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

Not Rated.
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: 358
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 CoryR
CoryR

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

06-14-2012 16:00:13 | More by CoryR
Photo of whatname
whatname

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

10-06-2013 12:48:42 | More by whatname
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to encounter this beer on tap at Brewzilla, the grand tasting of Cleveland Beer Week 2010. Served in several 5oz pours over the course of the evening. The first glass was handed to me by my friend Brian Wright, who smiled and said "enjoy". The seventh glass was handed to me by my friend Brian Wright, who frowned and said "you aren't driving tonight, are you?" For the record, no I was not, we stayed down the street!

Back to the first glass...if Steven Hawking was a beer aficionado, he may have written a book called "Behavior of particles in a 'Stone BA IRS' hole". I can almost hear his sweet robotic voice lecturing about how nothing can escape the darkness that is this beer. A beautiful cappuccino colored head is its first victim. It hangs out for a few minutes, and then gets sucked into the vortex, never to be seen again. Some lace is left behind as a reminder of what was and what will never be.

But an anomaly occurs that makes me question everything. Light has no mass, but it's still drawn into this beer due to the warping of space and time. However, apparently, the most amazing scents of roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, and coconut break free. Maybe the perfect smelling beers have no photon mass, or, maybe, the smell is more powerful than science itself!

To make this beer drinking experience even better, Mitch Steele, head brewer at Stone and a really nice guy, was on hand and served as my co-pilot on the first journey. We had a toast and I took my first sip, throttling full-blast towards the event horizon. I swear I could taste both the particles and the anti-particles; they were utterly exceptional. The roasted malt reminds me of dark chocolate and a touch of Sumatra coffee. Some caramel and dark fruit make an appearance. The wood has added touches of vanillin, coconut and just a hint of tannins. The bourbon is present but not dominant enough to eclipse any other element. The smoothness of the barrel treatment is elegant without being too weak. As it warms, it becomes a chocolate, vanilla and coconut dream.

The beer is velvet in liquid form. The body is full and the carbonation is creamy. The only problem with the mouthfeel is the touch of noticeable alcohol that breaks up the party for a split second. That being said, I enjoyed this beer more than anything I've had in the last 10 months of reviewing. That's over 415 beers since my last score this high. It's truly a stand-out and makes a legendary beer even better. I hope every beer lover has the chance to try this someday! Thanks and cheers to Mitch and Greg for sending this to Ohio and for Jay for his insight to put it at Brewzilla! Cheers, ya bunch of STONE-ers!

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2010 14:59:26 | More by jampics2
Photo of Kopfschuss
Kopfschuss

Oregon

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

06-25-2014 07:52:45 | More by Kopfschuss
Photo of Adamostella
Adamostella

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

05-10-2013 18:22:39 | More by Adamostella
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2013 23:28:56 | More by barczar
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
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djaeon

California

5/5  rDev +11.9%

01-22-2012 23:17:39 | More by djaeon
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

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

Thanks to Ineedabeerhere (Joe) for this one. Opened at a tasting 5/29/10. 4oz. pour from a 64oz. growler into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a .5 finger upward climbing mocha head with great retention. Beer is opaque and pitch black. Lacing is patchy and stringy with decent stick.

S: Sweet soy sauce (It's been a while...), prunes, raisins, and other dry dark fruit. Barrels are apparent but linger in the background. Also chocolate, licquorice, and brownie.

T: Sweet soy sauce and prunes. Hints of anise, chocolate, brownie, and licquorice. Bourbon barrel booziness backbone provides a great staging area for the complexities in this one. Cocoa powder towards the end with a messy finish. Aftertaste is soy sauce, chocolate, and booze.

M: Medium to full-bodied, just the right amount of carbonation, and rather smooth and oily in the palate. For 11.5%, incredibly subtle on the palate. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste.

D: Does bourbon barrel aging make everything better? I'd definitely argue against that but not in this case. Stone IRS is a great beer and this just seems infinitely better. Outstanding complexity and the barrel-aging adds a whole new dimension to this alread solid brew. A rarity but if you can, seek it out. Definitely worth the effort to try this one.

Serving type: growler

05-30-2010 15:52:13 | More by SpeedwayJim
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tbone1384

Wyoming

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

11-03-2012 03:32:57 | More by tbone1384
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muskiesman

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

03-09-2014 05:07:44 | More by muskiesman
Photo of cadaugherty
cadaugherty

Illinois

5/5  rDev +11.9%

11-15-2011 17:00:53 | More by cadaugherty
Photo of kbutler1
kbutler1

Minnesota

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

Draft. On tap at Stub & Herbs Stone Tap Take Over night to celebrate Stone entering the MN market. 2008 vintage. Poured into a tall tulip glass a dark brown/black color with a dark reddish tinged mahagony brown head that left thick sticky lace all over the glass. The first whiff yields a strong dark chocolate aroma that fills my nose. Along with the chocolate, notes of molassess, vanilla, and slight bourbon are also evident. Medium velvety mouthfeel with ever so slight carbonation. Cocoa and chocolate are the dominant flavors along with the vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon is slight and doesn't overpower this beer. The alcohol is evident only by the warming effect it has as I drink this down. Nice, drinks way easier than it should.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2011 12:17:11 | More by kbutler1
Photo of Spider889
Spider889

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

One of the beers I was really looking forward to at BREWzilla, and one of the first to taste that night. 2008 vintage.

Very dark, thick black color. The Stone reps were pouring well, all of their beers had head on them which I appreciated. This one had a pretty tall dark cinnamon colored head.

Smelled like a bourbon stout all right. Decadently sweet, lots of vanilla and chocolate notes. Mild coffee. Slightly boozy in the nose. Mild oak notes and slight hints of the maltiness of the base beer.

Overall this was my second favorite bourbon stout (of the three or four) at the event. The bourbon asserts itself but balance is the name of the game here. The bourbon and oak lend lots of aid to the already wonderful IRS base beer (of which the '08 is drinking superbly on its own right now). Roasty, almost burnt maltiness with mild coffee flavors. Plenty of sweet chocolate and vanilla. Dry oakiness and bourbon flavors laced throughout.

Slightly boozy, but not as much as 11.5% could be I suppose. Light, smooth carbonation. Drank really well, and I hope I get to have an encore tasting of this some time.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2010 18:27:57 | More by Spider889
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a mini chalice. 2008 vintage aged in Elijah Craig bourbon barrels, at the Uber tavern in Seattle, WA with UA8, review number 1,000!

Pours a super dark oily black with a very small dark brown ring of foam with a tiny bit of lacing. Nose is bourbon, light booze, and some creamy chocolate malts.

Taste is awesome, bourbon, sweet dark chocolate, alcohol is there but not overwhelming its rich and flavorful. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy but still smooth and very tasty. Finish is sharp and oaky. Very nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2011 23:48:01 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of bbadger
bbadger

Texas

5/5  rDev +11.9%

10-13-2012 19:01:16 | More by bbadger
Photo of codynevels
codynevels

California

5/5  rDev +11.9%

11-16-2011 05:18:30 | More by codynevels
Photo of josephwa
josephwa

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

06-14-2014 18:08:57 | More by josephwa
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 ystazi
ystazi

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

05-22-2013 02:49:43 | More by ystazi
Photo of savagepm
savagepm

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

06-28-2014 20:51:09 | More by savagepm
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
coreyfmcdonald

Georgia

4/5  rDev -10.5%

11-17-2011 03:21:39 | More by coreyfmcdonald
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 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 jvillefan
jvillefan

California

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

01-20-2013 16:12:46 | More by jvillefan
Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.