Russian Imperial Stout Stone Brewing


Totalitarian, a Russian Imperial Stout by Stone Brewing

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Totalitarian is a Russian Imperial Stout brewed by Stone Brewing, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a bottle.


The Stout pours an opaque black and is topped by a thick cap of dense mocha-colored foam that shows fine retention. The head reduces to a swirl of thin residue that coats the sides of the glass.


The aroma is faint and consists of smoky roast with hints of chocolate and booze.


Bready malt and mild coffee flavor lead the palate. Finishes with a mildly bitter mix of floral hops, coffee roast, and a hint of earthy wood. Sweet dark chocolate, cola, prune, and graham cracker round out the tasting. Fruity melon is picked up in the base.


Its feel is smooth and silky with a light chew. Its full body and low carbonation finish dryly with a mild astringency.


Its appearance is solid and its aroma, while faint, is pleasant. Its luscious feel nicely supports its decadent palate and a lofty ABV is hidden quite well. Its taste is terrific; so flavorful and complex. Totalitarian is a wonderful Russian Imperial Stout.

Recommended Pairings

Stone recommends the following food pairings with their Totalitarian Russian Imperial Stout: appetizers of sausage and kraut, prime steak tartare, Swedish meatballs, smoked salmon, pasta salad, wild mushroom soup, Texas-style chili, Bo Kho Vietnamese beef stew; mains of spicy lamb sausage rigatoni, mole braised beef, porterhouse steak, beef ribs, cheese and onion pasty; sweets of chocolate-hazelnut tart, stone brownie sundae, blueberry blue cheese jalapeño cheesecake, artisanal cheese and fruit plate, chocolate lava cake, and s’mores.

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About the Russian Imperial Stout

The Russian Imperial Stout style is inspired by the brewers of the 19th century who crafted this King of Stout to impress the Russian Czar. The stout is strong in alcohol with a hefty malt backbone that exhibits a lot of character. The malt is roasted and even burnt with chocolate. Palate sometimes suggests dark fruit. Its hop bitterness can vary widely from none to balanced and even highly aggressive. Its feel is often dry with low to moderate carbonation.