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

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Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel AgedImperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

138 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 138
Hads: 958
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 6.73%
Wants: 500
Gots: 169 | FT: 16
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: 138 | Hads: 958
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. (306 characters)

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. (561 characters)

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. (314 characters)

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. (3,003 characters)

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. (159 characters)

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! (739 characters)

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. (521 characters)

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. (1,831 characters)

Photo of MtnSoup
4.97/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A wonderfully balanced beer that incredibly gets better every time I open a bottle. Strong bourbon flavor balanced with chocolate and vanilla malt. Perfectly balanced. The test piece for any bourbon barrel aged Russian imperial stout if you ask me. In a word? Perfection. (271 characters)

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate, bourbon and vanilla on the nose. Tastes between chocolate, vanilla, oak and charred bitter malts. Was expecting this to be outrageously bold, but the flavors are balanced. Finishes very dry. (201 characters)

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

Jan 2014 bottle (brewed Jan 2013), opened Jan 2015.

A - Thick, deep espresso black body. Dark mocha head pours 1/2 a finger high with ok retention and lace.

S - Outstanding nose. Rich and thick with milk chocolate, brandy, oak, tons of vanilla, touch of nutmeg, and almonds. Great integration.

T - Medium roast latte, milk chocolate, warm scotch, hazelnut, vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee, and soft cream. Fantastic balance and integration. A shade boozy.

M - Super smooth, creamy, medium-full body. Almost perfect.

O - An awesome beer. Stone RIS is one of my favorite stouts, and I'd argue it's one of the best bombers you can buy for under $10. The BA version is an absolute treat, and is more than worth the hype. (728 characters)

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

Pours black with a thick, creamy, dark brown, one finger head. The nose is very robust. Nutty, vanilla, dark chocolate, prunes, roasted malt, a fruity bourbon with a heavy wood character. The flavor is delicious. It's very chocolaty with the bourbon in the back. There is a slight heat from the alcohol, but it is in no way boozy. It's insanely well balanced. This beer was bottled in Feb of this year making it ten months old. This is the oldest bourbon barrel aged stout I've had. It's perfectly balanced, but I wonder if that is because of the age. Either way ba da ba ba ba...I'm lovin' it. (594 characters)

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

If these things weren't like $20 a pop, I'd have like 20 cases of them lining my cellar. Incredibly rich, decadent feel, straight up bourbon fudge brownie palate. Booze seeps through a touch on the nose, but overall this is a stellar brew. (239 characters)

Photo of timc100
4.55/5  rDev +2%

Given how rich and intense IRS is, very excited to get into this one.

Appearance is very similar, maybe a bit thinner looking and very minimal head.

Subtle but enticing aroma of barrel char, vanilla, bakers chocolate, chalky cocoa, hints of dark fruit and touch of coconut.

Slick body, though thinner than the reg IRS. Intense flavors - bitter espresso and chocolate - barrel char. The finish is relatively short.

Very happy to have finally tried BA IRS - great beer. Would like to see some with age and side-by-side with a 2013 reg. (541 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.03/5  rDev -9.6%

Black in color. Tan head. Chocolate and roasty. Boozy. Coffee. Hot bourbon. Licorice and molasses.

This beer has too much alcohol showing. Could probably use another year or two in the cellar. (193 characters)

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 (661 characters)

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

Thanks to rudzud. 2014 vintage.

Pours a decent creamy dark colored small head that fades pretty quickly, pitch black color, decent legs too.

Nose big malts, lots of different dark malts, lots of black malts, roast and cocoa, chewy fudge, little char and nutty notes, caramel, mild vanilla barrel, roasty intense dark malts and little booze, touch of dark fruits.

Taste sweet candy, caramel, fudge, thick choc and candy, thick fudgey chewy cocoa and caramel, rich, then big booze, hot booze, bitter tannic roast and booze, vanilla barrel and fudgey, etc. Finish is drier but sticky, big roasty bitterness and tannic char, big fudgey cocoa and some bitter earthy spicy hops, etc.

Mouth touch fudgey heavy, rich, decent carb, hot booze.

Overall food but there are many better bourbon stouts out there, decent, tasty, but hot too. (835 characters)

Photo of JulioH
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Good beer.

Pours a dark beer. Forms a nice head. Smell has nice coffee, some vanilla. Taste is bitter, almost like drinking an espresso without sugar. Has a high alcohol content and taste. Thick beer. (201 characters)

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)

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Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.