Bourbon Barrel-Aged Laika Stout | Straight To Ale

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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Laika StoutBourbon Barrel-Aged Laika Stout

Brewed by:
Straight To Ale
Alabama, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by richj1970 on 10-13-2013

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 159
Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It pours black with 2 finger khaki- light brown head.
The aroma is bourbon, coffee, dark chocolate brownie with a reasonably pronounced piney, floral hoppiness.
The flavor is very roasty woth dark chocolate and char. The finish brings the bourbon and a bitter dry hoppiness. The barrel character is balanced really well,I love the base beer am still getting a lot of the base beer characteristics.
Overall this is very good, not my favorite BA stout, but I'm glad I traded for it.

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Photo of dcscientist
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was shared by a few friends from the area, and I was fortunate to be included in that when I was with them. This stacks up very well to the imperials that I can get at home, and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. You can definitely taste the bourbon tinge thanks to the barrel aging, and the base beer is one I'd get anyway even if it was on its own. That's what makes a good limited release beer.

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Photo of larryi86
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thank you richj1970 for this
22 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Black with a two finger mocha head.

S- Roasted coffee, rich chocolate, caramel malts, charred oak, bourbon and vanilla.

T- Cocoa powder, caramel malts, some roasted coffee, charred oak, vanilla, hints of dark fruits.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A solid barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout, taste is a little lighter than the nose and was hoping to body would be fuller and maybe a little chewy given the taste. I would definitely recommend this beer, would love to try the regular and wine barrel verison.

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Photo of T_Hass
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice offering from Straight to Ale. I enjoyed this much more that than this years Cab barrel age option. Overall this is a nice looking beer. The smell and the taste are slightly lacking in the bourbon department but at least its not overpowering. I'll definitely seek this one out next year.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – The beer was dark with mocha bubbles crowning the glass.

Smell – The nose was modestly boozy.

Taste – My initial impression is boozy sweet chocolate. Further, there was a dry metallic impression. Warm licorice notes were also present. The beer finishes with a dryish booze after.

Mouthfeel – The feel did allow the booze to linger somewhat, but this was not overly sticky.

Overall – Of the Laikas, cabernet is my favorite.

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Photo of kbwalters
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a libby stout glass. 2016 vintage.
Look = 4.5 Pours an opaque black with three fingers of dark brown head, great retention and a dense, sticky lace.
Aroma = 3.75 On the mild side but nice chocolate notes with whiffs of alcohol, oak, caramel and vanilla.
Taste = 4.0 Mild chocolate notes, light vanilla, mild roasty character and a mild bitter finish with bourbon and alcohol notes lingering.
Feel = 4.25 Medium to full bodied with a thick feel but not creamy, low carbonation
Drinkability = 4.0
Overall = 4.05 Pretty tasty BA stout, great look and solid mouthfeel

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

No label information. Bourbon Barrel Aged Laika is brewed in the style of a Russian Imperial Stout aged in whiskey barrels. Available in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a dark chocolate head of a frothy foam consistency over a near-black body. Retention is below average and there is no visible lacing. 4

(Smell) Dark chocolate, caramel, medium roast, modest sweetness, with notes of smooth bourbon and light toasted barrel dryness. Potency is moderate. 4

(Taste) Rich earthy flavor of dark roast, chocolate syrups and caramel syrups with a modest sweetness, finishing smooth and sticky with a pinch of bourbon heat and toasted oak. 4.25

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, residual and lightly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a medium frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium+ for the style, heavy overall. Balance is slightly earthy bitter, roasty and boozy over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) Another solid spin on a seemingly solid stout. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and try Laika standard in the near future, as these barrel age treatments are phenomenal, but part, if not most of the success is in the stout base itself. I favor the complexity over booze from the Cabernet version that I got over this one, and bourbon is the more common barrel aging treatment. Nonetheless, its quite an enjoyable beer, very rich malt base with a nice level of complimentary bourbon barrel character that contributes more complexity, but at the (slight) expense of a more revealed alcohol presence. It's still a standout stout and a solid substitute in place of more sought after Barrel Aged Stouts, not difficult to locate in reputable bottle shops and you don't have to wait in a line (or bust) to pick one up. Two thumbs up from a 9-5'er! 4

Straight To Ale's
Bourbon Barrel Aged Laika Russian Imperial Stout

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

Got this one from Halo4one a while back. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A thick black pour yields a big, 3+ finger, medium-thick, creamy looking, dark tan head with excellent retention. Jet black body with no real carbonation evident. Perhaps even a touch darker than the original. Head fades to a thick cap but leaves no lacing on the glass. A splotchy wisp remains until the end leaving lots of lacing down the glass. Huge head on this one, but pretty good looking overall.

SMELL: Bourbon, oak, lots of cocoa powder, bitter dark chocolate, vanilla cream, with a solid base of roasted and burnt malts. Pretty nice.

TASTE: Oak, bourbon, with some burnt malts and charred flavors up front. Flavorful finish with more wood and roasted barley, then a bold and lingering aftertaste of bourbon, oak, cacao powder, bitter dark chocolate, burnt malts and sweet vanilla cream. Bitterness and booze linger, though the sweet barrel provides nice balance. Pretty solid, with the base beer and barrel working well together.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, enough weight, goes down fine and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Some heat lingers here.

OVERALL: This is way better than I expected. After trying a batch of the base stout, I feared a diacetyl disaster. However, this must be a different batch of the base stout, as there doesn’t seem to have been any issue with fermentation here. Either that or the barrel just masked the problem. Whatever it is, this turned out pretty good overall, with the barrel components balancing the bitter and roasted base stout very nicely. Certainly enjoyed this one and hope the Cabernet version follows suit. Thanks again Halo4one. Recommended.

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Photo of Lembeh
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Friend got a bottle from bama.

Look: Black
Smell: Lots of barrel on the nose. Getting a mix of dark cherry, cocoa, cafe con leche.
Taste: A lot of whiskey notes on this up front. The middle is more sweet chocolate, some dark cocoa, the finish is back to mild booziness.
Feel: Thick inside of your mouth coating goodness.
Overall: I had the Bourbon county stout (not the coffee one but the normal one) and I thought this was better. Not sure what kind of whiskey barrels these were aged in, or for how long but the Barrel Aging really works well for this one. I thought the regular Laika was above average, but this one hits it out the park. Great job from the boys down south.

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Photo of ccg
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh bomber of 2015 batch poured into a clean Bruery snifter.
Typical motor-oil pour of BBA stout. Leaves almost three fingers of brown foam that lightens up in color as it settles. I can immediately see the lacing on the glass. A healthy head sticks around for a long time. This is the best-looking beer I've seen recently.
Poured cold, the smell at first is completely dominated by bourbon and vanilla. As it warms up a bit, the smell becomes a little more earthy, and then chocolately. None of the smells are overpowering. It's not a punch-you-in-face bourbon beer.
The flavor is sweet, light, and creamy. Lots of vanilla, some chocolate milk. Some sweet/savory flavors in the background make me think of dried, dark fruit.
The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but not quite chewy like some other barrel-aged stouts.
Overall: an easily enjoyable BBA stout.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated bottle at 41 degrees into a hand washed and dried tulip
Aroma very strong of roasted malt with some vanillin initially, as it warms to 48 degrees aroma becomes primarily vanillin
Head average (2.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, fizzy/creamy, diminishing to three mm ring and broken layer
Lacing poor – few tiny islands of tiny bubbles which slide back into the ring
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor initially very strong of roasted malt, bourbon becomes more noticeable as it warms to 48 degrees; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, lively (almost fizzy) carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4.25, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Photo of Tilley4
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As you can tell by my rating, I was absolutely floored by this offering. Big, boozy and loaded with bourbon and chocolate and creamy notes, this barrel aged stout is absolutely amazing. There is nothing timid or shy about this beer. Excellently crafted from the folks in Alabama. I paired this with a Perdomo Habano Maduro and the two married superbly... Is the Bourbon evident here? Absolutely, as it should be. After all, it is called a bourbon barrel aged stout. It does nothing to detract or take away from the experience. Rather, it melds wonderfully with the base beer and turns it into a superstar. Truly a sublime drinking experience... The best beer from this brewery by far and ranks in my top 2 or 3 all time... This and Astronaut Status might be the best big stouts that no one really knows about.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. Almost no head.

Smell - Molasses. Smells sweet. Bourbon.

Taste - Hefty booziness. Sweet. Roasted malt. Extremely roasty and bitter. A little bourbon, but not much.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and sweet. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Intense, but good.

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4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Much like the Cabernet BA version but hotter on the nose. Look is almost exactly the same so score stays the same. Flavor is still hot but smooth for the style. Creamy bourbon maple plays on the finish.

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Photo of dar482
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a dark black color with a dark brown head.

The aroma hits big bourbon and vanilla. Big fudgey brownie, milk chocolate and richness, dark chocolate, a touch of dark fruit.

The flavor follows with that big complex stout throughout. A huge full mouthfeel. Caramel sweetness throughout, lots of vanilla, huge chunky chocolate. The barrel and whiskey adds a nice sweetness. Some dark fruit pops out throughout. The back end dries out with some molasses and coffee.

Easily one of the best underrated BA stouts I've encountered.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.81/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at Oneinchaway's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, bourbon, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with solid bourbon barrel qualities, but I prefer the cabernet barrel aged version much more.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of chinchill
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large shared bottle pours near black with a decent head.
The aroma is a bit disappointing; having just had the cabernet barrel version I was expecting to like this better. Not true for the aroma but the flavor comes through with a fie bourbon barrel impact that also allows the dark roasted grais to shine. Good balance, very rich and nicely complex.
Very smooth, full body.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 13.99. No bottling date. Served in a Barrel and Barley teku.

Pours oil black with almost two fingers dark tan head. The froth slowly crumbles to a modest ring around the edges, leaving some smallish islands of lace.

The nose is sweet and inviting. Bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, oak, light coffee and caramel.

Flavor delivers on those aromas. Bittersweet dark bakers cocoa, warming bourbon, espresso, vanilla tinged oak, molasses, barrel char, licorice, caramel and some boozey heat. A nice balance of base brew, barrel and subtle spirits.

The feel is creamy but the medium body is slightly thinner than I'd prefer. Moderately soft carbonation. A little more warming alcohol in the finish along with cocoa, coffee and bourbon.

As hoped, the barrel treatment adds a welcome sweet complexity to Laika. It might not really rise above the crowded sea of barrel aged stouts in to the best of the best but it is a seriously delicious brew. Glad to try it and will certainly buy again.

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Photo of denver10
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark black with a very slight mocha head. Aroma is bourbon, oak, roast that gives off chocolate tones, some dark fruit, anise and a touch of char. Flavor follows suit. Medium bodied mouthfeel, minimal activity. Overall, good bourbon BA stout here.

My rating: 3.75

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Photo of zookerman182
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Color is a pitch black with basically no head at all.
Aroma is cherries with hints of vanilla and tons of alcohol.
Very big smells of bourbon with hints of burnt toffee and caramel.
The flavor is much nicer than the smell. Super huge body, the beer is what it says it is.
Vanilla cherries with chocolate and coffee hints. My only problem with this beer is the alcohol is not hidden at all. Very boozy beer but complex in flavor.

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Photo of BobSlydel
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Honestly, not the guy whose going to drop x, y, and z. However, great flavor and taste. Second time trying a Russo Imperial that's been bourbon aged. The tits my friends. Crazy thing is it gets better the warmer it gets. Super smooth. Reminds me of a classier version of my college choice drink the classic Jack and coke. Minus the corn syrup of course.

For your friends who like real beer, it's definitely going to be something to talk about. Definitely hits hard too. 12 percent will do that I suppose. Have fun visiting Sputnik.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Motor oil black, very viscous and thick. A mocha-colored one finger head that lingered. Filmy lacing. Some of the best label art I've seen in a while.

S: Chocolate, malts, coffee and bourbon come on strong.

T: Follows nose with caramel and a really nice bourbon finish. Sweet, robust. A definite sipper.

M: Medium to heavy with frothy carbonation.

O: Wish they could sell this one in Mississippi, but the 11.7% rules that out. One that I will seek out again. Highly recommended. Well done, Straight to Ale.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with light tan head that lingers pretty well for the style.

Smell is toasted malts, caramel, wine and a hint of bourbon.

Caramel, chocolate, toasted malts and bourbon mingle beautifully in this one. Very complex and balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied.

Overall this is a great example of the style. Very complex and inviting.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks like a glass of root beer. Dark cola colored with a huge brown head that somewhat lacks density.

Smells like a standard RIS. Anise, coffee, fudge, and soy sauce.

It's a pretty decent tasting RIS but I can't help but knock the score due to the complete lack of bourbon characteristics. Black licorice, coffee, and fudge. There is a hint of wood but it's a fresh woodsy flavor vs. a spent bourbon barrel.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for such a robust beer, but otherwise good carbonation.

Hmm. Tough to grade it. On one hand I really enjoyed it and it's solid for an RIS. On the other hand it is bourbon barrel aged but fails to pull out any bourbon qualities. It kind of reminds me of a Palo Santo Marron light.

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Photo of Jacurdy60
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a thin, toffee colored head that retains well. Builds back up as I swirl the glass and fades slowly. Smells strongly of bourbon and vanilla. Chocolate and coffee are on the nose as well. Alcohol is well hidden for a near 12% abv brew. Front of the palate is sweet with bourbon and vanilla and finishes with a sharp, alcoholic bite. The chocolate and coffee are almost not present at all on the palate, but it still tastes very good. Mouthfeel is lovely. Rich, full bodied and creamy, just like an RIS should be. Overall, this is a damn good brew. StA and Good People are the best breweries in AL, hands dow. BBA Laika is bold and well-balanced. The coffee and chocolate notes should transfer better to the taste, but it is still an exceptional brew.

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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Laika Stout from Straight To Ale
4.19 out of 5 based on 159 ratings.
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