Serve in Snifter


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RATINGS: 3094   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.18/5   SEASONAL: Spring   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
"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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Kinz (3713) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - MAR 29, 2004
UPDATED: MAY 18, 2006 Thanks to Eyedrinkale! Pours deep black, dark tan head rises from the pitch much to my surprise, fades away slowly. Tiny particles of almost microscopic black dots swirl around the utmost outer edges. Aroma of thick chocolate and espresso wafts up, with a faint hint of alcohol laden spruce and peppermint. The aroma is definite, but not overpowering. Flavor throws me straight back into my childhood, specifically to the ripple of molten fudge running through Baskin Robins Fudge Ripple ice cream. Touch of pepsin, more chocolate notes, cream, mint, anise, and dark fruit. The layers of flavor are subtle (for an Imperial) and well integrated. The flavor lingers in your mouth long after the swallow without losing intensity. A stunningly good brew. NOTE: 2006 version rather different, most notably sweeter with more of a molasses element thrown in. Good, but not quite on par with previous years IMHO. Leaving up previous rating, as I think that is probably the most representative of what this beer in top form is all about.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Alcoholist (570) - Peoria, Illinois, USA - MAR 28, 2004
Black as night with a large thick head. Elegant lacing adds to the dark luscious sensuality of this brew. Nose is dark chocolate, berries and anise. Flavour is thick and malty with spicy hops, finish is dry as a bone. Just phenominal, worthy enough to be Dark Lord's granite mistress.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 28, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 27, 2005 2003 bottling. No real head, but it keeps a nice light brown fizziness at the top. Very dark brown/black body. Nice full aroma, milk chocolate, some coffee, and burnt apple. Creamy light chocolate, coffee, anise, peach(?) flavor. Hop hints and has a decently creamy feel to the palate. I really liked it, but I agree with DavidP that it could be more complex.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
EddieG (169) - Palos Heights, Illinois, USA - MAR 23, 2004
Another strong offering from Stone. This beer black and almost opaque. Decent light brown head with moderate carbonation. Molasess and licorice come through and nicely balance the light alcohol burn. Hops are present, but not overpowering. A very pleasant and balanced beer

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Rastacouere (6174) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 22, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 28, 2004 Blind Tasting, thanks Jazz88 Black hue with almost no head, just a light brown ring. Aroma proposes a solid malt profile of dark chocolate and possibly marshmallows, perhaps a touch of salt as well. Bold grapefruity hops accompany this all. Up to now itís nothing special. In mouth, the malt profile is huge. Very full-flavoured caramel and brown sugar together with a profound grapefruity hoppiness. The difference is.. it works here, very balanced and intense at the same time. You donít realize how hoppy this is before a few sips. Mouthfeel is excellent, silky and full bodied with low carbonation. My main critics are the almost absent fruitiness and restrained roastiness. But as one who didnít particularly enjoy what he had from Stone, I was bound to recognize in a blind tasting that their imperial stout is world-class. Delicious and one of the best, as much as I hate to admit it.
resampling not blind a few months later: quite sweet, lightly vinous, big balancing bitterness. Still one of the best and far and away my favorite Stone offering.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
CapFlu (5100) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 21, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 27, 2004 (22oz bottle) Pours the blackest with a brown head. Nose of soya sauce (likely still young), sweet caramel malt with whiskey. Thin, chocolaty with oily texture. Very creamy. Bitter dry finish. Very, very good. Resampled with Lubiere (Sept 04) Pours a thin brown viscous head and an opaque body. Nose of soya sauce, molasses, prunes and apricot. Cherry-chocolate and cola flavour. Very gritty and mellowing. Thanks Lubiere!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
tiggmtl (4544) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 21, 2004
Big sweet malt aroma with fat sweet round soy sauce aroma. Dark black with thin dark brown head. Thick dark sweet fruit with a touch of alcohol and a lasting roastiness. Excellent mouthfeel. Thick body. This one has the "it" factor. Fantastic. Bottle. Blind tasting #3.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
axilla (962) - New Providence, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 18, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 27, 2004 Yup...this stuff looks dangerous. Very dark, very thick body and head. Fruity coffee nose. Tons of flavors hitting at once...like chocolate covered cherries chased with a triple mocha expresso. Perfect since this was drank for breakfast. Nice alcohol warming in finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
kbjames (244) - Utah, USA - MAR 17, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 25, 2005 In my opinion this is as good as a beer gets. pours a nice jet black with amazing flavor. This beer is perfection. If there is such thing as a nectar of the gods, then this would be it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
vwsteggie (684) - Paxton, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 11, 2004
Has a very dark brown color with almost no carbonation or lacing. Smell is of roasted malts. Taste is almost like a syrup with roasted malt/coffee flavors and finishes with a slight bitterness. Overall a pretty good strong stout.

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