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

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout

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918 Ratings

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Ratings: 918
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.47%
Wants: 120
Gots: 265 | FT: 64
Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 04-02-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 918 | Reviews: 166
Reviews by crhea89:
More User Reviews:
Photo of StoutHunter
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Thirsty Dog's Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout last week for $5.99 at The Lager Mill. I've had Siberian Night more than a few times, but I've never had the barrel aged version and I've heard good things about it, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz gold foil bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it's like a combination of Wulver and Siberian Night and I think the gold foil makes it a little eye catching. It poured a nice dark black color that didn't let any light come through and it had a little over a fingers worth of light mocha colored head that died down to to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some sticky and patchy lacing behind. This is very nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the bourbon barrels being the first to show up and they impart a nice mixture of oak, bourbon and vanilla aromas coming through. Up next comes a big milk chocolate aroma that leads into some dark roasted malts that impart some roasted, sweet malt and light caramel like aromas. This beer had a very nice aroma that was just what I would expect from the style.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with milk chocolate being the first to show up and it's just a little lighter than it was in the aroma and it's followed by the dark roasted malts which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma. Up next comes the barrels which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma, but this time they are a little lighter. On the finish there's no bitterness with some sweetness and just some slight alcohol flavors coming through with some milk chocolate and bourbon barrel flavors showing up in the aftertaste. This was a good tasting beer, it had everything that I look for in the style, but I wish it was just a little bolder.

M- Smooth, the alcohol was well hidden, not too crisp, a little velvety, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. This beer had a good mouthfeel that worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good example of the style, it had pretty much everything that I look for in the style with all the key flavors showed up and the alcohol was very well hidden. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, the alcohol was well hidden, not too crisp, a little velvety, slightly filling and the taste did a good job at holding my attention, i think one is the perfect amount for me. What I like the most about this beer was the balance and the aroma, they were both very nice and they were the highlights of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was that the taste wasn't just a little bolder like the aroma was. I would buy this beer again, it's a little expensive, but I think it's worth it. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Bourbon Barrel Aged Stouts. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, i knew going in to this beer that it had a solid base and in the end it ended up working well with the bourbon barrels. I still think Wulver is my favorite from this brewery, but it's one of the better Thirsty Dog beers I've had and it's a pretty good and above average example of the style. Good job guys, this was a tasty beer, keep it up.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of joe1510
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%

12oz Bottle
City Beverage - Winston-Salem

Siberian Night is an appropriate name for such a libation. It's a black hole of a beer. Milk chocolate tinted foam grows to a finger in height on a hard pour. While the head does fall rather quickly to a thick ring and island of foam it does become creamy and luxurious. Drink lines coat the glass with each swallow.

The nose is rich, deep, and dark but all within reasonable balance. Dark chocolate, cocoa, ganache, and fudge are all present. When that depth of chocolate is married with the bourbon and barrel notes it's a match meant to be. the barrel aging adds vanilla and loads of wood notes that bring to mind pecans nuttiness. As this beer warms a solid roastiness evolves reminiscent of black coffee. Last but not least is a peppery alcohol bite. This stout really does have it all, in the nose department at least.

We get even more on the palate. Dark berries emerge, slightly sweet and ripe. The chocolate doesn't have as much depth but it's certainly still there with dark chocolate and fudge. Again, the barrel adds pecan nuttiness, a good helping of vanilla, oak, and a welcomed but soft sweetness. All flavor components are well integrated and in good balance. Each drink is slightly different from the last, something popping up here and something else popping up there.

The body is luxuriantly velvety with a density that fits well. The weight lies somewhere just short of full, there's none of that sickly sweet stickiness that are in so many beers of this size. With that explained, this beer is very drinkable for its abv. 12oz bottle is probably a better idea than a 22.

I've had a soft spot for Siberian Night since the first year I'd gotten into craft beer. It's still a damn good beer to me as a matter of fact. The bourbon edition? Yowza! It's a doozy. The balance is great, no one aspect dominates. Do yourself a favor and buy this beer.

Photo of oberon
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter jet black with a deep beige head that leaves a little lace as it settles quickly.Wow alot of fruitiness in the nose along with sweet alcohol,toast,and light vanilla,the alcohol is quite big but appetizing.Full and just as lush as all get out in the feel,to me it's perfect with the mellow carbonation and fullness.Fruity and vinious on the palate, the thick feel makes it even better,bourbon soaked dark fruit and vanilla with real butterscotch flavor in the finish.I have been wanting a beer lately to blow me away,this did.One of the best of 2013 for me.

Photo of tectactoe
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to umich03jm for bringing this to the tasting. It pours a super-deep shade of brown, just outside the realm of black, with a tan, quarter-inch head that's really more akin a fine layer of skin on the brew. It fizzles outward into a clump of foam circling the beer, leaving the top portion open to the air. No lacing as far as I can tell.

Bourbon barrel aging isn't hidden in this brew, as the first sniff brings forth heavy amounts of both bourbon and wood. I haven't had the base beer to be able to see the contrast, but I can say that this iteration is nearly all barrel on the nose. Mild vanilla, back-end coconut, and again, more boozy oak. The only aroma that likely isn't a consequence of barrel aging is a faint trace of cocoa nib sweetness that plays throughout the bold profile.

As the aroma would indicate, the first thing that assaults my taste buds is a huge spike of bourbon; much to my contentment, though, it's actually not hot at all, and it's really quite smooth. The flavor, however, is quite potent, and very heavy, almost as if a straight shot of bourbon was poured directly into the stout. Lots of oak, coconut, and mild vanilla undertones mellow out the bourbon and round out the barrel-aged flavors.

Undernearth the bourbon barrel bashing, there lies a mildly sweet undercarriage made up of burnt, caramelized sugar, mildly roasted malts, and a pinch of chocolate. Once the boozy warmth has time to disperse, the beer is actually quite sweet in the finish with some dry oak to hammer down the finish. Medium bodied, maybe not as heavy as I like my "big" stouts, but it gets the job done. Sufficient carbonation for a smooth, silky mouth feel.

Pretty decent barrel-aged stout exhibiting a pretty decent balance of warmth and sweetness when all was said and done. The only problem I have is that the actual bourbon barrel flavors are a bit too forward and cover up much of anything else. In that sense, it kind of gets lost in a sea full of bourbon barrel stouts that don't quite have the delicate touch of similar style, world class offerings. Decent, nonetheless, but not a world beater.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #79 (Aug 2013):

Thirsty Dog takes what is already pretty much a beast of a beer and dials it up a few notches with 11 months in bourbon barrels. The barrel flavor really takes a firm hold of this beer, though the aging certainly smooths everything out. Hunt a bottle down—you’ll be happy you did.

STYLE: Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.9%

LOOK: Complete darkness, lovely brown lace

SMELL: Bourbon, coffee, roasted grain, molasses, vanilla, alcohol, burnt raisins, faint licorice root

TASTE: Chewy, smooth, pulling wood, bourbon, big warmth, faint vanilla, aggressive charred grain, dark coffee, cacao nibs, modest hopping, black currants, brown sugar; drying, woody, roasty finish

Photo of alarmclock314
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No bottle date. Had this right after the non-BA version. Pours black with a large-sized light brown head. Smells of roasted malts, bourbon, and cocoa. The taste follow closely, very similar to the smell. Medium body and medium-high carbonation. Overall, a well-rounded and satisfying BA stout. The BA version has more carbonation (surprisingly) and some good bourbon notes.

Photo of frenchblood21
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip...Date is 1/11/2014

Appearance- Jet black! I mean I held it up to the brightest light in the house and I couldn't see any light. Just under a half finger of dark tan head that fades away almost right away.

Smell- Malty bourbon/oak comes up. I get vanilla and figs in the back-end. Sweetness is present.

Taste- Caramel and bourbon punch me in the face. Then I get brown butter and brown sugar. Sweeter than I had anticipated and yet hoppier too. This is much more hoppy then other barrel-aged stouts.

Mouthfeel- So smooth...This beer coats your mouth much like a cough syrup might, but in a delicious way. Bitter dark chocolate melted in maple syrup with grapefruit zest added!

Overall- Fantastic beer! I would drink this whenever possible. Would I bend over backwards to trade for this? No, of course not, but a great beer worth praising.

Photo of GOBLIN
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Currently in Ohio we do not have distro of beers over 12% abv. So when asked what barrel aged stout most resembles BCBS . . . I suggest BA Siberian Night (and imo may be better). Siberian Night is already a fantastic imperial stout in it's own right. However, the barrel aged version is in a league with a select few. This is not a BA stout that tastes like someone dumped a shot of bourbon in the glass. The bourbon flavor is there up front but it's the barrel character that really shines and allows the oak to flourish too.

Photo of Soonami
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chewy, smoky, with big bourbon barrel flavors and aroma. The beer is a bit dry with some dusty cocoa but a lot of solventy alcohol. Overall a good beer, above average. I haven't had the base beer, but I worry that even at 11% Siberian night might have enough malt and roast flavor to stand up to the strong whiskey impregnation.

Photo of chinchill
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%

On tap.
Great balance kn this RIS, with the barrel aging contributing to a very smooth body and well hidden ABV but supllying only mild bourbon aromatics and flavors. Good complexity with relatively strong notes of dark chocolate and dark bread.

Photo of lanamj
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

64oz growler shared with friends.

A- Pours a nice coffee black with a minimal caramel head that dissolves quickly.

S- Nice balance between malts, chocolate, and bourbon. I feel like the balance here is perfect. I love the evolution of this nose as this stout reaches room temp.

T- Chocolate and malts dominate this ale. I get some bourbon but not as much as revealed on the nose. I feel this is a very well balanced ale nothing over powers the palate.

M- Like chocolate milk smooth. So silky and the abv is masked perfectly. A little thin but manageable. Low carbonation but expected for the style.

O- A great barrel aged stout, a little thin but still very silky. The nose is my favorite part, i could smell this beer all day. The balance in flavors makes this a very approachable barrel aged stout.

Photo of weonfire
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this brew at River City Drafthouse in Louisville, KY on tap in a 10oz sample glass.

A - Perfect. Jet Black, mocha head to brim. dissipates slowly. viscosity is medium.

S - Love it. Chocolate, cherry, toffee, molasses and lovely lovely bourbon

T - Chocolate, Vanilla, aged fruits- fig/date/cherry, and great bourbon. Slight trace of alcohol. very pleasant.

M - Just what I was hoping for. Has that frothy/creamy/velvety feel. Super flavors cover full mouth.

O - Scent excellent. Taste was great but felt a bit a unblended- as in, while a lot of excellent flavor are all present they aren't all mellowed together. That said, I did like it very much.

Serving type: on-tap

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Brew Kettle, served in a snifter. A big sipper. Dark, thick, minimal head. Big on chocolate, and coconut and vanilla from the barrelling. A hint of booziness.Coffee, coco, roasted malt. Overall well executed, bitter but still balance.Roast in aroma.

Photo of tdm168
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brownish black with half an inch of brown, foamy head. The nose has notes of deep roasted malts and chocolate. The taste is licorice and anise up front with chocolate and roasted malts in the finish. The alcohol adds some warmth and some faint esters to the finish. There's also a faint hop bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied, smooth, and mildly carbonated.

Overall this is a solid beer. A sipper for sure, but solid and delicious.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger dark mocha colored head with little retention. Beer is a dense, opaque pitch black. Lacing is stringy and spotty with solid stick and big, oily legs. Really nice.

Nose is molasses, cocoa, anise, sweet soy sauce, dark fruit, roasted malt and booze. Deliciously deep and robust.

Opens espresso, dark chocolate, fudge, and roasted malt. Dark fruit flavors fade in gradually mixed with fudge and cocoa in the middle supplemented by a slight booziness in the background. Very sweet. A slight soy sauciness at the finish balanced by chocolate and more molasses and leather in the aftertaste. Awesome!

Full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth and goes down warm and slightly boozy. Messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Great for the style and flavor.

I dare say that this rivals BCBS in terms of availability/quality ratio. A very under the radar brew that's certainly worth seeking out!

Photo of dirtylou
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

***Updated / 12/24/13

Noticeably better batch - no longer any issues with faint barrel effects. Outstanding on tap at Vintner on christmas eve

***Original / 12.25.11/ 4.5, 4, 4, 4, 4

on-tap, duckworths ballantyne

appearance: 11oz pour, ebony body, 1/2" chocolate foam - looks the part

smell: roasty, dark chocolate, barrel effects fairly trace on the nose

taste: the base beer is solid and this version is really nice as well, but the barrel notes are fairly dark chocolate, coffee, light bourbon, dark fruit, vanilla. Nice - but wouldnt have even known it was aged in a bourbon barrel

mouthfeel: rich and creamy

overall: tasty

Photo of prototypic
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one arrived looking onyx. Absolutely pitch black. Light was rather dim, but it didn’t seem to penetrate through at all. It’s topped with a darker, mocha colored head. It’s roughly a finger tall, and dissipates somewhat quickly. Lacing was sticky, and a little lighter in volume.

The nose is quite impressive. A strong whiff of roasted coffee greets the nose first. I’m a coffee fan, so I love that about it. A mix of chocolate and roasted malts follows. The chocolate smells like bittersweet dark chocolate fudge. Very nice. I’m honestly not getting much bourbon at all. There’s hint of it. Oak and vanilla are noted and come through equally as strong as the bourbon, if not a little stronger. Alcohol is there, but doesn’t offend.

The flavor rocks! The malt base is very tasty. Dark chocolate fudge and roasted malt notes are abundant. They’re complemented extremely well by a rich, roasted coffee flavor. The coffee flavor is relatively intense, and may be a little much for the coffee averse. Bourbon is a little noticeable, but is very tame in flavor. It tastes excellent, but I wouldn’t mind just a little boost in bourbon here. Oak and vanilla are perhaps a little more noticeable and add quality depth. Hints of molasses and anise are noted on the tail. Alcohol is there, but isn’t warm or hot. A java-malt-oak combo wraps it up.

The body is a bit lighter than expected. It’s best described as medium. Light carbonation helps it to attain a smooth feel, but more body would be a good thing. Nonetheless, this stuff goes down like a dream. I wouldn’t mind another.

Barrel-Aged Siberian Night is definitely good beer. It impresses in a lot of ways. It’s not quite as good as Siberian Night. I believe a bit more bourbon would improve the nose and the flavor just enough to surpass it. I generally prefer a lighter bourbon presence, but this one almost seems too light. I’m curious how long it might have spent in barrels. In any event, this is impressive stuff. If you have the opportunity, grab it!

Photo of mlockman
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deceptively smooth given its high ABV; not an overwhelming bourbon flavor, rather it blends well and the archetypical imperial stout flavor still shines through.

Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Layers of toffee, gooey caramel, and dark chocolate on the nose, with the bourbon lingering in the back; on the flavor, there's dark chocolate and berry primarily, the latter imparting a good deal of sweetness. Very long aftertaste on this one, mostly of relatively low cacao dark chocolate

Overall, this is a very sweet, but enjoyable RIS. Just the right amount of bourbon.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a nice khaki hrad. Uneven collar. A few islands.

Smell - Great bourbon. Coffee roasted malt. Oak and a smidge of vanilla.

Taste - Dark fruits. Dark roasted malts yield coffee and chocolate. Bourbon is less intense, but the barrel character and vanilla persists.

Mouthfeel - A little thin. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Great nose. The barrel seems to have diminished the body, but the flavors are good.

Photo of Infamous7100
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black, thick tan head. Everything it should be.
S: Sweet bourbon, coffee, chocolate, oak and vanilla blend nicely to form a cornucopia of goodness.
T: Follows the nose nicely. Sweet at front. Bourbon and oaky toward the middle and back. Pleasantly warming.
M: Slick, low carbonation. Great aftertaste and hang.
O: Glad I picked this up exclusivley on the growler. A true sipper and a pleasure to sip on.

Photo of ChrisL24481
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured dark black with absolutely no head to speak of, other than the thin light brown ring that was left around the edge of the glass. Bubbles could be seen popping at the top of the beer.

Smell - An amazing smell rises to the nose; bourbon, vanilla, oak, and chocolate all come out to play. Can't say it enough, but an excellent aroma on this bourbon barrel aged beauty.

Taste - Bourbon and vanilla hit you upfront followed by dark chocolate in the end. All the flavors blend well together and play off each other excellently.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and sticky. Full bodied, but thinner compared to some of the other barrel aged monsters out there.

Overall - Thoroughly enjoyed this one, sad its my last bottle. A great blend of flavors and a well constructed brew. Definitely up there as one of my favorites for the style, but still prefer the likes of BCBS, KBS, etc.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.79/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black with a slim head. It looks viscous with the carbonation bubbles fighting to get to the surface.

The aroma is subdued. Vanilla from the bourbon barrels and chocolate.

Boozy. Vanilla and oak. Dark chocolate. The flavors aren't deep, but the booze it. It's a hot one.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate-heavy carbonation, but I want think and soft with low carbonation.

It's ok. With so many other great barrel aged stouts out there this doesn't rank among the best and, frankly, I'm baffled by the 94 rating.

2012 vintage.

Photo of fgmiele
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark silky black into a snifter.. Looks viscose.. Deep espresso foam head that recedes quickly. Nose is sweet and smoky, you can smell the chocolate. Bourbon showcased very well in the taste.. Not overwhelmingly boozy at first but thick and hearty with a wallop of sweet heat towards the end. Overall a knock out of one of my favorite styles.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 918 ratings.