1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

362 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 362
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 362 | Reviews: 105 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Drucifer
Drucifer

Illinois

4.21/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2013 03:39:47 | More by Drucifer
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.48/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2013 11:35:52 | More by mdaschaf
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 barczar
barczar

Kentucky

4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2013 23:28:56 | More by barczar
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 JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
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

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2012 05:57:17 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap for the first anniversary party at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

2008 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is exceptional and is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, cookie dough, vanilla, wood, and bourbon. There is also a slight port aroma that emerges as the beer warms up. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a fantastic nose and a great flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

07-08-2012 04:11:19 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage at Stone's 15th anniversary party

Look: Black in color with not real head no retention but it does leave a small film on the glass when you drink it down

Smell: Bourbon oak roasted malts vanilla and chocolate. Pretty straight forward

Taste: Again bourbon upfront backed up by quite a bit of roasted malts. Finishes with touches of vanilla and chocolate

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation

Overall: I can't believe how much bourbon is still present after all the age that has been put on it. I would like to try a fresh batch if they do it again. Good beer from stone but not great I thought the alcohol was just a bit distracting

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2012 00:42:42 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of sukwonee
sukwonee

Washington

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Malt and Vine, Redmond WA (Stone event), 5 dollars for about 10-12oz pour

This one was 2008 vintage - so awesome!

A: Black with half finger mocha head, not too much lacing.

S: oh man... HUGE bourbon smell - even after 4 years of aging. Oak, vanilla,chocolate aroma, Some nutty scent, roasted malt.

T: It reallyl follows the nose - Bourbon, oak, chocolate, sweet brown sugar, believe it or not, it was still a bit boozy, but not too overwhelming.

M: Still had some carbonation remaining, thick, syrupy, and sticky. You can still feel the alcohol burn.

O: I am glad I got to try this one. This one is 100x improved version of Stone's regular RIS - but then again, I love bourbon aged beers in general. Maybe not for everyone, but man, this one was amazing. I wonder though how this beer would have tasted fresher - probably not as good and too hot and boozy. Anyway 2008 vintage was near perfect.

O. Aweseom

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2012 04:36:22 | More by sukwonee
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 THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts,

taste: bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, such a balanced BA. RIS

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium to full body,

overall: a very well balanced barrel aged ris. would love to get my hands on some more. great beer.

Cheers,
The CPJ

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2012 15:57:06 | More by THECPJ
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at SmallBar.

A - Black beer with a bit of a tan head that rose up a finger and faded to a tight ring. Didn't stay around for long but looked nice.

S - This is nicely smoothed out with some impressive bourbon. I've never felt like Stone RIS was the biggest of stouts, but it's held up pretty well in the barrel.

T - Bourbon, chocolate, roast. Taste is quite nice, and very smoothed out. Really no heat on this with all the appropriate flavors.

M - Medium bodied, could be a little bit fuller, with some moderate carbonation.

O - Really nice beer. Stone RIS is very nice brew, and it did well in the bourbon. Could drink a lot of this one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2012 00:47:53 | More by AgentZero
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1090th Review on BA
Draft to 4oz taster

WinterStorm 2012
2008 Vintage

App- A pitch black pour. Very chocolate syrup in appearance. A 1/2" of head formed and then fell to about an 1/8" of bubbles with maybe at most a couple dots of cling.

Smell- Smelled really divine. A lot of rich bourbon with that booze not wofting up and had touches of oak and rich vanilla all over it.

Taste- The booze on this one is still very hot. The barrels still need some time to mellow which I thought was odd. Very prickly booze and then after comes a bit of creamy RIS malts and some vanilla and oak char notes.

Mouth- A medium to low body on this one with a medium prickly carbonation. Residual booze and a bit of creamy vanilla.

Drink- Overall, this wasn't as smooth as I would have hoped but it was a nice BBA RIS with good flavors, just lacked a little balance.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2012 17:19:07 | More by FosterJM
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge bourbon nose, lots of coconut, vanilla, caramel. Taste is way more coconut, Elijah Craig shining through in a gloriously smooth manner. Really nice treat to sip the '08 version in spite of their snarky, classically Seattle hipster vibe (not kidding, the bar tender just shit on some guy looking for "Stella or Heineken", and responded by pulling him a Spaten without asking, saying "it's german too", in a way hostile attitude. Just because the guy ordered sucky beers doesn't mean he needs to make the customer feel like a loser...anyways, a great bourbon barrel RIS overall, smooth, balanced, with glutenous complexity.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2011 04:56:57 | More by ccrida
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 kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2011 23:48:01 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Elijah Craig barrel aged RIS

on tap, Uber Tavern

appearance: served in a sharp uber tavern goblet - 11oz pour for $5. dark mahogany body, fully creamy chocolate head

smell: rich dark chocolate, potent bourbon, vanilla bean

taste: really nice layering of decadent flavors - the bourbon bite is considerably strong given the age, dark and creamy milk chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, vanilla and cream. Really nice - warms the body all the way to the core

mouthfeel: creamy and silky, strong alcohol warming

overall: great - worth the hype

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2011 18:38:43 | More by dirtylou
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 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 ehammond1
ehammond1


4.43/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-30-2011 01:25:22 | More by ehammond1
Photo of hopsbreath
hopsbreath

Oregon

4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Portland International Beerfest. Two tickets at $1 each got you a 4oz pour of this. On-tap for the couple days I went, and I had a bunch of it. 2008 batch aged in Elijah Craig barrels.

A: Black with dark brown edges, nice finger of head recedes to a glass ring, no lacing. 4/5

S: Wonderful aroma of coconut, spice, chocolate and massive booze. 4.5/5

T: Heavy on the booze and wood. Possibly the most barrel forward stout I've had. Pepper and ash when cold. Cocoa and caramel are better appreciated as it warms up. 4/5

M: Surprisingly thin side of medium, slightly tongue numbing, spritzy. 3/5

O: A good -bal stout to be sure. Not quite in the echelon of my favorite stouts but a solid example none the less. 4/5

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2011 07:40:18 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of nomomentwasted
nomomentwasted

Oregon

4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the International Beer Festival in Portland back in July. Served from a tap into a 4oz tasting glass. Apparently, this is the 2008 IRS aged in Elijah Craig barrels, for the record. $1 for a 4oz taster? I'll have one...or four.

Appearance: Doesn't get much more glorious in the stout department than this. Creamy, thick, viscous, blacker-than-black brew with beautiful lacing and a dense tan billowy, foamy head. Very inviting.

Smell: Strong notes of German Chocolate Cake, vanilla, smoked oak, light char, and somewhat-muted Bourbon. Suprisingly tame for such a huge beer, and the bourbon is more of a component, not the center-stage. The vanilla, however, simply become more rich and inviting as the beer opens up.

Taste: In a word, stellar. Fantastically rich vanilla and cake-like chocolate notes are met with boozy-rich bourbon, oaky notes that finishes thick and chocolatey. Does not leave without a nice like of burning booze, and while many aspects of the beer became even more delicious as the beer warmed, there was an uptick in a bit of oxidation/soy sauce. Still, the flavor is overwhelmingly positive, and how a bourbon stout should be done in my estimatio, with the whiskey contribution being integrated and even rather than boisterous and heavy-handed.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, viscous, thick, chewy, fantastic. I wish all stouts were this silky and rich. Ain't no thin finish here, that's for sure. World-class.

Overall: Very, very impressed. The normal Stone IRS is delicious in its own right, and occasionally bourbon beers do the base beer a disservice by simply tasting like bourbon and losing the greatness of the underlying beer. Not here, and not by a long shot. Makes an outstanding beer better, and comes highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2011 21:42:40 | More by nomomentwasted
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter at Acre.

Appearance: As expected, this is pitch black with just a hint of mahogany and ruby in the edges.

Smell: The aroma is full of bourbon; it is in the forefront to the point where it kind of drowns out the other wonderful smells. Molasses, dark fruits, and a bit of anise and chocolate are pushed to the periphery.

Taste: The flavor is again a bit strong on the bourbon for me, considering that the base beer is so good. It starts strong and stays on the palate through each sip. Behind that, some molasses and vague dark fruit sweetness start out, with vanilla, oak, and roasted malt rounding out the front. The roasted malt has a tinge of burnt character and flows into a coffee bitterness nicely as the sip progresses. The finish is lightly bitter with more bourbon.

Mouthfeel: This has a dry, woody, oaky feel, which makes it feel less full bodied than the original. Medium carbonation is on the creamy side.

Overall: If I had this on its own, it would be a fine beer. The only issue is that Stone had the audacity to make IRS so good that drowning the flavor our with bourbon is a downgrade. Some people might like the bourbon treatment to be over the top, but I prefer it to be more nuanced.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2011 20:37:55 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of brew3crew
brew3crew

Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap for the stone tap take over at acre. 2008 RIS in bourbon barrels. MMM.

a-pitch black with no head what so ever. only knock on this beer

s-nice amounts of malt and bourbon mixed together to perfection

t-smooth bourbon with a nice malt backbone. Really well melded together

m-medium body and oh so smooth

o-this is one BAMF! Great beer. I had 3 glasses!

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2011 23:19:46 | More by brew3crew
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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.