Stone Brewing Co. Imperial Russian Stout

Stone Brewing Co. in San Diego is known for producing “big character” beers. Specifically hop-intense pale ales like their “Ruination”, which includes their unique “Enjoy By” line. The “enjoy by” line encourages drinkers to consume the beer by a printed date for maximum freshness.

Courtesy Stone Brewing Co.

Courtesy Stone Brewing Co.

However, Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout is a far cry from their hoppy best sellers. This 2015 Release is a malty, indulgent beer that pours heavier and darker than used motor oil. It is extremely complex with notes of chocolate, coffee, currant, and anise (a flavor similar to black licorice). This beer is almost a meal in itself- perfect for after a century ride, a hike up half-dome, or a day chasing surf breaks.

The 2015 Imperial Russian Stout is sold in 22oz bottles, and touts a hefty 10.6 ABV. This brew did a number on me- lighter drinkers beware!

Stone president and co-founder Steve Wagner created this robust beer in 2000, and the recipe has remained the same ever since.

So if you like a rich beer with more complexity than a quantum physics textbook – this one’s for you.

Learn more on their site at

-Avery Robins