Beer Review: STONE ESPRESSO IMPERIAL RUSSIAN STOUT TASTING NOTES

Beer Review: STONE ESPRESSO IMPERIAL RUSSIAN STOUT TASTING NOTES

In the realm of imperial Russian stouts, Stone Brewing presents its 2013 ESPRESSO edition, a peculiar concoction brewed in homage to the historical Russian love affair with earthy breakfast beverages. In this iteration, Stone adds a unique touch with several hundred pounds of espresso beans sourced from Ryan Bros. Coffee, aiming to bring a historical authenticity to the dark, robust libation.

Tasting the Historical Blend

The 22 oz. bottle of Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout pours pitch black, crowned with a modest tan head that quickly dissipates to a mere ring. The aroma reveals notes of cold coffee, roasted malt, anise, and a subtle hint of alcohol. At 11% ABV, this odd-year addition promises a bold experience.

A Bold Sip: Roasty and Rich

Upon tasting, the boldness of the roasty fresh acidic coffee takes center stage, accompanied by the interplay of spicy herbal hops nestled between the coffee onslaught and the bitter chocolate-like roasted malt. The bitterness lingers, staying true to the classic version.

Texture and Feel

The full-bodied nature of Stone’s ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout is complemented by a tad rough mouthfeel and prickly, active carbonation. The integration of these elements adds to the overall robust character of the beer.

Final Verdict: A Like for the Espresso Addition

As with any beer infused with coffee, opinions tend to swing between love and disdain, with little room for middle ground. In this case, the verdict leans towards appreciation. The espresso addition proves to be a tasty enhancement, seamlessly woven into the fabric of this roast-heavy beer. The question of aging arises, with the potential for bitterness to mellow over time, yet the fear of losing the vibrant espresso freshness experienced in the initial tasting looms large.

Stone’s 2013 ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout is a historical twist on a classic style, marrying the earthiness of coffee with the robustness of a dark beer. For those with a penchant for bold flavors and a touch of historical inspiration, this brew deserves a place on the tasting table.