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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

156 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 156
Hads: 1,055
Avg: 4.46
pDev: 22.87%
Wants: 571
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: 156 | Hads: 1,055
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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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....

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of travolta
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: BLACK. Held right in front of a light bulb and it is still pitch black. Nice lacing, good head retention. Head was an espresso color.

Nose: Malt, caramel,woody, whisky, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa powder, licorice, tar notes, nutmeg, figs, plums, and raisins.

Taste: Vanilla bean, malt, wood, dark muscat grapes.

Mouthfeel: Starts like an imperial stout, finishes like a great bourbon.

Notes: Paid $18 for a 500ml bottle, and I would (having now tasted this) have gladly paid twice that.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally! An enormous thank you to GT2 for alerting me that this beer was in the market. Thank to RussianDragon and Jesse for hooking me up with a bunch of these. you guys are awesome.

The beer is near black with a thick, oily, beige head. Sparse lacing. The aroma offers big bourbon and oak notes, with chocolate and roast. Sweet chocolate with a grandiose bourbon presence. Sweetness is calmed by a graceful alcoholic warmth in the finish. A delightful beer to sip. At near 14%, I can make this last the duration of the hockey game (Blackhawks vs. Kings game 7). Go Hawks! Overall, an outstanding beer and top notch example of the style.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow... this is quite simply put, a tremendous beer. I had this randomly at a bar and didn't have a chance to take proper notes, and I feel like I could have written about this beer for days. So many fantastic aspects. The taste and smell is bourbon, bourbon, bourbon for days. Silky smooth, rich chocolate, roasted dark coffee, vibrant bright vanilla, chewy malts and the perfect amount of boozey warmth. One of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I've had the pleasure of having, and I really hope I can find this in a bottle.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.66/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to @grant35 and his Southern Cali fish taco eating hermanos for this bottle

A- Pitch black, thinnest of lacing with no legs. This poured with little carb; but it drinks just fine.

S- Tons of chocolate upfront, toffee caramel are in equal proportion. The bourbon barrel isn't totally hidden, but for a 14% ba stout, it is amazingly hidden.

T- Big chocolate upfront followed by toffee then a nice malt backbone. The barrel is noticeable, but not 14% noticeable. For those who think BCBS is too hot fresh, this is your brew at the same ABV.

M- Pretty smooth, somewhat creamy but not crazy noticeable. The only know is the lack of carb that I stated above shows just a bit too much here, which doesn't make sense.

O- A fantastic BA stout! The complexity of the chocolate and how this is drinking at 14% is why I rated this so high. I love the base, and Stone nailed the BA version

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Photo of Catracho5
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type: 500 ml bottle poured into a Belgian style Tulip.

Appearance: Pitch black, with a tan creamy head that dissipated fairly quickly. A little lacing and some tiny bubbles that remained around the edge and some in the middle. Looks great in the glass.

Smell: Heavy bourbon smell, getting some alcohol, but surprisingly for a 13.9% ABV, the alcohol smell is not prevalent. I am not getting any other aromas on the nose. A little dark cherries, has a great aroma.

Taste: You get the woody, bourbon flavor right up front, some dark fruity flavor, the alcohol is on the back end and lingers in the aftertaste. Great flavor!

Mouthfeel: Like motor oil but not as thick as some other barrel aged stouts I have tried. Some carbonation, the alcohol warms the palate and the belly.

Overall: I have tried several BA stouts and this one has to be the smoothest. I was surprised at the quality because Stone has not greatly impressed me with their beers. This one is world class. What a great beer worth the $20 I put down. I am going to get another bottle to cellar.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle named Fyodors batch 3 vintage 2014 from Stone Escondido. Poured into New Belgium globe.

A-Pitch black beer with a beautiful lasting beige head. Great lacing!

S-Malty caramel aroma, vinous, woody, barrel notes, whisky, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa powder, licorice, tar notes, nutcreme, figs, plums, and raisins.

T-Great taste, super thick vanilla, wood, roasted malts, alcohol, fudge and chocolate.

M-Mouthfeel is thick and very well balance.

O-Overall a great BA russian imperial stout was a surprise to find and only $18!

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Photo of ISmith87
4.91/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - 4.5 - dark brown black beer with a nice mocha head that doesn't stick very long
S - 4.75 - huge bourbon and barrel notes, background is definitely chocolate, coffee and caramel. It's a little harder to pick up some of the dark malt notes in this one because the bourbon/booze is so strong.
T - 5 - Huge chocolate, coffee with bourbon barrel, smoke and toasted wood flavors. Burnt marshmallow, smores. It's one hell of a complex beer.
M - 5 - This is one thick beer when you drink it through the initial head. Wierdly, as the head dissipates the body of the beer seemed to as well, probably due to the dryness from the high alcohol content. Nonetheless, a damn good beer. Alc is present and a little in your face, aftertaste is chocolate, coffee, mocha latte, and roasted malts.

O - 5 - What a good beer. Parabola or Big Bad Baptist fits my own tastes better, but this beer is damn close to being just as good. I think the bourbon barrel qualities go great with the stone RIS flavors, and the aging helps everything meld together even better than it does in the original beer.

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Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.