Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 2939   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.18   SEASONAL: Spring   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
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"There’s no question that Stone Imperial Stout is revered among enthusiasts," states Stone CEO Greg Koch. "I know, because I’m one of ’em 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!" That’s 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 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jazz88 (2576) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 18, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 30, 2008 Rating #1 (2/18/03) - Bottle of the 2002 vintage. Black with a dark brown head. Heavy, sour fruit, and cherry aroma and flavor. Thick chocolate and malt body. Rating #2 (5/8/04) Tap (8 3 7 3 17). Solid oil black color with a laced brown head. A rich complex dark malt flavor. Lighter than expected but at its depths the fruits and malts come alive. Rating #3 - Bottle of the 2005 vintage (7/31/05) (8 4 8 5 18). A black oil color with a dark brown menacing looking head. A smoke filled aroma with chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Intensely rich with bursts of flavor. I like the 2005 vintage better than the 2004. Rating #4 – Bottle of the 2005 vintage (1/16/07) (7 4 8 5 17). Black as the night with a gloriously dark brown head that sadly never lasted as long as I would have liked. A slightly metallic aroma that dissipated as it warmed. Strong chocolate aroma. Warming. A nice bouquet of coffee and chocolate, smooth, oily, rich, and mildly smoked. A delightful beer. Rating #5 - Bottle of the 2003 vintage (6/30/08) (7 4 9 4 18). Still black as oil with almost no head. A richly delightful light berry and chocolate aroma, so smooth. The aroma has mellowed in this late vintage. Smooth, rich dark chocolate flavors with a nice bitter and light coffee finish. Full bodied and rich with a great finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Trappist (284) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - FEB 16, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 28, 2003 Thanks to Dogbrick for this one! Thick dark and black, with an aroma of coffee and chocolate. A really good job for an Imprial stout!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Gunshy (479) - Ohio, USA - JAN 25, 2003
UPDATED: MAY 24, 2003 2002 Ltd. May Edition: This beer poured as black as the night. It formed a lovely dark tan, foamy head that left some nice circular lace. An aroma of malt, coffee and cherries. A flavor of malt, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit that gave it a slight winey feel to it. A medium body and a slightly bitter/astrigent finish. A great imperial stout.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
brian1233 (30) - North Augusta, South Carolina, USA - JAN 25, 2003
Oh my. This is a superb beer. My brother was so excited about this beer that he called me after his first taste. I opened mine a few minutes later to discover an excellent beer. It has a nice yeasty, fruity aroma. It poured black and syrupy with a nice beige head. It takes the first couple of sips to get adjusted to the beer (high alcohol), but afterwards it is not even an issue. Very complex, remniscient of a dogfish head worldwide stout. Fruity, chocolatey, coffee flavors (chocolate covered raisins?). Slight tartness is noticeable. Wonderful aftertaste. Very full bodied. Problably my second favorite imperial stout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Gregory (357) - Pullman, Washington, USA - JAN 25, 2003
Pours deep black, and thick. The aroma is complex. With hints of vanilla, chocolate, and toffee. The palate is nearly perfect. Full, rich and dark. Some sweet notes come through as well. The beer finishes strongly with just the right amount of bitterness, and warms the stomach.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JAN 22, 2003
UPDATED: OCT 31, 2003 (1/22/03) Sweet plum and molasses aroma from the black oily body with a light brown head. The onset of flavor is almost overly sweet, but it mellows toward the finish. Body consists of cranberry, raisin, and lots of malt with a thick palate. Lightly hoppy with a touch of bitterness in the finish. Hides its abv very well. The 2002 bottle almost tastes like it's been aged for a few years. Re-Rate (6/12/03): It's true the 2002 bottle I just tried was sour. Too acidic for enjoyment. This loses points for an imperial stout that can't last a year. Third rating 2003 vintage (10/31/03): This is much better than the soured 2002 I tried last. In fact this is better than the fresh 2002 I remember. Has a nice thick sweet body with even some bock character to it. Roasted malt and plums are the main flavors supplemented with an assertive bitterness. A very nice beer that I hope ages better than last year.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 22, 2003
UPDATED: JAN 23, 2003 Very rich, intense aroma. The alcohol is evident and so is the sweetness of this beer--sweeter than other ImpStouts I've tried. The balance of malts and hops, however, is wonderful. Bitterness subdued and present in the end of the swallow. Quite tart, acidic, and irony, especially as the beer grew warmer. Lots of fruits like apples and pears in the finish and it was also quite dry. Overall very well done.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
dhurtubise (568) - Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 20, 2003
A tasty offering to be sure. It is quite complex, with notes of coffee, chocolate, some fruitiness, some "funny" tartness or sourness. The alcohol heat is very prevelant (not much of an attempt to conceal it) but it works well in this brew. The beer has almost no head and has no carbonation to speak of. It is thick and syruppy in texture. This likely my favorite imperial stout so far, but I've only really sampled a small handful. It is not a very hoppy Imp. Stout (especially for a stone beer).

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
NDmullet (208) - South Bend, Indiana, USA - JAN 16, 2003
Definitely opaque, but there"s a steady source of bubbles rising up the perimeter, light froth around the edges of the glass. Complex nose, lots of molasses and brown sugar, amaretto, sweet dark malt, and pungent hops. Thick mouthfeel, bordering on syrupy. Very sweet, nearly cloying, with a welcome touch of puckering astringency. Becomes salty at room temperature. Too sweet for me...I thought this was Stone, where"s the hop onslaught? Also, I find the palate lacks the complexity, dark fruit, roastiness etc. I look for in the style.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JCW (1275) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 14, 2003
UPDATED: JUL 29, 2003 Jet black, taste of coffee, and roast malt. Sour taste

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