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Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Stone Brewing Co.

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Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged
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BA SCORE
99
world-class

793 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 793
Reviews: 128
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 389
Gots: 60 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BEERchitect on 09-20-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 793 | Reviews: 128 | Display Reviews Only:
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Ferocious, Oct 10, 2014
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pmarlowe, Nov 14, 2011
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5/5  rDev +11.6%

doughanson78, Nov 15, 2011
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5/5  rDev +11.6%

jerz, Nov 18, 2011
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5/5  rDev +11.6%

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5/5  rDev +11.6%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 08, 2011
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5/5  rDev +11.6%

cbeer88, Nov 14, 2011
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5/5  rDev +11.6%

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5/5  rDev +11.6%

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5/5  rDev +11.6%

jawas, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of RebornStussy
5/5  rDev +11.6%

RebornStussy, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of KnowYourCraft
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours like oil, slow and thick, pitch black in color, leaves a good size espresso colored head that leaves little lacing around the glass, when you look at this beer you feel like you are staring into an abyss!

S: Tons of chocolate, booze, bourbon, some anise, tobacco, caramel, and vanilla. This beer makes its' presence known once you pop the cork! The best part about the aroma to this beer is that it is strong and does not fade, most other stouts have a smell that becomes faint after a minute or two of pouring, but this one is brash and in your face the whole time! It's superb!

T: Woah... Upfront there is loads of bourbon mixed with a perfect amount of booze, in the middle you get an awesome amount of chocolate, vanilla, a little anise, and caramel, then on the finish you get everything from the beginning and middle all perfectly mixed together with an addition of a hint of tobacco and hop bitterness, as it goes down you get a nice warmth from the booze. This beer is pretty well balanced with the characteristics that can make it unenjoyable, but for things that it needs plenty of to make it outstanding, and it has plenty of those ingredients! Superb transitions of flavors, and it gets even smoother as it warms as well! Definitely one of the best barrel aged stouts I have had!

M: Very thick, slightly oily, and a slight creaminess to it, fantastic, the feel suits this beer perfectly, makes you sip it, and enjoy it!

O: Phenomenal beer from Stone! I wish I can get my hands on more of these! You have to try this!

KnowYourCraft, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of jdprmd
5/5  rDev +11.6%

jdprmd, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of Snow81
4.95/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage

Appearance: Black, no light penetrates this beer

Head: Small light brown head that dissipates quickly

Smell: Big burnt malts with a caramel toffee thing going on and a little heat

Taste: Smokey burnt malts with bourbon all over the place, a little caramel on the back of the palate with subtle heat

Weight: Heavy to medium body with medium to low carbonation

Finish: Burnt roosted malts with a touch of heat on the back of the palate

Snow81, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of ISmith87
4.93/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - 4.5 - dark brown black beer with a nice mocha head that doesn't stick very long
S - 4.75 - huge bourbon and barrel notes, background is definitely chocolate, coffee and caramel. It's a little harder to pick up some of the dark malt notes in this one because the bourbon/booze is so strong.
T - 5 - Huge chocolate, coffee with bourbon barrel, smoke and toasted wood flavors. Burnt marshmallow, smores. It's one hell of a complex beer.
M - 5 - This is one thick beer when you drink it through the initial head. Wierdly, as the head dissipates the body of the beer seemed to as well, probably due to the dryness from the high alcohol content. Nonetheless, a damn good beer. Alc is present and a little in your face, aftertaste is chocolate, coffee, mocha latte, and roasted malts.

O - 5 - What a good beer. Parabola or Big Bad Baptist fits my own tastes better, but this beer is damn close to being just as good. I think the bourbon barrel qualities go great with the stone RIS flavors, and the aging helps everything meld together even better than it does in the original beer.

ISmith87, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of jeffywolfe
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%

jeffywolfe, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of scottoale
4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this yesterday at O'Brian's... fresh from Stone. Served in a pint glass, dark licorice brown (near black) with a small cocoa-brown cap. Very low in carbonation ofcourse.

Smell was strong of liquour, prunes, licorice with some notable smokiness. The acoholic fumes disperse flavor aplenty, gotta taste it!

BIG, dark rich flavorsome maltiness fills the mouth. Black licorice, prune, dark fig, black grape, molassas, bit-o-chocolate, wood, smoke in a somewhat chewy, sweet concoction. The complexity is marvelous and the balance is unique, very sweet overall. This stuff has massive flavor that just makes you want more, no joke.

Big body, it's a sipper for sure. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth and creamy and plenty of alcohol (10% ABV+) that warms your inside.

A very delicious stout that makes the bottled stuff almost seem bland by comparison (though it's far from bland). Another great BIG beer made even better (and bigger) from who else? Stone silly! Cheers to another great beer!

scottoale, May 19, 2006
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black, viscous-looking, leg-producing body with a quietly receding, dark brown head.

Smell: Big, beautiful bourbon presence on the nose marrying well with the robust dark roasted malts notes. It's altogether inviting.

Taste: From start to finish, it's a sweet, earthy roastiness stirred up with slowly melted barker's chocolate chunks, vanilla beans, burnt caramel sauce, dark brown sugar, oak wood (with some tannins breaking through), dark fruits, chilled coffee, shaved coconut and a fair share of burgeoning alcohol warmth. It's all quite bold, but it still maintains a quiet, easy-going mellowness.

Mouthfeel: Near-full body. Medium carbonation. Smooth, velvety mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Very nice. Look, I love Stone Russian Imperial Stone, but the deliciousness of the bourbon barrel version has been the highpoint of my beer drinking in the last several months. Oh, if only all the barrel-aged stouts could turn out this well.

ChainGangGuy, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of brew3crew
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap for the stone tap take over at acre. 2008 RIS in bourbon barrels. MMM.

a-pitch black with no head what so ever. only knock on this beer

s-nice amounts of malt and bourbon mixed together to perfection

t-smooth bourbon with a nice malt backbone. Really well melded together

m-medium body and oh so smooth

o-this is one BAMF! Great beer. I had 3 glasses!

brew3crew, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

May 2008 Release; Sampled June 2008
A careful pour produces a half-finger thick, brown tinged, darker tan colored head. The beer is pitch black and color and quite opaque. Ample, spicy Bourbon aromas are noticeable without completely drowning out the Stout aromatics. Roast espresso aromas, charred prune notes, bit roast grain and a finish dominated by deeply toasted grain notes that lean towards toasted, not quite burnt whole grain bread. The aroma has some sweetness to it, that is accentuated just a bit by the Bourbon-alcohol aromas. When intensely scrutinizing the aroma the Bourbon notes are big up front, but then disappear and allow that pure stout notes to come through, but then things start to meld together as toasted barrel notes of coconut , vanillin mix with dark, rich, sweet malty chocolate aromas. This has a very nice aroma to it, much better than I was expecting as the Bourbon barrel notes are quite well integrated; the Imperial stout aromatics are still allowed to shine here & really show quite well as they mix with the barrel notes.

Fairly thick and viscous up front, the beer gets a bit thinner towards the finish as some boozy, Bourbon notes kick in. Creamy feeling with a huge, richly, dark malt sweetened, chocolate flavors are accentuated by the barrel with flavors of vanillin, a light coconut note and a rich, burnt fruit character. This last reminds me of a mix of deeply roasted, burnt, succulent figs, moist prunes and raisins. While not overly thick or viscous this really has an unctuous, creamy fullness that just engulfs the palate; when warmed up a bit it even manages to over-power the thinning effect of the Bourbon booze in the finish. When cooler the hop and roast grain notes combine to give this beer a substantial, but sometimes overlooked, bitterness.

The bitter, burnt roast notes are what really define this beer; not necessarily in the way you might think though as these notes are very well integrated and never allowed to become harsh, sharp nor astringent. Instead the roast character plays an almost supporting role (if you can imagine such a thing in an Imperial Stout), creating a rich, roast malt depth & balancing act that provides touches of bitterness, a light roast acidity and a deep black coffee note that serves as a light foil to the sweet, concentrated, chocolate like, thick malt character that is so nice in this beer. The texture, especially, really starts to come in to its own as the beer warms up; the boozy Bourbon notes that thinned out the finish are tamed and this beer remains a creamy, viscous, palate enveloping experience from the start to long, lingering finish of each sip. Even the aroma gets increasingly better as it warms up; accentuating more of the chocolate, toasted coconut and vanillin notes.

This is far better than I was expecting; I had thought I was burnt out on Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stouts, but this shows I just need a nice, well balanced example to keep me interested in the style. Perhaps just a touch too boozy in the finish, this beer otherwise is a classic example of the marriage of Bourbon and Imperial Stout. I really did not expect to love this; I assumed that at most I might find it interesting and slightly enjoyable, instead this is just down right tasty & easily the best use of a Bourbon barrel in a beer that I have had. Stones Imperial stout requires some age on it to be at its best, this beer manages to display those characteristics as well as an added boost of complexity from the Bourbon barrel that was not overdone. I almost feel guilty for liking this beer as much as I do, especially since I was expecting to be able to easily tear it down. This really needs to be served on the warm side of cool; it started out at 50°F / 10°C, but still really becomes phenomenal the longer I wait. I have about a half ounce left and it seems to be at its best after sitting in my glass for the last hour and a half; damn there it goes, unexpectedly I am left wanting more.

Gueuzedude, Jun 14, 2008
Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 793 ratings.