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

224 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: 224 | Ratings: 1,155
Photo of cvzigs76
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Slightly thin. Not quite opaque, with tinges of ruby around the edges. High carbonation and lacing for the style.

S: Somewhat muted. Heavy roast and baker's chocolate bitterness. Slight spice along with a caramelly/vanilly thing from the barrel.

T: Follows nose, but in a more profound sense. Dark Chocolate bitterness and heavy handed on the roasted malt. Less barrel character on the taste, but still remains is a sweetness and heat in the chest. Dark fruits peak their head upon warming.

Feel: Svelte

Overall: A nice experience for a barrel aged shelf beer.

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle was about 18 months old. Pours a dark mahogany color, collecting very black and opaque in the glass. The thin, cocoa colored head that was present receded into small islands on the surface. Decently complex aroma for a bourbon barrel imperial stout. Lots of vanilla and tobacco, dark chocolate cherry cordial, roasted malts, charred wood, with a burnt brown sugar sweetness. Th sick, full coating mouth feel, with a slight ashy consistency. Taste has smoothed out a lot since having a fresh bottle and the alcohol burn has completely faded. Taste of dark roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate fudge, licorice, vanilla, and burnt caramel. Not worth the price they're charging around here but certainly an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of pagriley
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz into snifter. Unsure how old, but I assume about a year

L - pours oily and black with thin mocha head leaving slight lacing and a thin foam ring
S - Vanilla, oak, anise with a touch of chocolate fudge and soy sauce
T - Lighter flavors than I was expecting. Milk chocolate, vanilla, not much heat from barrel and a bit of astringent soy sauce on the finish
F - Medium bodied, fine carb. a touch syrupy on the lips

Overall a really solid BA offering. On par with the middle of the pack special releases.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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

Dark brown color with light brown head. Aroma has roasted malts and some dark, bitter chocolate. Taste starts a bit sweet and finishes a bit bitter, but overall the beer is quite balanced. Not really evident bourbon character but quite nice overall.

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Photo of JakerLou
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black with a thin tan head, about half a finger. Head dissipated quickly. A little bit of lacing.

Smells of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, coconut, a touch a sweetness in the form of caramel.

Taste is big chocolate up front. Vanilla and coconut kick in with a nice hint of bourbon. Not very boozy considering it's almost 11% ABV.

Mouthfeel is velvety smooth. Has that nice thick feel like BCBS.

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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 brewskifan55
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Dark as a Siberian night with brownish highlights. A tan one-finer head that hung around. Decent lacing.

S: Bourbon heavy (which I love) with caramel, toffee, charred chocolate and cocoa.

T: Like sipping a bourbon, neat. Bourbon dominates with caramel backing up the troops. Toasty chocolate, vanilla. Sultry and sinister. Sip slowly and taste the love.

M: Medium to heavy with medium, chewy carbonation.

O: Wish I could afford more of this exquisite treat. At $6.50 for a 12 ounce, this tasty delight is one for a long, cold night of celebration. A great New Year's Eve toast.

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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 matt_duthie
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Black, nothing comes through holding it to the light, solid finger+ of mocha head, decent lacing

S: Chocolate, raisins/figs, bourbon, vanilla, coffee

T: Coffee, molasses, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, a little dark fruity on the finish. Better and more balanced than I remember from last time.

F: Thinner than expected, but not disappointingly so. Fairly drinkable, smooth and creamy.

O: The first couple from this four-pack didn't really do it for me, perhaps I had them too close to similar styles or something. Solidly enjoyable, though a bit expensive for 12oz bottles.

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Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and a thin layer of bubbles on the surface in between.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bourbon are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and is dominated by flavors of bourbon, which aren't too strong or overpowering. Except for the bourbon, no other flavors of bourbon are present in the taste.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The bourbon lends a bit of warmth to the finish.
O: For a strong beer, this is deceptively easy to drink and has nice bourbon flavors. However, it tastes more like an American Double Stout than a Russian Imperial Stout because it seems that the bourbon masks out the aromas and flavors of the underlying roasted and burnt malts. If you let the beer warm up the bourbon aromas and flavors will strengthen.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of justinp444
4/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The usual looking dark stout, retains a faint head.smells of dark fruit and bourbon.taste is good, quite strong and not very subtle.slightly carbonated feel. Taste on the back end is also fruity, a very solid beer but as a huge fan of ba stouts its not top class.

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Photo of beersdmf17
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Solid base beer, pours with thick with aroma of bourbon and hints of vanilla and oak. The taste is dominated by the dark malt, full of chocolate, coffee, and bitterness. The tannins, oak, vanilla and bourbon all play well together. The mouthfeel is nice but not super thick. Lingers nicely in the mouth. The bitterness was present but I wouldn't call this infected. Overall a really solid barrel aged stout that isn't that hard to come across.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - 4.25 - dark brown-black beer with a mocha head that sticks, not much lacing, really inviting looking
S - 4.75 - Bourbon, vanilla, molasses, cream, tiny bit of buttered popcorn, coffee, roasted malts
T - 5 - Big bourbon and roasted malts, dark chocolate, cocoa, burnt marshmallow, molasses, dark fruits, vanilla, very robust barrel aged imperial stout
M - 5 - thick, alc covered, aftertaste is roasted malts and bourbon
O - 4.75 - This is a great BBA imperial stout. I would definitely pick it up again. Price point is about right @ 6-8 bucks / 12 ounce bottle.

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Photo of alarmclock314
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No bottle date. Had this right after the non-BA version. Pours black with a large-sized light brown head. Smells of roasted malts, bourbon, and cocoa. The taste follow closely, very similar to the smell. Medium body and medium-high carbonation. Overall, a well-rounded and satisfying BA stout. The BA version has more carbonation (surprisingly) and some good bourbon notes.

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Photo of mlockman
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deceptively smooth given its high ABV; not an overwhelming bourbon flavor, rather it blends well and the archetypical imperial stout flavor still shines through.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gold foil capped 12oz bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 6.99. 2015 release, no dicernable bottling date. Served in a Clown Shoes snifter.

Pours oil black with a half finger of dense khaki head. A milky layer and healthy halo remain, leaving all sorts of lacing from specks to chunks to a few sheets.

The aromas leap from the glass to fill my nostrils. Rich bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, wet oak, chocolate and roast. Very nice.

The flavors are full, rich and vibrant. Bourbon, vanilla and chocolate all greet the palate with a mild boozey heat. The taste is rounded out by roasty malts, coffee, dark fruit, burnt caramel, faint smoke and charred wood. The alcohol is present and appropriate without distracting. An enjoyable blebd of typical Russian imperial stout with barrel character.

The body is silky, creamy and full with soft carbonation. The lingering aftertaste blends bourbon, roast and dark cocoa.

I know I've had Siberian Night a few times before and it was never like this. Between the layers of flavor imparted by 11 months in the barrel and the full, rich body this is a much more decadent beer. This may bot be a full-on chart topper but is well worth a try.

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Photo of BullDoza
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at ~45 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours your usual RIS impenetrable black. Forms a fizzy head of deep tan bubbles, which dies rather swiftly - by sip #4, there was not even a ring. Carbonation lines the bottom of the snifter, making it appear almost tan at the bottom.

Smell: Oak, caramel, and vanilla well out of the glass so thick you can practically fold them. There are hints here and there of dark stone fruit and chocolate, but it's mainly that caramel-vanilla blend.

Taste: Bourbon opens the flavor rush in a torrent of oak, caramel, and vanilla, almost exactly as the nose promised. As the initial burst of booze subsides to an undertone, bitter dark chocolate and dark-roast coffee manifest, with faint plum and currant rolling through as well. At the finish, the oak character surges back to the forefront, leaving an aftertaste of wood from a plum barrel, soaked in caramel and booze. As the beer warms, the plum and currant become bolder in the flavor profile while adding a hint of date, and the chocolate is joined by a touch of blackstrap, while the coffee fades a bit into the background.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied but not quite chewy, this beer glides smoothly along the palate.

Overall: I'm glad this is currently a shelf beer for me, available any time I decide to purchase it. I'd put this up against most any hyped limited rare barrel-aged stout, and expect it to come in at least 90% as good, if not as good or better. Thirsty Dog knows what they're doing in the barrel-aging department.

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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 Get_Lowell
4.69/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Look: Black motor oil with half inch of dark brown foam.
Smell: Rich chocolate inundated with bourbon.
Taste: Explosive flavor: dark chocolate ,molasses, bourbon, slight vanilla on back end.
Feel, Medium bodied, much thicker than I anticipated after 11 months aging in a bbourbon barrel. Frothy too, carbonation held up well!
Overall: I am very impressed. Everything is well executed and this beer weathered the barrels like a champ. Lots of different flavors mingle on the palate.

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Photo of macher0
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to tulip.

A: A very aggressive pour yielded a deep rich amber head that was very frothy. This slowly retreated looking like faded whipped cream on a Frappuccino. The color is near black, I'm getting a little transparency around the edges. The retreating head leaves monster laces on the glass. It has a moderate viscosity. This is how I like my stouts to look.

S: Sweet malts and straight bourbon come through if you put your nose in the glass. After wafting I get coco, toffee, caramel, and a little char. This has a very boozey nose.

T: The taste is more balanced than the nose. It has a sharp bitterness from the hops that balance out the sweet notes of the malts and bourbon barrel. I get charred oak barrel and bourbon, but they are not overwhelming, very nice. A little prune/fig/date sweetness on the very end.

M. A little sticky and harsh from the hops. This is not a let down, but an unavoidable outcome of the style. High carbonation. A little thin on the end.

O: A good hoppy BA stout. The opposite of your BCBS or Parabola. This has it's niche for sure. Not something I would seek out but I would purchase next years vintage off the shelf.

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Photo of stickydankhop
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

very nice. this is a drink one bottle and "your good" kinda beer. very dark, strong thick malt taste with backing of bourbon flavor. I am going buy some more to age. cant wait to taste it when aged

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -4.5%
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

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,155 ratings.
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