Chuckaduck (674) - Highland Heights, Kentucky, USA - MAY 24, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
DalzAle (2002) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - MAY 24, 2013
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
hopmelt (196) - Painesville TWP, Ohio, USA - MAY 24, 2013
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 19/20
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
ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAY 24, 2013
3.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
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?
TheGB (536) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAY 24, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
bluejacket74 (1485) - Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA - MAY 24, 2013
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 ounce bottle. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch frothy tan head. The head stays around for a long time, and thereís a good amount of lacing. Aroma is very nice, the brew smells like espresso, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and some dark fruit and vanilla. The taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but thereís the addition of some burnt/charred malt and anise. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, itís creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. If you like coffee/espresso beers, then you should like this. I think this is a very good overall brew, Iíll have to pick up another bottle soon!
NikkTwist (1886) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 24, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft at Monks Cafe. Thick black pour with frothy brown head. Rich dark roasted coffee aroma. Intense flavors. Sugary enough to shock the teeth but a lot of dark bitter coffee and chocolate as well. Liquid black vinyl. I like it quite a lot but not as much as the standard Stone IRS as the ashy element is much less pronounced. Still tremendous! High ABV is reasonably well hidden. Feels like a rich refined coffee liquor.
popkow (296) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - MAY 24, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Half head half brew and tons of flavor. This dark stout is thick and greasy with flavor of coffee bean mashed with grain. Alcohol taste is mild and the beer has a long roasty finish.
BenH (2851) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAY 24, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle, thanks to Mike for this one. Black with small brown head. Coffee aroma, chocolate, roastiness. Taste is very roasty, ashy with plenty burnt coffee. Decent body and quite bitter. Very nice.
cgarvieuk (16654) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAY 24, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
bottle at home ... thanks to ben ...deep black ... thin tan head ... dark mellow chocolate roast ... lightest charcoal nose ... dark chocolate ... dark roast ... heavy dark roast ... mellow and smooth ... light dark chocolate ...