Bourbon Barrel Russian Imperial Stout | Joseph James Brewing Inc.

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Bourbon Barrel Russian Imperial StoutBourbon Barrel Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Joseph James Brewing Inc.
Nevada, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This brew is our Red Fox Russian Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels for 7 months. This brew has hints of coffee, chocolate, and underlying sweetness from the oak and bourbon flavors. The brew weighs in at 9.5% ABV, 70 IBU’s, and is best served at 60⁰F.

Added by Retsinis on 06-02-2011

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 99
Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice thick Chocolaty stout..good favor but not a ton of Barrel. Drinks pretty smooth, good solid Imperial stout for sure but compared to others I have had in the style it falls a bit short.

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Photo of brandonwnw
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 bottle from Seattle beer authority, thanks Burc; Look - black with half inch tan head, Smell - dry fruit, bourbon and booze, Taste - Almost all bourbon and booze, some raisin and dry fruit in there too, not getting claimed chocolate, Feel - hot and a bit thin for a RIS which is pretty surprising for something already sitting a year. Overall - here's the thing, this is one of the least impressive BBA beers I've had, but even at that it's pretty tasty. The beer flavor isn't strong enough and gets overwhelmed by the favors from the aging. I'd recommend this to someone who likes bourbon neat or is looking for a bargain BBA beer to try out the style. I like this a a lot, but it's at the bottom end of the class. Cheers -

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Newhall Refinery in Newhall, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, fudge, toasted coconut, earth, wood, and slight bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly tart cocoa powder, fudge, vanilla bean, toasted coconut, wood, and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roast and wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with fantastic aromas and flavors, but the slight tartness in the taste is unexpected but doesn't really diminish from the flavors.

Serving type: on tap.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 9.5% abv, bottle #2213
A - opaque black with a thin tan head that fizzles very quickly
S - boozy bourbon dominates the nose; roasted barley, chocolate, oak, and vanilla present as well
T - very boozy instantly making it a sipper; plenty of bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, coffee, roasted barley, raisin, cherry perhaps
M - fuller bodied but feels kind of thin for the style, still very smooth and rich, alcohol is quite hot but I'm not complaining
T - very good bourbon barrel Imperial stout. I'd like to try the regular Red Fox Imperial Stout, but I don't think I'll come across it seeing as I got this on a road trip. This was good, but quite pricy.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared at Swamp Head Bottle Drop release today. Pours brownish black with a small khaki head. Aroma of heavy bourbon, light chocolate, and some roast. Flavor follows with what seems more like peat whiskey to me than bourbon, some vanilla, chocolate, very smoky and roasty, low sweetness. At first I wasn’t a fan but this grew on me a little bit as I sipped through my small glass. Medium plus body with low to medium carbonation. Just a very unique bourbon presence here. Overall worth trying, but I probably won’t return to this one.

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Photo of Duffman79
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle with red wax, poured into Treehouse teku glass. The pitch black beer has a nice one finger head that remains. The aroma has all the classic RIS characteristics: coffee, deep roasted malts, and chocolate. One of the best beers to come out of Nevada. Too bad Joseph James was absorbed by big beer.

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Photo of BingCrosby7
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I randomly came across this beer in a deli. I had a sample on tap at tap temperature and I thought it was a fantastic sip; however, the pour I had out of the bottle a little above cellar temp, oddly enough, left me wanting more.

A Very dark with little variance around the edges--not much head retention or lacing.
S Not much barrel or booze here, surprisingly. Lot of cherry and almost a cola aroma. Little bit of coffee and molasses. Pretty mellow, overall.
T This is an interesting beer--I get a lot of brightness, namely cherries and berries, in the forefront followed by a wash of roast malt and a hint of coffee. Not much bourbon, though the barrel on this is big and charred, and it all comes through in the backend. Grainy with a boozy finish.
M I figured this would be a bit more viscous and oily, but it's surprisingly bubbly.
O This is a fine beer with some pleasant notes. I opened this the same day as a parabola, though, so that might have dwarfed the overall drinking experience.

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Photo of Pelican5
4.51/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Stumbled upon this little gem randomly. 22oz bomber in a FW teku

Smells of chocolate, bourbon, molasses, coconut, vanilla, light oak. Taste follows the nose with a little dark berries and licorice added in. Great mouthfeel a little bitter finish and then lingers chocolate and bourbon.

Excellent bourbon barrel stout. A notch or two below BCBS and the other top dogs, IMHO of course.

Do your self a favor and get some.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to vegasbeerman for this bottle...

A: Pours a beep pitch black with a half finger of dark khaki colored head. The foam doesn't take long to settle, and that remains in a thing ring along the edges of the beer. There is no lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is bourbon, wood, vanilla, toffee, and light dark chocolate. It's sweet and hot and smells really oaked. It smells really nice.

T: It starts out sweet and hot. I get some spicy bourbon mixed with milk chocolate right up front. It hit the palate hard and seem to back off as it moves to the middle. Vanilla, caramel, and the woody oak show up after the first sip. The finish is a mix of booze, wood, and chocolate malt. No too shabby.

M: Full bodied beer. It's prickly and sweet to start, and is packed with wood in the middle. The beer coats the palate, and the flavors shift a bit in the middle. The finish is a bit more wood than I would have liked, but the bourbon is intense in this beer and I really like that aspect of it.

O: Solid. It's a little too oaked for my liking, but it's a solid beer. Perhaps a little less time in the barrel would do this beer some good. I'd love to try this beer again in a few years, if a new batch is ever released.

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Photo of Jimmeekrek
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Aces & Ales in Vegas. What a great surprise this was. Incredible smells of chocolate fudge and vanilla, with hints of Oak and maybe even coconut. Taste when cold followed smell, with a wonderful Bourbon aspect to it, then some molasses and deep roast flavor came in as it warmed. Having recently had Central Waters Fifteen and BCBS, I would put it just ever so slightly below those. This fit my tastes to a T!

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Photo of Rope
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thick oil, almost like a cable pouring out of the bottle. Settles into an obsidian pond with little head.

The burnt malt hits me quick, but eating by the sweetness.

That good malt bitter I like, a hint of cherry, and then the general sweetness from both barrel and malt.

It was kind of like having my mouth coated with a paint. The way a good imperial stout should be. Best enjoyed in the winter.

A fantastic example of a barrel aged imperial stout. Thank you to the generous patrons of Dark Lord Day.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours pitch black with a fine milk chocolate colored head with great retention and lacing. Great aroma of bourbon, dark toasted malt and chocolate. Flavor is nicely integrated dark toasted malt, bourbon, chocolate and hints of dark fresh fruit. Medium bodied with a pleasant creaminess. Quite a nice barrel aged stout, well balanced; warming, but the ABV well covered. Will buy this again when it rolls around.

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Photo of Spectre
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer reminds me of the Firestone Parabola except a little better. The main difference is that the bourbon in the Joseph James lasts longer in the mouthfeel.

A. Black with a thin brown head.

S. A sweet bourbon scent.

T. Majority of the flavor is bourbon with a hint of chocolate and light coffee. Sweeter than most stouts.

M. Real smooth with a light burn at the end.

Overall a real good stout. Not too strong but has enough flavor. Don't get me wrong this beer does not compete with a Dark Lord or Bourbon County but its great to begin the night with.

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Photo of Rizalini
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a silver waxed bomber bottle, hand dated 1120, and poured into a Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours a viscous black color, with a finger of brown head that falls pretty quickly. No lacing left behind at all.

S - The smell is very bourbon forward with notes of chocolate.

T/M - The tastes range from bourbon coffee, slight soy sauce, morphing into a warming caramel bourbon. The flavors really blend well, there is no one flavor that over powers another one. Heavy mouthfeel, perfect carbonation.

O - This is a pretty decent BBA stout. Alcohol is very well hidden. I will definitely buy another one to age, I just wish it wasn't so damn expensive. $14.99 is hard to pocket considering Abyss was only $11.99.

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Photo of Impfan
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was expecting this to be a big disappointment, but it’s really pretty tasty. Thick body, and an aroma of bourbon rum and red wine-soaked malted milk balls. Taste is similar with the addition of some toasted coconut,, and hint of rum soaked raisins. Not very complex, but there are no off-putting flavors, right through the finish. Too pricey for the simplicity, but pleasant and warming on this raw, rainy day.

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Photo of Retsinis
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was able to get a bottle of this at "The Pub" in Monte Carlo while on vacation (stayed at the Rio though). It was a red wax sealed 22 oz bomber for $20. Not bad for the strip, and a bar as compared to retail, and I was happy to pay for it.

Review is from notes.

A: Poured into a pint glass, the beer pours a thick, deep, and rich black, with a creamy chocolate or cappuccino colored head that rose about an inch, that dissipated into a thin ring of bubbles, leaving little lacing.

S: Aromas of bourbon come through quite strong up front, a bit more than I like. Followed by cocoa, sweet roasted malt and a touch of smoke.

T: Taste mirrors the nose, with deep and rich bourbon, followed by layers of vanilla, milk chocolate, oak, and a slight alcohol burn.

M: Medium or thick mouth feel, chewy, and lightly carbonated.

O: A solid RIS in it's own right, just not sure if the barrel added layers that my palate liked. It came off stronger than it was, and being served in a pint vs. a tulip or snifter didn’t help (in retrospect, wish I had asked for one) I would try it again though if given the chance.

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Bourbon Barrel Russian Imperial Stout from Joseph James Brewing Inc.
4.15 out of 5 based on 99 ratings.
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