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

Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged
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BA SCORE
99
world-class

364 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 364
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
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Ratings: 364 | Reviews: 105 | Show All Ratings:
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 TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jason for this beer, probably the best of the night before the last Jackie O's release. My pour was dark black and opaque, with an insanely appetizing aroma. All of the usual goodness of Stone IRS, plus bourbon! Actually this smells exactly how you'd expect, and that's pretty damn good. Sweet and malty, bourbony with chocolate and vanilla. Nice...

It tastes just as good, insane. Move over BA Speedway, this is pushing to become the highest rated BA stout from the San Diego area. Thickish but adequately bubbly, excellent stuff.

Serving type: growler

09-03-2011 03:08:58 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of ColdPoncho
ColdPoncho

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jason for this one. Tried it at Jackie O's recent release. From notes.

A - dark dark black body with a ring of tight brown head.

S - grainy and yeasty, but also a lot of chocolate and bourbon.

T - a crapload of bourbon, some generic stout flavors, like chocolate and dark roasted malts, and there is some heat in there too.

M - thick, syrupy and smooth.

O - Nice big and complex beer.

Serving type: growler

09-02-2011 13:52:19 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on the eve of the August 27th JO's release. Big thanks to Jason for sharing this. 08 vintage from growler. ~4 oz from a tasting snifter.

3.5 A: Black. Pour yielded no head.

4.5 S: The barrel aging is done extremely well. The bourbon portion is perfect. Incredibly smooth with leather, melon, prune, and plum. However, the underlying stout can't stand tall alongside. Some chocolate and roast, but does not seem to have the subtleties that the regular has at this age. Still, bourbon forward or not, smells delicious.

3.5 T: I have no idea where the Stone IRS went. This tastes a bit like watered down bourbon rather than a bourbon enhanced stout. There's just a little chocolate and a little roast. However, the bourbon itself makes this still taste great. Leather, melon, prune, and plum. Alcohol is very well hidden.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could be creamier though.

3.5 D: Decent, but stout that can't stand tall above barrel treatments should not be put into barrels. I'm completely shocked that Stone IRS is one of these.

Serving type: growler

08-31-2011 23:11:14 | More by DavoleBomb
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 BeerAndBourbon
BeerAndBourbon

Ohio

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

Jason - you are a god and the supreme hero of my univese.

A. Black with just a puny white head; after a half hour there is no head at all.

S. Vanilla with some chocolate and bourbon.

T. Nice sweetness that helps to balance the bitterness with bourbon and vanilla.

M. A reasonably thick body with fairly low carbonation.

D. Thick and smmoth with a good balanced flavor.

Serving type: growler

08-27-2011 02:31:08 | More by BeerAndBourbon
Photo of Urbancaver
Urbancaver

Ohio

4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Jason!

Pours a dark dark brown. A nice bit of tan head. Smells smooth and bourbony. A bit hot. Sweet roasty and quite enjoyable. On the tongue it's thick and quite boozy but still really tasty. I love the balance. The mouthfeel is stellar. Overall this is a top notch example of a bourbon barrel IRS

Serving type: growler

08-27-2011 00:40:28 | More by Urbancaver
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
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
TheBeerAlmanac

Kentucky

5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Draft poured into a growler poured into a tulip

A: Pours a very thick, opaque black color with a light brown head that is really dark, considering. The texture is viscous like dirty motor oil...it's absolutely beautiful.

S: Aroma is equally amazing; sweet dark chocolate, heavy caramel, and a smooth bourbon accent. It's utterly enticing.

T/M: Taste has some alcohol twinge up front but is quickly masked by chocolate and caramel notes with a bit of toffee and nut in the finish. There's very little aftertaste but it leaves a warming sensation. It rolls on your tongue and down your throat, like a liquid trapeze artist made of black roasted malts and bourbon.

There are some apparent similarities with Sam Adams Utopias here, minus the complexity and overabundant strength, not to mention this one is actually carbonated, but it's the closest thing that comes to mind. It's like they took all the best qualities of Imperial Russian Stout and all the best qualities of a good bourbon and formed this monstrosity of a beer. I think I could drink this for the rest of my life, but I have to know which barrels they used...

Serving type: growler

07-14-2011 00:58:02 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

cannot think you enough man. i know you dont want your name out there but you killed it.

Dark, black as night with only a tiny amount of tan head peaking up from the depths on this one. The aroma was heavenly. Rich vanilla notes just percolating up, rounding out a beautiful bourbon smell. Some light chocolate and a tiny pinch of coffee in there, but this one is dominated by the barrel influence. As I take the first sip it is much more of the same. Rich bourbon notes just roll across the tongue with precision, rich notes of vanilla, a touch of woody undertone and a sparkling coffee induced finish just round this together wonderfully. Could have used a bit more carbonation, but still very nicely done with a big full feel and a long drawn out finish.

Overall this was very solid indeed. I really think it influenced and change the character of the irs wonderfully, making an almost complete transformation. I would have this one again any day and was thrilled to finally tick it

Serving type: growler

05-25-2011 03:32:35 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Stone Bistro. 2008 Vintage.

A - Inky black with a thin, mocha-colored head that recedes to a slight haze.
S - Sweet, dark roasted malt, caramel, vanilla, ash, oak, and high-quality bourbon. Phenomenal.
T - Very close to the nose, tons of dark malt, oak, caramel, vanilla, and bourbon. So smooth and drinkable despite the ABV, this one has aged wonderfully. Amazing.
M - Thick and creamy, with a medium-full mouth-feel and lowish carbonation. Slight burn from the bourbon in the finish, but that's fine with me.
O - Phenomenal beer, the highlight of my San Diego trip. An amazing take on an already legendary beer, I really want this bottled!<hint, hint>

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2011 20:12:16 | More by jsanford
Photo of DCon
DCon

Missouri

4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap @ the iTap House in Chesterfield, MO. Poured into a Snifter and enjoyed only one as it was $5. This was the 2008 Version of this beer and in Bourbon Barrels (hence the name above).

Appearance- Dark Maple Brown color but almost black. Has a Half a finger of a Dark Tan Head and has sudsy lacing.

Smell- Huge whisky smell with a deep alcohol scent, almost like rubbing alcohol. Very roasty and has many aromas I couldn't catch but possibly there will be a second time.

Taste/Mouthfeel- Has a rich flavor, very strong and profound! Let it be known that this is an Imperial Russian Stout! It has a beginning dark chocolate taste with a wood background. The alcohol is very warming and the bourbon is a bold characteristic that stays after the finish even. Has a Medium-Full Body, Viscosity of a Root Beer, and surprisingly smooth!

Overall- While sampling the Chipotle Pepper Smoked Porter first (which I wasn't fond of), I went straight for this Russian Stout since it was very limited. Being aged in bourbon barrels gave it a great flavor and aroma characteristic. Could actually drink these all night even though it is a 11.5% stout. Will be recommending to friends and drinking again!

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2011 06:11:42 | More by DCon
Photo of ratedz
ratedz

Kansas

4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Stone release party at the Flying Saucer in Kansas City.

2008 vintage poured into a small snifter glass.

A - Pitch black with little to no head.

S - A lot of bourbon followed by some roasted malts, chocolate, oak, and a hint of vanilla.

T - Very complex and tasty. Like the nose, there is a fair amount of bourbon here along with some vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. A few bitter hops are hiding in the back, but are easily overpowered by the other flavors.

M - Thick, smooth, and creamy.

O - An excellent barrel aged imperial stout. Big and bold and one of the most enjoyable barrel aged stouts I've had (and I've had several). I'd like to see this bottled at some point!

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2011 20:40:23 | More by ratedz
Photo of rrski198
rrski198

Georgia

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

Done from brief notes at a Stone release event in Chesterfield, MO at itap.

2008 vintage

A: Small head, decent lacing, jet black.

S: Sweetness up front, mild anise, earthy smokiness. Awesome.

T: Bitter, spicy, oakey, sweet. Bourbon heavy on the back end.

M: Heavy, syrupy, heavy bourbon flavor punches the moutha nd leaves a nice spice. Average carbonation and quite filling.

O: Awesome beer. Great example of the style. I love how this has melowed out.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2011 20:03:16 | More by rrski198
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Imperial Russian Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels
Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a deep dark brown to black with a thin light cream head that dissipates rather quickly. (4.0)

S - There is tons of complexity in the nose. Starting with some boozy heat and sweetness from the bourbon. Mixes of burnt caramel, brown sugar, chocolate and some slight grassy hop. (4.0)

T & M – Tons of complexity. Nice sweet bourbon notes some slight wood and some nice heat. Vanilla sweetness with a mild chocolate cake notes. Some slight hop notes on the back end are felt but these definitely take a back seat. There is some nice roasted malt notes that blended well with the chocolate and the vanilla notes. Nice rich and creamy stout with lower carbonation and some good bourbon and boozy heat. (4.0)(4.5)

O – Good beer from Stone with some nice Bourbon and chocolate balance and a rich flavor profile.(4.5)

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2011 22:27:51 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of hooliganlife
hooliganlife

Missouri

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pour was jet black, a bit thick with a nice oily appearance. little to no head.

a nice strong but well blended bourbon. sweet vanilla and roasted malt with hints of dark chocolate.

this was quite rich and bold. the bourbon blended very well with the stout. the vanilla integrated perfectly and really smoothed out and already smooth and hoppy stout. there was a bit of citrus hidden around.

very full and thick but drank easy. a bit resin like.

this was amazing, everyone was raving about it. i loved every sip and even at 11.5%, it went down stupid easy.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2011 17:20:13 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of birchstick
birchstick

Colorado

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

Poured into a snifter at the Total Tap Takeover at the Soulard iTap

A - pours a black color without much of a head in a snifter

S - a lot of deliciousness in the nose going on - sweet bourbon and chocolate malt tons of molasses with some vanilla. If you would have put a bcbs in front of me I couldn't tell the difference

T - follows the nose to a t. Starts off with sweet chocolate and a ton of molasses with charred oak. Finishes with a lot of spicy bourbon and sweet vanilla and molasses. I cant believe how much heat there is left In this. Overall this is really sweet and hot. Awesome stuff!

M - nice full body that goes down smoothly.

D - I can't believe this is an 08. Lots of molasses and lots of bourbon still lingering around. This could use some more time to mellow. However, I love heat and thought this was really good. It's like a BCBS and KBS hooked up and birthed another barrel aged beer together. Thanks for bringing this one Stone!

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2011 01:27:25 | More by birchstick
Photo of bld81
bld81

Missouri

4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap:
Appearance: jet black, one inch dark brown head waiting for me to look away, minimal lace

Smell: Rich molasses first, bourbon and light coffee

Taste: rich bourbon and dark chocolate give some sweetness, at first no vanilla but noticed later

Mouthfeel: creamy coating, low carbonation

Drinkability: very good, less of a sipper than I expected, some heat lingers
The complexity and balance make this a good choice when you can find it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2011 17:55:02 | More by bld81
Photo of hwwty4
hwwty4

Missouri

3.63/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage

Served on tap at Waldo Pizza at the Total Tap Takeover. It was poured into a large snifter. This beer pours an oily India ink black with a decent 2 inch head that leaves just a bit of lacing on the sides of the snifter. The nose is big bourbon with dark chocolate and mild coffee. Little bit of oak and a bit of coconut. Heavy, heavy bourbon. The flavor is much the same with the bourbon playing front and center, drowning out everything else. Notes of chocolate and coconut with a bit of molasses play second fiddle. Too much Bourbon. The mouthfeel is nice and oily. Overall, this beer has just to much booze. I'd rather have the regular version.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2011 21:35:10 | More by hwwty4
Photo of Snow81
Snow81

Minnesota

4.95/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage

Appearance: Black, no light penetrates this beer

Head: Small light brown head that dissipates quickly

Smell: Big burnt malts with a caramel toffee thing going on and a little heat

Taste: Smokey burnt malts with bourbon all over the place, a little caramel on the back of the palate with subtle heat

Weight: Heavy to medium body with medium to low carbonation

Finish: Burnt roosted malts with a touch of heat on the back of the palate

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2011 16:33:34 | More by Snow81
Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 364 ratings.