Monday, August 1, 2011

Stone Brewing Company - Stone Imperial Russian Stout

I know what you're thinking: "Two Stone entries in a row?" It won't happen again, if for no other reason than I seem to be running out of Stone beers to try. This one happens to be the crown jewel of the Stone lineup. In fact, Stone's Imperial Russian Stout (and it's bourbon barrel-aged brother) are the only two beers that Stone makes that are currently sitting in the Top 100 at all. I tried this beer last year and loved it but forgot to write a review. And so, without further adieu, I present #47 on the Top 100 list- Stone Imperial Russian Stout.

A few friends and I tried this beer last week alongside the Odd Year Release version of it. The Odd Year Release that Stone came up with for the Imperial Russian Stout was a version in which they used Belgian yeast and anise. Sounds kind of interesting, right? Actually, it was pretty awful. I'm skipping the review on that one and leaving you with this warning: Stick to the regular Imperial Russian Stout.

Stone Imperial Russian Stout pours an opaque black color with a big, creamy tan head. The smell is full of dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, wet earth, dried apple, black cherries and some faint smoke.

For a beer that smelled as good as this one did, I was a little disappointed by the taste. I got some molasses, dark chocolate, hints of dark fruit (mostly plum) and a touch of coffee. While the taste wasn't bad by any means, it wasn't as full as I've come to expect in a good stout. The mouthfeel was a bit thin and the flavors weren't strong enough to counter the feel. By no means was this a bad beer. But Top 100 worthy? I'm going to say no.

Final Grade: B+

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 25

(Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the regular version, so above is a picture of the Belgo Anise version we tried)

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