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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

830 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 830
Reviews: 133
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 428
Gots: 84 | FT: 3
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 830 | Reviews: 133 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tectactoe
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
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?

Photo of thagr81us
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

Photo of Dicers
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of AgentZero
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of dgilks
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of champ103
3.72/5  rDev -17%
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.

Photo of rudzud
4.39/5  rDev -2%
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

Photo of sweemzander
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of BMart
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of gford217
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of cpetrone84
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Photo of illidurit
4.57/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of francisweizen
4.02/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.3/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of popery
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of tommy5
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -21.9%
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!

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of whartontallboy
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of akang
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Draft poured into a growler poured into a tulip

A: Pours a very thick, opaque black color with a light brown head that is really dark, considering. The texture is viscous like dirty motor oil...it's absolutely beautiful.

S: Aroma is equally amazing; sweet dark chocolate, heavy caramel, and a smooth bourbon accent. It's utterly enticing.

T/M: Taste has some alcohol twinge up front but is quickly masked by chocolate and caramel notes with a bit of toffee and nut in the finish. There's very little aftertaste but it leaves a warming sensation. It rolls on your tongue and down your throat, like a liquid trapeze artist made of black roasted malts and bourbon.

There are some apparent similarities with Sam Adams Utopias here, minus the complexity and overabundant strength, not to mention this one is actually carbonated, but it's the closest thing that comes to mind. It's like they took all the best qualities of Imperial Russian Stout and all the best qualities of a good bourbon and formed this monstrosity of a beer. I think I could drink this for the rest of my life, but I have to know which barrels they used...

Photo of FosterJM
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1090th Review on BA
Draft to 4oz taster

WinterStorm 2012
2008 Vintage

App- A pitch black pour. Very chocolate syrup in appearance. A 1/2" of head formed and then fell to about an 1/8" of bubbles with maybe at most a couple dots of cling.

Smell- Smelled really divine. A lot of rich bourbon with that booze not wofting up and had touches of oak and rich vanilla all over it.

Taste- The booze on this one is still very hot. The barrels still need some time to mellow which I thought was odd. Very prickly booze and then after comes a bit of creamy RIS malts and some vanilla and oak char notes.

Mouth- A medium to low body on this one with a medium prickly carbonation. Residual booze and a bit of creamy vanilla.

Drink- Overall, this wasn't as smooth as I would have hoped but it was a nice BBA RIS with good flavors, just lacked a little balance.

Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 830 ratings.