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RATINGS: 2870   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.19   SEASONAL: Spring   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
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"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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Uglyradio (791) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - DEC 6, 2002
UPDATED: SEP 9, 2003 Spring 2002 Release in a 22oz bottle: Pours a jet black color with a small, tan head that does not linger. Funky, very nutty, somewhat sour aroma with a strange fruitiness I am not familiar with. Full bodied and very thick, with hints of coffee, roasted malts, alcohol, and a slight sourness in the flavor. However, the sourness recedes as your tastebuds adjust. A good Imperial stout, but not my favorite offering from Stone. 2003 22 oz Bottle: Jet black color with a small, brown head. Light malty aroma with some hop and alcohol notes. Full body with a very rich and creamy mouthfeel. The flavor lacks the sourness of last years. Wonderfully balanced between hop, malt, chocolate, anise, and licorice flavors. The finish is long and full of chocolate malts. Yummy. Much better than the bottle of last year's I had.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
TAR (2474) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - DEC 5, 2002
UPDATED: APR 8, 2008 Notes of dark cherry, yeast, and milk chocolate. Wonderfully balanced, with a roasted edge of harshness, but not enough to counter the massive chocolate character. Lush and velvety on the palate. Flavors are full of toffee, almonds, and milk chocolate. Finishes moistly full with a relentless onslaught of milk chocolate and slight roast astringency. Just awesome.

Post-2007 bottlings are a drastic change from previous batches. Take the sharp alcohol, for instance, or the thinned out body which is now extremely sugary and littered with flabby fruitiness, dull malts, and no malt softness or fullness whatsoever. Yet another dime-a-dozen Imperial Stout utterly lacking in the finesse department. Used to be pretty solid, but more than a few ounces of this in one sitting are more than enough.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 1, 2002
UPDATED: MAY 1, 2010 2002 bottle: chocolate, cream, rumballs, black plums and smoke in the nose..black color..thin darkish tan head..not too thick of a palate but still quite silky feeling..the beer Iím rating right now is slightly oxidized but Iíve had this beer plenty of times to know that this isnt always the case..earlier in the year the hoppiness was a little strong and clashing but as of now, a little less than a year after bottling, things have balanced out..lacking in fruitiness though..i want some plum or raisin and Iím just not getting any..just mostly chewy chocolate, smoke, and slight anise..some bitterness in the end too..Re-Rate 2003 Bottle: this years is much more balanced and refined...i guarantee they chilled on the hop bill this year, which was a good idea in my opinion..i get smokey flavors around lots of chocolate and dark plum & raisin.. update: this beer simply does not impress me now that I know what an imperial stout should taste like, plus with just a year on it it loses everything and tastes like roasted malt accented water.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
mixamatt (427) - San Francisco, California, USA - NOV 30, 2002
Hoppy candied fruit aroma.Hoppy chocolate cherry flavor that gets softer as it warms up.Strange salty sour finish.Hides the alcohol well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jake Barnes (456) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 29, 2002
I feel almost let-down. Stone on the label is usually a bond, and although this certainly wasnít bad, it wasnít the usual high quality i expect. The aroma was pleasant exuding chocolate and roastiness. The body resembled a dark morass crowned by a rich brown head. The flavor began pleasant with the chocolate and roastiness but then this sour/vinegar flavor cuts in and ruins the flavor development. I canít imagine (judging from reviews and my past experiences with Stone) that this was intentional or the result of carelessness. Still, I feel like something happened with this batch that wasnít supposed to.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - NOV 18, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2004 Black as George Bush's heart with a good old fashioned flare of communism. This beer is impossible to see light through, smells like sweet/sour molasses and tastes like...like...man, there is so much here: sweet maple, bitter chocolate, a hint of coffee. Wow, I'm really taken aback by the richness of this beer, but it is really fantastic. Lacks a bit in head and lace but more than makes up for it in taste and palate. This sticks to my palate like flies on kaka. Man, it may even be worth the $4.50 I payed for the bottle.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Pjones6738 (500) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 17, 2002
Wow. No idea how to describe this beer. Just let me echo everyone else and say its good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
DankbrewedDank (162) - East Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - NOV 15, 2002
This was a nice thick imperial. Had coffee notes as wel as some roasted flavors. it was dank

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
TheTsunami (162) - Arizona, USA - NOV 13, 2002
After reading all the reviews on this beer, I was sadly disappointed when I finally had it. I found it to be rather "thin" feeling in the mouth for a stout. The alcohol was masked fairly well. The flavor was nothing spectacular. I wonít go out of my way to get this again.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DrBeer (829) - Solna Stockholm, SWEDEN - NOV 13, 2002
Viscous beer with extreme firm very dark beige head. Merengue, coffee, smoke, and pineapple in the aroma. Bitter flavor with coffee some smoked tones. sourish with powerful bitter finish.

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