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Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Espresso

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RATINGS: 597   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 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.

ThisWangsChung's rating

   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?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
oldrtybastrd (4888) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - APR 19, 2016
Pours a pitch black with big brown fluffy head. Aromas of coffee, smoke, dark chocolate. Flavors of espresso, tobacco, and dark dark fruits.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
chinchill (3896) - South Carolina, USA - APR 10, 2016
22 oz 2013 bottle at 2016 ASMF. Strongly flavored with enough coffee, dark grains or hops to completely overpower the others in most beers. In this fine brew, however, they coexist in good balance. Even after over 2 years, this is still a little boozy, but this works well for this strongly flavored brew. The coffee strength is surely lower than when fresh but is still the last thing to fade from the long lasting aftertaste. Overall: with the base beer a favorite, this coffee-added version should be a winner and it doesnít disappoint.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
fluffy (2249) - St Petersburg, Florida, USA - FEB 7, 2016
honestly not as coffee forward as some coffee stouts ive had and was a little thin. decent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
RumRunner101 (918) - Alberta, CANADA - JAN 2, 2016
Black pour with tan head. Aroma of rich espresso, dark berries, ash. Tons of espresso comes through with burnt malts, berries, and chocolate. Surprisingly thin for the alcohol, but not a negative. Great sipper.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 12, 2015
Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger dark beige head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Impressive retention for the style and high ABV with streaks of soapy lacing left behind. Robust, deeply roasted dark malt aroma with subtle hops and a very strong coffee/espresso character. The dark malt and coffee notes are countered by a sweet, silky chocolate presence. Gourmet roasted espresso bean complimented by dark chocolate,oatmeal and toast. This is followed by a faint resinous hop character, bakers chocolate and cacao. Full bodied with a huge espresso/robust coffee flavor that adds another dimension to the complexity of the base beer. Delicious roasted, slightly nutty, gourmet coffee flavor perfectly compliments the malt profile and subtle hop bitterness of the regular IRS. Robust and bitter but never becomes overwhelmingly dry or acrid. Lots of espresso flavor up front along with burnt toast, oatmeal, dark chocolate and subtle smoke. Thereís some resinous hop bitterness mid-palate with some grass and pine needle followed by sweet, desert-like silky chocolate notes. Hints of fudge, German chocolate cake, cacao and subtle lactose toward the back end. Although this is a huge, complex beer, the high ABV is pretty much undetectable, making it deceptively drinkable. This is the kind of beer you want to slowly sip on and savor, but I love the flavor so much that I canít help myself from downing the bomber very quickly. Possibly the best tasting coffee beer that Iíve ever had.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Slipstream (2384) - USA - OCT 22, 2015
UPDATED: NOV 2, 2015 Awesomely rich, full, deep stout. Lots of French roast coffee and marshmallow. Very little hop harshness - smooth, malty, with a just a light touch of bitterness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
juffage (171) - Leeds, West Yorkshire, ENGLAND - OCT 18, 2015
2013 vintage. Boozy dried fruit and bourbon on the nose. Not much coffee in here. Velvety smooth ice cream mouth full. Medium thickness. BooZy afterburn but nice and warming. Burnt brown sugar. Vanilla on the nose. Still pretty bitter up front despite being a couple years old. Dark dark chocolate. Not very sweet. Meaty. Possibly prefer the regular version but this is pretty good stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BuckeyeBoy (5264) - Boise, Idaho, USA - JUL 18, 2015
22oz bottle enjoyed while organizing my cellar. Pours out black topped with a tan head. Nose is roast malts chocolate coffee vanilla and a nice sweetness. Taste is great rich malts chocolate espresso roast and a nice mellow end.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Sammy (10678) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 17, 2015
On tap at decicco-brewster. Great mouthfeel. Lovely chocolate. Very drinkable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
anders37 (21924) - MalmŲ, SWEDEN - JUN 28, 2015
Bottle. Pours a black color with a small tan head. Has a roasted malty chocolate and coffee aroma. Roasted malty chocolate and coffee flavor with hints of licorice. Has a roasted malty chocolate and coffee finish.

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