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What is Imperial Stout?

Ah, beer! It’s the drink of choice for many people.

But just as a great chef knows his or her food, a true beer connoisseur should know about the different types of beer.

In this blog post, we’re going to learn all about imperial stout.

Overview of Imperial Stout

Imperial stout is a type of dark beer with rich flavors and intense complexity. It’s usually fairly high in alcohol content and well-hopped. Its full body and dark color make it stand out among other beers.

The name “imperial” comes from the fact that this style of beer was initially brewed for tsars in Russia in the 18th century.

Origin and History Of Imperial Stout

The origins of imperial stout date back to 1700s England when it was referred to as “stout porter” due to its high alcohol content and full body. In modern times it has become popularly known under its current name, imperial stout.

It continues to be one of the most sought-after beers due to its unique flavor profile.

Ingredients Of Imperial Stouts

Imperial stouts are generally made with malt, water, hops, and yeast, but they can also include other specialty grains such as chocolate malt or smoked malt to enhance the complexity of their flavor profiles.

Additionally, additives such as lactose can be used in some instances to add sweetness or increase the body without raising the overall ABV (alcohol by volume).

Aroma And Flavour Of Imperial Stout

The intense aromas that come from an imperial stout might include notes of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, oak, and smoke along with herbal and earthy hop nuances.

On the palate, you may taste dark fruit notes such as plums or raisins complemented by bittersweet chocolate flavors balanced out by firm bitterness from the hops used in brewing it. The finish is usually long-lasting with a hint of sweet caramel rounding out every sip.

Types Of Imperial Stout

– Russian Imperial Stout: A full-bodied beer with a high alcohol content (7-12% ABV) that has been aged for months prior to release on oak barrels or chips previously used for aging spirits like whiskey or rum which gives it more depth in the flavor profile.

– American Imperial Stout: This style is brewed using American hops like Centennial which gives it a more citrusy aroma compared to its Russian counterpart while still having enough bitterness that balances out its sweetness from all the malts used in the production process.

– Oatmeal Stout: A more chewy version of an imperial stout made by adding oatmeal during mash which gives extra body and nutty flavor to this type of ale on top of all typical characteristics mentioned before making this variation irresistible for those who love their stout creamy!

Food Pairing For Imperial Stout

Due to its bold flavors and high alcohol content, imperial stouts pair best with strong dishes like beef stew or bison chili as well as desserts such as pecan pie or dark chocolate cake.

In addition, they are often served alongside cheeses like blue cheese or cheddar thanks to their complexity which can bring out even more flavor notes than would otherwise be present on these yummy delicacies!


Imperial stouts are richly complex beers with intense aromas and flavors that will please any discerning drinker’s palate! From Russian imperial stouts aged on oak barrels to oatmeal variations with nutty notes – there’s something here for everyone!

Whether you’re looking for a beer that stands up against hearty foods like beef stew or pairing some delicious desserts with your favorite brew – you won’t go wrong with an imperial stout!

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, homebrewer and beer taster. I’m also the editor of Beer100. I love travelling the world and trying out new handcraft beer and different beer styles. I’m not an expert in brewing beer, but I know a few things about beer, which I share on this blog. If you need help or have a question, please comment below.

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