RATINGS: 132   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.29/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 258   ABV: 8.6%
Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout is Inspired by the English brews exported to the Russian Imperial Court over 200 years ago this bold and luxurious Imperial Stout is handcrafted using roasted barley, Dark Roasted, Crystal and 2-Row Pale Malts, balanced with Cluster and Cascade hops for the rich satisfying flavor.

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - SEP 17, 2010
Bottle and served in my NB worthy glass and tasting next to a 2009 Rogue XS Imperial Stout (XS) for comparison, abit a very tough opponent (rated at 4.5 back in 2003):

Okay, as I approach this tasting I am first going to list my expections based on the branding versus my past history and sense data: It says Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout (WH) so I am expecting some very dark, very powerful and rich with a noticeable black malt influence, the whole "hog" experiance I find in many of the genre. I see that they use Dark Roasted Malt so that is a plus then I see they use Cascade and Cluster hops. I like Cascade hops and expect a juicy resiny component and I am unsure about the Cluster, some beer I had with them tend to be "catty". Lastly, it is made by Stevens Point which from my experiences have produced some average to bad beers, so that will lessen my expections. So there you have it, lets see what I get...

Appearance: Deep cola brown and not nearly as opaque as the XS, small fading fizzy lightly beige head versus the creamier tan look of the XS, less spotty lacing as well. The XS is a 5 so I will give the WH a 3. Aroma: Liquorice, black charred and bakers chocolate, some walnut, maple sugar, prune, moderate resiny and herbal hop esters, slight metallic, salty meat and a bit boozy. (as it warmed started pick up some "vomit" character). The XS was equally boozy but the malts smelled less sweet displaying the roast and some coffee-ish esters better. The XS it was less fruity and meaty as well, smells much more traditional and more towards my established expections. The XS is a 9 so I will give the WH a 7.

Okay the taste: Not as overly cloy sweet as fear but still a tad too much, twangy dark fruits, some chocolate, cashews and coffee notes, with a ashy black malt finish. The hops bitterness is noticed but more a background player and really did not add much to the palate. The one major off note for the Whole Hog Impy is the plastic and artificial sweetner finish. I choose the XP because it was still young and I got that with a lot of green and grassy hop tones with some expected brash alcohol and also found that the 2009 seems way thinner than in the past. So the one area the WH beat the XS was mouth feel but barely, still needs to be a bit more hefty and slicker IMO. Overall final impressions is that while The Whole Hog Impy was not bad (minus the artificial finish) but was also not anywhere near the elite of the genre. That said, my 2nd favorite beer from Stevens Point behind the Cascade Pale Ale. I have two more Stevens Point WH series to try, still holding reservations...

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
tedovertu (296) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - SEP 14, 2010
Appears to be a Russian stout from appearance but lacks the thickness and hoppiness of a really great RIP. Rather weak head that does have decent lacing. Kind of has a dish water aftertaste. Very watery for a RIP. My least favorite RIP to date.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
vyvvy (6247) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - SEP 4, 2010
Pours dark brown with a tan head that leaves pretty quickly. The aroma has lots of green apple, some toasted malt and cocoa. Medium / full body that starts smooth, then has an overabundance of sharp carbonation. The flavor has pepperiness, light roasted malt, milk chocolate, cream and spicy hops. The finish is cream and spice. Fair at best, but really doesnt have the umpf for the style.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
rudolf (2360) - Buffalo, New York, USA - AUG 24, 2010
Bottle from Beers of the World. black body, tan head. Nose is grapey with cocoa, toffee, caramel, green apple and alcohol. Flavor is caramel, acrid burnt malt, red wine, alcohol, dry cocoa. Bitterness, burnt malt & very dark toffee in the finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Cybercat (5484) - Georgia, USA - AUG 20, 2010
Pours a solid near-black with a thick, frothy, rather persistent light tan head. Aroma is smoky with tones of toffee, molasses and coffee. Thick, rich flavor has unsweet chocolate, toffee and nutty components as well as hints of quality coffee and molasses with just a whisper of sweetness. Edgy, fizzy texture leaves behind a nice strong and rather persistent tingle.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Gustav1996 (333) - Birmingham, Alabama, USA - AUG 19, 2010
12oz bottle. Poured a opaque, burnt brown with a very thin, dark beige film for a head. Aroma was interesting: sweet, fruit (maybe pomegranate?), tea, roasted barley, mild tart, faint booze. Taste: Roasted malts, sweet, fruit (maybe pomegranate), notes of tea. Long finish of roasted barley & malts, fresh fruits - all with a mild bitterness. Medium body, sticky mouthfeel. Overall a good beer: some depth, nice balance - not really what I would call a IRS more of good Porter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JUL 28, 2010
Bottle: Pours a barely transparent dark mahogany with a spotty-lacing light tan head. Has a sweet caramel nose with a touch of plum and raisin fruitiness along with some roast and dark chocolate. Starts with average fullness for the style and some sugary dark caramel sweetness with a hint of dark fruity complexity before a mild bittering hop presence and a dark chocolate finish. Could be a little fuller and more complex, but still an enjoyable and fairly drinkable brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jeremytoni (3037) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - JUL 24, 2010
From a bottle poured black with a small head. Sweet malty flavor with a lingering bitter aftertaste.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
fidelis83 (2317) - Clinton, Iowa, USA - JUL 13, 2010
Pours a nearly black, ruddy brown with a 1 finger chunky beige head that has good retention. Aroma is roast, dark fruit, ferment, raw walnuts, a touch of pine and chocolate. Flavor is roast, very sweet malt, dark fruit, and light nutty notes. Palate is medium bodied a little oily and moderately carbonated. Way sweet and somewhat lacking in complexity for an impy stout, but not bad.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Ron (3813) - Rochester, New York, USA - JUN 24, 2010
Why am I drinking a Imperial Stout on a hot summer day? I am sitting in a cool air conditioned house reminding me of those cold winter nights when I really appreciated a nice stout. This one pours dark brown with thin tan head. Minimal lacing. Aroma of roasted malt. Flavor mainly of dark fruits and malt. Small amount of chocolate. Thin as Imperials go, but decent.

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