Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout

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Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout

Stone Espresso IRS

Starting in 2011 Stone began releasing reworked versions of both their barleywine, Old Guardian and imperial stout, IRS. I don’t recall 2011’s BELGO Old Guardian, but the Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout was not widely popular. Anise was a bold, but polarizing flavor.  If the first odd year reception was look warm, would round two be any better?

Packaging description: Like the classic version, this Odd Year edition was brewed in the authentic, historical style of an imperial Russian stout, but with the addition of several hundred pounds of espresso beans from our friends at Ryan Bros. Coffee. Layers of flavor and complexity augment an already enigmatic brew, leaving this darkly delicious libation positively brimming with deep, rich espresso flavors that meld beautifully with the roasty bitterness of the dark malts.


Lovers of coffee beer, we taste a favorite brewer’s take on a coffee stout with Stone Espresso Russian Imperial Stout.

2013 , another odd year brings two new odd beers: Stone Old Guardian Oak-Smoked, and Stone Espresso Russian Imperial Stout. For anyone who has even skimmed this site, you know what a passion we have for coffee beers. With a stellar brewery like Stone taking a shot at a coffee stout, there was no doubt a bottle or two would hit the cellar.


Pours with a nice khaki head of bubbles of modest size. In bold contrast, the beer, like the original, Espresso IRA pours void black. The scents of well roasted coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, hops and dark fruits floods the senses with immediacy. With such an inviting nose, Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout has a lot to deliver. Thankfully, this stout brings it in spades. The taste unabashedly servers up coffee, vanilla, chocolate, subtly biting hops, and sweet malts. Big bold flavors are Stone’s calling card and this beer continues the tradition. The ABV is 11% but there is almost no hint of booze. A creamy and think body fits the style, coating the mouth with coffee goodness. Espresso IRS finishes with a nice dry, bitter note.


Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout is a mouthful to pronounce, though if you get your hands on a bottle, one mouthful will not be enough. This imperial stout amplifies the natural roasted malt tanins of coffee and chocolate with the edition of Ryan Brothers espresso beans to make a magnificently sweet and bitter, dark beer. A huge coffee ale that delivers what it promises. Find a bomber of this odd year edition before it’s gone, and enjoy one of the best java and beer combinations around.


Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout
Stone Espresso IRS

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