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RATINGS: 2977   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 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - MAY 23, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 5, 2005 Re-Rate of an ’03 on 3.5.2005: Still one helluva stout, but now it is bursting with aroma. Coffee and chocolate are all over the place, but upon closer inspection, caramel, molasas and alcohol are present. Which is why I upped the Aroma to 10 from 8. The flavor has an odd spot in the middle, which is keeping it from a perfect 5. Otherwise, Amazing brew. 2003 bottle, rated on 5.23.03 :Dark black with a nice shine to it. Very thin brown foam that disappeared as soon as it formed. Smell is very heavy on the coffee. Smoked and a little chocolate is present also. First taste is extremely heavy and thick. This hits with the alcohol bite right after it leaves your tongue, then smooths out with the malty goodness one might expect. As this one warmes up it is quite a thing of beauty. Not as hard on the palate because the alcohol is hidden better, and the malts take its place. Strong on the coffee and roasted flavor are all over this again with a very nice sweetness. Can’t say enough nice things about this one honestly, certainly one of the most drinkable beers thats this goddamn strong.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
zborgerd (187) - Illinois, USA - MAY 23, 2003
Wow, Greg! What a wicked-ass brew! I popped this vicious beast open and poured it into my wide-mouth glass. Yowza! Never such a dark and thick beer have I seen. Almost no head. Top of this liquid looks like a thick espresso. Taste is like a thick, rich espresso (only sweeter) with a slightly bitter bite at the end. The light malty taste helps balance it out, and you are left with the great sensation of varied roasted flavors that compliment the beer well. Is there Belgian chocolate in this beer? Hmmm... You know. This has a nice finish that isn't as hard on the hops as Victory's Storm King. I'm impressed. I think that my old Mitsubishi used to drip this stuff. Definately not for the weak of heart.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
hayden1215 (321) - Ohio, USA - MAY 21, 2003
Black in color with small quickly diminishing head. Slight malt aroma. This thick brew is sweet and dry. A little too sweet for my tastes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Frank (3270) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 15, 2003
UPDATED: MAY 16, 2003 Damn this is a huge beer. Pours a deep oily black with a velvety brown film of a head. Nose of dark chocolate, coffee, and alcohol. Full, round mouthfeel. Notes of raisins, liquorish, molasses. Extremely rich. Goes along great until the intensely bitter finish. The anise notes along with the hops are just too much. It sort of tastes like someone poured Jagermeister in it. I was wincing by the end of my glass. A quasi-masochistic pleasure I must admit but not one I'm going to partake in often.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Silphium (3188) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 14, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 30, 2003 (new 2003 release) Poured jet black (always a good sign) with a quickly dissipating tan head. Aroma dominated by roasted and chocolate notes. Nice, thick, viscous mouthfeel. Flavor is dominated by roasted chocolate, with a sweet malty backbone. Well-done. I place this a couple notches above Victory Storm King (which has a hoppier essence with a thinner body) but below the ridiculous Bells Expedition. I have to give Stone credit though: their malty, viscous beast is at least carbonated (Note to Bells...)! My experience with Stone suggests that this brewer deserves all the hype it receives. The IPA and Ruination IPA are waiting...for another day, alas. Does this deserve a poem?

Stone Imperial, thick succulent jelly
Warms my throat, mouth and young belly
Reaches my brain and causes a smile
Nice to drink an Imperial, it's been awhile.

Your chocolate notes and malt sweetness entice me it's true
Emptying the bottle, I'm afraid, will leave me quite blue.
Warming, smooth, succulent beast
My wallet thanks you, bank account not upset in the least.

Lucky me, when you're gone, another bottle's in store
A wise decision I must say, and a satisfying score.
There's still half of you left in my glass I do see
Before you're gone I bet I'll go pee!

For Stone Imperial Stout is a delectable brew
My mind has been made, my desire anew
To seek out the stout and drink of its glory
Dark, malty it's true, always good for a story.

My poem draws to a close, my pen runs dry
A warm welcome to you, stout, a tear in my eye.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
GermanBrews76 (679) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - MAY 13, 2003
Black like a moonless midnight, thick like motor oil. REAL chocolatey, a hint of smoke and licorice, coffee and plenty of alcohol. Also a nice yeast presence (that stone yeast is real nice). Creamy and full, loaded with chocolate. finishes dry and smokey, very warm. This beer has got phenomenal balance, of flavor, in texture and aroma. I'd venture to say that this was above even 55 degrees when I had it, and loved it!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Rockinout (966) - Kent, Ohio, USA - MAY 9, 2003
2002 bottle. Seems like the year aging mellowed this bottle, although I did not try it initially. The ingredients were blended and balanced beautifully, very smooth and creamy. Poured blackish-red with a dark tan head around the edges. Roasty smokey, anise nose. wow!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - APR 12, 2003
This was a well worth it trade.I get one more to rate and another fine brew from the people at Stones brewing.Nice black color some what of a tall head.Aroma was very nice,malty,chocolate,with some fruity hints in it.Flavor was fantastic bigtime roasted malt flavor with hints of dark chocolate hints of fruit,very faint presence of alcohol all the things a growing boy needs LOL.You can't beat this beer it has a little of everything and seems to lack nothing.Just another fine brew from these guys.Just shows that patience,and imagination always make a better beer.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
hoped (18) - Arizona, USA - APR 10, 2003
Limited Late Spring 2002 Release. Pours very thick into the pint glass. I could hardly hear a splash. The color is black with a huge brown/beige head that slowly reduces to a half inch and holds there leaving a nice dark lace all the way down. There is a fine carbonation. I caught myself repeatedly tilting the glass and quicly tilting it back upright to watch the fine bubbles try and catch up to the head. The smell is pleasant and complex. I notice hints of currant, raisin, black cherry, caramel, dark chocolate and coffee to name a few. There is a fine balance of malty sweetness and hop bitterness along with the complex flavor. The taste seems familiar but difficult for me to describe and yes, exceptional. I wonder if all of the ingredients I used to describe the odor were put in a blender and mixed thoroughly, if this would be the resulting flavor. I guess I'd also have to mention the nougat like odors as well, but I'll never know because I will save some time and go buy another bottle or two. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and creamy thick with a nice tingle from the carbonation. The 22 oz. bottle left me definately looking forward to my next opportunity to grab another. Bogartski may be an understatement commissar.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
beerguy101 (5319) - Newark, California, USA - MAR 28, 2003
2002 version. Eclipse black color. Head is medium. Aroma is roasted malts, fruit esters and dark chocolate. A big bold full bodied Imperial Stout. Deeply roasted malts, fruity (touches of cherries, plums, apricots and raisins), vanilla, chocolate and coffee. It has a nice hop bite. Its very smooth for all the flavor stuff going on here. Soft and creamy texture. Mild and soft carbonation. Excellent sipping beer. Hides the 9.6% alcohol very well. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

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