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RATINGS: 3001   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 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
BitterPoet (57) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 12, 2004
2004 Bomber tasted in a snifter. Iím writing this with a solemn tone. I have to. Appearance is well pulled espresso with a hint of brown to denote body. Espresso-like crema for a head, with lacing of same. The nose is muted power and the poverty-stricken pitch black of Siberian winter nights, along with prunes, molasses and whispers of whisky. The taste is the perfect balance of sweetness, strength, bite and warmth. THIS is what I thought this style could aspire to. My Lord, what a philtre.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
DocLock (8526) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 7, 2004
2004 bomber, which was very hard to get my hands on. The pour was deep black, with a slight ruby component through direct light. Nice big brown head and lacing...perhaps the brownest head Iíve seen. Definite 4-5 for appearance. HUGE aroma of coffee, chocolate, black currants, malt, black licorice, slight smoke, cabernet, cinnamon, and definite alcohol. Super complex aroma. Definite 10. Anyone giving this less than 9 for aroma needs to have olfactory surgery. Tastes of malt, big coffee, dark chocolate, black licorice, currants, hops, with a roasty, slightly creamy, alcoholic finish (There is definite alcohol in the finish. I suspect that Stone wanted it that way...sort of saying, "Weíre not going to completely hide the alcohol. If you donít like some alcohol taste, then take it up with the gargoyle, punks, and proudly drink some pale yellow beer that might give you more sex appeal with sluts, or drink beer with stupid labels that might as well say, "I have a very small penis and an even smaller brain""). This beer is complex, dense, firm, alcoholic, and delicious. I suspect that some raters are low-balling this one to try to be controversial and make themselves stand out. Anyone giving this less than at least 4.0 has just lost all credibility with me.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
davidflores99 (225) - Long Beach, California, USA - JUL 7, 2004
UPDATED: AUG 23, 2004 The more I drank this, the more I love it! I had to re-rate this brew, definitley Great!!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
turbo (1271) - Arizona, USA - JUL 7, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 27, 2004 AWSOME!! nothing else can be said. rich sweet roastystrong aroma. dark head thick body,,,this is great!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
EventHorizon (7) - Detroit, Michigan, USA - JUL 7, 2004 does not count
.. umm... WOW!!! Definitely should have posted this earlier, but not really necessary. This beer is solid. Period. Enjoy it while we can.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
cstuartj (1019) - Washington, USA - JUL 6, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2009 What can I say that hasnít been said. This is one of my top 3 personal beers. I stock up every year when it comes out but I never seemt to get enough for me let alone all my buddies that want it when it runs out at the stores. Damn this brew is Great!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
dhblane (6) - USA - JUL 4, 2004 does not count
This is one big mother of a beer!! Just like it says, poured like Siberian Crude in the middle of a Russian Winter!! This beer created a Black hole in my Stone IRS glass, with a creamy 2.5 finger head that dissipated at a moderate rate. Smell is dark chocolate, black currants, anise and moderate alcohol. Taste is built around a big malty backbone, with prunes, raisins, espresso and finally a warming alcohol bite, then finishes mildly acidic. This taste lingers oh so pleasingly on the palate. This is a true "Sippin" beer that is to be enjoyed much like a fine after dinner Cognac. It took me well over an hour and a half to finish one of these 22oz Bombers! The 10.8% is somewhat hidden, but will rise up and let you feel itís presence well before you finish one of these. I am cellaring a case for this winter and maybe more!!! I cannot imagine a better IRS than what Stone has turned out this season, and at $3.99 a bottle, it is a complete steal. I am, not worthy!!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ross (2125) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - JUL 2, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 31, 2009 so i decided to bring out the big guns tonight... this brew is awesome. pours so dark and like a typical imperial stout looks. there is one problem. i will not give any beer a 5 because i believe there is no perfect beer and that it can always get better. so greg, make this better! er...yeah i dont think its possible. this is GREAT. im so glad i was able to score some of this. i actually have a bottle of 03 that i am going to let sit for another year or so before i drink it- this one is an 04. coffee, alcohol, and cherries- like it says, in the aroma. perfect score there. dark and very thick. coffee alcohol chocolaty flavor. this is a great beer, and with 5 more, i cant wait to see how this beer progresses over time. this deserves its top spot on this site, without question.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
Probiere (992) - Iowa, USA - JUL 2, 2004
Roasty, lovely, fruity, raisiny dark, sweet chocolate, lovely smell. Taste: bit too much hops, too oily, tad astringent. Malt is there but not sweet enough. The more I drink the more it tastes like soy sauce and anise, quite unappealing. They say to let this age. I will eventually have to rerate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JFGrind (1909) - Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 1, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 7, 2004 Accurate commercial description, "pour like used motor oil and taste even heavier!" This Imperial Stout was dark as night with little foam and had a heavy alcohol aftertaste. Roasted flavor mixed with bitterness and fruit undertones. My sample was served at 50-55 degrees bringing out optimum flavor of this Imperial Stout. NOTE: Original sample scored 3.1, second time around had much better aroma and appearance. Same keg, different glass, different days, same nose and eyes.

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