San Marcos, CA --- On June 27th Stone Brewing Co., purveyors of amazing, aggressive and awe-inspiring beers, will release the 2005 edition of Stone Imperial Stout. One of the highest rated beers in the world according to both RateBeer.com and BeerAdvocate.com, Stone Imperial Stout is a beer enthusiast's dream...a dark, decadent, and delicious dream.
In true Stone fashion of doing things out of the ordinary, this highly anticipated beer is released only once a year, and during a time of the year not normally associated with the style. Stone CEO Greg Koch justifies this with the rationalization "What better than a warm time of year to come out with a brew that tastes great as it warms up?"
However, fans of this delectable brew might notice a word missing in the title this year: Russian. This was not a mistake. "Seems that the U.S. government felt by having the word Russian in the title it would confuse consumers that a beer made by a small brewery in North San Diego County, CA was actually made in Russia," said Marketing Coordinator Chris Cochran with a wry smile. This is a serious matter that the guys at Stone are not willing to let go of easily and they continue to petition the Tax & Trade Bureau (the federal entity that oversees beer labels) on a regular basis to get regulations changed governing label guidelines and word usage. "It's a painstaking process that could take years to change, but we're not giving up," said Cochran. "Imperial Russian Stouts are a recognized historical style of beer, and we will fight for the right to accurately label our Stone Imperial Russian Stout," he added.
The name wasn't the only change this year. According to Brewmaster Steve Wagner they added more roasted barley this year than in previous recipes. None-the-less, Stone Imperial Stout is self-described via the label as "intensely aromatic (notes of anise, black currants, coffee, roastiness and alcohol) and heavy on the palate... expect this mysterious brew to pour like Siberian crude and taste even heavier!"
Due to the brew's intense character, high alcohol level and bottle conditioning, it can easily be aged for a year or more. Koch suggests that collectors open a bottle from their cellars every six months or so to experience the various stages of the brew's maturation over time. "The very best way to enjoy archives of the Stone Imperial Stout is to taste various years of the brew side by side." Of course, only the most serious collectors with the strongest will power are able to keep themselves from enjoying their archives before they even have a chance to age!
Stone Imperial Russian Stout is available in 22oz bottles. A list of regions of distribution and retailers can be found at www.stonebrewing.com/irs. Draft will also be available at a handful of select pubs in limited areas.Founded in 1996, the Stone Brewing Co. is one of the fastest growing breweries in the country. Additionally, Stone Brewing is one of the highest rated breweries in the world according to both RateBeer.com and BeerAdvocate.com. Stone Brewing Co. is currently open for tours and tastings every Friday from 3-6pm and Saturday from 11-3pm, at [OLD ADDRESS REMOVED]. Stone Brewing will move in late 2005 to 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, CA. For more information, go to www.stonebrewing.com.