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RATINGS: 3089   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DougShoemaker (3147) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 5, 2004
Coffee and motor oil in the nose, also some liquorice. Dark brown, medium sized coffee head. Strong coffee and liquorice flavours. Very bitter, dry finish. Quite bold, as per this Brewery!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerhugger (542) - Oshawa, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 5, 2004
Well I'm not sure I'd have this one rated quite as high on the site as it is, but it's pretty damn good. Essentially opaque black with an oily dissispated head. Creamy and roasty on the nose at first, but then more seemed to emerge. At times I got vanilla and at other times chocolate. At all times coffee, but mild and in the background. Perhaps too sweet although it backed off a little in the dry finish. Seemed a little off-balance but it did it so well that it still was quite enjoyable.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 1, 2004
This was outstanding. Poured a dark black with no light even coming through and a thin brown head was present. The taste coated the mouth and made for a most enjoyable drinking experience. Highly recommended.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
muzzlehatch (4420) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAR 1, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 25, 2007 22 oz bottle, 2003. Nearly opaque black, very little brownish head. Some quick-dying fizziness. Very intense and beautiful dried fruit-grape nose, with a slight roasty edge and some milk chocolate. Taste: very very sweet at first, sweet port and chocolate baked pears and raisins and creme brulee, vanilla-almond milk, and very bitter slightly grape-tinged chocolate near the end. Little coffee roastiness, and weirdly balanced, but absolutely wonderful and fully deserving of its reputation. I havenít always been Stoneís biggest partisan, but this and the IPA certainly convince me of their abilities.

A little later .. this really is a bit too sweet, not quite cloying, but... as it approaches room temp it does get syrupy, and the hops just donít cut through quite enough. Very good, but I guess Iím starting to appreciate the more robust examples of the style more than these candy-canes. 9/4/9/3 17 4.2

November 2007, another bottle from the same (late Spring 2003) batch sampled above, now 4.5 years old, cellar temperature from a Maudite glass. A bit of fizz left as the cap is popped....and a fair bit of lasting dark foam atop the ebony.....the nose is at first nothing but sherryish and oxidized, grapy, but with a minute or two of breathing some chocolaty-roasty notes show up and itís fairly pleasant....much better on the tongue, in fact this has dried out considerably, the sweetness is not overpowering and near-cloying as I usually find it to be when fresh, the sweet chocolate somewhat liquor-ish (though not really alcoholic, if that makes sense), a better melding of light coffee, fig, and candy...finishes with just a trace of booze, and just a tad papery. This has aged phenomenally well; judging from my feelings about this beer when fresh and the only slight diminution of body at 4.5 years, Iíd say this will be a gem with about 2 years on it. Got ta get me some more. Rating stays the same overall.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BCAR (222) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - FEB 13, 2004
Head color is the same as milk that has been soaked in Cocoa Pebbles (which is a good thing). Roasted coffee, alcohol, dense, rich nose. Very well rounded. I loved this stout. This is what a stout is supposed to be.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - FEB 12, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 7, 2004 (2004 version) Much different than last years version. Lots of licorice and some spice comes through in the aroma and flavor. ABV is very well hidden. Day old coffee and dark chocolate are present throughout. This is great and should only improve with age! (2003 realease)Popped the hood of my car, got out a funnel, opened up the bottle... Oh wait, you mean this isn't 30 weight? Pours like used oil with a paper thin, deep brown head. Smells like chocolate, coffee, hops, smoke, burned toast and alcohol. Tastes like a slightly burned brownie with an overripe banana, washed down with day old coffee and a shot of brandy (But in a GOOD way!) This is the best imperial I've had.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - FEB 6, 2004
Intense. Extremely thick, heavy, alcoholic mouthfeel. Not as roasty as i would have liked, some vanilla, and toasty/roasty/choc, quite citric and extremely hoppy, hop bitter. In fact the malts play a secondary role to the intensity of the hops, hops are quite citric/acidic/bitter. To be honest felt a little out of place for me, especially when mixed with the vanillin/choc malts, some vegetable stock and spice in there aswell. Very intense, and lots going on. Not quite my style, but cheers to Greg from Stone for giving me this opportunity to try it, Greg is an absolute legend.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
HopsOrDie (687) - New Lenox, Illinois, USA - FEB 4, 2004
Big beer, big bottle. Dark black color. Heavy roasted flavor with a big but not overpowering bitterness. This I.S. is more balanced than most.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
dirtymike (2016) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - FEB 4, 2004
Winer Jubilee '04, Deep black with a tan thin tan head.Aromas of chocltae,smoke,roasted,burnt malt.Bittersweet flavor with a full palate and a warming alcohol mouthfeel.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
eczematic (1325) - Adelaide, AUSTRALIA - FEB 1, 2004
easily the best of the stone beers we got from the bastard himself the other day when he was in town. a huge and powerful aroma of diesel, vegemite, bovril, liquorice and raspberry. taste is full-on tar and salt, viscous and heavy, then cleaned up with the usual stone blast of vegetal cohumulone bitterness. maybe needs more age? the sweetness and the bitterness don't blend together at all. nothing in the way of yeastiness, porty or fruity stuff that you get in other imperials, this is more like a concentrated dry stout.

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