silky quality to it. The Belgian yeast seems to be kept in the background and might contribute some sweetness, but its definitely of limited impact. Alcohol is well hidden but the back half of the beer fades to a weird combination that feels like ashy root beer. The finish is harshly dry like an eighty year old womanís bat cave. Will be sticking with the original RIS from now on.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Fantomasus (237) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - NOV 4, 2011
Pours a deep dark roasted coffee with a tightly packed (but creamy) tan head. Smells of licorice, maple, oak, and coffee. Initial burst of licorice like candy sweetness gives way to coffee bitterness on the sides of the tongue. Itís a really interesting (but balanced) flavor that I would love to rate higher... but black licorice over powers and Iím not a big fan. Palate is surprisingly clean and highly drinkable. Worth trying at least once but I prefer other Stone Brews for regular consumption.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
kenwall17 (232) - new york, New York, USA - JAN 18, 2012
Nice dark pour with good head and excellent lacing. Not very malt. Wood and nuts.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
aleph (231) - - APR 10, 2012
Bottle, most recently @ Akkurat. Powerful licorice dominates, followed by oak, dark chocolate, yeast, and coffee. Some wood. Thick oily body. Unique, to say the least.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
soccer290 (225) - Highland Park, Illinois, USA - AUG 8, 2011
22 oz bottle. Loved the normal Stone Russian Imp Stout, so I thought Iíd try this out. Pours a pitch black color with a small chocolate-colored head. Smells of chocolate, licorice, alcohol, and maybe a hint of coffee; Iím kinda put off by the licorice smells to it. Thankfully, the licorice isnít too overpowering in the taste (though still present), as the chocolate takes over a fair bit of it. Decent body, though not as powerful as I remember the regular Stone Russian being. Overall a decent rendition of the regular version, but not as good.

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