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RATINGS: 590   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.02   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Stone Imperial Russian Stout is so thick, rich and well, sinful, you might worry that youíll 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 itís production...youíll 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 couldnít 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.


3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Iphonephan (4626) - McLean, Virginia, USA - MAY 25, 2013
From a 22 oz bottle shared at home. Pours black with an espresso crema head. Coffee and roasted malt nose. Flavors of chocolate and coffee. Smooth and rich mouth feel.. Quite nice.

3.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
MacBoost (1541) - Pouring Bus, New York, USA - MAY 25, 2013
Pours a pretty intense black with a tan head. Aromas of coffee, heavy roast. Taste is dry, roasty. Chocolate bar and coffee. Not as good as I was hoping. Noticeable alcohol burn. Meh.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
blklab2007 (2099) - Connecticut, USA - MAY 25, 2013
UPDATED: MAY 26, 2013 Bottle poured a dark brown color with a thick capper of tan head. Aroma has espresso, oats, chocolate, and rich malt. Mouth feel is medium with good coating and light carbonation. Flavor is richly malted, espresso, chocolate, and a lingering finish.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
jonno (2345) - JAPAN - MAY 25, 2013
UPDATED: MAY 31, 2013 Excellent as expected. Not overtly roasty, but a nice litle juxtaposition with what is a slightly sweeter Impy. Chocolate, caramel, honey, vanilla, espresso and bubonic plague. RERATE on this - side by side with the original í13. THis was much smoother and rounded in the body and the alcohol heat was much less apparent. Roast is bigger than I remember too.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
solidfunk (5475) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - MAY 24, 2013
Pours pitch black with great mocha head and carpet lacing. Espresso dominates the aroma, as can be expected. Puts the beer a little off-balance actually. Some smoke malt and a taste of burnt coffee beans in finish. On tap at Blue Monk.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chuckaduck (674) - Highland Heights, Kentucky, USA - MAY 24, 2013
Bottle. 5/17/13. Pours opaque DARK brown with a thin brown head. Aroma is surprisingly simple but quite effective; coffee, chocolate, nutty. Taste is nutty, chocolate, coffee, espresso, roast malt; very simple, very delicious. Nice lacing. Thick, chewy mouth feel. Medium carbonation; appropriate. Not too much needs to be said here. Excellent.

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DalzAle (2011) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - MAY 24, 2013
Bottle. Thin dark black pour, small ring of dark carbonation and an aroma of your average cup of cold pressed coffee. Flavor is nice chocolately and slightly bitter coffee and finished slightly sweet with some good roastiness. At $9/bottle? Totally worth it.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 19/20
hopmelt (196) - Painesville TWP, Ohio, USA - MAY 24, 2013
Pours almost black, half finger creamy khaki head, thick lacing. Huge espresso and roast aroma up front, hints of chocolate and earthy hops follow. Big espresso, milk chocolate and alcohol blast you with flavor right away, roast malt, spicy earthy hops mid mouth, espresso, alcohol and milk chocolate linger. Thick full body, medium low carbonation, lots of alcohol heat and slight astringency, spicy notes as well. Overall more than excellent, best IRS release Iíve had, get this, a lot of this, truly world class

3.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAY 24, 2013
22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a two finger khaki color. Iím quite impressed with how well the head retains itself given its gravity, though there isnít significant lacing left on the glass. S: Well, itís certainly a coffee bomb, thatís for sure. I notice a bit of licorice and chocolate in a (vain) attempt to balance the big coffee, as well. Meh, who cares - I love coffee, so I love the aroma. T: Just like regular Stone IRS, thereís a lot of licorice flavors to open this one up. The coffee explodes after the midtaste - and itís my favorite feature of the brew. Itís not really balanced though, because of how the coffee and licorice notes dominate everything. Nor is any real complexity is to be found. Ah well, I enjoy the coffee character, at least. M: I like that the finish is mildly dry, because I find the regular IRS too hard to drink (even compared with other big imperial stouts). Given the ABV, itís pretty easy to down, but I think thereís too much generic licorice sweetness that gets in the way of things. O: Looking back at my review archive, I canít believe I gave the regular IRS a 4. Because of that, I donít blame Stone for adding a shitload of coffee to a (in my opinion) blah RIS. As a coffee stout, though, it doesnít compare with FBS or Wake-N-Bake. However, itís still pretty good at the end of the day - but Iím not sure where all the high reviews are coming from. At least itís better than Oak-Smoked Old Guardian, right? ...right?

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheGB (570) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAY 24, 2013
Black with a lasting brown head. Toasted aroma of nuts, coffee and malt. Nice flavor with caramel and dark malts, coffee and some chocolate. I donít get that much espresso on the taste, but I think most espresso stouts add too much coffee flavor. I think it strikes a nice balance.


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