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

1,156 Ratings
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: 225 | Ratings: 1,156
Photo of cjgiant
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
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 -5.5%
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 +3.8%
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 +0.7%
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 -10%
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 -4.5%
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 -1.7%
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 +0.5%
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 -5.3%
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 +2.1%
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 -18.9%
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 -6.7%
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 -4.1%
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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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 MikeWard
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a chalice. No freshness dating.

Jet black body, Tan head, very good lacing.

Aroma is of vanilla and bourbon.

Although the alcohol/bourbon is present, it doesn't punch you in the mouth, which I a t least, appreciate. Vanilla is also there, but not strong. What I'm not getting at all, is any chocolate flavor.

Mouth is full.

Overall, an enjoyable sipper

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Photo of TBonez477
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First appearance is light for a big stout, with a pretty fluffy tan head. Smell is mocha, marshmallow, vanilla and a little leather. Taste is sweet mocha blended with strong raisin/dark fruit. Finish is slight roast which balances nicely with the sweetness. The vanilla and oak from the bourbon mellow in at the end. Feel is pretty light for the ABV. Overall a really tasty brew

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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 kemoarps
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
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!

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of flaskman
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours very dark with moderate head and decent lacing. You can taste the bourbon quite well. Not overly boozy but just enough. Not too sweet but it is notable. I have been drinking this along with KBS and Bourbon County. I found it to be very well balanced. Good mouth feel and great taste. I like it better than the KBS because the boozyness is not overpowering. Just enough to make it enjoyable. A great Imperial Stout. If I had one gripe it would be the price but again I found it to be a great stout. A hidden gem. To me it tastes like what Storm King could had been with more refining. I will buy it again.

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Photo of Ikeithbot
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a clear yet opaque jet black in color with slightly more than moderate amounts of active visible carbonation at the edges near the surface of the glass and some faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall creamy dark mocha head that reduces to a medium to large patch of very thin film with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted and burnt malts with moderate to heavy amounts of bourbon, vanilla, and oak.

T: Moderate to strong flavors of roasted, chocolate, and burnt malts with some bittersweet chocolate notes. There are fairly strong flavors from the bourbon barrel aging of bourbon, vanilla, and lighter oakiness. Light hints of alcohol and some hints of bitterness in the finish.

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of dryness and some alcohol warming in the finish.

O: This is a really enjoyable bourbon barrel aged beer and definitely one that I would recommend. The alcohol is relatively well hidden but this is definitely a sipping beer.

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Photo of glass_house
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very good, not quite great BA stout. Bourbon character is there, but somewhat subdued. Hints of vanilla and oak, but not a major improvement on the base beer. The body is silky smooth, just a bit on the light side for the style and abv.

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Photo of Harrison8
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of MJSFS
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a solid BBA stout. Not the best I've ever had but far from the worst. If you can find one of these, you'd be doing yourself a favor to pick it up.

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Photo of Rogerlb
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a tulip glass. Pours very dark, pretty much black, with a quite thick brown bone-colored head that stays around. Lacing is sloppy and spotty.

Aroma is very chocolate, a bit of sweet citrus and caramel in there. Quite nice. Taste is darker, charred malt and burn, hardly any chocolate, I'm getting cherries, and a subtle malt and a trace of vanilla working. The sweet seems to be grapefruity, especially later, no kidding. Not nearly as heavy as this black dark beer might suggest. Tastes are mellow and the aftertaste has the sweet mellow taste of cherries mixed with bourbon.

The warmer it gets the better it gets. Finishes oily like a hoppier beer might (not bad, mind you), and the alcohol taste is very well hidden, although this for sure is warming pretty quick at almost 11%.

Nothing doesn't work or is overpowering in this beer. While I'm not a big drinker of stouts (and haven't had many barrel-aged Russian Imperials) this is absolutely excellent for a cold (or a warm) evening. Pricey but worth it.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,156 ratings.
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