1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

494 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 494
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 366
Gots: 38 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 494 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Holland
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Holland, Sunday at 04:58 PM
Photo of BMart
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

BMart, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.7/5  rDev -16.9%

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.

DavoleBomb, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of strongaf
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

strongaf, May 11, 2013
Photo of Sean9689
4.38/5  rDev -1.6%

On-tap at the Twisted Spoke for the Stone Chicago Release. Poured into a beautiful plastic cup!

A - Pours black, thin mocha-colored head, very viscous and oily.

S - Chocolate, bourbon, slight oak, sweet dark fruit.

T - Just like if you added bourbon to the RIS. Yeah, I know, not very exciting, but it sure is damn good. Chocolate, bourbon, some oak. A bitter sweet dark chocolate finish.

M - Full bodied, rich and smooth, almost zero carbonation, creamy finish.

D - I had one pour plus a drink or two out of Masterski's as well. This was an awesome BA RIS that was probably my favorite Stone beer of the night.

Sean9689, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of ehammond1
4.43/5  rDev -0.4%

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.

ehammond1, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of tommy5
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

tommy5, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of williamjbauer
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

williamjbauer, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of Bung
4.45/5  rDev 0%

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.

Bung, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of jera1350
4.72/5  rDev +6.1%

Vintage 2008 which was on-tap at The Muddy Pig for the Stone Release Party.

Pure black in color with a frothy tan head that reduces to a collar, but leaves some lace.

Big bourbon smell up front with complementing sweetness from the malt. Very rich and robust smell.

Exceptional tasting. The bourbon is very prolific, but not extremely hot or boozy. The age on this is beautiful in this regard. The bourbon is followed with lots of malt sweetness. There are some woody notes along with blackstrap molasses. This is right there with Bourbon County Stout for me.

Full, soft and smooth feel. Very nice.

Overall, this has to be top three in terms of barrel aged RIS. Such a drinkable beer too. I hope I can come across this one again at some point.

jera1350, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of birchstick
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

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!

birchstick, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.03/5  rDev -9.4%

2008 vintage at Stone's 15th anniversary party

Look: Black in color with not real head no retention but it does leave a small film on the glass when you drink it down

Smell: Bourbon oak roasted malts vanilla and chocolate. Pretty straight forward

Taste: Again bourbon upfront backed up by quite a bit of roasted malts. Finishes with touches of vanilla and chocolate

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation

Overall: I can't believe how much bourbon is still present after all the age that has been put on it. I would like to try a fresh batch if they do it again. Good beer from stone but not great I thought the alcohol was just a bit distracting

DarthKostrizer, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of Jspriest
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Jspriest, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of jsanford
4.8/5  rDev +7.9%

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>

jsanford, May 17, 2011
Photo of ADTaber
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

ADTaber, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of muskiesman
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

muskiesman, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of Overlord
4.45/5  rDev 0%

Pours black with a dark brown/tan head. Always is a very good looking beer. Huge thanks to Jerz for letting me try this, very nice of him and much appreciated.

Smells like the familiar background of chocolate/dark fruit/soy prune blend of IRS, with a bunch of vanilla added in. The bourbon is actually pretty muted in the aroma.

Tastes much as it smells. The Stone IRS slurry, nicely aged and blended with some bourbon and heaping amounts of vanilla. Mmm...good stuff, and clearly superior to the "regular" version.

Mouthfeel is good, though not as sludgy as some like in their RIS's.

Overlord, May 23, 2010
Photo of akang
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

akang, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of Tyrawlings
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Tyrawlings, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of david18
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

david18, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of Falcone
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Falcone, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of thewimperoo
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

thewimperoo, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Jeffo
3.93/5  rDev -11.7%

Bottle filled at the brewery and brought over by forgetfu for the pre-TdG'13 bash. At least I think that's who it was...

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours out black with a small, bubbly, dark tan head that slowly fades to a ring only. Black body with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a ring only and leaves some dots down the glass.

SMELL: Bolder nose of bourbon, oak, vanilla and caramel for sure. Some milk chocolate as well, though bourbon and caramel take the lead role here. Pretty nice.

TASTE: Some roasted barley up front, then some bourbon barrel flavors, vanilla and oak at the swallow. Milk chocolate as well, with a bold finish of bourbon barrrel and alcohol. Tasty, though the barrel does take the leading roll.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, decent going down and finishes rather dry on the palate. Decent enough here.

OVERALL: This was really nice. I'm not a massive fan of the base beer, but the bourbon barrel aging, which was rather up front I must admit, made the beer generally more enjoyable. I'd love to do this side-by-side with the regular version, so let's hope Stone decides to release the barrel aged version en mass one day. Hint hint. Thanks again forgetfu, or whoever brought this to wherever I was.

Jeffo, May 28, 2013
Photo of seeswo
4/5  rDev -10.1%

seeswo, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Sparky44
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Sparky44, Mar 23, 2013
Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 494 ratings.