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RATINGS: 3044   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 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Soutie (10) - Glendale, California, USA - OCT 13, 2004
Thatís not a beer. This is a beer! I poured this into a nice, tall glass and could hear the thickness of this classic brew. Black as night with a big,bubbly, chocolate brown head. Smelled fruity at first. A bit more bitter than a couple of others in the genre, but not unpleasantly so. I commend Stone for supplying a generous serving of this devilish concoction. Lovely, lovely, lovely!!!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
BrockLanders (780) - Panama City, Florida, USA - OCT 13, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2005 2004 bomber. The pour was deep black, with a slight ruby component through direct light. I forcibly coaxed a very small head, but it dissipated before I could blink. Nose is full of coffee, chocolate, malt, black licorice, slight smoke, cabernet, cinnamon, and definite alcohol. I could sit and sniff this for hours. Tastes of malt, big coffee, dark chocolate, black licorice, currants, hops, with a roasty, slightly creamy, alcoholic finish. I served it a bit too chilled to start, but as this son-of-a-gun warmed it really came into its own. This beer is complex, chewy, alcoholic, and very delicious. Now that Iíve got some of this Iím going to have a blind head to head with Speedway, Expedition, Czar, World Wide, De Dolle Export, Storm King, and the Yeti. My taste buds wonít be right for a month.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
brentfeesh (1208) - Mansfield, Ohio, USA - OCT 11, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 27, 2006 Great Color (black as you would expect) with deap browns and lite yellows at the corners. Complicated aroma with prunes dominating? Started drinking this when it was a bit too cold so let it warm up a bit and my patience was well rewarded. The chocolate people have mentioned seems very lite and secondary next to the raisin, bourbon, and fruit cake? Canít wait to see what this doea over the next year or two.

Vertical on Christmas day of 2004-2006. General comments: Overall I will change my score by one point on aroma, as I think this was low to begin with. However, I will stick with everything else. With regard to the tasting the 2005 was the winner across the board. It had the best balance of smoothness and flavor left to it. The 2004 was very gentle. Soft on the palet with very subdued flavors, but it was still better than the 2006. The 2006 had a much lighter color than either of the previous years and just did not have the flavor profile of either the 2004 or 2005. A fact I found to be most interesting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
heemer77 (5210) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - OCT 9, 2004
UPDATED: APR 8, 2006 Opk, revisiting this yet again. I have been able to try it at a few different ages. This bottle is about two years old. Black body with an orange and khaki head that faded quickly. The aroma had some rich chocolate and raisins along with some leather. The alcohol smell is gone. The taste is mellow with dark chocolate and some light coffee and cream. There is also some leather and a little bit of dried apple chips. Mellow with a very sticky mouthfeel. Good stuff, but do not drink when green. Old rating follows. Pours the expected black colored body with a darker brown color. The aroma is great with bourbon, vanilla and chocolate covered raisins. The taste is hard to take with lots of malt and alcohol burn. There are also notes of dark chocolate and some walnuts. The bitterness is somewhat anise. It reminds me of trying to eat salted peanut shells. I thought the body was a little thin for an impy stout. I could not get past the bitterness. I would like to try one these again after it has been aged for a couple years.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Cornboy (424) - Eastampton, New Jersey, USA - OCT 7, 2004
Big big stout. Big thick pour, little head but the aroma hits hard even at a cold temp pour. I let it warm a bit, concentrated burnt coffee hits the nostrils at first, but hints of chocolate and the alcohol come through. Did I say big? Yes, its a bit hot right now, but the layers of flavor just ooze out as this beauty warms. Is this brewed with Hersheys chocolate syrup? Thick, a bit sweet (for now), and alcohol kick in the finish. Overall a super brew that will just get better with cellaring.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Hopgeek (90) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 7, 2004
Thick opaque black and leaves a thick tan head in my glass. Aroma is very rich, sweet and licorice. The taste is loaded with roasted coffee, licorice, currant, smokey and is delicious. Palate is full bodied, very warming and smooth. This is exceptional.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Kevin (2159) - New Mexico, USA - OCT 4, 2004
bottle. Oh my dear god, this is a black thick brew. it is like a black hole, no light escapes. fat dark brown head that sticks around and laces menacingly.hot chocolate and a roasted aroma escape from my snifte, very inviting. taste is wonderful, at first it is sweet chocolate and bitter, then it slides to an alcohol bite that leaves a great dry roast chocolate flavor. hops are apparent throughout this. notes od caramel and roast coffee come out later in this one. this is the thickest Imp I have had the pleasure to experience. This is the embodiement of what i love in an Imp, and i loves me some Imps. this is so much better as it warms. there are complexities that emerge that are fantastic. peppery at one point, almost an orange flavor the next. so chewy, so good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ante (3374) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - OCT 4, 2004
Black. Small brown head. Rich aroma of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, lime, ash, alcohol and burnt sugar. Thick flavour of roasted coffee and grains. Hints of speces and alcohol. Bitter, toasty, ashy and a bit alcoholic finish. Very powerfull stuff with a lot of character but not as good as I expected.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - OCT 3, 2004
The first aroma out of the bottle is a one of chewable vitamins. Lowering the nose to the glass gets a very complex roast/coffee/grain smell. The color is pitch black with a brown head. The flavor is big and burnt with molasses and alcohol. Bitter. Heavy body. Nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Mangino (1027) - Mississippi, USA - SEP 29, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2004 Pours a jet black with medium dark brown head. Aroma is choclate, alcohol, and roast. Flavor is dominated by alcohol, coffee and choclate. Very thick and full. A little strong on the alcohol but tons of deep rich flavor. A great beer! Thanks to Indiana Red for this one and many others!

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