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Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

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216 Reviews
Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by largadeer on 04-02-2011

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Reviews: 216 | Ratings: 1,131
Photo of hops202
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage poured into brandy snifter.

A - Black on Black with some caramel head.

S - milk chocolate and creamy sweetness mixed with bourbon. Smells like a bourbon covered hot fudge sundae.

T - lots of chocolate and espresso blended very smoothly with the barrel. Alcohol is apparent but almost perfect. Very well done.

M - heavy but still smooth and creamy.

O - damn good BBA stout

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

$7.49 for a single bottle -- that's up there with one of the most expensive 12oz bottles I've ever purchased. I had the original Siberian Night years ago before I fully appreciated the style. Now, I'm sort of revisiting that beer... but the BBA'd variety, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Appearance: Hard pour into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint was absolutely incredible. What a beer. Three fingers or so of a pillowy dark brown, creamy head on top of a pitch black abyss of a beer. My glass must not be in "primo" beer drinking condition, since I'm not getting any lacing despite the great head (heh, heh). Still, a phenomenal looking beer.

Smell: Bourbon. Barrel. Absolutely loaded and smells fantastic. Under that, coffee, subtle dark fruit, and a coconut aroma come through. The coconut is something I get periodically in the style -- really, that coconut makes me think of BCBS. This beer as a whole smells similar to BCBS, but just slightly less "hot" and intense.

Taste/feel: Good Lord this stuff is so good on every level. Vanilla and oak from the barrel with some awesome warming bourbon, deep roast, and quite a nice amount of a doughnut and coconut vibe as well... not much more that a guy can ask for. The beer finishes with a slight roast/char and even a caramel malt flavor that is just perfect combination. The finish is very, very slightly bitter -- as a whole, it's basically impeccably balanced. The feel is also damn good: moderately big and creamy but not syrupy thick body with a light-to-moderate carbonation that is very nearly perfect.

My mind is blown for two reasons. First, it's just an absolutely amazing tasting beer. Second, I can not fathom why this beer only has a 93 rating on this site. Recipe change? Dirty glasses? Mental retardation? I don't know, but this is a World Class brew if I've ever had one. I think this is considerably better than KBS, and maybe even better than BCBS (if not, it's a very close call) for a slightly more reasonable price, not to mention it's far easier to find than either of those beers.

This beer is an experience not like many others. An absolute, no doubt about it, must-try from Thirsty Dog.

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Photo of MarkJBurch
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Removed from my temperature controlled cellar, fifty degrees. No bottling date but to the best of my knowledge it was recent as this has never been bottled before. Note on the side of the bottle indicates that this is Siberian Night Imperial Stout aged in fresh bourbon barrels for eleven months. Aggressive pour into a snifter glass produces a one centimeter head that quickly settles to a thin layer of tan bubbles. No light penetrates the seemingly infinite darkness of this beer. Stark black.

I think this may have just put more hair on my chest. Sweet bourbon filled my nose before beer even left the bottle. Ripe dark fruit, vanilla and oak.

Oh, this is divine. Luscious milk chocolate with layers of vanilla and wafer. Let's put a scoop of ice cream in this and call it a day. Bourbon is more astringent in the nose than in the mouth and now melds perfectly with dark chocolate malt and the vanilla flavor from the barrel.

Very smooth, creamy mouth feel with a slight burn right before you swallow. Not quite as velvety as the original Siberian Night, I would attribute this to the barrel aging.

This is an excellent bourbon barrel aged stout, untamed, a serious new contender to all else in its class. Seek this out, drink it, be happy. I will be aging several bottles and have a slight suspicion this might be even better as the heat begins to mellow.

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Photo of Angerhaus
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Weak nose, but extremely well balanced BB stout. I'd probably recommend this to anyone who is looking for an introduction to BA stouts since the bourbon is present, but not overwhelming.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: black as night stout with a finger of mocha-colored foam

S: bourbon wafts o'er chocolaty malts, kicking up aromas of vanilla and chocolate syrup, lightened by pale oaky wood notes

T: rich bittersweet dark chocolate enrobed by bourbon's sweet vanilla and booze; barrel wood and coffee round off the flavors

M: smooth and dense, subdued carbonation, silky, faint vapors of bourbon

O: an excellent bourbon barrel stout, highly recommended.

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Photo of Brent
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Blake for lining this up for the tap at Chuck's. Jet black with a deep mocha head. The flavor profile delivers not much bourbon, but more of the bourbon flavor components - brown sugar, vanilla, a touch of oak and light coffee and unsweetened chocolate background. Teetering on boozy, but no heat from the alcohol. As one would expect, a bit sweet and dense, but within appropriate bounds. Well executed.

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Photo of mhksuccess
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

pour from bottle into snifter
smell is awesome dark in color no head little lacing
chocolate coffee bourbon in smell
chocolate taste slight bourbon great mouthfeel
really easy to drink
no heat smooth and velvety

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Photo of b3shine
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft to snifter. Looks good; cola black with a little more head than normal for its type. Smells of good bourbon. Tastes great; silky smooth stout with a bourbon back. Excellent. Mouthfeel is good too. Definitely a sipper. I really enjoyed this beer, even at $9 a snifter.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 year old bottle

A - Dark, midnight brown body with cola highlights. Tan head pours a finger high with nice retention and lace.

S - Nice soft roast, vanilla, caramel, sweet tobacco, and silky dark chocolate.

T - Molasses, burt bread crust, caramel, soy sauce, vanilla, almond extract, malted milk balls, oak, and brown sugar. Great balance and integration.

M - Silky smooth, medium frame.

O - Delicious, well balanced and super smooth. A great take on a BA imperial stout.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark brown color almost black like oil with khaki colored head. Bourbon, oak, chocolate, vanilla, and some roast on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied. Finishes with bourbon and chocolate.

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Photo of timmy2b
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into aa goblet style glass. Dark Black with a caramel colored head which was small and left lacing around the edge of the glass. Chocalate and a small amount of coffee in the taste. A slight hint of vanilla as this warms. Boozy taste is mild and is in the aftertaste. 10.9% alcohol hidden very well. This is delicious and I would recommend!

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter

A: mocha head big fluffy and dissipates to a small 1/4 inch deep pure blackness

S: smells like bourbon, oak barrels, toffee, vanilla, a little bit of chocolate, and roasted malts

T: the taste follows the nose perfectly such a deep soft bourbon flavor without the burn. So much here big oak, velvety chocolate and vanilla with sweet creamy toffee then a roast malty.

M: creamy full and great but the bourbon makes it just thinner than a perfect stout.

O: Outstanding Thirsty Dog crushes barrel aging. This is a fantastic barrel aged stout. The bourbon just explodes apart in distinct flavors, and then the stout tastes amazing on the aftertaste. This beer isn't cheap but you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of mwill7287
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blue Hills Brewing (MA) growler filled from tap at Whole Foods, poured into 11 oz. GLBC snifter.

Appearance: Dark as what a Siberian night would presumably look like. Maybe more like a black hole. No light is getting out of this beer alive. A mocha brown head lines the narrow opening of the snifter, floating gently on the surface of the brew. A decent amount of carbonation runs up the slopes towards the peak of the glass. A thin brown film of lacing, holey like Swiss cheese, is left behind on the snifter. Can't ask for much more from a RIS. 5

Smell: Very aromatic. The bourbon aging comes out first in the nose. There's a good blend of sweet, malty chocolate in there along with hints of coffee and maybe some dark fruits, though I couldn't tell you which. Especially with the bourbon tones, this is a pretty smelling beer. 4.5

Taste: Following the scent's example, the bourbon aging takes the lead in the taste of this beer. This baby lets you know she's been aging, just for you, for some time. Then, about halfway through the sip, the chocolate kicks in very markedly, washing over the palate to complement the bourbon with rich sweetness. The bourbon persists throughout the whole of the drink, especially as it fades into the aftertaste. The beer is medium hopped, leaving distinct traces of bitterness to balance out the hard-hitting maltiness of the chocolates, especially in the long-lingering aftertaste. As the brew warms, the alcohol begins to come out, giving it an ever so slightly boozy quality. Overall, the taste is in no way overpowering or taste-bud destroying, like many RIS. It's just dang good. 4.5

Mouthfeel: A thick beer, very creamy, almost like drinking a hot chocolate made with milk. Still, it's not much of a struggle across the tongue, especially with the relatively low hopping. The carbonation is, unsurprisingly low, only making itself felt on the initial contact of the sip. 4

Overall: I think this one is worth the local hype. It's a well balanced RIS, really enhanced by the bourbon barrel aging both in taste and, especially, in smell. Can't do anything to make the black-as-night appearance any better, and the consistency of the drink makes it pleasurable to quaff. Both an accessible and a very rich RIS. Hat tip to the Ohio boys on this one. 4.5

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Photo of ONUMello
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Pitch black with a one-finger dark brown head
S: Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate fudge, coffee; creamy/smooth
T: Matches the nose- bourbon/vanilla/chocolate fudge, creamy, balanced
M: A big beer but the alcohol is integrated; smooth feel
O: Tasty, complex and balanced. My first time trying it, I'm not sure why there have been so many recent so-so reviews. Yes it's pricey for a 12oz bottle but worth it IMO. I'll grab another & try it in a year or two

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Photo of OldManMetal
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bourbon barrel-aged version of Siberian Night pours to a large, rocky dark-brown head on an almost impenetrably black body that shows nothing but slight mahogany footlights; head retention is brief but lacing is excellent, consisting of thick sheets, slabs and caverns. The nose is a very delectable, sweet dark malt aroma that is light in character, with an almost perfectly balanced bourbon presence; medium in intensity, it leads with modest bourbon notes and milk chocolate, while further in the malt character broadens as molasses and light, candy-like caramel join the medley, and a moderate alcohol undertone emerges. The palate is not as sweet or light-charactered as the nose would predict, although it does land a bit on the sweet end of the balance. The bourbon leads, and is more assertive than it is on the nose, being maybe just the slightest bit heavy-handed. Behind it is a seamless dark malt melange that shows sweetish milk chocolate as well as darker, bitter baker's chocolate, and more subtle black-strap molasses and toffee, all over a moderate undercurrent of booze. The finish is a big warming hit of boozy caramel, followed by the onset of a modest oaky/chocolate bitterness that lasts for awhile. Mouthfeel is commensurate with the full body, and the texture is sticky/creamy and slightly peppery from the well-expressed carbonation. (12 oz bottle, no code date)

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Photo of K-Dog
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was my night cap for Christmas day. Was sitting on thus for over a year and what a treat. Thought this was really really good fresh. Is even better with age. One of the best ba stouts out there glad a just picked up a couple more fresh bottles to age some more. At a 93 I think this one is slighted under rated.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sam's Quick Stop, Durham NC, 10oz pour into a snifter

A- pours pitch black in color with with creamy dark-tan head that retains long after the pour, leaving some lace behind

S- big bourbon aroma up front which gives some vanilla and toasted oak aromas, chocolate on the finish

T- big shot of bourbon up front leaves no doubt that this one is barrel aged, oak barrel juice continues through to mid-palate, eventually giving way to a creamy dark chocolate flavor, that lasts into a sweet finish, with more bourbon on the linger

M- medium-heavy body, creamy and viscous mouthfeel, medium prickly carbonation and a pure velvety finish

O- a big bourbon presence from this one, at times the base beer seems to have a hard time matching up to the big bourbon flavors. This is definitely a bourbon lovers stout

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pitch black color with a fingers worth of head that slowly fades down to a decent ring around the edge of the glass

S: Roasted malts, along with a very nice barrel character comprised of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and tannins. A little on the sweet side, almost like brownie batter with all the maltiness and barrel character. Not extremely complex, but definitely very nice

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with light roast, bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, and a touch of tannic leather. Again, fairly on the sweet side but very nice. Alcohol goes almost completely unnoticed, and it is incorporated very nicely into the bourbon and vanilla notes. Finishes with more of the malt sweetness, roast, and mostly vanilla barrel character

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A very nice BBA stout with a great base and even better barrel treatment. If you enjoy the original, this one is a must try. Also just pretty much a must-try in general

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Photo of beer2day
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black pour with dark coffee cream head. Not much retention, but excellent bands of lace.

Big bourbon nose almost overshadows everything else. Just hints of roast coffee, mocha, and vanilla cream.

Big bourbon flavor right up front, too. Big alcohol burn and a nice citrus hop kick in the finish that struggles against the bourbon. Nice mocha/chocolate blend in the finish as well. Starting to remind me of a chocolate cupcake with liqueur flavored icing. Powerful tasting beer.

Feel is surprisingly thin for the style. Could be beefier.

Overall, this is very well done.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served alongside the standard Siberian Night.

The beer is opaque and near black with a thin beige cap. Sparse lacing. The aroma offers bourbon, oak, roast, malt, char. The base beer is definitely recognizable throughout, and not overrun by the barrel character. Milk chocolates and bourbon. Mild sweetness and seriously delicious. Outstanding.

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Photo of oberon
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter jet black with a deep beige head that leaves a little lace as it settles quickly.Wow alot of fruitiness in the nose along with sweet alcohol,toast,and light vanilla,the alcohol is quite big but appetizing.Full and just as lush as all get out in the feel,to me it's perfect with the mellow carbonation and fullness.Fruity and vinious on the palate, the thick feel makes it even better,bourbon soaked dark fruit and vanilla with real butterscotch flavor in the finish.I have been wanting a beer lately to blow me away,this did.One of the best of 2013 for me.

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Photo of weonfire
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this brew at River City Drafthouse in Louisville, KY on tap in a 10oz sample glass.

A - Perfect. Jet Black, mocha head to brim. dissipates slowly. viscosity is medium.

S - Love it. Chocolate, cherry, toffee, molasses and lovely lovely bourbon

T - Chocolate, Vanilla, aged fruits- fig/date/cherry, and great bourbon. Slight trace of alcohol. very pleasant.

M - Just what I was hoping for. Has that frothy/creamy/velvety feel. Super flavors cover full mouth.

O - Scent excellent. Taste was great but felt a bit a unblended- as in, while a lot of excellent flavor are all present they aren't all mellowed together. That said, I did like it very much.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger dark mocha colored head with little retention. Beer is a dense, opaque pitch black. Lacing is stringy and spotty with solid stick and big, oily legs. Really nice.

Nose is molasses, cocoa, anise, sweet soy sauce, dark fruit, roasted malt and booze. Deliciously deep and robust.

Opens espresso, dark chocolate, fudge, and roasted malt. Dark fruit flavors fade in gradually mixed with fudge and cocoa in the middle supplemented by a slight booziness in the background. Very sweet. A slight soy sauciness at the finish balanced by chocolate and more molasses and leather in the aftertaste. Awesome!

Full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth and goes down warm and slightly boozy. Messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Great for the style and flavor.

I dare say that this rivals BCBS in terms of availability/quality ratio. A very under the radar brew that's certainly worth seeking out!

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Photo of Bung
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Grapevine in Fort Mill. Solid black with a layer of light tan head. Sticks nicely to the glass.

Aroma, malty vanilla, some chocolate, some oaky bourbon. Not overly pungeant.

Taste, Bold and strong quality flavors. The gambit, chocolates, caramel, vanilla, molasses. Sweeter notes at first, then more dark chocolate, cocoa, barrel and earth.

Near full bodied. Coating, just a faint warming. Actually warms up in a hurry to the point of hurting a bit.

If the aroma was as robust as the flavors this would be world class. Also the heat knocks it just a bit.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a huge light brown/tan super frothy thick head that is very slow to recede. When it does, it leaves a very heavy coating of lacing the completely covers the inside of the class – you don’t see that everyday! Smells of chocolate, coffee, and a tad of bourbon comprise the nose. First sip is creamy smooth with sweet chocolate malts hitting first that quickly move aside making way for intense bitter coffee/dark chocolate finish. Not as bourbony as I would have hoped but it is there. Mouthfeel is as good as it gets and if I did not know for sure that it is C02, I might just think this bad boy was on nitro. This is World Class for sure.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,131 ratings.
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