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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

436 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 436
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.84%
Wants: 342
Gots: 23 | 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: 436 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smartassboiler
smartassboiler

Illinois

5/5  rDev +11.9%

05-28-2014 18:26:56 | More by smartassboiler
Photo of Bung
Bung

Michigan

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-22-2010 00:52:03 | More by Bung
Photo of williamjbauer
williamjbauer

West Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

07-08-2012 09:52:13 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of tommy5
tommy5

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

08-28-2013 17:31:15 | More by tommy5
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
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Jspriest

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

01-11-2013 22:23:46 | More by Jspriest
Photo of jera1350
jera1350

Minnesota

4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2011 18:58:20 | More by jera1350
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 DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2012 00:42:42 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

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

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.

Serving type: growler

05-23-2010 22:16:27 | More by Overlord
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ADTaber

South Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

04-25-2014 22:54:29 | More by ADTaber
Photo of Tyrawlings
Tyrawlings

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

09-17-2013 01:46:41 | More by Tyrawlings
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

3.93/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2013 19:52:34 | More by Jeffo
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seeswo

Ohio

4/5  rDev -10.5%

11-15-2011 01:38:24 | More by seeswo
Photo of KAF
KAF

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -21.7%

01-17-2012 21:25:31 | More by KAF
Photo of david18
david18

New York

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

06-22-2014 19:35:58 | More by david18
Photo of thewimperoo
thewimperoo

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

11-22-2011 19:51:03 | More by thewimperoo
Photo of Falcone
Falcone

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

04-04-2012 01:28:31 | More by Falcone
Photo of Sparky44
Sparky44

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

03-23-2013 23:57:22 | More by Sparky44
Photo of Zbeetleman
Zbeetleman

California

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

07-10-2013 01:36:14 | More by Zbeetleman
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing the elusive Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing Company out of Escondido, California. An ineffably generous friend sent me this long-time personal white whale out of the blue a couple of weeks ago (thanks Mike!). With one of my close beer drinking friends having a baby in less than a month and the other leaving town for a couple of months on business, now seemed as good as a time as ever to share this brew.

Score: 97

2008 vintage elixir from a 1 liter growler, served in a Hunahpu's snifter and enjoyed on 03/15/14. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown cola color with ruby-caramel highlights and a finger of khaki head that settles to a ring around the glass. Poor lacing and retention, but good oily legs. 4/5

Smell: Dark chocolate, whiskey and figs. A little bit of dark cherry, and a kiss of lovely oxidation. Not overly complex, but extremely pleasant smelling. 4.75/5

Taste: Tastes like dark chocolate and whiskey, with a touch of fruit! No booziness, not sweet, not very bitter; just balanced and with a lasting finish. A delicious cocoa powder flavor develops in the finish as this brew warms. The taste, like the nose, is very straightforward, but it marvelously delivers in a no frills, no nonsense way. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, good carbonation. Incredibly creamy mouthfeel with a light dryness to the finish. Almost perfectly balanced -- not too sweet or too bitter. 4.75/5

Overall: For a beer I have long sought after, there is little more I could have asked for here. I was not in the least bit disappointed given my high expectations and this beers reputation. What this one lacked in depth and "evolving flavors" as it warmed up and breathed, it more than made up for in sheer deliciousness. This was one of the easiest to drink barrel aged stouts I have tackled in a long while. Just wish I had more than 1 liter to go around. Thank you again Mike for sending me this treat. Prost!

Cost: Unknown (received as a thank you gift).

Serving type: growler

03-24-2014 00:38:37 | More by jegross2
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CoryR

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

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

Texas

4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by thickfreakness (thickerfreakness). Thanks Charles!
Pours Dark black with a short lived tan head. Smell is bourbon, chocolate and a slight doughy-ness along with a bit of vanilla. Tastes is rich and chocolatey, with some bitterness. Light vanilla flavor and balanced light bourbon flavor too. Medium to full bodied with moderate to light carbonation. Solid mouthfeel. I liked this way better than the non-BA version.

Serving type: growler

07-01-2008 18:47:08 | More by JDV
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
Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 436 ratings.