kopher (593) - New York, USA - SEP 17, 2006
Pours black with minimal brown head. Strong aromas of roasty, toasty, malty, carmely chocolate and burnt coffee. Thick and creamy with strong but nice alcohol bite and some carbonation to complement coffee flavor. Some sweetness and medium bitterness. Excellent finish with lingering bitter mocha and alcohol. DTB (51) - South Philly, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 15, 2006
This is clearly one of the darkest beers I’ve ever poured. No light comes through what so ever, not ever around the edges. The dark tan head is frothy and left only slight tracks of lace.
Smelled of dirty Hershey’s syrup, black liquorish, slight dark fruits and black roasted malts with a hint of alcohol.
Tasted of huge bitter black chocolate with a smokiness up against my palate. Finishes with the best roasted malt character I’ve ever encountered. The standard to which I here after hold all other imperial stouts. It doesn’t taste like bonfire, or coffee; just smooth roasted malt (and a lot of it, I might add). Marvelous balance!
The mouth feel was medium bodied with a surprisingly small amount of carbonation for an IS. Actually, the light mouth feel just helps the drinkability.
This is a marvelous beer and I highly recommend it. henry3r (586) - Wichita, Kansas, USA - SEP 12, 2006
The 22 ounce bottle poured a Jet black beverage with a creamy brown head that lasted throughout the tasting and left wonderful lacing on the glass. The aroma was rich and complex presenting a wonderful round, rich presence of plum, raisins, chocolate, caramel and sherry. The body was very full with a soft carbonation and a creamy, syrupy texture. The flavor started off quite sweet with a sherry-like rich fruity taste. The finish was quite long lasting. The sweetness, through this long finish mellowed and changed to a subtle bitterness and I was left with a definite alcohol warmth. shigadeyo (3749) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 8, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 28, 2010 POD (198) - USA - SEP 8, 2006
9/8/2006 6:50:17 PM: Well, here it is... My 100th review! I’ve been holding off on writing this one until I found a beer that was highly rated, but a bit unique to try to celebrate this milestone. Today I stumbled across three bottles of the Stone Imperial Stout from Spring 2003 (9.47% alcohol) at my local liquor store. I bought them all and have just popped one open. Here goes...
They weren’t kidding - this stuff is black. I’m shining a flashlight into it and the light is getting absorbed like a black hole. Mild carbonation that gives rise to a dark brown hard that bubles off somewhat quickly. Wonderful aroma of chocolate, caramel, coffee, and some alcohol. The flavor is a wonderful melding of chocolate, licorice, roasted coffee, and some lingering aged dark fruit. Mouthfeel is so smooth, rich, and full. It just coats your mouth and leaves a wonderful creamy, chocolate flavor. The alcohol flavor is still there a bit, but it is well blended with the other flavors at this point. This beer has aged well and tastes SO good. These bottles have been on a shelf for almost 3.5 years now, but I don’t think that they will be sitting around too much longer now!
22 fl oz bottle, $4.99 from West Side Liquors. Score: 9/4/9/5/19 = 4.6
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Early Summer 2004 Release
1/23/2010: Stone Imperial Russian Stout... Aroma: Licorice smoke; deep, rich chocolate; heavily roasted coffee; fine brandy or cognac-like alcohol. Appearance: Thick, smooth, mostly tranquil pour; near black in color; opaque; some bubbles form and then quickly disappear. Flavor: Rich, deep, and complex; quite a bit of alcohol, but it isn’t off-putting; chewy dark caramel; cola; anise; coffee; some alcoholic burn. Palate: Moderately thick; goes down slick. Overall: My wife thinks that it’s "kinda tasty" which is saying a lot coming from her; overall it is still pretty good and easily drinkable, but it seems to be on the decline.
1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz. bottle ( 10.8% Alc. Vol.). Score: 8/3/8/3/16 = 3.8
Limited Spring Release 1 pint 6 oz bottle. Superb roasted malt spice aroma. Beautiful black color with dark tan head. Georgeous lacing. Huge stout bursting with flavor. Strong currant and roast coffee flavor. Aftertaste is chocolate and the 10.8% alchohol. It was hard to type this without too many typos once finished! This stout ranks up there with the Big Boys. I would’ve prefered more burnt roastiness flavor in order to make it my favorite of all time. Still... this one is great. As with all great imperials that I’ve drank the warmer this baby got the warmer it made me feel. It was almost like drinking a different beer at the end of the session. All hail Stone’s Russian Imperial! Highly recommended and I can’t wait to drink it again.
luiss (89) - Elmsford, New York, USA - SEP 5, 2006
Wow this beer was darker than the bottle itself, really nice and thick. Expresso, and chocolate aroma on this one. Taste is a bitt bitter with a thick, oily, sweet, bitter taste to it. Leaves the palate asking for more. Very important that this beer is not served too cold, but you probably can see that on the label. River (25) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - SEP 5, 2006
This beauty has an espresso-like body with a light golden brown head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of coffee, malts, and toffee are present. Dark, rich, and slightly sweet flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, and a touch of fruit blend to near perfection. *sigh harmfuldrunk (288) - New Jersey, USA - SEP 3, 2006
spring 06’ 10.8% 22 oz bottle. roasty taste, chocolaty, very thick almost like syrup which makes it a bit unenjoyable and takes away from the taste completly for me. my only desire to drink is a few years after aging xmarcnolanx (939) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - SEP 2, 2006
UPDATED: SEP 11, 2009 9/2/2006
Quite alcoholic, the bottle saying 10.8 for the 2006 release. A fantastic roasted malt aroma- chocolate, coffee, hops. A bitter, sweet, coffee, hop, and molasses taste. Very enjoyable, but for a fresh brew, a little harsh; could use a few years aging to improve the balance.
--- 2007 bottle--- consumed 9/11/2009
Well balanced, hoppy, limited oxidation. Wow. Still fantastic.
About at its prime. ChazMania (669) - Oceanside, California, USA - AUG 28, 2006
Bottled. Freak..wow..this is strong! This and chewy like it should be. Probably the darkest beer I have ever tasted. The alcohol is easy to taste which is my main beef with this. It’s so high in alcohol that if I lite a candle in the room I might spontaneously combust!