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

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Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 1,151
Photo of danh53
4.14/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black, chocolate, molasses, anise, moderately sweet and well balanced. It could use more barrel and bourbon character, but I give it credit for hiding the booze at 13%. Medium mouth feel. Very good.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle. Poured from a 500mL bottle into a HF globe glass. Shared with Ryan, thanks!

Pours a deep brown body with a small off white head that reduces to a ring. Aromas are vanilla and chocolate, cocoa, , strong and potent, inviting. Taste is super fudgy, bakers chocolate, bourbon, vanilla. mouthfeel is lightly thin.

Impressive, held up nicely.

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

2015 series. Batch No 1. Poured from 500 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours thick and black with 1/2 inch dark tan head that quickly settles to a thin skim. No light coming through with backlighting.
S: Loads of sweet bourbon hit first, followed by leather, soft chocolate, vanilla, oak, and molasses.
T: Milk chocolate, sweet bourbon, leather, vanilla, charred oak, molasses, and a hint of coffee.
M: Surprisingly soft and smooth. Darkly sweet. Medium-heavy body (a tad lighter than ABV). Lingers and matures a bit on the palate (wish it did more). Just a hint of bitterness at the very end.
D: You can tell this has softened and settled with aging. Likely would have been even better a year ago when I picked it up at Stone. Still a very solid brew. If you have any left, I'd strongly consider drinking soon.

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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 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.

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Photo of wulfie85
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Definitely the biggest surprise of the night. I did not expect a lot out of this beer, but it was amazing. The aromas were very well balanced and light, due to the age of the bottle. The flavors were like liquid brownies. Absolute perfection!

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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.

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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 Damian
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a 500ml (1 pt 0.9 fl oz) corked and caged bottle purchased at Main Street Market, Santa Monica, CA
Served in a snifter

Review #1175

The cork came off with no noise and the beer wound up pouring what appeared to be a nearly still, dark brown/black. Medium-full bodied. Oily and shimmery in the glass. Quite ominous looking. The liquid was topped by a thin, frothy, mocha colored cap that quickly dissolved. No lacing whatsoever.

Amazing aroma. Super fragrant and robust. Bourbon came through big time. Vanilla and coconut notes practically smacked me in the face. Loads of molasses and brown sugar. Fairly chocolatey. Rich, smooth, fudge-y, dark chocolate. Dark fruits were also apparent. Raisins and prunes came through strong. Touch of booziness. As the beer sat, the aroma really intensified. The vanilla and coconut notes became especially potent.

The flavor profile was also big and bold but not quite as smooth as the aroma initially. Huge bourbon presence. Loads of coconut and vanilla. Intense roasted malt notes. Fairly sweet. Brown sugar and molasses were quite apparent. Strong dark fruit notes. Definitely some charred raisins. The beer finished with a moderate, boozy/bourbon-y kick and a bit of lingering roastiness. As the beer sat, the flavors intensified and the roasty notes subsided. More sweetness came forth. The vanilla and coconut intensified. Milk chocolate notes also appeared. Some caramel as well.

The beer contained a very fine and mild carbobation that frothed up nicely on the palate. Slick snd smooth. Just enough effervescence to keep the liquid moving along the palate. Interesting and fairly unique for the style.

Fyodor's Classic is a big, bold, complex, bourbon-forward imperial stout and one of the better examples of the style I have yet to come across. I am typically not a huge fan of Stone's original Russian Imperial Stout, but the bourbon barrel treatment and year of age on this bottle transformed it into an entirely different entity. Fans of vanilla and coconut forward beers should especially seek this one out.

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Photo of Marius
4.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sampled at a tasting. Pitch black pour, thin espresso head. Smells like bourbon, maple syrup, espresso, caramel and coconut. Tastes like bourbon, chocolate, cocoa, dark cherries, vanilla and coconut. Soft mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

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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 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.

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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.

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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 _RL_
4.14/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 bottle into a snifter. No head at all. Pours thick but not oily or sludgy. Smells initially of strong booze but that smell dissipates as the glass warms and the beer opens. Tastes of bourbon, with slight hints of chocolate and oak. Incredibly smooth. My bottle is marked at 13.9% and the beer tastes at half that abv. Mouthfeel is thin, especially for the style. Overall it is good, but might be better fresh. Would definitely like to try a newer bottle.

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Photo of SaulFox
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As black as my soul with no head.
Bourbon with roasty malts. A bit subdued.
Slight bourbon, dark chocolate, oak.
Lighter mouthfeel then what I prefer.
Pleasant offering from Stone. It deserves it's spot in the top 250.

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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!


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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.

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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 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 ZakFaruki
4.34/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured from the 500 mL into a tulip, pours a opaque jet black with a thin tan head.

S: Roasted malt, Earth, coffee, and a strong alcohol scent, I'm assuming this is from the barrel aging

T: Roasted malt on the nose, fades into an extreme booziness, but its accented with a nice touch of vanilla and dried fruit

F: Silky smooth, has that big stout feel

O: An excellent stout, it's a big beast and not for the faint of heart. The Bourbon aging adds a complex alcohol taste and texture that seems all so fitting with a nice stout as the base.

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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 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 YodersBeerEmporium
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice nose and mouthfeel. Was a little thin but nice barrel notes, chocolate, roast. Wouldn't necessarily seek out again as there are better BA stouts for less $$

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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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Imperial Russian Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing
4.47 out of 5 based on 1,151 ratings.
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