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RATINGS: 561   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.02   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
JStax (2974) - Devola/Marietta, Ohio, USA - MAY 5, 2013
22 ounce bottle. Pours a thick black with a beige head of foam. Aroma is heavy coffee over top of that licorice, roasty, chocolate that is Stone IRS. Taste is smooth coffee. Itís just right. I like how this one doesnít just taste like stale coffee grounds.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BMan1113VR (7855) - Los Angeles, California, USA - MAY 5, 2013
Bottle. Pours with a deep near black hue with a large tan head. Decent retention and lace. Aromas are of anise, licorice, dry herbs de proveince and earthy coffee, espresso. Chocolatey and massively roasty, Earthy and bitter on the nose. Flavors are bitter and earthy. Coffee actually makes it seem a touch less bitter than my memories of past vintages of Stone IRS. Pretty solid. Coffee flavor already feels a touch aged. Biscotti like malt, rich toast, medium caramel, bitter chocolate, and a dry finish with a lot of earthy coffee. Toasty. Warming, but alcohol is well hidden. Moderately big body. Very solid, $6.49 bomber is definitely well spent.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
beerbastard (683) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - MAY 4, 2013
Bomber bottle, pours black with a small thin tan head. Bold coffee nose followed by mocha aromas. Big rich coffee flavors mixed with sweet milk chocolate and a background of vanilla. Great mouthfeel. Very tasty and well balanced, but not that complex. Some burn in the finish. This is a keeper, sorry its only a odd year release. Its a great deal and I love it!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Fatehunter (1179) - Corbett, Oregon, USA - MAY 4, 2013
Poured deep black with a light tan head. The aroma is wonderful: darkness on the nose. Burnt malt, roasted malt and earthy. The taste is complex, well balance with a surprise bitter finish. Chocolate, burnt wood, fresh pressed espresso and lemon finish. The texture is crisper for a stout with moderate carbonation. Big, bold and unforgettable.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
VRH (44) - Georgia, USA - MAY 4, 2013
Dark & black with a rich chocolatey tan head, this beer looks as deep, dark, & delicious as it is! Aromas of strong coffee, with dark chocolate, subtle smoke, sweet roasted meats, molasses, & a hint of wood; palate adds some milky sweetness, dark brown sugar, & spice; long rich bitter finish with lingering grassy hop & hints of vanilla. Excellent!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
radagast83 (4563) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAY 3, 2013
Split a 22oz bottle among friends. Poured a deep dark rich motor oil color color with a lasting tan head. Aromas were mostly coffee aromatics, plenty of roasted malts. Flavor retains a lot of the base imperial stout notes, roasted malts, chocolate notes, but the coffee is certainly there. Plenty of bittersweet notes, nice finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
popery (1402) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 3, 2013
Pours black. Only in small quantities can I pick out any color, just a deep brown. Looks fairly thick. Puts some nice stain on the walls of the glass. Small brown head. Dense and foamy. Little lacing, and it fades to nothing after a couple minutes. Aroma is huge on coffee. Itís a rich, balanced coffee flavor with coffee fruitiness, roast and chocolate. Very nice. Solid backbone of caramel malt, sticky molasses. Lots of roasted malt character in addition to the coffee, though itís hard to pick out whatís what. Thereís also a healthy dose of dark chocolate and some milk/lactose flavor - no idea if thatís actually used. Vanilla, leather and blackberries bounce around and add. The taste is similar but adds in some pine resin hoppiness, licorice and mild smoke. Again, itís aggressively coffee-forward. Big molasses, lots of sweetness to round out the harsher flavors. Hard to pick out that lacto note, but the vanilla comes through clearer. Lots of roast. Tons of flavor. Finishes fairly bitter but not overwhelmingly so. Mouthfeel is creamy. Picks up a little harshness in the finish, but itís a thick, luxurious stout. Very full. You really feel the weight of each sip. This is a winner from Stone, particularly after the disappointment of the Belgo Anise version. Thereís a bit more coffee than I actually want, but itís a delicious coffee flavor, and I only really complain because the underlying stout flavors are so nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
joeneugs (3207) - Livermore, California, USA - MAY 3, 2013
22 oz. bomber. It pours jet black with a nice lasting brown head. The aroma is great with lots of strong coffee but balanced with some sweet chocolate and graham cracker maltiness. The flavor is simply outstanding with everything in good balance. The coffee notes compliment the sweet smores like malts really well, not overpowering the rest of the beer. The body is very soft and velvety on the palate. Nicely carbonated to accentuate the flavors. Very thick and full bodied. Iím not getting any hops here. Even the finish is very roasted and coffee like, but not bitter. Iím going to pick up a few more of these.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
budznsudz (555) - Audubon, New Jersey, USA - MAY 3, 2013
Pours dark brown with a creamy brownish head. Aroma is fresh roast coffee and cocoa. Taste is coffee, nuts, chocolate powder, and a light hop kick. Nice velvety mouth feel with a bitter coffee finish. Great

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
nimbleprop (4825) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - MAY 3, 2013
22oz bottle pours a predictably viscous, oily black with some spitty, brown head. Nose pops with fresh coffee grounds, malt, licorice, burnt toast, light dark chocolate, some soap. Flavor is malty, bitter, that dark roasted coffee bitterness with a touch of dish soap, dark chocolate, burnt toast, slightly vegetal. Full, dry finish. I thought the coffee paired perfectly.

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