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RATINGS: 3129   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - JUN 3, 2006
Bottle from 2006 batch courtesy of hippie4beer pours black as night w/ a small head. Chocolate and oak dominate w/ a mild alcohol spiciness in the throat. Very good, but not as complex as some other imp stouts Iíve tried.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
eaglefan538 (3032) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JUN 3, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 9, 2009 Revised after 2009 vintage: Acquired by dad, shared with him in Aug 2009. Cocoa and milk chocolate elements were at the fore, and this was an excellent experience. Glad weíve got two years now in a row with a higher quality after a couple off batches. Could have featured more hops, though. Revised after 2008 vintage: Back on track, darned nice brew. Excellent stuff. Revised after 2007 release: Unimpressive again, decent for sure, but not at the top of the style. See otehr vintage notes from 2006. 2006 Release: Nice initial tan head. Not as hoppy as I recall the 2005, somewhat of a decrease in quality, imo. Somewhat astringent, vinous flavor, the increased alcohol is noticeable. The flavor is accompanied this year by some oak, charred nuts, and both light and dark fruits (peaches?). After about 50-55F, I noticed some sort of a spice, cinnamon-like quality. No idea where that was coming from, but it was more than one sip. Again, this needed more hops and fell short in quality of the 2005 version Iíve had before. 2005 Release: Ok, the appearance was great. Nice pitch black color with a head that was nice and chocolate-like (brown). Lacing was great and the aroma was sweet chocolate with only a light roasting. Hops detectable in the aroma and they come out and get you in the finish. The base flavor is sweet chocolate with a midly bitter mid flavor. At first I didnít like the hops in my stout at these levels, but as the beer warmed, it became more balanced and the stout flavors and alcohol mellowed the hops. I liked this, but outside of the appearance didnít find it to be more extraordinary than many a good stout out there. Re-rate, April 06, vintages 03-06 in a horizontal, falling just behind Speedway and The Abyss, yet ahead of 3F DL. The 03 version was more choco-cocoa tasting, 04 having more of a choco-brandy taste, and the 05 choco, cocoa, dark fruits, and piney hops. 1-2 years of aging might be optimal for this beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
bigbish (688) - California, USA - JUN 1, 2006
Pours thick back. Thin head, disipates quickly. Great flavor, slightly sweet. Coffee, lots of chocolate, some toffee flavors. Just a little roasted flavor. What a great stout!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jhwarfield (125) - USA - JUN 1, 2006
Bottle. A bit overrated. Perhaps I had too high of expectations. Pours like used motor oil with very little brown head. Perhaps it was just too much for me to appreciate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Blackbarrel (116) - new york, New York, USA - MAY 31, 2006
Black as ink, rich, dark, choclate-ey. Difficult to take in at first. well worth it though.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
IrishBoy (4111) - Bakersfield, California, USA - MAY 31, 2006
UPDATED: APR 18, 2008 2006 Release; opaque black with a tiny brown head. Aroma gives coffee, chocolate, plummy notes, and hops. Flavor features coffee, chocolate, malts, with smoky hop notes. My favorites are stouts, so I love this one! 9/5/9/5/18 4.6 2008 bomber from Westchester Liquors! Nose of roasty coffee, chocolate, with a bit of raisins thrown in; black with a medium cinnamon tan head; falvor is coffee, chcolate, light hop bitterness, and a raosty, smoky undertone; finish is light hops and smoke! 8/4/4/9/5/17 4.3

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MrEcted1 (144) - Wheat Ridge, Colorado, USA - MAY 31, 2006
I have had a few bottles of the 2006 version of this stout. I have heard that the past years are better, but unfortunately I wasnít able to find these until 2006. Pours a very deep black hue with a rice-crispy head (snap crackle pop). Dark fruits, coffee and a bit of bakers dark chocolate pull through well, but I noticed a bit of an undesirable bitterness that I didnít care for too much, not exactly a hop like bitterness, more of a harsh astringent bitterness. The head didnít last long at all, but at nearly 10% you canít really expect that. This is a thick brew, which is really good given the style. Overall this brew is above average as far a stouts go, but nothing that blew my mind away. I would rather have an Oak Aged Yeti, but thatís just me.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
DCJack (185) - Alabama, USA - MAY 30, 2006
UPDATED: JUN 3, 2006 almost perfect. drank a bottle last week and almost peed my pants I was so happy.. . . have another bottle and will write a better review when I open it . . . OK. Everything you could want in a beer is here. Presence, stature, fullness, flavor, excellence . . . what more needs to be said? If you could only drink one beer the rest of your life, and this was the one, you would be living in bliss. do I need to connect the dots any more directly?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
TheBeerLover (1026) - DC Metro Area, USA - MAY 29, 2006
22 oz bomber of the 2006 vintage. I remember this beer being much bolder in the past. I still enjoyed it, but I had this one and a Viking Big Swede, and was suprised at how much more impressive Big Swede was when I did a side by side tasting of the two. That being said, this beer is still excellent, and an Impy well worth trying. Stone Russian Imperial pours to a jet black color, with a thick, creamy, white head, and a moderate amount of carbonation. The nose on this beer is fragrant with aromas of dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, and hints of cracked black pepper. The palate is firm, with good dark chocolate, roast, and coffee flavors, paired with hints of licorice. This beer finishes with more big dark chocolate and coffee, then ends with a light, warming burn. Good Imperial, but Iíve have enjoyed other example much better than this one. When I did my Impy tasting recently, I found Viking Brewingís Big Swede more impressive than Stone Russian Imperial.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
ebarnes (261) - Beech Grove, Indiana, USA - MAY 29, 2006
2006 release. 22oz bottle
Pours very thick and very black with a small tan head. As mentioned by others, aroma is dominated by coffee and dark chocolate. Donít even think of drinking this one cold. Itís metallically bitter if you do. Once it warms, my goodness. So smooth. Coffee. Chocolate. Malt. All roasted in perfect harmony. Great beer.

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