Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 3091   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.18/5   SEASONAL: Spring   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
"There’s no question that Stone Imperial Stout is revered among enthusiasts," states Stone CEO Greg Koch. "I know, because I’m one of ’em 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!" That’s 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beaver (1620) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 18, 2005
22 oz bottle of the Summer 2005 version. Pours a completely opaque midnight black. It has a small and fizzy head that is the darkest brown head I’ve seen. The head quickly goes down to a thin ring.

The aroma is sugary lactic cocoa with some anise, coffee and a little fruitiness.

The flavor is sweet chocolate and fruits that quickly morphs into a strong burnt, somewhat acidic, licorice bitterness with a noticeable alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is very full-bodied and viscous with light carbonation.

Overall, a solid brew. A little strong on the sweetness and the alcohol in my opinion.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
PullMeABeer (203) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - AUG 17, 2005
Limited Early Summer 2005 Release. Bottle. Truly pours like oil out of the bottle, paper thin dark brown head that immediately fell to nothing. Utterly black body, with some lacing (alcohol coating the glass). Aroma is huge, alcohol bite to the nose, rich peppery spices, dark burnt molasses, also the intoxicating aroma of freshly baking sweet breakfast rolls backed by strong freshly brewing coffee. Initially sweet and coating on the tongue, bitter sweet chocolate, dark rye bread, cookie dough addictiveness, and the alcohol in nicely blended into the flavor of this beer. Heavy mouth feel, lacking almost any carbonation. Gives you a nice wallop.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ebin603 (5) - Upland, California, USA - AUG 16, 2005 does not count
UPDATED: AUG 19, 2005 Very creamy, strong coffee and molasses flavors. The alchohol content was a bit high. Which left a lingering aftertaste

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - AUG 16, 2005
I usually like Stone’s offerings and this one’s no exception. Pours black with a tanish head. Notes of currants, allspice and cookie dough initially dominate followed by some mellowing coffee and licorice notes. Peppery finish. Rich and complex mouthfeel. The alcohol’s pretty well disguised on this one so it has a tendancy to creep up on you without warning.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
jefcon (1612) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - AUG 8, 2005
Summer 2005 release. Pours like black syrup with no head, no lacing. But the color is tough to get over -- this baby lets no light through. Aromas are heavy on coffee and burnt chickory, some fudge and interestic aromatic spices which are nearly herbal. Hits the palate like a ton of bricks and is well-proportioned and balanced. Nice hops up front, but then a blast of coffee and smoke. The brew finishes with a chocolaty run-up to a slightly bitter woodsy, natural alcohol, and it lasts and lasts. A well-made beer and a great capstone to any imperial stout session.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
walter (359) - Staunton, Virginia, USA - AUG 7, 2005
22oz. Bottle, summer ’05 release. Poured (snifter) impressive thick black with a very dark brown head. Not as oily an appearance as I had expected-- thins around the edges to a medium brown. Lots of various and heavy roasted aromas-- chocolate dominates, along with coffee, dark fruits, licorice, and a fair amount of alcohol. Heavy body. When cold, the chocolate sweetness is a little overpowering, but as it warms the other roasted malts and flavors come out. Almost chewy mouthfeel with a long aftertaste of bitter chocolate. Surprisingly balanced and smooth for Stone. An impressive hulk of a beer!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
TheBeerOrg (2145) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - AUG 5, 2005
Deep black with thin brown head. Aroma of dark chocolate and french roast coffee. Very complex and the gravity of this beer cannot be hidden, except perhaps with age. Tastes quite spicy with a burnt taste. Mouthfeel is very heavy, oily, and very aggressive. Finish is quite long, moderately acidic, moderately bitter, and slightly sweet.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
xenthem0nk (101) - Oregon, USA - AUG 1, 2005
Holy God. This is a Stout and a half. Incredible size in every element in this Imperial. Indeed it warms the bones. I believe this is Stone’s finest craft by far. Typical super heavy coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolates in it, but wow are they brewed to perfection. Mouthfeel was syrup, but not too oily which is good. This stout is like a full meal in a bottle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MI2CA (1340) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - JUL 31, 2005
22oz - 2005 - Aroma is thick like every other quality in this brew, coffee, licorice, chocolate, and alcohol. Pours solid black with a very small brown head and no lacing. Flavor is heavy with coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malt. Palate weighs a ton and sticks like glue. Very nice indeed. I’m excited to taste it aged.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
allfreej (555) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - JUL 30, 2005
Pours very dark brown, almost black, with a wonderful medium-brown head.The nose is, as advertised, intense, with some fruit notes and a hint of anise. The mouth-feel is just what one should expect from an Imperial, oily and a little sticky. The flavor is outstanding, with chocolate, and currants up front, and a nice, hop-bitter finish to the brew. Truly an Imperial Stout to return to!

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