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on tap

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RATINGS: 3088   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 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
dhlesq (233) - Thousand Oaks, California, USA - FEB 1, 2006
Aroma of roast coffee, chocolate, some licorice and faint dried fruit. Appears a deep dark brown with frothy, creamy brown head. Flavor is rich sweet chocolate, with sharp bitter hops at the finish. Palate is thick and creamy. Overall, this is a fantastic brew, and at least equal to the sum of its parts.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Storm (2684) - Amager, DENMARK - FEB 1, 2006
65 cl bottle. Pitch black colour with a lovely head. Great aroma of coffee, roastedness and sweetness. Also great flavour of roasted malt, chocolate, some oli and notes of coffee. Ends up very complex and AMAZING. I really love this one.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - JAN 31, 2006
I sampled the Early Summer í05 release I must say it was great!! The calling card "midnight black" color, it looked like something that came out of the engine of a 1950 Studebaker! Aroma was roasty, mouthfeel was strong and chewy. Flavor was simply wonderful.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
TURDFERGUSON (4039) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JAN 25, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 28, 2006 2004 vinatge; on tap at the Moan and Dove. (Also have had 22oz bottle several times.) pours dark brown (not as black as the more recent versions) with a light brown head that dissipates after a couple swigs. aromas of chocolate, figs, and a little smokiness. flavor is very nice--more chocolate and those oh so subtle hops that make this beer one of my favorite imperial stouts. wanted to have another one, but i gotta drive home somehow.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
fbennett (293) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 23, 2006
This beer pours a dark black with brown tones and has a thick tan head that lingers with the entire pour. The smell is of dark chocolate, plums, raisins, black cherries and no alcohal to be smelt. As I tasted this beer the bitterness from the hops kicks to the fore-front as well the malty chocolate essence and finishes sweet caramel and nutty. This beer is so smooth I could drink it all day.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MikeMac (185) - Wyandotte, Michigan, USA - JAN 19, 2006
Pours a nice deep brown to black> Beautiful dark tan head one of the best imperial heads around that I have seen to date. Aroma was full of Chocolate and roast malt with some hints of fruits and wood. Taste was incredible with Chocolate and roast malt. very balanced flavor with the hint of fruit added to it. Very balanced Imperial stout

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
NachlamSie (3210) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JAN 18, 2006
UPDATED: APR 3, 2009 bottle. Pours like motor oil and leaves a ridiculously dark brown head. The inviting aroma is so strong that I can smell it before I take a whiff up close. This stuff smells damn good. Thereís plenty of chocolate and coffee of course, but also there is plenty of sweet wood which reminds me of a good scotch. The flavor is wonderfully complex and very assertive. Plenty of mlik chocolate, more woody notes with a very earthy foundation. Thereís a little nut flavor as well, perhaps in the vein of pecans. The alcohol (10.8% for the í05) is not even detectable unless under the harshest scrutiny. Some faint, distant hops make themselves known in the finish. I was expecting something more ridiculous from Stone, but this is just sensibly complex and damn savory.
[May 27, í07]
Bottle of the 2007 stuff. Pours black with a firm dark tan head. Very nice lacing. This is definitely a good looking beer. Man, this stuff smells so good. Savory, rich roasty espresso, earth, mocha, hickory, a bit of pine are all noted. Palate is thick and chewy. I love this beer. This time around I drank a fresher bottle, but truth to tell, itís not a whole lot different than my first experience. Iíd say there are more bitter notes present now, and the heavy body doesnít seem quite as syrupy, but this beer definitely can hold up with some age on it. There is a very nice chocolate presence that comes out in the finish along with a smoky, nutty flavor that dries the palate a little. Obviously, as this bad boy warms it gets even more delicious. The alcoholic qualities fade away completely and more density is felt. This is truly a top notch imperial stout. I was a little afraid that revisiting this one after Iíve tasted so many others in the style since, I would appreciate it less. But no, it is delectable.
[March 30, 2009]
Bottle of the 2009. Pours ebony with a very well formed dark head. The aroma is chewy, roasty, with hints at raisins, molasses, dark choco

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - JAN 18, 2006
Bottle. Pours black with a tinge of amber only on the extreme edges and a thin dark tan head. The aroma is very, very malty. Lots of raisin, wood, some chocolate, just a faint hint of espresso, and Scotch whisky. The flavor: wow, where to start. It evolves as it moves across the palate. Initially it is quite sweet, like raisins and maple. It moves on toward the more intense grainy malts. Lots of barley, oak, pot ash, earth, and peat. Toward the finish the hops finally come out, though not as obnoxiously as in other Stone offerings. They are fairly mellow, but quite earthy and blend well with the rest of the flavors. There is really no indication at all of the high alcohol. The mouthfeel is really quite thick, but not sticky. This is some excellent stuff. Yum yum.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ATOmemphis (200) - Franklin, Tennessee, USA - JAN 18, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2006 Pours a rich thick dark chocolate color with a milk chocolate and coffee colored head. Smells of chocolate and coffee from the pour alone. Good lacing, a tan color on the glass in intricate patterns. Drinks a thick chocolatey taste, even a little refreshingly so. Malts are present and so is deliciousness. By far better than some other Stoneís, and that says a lot, because Stone seems to sit near the top of the pack. This brew is awesome, and because the store has more, Iím going back nearly immediately to pick up some.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
doubleipa (224) - Georgia, USA - JAN 18, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 26, 2007 Summer í05 Release. Finally got around to rating this one. Aroma was light bread, strong coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted. Moderate yeast and a bit of dough. This baby pours black with minimal head. Excellent lacing that fully diminishes. This is one full bodeid brew thatís oily/syrupy with only a little carbonation. This is my favorite RIS. As I have a bunch of these, Iíll be adding my reviews as they age.

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