Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
98
world-class
1,162 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Ratings:
1,162
Reviews:
170
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
8.5%
 
 
Wants:
617
Gots:
223
For Trade:
10
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,162 |  Reviews: 170
Photo of stakem
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Alewife for the Stone total tap takeover event on 10/1/10. 2008 Stone IRS aged in bourbon barrels. This was the beer I was most excited about trying from the list of 40 different offerings.

The color of this brew pours pretty much the same as the normal IRS; black with some lighter brown shown around the edges when held to the light. The head appears as a creamy darkly tan cap that receeds leaving leggy patches of lace along the glassware.

The aroma of this brew is sweet with a big oaky vanilla character that is so bold it is almost like a perfume. Behind the vanilla scent are notes of chocolate, roasty grain goodness and overall this is just one fine, sweet smelling brew. In the background is some mellow whiskey influence that tingles the nose with the presence of alcohol.

The taste of this brew is big and boozy with the normal presence of IRS' alcohol content being taken to the next level by the whiskey contribution. The alcohol warms the entire mouth and throat when swallowed. The heavily roasted grain comes across slightly bitter and roasty with a flavor of chocolate and some woodsy notes with a slight bit of vanilla throughout. Some bitter chocolate lingers in the mouth mingled with hops and the burn of the alcohol. It is surprising how much more concentrated the alcohol's presence is in this brew. The additional alcohol flavoring is welcomed but it hurts this brew by being outright dominating.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light, enjoyable level of carbonation. Drinkability is decent for a sipper. My initial impression of this brew was pretty much mind blowing. I absolutely loved everything about it right out the gate but as the experience continued it got to me. I would not be able to drink more than one glass of this which is difficult for me to admit because I love imperial stouts and usually enjoy barreled versions even more. I would love to try this again in a year or more to see if it calms down a bit to let the other flavors come forward.

 2,009 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of chippo33
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of imbibehour
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. 2015 series Batch 1.

Deep black walnut body, a half finger tan head, dissolving to a simple puck with very fine bubbles and a whispy start tanned sheen top. Pretty basic, simple and solid without fault.

Real nice subtle aroma. Mild and soft char with a deep piping roast. Thick bodied malt, almost smokey, has a deep herbal woody tone to it hinting somewhere between black licorice and fruity dark qualties. Soft. Not boozy. Licorice notes comes out chewy and thick on the nose after some time. Very nice.

With that first sip, the slow creep comes, with utmost surprise and a big creeping palate. Excellent mouthfeel, deep and chewy with big round feel and mouth coating. Sweet dark malts slightly in the mid palate, a bit of sweet char and tobacco, but the finish is where this excels. Aftertaste grows and grows like a perfectly planted big aromatic licorice tree. Soft anise qualities turn to a deep thick chewy licorice note, black, bold, dry tannic finish but tolerable and rich, slowly growing with each passing second after the swallow.

Rich, luscious, the licorice angle on this is impressive and totally unexpected and as a black licorice fan I am loving it. Body jumps in and out with light character char, and silky roast, but all the great qualities have percolated to the top. Not going to be everyone's cup of tea I think, but works wonders for me.

 1,434 characters

Photo of dvmin98
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 22Blue
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of SadMachine
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Duff27
3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Bourbon Barrel aged version

A- Black with mocha colored head. Good head retention/lacing,

S- Chocolate, sweetness.

T- Sweet chocolate, roasted malts. Hints of coffee. Bourbon barrel finish. Boozy.

M- Extremely thick mouthfeel.

D/O- Drinkability is low but a pretty special aged beer here. It reminded me a lot of '10 BCS. After I finished this I couldn't stomach another impy stout, even though there were others I wanted to try.

 439 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of BEER88
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of t2grogan
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Dicers
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of MasterSki
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler generously supplied by Maltzilla. Thanks Diego! Looked like it was from Charleston Beer Exchange(?) - no idea how old it was. Served in a pint shaped taster glass.

A - Looks like Stone IRS. Big dark tan foam with excellent retention and lacing. Black body with a hint of brown at the fringes.

S - Milk chocolate, marshmallow, moderate bourbon barrel influence provides lots of vanilla and somewhat understated whiskey flavors. Very well balanced and integrated, with reasonably well-hidden booze.

T - The taste has more bitter dark chocolate, notes of vanilla, oak, and bourbon and the regular stout notes of dark fruit, coffee, and roasted malts. It doesn't have that slight metallic quality I pick up in the regular Stone IRS, and the bitterness is better attenuated. It's an excellent well-crafted barrel-aged stout, but didn't blow my mind like some others I've had.

M - Rich, creamy, medium-full body. A lower but sufficient amount of carbonation. Similar to the base beer and very good for the style.

D - This was an unexpected treat. It was exactly what I expected and not a disappointment at all. jw347 told me it was better when fresh, but it was quite good even after an indefinite period of time in Diego's fridge. Why don't they make more of this?

 1,272 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

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.

 1,474 characters

Photo of IPAchris
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of aasher
3.86/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of a77cj7
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of IrishColonial
3.75/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 IRS, IRS 10th Anniversary Blend, IRS 10th Anniversary GK's Mad Man Mix, and IRS Aged In Bourbon Barrels all tasted side by side at Churchkey last night.

Beer is black with a nice head that leaves very little lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low.

This beer only has a hint of bourbon to it and the rest is mostly sweetness.

Beer is nice, creamy, minimally bourbon but its still really good. The bourbon elevates the base beer well, I think the base is a 2008, its easy drinking and has this great sweetness to it on the front end. I would definitely have this again.

 576 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing
4.47 out of 5 based on 1,162 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.