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Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged | Stone Brewing

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

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 165 | Ratings: 1,126
Photo of Franziskaner
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black in color and impervious to light. There's a fingernail of beige around the rim and covering about half of the middle. The aroma is of sweet bourbon, figs, plums, and forbidding roasted barley. The taste is of figs, plums, sweet bourbon, and an insane amount of dark roasted barley. The mouth is absolutely silky smooth and dangerously drinkable considering the strength.

 386 characters

Photo of Gmann
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from the Blind Tiger on 9/15. Apparently this was the 2008 RIS BB Aged Stout.

Pours a jet black color with a smallish tan head that settles into a light cap. The aromas are nice and quite mellow. I picked up some coffee, roasted malt, and a noticable but not strong bourbon note. The taste is the same as the aroma just better. The coffee, roasted malt and bourbon flavors mix very well together and are quite smooth and very drinkable, despite the high ABV. The stout is full bodied with some tingly carbonation; sweet all around but does finish with a roasted malt bitterness. A world class stout; great flavors in great balance. The aging worked very well with this brew. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Perderick
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle to a Stone IRS snifter. This is my first review in a lonnng time so bear with me.

A: pours a midnight black with a light brown head. Dense and fairly large head for a BA stout.

S: mostly whiskey and oak with some chocolatey notes.

T: improves greatly as it warms. Milk Chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, and a quality bourbon flavor that is very well balanced and doesn't mask the taste of the base beer.

M: Thick, fairly low carbonation, no heat from the barrel. pretty ideal for an RIS.

Overall, it's not the one of the few best BA stouts I've had but it's definitely near the top of that next tier.

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Photo of stortore
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle into a snifter. 2014 release.

Pours almost black, opaque, with no head, some soapy lacing. Smells of bourbon, malts- not a heavily roasted aroma, a little oak, some vanilla. Taste brings more of a roasty malt flavor, bourbon, oak, chocolate, some vanilla. Smooth, full bodied, well carbonated.

Even though the aroma leads with bourbon, this is a well balanced and blended beer. Well worth a purchase, but I'm thinking the base beer, overall, is better.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass.

The color is a dark black with a finger or deep brownish head with some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is pretty strong and kicks right out with a deep bourbon flavor that leads into a toasty woody flavor. Some coffee and toffee flavor all seem to be just in the background.

The taste of this beer the same as the aroma. The Whiskey flavor lets it's presence known with a nice warm flavor that encases the maple flavor that tryst to come through. A nice Oak flavor is there is the flavor with a nice coffee or espresso flavor.

The feel of this beer is big, a heavy ABV gives off a very warm slightly deep flavor and mouthfeel. For a beer on the stronger side it does feel smoother than expected.

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Photo of gford217
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2006 growler courtesy of throwitallaway. Big, big thanks Dustin! Pours like used motor oil with a dense one-inch brown head. Huge nose on this one with a big bourbon aroma to complement vanilla, chocolate, brown sugar and roasted malts. Bourbon hits even harder in the taste then eases into the roasted malts and smeet molasses and vanilla before finishing with a slight coffee bitterness and, of course, the bourbon. Mouthfeel is super smooth with the bourbon really making its presence felt on the tongue. This is one big mother of a beer and I am glad I was given the opportunity to try it. Definitely a sipper, but a damn fine one.

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Photo of TriGuy20
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Stone Bourbon Barrel Aged on tap poured into tulip.

A: Dark oil black with great mocha head.

S: Man the bourbon really comes out on this one. Bourbon/ Dark Chocolate/ Espresso/ Vanilla/ Cereal/ Toffee/ Burnt Toast

T: Bourbon and espresso hit you up front on the mid palate you get some roasted malt followed by a nice toffee and bitter chocolate finish with more bourbon.

MF: Very pleasing MF, however, not as thick as some in this style.

D: Very easy to drink, however, this is definitely a sipper.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.36/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a small dark brown foamy head with minimal retention or lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt, black chocolate with some strong vanilla and bourbon notes with some woody notes also perceptible. Taste is also dominated by strong bourbon notes and vanilla which mix in well with the black chocolate and light roasted malt notes. Woody notes and residual sugar notes re also perceptible. Body is full with nice creamy texture with low carbonation and some warming alcohol is present. World-class barrel-aged stout!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.36/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 3/8/14 big thanks towards schnarr84 for the bottle

A black with a thin cola edge, a finger of foam hangs around for a sip leaving no lace, some color left behind on the glass and wide legs after a swirl

S chocolate fudge, vanilla, lots of bourbon barrel, plenty of booze, coconut, licorice, faint coffee and more booze

T more of the same, heaps of bourbon barrel, very boozy, vanilla, coffee, not much of the coconut and licorice I was smelling, it tastes great just with lots of booze

M full bodied but not quite chewy, booze hits you all over, going down, my chest, stomach and brain, slick in the mouth and just a little sticky on the lips, booze and barrel on the finish

O shes a big beer and doesn't keep it a secret, in your face bourbon barrel, booze all over, lots of flavor, I wish I had another to age

I liked it a lot but preferred the espresso version Mikhail's Odd, great beer but could use a few years of cellar time too mellow out

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Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color wiht very good head retention and decent lacing. On the nose, the bourbon is immediately noticeable, with hints of malt balls, dark chocolate, strong coffee and vanilla. This beer smells very, very good. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though there is some noticeable hoppy bitterness in the finish as well that helps to buoy the sweetness in this beer. There's a slight hint of alcoholic burn from the bourbon in the finish, but in a beer like this, it only adds to the attraction. Mouthfeel is full, rich and long. This is just very fine stuff. Drinkability is not this beer's best attribute of course, but this beer is so delicious, I'd still have to rate drinkabilty as fairly high.

Just an altogether excellent beer, and one very reminescent of the GIBCS stout, except with a bit more of a hop bite. Very, very nice. Might need to have a second glass of this beauty.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Twisted Spoke for the Stone Chicago Release. Poured into a beautiful plastic cup!

A - Pours black, thin mocha-colored head, very viscous and oily.

S - Chocolate, bourbon, slight oak, sweet dark fruit.

T - Just like if you added bourbon to the RIS. Yeah, I know, not very exciting, but it sure is damn good. Chocolate, bourbon, some oak. A bitter sweet dark chocolate finish.

M - Full bodied, rich and smooth, almost zero carbonation, creamy finish.

D - I had one pour plus a drink or two out of Masterski's as well. This was an awesome BA RIS that was probably my favorite Stone beer of the night.

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Photo of Hootie159
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black as night but minimal head that was light brown and gone instantly. No bubbles on the edges. Smell significantly opens as it warms. Getting caramel and leather. A soft oak from the barrels. Strong roasted malt flavor. Bourbon shines without overwhelming. As it warms get a bit more alcohol but some stone fruit sweetness. Ends with a mild bitterness. Medium-high carbonation for a stout but not rich and full.

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Back in Black '09 at Brouwer's. Pours a very dark black with dark tan head. Incredible aroma that is dominated by rich caramel and bourbon. The only negative is that this is a bit sweet and rich, but the molasses flavor was balanced incredibly well with the strong bourbon background and a touch of the hops. This is an incredibly smooth beer that goes down far easier than the 10.8% would indicate. An amazing beer. Doesn't get much better than this.

 460 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Jason!

Pours a dark dark brown. A nice bit of tan head. Smells smooth and bourbony. A bit hot. Sweet roasty and quite enjoyable. On the tongue it's thick and quite boozy but still really tasty. I love the balance. The mouthfeel is stellar. Overall this is a top notch example of a bourbon barrel IRS

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Photo of rudzud
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with JLindros and Threelions.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice oil black hire with a thin mocha head that fades to leave a thin halo. 4.25

S - Aromas of rich bourbon, nice chocolate, faint fudge nuts, faint alcohol, light sweetness. Smells great! 4.5

T - Taste is similar to the nose, great bourbon, nicer chocolate, great roast, light nuts, not much booze, awesome fudge. Really really tasty. 4.25

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, soft, creamy, alcohol hidden well. 4.5

O - Overall this beer was really tasty. Great bourbon and chocolate notes, incredibly pleasant with the alcohol hidden well, delicious! 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a mini chalice. 2008 vintage aged in Elijah Craig bourbon barrels, at the Uber tavern in Seattle, WA with UA8, review number 1,000!

Pours a super dark oily black with a very small dark brown ring of foam with a tiny bit of lacing. Nose is bourbon, light booze, and some creamy chocolate malts.

Taste is awesome, bourbon, sweet dark chocolate, alcohol is there but not overwhelming its rich and flavorful. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy but still smooth and very tasty. Finish is sharp and oaky. Very nice beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jacob and Jer for bringing this one to the Bruery 2nd Anniversary tasting.

A: A jet black pour out of the growler with a sturdy tan head on top.

S: The amount of vanilla in the nose is absolutely astounding. The stout notes are still there--chocolate and roast, but the bourbon itself was somewhat muted.

T: Even more vanilla as the beer hits the tongue. Quite sweet, especially when compared to the base beer. A mild bourbon presence and some nice tannins from the barrel.

M: Quite medium to full bodied with a low, rolling carbonation. Not quite as thick and chewy as the IRS tends to be, but quite nice.

D: This one can catch up with you rather quickly. A pleasure to have been able to drink and I wish that there weren't so many beers to try so I could have enjoyed this one a bit more.

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Photo of tpd975
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a beer I have been after for awhile. Thanks to Diego for the share.

A: Pours dark black with a tight mocha head. Nice retention and lace noted.

S: Wonderful roasty aromas. Dark fruit and nice bourbon barrel notes.

T: Nice roasted malt. Light dark fruit and molasses. Big chocolate with mild coffee. Nice barrel notes. More oak than bourbon and vanilla, though they are there.

M: Rather full in body, nicely carbonated.

D: Good really happy to have had the chance to try this one.

 492 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Stone 15th Anniversary Celebration
CSU, San Marcos
San Marcos, CA

(Aged 3 years at the brewery)

2008 Stone IRS Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Dark black with a small brown head. Specks of lacing down the glass.

Rich aroma filled with chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and a very mild addition of vanilla and wood from the barreling. Smells far more similar to the original than I would have expected, which, fortunately for me, is one of my favorite smelling beers of all time.

The chocolate sweetness is combined with a decidedly vanilla character from the barreling, along with roast, coffee, and dark fruits. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden. Though this is divine, I think I prefer the original IRS. It's just so perfect, it doesn't need the barreling.

Medium to thick bodied.

A delicious barrel aged beer, though I actually still prefer the standard IRS.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Labeled as Fyodor's Classic, but clearly described as Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Russian Stout.

Appearance - Deep black body. Nearly inky. Small khaki head. Thin collar and a few wisps.

Smell - Dark chocolate. Fudgy. Bourbon is secondary, but quickly becomes dominant. Sharp oak. Lots of vanilla.

Taste - Bitter chocolate right up front. Oak amplifies it. Bourbon builds. Slight sweetness, but it's overpowered by oak and bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Thick. Medium carbonation.

Overall - A step above other Bourbon stouts. The quality of the base beer truly impresses.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

cannot think you enough man. i know you dont want your name out there but you killed it.

Dark, black as night with only a tiny amount of tan head peaking up from the depths on this one. The aroma was heavenly. Rich vanilla notes just percolating up, rounding out a beautiful bourbon smell. Some light chocolate and a tiny pinch of coffee in there, but this one is dominated by the barrel influence. As I take the first sip it is much more of the same. Rich bourbon notes just roll across the tongue with precision, rich notes of vanilla, a touch of woody undertone and a sparkling coffee induced finish just round this together wonderfully. Could have used a bit more carbonation, but still very nicely done with a big full feel and a long drawn out finish.

Overall this was very solid indeed. I really think it influenced and change the character of the irs wonderfully, making an almost complete transformation. I would have this one again any day and was thrilled to finally tick it

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Photo of ratedz
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Stone release party at the Flying Saucer in Kansas City.

2008 vintage poured into a small snifter glass.

A - Pitch black with little to no head.

S - A lot of bourbon followed by some roasted malts, chocolate, oak, and a hint of vanilla.

T - Very complex and tasty. Like the nose, there is a fair amount of bourbon here along with some vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. A few bitter hops are hiding in the back, but are easily overpowered by the other flavors.

M - Thick, smooth, and creamy.

O - An excellent barrel aged imperial stout. Big and bold and one of the most enjoyable barrel aged stouts I've had (and I've had several). I'd like to see this bottled at some point!

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking a 2008 with a 11.9% abv at stone
Look - it's aged so it's thin, it's black so it's a imperial stout. I don't usually give something a 5 but it's impressive.
Smell - sweet bourbon Carmel smell
Taste - boozy Carmel with a slight dark chocolate.
Feel - smooth light body as expected for a aged bba beer.
Overall - great but better without bba.

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Photo of bld81
4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap:
Appearance: jet black, one inch dark brown head waiting for me to look away, minimal lace

Smell: Rich molasses first, bourbon and light coffee

Taste: rich bourbon and dark chocolate give some sweetness, at first no vanilla but noticed later

Mouthfeel: creamy coating, low carbonation

Drinkability: very good, less of a sipper than I expected, some heat lingers
The complexity and balance make this a good choice when you can find it.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich midnight black color with a thin mocha head. Aroma is mellow bourbon and roasted malts with a subtle sweetness. Flavor is rich roasted malts with a little chocolatieness and a smooth mellow boozy finish. I get a hint of vanilla too. Very smooth drink and overall a really good beer.

 295 characters

Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing
4.47 out of 5 based on 1,126 ratings.
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