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RATINGS: 2934   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.18   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Frank (3102) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 15, 2003
UPDATED: MAY 16, 2003 Damn this is a huge beer. Pours a deep oily black with a velvety brown film of a head. Nose of dark chocolate, coffee, and alcohol. Full, round mouthfeel. Notes of raisins, liquorish, molasses. Extremely rich. Goes along great until the intensely bitter finish. The anise notes along with the hops are just too much. It sort of tastes like someone poured Jagermeister in it. I was wincing by the end of my glass. A quasi-masochistic pleasure I must admit but not one I'm going to partake in often.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Silphium (3179) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 14, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 30, 2003 (new 2003 release) Poured jet black (always a good sign) with a quickly dissipating tan head. Aroma dominated by roasted and chocolate notes. Nice, thick, viscous mouthfeel. Flavor is dominated by roasted chocolate, with a sweet malty backbone. Well-done. I place this a couple notches above Victory Storm King (which has a hoppier essence with a thinner body) but below the ridiculous Bells Expedition. I have to give Stone credit though: their malty, viscous beast is at least carbonated (Note to Bells...)! My experience with Stone suggests that this brewer deserves all the hype it receives. The IPA and Ruination IPA are waiting...for another day, alas. Does this deserve a poem?

Stone Imperial, thick succulent jelly
Warms my throat, mouth and young belly
Reaches my brain and causes a smile
Nice to drink an Imperial, it's been awhile.

Your chocolate notes and malt sweetness entice me it's true
Emptying the bottle, I'm afraid, will leave me quite blue.
Warming, smooth, succulent beast
My wallet thanks you, bank account not upset in the least.

Lucky me, when you're gone, another bottle's in store
A wise decision I must say, and a satisfying score.
There's still half of you left in my glass I do see
Before you're gone I bet I'll go pee!

For Stone Imperial Stout is a delectable brew
My mind has been made, my desire anew
To seek out the stout and drink of its glory
Dark, malty it's true, always good for a story.

My poem draws to a close, my pen runs dry
A warm welcome to you, stout, a tear in my eye.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
GermanBrews76 (679) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - MAY 13, 2003
Black like a moonless midnight, thick like motor oil. REAL chocolatey, a hint of smoke and licorice, coffee and plenty of alcohol. Also a nice yeast presence (that stone yeast is real nice). Creamy and full, loaded with chocolate. finishes dry and smokey, very warm. This beer has got phenomenal balance, of flavor, in texture and aroma. I'd venture to say that this was above even 55 degrees when I had it, and loved it!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Rockinout (966) - Kent, Ohio, USA - MAY 9, 2003
2002 bottle. Seems like the year aging mellowed this bottle, although I did not try it initially. The ingredients were blended and balanced beautifully, very smooth and creamy. Poured blackish-red with a dark tan head around the edges. Roasty smokey, anise nose. wow!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - APR 12, 2003
This was a well worth it trade.I get one more to rate and another fine brew from the people at Stones brewing.Nice black color some what of a tall head.Aroma was very nice,malty,chocolate,with some fruity hints in it.Flavor was fantastic bigtime roasted malt flavor with hints of dark chocolate hints of fruit,very faint presence of alcohol all the things a growing boy needs LOL.You can't beat this beer it has a little of everything and seems to lack nothing.Just another fine brew from these guys.Just shows that patience,and imagination always make a better beer.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
hoped (18) - Arizona, USA - APR 10, 2003
Limited Late Spring 2002 Release. Pours very thick into the pint glass. I could hardly hear a splash. The color is black with a huge brown/beige head that slowly reduces to a half inch and holds there leaving a nice dark lace all the way down. There is a fine carbonation. I caught myself repeatedly tilting the glass and quicly tilting it back upright to watch the fine bubbles try and catch up to the head. The smell is pleasant and complex. I notice hints of currant, raisin, black cherry, caramel, dark chocolate and coffee to name a few. There is a fine balance of malty sweetness and hop bitterness along with the complex flavor. The taste seems familiar but difficult for me to describe and yes, exceptional. I wonder if all of the ingredients I used to describe the odor were put in a blender and mixed thoroughly, if this would be the resulting flavor. I guess I'd also have to mention the nougat like odors as well, but I'll never know because I will save some time and go buy another bottle or two. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and creamy thick with a nice tingle from the carbonation. The 22 oz. bottle left me definately looking forward to my next opportunity to grab another. Bogartski may be an understatement commissar.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
beerguy101 (5319) - Newark, California, USA - MAR 28, 2003
2002 version. Eclipse black color. Head is medium. Aroma is roasted malts, fruit esters and dark chocolate. A big bold full bodied Imperial Stout. Deeply roasted malts, fruity (touches of cherries, plums, apricots and raisins), vanilla, chocolate and coffee. It has a nice hop bite. Its very smooth for all the flavor stuff going on here. Soft and creamy texture. Mild and soft carbonation. Excellent sipping beer. Hides the 9.6% alcohol very well. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
madsberg (10480) - SÝborg, DENMARK - MAR 22, 2003
UPDATED: APR 15, 2003 Bottled: Has a deep black colour. Huge head that last long. Aroma is very complex. Chocolate, roastyness, spices, cocoa etc. all in the aroma. Flavour is grand. Oh boy, this is nealy heaven. The balance of this beer is impressive. Alcahol is well hidden in the cocoa, fruit, roasty liqourice flavour. I bend down on my knees and pray that Stone breweries will last forever. Thanks again to Herbjones for sending this mighty brew to Denmark.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
HighGravity (926) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 19, 2003
(2002 Release) This beer is very dark, perhaps opaque. I poured at a normal pace and the end result was a wonderful thick tan head and lasting lace. The nose is very fruity with a touch of dark chocolate. The palate is thick and warming. I am surprised how fruity this beer is, I was expecting a hop bomb. Fruity is not an underestimation either; there are wonderful flavors of raspberry and black currant. What balances out all the lovely fruitiness is a foundation of rich malt that is very rich in chocolate flavors. As for the finish, it is mellow and reminds me off a good cafť latte. Heading into this beer, I expected something that would be hopped to the max. It is great to know that Stone can make a well-balanced beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Shag (2647) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - MAR 14, 2003
UPDATED: AUG 28, 2005 2002 edition :This is one big beer. The only Imperial Stout Iíve had but this is amazing. Pours like motor oil and it has a good warming feeling to it. Despite the 10% ABV it doesnt dominate. If you like stouts dont pass this one up. It has no flaws!........2003 edition : Didnít get it due to our bitch ass distributor!.......2004 edition : This just came in to town today. When I had the previous í02 version this beer came as quite a shock, I had never tried an Imperial Stout before. But now Iím ready. So here it goes. Pitch black with a suprisingly small head. Flavor is quite sweet with some licorice, loads of coffee beans, some dark chocolate, smoke and tobacco. The alcohol lets you know its hanging around. Like "Hi, this beer is 10.8% and dont you freaking forget it!" Thereís not a load of hops in this beer, which one may expect from Stone. If this were just a tad less sweet it would probably be perfect. 2004 edition a year later : My how this beer has changed. The rough around the edges alcohol burn of a new bottle is now gone. The sweetness and syrupy feel is toned down. The balance is great on this one after a year of aging! Try one Komrad, as the bottle states. 2005 edition : Minus the Russian thanks you PC pieces of crap. Well anyway the appearance is still pitch black. This one has less alcohol showing through than previous young vintages. The flavor is less sticky sweet than the young 2004 with a heavy dose of milk chocolate and raisins coming through. It seems to be more balanced. Unlike previous vintages this one is smooth and velvty in its young form and should only improve with age. Great stuff after all these beers!

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