Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 3119   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 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
jonwell (104) - Huntington Beach, California, USA - JUN 23, 2004
I’m always excited to get another year of this stuff... This one does differ a bit than last years, and I’ll go over that before I get to the rating. This years is dryer, a tad thinner, has a more pronounced roasted flavor, and finishes a bit dryer. More warming too, if I remember correctly. On we go. I have no nose for stouts, but I can get a good nose of roasted malt and a touch of alcohol. Pours like dirty motor oil with a dark brown, but very thin head. The flavor is quite full- lots of roasted malt, some coffee, pretty bitter and hoppy, but quite smooth. I remember it being a bit more complex, with more of a melon flavor, but this one may be a bit young for that. Still very tasty, but it could be better. Quite full mouthfeel, of course, and quite warming on the way down. A reward now as it always has been!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Sancho (245) - Da Bronx, New York, USA - JUN 21, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 19, 2004 On tap brewtopia 04 , To me this was the " best in show", Midnight black with a Light brown head,slight coffee aftertaste,big thick mouthfeel,If only they sold this at the corner bodega,oh well,Gimme some mo’.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - JUN 21, 2004
Brewtopia’04. Wow! Finally. Black. Monstrous and chewy. Smooth but biting like a big cabernet. Coffee and burnt cocoa on nose. Not at all fruity to me. Unctuous. Surprising bitterness and astringency, then again, it is a Stone beer. Not up to the hype, but still fabulous.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
jasonp (1573) - Ashburn, Virginia, USA - JUN 18, 2004
Pours a deep BLACK with a brown head. Aroma is very roasty with dark fruit. Taste is very sweet with a ton of hops, coffee, roasted malt, dark fruit, licorice and chocolate. Tart and mildly bitter.Very complex and extremely tasty. Mouthfeel is very full, round and creamy. Has a slight alcohol burn on the way down. Great brew, I’m glad I reserved two in advance.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
brownaler (547) - Alexandria, Virginia, USA - JUN 16, 2004
2003 bomber served in a snifter. Wow! Apperarance is pitch black with some bubbles clinging on the side of the glass. The smell is of beautiful smoked malt. The taste only seem a little astringent at first but comes together when it is warmed up. The raisin, chocolate and malt are PERFECTLY balanced in this brew. The best thing is that it is still easily drinkable at 9.47%.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mrkimchee (1414) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 15, 2004
imperial stout tasting, march 04: black, tan head. roatsy and chocolatey aroma with some boozy raisins and red liquorice. very thick and roasty. bitter chocolate and coffee flavours are most of what I get with the raisins and liquorice from the aroma very much inthe background. still quite nice, but not my favourite from this tasting.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BarleyWino (3) - California, USA - JUN 15, 2004 does not count
2004 version, bottle. Less complex than last year’s version, but even better overall! Aftertaste of soy sauce, of all things--and would you believe it works! Alcohol a strong note--not surprising at 10.8% ABV. Some coffee and red wine notes, but overall the flavor is dominated by hops and the aforementioned soy sauce flavor. Malty nose; more hops than I remember from last year. Another tremendous Stone offering. Kudos!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
rudolf (2353) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUN 15, 2004
On tap at the Old Toad, 5/28/04. Salty soy sauce aroma. Bittersweet body with a nice tart finish. Blacker than the local goth club. This stuff kicks ass, but I don’t know if I could deal with more than a small glass.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
FlacoAlto (4147) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 14, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 9, 2004 2004 Bottling, Sampled June, 2004
Pours a pitch black color that supports a deep brown creamy head. Rich dark malt aromas waft from my glass, and are joined by notes of rum, burnt raisins, toasted biscuits, and a fair amount of grain character. The taste is intensely malty, and it almost has a saltiness to it. It is quite rich, yet somehow light for an Imperial Stout. There is a nice low level of malt sweetness here that balances the roast character, and each of these components is in some way muted by the interaction of the other. This beer is definitely rich and creamy from the front end to just before the finish, after this the burnt, roast malt flavors kick in and linger around a bit

2001 Bottling, Sampled June 2004
I have been saving this bottle for quite a while. Since I am going to be getting a case of the 2004 pretty soon I decided that now would be a good time to try an aged sample.

It pours motor oil black with a deep dark brown thin head. It is quite a clear deep brown color when held up to the light through a thin cross section. The aroma is ripe with notes of dried prunes, raisins, miso, and sherry. There appears to be at least some oxidation character in the nose. Underneath the other aromas I get hints of espresso, and roasted barley. The beer is still quite thick and viscous; it is fairly sweet up front with strong dark malt flavors just dominating my palate. This is incredibly tasty and has aged quite well in my closet. It is slightly oxidized, which adds more complexity to this already complex beast, there is a hint of sherry and some port notes, but none of the wet cardboard type oxidation flavors. It is quite fruity up front with notes of prune, raisin, and cherry. The finish is dry and slightly astringent from all of the dark malt notes that includes espresso, burnt toast, and roasted barley.

Did I say that this is damn tasty? It is quite smooth, and just slides viscously down my throat, coating my entire mouth with lingering flavors that refuse to dissipate entirely. I take another sip and the process begins anew. The middle of this beer is laden with smooth dark malt flavors, but the burnt/ roast character of this beer really only hits you at the very end. As this beer slowly disappears and as it continues to warm up, it just gets better and better. This beer is awesome right now; I am definitely going to have to age quite a few of the 2004 vintage.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - JUN 13, 2004
This brew pours a midnight black color with a nice tan head. This brew is the monster from little childrens nightmares. Strong roasted coffee aroma that just attacks the nose. Very thick body with an amazing roasted coffee and chocolate flavor that leaves your temperature rising. Amazing brew, i would call it a magician.

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