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

Not Rated.
Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel AgedImperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.

151 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 151
Hads: 1,023
Avg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 547
Gots: 196 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BEERchitect on 09-20-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 151 | Hads: 1,023
Photo of capra12
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes, special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for bringing this to our ATSF tasting yesterday,

Appearance: Poured into a cigar city snifter, jet black with a small frothy head. Little lacing.

Smell: This is good, I get the sweet over roasted grains/soy sauce and an earthy component that separates the BA stouts from the "reg. stouts". Tons of chocolate, prunes, raisins, and a hint of licorice/anise.

Taste: Opens with an earth and bourbon soaked raisins, the roasted malt profile is really smooth here and really brings out the dark chocolate and subtle coffee notes in the background. There is an subtle licorice profile that emerges at the finish that I didn't expect. Leaving a dark fruit and boozie aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: I think this is what made this brew for me, medium bodied with such a complex flavor profile. Moderate carbonation and leaves a sticky film on the palate.

Drinkability: I would love to have this again, I recommend this to those seeking a solid BA RIS that doesnt carry the heavy body that most BA RIS do.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pour was jet black, a bit thick with a nice oily appearance. little to no head.

a nice strong but well blended bourbon. sweet vanilla and roasted malt with hints of dark chocolate.

this was quite rich and bold. the bourbon blended very well with the stout. the vanilla integrated perfectly and really smoothed out and already smooth and hoppy stout. there was a bit of citrus hidden around.

very full and thick but drank easy. a bit resin like.

this was amazing, everyone was raving about it. i loved every sip and even at 11.5%, it went down stupid easy.

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Photo of Bung
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

08 From notes, Stone takeover at Duckworths.
Deep black/brown pour, a dark tan head.

Aroma has a good dose of oak, vanilla, Mocha, roast malt and caramel. Hint of coffee.

Taste, roast malt, caramel, oak, light vanilla. Finishes with roast coffee, anise, barrel. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is the best feature here. Smooth as silk, full body. Creamy, coating, abv very well hidden.

Drinks well enough for such a big beer, could drink a bunch of this stuff.

Best of the event for me.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Certainly one of the highlights of the Stone Tap Takeover.... I had 4 nice pours of this at Bier Thirty courtesy of Chris and Kammy!! Thanks a bunch for helping make this happen.

2008 Vintage.

Pours thick and coating.. the head is dark brown and frothy... lasts forever.. the brew stains the glass with each swirl.

Aromas are awesome... brownie batter... Tootsie Roll.. oaky bourbon.. scattered chocolate covered toffee..

The flavor delivers big time!! Vanilla and chocolate battle things out... never any real "bourbon", just the elements that make bourbon fun! Very integrated.. burnt.. bitter.. so yummy.

Much better than I expected... I don't give Stone a fair shake... I need to re-up my cellar and normal expenditures.


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Photo of Overlord
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a dark brown/tan head. Always is a very good looking beer. Huge thanks to Jerz for letting me try this, very nice of him and much appreciated.

Smells like the familiar background of chocolate/dark fruit/soy prune blend of IRS, with a bunch of vanilla added in. The bourbon is actually pretty muted in the aroma.

Tastes much as it smells. The Stone IRS slurry, nicely aged and blended with some bourbon and heaping amounts of vanilla. Mmm...good stuff, and clearly superior to the "regular" version.

Mouthfeel is good, though not as sludgy as some like in their RIS's.

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Photo of bld81
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap:
Appearance: jet black, one inch dark brown head waiting for me to look away, minimal lace

Smell: Rich molasses first, bourbon and light coffee

Taste: rich bourbon and dark chocolate give some sweetness, at first no vanilla but noticed later

Mouthfeel: creamy coating, low carbonation

Drinkability: very good, less of a sipper than I expected, some heat lingers
The complexity and balance make this a good choice when you can find it.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Stone 15th Anniversary Celebration
CSU, San Marcos
San Marcos, CA

(Aged 3 years at the brewery)

2008 Stone IRS Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Dark black with a small brown head. Specks of lacing down the glass.

Rich aroma filled with chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and a very mild addition of vanilla and wood from the barreling. Smells far more similar to the original than I would have expected, which, fortunately for me, is one of my favorite smelling beers of all time.

The chocolate sweetness is combined with a decidedly vanilla character from the barreling, along with roast, coffee, and dark fruits. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden. Though this is divine, I think I prefer the original IRS. It's just so perfect, it doesn't need the barreling.

Medium to thick bodied.

A delicious barrel aged beer, though I actually still prefer the standard IRS.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Labeled as Fyodor's Classic, but clearly described as Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Russian Stout.

Appearance - Deep black body. Nearly inky. Small khaki head. Thin collar and a few wisps.

Smell - Dark chocolate. Fudgy. Bourbon is secondary, but quickly becomes dominant. Sharp oak. Lots of vanilla.

Taste - Bitter chocolate right up front. Oak amplifies it. Bourbon builds. Slight sweetness, but it's overpowered by oak and bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Thick. Medium carbonation.

Overall - A step above other Bourbon stouts. The quality of the base beer truly impresses.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

cannot think you enough man. i know you dont want your name out there but you killed it.

Dark, black as night with only a tiny amount of tan head peaking up from the depths on this one. The aroma was heavenly. Rich vanilla notes just percolating up, rounding out a beautiful bourbon smell. Some light chocolate and a tiny pinch of coffee in there, but this one is dominated by the barrel influence. As I take the first sip it is much more of the same. Rich bourbon notes just roll across the tongue with precision, rich notes of vanilla, a touch of woody undertone and a sparkling coffee induced finish just round this together wonderfully. Could have used a bit more carbonation, but still very nicely done with a big full feel and a long drawn out finish.

Overall this was very solid indeed. I really think it influenced and change the character of the irs wonderfully, making an almost complete transformation. I would have this one again any day and was thrilled to finally tick it

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Photo of ratedz
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Stone release party at the Flying Saucer in Kansas City.

2008 vintage poured into a small snifter glass.

A - Pitch black with little to no head.

S - A lot of bourbon followed by some roasted malts, chocolate, oak, and a hint of vanilla.

T - Very complex and tasty. Like the nose, there is a fair amount of bourbon here along with some vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. A few bitter hops are hiding in the back, but are easily overpowered by the other flavors.

M - Thick, smooth, and creamy.

O - An excellent barrel aged imperial stout. Big and bold and one of the most enjoyable barrel aged stouts I've had (and I've had several). I'd like to see this bottled at some point!

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a mini chalice. 2008 vintage aged in Elijah Craig bourbon barrels, at the Uber tavern in Seattle, WA with UA8, review number 1,000!

Pours a super dark oily black with a very small dark brown ring of foam with a tiny bit of lacing. Nose is bourbon, light booze, and some creamy chocolate malts.

Taste is awesome, bourbon, sweet dark chocolate, alcohol is there but not overwhelming its rich and flavorful. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy but still smooth and very tasty. Finish is sharp and oaky. Very nice beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jacob and Jer for bringing this one to the Bruery 2nd Anniversary tasting.

A: A jet black pour out of the growler with a sturdy tan head on top.

S: The amount of vanilla in the nose is absolutely astounding. The stout notes are still there--chocolate and roast, but the bourbon itself was somewhat muted.

T: Even more vanilla as the beer hits the tongue. Quite sweet, especially when compared to the base beer. A mild bourbon presence and some nice tannins from the barrel.

M: Quite medium to full bodied with a low, rolling carbonation. Not quite as thick and chewy as the IRS tends to be, but quite nice.

D: This one can catch up with you rather quickly. A pleasure to have been able to drink and I wish that there weren't so many beers to try so I could have enjoyed this one a bit more.

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Photo of tpd975
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a beer I have been after for awhile. Thanks to Diego for the share.

A: Pours dark black with a tight mocha head. Nice retention and lace noted.

S: Wonderful roasty aromas. Dark fruit and nice bourbon barrel notes.

T: Nice roasted malt. Light dark fruit and molasses. Big chocolate with mild coffee. Nice barrel notes. More oak than bourbon and vanilla, though they are there.

M: Rather full in body, nicely carbonated.

D: Good really happy to have had the chance to try this one.

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Photo of rudzud
4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with JLindros and Threelions.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice oil black hire with a thin mocha head that fades to leave a thin halo. 4.25

S - Aromas of rich bourbon, nice chocolate, faint fudge nuts, faint alcohol, light sweetness. Smells great! 4.5

T - Taste is similar to the nose, great bourbon, nicer chocolate, great roast, light nuts, not much booze, awesome fudge. Really really tasty. 4.25

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, soft, creamy, alcohol hidden well. 4.5

O - Overall this beer was really tasty. Great bourbon and chocolate notes, incredibly pleasant with the alcohol hidden well, delicious! 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Back in Black '09 at Brouwer's. Pours a very dark black with dark tan head. Incredible aroma that is dominated by rich caramel and bourbon. The only negative is that this is a bit sweet and rich, but the molasses flavor was balanced incredibly well with the strong bourbon background and a touch of the hops. This is an incredibly smooth beer that goes down far easier than the 10.8% would indicate. An amazing beer. Doesn't get much better than this.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Jason!

Pours a dark dark brown. A nice bit of tan head. Smells smooth and bourbony. A bit hot. Sweet roasty and quite enjoyable. On the tongue it's thick and quite boozy but still really tasty. I love the balance. The mouthfeel is stellar. Overall this is a top notch example of a bourbon barrel IRS

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Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color wiht very good head retention and decent lacing. On the nose, the bourbon is immediately noticeable, with hints of malt balls, dark chocolate, strong coffee and vanilla. This beer smells very, very good. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though there is some noticeable hoppy bitterness in the finish as well that helps to buoy the sweetness in this beer. There's a slight hint of alcoholic burn from the bourbon in the finish, but in a beer like this, it only adds to the attraction. Mouthfeel is full, rich and long. This is just very fine stuff. Drinkability is not this beer's best attribute of course, but this beer is so delicious, I'd still have to rate drinkabilty as fairly high.

Just an altogether excellent beer, and one very reminescent of the GIBCS stout, except with a bit more of a hop bite. Very, very nice. Might need to have a second glass of this beauty.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Twisted Spoke for the Stone Chicago Release. Poured into a beautiful plastic cup!

A - Pours black, thin mocha-colored head, very viscous and oily.

S - Chocolate, bourbon, slight oak, sweet dark fruit.

T - Just like if you added bourbon to the RIS. Yeah, I know, not very exciting, but it sure is damn good. Chocolate, bourbon, some oak. A bitter sweet dark chocolate finish.

M - Full bodied, rich and smooth, almost zero carbonation, creamy finish.

D - I had one pour plus a drink or two out of Masterski's as well. This was an awesome BA RIS that was probably my favorite Stone beer of the night.

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Photo of Hootie159
4.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black as night but minimal head that was light brown and gone instantly. No bubbles on the edges. Smell significantly opens as it warms. Getting caramel and leather. A soft oak from the barrels. Strong roasted malt flavor. Bourbon shines without overwhelming. As it warms get a bit more alcohol but some stone fruit sweetness. Ends with a mild bitterness. Medium-high carbonation for a stout but not rich and full.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.36/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a small dark brown foamy head with minimal retention or lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt, black chocolate with some strong vanilla and bourbon notes with some woody notes also perceptible. Taste is also dominated by strong bourbon notes and vanilla which mix in well with the black chocolate and light roasted malt notes. Woody notes and residual sugar notes re also perceptible. Body is full with nice creamy texture with low carbonation and some warming alcohol is present. World-class barrel-aged stout!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.36/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 3/8/14 big thanks towards schnarr84 for the bottle

A black with a thin cola edge, a finger of foam hangs around for a sip leaving no lace, some color left behind on the glass and wide legs after a swirl

S chocolate fudge, vanilla, lots of bourbon barrel, plenty of booze, coconut, licorice, faint coffee and more booze

T more of the same, heaps of bourbon barrel, very boozy, vanilla, coffee, not much of the coconut and licorice I was smelling, it tastes great just with lots of booze

M full bodied but not quite chewy, booze hits you all over, going down, my chest, stomach and brain, slick in the mouth and just a little sticky on the lips, booze and barrel on the finish

O shes a big beer and doesn't keep it a secret, in your face bourbon barrel, booze all over, lots of flavor, I wish I had another to age

I liked it a lot but preferred the espresso version Mikhail's Odd, great beer but could use a few years of cellar time too mellow out

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Photo of Gmann
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from the Blind Tiger on 9/15. Apparently this was the 2008 RIS BB Aged Stout.

Pours a jet black color with a smallish tan head that settles into a light cap. The aromas are nice and quite mellow. I picked up some coffee, roasted malt, and a noticable but not strong bourbon note. The taste is the same as the aroma just better. The coffee, roasted malt and bourbon flavors mix very well together and are quite smooth and very drinkable, despite the high ABV. The stout is full bodied with some tingly carbonation; sweet all around but does finish with a roasted malt bitterness. A world class stout; great flavors in great balance. The aging worked very well with this brew. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Perderick
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle to a Stone IRS snifter. This is my first review in a lonnng time so bear with me.

A: pours a midnight black with a light brown head. Dense and fairly large head for a BA stout.

S: mostly whiskey and oak with some chocolatey notes.

T: improves greatly as it warms. Milk Chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, and a quality bourbon flavor that is very well balanced and doesn't mask the taste of the base beer.

M: Thick, fairly low carbonation, no heat from the barrel. pretty ideal for an RIS.

Overall, it's not the one of the few best BA stouts I've had but it's definitely near the top of that next tier.

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Photo of stortore
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle into a snifter. 2014 release.

Pours almost black, opaque, with no head, some soapy lacing. Smells of bourbon, malts- not a heavily roasted aroma, a little oak, some vanilla. Taste brings more of a roasty malt flavor, bourbon, oak, chocolate, some vanilla. Smooth, full bodied, well carbonated.

Even though the aroma leads with bourbon, this is a well balanced and blended beer. Well worth a purchase, but I'm thinking the base beer, overall, is better.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass.

The color is a dark black with a finger or deep brownish head with some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is pretty strong and kicks right out with a deep bourbon flavor that leads into a toasty woody flavor. Some coffee and toffee flavor all seem to be just in the background.

The taste of this beer the same as the aroma. The Whiskey flavor lets it's presence known with a nice warm flavor that encases the maple flavor that tryst to come through. A nice Oak flavor is there is the flavor with a nice coffee or espresso flavor.

The feel of this beer is big, a heavy ABV gives off a very warm slightly deep flavor and mouthfeel. For a beer on the stronger side it does feel smoother than expected.

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Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.