Brothers Craft Brewing

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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #39
Ranked #684
4.36 | pDev: 10.09%
Brothers Craft Brewing
Virginia, United States
Notes: Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 402 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sampling a 12 oz bottle poured at cellar temp into a snifter. The beer is courtesy of @cubatobaco. thank you!

the beer pours a rich cola brown to black coffee color with a dense creamy tan colored head foaming up about 2 cm. this foam fades quickly to a sturdy surface layer. The foam is leaves dense lattice when I swirl the glass.
the aroma features rich roasted malt, some light charred wood and mild bourbon and brown sugar notes. I do get just a little bit of dark fruit like a plum or red grape in background. No hop presence and the ABV is hidden pretty well too.
The first sip reveals a medium body with very smooth texture and fine gentle rolling carbonation. Pretty easy drinking for a higher ABV big imperial stout.
Flavor is similar to nose, again some red grape notes mix in with the roasted notes and here dark chocolate comes in too. Bourbon is mild as is brown sugar, but there is also no heat or other signs of the high ABV on this beer. Hops not really present either.
I enjoy this beer and am glad to have tried this one and would recommend it to other lovers of big stouts. Not a lot of frills on this one, just straight forward BBA imp stout.

Apr 12, 2021
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.63/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown color with about a finger of khaki-colored head. The head actually doesn't fizz away to nothing in record time, and manages to leave splotches of lace on the glass - more than I can say about too many other barrel-aged stouts. Aroma-wise, it's fairly fact, almost too subtle for its own good. While the oak character is mild, notes of vanilla and even coconut are quite evident. This is a Russian imperial stout through-and-through, which means less focus on deep roasted malt or espresso, and a greater focus on chocolate, dark fruits, tobacco, and leather. The flavor profile follows the nose very closely. Dark fruits hit the palate first, while notes of vanilla, coconut, and even some oak slowly build during the flavor progression. The finish is chocolaty and a little leathery. This is incredibly smooth and balanced for a 13.5% monster stout - it doesn't conceal its alcohol presence with unmitigated sweetness, rather it remains a suggestion that's smoothed out almost perfectly by the general flavor profile. I'd almost call it easy. While I could use more body, the texture itself is creamy and soft, nor is it harshly tannic. This would make a great starter beer for someone looking to get into huge barrel-aged imperial stouts. What it lacks in intense flavor and endless depth, it makes up by being dangerously smooth and well-rounded. I'd buy again, but it wouldn't be my first choice for a barrel-aged stout.

Jan 31, 2021
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Trailboss76 from Virginia

4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost identical in appearance to Goose Island Bourbon County I drank just before this. Very dark, chocolaty brown. A little bit more of a head than the other. A high-quality Imperial Stout. This thing has definitely got some kick with that ABV.

Mar 24, 2020
Photo of dafla67
dafla67 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark. Aroma is wonderful mix of chocolate, bourbon, oak and vanilla. Tastes as good as smells. Incredible mix of coffee, chocolate, bourbon & vanilla. Full body. Phenomenal stout.

Feb 22, 2020
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a review of the 2020 edition.

L: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had a dark brown / black color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy, tan-colored, somewhat long-lasting head. Average lacing.

S: A very nice aroma of bourbon, chocolate, malt, coffee, vanilla, and wood.

T: Tasted of a bit of espresso (less than expected, but still there), some malt notes (present throughout; a subtle ingredient), a good shot of chocolate (always welcome), a hint of vanilla, and a decent bit of bourbon (and its accompanying barrel). This is a subtle, well-formed, and focused flavor. Pretty tasty.

F: A fair amount of carbonation with a silky smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A rock solid RIS. Drinkable.

Feb 10, 2020
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Smakawhat from Maryland

3.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

Milky looking out of the bottle with a light it and making a simple black walnut opaque appearance. Head creation is minimal, making a good light mocha to tan color, but with kind of a watery sheen looking top.

The beers aroma has taken to the barrel very nicely. Excellent sense of fruity oak and whiskey notes, with a mixing of char and tobacco leaf like sweetness. Hits a little hot and boozy though, with not much sensing roast character or chocolate notes. Almost comes off more as like a good brandy interestingly. Still very nice, if actually exceptional smell.

Palate is very thin. Watery sensing body that hits a little char on first sip. Mid palate washes in a bit of steely and almost metallic twinge of fruit and whiskey, not quite getting the richness it should deserve. Nice touches of fruited sensing whiskey on the finish, but not much thick malt depth flavor to back it up. Hints an interesting prune like quality also. A bit of strange dryness without even tannic notes which just seems odd.

This beer comes off tasting more like something spiked than aged. Not sure what all the big deal was with this beer, while drinkable and unique there have been much better ones made in this style.

Feb 02, 2020
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EnderFett11 from Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured moderately hard from a bottle into a snifter glass, slowly forming a finger of brown head that soon faded away. Deep brown, not quite black color. Smell is an interesting bourbon, not too intense. Taste is malty, a bit of chocolate and almost banana at times, and primarily bourbon. Not too sweet, and it even improves as it warms. Medium bodied with light carbonation, quite pleasant. A little bit boozy, but not too much even though its 13.5% ABV. Top 3 bourbon barrel aged stouts for sure.

Jan 27, 2020
Photo of VABA
VABA from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a dark color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has very generous Bourbon, roast malt and chocolate hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a nicely balanced and abundant Bourbon, roast malt and chocolate flavor
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A great Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

Jan 19, 2020
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 1754 of 3000
750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep black color with a one-finger foamy khaki head that has decent retention

S- plenty of barrel on the nose, adding notes of oak, bourbon, vanilla . and coconut. Undertones of black cherry, charred malt, chocolate & dark fruits

T- the dark cherry notes comes through on the flavor up front, followed by notes of roasted malt, chocolate dark breads. The finish brings out barrel notes that add some vanilla and light coconut

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and finish

O- solid stout with a good balance of barrel

Sep 19, 2018
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Zaximus from Colorado

4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 Vintage. Starts out a little hot but flavors really come forward as it warms. Nice, smooth vanilla and oak. Didn't disappoint. Would love to see what the variants do for this beer.

Jun 10, 2018
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Riff from Virginia

4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep black color with a light tan head that faded away to virtually nothing save for a tiny ring around the glass. Smell is roasted malts, bourbon, oak, and dark fruit. Taste is dark fruit at first, fades into some vanilla, bourbon, a little dark chocolate, and a hint of coffee towards the end. Medium to medium-heavy body, hint of alcohol throughout. Slightly sweet finish. Overall, very nice BA stout, like the dark fruit flavors.

Nov 19, 2017
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JAStheAce from Florida

3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Resolute on guest tap at J Wakefield Brewing. I had heard much hype of it and it certainly looked the part. Black as night with some dark auburn brown on the edges of my cup when held to the light. Low carbed and barely a trace of foam on the edges of my cup. The beer had a very strong, boozy smell. Lots of bourbon barrel. The taste was pure alcohol and heat with subtle notes of molasses and chocolate. It sweetened a bit as it warmed and I got a leathery aspect to it. The taste did not live up the the hype as there was no complexity or nuance as it warmed. It just stayed big and boozy throughout with mild sweetness as it warmed. The mouth feel was great, however. It was gooey and sticky and a very thick bodied stout. Overall, maybe this is best aged a bit but I was underwhelmed by this one.

Apr 27, 2017
Photo of Slack
Slack from Virginia

4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle

Deep brown to black with a brown tinted head that settles to a nice ring.

Nose is bourbon, oak, coffee, and dark fruits on a swirl.

Taste initial sweet dark fruit, bourbon, minor chocolate, minor coffee, and oak.

Mouthful is medium to heavy and soft. Carbonation is aggressive up front and then none. Finish is semi sweet.

Hard to say what 3 years has done to this beer as I have not had it fresh. The beer is pretty mellow and balanced, not harsh bourbon wise and not too sweet either. The balanced between elements is nice. Would love to try this fresh but I can tell from this bottle that a year or so is the sweet spot.

Mar 05, 2017
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yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L: pours black with a dark brown head that faded fast. It was not the thickest looking beer.
S: Dark fruit and slight bourbon.
T: Tabcco, chocolate and slight bourbon.
F: a bit thin...medium thickness, slightly boozy, but still smooth.

Jan 08, 2017
Photo of mythaeus
mythaeus from Pennsylvania

4.87/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is probably as perfect as a "classic" bourbon barrels stout can get. Smooth, medium/thick mouthfeel, not boozy in the nose or taste. Really flavorful. Hate using the word "balanced", but this is probably the right word to use here.

Jun 29, 2016
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black pour with a micro-thin dark cream toffee colored lacing ring.

S - Chocolate, bourbon, light oak.

T - Chocolate, roasted toffee, light bourbon, delicately balanced, oak, vanilla.

M - Medium body, velvety.

O - Delicate balance but very well done!

Apr 05, 2016
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Stevem68 from Ohio

4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark chocolate color. Aroma is boozy all the way. Flavor is boozy, a little sweet and roasted chocolate malts. Overall this has a great flavor and is booze forward, I think with a couple years of age in it this would be amazing.

Mar 26, 2016
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle of the 2014 batch. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours a dark black body, not unlike the Apple Brandy version; looks thick and oily. One finger offwhite head, no retention or lacing. Smells fairly oxidized; a bit of dark fruit, cardboard, bourbon, chocolate, cocoa. Flavour is dark fruit, smoky bourbon, chocolate, cocoa. It doesn't work quite that well, and I suspect this is a beer to be drank fresh. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, seems to have thinned out a little bit, mildly boozy on the finish with a wave of oxidation.

Mar 20, 2016
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo from Netherlands

3/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Got this one from a trade with Siddfinch a while back. Cheers man!

From a 750 into a snifter
Bottled: November 12, 2014
Bottle 1,546 of 2,500
Cellar Series vol. 1

APPEARANCE: Transparent black pour yields a three finger, thicker, denser looking, creamy, tan head with great retention. Jet black body with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a nice full cap and clings to the glass a touch. A slight wisp and ring remain leaving some decent lacing down the glass. Good looking for sure.

SMELL: Big nose of barrel notes with bourbon, oak, sweet cream and vanilla aromas, coconut, pure dark chocolate, toffee and butterscotch as well. Milk chocolate aromas as well. Very aromatic and barrel heavy. Boozy too. Nice stuff for sure though.

TASTE: Quite alcoholic up front with quite a bit of oak and alcohol initially. Bourbon, oak, wood and vanilla cream up front with more harsh alcohol and wood at the swallow. Boozy and rather cheap in the spirit department. Perfume and some lumbar character, unfortunately. Alcoholic finish with a medium aftertaste of spirit, wood, some vanilla, toffee and cheap booze. Not nearly as lovely as the nose, unfortunately. Cheap in the bourbon department, while being overly woody and alcoholic.

PALATE: Slightly thinner body and medium levels of carbonation. Prickly and a bit watery on the palate, goes down a bit harsh and finishes somewhat mouth-coating. Some heat lingers for sure. A little lack luster here.

OVERALL: The tale of two stories. This one looks good and the nose is rather enticing, then everything seems to fall off after that. The spirit is rather perfume-like, while the barrel comes across as rather woody as well. The feel is also somewhat thinner and pricklier than I’d hope for the style. There are some nice characteristics to this beer but in the end, it doesn’t measure up to the better examples of the style. Thanks again for the swap Siddfinch!

Mar 19, 2016
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rlee1390 from Indiana

4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had both the 2014 and 2015 side by side. Both were good, but neither was anything special. Rather sweet and chocolate heavy, with a nice bourbon flavor as well. But neither blew me away. Do not get the hype.

Feb 12, 2016
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mothman from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tan head. Black color.

Rich and roasted. Dark chocolate. Very malty. Lots of bourbon and oak.

Thick and creamy. Rich. Smooth. Creamy.

A nice BA stout. Well done.

2014 bottle consumed 8/2017

Barrel flavor has faded. Roasted and burnt malt a bit. Lots of chocolate. Decent, but not as good as I remember it being. 4.0

Jan 24, 2016
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 883, 2015 vintage. Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer is oily thick and jet black, with a low profile, bubbly, light tan head that settles out into a halo. Aromas of rich bourbon and vanilla, with woody highlights, a solid coffee and cocoa nib backbone, earthy highlights, and some rich molasses notes. Flavors are extremely rich and heavily roasted forward, with a solid and robust blend of espresso bitter and creamy chocolate. Wow! Solid notes of molasses, tobacco, woody highlights, vanilla, and bourbon. There's a solid warmth to the beer, too. The body is full, robust, and smooth, with layer upon layer coating the palate. The aftertaste is heavily rich in chocolate and vanilla, with some more bourbon warmth and boozy notes lingering on past the smooth, thick, layered finish. This is a damn good beer!

Jan 13, 2016
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Large shared bottle.
Pours thick and dark with a decent head.

Aroma - sweet and moderately strong. The bourbon barrel effects are well tempered here and in the flavor - they are both obvious but gentle enough to allow the underlying stout to shine thru but just faintly in the flavor. Lightly sweet.

Thick, syrupy body with appropriate light carbonation.

Overall: excellent.

Jan 03, 2016
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HopAttack3 from Virginia

5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on resolute release weekend, it is thicker and chewier than November 2014 or March 2014 releases. Lots of bourbon on the nose, and roasted malt notes. This beer does not drink as a 13.5% abv beer. Some complaints about too much bourbon, that is false, it is a bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout, it's supposed have the bourbon on nose and taste. The beer is not hot, it is drinking perfectly now. Love it, one of the best beers from the Commonwealth of VA. Huge fan of what Brothers is doing with Resolute, as well as others. 2016 is gonna be great for them.

Dec 31, 2015
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours black with a mocha head; strands of lacing linger

Smell: Roasted malt, chocolate and Bourbon; hints of coffee and dark fruit

Taste: Chocolate and coffee tones forward, with building roasted tones, dark fruit and Bourbon; a bit sweeter through the finish, with the impact of the barrel-aging more apparent

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Enjoyable and well-constructed

Nov 02, 2015
Resolute from Brothers Craft Brewing
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 402 ratings