Arriving together – Stone Brewing’s Russian Imperial Stout, and Belgo Anise Russian Imperial Stout. RIS is an annual release from Stone Brewing, while Belgo isn’t. It’s actually a part of the brewery’s new “Odd Beers For Odd Years” series. They took Russian Imperial, and tossed in a Belgian yeast, star anise, & oak chips. An oddity indeed.
Stone Imperial Russian Stout is so thing, rich and well, sinful you might feel certain that you are to be doomed to the fiery pits just for thinking about taking a sip. It almost seems evil. Rest assured, however, that our ever faithful gargoyle has done his job well by successfully warding off all evil spirits. In fact, we guarantee that no sin was committed in the production of this seemingly pernicious brew. We will admit that we used copious does of decadence in creating the viscous beauty you have before you, but no actual sin… You’ll have to add that on your own.
This particular edition is brewed in the authentic historical style of an Imperial Russian Stout, and then, shall we say… embellished. Specifically, by using a Belgian yeast strain, adding liberal amounts of star anise, and oaking it (which arguably could be considered “historical” as they used wooden barrels back then rather than todays stainless steel).
While our original version is “intensely aromatic (notes of anise, black currants, coffee, roastiness and alcohol) and heavy on the palate,” this Odd Year version doesn’t just have “notes” of anise… it screams it. Big, loud, & proud. LIke the Russian Czarists. Presumably. Truth is, we can’t say for certain, but one sip it’s easy to imagine it to be true.
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Taste Expectations: Licorice, coffee, dark roasty malts, & booze. Underlying Belgian complexity.
Availability: 22oz bombers, Draft. Brewed for odd year (2011. Next brew – 2013)