Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged | Stone Brewing

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Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel AgedImperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BEERchitect on 09-20-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
168
Ratings:
1,147
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
8.5%
 
 
Wants:
609
Gots:
224
For Trade:
11
User Reviews
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Reviews: 168 | Ratings: 1,147
Photo of hopdog
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Brad for sending this one my way!

Poured a dark black color with a thin sized off white head. Aromas of bourbon, vanilla, woody, chocolate, some dark fruits, and I was getting a light smokiness. Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, wood (but lighter than in the aromas), dark fruits, chocolate, and caramel. The bourbon is there but not over powering. Alcohol content overall well hidden.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

04/01/06- On cask at the Triple Rock 3rd Annual Firkin Fest in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 8 or 9oz sampler glass filled to the rim. What a pour! From the wooden cask straight into the glass. Not sure what year this is from.

Appearance- Deep chocolaty brown in color with a 1/4 inch dirty brown head. Large streaks and chunks of lace left behind.

Smell- This is one rich smelling beer. Notes of hard alcohol (assuming that's the bourbon), lots of chocolatly goodness, semi-bitter hops and deep roasted malt. Smells like dessert.

Taste- Wow! I wasn't thinking I was going to like this since I was told it had lots of licorice flavor, which I am usually not very keen on. Very smooth and creamy right off the bat. A big hit of licorice comes into play, but it works wonders with the other flavors. Large chocolate (both milk and dark) swirl and mix together. Very sweet in flavor. Nice heavy bourbon note as well upon the first sip. Hops are there and make themselves know quickly as well. But, the overpowering flavor is the wonderful chocolate, roasted malt and licorice. I had to have another pour before I left and thus am paying for it now with a headache.

Mouthfeel- Rich, smooth and creamy with the slightest of carbonation. This would be one kick ass after dinner drink!

Drinkability- I have no idea what the abv is on this brew, but assume it's gotta be at least 10%. So, glad I got to try this wonderful brew and hope it eventually comes back soon.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by JackCrow via growler

A: Poured a deep black and it still had good carbonation to it, nice tannish brown head.

S: MMMM. Very good. Bourbon, wood, vanilla, black and chocolate malt perhaps

T: Well put togther. Super flavor.Lots of vanilla, bourbon, dark fruits, roasted malt

M: Booze, roasted malts, vanilla

D: Very good! But at this ABV it would hurt and you would want more but probably could not or should not handle more. Drinkabiliuty among others of the style..GREAT

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Photo of More_betterness
4.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super excited for this one!

A: Pitch black body capped by an espresso brown head that recedes quickly. Some spotty lacing left on the glass.

S: Bold bourbon notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. Hint of coffee, chocolate covered cherry, and bourbon soaked dark fruit as it opens up. Glorious.

T: Boozy bourbon and espresso upfront, caramel and bourbon soaked vanilla follow. A bit of dark cherry as well. Very low levels of residual sweetness for an RIS. Not as potent as the nose, but still fantastic.

M: Medium bodied for an IRS with medium/low carb levels. Flavor compounds are extremely palate coating despite the lack of viscosity compared to other examples.

O: Exactly what I should have expected when one of my favorite RIS was bourbon barrel aged. Fantastic offering from Stone, I can't wait to see what some age does to my extra bottle!

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Photo of illidurit
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone Bistro for RBSG 08. Black color with black coffee highlights. Mocha head, moderate lacing. Brownie mix aroma with a huge, appealing bourbon note. Flavors of cocoa powder, dark chocolate, graham cracker, and smooth bourbon. No alcohol whatsoever. Very clean and surprisingly light on the palate. Mousse-smooth mouthfeel with a short burnt coffee finish.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From 10/04/10 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey at their Stone Total Tap Takeover event. This was the 2008 IRS aged for 12 months in bourbon barrels, and I tried it side by side with a 2004 IRS.

a - Pours a dark, dark black color with one inch of light tan head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark fruit, roasted malts, and choolate. Smells amazing, like the normal version with some oak and bourbon. Luckily neither was overwhelming.

t - Tastes of smooth oak, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, chocolate, and light coffee. A touch hot.

m - Medium to full body, and low carbonation. Easy to drink for the high ABV.

d - I loved this beer; I sampled 14 Stone beers and this was my favorite one. I like the normal IRS a lot, but liked this a little better. The smell was amazing to me. I thought the taste was a bit hotter than the normal IRS, but that's to be expected. Would love to try again sometime.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at EBF, 2008 version.

The beer is black with a medium tan head, good retention, but bad lacing.

The aroma is super sweet with with lots of syrup, vanilla and bourbon.

The taste is also pretty sweet with lots of vanilla and a bourbon finish.

The feel is heavy and warm.

Stone is one of my favorite stouts and this is a nice place on a good one.

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Photo of Jjski
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cellared in the dark for a year, average 55F
Bottle batch 2014: the label states beer was brewed 1/29/13, then barrel aged on "American Oak Bourbon Barrels" for 12 months
Aroma of leather, dark licorice , raisin, whiskey, over-toasted dark bread
Tastes as it smells plus dark, chocolate malty roast,bourbon very present but well integrated. Light pleasant char.
Mouthfeel is distinct from other 'super stouts' - dry finish and slight chalky char ( very slight) work well to keep it smooth, not sweet. Still a tad thin for the category, but definitely not lacking. Just different than viscosities presented by BCBS or Eclipse.
Superb, but not better than the 2 aforementioned RIS. Drier, less sweet, and well put together. A year has done well on this.

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Photo of TrojanRB
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 release drank in May 2016.

Cork released without a pop....inky, oily black with a think caramel head that quickly disappeared

Nose has molasses and brown sugar. Prunes and plums as well.

This site lists ABV as 11.5%, but my bottle is labeled 13.9%. It's a big beer for sure, but it doesn't come off as boozy as that number would suggest.

Vanilla and fudge appear after a few sips.

Smooth without a bite. Has a bit of chew to it.

Really an excellent offering from Stone.

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Photo of ccrida
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge bourbon nose, lots of coconut, vanilla, caramel. Taste is way more coconut, Elijah Craig shining through in a gloriously smooth manner. Really nice treat to sip the '08 version in spite of their snarky, classically Seattle hipster vibe (not kidding, the bar tender just shit on some guy looking for "Stella or Heineken", and responded by pulling him a Spaten without asking, saying "it's german too", in a way hostile attitude. Just because the guy ordered sucky beers doesn't mean he needs to make the customer feel like a loser...anyways, a great bourbon barrel RIS overall, smooth, balanced, with glutenous complexity.

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Photo of rrski198
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Done from brief notes at a Stone release event in Chesterfield, MO at itap.

2008 vintage

A: Small head, decent lacing, jet black.

S: Sweetness up front, mild anise, earthy smokiness. Awesome.

T: Bitter, spicy, oakey, sweet. Bourbon heavy on the back end.

M: Heavy, syrupy, heavy bourbon flavor punches the moutha nd leaves a nice spice. Average carbonation and quite filling.

O: Awesome beer. Great example of the style. I love how this has melowed out.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I picked up a bottle of this at the brewery when I visited the brewery for the third time in my life back in July of last year. This bottle is 2015 Series Batch # 1. It was bottled in March of 2015 after being barrel aged for 7 months. Comes in a 500 ml bottle with a cock in the top. This batch also clocks in at 13% AVB, which is 1.5% higher than what is listed for this beer in this beer's data base, so evidently this beer's ABV % changed at least in this batch I have a bottle from. Poured into my tulip glass, this beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color of course that is not at all interested in letting in any light whatsoever. Has a tan head that's about an inch thick when first poured before settling to a very thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with a big cluster of foam on the beer's surface. Has decent lacing. Aromas of dark roasted malts, hints of licorice, dark fruits such as plums and raisin, very toasted bread, and bourbon are present. The taste is pretty much the same, with a toasted, bread like maltyness upfront that gives way to hints of licorice and plum and raisin sweetness that gives way to oak and vanilla, a hint of chocolate, and a bit of bourbon. All the different flavors really blend together extremely nicely. This is also one of the least hoppy beers I have had from Stone, and one of a very few if not the only one I think I've ever had from them where I can say that there really is no discernible hop presence at all in the flavor profile. And for this beer that is just fine indeed. This one really needs to sit and warm up a bit for all the flavors to really make their presence known properly. Has an extremely smooth, just slightly crisp, smooth and frothy, slightly chewy and oily, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. This one really coats the inside of my mouth and the flavors linger for quite awhile after each sip. Has a fairly dry aftertaste. A damn fine beer from Stone. This fantastic beer is yet another reminder of why if I had to narrow it down to one single brewery out there, Stone would have to be my number one. This is an exceptionally good beer!

Eric

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Photo of vfgccp
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Jan 2014 bottle (brewed Jan 2013), opened Jan 2015.

A - Thick, deep espresso black body. Dark mocha head pours 1/2 a finger high with ok retention and lace.

S - Outstanding nose. Rich and thick with milk chocolate, brandy, oak, tons of vanilla, touch of nutmeg, and almonds. Great integration.

T - Medium roast latte, milk chocolate, warm scotch, hazelnut, vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee, and soft cream. Fantastic balance and integration. A shade boozy.

M - Super smooth, creamy, medium-full body. Almost perfect.

O - An awesome beer. Stone RIS is one of my favorite stouts, and I'd argue it's one of the best bombers you can buy for under $10. The BA version is an absolute treat, and is more than worth the hype.

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Photo of fastsrt
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft
A: black, creamy brown head.

S: burbon, wood, vanilla.

T: burbon, oak, smooth, coffee, balance this is sweet and drinks with the best of them.

M: rich creamy, coating, nice finish.

D: better than the orginal, awsome brew will love to have it again.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts,

taste: bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, such a balanced BA. RIS

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium to full body,

overall: a very well balanced barrel aged ris. would love to get my hands on some more. great beer.

Cheers,
The CPJ

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

500ml corked and caged poured into snifter

A: pure darkness head was mocha and quickly disappearing

S: lots of tobacco and anise

T: holy mother of god...pure sweet cocoa and tobacco light leather toffee, molasses , a little burnt sugar, bourbon hints of coffee not any huge sweetness

M: pretty full feel maybe slightly thinned by the slick oily bourbon feel

O: This beer is excellent. It is just drop dead gorgeousness in a flaunt yourself way its big on the mouth and huge on taste it bites and refuses to let go. The depth of flavor with the hints of coffee and deep cocoa and then huge leather and tobacco and leather with caramel and toffee blazing the way its a great beer.

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Photo of Amguerra305
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a touch thinner than the regular but looks darker and more opaque in the glass. Almost no head to speak and not a bubble that lingers. Smell is very boozy. Very strong vanilla barrel notes. Roasted undertone with caramel notes. The taste is roast forward with a hint of an anise note. Strong boozy back end. Not caramel in the actual taste but the smell of it kind of carries through along with the vanilla. Feel is thick and coating. Overall an excellent example of how a great RIS gets even better with barrel aging.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Black color with brown head. Aroma has bourbon, fudge, chocolate, vanilla and toasted coconut, everything you would want from a bourbon barrel aged RIS. Taste starts slightly sweet with fudge and bourbon but the finish is dark, roasty and bitter. Medium-heavy body, smooth carbonation, a bit of alcohol warmth on the aftertaste. Really nice one, very well made, tasty and balanced.

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Photo of nomomentwasted
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the International Beer Festival in Portland back in July. Served from a tap into a 4oz tasting glass. Apparently, this is the 2008 IRS aged in Elijah Craig barrels, for the record. $1 for a 4oz taster? I'll have one...or four.

Appearance: Doesn't get much more glorious in the stout department than this. Creamy, thick, viscous, blacker-than-black brew with beautiful lacing and a dense tan billowy, foamy head. Very inviting.

Smell: Strong notes of German Chocolate Cake, vanilla, smoked oak, light char, and somewhat-muted Bourbon. Suprisingly tame for such a huge beer, and the bourbon is more of a component, not the center-stage. The vanilla, however, simply become more rich and inviting as the beer opens up.

Taste: In a word, stellar. Fantastically rich vanilla and cake-like chocolate notes are met with boozy-rich bourbon, oaky notes that finishes thick and chocolatey. Does not leave without a nice like of burning booze, and while many aspects of the beer became even more delicious as the beer warmed, there was an uptick in a bit of oxidation/soy sauce. Still, the flavor is overwhelmingly positive, and how a bourbon stout should be done in my estimatio, with the whiskey contribution being integrated and even rather than boisterous and heavy-handed.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, viscous, thick, chewy, fantastic. I wish all stouts were this silky and rich. Ain't no thin finish here, that's for sure. World-class.

Overall: Very, very impressed. The normal Stone IRS is delicious in its own right, and occasionally bourbon beers do the base beer a disservice by simply tasting like bourbon and losing the greatness of the underlying beer. Not here, and not by a long shot. Makes an outstanding beer better, and comes highly recommended.

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Photo of pagriley
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottled Feb 2014. Poured into snifter

L - Pours inky black, slightly effervescent with fluffy 1 inch mocha head that lasts for ages
S - Bourbon up front with oaky vanilla, dark chocolate. tons of coconut
T - Barrel is prominent but balanced, with bitter chocolate, vanilla and a touch of raisins
F - Medium to lighter bodied for the style. A touch prickly, but a few swirls knocked out the excess carb

Overall, a very, very well executed beer. Classic barrel aged big stout. On the lighter side in terms of body, and the flavors are classically melded perfection

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to @grant35 and his Southern Cali fish taco eating hermanos for this bottle

A- Pitch black, thinnest of lacing with no legs. This poured with little carb; but it drinks just fine.

S- Tons of chocolate upfront, toffee caramel are in equal proportion. The bourbon barrel isn't totally hidden, but for a 14% ba stout, it is amazingly hidden.

T- Big chocolate upfront followed by toffee then a nice malt backbone. The barrel is noticeable, but not 14% noticeable. For those who think BCBS is too hot fresh, this is your brew at the same ABV.

M- Pretty smooth, somewhat creamy but not crazy noticeable. The only know is the lack of carb that I stated above shows just a bit too much here, which doesn't make sense.

O- A fantastic BA stout! The complexity of the chocolate and how this is drinking at 14% is why I rated this so high. I love the base, and Stone nailed the BA version

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Photo of glid02
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Brewvival.

Pours black with a small dark brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of large amounts of bourbon, vanilla and butterscotch backed up by roasted malt and unsweetened chocolate flavors. They certainly didn't waste any time before throwing the beer in this barrel.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as intense. Smooth roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by boozy butterscotch and lighter vanilla flavors. Midway through the sip the IRS portion of the beer asserts itself a bit more with dark chocolate and black malt flavors. Near the end of the sip the bourbon flavors take back over before a mildy bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is great. It's got a nice thickness with smooth and soft carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and went back for a few more. Very easy-drinking for such a big ABV.

Overall this was one of the beers I was most excited about and it didn't disappoint. Well worth a shot if you see it around.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone BB RIS on tap at mighty Max's in Baltimore, MD, served in a giant goblet.

Listed as 10.80%, and coming out of a handle labeled as "Stone Smoked Porter Aged in Bourbon Barrels". Confusing! But I was told this is indeed the Russian Imperial Stout.

Appearance: A very dark hickory brown, almost black. Very faint lacing, carbonated but thin head.

Smell: Bourbon and more bourbon! Oak and vanilla. Some creamy chocolate. Gorgeous.

Taste: Starts sweet and finishes slightly bitter from some subtle hops. Well balanced, similar to nose, more creamy dark chocolate and vanilla. Smooth sugars throughout the mouth.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, low carbonation. Full flavor, medium body. Boozy as it warms up.

Drinkability: Understandably not very high. The alcohol is noticeable after a while, and it does hit. A total sipper, but what a delicious sipper! Impressively tasty.

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Photo of travolta
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: BLACK. Held right in front of a light bulb and it is still pitch black. Nice lacing, good head retention. Head was an espresso color.

Nose: Malt, caramel,woody, whisky, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa powder, licorice, tar notes, nutmeg, figs, plums, and raisins.

Taste: Vanilla bean, malt, wood, dark muscat grapes.

Mouthfeel: Starts like an imperial stout, finishes like a great bourbon.

Notes: Paid $18 for a 500ml bottle, and I would (having now tasted this) have gladly paid twice that.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2/6/2011

2008 vintage on tap at Stone Winter Storm 2011. I'm very excited to try this again.

A: Black. The beer is Black. Creamy light brown head.

S: Huge brown sugar chocolate chip cookie aroma. Big vanilla with a little caramel. Bourbon is stellar. Incredibly rich, the dark chocolate profile is outstanding.

T: Rich dark chocolate with brown sugar and well integrated bourbon. Moderately sweet. Light molasses. Booze is really mellow. Chocolate profile is great.

M: Full body with upper low carbonation. Silky and sticky mouthfeel.

Overall: Top notch stuff. They should put this on more often. The best beer of the day and up there with my favorites of the style.

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Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing
4.47 out of 5 based on 1,147 ratings.
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