Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 369 | Reviews: 105 | Show All Ratings:
4.2/5 rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Growler shared by thickfreakness (thickerfreakness). Thanks Charles!
Pours Dark black with a short lived tan head. Smell is bourbon, chocolate and a slight doughy-ness along with a bit of vanilla. Tastes is rich and chocolatey, with some bitterness. Light vanilla flavor and balanced light bourbon flavor too. Medium to full bodied with moderate to light carbonation. Solid mouthfeel. I liked this way better than the non-BA version.
Serving type: growler
07-01-2008 18:47:08 | More by JDV
4.85/5 rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
May 2008 Release; Sampled June 2008
A careful pour produces a half-finger thick, brown tinged, darker tan colored head. The beer is pitch black and color and quite opaque. Ample, spicy Bourbon aromas are noticeable without completely drowning out the Stout aromatics. Roast espresso aromas, charred prune notes, bit roast grain and a finish dominated by deeply toasted grain notes that lean towards toasted, not quite burnt whole grain bread. The aroma has some sweetness to it, that is accentuated just a bit by the Bourbon-alcohol aromas. When intensely scrutinizing the aroma the Bourbon notes are big up front, but then disappear and allow that pure stout notes to come through, but then things start to meld together as toasted barrel notes of coconut , vanillin mix with dark, rich, sweet malty chocolate aromas. This has a very nice aroma to it, much better than I was expecting as the Bourbon barrel notes are quite well integrated; the Imperial stout aromatics are still allowed to shine here & really show quite well as they mix with the barrel notes.
Fairly thick and viscous up front, the beer gets a bit thinner towards the finish as some boozy, Bourbon notes kick in. Creamy feeling with a huge, richly, dark malt sweetened, chocolate flavors are accentuated by the barrel with flavors of vanillin, a light coconut note and a rich, burnt fruit character. This last reminds me of a mix of deeply roasted, burnt, succulent figs, moist prunes and raisins. While not overly thick or viscous this really has an unctuous, creamy fullness that just engulfs the palate; when warmed up a bit it even manages to over-power the thinning effect of the Bourbon booze in the finish. When cooler the hop and roast grain notes combine to give this beer a substantial, but sometimes overlooked, bitterness.
The bitter, burnt roast notes are what really define this beer; not necessarily in the way you might think though as these notes are very well integrated and never allowed to become harsh, sharp nor astringent. Instead the roast character plays an almost supporting role (if you can imagine such a thing in an Imperial Stout), creating a rich, roast malt depth & balancing act that provides touches of bitterness, a light roast acidity and a deep black coffee note that serves as a light foil to the sweet, concentrated, chocolate like, thick malt character that is so nice in this beer. The texture, especially, really starts to come in to its own as the beer warms up; the boozy Bourbon notes that thinned out the finish are tamed and this beer remains a creamy, viscous, palate enveloping experience from the start to long, lingering finish of each sip. Even the aroma gets increasingly better as it warms up; accentuating more of the chocolate, toasted coconut and vanillin notes.
This is far better than I was expecting; I had thought I was burnt out on Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stouts, but this shows I just need a nice, well balanced example to keep me interested in the style. Perhaps just a touch too boozy in the finish, this beer otherwise is a classic example of the marriage of Bourbon and Imperial Stout. I really did not expect to love this; I assumed that at most I might find it interesting and slightly enjoyable, instead this is just down right tasty & easily the best use of a Bourbon barrel in a beer that I have had. Stones Imperial stout requires some age on it to be at its best, this beer manages to display those characteristics as well as an added boost of complexity from the Bourbon barrel that was not overdone. I almost feel guilty for liking this beer as much as I do, especially since I was expecting to be able to easily tear it down. This really needs to be served on the warm side of cool; it started out at 50°F / 10°C, but still really becomes phenomenal the longer I wait. I have about a half ounce left and it seems to be at its best after sitting in my glass for the last hour and a half; damn there it goes, unexpectedly I am left wanting more.
Serving type: growler
06-14-2008 04:51:26 | More by Gueuzedude
4.75/5 rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Hand bottle from thickerfreakness...thanks!
This one is right up my alley! It poured black in color with a think brown head that faded rather quickly. The nose is filled with crème, hazelnuts, coconut, milk chocloate, vanilla and some woodiness at the end. In the mouth it was full-bodied and quite rich with a sweetness that is wonderfully balanced by just enough grip. The finish lingers on and on with flavors of chocolate dipped hazelnuts. In fact, especially in the finish, this reminds me of a wonderful mignardises to end a great meal...and this can be treated the same!
Serving type: growler
06-13-2008 01:00:48 | More by SQNfan
4.88/5 rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Had this yesterday at O'Brian's... fresh from Stone. Served in a pint glass, dark licorice brown (near black) with a small cocoa-brown cap. Very low in carbonation ofcourse.
Smell was strong of liquour, prunes, licorice with some notable smokiness. The acoholic fumes disperse flavor aplenty, gotta taste it!
BIG, dark rich flavorsome maltiness fills the mouth. Black licorice, prune, dark fig, black grape, molassas, bit-o-chocolate, wood, smoke in a somewhat chewy, sweet concoction. The complexity is marvelous and the balance is unique, very sweet overall. This stuff has massive flavor that just makes you want more, no joke.
Big body, it's a sipper for sure. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth and creamy and plenty of alcohol (10% ABV+) that warms your inside.
A very delicious stout that makes the bottled stuff almost seem bland by comparison (though it's far from bland). Another great BIG beer made even better (and bigger) from who else? Stone silly! Cheers to another great beer!
Serving type: cask
05-19-2006 10:19:16 | More by scottoale
4.55/5 rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
04/01/06- On cask at the Triple Rock 3rd Annual Firkin Fest in Berkeley, CA.
Presentation- 8 or 9oz sampler glass filled to the rim. What a pour! From the wooden cask straight into the glass. Not sure what year this is from.
Appearance- Deep chocolaty brown in color with a 1/4 inch dirty brown head. Large streaks and chunks of lace left behind.
Smell- This is one rich smelling beer. Notes of hard alcohol (assuming that's the bourbon), lots of chocolatly goodness, semi-bitter hops and deep roasted malt. Smells like dessert.
Taste- Wow! I wasn't thinking I was going to like this since I was told it had lots of licorice flavor, which I am usually not very keen on. Very smooth and creamy right off the bat. A big hit of licorice comes into play, but it works wonders with the other flavors. Large chocolate (both milk and dark) swirl and mix together. Very sweet in flavor. Nice heavy bourbon note as well upon the first sip. Hops are there and make themselves know quickly as well. But, the overpowering flavor is the wonderful chocolate, roasted malt and licorice. I had to have another pour before I left and thus am paying for it now with a headache.
Mouthfeel- Rich, smooth and creamy with the slightest of carbonation. This would be one kick ass after dinner drink!
Drinkability- I have no idea what the abv is on this brew, but assume it's gotta be at least 10%. So, glad I got to try this wonderful brew and hope it eventually comes back soon.
Serving type: cask
04-02-2006 02:08:17 | More by GClarkage
Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 369 ratings.