Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
214 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 214 | Ratings: 1,120
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Rozi's in Lakewood. Nice dark brown appearance with auburn highlights at the edges. Thin tan cap that leaves mocha-colored lacing on the walls. It smells sweet and bourbony, no overbearing booziness to it, just a nice bourbon edge to the sweet and roasted malts. It tastes as sweet as it smells, not quite to 50/50 Eclipse level but still more than the standard Siberian. A little too sugary maybe, but it works in small doses. A mild burn in the back after each swallow.

The body is on the thicker side, more than I expected given the regular version and the usual effect of barrel aging... Nice overall but not exceptional.

 648 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a small snifter

Appears black, brown around the edge. 1/2 inch tan head, but it fades fairly quickly. Very pleasant aroma of vanilla and caramel.
Taste isn't as good as the aroma. Roasted malt, finishes with a touch of the bourbon flavor. Body is medium to thick, moderate carbonation.

Overall, a good beer, but I was dispointed after the high price tag.

 373 characters

Photo of thebigredone
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to phishbfm for hooking me up with this in a recent BIF.

Pours a deep blackish brown. Medium tan head that dissipates quickly.

Nose is light. Decent barrel aromatics and not much else.

Taste is somewhat... disappointing. Light barrel taste, a bit of whiskey, a touch of chocolate, some dark fruits, and mild roast. Taste fades quickly and leaves a lingering, muddled flavor.

Mouthfeel is quite thin.

Overall, a somewhat subpar BA stout. I am incredibly let down by this beer, as I was expecting great things based on the reviews. Honestly, this is basically a clone of Weyerbacher Heresy. At half the price, I'd go with Heresy every time.

 651 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to fiver29 & jampics2 for dropping bottles of this on me almost simultaneously. Really like the base beer, so have been looking forward to emptying one of these into a glass. 12 oz. bottle with fancy gold foil & black electrical tape (probably not added by the brewery).

Cracked & poured, the beer is dark as the angry skies over Minnesota right now, with high-tide carbonation. Takes me a pour-and-pause-and-pour again to get all the liquid transferred from one vessel to another. Not barrel forward in the nose; a bit timid for a big stout. Some vanilla, chocolate, with more roast. I could almost overlook the barrel if it weren't on the label.

Siberian Night - Bourbon Barrel Aged is a slow roller, mid-ocean. My first sip is all about the roast & chocolate, with plenty of each, & I'm a bit let down at the lack of barrel. Mild caramel. But before I even take the second sip, something funny happens. Then oak, whiskey, wander into the room & starts spraying the back of my throat with barrel. Wild. The barrel's as wily as that chipmunk that chews its way into my garage. Great finish. So distracted that I have to remind myself that it's decently chewy, but hardly a sipper. Quick sipper.

Unique approach that really showcases the different moving pieces. Doesn't quite reach the ramparts, but a very good beer - but honestly, I'd rather have the non-barreled version.

 1,388 characters

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful, silky dark black with a 1 finger creamy, dense head. Outstanding lacing. A lot of intense notes in the nose- chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, caramelized malts...did I mention vanilla? Taste follows nose, but maybe a touch softer. Lots of roasted malts, loads of chocolate, sweet molasses and charred caramel, some booze, but not crazy. It drinks really well. Surprisingly, the body is much thinner than I expected.

Overall, this is pretty impressive BA stout. Everything that I look for in the style is represented, except the thick, creamy body.

 567 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Beautiful looking beer. Not going to describe in detail because I really need to talk about the aroma and taste of this beer.

It's bursting with milk chocolate. It's very distinct both in flavor and aroma and if I were drinking a regular stout I'd curtsy, tip my hat and alla that. But this is supposed to be aged in bourbon. I feel like this was dipped in bourbon. Like when you put your big toe in the pool or tub to check the temperature. Like when Achilles was dipped in the immortal pool and every part of his body was safe except for that damn heel. Well this beer is like the heel. It's the part that somehow didn't get the bourbon. It's like the slaves in Texas that found out slavery was over way after the emancipation proclamation and the end of the Civil War. This beer did not hear about the bourbon proclamation.

And look, I know you've got these folks that want every beer to be bourbon with some malt and hops and shit, but I'm not that person. I appreciate the subtlety and I'll even concede that there is some subtle bourbon here, but this just feels a little too much like someone splashed a half cap of some liquor in my beer.

Ah well, it's got a good body. Nice milky sweetness. It's rich. It's not all bad. Hell, it's far from bad.

 1,302 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Brew Kettle, served in a snifter. A big sipper. Dark, thick, minimal head. Big on chocolate, and coconut and vanilla from the barrelling. A hint of booziness.Coffee, coco, roasted malt. Overall well executed, bitter but still balance.Roast in aroma.

 263 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Appear black in the glass, but dark brown on the pour. Dark, but not fully opaque. Forms a rather modest, creamy dark tan head. Some light lacing.

S: Aroma is a mix of chocolate and bourbon. Lighter notes of dark malts, vinegar, and a whiff of smoke.

T: More chocolate, milk chocolate this time, with a moderate sweetness. Light bourbon notes. Creamy vanilla. Unfortunately, that whiff of smoke comes through as a mildly acrid burnt flavor on the back end.

M: Pn the heavier side of medium with a lower carbonation level, but actually fairly thin for the style. Moderate alcoholic heat.

O: A decent and approachable barrel aged stout, but personally I found the bourbon barrel to fairly light and the body to thin. Not bad, just not world-class.

 755 characters

Photo of BullDoza
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Extra from a recent trade. Was really excited to try this one when I unburied it from the box and bubble wrap.

A: dark, but poured a little thin. small, tan head. little carbonation. looks the part. 4.

S: chocolate. roasty. slightly sweet. barrel is subtle; not the most intense BB character I've ever encountered. 4.25

T: follows the nose. more bourbon on the taste, but still muted. finishes with a bitterness that, while I don't hate it, comes too strong, too quick. the kind of slight bitterness you'd appreciate on a very barrel forward beer...for balance. 3.75

M: medium. as with all BA stouts, thicker the better IMO. this one doesn't quite get there. 3.5.

O: a very good BA stout. Is it a beer to seek and trade for? Probably not. Is it a very good extra and worth grabbing if given the opportunity? Sure is. Would love to try the base here. Would also like more of the barrel to shine through in this one.

 920 characters

Photo of frenchblood21
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip...Date is 1/11/2014

Appearance- Jet black! I mean I held it up to the brightest light in the house and I couldn't see any light. Just under a half finger of dark tan head that fades away almost right away.

Smell- Malty bourbon/oak comes up. I get vanilla and figs in the back-end. Sweetness is present.

Taste- Caramel and bourbon punch me in the face. Then I get brown butter and brown sugar. Sweeter than I had anticipated and yet hoppier too. This is much more hoppy then other barrel-aged stouts.

Mouthfeel- So smooth...This beer coats your mouth much like a cough syrup might, but in a delicious way. Bitter dark chocolate melted in maple syrup with grapefruit zest added!

Overall- Fantastic beer! I would drink this whenever possible. Would I bend over backwards to trade for this? No, of course not, but a great beer worth praising.

 882 characters

Photo of mntlover
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours oil black no light getting through this baby. Small coco head falls to a ring with some lace left behind.

Aroma is a big upfront bourbon aroma, vanilla some roasted chocolate malts. Definite big bourbon notes almost over powering.

Taste is big bourbon flavors some roasted notes with lots of chocolate under neath it. Some vanilla and dark fruit notes. This one is defiantly barrel heavy would say too much so.

Mouthfeel is medium seems on the light side for a big beer. Carbonation is nice and mellow.

Overall just to much barrel for me I believe I would lump this with Founders as I prefer the regular stout more then the barrel aged one.

 651 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Barcade, Philly, PA

Dark black pour with a ring of dark brown around the top, capped off with a thin, beige head. Aroma of dark roasty malts, wood, hints of bourbon and what seemed to be mild fruit esters. Taste of slightly charred oak, dark chocolate, dark malts, bourbon, hints of coffee and dark fruits. Heavy-medium body, pretty smooth for 11%, and quite nice overall.

 394 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Consumed November 27th, 2013 from an undated bottle. Bottle was purchased from retail in Cleveland, Ohio approximately six months earlier and kept at between 40 and 50 degrees F for nearly all of that time. Poured into a Bruery tulip glass.

Dark, dark pour. Black with no highlights. Medium tan head two fingers high erupts from standard pour. Very fine, uniform bubble size. After a few minutes, a very thin skin of foam still covers the surface and clings to the sides.

Aroma is bourbon. Lots of bourbon. There is also milk chocolate and cherry. An off metallic note intrudes as well.

Flavor is soft, malty chocolate up front, transitioning almost immediately into a more bitter, woody bourbon flavor. On the swallow, cherries emerge. A lingering roasted malt finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, though creamy. I'd stop just short of calling it velvety, though.

A worthy effort, though this dog isn't quite ready to run with the big dogs of the style.

 967 characters

Photo of THSdrummer
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a good looking, medium-thin creme colored head. Hardly any lacing left behind. Boozy bourbon alcohol, and roasted malts form an aroma that will wake you up and singe the hairs in your nose. Smooth malty opening, with a boozy bourbon burn right behind. Sweet caramel and chocolate follow up. Bit of a bitter finish. Really hit or miss on it. Mouth feel is bold and robust. Not the most filling, but still good presence. Overall, a good BA imperial stout. Aroma is a bit boozy, and the taste features a bit of a bourbon burn. Still good otherwise though.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

 597 characters

Photo of bylerteck
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

 190 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip. This one pours like black oil, no real head on this one.

The aroma is real good on this. Lots of dark bittersweet chocolate with dark fruit on the aroma like raisins and figs. Seams to have a bit if smoke on the aroma with nice barrel notes. The pallet has a nice sweet bitter chocolate aroma with hints of fruit and robust malts.

The body is thick and silky with low carbonation. Overall a solid brew.

 426 characters

Photo of angelmonster
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I believe this review is of a two year old bottle

Pours pitch black with a super thin, mocha colored head. Body is opaque and with lots of bubbles.

Aromas are heavy on oak, burnt caramel, sweet fudge, bakers chocolate. Dried fig, plum, and prunes emerge as beer warms. Hops arent present, alcohol is lightly detected but I'm not really getting bourbon. Head retention was bad and lacing was non existent.

First taste is of plum, dried fig, slightly oxidized soy sauce, kinda reminds me of Bcbs. Burnt malts and oak come next, surprised that for almost 11% alcohol Im not getting a ton of it. Guess its a double edged sword since I'm missing the bourbon.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and highly carbonated. Head was sorely missed, beer is slightly oily going down.

Overall, good beer but not what I was expecting from an Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels. Would have liked some bourbon, didnt get any, would have also helped to have some head retention throughout the beer.

 985 characters

Photo of bobhits
3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Living in Ohio with this absurd 12% cap it's always lovely to see decent bourbon barrel beers and lets be honest you need beer to live in Ohio.

Pour a dark body with a reasonable head given the barrel aging. The beer body provides reasonable legs and some nice bubbles form around the glass.

As on would expect dark chocolate, sugar, molasses, and hints of coffee are pretty apparent. The vanilla and oak notes come through as well. It's a nice imperial stout aroma.

There seems to be a bit of floral hops and bitterness opening this beer up with the chocolate and coffee notes coming later. The barrel seems to increase the sweetness but doesn't impart an overt bourbon flavor. Just some added vanilla and a touch of oak.

The goal with any barrel aged stout is for it to be creamy and thick. This somewhat misses, it's a hair thin. And the carbonation is a bit on the sharp weak bubbled that doesn't add value.

A really nice beer but at 24 for a 4 pack it doesn't really hold up next to the other great barrel aged stouts. Still it does it's job. It's good. I'll buy again, but I won't be stocking up on it.

 1,118 characters

Photo of KornWallace
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Date: 6/5/14
Location: Hoptron Brewtique
Glassware: Tulip

Appearance: Black with no opaqueness. Lightly browned/caramel carbonation ring is all that remains from a pinky sized head that reduced quickly.
Aroma: Big smells of both sweet and bittering chocolate, caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Some roasted espresso aromas. Light bourbon and even lighter oak smell.
Taste: When the beer is colder the coffee and bitter chocolate flavors power through. But as the beer warms you really start to get the more balanced bourbon, coffee, toffee, vanilla flavors. There are big alcohol flavors as the beer warms as well.
Mouthfeel: Medium heavy to Heavy in body. Moderate to moderate high carbonation. High alcohol viscosity creates a very oily mouthfeel which reaches every corner of my mouth.

Notes: Wulver clearly holds the edge in the BBAged Thirsty Dog competition. But anyone who has either is clearly the winner.

 916 characters

Photo of JDizzle
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a growler of this at Party Town in Florence, Ky. Gotta say I was pumped to find the BA version of this! The ABV said 12%.

Pours extremly dark-espresso like. Tan foamy head with great lacing. There is still a ring at the top of the glass after drinking most of it.

The nose is lighter than I thought it would be. Roasted malts, chocolate, espresso, oak, bourbon, and tobacco-not too impressive compared to other big stouts.

The taste is much better than the smell. You get a strong Oak and bourbon blast up front. It finishes with some chocolate and a little of the tobacco I smelled-different?

Drinkability is really great considering the high ABV. It's not so heavy to be one and done, and the taste is really solid, just not quite up there with the Elite.

This was my first beer from Thirsty Dog-well done!

 817 characters

Photo of kemoarps
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like it's forebear it pours an inky black body, but unlike it's antecedent the head is much creamier and richer and lasts a bit longer. The lacing also seems more committed.

The nose will leave you with absolutely no doubt whatsoever how this beer was prepared. Bourbon bursts forth from the glass, with vanilla oak and caramel smoothe sweetness off the bat. There's a creaminess in there, and the chocolate begins to surface after the initial salvo is resolved.

Flavour starts off with these same big bourbon notes of caramel and vanilla and oak and smootheness, though it also (unfortunately to my tongue) brings in some of the sour mash side of that celebrated southern tradition that always reminds me of too many empty bottles of Evan Williams walking past the bicycle barn. The chocolate of the base comes through and tries to blend in and uplift the curled edges, but unfortunately it is not able to do so as effectively as it strives. The coffee that was so prevalent in the original is nowhere to be found, replaced by that other liquid staple already so dissected above.

Like it's parent brew, the body is creamy in an oddly deceptive way. The carbonation is dialed back a little bit and it carries that creamy character through to the end better, as does the bittering from the barrel.

This may not be an entirely fair assessment. I went into this expecting to like the original ok, and for the BA version to blow me away. The original exceeded my expectations, but this version fell a little short of what I was dreaming. I still like it quite a bit, but in the future I'd probably reach for the base version before this one even before factoring in price/availability/whatever else.

Thanks again to @WesMantooth for his generosity in sending these along as part of the NBS BIF #3 box and thus facilitating this little side by side. Corey, you're the man!

 1,875 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #79 (Aug 2013):

Thirsty Dog takes what is already pretty much a beast of a beer and dials it up a few notches with 11 months in bourbon barrels. The barrel flavor really takes a firm hold of this beer, though the aging certainly smooths everything out. Hunt a bottle down—you’ll be happy you did.

STYLE: Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.9%

LOOK: Complete darkness, lovely brown lace

SMELL: Bourbon, coffee, roasted grain, molasses, vanilla, alcohol, burnt raisins, faint licorice root

TASTE: Chewy, smooth, pulling wood, bourbon, big warmth, faint vanilla, aggressive charred grain, dark coffee, cacao nibs, modest hopping, black currants, brown sugar; drying, woody, roasty finish

 729 characters

Photo of n2185
4/5  rDev -4.8%

A: pours black with two fingers of light brown head that fades into a frothy ring with a little lacing.

S: roasted malts, oak, vanilla, bourbon, and a bit of semi-sweet chocolate dominate.

T: oak, vanilla, and bourbon dominate here with the roasted malt and chcolate stout flavors playing second fiddle. The finish is moderately boozy.

M: thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer feels a bit effervescent, like a soda.

O: a good beer, overall, though I wish the stout flavors came through a bit more.

 515 characters

Photo of Craigory
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Conquest snifter.

A: Pitch black body, even when held to the light. The beer does its darnedest to form a light khaki head, but just can't manage, settling for a spotty cap and thin ring around the edge of the glass.

S: Big bourbon, fudgy chocolate, vanilla.

T: Bourbon up front, followed by a more bitter dark chocolate than the nose let on. There's a bit of vanilla, though less than I remember from previous experiences with this beer, and it finishes with some charred malt. I also get a little soy sauce in the aftertaste.

M: Full-bodied, viscous but not sludgy.

O: I like it, but would have preferred to split the bottle with a friend. This latest batch differs a bit from what I've had in the past, as the beer is now less sweet and creamy. That may be a boon for others, but I was kind of looking forward to a big vanilla creaminess.

Edit: 09/04/2014

Growler fill. Great barrel character, with strong whisky and oak, some vanilla, and a little toasted coconut. Plenty of roast and chocolate to carry it, no soy sauce or "meatiness." This is BA Siberian Night like I remember; there may have been something different about the one batch from my earlier review.

 1,208 characters

Photo of justinp444
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass this beer has a pitch black body with a chocolate inch a half thick head. Smell of roasted malts, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, some oak, and cherry. Taste is bourbon, alcohol, chocolate, tad bit of coffee, very dry, little bit of maple sweetness, vanilla, toasted oak, and some dried fruit on the end. It has a full body with a moderate to full mouth feel. A little bit too dry and too much alcohol but not bad BA stout.

 446 characters

Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,120 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!