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RATINGS: 593   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.02/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
Stone Imperial Russian Stout is so thick, rich and well, sinful, you might worry that you’ll be doomed to the fiery pits just for thinking about a sip. It almsot seems evil. Rest assured, however, that even though this seemingly pernicious brew is indeed as black as sin, we guarantee that no actual sin was committed in it’s production...you’ll have to add that on your own. This Odd Year addition was brewed in the authentic, historical style of an imperial russian stout, but with the addition of several hundred pounds of espresso beans from our friends at Ryan Bros. Coffee. Actually, this could be considered historically accurate, since the Russian nobility were as fond of earthy breakfast beverages as they were of hearty dark beers. Catherine the Great herself bolstered her finesse for ruling an empire by drinking five cups of black coffee every morning during her lengthy reign. While we couldn’t fit five cups coffee in every bottle of this darkly delicious libation, we assure you that the deep, rich espresso flavors are unmistakable and meld beautifully with the roasty bitterness of the dark malts. Catherine would have whole-heartedly approved.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ryanfolty (2209) - Bourbon County, Minnesota, USA - JUN 1, 2013
June 1, 2013 - bottle from AV3. Black pour with tan head that faded quickly and some lacing. Aroma was rich coffee roast, slight chocolate and alcohol. Taste was consistent with aroma. Palate was a bit smoother and creamier than the regular.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 1, 2013
Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Nearly black in color, there is a dark cherry walnut edge in the corner of the glass. There is a fluffy dark tan head that almost seems calibrated for the glass I poured it in. Stone always nails the mechanics of brewing, and this looks the part of a dark and stormy coffee stout. Coffee wafts up through my nostrils first, the type of dark, earthy, and full bodied espresso that I would expect Stone to use. There is a good amount of dark chocolate present as well. Vanilla, molasses, and a bit of dark fruit round out the nose. Caramelized sugar and molasses come across the tongue with dark burnt malt first. Dark chocolate works well with the sweetness but also begins to cut in and impart some bitterness. By the time vanilla and some undefined dark fruits hit my palate, the bitterness is well in control. The espresso flavor hits hard, with some spicy pine and herbal hops to make the bitterness just that much more robust. The coffee flavors drive through the finish and leave a bitter aftertaste. There is a bit of alcohol bite right toward the end. Top breweries differentiate themselves in the mouthfeel. A unique flavor with no mouthfeel is a sign of a flash in the pan brewery, and I have never felt that way about Stone. This beer has a very thick body, arguably thicker than the 11% ABV would suggest. Being creamy and thick works for a beer with a strong espresso bitterness. A medium creamy carbonation works for this beer. There is a bit of stickiness that is expected with a beer of this sort. Overall I have to say I am impressed with this variant of IRS. Coffee is usually a welcome addition to any stout, but it is not always done well. Stone puts forth a strong effort. I think I like it about as much as the regular IRS, but it does have an additional coffee punch.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
1FastSTi (3357) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 1, 2013
Bottle picked up in Boston. The beer pours pitch black with a tan head. The aroma is espresso and chocolate covered coffee beans. Flavor is peppery alcohol, chocolate, coffee beans, and tobacco. Creamy palate.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Ughsmash (7426) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 1, 2013
Thanks to Blake and Jenny for bringing the bomber! Poured near black with a short-ish warm beige head. The aroma picked up a whole helluva lot of coffee with some chocolate and vanilla as well.. I love coffee, and have no complaints there. The flavor found similar stuff.. warm, earthy coffee, cocoa, and vanilla at the core with fresh, green coffee beans, peppery notes, and a hit of tobacco around.. spicy, belly warming finish with even more coffee. Medium-plus bodied and quite roasty on the palate.. well-balanced and tasty.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
maxwelldeux (4219) - Snohomish, Washington, USA - JUN 1, 2013
Bottle. Pours a fairly thick and near black color with a moderate light brown head on it. Nose has a decent amount of roasting to it with the espresso being quite forward in this. Taste is quite thick and somewhat bitter with the coffee dominating throughout. I like this a lot...

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Cbuk1013 (246) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - JUN 1, 2013
This is a very good beer but it’s definitely over hyped. Like many of Stone’s beers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
nyindiansfan (463) - rochester, New York, USA - JUN 1, 2013
Bottle pours a dark brown black has coffee flavor booze some bitter chocolate. Roasty. Not bad really don’t see much diff from normal one. Nothing out of this world solid none the less.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
drfabulous (5231) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - MAY 31, 2013
22 ounce bottle. Coffee for sure in taste. Bit of a change up from regular RIS. Roasty. Slight bitterness. Solid overall if not overwhelming in coffee or espresso.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jmikolich (1477) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - MAY 31, 2013
22oz bottle shared by Colleen, Thanks! I thought espresso was supposed to be bitter coffee type stuff, but it works here, though I’m not a huge fan of stone IRS on its own, the espresso adds some niceness to it, I"m down with this

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
baraciisch (2466) - California, USA - MAY 30, 2013
Deep black in color with a light tan head... Aroma is strongly espresso beans... Flavor is dominated by espresso up front but gives way to licorice, roasted malts, dark chocolate... Hints of vodka or grain alcohol on the finish... Solid ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

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