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RATINGS: 3083   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.18/5   SEASONAL: Spring   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
"Thereís no question that Stone Imperial Stout is revered among enthusiasts," states Stone CEO Greg Koch. "I know, because Iím one of íem and I can hardly wait for it to come out each year!" Some may think that a late Spring release for a special brew of this sort is an odd time for it to come out onto the market. Koch justifies this with the rationalization "What better than a warm time of year to come out with a brew that tastes great as it warms up!" Thatís because "ice cold" is certainly not the appropriate way to serve the beer. Nearly without exception, the darker, richer and more alcoholic a brew is, the warmer the serving temperature should be. The Stone Imperial Stout label describes the brew as being "intensely aromatic (notes of anise, black currants, coffee, roastiness and alcohol) and heavy on the palate...expect this mysterious brew to pour like used motor oil and taste even heavier! Serve at 55 degrees."

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Immy (1955) - Virginia Beach, USA - AUG 2, 2006
What a letdown. Black with a small beige head. Some coffee, red grape and charcoal. Dry, somewhat bitter flavor, charcoaly. How is this a top-50? Blah. Many better IS variants out there.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
fiulijn (18101) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 2, 2006
Black ink color, brown head. Good aroma: malt, bread, roasted malt, liquorice, light phenols. The body is not too thick, a bit oily, unfortunately metallic too; the taste is dominated by the roasted malt with a roasted nuts character, some malt sweetness, liquorice, strong bitterness. The final is bitter, again mostly due to the roasted malt (and the other flavors along); hidden by this, there is some aromatic hop. Good, very powerful, but it canít get me excited.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
bdjames29 (273) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUL 31, 2006
Big Bottle. I should have waited until I was 60 yrs old. to have Speedway Stout. That way I could have tasted other good stouts and not thought to my self, "thats alright, but its not Speedway Stout." This beer was delicious. I really, really enjoyed it. Nice noticeabley thick pour. Delicious flavor and wonderful feel in the mouth - velvety. Iíll come back to this beer for further review.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Trooper11 (468) - Suffolk, Virginia, USA - JUL 27, 2006
Pours dark brownish-black with a purple tint. Small dark caramel head that quickly diminishes. Smells strongly of grape, currants. Taste of roasted chocolate. Heavy body. Deep warming sensation. Pretty filling. Overall, excellent.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
pfhyde (59) - Davis, California, USA - JUL 26, 2006
Foreboding vacuum of sent, with only a slight touch of coffee reaching the olfactory bulb. For a 10.8% ABV beer, itís remarkably balanced. Its overall flavor is a subdued molasses, and its texture is heavy. This is a winter beer, but Iím enjoying it all the same in the pitch of summer. With a subtle warming of the mouth, and a hint of smoked toffee, I find this to be a remarkable imperial, Russian stout. For now, I put it above Old Rasputin, but Iíll still need to perform a side-by-side comparison. Spring 2006 limited-edition.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
frankenkitty (1991) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - JUL 25, 2006
Pour approaches black with an oily, brown skin and thick halo. Aroma finds clay, alcohol, dark chocolate syrup and dirt. Huge and rich with muddy chocolate before dry, estery coffee to finish. Syrupy mouth. Hot, hot, hot. Iím going to lay down a bottle or two and see how they mellow down the road.

<font size=-4>On tap at <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Floyds Brewpub, Munster, IN 46321<font size=-1>

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
drainey (234) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 24, 2006
22 oz bottle. A beautiful beer. Pours black with a light brown head. Aroma isnít much, but there was some chocolate and coffee, and some alcohol. Flavor is complex and bold, highlighted by chocolate and alcohol. I didnít think it was quite as good as the Goose Island or Dogfish Head Imperials, but still a great beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
csuders (30) - Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 22, 2006
WOW! there is a lot of flvor in there. Admitedly i think this one is beer is beyon my palate. Its very dark and thick with an insane amount of flavor.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - JUL 22, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 29, 2006

2005 22 Oz Bottle. This rating is a placeholder for now. I enjoyed it last night after a few beers and rather quickly. The aroma was restrained, holding back some more usually coffee dances, but displaying mature candied figs among plum alcohol. The pour was truly motor oil, with a fantastic cream and coffee head. The flavor came in three waves, which I heavily appreciate. The first was a bold blast of coffee and chocolate, but it didnít last long. It carried an interruption of alcohol. The second waves rushed forward with gentle caressing melded fruits and sensous aged grape alcohols. Vinous and delicate. Finally, the third wave carried a heavy malt whack, with some of the more typically profile, but still restrained and yearning to break free. Here heavy oak tannins and a touch of surprising sweet hops danced. The palate was exquisite. Prefectally balance alcohol, sweetness and dry smackability. Overall, damn good. I canít wait to give my 2006 a more thorough going over.

RERATE. Same score, just more elaboration. I spill a pint of heavy motor oil on the floor and so my surreptitious journey begins. A generous Lebanese man brings me a frothing pot of Turkish coffee as a I sit down to a table beside the Aegean Sea. I order a plate of Belgian chocolates, smoked Gouda and kippers. Next to me, a woman sips a cappucino kicked with Grappa. My plate arrives, with a side of heavily toasted German dark rye. I slather on some black currant preserve and a drizzle of honey. On the street, a wagon cart full of Retsina barrels make their laboured journey up the steep slope. I can whif smacks of their hewn oak. A young boy carries a bundle of wheat grain wrapped in newspaper past my table. I finish my meal, with a bite of bitter herbs, a nip of Absente and mouthful of sugar coated fennel seeds from Jaipur. I pull out my Meerschaum for a draw or two. I select a few grains of Virginia Burley. Itís sugary crisp crackles and releases a white cloud of earthen delight. The day grows older. Sentient of my building soporific state, I return to my apartment above the sausage shop and lie for a slumber, with the salty breeze blowing past the freshly washed curtains. An all around delight.

This Imperial Stout is an exemplary model for the style, but not unique or particularly creative in my opinion. Itís almost an old standard. Heavy coffees, heavy roast, some mingling fruit and spice. Fairly predictable. But this isnít to detract from itís overall enjoyability or quality. A beer to share and celebrate over a winter repast.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
blankboy (7076) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 18, 2006
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry, GregClow, jerc & tupalev -- courtesy of HogTownHarry. Vintage 2006. Pours black with an average size creamy light-brown head -- nice! Fantastic aroma of coffee, chocolate, lots of hops, dark malt and molasses. Delicious flavour of dark malt, coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruit and hops. Medium to full bodied, syrupy mouthfeel. Simply put, this is a really frigginí good Impy Stout that I imagine being even better if put away for a little while and I fully intend to do just that.

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