spydog (75) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - JAN 3, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Another over the top brew from Stone. An Imperial anything should be over-the-top. 2nd only to Samuel Smith’s.
Aubrey (3453) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JAN 2, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 28, 2004 I'm really beginning to feel this beer with every sip. Motor-oil darkness with a little blood redness around the edges. Head is firm and lasting, yet subdued. Big, yeast-cake nose teases the olfactory senses. Mouthfeel is soft and gentle, with a light milkshake-like presence. My gums cringed with acidity though. Some roast; some coffee; some dark fruit; some of a lot of other things too. Oily flavors linger and dance and prance in the mouth, long after the music has stopped. Sweet and sour flavors swirl. Lasting and enjoyable. Re-rate, 2004: Smooth and rewarding palate. Very rich and chocolaty with dark-roasted malt flavors throughout. Acidity is not like it was last year -- much better. Warm alcohol. Quite a large hop presence, leaving behind a decent amount of bitterness. Really good stuff.
JoeM500 (1906) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - DEC 30, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark and beautiful, superb nose that offers dozens of aromas including chocolate, cocoa, molasses, raisons, soy, milk, spices, etc. The alcohol isn’t too well masked, but it is easily sipped as a dessert. Lots going on here.
jaymobrown (1697) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 29, 2002
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 16, 2003 Re-rate: Summer 2003 version. Much heavier and robust than original drinking. Magic had some how transformed solid into liquid and poured it into my glass. Milk chocolate texture and flavors. Dark roasted espresso beans fused with mild bitter hops. A must have. Original: Pumpkin spice nose. Nice balance of malt and hops, which is very noticable. An excellent craft beer that demonstrates an equitable drinking experience. A penultimate of triumph of bright malted flavors.
MartinT (8135) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 28, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 11, 2012 The gaping gaze of a fierce dark chocolate bull mastiff paralyzed my tastebuds...With clenched oak teeth, colossal oily limbs and long blackberry molasses drool runs, it approached me with quizzical rage in its eyes and lunged forward to assail me...Grapes tumbled and roasted coffee beans rumbled until logic gambled and a hopstruck moan escaped my sweating visage...The beast had finally recognized its friend and proceeded to moisten my startled cheeks and forehead with humid anise and even more chocolate...A beautiful moment laced with sighs of relief...
DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - DEC 25, 2002
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2003 An absolutely impressive and unmistakable Stout by Stone Breweries. Even before the first sip the brown/black hue lets you know you have quite a kick awaiting you! The color shows signs of amber towards the end, but through and through, it is a magnificent looking piece of work. The smells of coffee and alcohol are extremely appealing and the taste does dances around the tongue. It absolutely grabs your tongue and takes it along for the ride. It has a very strong, defined taste that is not for the beer unsophisticates. An impressive Stout worthy of a very high rating. Update: Upon my second taste of a mildly aged bottle, this is the king of beers thus far. This is the type of booty wars were fought over! Outstanding....in a word
RERATE 12/25/02: Aroma of coffee, espresso, mocha, vanilla, and roast. Head of a mild orangey brown color, and a viscous liquid black as death even when held directly in front of a light source. A taste of berries, chocolate, caramel, cracker jacks, espresso, mocha, coffee, and alcohol which only gets stronger and fuller with each taste. After facing this against my other favorites, there is no comparison....the imperial russian stout is by far tops in my book, nothing even comes close.
jpknight22 (171) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - DEC 17, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Limited late spring 2002 release: Chocolatey head with a syrupy texture, faint aroma revealing some of the alcohol content. The alcohol is quite noticeable althought is far from overbearing. This big bottle and a few others nearly KOed me with a left hook - awesome stuff. Thanks to hopsrus for the trade!!!!!!!
Racegoer (353) - Indiana, Indiana, USA - DEC 13, 2002
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 9, 2003 2003 is more of a silky mouthfeel and extremely warming, improved over the 2002, Black as coal,pouring into the glass it reminds me of thin oil . Stone keeps brewing winners, over & over!!!! Rich chocolate coffee flavors,raisins, time to get a few more bottles and put them to sleep. Recommended , (2002 4.3)This Stout is one kick in the pants.
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - DEC 10, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2004 Finally, a rerate: This is quite sweet. Hoppiness kicks in and the beer ends up a bit winey when fully warmed up. The alcohol presence is pretty in your face. Ultimately a fine beer, but not enough roastiness to counter the super sweet something in there.
Original: uhhh, excellent, so much in there! I really should have had it earlier in the evening, without previous beers, and slower. But I have one more bottle!
21iceman40 (1732) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 9, 2002
4.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JUN 8, 2003 I'm not what you would call a major fan of the stout, but this was damn good stuff. Smooth as butter, but packs all the flavor you could ever want in a fine beer. Lovin the 9.4. Ok, so know my head has been removed from my ass , 2003, i love stout, its probably my favorite as long as its imperial, i still dont like that oatmeal and cream shit, but this is fucking great. Its got it all, the perfect blend of coffee and chocolate, and some other stuff in there that i cant identify to give it that extra punch. Nice brew, very nice.