Getting Untappd: Top-Rated Phoenix Area Imperial Stouts

By Aaron Forrester and Scott Keys: Collectively known as Beers N’ Buddies

In 2018 the nations of the world sent their best athletes to compete in what is perhaps the most well-known “amateur” sporting event of all time: The Winter Olympics. Yes, we “air-quoted” amateur because, although these folks are not technically professionals, we never want to play shuffle board against John Shuster (2018 Curling Gold Medalist). In all, the USA took home 23 medals, nine of which were like Charlie Buckets ticket: GOLDEN! No doubt captivating and impressive, the winter Olympics have now passed and all that is left is a slight chill in the air and a longing for another competition that equals the pomp and circumstance that is the Olympics. With such a desire to be quenched, and with 2018 Arizona Strong Beer festival under our belts, it is now time to unleash the winter Olympics of beer competitions, the heavy weight championship of all: Imperial stouts, interestingly better drunk at both warmer and colder temperatures. You’ll figure it out.

With notes of dark fruit, roasted malts, burnt grain, chocolate and coffee, frequently concluded with variations of warm, dry, and sweet finishes, imperial stouts are sure to mesmerize as they run down the ski slope that is your mouth, while tantalizing your brain with alcohol contents that will spin you faster than a competitive figure skater. Indeed, this beer style is no joke and it should be respected, for if it’s not, it will do what mamma said . . . knock you out.

For the purposes of this list we decided not to include barrel aged variations of these imperial stouts. Because of the complexity that comes from the barrel, the bourbon/wine/rum/spirits and the amount of time aged in the barrel, there is too much variation that can occur from year to year and beer to beer to make a clear distinction of which beer is better. And, let’s be honest, if imperial stouts are the winter Olympics, then barrel aged versions are the summer. It should be noted that some of these imperial stouts are not available year-round but are still annual mainstays of each brewery, and as with our previous ratings, we are using the Untappd smartphone app to gather the data for these results. To see which beers and breweries made the top 5 in IPAs, Stouts and Lighter Beers, please follow the links provided. Now, let’s get ready to rumble!


Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout – Imperial American Stout – 9% ABV
Mcfate Brewing Co. – Scottsdale, AZ

4.02 Untappd Rating

Photo Credit: McFate Brewing Company


Dark Side Till I Die – Imperial Oatmeal Stout – 9% ABV

The Beer Research Institute – Mesa, AZ

4.05 Untappd Rating

Photo Credit: Beer Research Institute


Olmec – Imperial Mole Stout – 11.5% ABV
Wren House Brewing Co. – Phoenix, AZ
4.10 Untappd Rating

Photo Credit: Wren House Brewing Company


American Presidential Stout – Russian Imperial Stout – 11.5% ABV
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. – Gilbert, AZ
4.15 Untappd Rating

Photo Credit: Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company


Mayan Chosolossus – Mayan Imperial Stout – 11.8% ABV
8-Bit Ale Works – Avondale, AZ
4.19 Untappd Rating

Because a new listing is added each year for this beer, each listed year was added together and averaged to determine actual score


White Russian Imperial Stout – Russian Imperial Stout – 9.2% ABV
Sunup Brewing Company – Phoenix, AZ
4.19 Untappd Rating

Photo Credit: West Eal Photography – @westeal_photo


Like the difference between a bronze, silver, and gold medal, these beers were at times too close to call, and on any given day each of these beers could issue the knock-out blow that moves it from silver to gold. But, that’s part of the fun and excitement, because the best part of being a beer enthusiast of this style is that it does not matter who gets the top place because we all have a ringside seat. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you reach for a gold, silver, or bronze medal beer, they’re all fantastic. In the end, whether you’re a Russian, an American President, or a descendant of the Maya or Olmec, we all can claim the gold, and sip on some Mexican hot chocolate and proclaim to the world that we are all part of the Galactic Empire and will be part of the Dark Side till we die.

Untappd ratings collected on March 5th, 2018

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