26 of the Best Imperial Sweet Stouts, Blind-Tasted and Ranked

Learn about how we rate & review beers with our BJCP blind panel here

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company Cherry Thrale's (75)

“Russia’s Peter the Great loved English stouts. Unfortunately, the beer could not survive the long journey until 1796, when London brewery Thrale’s increased the alcohol content and hopping rate in their stout, creating the imperial stout. We’ve ‘imperialized’ this stout by fermenting it a bit further with sour cherries.”

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Barrel-Aged Scarface (83)

“The bourbon barrel-aged edition of Scarface will assault your senses with sweet caramel, oak, and vanilla.”

Avery Brewing Company The Czar (85)

“Behold the stunning crimson hues through the inky blackness. Inhale the noble Hallertau hops, spicy and floral. Savor the flavors redolent of English toffee, rich mocha, sweet molasses, candied currants, and a hint of anise.”

Brouwerij De Molen Cease & Desist (86)

“A sweet imperial stout with lots of chocolate and coffee notes accompanied by plums. Strong yet not overwhelming, very flavorful and powerful. Try aging it for a couple of years to get its full complexity.”

Single Hill Brewing Company Reserve - Osa Major (86)

"This imperial stout was aged in Westland American Single Malt Whiskey barrels, imparting stellar notes of dark roast coffee, sweet vanilla, and cocoa powder."

Southern Tier Brewing Company Creme Brulee (87)

“How, you may ask, would a brewery determine a likeness to hard-coated custard? Our response is simple: it’s all in the power of history, and of course, the extra finesse needed to top off a contentious treat with definition. It was the French Crème Brûlée that survived to represent our deliciously creamy brew!”

Liquid Mechanics Brewing Company Marshmallow Milk Stout (88)

“Our imperial milk chocolate stout base with a blast of marshmallows.”

Elevation Beer Company Oil Man (88)

“Much like the sweet light crude oil from the eastern plains of Colorado, this beer pours a deep black with an unbelievable coffee-colored head. Aromatics of sweet malt and bourbon envelop the nose. The malt profile continues through the palate from beginning to end with subtle hints of chocolate, coffee, and of course, bourbon.”

Evil Twin Brewing Imperial Biscotti Break (89)

“Keep it cool, clean, confident, arrogant, and flamboyant. Forza Imperiale.”

Alvarado Street Brewery Motor Oil No. 5 (90)

Motor Oil No. 5 is our incredibly decadent, rich, and roasty imperial stout treated with sweet orange, vanilla, and cacao nibs. Like a Lindt orange chocolate bar.

EPIC Brewing Imperial Stout (90)

“This massive stout pours a mahogany black with a thick, brown head. The aroma is all chocolate and toasted malt. The first wave of flavor embraces anise and dark, bitter chocolate but opens up to include coffee, smoke, and rich sweet malt.”

Terrapin Beer Company Cinnamon Roll’d Wake-n-Bake (90)

“Like your favorite breakfast treat and a great cup of coffee, Cinnamon Roll’d Wake-n-Bake hits on all cylinders. Starting with a delicious coffee aroma, a touch of cinnamon gives way to a sugary sweet icing flavor as a buttery nuttiness fills out the last drop of this breakfast in a glass.”

Port Brewing Company Santa’s Little Helper (90)

“Our imperial stout starts with an emphasis on dark cocoa and roasted coffee aromatics. The finish lends hints of sweet crystal malt, warming tones of alcohol, and a touch of hops.”

Southern Tier Brewing Company Choklat Oranj (91)

“Choklat Oranj is a stout brewed with chocolate and orange peel, opaque black in color, and a delicious dessert beer. Perfect alone or enjoyed as a float.”

Left Hand Brewing Company Bittersweet Imperial Milk Stout (92)

“Allegro Coffee’s exotic Mocha Java blend’s dark cherry flavors and spicy undertones weave into the milky sweet stout like a chocolate-covered espresso bean melting on your tongue.”

Green Bench Brewing Co The Lifted Veil (92)

The Lifted Veil is a blend of Foursquare Rum barrel-aged Imperial Stouts, and Heaven Hill 7-year barrel-aged English-style Barleywines, all aged for nearly 2 years prior to blending. Bold and complex, The Lifted Veil is a treat: warm chocolate and sweet caramel with nuanced vanilla, cocoa, and molasses barrel character.

Upland Brewing Teddy Bear Kisses (93)

"Teddy Bear Kisses features an abundance of dark malts and high-alpha hops for a powerful impact of roast, chocolate, and sweet bitterness. The velvety malt character, balanced bitter intensity, and soothing chocolate notes are created by long aging on fair trade cocoa nibs."

Hardywood Park Cassowary (93)

“Cloaked in black and crowned with vibrant color, the cassowary is the embodiment of prehistoric grace and primal ferocity. Our imperial milk stout is equally bold and unapologetically rich, presenting a balanced aroma of chocolate truffle and dark fruits followed by leather, toffee, and almond that linger on the palate and earn the name Hardywood Cassowary; a graceful behemoth in the beer world.”

WeldWerks Brewing Company Mexican Achromatic (93)

“Brewed with an obscene amount of chocolate malts (more than 150 pounds), oatmeal, and crystal malts to lend a sweet, caramel malt backbone and smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Fermented with a clean, attenuative yeast strain to keep the focus on the malts and adjuncts. The spiciness of the cinnamon sticks is a wonderful contrast with the rich, dark chocolate notes from the cacao nibs, and the vanilla beans top it all off with a creamy, decadent sweetness.”

Hoppin' Frog Brewing Rye B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher - Batch # 400 (94)

"A wonderful, crisp, old-world beer flavor is imparted to our flagship Imperial Stout from an abundance of both sweet malted rye and spicy non-malted rye to add variety and celebrate brewing our 400th batch of B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout."

Lift Bridge Brewery Irish Coffee Stout (95)

“Milk stout is blended with whiskey barrel-aged imperial stout before it’s finished off with locally roasted coffee.”

Bend Brewing Co Canadian Coldfront (95)

"Brewed with over 4 lbs per barrel of fire roasted Sumatra from Bend’s Bohemian Roastery and maple wood smoked malt from Skagit Valley Malting, Canadian Coldfront is loaded with intense coffee notes of silky bittersweet chocolate and a faint sweet smoky finish.  What a way to ride, oh what a way to go."

Lawson's Finest Liquids Coffee Fayston Maple Imperial Stout (96)

“This seasonal specialty is brewed with organic pale malt and almost 2 gallons of Vermont maple syrup per barrel. This cellar-aged brew is a huge, rich, and strong stout with a maple

Transient Artisan Ales Win Bigly (97)

“Imperial cream stout. Formerly known as ‘This is Neat.’”

Weldwerks Brewing Coffee Maple Achromatic (97)

“An imperial stout brewed with an obscene amount of chocolate malts, oatmeal, and crystal malts to lend a sweet, caramel-malt backbone. We boil for more than six hours to achieve the rich, chewy, thick mouthfeel and add multiple maple syrup additions and a huge addition of freshly roasted coffee.”

Pinthouse Brewing The First 6 Black Sabbath Records (99)

"Imperial Stout aged in Balcones Cask Strength Rye Whisky Barrel. We're getting notes of cocoa puffs and sweet chocolate milk with a mild rye spiciness from the rye whiskey barrel."