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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

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

145 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 145
Hads: 987
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 2.47%
Wants: 514
Gots: 180 | FT: 19
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
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Reviews: 145 | Hads: 987
Photo of pkalix
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%

had the 2009 on tap at Haven Gastropub in Orange... dark and thick, lots o' malt, a little smoke. slight chocolate, almost espresso but not definitive or even coffee-tasting... it just 'hints' at espresso if that makes sense.... really nice, subtle and smooth.... (263 characters)

Photo of GabrielBelm0nt
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fyodor's Classic was the best BBA beer that i've had. By the time it had been a good while after the release of it (last one in the shelf).

Appearance of it was pitch black, not one ray of light could pass. Very low carbonation, which I prefer. Even as I was pouring, you could tell it was incredibly smooth.

Smell - I could definitely smell a lot of vanilla, oak, and hints chocolate. While the vanilla and oak smells were overpowering, I was still able to get hints of the chocolate. You could distinctively recognize each smell. There is also a good smell of bourbon towards the end of the whiff.
Vanilla (strong), Oak (strong), Chocolate (mild), Bourbon (strong).

Taste - It was definitely very smooth, got mostly vanilla, and some oak.
At the end, you get a real nice kick of bourbon which went really well with the lingering vanilla taste for me.
Vanilla (strong), Oak (mild), Chocolate (weak), Bourbon (strong)

Mouth - Full bodied and the bourbon aging really makes it hit you. Definitely a bit sticky from the BBA.

Overall - Fantastic RIS, you don't miss out on anything in this beer, really hits the spot. 1 will definitely do the trick (at least for me it does). Nice and high ABV. Cannot wait to have another. (1,230 characters)

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 (1,001 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.52/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From trade. 500 ml bottle as Fyodor's Classic, 2014 Series, Batch No. 3 (2013 RIS. Pours pitch black with a small mocha head on top. Beautiful aroma of anise, vanilla, roast, bourbon, oak, some chocolate. Oh yea. Reminds me a bit of Black Note. Flavor is roast, bourbon, dark fruits, oak, chocolate, anise, light booze, and long lasting vanilla. Really beautiful finish on this one with definite whiskey tones. The mouthfeel is medium--only slightly lacking in body in the style and would love to see the thickness ramped up a tad--with low plus carbonation and a smooth bourbon vanilla warmth down the throat. Really nice! (623 characters)

Photo of Furlinator
4.69/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black. The 1/2 inch khaki head quickly fades to a thin ring on top and leaves faint spotty lace.

The smell is of dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, dark fruit and vanilla.

The taste is of dark chocolate, sweet dark fruit, black coffee and earthy, herbal oak.

The texture is heavy bodied and creamy with low carbonation.

No aging necessary. This beer is absolutely world class as-is. Huge dark chocolate, sweet dark fruit and subtle bourbon. Underrated because of its availability, this one will go toe-to-toe with any bourbon barrel imperial stout twice its age. (577 characters)

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. (613 characters)

Photo of KnowYourCraft
5/5  rDev +12.1%
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! (1,541 characters)

Photo of travolta
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: BLACK. Held right in front of a light bulb and it is still pitch black. Nice lacing, good head retention. Head was an espresso color.

Nose: Malt, caramel,woody, whisky, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa powder, licorice, tar notes, nutmeg, figs, plums, and raisins.

Taste: Vanilla bean, malt, wood, dark muscat grapes.

Mouthfeel: Starts like an imperial stout, finishes like a great bourbon.

Notes: Paid $18 for a 500ml bottle, and I would (having now tasted this) have gladly paid twice that. (503 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally! An enormous thank you to GT2 for alerting me that this beer was in the market. Thank to RussianDragon and Jesse for hooking me up with a bunch of these. you guys are awesome.

The beer is near black with a thick, oily, beige head. Sparse lacing. The aroma offers big bourbon and oak notes, with chocolate and roast. Sweet chocolate with a grandiose bourbon presence. Sweetness is calmed by a graceful alcoholic warmth in the finish. A delightful beer to sip. At near 14%, I can make this last the duration of the hockey game (Blackhawks vs. Kings game 7). Go Hawks! Overall, an outstanding beer and top notch example of the style. (639 characters)

Photo of Samuel906
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow... this is quite simply put, a tremendous beer. I had this randomly at a bar and didn't have a chance to take proper notes, and I feel like I could have written about this beer for days. So many fantastic aspects. The taste and smell is bourbon, bourbon, bourbon for days. Silky smooth, rich chocolate, roasted dark coffee, vibrant bright vanilla, chewy malts and the perfect amount of boozey warmth. One of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I've had the pleasure of having, and I really hope I can find this in a bottle. (524 characters)

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.66/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to @grant35 and his Southern Cali fish taco eating hermanos for this bottle

A- Pitch black, thinnest of lacing with no legs. This poured with little carb; but it drinks just fine.

S- Tons of chocolate upfront, toffee caramel are in equal proportion. The bourbon barrel isn't totally hidden, but for a 14% ba stout, it is amazingly hidden.

T- Big chocolate upfront followed by toffee then a nice malt backbone. The barrel is noticeable, but not 14% noticeable. For those who think BCBS is too hot fresh, this is your brew at the same ABV.

M- Pretty smooth, somewhat creamy but not crazy noticeable. The only know is the lack of carb that I stated above shows just a bit too much here, which doesn't make sense.

O- A fantastic BA stout! The complexity of the chocolate and how this is drinking at 14% is why I rated this so high. I love the base, and Stone nailed the BA version (895 characters)

Photo of Catracho5
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type: 500 ml bottle poured into a Belgian style Tulip.

Appearance: Pitch black, with a tan creamy head that dissipated fairly quickly. A little lacing and some tiny bubbles that remained around the edge and some in the middle. Looks great in the glass.

Smell: Heavy bourbon smell, getting some alcohol, but surprisingly for a 13.9% ABV, the alcohol smell is not prevalent. I am not getting any other aromas on the nose. A little dark cherries, has a great aroma.

Taste: You get the woody, bourbon flavor right up front, some dark fruity flavor, the alcohol is on the back end and lingers in the aftertaste. Great flavor!

Mouthfeel: Like motor oil but not as thick as some other barrel aged stouts I have tried. Some carbonation, the alcohol warms the palate and the belly.

Overall: I have tried several BA stouts and this one has to be the smoothest. I was surprised at the quality because Stone has not greatly impressed me with their beers. This one is world class. What a great beer worth the $20 I put down. I am going to get another bottle to cellar. (1,070 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle named Fyodors batch 3 vintage 2014 from Stone Escondido. Poured into New Belgium globe.

A-Pitch black beer with a beautiful lasting beige head. Great lacing!

S-Malty caramel aroma, vinous, woody, barrel notes, whisky, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa powder, licorice, tar notes, nutcreme, figs, plums, and raisins.

T-Great taste, super thick vanilla, wood, roasted malts, alcohol, fudge and chocolate.

M-Mouthfeel is thick and very well balance.

O-Overall a great BA russian imperial stout was a surprise to find and only $18! (532 characters)

Photo of ISmith87
4.91/5  rDev +10.1%
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. (1,083 characters)

Photo of More_betterness
4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super excited for this one!

A: Pitch black body capped by an espresso brown head that recedes quickly. Some spotty lacing left on the glass.

S: Bold bourbon notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. Hint of coffee, chocolate covered cherry, and bourbon soaked dark fruit as it opens up. Glorious.

T: Boozy bourbon and espresso upfront, caramel and bourbon soaked vanilla follow. A bit of dark cherry as well. Very low levels of residual sweetness for an RIS. Not as potent as the nose, but still fantastic.

M: Medium bodied for an IRS with medium/low carb levels. Flavor compounds are extremely palate coating despite the lack of viscosity compared to other examples.

O: Exactly what I should have expected when one of my favorite RIS was bourbon barrel aged. Fantastic offering from Stone, I can't wait to see what some age does to my extra bottle! (848 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black and thick. Looks awesome. Capped by a half finger tan head that sinks down into the black pretty quickly.

S: Right away, you're smashed in the face with bourbon, charred oak, and roasted malt. There's really not hint of sweetness to be found here. The barest trace of vanilla and toffee is quickly chased away by a mob of bourbon, anise and wet earth.

T: A huge wave of roasted malt and bourbon crash over your palate right away. Burnt coffee, charred wood and unsweetened baking chocolate hit in the middle, leading into a burnt fudge and bourbon finish that lingers and gives a pleasant warmness. Mouthfeel is velvety and a touch slick. If you don't enjoy bourbon, forget about this one. But if you do, this is money. Stone absolutely destroyed it with this and Mikhail's Odd. (803 characters)

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. (630 characters)

Photo of jegross2
4.71/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing the elusive Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Company out of Escondido, California. An ineffably generous friend sent me this long-time personal white whale out of the blue a couple of weeks ago (thanks Mike!). With one of my close beer drinking friends having a baby in less than a month and the other leaving town for a couple of months on business, now seemed as good as a time as ever to share this brew.

Score: 97

2008 vintage elixir from a 1 liter growler, served in a Hunahpu's snifter and enjoyed on 03/15/14. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown cola color with ruby-caramel highlights and a finger of khaki head that settles to a ring around the glass. Poor lacing and retention, but good oily legs. 4/5

Smell: Dark chocolate, whiskey and figs. A little bit of dark cherry, and a kiss of lovely oxidation. Not overly complex, but extremely pleasant smelling. 4.75/5

Taste: Tastes like dark chocolate and whiskey, with a touch of fruit! No booziness, not sweet, not very bitter; just balanced and with a lasting finish. A delicious cocoa powder flavor develops in the finish as this brew warms. The taste, like the nose, is very straightforward, but it marvelously delivers in a no frills, no nonsense way. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, good carbonation. Incredibly creamy mouthfeel with a light dryness to the finish. Almost perfectly balanced -- not too sweet or too bitter. 4.75/5

Overall: For a beer I have long sought after, there is little more I could have asked for here. I was not in the least bit disappointed given my high expectations and this beers reputation. What this one lacked in depth and "evolving flavors" as it warmed up and breathed, it more than made up for in sheer deliciousness. This was one of the easiest to drink barrel aged stouts I have tackled in a long while. Just wish I had more than 1 liter to go around. Thank you again Mike for sending me this treat. Prost!

Cost: Unknown (received as a thank you gift). (2,028 characters)

Photo of Drucifer
4.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Bangers & Lace in Chicago; 2010 vintage

A: Black with a dark brown head; moderate carbonation

S: Pretty even split between dark fruits and bourbon, not much else

T: Big dark fruits followed by subtle bourbon/oak/vanilla/roast

M: Full bodied, but not too thick. It's pretty typical for the style

O: A very interesting offer from Stone. It's definitely tasty and I'm quite surprised how fruity it is. I enjoyed it quite a bit more as it warmed up and highly recommend it if you see it on tap. I do prefer the non-BA version, but this is still a very good beer. (573 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Brouwers stout fest. 2008 vintage.

A: Served in a goblet, BBL RIS was dark black with a very small brown head on top that dissipated quickly. No lacing on this beer, not overly surprising.

S: Plenty of bourbon right away, it really dominates the aroma, a bit surprising after 5 years. Some chocolate with a little bit of caramel and brown sugar.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of chocolate (sort of like brownies) and bourbon. It was on the sweet side, with only some light roast. There was a bit of wood as well.

M: Full bodied with low to medium carbonation. Fairly smooth and surprisingly easy to drink, though that could have been because it tasted so good.

O: Been waiting to try this beer for a while, glad to have finally had the chance. (766 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.31/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2008 on tap right now at Brouwer's.

A - Served a very dark brown with a dark tan head the clings to glass and forms a small thin layer over the top.

S - Bourbon, chocolate. A touch of heat. A nice malt background.

T - Bourbon up-front. Subtle chocolate, malty background.

D - Mild carbonation and heavy body. Nice balance for an 08.

O - Nice to try this one. It's held up well nicely for an 08. (404 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage.

Pours a jet black opaque color with a modest chocolate brown head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Chocolate, bourbon, and oak are accentuated by roast malt and coffee in the aroma.

Sweet and rich throughout, there are huge chocolate and soy flavors upfront, accompanied by deeply roasted malt that lacks the acrid character sometimes present. The aftertaste is fairly toasted and nutty. Bourbon weaves its way into the flavor throughout.

Body is fairly full, with low carbonation and significant alcohol heat.

Wonderful improvement to a wonderful beer. Not as much roast dominance as in the regular version. (626 characters)

Photo of pepsican
4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This made a great friday morning breakfast. Thanks to wetherel for the hand bottle. Black pour with thin tan head. Heavy chocolate in the aroma, with oak, bourbon, and alcohol rounding it out. Flavor was much less sweet and bourbony than the aroma lead on. Smoke, tobacco, some chocolate, toffee, bourbon, and vanilla. Thick boozy finish. Very nice. (349 characters)

Photo of tarheels86
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Alewife Baltimore for Stone Total Tap Takeover. Poured near ink black with ruby highlights. Tan bubbles cling onto the sides of the glass but no head forms. Aroma is beautiful buttery bourbon, coconut, vanilla, oak, rich smokiness. Taste is a giant smack in the face of unsweetened, bitter chocolate, smoked malt, hot bourbon moving very quickly to silky chocolate, coconut, vanilla ice cream. Palate goes from soft to chalky and bitter cacao powder. About six seconds after tasting this I knew exactly why it is in the ratebeer Top 20. Everything is there: the aroma, the body, the palate. It is like Bourbon Country Stout with a little less richness and less of a superlative palate. 10/24/2010 8/4/9/4/16=4.1 (718 characters)

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.

4.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5 (749 characters)

Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.