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American-Style Imperial Stout

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Location: North American
Category: Ale
BJCP Comparable Category: 20C - Imperial Stout

Style Description

This is the description of how the American-Style Imperial Stout style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the American-Style Imperial Stout beer style.

  • Body: Full
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Extremely rich malty aroma is typical. Extremely rich malty flavor with full sweet malt character is typical. Roasted malt astringency and bitterness can be moderate but should not dominate the overall character.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Medium-high to high with floral, citrus and/or herbal character.
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters are high. Diacetyl should not be present.
  • Common Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt, with generous quantities of roasted malts and/or grain. May have a complex grain bill using virtually any variety of malt. Any type of hops may be used. American or English ale yeast.
  • Commercial Examples: Bell’s Expedition Stout, Cigar City Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout, Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout, North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout.

Brewing Properties of American-Style Imperial Stout

The functional properties of brewing American-Style Imperial Stout beers as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, historical significance, authenticity or a high profile in the current commercial beer market.

ABV
The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
7.0 - 12.0%
Bitterness
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
50 - 80 IBUs
SRM
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
40 SRM
(79 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.080 - 1.100
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.020 - 1.030

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.

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