Drake (7840) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - SEP 23, 2011
2.4 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: SEP 24, 2011 It was hard for me to purchase this, as I think the regular Stone IRS is overrated, and Iíve heard it described as an anise bomb, which doesnít sound appealing, but alas, it never showed up at a tasting as I had hoped, so here it is now. Bomber from Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA. Pours pitch black with a thin brown head. Decent head retention. Aroma of hugh anise notes with a bit of roastiness. The taste is big anise notes, licorice, other spicy notes, chocolate, roasted malts and a hoppy finish. Medium-full bodied. As Iíve heard, this is an anise bomb, and while this fits the bill, that means I donít find it pleasant. I think Iíll be able to finish it, but Iím not 100% sure. It does get a tad bit better as the anise fades a bit near room temperature.
JB84 (649) - Kitchener, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 4, 2012
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Pour dark black coffee brown head good lace and retention. Aroma cheese.... frightened, anise, oak, vanilla, Belgian yeast, cocoa, roast, chocolate, light coffee. Taste sour, chocolate, coffee, cocoa, spice, anise, vanilla, oak, cherry. MF full body not super thick lighter then average carb. I believe this to be an infected bottle the sourness stands out not in a good way either infected or just not the beer for me.
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 26, 2012
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Deep black color with a thin brown head. Very strong flavor of anise with some roasted malt. The flavor is very strong on the anise, too strong, thereís some roasted malt and sweetness, but itís hard to cut through the anise....
auerbrau (3117) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - JUN 22, 2011
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
22oz Bottle, shared at a RIFT meeting. Good lord, what am I drinking, m-f-ing rootbeer? I had NO idea this had anise and poured myself a small snifter. First aroma smells likes a birch-heavy rootbeer. Flavors elicit five-spiced pork. I had just had AleSmith Speedway Stout, which is so rich and complex. This seemed like hitting a nail with a freakiní Zeppelin. Thanks for the dose of anise. For an Imperial Stout, this is a pretty good spice store sample. Blech. Drain pour.
DYCSoccer17 (3211) - Woodland, California, USA - JUL 9, 2011
2.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 8/20
22 ounce bottle purchased at Pole Line Nugget in Davis, CA. The aroma on this is advertised. Large amounts of anise and burnt licorice. This imparts a rubbery, car-tire aroma. Pool toys (trademarked by eyedrinkale) are also in the aroma. Lopsided, one-dimensional aroma, much like a sambuca. Virtually opaque dark dark brown body with a smallish light tan head present. Fairly quickly dissipating. Starts with obnoxious amounts of anise and licorice flavors. It becomes a little sweeter in the middle, which makes it seem pretty much like a black jelly bean for an instant. Then, burnt roastiness and boozy ethanol crash the jellybean party and make for a really fucked up, disgusting beer.
Beerona97 (2397) - Washington, USA - JUL 30, 2011
2.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Pours black with a creamy brown head that lasts. Aroma of oak, cocoa, anise is not as strong as expected which is a good thing. Taste is decent, kind of a cluster-fuck. The yeast really seems dominated by all the other flavors. I should buy another bottle and save it for a year and see how it is then. Iím not sure if I could say that I enjoy this beer. This is actually pretty unpleasant. If it didnít have the anise it would be better. I keep drinking this and saying to myself, "damn this is foul".
Cavie (3634) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - AUG 5, 2011
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Tap at Black Star. Pours a very dark black to brownish color with a tannish style head. Aroma is....strange. I let this guy warm up to room temp before I tried it. Iím smelling some sort of mint, like rumplemints. Dark malts and roast come through after but the mint is just...there. Flavor is minty, peppermint, dark malts, roasted flavors with a toothpaste like fresh finish. I have absolutely no idea what to think about this guy.
jrallen34 (3478) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 8, 2011
2.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
draft... great looking beer, deep dark black with a dark tan head, great retention and lace... if you love anise try this beer, if not pass on it as its all anise, tasting it basically makes me gag and Iím someone that does like anise, terrible idea and worse execution
ApisAles (1576) - Greenbelt, Maryland, USA - NOV 27, 2011
2.2 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
Oily black pour with a nice tan head. Great looking RIS. Aroma is straight up anise. So overpowering thereís nothing really else you can catch. Flavor is mostly anise, maybe a hint of roast, but itís all lost to the black licorice. This beer has the potential to be fairly epic if they crank the anise flavor down from 11.
Glouglouburp (5929) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 18, 2012
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
In short: An orgy of anise in roasted black liquorice sweetness. Bad idea
How: Bottle 22oz, 2011 release, twice, first consumed bottle fresh (bad) then with approximately 9 months of age (a little less bad). Will not buy again
The look: Black body topped by a medium tan head with low retention
In long: Unsurprisingly given its name there is star anise in the aroma. What is surprising is the intensity, this is star anise wall to wall along with notes of absinthe and why not a shot of black Sambuca. Taste is just that, a lot of highly roasted malts swimming in black liquorice and black Sambuca with extra star anise and a shot of absinthe. Nothing in common with the regular Stone Imperial Russian Stout, nothing chocolaty, nothing coffee related, nothing good for me here. It is well made for what it is and I suspect it will find a niche market, but count me out for the next releases. And I donít think Iím over-generalizing if I say that all the people who love this beer like or cut their sandwiches in triangles are deranged people sick in their heads.