Stone Imperial Russian Stout

Stone Imperial Russian Stout

As Decadent as Sin

2016 Release

Stone Imperial Russian Stout is so thick, rich and, well, sinful, you might worry that you'll be doomed to the fiery pits just for thinking about a sip. Rest assured, however, that even though this seemingly pernicious brew is indeed as black as sin, we guarantee that no actual sin was committed in making'll have to add that on your own. This massive and intensely aromatic beer abounds with notes of chocolate, coffee, black currants, anise and roastiness, and its heavy palate is nothing to be trifled with.

March 28, 2016
Imperial Stout
22oz Bottles & Draft
Roasty, oaky, cocoa
Drink fresh or age at cellar temperature

Tasting Notes

Provided by
Mitch Steele
Beer pours dark brown with a deep tan head.
Cocoa and coffee aromas dominate, along with bourbon-like oak notes, fruity fermentation esters and some yeasty breadiness.
Bittersweet cocoa and coffee flavors are the most prevalent, plus fruitiness and hints of anise and yeastiness, which are followed by a smooth, balanced, slightly astringent, bitter finish. As it warms and opens up, the beer becomes smoother and the roasted flavors strengthen.
This beer is extremely full-bodied and smooth, with a hint of alcohol heat.
We haven’t changed this recipe much from the original version that Stone President & co-founder Steve Wagner created in 2000. It’s a fantastic beer, and we love brewing it every year!

Pairing Notes

Provided by
"Dr." Bill Sysak
Craft Beer Ambassador
Caramel-dipped bacon, blue cheese-stuffed dates, oysters on the half shell, roasted pecans or walnuts
French onion, Hungarian goulash, beef stew, cream of mushroom
Beef steaks with rich cream-based sauces, goose or duck with cherry sauce, coffee-rubbed lamb chops, grilled, blue cheese-stuffed portobello mushrooms, vegetarian vindaloo curry
Point Reyes Bay Blue, Rogue River Blue, Roquefort, Gorgonzola Dolce, Stilton
Chocolate lava cake, tiramisu, brownies, caramel cheesecake
Padrón Anniversary Series, La Reloba Selección Sumatra Torpedo, Illusione CG:4 Maduro

More Information

Considered one of the foremost examples of this Old World style available in the American craft beer market, Stone Imperial Russian Stout is thick, rich and complex. Nearly jet black with a fluffy hot chocolate-colored head, a goblet held to the sky could block out the sun. This obsidian wonder is also adept at eclipsing palates, smothering taste buds with a sensory overload of flavors. Dark chocolate and heavy roast come on strong up front and are granted graceful support by nuances of toast, anise, juniper berry, pepper, sassafras, molasses and more. It’s a symphony in a glass, where every member of the troupe is properly tuned to produce one outstanding symbiotic performance.

We ran into some trouble years ago with labeling Stone Imperial Russian Stout as what it was—an imperial Russian stout. It started in late 2002, when the TTB, in reviewing our label application, contended that the word Russian was misleading. They thought it would confuse customers into thinking that the beer was brewed in Russia, despite all of the text being in English and the label clearly stating, "Brewed and bottled by the Stone Brewing Co., San Marcos, San Diego County, CA." Find out more about the story of this beer's name on the blog.