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
Ratings:
1,156
Reviews:
169
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
8.72%
 
 
Wants:
612
Gots:
224
For Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,156 |  Reviews: 169
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of a77cj7
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of tommy5
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of eawolff99
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.84/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

May 2008 Release; Sampled June 2008
A careful pour produces a half-finger thick, brown tinged, darker tan colored head. The beer is pitch black and color and quite opaque. Ample, spicy Bourbon aromas are noticeable without completely drowning out the Stout aromatics. Roast espresso aromas, charred prune notes, bit roast grain and a finish dominated by deeply toasted grain notes that lean towards toasted, not quite burnt whole grain bread. The aroma has some sweetness to it, that is accentuated just a bit by the Bourbon-alcohol aromas. When intensely scrutinizing the aroma the Bourbon notes are big up front, but then disappear and allow that pure stout notes to come through, but then things start to meld together as toasted barrel notes of coconut , vanillin mix with dark, rich, sweet malty chocolate aromas. This has a very nice aroma to it, much better than I was expecting as the Bourbon barrel notes are quite well integrated; the Imperial stout aromatics are still allowed to shine here & really show quite well as they mix with the barrel notes.

Fairly thick and viscous up front, the beer gets a bit thinner towards the finish as some boozy, Bourbon notes kick in. Creamy feeling with a huge, richly, dark malt sweetened, chocolate flavors are accentuated by the barrel with flavors of vanillin, a light coconut note and a rich, burnt fruit character. This last reminds me of a mix of deeply roasted, burnt, succulent figs, moist prunes and raisins. While not overly thick or viscous this really has an unctuous, creamy fullness that just engulfs the palate; when warmed up a bit it even manages to over-power the thinning effect of the Bourbon booze in the finish. When cooler the hop and roast grain notes combine to give this beer a substantial, but sometimes overlooked, bitterness.

The bitter, burnt roast notes are what really define this beer; not necessarily in the way you might think though as these notes are very well integrated and never allowed to become harsh, sharp nor astringent. Instead the roast character plays an almost supporting role (if you can imagine such a thing in an Imperial Stout), creating a rich, roast malt depth & balancing act that provides touches of bitterness, a light roast acidity and a deep black coffee note that serves as a light foil to the sweet, concentrated, chocolate like, thick malt character that is so nice in this beer. The texture, especially, really starts to come in to its own as the beer warms up; the boozy Bourbon notes that thinned out the finish are tamed and this beer remains a creamy, viscous, palate enveloping experience from the start to long, lingering finish of each sip. Even the aroma gets increasingly better as it warms up; accentuating more of the chocolate, toasted coconut and vanillin notes.

This is far better than I was expecting; I had thought I was burnt out on Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stouts, but this shows I just need a nice, well balanced example to keep me interested in the style. Perhaps just a touch too boozy in the finish, this beer otherwise is a classic example of the marriage of Bourbon and Imperial Stout. I really did not expect to love this; I assumed that at most I might find it interesting and slightly enjoyable, instead this is just down right tasty & easily the best use of a Bourbon barrel in a beer that I have had. Stones Imperial stout requires some age on it to be at its best, this beer manages to display those characteristics as well as an added boost of complexity from the Bourbon barrel that was not overdone. I almost feel guilty for liking this beer as much as I do, especially since I was expecting to be able to easily tear it down. This really needs to be served on the warm side of cool; it started out at 50°F / 10°C, but still really becomes phenomenal the longer I wait. I have about a half ounce left and it seems to be at its best after sitting in my glass for the last hour and a half; damn there it goes, unexpectedly I am left wanting more.

 3,994 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Certainly one of the highlights of the Stone Tap Takeover.... I had 4 nice pours of this at Bier Thirty courtesy of Chris and Kammy!! Thanks a bunch for helping make this happen.

2008 Vintage.

Pours thick and coating.. the head is dark brown and frothy... lasts forever.. the brew stains the glass with each swirl.

Aromas are awesome... brownie batter... Tootsie Roll.. oaky bourbon.. scattered chocolate covered toffee..

The flavor delivers big time!! Vanilla and chocolate battle things out... never any real "bourbon", just the elements that make bourbon fun! Very integrated.. burnt.. bitter.. so yummy.

Much better than I expected... I don't give Stone a fair shake... I need to re-up my cellar and normal expenditures.

4.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5

 749 characters

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.

 968 characters

Photo of yourefragile
1/5  rDev -77.6%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of dwagner003
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kelp
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of lupercmda
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate, bourbon and vanilla on the nose. Tastes between chocolate, vanilla, oak and charred bitter malts. Was expecting this to be outrageously bold, but the flavors are balanced. Finishes very dry.

 201 characters

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

 661 characters

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.

 672 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap pour at Timmy O'Tooles in Chicago for the Stone Solidarity event.

(A)- Pitch black color with some tan froth & lace.

(S)- A rich caramel body with some dry vanilla, cocoa, licorice, and oak.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Lots of licorice, but is balanced well with a deep oak and vanilla with caramel and raisin.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Not over-the-top but showcases the barrel aging well.

(D)- The regular version of this is always fantastic, but this definitely ups it a notch in strength and body. Excellent.

 542 characters

Photo of Raziel313
3.77/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of fthegiants
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of DucksFan16
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of JohnParadee
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

 485 characters

Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing
4.47 out of 5 based on 1,156 ratings.
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