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

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

168 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 168
Hads: 952
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 4.07%
Wants: 120
Gots: 278 | FT: 67
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

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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 168 | Hads: 952
Photo of JakerLou
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black with a thin tan head, about half a finger. Head dissipated quickly. A little bit of lacing.

Smells of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, coconut, a touch a sweetness in the form of caramel.

Taste is big chocolate up front. Vanilla and coconut kick in with a nice hint of bourbon. Not very boozy considering it's almost 11% ABV.

Mouthfeel is velvety smooth. Has that nice thick feel like BCBS. (411 characters)

Photo of SerialTicker
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

$7.49 for a single bottle -- that's up there with one of the most expensive 12oz bottles I've ever purchased. I had the original Siberian Night years ago before I fully appreciated the style. Now, I'm sort of revisiting that beer... but the BBA'd variety, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Appearance: Hard pour into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint was absolutely incredible. What a beer. Three fingers or so of a pillowy dark brown, creamy head on top of a pitch black abyss of a beer. My glass must not be in "primo" beer drinking condition, since I'm not getting any lacing despite the great head (heh, heh). Still, a phenomenal looking beer.

Smell: Bourbon. Barrel. Absolutely loaded and smells fantastic. Under that, coffee, subtle dark fruit, and a coconut aroma come through. The coconut is something I get periodically in the style -- really, that coconut makes me think of BCBS. This beer as a whole smells similar to BCBS, but just slightly less "hot" and intense.

Taste/feel: Good Lord this stuff is so good on every level. Vanilla and oak from the barrel with some awesome warming bourbon, deep roast, and quite a nice amount of a doughnut and coconut vibe as well... not much more that a guy can ask for. The beer finishes with a slight roast/char and even a caramel malt flavor that is just perfect combination. The finish is very, very slightly bitter -- as a whole, it's basically impeccably balanced. The feel is also damn good: moderately big and creamy but not syrupy thick body with a light-to-moderate carbonation that is very nearly perfect.

My mind is blown for two reasons. First, it's just an absolutely amazing tasting beer. Second, I can not fathom why this beer only has a 93 rating on this site. Recipe change? Dirty glasses? Mental retardation? I don't know, but this is a World Class brew if I've ever had one. I think this is considerably better than KBS, and maybe even better than BCBS (if not, it's a very close call) for a slightly more reasonable price, not to mention it's far easier to find than either of those beers.

This beer is an experience not like many others. An absolute, no doubt about it, must-try from Thirsty Dog. (2,167 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Dark as a Siberian night with brownish highlights. A tan one-finer head that hung around. Decent lacing.

S: Bourbon heavy (which I love) with caramel, toffee, charred chocolate and cocoa.

T: Like sipping a bourbon, neat. Bourbon dominates with caramel backing up the troops. Toasty chocolate, vanilla. Sultry and sinister. Sip slowly and taste the love.

M: Medium to heavy with medium, chewy carbonation.

O: Wish I could afford more of this exquisite treat. At $6.50 for a 12 ounce, this tasty delight is one for a long, cold night of celebration. A great New Year's Eve toast. (625 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 year old bottle

A - Dark, midnight brown body with cola highlights. Tan head pours a finger high with nice retention and lace.

S - Nice soft roast, vanilla, caramel, sweet tobacco, and silky dark chocolate.

T - Molasses, burt bread crust, caramel, soy sauce, vanilla, almond extract, malted milk balls, oak, and brown sugar. Great balance and integration.

M - Silky smooth, medium frame.

O - Delicious, well balanced and super smooth. A great take on a BA imperial stout. (481 characters)

Photo of matt_duthie
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Black, nothing comes through holding it to the light, solid finger+ of mocha head, decent lacing

S: Chocolate, raisins/figs, bourbon, vanilla, coffee

T: Coffee, molasses, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, a little dark fruity on the finish. Better and more balanced than I remember from last time.

F: Thinner than expected, but not disappointingly so. Fairly drinkable, smooth and creamy.

O: The first couple from this four-pack didn't really do it for me, perhaps I had them too close to similar styles or something. Solidly enjoyable, though a bit expensive for 12oz bottles. (586 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and a thin layer of bubbles on the surface in between.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bourbon are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and is dominated by flavors of bourbon, which aren't too strong or overpowering. Except for the bourbon, no other flavors of bourbon are present in the taste.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The bourbon lends a bit of warmth to the finish.
O: For a strong beer, this is deceptively easy to drink and has nice bourbon flavors. However, it tastes more like an American Double Stout than a Russian Imperial Stout because it seems that the bourbon masks out the aromas and flavors of the underlying roasted and burnt malts. If you let the beer warm up the bourbon aromas and flavors will strengthen.

Serving type: bottle (1,010 characters)

Photo of justinp444
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass this beer has a pitch black body with a chocolate inch a half thick head. Smell of roasted malts, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, some oak, and cherry. Taste is bourbon, alcohol, chocolate, tad bit of coffee, very dry, little bit of maple sweetness, vanilla, toasted oak, and some dried fruit on the end. It has a full body with a moderate to full mouth feel. A little bit too dry and too much alcohol but not bad BA stout. (446 characters)

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The usual looking dark stout, retains a faint head.smells of dark fruit and bourbon.taste is good, quite strong and not very subtle.slightly carbonated feel. Taste on the back end is also fruity, a very solid beer but as a huge fan of ba stouts its not top class. (263 characters)

Photo of beersdmf17
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Solid base beer, pours with thick with aroma of bourbon and hints of vanilla and oak. The taste is dominated by the dark malt, full of chocolate, coffee, and bitterness. The tannins, oak, vanilla and bourbon all play well together. The mouthfeel is nice but not super thick. Lingers nicely in the mouth. The bitterness was present but I wouldn't call this infected. Overall a really solid barrel aged stout that isn't that hard to come across. (443 characters)

Photo of HopHunter19
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - 4.25 - dark brown-black beer with a mocha head that sticks, not much lacing, really inviting looking
S - 4.75 - Bourbon, vanilla, molasses, cream, tiny bit of buttered popcorn, coffee, roasted malts
T - 5 - Big bourbon and roasted malts, dark chocolate, cocoa, burnt marshmallow, molasses, dark fruits, vanilla, very robust barrel aged imperial stout
M - 5 - thick, alc covered, aftertaste is roasted malts and bourbon
O - 4.75 - This is a great BBA imperial stout. I would definitely pick it up again. Price point is about right @ 6-8 bucks / 12 ounce bottle. (564 characters)

Photo of alarmclock314
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (380 characters)

Photo of mlockman
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (161 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gold foil capped 12oz bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 6.99. 2015 release, no dicernable bottling date. Served in a Clown Shoes snifter.

Pours oil black with a half finger of dense khaki head. A milky layer and healthy halo remain, leaving all sorts of lacing from specks to chunks to a few sheets.

The aromas leap from the glass to fill my nostrils. Rich bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, wet oak, chocolate and roast. Very nice.

The flavors are full, rich and vibrant. Bourbon, vanilla and chocolate all greet the palate with a mild boozey heat. The taste is rounded out by roasty malts, coffee, dark fruit, burnt caramel, faint smoke and charred wood. The alcohol is present and appropriate without distracting. An enjoyable blebd of typical Russian imperial stout with barrel character.

The body is silky, creamy and full with soft carbonation. The lingering aftertaste blends bourbon, roast and dark cocoa.

I know I've had Siberian Night a few times before and it was never like this. Between the layers of flavor imparted by 11 months in the barrel and the full, rich body this is a much more decadent beer. This may bot be a full-on chart topper but is well worth a try. (1,193 characters)

Photo of BullDoza
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Extra from a recent trade. Was really excited to try this one when I unburied it from the box and bubble wrap.

A: dark, but poured a little thin. small, tan head. little carbonation. looks the part. 4.

S: chocolate. roasty. slightly sweet. barrel is subtle; not the most intense BB character I've ever encountered. 4.25

T: follows the nose. more bourbon on the taste, but still muted. finishes with a bitterness that, while I don't hate it, comes too strong, too quick. the kind of slight bitterness you'd appreciate on a very barrel forward beer...for balance. 3.75

M: medium. as with all BA stouts, thicker the better IMO. this one doesn't quite get there. 3.5.

O: a very good BA stout. Is it a beer to seek and trade for? Probably not. Is it a very good extra and worth grabbing if given the opportunity? Sure is. Would love to try the base here. Would also like more of the barrel to shine through in this one. (920 characters)

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at ~45 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours your usual RIS impenetrable black. Forms a fizzy head of deep tan bubbles, which dies rather swiftly - by sip #4, there was not even a ring. Carbonation lines the bottom of the snifter, making it appear almost tan at the bottom.

Smell: Oak, caramel, and vanilla well out of the glass so thick you can practically fold them. There are hints here and there of dark stone fruit and chocolate, but it's mainly that caramel-vanilla blend.

Taste: Bourbon opens the flavor rush in a torrent of oak, caramel, and vanilla, almost exactly as the nose promised. As the initial burst of booze subsides to an undertone, bitter dark chocolate and dark-roast coffee manifest, with faint plum and currant rolling through as well. At the finish, the oak character surges back to the forefront, leaving an aftertaste of wood from a plum barrel, soaked in caramel and booze. As the beer warms, the plum and currant become bolder in the flavor profile while adding a hint of date, and the chocolate is joined by a touch of blackstrap, while the coffee fades a bit into the background.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied but not quite chewy, this beer glides smoothly along the palate.

Overall: I'm glad this is currently a shelf beer for me, available any time I decide to purchase it. I'd put this up against most any hyped limited rare barrel-aged stout, and expect it to come in at least 90% as good, if not as good or better. Thirsty Dog knows what they're doing in the barrel-aging department. (1,543 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: black as night stout with a finger of mocha-colored foam

S: bourbon wafts o'er chocolaty malts, kicking up aromas of vanilla and chocolate syrup, lightened by pale oaky wood notes

T: rich bittersweet dark chocolate enrobed by bourbon's sweet vanilla and booze; barrel wood and coffee round off the flavors

M: smooth and dense, subdued carbonation, silky, faint vapors of bourbon

O: an excellent bourbon barrel stout, highly recommended. (443 characters)

Photo of Get_Lowell
4.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Look: Black motor oil with half inch of dark brown foam.
Smell: Rich chocolate inundated with bourbon.
Taste: Explosive flavor: dark chocolate ,molasses, bourbon, slight vanilla on back end.
Feel, Medium bodied, much thicker than I anticipated after 11 months aging in a bbourbon barrel. Frothy too, carbonation held up well!
Overall: I am very impressed. Everything is well executed and this beer weathered the barrels like a champ. Lots of different flavors mingle on the palate. (481 characters)

Photo of macher0
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to tulip.

A: A very aggressive pour yielded a deep rich amber head that was very frothy. This slowly retreated looking like faded whipped cream on a Frappuccino. The color is near black, I'm getting a little transparency around the edges. The retreating head leaves monster laces on the glass. It has a moderate viscosity. This is how I like my stouts to look.

S: Sweet malts and straight bourbon come through if you put your nose in the glass. After wafting I get coco, toffee, caramel, and a little char. This has a very boozey nose.

T: The taste is more balanced than the nose. It has a sharp bitterness from the hops that balance out the sweet notes of the malts and bourbon barrel. I get charred oak barrel and bourbon, but they are not overwhelming, very nice. A little prune/fig/date sweetness on the very end.

M. A little sticky and harsh from the hops. This is not a let down, but an unavoidable outcome of the style. High carbonation. A little thin on the end.

O: A good hoppy BA stout. The opposite of your BCBS or Parabola. This has it's niche for sure. Not something I would seek out but I would purchase next years vintage off the shelf. (1,163 characters)

Photo of stickydankhop
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

very nice. this is a drink one bottle and "your good" kinda beer. very dark, strong thick malt taste with backing of bourbon flavor. I am going buy some more to age. cant wait to taste it when aged (199 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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%
AVAILABILITY: Limited

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 (729 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

the few beers i have had from these guys have been amazing. thebrewo is owed a huge debt of gratitude for hooking these up. this is my favorite i think from them. its one of the more dry, but more whiskey flavored imperial stouts i have had, you get the wood as much as the booze, and that oak hit really makes this one for me. ominous looking in the glass, not a ton of head, but its real shiny and dense. aromas of vanilla and cocoa powder, lots of dark chocolate on this, and a ton of roast, rich and dense, almost nutty. the flavor is nutty too, and only sweet in flashes of bourbon, but dry on the whole. mature musty wood profile on it, plenty of body, and warming alcohol short of the fusel range, but pretty intense just the same. this seems far more refined to me than others, dialed in to a rare degree. its an art form, a bottle to share, and a special treat. different enough to stand out, but an excellent example of why this style has become so popular and sought after. this should serve as an example to brewers who want to see one done right. top tier in this category for sure. (1,095 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
4.96/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I have heard good things about this one but when my local bottle shop got a few cases I had to try it.

A - Inky black color. It pours thick with a nice 0.5 finger of fine light brown colored head. Great lacing.

S - Initially the sweet bourbon and dark chocolate hit the nose and then the robust stout comes in behind the lovely barrel tones. The stout flavors include chocolate, roast, caramel, and some vanilla. The barrel is not overpowering but perfectly complimenting.

T - A rush of flavor hits your palate with the sweet stout and barrel perfectly melded with the great stout flavors. Lots of the chocolate flavors resonate. The roast, caramel, and malt flavors blend perfectly with the bourbon, oak, and vanilla. This beer really is top notch and the sweet bourbon flavors are just terrific since there is no harshness, burn, or anything to detract from the flavors. There is some of the stout roasted bitterness to balance the decadent flavors of this barrel aged stout.

M - Quite high mouth-feel with light carbonation. This beer is thick but with a softness on the palate from the barrel. Not cloying but finishes with a slightly sweet stout flavor.

Overall, this is a tremendous and amazing beer. I am curious to see how age would impact the flavors but at extremely smooth and tasty this year I see no point to age it. Though the barrel is in the front it is smooth and flavorful and really adds a great deal to the amazing imperial stout. I still prefer more coffee tones of KBS but I really enjoyed this and would pay $9 a 12oz again next year.

Glass- Snifter (1,578 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Paid about 26 for the four pack. Into a pint glass. My 2200th beer!
A - Great looking head on this one real creamy looking deep mocha which makes for good lacing. Beer is as pitch black as possible really thick and oily like I like it.
S - Bourbon and chocolate on the nose bit of espresso and some leathery anise. Loving the sugary vanilla is a nice tough.
T - Surprising bit of roast and hops I must have drank this a little warm since I just chilled then 5 hours ago. Bourbon isn't that strong and chocolate isn't as sweet as I expected. A bit of leathery bite in each sip this is a very well made stout.
M - Slick and creamy the ABV doesn't bite as much as the bourbon. Tasty.

Overall I got 3 more of these so the next one will be served more chilled. Still very drinkable almost room temperature. (804 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark as a starless night. Normal head, lacing and retention for a barrel aged stout.

Rich nose of bourbon over mostly chocolate, but roast and hints of dark fruit are also present. As it warns, coffee is noted.

Light full body with a rich smooth texture that is almost creamy. Normal carbonation for barrel aged with effervescence in the finish.

The excellent flavor profile is well balanced and complex. It begins with bourbon, under which is sweet dark chocolate that progresses to roast and coffee, then rotates to a caramel and dark fruit sweetness. Notes of raisin, plum and molasses are detected across the profile. It finishes smoothly with sweetness, and a slight alcohol note, roast bitterness and a fading bourbon flavor. (742 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pitch black color with a fingers worth of head that slowly fades down to a decent ring around the edge of the glass

S: Roasted malts, along with a very nice barrel character comprised of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and tannins. A little on the sweet side, almost like brownie batter with all the maltiness and barrel character. Not extremely complex, but definitely very nice

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with light roast, bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, and a touch of tannic leather. Again, fairly on the sweet side but very nice. Alcohol goes almost completely unnoticed, and it is incorporated very nicely into the bourbon and vanilla notes. Finishes with more of the malt sweetness, roast, and mostly vanilla barrel character

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A very nice BBA stout with a great base and even better barrel treatment. If you enjoy the original, this one is a must try. Also just pretty much a must-try in general (965 characters)

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.