Stone Brewing Co. Releases Two Imperial Russian Stouts

ESCONDIDO, CA (April 15, 2013) — Today, San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co. is releasing two versions of the company’s coveted imperial stout: 2013 Stone Imperial Russian Stout and 2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout. As 2013 is an odd-numbered year, Stone is revisiting its “Odd Beers for Odd Years” program which began in 2011. The series introduces new or “odd” versions of Stone Imperial Russian Stout in tandem with the classic version during odd-numbered years.

Stone Imperial Russian Stout is one of the highest rated Stone beers, having earned a 100 overall score on RateBeer.com and a 97 “world-class” score on BeerAdvocate.com. The recipe was created by Stone Co-founder and President Steve Wagner in 2000 and has changed little from the first brew, which utilizes four malt varieties and Warrior hops. The beer pours black with pronounced cocoa and coffee aromas. The chocolate and java notes carry through onto the palate, along with fruitiness and hints of anise. The beer is smooth and finishes with a slightly bitter hoppy taste.

The 2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout is an augmented version of Stone Imperial Russian Stout brewed with espresso beans from San Diego’s Ryan Bros. Coffee. Like the classic version, the beer pours black and emits strong coffee and chocolate aromas. Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele notes, “The addition of espresso beans in the brewhouse and post-fermentation enhances the coffee flavors that are naturally found in the classic version, but also enhance the perception of chocolate. The fruity, yeasty and hoppy flavors found in the classic version are more diminished.” The Ryan Bros. espresso roast is a blend of Indonesian and Central and South American coffee beans roasted and blended together to produce a bold, robust flavor with hints of citrus and berries.

Both beers are ready to enjoy now, but are also ideal for cellaring over the span of several months or several years. Over time, the stout will continue to develop deeper, rounder coffee, chocolate and dark fruit flavors as the hop aroma and bitterness subside.

Quick Facts:

Name: 2013 Stone Imperial Russian Stout
URL: stonebrewing.com/IRS
Stats: 10.6% ABV, 60 IBUs
Availability: Limited 22-ounce bottles and draft, beginning April 15
Hops bill: Warrior
Distribution: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, and WA.

Tasting Notes (provided by Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele):

Appearance: Beer pours black with a deep tan head.
Aroma: Cocoa and coffee flavors dominate, along with some fruity fermentation esters, floral hops and yeasty breadiness.
Taste: Bittersweet cocoa and coffee flavors are the major players, along with fruitiness, hints of anise and yeast, followed by a smooth, balanced, slightly astringent, bitter finish.
Palate: Full-bodied and smooth with a hint of alcohol heat.
Overall: We didn’t change this recipe much from the original version that Steve Wagner designed in 2000. It’s a fantastic recipe and we enjoy brewing it every year.

Quick Facts:

Name: 2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout
URL: stonebrewing.com/IRS
Stats: 11% ABV, 65 IBUs
Availability: Limited 22-ounce bottles and draft, beginning April 15
Hops bill: Warrior
Distribution: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, and WA

Tasting Notes (provided by Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele):

Appearance: Beer pours black with a deep tan head.
Aroma: Strong yet nicely balanced coffee and chocolate flavors. The addition of espresso beans in the brewhouse and post fermentation enhances the coffee flavors that are naturally found in the classic version, but also enhance the perception of chocolate. The fruity, yeasty and hoppy flavors found in the classic version are more diminished.
Taste: Deep, rich, fruity coffee and mocha flavors intertwined with subtle vanilla and a fruity finish.
Palate: Very full-bodied and smooth with a hint of alcohol heat.
Overall: Espresso -roast coffee has thousands of aromatic and flavor compounds. A lot of what comes out in the final flavor depends on where the beans are grown as well as and how they are roasted and blended. We fell in love with San Diego’s Ryan Bros. Coffee espresso when we first tried it in a cask of Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, and later brewing macchiatos and lattes during our weekly “Espresso Friday” sessions. It’s a blend of Indonesian, and Central and South American coffee beans, roasted and blended together to perfection. The flavor is bold and robust yet very smooth, with hints of citrus and berries, and we knew it would be a great addition to this year’s “odd” version of our Stone Imperial Russian Stout.

About Stone Brewing Co.

Twice named “All-Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine, Stone Brewing Co. was founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner and is the 11th largest craft brewer in the U.S. Headquartered in Escondido, CA, Stone owns and operates the farm-to-table restaurant Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens — Escondido, as well as Stone Catering, Stone Distributing, and Stone Farms. Other lofty ventures include construction of Stone Packaging Hall and a second restaurant with an on-site brewhouse, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens — Liberty Station, both with an estimated completion of first quarter 2013, and Stone Hotel & Headquarters with an estimated completion of late 2014. For more information, please visit stonebrewing.comor on social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, and The Stone Blog.

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