Saturday, June 18

Beer Review: Stone Brewing 'Belgo Anise' Imperial Russian Stout


"This 2011 Odd Year release pours pitch black with a deep tan head, with aromatic notes of anise, coffee, and cocoa jumping from the glass. Coffee and dark roasted malt flavors dominate, with a robust complement of anise and oak, which leave a lingering blend of vanilla, licorice, and dark malt on the palate. This one will age nicely for several years."

I grabbed one each of the Belgo and Regular 2011 RIS from By The Bottle here in Vancouver. I actually meant to buy two Belgo's, but oh well. I am sure I will be buying more Belgo's.


Let's get to tasting it shall we. I pulled the bottle from my wine cooler which sits at about 55 deg. F. This of course is a fresh beer, being 2011.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Poured a jet chalky brown with three big fingers of light latte colored head. Took only a short time for the head to settle to a thin blanket with a slightly thicker island in the center. Light lacing about the glass.

Smell: (3.5)
- Slightly salty, licorice nose. Almost a smoked woody touch. Slightly sweet good n' plenty smell for sure. Chocolate and roasty grain and malt. Earthy and grassy herbal touch. Very interesting smell for sure. Light boozy alcohol, and a bit rich and bready. Yeast doesn't shine through too much through the thickness.

Taste: (3.5)
- Very smokey woody flavor. Sure this isn't a smoked woody stout? Salty touch with a chocolate malt bill which isn't too overpowering and sweet. Very woody aged, and classic flavor. Earthy herbal hop notes, a bready yeast touch. Light esters. Overall very interesting.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Certainly dry from the bitter hopping. Touch thick and chewy. Leaves a blanket of creamy stout film on the tongue. Lightly chalky.

Overall: (3.5)
- I think this stout will do far better with age, and perhaps then I will update my review accordingly. For now it is a very different RIS compared to their usual classic version which is known to be one of the best. It's certainly worth the try fresh.. but I am thinking it will be far far better with near 5 years on it or so.

B / 3.53

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

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