About Imperial Stout

About Imperial Stout
Imperial stouts are dense, opaque black in color and strong in alcohol, typically ranging from 6.5-12%. These beers usually have a note of sweetness and contain burnt cocoa and dried fruit flavors. They are stronger versions of the original stout style and were first brewed by the British to withstand the rigors of export to Russia and the Baltic states. The style was nearly extinct until its revival by the British brewer Samuel Smiths in the early 1980s. In recent years, imperial stouts have been embraced by US craft brewers and are quickly becoming staples of many brewers’ growing seasonal portfolios. Noteworthy examples of this style include: Rogue Imperial Stout, Thirsty Dog Siberian Night, Deschutes The Abyss and Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout.

Top Picks for Imperial Stout

Lift Bridge Beer Company Silhouette Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
98 points
Rich mahogany color. Aromas of chocolate-covered cherry cordials, walnut confection, cocoa powder, artisan cola, well-aged bourbon, and soy sauce with an oily, vibrant, spritzy, fruity full body and a peppery, delightful, very long smoked toffee, charred nuts, mocha creme cookies, and vanilla truffles finish. A viscous, voluptuous monster of an Imperial stout that conjures memories of Italian Amaro and the finest chocolates.
Lift Bridge Beer Company Silhouette Imperial Stout 2019
94 points
Dark brown color. Aromas and flavors of carob, stewed prunes, roasted pecans, dried cherries in dark chocolate, and toasted fruitcake with a round, vibrant, petillant, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, involved, long finish with shades of candied ginger and peppercorns finish. A mature Imperial stout with dark caverns of flavor to explore; boozy, brawny, and worth it.
North Coast Brewing Co. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
94 points
Ebony color. Hoppy aromas of toasted rice, tangerine, herb butter, and dried mango with a round, vibrant, effervescent, fruity full body and a warming, elegant, long cocoa powder, roasted cherry, whipped cream, lemon pepper, dried fruit, and curry finish. A craveable hoppy Imperial stout that is superbly balanced.
Etna Brewing Co. Kappler Imperial Stout
87 points
Dark walnut color. Complex aromas of stewed apricots and prunes, dark chocolate mocha fudge, vanilla-caramel custard, and sweet tea with a round, vibrant, spritzy, fruity full body and an intricate, long toasted crumpet, panettone, black licorice, and roasted almonds finish. A complex, vinous Imperial stout with a plethora of big, bold flavors to unpack; rich and satisfying.
Brouwerij Van Steenberge Gulden Draak Imperial Stout
84 points
Dark mahogany color. Aromas of fruitcake, bubblegum, rum-raisin, nutmeg, and spiced pumpkin with a satiny, bright, effervescent, very sweet medium-to-full body and a medium-length egg custard, nut shells, and parchment finish. A very sweet beer that might be a nice holiday desert pairing.