Michigan Brewing Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout | Michigan Brewing Company

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13 Ratings

Brewed by:
Michigan Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerBeing on 03-04-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by CoolJosh:
Photo of CoolJosh
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to Derek (Hoppymeal) for hooking it up with this beer. I was really surprised by their RIS, and couldn't wait to crack this bottle.

Not the most pleasant looking beer. It looks really flat, with a black center and brown edges. It looks a little bit thin on the top. Absolutely no head.

The smell is straight bourbon... I LIKEEEE! Really nice creamy caramel scent, with a really great roasted chocolate scent. The taste is just as awesome. The bourbon adds a really great crunchiness. The beer is still refined, and semi-milky. There is a chocolate milk scent that latches on to the end of the taste. This brewery deserves more credit!!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the distinct pleasure of trying this big beer while visiting my Brother-in-law in MIchigan. He actually had about a 12 ounce swing top bottle from the brewery. Poured the expected thick black goo, rich, heavy, tasty motor oil style beer. Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, wood. Low, low carb, high, high flavors, complexity and interest. Go get some and enjoy with a double chocolate dessert. Nicely done.

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Photo of mikey711
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another spectacular treat from eyebrews! I was having trouble sleeping through the week but think this one will help considering its listed on the bottle at 14.5%!

A: Black. As black as black can can. Motor oil syrup, say the adjective for are dark and thick as something could be and this is it. There is no head however and therefore no lace

S: Sweet vanilla upfront followed by some milk chocolate. The sweetness is a bit more than prevelant than I like and overpowers the other aromas. A mild amount of roastiness is present as well along with a touch of wood and a bit of smokiness from the bourbon/whiskey.

T: For the overwhelming sweetness in the smell, it is perfectly balance between roastiness with a bit of coffee, sweet chocolate vanilla, oak and bourbon. I especially like the coffee and roastiness that comes through in the finish with the tingly bourbon

M: The flavors are all rich, yet mellow. There is a slight bit of alcohol but it is from the bourbon. It has a nice amount of body and while thick it is not cloying in any way. The only problem is the lack of carbonation.

D: Surprising very easy to drink for such a big beer. I believe this is one that could get a person into a lot of trouble

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Photo of grub
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

got this one from plaztikjezuz in a recent trade. thanks scotto!

16oz swingtop with a small address-sized plain white label that says the name and that it has been aged in bourbon barrels since 2006. sampled feb 2/08.

pours inky black, thick and opaque with no sign of carbonation or head. no lace.

aroma is good. bourbon and vanilla. light alcohol. bit of roast. dark chocolate. without any carbonation the bourbon is the dominant character here. i suspect it'd be even better with some carb to give it life.

taste is great. bourbon. tons of dark and milk chocolate. bit of bittersweet chocolate too. bit of coffee. light roast. vanilla. bit of earthy character. hint of grapefruilt. light alcohol. medium-low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is nice. almost no carbonation. medium-large body.

drinkability is good. even without any carbonation this one holds up fairly well. with carbonation i'm sure it'd be right up there with the bourbon county stout i sampled before it.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Alex for busting out this old and (for me) unheard-of brew.

A - It pours an opaque brown-black, visibly shiny and oily, with a scant cap of tan bubbles from a hard pour. Alex reported that the brew had been flat when he'd had it several years prior; it is currently not the liveliest, but it is definitely not flat.

S - The nose is somewhat solventy, casting a pall upon an otherwise solid aromatic array of roasted grain, brown sugar, oak and booze, vanilla, et al.

T - The flavor is really nice, and markedly better than the aroma. I get a lot of delicious sweet booze, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, maple and anise from the brew. In many ways the flavor is reminiscent of BCS.

M - The feel is big and silky.

O - This is a nice beer; very well done, regardless of obscurity.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Absolutely pitch black, very viscous and extremely oily. This is a black hole. After an extremely hard pour, there isn't much head formation, but what is there is light brown and forms a nice ring with a bit of creamy lace across the top.

S- Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate. Very complex. I don't really smell the booze like I anticipated I would- considering this is probably hovering around 15% ABV.

T- Oh man this is serious business. Loads of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate cake, bacon. The alcohol has a definite warming effect. There are just hints of maple syrup that kind of remind me of Triple Bock.

M- Oily slick with barely any carbonation. I don't know much about what happens to beers after they have been barrel aged, but I would have trouble believing this has been carbonated after it sat in the barrel. This is almost too smooth and flat, like it sat out over night.

D- This is most definitely one of the more serious beers I have ever had. This will knock you on your ass. A tasty beer, but quite the sipper.

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Photo of Viggo
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml swingtop bottle, thanks for sharing grub!

Pours an inky opaque black, some brown and red highlights, no head, no lace. Smell is nice, bourbon, vanilla, oak, nice chocolate, toffee, roasty, figs, bourbon is very well integrated. Taste is vanilla and bourbon, chocolate, alcohol, rich toffee pudding, bread, more chocolate, oak, bourbony finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, low to no carbonation, still very drinkable. Would be excellent if more carbonation, thanks Russ!

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Photo of brentk56
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color that shifts to translucent rust at the edges; no head, no lace

Smell: Well-balanced aromatics, with just enough Bourbon and vanilla to offset the roast and chocolate

Taste: Chocolate, up front, with a developing sweetness that morphs into vanilla and Bourbon by mid-palate, with the booziness coming on strong before the swallow; nice blend of vanilla, dried dark fruit and chocolate through the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied but flat; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: But for the carbonation problem, this is a wondrous beer; perhaps someday they will hit it just right

Thanks, Hoppymeal(?), for the opportunity

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Photo of rye726
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an oily black with tints of mahogany and a silky brown head.

Nose has bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and ripe pitted fruit.

Taste also has a big whiskey presence that is well balanced by vanilla, cocoa, espresso, molasses, toffee, dark fruits and wood.

Creamy body has a delicate carbonation. Another fantastic stout from MBC.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Joe for busting this one out for our mini-stout tasting. Served in a FoBAB pint glass.

A - This has even less carbonation than the regular version. Pours a flat black, with a hint of red-brown at the fringes. This is one homely stout.

S - Lots of vanilla, bourbon, and marshmallow flavor - not that similar to the base beer, although there's still a hint of char going on.

T - The taste is actually better than the base beer, even with the lack of carbonation. There's a lot of milk chocolate and malt sweetness, and a lighter bourbon touch than I anticipated from the smell. I actually like the flavor quite a bit - it's a shame the beer is totally flat. Very well hidden ABV.

M - Uhhh...it's flat. Silky body, no carbonation, a little thinner than it should be for a 14% brew. It's not super-hot, which is a positive.

D - It actually goes down faster than most 14% brews, mostly do the lack of carbonation. However, I don't think I could drink a whole bomber of this on my own.

It's weird - even though it's flat it's better than BA Santa's Little Helper.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Unlabeled bomber into a Birra del Borgo tulip. Big thanks to Chris for sharing this obscure retiree.

A: Clear black body with ruby highlights; essentially flat, though.

S: Classis, almost clichéd bourbon barrel stout aroma, which is fine by me. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, and general goodness.

T: Follows the nose. If you've had a tasty BB stout, you know what this is like.

M: Totally flat, medium body. Disappointing.

O: This is starting to be a pattern for barrel-aged stouts at tonight's tasting - delicious but substantially flawed. Is it really that hard to get a beer to carbonate properly? Well, as a homebrewer I know that it really can be; I just expect a bit more from commercial brewers. Oh, wait, this bottle looked more like a homebrew than a professional offering, so maybe I shouldn't have been surprised. The tastiness was well worth it, though.


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Photo of tprokop7
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Got as an extra in a recent trade, hand-labeled 22oz bottle poured into stemless red glasses.

Silent as the bottle opens, pours thick and black. No head, even with a vigorous pour. Pretty much uncarbed. Lines the glass.

Aroma first of chocolate, then strong of bourbon and vanilla. Flavor is quite good, but dominated by the bourbon. No grain bitterness. Sticks to your mouth, but isn't overly sweet. A great representation of the style, but my preference is for the more carbonated versions.

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Photo of jfcaa193
3/5  rDev -26.8%

Michigan Brewing Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout from Michigan Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 13 ratings