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Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

208 Reviews
For Trade:
Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
We took our award winning Siberian Night Russian Imperial Stout and aged it for 11 months in fresh bourbon barrels. The result blew us away. The dark chocolate malt yields a milk chocolate flavor that blends perfectly with the vanilla flavor from the barrel. The bourbon aroma adds the finishing touch.

Added by largadeer on 04-02-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 208 | Ratings: 1,093
Photo of Angerhaus
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Weak nose, but extremely well balanced BB stout. I'd probably recommend this to anyone who is looking for an introduction to BA stouts since the bourbon is present, but not overwhelming.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like it's forebear it pours an inky black body, but unlike it's antecedent the head is much creamier and richer and lasts a bit longer. The lacing also seems more committed.

The nose will leave you with absolutely no doubt whatsoever how this beer was prepared. Bourbon bursts forth from the glass, with vanilla oak and caramel smoothe sweetness off the bat. There's a creaminess in there, and the chocolate begins to surface after the initial salvo is resolved.

Flavour starts off with these same big bourbon notes of caramel and vanilla and oak and smootheness, though it also (unfortunately to my tongue) brings in some of the sour mash side of that celebrated southern tradition that always reminds me of too many empty bottles of Evan Williams walking past the bicycle barn. The chocolate of the base comes through and tries to blend in and uplift the curled edges, but unfortunately it is not able to do so as effectively as it strives. The coffee that was so prevalent in the original is nowhere to be found, replaced by that other liquid staple already so dissected above.

Like it's parent brew, the body is creamy in an oddly deceptive way. The carbonation is dialed back a little bit and it carries that creamy character through to the end better, as does the bittering from the barrel.

This may not be an entirely fair assessment. I went into this expecting to like the original ok, and for the BA version to blow me away. The original exceeded my expectations, but this version fell a little short of what I was dreaming. I still like it quite a bit, but in the future I'd probably reach for the base version before this one even before factoring in price/availability/whatever else.

Thanks again to @WesMantooth for his generosity in sending these along as part of the NBS BIF #3 box and thus facilitating this little side by side. Corey, you're the man!

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Beautiful looking beer. Not going to describe in detail because I really need to talk about the aroma and taste of this beer.

It's bursting with milk chocolate. It's very distinct both in flavor and aroma and if I were drinking a regular stout I'd curtsy, tip my hat and alla that. But this is supposed to be aged in bourbon. I feel like this was dipped in bourbon. Like when you put your big toe in the pool or tub to check the temperature. Like when Achilles was dipped in the immortal pool and every part of his body was safe except for that damn heel. Well this beer is like the heel. It's the part that somehow didn't get the bourbon. It's like the slaves in Texas that found out slavery was over way after the emancipation proclamation and the end of the Civil War. This beer did not hear about the bourbon proclamation.

And look, I know you've got these folks that want every beer to be bourbon with some malt and hops and shit, but I'm not that person. I appreciate the subtlety and I'll even concede that there is some subtle bourbon here, but this just feels a little too much like someone splashed a half cap of some liquor in my beer.

Ah well, it's got a good body. Nice milky sweetness. It's rich. It's not all bad. Hell, it's far from bad.

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Photo of flaskman
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours very dark with moderate head and decent lacing. You can taste the bourbon quite well. Not overly boozy but just enough. Not too sweet but it is notable. I have been drinking this along with KBS and Bourbon County. I found it to be very well balanced. Good mouth feel and great taste. I like it better than the KBS because the boozyness is not overpowering. Just enough to make it enjoyable. A great Imperial Stout. If I had one gripe it would be the price but again I found it to be a great stout. A hidden gem. To me it tastes like what Storm King could had been with more refining. I will buy it again.

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Photo of Ikeithbot
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a clear yet opaque jet black in color with slightly more than moderate amounts of active visible carbonation at the edges near the surface of the glass and some faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall creamy dark mocha head that reduces to a medium to large patch of very thin film with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted and burnt malts with moderate to heavy amounts of bourbon, vanilla, and oak.

T: Moderate to strong flavors of roasted, chocolate, and burnt malts with some bittersweet chocolate notes. There are fairly strong flavors from the bourbon barrel aging of bourbon, vanilla, and lighter oakiness. Light hints of alcohol and some hints of bitterness in the finish.

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of dryness and some alcohol warming in the finish.

O: This is a really enjoyable bourbon barrel aged beer and definitely one that I would recommend. The alcohol is relatively well hidden but this is definitely a sipping beer.

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Photo of glass_house
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very good, not quite great BA stout. Bourbon character is there, but somewhat subdued. Hints of vanilla and oak, but not a major improvement on the base beer. The body is silky smooth, just a bit on the light side for the style and abv.

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Photo of THSdrummer
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a good looking, medium-thin creme colored head. Hardly any lacing left behind. Boozy bourbon alcohol, and roasted malts form an aroma that will wake you up and singe the hairs in your nose. Smooth malty opening, with a boozy bourbon burn right behind. Sweet caramel and chocolate follow up. Bit of a bitter finish. Really hit or miss on it. Mouth feel is bold and robust. Not the most filling, but still good presence. Overall, a good BA imperial stout. Aroma is a bit boozy, and the taste features a bit of a bourbon burn. Still good otherwise though.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of MJSFS
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a solid BBA stout. Not the best I've ever had but far from the worst. If you can find one of these, you'd be doing yourself a favor to pick it up.

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Photo of Rogerlb
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a tulip glass. Pours very dark, pretty much black, with a quite thick brown bone-colored head that stays around. Lacing is sloppy and spotty.

Aroma is very chocolate, a bit of sweet citrus and caramel in there. Quite nice. Taste is darker, charred malt and burn, hardly any chocolate, I'm getting cherries, and a subtle malt and a trace of vanilla working. The sweet seems to be grapefruity, especially later, no kidding. Not nearly as heavy as this black dark beer might suggest. Tastes are mellow and the aftertaste has the sweet mellow taste of cherries mixed with bourbon.

The warmer it gets the better it gets. Finishes oily like a hoppier beer might (not bad, mind you), and the alcohol taste is very well hidden, although this for sure is warming pretty quick at almost 11%.

Nothing doesn't work or is overpowering in this beer. While I'm not a big drinker of stouts (and haven't had many barrel-aged Russian Imperials) this is absolutely excellent for a cold (or a warm) evening. Pricey but worth it.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black, opaque, nice full finger of mocha head with good retention, surprising for the style. Big sweet aroma; chocolate, maple, vanilla, oak, bourbon are all strong and identifiable in the nose. Hops are absent or covered up well in the aroma. All the same elements are present in the taste, only married much more than in the aroma, everything really comes together incredibly well. The sweeter characteristics are defined without being overly strong. Full bodied, not syrupy. Sweet finish.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into snifter. Thanks Abel!

A: Pours a deep black with a couple fingers of dense dark coffee brown head that faded into a thin and bubbly film. Sticky lace was left down the glass.
S: Rich and creamy notes of vanilla and sweet bourbon, with hints of chocolate fudge, and marshmallow.
T: Rich and smooth flavors are decadent and potent. Vanilla/marshmallow and bourbon up front, with leather, chocolate syrup, toffee, and caramel following. I get a hint of roast, peat, and coffee in the finish. Subtle underlying sugary sweetness throughout.
M: Thick body, rich and heavy mouthfeel with a touch of acidity. Bright carbonation is sharper than expected but finishes very soft and smooth. Bourbon is boozy but this beer isn't hot. Alcohol is hidden fairly well.
O: Decadent and rich with a complex integration of flavors. Everything melds together really well.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark brown color almost black like oil with khaki colored head. Bourbon, oak, chocolate, vanilla, and some roast on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied. Finishes with bourbon and chocolate.

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Photo of GuitarIPA
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm normally not blown away by barrel-aged beers - not everything needs a dose of caramel and vanilla. I like they way it mellows out this very bitter (to my taste buds) stout. The original has lots of charred/roasted malt. This adds a nice sweetness, courtesy of the caramel and vanilla, to balance it out.

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Photo of timmy2b
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into aa goblet style glass. Dark Black with a caramel colored head which was small and left lacing around the edge of the glass. Chocalate and a small amount of coffee in the taste. A slight hint of vanilla as this warms. Boozy taste is mild and is in the aftertaste. 10.9% alcohol hidden very well. This is delicious and I would recommend!

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Photo of gcasher
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A little thin and a little sour, but no other negatives in my opinion. Holds up well with cellaring. The bourbon is not overpowering allowing for it to complement the roasted malts quite well. The cost is prohibitive.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I believe this review is of a two year old bottle

Pours pitch black with a super thin, mocha colored head. Body is opaque and with lots of bubbles.

Aromas are heavy on oak, burnt caramel, sweet fudge, bakers chocolate. Dried fig, plum, and prunes emerge as beer warms. Hops arent present, alcohol is lightly detected but I'm not really getting bourbon. Head retention was bad and lacing was non existent.

First taste is of plum, dried fig, slightly oxidized soy sauce, kinda reminds me of Bcbs. Burnt malts and oak come next, surprised that for almost 11% alcohol Im not getting a ton of it. Guess its a double edged sword since I'm missing the bourbon.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and highly carbonated. Head was sorely missed, beer is slightly oily going down.

Overall, good beer but not what I was expecting from an Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels. Would have liked some bourbon, didnt get any, would have also helped to have some head retention throughout the beer.

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Photo of Omnium
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Dommys pizza
A. Pitch black brown with two fingers of tan head medium lacing.
S. Rich bourbon dark chocolate roasted malt caramel toffee, coffee
T. Deep and rich bourbon, slight woody tone, burnt caramel and toffee, slight roasted coffee and smooth sweet chocolate.
M. Creamy rich and smooth silky texture deep and thick.
O. Excellent bba strout, rich and thick

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Photo of CHickman
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours onyx black color with a 1-1.5 finger tan foamy head that was full of bubbles of all sizes which were popping as it dissipated slowly, leaving very good spotty lacing clinging to the sides as it slides down. Typical ominous looking RIS.

Smells of molasses, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, oaky notes, roasted malts, charred wood, bourbon, ashy or smoke elements, brown sugar, toffee, coffee grinds, espresso and earthy notes with a sprinkle of piney hops. The roasted notes and bourbon come off as sweet, with the cocoa and vanilla accentuating the barrel aged influence. The chocolate weaves in and out of the booze, malt, barrels and caramel sweetness while allowing depth and complexities to come out as it warms. Very well done.

Tastes of dark chocolate, vanilla, cocoa powder, oaky notes, molasses, peat moss, charred wood, roasted malts or smoked grains, woody barrel flavors that let you know this was aged in bourbon barrels. Next wave is French roast coffee or a very burnt Starbuck's bold, mild dark fruits, brown sugar, some more oaky notes, milk chocolate, mild peppery spices, candied sugar, bourbon with minor heat, and an espresso/bitterness combo. Sweetness does not cross over into cloying, the booze adds heat and flavor but does not offend, the barrel and oak influence adds complexities and overall it's a nicely balanced and very tasty RIS. At almost 11% ABV it goes down easier than it should, which is a good thing.

Mouthfeel is smooth and almost slick, on the thin side but still close enough to medium to have that RIS feel. Roast is present, bitterness is present, booze/bourbon is present, and the carbonation is quite mild and timid as it allows the alcohol to provide a mild burn as it slides down smooth. A slow sipper indeed, this finishes on the dry side with a lot of cocoa, molasses and dark chocolate in the finish. After your mouth dries it seemed to me like I just had a shout of bourbon, which is alright with me.

Age the base beer in bourbon barrels for 11 months and this delicious brew comes out...more please, this was excellent. The alcohol is present but not too hot, the stout roasty notes come through and mix well with the bourbon and barrel aged sweetness. I assume this would age with the best of them as it seems to be this year's vintage, so I'd love to get another bottle to age a year since it was great at this stage. Seek this out.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just had it in a Westvleteren goblet, dark with an inch thick brown head. This bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout had a pleasant aroma and a lot of flavor, vanilla, dark fruits, lots of chocolate, some bourbon, but it was not very boozy. Flavorful but easy drinking. Very nice.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance: medium bodied brownish black with medium to heavy bubbles all over. Head is about a notch or so underneath a finger's length coming off a dark tan color...automatically gets extra points with me.

Smell: Strong scotch whiskey like scent coupled with a dose of espresso and roasted sugars. Beautiful scent but dissipates quick after a sniff or two.

Taste: Complex taste with malty chocolate and espresso. Not overly bitter the with a molasses brown sugar sweetness offsets the brew.

Mouth: sticky beer, has a maple syrup feel at the end which might be the brownsugars talking and how well they stick. Medium carbonation with light coffee at the end.

Overall: Very good brew, not sure if I would say if it is better than the original might be more of the mood you are in. Some beers in my opinion are better left untouched. Have a taste and you decide. Salud!

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Photo of strohme2
3.32/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2014/2015 bottling.
It has all the aspects of a great bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. Good nose, good taste initially. It's a little thin but I could look past that if that was its only fault. The taste starts out with chocolate, coconut, bourbon, vanilla but finishes with a tartness that I'm not sure is from the barrel itself or some sort of minor infection. The bottle is a year old so not sure.

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Photo of von_kaiser
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is quite good but something leaves me wanting (expected?) more. Pour and swirl..viscosity, check! Dark, 1.5 finger tan head. Scent..woof (boozy molasses). Taste..light, bitter, no chocolate, char, alcohol well hidden... Mouthfeel..not overly thin but on lower side of the thin spectrum. O...idk...put some more chocolate or some salt or somethin up in dis bitch. Misses the sweet note but overall a good offering.
Little Mac used deer antler spray.

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Photo of superspak
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter glass, bottled in Spring 2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense and rocky dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark/milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toffee, dark bread, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, coconut, light licorice/raisin, light smoke/char, and roast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge dark/milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, molasses, toffee, dark bread, bourbon, toasted oak, coconut, light licorice/raisin, light smoke/char, and roast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate roast/char bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, molasses, toffee, dark bread, bourbon, toasted oak, coconut, light smoke/char, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet and oak/bourbon spiciness balance with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with very smooth, creamy/silky, and lightly slick/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is fantastic. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible BA imperial stout. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. An insanely delicious offering.

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Photo of larryi86
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thank you SomethingClever for this!
12 oz oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Black with a three finger light mocha head.

S- Slightly bourbon heavy, rich chocolate, oak, some roasted malts, dark chocolate, some vanilla.

T- Dark chocolate, dark fruits, bourbon, oak, some roasted coffee, hints of vanilla.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- Almost smell like BCBS, but the taste isn't as big as the nose. Body is a little thinner than I like. Overall this a solid barrel aged stout that I would be happy to try again.

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Photo of K-Dog
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was my night cap for Christmas day. Was sitting on thus for over a year and what a treat. Thought this was really really good fresh. Is even better with age. One of the best ba stouts out there glad a just picked up a couple more fresh bottles to age some more. At a 93 I think this one is slighted under rated.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.