Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged | Stone Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
98
world-class
165 Reviews
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 | website

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:
165
Ratings:
1,118
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
8.72%
 
 
Wants:
588
Gots:
222
For Trade:
15
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 165 | Ratings: 1,118
Photo of CDCNAM
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Same size as BCBS, twice the price, harder to obtain if not in SoCal and not as good. These $20+ Stone BA 500MLs are a joke from a brewer which has a reasonable price point on it's other brews. It's a solid BA stout. Nice flavor, viscous enough, no boozy heat.

 260 characters

Photo of barczar
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage.

Pours a jet black opaque color with a modest chocolate brown head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Chocolate, bourbon, and oak are accentuated by roast malt and coffee in the aroma.

Sweet and rich throughout, there are huge chocolate and soy flavors upfront, accompanied by deeply roasted malt that lacks the acrid character sometimes present. The aftertaste is fairly toasted and nutty. Bourbon weaves its way into the flavor throughout.

Body is fairly full, with low carbonation and significant alcohol heat.

Wonderful improvement to a wonderful beer. Not as much roast dominance as in the regular version.

 626 characters

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 Kevinpitts
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly smooth barrel-aged stout. Subtle bourbon coffee flavor. Beer is on the thinner side, but this doesn't take away from taste. Drank new, but imagine this would age beautifully. Stellar beer!

 199 characters

Photo of drowland
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had at RBWG 2010 via growler. Black pour with a small tan head. Huge bourbon barrel characteristics on this - lots of coconut, vanilla, oak, tannins, etc. The flavor is surprisingly mild, lots of wood character but the stout is pretty subdued. It still works, though, because I love bourbon.

 291 characters

Photo of bennyman12
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great stuff. Complex aroma and flavor--good chocolate presence, vanilla, caramel, and bourbon qualities. Not sweet whatsoever. I prefer parabola because the bourbon is more pronounced and the mouthfeel a bit thicker there, but this is a fitting tribute to Fyodor.

 263 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Brouwers stout fest. 2008 vintage.

A: Served in a goblet, BBL RIS was dark black with a very small brown head on top that dissipated quickly. No lacing on this beer, not overly surprising.

S: Plenty of bourbon right away, it really dominates the aroma, a bit surprising after 5 years. Some chocolate with a little bit of caramel and brown sugar.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of chocolate (sort of like brownies) and bourbon. It was on the sweet side, with only some light roast. There was a bit of wood as well.

M: Full bodied with low to medium carbonation. Fairly smooth and surprisingly easy to drink, though that could have been because it tasted so good.

O: Been waiting to try this beer for a while, glad to have finally had the chance.

 766 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black and thick. Looks awesome. Capped by a half finger tan head that sinks down into the black pretty quickly.

S: Right away, you're smashed in the face with bourbon, charred oak, and roasted malt. There's really not hint of sweetness to be found here. The barest trace of vanilla and toffee is quickly chased away by a mob of bourbon, anise and wet earth.

T: A huge wave of roasted malt and bourbon crash over your palate right away. Burnt coffee, charred wood and unsweetened baking chocolate hit in the middle, leading into a burnt fudge and bourbon finish that lingers and gives a pleasant warmness. Mouthfeel is velvety and a touch slick. If you don't enjoy bourbon, forget about this one. But if you do, this is money. Stone absolutely destroyed it with this and Mikhail's Odd.

 803 characters

Photo of xnicknj
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at RnH during Tap Takeover event. review from notes. 2008 vintage.

Pours a midnite black with a small brownish head which faded completely leaving little to no lacing.

Booze forward nose w plenty of bourbon and oak tannins along with some vanilla hints.

Plenty of coffee, chocolate, wood, and tingly bourbon in the flavors. Dark roasted malts, vanilla, and plenty of booze running throughout. Long warm finish with lingering alcohol heat.

Smooth, full bodied, relatively heavy drinking but super tasty. There's some hot tendencies but excellent execution making for a superb bal aged stout.

 605 characters

Photo of capra12
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes, special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for bringing this to our ATSF tasting yesterday,

Appearance: Poured into a cigar city snifter, jet black with a small frothy head. Little lacing.

Smell: This is good, I get the sweet over roasted grains/soy sauce and an earthy component that separates the BA stouts from the "reg. stouts". Tons of chocolate, prunes, raisins, and a hint of licorice/anise.

Taste: Opens with an earth and bourbon soaked raisins, the roasted malt profile is really smooth here and really brings out the dark chocolate and subtle coffee notes in the background. There is an subtle licorice profile that emerges at the finish that I didn't expect. Leaving a dark fruit and boozie aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: I think this is what made this brew for me, medium bodied with such a complex flavor profile. Moderate carbonation and leaves a sticky film on the palate.

Drinkability: I would love to have this again, I recommend this to those seeking a solid BA RIS that doesnt carry the heavy body that most BA RIS do.

 1,047 characters

Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Bottle.

A: Moderate roasted grains, light esters anise-like, slightly vinous, with ample bourbon on the finish.

A: Jet black color, totally opaque with a moderate light tan head that has adequate retention. There is light lacing in the glass.

T: Big malt, highly roasted grains have a bakers chocolate, coffee like character, light esters of anise, raisins, lightly sweet, with ample bourbon, coupled with a light bitterness and warming on the finish.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation, lightly viscous. Smooth and hides its high ABV well.

O: Delicious; a super well executed RIS, with light anise aroma and flavors, well complimented by the bourbon barrels. Incredibly smooth for being such a big beer.

 722 characters

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

pour was jet black, a bit thick with a nice oily appearance. little to no head.

a nice strong but well blended bourbon. sweet vanilla and roasted malt with hints of dark chocolate.

this was quite rich and bold. the bourbon blended very well with the stout. the vanilla integrated perfectly and really smoothed out and already smooth and hoppy stout. there was a bit of citrus hidden around.

very full and thick but drank easy. a bit resin like.

this was amazing, everyone was raving about it. i loved every sip and even at 11.5%, it went down stupid easy.

 559 characters

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

08 From notes, Stone takeover at Duckworths.
Deep black/brown pour, a dark tan head.

Aroma has a good dose of oak, vanilla, Mocha, roast malt and caramel. Hint of coffee.

Taste, roast malt, caramel, oak, light vanilla. Finishes with roast coffee, anise, barrel. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is the best feature here. Smooth as silk, full body. Creamy, coating, abv very well hidden.

Drinks well enough for such a big beer, could drink a bunch of this stuff.

Best of the event for me.

 480 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 Overlord
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a dark brown/tan head. Always is a very good looking beer. Huge thanks to Jerz for letting me try this, very nice of him and much appreciated.

Smells like the familiar background of chocolate/dark fruit/soy prune blend of IRS, with a bunch of vanilla added in. The bourbon is actually pretty muted in the aroma.

Tastes much as it smells. The Stone IRS slurry, nicely aged and blended with some bourbon and heaping amounts of vanilla. Mmm...good stuff, and clearly superior to the "regular" version.

Mouthfeel is good, though not as sludgy as some like in their RIS's.

 588 characters

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.

 445 characters

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

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

2016:
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.

 356 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.

 873 characters

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.

 613 characters

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

 987 characters

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!

 699 characters

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.

 528 characters

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.

 805 characters

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

Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing
98 out of 100 based on 165 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe