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

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

462 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 462
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.84%
Wants: 357
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
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: 462 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Alewife for the Stone total tap takeover event on 10/1/10. 2008 Stone IRS aged in bourbon barrels. This was the beer I was most excited about trying from the list of 40 different offerings.

The color of this brew pours pretty much the same as the normal IRS; black with some lighter brown shown around the edges when held to the light. The head appears as a creamy darkly tan cap that receeds leaving leggy patches of lace along the glassware.

The aroma of this brew is sweet with a big oaky vanilla character that is so bold it is almost like a perfume. Behind the vanilla scent are notes of chocolate, roasty grain goodness and overall this is just one fine, sweet smelling brew. In the background is some mellow whiskey influence that tingles the nose with the presence of alcohol.

The taste of this brew is big and boozy with the normal presence of IRS' alcohol content being taken to the next level by the whiskey contribution. The alcohol warms the entire mouth and throat when swallowed. The heavily roasted grain comes across slightly bitter and roasty with a flavor of chocolate and some woodsy notes with a slight bit of vanilla throughout. Some bitter chocolate lingers in the mouth mingled with hops and the burn of the alcohol. It is surprising how much more concentrated the alcohol's presence is in this brew. The additional alcohol flavoring is welcomed but it hurts this brew by being outright dominating.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light, enjoyable level of carbonation. Drinkability is decent for a sipper. My initial impression of this brew was pretty much mind blowing. I absolutely loved everything about it right out the gate but as the experience continued it got to me. I would not be able to drink more than one glass of this which is difficult for me to admit because I love imperial stouts and usually enjoy barreled versions even more. I would love to try this again in a year or more to see if it calms down a bit to let the other flavors come forward.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2010 18:09:25 | More by stakem
Photo of InspectorBob
InspectorBob

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

06-24-2013 15:01:42 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color wiht very good head retention and decent lacing. On the nose, the bourbon is immediately noticeable, with hints of malt balls, dark chocolate, strong coffee and vanilla. This beer smells very, very good. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though there is some noticeable hoppy bitterness in the finish as well that helps to buoy the sweetness in this beer. There's a slight hint of alcoholic burn from the bourbon in the finish, but in a beer like this, it only adds to the attraction. Mouthfeel is full, rich and long. This is just very fine stuff. Drinkability is not this beer's best attribute of course, but this beer is so delicious, I'd still have to rate drinkabilty as fairly high.

Just an altogether excellent beer, and one very reminescent of the GIBCS stout, except with a bit more of a hop bite. Very, very nice. Might need to have a second glass of this beauty.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2010 21:28:35 | More by John_M
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4/5  rDev -10.5%

02-03-2014 01:27:33 | More by drewone
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

11-20-2011 03:28:10 | More by brandoman63
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 Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

11-27-2012 05:29:26 | More by Kelp
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 glid02
glid02

Georgia

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

On-tap at Brewvival.

Pours black with a small dark brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of large amounts of bourbon, vanilla and butterscotch backed up by roasted malt and unsweetened chocolate flavors. They certainly didn't waste any time before throwing the beer in this barrel.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as intense. Smooth roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by boozy butterscotch and lighter vanilla flavors. Midway through the sip the IRS portion of the beer asserts itself a bit more with dark chocolate and black malt flavors. Near the end of the sip the bourbon flavors take back over before a mildy bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is great. It's got a nice thickness with smooth and soft carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and went back for a few more. Very easy-drinking for such a big ABV.

Overall this was one of the beers I was most excited about and it didn't disappoint. Well worth a shot if you see it around.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2010 21:16:05 | More by glid02
Photo of afsdan
afsdan

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

04-09-2014 17:22:38 | More by afsdan
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

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

2/6/2011

2008 vintage on tap at Stone Winter Storm 2011. I'm very excited to try this again.

A: Black. The beer is Black. Creamy light brown head.

S: Huge brown sugar chocolate chip cookie aroma. Big vanilla with a little caramel. Bourbon is stellar. Incredibly rich, the dark chocolate profile is outstanding.

T: Rich dark chocolate with brown sugar and well integrated bourbon. Moderately sweet. Light molasses. Booze is really mellow. Chocolate profile is great.

M: Full body with upper low carbonation. Silky and sticky mouthfeel.

Overall: Top notch stuff. They should put this on more often. The best beer of the day and up there with my favorites of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2011 17:25:04 | More by HopHead84
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 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 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 drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

12-09-2011 20:23:13 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at RnH during Tap Takeover event. review from notes. 2008 vintage.

Pours a midnite black with a small brownish head which faded completely leaving little to no lacing.

Booze forward nose w plenty of bourbon and oak tannins along with some vanilla hints.

Plenty of coffee, chocolate, wood, and tingly bourbon in the flavors. Dark roasted malts, vanilla, and plenty of booze running throughout. Long warm finish with lingering alcohol heat.

Smooth, full bodied, relatively heavy drinking but super tasty. There's some hot tendencies but excellent execution making for a superb bal aged stout.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2010 22:55:01 | More by xnicknj
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 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 jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at EBF, 2008 version.

The beer is black with a medium tan head, good retention, but bad lacing.

The aroma is super sweet with with lots of syrup, vanilla and bourbon.

The taste is also pretty sweet with lots of vanilla and a bourbon finish.

The feel is heavy and warm.

Stone is one of my favorite stouts and this is a nice place on a good one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2010 14:07:22 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4.43/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2014 02:40:25 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

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

Had at the Stone Tap Takeover in Charlotte. 2008 Vintage. Served from tap into a tumbler. Poured pitch black with a minimal dark tan head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt, bourbon, sweet chocolate, and a smokey note. The flavor was of malt, chocolate, subtle coffee, dark chocolate, and subtle bourbon. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall it is my honest opinion that barrel aging did this brew a lot of good. The bourbon flavor mid-way through the sip pulled everything together quite nicely. Also the flavors on this one came in waves rather than just an explosion on your palate. This brew completely stole the show for me at this event and is currently my new favorite brew from Stone. Great job!

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2010 13:55:46 | More by thagr81us
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 chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

11-12-2013 21:14:25 | More by chippo33
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

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

Thanks to the Flying Saucer Houston and Stone for having this nice event in our neck of the piney woods. 2008 vintage aged in bourbon barrels. Pours a nearly black color with an uber-dark brown foam. Moderate retention and lacing. Good looking brewski.

Smell is utterly ridiculous. Vanilla infused whiskey, peanut butter and Nilla wafers. Not much hops but still manages to be mighty complex. Chocolate drizzled Little Debbie Nutty Bars are what this mutha smells like...yea, with some shaved coconut topping! Great nose here.

Very tasty coconut-wood-vanilla flavor with some tannic bourbon in there. Bourbon/whiskey notes come out to play more as I sip upon the glass as opposed to fading more and more into the background. Hop bitterness and even a touch of hop flavor creeps in at the end. There is the omnipresent malt sweetness that is well balanced with the roasty malt aspect. Couple more years and this thing will most likely be pure bliss! Overall it is a pretty boozy, bittersweet chocoholic treat, isn't that what we want in a bourbon barrel aged RIS?

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2010 04:46:02 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Church Key today. This is the 08 IRS aged in bourbon barrels for 12 months.

Jet black with a dense dark brown head that falls off to nothing really quick. Dark brown highlights are present. The nose has great barrel character. Vanilla, bourbon and moderate heat are noticeable. Chocolate, fudge and a little cream are also present. Well integrated.
The palate opens with bourbon heat, flavors of bourbon with vanilla, almost too much, along with some oak, all of which whelm the base stout. Dry and tannic on the finish, there's more tannins than I care for. Medium-full in body with light carbonation, there's a nice blend of heat and vanilla on the finish. As I mentioned, too much tannin character for my liking, though. Solid stuff, I thoroughly enjoyed my pour

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2010 00:22:55 | More by DefenCorps
Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.