Stone Releases Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — This week Stone Brewing releases Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout. With roots in both the old world and new, this sinfully delightful beer makes its debut with slight tweaks to the original Stone Imperial Russian Stout recipe developed in 2000 by Stone co-founder and original Brewmaster, Steve Wagner.

The original recipe, brewed through 2016, has been augmented by the careful addition of Belma hops and flaked oats. Pouring jet black with a fluffy chocolate head, the aroma is rich and roasty with the scent of dark chocolate and espresso. Flavors of black currant and chocolate complemented by notes of graham cracker and marshmallow produce a beer that has a long-lasting smooth and silky finish.

“Our most devout fans don’t surrender quietly when we discontinue beers or skip Stone Special Release favorites,” said Jeremy Moynier, Stone Brewing senior manager of brewing & innovation, and nearly 14-year Stone veteran. “We always tell them they may see it again and in this case, the one year hiatus was well worth the wait. The additional hops and flaked oats add a new layer of complexity and mouthfeel that truly enhance an already remarkable beer.”

A well-executed regime change cannot succeed without cooperation of covert allies. As such, Stone Brewing continues its long tradition of collaboration with small producers of artisanal foods. Coincident with the release of the beer, San Diego’s Nutista Authentic Stoneground Nutbutters releases an official Collaboration with Stone Brewing called The Stone Totalitairian Imperial Russian Stout Stoneground Nutbutter.  Inspired by the beer’s intense flavor profile, the Nutista team created a uniquely special blend that utilized an incredible array of ingredients both inspired by and used in the beer itself. These include Belizian cacao, coffee, and just like the beer itself, a blend of golden, medium, and black roasted brewers barley malt. The result is decadent and simply amazing.

“Nutista Authentic Stoneground Nutbutters is a passion project of mine, alongside mastermind artisans Tristen Cross and John Huber,” said Greg Koch, Stone Brewing executive chairman & co-founder. “I’ve been making nutbutters at home for many years now and so it drove me to discuss with Tristen and John the idea to create nutbutters inspired by Stone beers. The natural step was to collaborate by bringing together two companies that value the best ingredients, united by a love of experimentation and a disregard for convention. The result is nothing short of mind blowing. But of course I’d think that, everyone that knows me knows I’m a craft beer fanatic and a total nut job.”

Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout debuts to the populace as a rationed release in 12oz six-pack bottles, 22oz bottles and draft beginning this week. QUICK FACTS

  • Name: Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout
  • Web:
  • Stats: 10.6% ABV, 65 IBUs
  • Availability: 12oz six-pack bottles, 12oz bottles and draft
  • Featured Hops: Magnum & Belma
  • National Distribution: Nationwide
  • Find Beer:
  • International Distribution:Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and UK
  • Style History: When the densely dark Stone Imperial Russian Stout was still in its infancy, the style wasn’t recognized by the US Government’s agency regulating brewery labels. They thought it implied that the beer was brewed in Russia rather than being an historic English style that had originally been brewed for the Russian court. We had three options:
  1. Name the beer simply Stone Imperial Stout
  2. Name the beer Stone Imperial Russian-Style Stout
  3. Fight back

The team embarked on a three-year naming battle before finally earning the style’s full recognition for Stone and all fellow US brewers. Stone Imperial Russian Stout was born as obstinate as it returns.


  • Appearance: Pitch black, beautiful creamy brown head
  • Aroma:  Dark chocolate, espresso, dark fruit and hints of roasted malt
  • Taste:  Rich dark chocolate, black currant, graham cracker and marshmallow notes
  • Palate: Smooth and silky with a long-lasting finish
  • Overall: Stone Imperial Russian Stout has been a much anticipated special release over the years. In 2017, we took a year off from releasing this amazing beer, causing some to worry that this was the end of an era. But in 2018, this deep, dark stout returns as big as ever and with a few upgrades. We added flaked oats for a smooth mouth feel and Belma hops, which round out the dark fruit component, providing an ever so slight hop edge.


  • Starters: Sausage & Kraut*, Prime Steak Tartare**, Swedish Meatballs, Smoked Salmon
  • Soups and Salads: Hearty Pasta Salad, Wild Mushroom Soup, Texas-Style Chili, Bo Kho Vietnamese Beef Stew
  • Main Courses: Spicy Lamb Sausage Rigatoni**, Mole Braised Beef**, Porterhouse Steak, Beef Ribs, Cheese and Onion Pasty
  • Desserts: Chocolate-Hazelnut Tart**, Stone Brownie Sundae**, Blueberry Blue Cheese Jalapeño Cheesecake***, Artisanal Cheese and Fruit Plate, Chocolate Lava Cake, S’mores


Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, the groundbreaking San Diego-based Stone Brewing is the 9th largest craft brewer in the United States. Recognized as an award-winning, industry leader, Stone has been listed on the Inc. 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list 12 times, has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice. The multifaceted company is the first American craft brewer to independently build, own and operate their own brewery in Europe (Berlin, Germany), and also opened a production brewery in Richmond, Virginia in 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…and pledging to never, ever, sell out to the man. For more information on Stone Brewing,  please visit or the company’s social media sites: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

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