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

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

365 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 365
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 10.29%


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: 365 | Reviews: 105 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Spider889
Spider889

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

One of the beers I was really looking forward to at BREWzilla, and one of the first to taste that night. 2008 vintage.

Very dark, thick black color. The Stone reps were pouring well, all of their beers had head on them which I appreciated. This one had a pretty tall dark cinnamon colored head.

Smelled like a bourbon stout all right. Decadently sweet, lots of vanilla and chocolate notes. Mild coffee. Slightly boozy in the nose. Mild oak notes and slight hints of the maltiness of the base beer.

Overall this was my second favorite bourbon stout (of the three or four) at the event. The bourbon asserts itself but balance is the name of the game here. The bourbon and oak lend lots of aid to the already wonderful IRS base beer (of which the '08 is drinking superbly on its own right now). Roasty, almost burnt maltiness with mild coffee flavors. Plenty of sweet chocolate and vanilla. Dry oakiness and bourbon flavors laced throughout.

Slightly boozy, but not as much as 11.5% could be I suppose. Light, smooth carbonation. Drank really well, and I hope I get to have an encore tasting of this some time.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2010 18:27:57 | More by Spider889
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft service into a half-pint goblet at Stone Bistro.
2008 vintage.

A: Opaque black color with a fine ring of dark beige foam. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Soft bourbon sweetness backed up by layer upon layer of chocolatey roasted malt. The bourbon is the more dominant of the components that make up this smell, but it is not harsh or particularly boozy.

T: Begins off-dry, solidly malty at first but then turning toward dark spice with an emphasis on cloves, caraway, and star anise. The middle displays a balance of chocolate, roasted grain, and bourbon, with a definite edge that is both acidic and alcoholic. The finish finds this beer turning relatively smooth and mild, with cooling herbaceous qualities.

M: Thick viscosity, coats the palate like paint early but is rapidly dispersed, with low carbonation.

D: With fluctuating flavors and a moderating smell, this beer is memorable--even epic--at its best, but it can also seem harsh on occasion. Still, this is the most drinkable version of Stone Imperial Russian Stout that I have tried to date--which seems remarkable when one considers that it is my first and only tasting of the stuff from the bourbon barrel. Those in other states that see this on more regular occasion will hopefully not take it for granted.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2011 01:19:32 | More by beagle75
Photo of readbaron
readbaron

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snifter served at Acre's Stone takeover.

Stoked that I got to try this rare treat.

Looks like your standard (delicious) BA stout. Inky black, thick, no head.

Whoa! Bourbon alert. There's nothing subtle about the BA on this one - super strong bourbon aroma right from the get go. If you struggle to swim through the booze you're rewarded with some dark fruit, anise, and chocolate.

Taste is also bourbon heavy, but not as much as the nose, especially as it warms. There's vanilla, quite a bit of anise, dark fruit, some oaky, coffee, roasted malt bitterness. Fairly complex.

Mouthfeel is dry and a bit thin from the oak aging.

Overall, bourbon is a bit overpowering on this. I have to say that I prefer the regular RIS (especially with a bit of age on it). Still, this is an awesome beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2011 19:29:43 | More by readbaron
Photo of tarheels86
tarheels86

California

4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
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

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2012 21:27:20 | More by tarheels86
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to the Flying Saucer Houston and Stone for having this nice event in our neck of the piney woods. 2008 vintage aged in bourbon barrels. Pours a nearly black color with an uber-dark brown foam. Moderate retention and lacing. Good looking brewski.

Smell is utterly ridiculous. Vanilla infused whiskey, peanut butter and Nilla wafers. Not much hops but still manages to be mighty complex. Chocolate drizzled Little Debbie Nutty Bars are what this mutha smells like...yea, with some shaved coconut topping! Great nose here.

Very tasty coconut-wood-vanilla flavor with some tannic bourbon in there. Bourbon/whiskey notes come out to play more as I sip upon the glass as opposed to fading more and more into the background. Hop bitterness and even a touch of hop flavor creeps in at the end. There is the omnipresent malt sweetness that is well balanced with the roasty malt aspect. Couple more years and this thing will most likely be pure bliss! Overall it is a pretty boozy, bittersweet chocoholic treat, isn't that what we want in a bourbon barrel aged RIS?

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2010 04:46:02 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of TommyW
TommyW

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the EBF 2010.

A- Black body with a thin, tan head that fades to a ring.

S- Roasted and burnt malt with notes of bourbon and alcohol.

T- Big body of roasted and burnt malts with a strong bourbon taste that I really enjoy. Lingering dry finish of burnt flavors.

M- Medium/full body with an easy carbonation.

D- The aging really creates a more mellow version of the normal RIS, and the additional bourbon flavor is very nice.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2010 00:19:52 | More by TommyW
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Imperial Russian Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels
Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a deep dark brown to black with a thin light cream head that dissipates rather quickly. (4.0)

S - There is tons of complexity in the nose. Starting with some boozy heat and sweetness from the bourbon. Mixes of burnt caramel, brown sugar, chocolate and some slight grassy hop. (4.0)

T & M – Tons of complexity. Nice sweet bourbon notes some slight wood and some nice heat. Vanilla sweetness with a mild chocolate cake notes. Some slight hop notes on the back end are felt but these definitely take a back seat. There is some nice roasted malt notes that blended well with the chocolate and the vanilla notes. Nice rich and creamy stout with lower carbonation and some good bourbon and boozy heat. (4.0)(4.5)

O – Good beer from Stone with some nice Bourbon and chocolate balance and a rich flavor profile.(4.5)

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2011 22:27:51 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of ColdPoncho
ColdPoncho

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jason for this one. Tried it at Jackie O's recent release. From notes.

A - dark dark black body with a ring of tight brown head.

S - grainy and yeasty, but also a lot of chocolate and bourbon.

T - a crapload of bourbon, some generic stout flavors, like chocolate and dark roasted malts, and there is some heat in there too.

M - thick, syrupy and smooth.

O - Nice big and complex beer.

Serving type: growler

09-02-2011 13:52:19 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of DCon
DCon

Missouri

4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap @ the iTap House in Chesterfield, MO. Poured into a Snifter and enjoyed only one as it was $5. This was the 2008 Version of this beer and in Bourbon Barrels (hence the name above).

Appearance- Dark Maple Brown color but almost black. Has a Half a finger of a Dark Tan Head and has sudsy lacing.

Smell- Huge whisky smell with a deep alcohol scent, almost like rubbing alcohol. Very roasty and has many aromas I couldn't catch but possibly there will be a second time.

Taste/Mouthfeel- Has a rich flavor, very strong and profound! Let it be known that this is an Imperial Russian Stout! It has a beginning dark chocolate taste with a wood background. The alcohol is very warming and the bourbon is a bold characteristic that stays after the finish even. Has a Medium-Full Body, Viscosity of a Root Beer, and surprisingly smooth!

Overall- While sampling the Chipotle Pepper Smoked Porter first (which I wasn't fond of), I went straight for this Russian Stout since it was very limited. Being aged in bourbon barrels gave it a great flavor and aroma characteristic. Could actually drink these all night even though it is a 11.5% stout. Will be recommending to friends and drinking again!

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2011 06:11:42 | More by DCon
Photo of jdense
jdense

Oregon

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Aces & Ales, Las Vegas NV, 11.24.10, $5 a glass.

3/4 finger brown head, fairly slow dissipation with average lacing. Huge aromatics, the bourbon notes up front, but balanced by a goodly dose of chocolate and vanilla, not much coffee. Taste is big, with the bourbon and chocolate up front, vanilla a toffee/brown sugar sweetness but not cloying, and char from the barrel in the middle, leading to bittersweet chocolate and a bit of resiny hops in the finish, yummy. Medium full mouthfeel, almost creamy, not a lot of effervescence. Dangerously drinkable at this ABV. This was a really good beer, one of the best I've had this year. Worth seeking out for fans of barrel-aged stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2010 20:32:17 | More by jdense
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rackhouse Pub this was 2010 IRS aged in a Stranahan's whiskey barrel but I put it here anyway. Dark black and had the most minimal tan head, like a millimeter or so. Smells like whiskey and roasted grain reminiscent of the regular IRS aged for awhile. The taste is really, really good, whiskey, wood, roasted grain, so different than the regular IRS which is already a good beer. This is very strong but I was very pleased that I ordered it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2011 03:27:46 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap pour at Timmy O'Tooles in Chicago for the Stone Solidarity event.

(A)- Pitch black color with some tan froth & lace.

(S)- A rich caramel body with some dry vanilla, cocoa, licorice, and oak.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Lots of licorice, but is balanced well with a deep oak and vanilla with caramel and raisin.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Not over-the-top but showcases the barrel aging well.

(D)- The regular version of this is always fantastic, but this definitely ups it a notch in strength and body. Excellent.

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2012 21:59:43 | More by sweemzander
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2013 18:25:15 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2006 growler courtesy of throwitallaway. Big, big thanks Dustin! Pours like used motor oil with a dense one-inch brown head. Huge nose on this one with a big bourbon aroma to complement vanilla, chocolate, brown sugar and roasted malts. Bourbon hits even harder in the taste then eases into the roasted malts and smeet molasses and vanilla before finishing with a slight coffee bitterness and, of course, the bourbon. Mouthfeel is super smooth with the bourbon really making its presence felt on the tongue. This is one big mother of a beer and I am glad I was given the opportunity to try it. Definitely a sipper, but a damn fine one.

Serving type: growler

08-07-2008 00:31:00 | More by gford217
Photo of Duhast500
Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2010 18:35:24 | More by Duhast500
Photo of ChrisPro
ChrisPro

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2010 20:19:59 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of CooperEllis
CooperEllis

New York

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On draft at Rattle 'n Hum. I sampled only 4 brews at the 40 Taps and took review notes on three of them.

2008. 8oz pour into something between a small snifter/oversized wine glass.

The pour was a very nice dark color, minimal head and very little lacing. Bubbles at the edges of the glass.

Aroma is overpoweringly bourbon. After letting it settle for 5-7 minutes the aroma rounds with more of the roasted malt, full bourbon, slight vanilla extract/alcohol.

The taste is similarly hot with bourbon out of the gate. There isn't much to do but let it sit for a bit and breathe (not a problem, just worth noting). I'm sure this could have breathed for a good deal longer and perhaps have warmed a bit in the glass but I didn't allow it to. The taste was exceptional. Solid bourbon flavors heavily compliment the malts. This brew still had a good deal of sweetness to it, but the bitter notes were enhanced greatly by the traces of alcohol (both obvious bourbon and faint vanilla extract). The finish was sticky but not sticky-sweet.

Mouthfeel was to be expected, very full, ominpresent on the palate from the begining of the glass through the last sip.

It's hard to say this is highly drinkable in general. However, if what you're reaching for has to be a BBA IRS, this would certainly be one of the first I would reach for. Because I didn't allow it to breathe fully, I'm marking this a 4. However, initially it's closer to a 2.5, and with proper care it may well be a 5.

(27th)

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2010 16:15:47 | More by CooperEllis
Photo of TriGuy20
TriGuy20

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Stone Bourbon Barrel Aged on tap poured into tulip.

A: Dark oil black with great mocha head.

S: Man the bourbon really comes out on this one. Bourbon/ Dark Chocolate/ Espresso/ Vanilla/ Cereal/ Toffee/ Burnt Toast

T: Bourbon and espresso hit you up front on the mid palate you get some roasted malt followed by a nice toffee and bitter chocolate finish with more bourbon.

MF: Very pleasing MF, however, not as thick as some in this style.

D: Very easy to drink, however, this is definitely a sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2011 00:56:23 | More by TriGuy20
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a small, creamy dark tan head. Good head retention.

Aggressive bourbon flavour with lots of oak. Spicy alcohol with nice chocolate notes. Good.

Smooth creamy chocolate with a big hit of bourbon. Good oak and vanilla flavour. This is a big ass stout which packs a punch.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Nice.

A really solid BBA stout. For me the bourbon flavour is a touch over the top but it is still a good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 11:02:02 | More by dgilks
Photo of Marty30
Marty30

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Aces&Ales Strong beer festival. 2008 vintage.

A. Very black all the way through,About a half inch tan head. Tiny bit lacing almost non existant.

S. Tons of bourbon some oak and vanilla,dark fruits play the back up roll here.

T. Boubon dominates here,very nice. Some oak and vanilla and a touch of leather. Little bit of chocolate and figs,raisons.No alchohol detected.

M. Feel is thick but kind of fluffy is that can be understood? Leaves a nice bit of boubon aftertase.

Overall one of the definate stand outs of the night really excited I got to try this. I hope I get to try this again some day.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2011 00:03:39 | More by Marty30
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.38/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2010 20:08:23 | More by Sean9689
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

4.38/5  rDev -2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2010 15:48:57 | More by Gmann
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.38/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2010 21:28:35 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Serving type: growler

03-14-2010 02:09:43 | More by tpd975
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Serving type: growler

05-24-2010 21:42:06 | More by womencantsail
Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 365 ratings.