Stone Brewing Releases Two 2013 Imperial Russian Stouts

Did you file your taxes on time? If so, it's time to celebrate. If not, you probably need a beer anyway! On April 15 of every year, Stone Brewing releases Imperial Russian Stout (IRSget it?). While many of Stone's beers are meant to drink fresh, this is one that will improve over time. However, if delayed gratification isn't your thing, crack open a bottle now.
Continuing the "Odd Beers for Odd Years" tradition that began in 2011, Stone is releasing an Espresso version for 2013 addition to the classic version. In 2011, the IRS "Odd Year" release was a Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout. I've got a bottle of that in my cellar, and will probably let it mature for a few more years.
For more details, read on. I'll be on the lookout for these...
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ESCONDIDO, CA (April 15, 2013) – Today, 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 the “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 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 and a 97 “world-class” score on BeerAdvocate. 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 finishes smooth and slightly bitter.
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 produces 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 several months or years. Over time, the stout will continue to develop deeper, rounder coffee, chocolate and dark fruit flavors as the hop aroma and bitterness subside.
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 or on social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, and The Stone Blog.


  1. Oh, thanks for the reminder Sanjay! I always stash a bottle of IRS to drink the next year when the taxes are done. The Belgo-Anise was very nasty, but I'm excited to try the Espresso IRS.

  2. You're welcome Bill. I expect nasty wasn't what Stone was going for. Maybe another year or two will mellow it out. ;)


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