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RATINGS: 3092   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 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jimhilt (2548) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - FEB 6, 2005
Pours a one-finger brown head that quickly fades leaving traces of lace. Black opaque color. Nice, beefy full bodied. Sweet roasty coffee/chocolate nose. Starts sweet, finishes with some alcohol overtones and there is a slight burnt chocolate aftertaste. $6 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - FEB 4, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 6, 2005 I was nearly done with my lenghty, poetic review and poof!, my review was gone. Lets do it again.....Thanks Clark VV. 22oz bomber. 2003 release @ 9.47%. NB worthy glass. Served at 51°. Color was really, really black with a "haze" instead of a "head." Aroma is dark roasted malts, citrus rinds, vanilla, and hints of dark berries and espresso. Taste is dark roasted malt, citrus rinds, dark berries, and hints of spice initially. When the beers heads to the back of the mouth, a bitterness is revealed along with a burst of citrus rind and dark berry flavors , the sweetness that was apparent in the first part of the sip gets mopped up quickly by the hops bitterness, but in the end the hops, nor the malt dominate, just the nice flavors. The finish is bitter, but also flavorful and sweet? initially, then moves into an equilibrium and just a lingering nice taste. The mouthfeel is very good, it seems to coat the mouth, but it is closer to a 4/5 than a 5/5, but really closer yet to a 4.5/5. The beer is now at 54.5° and I now get hints of the alcohol. A slight warming sensation points to the near 10% ABV. This is a very, very good beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
jtw (1153) - farmington, Michigan, USA - FEB 2, 2005
2004 bottle, pours a thick black with a tan head. good-lookin’ brew. smells like toast, roast, alcohol, butter, licorice, and a hint of coffee. full-bodied but not quite chewy; tastes much like it smells, which is still very very good--light finish of fresh toast. awesome beer, the best i’ve had from stone. thanks secret santa!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
gsteph (323) - knoxville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 1, 2005
Pours like used 10W40 and looks like it too. Decent sized cocoa head, not good retention but did leave some lace. Nice aromatic roasty coffee, chocolate and dark fruit medley with a touch of alcohol. Flavor is smooth, to say the least, and very sexy, smoky wood, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and licorice with a warming fruity, alcohol finish. Not too bitter on the finish like some stouts but satisfying. The body is bold and velvety but a little thin...but overall nothing that detracts from this damn fine concoction.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bb (8314) - Alamo, California, USA - JAN 30, 2005
Bottle. Dark blackish beer with a nice rich cocoa head. Roasty malt aroma with some chocolate. Full roasty, chocolate, coffee, and some licorice flavors. Rich, velvety mouthfeel. Lingering roastiness in the aftertaste. Very well put together, but for expected a little more oomph to it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
kumite56 (473) - Cordova, Tennessee, USA - JAN 30, 2005
Now this is a good stout. It pours a beautiful black beer with a brown thin but mostly lasting head. The aroma overwhelms you with roaty malts, and dried fruit. Flavor is strong, malty, roasty, coffee and alcohol. My one ding on this bee is that it tended to be cloyingly sweet to me and I downgraded it as a result. Good palate and servicable. If you keep this in the fridge, make sure you let it warm to get the complexity and the mellowness of the brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
HopsformyHips (113) - Memphis, Tennessee, USA - JAN 30, 2005
This is a pretty sexy beer....The pour is a dark oil thickness that just coats the glass and evolves a small brown head with some very nice lacing. It is just a good looking beer...that is very inticing. THe aroma intensifies and increases in complexity as it warms. I smell and tasted an exotic terryaki flavor. It had darker fruits, roasted coffee, a slight spice, and maltiness to its flavor. There was a pleasant alcoholic warming effect as it is swallowed. It had a sticky sweetness that had to be handled at a slow sipping pace. The palate was like a heavy velvet blanket. This beer is just so good looking...if pre-teens lusted after beers, this one would be in "Teen-beat" magazine and up on posters in my bedroom.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Fulkrum78 (175) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 29, 2005
Awesome beer. Beautiful color, great balance. Can taste the alcohol on the finish. Can’t wait to get another bottle!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Jonathan3584 (323) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JAN 29, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 27, 2005 Re-rating: 4.8 2004 late summer bomber. Poured as a third contender in the imperial stout off yesterday. This guy was up against Speedway and Dark Lord and held its own amazingly well for such a reasonably priced beer. Pour is opaque black with a dark tan head. The first rating was right -- this looks like old motor oil. Aroma is wonderfully complex with a great roastiness and a more apparent hops profile than either Speedway or DL. Flavor is intiall nice and sweet. Deliciously chocolaty and thick. Dried fruits start coming out once the roastiness subsides. The hops are more notable in the finish than throughout, and balance this sweet nectar very well. I guess it’s kind of unfair that we gave this beer an extra year of aging that Speedway and DL didn’t get, but it is absolutely on par. Mouthfeel is somewhere between Speedway and DL, in the range of whole milk or half and half. The carbonation is very light. My only reason for docking it is that it doesn’t have quite the complexity of flavor that DL does. For 1/2 to 1/3 the price of the other two beers, this one is where it should be. Awesome beer. First rating (very early in my beer career): 4.3 2004 late summer bomber. Very sweet, understated smell. Pours black as can be -- looks like an overdue oil change. Very little, thin, tan head. Thinner mouthfeel than I expected. Not very carbonated. Tastes very roasty, notes of coffee, very bitter chocolate, hops. Amazing beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Cashazza (217) - Morganville, Maryland, USA - JAN 27, 2005
Gorgeous -- thick and black with a creamy, cocoa-tinted head. Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, dark fruits are among what make up this flavorful brew...alcohol taste present...Stone’s showing more diversity here with this one!

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