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

220 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: 220 | Ratings: 1,145
Photo of dar482
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a dark black color with some brown and red coming through in the light. There is a large mocha brown head for a bourbon barrel aged beers.

The aroma is very fruit forward like the base beer. Tons of sweet red cherries, black cherries, juicy plum, dried fig. Then there’s molasses, toffee, dark caramel. Hints of vanilla. Not much bourbon barrel character.

The flavor however hits in the front is a medium to light bourbon barrel flavor, medium amount of vanilla. It then moves onto that fruit flavor and cherries and plums. Then there’s a dark chocolate, roasted malt, and medium roasted black coffee. The finish has a beautiful roasted flavor and charred oak comes through. Some smokiness and decent amont of tobacco.

A medium mouthfeel on this. Tons of carbonation. Drinks like a 8-9% ABV because of the body.

This is a pulled back bourbon barrel imperial stout. Not a sticky bourbon bomb. The base beer shines through as the bourbon barrel compliment the beer and rounds it out.

Definitely for beginners getting into bourbon barrel aged stouts or those who want a break from those heavy, viscous barrel forward beers like Bourbon County or Black Note.

 1,181 characters

Photo of corby112
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Capones in Norristown, PA.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a one finger light beige head. Decent retention slowly fading into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Roasted aroma with a good bit of toasted oak and burnt malt. Not much bourbon, only slight booziness. Dark malt presence with chocolate, coffee, toast and oatmeal in the nose.

Medium bodied but on the fuller end with some chewy dark malt, toasted oak and subtle bourbon. Bourbon stronger than in nose but still not hot or that prevalent in the flavor. Ashy with burnt toast, dark chocolate and oatmeal. A bit thin in the finish. Not overly complex but still decent. Could use more barrel swetness and bourbon.  

 709 characters

Photo of jbaker67
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black as night with a non-existent head. Aroma is very sweet, almost like wine, with a little roasted malt coming through too. Taste is wildly complex, sweet chocolate, roasty, vanilla and dark fruit turning into a very smooth bourbon alcohol heat at the end. Body is medium, slightly creamy texture. Not much carbonation to be heard of.

 343 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In review is a 2013 vintage.

A - Pours a pitch black color with a generously thick, toffee colored head, lots of legs on the side of the glass when it's swirled.

S - Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, cream, and light coffee, and light cherries.

T - Follows the nose with a load of dark roasted chocolate malt, vanilla, toffee, cream, oak, bourbon, and light char. Leaves a lingering charred oak, bourbon, vanilla, and cherries aftertaste. In the beginning the dark chocolate roast bitterness really wants to surface but quickly gets pounded down with oak and bourbon.

M - Thick, full bodied, and lip smacking sticky.

O - I really wanted to give this one a perfect (5) because it's darn close but the oak and bourbon are a dominant factor and the only criticism would be a little more bitter chocolate malt presence. Bourbon and oak dominate and the chocolate goodness is secondary, 'plan to cellar a few bottles and revisit this review.

 942 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
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 goblet

Pours pitch black with a half inch beige head. Typical for the style and just as it should be. Smell is of whiskey and chocolate...pleasant and not too overpowering. taste is incredibly smooth. rich chocolate and vanilla flavors followed by a smooth whiskey flavor. tastes like creme boule in liquid form. criminally tasty. So easy to drink on the higher side of medium bodied with low carbonation. sip it to enjoy the flavors, but it could be drank in a flash if you wanted as well.

overall a terrific RIS that fans of the style will love. hefty price tag is worth it, though i'd say wulver is a tad bit better.

 641 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

64 ounce growler filled earlier today from the new growler station at Blacklick Wine and Spirits. Served in a snifter, the brew pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head that sticked around for a little bit. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, it smells like bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and oak/wood. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also the addition of some burnt/charred malt, dark fruit and a bit of anise. Great balance between the sweet, bitter, roasty and bourbony flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit slick and coating with a decent amount of carbonation. I like this brew a lot, I'm glad I got a growler of it. I think it's definitely worth trying, and I know I wouldn't mind getting this again in the future.

 799 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, unknown bottling date, poured into a Russian River stemmed snifter today, 9/2/2013 with Doug. Thanks to Matt for throwing this one in as an extra.

Like the non-BA version, pours a thick, opaque, oily black body with 2cm's worth of brown head that takes a little bit of time to dissipate. Its a very thick black stout. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smells like bourbon barrel here. Vanilla, coconut, oak along with that roasty maltiness and sweet bourbon. Very complex nose, not quite BCBS or Parabola but it definitely brings the complexity here.

Flavour is rather coconut and oak forward. It kind of overwhelms the base stout, but the sweet bourbon and barrel contribution is definitely showcased here. Pretty complex and tasty beer here. Still got a little of that umami from the base beer, but its not as strong or off-putting here.

Mouthfeel is thick bodied, smooth and dry finishing imperial stout. I can appreciate the thickness of this beer for sure; I'm not sure about the finish here. Aftertaste is mostly that sweet bourbon that probably comes from the barrel here.

Tasty, and a major improvement over the base imperial stout. Like Bourbon County Stout and Cook County Stout, this is an example of a base beer that benefits a ton from bourbon barrel aging. I wouldn't try it again for the price that it apparently goes for, but I'm glad to have tried this beer. Thanks again Matt!

 1,407 characters

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.

 216 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Paid about 26 for the four pack. Into a pint glass. My 2200th beer!
A - Great looking head on this one real creamy looking deep mocha which makes for good lacing. Beer is as pitch black as possible really thick and oily like I like it.
S - Bourbon and chocolate on the nose bit of espresso and some leathery anise. Loving the sugary vanilla is a nice tough.
T - Surprising bit of roast and hops I must have drank this a little warm since I just chilled then 5 hours ago. Bourbon isn't that strong and chocolate isn't as sweet as I expected. A bit of leathery bite in each sip this is a very well made stout.
M - Slick and creamy the ABV doesn't bite as much as the bourbon. Tasty.

Overall I got 3 more of these so the next one will be served more chilled. Still very drinkable almost room temperature.

 804 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark, chalky, near black, thin cap of tan bubbles, little retention or lacing. Dry earthy oak, roasted malt, light vanilla, coffee and chocolate, faint berry, slight alcohol, but not too burbony. Taste focuses on the woodyness of oak, vanilla and burbon faint, roasty with some coffee, chocolate and faint dark fruit. Smooth, clean, dry, not as hefty as others. Solid but not spectacular brew, needs a bit more stout, bit more burbon, and less oak.

 448 characters

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.

 190 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
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 HuskyinPDX
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 4.12.14

A - Pours a dark brown with a medium to dark tan head with good retention.

S - Lovely bourbon, chocolate and oak.

T - Bourbon, chocolate, oak, sweet and smooth.

D - Heavy body with good carbonation.

O - Very bourbon heavy, but very good. SImilar to BCBS. I know, I know.

 300 characters

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.

 566 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
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 jrallen34
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler... Light black body, light tan head, nice lasting tan head for a ba beer...the nose is too light, sweet bourbon, a little chocolate, disappointed, a bit of a fruity nose as well... The taste is also disappointing, this destroys the base beer roasted chocolate notes, mostly a sweet bourbon stout, boring... Had such high hopes, let down

 344 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
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 cosmicevan
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

had on tap at sams in NC while shopping for brews. showed in a pint glass dark as night with a thin cream colored head. very big bold roasted smell and flavor, but not much as far as barrel flavoring or smell. all in all a nice beer, but doesn't hold a candle to many of the other barrel aged stouts. glad to get a taste, but not something I will be looking for again.

 368 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from trade, no date but assuming the most recent batch. Pours dark brown to black in my Teku with a half finger mocha colored head, looking nice and creamy. Big bourbon notes on the aroma, huge vanilla, caramel, chocolate. Flavor is a big punch of bourbon, some definite roast, graham cracker, hint of smokey flavor, and an incredibly long vanilla finish with a hint of oak. Wow the finish on this is amazing. Huge huge vanilla notes on the finish with a bit of tobacco perhaps. Wish there was a bit more heft, as this comes off a bit thinner for the style--more so than the Eclipse series. Medium carbonation and medium mouthfeel overall. If not for the mouthfeel I would put this up there with some of the best. Nice barrel treatment here.

 748 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

***Updated / 12/24/13

Noticeably better batch - no longer any issues with faint barrel effects. Outstanding on tap at Vintner on christmas eve

***Original / 12.25.11/ 4.5, 4, 4, 4, 4

on-tap, duckworths ballantyne

appearance: 11oz pour, ebony body, 1/2" chocolate foam - looks the part

smell: roasty, dark chocolate, barrel effects fairly trace on the nose

taste: the base beer is solid and this version is really nice as well, but the barrel notes are fairly dark chocolate, coffee, light bourbon, dark fruit, vanilla. Nice - but wouldnt have even known it was aged in a bourbon barrel

mouthfeel: rich and creamy

overall: tasty

 647 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Thirsty Dog's Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout last week for $5.99 at The Lager Mill. I've had Siberian Night more than a few times, but I've never had the barrel aged version and I've heard good things about it, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz gold foil bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it's like a combination of Wulver and Siberian Night and I think the gold foil makes it a little eye catching. It poured a nice dark black color that didn't let any light come through and it had a little over a fingers worth of light mocha colored head that died down to to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some sticky and patchy lacing behind. This is very nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the bourbon barrels being the first to show up and they impart a nice mixture of oak, bourbon and vanilla aromas coming through. Up next comes a big milk chocolate aroma that leads into some dark roasted malts that impart some roasted, sweet malt and light caramel like aromas. This beer had a very nice aroma that was just what I would expect from the style.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with milk chocolate being the first to show up and it's just a little lighter than it was in the aroma and it's followed by the dark roasted malts which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma. Up next comes the barrels which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma, but this time they are a little lighter. On the finish there's no bitterness with some sweetness and just some slight alcohol flavors coming through with some milk chocolate and bourbon barrel flavors showing up in the aftertaste. This was a good tasting beer, it had everything that I look for in the style, but I wish it was just a little bolder.

M- Smooth, the alcohol was well hidden, not too crisp, a little velvety, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. This beer had a good mouthfeel that worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good example of the style, it had pretty much everything that I look for in the style with all the key flavors showed up and the alcohol was very well hidden. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, the alcohol was well hidden, not too crisp, a little velvety, slightly filling and the taste did a good job at holding my attention, i think one is the perfect amount for me. What I like the most about this beer was the balance and the aroma, they were both very nice and they were the highlights of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was that the taste wasn't just a little bolder like the aroma was. I would buy this beer again, it's a little expensive, but I think it's worth it. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Bourbon Barrel Aged Stouts. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, i knew going in to this beer that it had a solid base and in the end it ended up working well with the bourbon barrels. I still think Wulver is my favorite from this brewery, but it's one of the better Thirsty Dog beers I've had and it's a pretty good and above average example of the style. Good job guys, this was a tasty beer, keep it up.

 3,425 characters

Photo of n2185
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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 tectactoe
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to umich03jm for bringing this to the tasting. It pours a super-deep shade of brown, just outside the realm of black, with a tan, quarter-inch head that's really more akin a fine layer of skin on the brew. It fizzles outward into a clump of foam circling the beer, leaving the top portion open to the air. No lacing as far as I can tell.

Bourbon barrel aging isn't hidden in this brew, as the first sniff brings forth heavy amounts of both bourbon and wood. I haven't had the base beer to be able to see the contrast, but I can say that this iteration is nearly all barrel on the nose. Mild vanilla, back-end coconut, and again, more boozy oak. The only aroma that likely isn't a consequence of barrel aging is a faint trace of cocoa nib sweetness that plays throughout the bold profile.

As the aroma would indicate, the first thing that assaults my taste buds is a huge spike of bourbon; much to my contentment, though, it's actually not hot at all, and it's really quite smooth. The flavor, however, is quite potent, and very heavy, almost as if a straight shot of bourbon was poured directly into the stout. Lots of oak, coconut, and mild vanilla undertones mellow out the bourbon and round out the barrel-aged flavors.

Undernearth the bourbon barrel bashing, there lies a mildly sweet undercarriage made up of burnt, caramelized sugar, mildly roasted malts, and a pinch of chocolate. Once the boozy warmth has time to disperse, the beer is actually quite sweet in the finish with some dry oak to hammer down the finish. Medium bodied, maybe not as heavy as I like my "big" stouts, but it gets the job done. Sufficient carbonation for a smooth, silky mouth feel.

Pretty decent barrel-aged stout exhibiting a pretty decent balance of warmth and sweetness when all was said and done. The only problem I have is that the actual bourbon barrel flavors are a bit too forward and cover up much of anything else. In that sense, it kind of gets lost in a sea full of bourbon barrel stouts that don't quite have the delicate touch of similar style, world class offerings. Decent, nonetheless, but not a world beater.

 2,125 characters

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

12oz bottle into snifter. Thanks Abel!

A: Pours a deep black with a couple fingers of dense dark coffee brown head that faded into a thin and bubbly film. Sticky lace was left down the glass.
S: Rich and creamy notes of vanilla and sweet bourbon, with hints of chocolate fudge, and marshmallow.
T: Rich and smooth flavors are decadent and potent. Vanilla/marshmallow and bourbon up front, with leather, chocolate syrup, toffee, and caramel following. I get a hint of roast, peat, and coffee in the finish. Subtle underlying sugary sweetness throughout.
M: Thick body, rich and heavy mouthfeel with a touch of acidity. Bright carbonation is sharper than expected but finishes very soft and smooth. Bourbon is boozy but this beer isn't hot. Alcohol is hidden fairly well.
O: Decadent and rich with a complex integration of flavors. Everything melds together really well.

 873 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from growler into a New Belgium globe. Poured pitch black with a half finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, dark fruit, dark chocolate, and wood. The flavor was of roasted malt, sweet malt, dark chocolate, caramel, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a really good brew. Going into this one I was a little worried that this would be a bourbon dominated monster. However, the bourbon was quite subtle in the flavor to make it very easy to drink. A really well done brew from Thirsty Dog here that I would love to have again in the future. I suggest you try to do the same.

 757 characters

Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,145 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.