Bourbon Barrel-Aged Laika Stout
Straight To Ale

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Laika StoutBourbon Barrel-Aged Laika Stout
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Straight To Ale
Alabama, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
4.28 | pDev: 9.35%
Feb 06, 2020
Oct 13, 2013
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Laika StoutBourbon Barrel-Aged Laika Stout
Notes: None
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Rated: 4 by jvgoor3786 from Arkansas

Feb 06, 2020
Rated: 4.27 by MJSFS from Florida

Jan 25, 2020
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Reviewed by Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

2.63/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75
Currently #3 in the Top Alabama Beers list.

CAN: 12 fl oz. Pull-tab. Cost was $3.59 USD at a beer store in New Orleans.

"Bourbon Barel Aged Russian Imperial Stout."

APPEARANCE: Great for the style. Long-lasting dark tan head sticks around 8+ minutes. Body is an opaque black.

AROMA: I get oak and barrel sugars but no bourbon-y toasted oak, coconut, or vanilla/vanillin. Quite chocolatey, evocative of Hershey's chocolate syrup without the butyric acid. Should be roastier...barely seems roasty at all. I'm also not finding the burnt sugars/charred malt aromatics I'd expect in a great Russian imperial stout.

Suggests a sweeter RIS with a barrel character that isn't dazzling.

TASTE: A bit metallic, unfortunately. Maybe I got a bad can? Hershey's chocolate, chocolate malts, dark malt sweetness, barrel sugars. The bourbon barrel is not all that present, and I don't find anything richly evocative of bourbon (oak, vanilla, coconut, spice, heat) - just barrel sugar sweetness. On the sweeter side for an RIS, lacking the roasty burnt bitterness you'd find in a great expression of the style.

It's balanced enough in that it's not a cloying chore to drink, but it just doesn't bring the complexity and richness needed in this style.

TEXTURE: Full-bodied, thick, smooth, wet, unrefreshing.

OVERALL: Maybe I got a can that's been sitting for way too long, but the metallic off-flavour coupled with the absence of barrel presence and the lacklustre base beer make this a big disappointment for a beer on a top of state list. It's definitely drinkable - and if this is really 11.7% ABV as listed (it isn't specified on the can) then its drinkability is easily its strongest attribute - but with Victory's Storm King widely available across the country and North Coast's Old Rasputin running a scant $7.99 plus tax for a 4 pack here in New Orleans, I can't see who'd recommend this.

I'll have to try it again on-draught to make sure my can wasn't a fluke, but I really don't see the appeal here. Maybe Straight To Ale just released a bad batch? There's a serious QC issue based on what I'm drinking...

Sep 10, 2019
Rated: 4.19 by Duncian from Pennsylvania

Aug 05, 2019
Rated: 4.83 by KensWorld from Florida

Nov 19, 2018
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Reviewed by tbryan5 from Louisiana

2.36/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2
Wow... whatever batch I got was undrinkable. Drain pour. I think that the first batches of this were great. But this in the can was borderline god awful... tasted very oxidized with no barrel character and very astringent. Sucks that I’m stuck with three more out of the 4-pack. Not really sure why straight to ale released this.... don’t waste your money on a 4-pack.
Nov 11, 2018
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Reviewed by WickedBeer from Alabama

3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
On draft for a tap takeover, Loosa Brews, Tuscaloosa AL.

Kegged October 4, 2017.

Pours pretty viscous, deep, dark, nearly black. Cold pour, almost no head to speak of. A thin ring of tan foam sits around the perimeter of the glass.

The nose on this is sweet and slightly boozy, with some dark fruits coming through to compliment a cherry dark chocolate aroma. Some very subtle hints of vanilla and espresso come through, along with an off sour smell.

Definitely something a little off here. It’s not bad, but there’s some souring for sure. Bitter, dark roast coffee comes through initially, but right behind it follows up an off tartness, like cherries. Again, it’s not bad but it just tastes like Stone’s locoveza, or a stout aged in Red Wine barrels and definitely not Bourbon barrels. A shame, honestly.

Smooth, sticky feel. A pretty high level of carb on it still, and a pretty thin mouthfeel. I’ll be impartial as I can with the rating knowing this wasn’t intended, but don’t try aging this beer for too long.
Nov 08, 2018
Rated: 4.18 by CoopIsLoose from Texas

Oct 24, 2018
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Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Appearance: Arrives the color of espresso with a thick tan head that leaves a curtain of lacing

Smell: Roasted malt, chocolate, black coffee, dark fruit and Bourbon tones

Taste: Roasty, at the outset, with the chocolate, caramel and coffee flavors embellished by walnut, coconut, raisin and a hint of smoke; through the middle, the Bourbon, oak and vanilla tones complement; nicely balanced through the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: A mighty impressive BBA stout from the heart of Dixie; easily the best beer I have tasted from Alabama
Oct 20, 2018
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Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
22oz bottle poured into a snifter
2014 vintage

A- pours a jet black color with a one-finger creamy khaki head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- roasted malt gives some charred notes up front, as well as dark chocolate, caramel, tobacco & black licorice, Plenty of oaky bourbon undertones that adds a vanilla and toffee element

T- dark chocolate, caramel and roast up front, notes of nutty fudge, molasses, brown sugar, tobacco and fig. Mid-palate starts to bring out the barrel and continues into the finish, adding notes of oak, vanilla & toffee on the linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into a slightly warming finish

O- amazing how these stand up to time, the barrel is perfectly balanced with the base beer
Aug 19, 2018
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Reviewed by BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Don't tell this old dog that it can't be taught new tricks. It takes its tried and true imperial roasty stature to the bourbon barrels for a flood of new flavors ranging from oak to spice to whisky and sweetness. The Straight To Ale team certainly knows how to get the most out of this 'ole mutt.

Bourbo Barrel Aged Laika pours with a deep and ominous gaze of black coffee then topped with a sandy froth of tan and sepia. Striking the nose with high roast, woods, burnt sugars and a rife campfire perfume, the scent precedes an initial sweet taste of toffee, sorghum and raisin bran muffins.

Ample carbonation gives the middle palate a lift as its sweetly malted taste tends to dry quickly and the character of roast billows into a charred medley of french press coffee, baker's chocolate, black walnut, burnt toast and a the gentle smokiness of smoldering embers. Charred fruits of dark berries and cherry simmer on the late palate while the bourbon flavors of caramel, vanilla, charred oak and grilled coconut tease the senses once more.

Full bodied but seemingly somewhat arid, the carbonation, whisky spice and herbal hop spice offers the finish a long linger of char and chickory with a deep soilish after palate of turkish coffees. A gentle prickle of heat highlights the char and piquant tannic bite with a pep of ash.
Mar 22, 2018
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Reviewed by outdoor7or24 from Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
12 oz can shared with Rob, poured into pint glass, canned on 11-13-2017.
A: pours a jet black body with a tinge of brown, milk chocolate frothy one finger foam head
S: sweet, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee
M: thick
T: pepper, bourbon burn, coffee, roasted malt, chocolate
O: really good and balanced, as it warms the burn becomes more noticeable
Feb 25, 2018
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Rated by rkarimi from Colorado

4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Jan 06, 2018
Rated: 4.15 by BAsbill from California

Dec 19, 2017
Rated: 4.43 by jnorris404 from Alabama

Dec 08, 2017
Rated: 3.75 by atlbravsrno1 from New Hampshire

Nov 18, 2017
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Reviewed by hoptheology from California

4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Pours a blacker than black color with a lovely, angry red to brown head of 1/2 finger that lingers (probably due to oats, nice work).

Aroma is intoxicating - chocolate chip cookies, caramel, fig, dark chocolate, whiskey, oats, molasses, and licorice. YEAH!

Flavor is explosive with tons of black licorice, plum, banana oatmeal, burnt caramel, dark chocolate, molasses, whiskey, and burnt crisp chocolate chip cookie ends. Nice toast and chocolate chip on the finish.

Feel is thick but not too thick, slightly slick, and a polite burn on the finish.

Overall, an amazing WBA RIS. I really like this, and would acquire it again if given the chance. Solid performer.
Oct 29, 2017
Rated: 4 by BMart from Pennsylvania

Aug 29, 2017
Rated: 3.79 by dfhhead25 from Pennsylvania

Aug 29, 2017
Rated: 4.54 by JGCraver from Alabama

Jul 29, 2017
Rated: 4.86 by WesSwift from Alabama

Jun 27, 2017
Rated: 4.58 by JintheHam from Alabama

Jun 08, 2017
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Reviewed by Scott17Taylor from Iowa

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.
Apr 20, 2017
Rated: 4.75 by Lance_Hathorn from Alabama

Feb 18, 2017
Rated: 4.66 by ManWithNoName from South Carolina

Feb 06, 2017
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Rated by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Jan 08, 2017
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Reviewed by dcscientist from Colorado

4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | 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.
Jan 03, 2017
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Reviewed by larryi86 from Delaware

4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
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.
Nov 13, 2016
Rated: 4.38 by bearbeerboss80 from Indiana

Oct 01, 2016
Rated: 3.9 by emottram from Massachusetts

Sep 06, 2016
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Reviewed by T_Hass from Georgia

3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
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.
Jul 28, 2016
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Reviewed by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
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.
Jun 27, 2016
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Reviewed by kbwalters from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -6.5%
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
May 15, 2016
Rated: 4.28 by Zazzi82 from Tennessee

Apr 19, 2016
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Reviewed by Jadjunk from Georgia

4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
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
Apr 16, 2016
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Reviewed by Jeffo from Netherlands

3.98/5  rDev -7%
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.
Mar 19, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by Whatup14 from Canada (QC)

Mar 07, 2016
Rated: 4.46 by robwestcott from Indiana

Mar 04, 2016
Rated: 4.12 by thatoneguymike from Georgia

Feb 26, 2016
Rated: 4.64 by mweso2000 from Georgia

Feb 25, 2016
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Laika Stout from Straight To Ale
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 181 ratings