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RATINGS: 3089   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 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
MrManning (2009) - Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 5, 2005
Thanks so much Beerandblues2 for sending this in a secret santa package. Much obliged. Dark opaque black, frothy mocha head. Oily and viscous looking. Milk chocolate dominates the nose, and is then followed by anise, mochachinos, roasted malts, and american hops. Milk chocolate taste, cocoa beans, roasted cofee, and bitter as all get out! Great! Awesome length, sweet roasty hops bitterness finish, but unfortunately, has some chalky astringency. Pretty damn good, just wish it was less dry on the finish. Thanks again Brad! IOU!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
steve23mj (273) - Essexville, Michigan, USA - DEC 3, 2005
Pours black with no head. Nose is sweet and chocolatey. Mild alcohol presence in aroma. Flavor is sticky,vinous and chocolate. Improves as it lasts in the glass. Thick mouthfeel. Bittersweet finish. MMMM... good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
fatty (363) - Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 3, 2005
Pours dark black opaque with thin, ringing tan head. Coffee bean, cocoa, choclate aroma. Sweet chocolate, coffee and a hint of bourbon in the flavor. Slightly alcohol warming finish. Creamy body.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
roder60 (1289) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 3, 2005
Pours a thick jet black color with a miniscule amount of tan head that rises up from the depths of the beer 10 seconds after pouring, then dissapears quickly after. Aroma is expresso, warm burbony essence, molases, liquorice, and dark bitter chocolate. Absolutely potent as it wafts across the room! Flavor is strong black coffee, bitter dark chocolate, liquorice, and a wiskey undertone. Absolutely delicious. I sipped at this for 1.5 hours and loved every second of it. Great beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
MrWalker (926) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - DEC 2, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 5, 2005 Rated 2 Dec 2005. Bottle - vintage 2005. Thanks to ClarkVV for this trade!
Pours black as the night. Aroma not as big as I expected. There are some chocolate in there though. And plenty of it in taste, toghether with a roasted character and a bit of black coffee. This is a THICK brew, akin to cream. The fullbodiest beer Iíve ever had. Aftertaste is nice and full of dark expensive chocolate and somewhat salty. 7/4/7/5/15 3.8

Rated 3 Dec 2005. Bottle - Vintage 2004. Thanks to ClarkVV for this trade!
Aroma has developed a bit, and chocolate is now dominating. Still very fullbodied. In taste the liqourice has taken over and the chocolate has got to fight for it. Still as salty. Alcohol taste has diminshed. 8/4/7/5/16 4.0

Rated 4 Dec 2005. Bottle - Vintage 2003. Thanks to ClarkVV for this trade!
Aroma is now all chocolate and malt. Quite sweet aroma. Taste is more rounded and imediately warming from the alcohol, though the actual alcohol taste is more or less gone, until aftertaste hits you. Still a bit of salt present, but that, and the liqourice, is less than in the other vintages. Itís a beer that clearly wins with maturing. It gets more well balanced, but another two or three years would probably do no harm, quite the opposite. Thereís the odd tickle in the throat, like there is some chilli peppers in the brew. Now, who can send me a case of 2001?

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
oldrtybastrd (4914) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 1, 2005
This big flavored beer will jack you in the jaw. Pours a jet black. Aromas of espresso/chocolate and roasted malts. Taste jumps out with dark roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate malt with a nice bitter bite.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
restless7 (104) - Lenexa, Kansas, USA - NOV 30, 2005
100%? Well, I guess iím not such a stout lover as I thought before having this brew. It is the darkest stout I have tasted yet but has I think too strong of alcohol content, negatively affecting the taste. There is a slight tickle in my throat after swallowing which distracts from the flavor.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - NOV 28, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 25, 2009 On tap at Capital Ale House - Downtown on 05/19/2009. Very dark body with a medium frothy light brown head. Rich chocolate, roast, some caramel and rum-soaked fruit. Sweet chocolate, faint coffee, some rum-soaked fruit and a big bitter finish. Medium full body with moderate carbonation. 8/5/8/4/16 - 4.1 Nov 28, 2005, Updated: Apr 11, 2006: Dark black color with a creamy black head. Malty toffee aroma with hints of caramel and molassas with some very light fruit in the end. Light chocolate and toffee flavor some light hints of caramel. 8/5/9/4/18 - 4.4

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Numenor (871) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - NOV 28, 2005
UPDATED: APR 11, 2006 Re-rate 4-12-06 -- Courtesy of maniac during the "homebrew vertical", 2005 vintage. Amazing aroma, caramel, with a very nice malt compliment. Awesome taste, caramel, some light fruits... as Stone tastes... it gets better as it warms up. Nice coffee ending. An awesome beer after being aged for a year.

Bitter with some dark fruits. Malty chocolate taste. Light head with an almost black body. Unsweetened chocolate aftertaste. Far more enjoyable than Guiness. 7/5/9/5/15

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
GarrettB (1393) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 27, 2005
UPDATED: SEP 15, 2007 Oof, this was a knock in the mouth for sure. I had a room full of people looking into their glass of Stone Imperial Stout with aplomb, then discomfort, then outright terror. Even I, their experienced beer guide, had a hard time not making faces every time I took a swig. Everything I expected from Stone Brewery - a confident group of skilled brewers who make some muscled beers and arenít afraid to say it Ė was absolutely true and painfully verified. The burly demon on the front of their bottles should portend the imminent destruction of your oral cavity. Warning! Will make you cry for your Mommaís Mommaís Momma. When I poured the beer a friend of mine said it looked like Worchester sauce. Another one shook her mug and remarked on the saturnine quality of the beer. Itís rough stuff. The head is a beautiful dark brown straight from a sooty old London library. To describe the color of the beer itself would be an impossibility verging on blasphemy. Itís not a color; itís a lack of color, a deep, inky morass that veils the toothsome goodness inside. From that swampy darkness comes a gaseous concoction of dark chocolate, peanuts, straight coco, coffee with milk and even some butter. I looked like Intensive Care patient with an oxygen mask the way I was holding the mug to my nose. Breathe deep, breathe out, breathe deep, and relax. Eventually the aroma will draw you in to the tortuous taste, where one finds a prelude of coco, followed by a long astringent twang of coffee and salt. Also present is a salty quality (not sweet ní salty like other stouts Iíve had) and a good deal of licorice. The stout is fairly smooth, but thinner than others of its kind. If youíre longing for a brutal beer after a mellow repast, pick up a bottle of this heathenistic brew and expect to be get your teeth kicked in. Second review on 12/12/06: Head is like cooling magma, body is still a the color of deep space. Smell has chocolate with a bit of ďfunkinessĒ, lots of malts and barbeque sauce. Taste is apple, orange laden with thick malts and hops and very oily like petroleum politics. Enough carbonation to inflate a life raft. Too much alcohol, too little other stuff.

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