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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.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

155 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 155
Hads: 1,051
Avg: 4.46
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 570
Gots: 213 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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: 155 | Hads: 1,051
Photo of _RL_
4.14/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 bottle into a snifter. No head at all. Pours thick but not oily or sludgy. Smells initially of strong booze but that smell dissipates as the glass warms and the beer opens. Tastes of bourbon, with slight hints of chocolate and oak. Incredibly smooth. My bottle is marked at 13.9% and the beer tastes at half that abv. Mouthfeel is thin, especially for the style. Overall it is good, but might be better fresh. Would definitely like to try a newer bottle.

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Photo of SaulFox
4.71/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As black as my soul with no head.
Bourbon with roasty malts. A bit subdued.
Slight bourbon, dark chocolate, oak.
Lighter mouthfeel then what I prefer.
Pleasant offering from Stone. It deserves it's spot in the top 250.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I picked up a bottle of this at the brewery when I visited the brewery for the third time in my life back in July of last year. This bottle is 2015 Series Batch # 1. It was bottled in March of 2015 after being barrel aged for 7 months. Comes in a 500 ml bottle with a cock in the top. This batch also clocks in at 13% AVB, which is 1.5% higher than what is listed for this beer in this beer's data base, so evidently this beer's ABV % changed at least in this batch I have a bottle from. Poured into my tulip glass, this beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color of course that is not at all interested in letting in any light whatsoever. Has a tan head that's about an inch thick when first poured before settling to a very thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with a big cluster of foam on the beer's surface. Has decent lacing. Aromas of dark roasted malts, hints of licorice, dark fruits such as plums and raisin, very toasted bread, and bourbon are present. The taste is pretty much the same, with a toasted, bread like maltyness upfront that gives way to hints of licorice and plum and raisin sweetness that gives way to oak and vanilla, a hint of chocolate, and a bit of bourbon. All the different flavors really blend together extremely nicely. This is also one of the least hoppy beers I have had from Stone, and one of a very few if not the only one I think I've ever had from them where I can say that there really is no discernible hop presence at all in the flavor profile. And for this beer that is just fine indeed. This one really needs to sit and warm up a bit for all the flavors to really make their presence known properly. Has an extremely smooth, just slightly crisp, smooth and frothy, slightly chewy and oily, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. This one really coats the inside of my mouth and the flavors linger for quite awhile after each sip. Has a fairly dry aftertaste. A damn fine beer from Stone. This fantastic beer is yet another reminder of why if I had to narrow it down to one single brewery out there, Stone would have to be my number one. This is an exceptionally good beer!

Eric

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Photo of bennyman12
4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great stuff. Complex aroma and flavor--good chocolate presence, vanilla, caramel, and bourbon qualities. Not sweet whatsoever. I prefer parabola because the bourbon is more pronounced and the mouthfeel a bit thicker there, but this is a fitting tribute to Fyodor.

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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 Jjski
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cellared in the dark for a year, average 55F
Bottle batch 2014: the label states beer was brewed 1/29/13, then barrel aged on "American Oak Bourbon Barrels" for 12 months
Aroma of leather, dark licorice , raisin, whiskey, over-toasted dark bread
Tastes as it smells plus dark, chocolate malty roast,bourbon very present but well integrated. Light pleasant char.
Mouthfeel is distinct from other 'super stouts' - dry finish and slight chalky char ( very slight) work well to keep it smooth, not sweet. Still a tad thin for the category, but definitely not lacking. Just different than viscosities presented by BCBS or Eclipse.
Superb, but not better than the 2 aforementioned RIS. Drier, less sweet, and well put together. A year has done well on this.

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Photo of ZakFaruki
4.34/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured from the 500 mL into a tulip, pours a opaque jet black with a thin tan head.

S: Roasted malt, Earth, coffee, and a strong alcohol scent, I'm assuming this is from the barrel aging

T: Roasted malt on the nose, fades into an extreme booziness, but its accented with a nice touch of vanilla and dried fruit

F: Silky smooth, has that big stout feel

O: An excellent stout, it's a big beast and not for the faint of heart. The Bourbon aging adds a complex alcohol taste and texture that seems all so fitting with a nice stout as the base.

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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 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 YodersBeerEmporium
4.24/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice nose and mouthfeel. Was a little thin but nice barrel notes, chocolate, roast. Wouldn't necessarily seek out again as there are better BA stouts for less $$

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Photo of pagriley
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottled Feb 2014. Poured into snifter

L - Pours inky black, slightly effervescent with fluffy 1 inch mocha head that lasts for ages
S - Bourbon up front with oaky vanilla, dark chocolate. tons of coconut
T - Barrel is prominent but balanced, with bitter chocolate, vanilla and a touch of raisins
F - Medium to lighter bodied for the style. A touch prickly, but a few swirls knocked out the excess carb

Overall, a very, very well executed beer. Classic barrel aged big stout. On the lighter side in terms of body, and the flavors are classically melded perfection

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Photo of LADaveBN
4.91/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 series from 500mL bottle. After drinking a 2012 Parabola a week ago I decided to pop this one open to compare. Strikingly similar but this was superior, though not by much. Barely any carb, just a hint. Jet black. Nose is what excels here over the Parabola. Just one man's opinion. Bourbon, dark chocolate, oak, vanilla. Beautiful. Taste is bourbon and oak on the front. Followed by a smoky chocolate with a great bitter coffee finish Feel is viscous. Coats the mouth and lingers for almost a minute. Overall this is the best BBA RIS I've ever had and the highest rating I've ever given as of this review.

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

Incredibly smooth barrel-aged stout. Subtle bourbon coffee flavor. Beer is on the thinner side, but this doesn't take away from taste. Drank new, but imagine this would age beautifully. Stellar beer!

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Photo of john0721
4.11/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle pour into a Stone Imperial Russian Stout Tulip.

Poured black with a light brown head which diminished quickly.

A nutty, caramel nose, with a touch of vanilla.

Caramel, vanilla, some cask wood in the flavor.

I consider Barrel Aged Imperial Stouts a style independent of Imperial stouts and rate them accordingly. This one is a very good one, which I will buy again.

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Photo of WreckedPalate
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With some time this might be damn near perfect. The barrel is present but not overwhelming. Notes of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and oak linger mid palate and dance around to a near clean finish. Excellent BA stout, wish I had more, would love to see how it'd do after a year or so.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

500ml corked and caged poured into snifter

A: pure darkness head was mocha and quickly disappearing

S: lots of tobacco and anise

T: holy mother of god...pure sweet cocoa and tobacco light leather toffee, molasses , a little burnt sugar, bourbon hints of coffee not any huge sweetness

M: pretty full feel maybe slightly thinned by the slick oily bourbon feel

O: This beer is excellent. It is just drop dead gorgeousness in a flaunt yourself way its big on the mouth and huge on taste it bites and refuses to let go. The depth of flavor with the hints of coffee and deep cocoa and then huge leather and tobacco and leather with caramel and toffee blazing the way its a great beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. 2015 series Batch 1.

Deep black walnut body, a half finger tan head, dissolving to a simple puck with very fine bubbles and a whispy start tanned sheen top. Pretty basic, simple and solid without fault.

Real nice subtle aroma. Mild and soft char with a deep piping roast. Thick bodied malt, almost smokey, has a deep herbal woody tone to it hinting somewhere between black licorice and fruity dark qualties. Soft. Not boozy. Licorice notes comes out chewy and thick on the nose after some time. Very nice.

With that first sip, the slow creep comes, with utmost surprise and a big creeping palate. Excellent mouthfeel, deep and chewy with big round feel and mouth coating. Sweet dark malts slightly in the mid palate, a bit of sweet char and tobacco, but the finish is where this excels. Aftertaste grows and grows like a perfectly planted big aromatic licorice tree. Soft anise qualities turn to a deep thick chewy licorice note, black, bold, dry tannic finish but tolerable and rich, slowly growing with each passing second after the swallow.

Rich, luscious, the licorice angle on this is impressive and totally unexpected and as a black licorice fan I am loving it. Body jumps in and out with light character char, and silky roast, but all the great qualities have percolated to the top. Not going to be everyone's cup of tea I think, but works wonders for me.

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Photo of Dentist666
4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 series, batch 01. 13% ABV.
Pours pitch black with 2-finger tan head (Delirium Tremens glass). Retention is average. Smell is rich, bourbon, coffee, chocolate, rye bread. Flavor - roasted malts, chocolate, licorice, bourbon notes, woody notes. Smooth, silky, low carbonated and surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of CasanovaCummins
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nice dark pour that is loaded with a warm malty flavor. Plenty of rich, chocolatey notes. More hot chocolate than coffee flavors to be sure. What is really impressive is how well it maintaims both richness of flavor and integrity to its mouthfeel to the last drop. A lot of vig stouts weaken after sitting in the glass, but this one is consistently great all the way through. Considering I'm not too keen on the ashey notes of most Stone stouts, this one has flavors that over-ride those notes yet still have a hint of them there. Best Stone brew I've ever had.

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Photo of Chcshammonde
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not much else I can say but soaringly fucking glorious. Wire-to-wire this is an incredible beer. So glad I could find and share with my friends. This BA stout is without question in a class by itself. I don't like to compare beers head-to-head, but this special ale is probably the best BA stout I've ever had.

Ok decided to add some "constructive" character to this. The reason I was so delirious over this beer is because I thought it was a thrill to the senses. The smell of the beer is incredibly rich - I smelled toffee, bitter chocolate, roasted malts, and a perfect bourbon smell. Other BA stouts I've tried didn't quite hit on the bourbon like this one did. The taste backed up the smell 110%. The beer is layered perfectly. You get the rich, thick mouthfeel that all great stouts have, and your taste buds are lathered with roasted and semisweet malts, caramel, chocolate, a bit of dry bitterness, and the perfect bourbon compliment to finish off the flavor profile. I just thought it was so well put together. Really going to look for this the next time they release it. I'll be buying 3 bottles at least.

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Photo of CHickman
4.81/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 Series, Batch No. 1 (2014 Stone RIS aged 7 for months in American Oak Kentucky Bourbon Barrels - 13% ABV): Pours pitch black with a small creamy tan head that was full of tiny bubbles, fading rather quickly and leaving decent spotty lacing.

Smells of vanilla, molasses, toffee, caramel, bakers chocolate, burnt coffee grinds, dark chocolate bar, bourbon, toasted coconut, Whoppers candy, oaky/woody notes, red wine, charred wood and brown sugar. The nose is very sweet and boozy, but does not cross the line into cloying and too sweet. There are more complexities to this nose, but all of the aromas above are so pronounced and evenly distributed that it is simply wonderful to inhale with the bourbon, char and earthy/oaky notes making the base beer smell even better. A perfect nose for a bourbon barrel aged RIS, I love the way this smells - it's exactly what I hoped for, nothing more to say.

Wow, the flavor picks up right where the nose left off with rich vanilla, dark chocolate bar, bourbon, molasses, toffee, caramel, bakers chocolate, burnt coffee grinds, toasted coconut, Whopper's candy, Carvel hot fudge, oaky/woody notes, red wine very much like an oaky merlot, charred wood, maple syrup, light piney hops, mild licorice, some dark fruit and brown sugar. Like the nose the taste is sweet and boozy, but the booze is not hot or offensive, it's just present. Flavor also does not cross the line into cloying and too sweet, as the battle for attention shifts from bourbon to chocolate to char to sweet malt and then back to chocolate milk and then to coffee, then vanilla...etc., you get my point. It's dynamic, it's very complex and it's all over the place like a hyper toddler, but throughout this ADD drinking experience this beer really stands out as a delicious and better version of the base beer. This is a slow sipper that hides the 13% ABV very well, but I found myself drinking this faster than I should have because it was so damn smooth. I had Founders KBS a few times on tap this year, as well as Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout, Goose Island Bourbon County Vanilla Rye, Central Waters Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout and Lagunitas ScareCity #3: High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout and Fyodor's Classic is right up there with them at the top of the class. Outstanding beer.

Mouthfeel is slick and creamy smooth across the tongue with some heat that warms your belly, a medium chewy body that's a tad thin but still nice, and a nice charred, sweet aftertaste that's slightly bitter but full of rich, complex malt, chocolate and bourbon flavors. The lingering sweetness is a little ashy but the vanilla and roasted dark chocolate wash away any questionable flavors and leave a wonderfully complex coating that fades as good as the brew tasted.

World class indeed, I highly recommend this beer and plan to order another bottle online ASAP if there are any left. One of, if not THE best, RIS's of all time.

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Photo of Houser
4.82/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

i thought this beer was fantastic. so smooth. taste is so much better then the smell, but marshmallow, vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon mesh together so well.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage Stone RIS aged in bourbon barrels . Opaque and black as a moonless midnight. Light brown hues along the edges of the glass and even after an aggressive pour only a couple bubbles rise to the surface. No lacing. Heavy bittersweet chocolate dominate the aroma with bourbon also detectable. Ridiculous flavors of baker's chocolate, vanilla, possibly some oak, and whiskey tantalize the palate. Medium bodied, though close to full, brew with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel and perfect sweetness balancing the bitterness. Wonderfully crafted bourbon barrel aged russian imperial stout by Stone that will satisfy those with a desire for well hidden big bold alcoholic stouts and those with a sweet tooth. Well done! Awesome!

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Photo of neurobot01
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage at fridge temp into a snifter, allowed to warm.

Look: light-eating black with barely any head. Beautiful like a precious stone.

Smell: sweet chocolatey Jesus. A hint of bourbon, maybe some astringency, but mostly just chocolate.

Taste: chocolate, bourbon, oak, and tons of bitterness. Not overly sweet, and really no alcohol heat.

Feel: silky, thick, and medium-dry.

Overall: for me, the bitterness is a bit overwhelming in the taste. I do like that the sweetness isn't overbearing. Good, but not great.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.19/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally had a hand bottle at a party at Moeder Lambic a few years back, but got a recent bottling of this from ScottO a while back, so I thought I'd give this version a proper review. Cheers man!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
2013 Imperial Stout aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for 12 months
Brewed 29 Jan 2013
Bottled February 2014
IBU: 38
Quingenti Millitre 2014 Series batch 3

APPEARANCE: A transparent black pour yields a 2+ finger, medium looking, bubbly tan head with good retention. Black body with no carbonation evident. Head recedes to a full cap. A ring remains until the end leaving some falling dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut and cream on the nose. Toffee and butterscotch are there as well, with milk chocolate tying it together. Lots of barrel here, though a very nice barrel at that.

TASTE: Bourbon, oak and coconut up front. Lots of barrel again. Coconut, vanilla and milk chocolate at the swallow with a bold and lingering finish of bourbon, vanilla and coconut again, oak, toffee and milk chocolaty sweetness, some bitter, pure chocolate and a hint of burnt malts as well. Very flavorful. Really like the barrel flavors here. Some alcohol lingers as well.

PALATE: Medium-thinner body with medium levels of carbonation. A bit abrasive on the palate, goes down with a bit of a scratch and finishes rather sticky. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Loved the nose and flavor profile on this. The barrel is strong, but the character it imparts on the beer is really enjoyable. The look is okay and the feel could be fuller and less abrasive, but this brew is a whopping 14% after all. Not as boozy as others at this ABV. Overall, this is a good beer I was happy to sip on for an evening. If you can get one, give it a shot. Thanks again ScottO. Recommended.

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Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.