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RATINGS: 3024   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.18   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 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
pineypower (2790) - Ocean County, New Jersey, USA - SEP 28, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 4, 2004 O man. I went into this one with high anticipations, and it didnít let me down. Pours out thick and black, almost the consistancy of watered-down syrup. The head is dark tan and there one minute, gone the next. It has a nice deep roasty taste with notes of coffee and tad bit of coffee with a finish of alcohol. What a brew!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
SDalkoholic (2260) - Linda Vista, California, USA - SEP 28, 2004
Filthy pitch black color with nose smelling like raspberry. Head will disperse almost instantly before gettignt to admire the red/tan head. Incredibly delicious tasting stout that gives off a rum flavor of roasted malts and coffee bean.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
redave (165) - squaw valley, California, USA - SEP 26, 2004
UPDATED: MAY 1, 2006 Wow, talk about motor oil! It hardly had any head at all, at 1st i thought i had a leaky cap, and it lost itís fizz. Nope, just a thick rich brew! Very Nice! THIS BEER NEEDS TO BE RE-CATAGORIZED......! WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO AJUST PER ANUAL RELEASE!! 2006 VERSION: OK again BLACK! Truly [again as pretty much expected] One of the darkest head Iíve remember seeing. Doesnít last long, and no lace, but that seems pretty typical (?) This is so good! This seems perfectly balanced right now... Iím glad i bought several, but donít know if i will be able to keep any in the "cellar". I "upped" this a bit from the previous review, but ...right now iíd go buy a case of this right now! [if it wasnít a 50 mile drive] GREAT BEER as stone does now and again!!!!!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Pailhead (5800) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - SEP 25, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 5, 2005 Bottle: Aroma is roasty with coffee, chocolate, licorice, and alcohol. Pours virtually black with a tan head about an inch thick and pretty good retention. Nice lacing. Rather sweet and matly with chocolate flavors. Obvious coffee is balanced well with the malts . Has a nutty taste to it as well. Alcohol is noticeable, but for the most part blends together rather nice with the other flavors. Slightly hoppy moderately sweet in the finish and you get a tinge of alcohol burn. Aftertaste is a little sweet and a little coffee and licorice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
cathcacr (644) - Oregon, USA - SEP 25, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 8, 2005 Little upgrade on Overall here on second try, in comparison against Bells Expedition. Just delightful; not as thick a feel and some more sweetness on this. Stone rocks. Rock on, Stone.

Like high-ocate Sam Smithís Imperial. I was pleasantly surprised by the soft finish despite lotsa alcohol. Some coffee on the aroma, though not strong or overpowering. Flavor seemed to get better as it reached room temp. (Harder to rate objectively the drunker one gets.) Strangely, no head on this one. Before tabulating the official score, Iíd put this around 4.3 out of 5.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Maddog (474) - Kettering, Ohio, USA - SEP 25, 2004
One bad ass brew. Dark, oily, heavy, but has roasty, complex flavors. Pours jet black with a dark tan head. I had the 2004 edition for the first time, and I was seriously impressed by its alcohol power and explosive flavor. A true gem. Give this to a puny bud lite drinker and he will be asking for his mommy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
IMtheOptimator (1164) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - SEP 20, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 21, 2004 Poured jet black with a small dark brown head. Aroma was not as strong as I would have expected, and smelled of some coffee notes and a slight alcoholic character. Initial taste was slightly sweet with some roastedness. A definitive malt character was present throughout the mouthful. It ended with a moderate bitterness. Overall, despite the hype, I was not extremely impressed by this brew. However, I donít think my experience with it was situationally ideal, for 1) I served it too cold (although it did warm up and I did notice that it got more pleasant as it warmed), and 2) I ended having to drink the whole bottle by myself, and I felt rather ill towards the end. If I get my hands on another bottle, I will rerate it under better conditions at a future time.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
zach8270 (3904) - Henrietta, New York, USA - SEP 20, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2008 [22 oz. bomber - 2004 vintage] Pours like motor oil with a slick and creamy looking tan head. Full roasted and sweet aroma of dark cherries, chocolate malts and coffee. Very complex flavor. Begins roasty and burnt with a very dark sweet flavor following it and a nice smooth and fruity finish. Very thick and sticky mouthfeel with a lingering sweet flavor that stays in your mouth for a long time. What a great brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
estoppel (1028) - Buffalo, New York, USA - SEP 20, 2004
UPDATED: MAY 28, 2008 Early summer 2004 release, sampled 9/20/04: Really dark body, small tan head receding quickly, dark fruits and coffee in the nose. Roasty, burnt, coffee, licorice, some fruitiness, medium finishing bitterness. Nicely balanced, nicely done. RERATE: The second (warmer) bottle poured with a huge head, so Iím upgrading the appearance from 4 to 5. Original scores 9 5 9 5 18: 4.6. RERATE Spring 2007 release: This has an overwhelming charred flavor that is not pleasant at all. 6 4 5 3 11 RERATE Spring 2008 release, 5/08: Still has some charred tendencies, but much better than 2007. Heavy on the alcohol, still nowhere what the 2004 was.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
GeniusGirl (221) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 17, 2004
2003 bottle. black like motor oil, small mocha head. aroma canít hide the alcohol, like someone spiked your latte... thick flavors smmokey, mocha--thick--slick-- it settles nice and strong. *whew* an experience to say the least. I was so engrossed with this I forgot about the food in the oven and almost burned my apartment down

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