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

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Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel AgedImperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

140 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 140
Hads: 965
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 6.73%
Wants: 503
Gots: 171 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

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: 140 | Hads: 965
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 (1,001 characters)

Photo of dgilks
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (441 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.79/5  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. (546 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (1,052 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (366 characters)

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 (661 characters)

Photo of THECPJ
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
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 (353 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
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 (550 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (626 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (605 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.09/5  rDev -8.3%
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 (776 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
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? (1,064 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.72/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A 2008 keg on tap at the Houston Flying Saucer 02/17/10. Enjoyed with many BA friends.

A: Pours an opaque black color. A one finger tan head forms, and recedes to a ring that sticks around. Light lace is left behind.
S: Sweet vanilla is up front and dominate. Roasted malt and chocolate follows. Warm bourbon lingers.
T: Sweet vanilla and chocolate again. Warm bourbon is a little to prevalent. Good but a little one dimensional.
M/D: A full body that is low on the carbonation. Smooth and creamy. Plenty of hot alcohol. A slow sipper.

A little one dimensional. One thing I look for in a barrel aged beer is a big dry oak character, and I really did not get any here. This seems like it needs at least another year to be great. Still very enjoyable, and something I would recommend if you find some. (802 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark black color with a tan colored head.

S-the nose bings loads of roasted malts and some notes of dark chocolate. bourbon and wood play lightly underneath.

T-a touch of dark fruits add some additional balance to the beer, roasty malts are the focus with a bit of bitter dark chocolate. vanilla and oak make a nice presence with a pleasant bourbon finish and touch of heat.

M-full bodied and chewy wit a creamy syrupy texture and soft carbonated finish.

D-pretty well balanced beer with a nice barrel presence adding a fair bit of complexity amongst the roasty stout with light sweetness intermixed. (614 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
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! (770 characters)

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. (201 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.17/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (650 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.32/5  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. (542 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (626 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (451 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Two 10 oz. glasses at The Happy Gnome's Stone Release Party on 3/30/11. 2008 vin-taaage. Welcome to MN Stone & thanks for bringing some excellent kegs with you!

First, you might ask, why two glasses? When my limit was two glasses, & there were so many good beers? Well, I was convinced I was given the wrong beer the first time around. Turns out I was wrong.

Black, of course, minimal bubbly excitement. The smell is a blast of smokiness that gets more & more pronounced as the beer warms, crowding out the malts & chocolatey sweetness that arrives initially. I swear, I was served the bourbon Smoked Porter, but no!

The second glass tastes just like the first. The bourbon is subtle, refined, restrained, just nipping around the edges of my taste buds & liver. Supremely smooth & creamy. But there it is again, the smokiness, creeping upwards, until at half-glass, it's dominating & crowding out the other tastes. WTF? After the second glass I really wish I'd have had something else.

Good beer, but in the company of other BA stouts this one would suffer by comparison. Glad I tasted it, but I'm going to stick to my beloved Oaked AB from now on, thank you very much Stone! (1,180 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2006 growler courtesy of throwitallaway. Big, big thanks Dustin! Pours like used motor oil with a dense one-inch brown head. Huge nose on this one with a big bourbon aroma to complement vanilla, chocolate, brown sugar and roasted malts. Bourbon hits even harder in the taste then eases into the roasted malts and smeet molasses and vanilla before finishing with a slight coffee bitterness and, of course, the bourbon. Mouthfeel is super smooth with the bourbon really making its presence felt on the tongue. This is one big mother of a beer and I am glad I was given the opportunity to try it. Definitely a sipper, but a damn fine one. (649 characters)

Photo of illidurit
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone Bistro for RBSG 08. Black color with black coffee highlights. Mocha head, moderate lacing. Brownie mix aroma with a huge, appealing bourbon note. Flavors of cocoa powder, dark chocolate, graham cracker, and smooth bourbon. No alcohol whatsoever. Very clean and surprisingly light on the palate. Mousse-smooth mouthfeel with a short burnt coffee finish. (368 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.02/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap:

A: Dark black, mocha head, not much else going on.

S: Big time bourbon, all up in my face. A bit of vanillin and roasted malts on the back end. some green hops as well.

T: Big time bourbon! Vanilla! Oak! slight hops and biscuity malts

M: Coating, a bit too much. Super thick and hot

O: Great, but young and hot. Give me a bit less booze, and bit more age and this will be really really phenomenal. (410 characters)

Photo of Bung
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

08 From notes, Stone takeover at Duckworths.
Deep black/brown pour, a dark tan head.

Aroma has a good dose of oak, vanilla, Mocha, roast malt and caramel. Hint of coffee.

Taste, roast malt, caramel, oak, light vanilla. Finishes with roast coffee, anise, barrel. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is the best feature here. Smooth as silk, full body. Creamy, coating, abv very well hidden.

Drinks well enough for such a big beer, could drink a bunch of this stuff.

Best of the event for me. (480 characters)

Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.