Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 3005   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.18   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
JonR888710 (999) - Cochabamba, BOLIVIA - JUL 9, 2003
Very dark body, with a thin milk chocolate looking head. Very appealing. My nose detected some malty sweetness and coffee. I couldnt smell too much from this beer, which is really my only knock on it. Once it was in my mouth I was delighted with robust flavors of malt, dark fruits, raisins, yeast, brown sugar and a tad bit of soy sauce. The main focus here are the malts, which are sweet, decadent and very complex. Aftertaste wasn't too long and finished with alcohol and a coffee bitterness. I was actually surprised that there weren't more chocolate and coffee flavors, which seem to be typical of this style; however, it was in no way lacking and actually ended up better because there wasn't much to distract from the excellent malt flavor. In many respects, its crafty sweetness, rich malt and alcohol taste reminded me of a Jr. DFH WWS. You never know what you're going to get with an Imperial Stout, and this one for sure, is one of the better ones.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
WabashMan (1018) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - JUL 6, 2003
UPDATED: APR 19, 2006 Ahh...one of those eerily beautiful stouts with the pitch black pour and enticing brown head. A lovely beer! A nice aroma as well, with many different notes present, though it doesnít quite live up to the look of the beer. Flavor, however, is where this beer excels. This is simply great! Delicious coffee, roast, and other flavors, without that intensity that sometimes destroys the palate. It doesnít attack you like, for example, an Expedition, but is equally delicious. A very fine effort and a great imperial stout. ***Update*** Each time I try this outstanding brew, I am impressed anew. Exceptional!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
TheBeerGod (5572) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JUL 5, 2003
UPDATED: JUL 3, 2004 2003 vintage. Pitch black. Rich, thick, burnt smell of coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate, licorice and hops. Taste is welcome expansion on those flavors with the hops and the coffee standing out and possibly the dark chocolate making an appearance on the tongue. Wonderful beer. Another great Stone beer! Recommended!

2004 vintage. Pours pitch black. Not even a bit of light coming through this! Small tan head. Consistency of used motor oil. Very thick! Although still a bit cold, the aroma is rich coffee and alcohol with some hints of licorice, cocoa, and dark fruits. I'm going to let this warm a bit and add to this "rerate". Taste is very rich! More coffee and licorice with alcohol, molasses, dark chocolate, and rum soaked fruit. The roasted character really comes through and is nicely balanced with the alcohol and sweetness. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth. Only a bit of bitterness during the finish. The alcohol, at 10.8%, is really not even noticeable - to me, at any rate. Delicious beer! This will age nicely!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
3fourths (8602) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUL 5, 2003
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2010 This is a beer for the easily-impressed.

2003 - Black. Dark brown head. Musty, smoky aroma filled with firewood, charcoal and licorice. Extremely thick and rich, sickly syrupy, with a very good alcohol cover. Flavors jumping out throughout the drink include maple, smoke, and espresso. Too thick, and actually too mellow, feels like triple bock or something similar. Missing the characteristic sharp bite of imperials. Good cover, but these things arenít supposed to be covered so well.

2004 - holy hell this improved... the new batch is a rich smoky demonic motor oil... doesnít have that lactic sweet chemical flavor anymore.

2006, fresh:
Milky, creamy charred wood scents in this one, though it seems the nose is more soft that previous years, but itís hard to tell when every beer is impacted by set and setting. Flavor is very sweet, with even a plastic cayenne flavor in there, only sugary and very sweet... some maple as well. A little different than what Iíve had from previous years, and Iíve had a lot of the 02-05 bottles.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jgb9348 (5097) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - JUL 5, 2003
Completely black in colour, with a frothy brown head which seems to last and last. The pour made the beer look like motor oil going into the glass. Smells of chocolate (bittersweet-70+%), coffee and roasted malt. A very thick mouthful leads to a nice soft taste filled with coffee and chocolate. Some berries do linger on the palate which is really an odd kick, thinking this should be purely roasty and toasty flavours. Definately a good beer, and one of the better IS's i've had, from a pretty darn good brewery, no matter how much I saw about their Imperial IPAs (all 400 of them). Alas, one more top 50 under my belt. I've been waiting for this one for quite a while, and had a good friend (JonR888710) pick it up for me. This was from the 22 ounce bottle purchased at Whole Foods market in Vienna, Virginia.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JUL 3, 2003
UPDATED: SEP 6, 2003 This beer was acquired in a trade with Dberger624, The King of Philadelphia.
**Wow, this Stone Impereial Stout is as black as a Siberian night. The aroma is intoxicating; it's of chocolate, ripe berries, darkly roasted malt, pears, and raisins. This beer has a soft but chewy mouth-feel, yet the flavor is sweet and coffee like. This is honestly the best example of an Imperial Stout that I have ever had, the only problem I found with this beer is that it is packaged in an un-soberingly large 22oz bottle. This beer is incredibly viscous and filling, but it is a brew that truly rocks!!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Hopistotle420 (1178) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 1, 2003
Dark as night. Small dark head. Liorice, black coffee nose. Dark chewy malts. Desirable sweetness...Molasses, espresso, dark chocolate. Nice balance, big alcohol, assertive malts, wonderfully pleasant hop bitterness. Delicious, perfect with a dark chocolate torte.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
SoylentBlack (123) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JUL 1, 2003
Wow. That first drink gets ya. You can feel the alcohol evaporating off your tongue. Dark head. Lingering bitter aftertaste. Tasty. Tasty. Tasty!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Wrath (362) - Valparaiso, Indiana, USA - JUL 1, 2003
Dark and thick. No head. Aroma is of roasted chocolate coffee. Flavor is like dark bitter chocolate. Alcohol is noticed but not to strong.Thick malt feel in the mouth that lasts forever and gets better as it warms. Solid clean slightly bitter finish. A great stout!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Wakie (612) - Centreville, Virginia, USA - JUN 30, 2003
Thick and heavy stout. This was dark and had a heavy alcohol flavor. Very sweet and had lots of chocolate. Very enjoyable but not the kind of beer you can finish by yourself if you plan on having anything else.

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