Stone Brewing Co., in continuing to lead the craft industry in over the top, and unique brews, has always wowed the consumer with its “odd-year releases.” In 2011, it released Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine and BELGO Anise Russian Imperial Stout. In 2015, it released Chai-spiced Russian Imperial Stout. Awesome beers, but let’s focus on the 2013 gem, Espresso Russian Imperial Stout.

Stone Espresso Russia Imperial Stout (2013) bottle

 

Released two years ago, this beer continues to amaze the stout fans and the craft community as a whole. An 11 percentABV beer that gets better with age, producing balanced flavors of coffee and chocolate that would woo any lover of dark beers.

As this Russian Imperial Stout was brewed in the traditional way, the addition of several hundred pounds of espresso beans from Ryan Brothers Coffee took it to the next level.

The excitement escalated as this beer was opened and the pouring began.

This one pours a deep chocolate, almost black color with an incredible two to three fingers of fizzy, sticky, tan head. Lacing maintains the tan color as it clings for life on all visible sides of the glass, soon falling to a filmy coating on top of the beer, that stays for most of the remainder.

Stone Espresso Russia Imperial Stout (2013)

Aromas of heavily roasted coffee beans and bittersweet chocolate dominate the nose, with a slight touch of sweet malts and bread to follow.

Taste becomes even more complex with Roasted espresso, semi-sweet chocolate, dried black figs, molasses, biscuits and sweet roast malts coming forth to tantalize the palate.

Stone Espresso Russian Imperial Stout (2013)
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The mouthfeel is at the top of it's game, with the balance of the ingredients and a well hidden 11 percent ABV playing to the senses. The finish is crisp and clean, with a slight coffee bitterness and a touch of sweet caramel. As the beer warms, surprisingly, the alcohol still takes a back seat, allowing the intense flavor balance to come forth, with even more coffee and chocolate teasing the drinker.
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