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Whiskey Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout | Grist Brewing Company

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Very Good
9 Ratings

Brewed by:
Grist Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9 |  Reviews: 2
Photo of Shermski
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2015 version was a lot better than the 2014 guessing by the reviews.

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Photo of aaronyoung01
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DeadeyeOTDO
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Parmesan
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Thedrizzle
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kojevergas
3.09/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

"Russian Imperial Stout Whiskey Barrel-Aged." 11.60% ABV. 50 IBU. SRM: >40. Per Grist's website, this was aged for 6 months.

BOTTLE: 1 pint 6 fl oz. Brown glass, with an appealing label design and a silver wax-ed over pry-off cap. The wax even has an intricate stamp ensconced.

Served cold into a snifter at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as a Russian Imperial Stout per the label/name.

Expectations are average given the brewery.

The wax took me a good bit of time to chew through with a knife. No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Half finger wide. Tan colour. Inadequate thickness. Not real creamy. Retention is poor - maybe 20 seconds at best. Leaves no lacing.

BODY: Opaque ink-black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears decently carbonated. It's not a great appearance for an imperial stout overall, but it's above average.

AROMA: The whiskey is crazily vanilla-forward, eclipsing the base entirely. There's boozy barrel wood, vanilla, and a strange peat character which almost suggests infection. There's definitely something amiss here.

The base beer is hard to identify beneath the mess of chaotic whiskey notes, but I do find cream, caramel, and baker's chocolate.

Where are the roasted malts, oak, and coffee notes the label promises? This aroma suggests an imbalanced mess of a beer which lacks intricacy and balance. Aromatic intensity is average.

The dominant vanilla note almost seems artificial.

TASTE: Heavy as hell on the vanilla and molten Creme Brulee to the point that it's cloying and artificial. This reminds me of Southern Tier's Creme Brulee with its sweetness. I can't find whiskey's signature spiciness, and there's no rich toasted oak character. It's quite one-dimensional barrel wise. I do get some barrel sugars.

The vanilla eclipses the base beer, but it's worth noting that the coffee and roasted malt promised on the label are nowhere to be found. I guess I get some dark malts from the base, but that's about it.

I'm shocked at this beer's simplicity and shallowness. There's just nothing other than vanilla.

Flavour duration and intensity are nice; it's a shame there isn't more flavour. It's imbalanced in that it's so one-note, and there's no subtlety or nuance at all - it's an overt, plain flavour profile. Not at all gestalt. It's cohesive inasmuch as a one-note brew is cohesive.

Very disappointing.

TEXTURE: The texture would be good if the taste was better. It's soft, melty, smooth, wet, medium-bodied, and comforting on the palate. Aptly thick, with a necessary weightiness on the palate. Carbonation is near perfect.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

Its soft molten mouthfeel is a stand-out characteristic.

OVERALL: Its cloying vanilla-dominant taste severely restricts drinkability, and finishing the bottle will require some effort. This is poor work from Grist, and I'd recommend they change the provider of their barrels. Also, giving the base beer some balls would help greatly. It just gets overwhelmed by the barrel. Though the drinkability is low, I do have to commend Grist for the expertise with which the alcohol is disguised; this doesn't have any heat to it at all.

I am critical, but I do see strange potential in this beer. It seems the troublesome vanilla is masking a more interesting brew. It's a shame the barrel character drowns out the base beer so much. The vanilla is actually really lovely and evocative, it just needs severe dialing down. If that were done, I could see the whiskey really being set off.

Ultimately, as problematic as this beer is, I still think it's above average but I can't articulate why. Maybe it's just how great the mouthfeel is?


 3,780 characters

Photo of Taperwookie
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Photo of Buitleir-Brewing
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Aged one year in ex-Breckenridge Distillery casks (so I've been told). The sweetness and warmth of the devil's cut penetrating this flavorful Imperial is exceptional. Try it, you'll love it!

 190 characters

Whiskey Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout from Grist Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 9 ratings