Beer Reviews

Ink (Imperial Stout)

Ink (10% | 57 IBU) is our delicate and delicious Imperial Stout. It was the first beer of ours to grace bottles and is a delight to drink, to age and to share.

Reviews are done by Jim Matt, our Chief Science Officer, who is also a veteran FoBAB judge, GABF judge, and BJCP Master judge.

Malts: Maris Otter, Extra Dark Crystal, Flaked Oats, Chocolate Malt, Roasted Barley

Hops: Bravo, Glacier

What’s the origin of an Imperial Stout?

Peter the Great from Czarist Russia loved his dark beers. At the time, they were generally Porters that were produced in England. When Peter the Great had these Porters carried to him in Russia, it took so long that the beers were spoiled by the time they made their 1000+ mile journey. As a result, the English increased the alcohol levels in these beers to produce a “Russian Imperial Stout.”

How did Ink come to be?

We wanted to brew a fairly big Imperial Stout of our own. The Imperial Stouts we like the most are fairly dry, complex, not too full-bodied, but also quite high in alcohol without being over-the-top.

rhinegeist ink imperial stout in snifter

Can you speak to the different varietals of barrel aged Ink that we’ve had?

We have had a sherry barrel aged Ink (GABF Silver medal winner in 2015), and also an Ink aged in various whiskey and bourbon barrels from many different suppliers.

Why is it such a desirable beer to barrel age?

The dark malt acts as an antioxidant, and ages gracefully, like a fine wine. The big dark malt character doesn’t get overpowered by the bourbon or wood character of a barrel.

What makes you want to drink Ink?

It is that time of year where dark, rich beers are satisfying, and Ink does not disappoint.

Appearance: Black, nearly opaque with a moderately thick tan head. Medium-low carbonation.

Aroma: Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, mild fruit, slight earthy hop aroma.

Taste: High malt flavor with notes of roasted nuts, espresso, bittersweet chocolate, and a slight raisin note. Medium-high bitterness with a low earthy hop flavor. Finish is off-dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, moderate alcohol warmth, low dark malt derived astringency.

Overall: A very complex beer with lots of roasted malt character, alcohol, and slight sweetness that avoids the cloying character of some of the other beers in this class.

What foods would pair well with Ink?

Rare strip steak, creamy cheese such as Brie, or chocolate truffles.

Ideal glassware for Ink?

10 oz snifter glass, served at cellar temperature (55-60 F).


rhinegeist ink imperial stout in bottles
rhinegeist ink imperial stout in bottles
rhinegeist ink imperial stout in snifter