Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #64
Ranked #1,062
4.26 | pDev: 8.22%
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States
Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout
Notes: We took our award winning Siberian Night Russian Imperial Stout and aged it for 11 months in fresh bourbon barrels. The result blew us away. The dark chocolate malt yields a milk chocolate flavor that blends perfectly with the vanilla flavor from the barrel. The bourbon aroma adds the finishing touch.
Reviews: 239 | Ratings: 1,205 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of black chocolate notes with some woody notes with vanilla and bourbon notes clearly identifiable. Taste is a mix of chocolate with some residual sugar notes offset by strong woody notes with some vanilla and bourbon notes with light warming alcohol notes also perceptible. Body is about average with oily texture and good carbonation with light warming alcohol notes. Wonderful BA imperial stout and it really shows that it spent some time in quality bourbon barrels.

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Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thirsty Dog - BBA Siberian Night

Dated 6/06/17 - poured into a chianti stem at 50F

Pours a thin-looking, deep dep brown, that rests pitch ink black in the glass, with zero light penetration. A finger of foamy chocolate milk colored head rests atop, eventually sizzling out to a collar. 4.5/5

Nose is rich and fudgy, chocolate malt, huge vanilla, big barrel presence, high-rye bourbon, and that big, beautiful dark fruit aroma that I've only gotten from BCBS. Most big BA stouts bring coffee to the nose, which I'm not a fan of, and they lack the rich dark fruit character. This has zero coffee, and big notes of dried cherries, currant, blackberry, and boysenberry. 4.75/5

Palate greets you with an immediate dark chocolate fudge flavor. Moderately sweet, with a balanced touch of roast. The barrel treatment is immediately evident, and delightfully forward. All of the vanilla/bourbon/oaky/char/spice notes that a bourbon barrel should relay. While the barrel characteristics are still dancing over the palate, these juicy, deep, dark fruit notes surface. Prune, dried cherry, currant, blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, plum. All those fruit notes that the nose hinted at, become a fulfilled promise on the palate. For this reason, this is truly very reminiscent of BCBS. It's not quite as sweet or thick, syrupy, and viscous, but the flavor profile is quite similar. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel is slightly thick and viscous - enough to where one needn't complain about thin-ness or "watery". It isn't syrupy, but it has very nice body. There's also a pretty decent carbonation level, for having spent nearly a year in a barrel, and then over a year in the bottle. The not-quite-syrupy feel of this actually aids it in being a little more drinkable than say a super thick stout like BCBS. I find very little flaw here. 4.25/5

Overall, this one honestly surprised me. Quite pleasantly, I might add. I've had many a BA stout, and fairly often, I'm left disappointed. BCBS is the holy grail for me. It has everything you could possibly want. This right here, is hardly two steps behind. It's lacks the serious wow factor and complexity that BCBS has, but it's still nothing to scoff at. This is a seriously great BA Imperial stout, and it deserves high regard. Damn near - if not - world class. 4.5/5

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Photo of EMV
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an Alesmith tulip

L: Inky black pour. 1 solid finger of brownish head leaves a thin rim of lacing.

S: Charred grains and sugars. Bourbon, vanilla, and cocoa. Rich and boozy.

T/F: Rich... sweet burned sugars and roasted malts. Bitter dark chocolate and espresso... boozy... strong presence of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Warming... modest carbonation... on point for the style.

O: A rich and delicious big barrel aged stout. Has everything you'd want from the style. Most worthy.

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Photo of thebeers
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Plum-tinted black with a thin finger of soupy mocha head. Messy lacing.

Light aroma of creamy chocolate and a hint of vanilla.

Smooth tasting: vanilla, chocolate, a touch of almond, toffee and cherry. Not at all hot.

Medium bodied with a lightly creamy feel and modest carbonation.

For something called Siberian Nights, I was expecting a bit more alcohol heat to warm me up. Still a quality beer, perfect for someone who prefers a light touch on the barrel aging.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In a world full of world-class barrel-aged stouts, this one is just too unrefined & hot to pass the mustard. The bourbon overwhelms the other flavors, and it tastes like cheap bourbon to boot. By no means awful but lacks the depth & robust profile you want from a top notch beer these days.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 16 oz Snulip glass, not sure when it was bottled. Pours a very dark near black with a massive 2 finger tan head that leaves thin wisps of lace behind.

Smell I oaked vanilla, dark chocolate, leather, tobacco, dry expresso, and bourbon.

Taste follows Oak, deep dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, roasty coffee, dates, leather, and bourbon.

Mouthfeel is about medium, gentle carbonation, a tad dry as you would expect, and a sipper that actually has less alcohol than it drinks.

Overall this is a very nice, slightly boozy, and a tad thinner than I expected, BA Stout that is memorable, but slightly unbalanced. I really wanted more from this one.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A light black pour, forming to a deep body, with a fingernail of beige-almond head.

Awesome nose of sweet, sappy bourbon, cherry, coconut, vanilla, caramel, dark malts, and faint coffee-biscotti notes.

There is so much complexity here! Honey and molasses meet up with leather, oats, bright tobacco, plums, vanilla soaked charred barley, and finishes on dark chocolate, smoke, bourbon, tea, and a slight green apple note.

Feel is hot, medium carbonation, medium to large bodied. I would have liked it thicker, but it's nothing major.

Overall, a killer beer. Would definitely trade for more.

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Photo of brentk56
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours fudge brown and covered by a thick mocha head; leggy, with spotty lacing all the way across the chalice

Smell: Roasted malt, dark chocolate and vanilla swathed in Bourbon

Taste: Roast and dark chocolate forward, with the Bourbon emerging to provide balance and vanilla, through the middle; all of the elements come together in the finish; a bit of tobacco in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A nicely aged bottle that is drinking beautifully; hides the alcohol well

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Photo of larryarms847
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours rich, oily, viscous, and motor oil black with a thin layer of frothy tan foam.

Rich chocolate and cocoa sweetness with a noticeable whiff of bourbon, vanilla, and barrel notes.

Chocolate comes through in flavor as well, but dark fruit notes also make themselves apparent in flavor. The barrel definitely added plenty of bourbon and vanilla notes.

Full-bodied, medium carbonation, rich, dry finish.

Overall, quite an outstanding brew and well worth a sampling.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Bradaplast for sending this particular bottle! Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Cycle Brewing snifter glass.

A: Very dark brown and nearly opaque. Low amount of visible carbonation. A thin tan head fades to a ring of foam fairly quickly.

S: Bourbon and rich chocolate, oak dryness and mild char notes. Roasted malts, vanilla sweetness. Some ethanol warmth. Very nice on the nose.

T: Bourbon with a bit of caramel character. Chocolate, vanilla, and oak. A drying tobacco flavor in the middle. Dark roasted malts. It finishes with some hop and roasty bitterness and some ethanol sweetness with the bourbon on the exhale.

M: A thick and smooth body overall, but this can't stand up to the big boys in the RIS category. Almost creamy carbonation. The alcohol is noticeable, but not overly hot for this ABV.

O: Truly world-class? No. But very tasty. The mouthfeel could be better, and I wish the flavors had the depth of the aroma. But for an barrel-aged RIS packaged in reasonably-accessible small format bottles? Very nice.

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Photo of mynie
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Glugs slowly out of a 12 ounce bottle. Very dark, opaque pour with only the smallest wisp of a head.

Smells nearly identical to the non-barrel aged version of the stout: dark barley, red wine, alcohol. Pleasant but nothing otherworldly.

Tastes sharp and vinous: raisins and very dark chocolate up front, stout barley in the middle, and then wood aging comes in wonderfully at the end, lending a vanilla smoothness to the sharp stout. It masks its ABV quite well.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours viscuous and not quite black. Opaque with a thin chocolate colored head of foam that fell fast in the tasting glass. It's a deep cola color brown and is very sumptuous to look at because it is so sugary brown and not black. Bold coffee and vivid bourbon. Soft flowers and wood. Chocolate and fragrant vanilla. Cola . As this warms caramel gives the scent of walnuts. Earth and plummy dark fruit marry against hearty roasty malt. Burnt toast.

Taste is rich and creamy but silken and not too thick. No booze, no warmth until after the swallow. No alcohol on the palate at all. This one leaves with a sweet dryness and and drinks like a milkshake flavored with bourbon and char. Dark roasted coffee plays in a huge swath of caramel. Plummy dark fruit and bitter chocolate. Smooth as silk and has a deceptive mouthfeel. It is full but not thick. Graceful and very dynamic.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at brewery:
Pours dark as night, with a mushrooming tan head on this pour. Head settles, but looks real good for a BA beer. It even supplies lacing.

Nose is bourbon, oaken vanilla, and a bit of coffee. Unfortunately to me, that coffee (or any roasted note) is fairly quiet in the back seat.

Taste luckily has a little more balance, but still leaves my palate thinking more of bourbon barrels than stout. Chocolate licorice, bourbon, weak coffee, vanilla if I analyze, a bit of a bourbon and coke impression if I'm not paying attention.

Was hoping for more from this, as I enjoyed the base beer. It seems to get lost in the barrel to me, which is unfortunate. It smooths a bit with warmth, but doesn't "regain" any roasted malt notes.

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Photo of jkblr
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased January of 2015 with no date. Poured into a teku at fridge temp. Pours absolutely black with no light passing through even on the edges. A one inch tan head recedes to a ring with some lacing. Smell is muted bourbon, oak and vanilla. Taste is sharp bitter chocolate giving way to vanilla and oak with a hint of residual bourbon. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and carbonation is still strong. Overall, very good. I much prefer aged bourbon barrel stouts to fresh.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A sublime RIS from the 12 oz bottle and enjoyed in a snifter. This beast pours a deep
coal black with a moderate head of off white foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin pool,
and features some nice sudsy lacing. Nose of boozy bourbon, coffee, dark chocolate, light
vanilla, and subtle char with brown sugars. Flavors exceed the nose and hit the right notes
with strong boozy bourbon tossed into a dark brown sugar and dark chocolate concoction
blending nicely with coffee and vanilla with a touch of oak and cream with hints of dark berries.
Excellent mouth feel for such a big brew; full body, warming, smooth, lightly creamy, and medium
low carbonation that is searing with boozy warmth.

Overall this one is worth the price with rich notes that improve with warmth.


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Photo of dbl_delta
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a deep deep red-black with a very thin light tan head. Initial impression is almost exactly Siberian Night - maybe a little smoother (aged 11 months, according to the bottle) and maybe a little boozier (10.9 vs 9.7, but my palate and body chemistry probably aren't capable of telling the difference), with a hint of bourbon emerging as it warms. There are elements of sweet milk chocolate, caramel, and coffee, and the balance between the sweetness and bitterness is spot on. Full-bodied and creamy, with perfect carbonation (ie, not much). Slightly dry, bittersweet finish. Alcohol is evident but not overwhelming.
The bourbon adds a little interest, but given the choice I believe I'd stick with the original Siberian Night.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 Oz brown bottle with a neat black label with gold font. Barrels on the side and at the bottom as well as a statement of Aged 11 months. Neck is wrapped in brilliant gold foil and really makes a nice label. The wolf eyes give a slightly Halloween theme in this overly warm February, but hey I kind of like it.

A - black with a blood ruby color painting the corners. Light brown colored head fades to a nice ring of lace leaving some stick.

S - okay my first impression is this needed a load of shelf time. Then again with 11 months in a bourbon barrel is should be ready to go right now. If you let this warm a bit and breathe you get a very nice aroma. Not that world class vanilla and bourbon barrel goodness, but some nice additions to an already good imperial stout.

T - 11 months? I just don't taste it. This is a nice imperial stout, but where is that Bourbon barrel goodness? Rich caramel and roasted malts dominate this flavor. Milk chocolate and the smallest hint of vanilla does say it spent some time in some sort of barrel, but there isn't enough to balance it's booziness and Harsh alcohol finish. Almost spicey like for me.

M - feel is big and full bodied. I find its texture to be very good but it lacks balance and that velvety smooth texture big ales get when spending a lot of time in a barrel. Its carbonated and rigid like a regular big stout instead of rich and super smooth like the best bba stouts. The very best bba stouts run big time sweetness and rich full flavors across the palate while this is somewhat of a mess. I will say this shows a bit more quality as it warms.

O - 11 months?? Don't get me wrong, this is a good imperial stout, but at nearly $7 a 12oz bottle it falls way short of the best bourbon barrel imperial stouts. It's not a beer I want to just destroy verbally as it is a good imperial stout, but I just don't get that bourbon barrel goodness that price range should have gave me. Take the advice and get the regular Siberian Night imperial stout and ultimately have more beer to drink. If I were to drink this blind i would say it spent less than 3 months in a barrel. Then again maybe I just got a bad bottle. I prefer the original Siberian Night.

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Photo of buschbeer
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 Fl. Oz. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with an inch of mocha head that leaves some decent lacing.

I smell caramel, vanilla and chocolate with hints of coffee and roasted malt.

The taste is light bourbon characterized by vanilla and caramel with roasted malt and hints of chocolate and coffee.

Full to medium mouthfeel

I am a huge fan of Siberian Night, however; the barrel aged version is not as good as the original in my opinion. The bourbon doesn't really come through that great and the flavors of the base beer are muted. I like this beer, but I don't love it like I do Siberian Night.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


12 oz Bottle to snifter.

LOOK: dark black, thick looking, medium tan head. Fades eventually to nothing.
AROMA: bourbon up front, but not too strong, berries and figs chip in some to the smell later.
TASTE: berries and dark fruit take over in the taste; bourbon and chocolate contribute. Hints of cinnamon, and maybe orange zest. Some medicinal like flavor is turning me off ever so slightly...But still mostly good.
FEEL: full bodied beer, a sipper, thick and chewy. Light carbonation.

Not sold on this yet as excellent, but it is at least very good. Picked up a 4 pack, so I can drink the others at varying ages. Although, it doesn't seem to me to be a beer that "Needs" age.
This may be a tad better than the regular Siberian Night, but from my recollection it is about the same overall quality even if distinctly different.


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Photo of Peterock27
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - black with almost zero head
Smell - bourbon and oak with some vanilla notes
Taste - very bourbon forward flavor, a little oak and char on the finish
Mouthfeel - thin for a bourbon barrel stout, goes down smooth
Overall - ok but many better BBA stouts out there

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Photo of Roguer
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beautiful beer. Nose reveals little, not even much bourbon.

Tons of bourbon on the palate. Kiss of chocolate on the back third, and then finished with more coconut bourbon. Creamy flavor, and a touch of oak. Light but not sour grapes.

A touch thin.

Definitely a beer for bourbon fans.

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Photo of scootny
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tight two fingers of luscious foam. A dark bark color and a light amount of streaky, spotty, lacing. Nose is lovely. Solid bourbon is mixed with milk chocolate, molasses, vanilla, some alcohol. Roasted malts give some depth. Taste is impressive. Bourbon is the framer of the flavor. But the components supporting it are equally yummy. Chocolate anchors the malt base. Sweetness is plentiful. Coffee and vanilla. Low bitterness. Barrel notes give complexity. Feel is lightly syrupy and low carbonation. Great overall brew.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On-draught @ One Mile House.

Silky frothy creamy soft head. 5 minute retention.

Opaque black body. No yeast is visible within.

Aroma brings rich vanilla-forward bourbon notes and decadent milk chocolate. Dark malt sweetness, a blip of roast. Suggests a gorgeous brew with a great bourbon barrel character.

Creamy, chewy yet thin, medium-bodied, soft.

TASTE is a bit shallow, but the vanilla-forward bourbon is there, somewhat eclipsing the base beer's chocolate malt and dark malt sweetness.

Overall, it's a drinkable imperial stout but lacks the complexity and subtlety and depth of superior expressions of the style.


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Photo of bylerteck
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Lot's of sweetness in the aroma. Chocolate and some roast with added spirit notes and wood/vanilla. Lot's of bourbon in the flavour with minimal heat. Sweet chocolate and booze. Not too bad.

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Photo of mothman
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tan head. Black in color.

Lots of bourbon and heat. Oaky. Chocolate. Roasted malts. Some vanilla.

Full bodied with some booze. Ends dry and roasted.

Decent BA stout. Nothing crazy.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 1205 ratings