ESCONDIDO, CA – 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.