MarinaMarket (211) - POULSBO, Washington, USA - SEP 17, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Aroma from the neck is black licorice, molasses, and smoke. I am intrigued! Pours black and with a little coaxing manages a nice thick tan head. Aroma is about the same but a little more subtle and complex. I get faint notes of wood, vanilla, and can I say is smells salty? Very nice sticky laces and a slowly receding head. Very nice flavor, if not a bit "ODD". Strong flavor of salt licorice, and some subtle hints of wood, hops, bittering on the finish. It really sticks around for a bit too. Mouthfeel is medium bodied (for this style) and I get some citrus notes as well. Also important to note that the 10.5% ABV is well masked. While itís a strong flavored brew, it does not have the alcohol notes I would expect of a higher gravity beer. Very interesting version of the Stone IRS. Anyone who likes salt licorice would love this beer. Tasted from the bottle @ 53F.
anderson01 (210) - Idaho, USA - JAN 14, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Black on color. Creamy, mocha-colored head. Okay lacing. Black licorice and tobacco are noticeable in the aroma. Creamy texture. Taste like black licorice and coffee. Bittersweet chocolate also comes out in the taste. Heavy-bodied beer with average carbonation. Long finish.
Beerapprentice (207) - Hopatcong, New Jersey, USA - APR 19, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a black, cola brown colour. Aroma of sourness, funk, dark fruits, coffee, malt, char, roast, sweet caramel. Flavour is the same but with a bit more fruitiness.
jlieber17 (201) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 6, 2011
3.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz bottle. Pours black with tan head. Slightly thinner pour than the standard version; the head dissipates much more quickly and has much less retention than the standard IRS. Amazing aroma: cedar, pine, vanilla, subtle amounts of yeast. Taste is overwhelming black licorice for a while which turns into kind of a weird mess of licorice, earth, spices. Super unique beer; this both intrigues and disappoints me.
Keg_Juggler (193) - New Jersey, USA - JUL 5, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
pours jet black with one finger head leaving good lacing on the pint glass; decent palate, notes of anise, fruit and oak; decent variation of the standard stone impy russian stout
tool2scream (188) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 25, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 4, 2011 Beautiful brew. Everything is in perfect balance. The anise is a little too powerful on the nose, but the taste is excellent. Big malt flavors, dark chocolate, light anise, and some nice sweetness throughout. Excellent brew, with a nice bittersweet finish. Better than the original.
Wolfenkopf (172) - Villa Park, Illinois, USA - AUG 23, 2011
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
The aroma has more of a chocolate milk stout to it than anything from a Russian recipe. The anise is strong, while the Beligian yeast and oak chips are affectations. This one looks like a Russian Imperial should. Jet black in body, it would take a one megawatt laser to penetrate its depth. The head is an attractive dark brown which fades to the edges. The taste is definitely of a Russian stout, though it had a strong sugary chocolate note to it. Quite interesting and richly entertaining. The sugary characteristic drills its way into the palate, while the carbonation is unabating throughout the experience. I could have done with less of that bit. There is quite an alcohol burn after the fact, hinting at the muscular ten and a half percent ABV within. Tread lightly, this one is sure to leave you with a headache in the morning, but it is worth it.
coharahawk (170) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 14, 2011
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Tap at Barcade. Pours pitch black with minimal head. Aroma is dominated by anise (not surprising), with some roasty notes. Flavor is overly sweet and tastes like a giant black jelly bean. Slightly bitter and alcoholic in the finish. I wasnít initially aware this beer was meant to be an "anise RIS", so I was quite taken aback. I really like black licorice, but this was too much. I found myself choking this down. Not a fan of this one.
yackery (156) - 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.
Fatalstrike (130) - Cerritos, California, USA - OCT 31, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Looks like the regular version on the pour. May have a more pronounced foam. aroma is heavily dominated by the anise. Stone has never been shy on the ingredients and this beer is no exception. Tastewise this stout tosses the usual sweet chocolate notes and roast aside and instead assaults you with woody anise flavors. Iíve been told this was a sweeter version, but I think this is more bitter than the standard. The anise is present throughout this beer. Interesting. I am not sure if Iíd buy it again, but I did not mind it.