Stone Brewing Releases 2016 Imperial Russian Stout


ESCONDIDO, CA – A rich, dark decadence is rising again to seduce even the most reluctant palates. A standout among Stone Brewing’s typically hop-centric lineup, Stone Imperial Russian Stout is highly regarded for its reputation among craft beer aficionados and collectors. Beginning this week, 2016 Stone Imperial Russian Stout will start arriving in 22-ounce bottles and on draft at bars, retailers and restaurants in markets where Stone beer is sold.

Originally conceived by Stone President, co-founder and original Brewmaster Steve Wagner, the recipe for Stone Imperial Russian Stout has been tweaked very little since the beer’s debut in 2000. By using British black malt and British roasted barley for the grain bill, the resulting beer has a dark opaque appearance and a roasty, coffee-like aroma. Intensely bittersweet cocoa and coffee flavors give way to hints of anise and fruity esters provided by the yeast. Enjoy with patience. As the stout warms, its malt qualities open up, becoming smoother drinking exhibiting stronger roast and chocolate character.

“With each year’s release, we definitely work to make it taste fantastic on day one, but it’s also a beer that ages wonderfully with time and becomes more complex,” said Wagner. “This has become a recipe that we don’t mess with much or change dramatically year to year. I’m very proud of the reputation it has earned among craft beer enthusiasts.”

In addition to its perfect RateBeer score of 100, Stone Imperial Russian Stout owns a “world-class” rating of 96 on BeerAdvocate as well as a 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championship Gold Award in the Imperial Stout category. Despite the craft brewing world’s escalation of imperial stouts with ever-bigger bodies and higher alcohol-by-volume (ABV), Stone has maintained Wagner’s original creation from 2000…feeling that the beer is perfect as is!

2016 Stone Imperial Russian Stout is ready to be enjoyed fresh or stored at proper cellaring temperatures (55°F or lower) for several months or even years. Brewed to align with the authentic, historical style of an imperial Russian stout, this beer is massive, and a great representation of the style originating from Czarist Russia’s demand for ever heftier, ABV-elevated English stouts.

Quick Facts

  • Name: 2016 Stone Imperial Russian Stout
  • URL:
  • Stats: 10.8% ABV, 65 IBUs
  • Availability: Limited 22-ounce bottles and draft, beginning March 28
  • Hop Varieties: Warrior
  • National Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA and Puerto Rico
  • International Distribution: Australia; Alberta and British Columbia, Canada; Germany; Hong Kong; Japan; Korea; Mexico; Panama; the Philippines; Singapore; Sweden; Thailand; and United Kingdom
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Tasting Notes (provided by Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele):

  • Appearance: Beer pours dark brown with a deep tan head.
  • Aroma: Cocoa and coffee flavors dominate, along with bourbon-like oak notes, fruity fermentation esters and some yeasty breadiness.
  • Taste: Bittersweet cocoa and coffee flavors are the most prevalent, plus fruitiness and hints of anise and yeastiness, which are followed by a smooth, balanced, slightly astringent, bitter finish. As it warms and opens up, the beer becomes smoother and the roasted flavors strengthen.
  • Palate: This beer is extremely full bodied and smooth, with a hint of alcohol heat.
  • Overall: We haven’t changed this recipe much from the original version that Stone President & co-founder Steve Wagner created in 2000. It’s a fantastic beer, and we love brewing it every year!

About Stone Brewing Co.

Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, San Diego-based Stone Brewing is the 9th largest craft brewer in the United States. Stone has been listed on the Inc. 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list 11 times, and has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice. The multifaceted company will be the first American craft brewer to independently build, own and operate a brewery in Europe, and is also building a production brewery and destination restaurant in Richmond, Virginia. Brewing at both locations will be underway in summer 2016. Known for its bold, flavorful and largely hop-centric beers, Stone has earned a reputation for brewing outstanding, unique beers while maintaining an unwavering commitment to sustainability, business ethics, philanthropy and the art of brewing. For more information on Stone Brewing, please visit or the company’s social media sites: Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and The Stone Blog.