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RATINGS: 3044   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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
roomtempbeer (185) - Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 26, 2003
Beer pours (in Chimay glass) an oh so black liquid light can not penetrate. The darkest beer I think I've ever seen!! With no head unless agitated - when agitated, head is oh so dark caramel-brown that quickly disapates to nothing. Aroma is of coffee, molasses, alcohol, and sweet fruit. Flavor is of alcohol and maybe slight hop eventually giving way to a light coffee, bittler finish - more coffee than bitter. This beer warms the belly. Alcohol flavor is a tad too much and makes this beer not all that appealing. Others do it better with more flavor and less emphasis on alcohol/ alcohol content. Almost easy to sip, but not that easy to take in mouthfuls. Great beer overall, but strong alcohol keeps it from being better. Sampled at 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
drinkbeer (283) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - JUL 25, 2003
Pours out like motor oil. Awesome. Aroma is like roasted ground coffee beans, alcohol. Almost smells like Kahlua. Tastes SMOOTH, roasty, bittersweet chocolate, fruity notes. Mildly bitter in the middle but finishes dry.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUL 23, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2004 2004 Vintage - 8/5/9/5/18 - 4.5 This puppy is completely opaque black. Very nice creamy rocky mocha head. Lacing is superb. Big roasted malt aroma, molasses, chocolate, and other various malty aromas. The hops are there but are muted, Roasted malt flavors such as coffee and choclate are most pronounced then some more subtle falavors come into play, dark berries and some citrus hops. The body is big but not over powering. The alcohol is a bit more evident with this vintage than others I have had. One of the top Imperial Stouts out there!

2003 Vintage - 9/5/10/5/19 - 4.8 One of the best Imperial Stouts I have had. Very dark and oily looking. Medium brown head with decent but not great lacing. Aroma is that of alcohol and malt. When it hits your mouth the first tastes are that of malt, lots of malt. Chocolate malt, Black Malt, Roasted Barley, you name it. Very creamy mouth-feel. The alcohol is most noticeable in the nose. The malt seems to mask it in the mouth. There are good hints of hop bitterness to be found underneath all that malt. Find it, buy it, and drink it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - JUL 19, 2003
Pours out of the bomber a deep dark leathery brown of 5W-30 motor oil vescosity only to settle as if its been through the engine much longer and without a filter. That means black to the unmotorized-friendly. A waffer thin, tightly sponged, light cocoa brown head sits atop which fades to a skim always present, lace sticks in ink blot patches. Smell is subdued but moderately present of dark roasted malts and black malts, quite lusciously so...a light sense of dark fruits favoring raisin, plum, fig, and alcohol warmth mixing in the nose with some chocolate sweetness and coffee notes in there as well. Taste is quite creamy rich and moderately hefty, but mellowing of dark roasty malts with a slight coffeeness, hops arrive quickly with favorable rich bitterness that fits in quite nicely helping finishing this out with some chocolate twingy tangyness. Quite a nice easy heavily creamy full body, rich, lusious, and filling, with an incredible lingering chocolate and mild hop bitter drying finish with a bit of alcoholic warmth showing up late taking effect on your head after half the bottle or so. One excellently done stout in its drinkability, it goes down so wickedly; nearly dangerously smooth and easy for an Imperial Stout its just a knock-down dazzling splendid yummy packed treat that makes you crave every sip after yummy little sip.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JUL 19, 2003
UPDATED: AUG 28, 2004 Pours a "Black as night" with a velvety, purpleish-hue. Aromas of burnt malts, raisins, rum and anise. The alcohol and hops coat the tongue dilightfully followed by a slow alcohol burn in the throat and rests with the taste of espresso. Delicious! Well, Greg said that the recipe for this has not changed. If it hasen't changed then why is there so much more alcohol? Why is the body so much more watery than it used to be? Why is the amount of Black Patent just downright obnauxious? This is not the same beer at all and I don't like it!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
BillKismet (3605) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 17, 2003
This beer unfortunately did not sway me from the belief that imperial stouts are much overhyped. This was an above average brew, but not nearly as complex, entertaining, or tasty as the average baltic porter. I find this brew analogous to Alaskan Amber. They are both good beers, with fair, rounded flavors appearing following aeration and warming--beers you would not hesitate to drink again-each good for its own season and occasion, but neither are anywhere near 4pt beers--imo. Black forest body with a perfect chocolate head--I am certainly prejudiced in favor of dark beers. Deep black malts appear aromatically from the start, running into deeper vinous veins that stretch as the beer warms finishing in a slap of chocolate alcohol. The flavor is more ordinary, with coffee and chocolate on the finish, preceded by weak cloud of black malt. Slighlty more flavorful and alcoholic/vinous with warming, but the palate is never quite satisfied.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ericnixon (742) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 15, 2003
Late spring 2003 edition - Ya lyublyu!! The aroma was mostly sweetish fruits and a lot less emphasis on the coffeeness. Wicked super mega dark color...so much so that you can't see through it at all. Wonderful full-bodied complex taste. It's wicked gwood! (da, eta pravda!)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
microdyke (360) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 14, 2003
Poured, pure motor oil with a brown head. A roasted malt aroma with some chocolate. The palate is thick and syrupy. The flavor is roasty with some flavor of figs, licorice and hints of chocolate. A nice dryness...but sweet as well. Nice alcohol flavor and quit warming, the kind of beer that I don't want to end.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
OldGrowth (3002) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - JUL 12, 2003
Bottle: O.K. nose dark roast coffee. Dark reddish black color. Light chocolate head that faded. Big dark roast coffee flavor with sweet body. Finishes with burnt bitter taste, in a good way. Delicious. Another top flight product from Stone.

   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.

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