Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 3060   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.18/5   SEASONAL: Spring   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
"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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Gromit (479) - Port Orchard, Washington, USA - DEC 24, 2003
2003 offering. "Bogartski while you can!" Pours pitch black! I had to pour quite vigorously to get a decent head on it, but when it got there is was fine and brown. The head did last a while, though. Smells of wonderful coffee. Very malty, as a stout should be. I gotta be honest about the taste, though. It's good, but not *that* good. For a top-ranked beer, let alone an Imperial Stout, I was expecting something a little...more? Very stong coffee flavor is the first sensation. There's some caramel there as well. The hops also make an appearance, but they definately hide in the background. Mouthfeel is *really* thick and full. It's not quite syrupy, but almost. Drinkability is good. The high alcohol content is well hidden. I was expecting something more over the top both in intensity and alcohol taste. I gotta admit I'm a bit disappointed. This beer gets a lot of hype and I don't think it lives up to it. I *like* this beer, I just don't think it lives up to the hype. I grabbed an extra to age, I'll revisit soon.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
EdPaulsen (117) - Rochester, New York, USA - DEC 23, 2003
fantastic imperial, very balanced. comes in such a big bottle, best to share it. very full bodied and satisfying. plus, it just feels cool to order one of those cool big bottles with the gargoyles doesn't it?

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
stubby (334) - Santee, California, USA - DEC 23, 2003
UPDATED: AUG 7, 2005 Not my favorite style, imperial stout. This is my favorite though, of this style. Great body, and beautiful oily black appearance. I appreciated the dirt brown head (what little there was...) Very warm alcoholic digestion to this one... like the deScription says, this one is much better warm. At cold temps it tastes like steel. Almost like a dark barley wine with it’s heavy malty flavors of molasses and caramel, along with those roasted malts. Great full body. Good stout.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SG (465) - Valley Center, California, USA - DEC 21, 2003
2002 bottle. Opaque with almost no head. Coffee, chocolate, and malty nose with a slight hint of hops and, dare I say, some fig-like notes as well; sweeter tones also. The coffee/roasted malt flavor predominates with a balanced finish. Surprisingly smooth on the palate and the flavor lingers well. However, the aroma was the best part of this beer. I wish that fig/fruit-like hint in the nose was more predominant. It definitely gets better as it warms. It also has enough alcohol to make my throat and stomach tingle a bit. A world class stout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jeffin7 (613) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - DEC 18, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 2, 2004 Pour black with only small thin islands of tan head. Aroma of chocolate chip cookies and alcohol mixed with sweet syrup. Flavor initially is hard to place as it does not establish itself with many predominate flavors. By my best estimate it is a mixture of chocolate, cola, a very slight soy sauce, a very slight coffee. The flavor fades into a nice chocolate chip cookie aftertaste. It is medium to full bodied, slightly to the medium end of the spectrum, which makes it very drinkable yet still substantial on your tongue.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
tbookman (618) - Ephrata, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 17, 2003
This is great stuff. Smooth & well balanced with a sweetness throughout. Pours like motor oil with almost no head. Slightly smokey and some hoppiness hints.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - DEC 15, 2003
UPDATED: APR 22, 2005 Pours black (gimme a stout that doesn’t) with chocolate, yeast and fruity aromas. Gonna let this baby mellow for a year or so.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
dperk (14) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - DEC 11, 2003
Smokey roasted malt dripping with hops is what I sense coming from the shiny pitch-black liquid. The head is more like an orangy brown ring around the glass. The flavor is sweet, chocolaty, hoppy malts. I really enjoyed this beer!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ClarkVV (4856) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 24, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 29, 2007 2003 Bottle fresh. Great color! Black and completely opaque. Good dark brown/almost black olive colored head. Big barley-wineish aroma, alcohol perceptible, in a good way. Begins with lots of dark roasted barley, dark bitter chocolate and a resinous, maybe vinous hops flavor that is lush and slightly syrupy. Good clean brown sugar flavor as well. Noticeable acidity suggests this is quite young and has plenty aging potential. Slight saltiness, but more of a cognac flavor in the background (though sweeter than cognac). Quite delicious. Some licorice detectable in the aftertaste and a good thick body creates a very distinct and memorable beer. Beer is not overdone. Texture is rich and smooth. Salty at times, but well defined and has no problem with carbonation. 2003 bottle aged almost 18 months Starting to show signs of wear. Not nearly as thick and creamy a palate as I remember, though it still is delightfully smooth and oily, I couldnt help thinking that after only 18 months, this was really showing more oxidation than I would expect. I’m torn between liking this better fresh or aged because fresh, it is thicker, which I like, but aged, the huge hops bitterness is much more under control and smoothed out. Alcohol a bit too perceptible on the finish. More of an oaty flavor than I remember as well. Tried at about 64 degrees.2004 draught fresh Very roasty, salty, bitter and has a good deal of licorice and molasses. Maybe a bit lighter body than the 2003.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
BrianO (138) - Ambler, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 17, 2003
What a beer. Very dark with small, foamy tan head. Aroma is chocolate and malt. Flavor is delightful. Chocolate, coffee, licorice, roasted grains and a touch of alcohol. Sweet and rich but not overdone and oilish. Good level of carbonation. Pretty frickin outstanding. One of the few times I wish beer came in a bigger bottle than 22 ounces.

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